A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) A Game of Thrones question


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Which is better, reading GRRM's books first or watching the series first?
☆ Becky ☆ ☆ Becky ☆ Oct 25, 2011 09:51PM
I have read/listened to all but the latest book several times. I watched the GoT series with my neice, who knew nothing about the books and went into it with the idea that she didn't like fantasy and was only watching because I wanted her to. Her view quickly changed, but as much as I enjoyed it, I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. Of course, she had me to explain some of the backstory. I interested in hearing opinions and discussion on this.



How can anyone properly answer this question? It's impossible to have done both.


I read the books when they came out before watching the show and I think that's the way to go. My girlfriend, on the other hand, says the opposite. She is reading the first book now, after having seen the show. She is not a fan of the genre, however, and thinks that it's easier to get into the world through the show.


Generally, I'd say read the book first, but I could see it possibly being easier to convince some people to watch the show first. ASOIAF can be a bit intimidating looking if you're not the type who likes long books.

This assumes the show is a good intro to the series. I don't have HBO, so I haven't seen it yet.


I read the book first then the show. I liked doing it that way cause the book has so much more detail i.e. the characters thoughts. It helps fill in the missing part of the show. And yet the show provides a visual as to what is happening because sometimes a get confused with all the weird names
I also found that now that I am reading A Clash of Kings I read it with the actor's voices in my head :) haha


i like the show better. the books are great, but his writing style doesn't mesh well with me :(


I read the book and watched the show at the same time but I always made sure I was ahead in the book I thought it overall enhanced the experience for me. I really enjoyed the show even though it was quite gory for me at times but well done.


Usually I am a proponent for reading the book before the movie. In fact sometimes I'll skip the movie all together because I know it will disappoint me. I watched the first season of Game of Thrones on HBO and I was completely hooked. I began reading the series and I am currently on the fourth book, Feast for Crows.

I do not believe I lost anything by watching the series first, in fact I think it only enhanced my reading experience. As Will points out, the question posed on this thread is impossible to answer but I can tell you I am glad I watched the series first.


Definately read the books first, hands down. Apparently the show follows the books really well (I haven't seen it, but my sister has, I've just read the books), too well. If you watch the show it'll take all of the fun out of reading the books. Plus, the show'll make more sense with better background info and who doesn't like yelling at the TV if their favorite character isn't up to par, lol? :D Plus, you'll have a fav and more info on them, lol. You might like someone from the show and it turns out they suck in the book or visa-versa. Definitely read the books first!!! :D


Definitely read the books first. I can't imagine wanting to read them after you know what's going to happen. It is so much fun to watch the series and compare to the books. And it especially helps with the SOIAF withdrawal that plagues you when you finish the series.


Started reading the series back around '98, right before the second book came out. (R'hllor’s burnt nuts, the wait has been excruciating!) I was both excited and trepidatious about the books being filmed; we all have our own ideas about what places and people look like as we read. I would think that watching the show without knowing the books would cause more confusion — there's so much that is not explained. Or is it? I have no objectivity with the series. Overall, I think they've done a magnificent job of adapting the book and bringing the words on the page to life. Aside from having far more money to spend, I'm not sure how much they could've improved the series given their budget and 10 episode arc.

So, Pallav, while the series isn't as great as your own imagination, you might be surprised how close some of it actually matches.

Really, based on the unanimous praise from hard-core fans and new fans who've rushed out to buy the books, I don't think reading or watching first really makes that much difference.

For people thinking fantasy is a silly genre or just not their thing, I suspect watching the show first would help alleviate misgivings. (Let's face it, reading the first book at 700+ pages is quite a commitment.)


I actually saw the first episode of the series before picking up the books, and I gotta say - the show didn't make me want to read the books. A combo of bad dramatic acting and "LOOK! BOOBS again!" made the premise feel like the kind of fantasy story my 15 yr old brother would want to read. But after being brow-beaten over and over again about how great the books were, I picked them up and was immediately HOOKED. I have to disagree with people who say that the show follows the book closely - it doesn't. It's so freaking liberal with some of the scenes, and in ways that don't even make sense, that I finally had to just decide to love the books as they were and look at the series as another entertaining story altogether. Both are great, but one really shouldn't be substituted for the other.


No..it's simple. If you have no time for the books, the series is for you.....but you don't get the whole story in detail with full color. If you recognize....the treasure of the story.....then read the books. I stumbled on them, and could NOT put the books down, even at work, or in college classes.


deleted member Jan 05, 2012 11:50AM   0 votes
The TV series is for lazy people...
Books are *without exception* better: fuller, more detailed, richer and making you work for it, instead of having scenarios, characters and personalities spoonfed you.

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Michael B Tager There are soooo many exceptions. Fight Club, The Godfather, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner), Everything is Illuminated ... all of t ...more
Mar 17, 2012 07:33AM

Luis (last edited Mar 16, 2012 04:59PM ) Mar 16, 2012 04:58PM   0 votes
Watched the TV series before reading the books. While i appreciate both media, there are scenes that goes so much better with sounds and visuals, like the when Tyrion asked for a trial by combat in the eyrie, then the duel ends with his champion throwing the eyrie's champion out of the moon door. i was like woaaah, this moon door is freakin awesome. Loved the OST as well.


Haven't seen the show and I don't think I will. But reading the books is much more fun than watching it on TV. Because, in my head, it's all more awesome than anything on TV can be :)

So, yes, read the books first.

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Nicole Although reading the books first is definitely preferable. Too many delicious spoilers if you don't.
Mar 16, 2012 05:07PM

I think it was much easier watching the series first, then reading the book. I'd tried reading the book years before I watched the show and it was so hard to keep up with who all the characters were. After watching the show, it was easy to put a face to the name.


Will find out when I get to watch the second series as I am just starting the second book after reading the first after seeing the series.
Generally prefer to read before watching


Interesting question. I had never heard of the books until the series, and HBO blew me away completely. Now I'm very much into the books. Hopefully I can get further into the series before the second installment.


I agree with Will. But, I will answer. I've never seen the series but I KNOW the books are better. You yourself said you had to explain the back-stories to your niece. There's your proof: Reading the series 1st is better.

Remember this phrase & it will always help you decide: "The book was better."


I got to watch the first episode of the series and that made me want to read the books. I think since I was so fond of the actors who played robert and ned it made me like the books more, plus it let me skip some of the beginning which was harder to understand and get to the juicier bits.


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