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


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To those who watched the series first...

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Kristine I've watched the first 3 seasons, and I'm completely hooked. I'm going to read the first book, and I was just curious to see if you who have watched the show first still got a thorough enjoyment out of reading the book. I've heard that the show follows the books pretty closely, so will knowing the plot twists and spoilers take the fun out of reading the book at all? I know that it goes into much greater detail, but is the suspense gone?


message 2: by Laura (last edited Jul 29, 2014 08:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Herzlos Sorry, I read first. But I can tell you that the closest fit books-to-show is the first season. From second season on, there are some changes in the plots, more and more as it goes. I would even say that the last season was more based on the books than adapted from the books.

It's still basically the same central story, though. The books may give you more depth to some of the characters. Each chapter is written from a different character's point of view, so someone who is seen as a hero in the first chapter is seen as a villain in the next. Also, you get to "hear" these characters' inner thoughts and memories, which the show can't portray.

Sure, you won't be surprised when Ned Stark loses his head. I'd still recommend it, though.


message 3: by Kristine (last edited Jul 29, 2014 08:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristine Laura wrote: "Sorry, I read first. But I can tell you that the closest fit books-to-show is the first season. From second season on, there are some changes in the plots, more and more as it goes. I would even sa..."

Ok that's good to know! And you're totally right, getting inside the characters' heads would be a completely different experience, because when I'm watching the series, it's pretty obvious to me who the "good" and "bad" guys are. It would probably become a little more complicated from a first person POV.


message 4: by TheBohemianBookworm (last edited Jul 29, 2014 08:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TheBohemianBookworm Kristine wrote: "I've watched the first 3 seasons, and I'm completely hooked. I'm going to read the first book, and I was just curious to see if you who have watched the show first still got a thorough enjoyment ou..."

Of course suspense will be diminished because you will know what happens and you will also know more than the average person who has only watched the show if you read all of the books. But by all means if you enjoy the show and wish to read the books do so. The books are so rich and a big part of the story so it's great you want to read them. Many of my favorite movies inspired me to read the books on whch they were based and I was better able to appreciate the level of detail in them later. I say start the books and continue to watch as you read. You can even read as you go along watching the show episodes and then reading the roughly corresponding chapters. That way you won't feel your are taking away from enjoying the show. And if you want to not be ahead of the show than stop reading after the last book they cover and wait until next year to read the next book so you won't be spoiled. Do whatever you need to do but please do not let the show stop you from reading them.


message 5: by Laura (last edited Jul 29, 2014 08:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Herzlos If you are on third season, you should stop reading by the half of the third book (maybe not exactly half, I'm not sure... not long after what happens in the episode "The Rains of Castamere"), or the book will spoil you part of season 4 (unless you want to read it first) ;)


Mitali I saw the first two seasons of the show first, then read all the books, then saw seasons 3 & 4. I love both the show and the books, though I now prefer the books, and I'm glad I read them - there's just so much detail in them that simply cannot be fitted into a 10-episode season. Apart from getting to know the characters from the 'inside', so to speak, you also get to know a lot more about the world of the books/show and its history.

There are some things that are better in the show, of course - such as the spectacular scenery, locations and CGI (it's one thing to read about a 700-foot high wall of ice, it's another to see it!). The music on the show is also great and helps set the mood perfectly - I can't think about either the books or the show without hearing the theme song in my head. ;) And some scenes are more viscerally powerful on the show - Ned Stark's execution, for example (in the book, the scene is from Arya's point of view, and she turns away at the moment of Ned's death, so it loses a bit of its impact). But on the whole, I find reading the books to be a richer and more exciting experience.

Actually, I enjoyed both the show and the books far more when I watched the show first. After reading the books, I kept focusing too much on what was changed.


Linda Gukicova I saw all four seasons and started reading the books afterwards. I still enjoy it. I'm on A Storm of Swords now (Book 3). The writing is so rich and full of detail; like what they're wearing or the food they eat. And of course, you get more inside the head of the characters. The chapters are not written in the 1st person but you only see what the character sees.

What I like about the show better is that the characters are a bit older, for example I'm not entirely comfortable with Daenerys being 13 but I just pretend their years are different from ours.


Paul I also watched the HBO series first. I started reading the books about a month ago with the Goodreads read along group. I have not had any problems 'knowing' what would happen. As someone said above things in the HBO series are a bit different or happen at different times. I think both the Book and the Show complement each other.

Paul.


message 9: by . (new) - rated it 5 stars

. I watched the show first, then the books. I did not put me off the books or anything while reading them, in fact it was even better despite knowing what would happen, especially after the first book, because things start getting changed a lot more from the books to the show.


Kristine I've started reading the book, and it's great so far! Thanks for your input, everyone!


Sydnee I watched the series first, season one. I couldn't wait a year to see the second season so went out and read all the books. Now I sit and wait for the ending for both! Whomp Whomp

I think someone who watched the series first gains an advantage. The show was excellent at picking set locations considering The Game of Thrones is a fictional world. Also, HBO put faces to a never ending stream of new characters. Trying to follow the hundreds of names sometimes with very little introduction was tiresome at times. GRRM actually named almost every captain and ship leading up to the battle at King's Landing.

Also, I think I like some characters more in the show than in the book; Davos and Dany for example.


message 12: by Holly (new)

Holly I started with HBO first. I have given up on Hollywood.......movies these days suck so bad......I decided HBO is much better and started watching all their series I had not seen yet. Game of Thrones was the first I chose.

Knowing what is going to happen doesn't spoil anything for me; in fact I kind of like to be forewarned about something horrific. In the show, things happen so quickly, whereas in the book you can enjoy the delicious slow build-up to important events.


message 13: by Chelsea (new) - added it

Chelsea Strabala I watched the show first, and it does follow the book very closely at first. However, I'm halfway through book 3 now and the farther along they get, the more differences you will start to notice. To me, seeing the show first hasn't really affected my enjoyment of the books, since you still get to read about it from a specific character's perspective, which you don't get from the show so much. :)


message 14: by Paul (last edited Aug 31, 2014 09:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I'm always reticent to read a fantasy series done in multiple parts as I have read some really bad ones, and the whole concept of the "to be continued" in the next book, then the one after that, then the one, well you get the idea, has sort of made me avoid stories that are "too long". I figure if you can't tell a good story in 800 pages or less, then there is something wrong with your story-telling technique.
That being said, there are obviously alot of exceptions.
So, although friends had recommended the Game of Thrones books to me, I was reluctant to read it.
Then I watched Season 1 of the HBO series, and I was hooked. I immediately read books 1 thru 5 practically back-to-back and can't wait for book 6.
I've also watched the other seasons of the show, and I am loving it as well.


Nellie ☾ I watched the series first and somehow it helped because at least I'm already acquainted with who's who among the characters. The only thing that is a downside to watching the series first is that I just can't picture the characters in their book ages now xD


message 16: by Chelsea (new) - added it

Chelsea Strabala Nellie Odair Ψ wrote: "I watched the series first and somehow it helped because at least I'm already acquainted with who's who among the characters. The only thing that is a downside to watching the series first is that ..."

True, but honestly I prefer to imagine the characters a little older than they are in the books! Otherwise it's a bit creepy sometimes... I'm glad they made the characters a little older in the show.


Nellie ☾ Chelsea wrote: "True, but honestly I prefer to imagine the characters a little older than they are in the books! Otherwise it's a bit creepy sometimes... I'm glad they made the characters a little older in the show. "

Yeah. It kinda bothers me to imagine a 13-14 yr. old Daenerys making love with a 20-something Drogo. So her TV age is at least okay xD


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I watched the first season before I started the books. From that point on I've been ahead of the show and have read all 5 books now. So I've kind of done it both ways, seen one season of the show before the books and then the reverse after that.

I don't mind knowing what's going to happen (or likely to happen) in the show. I'd rather have the books spoil the show for me than have the show spoil the books. I think you can enjoy both formats starting either way though.

The only thing I don't like about doing both is the urge to make constant comparisons between the two. It can begin to dominate the viewing/reading experience and interfere with you ability to just sit back and enjoy it.


Matthew Williams Andy wrote: "I watched the first season before I started the books. From that point on I've been ahead of the show and have read all 5 books now. So I've kind of done it both ways, seen one season of the show..."

Same exact situation for me. And given the choice, I too would prefer to have the books spoil the show every single time. I've tried going back and reading the first book since reading to the end and found it difficult. Somehow, seeing the television adaptation makes reading the source material more difficult. Whereas reading books II through V made me anticipate how they would adapt it for the sake of the series.


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