I had previously posted my initial thoughts on the HBO series Game of Thrones. In particular, clinic I was a little uncomfortable with the “HBO”ing of several scenes, look particularly when it came to nudity and sex.
I ended up watching the entire series, purchase to see if things got better after the pilot episode. What I discovered is that the “HBO”ing of the sex and nudity was really inconsistent. Some episodes there was very little, and other episodes it was even more gratuitous than the pilot episode. Interestingly, the times when the sex and nudity were the most galling were in scenes that were not actually in the book (e.g., the monologue of Petyr Baelish).
What watching the series encouraged me to do was to read the books. By about the third episode, after having to ask Chuck every five seconds what was going on, I caved and started reading the books. Oh. My. Goodness. If you haven’t read the books, but caught the pilot episode of GoT and were turned off, my suggestion is skip the show and read the books. The books are fantastic. I polished off GoT in three days and then read the second book ‘A Clash of Kings’ in less than a week. I have started the third book, ‘A Storm of Swords’ but have had to get Chuck to hide the book so that I can get work done on my papers which are due in 23 days (eek!).
What the show fails to do is explain things. Indeed, it leaves a lot out. It leaves out character development. Heck, half the time, the show doesn’t even identify which character is which. The vastness of the universe created by Martin is lost in the adaptation to the small screen. The show fails to present the nuances of the rules of honour and chivalry of the world, which means that for a modern audience watching the show, the actions of certain characters seem barbaric instead of justifiable or even noble.
On a positive note, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion is fantastic. The fanboys are right, Dinklage deserves an Emmy for his performance (This picture posted to the discussion threads sums it up so well, even if they had to resort to colourful language). If I were to decide to watch season two, I would watch it solely to see Dinklage. Otherwise, I’m sticking with the books.