Game of Thrones — A Final Review

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.

  • I feel the exact same. And I just finished Storm of Swords. And holy crap….

    • My will power to get my papers done is waffling. I think I may have to find where Chuck hid the book.

      • Note To Self: Re-hide the book someplace sneakier.

  • Kim

    That baelish scene was bad. Mostly because it made littlefinger a chatty dude. secondly because the soundediting was HORRID. if you want a monologue, make sure it can be HEARD!

    glad you’re reading.

    • It was hard to hear his monologue. And even worse, it took away the shock value of his actions with Ned later.

  • Kendel

    Is there talking during the HBOing? I’m hoping to watch it, but I want to skip through those…parts…is there necissary dialogue that takes place?

    • During the scene with Petyr Baelish, there is talking which is supposed to reveal his character. The problem is that it actually reveals too much, and the surprise at the end of the episode is no longer a surprise. Basically the scene gives us his motivation for doing what he does, but in the book we don’t get his motivation, which makes his actions and alliances a great surprise. I had to skip the Petyr Baelish scene because the HBO’ing was very very HBO and very very long.

      You can fast forward the scene with Theon Greyjoy and Roz, because it adds nothing to the story of season one. (Theon doesn’t become a big character until book two). This scene is just there to be an HBO scene.

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