Monday, January 24, 2011

Game of Thrones on HBO

HBO is producing a dramatization of the first book in George R. R. Martin's four-volume (and as yet unfinished) fantasy series known as A Song of Ice and Fire. I read the first three volumes of this series before I had my blog. The fourth book, A Feast for Crows, was one of the first books I wrote about when I started blogging. So it's been a long time since I read A Game of Thrones: almost ten years. The question is, do I reread it before I watch the series, or not? The books feature a cast of thousands and they have about a million different plot strands. Is HBO going to try to stick closely to the original story or will it simplify things? Will I like the series more or less if it doesn't match the book? I am encouraged by the fact that one of the the producers and writers for the series is David Benioff, whose novel City of Thieves was one of my favorites of 2008.

If you haven't read this series I highly recommend it, even for readers who don't normally do fantasy. Martin is very sparing in his use of traditional fantasy elements. Mostly it's just an alternate reality story of medieval knights and kings and political machinations, and the magical elements are kept to a very bare minimum. Benioff has famously described the series as "The Sopranos in Middle Earth," and that's pretty accurate. It features strong memorable characters (both male and female), action, romance, and a surprising amount of humor, though it also contains some gruesome violence.

I am not generally a rereader. My TBR stack is too high to spend time on things I've already read. Should I make an exception in this case?


Ruthiella said...

Four books! If it were one, maybe you could invest in a re-read, but four? I say, just watch the TV show.

Post a Comment