In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, last night was the premiere of Season 5 in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Despite my what the number of hours I spend browsing the Internet would tell you, I try and stay away from online chatter about the TV shows I watch (and in general, truth be told). The struggle to expand my Twitter presence has been a real challenge. It’s not that I’m shy and, as my good friend pointed out, I’m never at a loss for words. I freely admit, however, that I have a small obsession with being right when I speak. Sometimes it holds me back from expressing my opinions. When I go to rules meetings for football, I won’t speak up unless I’m sure I know the answer. That holds me back from really seeing where I am with my rulebook knowledge, and I’ve been working on it. The whole purpose of those meetings is to engage in discussion and figure out the correct ruling in various situations, so why worry about being right?
Anyway, back on topic. While I try and stay away from speculation, I have read a few things saying how far away from the books the series creators were going to get this year. The series has never been lock-step with the novels, but it follows the spirit of George R.R. Martin’s plots. In fact, every great moment that is discussed and thrown around as making the show the amazing spectacle that it has become is drawn directly from the books, right down in a lot of cases to the dialogue coming out of the character’s mouths. That’s the part that interests me about D & D “finishing the story”. They’ve done a magnificent job adapting the material. That’s no easy feat, and I give them full credit for it. But, as Martin himself admits, he doesn’t outline his novels. So while I completely believe them when they say they’ve had conversations with him about where the series will go and what it will become, it’s based on what he knows of the plot RIGHT NOW, not after he finishes two more books where he started with a basic set of ideas and wrote off into the dark. Maybe it’s all a big bunch of nothing. Martin, after all is still holding out hope he’ll finish first. But, all due respect to George, who thinks that will actually happen? George should write at the speed he writes. No one can (or should) tell him any differently, but his novel speed and the relentless crush of distilled and condensed content required to plot ten hours of TV are completely different animals.
My worry is that, as he admits in the original pitch, once he knows exactly where a book is going, he loses all interest in writing it. Hopefully he’s just given D & D a basic outline, then. Despite my love of the show, it would be tragic if he lost interest in the books and the quality declined because he already had to work out the plot. My guess, however, is once they fully diverge, it’ll be two different stories. After all, there are already significant characters and plots not covered in the show. Look no further than last night. Cersei’s prophecy also contains a section about her little brother “choking the life” from her. No mention of that little nugget, which fleshes out the reason she hates Tyrion. It’s a lot more than “he killed our mother”. And, considering that all the other segments of Maggy’s prophecy have come to pass, why her hatred is more sharply defined as terror, and why she is so quick to believe that Tyrion murdered Joffrey. Ah well, if you want that level of detail, the books are the only real answer. Speaking of which, here‘s the latest excerpt from Winds of Winter. Carry on George…
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