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Silly observation re:Game of Thrones

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metamorphisis posted 5/27/2012 11:39 AM

So I am loving the tv series and decided to read the books. I am loving those too..
BUT.. if I hadn't watched the tv series I would have a really really hard time following who everyone was. And this seems to be my problem with fantasy books in General. Take Lord of the Rings for example. If all the names of places and creatures, and characters are foreign to me or I have never heard them before I have a really hard time following who is who and what the hell they are talking about.

It's always made me feel really stupid, but if I don't have a frame of reference for what is being discussed I simply can not keep up. And then I give up because who the heck wants to take notes to read a book for leisure?

Anyway, just a silly observation. I am glad I saw the tv series first because I can follow who is who and how they are related. This only seems to happen to me with the fantasy genre. It's irritating. I do not have this problem with an epic novel about families in Europe or a war saga, just when every name and place is something I have never heard before.

[This message edited by metamorphisis at 11:40 AM, May 27th (Sunday)]

metamorphisis posted 5/27/2012 11:42 AM

And now I am moving my own post to the Book Club forum. So there.

JessicaFL127 posted 5/27/2012 12:24 PM

Well, it doesn't help that the author has writing ADD and drops one thread to run after a bright shiny thread somewhere else. By the time you get back to the first thread you forget who they were. He tries to cram too many storylines in.

Mandilwen posted 5/27/2012 12:25 PM

I was having a really hard time just trying to keep up with people just watching the shows, lol! Especially all the Stark kids. As it stands, I now know most names, but unless I see the characters of some of the men, I have no idea who they are talking about. It's a great show though!

metamorphisis posted 5/27/2012 15:21 PM

Well, it doesn't help that the author has writing ADD and drops one thread to run after a bright shiny thread somewhere else. By the time you get back to the first thread you forget who they were. He tries to cram too many storylines in.

Yes! Even watching the show I am constantly thinking "Ok, where are we going with this?" and .."Exactly how many people are going to go after this throne because it's getting confusing"

Don't get me wrong.. I LOVE it but there is so much to follow

SoHappyNow posted 5/27/2012 17:09 PM

My hubby: "Best TV series EVER!"

I have the "what the heck is going ON" problem a lot with complicated plots, especially in books. It does help with this one to read along with the show. Therefore, I won't start book 3 until next year when they start Season 3.

metamorphisis posted 5/28/2012 07:38 AM

Yes, usually I hate seeing the show first because the books are so much better. In this case, seeing the show first has really helped in the reading of the books.
Not only that, but as far as I am into the first one, the show hasn't deviated from the plot or the details one single bit. I don't know if it stays that way. It's like reading the script for the show. So far everything is pretty much the same which is kind of nice.

aesir posted 5/28/2012 12:11 PM

Okay, I am only posting on this as part of the TV club, not book club.

I can't get over how a character can seem so important to the story, and then the next thing you know, they are dead.

I think that they spent their budget for actors you recognize on characters that would not be around for very long just so that fans would tune in and get hooked on the show. I kinda did that based on Sean Bean because I used to watch all of the Sharpes mini series, and was pleased to see the guy from Stargate Atlantis who also played Conan. Both dead now. The creepy twin brother also seemed like an important character, and then almost at random they dumped molten gold over his head and killed him.

It does add more suspense to the show when you really don't know if the hero is going to survive, but I also wonder if the author didn't just get tired of writing some characters.

traicionada posted 5/28/2012 12:33 PM

That's exactly my favorite thing about fantasy books...getting completely self absorbed on a different reality Right now, I'm reading Anathem

aesir posted 5/28/2012 13:04 PM

That's exactly my favorite thing about fantasy books...getting completely self absorbed on a different reality Right now, I'm reading Anathem

Good fantasy and Science Fiction is not about the magic or technology (which the bad stuff uses as a Deus Machina), it is about ideas, and the story being able to be about the ideas without all of the messy reality that we are familiar with. If you write a story about an idea in Science Fiction or Fantasy, the world can be set up to support the ideas behind the story, where the same ideas in a historical or modern contexts would get hung up on crap like the budget deficit, relative state of social programs, or the interventions by outside governments or agencies that confused the issues.

StillGoing posted 5/28/2012 15:27 PM

Well, the difference between LOTR and Game of Thrones, you didn't need to remember all those place names in LOTR. You didn't really even need to remember half the characters. Arwen was a bit part in the book iirc, literally one or two mentions then that's it outside appendices. That Aragorn was even rolling around in the hay with an elfmaid wasn't necessary to the story and didn't even play a real part. There are a lot of characters, but it's easier to remember Gandalf, who is supercool because he throws exploding pine cones and stabs giant demon things in the face, than it is to remember Glorfindel the elf-lord, because while Glorfindel is supercool too he's really just ambience. His detail is there in fine point for the people who want that, not for the sake of the story, and it's easily demonstrable because he's not only not in the movie, all the shit Arwen does is basically a mash up of him and other ambience characters.

Game of Thrones doesn't work like that so much. You have JOHN SNOW, then he's not important anymore. Then the Fat Kid. Ugly Knight Chick. They all do Important Things I Forgot but it's okay because by the time there are so many characters you wish he'd actually kill off more of them, they're all irrelevant because we're reading about some pedophile Gengis Khan screwing a 14 year old who turns into a dragon or something and.. what? Icewall? Oh yeah. There's a big fight. Fat kid and John Snow are back! But they aren't that important. Then there's some dwarf, who watched some incest, that led to a kid getting thrown out a window but saved by robot trolls who was subsequently raised by Hulderfolk in the Canary Islands, and he turned into a tree.

So Game of Thrones is more for people who just want a REALLY LONG bunch of books with lots of gratuitous sex and violence.

Also, aesir is dead on. It's why Asimov is such a great writer, even though his characters suck unless they're robots. His dialogue is terrible, his characters are so wooden cats try to crawl into the books to use them as scratching posts but he came up with the ideas of the laws of robotics and Positronic Brains and the stories were awesome because they made you think about how cool that shit is, instead of how amazing it is that George Lucas didn't write the worst character dialogue in sci-fi/fantasy.

redrock posted 5/29/2012 19:10 PM

I was really enthusiastic about GoT for the first 3 books. But I very much agree with another poster in another thread that pointed out that Martin needed a stronger editor.

I like the journey as much ss anyone but damn dude..... lets do something g with those shiny dragons already.

I like the show too. I like the kick ass ladies. I am sure I will buy the next book---- but if I will whine my butt off if he pulls 2 more 1000 page books that each cover half the characters in the same time period.

damncutekitty posted 5/29/2012 19:47 PM

I am watching the series with my BF. He's read the books. I am bad with names and CAN NOT for the life of me keep track of characters names. There are just too many. The only person whose name I can remember regularly is Joffrey because I really want dragons to eat his face. But I can't even remember my favorite character's name half the time (the blonde girl with the dragons).

My BF just laughs. He always seems know know who I am talking about.

metamorphisis posted 5/29/2012 19:51 PM

See!! It's hard isn't it!

And I want to strangle Joeffry with my bare hands .. the insipid little fucktard.

He just gets better and better that one does

damncutekitty posted 5/29/2012 20:00 PM

And I read LOTR. Several times!

Maybe if I had read GoT it would be easier. But now that I am all into the show I kinda don't want spoilers. (my BF refuses to even give me tiny hints on what happens next)

metamorphisis posted 5/29/2012 20:15 PM

It's more fun to read the book since we finished the first season. The first book follows the story very closely so far.

ladyvorkosigan posted 5/30/2012 07:27 AM

I think the reason I had a hard time keeping up with characters in the books but not so much in the series (other than the fact that the books prepped me, obvs) is that for me at least, his characters in the books lacked individual voices. They were named at the tops of the chapters, of course, but other than that, their voice, their perspectives on what was going down, etc., sounded alike to me. Kids, adults, normal people, freaks, whatever, the same. Of course it's been years, so maybe he's doing something subtle that I missed.

I think this explains my long held animosity toward Sansa's characterization. She's 11, for god's sake, and her inner monologue about all that Hound shit is like she's a 44-yo divorcee. Creepers gonna creep, it's not that I don't get that, but the creepee is not going to have the same perspective on the creeping at 11 that she'll have 30 years later. And Sansa was sheltered. Daenerys, I wasn't thrilled with her being 13, but at least she'd been through the shit, probably exposed to many unfortunate things, obviously would've been raped many times over by Viserys if Viserys hadn't needed to trade her hymen, and also she's magical and shit. So I can write that off. At least she'd started her period already, kwim? But In retrospect, I'm not sure that it is a problem with Sansa's voice, though. I think it's a general problem with voice, and I was only sensitive to it with Sansa because of her being an *eleven year old girl* being creeped on by *old dudes*.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 7:38 AM, May 30th (Wednesday)]

metamorphisis posted 5/30/2012 07:37 AM

I also can not reconcile the fact that Sansa and Daenerys are 11 and 13 with what I am reading. They used older actresses in the show, so I find myself picturing them in some acceptable middle ground age of late teens/early 20's. It's the only way it makes sense to me.

In fact it was one of the first things I said to Dh while reading "What do you mean she's 13!!??"
Though they are obviously young in the show, you don't get the sense that they are as young as they are in the books.

aesir posted 5/30/2012 12:32 PM

Hey, 13 was middle aged back in the day when you would be dead by 30. Hard to imagine going through puberty and mid life crisis at the same time.

ladyvorkosigan posted 5/30/2012 12:56 PM

What happens to them is different from how they process it internally, though. Terrible things happen to children all the time, but if you're given access to their interior monologue, even while all manner of disgusting middle-aged dudes are perving all over them, 11 and 13 are not sophisticated women of the world, capable of processing what's going on around them like a grown woman would. Of *any* world, even here and now. A kid who's been molested her whole life would still process men differently than *I* do, kwim? Just because 12-yo girls got married off and impregnated back in the day (or some places in this day) and the village didn't think there was anything wrong with it doesn't mean that the 12-yo had somehow managed to become exactly as capable of dealing with that as a 25-yo would be now. It just means that 12-yo suffered through it without any support.

It goes for all the Stark kids. I mean, Robb's *fourteen*, but that's more a Marty Stu issue. Quite a commander you are there, Robb, imagine how much better you'll be once you're old enough to get your learner's permit. Now, the fact that the character is fourteen in the books doesn't stop me from perving on series Robb, who is played by a 25/26-yo, and I don't have a problem with series Daenerys, who is the same age. Excellent choices. Sansa though...that actress is only one year older than the actress playing Arya, so that's just compounding the issue. I really don't know how I'm going to deal with Littlefinger perving at her too, ugh. Those girls are 14/15. No no no.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 1:08 PM, May 30th (Wednesday)]

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