Thursday, March 15, 2012

Watching Game of Thrones

We've been watching the HBO Game of Thrones this past week or so, one episode a night. We just finished last night.

It's very condensed, isn't it? I guess it would have to be, to fit the timeframe. But it seems to skip all my favorite lines, and there's not nearly as much direwolf action as there ought to be. For most of it, you can almost forget that the Stark kids even have wolves. You wouldn't necessarily notice that Samwell is supposed to be brilliant and bookish, because he's mostly portrayed as fat and cowardly. Which he is, of course, but that's not all he is. I wish there were a director's cut that were, like, 100 episodes long and went over every scene in perfect detail. Alas!

But I think the Hollywood tradition of casting kids older than their characters loses some of the flavor of the story - the mistakes that the Stark kids make are supposed to be from naivete, but they look old enough that they ought to know better. Especially poor Sansa. But then - I remember having contempt for Sansa's position the first time I read her, too. It wasn't till three or four books in (and me getting ten years older) that I realized I had been just like her as a kid, not just like Arya as I'd have wished to be, and started really looking forward to Sansa's redemption. I don't know. Maybe Sansa always looks stupid the first time you read/see her, and I'm bringing my wished-for-Sansa to the table too early.

We like what they've done with Cersei, though. In the books, she's the one character who is actually more appalling when you read her point of view than she was when seen from another person's viewpoint. I like this Cersei much better.

They've changed very little from book to screen, which is impressive; the differences are primarily just omissions/condensations of lesser events. If you like the HBO series, read the books: they're just like it, but more so.*

But it's a very different thing, the watching. I've had to throw the blanket over my head kind of a lot; I don't know how we'll make it through the even more brutal events still to come. It would have to involve a lot of blanket.

* But by the same token, if you don't like the HBO series, you might not want to read the books - they're just like it, but more so.

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