Brendan Moody wrote:
It might also be much better, both in terms of adapting the interesting, dramatically complex aspects of the source material and as a television series in its own right. I'm not judging Game of Thrones as a fantasy adaptation; I'm judging it as a prestige HBO drama, which it pretends to be.
So am I. Particularly with points of comparison towards Rome and Carnivale, the two HBO dramas it resembles the most (in very different ways). I am not expecting it to be like the Wire or the Sopranos because it's a very different kind
of show compared to those.
It can make some claim to being one of the best current TV dramas (not the
best, obviously, I believe Matthew Weiner has that in the bank for another year yet, and Vince Gilligan, Graham Yost et al - to say nothing of Fabrice Gobert, etc.).
Could it be better? Sure. Anything could
be better. But I'm not convinced greater fidelity to the novels is what it lacks, as the series has grown more confident in repurposing elements of the novels (showing
us Olenna Tyrell in action, compared to the stiff, mostly novel text of the series pilot.)
buzzwords don't really clarify the problems involved, which have more to do with his taking a pick-n-mix approach to creating cultures and not thinking about the implications of doing so.
Martin does something similar with Westeros, however, just more 'grounded' in actual English history but never exclusively English, he'll pilfer Byzantine dromonds and eunuchs whenever it suits him. The essential problem with Essos is that it's treated as more absurd and yeah, more orientalist.