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Old August 26 2011, 11:12 PM   #1
Elemental
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Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

It was always my goal to check out this series after getting caught up with The Wheel of Time which I've finally done. The only reason I haven't picked up the first book yet is that by looking at reviews of the most recent one (Dawn of the Dragons) reviews were pretty mediocre which makes it two books in a row, and I think I put up with more than enough dragging storylines in WOT.

I watched the first episode of GOT yesterday and have decided I ought to make the plunge, but can't decide if I should read or watch. Will I be missing out on a lot of great plot and character nuances if I don't read it first?

For those who have read everything, I'd also be interested in hearing people's opinions on the current state of the book series. Are you still excited to see where it's all leading to or are you losing interest?
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Old August 26 2011, 11:44 PM   #2
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Read and watch.

The first season is very close to the book, the changes are minimal. Looks like the second season will also be close to the book, though not as religiously as the first ...

The book series is unfinished, the author promises two more books, but as it looks now, more may be needed (I think that two will be more than enough, if he returns to the first three books' quality of writing). Because it's unfinished, it's not possible to tell if the last two books which originally were supposed to be one but were split in publication - long and painful story, progress plot or not, they felt like a setup for something bigger. If this setup pays off, remains to be seen. The writer's pace is slow, so don't expect the next book for at least 3 years (and it's an optimistic prognosis).

I loved the first 3 books and enjoyed the next two. Because the latest book was somewhat disappointing (mostly due to the way the author or his editors chose to end it), I'm very excited for the next book. Those books are addictive.
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Old August 27 2011, 12:07 AM   #3
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Watch and read. I started reading the first book about halfway through the first season, and finished the book before the season concluded. Since then, I went through the remaining books just in time for the release of A Dance with Dragons. Dance may not have been the best of the series, but I'm still plenty interested in what comes next.
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Old August 27 2011, 12:46 AM   #4
Caliburn24
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Read, but wait until the series is finished.

The wait between books is horrible, especially with certain cliffhangers. Just wait another decade or two until Martin finishes the series and then you can read them all at once without the frustration.
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Old August 27 2011, 12:56 AM   #5
Tribble79
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

I adore the books! Have been waiting forever for the next book in this series. I had no idea there was a series, will add that to my to watch list!!!
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Old August 27 2011, 03:12 AM   #6
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

do both
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Old August 27 2011, 04:00 AM   #7
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Both. I watched the first season and then read the books...
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Old August 27 2011, 04:53 AM   #8
Captain Qwert Jr
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Watch.

The books are not 'novels'. They are an endless series of chapters.(though, Many of these chapters are very good) As a comic book fanboy I am used to this format, but if your not...the pacing alone may kill you, as surely as it often kills the drama.
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Old August 27 2011, 05:45 AM   #9
Skywalker
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Watch the series and read the first three books.
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Old August 27 2011, 05:50 AM   #10
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

read the series first and then watch. all so dynamite entertainment is doing a comic book adaption as well this fall.
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Old August 27 2011, 10:53 AM   #11
spooky spice
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Neither.

the books are unbelievably boring, and the TV show is too.
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Old August 27 2011, 11:21 AM   #12
Bisz
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

I watched, then read, then watched again.
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Old August 27 2011, 02:21 PM   #13
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

Watch/read Game of Thrones and make up your mind from there. Frankly starting with either that book or the series is a pretty fair introduction, I think, and the TV series did a very good job of translating the book and most all of its important plot points to the small screen.

Also, yes, A Dance with Dragons can be interminable - moreso, I felt, than A Feast with Crows. In general the books have gradually ballooned this problem of padding out the narrative, beginning with A Clash of Kings (A Game of Thrones is nicely concise) and progressing afoot ever since, completely losing the run of itself by the fifth book, which is the weakest in the series so far. Martin had first planned for a trilogy, and by now that trilogy is a series of seven books. Given the strength of the first three books a trilogy might have been preferable, although there are also some benefits from the extension of the plot.

By the point of the last two books, enjoyment is pretty much dependent on how much you're invested in the world of the novels and the characters of same. If you really like the Lannisters and Starks and Targaryens, Westeros and Essos, you'll still find these books readable and brisk, despite the length of Dragons particularly.
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Old August 27 2011, 02:43 PM   #14
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

spooky spice wrote: View Post
Neither.

the books are unbelievably boring, and the TV show is too.
I concur - maybe there'll be a really good pay-off at the end that would make struggling through worthwhile, but I doubt it.
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Old August 27 2011, 04:19 PM   #15
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Re: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire: Read or Watch?

I'd say read Game of Thrones, then watch it if you liked the book. If you didn't, don't continue with the series.

As for the state of the book series, I think that books 4 and 5 were disappointing, 5 moreso than 4, because of the ending and because there are large sections that largely feel like filler. However, the situation with books 4 and 5 (they run concurrently for a large part, thus making you frustrated with 5 because of lack of story progression) is supposed to be unique and shouldn't recur with The Winds of Winter, the next in the series. I still plan to continue reading and hope that the author doesn't die before finishing (because, as others have already pointed out, there were large delays with books 4 and 5.)

Also, avoid the series entirely if you have difficulty with character death. The body count is fairly large.
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