Game of Thrones: Adaptation Decay

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Game of Thrones: Adaptation Decay

"Well, in the books..." is quickly becoming the most annoying phrase in the world.

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I avoid 'Well, in the books...' myself, instead I just scream like a body snatcher whenever Loras enters the frame.

*minor spoilers ahead*

Deviations from the source material are inevitable. In fact, if they just literally copy/pasted the book ovet, it would be some of the worst television ever recorded. That being said, not all deviations are equal:

1. Changes needed for the material to work in a different medium. For instance, all the backstory that is presented in internal monologues and narration in the books needs to be presented to provide context. Roz the Exposition Whore from the earlier seasons filled this role in her scenes. Also, pacing changes, like adding in parts of later books earlier. These aren't much of an issue.

2. Changes for the better. There are some - an example might be having Bronn train Jaimie instead of Illyn. Illyn has been pretty much phased out by this point, to keep the chracter bloat in hand, and this gives a fan favourite character a role to play during a section of the books when he isn't all that active anymore.

3. Changes for the worse. The Jaime/Cersei scene in the church. Nobody needed that. The scene where Joffrey beats up hookers for 15 minutes in Season 2. Yeah, a show struggling with time constraints wastes a good chunk of an episode pointing out that the Joffrey is a monster, which is something we all knew by that point.

4. Changes that just don't matter. Who cares who cut the fucking cake?

The problem isn't that there are changes, nor that people notice them. It's that people get worked up over trivial crap that doesn't really matter or is justified within the context. Yes, there are bad changes that don't add anything and actively make the story worse, but not all changes are like that.

One of these days I'll get around to watching the show...........or reading the books. I've had the first of the book series on my shelf for years but have never cracked it open.

Don't read the books and you won't have to worry. It's been working for me so far.

There is the book.

There is the show.

To keep ones self happy and sane, stop mixing the two now.

freaper:
Don't read the books and you won't have to worry. It's been working for me so far.

That's my attitude towards most adaptations of things.

freaper:
Don't read the books and you won't have to worry. It's been working for me so far.

You can also just accept that the two versions are different versions and be perfectly happy. I'm yet to see an adaptation of a book that stood on its own merits and still pissed me off as a fan of the series. I mean, there are some bad movies/shows based on books, but that's never stopped me.

Very fair point. So many people bitch so hard about minor, and sometimes even necessary, changes between the book and the show, that genuine complaints about damaging changes (case in point, that scene), are in danger of being lost in the crowd.

At least, I'm going out on a limb and assuming that was your point.

I generally like the changes done in the show, the scenes with Arya and Tywin at Harrenhall was a brilliant addition which was never anywhere in the books

Jandau:
*minor spoilers ahead*

Deviations from the source material are inevitable. In fact, if they just literally copy/pasted the book ovet, it would be some of the worst television ever recorded. That being said, not all deviations are equal:

1. Changes needed for the material to work in a different medium. For instance, all the backstory that is presented in internal monologues and narration in the books needs to be presented to provide context. Roz the Exposition Whore from the earlier seasons filled this role in her scenes. Also, pacing changes, like adding in parts of later books earlier. These aren't much of an issue.

2. Changes for the better. There are some - an example might be having Bronn train Jaimie instead of Illyn. Illyn has been pretty much phased out by this point, to keep the chracter bloat in hand, and this gives a fan favourite character a role to play during a section of the books when he isn't all that active anymore.

3. Changes for the worse. The Jaime/Cersei scene in the church. Nobody needed that. The scene where Joffrey beats up hookers for 15 minutes in Season 2. Yeah, a show struggling with time constraints wastes a good chunk of an episode pointing out that the Joffrey is a monster, which is something we all knew by that point.

4. Changes that just don't matter. Who cares who cut the fucking cake?

The problem isn't that there are changes, nor that people notice them. It's that people get worked up over trivial crap that doesn't really matter or is justified within the context. Yes, there are bad changes that don't add anything and actively make the story worse, but not all changes are like that.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Very fair point. So many people bitch so hard about minor, and sometimes even necessary, changes between the book and the show, that genuine complaints about damaging changes (case in point, that scene), are in danger of being lost in the crowd.

At least, I'm going out on a limb and assuming that was your point.

Lesson: reserve your complaints to option 3.

Jandau:

2. Changes for the better. There are some - an example might be having Bronn train Jaimie instead of Illyn. Illyn has been pretty much phased out by this point, to keep the chracter bloat in hand, and this gives a fan favourite character a role to play during a section of the books when he isn't all that active anymore.

Actually, the guy playing Illyn Payne has terminal pancreatic cancer, and he wanted to spend his last few healthy months doing some last tours (he's a musician). They haven't recast the role out of respect for him, they just quietly wrote the character out.

I agree that it works story- and production-wise to substitute Bronn, but that's not the root cause.

SNCommand:
I generally like the changes done in the show, the scenes with Arya and Tywin at Harrenhall was a brilliant addition which was never anywhere in the books

Ugh, i really don't like that particular change. Not that it's badly executed, like the rape scene is, but what it says about the characters.
Mainly, it portrays Tywin as really really stupid. Incredibly so. He does figure out that she is a north noble and doesn't do anything about it. It just doesn't fit to a character that is known to grab and squeeze every advantage he can get when the opportunity arises. And were supposed to accept that he just lets a north noble be, while he is at war with the north?!
Secondly it makes Arya seem stupid, too. In the book it made sense that she never said Tywins name to the Faceless man, because she had enough trouble just surviving in Harrenhal and just forgot about Tywin. It doesn't really make sense, when she is right there with Tywin listening to his war plans.

Zombie Badger:
I avoid 'Well, in the books...' myself Instead I just scream like a body snatcher whenever Loras enters the frame.

Hmm how so?

Amaror:

SNCommand:
I generally like the changes done in the show, the scenes with Arya and Tywin at Harrenhall was a brilliant addition which was never anywhere in the books

Ugh, i really don't like that particular change. Not that it's badly executed, like the rape scene is, but what it says about the characters.
Mainly, it portrays Tywin as really really stupid. Incredibly so. He does figure out that she is a north noble and doesn't do anything about it. It just doesn't fit to a character that is known to grab and squeeze every advantage he can get when the opportunity arises. And were supposed to accept that he just lets a north noble be, while he is at war with the north?!
Secondly it makes Arya seem stupid, too. In the book it made sense that she never said Tywins name to the Faceless man, because she had enough trouble just surviving in Harrenhal and just forgot about Tywin. It doesn't really make sense, when she is right there with Tywin listening to his war plans.

I mostly just presumed that Tywin, though suspecting she was hiding her identity, had no reason to believe she was part of the Stark family, the Stark's had two daughters, and both of them were in King's Landing for all he knew, what he thought he had was perhaps a daughter from one of the lesser houses, and therefore not worth his time

I thought about why she didn't ask the faceless Assassin to kill Tywin, but then I also wondered why she didn't use his services to kill the other people she wanted dead, and in the show she did plan to make Tywin her last target, but he left before that opportunity, and instead used his help to escape

Good to see some "Game of Thrones"-weariness there. Still haven't started watching it.

By the comic standards I still got 1 complain in this saeson:

1 - The continous portrayal of Stannis as a villain

2 - That scene.

How many do you all have left?

Zombie Badger:
I avoid 'Well, in the books...' myself Instead I just scream like a body snatcher whenever Loras enters the frame.

I laughed alarmingly hard at this mental image. D:

OT: I think a lot of people missed the punchline.

I think I know the scene everyone's talking about, since this one morning radio show I listen to on the drive to work used it in a joke commercial for the "Game of Thrones Family Warning System".

After more warnings about GoT, calling it "a filthy and disgusting show", the mom asks "Why do we let our kids watch this in the first place?" and the dad asks "Why do WE watch it?"

I have the rule for me: Unless I know what is coming in the episode and want to enjoy the reactions of others with glee I simply don't even consider watching or talking about the series with anyone who has not read the books. I don't talk back or simply say the fact:

I have not watched the series. I read the books years ago. I don't know exactly when what is happening. I don't want to find out about that. I will spoil you most likely and since I say this to you I really don't want to spoil you. Please stop.

Nearly all people seem to take that rather well and limit themselfs to shit from earlier seasons or really vague topics.

Wait... books still exist?

OT: Is it good? S'all that matters.

Amaror:
Secondly it makes Arya seem stupid, too. In the book it made sense that she never said Tywins name to the Faceless man, because she had enough trouble just surviving in Harrenhal and just forgot about Tywin. It doesn't really make sense, when she is right there with Tywin listening to his war plans.

EDIT:

lacktheknack:

Zombie Badger:
I avoid 'Well, in the books...' myself Instead I just scream like a body snatcher whenever Loras enters the frame.

I laughed alarmingly hard at this mental image. D:

OT: I think a lot of people missed the punchline.

I thought it was hilarious. Using up all your gripes early, only for....*ahem*.

What I think makes "that scene" even more offensive is that...

SacremPyrobolum:
What I think makes "that scene" even more offensive is that...

Actually, "in the books" (i know, i know), Jaime is on a very clear redemption "what defines honor? what defines MY honor?" character arc. i mean, he:

All points to him trying to find his center and become as good a person as he can be, despite the claims of family and duty on him. The Event, however? Derails the entire arc, because it is a very bad act that comes after the start of this arc.

Yeah...I've not been watching the show but it was on at the time I need be in the room that has the tv so I switched to it. It was that episode. WTF, pushing a kids out a window is pretty hard to forgive but that...that is just messed up and kinda kills any sympathy he might have been getting up to that point. Unless they completely changed it that was right in the middle of when he was played up as sympathetic and trying to turn things around. This is not so much of a "different from the books" complaint (who cares who cut the cake, seriously?) so much as it seems like its unnecessary and ruins the arc.

Darmani:

Zombie Badger:
I avoid 'Well, in the books...' myself Instead I just scream like a body snatcher whenever Loras enters the frame.

Hmm how so?

Like this:

To be fair, Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson) is currently dealing with terminal pancreatic cancer, and it gave Joffery an extra chance in his last outing to really drive home everyone wants him dead.

Solution: Everyone read the books

I think you'll find that in the Red Wedding comic, it was established that the red headed chick had not read the books.

BanicRhys:
I think you'll find that in the Red Wedding comic, it was established that the red headed chick had not read the books.

Nope:

image

Also,

Zombie Badger:

Darmani:

Zombie Badger:
I avoid 'Well, in the books...' myself Instead I just scream like a body snatcher whenever Loras enters the frame.

Hmm how so?

Like this:

Fixed.

[REDACTED]:
Fixed.

Cheers, updated it.

So much good in this strip.

I can totally understand complaining about something that isn't good or that doesn't make sense. That's cool. When your complaint basically boils down to "But.. but.. that's not how it was in the books!" then you're just being silly. Coincidentally, this is definitely what a lot of the GoT negativity is.

And yes, I've read the books. I don't feel that any deviation from them is instantly and by default wrong or bad.

I wonder what the other ground rules are. Knowing Erin I'm guessing at least one of them is "Don't steal my popcorn or I'LL KILL YOU WITH A SPOON!!!"

Something like this:

The hardest part about having read the books is not to spoil the show for those who did not.
For example my brother was watching the wedding scene in episode 2 and he told me: "I wish this wedding would end the same way as the wedding of that guy from Winterfell."
And i was like MUST NOT SPOIL arrggh. It was difficult.
Regarding the topic of this comic yes i did that few times but other times people ask me about the differences. And most changes they make from the source material are to save time. Like in LotR movies. In Hobbit on the other hand they removed lots of good parts and replaced them with long fight scenes because of reasons i guess.

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