Game of Thrones' Arya Stark "So Sick" of Book Readers Being Snobby

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Game of Thrones' Arya Stark "So Sick" of Book Readers Being Snobby

Arya Stark

Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, confirms that the cast know nothing when it comes to future events in the show, and opens up on how some book readers annoy her for feeling like they have a "claim" on the show for reading it first.

If you're a fan of HBO's Game of Thrones TV series, then chances are you have a friend (or two) that have read the books the show is based on. Not only that, but you probably have a friend who acts a bit annoying since he/she knows what's going to happen next and even give a point-by-point breakdown on why X scene is "wrong" since it's different from the books. Well, if you're annoyed at those people, you're not alone. Even Arya Stark herself is "sick" of these people who ruin it for everyone. Speaking to TV Line, Maisie Williams, who portrays Arya Stark in the hit show, speaks out on book snobs and how she likes it when the show deviates from the books so she can see book readers' reactions.

Bear in mind that Williams' answer is in response to a major scene missing in Season 4 that was in the books, which we won't spoil here.

That was a massive deal, but honestly, I really like it. I'm so sick of going on the internet and seeing all the book readers being snobby, spoiling it for other people, then saying, "Well, it's not a spoiler. The books have been out for years." Like, couldn't you just stop being mad for a second and let other people enjoy the show? They feel they have a claim on the series because they read the books first, and I understand that, but they don't need to be mean about it. That's why I liked moments like this, because book readers think they know what's coming, then we change it and it's really funny to watch their reactions. They're always like, "That's not what happened in the books, so the show's really bad now." But really, they just feel insecure because they're used to knowing what's coming next.

In the same interview, Williams confirms that cast members are left out in the dark when it comes to what's happening to show's plot, which is contrary to what most people think.

I haven't gotten the scripts yet, so I still don't know what's happening. I have a rough outline of what happens in the books, but you never know what they're going to put into this season versus next season, or what they're going to scrap altogether. I know a couple of really cool things happen in the books with Arya, and I just had a meeting about about a certain thing that happens to Arya, but I still don't know how it happens. And that's what it was like last year; I was learning fight scenes, even though I didn't know who I'd be fighting or why I'd be fighting them. People think the cast members know all the ins and outs, but we really don't.

In the latest Game of Thrones news, new Season 5 cast members have been announced during the show's TV panel at the San Diego Comic-Con. Odds on how long they'll live, though, haven't been divulged.

How do you deal with book readers who spoil the TV show's plot? If not them, then maybe those who act like anytime the show doesn't follow the book bit-by-bit is "wrong."

Source: TV Line

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See i just use it as a threat at work, since most of the people there watch it. I'm not sure but i may have the same level of power as some of the managers which is weird because they don't care about being fired but for the love of god don't spoil season 5

*shrug*

She'd have a point if the changes weren't almost invariably for the worse.

For example, I've never seen anyone complain about Margaery Tyrell being given a bit more substance in the show because that was a change for the better. Sadly, that's about the only good change I can think of.

Well it won't be a future problem since...

A. The show is catching up to the books.
B. The show runners were rather interested to diverge a little from the books in the last season. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check the complaints about the season 4 finale.

Don't worry Maisie. I may be one of the book readers, but I accepted the idea that the show and the books are their own things.

As a book reader I try to avoid exactly what she's talking about. I have a friend who couldn't stop gushing at how awesome she thought the plot line with Oberyn was shaping up to be, so I adamantly refused to drop even an accidental hint of how that particular arc ended up. Why would I do that to someone?

Always annoys me when people nitpick or complain about scenes being different or not being part of an adaptation. This reminds me of the Persona 4 anime when my friends were complaining about certain aspects being different than the game. People need to calm down and not get upset when things are different than the original material. If you don't like it, you still have the source material.

Random Argument Man:
I accepted the idea that the show and the books are their own things.

Thank you. I really don't understand why this is so hard for people to grasp. Same thing with the Lord of the Rings films and books - I appreciate both, but for entirely different reasons.

Well I see where she's coming from but the show wouldn't exist without the books so I dunno, deal with it?

It's one thing if people are complaining just because it is different. It's something else when they are complaining because it is worse, which is most often the case. All the book readers understand that liberties need to be taken to transition from one medium to another. The problem is that in almost any case where the showrunners have completely diverged from the source material and written their own stuff, it has been really bad.

It's no different than comparing a reboot to the original in the same medium. Look at Charlie and Chocolate Factory vs Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie was actually closer to the books in a lot of ways, but most of the complaints were how Willy Wonka did this scene or that scene way better.

I'm not sure what they're talking about, which major scene was missing in season 4?

Anyway, she'd have a point if every almost attempt of showrunners to depart from the original material wasn't complete and utter shit;/ I still get a facepalm reflex every time I think of "Dirk the miniboss".

Zac Jovanovic:
I'm not sure what they're talking about, which major scene was missing in season 4?

008Zulu:

But that that reveal is not even close to the current show timeline.

They're still probably going to cut the character, it just couldn't have been in season 4 anyway. Without major rewriting at least.

Edit: Though, when I think about it a much better reveal would be later, perhaps in season 6 when

The things that annoy teenage girls... Not something I'm going to start taking an interest in.

Zhukov:
*shrug*

She'd have a point if the changes weren't almost invariably for the worse.

For example, I've never seen anyone complain about Margaery Tyrell being given a bit more substance in the show because that was a change for the better. Sadly, that's about the only good change I can think of.

I think actually the TV series has done pretty well in streamlining the books, which can frankly get a bit wooly. And I think quite a few of their changes were improvements

I'm too busy to spend ages on this right now, but here's two examples off the top of my head:

- Arya's journey through Harrenhall and her encounter with Jaqen H'Ghar was much better told in the TV series, it was all over the place in the books.
- Jon and Ygritte's story benefitted from being finished as part of the battle for the Wall, it was much more dramatically satisfying

Didn't George say that other day that the books and shows are completely different entities now? So why does it matter?

It's basically also impossible not to be snobby when you've read 5000 pages of novel or whatever when show readers have just seen 40 hours of the show.

Well, she has a point. Elitism, entitlement, and spoilers are rampant on the internet and could do with stopping. Some people just can't get through a depressing story like game of thrones in the form of a thick novel. It's easier to just watch it unfold.

And it makes sense that the actors would learn the story as they go because that way they can act in the moment, like their character would.

endtherapture:
Didn't George say that other day that the books and shows are completely different entities now? So why does it matter?

It's basically also impossible not to be snobby when you've read 5000 pages of novel or whatever when show readers have just seen 40 hours of the show.

That makes no sense. I can read 5000 pages of novel in well under 40 hours. If anything, the show-watchers are MORE invested than the book-readers, so there's no reason at all to be snobby other than "lolfirst".

lacktheknack:

endtherapture:
Didn't George say that other day that the books and shows are completely different entities now? So why does it matter?

It's basically also impossible not to be snobby when you've read 5000 pages of novel or whatever when show readers have just seen 40 hours of the show.

That makes no sense. I can read 5000 pages of novel in well under 40 hours. If anything, the show-watchers are MORE invested than the book-readers, so there's no reason at all to be snobby other than "lolfirst".

Cool, you are a fast reader. For most people it takes a lot more effort to sit down and read a long, dense and complex novel in their off time than sitting down and getting an hours fed to you once a week for 10 weeks a year over the course of 4 years.

Zhukov:
Sadly, that's about the only good change I can think of.

The Hound was a much more sympathetic character in the TV series.

Likewise, Tywin Lannister is a more complete character in the TV series and his conversations with Arya Stark were some of the best parts of that season.

seditary:
Well I see where she's coming from but the show wouldn't exist without the books so I dunno, deal with it?

This made me laugh - she is a teenager that has more money to her name than she probably knows what to do with. I can guarantee you that she is dealing with life just fine - going to go out on a limb and say she is dealing with it far better than you are. ;)

That's like complaining the MCU doesn't completely follow the same comic events or that the first Spiderman films having him just naturally shoot webs instead of using machines somehow "ruins" everything by streamlining it. I found out a lady friend of mine legitimately didn't know the identity of Winter Soldier going into Captain America 2 - why pre-emptively spoil something when they can get just as much joy out of something that's existed for years but made fresh as you did when you first saw it? At the very least, discussing differences between versions AFTER the fact can at least be stimulating and enlightening.

Well, I'll have to annoy Maisie. If you're making a show based on a book series, wearing the name of one of the books, then you stay true to it. Otherwise it's crap.
Especially considering that most of the changes are made to attract viewers, not to improve the original material.

That being said, I cannot care less about ASoIaF. Martin dropped the ball long ago, they can do whatever they want with it.

For a moment I thought that GRRM is going to write Arya in the next book as being like that, in-character.

The fact that the news bit was actually about the actress came as a disappointment.

I wouldn't get butthurt she's just a kid, but I'm definitely not one of the people that has a panic attack when the show deviates.

As a reader I do wish everyone who watches the show would take time to read the books. Not for any ego reason just that I wish people would read more in general.. Too many people are not reading at all anymore or only reading poorly written young adult novels.

As far as deviations go I guess they cut out ser jorah mormont's sewer adventure to regain denarys trust. I would have enjoyed seeing that on screen however even though I read all 5 books contiguously last year a lot of it I'm still foggy on so I'm surprised long time readers can be so obsessed with some of these details.

Monsterfurby:

Random Argument Man:
I accepted the idea that the show and the books are their own things.

Thank you. I really don't understand why this is so hard for people to grasp. Same thing with the Lord of the Rings films and books - I appreciate both, but for entirely different reasons.

Same here. I got into the books in 2006, which quickly became my favourite series, and was ecstatic when I learned HBO picked it up for a trailer episode, and again when they went ahead with the series. Now each episode that comes out I watch with giddy excitement, regardless of how it 'deviates'. Honestly though only thing I'll maybe complain about a little is that the battle tactics & strategy are never as sound in the show and often full of holes, but that's with the caveat that its mostly understandable since they don't have the budget to film big armies. That and I'm a fan of strategy!

One should keep in mind though, that even among the 'book readers' there's a large segment that loudly believe some variation of:

1. The books/series really isn't that good
2. The last two books (4&5) were awful
3. GRRM should stop being lazy, wasting time doing stuff he likes (ex: fan conventions), or working on stuff no one cares about (he has a few mini novels), and hurry up and finish the books before he eats himself to death.

So really the people Maise are complaining about are probably closely linked to the same ones Martin told to **** off a little while ago, people just being dicks in general. Especially when you factor in the anonymous internet equation.

I should also add though that this series is especially prone to it. Because the way GRRM writes with multiple characters having their own points of view in multiple plotlines, people are prone to picking favourite and least favourite characters/regions/plotlines. Often times criticism comes down to a simple matter of 'I like/don't like character/plot X and there was too much/too little of X therefore it was good/bad'. This kind of criticism has been slipping into the show as well.

Nerds being elitist? Impossible!

nevarran:
Well, I'll have to annoy Maisie. If you're making a show based on a book series, wearing the name of one of the books, then you stay true to it. Otherwise it's crap.

*Sees Geralt avatar*

So I guess The Witcher games are the worst things ever? And I'm wrong to fall absolutely in love with Hannibal, even though it has been hacking away at the books' plot like a psychopath itself?

C.S.Strowbridge:

Zhukov:
Sadly, that's about the only good change I can think of.

The Hound was a much more sympathetic character in the TV series.

Likewise, Tywin Lannister is a more complete character in the TV series and his conversations with Arya Stark were some of the best parts of that season.

In my opinion, most of the characters in TV series are more sympathetic. When I was reading the book, Tyrion was the only character that I actually liked, the rest were either dickheads, or completely indifferent to me. I stopped reading after the second novel. I don't like Martin's style of writing. As much as I would like to know what happens next, I'm not going to put myself through more. I'll just watch the show, since it's well directed, and actors actually bring some life to the characters for me.

Incidentally, I had the same thing with Tolkien. I read Hobbit and LotR, but it was a chore. Silmarillion beat me, couldn't read it to the end. I guess it's just not my style.

How do you know if a Game of Thrones fan has read the books?

Seriously though, I don't get what the huge fuss is over whether the show deviates or not. Tons of movies and shows deviate from the books. If you've ever read anything, then this should be pretty common knowledge, so I don't get why ASoIaF fans are so much more adamant about it than everyone else (although people that read World War Z made a pretty big fuss too)

Zhukov:
*shrug*

She'd have a point if the changes weren't almost invariably for the worse.

For example, I've never seen anyone complain about Margaery Tyrell being given a bit more substance in the show because that was a change for the better. Sadly, that's about the only good change I can think of.

Eh, that's a matter of opinion. I've read the books and enjoy the show immensely. I haven't had any issues with any of the changes they've made. Maybe it's because I'm not what would be considered a rabid fan of the books? *shrugs unknowingly* I read them, liked the first 2, got really tired of books 3 and 4, like to the point where I was yelling at GRRM to stop writing everything from Sansa and Cercie's point of view. Seriously the two most insane and annoying characters, and we spend most of the books inside their heads? *shudder* No thank you.

Haven't read the latest book yet, might get around to it eventually, though from talking to friends of mine who have read it, GRRM's still not focusing on the plot threads that I have the most interest in, so...*shrugs* might not bother.

But yeah, I like the show, and don't mind the changes, as they've been relatively minor in scope in my opinion.

nevarran:
If you're making a show based on a book series, wearing the name of one of the books, then you stay true to it. Otherwise it's crap.

What an absurdly blanket statement.

RA92:
*Sees Geralt avatar*

So I guess The Witcher games are the worst things ever? And I'm wrong to fall absolutely in love with Hannibal, even though it has been hacking away at the books' plot like a psychopath itself?

Isn't The Witcher based after the original books? I've never heard them claiming that they're re-creating the books.
I always thought it was the author, who decided to dismiss the games, not the other way around.

Six Ways:

nevarran:
If you're making a show based on a book series, wearing the name of one of the books, then you stay true to it. Otherwise it's crap.

What an absurdly blanket statement.

I just think that claiming that you're re-creating a certain material, then changing things on the fly, just because you think you're smarter than the original author, is a dishonest thing. How is that a blanket statement?
I'm maybe using the word "crap" rather freely, but a "blanket statement"?

I read the books, but I enjoyed most of the changes they implemented in the show, for example


The only decision that I don't like is the choice not to cast Strong Belwas, and the apparent cutting of Lady Stoneheart.
I don't care enough to let it spoil the show for me though, and if they pull it off (particularly the latter), then great. They are different art forms, both of which I enjoy greatly, probably to an equal extent.
I feel like GRRM actually delays things for way too long in the books, leaving chapters of nothing, which the show doesn't do.

You know, that's the one thing I hate about adaptions.
If an adaption is well-liked, popular, or good, then complaining about changes is being "Snobbish" or a hater

However, when shit like Dragonball Evolution or The Last Airbender roll around, everyone bashes them to hell and back at how grossly inaccurate they are.

I guess bias is only fun when you agree with it.

EyeReaper:
You know, that's the one thing I hate about adaptions.
If an adaption is well-liked, popular, or good, then complaining about changes is being "Snobbish" or a hater

However, when shit like Dragonball Evolution or The Last Airbender roll around, everyone bashes them to hell and back at how grossly inaccurate they are.

I guess bias is only fun when you agree with it.

If the adaptation is working for someone then the changes are reasonable, even if they don't satisfy some/all of the original audience. If no one likes the adaptation then they may as well have left it like the original and hopefully pleased someone.

Basically:

New people liking it = original people liking it > no one liking it

Generally agree, although I disagree that all complaints solely come down to "it's not from the book therefore it's bad".

I'm pretty solidly with GRRM with the stance that any good adaptation pretty much requires certain story changes to be made in accordance to the change in medium. But at the same time I'd also argue that some of the changes were also poorly thought out and/or badly executed (see Jaime/Cersei-totally-not-rape-2014, also anything to do with Yara Greyjoy).

TBH though I kinda like the omission of "that scene". I felt it kinda cheapened things for "that" to happen anyway.

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