Recently the hubby and I decided to check out the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon – we caught a few episodes on HBO while at Columbus in May for the Origins Game Fair and since we don’t get HBO we decided to pick up the first season eps on Netflix.
We were lucky enough also to get the first book on sale – I sort of cheated and downloaded a sample on my Nook while the hubby keeps working through the first book.
I found something really interesting and somewhat disturbing within the first two episodes… first season spoilers below in case you’re as much of a Luddite as I am and hasn’t gone through this series.
I’m seeing a *very* marked difference between the written word and what’s going up on the screen. Yes, I understand that it’s difficult at the best of times to convert a book to a television series and when you have as many plot threads and characters as GoT does it’s almost impossible. But I’m a bit bothered and let me lay out my concerns – based on only seeing the first two eps and reading the pertinent part of the first paperback.
There’s a *lot* of sexuality being interjected into the story and not necessarily in a good way. The princess being forced to marry the barbarian lord plotline, for example – in the book you get much more background BUT you also get her learning the tribe’s language and deciding to seduce the tribe leader on their wedding night, making her quite the little thinking as her and her brother plot to return and take the throne back.
In the show itself she’s reduced to little more than a blonde parakeet following her brother’s demands blindly and allows herself to be continually raped by the barbarian leader until she, thanks to a maid and a little hot girl-on-girl action scene, thinks of seducing the tribe leader.
I realize that later on in the show she probably develops into quite the interesting 3-D character but this introduction is so different from the written word that it disturbs me. A Lot. It presents the Dragon Princess as a bumbling idiot when in the book she has a lot more intelligence and, while under her brother’s control, she’s already taking control of her life and her arranged marriage. The added sexual scenes of her being raped twice by the barbarian lord and psuedo-seduction by her maid while learning how to seduce a man… really pointless.
This is true as well with the little boy, Bran, catching the Queen with her brother and being tossed from the tower window – in the book it’s not so much what he sees – the twins having sex – but what he overhears that makes him the target of their ire. But we’re back to a sex scene that, let’s face it, could be easily explained away to a young boy and discredited in public. Natterings of treason and murder might be harder to do so and yet they left that part out.
My hubby told me he heard that HBO has a person specifically dedicated to adding IN sex scenes to make any show more “HBO” – meaning showing scenes that can’t be showing usually on network television. If this is true I’d understand – there have been plenty of times I’ve yelped at the television screen because a good hot scene was obviously shot and then cut for public viewing.
But this is different -this is taking the written word and “sexing” it up or rewriting it in order to gain viewers and it affects the characters. We’re getting the next two eps today via Netflix and while I’m sure the characters go on to redeem themselves we’re going to be reading the books not only for the backstory but also to see how much they deviate from Martin’s creations – and not for any good reason other than to insert more sex scenes.
To me, as an author, that sucks.
But that’s just me.