[Includes spoilers for both Game of Thrones the T.V. series by HBO and the books by George R.R. Martin
I finally succumbed to the temptation of wanting to know where this story was going. A true reader’s heart can never really stay in a movie or a T.V. series while the books remain unread! Motion pictures might add colours and life to characters; give faces and features to names and bring locations to life but nothing does justice to the depth of a story the way books do. Having said this, unfortunately, I will need to add that the reverse may be true too (the movies that come to my mind are The Devil Wears Prada, P.S. I Love You), but its rare- very, very rare for something on screen to surpass something on paper.
I must say though, Game of Thrones is doing an exceptional job of keeping up with the series, even doing better than the original in places. The power of the scene in which Dany Targeryen conquers Astrapur for one. The book did not do justice to it; and I strongly suspect that the show is going to overtake the beauty of the capture of Yunkai in much the same way.
But characters have come alive for me- Jon Snow on the show has failed to make an impression but in the books he is three-dimensional! Always loyal to his brothers on the wall, living and breathing with the wildlings but wanting nothing better than to run away and torn between his feelings for Ygritte while wishing she would stay away from both him and the war she was letting herself be drawn into!
Tyrion Lannister remains Tyrion Lannister as always. But I suspect this has more to do with Peter Dinklage, than anything else. He is my favourite character on the show and in the series. When I read his parts in the books, I read them out in Peter Dinklage’s voice, laced with that same sense of tragic irony, self mockery and sarcasm that his character possesses abundantly, along with a kindness of heart and soul which makes him endearing to me.
‘On my honor as a Lannister’ he says to Sansa, ‘I will not touch you until you want me to.’
‘And if I never want you to, my lord?’ she asks.
‘Why, that is why the gods made whores for imps like me’ he says.
Arya is Arya-both in the book and on the show. Headstrong, brave, stubborn and lovable. I hope George R. R. Martin doesn’t decide to kill her. Sansa I still do not like but I feel sympathy for her, of course.
Jaime Lannistar’s true story behind the title of Kingslayer makes me like him almost as much as the way he treats Brienne did. Cersie is beyond likable, of course, so is her father Lord Tywin and reproach for Jaime over pushing Bran is not likely end anytime soon.
Bran comes to life in the books as well. His fears and determination come to life as do his uncertainties and his existence through the eyes of his direwolf Summer. I really don’t want anything to happen to the Stark children who remain, because I have grown fond of them all (and yes, I know about Robb and Catelyn).
All in all, an extremely satisfying fantasy adventure though if it had been left only to my imagination, the characters would have come out differently from the way they did on the show. But its too late to erase and rewrite faces in my head!