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george rr martin

Any time an epic literary tale gets converted by the folks in Hollywood so that it fits a television or movie format, problems will result. The fact of the matter is that giant books just don’t fit into the usual 45-minute/2-hour formats without losing a little something-something along the way. Game of Thrones is one such television project and, while most people seem completely happy with the way the show has turned out thus far, those of us that read and loved the books know that there’s plenty that got left out, for better or for worse. Now, the Song of Fire and Ice scribe himself, George R.R. Martin, is stepping up to address some of the problems he’s experienced with the show.

When talking with the New York Times, Martin had this to say about how the conversion to television has sapped some of the deeper meaning he infused the books with:

“I wish we had more episodes. I’d love to have 13 episodes. With 13 episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer.”

Somehow I don’t think GoT viewers would argue that a 13-episode season would be utterly fantastic. Unfortunately, the seasons are already running about $70 million each, so spending even more cash for a richer story is highly unlikely.

Martin also had a bit to say about the way HBO designed one of the most iconic elements of the show, The Iron Throne. He sees the throne as being a slight bit different than HBO does:

“The HBO throne has become iconic. And well it might. It’s a terrific design, and it has served the show very well. It’s not the Iron Throne I see when I’m working on THE WINDS OF WINTER. It’s not the Iron Throne I want my readers to see. The way the throne is described in the books … HUGE, hulking, black and twisted, with the steep iron stairs in front, the high seat from which the king looks DOWN on everyone in the court … my throne is a hunched beast looming over the throne room, ugly and asymmetric … The HBO throne is none of those things.”

But what’s a writer supposed to do? The folks with the money are the ones that make the final decisions, whether they’re good ones or not. It’s a bit different than when he’s writing a book and has the last word on things:

“If I don’t like one of Anne’s” – Martin’s editor – “suggestions I just don’t take it. In TV, you have the network, the studio over your head like Zeus on high.”

Martin also went on to talk about the television adaptation’s “butterfly effect”, whereby many small changes can end up becoming quite complicated in the end, particularly when they start to contradict the important points of the book. While most of what we’ve seen in the way of changes seems insignificant, Martin insists that there may be some serious problems lurking down the road.

What sorts of problems? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m sure the HBO re-writers will figure out a way around things, although the end result of Game of Thrones may not be quite what we’ll be seeing in the books. Which is, in my opinion, a good thing. We get two amazing stories in the same rich, fantasy world.

What say the Nerd Readers? Will too many changes cause Game of Thrones to turn into a whirlwind of plot holes and poorly developed characters? Or will everything be just fine, no matter how long GoT runs?

 

Source: New York Times

Category: TV

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