• 54 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by mikey87144 (1781 posts) -

So first let me say that I love fantasy books. They are without a doubt my favorite type of books to read. However, despite how many of them I've read for reasons known to no one I haven't read any of the Song of Ice and Fire books. I'm going to rectify that soon but first a question. The Blu-ray box set of Game of Thrones season 1 is coming out and if it's as good as everyone says the show is I'll probably end up buying it. So my question is should I buy the Blu-ray box set and then read the books, therefor being more surprised by the events of the first book it's based on or should I just read the books asap?

#2 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4974 posts) -

If I had the time, energy, money, and patience then I'd go ahead and buy the books first and read through them. Then go onward towards purchasing the Game of Thrones blu-rays to watch.

#3 Posted by wigg (52 posts) -

I'd say watch the show first. Having not read the books I'm in no position to say how well the show reflects the book, but I read lord of the rings after seeing the films and the books were not tarnished at all knowing the over arching story. And Sean Bean isn't in the book, so clearly the show wins.

#4 Posted by Mustachio (242 posts) -

I'd say read it first if you really love fantasy books. One thing that always annoyed me with visual adaptations is that often, if you haven't read the books to the point where you have a sort of vision of what a character looks like, then the actors just end up overwriting that. As much as I loved Sean Bean in Goldeneye I don't want his face to come to mind every time I read "winter is coming".

#5 Posted by Brother_PipPop (256 posts) -

Season 1 of Game of Thrones is literary just the first book of the series. So maybe read the book first then watch the show. Though the show is so well mad I may say treasion and watch the show first then read the books. Though in all honestly they are both amazing. Though (for the third time) the show just gets it so right and it looks so good. So eh. Do you like watching or reading better?

#6 Posted by Cameron (601 posts) -

I watched half of the first season before I read the books. Normally I'd always suggest reading books before seeing a story in another medium, but I think ASOIAF is complicated enough that it helps to have some way to distinguish the characters. By watching the show first I had an image of the important characters already in my head, which helped me keep them straight. When you are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of characters like you are in ASOIAF, anything to help keep characters straight is useful.

#7 Posted by mikey87144 (1781 posts) -

@Mustachio: If the books are good I should be able to override Sean Bean. He didn't affect my image of Borimir in Lord of the Rings.

Also I don't like reading ongoing series. I'm currently embroiled in two of them and the wait sucks between books. Plus I heard his last book wasn't good, or maybe it didn't live up to his fans expectations.

#8 Posted by joshwent (2218 posts) -

@mikey87144: I watched the show before I read the books, and that's absolutely a viable option. The world is so dense and lush that reading gives you heaps of wonderful info and insight, even if you already know the story. Although, I watched the show a second time with 2 friends of mine who already read the books, and they loved it too! So really it's up to you.

One interesting thing to note as well. There are a good number of scenes that were invented just for the show. The book has a limited perspective, where each chapter is the POV of a specific character so we can only see events that they are a part of. But for the show, we can see things that are only alluded to or suggested in the book. So in some ways, it's less of an adaptation and more of a companion piece. SO GOOD!

#9 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

Season 1 covers the first book. Buy the box set, watch it before Season 2 starts, Read Book 1 in that time as well. And then go onto Book 2 while Season 2 is airing. I've never read the books either (i can't commit to 5000pages) but my girlfriend loves them and the show. The show very much sticks to the books in terms of story.

#10 Posted by mikey87144 (1781 posts) -

@Brother_PipPop: Definitely reading but I'm not opposed to watching it first.

@Cameron: Lord of the Rings isn't complicated by any means but you're right about how seeing the world bought to life helps to keep it grounded in your head.

#11 Posted by alternate (2710 posts) -

They followed the main plot so closely it is a toss up - one of them is going to be spoiled either way.

#12 Posted by mikey87144 (1781 posts) -

@Subject2Change: You might have sold me more on the book. I love long books. 5000 pages sounds great.

#13 Posted by mikey87144 (1781 posts) -

@alternate said:

They followed the main plot so closely it is a toss up - one of them is going to be spoiled either way.

Which is more in depth, the book or the show?

#14 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

I'm a fan of visuals first, book second myself.
 
I did it with many book to movie adaptions and it often works to have a mental image go along with characters or scenes.
 
I checked the show first, fell in love with it and watched all the eps when they aired.
Got the box set after and personally it was really cool to be able to imagine faces to the characters, especially in the first book.
 
The other three books I read from the series were good too and because of my knowledge of the show's style I could easily picture new scenes and characters in the same style.
But in the end its your own personal preference if you rather have the million details or the hard story, I'm a fan of both but in their own time.

#15 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

@mikey87144 said:

@Subject2Change: You might have sold me more on the book. I love long books. 5000 pages sounds great.

They are about 1000 each, a lot of it covers in depth war and battle tactics. Each episode of the show I like to think covers about 80-100 pages.

#16 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3052 posts) -

I've seen all of Game of Thrones and I've read the book. Personally, I like the show better. Martin is imaginative, sure, but I found his writing style rather boring.

#17 Posted by Jimbo (9819 posts) -

If you intend to read the books, I would at least read the first one before watching the first series. I would elaborate but mad spoilers.

#18 Posted by Aegon (5654 posts) -

I think the twists should be read first and then watched. What's the point of watching it and then reading through a long book while knowing all the twists and turns of the main plot thread. No incentive to read, whereas reading first creates a desire to see it play out via live action. 

#19 Posted by IBurningStar (2173 posts) -

I've only seen the show, but my friends tell me that it is extremely faithful to the books, but the show actually has some original stuff that helps flesh out some of the side characters.

#20 Posted by SSully (4199 posts) -

@mikey87144 said:

@Mustachio: If the books are good I should be able to override Sean Bean. He didn't affect my image of Borimir in Lord of the Rings.

Also I don't like reading ongoing series. I'm currently embroiled in two of them and the wait sucks between books. Plus I heard his last book wasn't good, or maybe it didn't live up to his fans expectations.

The books, especially the first 3, are fantastic. If you have the time, i would suggest reading the first book before seeing the show. The show is EXTREMELY loyal to the books. They added a few scenes, and dropped a few from the book, but overall it lived up to the book very well.

Also people complain that the last 2 books we a lot of filler. While that is a legit complaint, they were far from bad and they contained plenty of good information on the characters and had exciting events take place. The problem was the two books were written at the same time, and then he split it into two big books, which is why they are so similar in terms of quality/hate from people.

#21 Posted by WileyS (106 posts) -

I would say watch the first season of the show first. I had never heard of the series until the show and it instantly became my favorite show on TV. Then when I did read the books the aesthetic of the show helped me envision what was in the books. Hope you like them regardless.

#22 Posted by TH3R1S1NG (18 posts) -

I'm in about the same position as you, I havent read them all and will probably buy the blu-ray, however I just started reading the first and it doesn't take terribly long to read through, I would say read then watch, same reason I refuse to watch girl with the dragon tattoo yet...

#23 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

See if you like the show, If you do read the books. As much as they follow the book, they leave stuff out

#24 Posted by azrailx (373 posts) -

Book is better

#25 Posted by Mikemcn (6989 posts) -

I watched all of season 1, didn't know anything about the books.

Read the books, freaking loved the hell out of them oh my god they're so fucking good it should be illegal.

#26 Posted by supersheep3000 (14 posts) -

They're so brilliant. I can't even describe how much I love them. The first book was read on a flight from New York to London. Did it all in one go. I was going to read a bit, sleep then go home and read it more when I was over the jet lag. Instead the whole thing was read over the Atlantic ocean. Got so into the book I doubt I would have noticed if the plane suddenly set on fire and people started screaming.

Due to other commitments I'm only half way through book 2 but I'm loving that too. A bit more slower than the first but so far the characters are developing very nicely. Can't wait to read the third. I bought it from a bookshop and it's hardback. Tempted to buy the first too in hardback just to have the collection and buy the paperback to trail around the place.

#27 Edited by tread311 (357 posts) -

The last two books have been pretty poor in terms of entertainment value and plot progression. It's gotten to the point where they throw generic fantasy name after generic fantasy name at you and expect you to care about all these people, while the established characters tread water. That being said, the first three books are great and having read the first one did not make the show any less enjoyable. In fact, it was fun to see people react to what I knew was coming.

#28 Posted by chrissedoff (2109 posts) -

If you wanted to, you could watch the first season and then read from the second book onward. There are no important difference between the show and the first book, other than some of the characters' appearance and the fact that the White Walkers from the show are called "The Others" in the books.

#29 Edited by BigDaddy81 (329 posts) -

Definitely read the books first. As much as I love the show and believe that it stays pretty faithful to the books, too much stuff is left out. Especially when it comes to one of my favorite characters, Sandor Clegane (the Hound).

#30 Posted by alternate (2710 posts) -

@mikey87144 said:

@alternate said:

They followed the main plot so closely it is a toss up - one of them is going to be spoiled either way.

Which is more in depth, the book or the show?

Well the book obviously. 800 pages vs 13 hours of TV. The show has plenty of nudity though so it wins with that ;-)

#31 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3881 posts) -

I saw the first season before I read the books and it was a great experience. The show is very close to the books which is nice. I'd do the show first.

#32 Posted by ValiantGrizzly (498 posts) -

Read the books before you watch. I watched season 1 first, then started reading immediately after the last episode ended (I was NOT going to wait for a year to see the story continue). Read the first 4 books in about as many months, still waiting for the A Dance With Dragons paperback release now.

I can't help but wish I read the books before watching the show, though.

#33 Posted by llamaegg (227 posts) -

@digitalsea87 said:

Read the books before you watch. I watched season 1 first, then started reading immediately after the last episode ended (I was NOT going to wait for a year to see the story continue). Read the first 4 books in about as many months, still waiting for the A Dance With Dragons paperback release now. I can't help but wish I read the books before watching the show, though.

And you're going to hate yourself for doing so. If the last two books are any indication, and he doesn't decide to pick up the pace it's going to be another three years for the next one to come out. It was painful for the last two books as it is!

#34 Posted by stryker1121 (1459 posts) -

Read Game of Thrones first, then watch the series. The first book (hell the first 3 books) is excellent, and while the show isn't perfect, it's pretty damned good. I had great fun watching events from the book unspool on screen.

#35 Posted by mordukai (7153 posts) -

Season one is very close to the first book of the series. Some events changed and there's not as much information as the book but it's very close. R.R. Martin worked closely with the writers of the show.

#36 Posted by mikey87144 (1781 posts) -

Thanks guys you've made my decision that much harder. I'm basing this on my experience with both Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I saw Fellowship of the Ring before reading the books and was kind of glad to have ground for my imagination to start from. With Harry Potter I read the books first then saw the movies and was happy that the movies didn't ruin my appreciation for the books. So going by that I'll watch the show first. All of you who've read first then watched acknowledge that the show could not be any better. It was true to the source material. Those who watched first then read said the show made them go out and buy the books. I have no doubt I'll enjoy the book more so why not save the best for last? Only problem is waiting till March 6 to get the blu-rays. Also Mass Effect 3 comes out that day and I'll be deeply engrossed in that game.

#37 Posted by Jimbo (9819 posts) -
@H2Oyea said:
I think the twists should be read first and then watched. What's the point of watching it and then reading through a long book while knowing all the twists and turns of the main plot thread. No incentive to read, whereas reading first creates a desire to see it play out via live action. 
That's my reasoning too. The first book could be more of a slog than it should be if you already know how it ends.
#38 Posted by Mageman (351 posts) -

I thought that the series didn't do justice do the Westeros I built in my head when I read the books, but I'd say they are pretty good judged at their own. If you plan on reading the books read them first.

also, The battle of Blackwater is gonna be horrible because of the budget, I'm afraid to watch it.

#39 Posted by RoyaleWithCheese (39 posts) -

I watched the first season and then read the books. Personally, I found the first book really quite boring after watching the show and knowing the events of GoT--in part a result of the show-runner's fantastically faithful adaptation, and also due to my initial inability to get into Martin's style of writing (it's very economical and effective writing, just not high literature). After the first book, though, I had a blast reading the series, and I'm already excited watching the trailers/production videos and speculating on the how they've adapted Clash of Kings. Having read the books, I think it will be just as enjoyable--in a different way--watching the show and seeing how such an epic series will be put on screen. In short, you'll certainly "spoil" things either way, as others have said, but there's a different kind of enjoyment to be had, I think , f you read the books first and then watch the series.

#40 Edited by Aegon (5654 posts) -
@Mageman said:

I thought that the series didn't do justice do the Westeros I built in my head when I read the books, but I'd say they are pretty good judged at their own. If you plan on reading the books read them first.

also, The battle of Blackwater is gonna be horrible because of the budget, I'm afraid to watch it.

Don't say such things. They got the guys who worked on Hugo to do their CG for season 2, and that movie was beautiful. 
#41 Posted by Breadfan (6590 posts) -

I'm working my way through the first book, in an attempt to catch up and start the second book before the new season starts. I'd definitely recommend reading the book though. It's really good, especially if you like the fantasy setting.

#42 Posted by kerikxi (542 posts) -

I'd say read the first book before watching the series. It's more fun and satisfying IMO to form the visuals in your head first; if you watch the show, that's the only thing you'll be able to visualize while you read the book. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as a massive GRRM fan I was extremely impressed and pleased with what they did for the series, but now trying to read the fifth book I can't get those visuals out of my mind.

#43 Posted by BelligerentEngine (345 posts) -

@wigg said:

And Sean Bean isn't in the book, so clearly the show wins.

The best part about this statement is that it plays for both Lord of the Rings and A Game of Thrones.

"Just a heads up don't open this spoiler unless you're already familiar with the series."

Also he dies in both the first season and the first film coincidentally enough.
#44 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

The show is fantastic, but I'd go with reading the book first, because you're a fan of fantasy and long, involved books. It won't spoil the show at all as you'll be so excited to see how they handle the different elements that each episode will be a treat.

Also, people have mentioned that the last couple books haven't been very good, but I disagree. When you realize what his purpose has been in making the decisions he's made and what it's doing for the scope and shape of the story as a whole, the complaints typically lodged lose validity.

#45 Posted by Aegon (5654 posts) -
@bvilleneuve said:

The show is fantastic, but I'd go with reading the book first, because you're a fan of fantasy and long, involved books. It won't spoil the show at all as you'll be so excited to see how they handle the different elements that each episode will be a treat.

Also, people have mentioned that the last couple books haven't been very good, but I disagree. When you realize what his purpose has been in making the decisions he's made and what it's doing for the scope and shape of the story as a whole, the complaints typically lodged lose validity.

Yeah, there's a lot of detail in the last 2 books that a lot of people miss. 
#46 Posted by takayamasama (441 posts) -

Honostly, I saw the show first, then picked up the books, and I think it made the experience awesome. The show is so damn good, and really accurate to the first book. The casting of the show is great, and due to me seeing the show first, I only saw the actors in their role when I was reading, and I think that made it better.

I would be sad if I had read the books first and didn't have a mental image of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion in my head as I read the 5 books.

#47 Posted by WMWA (1162 posts) -

Watched the series first. Then tore through all 5 books shortly thereafter. Fuck I'm glad season 2 is starting soon. Waiting for the new season and the sixth book was dreadful

#48 Edited by pyromagnestir (4324 posts) -

@RoyaleWithCheese: Never heard anyone call GRRM's writing economical before, given to how he is prone to describe every detail of every scene, down to the numerous crests and emblems of the contenders in a tourney to the various courses of a feast so explicitly, so much that a blog has popped up where a couple of ladies cook all the meals described in the books. I'm guessing you're referring to plotting where he'll often (especially in the first books) have a character say "I am going to place X to do thing Y." and the next time you see that character is when they are in place X trying to accomplish thing Y.

Anywho.

@mikey87144: Do book first then show second. There are enough things they add to the show to make it fresh, and some things the show "shows" explicitly that are only implied in the book early on but revealed more clearly later. The "new" scenes surprised me with how much I liked them. Other than the sexposition, that is, although that was nice too, in it's own way.

#49 Edited by BonOrbitz (2193 posts) -

Just finished the first season. Holy shit what have I been missing?! I've heard it was good, but damn... I didn't know it was that good.

Now I have to figure out a way to watch Season 2 because I don't have HBO. It's painful knowing that it's airing now and I have no means to watch it.

#50 Posted by azrailx (373 posts) -

if u don't read the first book you have no idea who jon snows parents are

and its not a spoiler since the first season cover the first completley right?

no it doesnt, you lose out since it does not follow the perspectives