Posts Tagged ‘A Game of Thrones’

Fan Reactions To Adaptations: A Game Of Thrones, The Hunger Games, And Wonder Woman

April 10, 2011

I recently read an interview with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the writer/producers of HBO’s upcoming A Game of Thrones series, in which they discuss fan reactions to their adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire series.  They acknowledge that, even with all the time a series provides compared to a movie, various aspects of the books had to be cut or simplified, but they say this:

How do you handle the intense fan reactions online to every decision you make?
DB: I try to not get too much into it. You have to man up and do what you think is right for the series. No matter how good it turns out to be, someone’s going to complain about something. But by and large fans have been very supportive and enthusiastic.
DBW: When we do dip in and see what people are saying, it’s been gratifying. There tends to be a snarky negative quality usually to these things, but with this there has been an overwhelming amount of support.
DB: Because the books are so big and detailed and intelligent, the fans tend to be intelligent.

The producers are basically saying that the fans of the series understand the nature of adaptation, that things won’t be included and characters might look different and that there’s no such thing as a perfectly faithful adaptation.  I’ve found this to be the case with A Game of Thrones.  I’m a HUGE fan of the series, and have been following the news closely since the series was announced, and the fan reaction has seemed extremely supportive to me.  Even when fans disagree with certain decisions (the casting of Mark Addy as King Robert turned some heads, for example), the disagreement is often followed with a disclaimer that this disagreement is only the poster’s humble opinion, the decision may very well work out, and they are still super jazzed for the show. 

Benioff and Weiss attribute this generally positive response to the intelligence of their fans (which, as a fan, is rather flattering really), and I think they make an interesting point.  A Song of Ice and Fire is fantasy, but it’s grown up fantasy… it’s extremely long and involved.  You don’t have to be intelligent to read big, thousand-plus page books, but chances are that if you can keep the massive cast of characters (and their ever-changing machinations and motivations) straight, you’ve got a bit of brainpower.  And if you’re smart enough to follow everything in the book, those smarts might translate to a decent understanding of how adaptations work.

These comments made me think of the upcoming adaptation of another series I like, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Gary Ross is set to direct the first film, with Jennifer Lawrence starring as Katniss Everdeen.  And everyone is just PISSED.  At EVERYTHING.  I’ve been following the news, and every announcement is met with epic derision and outrage in the comments sections.  I know comments sections are hardly a bastion of rationality, but the reactions have struck me as really over the top, as if every announcement was accompanied by Gary Ross driving to each fan’s home and punching them in the face. 

SIDENOTE: I’m not super enthusiastic about any of the casting either, but not in a threatening a revolution sort of way.

Now, the fans of The Hunger Games trilogy tend to skew younger.  They’re books for teens, though they’ve got a significant young adult following.  Lengthwise, the entire trilogy is shorter than a single book in Martin’s series.  Hell, they’re even shorter than the Twilight books.  I’m not at all suggesting that people who dig The Hunger Games are dumb… I really liked The Hunger Games!!  But as a group, I would think they’re certainly less mature than those who like A Song of Ice and Fire, and reading/keeping track of the trilogy would require much less brainpower.  So is there a correlation between intelligence and the fan response?

This brings me to Wonder Woman.  Comic book fans are well known for their unenthusiastic reactions to adaptations.  Frankly, outrage seems to be our default setting.  A while ago, when every adaptation totally sucked, this response may have been warranted, but the annoyed tone continues even with the recent rash of quality adaptations.  This is especially true with David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman TV show, which has been generally decried from the get-go.  I used to think that, despite our penchant for outrage, our sceptical reaction was justified on account of the script sounds pretty bad and the costume initially looked cheap and shiny (it now looks slightly less cheap and shiny).  BUT maybe we’re just being unintelligent!!

Where do comic book fans fit in the Song of Ice and Fire/Hunger Games spectrum?  Well comics are short, so that’s more HG, but continuity is complicated and detailed, so that’s more SIF.  Comics have traditionally been kid’s fare, which puts us on the HG side, though we all know that adults buy far more comics than kids, which takes us back to SIF.  We’re easily annoyed, like HG fans, but we’ll all watch the show anyway, sort of like SIF fans.  I guess we’re some sort of bizarre amalgam that’s no so much in the middle of the spectrum as a combination of both extremes.  So we’re not intelligent or unintelligent… we’re just weird.  I can live with weird.


A Dance With Dragons Has A Release Date!! No Really, I’m Serious!!

March 3, 2011

If you notice that every nerd you see today has a huge smile on their face or are dancing in the streets, THIS is why.  After years and years of delays, the fifth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, A Dance with Dragons, has a release date!!  It was originally supposed to come out in late 2006, but it is now OFFICIALLY coming out on July 12th, 2011.  Martin, his publishers, and everyone involved are promising up and down that it’s a firm date… and that it’s going to be huge, possibly the largest volume so far.

A lot of the material for A Dance with Dragons was written in the first manuscript for the fourth book in the series, A Feast for Crows.  When the manuscript got way too long, Martin split the book up according to location and character.  Thus, A Feast for Crows covers the South, and A Dance with Dragons will largely be concerned with the North.  Also, A Dance with Dragons doesn’t just pick up where A Feast for Crows left off… a big chunk of the new book is set at the same time as A Feast for Crows, and only starts to carry on the timeline later on in the book.

With this announcement, 2011 has become a huge year for fans of the series.  The television adaption of the books, A Game of Thrones, is set to premiere on HBO on April 17th, and now the long-awaited fifth volume is finally coming out!!  Now we can all start the countdown for the sixth book, The Winds of Winter… I’m sure the clamouring for that will start soon enough.  Be patient, fellow nerds!!

Game Of Thrones Trailer!!

December 1, 2010

The cruel people at HBO released a one-minute trailer for Game of Thrones this weekend, giving me a tiny taste of the awesomeness that is awaiting me this spring.  I really hope there are more trailers to come, and soon!!  I mean, this one is super great, but I am jonesing for this show like mad.  Check it out:

Sean Bean is the BEST!!  He’s such a perfect choice for Eddard.  Hell, the only reason I started to read the books in the first place was because I heard HBO was making a fantasy series with Sean Bean in it.  Anytime Sean Bean gets to be all regal and sword fighting, you know it’s gonna be wicked fun.  Plus, this time he’s a good guy… he won’t go all Boromir on us (though Boromir totally redeems himself by saving Merry and Pippin, of course). 

Anyway, the show looks excellent so far!!  I hope it’s a big success, partly because I am jazzed to watch it every week, but mostly because I want them to make action figures.  Good lord, I’m such a nerd.

New Images From A Game Of Thrones

November 19, 2010

Between this and the Bored to Death post, you’re gonna start to think I’m a shill for HBO, but I am CRAZY excited for A Game of Thrones to start this spring!!  I read the first book this summer, and just finished the second a couple weeks ago (I am spacing them out, since author George R.R. Martin is taking a while with the fifth one and the wait for it is going to be painful), and they are, so far, fantastic.  It’s gonna be such a cool show!!  HBO-style fantasy sounds like a ridiculously good time.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the show or book, A Game of Thrones is about the increasingly problematic relationship between the Baratheon family, who rule the medieval-like land of Westeros, and the Stark family, who are the Lords of the North.  Ned Stark fought alongside the king, Robert Baratheon, when he took over the country, and as the book begins Ned is named the King’s Hand, the king’s right hand man.  Then bad things happen and much insanity ensues… I don’t want to say anymore, because spoilers are the worst.

Anyway, Entertainment Weekly put out some new images from the show today.  Here are a couple:


King Robert!!  I know the casting of Mark Addy had some fans worrying, but I think he’s a great choice.  He’ll pull off the jolly, fun bits of Robert, but I think he’s got the acting chops to do a good job with the dramatic, serious parts of being a king too.  Mark Addy’s got more going for him than that Flintstones sequel and Still Standing.


When I heard that Lena Heady was going to be in the show, I thought “she’ll be a perfect Catelyn Stark!!”  Then I found out that she was playing Cersei, and I was concerned.  Cersei is blonde and evil, while Lena Heady is brunette and nice.  But this picture is TOTALLY Cersei, and I am no longer concerned.


This picture actually isn’t new… I just really love Sean Bean.  And he’s playing Ned Stark, and if you need any reason to watch other than that, you are a crazy person.  Sean Bean should be MORE than enough.

Watch for A Game of Thrones this spring.  Or just check back here… I’ll be going on and on about it.

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