George R. R. Martin Enjoys Your Pain

SPOILER ALERT (possibly). I haven’t decided yet. In any case, you’ve been warned, and I’ve done my due diligence.

Am I the only human on the planet not watching Game of Thrones? I know it’s one of the best things on television right now.

Here’s the thing: movie adaptations of books are risky enough. And those producers/writers/actors only have about two hours to completely screw up a work of literature. Following this logic, I am extremely leery of TV shows based on books. They’ve got tons of episodes and seasons to kill, so the potential for botching it is exponentially higher.

However, this does not seem to be the case with Game of Thrones. From what I gather, they’ve really accomplished something spectacular.

Then why am I still not tuning in to watch?

First response: I’m a freak who can’t deal with violence.

Second response: I think the show, even without me watching it, is desensitizing me to the books themselves.

For some time now, all anyone can talk about is the “red wedding” incident from the show that was so shocking and upsetting to viewers it caused an uproar. Curiosity getting the best of me, I looked it up to discover it occurs in the third book, Storm of Swords. At the time, I was still finishing the second book and knew I would have to wait to find out what all the fuss was about.

(OK, so I’m veering into spoiler territory after all.)

When I finally came to the moment itself, I could feel it, I was reading the signs, it happened, and that was that. In a few crushing pages, George R. R. Martin ripped three more characters and a lot of hope from my heart without hesitation. I closed the book, calmly put it on my nightstand, and went to sleep. There was no outrage, no tears like there have been when I was emotionally invested in other reads. (Hello, J.K. Rowling.)

It seems I had already prepared myself for it. I was prepared, in a small way, because Martin has a habit of killing characters. However, the main reason I was anticipating unbelievable tragedy was the endless chatter about the show.

Granted, I am late in reading the books. Being three years old at the time the first book was published put me at a disadvantage. Still, shouldn’t I have the same opportunity to experience them fully and as new material? Any time a work of literature becomes hyped up by Hollywood, I think that opportunity dies.

Yet I can’t say it’s all bad. When a book or series is chosen by the elite, it gives the work new life. Copies fly off the shelves even if they are clad in tacky, promotional covers.

Ultimately, I’m sure I would feel differently about the subject if I had read the series years ago before the show was created.

The result? I am torn on the issue. I think books versus their movie/TV counterparts will always be a topic of discussion and one that is alluring.

Regardless, look at this guy:


He knows what he’s doing. That hat says it all. Stop crushing my dreams, George!! This is unacceptable! Call me.


2 responses to “George R. R. Martin Enjoys Your Pain

  1. Pingback: Monsoon | Will Work for Books·

  2. Pingback: Naming blog posts is hard | Will Work for Books·

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