Game of Thrones has vastly expanded the meaning of books made for television and film. I remember the days when people guffawed at the idea of a book being turned into a film. They almost never live up to what readers imagine as they are enjoying the words of their favorite series. Plenty of people were disappointed with the adaptions of the Harry Potter franchise, complaining that vital scenes and information were cut from the films.
Here’s why I love the adaption of the GOT franchise:
1. The GOT TV series is true to the novel.
2. All characters are portrayed by an excellent and dedicated cast.
3. The author works with show creators to make the best possible representation of his novels.
4. The special effects are out of this world.
5. The locations, sets, and wardrobe create the most authentic setting.
If only all shows could be so well executed.
Another HBO hit, True Blood, strays far from Charlaine Harris’s “Sookie Stackhouse Novels.” Many major characters from the book series never appear in the show. There are an alarming amount of difference between the adaption and the series, and though I understand why Alan Ball made the choices he did with the HBO series, I was not always happy with how the television show portrayed the Sookie-verse. Now don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t consider Charlaine Harris the literary genius of our day. Her books are on the same level as Sandra Brown and Mary Higgins-Clark; they are much more for entertainment than any intellectual value. However, I do very much enjoy Harris’s light and bubbly style and the voice she gives to Sookie Stackhouse on the page. The books are easily consumable, and I recommend them as well as her other works. However, both the books and the HBO series are ridiculous when it comes to their scope of plot. I like both projects independently, but when compared together, it is one titanic mess.
How do other novels compare to their screen adaptations?
The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, I believe, is an amazing feat in screen adaptions. Although not necessarily true to the words on the page, the movies were spectacular. I don’t hide my opinion of Lewis’s style. It is insanely sparse. The first book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe isn’t much bigger than a drug store magazine. These books were written for children. They aren’t very descriptive and they don’t contain very complicated language. But go ahead and watch the movies. You would expect the books to be on the level of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Then there are ridiculously large novels that are adapted for screen, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson. This is by far one of my favorite novels. The movie was beautifully adapted. However, there were some minor differences that didn’t sit well with me. Both the Swedish and American adaptations of this novel were well executed. But the book itself is a brick. George R. R. Martin is a given a run for his money when you pick up Larson’s novel.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie adaptions?