Are the A Song of Ice and Fire novels better than the Game of Thrones TV show? Or, do you think the novels are too long and like the TV show better? Although Game of Thrones showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff have tried to stay true to the novels, as George RR Martin has noted, a little change in Season 1 becomes a huge change by Season 3.
Olga and Craig Hughes, editors of Nerdalicious and beloved contributors to this website, have launched a provocative series called, “The REAL Game of Thrones.” Craig discusses the only-sometimes subtle differences between the novels and the show as well as how the changes in the show affect our perception of the characters.
In the first article, “The Real Game Of Thrones – Tyrion’s Face,” one compelling point Craig makes is that the show’s decision to make Tyrion less ugly after the Battle of Blackwater — in the novels he loses his nose in the battle — results in Sansa appearing shallow. Because Tyrion doesn’t look all that hideous on the TV show, it makes Sansa appear superficial when Tyrion repulses her.
In Craig’s most recent article, “The Real Game Of Thrones – Why You Don’t Hate King Joffrey Enough,” he notes how in the novel Joffrey is tall, beautiful, and strong whereas in the show he is shorter and wimpier. For better or for worse, a slighter Joffrey really accentuates his cowardice. But, Craig also discusses Joffrey’s cruelty to animals — the classic hallmark of the psycho killer — something that’s left out of the TV show.
Novels aren’t always better than films. Each medium is different and has its own unique requirements. Olga and I have been debating whether the novels are better than the show off-line for weeks. Olga greatly prefers the novels but still likes the TV show. I love the TV show, but when I reread the novels I remember how wonderful they are all over again. The novels are a marvelously immersive experience and the backstory is much richer in the novels. But the TV show has such rich clothing and marvelous sets that both versions are deeply transportive experiences.