We all knew that, this season, Game of Thrones the TV show would move past Game of Thrones, the books. What I didn’t fully appreciate was how far, and how fast, the TV series would progress.
One of the most enjoyable things about the books in my view has been the deliberate pacing. The stories have taken a long time to unfold, and in the meantime we got to revel in the sigils of the minor houses and what kind of elaborate food was being served at a banquet and the colors and cut of the doublet of some obscure lord who appeared briefly and then vanished from the storyline. With the TV show, there’s none of that. Major characters come and go and get knocked off at breakneck pace.
I hate it that characters I really liked are being killed right and left — like the wildling woman who watched after Bran and Rickon after Theon Greyjoy conquered Winterfell — but mostly I’m concerned that the story is just moving too darned fast. In the George R.R. Martin world, it would have taken 300 succulent pages to get to the point of Daenerys torching the leaders of the Dothraki, and Sansa and Jon Snow resolving to march on Winterfell and try to kill the execrable Ramsay Bolton, but in the series it takes only an episode and a half. How far are we going to get in the story line this year, anyway?
And that’s the big issue for me. Much as I think the TV is great, I like the books even better. What’s going to be left of the plot when this year’s episodes are over? And if George R.R. Martin doesn’t bring out the next volume until next year’s episodes air, the disconnect is just going to be too much.
Slow down, HBO!