‘Game of Thrones’ conclusion shocks unprepared viewers

  • By Chuck Barney Contra Costa Times
  • Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:43pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

(Spoiler alert: Fans of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” who have not caught up with the current season should avoid reading.)

“The book was better.”

That’s the typical war cry of literary-minded people who insist that the big-screen movie versions of their favorite stories usually fail to live up to those penned by the original authors.

In recent years, these comparisons also have become applicable in television.

And perhaps no show has illustrated the tug-of-war between book and screen as vividly as “Game of Thrones.”

HBO’s fantasy masterpiece wrapped up an exceptional third season Sunday.

I suspect, though, that fans will be buzzing about it long into the summer, particularly the show’s gut-wrenching Red Wedding sequence that occurred in the penultimate episode.

Social media exploded with shock, outrage and disbelief over the plot twist that had would-be king Robb Stark, his mother, Catelyn, and his pregnant wife, Talisa, getting brutally slaughtered.

Devotees of George R.R. Martin’s book series knew it was coming and thus processed it quite differently than nonreaders who had no preconceived notions.

In the days that followed, it was great fun to observe the reactions from both camps.

But it also was irritating to witness the barrage of nitpicking from readers who dissected all the disparities between book and screen and slammed the show for not paying “proper respect” to the source material.

It’s important to remember that books and TV shows are two very different beasts.

Producer David Benioff explained it this way: “the great thing about George’s books is that the skeleton is so strong. Even if we sometimes strip away some of the muscles and the flesh, we know we’re still remaining true to the underlying story, because we know the major character arcs.”

More in Life

Where the wild things are in Snohomish

Step into the studio of Imps and Monsters creator Justin Hillgrove for a Black Friday sale.

Meet Nellie, Thor, Raven, Lola, Jasper, Gunner and Bella

These six dogs are waiting for loving homes.

Did you know? Bats edition

Worthwhile Everett library reading and viewing about bats of the animal, sport and hero varieties.

Don’t forbid friendship with back-talking neighbor kid

Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked… Continue reading

How birds stay alive in winter and what you can do to help

When the weather turns chilly, columnist Sharon Wootton’s thoughts turn to birds coping with cold.

Don’t get scammed: Think before you click on email links

An email that was supposedly from iTunes is a scam that targeted busy parents.

Sweden’s Glass Country sparkles like a hand-blown bauble

You can blame my Norwegian heritage, but I’m not so hot on… Continue reading

The pros’ snow: Lake Tahoe a big draw for skiers of all stripes

North Lake Tahoe is home to one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in North America.

Teen idol David Cassidy remains in Florida hospital

The former pop star is dealing with multiple organ failure.

Most Read