‘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

Lots to see in Upper Skagit, even if the eagles are elusive

A guided hike through a mossy old-growth forest more than makes up for a lack of raptor sightings.

Shopping cart showdown: Which stores have best food prices?

Jennifer Bardsley compares Fred Meyer, PCC, QFC, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, WinCo and Whole Foods offers.

Take a closer look: Winter gardens share gifts in subtle way

Go on a neighborhood walk this month to enjoy the seasonal beauty offered by a variety of gardens.

Samish Flats in Skagit County prime turf for winter birders

This spot is great for birdwatching because of the mostly flat land, marshy areas and open water.

Outdoor classes and activities in and around Snohomish County

GET OUT Christmas bird count: Volunteers are needed for the Everett-Marysville Christmas… Continue reading

Relationship do’s and don’ts: Lessons from 40 years of marriage

Paul Schoenfeld reflects on what he’s learned about relationships after four decades with his wife.

Making it through the holidays on 4 legs and 4 wheels

1. Driving safety Here are some travel tips from the Red Cross… Continue reading

The top 10 albums of 2017: From Jay-Z to St. Vincent

This year saw an upward trend in music industry revenue due to the popularity of streaming services.

Snohomish County book calendar

Jennifer Wilhoit Noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 13, Edmonds Bookshop Wilhoit will… Continue reading

Most Read