‘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

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Taylor Johnston waters a philodendron at her home on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Three guidebooks to help the novice houseplant gardener

Indoor plants are popular again — and we’re not talking about your grandma’s African violets.

Plant of Merit: Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata,’ Japanese aralia

What: Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata,’ or variegated Japanese aralia, is an evergreen shrub… Continue reading

Don’t call Justice Brewing owner a gypsy — he’s just ‘homeless’

After an unexpected hardship, owner Nate McLaughlin won’t be moving his brewery to downtown Everett.

A mild December makes for easy winter cleanup in the garden

If you haven’t finished your November gardening tasks, here’s a list of chores to do this month.

Beer of the Week: Justice Brewing’s Outlook F——d, Northeast IPA

The brewery’s new beer with a vulgar name is a tropical IPA that riffs off its Outlook Hazy recipe.

Yummy Banh Mi offers cheap sandwiches with rich flavor

Classic Vietnamese meets fast food at new restaurant in downtown Everett.

Could a law to bring down the mob be used in Weinstein case?

The federal anti-racketeering law was drafted to bring down organized crime but it isn’t limited to it.

This author is throwing a virtual party for book lovers

Jennifer Bardsley is hosting a Facebook get-together for young-adult book authors and readers.

Most Read