6 Reasons Why You Should Read The Books Before Watching Game of Thrones

Books are wonderful, magical things, that transport us into completely different worlds. There are people who don’t read often and there are people who are awesome. BE AWESOME. TV and Film adaptations of books often don’t live up to the book or do them complete justice. Here are some of the reasons why you should read the books before watching its adaptation.

6.  You learn the Background History

There are always so many details in books and most have years of history woven into the stories. In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are literally thousands of years of history. Old Valyria, the legends of the Children of the Forest, the Andals, the Targaryen conquest, Robert’s Rebellion are all very important historical events or people that have influenced the show thus far. There are many interactions where characters discuss these tales in length so we can learn more about this fantasy world and while the show tries to cover most of the history, there is no way they could do that in the time frame allotted.

5. You notice the changes from book to screen

That is NOT Jeyne Westerling!

While the first season is pretty spot on with A Game of Thrones, the second and third season skew off course often. Characters’ paths change and chapters become merged when filmed. For example, Edric Storm, Robert Baratheon’s bastard doesn’t make it to the screen. His character is merged with Gendry’s. Tyrion is much uglier in the books and the characters are much younger. (as in appearance wise for their ages. What 16 looks like Richard Madden?) When you read the books, you notice the little things that are different on the show and get to decipher why.

4.  You care more for the characters. 

Characterization is such a vital aspect of stories. You come to care more for the characters since you invested so much time reading their backstories and you feel as though you are there with them. Even the characters you’ve come to hate, you’ll care more about them more since you’re basically in their head.

3.  You envision and create your own depictions

The best part about reading beforehand is you create your own versions of what everything looks and sounds like. There is no standard for what the characters look like. If you just watch the show, you wouldn’t know that Daario Naharis has a purple beard! But really, the greatest part is envisioning the characters, as in your versions, interacting. The creators did a great job with the appearance of most of the characters but nothing beats your own interpretations.

2. Inner Monologues are golden

Jon Snow inner monologue?

Jon Snow inner monologue?

Film and TV emphasize showing not saying so it’s hard to display the inner monologues the characters have. The actors try their best through expressing emotions and the writers try creative ways to show the same result but I love when the character is figuring out something in their head. Knowing exactly what they’re thinking and how much they know is great as it helps us learn more about the nature of the character and reveals information to move the plot.  

1.  Dialogue, Dialogue, Dialogue

If you’re like me and you watched GoT with your friends, you probably missed a lot of the dialogue. I had to watch the series all over again by myself to pick up everything that was said and to figure out what was going on. Because each episode is only an hour, much of the dialogue in the book is cut out or squeezed to fit in. The show brings up many interesting parts of the stories but either not enough light is shed upon them or the scene quickly changes.

Valar morghullis.


2 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why You Should Read The Books Before Watching Game of Thrones

  1. I think your reasons are solid, and I’m not arguing with you.

    I have friends who have not read the books, and are watching the show. We’ve talked about their decision to stay viewer-only (for now) and their most compelling reason is that they have decided to experience the show innocently but also to be able to evaluate if the story being presented stands on its own.

    Sometimes being confused or in the dark because you’re not being given the backstory allows for the creation of a unique vision/story in the viewer.

    At some point, my friends want to read the books and then get the ah-ha’s of hidden knowledge, but also get the story differences.

    They get to go “That’s Not Talisa!” when Robb shows up with his blushing bride Jeyne Westerling.

    I’m happy to have read the books, but I’m also really interested in hearing from the perspective of an Unsullied viewer.

    • I agree tt is fresh to see things for the first time and not know what is going to happen next. I watched the show before I read the books and felt lost simply because I really didn’t understand half of what I watched the first time but we’re all different 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!!

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