Read First and Watch Second

Aside from riding the bike, hiking mountains and spending time here sharing stories with you, I am also an avid reader.  If I am sitting, I am reading.  If I am standing in line I am reading. It’s been that way since the 4th grade will be so forever.  Shoot, if by some off chance I end up at the pearly gates someday, I’ll probably be reading the Kindle waiting for St. Pete to call my name.  (Somehow I think it will be a LONG wait, better sit by a power outlet….)

Today though, I was reminded why I like to read the books before I watch the movie (or the series…

Today, in between a VERY hectic day (fingers of fire I tell ya) I was helping a friend and co-worker understand the background of the Game of Thrones.

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I have read all the books, and I am chomping at the bit waiting patiently for the 6th book to be published.  Because I did not have HBO, I was always a season behind the show until this year when I was able to watch it when they aired.  I like being caught up.

editors note:  HBO has done a pretty damn good job if I say so myself.

My friend, though, has not read the books, and there have been large gaps between watching the seasons she watched.  She is in the middle of 4th season right now and had a ton of questions.  I won’t bore you with them here, but the lady kept me hopping for an hour.

And this is why I love reading the book first.  There are over 5000 total pages in the G0T series so far.  There is no way all the information in the book can be covered in 10 episodes a season.  In fact, I am currently rereading the first book, and I have picked up on things I flat missed the first time through.

This is the only reason I could answer her questions.

I have heard some say that reading the book ruins the movie for them.  They already know what is going to happen, so why watch?  I am the other way.  I love to see if my imagination comes close to what is portrayed.  Plus, I am able to fill in the info that is left out.

Some books/movies, don’t need this.  Sadly I read a book by Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One, then watched the movie.  Yeah drivel is drivel, I missed nothing.  Water for the Elephants, the book gave a lot more info and was much more entertaining than the movie, but both were pretty bad.

But on the ones that matter….

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Yes, you could go and watch the movies and get it.  Without reading the books though, starting with the Hobbit, as good as the movies were, you will never truly understand true history of the conflict.

Steven Kings the Stand and IT were two of the best mini-series I ever watched.  But again, both were so much better after reading the books.  I was able to fill in gaps for those who watched it with me.

A more recent example?  Hunger Games.  Some people were offended as all hell to have a movie about kids killing each other.  Had they read the books, they would’ve understood the politics and back story behind the games.  It wouldn’t have made it any less offensive, but at least they’d’ve understood.

Plus, with rare exceptions, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.  NOT Last of the Mohicans.  A great movie with Daniel Day-Lewis, but even though a classic, I did NOT like the book.

With knowledge though, must come restraint.  On the Game of Thrones, I have to be VERY careful what I say.  My discussions are much different if I am speaking with someone who is only a TV watcher, or someone who has read the books.  If I am not careful, I will be spoiling it for others!

So yep!  I will continue to read whenever I can before I watch.  Next on the list is Monuments Men, read the book, now time for the DVD.

And if you are not afraid of some gore and nudity (OK maybe a lot of both) then I recommend both the books and the HBO series!  Game of Thrones is truly a masterpiece of literature!

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14 Responses to Read First and Watch Second

  1. I totally relate to this post and agree it is tricky talking about the story with a fan who hasn’t read the books HBO has done a great job but there is so much more happening in the books and I’ve found people have a very different view of some of the characters depending on how they came to the story. I know someone who named her daughter Daenerys after watching the first season… not sure I would have done that! Who wants some of those mental images pop up when seeing your daughter? 🙂

  2. echo says:

    That’s how I feel about The Dark tower. They’ve been talking about turning it into something visual for a long time, but how in the world do you do that with this series?!? I’ve only read (well…listened, it was audio tape) the first two! Or three? I lost track because it’s been so long since we’ve done a road trip.

    Ok anyways where was I…

    Uh.

    Um.

    I agree with you.

    • I haven’t read those but I have been told I should! I read The Dome by King, and loved it clear up and until the stupid ending! So I refuse to watch the series.

      BTW, thanks for being a supporter of my blog as well!! You are very much appreciated!

      • echo says:

        I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who Looooooooooooooooved the ending of the dome! Haha. Seriously, one of my favorite endings of a book ever!

        The show is horrible and I hate it. It’s pretty different from the book. So, give it a shot.

        You heard of chuck Wendig? His series with Miriam Black are…oh. Just fantastic!! I read all 3 in a week. I couldn’t stop. The last time I had that CANNOT-PUT-IT-DOWN feeling was with the dome, which is why these popped in my head.

        😀 no problem! You write in a way where it’s easy to make a comment and have a chit chat

  3. I’ve just recently got into watching Game of Thrones, and I’m in the middle of season two (no spoilers, please!). A friend of mine has said I should read the books, which I will do – at some point. I just need to get through the rest of the books on my ‘to read’ pile (which never gets any smaller – I for every book I finish I seem to add two more to the pile…). In general, I agree that reading the book is almost always better than the film/TV series. I’m often reluctant to watch the film/show if I’ve read the book, not because I know what’s going to happen but because it never lives up to my expectations. And nothing and no one ever looks like I’ve imagined it! So in some ways it’s better to watch the film/show first, and then read the book.

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