A Game of Shows

Does having a TV show adaptation ruin a book series?

Around April of last year, my friend’s dad introduced me to “Game of thrones”. I binge watched the entire four seasons in an unhealthy two week period (Keep in mind there are ten episodes a season at an hour and some change each). Ever since then I have become very interested in the “Game of thrones” universe. Now that I had watched every episode multiple times I felt that I had a void in me, and especially after hearing about the multiple delays the final season was having. So I decided to turn to the books

As I started reading more and more, I began to remember what I was reading from when I watched the show. Then something very bad happened. I began to remember what I had watched before I would read it. This sapped the suspense out of every chapter, and left me feeling bored. What was the point of reading if i knew what was already going to happen? Still though I trucked on until I got to a very interesting chapter. There was a huge battle raging and I was lazily reading about ten words a minute as my TV played the 2017 College national championship in the background. I had already seen this particular battle in the show, so I knew who would win, how they’d win and who would live or die (So I thought) . As I was nearing the end of the chapter I was getting ready for the “surprise” attack that was supposed to come that flipped the tide of the battle, But it never came. I was bewildered. I had been so utterly confident that I had barely read. I turned off the game and re read the sequence to find that nothing had changed. The show had saved three major characters when the books had deemed it necessary for them to die. Suddenly I realized that just because I have seen the show, does not mean I knew what was about to happen. This realization fueled my appetite for the book. Every chapter it seemed had its own differences from the show, Needless to say I became re-interested in my reading.

Initially I was extremely bored thinking I knew exactly what was going to happen. But after I started to appreciate the differences from the show I realized that just like Jon Snow “I knew nothing”. Many people may assume that watching the show before reading the books is detrimental to your experience, but I would have to disagree. I found that when I had the most fun reading was when I was shocked by something that I expected to go a certain way but didn’t. In a strange way watching the show allowed me to be even more surprised. I think it’s funny how universal the idea is that you need to read before you watch, and how everyone just assumes that is the best way to do it. In the end I believe everyone should try watching the show before reading at least once if not every time for the simple reason that nothing entertains people more than being utterly wrong.

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