It’s all in the game, yo
Those of the older generation will think it is blasphemous to compare or, The Others take you, prefer the Harry Potter series to Lord of the Rings. Both fantasies have their fans and detractors in equal measure. You get the odd fanatic that swings bisexually embracing the two creations. Splitting the pie chart further are ones that favour the books over the films and vice versa.
The Tolkien/Potter saga with all those various permutations didn’t see the dark Dothraki horse coming up on the outside. Into the mix comes a third way: Game of Thrones.
The second season of Game of Thrones finished recently (for the record, I thought the first one was better) on Sky Atlantic. The TV series centres around a set of medieval fantasy books written by George R. R. Martin. There’s a bit of everything in the stories for the male audience: sword fights, sorcery, astounding landscapes varying from fire to ice, violence with heaps of blood, political intrigues with sharp dialogue and a smattering of soft porn. For the females, there’s Sean Bean and stuff like that.
It takes awhile to “learn” the character and machinations of the various cast ensemble that is pretty large (ugly large in the Hound’s case). It is annoying when just as you get to know and like a particular cast member they are killed; the body count is high. Most of the actors and actresses play their roles brilliantly. My own favourites are the dwarf, Peter Dinklage, who steals every scene he is in. And, remarkably, Jerome Flynn, yes that Jerome Flynn, as Dinklage’s bodyguard.
So far I have only watched the TV programme but now I have begun to read the first book; there are seven novels in all. It is strange reading when you know what is going to happen. Also, at certain points I can visualise what I saw on the screen. This takes away somewhat the ability of the reader to envisage for himself what is going on. I am at the mercy of the imagination of someone else. It rankles and Winter is coming.
Forget the Potter, Tolkien or Thrones dispute, the burning issue of our times is- do you read the book first or watch the film first?