Posted by: Caleb | April 20, 2011

it’s not you, it’s me…

The HBO show is awesome, but...

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I absolutely love George RR Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. I was turned onto it by a good friend of mine sometime around 2003, and I’ve read each of the four books — A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows — several times, and each reading is just as good as the last. This series is just awesome.

About two years ago, Mr. Martin announced via his self-labeled Not a Blog blog that HBO was in talks to acquire the rights to film an adaptation based on the Song of Ice and Fire series. I have to admit, I was really excited. I looked forward to it until this past Sunday, when the pilot episode premiered. It was awesome. I loved seeing this world that had previously existed only in my head projected in beautiful HD on my television. The world was beautiful, rich, and engrossing. The opening credits were nothing short of incredible. The casting is, so far, very good, although I honestly think it will take a few episodes to really see this. In short, I really loved the premier.

It was awesome, but I may not watch it again.

Castle Black, setting of many of my favorite chapters.

The reason is pretty simple: I’m a book guy. I know a lot of people who won’t read books, so they don’t ruin the movie. I’m the exact opposite; I don’t want movies to ruin the books. I have a vision of Westeros in my head, and I like my vision of Westeros. I like the way I’ve built Winterfell, the Eyrie, and the Red Keep in my head. I like what Cersei Lannister looks like in my head; I love the way Ser Jaime Lannister and Ser Loras Tyrell fight in my head. I love Arya arguing with Sansa, and I love seeing the Wall in all its impossibly long, impossibly high, impossibly smooth iciness in my head. I love watching the Battle of the Blackwater in my head, when the soon-to-be King Robert Baratheon, first of his name, defeats the Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen with his impossibly huge warhammer. I love the frozen tundra Beyond the Wall, and the perpetual summer-like heat of Dorne. I’m not sure I want all that corrupted by someone else’s vision, no matter how good it might be.

I guess the point is this: it’s just not my Westeros.

I haven’t completely made up my mind yet. I may watch it, but right now, I’m not sure. I’ll keep my DVR scheduled to record it, of course. Maybe, when the books have finished the story, and I have the entire thing storyboarded in my head, in my Westeros, in my Seven Kingdoms, I’ll be able to fully enjoy someone else’s vision.

Have you ever skipped out on a movie version of a beloved story, simply because if you did, it wouldn’t be your world anymore? Your Narnia, your Middle-Earth, your Whatever?

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