How many Game of Thrones viewers do you reckon have also read the books? A third? Fewer?
I don’t mean, how many started watching the series, picked up a copy of A Game of Thrones, and are presently marooned midway through A Clash of Kings, whilst the series picks over the bones of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.
The truth is that, however good the books are (And they are very good -Ed) the fact that they tend towards the sprawling epic side of fantasy fiction (And they are epically sprawling -Ed) will always make a five-series-and-counting TV series more accessible to 90% of people. That’s a criticism of neither, but a fact of life.
The fact is also that the distance between the books and the show is growing with each season. There are several storylines in the TV series which do not, directly, stem from the books. Others are being truncated, abbreviated, accelerated, to make up for the fact that whilst George R.R. Martin can take as long as he bloody well likes to finish his story, TV execs are a lot less patient.
So if there seems to be a lot going on in Thrones, spare a thought for those still labour through the books (And waiting for the next one to be published, which to be honest takes the bulk of the time -Ed).
Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)