The Big Question: Game Of Thrones... TV Show Or Books?

Okay, so here's a question that's gonna get blood flowing in the streets.

Game of Thrones. Which is best? The books or the TV show?

As someone who loves the TV show, but found the books to be a little bit average...

I think you can guess where this is going.

Even Chris Jager, who is our resident Game of Thrones mega-nerd, admitted to me that the books aren't brilliantly written.

That being said — I absolutely respect the scale of GRRM's world building, and what it takes to craft a universe like Westeros. But personally? I'm happy to just watch the show.

How about you?


    Awww cmon Mark, dragging up the clickbait? :P

    But seriously, everyone knows the shows better.... come at me! lol

      I'll settle for reading the books while Cersei and Margaery from the show pamper me and snipe at each other for my amusement ;-)

    Pretty hard to argue the case for books when the readers are STILL waiting and TV viewers are enjoying entertainment that’s now spoiling the books.
    I mean it might be a fair argument in some cases, but here the book team has been screwed.

    We’ll all know how Half-life ends before book readers will get to finish the GoT series.

      I blame George Martin. He should have just said 'fuck off' to HBO continuing beyond the Dance of Dragons. I guess they made him an offer he couldn't refuse *shifty eyes*.

      But pessimistically, I think that G Martin will probably do a Jordan. Even though he's only in his 60s he's not a picture of health if I remember correctly.

        He undoubtedly made the right call IMO, if he had a choice at all. The show is a huge deal, money spinner, global audience…. all that good stuff.

        There was never really a chance that they’d just put it on hold indefinitely while we wait for the books to sloooooowly draw out.

        Plus, as you said there’s a really good chance that he never finishes the books. It’ll be interesting to see if he speeds it up now that someone else is forging on with his story arcs without him.

          I think if anything he's slowing down. It went 1996, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2011...

          There is a decent chance that book 6 will be an end of 2016 release, but delay is par for the course with G Martin. Consider that a Dance of Dragons included a lot of already written material that was culled from Feast for Crows. The mind boggles.

          As for the final book (if it doesn't end up doing a Feast for Crows) who knows. Could it be released before 2020?

        I doubt he had a choice over if the show continued, he would of sold those rights off with the show. What he could of done however is maybe actually write once in a while. If all he managed to do was one page every two days the new book would of been out before the current season started. If by some miracle he managed to write two whole pages a day the series would be done by now.

      I wouldn't say it's spoiling everything, almost all the characters storylines have gone off in different directions on TV than the books were heading so they're really seperate at this point.

      Example: Book Theon is currently imprisoned by Stannis (along with Theon's sister - who's not really as much a prisoner anymore) while his two uncles (one not in the show) sail off to Mareen.
      So I don't see book-Theon making any deals with Dany any time soon.

        Victarion is the best bloody character!! Who else has a Black Priest!!!!!!

    So I read all the books last year while waiting for Season 5 I think it was. Enjoyed. But I am enjoying the series and am able to watch that.

    I'll enjoy the books again if/when the last two come out. I'm not going to read one then wait again for years.

    Remember when you could browse Kotaku without running into a GoT article of some sort? Me neither...

    I stopped watching the show after season 4 because I want to experience the books first . :'(

    I'm going with the books, different story to the show, more involved.

    I discovered the show first, then read the books. At first I preferred the books, but they bogged down with too many "side quests".
    I'll be happy when the show finishes the story for me, I have no intention of reading the books any further.

    I love the show, definitely a good adaptation. But my vote's still on the books. More characters, more detail, and the show has branched off a wee bit. I reckon there's still a fair bit of surprise left in the books given how they've drifted apart.

    Hoping the Winds of Winter is nearing release, heard he'd met with his publisher earlier this month so fingers crossed. Though the final book is probably more than a decade away at this rate...

    I find them pretty hard to compare at this point. The show (lately) has more huge battle scenes that either weren't in the books (Hardhome) or seem unlikely to happen, at least in the same epic way (BastardBowl).

    The books on the other hand have far more scheming and 'master-plans'. The only real schemer we've seen in the show since season 1/2 is Littlefinger and even then his forward-planning seems to have turned into throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks.
    Varys used to be good for this back at the start (before we knew what his plan was) but they seem to have cut out his master plan now and made him just a spy/informant.
    Then there's Doran Martell... well he did absolutely nothing, then died. In the books, he seems to be the greatest planner/schemer of them all - it just happens that being in this world, most of his plans (like everyone else's) go to shit.

    So I probably enjoy some of the storylines from the books a little more but overall, I find them really hard to compare. The acting, effects/action, music/sound, costumes/design, hell everything on the show is just about perfect but, as with almost all adaptations, the books have more depth to most of the characters.
    All of this is irrelevant though as I've given up hoping GRRM will ever finish the final books.

    Last edited 29/06/16 12:02 pm

    The books can be a slog of a read but the added detail and characters is really great. The problem is they introduce extraneous plot threads that don't go anywhere and introduce new characters for little to no reason. In book five there was a character who seemed to think he'd be the next big thing, only to spend the entire book boasting only to get roasted by a dragon the second he tried to do anything useful. Then there's a whole bunch of characters that seem really important that haven't been introduced to the show (like the young Griff/Jon Connington), and even in the books the stuff they're doing seems really important but is glossed over in a "blink and you'll miss it" kind of way.
    I like that the show tends to recycle characters where possible and tie up loose ends a little better (apart from Gendry).

    All in all, I like the show better, but I like the books as well, in a different way. Honestly the more they diverge the happier I am because from this point I can treat them as two different stories and see how different GRRM's "plan" is from what D&D did with the show - and if GRRM never finishes them, well, I still have the show.

    I realise it's a petty reason, but I took an immediate dislike to the show for changing Asha's name for no good reason. From then on it was like watching a televised fanfic - all the characters were there, in the right places, doing the right things... except when they weren't. Minor differences kept compounding until it was too hard to keep track of which was which, so completely abandoned the show for the books.

    Then abandoned the books halfway through Dance because holy crap GRRM waffles on about nothing a lot. :P

      So for all the time and interest you've put into the series, you've now bailed on it entirely? Both books and TV.

        I might come back for the TV show once it's finished, but for the moment? Yup. Can't see the point when it seems like every character worth caring about is either dead, almost certainly going to die, or get shipped off to the other side of the world to do nothing of any consequence.

        As for the books? The only marginally noteworthy thing I can remember happening in the first half of Dance was "Brienne's opinion of Jaime improved slightly." If the plot beats of post-Red Wedding ASoIaF were heartbeats, it'd've been sent to the morgue numerous times. I stopped caring what would happen, and just started hoping anything would happen. Then I just got tired of waiting. So... yea. I'll re-invest myself in the series when it's finished.

    both, for their own reasons, its seems counter-productive to make one choose. Both have earned their place in popular culture.

    Have done both and I vote the show because the books are way too detail heavy and I suck at the concentrating

    I love the books and will devour the next installment when its released, aslong as 4th term President Trump permits it to exist.

    I enjoy the books but damn GRRM has a very long winded writing style e.g. whole pages describing the food at a feast.

    The books aren't particularly well written (but hey, it's fantasy, I think the LoTR trilogy is terribly written but people still lap it up for the sake of the world the authors build, despite their writing styles), and have been generally getting worse in my eyes since the second, but the TV show's lows in terms of writing ("You want the good wife, but you need the bad pussy") are legitimately some of the worst things I have ever watched, heard or read, so the books win by a mile.

    That said, season 6 was a significant improvement as far as TV goes to season 5, so where the show might have started bucking the trend of generally lesser quality with each season/book and the books haven't (hopefully yet) the previous seasons of the show have at best matched the books (only in season 1 for me on that front, s2 came close though), while the books have usually been better. My opinion may change, but what the show did to the sand snakes and the Dorne plot was unforgivably bad, for that alone they can't come out on top.

    I agree that the books aren't very well written. Stay away from the audiobook versions by Roy Dotrice too. They sound like they are read by the cast of The Vicar of Dibley.

    Tv show for me thanks. Now back to the cosplay...

      I tried the audiobooks after thoroughly enjoying the show, but listening to an old dudes describe explicit sexual scenes was horrifically off-putting. Bailed.

    The correct answer is usually the books.

    But, in this case, the TV show is the superior version... largely because it's actually going to be finished.
    I'd also put the film versions of Lord if the Rings over the books... but that's based on how needlessly dense those books are.

    Books, no comparison. The show is flashy and high budget, but fails on character development (eg. Jaime), piss poor dialogue ("bad poosay") and plot holes. They also failed to capture one of the best parts of the books, which is the scheming.

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