Although Game of Thrones has remained steady as one of the most popular shows on television today, there is significant concern mounting regarding the fact that the series is continuing to be produced despite the fact that the book series is still continuing to be written at the same time. However, when examining the situation and comparing it to similar television/film adaptations of popular literary works, it may be that said producers are doing right by straying from the books and as such developing its own legacy rather than forever being compared to the significance of the written series.
The hit HBO show’s current season (the fifth, which premiered on April 12 of this year) contains a script written to adapt the George R.R. Martin novel A Feast for Crows and A Dance for Dragons, but is also said to use elements from the author’s third novel, A Storm of Swords. The first season followed the book A Game of Thrones, which was the first literary work released in regards to Martin’s series. The second and third installments of the HBO show followed A Clash of Kings and the first half of the aforementioned A Storm of Swords. The fourth season contained the second half of this novel, as well as some elements from AFFC and ADFD.
Although the timeline between the books and television series has been, for the most part, without too much conflict at this point (some fans have voiced their opinion that the TV script was far too off from the written series, in that people were in places they were not supposed to be yet and situations were occurring that did not follow the storyline of the books). For this reason, it may be worth examining the possibility that producers are doing right by straying from the Game of Thrones books and choosing to go ahead with the filming of season six despite the fact that the next written installment has not be released yet. The next volume in the popular Game of Thrones series, entitled The Winds of Winter, has an anticipated release date of between 2015-2018, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey. Martin himself originally was insistent that the volume become published prior to Game of Thrones‘s six season, but lately has admitted he is unsure that the timelines have any choice but to overlap.
Overlapping, however, may not be such a bad thing. There are two sides to which the process could potentially go: first, depending on Martin’s current progress in the manuscript at the time of which filming must begin, he could give advice and direction to the cast and crew surrounding the ideas he had for his upcoming works. On the other hand, if the production method is not in any way influenced by the direction in which the books have gone/are supposed to go, it may open up the series to a new interpretation and fan base, one which is not subject to such fandom scrutiny for everything that did or did not go exactly according to plan.
After all these years, it may be time for Game of Thrones to go in its own direction, given that it has been around so long and built up such a separate legacy aside from the books that producers could undoubtedly pull this off. The fact that they were writing and creating without the existence of the books would, if anything, both give it more credibility as well as keep the hardcore picky fans off the show’s case since they would not be able to tear each episode apart in regards to its relation to the written series. In this, it is worth considering whether or not producer’s are doing right by considering straying away from the books and ultimately creating a legend of their own right.
Opinion By Rebecca Grace
Photo by EyesOnFire89 – Creativecommons Flickr License