The Book is Not Always Better

(Just kidding, it is.)

For the TCWT blog chain, the prompt is:

 “What are your thoughts on book-to-movie adaptions? Would you one day want your book made into a movie, or probably not?”

I like this topic, because it’s very broad and I can go in almost any direction I want, providing it’s not to the right. There’s a giant needle sticking out of the wall on my right side, and I’m trying to avoid it. Anywho…

Life is rough for book-to-movie adaptations. Not only must they be able to stand on their own two feet as a movie—a completely different type of entertainment than a book— but they also have to put up with all the die-hard book purists that throw a fit over every minor change.

(Note: I am occasionally one of those diehard book purists. Example: The Shining.)

I think we need to stop being so hard on these, poor, misunderstood movies. Directing an adaptation is like being forced to walk on a tightrope above Niagara Falls*, except on one side of the rope, there’s a bunch of crazy book-readers shouting “YOU’VE RUINED THE WHOLE SERIES!” and on the other side there’s a bunch of snobby movie critics saying things like, “I feel like this movie caters way too much to the fans of the book, to the point where it doesn’t stand on its own as a movie. Also, not enough symbolism, and the juxtaposition between motifs was a bit clumsily done. 2/5 stars.” And if the book in question is a young adult novel, then the critics will undoubtedly compare it to Twilight or Harry Potter, no matter what it’s about.

It’s a lot like basing a movie off a cartoon from the nineties, except with those you have people complaining “YOU’VE RUINED MY CHILDHOOD!” because as it turns out, it’s possible to destroy someone’s entire childhood simply by making a bad movie based off a show they used to like. Who knew?

I think people need to remember that a movie is completely different from a novel, and that some things that would work well in a book would look terrible in a movie. For example, Daenerys Targaryen is only thirteen when the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire started. Things would not have gone well if the producers behind Game of Thrones hired a girl who was actually thirteen to play her.

With many adaptations though, it can be frustrating, because some books have so much potential to be great, but the people producing it are clearly out to get you, and are intentionally making it terrible just to piss you off, so it seems. Why can’t they let me write the scripts for all the adaptations I’m interested in? It’s so unfair.

That being said, if some sketchy looking guy with a sketchy looking suit and tie came up to me and asked my permission to make a movie off of my novel, I’d probably say yes, because a movie is basically just one big advertisement for your book. If a trailer looks good, all the book-snobs watching it will think to themselves, “Quick, I need to read the book before this comes out. This way I could complain about how disappointing the movie is.”

Even better would be a book-to-TV adaptation, like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. Speaking of which, HBO really needs to write a mini-series for The Stand, by Stephen King. Just saying, I think it’d work out well.

Sorry if this post is a bit scattered.

Now click on the links below for the rest of the blog chain!

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28th – – The topic for July’s blog chain will be announced.

*I saw a guy do this once. It was amazing.

Game of Thrones: First of His Name Review

(Caution: Spoilers for all Game of Thrones episodes up to this point. But none for anything that has yet to happen in the books.)

Well that was pretty satisfying, wasn’t it? While the first three seasons seemed to make a habit out of killing off all the beloved characters, this season seems to be (finally) killing off all the despicable ones. The ones we love to hate. First Polliver, then Joffrey, and now Owen Harper’s twin (Korl), Nicely Bearded Man (Locke) and the rest of those raping, baby-sacrificing mutineers. By this rate, Cersei, Ramsay, Tywin, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Lysa Tully, Janos Slynt, and Alliser Thorne should all be dead by the end of the season. Though I’m sure if that happens, the show will simply add a bunch of new despicable characters to the mix.

Also, poor Hodor. While Bran using him to kill Locke-the-hand-cutter-offer was a necessary—and really cool—move, it was still messed up, taking over someone’s body against their will. Hodor looked pretty damned confused and upset when Bran left his mind, and that just makes me confused and upset. Oh well, at least Bran can continue on his way to the three-eyed raven. I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a Stark reunion, but I couldn’t see how such a thing could happen without Jon taking them back to the wall, and no one wants that.

Meanwhile Lysa Tully and her son are just as warm and cuddly as they were back in season one. As in, not at all. Although I did get a good chuckle out of Lysa’s screams after the wedding, as even Sansa from her separate room could hear her. What? I’m immature.

It’s also revealed, in an extremely clunky exposition scene, that Littlefinger was basically behind everything that happened in the entire series so far. Betcha didn’t see that coming, huh? Littlefinger might have even surpassed Varys (whose gotten about ten minutes of screen time this entire season) in sneakiness. Now if only he wasn’t so much of a sex-offender, I might actually come to like him.

I should point out that if no one gets pushed out of that moon door, I’m going to start swinging. I believe a wise man once said about storytelling: If a gun is shown in the beginning, someone better fire it by the end. Similarly, if a door leading to a six hundred foot drop is revealed, someone important better be falling out of it. Personally, I hope it’s Lil’ Wayne. That guy needs to go.

Meanwhile, Daenerys realizes she hasn’t done nearly as good of a job at freeing Slaver’s Bay as she thought she did, and so she makes the decision to stay in Meereen and do what Queens do—she will stall. Just get to Westeros already, sheesh.

Meanwhile, Cersei is being sympathetic lately, but I think it’s an act. She’s totally just manipulating the judges for Tyrion’s trial. The judges are Tywin, Oberyn, and Mace Tyrell (Margaery’s father) and she is coincidentally acting nice to them all of a sudden. Letting Mace Tyrell know she’s actively trying to make his daughter a queen will surely put him on her side, and letting the Red Viper know she doesn’t approve of the whole “murdering little girls” thing certainly couldn’t hurt.

Some other thoughts:

  • I found it hilarious how Margaery was all, “Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it,” when it came to marrying Tommen. Ha, good one, Marge.
  • I feel terrible for Sansa right now. First she’s betrothed to Joffrey, then to an eight (nine? ten?) year old kid who still breastfeeds. Speaking of which, are there any people left who still hate on Sansa? There better not be.
  • Neither Jaime, Davos or Tyrion got any lines in this episode, yet I didn’t notice their absence at all.
  • Jojen’s visions were perhaps the most intriguing part of the episode, and a marvel to look at. Go Team Bran! I’m rooting for you now.
  • Arya’s sword moves were extremely well-choreographed. Is Maisie Williams some sort of dancer in real life? I wouldn’t be surprised. Also, it should go without saying that every scene with her and the Hound is pure gold, despite the fact that they don’t advance the plot at all.

Rating: 8 out of 10. Good, but I don’t want to rate it too high unless a better episode comes along. (Reminder: my ratings are worthless.)

So what did you think of the episode? Did you like it? Did you kind of like it? Or did you hate it more than Joffrey? Comment below, unless you don’t want to.