By Stephanie Thomas
I am going to be very transparent here and make it clear that yes, I read all the books. I read the first three in high school. The fourth one came out when I was in college, and I held on to it for after I graduated, since recreational reading doesn’t exist when you are an English major. I bought ADWD when it first came out, and read it over the course of a few months, mostly because it was very slow to start, and I had to grind my way through it.
Why am I telling you this?
Because in some cases, it has been over ten years since I really went through these books. So,if anyone is here reading my posts to crucify me over facts, I don’t really care. I am recalling this information the way an average reader of ASoIaF would because that is how accessible I want it to be. I admire the readers who spend a good portion of their time debating theories (which are awesome) and digging through thousands and thousands of words to support them — but I’m not a forum follower (aside from Reddit), so forgive me if I am out of the loop about some of the topical debates that are happening right now.
With that said…
After Season 5 Episode 5, I spent a good portion of my night yelling at my poor husband about how the producers of the show have royally f**ked up the character of Sansa and turned her into someone she never was in the books. My husband has only read the first three books, and so he is uninformed when it comes to the plot lines in books four and five. I tried to explain away Jeyne Poole and Reek but I may as well been talking to a deaf dog. He didn’t get it, and he wasn’t going to get it unless he picked up the books and finished them, and we have a toddler, so that’s not happening.
But the rest of us get it, and the rest of us are pissed off and rightfully so. I have found myself asking all throughout this season, “How are they going to (insert plot line here) if they do not (insert tossed plot line here?) Or, “Where did (insert anything from book four and five here) go?”
I didn’t ask these questions very often until this season. I mean, I knew that adaptations were being made in seasons one through four, but I also knew that they were being made in collaboration of GRRM in the first season, and I trusted GRRM because he wrote the g*ddamned books, so he wasn’t compromising his work or his characters by trying to jam GoT into sloppy tropes. Pieces of the puzzles were adjusted, but they weren’t soaked in gasoline and burned to ash.
And that is what bothers me the most this season. Those pieces are gone forever, and the viewers who never read the books will never know otherwise. All of GRRM’s hard work, his beautiful prose, his delightfully twisted plot lines and the depth of his characters are lost in the ether that is television ratings. All of it has been picked apart, eaten by the carrion birds, and shat out all over HBO.
Bio: Stephanie Thomas is a young adult science fiction author from Philly. You can find more information about her and her books at www.stephaniethomasbooks.com