Game Of Thrones has officially reached the level of cultural phenomenon. Some would argue that it reached those dizzy heights (or terrifying lows, depending on your attitude towards pop culture) a couple of years ago, with context-free references to Lannisters, dragons and the ugly fate of Ned Stark being picked up for talk show opening monologues and bad stand-up since about late 2012. But the benchmark of a true crossover into the mainstream is when a product is such a massive success that everyone else starts to want their very own version of it. Look at Nirvana in 1991, kickstarting a scene in and around their hometown of Seattle among half a dozen or so completely disparate bands. Remember Twilight? Yes, so does everyone else, hence the rush to convert every supernatural young adult book under the full moon into a PG-13 movie franchise in the last six years or so. Now theres Game Of Thrones: inspiring Starz to bring piratical tales of blood and skullduggery to television with this years Black Sails and an adaptation of Diana Gabaldons Outlander series, a historical romance with elements of time travel; persuading the BBC to film The White Queen, which failed to find Westeros audience, despite the cynical editing together of an HBO-style version with more naked flesh for the US cable market; and convincing Netflix to put together an historical epic drama in the shape of Marco Polo. The trouble is, everybody knows that adaptations of novels for the screen are invariably hacked to pieces to make them fit. The makers of Dexter barely stayed faithful to Jeff Lindsays books for the first season before veering off to tell their own stories, and True Blood didnt stick much closer to the text of Charlaine Harris novels than that. Here, although the general narrative seems to stay close to the novels, no one disputes the vast number of subtle differences between author George R. R. Martins original A Song Of Ice And Fire and the adaptation Game Of Thrones in fact, there are whole webpages dedicated to recording and honouring the storylines, characters and dialogue that have been lost in translation. With the fourth season of the show bringing viewing figures over and above The Sopranos, officially making it HBOs biggest hit ever, its time to decide: has the adaptation done the dirty to A Song Of Ice And Fire? Is George R. R. Martins great epic, the legacy for his vaunted career, in danger of being eclipsed by sexposition and CGI dragons? And, as always, here be SPOILERS
Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.