Unnecessary Anger: ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ Readers Will Never Be Satisfied with “Game of Thrones”


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he season finale of the fourth season of Game of Thrones was one of the greatest episodes of a television show ever made. I would say that this is in my opinion, but the fact-to-opinion ratio is about 75/25 on the statement, so it is an unnecessary phrase. As a fan of the show since the beginning, I was extremely satisfied at the finale and my only feeling was dread in the fact that I had to wait 10 more months to view another episode.

Then I went online. Just my usual, lonely casual post-GoT Twitter viewing. No harm in the practice of checking what the viewing world had to say before I focused my attention on the calculated Unsullied-style slaughtering (minus the whole eunuch thing, of course) that the Spurs were inflicting upon the Heat. After these subtle references were made in my head I started to see the pure anger that was being directed towards the episode. People were livid that a certain character, who I will not spoil here, was not introduced. My response to that: Who cares?

The outrage from readers of the books over the omission of a character in one episode is so ridiculous it almost hurts. The A Song of Ice and Fire series is not a direct script. It is a series of books that are incredibly long and full of in-depth detail that would make any editor cringe, but also freak out when they reach the Red Wedding. Curious thought: Do his editors ever get so caught up in the story that they just delete a whole chapter and send it back to him saying it was horrible while they hug a stuffed direwolf?

Fans of the books who have these expectations for the show are just ruining the show for themselves. The thing about expectations is that they usually disappoint. Going into each episode expecting to see exactly what was in the book just leads to being let down, because the books are way too long to have every single element in exact chronological order in a television show.

The separation between books and show should be an accepted part of the show existing. Getting angry because the plot differs in small areas makes absolutely zero sense whatsoever. There has not been any major digressions from the story that would make the books a separate story from the show. This anger is coming from the same crowd who film others’ reactions to heartbreaking moments in the show; truly a cruel group of people.

I would love to include the countless examples of the outrage being expressed but they contain spoilers that haunt those who have seen them and not read past the third book in the series. I myself encountered a rather larger spoiler on the time-eating knowledge base known as BuzzFeed, in an article that I foolishly thought was just about the show. It is the tough lesson that must be learned: The only way to avoid spoilers is to avoid looking up the show at all on the Internet. Also, do not follow Stephen King on Twitter. Great author, but not ideal for fans of television shows who live anywhere outside of the realm of Eastern Standard Time.

With the obvious differences between length constraints on television compared to books, there will continue to be minor differences between books and show. There may be a time when the show passes up the story in the books and the anger will be all for naught, as the story will continue onscreen and not off. I expect reactions of show viewers to be something like Arya’s when finding about the death of her aunt.

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Steve Kubitza grew up in Cleveland and is currently studying Sport Management at Bowling Green State University. He one day hopes to work in the basketball operations department, but in the meantime he will continue to write about the game from the comfort of his own home.

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