To read or not to read?

The second season of Game of Thrones premiered on Sunday! My friends and I had a little premiere of our own at Monica’s house. At first, we were going to cook food inspired by the books/ TV show, but since it was the last week of university and everyone was super busy and preoccupied, we ended up going to Safeway to choose Game of Thrones-like food. Basically, we bought roasted chicken, loads of bread, bread dip, salad, cheese and sausages. Very Westeros-esque? Well, we tried. Oh and to add to the authenticity, we ate with our hands and dressed up.

Our take on food from Westeros. Thank goodness for Safeway!

I attempted to dress up as Irri...

The first season of Game of Thrones corresponded to the first book in George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I watched the first season before moving on to reading the books and I did not like that experience. I then read the second book, and am now on the fourth book (which for some reason, I cannot get past. I keep putting it down because I can’t seem to get absorbed into it). After watching the first episode of season 2, I can now safely say I definitely prefer reading the books before watching the TV show.

IT BEGINS!

I think one thing that annoyed me to watching the show first was that it robbed me of my chance to create my own interpretations of the characters and setting. While reading the first book, I already had premade images of who the characters were and where they lived. For the second book, although some characters were in the first book and I did not get to mentally create them myself, there was still lots of new characters and settings. I found it really fun to watch the second season and realize certain scenes were just as I imagined, or even the opposite—they were nowhere near what I had in mind!

Although creating my own characters based on what I read is, in my opinion, one of the most important part of the experience, there was also a negative part to reading the books first. As I was watching the season two premiere, I realized I knew what was going to happen next. It was as if everything was spoiled. I hate knowing how something is going to end before I watch it. But despite this, I still enjoyed reading the books first.

On a similar note, I watched the Hunger Games with a bunch of friends the day after it was released. I have already read the whole series well before the movie was even announced, so I found that I had forgotten a lot of the plot. However, as I sat in the cinemas watching the movie, I found a lot of bits and pieces were coming back. And then I remembered how the series ended and I actually started crying in many of the scenes that reminded me of the ending. People were obviously thinking I was crazy because the scene that was playing was not even sad. But for me, I kept thinking about the ending and thus wept. Story of my life.

My opinion towards the Hunger Games movie is that it was really well made. A lot of movies end up deviating quite a bit from the book and making a lot of changes. I thought this movie stayed well on track and kept changes to a minimum. Along with Holes, I would say the Hunger Games were one of the movies that allowed for a pretty accurate portrayal of the book.

So what is your take on the topic? Book first or movie first?

-Karen

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13 thoughts on “To read or not to read?

  1. C says:

    what a dork! lol jk
    that hairstyle makes you look so tiny o-o
    did you just reference HOLES? i loved that book!

    my vote is: book first in most cases as good adaptations are rare.

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