Originally Posted by Jesterhole
I don't see how people who don't read the books would enjoy the show. There is too much missing information. The larger plot hasn't even been hinted at yet, the three eyed crow and Hodor are an afterthought. Shae's character is all wrong. In fact, the only one that I'm impressed with so far is Dany. The rest aren't nearly as interesting as their book counterparts.
Tyrion still steals the show, and you don't even get to hear all the hilarous inner dialogue he has during his chapters. Such a waste...
You sound like anyone who's had a favorite book translated to film. I've never read a word of these books, but I can say this one of the more impressive TV shows I've seen in a while, on every level (and it has also has provided more than enough information every episode to make it a task to keep up at times).
Understand that novels are uniquely suited for 1) putting you in the mind of a character and 2) transmitting large amounts of detail and information. Film simply can't do those things well, nor should it try. A great book and a great TV show have to do very different things in terms of pacing and balancing screen time for characters. Compared to a book series running thousands of pages the show might look simplified, but so would any TV show, even those as complicated as The Wire
or The Sopranos
. Likewise, what they can provide (striking visuals, great acting performances, etc) can't be replicated on paper.
Take them for what they are. I love books about travel and adventure, putting me in middle of the head and experiences of the writer. But I also love watching documentaries and shows about those same places for totally different reasons.
I would also note that, while given little screen time, it's been made fairly explicit that the visions of the raven and several of the minor characters are going to be really important down the road. We may not have read as much, but we TV viewers aren't so