WARNING! This board is full of spoilers!!

Brian G Turner

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Just a polite warning to any new members joining up because they have watched the Game of Thrones HBO series, or are currently reading the A Song of Fire and Ice series for the first time - THIS BOARD IS FULL OF SPOILERS, so read at your own risk!

Many of the discussions here involve people who have read the entire series to date, and engage in detailed discussions about events in that series.

This means that some of the twists and turns in the story are revealed, and this may spoil your enjoyment of both the books and the HBO series.

Therefore you are strongly advised to exercise caution in reading any threads on the George R R Martin literary board.

If you would rather discuss the HBO series as it unfolds, please find a dedicated board here:
Game of Thrones - Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums
 

Boaz

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Amen.

Newcomers, beware. We are glad to have you here! We want to read your views, reviews, and opinions. But it is dangerous for you to be here until you are currently caught up to Mr. Martin's published works in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

George Martin's story is not your run of the mill story featuring an unwilling and angst ridden teenage messiah and his band of friends who predictably never suffer harm. This story takes place in a dangerous world. That's all I can say without giving it all away.

Of course, Martin has authored many other works and they are discussed here in this forum also.... but the great preponderance of threads deal with A Song of Ice and Fire.

Happy reading!
 

The Imp

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I'll also add that even just looking at thread TITLES can be dangerous.

My advice to new people would be this- If you plan on watching the HBO series DON'T start the books, or at least don't read AGOT until after the end of the first season. At that point, you MAY want to read everything published to date (hopefully that will be 5 books in ASOIAF plus the 3 Hedge Knight tales). There will be a gap of time between the first and second season, and if GOT hooked you that gap would be a good place to catch up. You could, of course, start now and easily be done with AGOT before the season starts, but if I had the choice to make, knowing what i know about the series, i think i'd wait and begin by watching.

I say this primarily because AGOT can be tough going at first. There are just so many characters, plot lines, places, etc that are introduced that it can be hard to keep everything straight. Watching the series will be less complicated, and provide a great introduction to the world of ASOIAF. In reading the books afterwards, you'll have a very solid foundation and I think things won't be nearly as complicated.

In the end, any choice will be fine. Just don't do any exploring in THIS forum. As Boaz said, this is not your typical fantasy series. You don't want to have any of the wonderful surprise ruined for you because someone was being thoughtless when they posted.
 

Clansman

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Good job, I, Brian, creating this sticky. The board is simply spoilerific.

ABANDON SURPRISE, ALL YE WHO ENTER THIS BOARD!

Seriously, we wouldn't be saying this to keep you from finding out stuff, but rather to help you find it out in the best possible way (i.e. by reading this brilliant series). Martin is the master of the twist, and the surprise event that will shock you to your core. Finding out here will make the first read somewhat disappointing (because there is nothing like the first read of an excellent book).
 

xLORDSNOWx

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My advice to new people would be this- If you plan on watching the HBO series DON'T start the books, or at least don't read AGOT until after the end of the first season. At that point, you MAY want to read everything published to date (hopefully that will be 5 books in ASOIAF plus the 3 Hedge Knight tales). There will be a gap of time between the first and second season, and if GOT hooked you that gap would be a good place to catch up. You could, of course, start now and easily be done with AGOT before the season starts, but if I had the choice to make, knowing what i know about the series, i think i'd wait and begin by watching.

I say this primarily because AGOT can be tough going at first. There are just so many characters, plot lines, places, etc that are introduced that it can be hard to keep everything straight. Watching the series will be less complicated, and provide a great introduction to the world of ASOIAF. In reading the books afterwards, you'll have a very solid foundation and I think things won't be nearly as complicated.
I kind of feel the opposite in regards to watching before reading. I would recommend someone to read the first book first prior to watching the series. Mainly, because there will be a greater chance for being spoiled when watching the series with the many people talking about it (if you have friends who are watching it at the same time). I'm sure the episode previews at the end of the previous episodes will soften the blow for things to come as well. If i had the choice, i would read the book first in the comfort of my own home and finish at my pace without the subtle clues and the "be sure to turn in to this episode" type of stuff.
 

The Imp

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I kind of feel the opposite in regards to watching before reading. I would recommend someone to read the first book first prior to watching the series. Mainly, because there will be a greater chance for being spoiled when watching the series with the many people talking about it (if you have friends who are watching it at the same time). I'm sure the episode previews at the end of the previous episodes will soften the blow for things to come as well. If i had the choice, i would read the book first in the comfort of my own home and finish at my pace without the subtle clues and the "be sure to turn in to this episode" type of stuff.
On any given day i can take a position on either side of the fence. It's really a coin flip, and should be a matter of personal preference.

I think what I said above still holds. AGoT is not for the casual reader that just wants to be entertained and doesn't particularly want to have to think a lot. That person may very well never read the books but still enjoy the series. If i knew the person I was talking to and knew they could "handle' reading the book I'd give that as my recommendation.

There are definitely great arguments to be made for reading the book first. I don't think that the series will be as good as the books, are maybe to say that more accurately, the series won't be able to cover all of the material in the book and while it may be a great series, comparing it to the book(s0 will be like comparing apples to oranges.
 

xLORDSNOWx

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There are definitely great arguments to be made for reading the book first. I don't think that the series will be as good as the books, are maybe to say that more accurately, the series won't be able to cover all of the material in the book and while it may be a great series, comparing it to the book(s0 will be like comparing apples to oranges.
This was my point exactly. I can't think of too many movies or series for that matter that were better than its resepctive book. The Godfather is the only one that comes remotely close to being as good or better than that of the book. I think there would be more people who read the book and would want to continue on to ACOK than those who watch it. Watching the HBO series may not give them the hunger to continue as it will be: #1 an adaption of the book, which may close the story up more than the book and #2 as previously stated, the high potential for spoilers when watching or discussing the HBO series with friends.

In my opinion, it would be much harder to wait a week between episodes to find out what's next than to continue on and enjoy the ride with out the distractions.

I can remember when the Wire was on, it would be displayed a week earlier on On Demand than what HBO would release on their normal schedule. The message boards and discussions online were littered with spoilers due to this and not to mention the bootleg copies that everyone mysteriously obtained. I can only imagine it would be much worse with this series. GRRM himslef has had to post messages warning people to not post any spoilers (of any kind). I just can't see how it would be better to watch than to read at your pace away from online spoilers and the classic "did you get to that part yet?", or "ooh, ooh, tell me when such and such does this".

Either way, i believe HBO will thrust this series into the mainstream and many more will be able to join us in Westeros!
 

Conor

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I just got the books and I'm afraid to go into any thread!
I'll tell you what a few good men told me when I wandered over after reading only about 50 pages of game of Thrones- Run!! Run as fast as you can and don't come back until you have finished A Storm of swords!

I kind of paraphrased, but that was great advice, there are so many twists and turns I never saw coming and would have been sorely disappointed if I saw a spoiler before reading it...dont worry the books go fast once you are into it!:D
 

biodroid

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The Imp - I hate to leave books unread but I am hoping that maybe I can jump start my AGOT reading by watching some or all of the series. I am assuming I am going to be seeing lots of spoilers which begs the question, would it be pointless to read AGOT after the TV series or if I get the hook just move onto ACOK?
 

TK-421

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The Imp - I hate to leave books unread but I am hoping that maybe I can jump start my AGOT reading by watching some or all of the series. I am assuming I am going to be seeing lots of spoilers which begs the question, would it be pointless to read AGOT after the TV series or if I get the hook just move onto ACOK?
Cough...cough...skip over AGOT??? No, please don't. You would lose too many nuances, characters, events and introductions to GRRM's style. DO NOT SKIP AGOT!!!!!!!!!!!1
 

Conor

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Cough...cough...skip over AGOT??? No, please don't. You would lose too many nuances, characters, events and introductions to GRRM's style. DO NOT SKIP AGOT!!!!!!!!!!!1
I second that motion.
I suggest you read AGOT after season 1 then jump into ACOK before season 2 starts next April. at least I figure next April...:eek:
 

Needle

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The Imp - I hate to leave books unread but I am hoping that maybe I can jump start my AGOT reading by watching some or all of the series. I am assuming I am going to be seeing lots of spoilers which begs the question, would it be pointless to read AGOT after the TV series or if I get the hook just move onto ACOK?
Since Imp is on a journey this week I feel obligated to answer.

DO NOT SKIP AGOT!!!

As good as the series is much has still been left out. Important things (to me anyway) which make us love or hate each character for him/her self. Also info which could be important later that we are not seeing.

Please don't cheat yourself of the experience.
 

Boaz

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biodroid, since I've seen both of us post in the Rowling forum, I'll try to relate this in terms of HP. Skipping AGOT would be tantamount to skipping the first six HP books. You'd be left wondering, "Who was this Dumbledore fellow?" "Of course Snape's a bad guy, why would anyone think different?" "Stop mentioning this Sirius chap, he's not germane to the story at all." "The inclusion of Hagrid adds nothing to Harry's character." "By the way, who were the Dursleys and why did they exit the story so soon?" "Why does Harry need so much help? Isn't he supposed to be a super wizard or something?" "Why didn't Rowling explain how Voldemort came to hate Harry? And why does he want to rule the world?" "Also... what's an unforgiveable curse?"

Edit: Some of Martin's best storytelling deals with Eddard's dreams and memories. These are a must. I wish I could say more, but that would be spoiling the thread... Just think of the best moments of the show and know that the tension and suspense that Martin creates in the book is far greater.
 

biodroid

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Boaz - Thx! I am still going through AGOT, it's like Joe Abercrombie there is something about it that keeps me hooked. I am at the point where Catelyn and Roderic (?) are at some old hags inn and they have to be undercover so they say they are father and daughter to keep suspicion at bay. I passed the point where Ned met the armorer to get info on certain people. I am just going to stick with it, so far it improves every page into the story. I agree with you on the points you made Boaz, I just stumbled on what The Imp said but like any tv show or movie, the technically is always better. I still have a while before the show starts in my country so will have some time to finish the 1st book. I have completed 34% according to my Kindle :D

The stupid thing on my part is, I watched the HP movies and thought the books would be for little kids. I have read Order of the Phoenix and Chamber of Secrets. So I went out and bought all the other and am going to make time to go through them from book 1 to the end and get the full story. I feel the movies haven't spoilt anything for me because they leave a lot out from the books.
 

Boaz

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My apologies, I assumed you'd read Harry Potter. Due to time constraints, film and tv producers/directors/writers must make hard decisions on which material stays in the new presentation of the story. And that always means that books are able provide much more detailed characters and much deeper plots.

HP is a story told from a child's perspective. The perspective changes as he grows. To me, this was an intruiging aspect of the story. I think you'll find a bit of that in this series as well.

The old hag at the inn is one of the people who represent the commoners in A Game of Thrones. When reading fantasy (heck, fiction in general), it's easy to assume that the beautiful and rich are the only ones who matter. But GRRM sneaks these commoners in for a scene or two... and horrible things happen to them when the rich and powerful treat them like objects... but these commoners bring a sense of authenticity to the every day life of Westeros.

And finally, even at thirty-four percent finished, you can see how GRRM likes to end chapters with cliff hangers and mini cliff hangers... so I must reiterate that you should not linger in the GRRM forum. There are some major developments in the story. And if you find out about them here instead of reading them in the books, your experience will be ruined. But I don't mean to chase you away forever.... please come back and tell us all about your reactions, your feelings, and your theories!
 

biodroid

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Boaz - my problem is I suffer from adult ADD and I get pretty distracted and irritated if nothing happens quick enough in a story. I know it's a stupid thing and people say whatever but it's there sadly as I know I have missed out on a lot of amazing books out there just because of it. I really am trying my best to get into AGOT and I do rate it quite high, I think GRRM is an excellent writer, unlike Stephen King who writes a lot but says little, GRRM writes a lot but also says a lot, I am just waiting for the so-called "money shots" or shock's that everyone mentions. I have obviously been blown away by "Bran's fall and Jon Snow on the wall" but is that all it is or is there more? Please don't think of me a disrespectful or condescending or whatever you can call it but if I am to invest a few months of my time I want a good/great Return on Investment if you catch my meaning :D As for HP I really like the fact that she (JKR) starts off as a kids story and progressively gets darker and more intense and more mature as the characters mature. I am eagerly awaiting the last installment this year, as I have not read the books because I spoiled it for me with HP&TOOTP by reading the book first and having all the important parts not being put into the movie.
 

Lady of Winterfell

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I am just waiting for the so-called "money shots" or shock's that everyone mentions. I have obviously been blown away by "Bran's fall and Jon Snow on the wall" but is that all it is or is there more?
If I can put my two cents in...Oh boy, you ain't seen nothing yet. :) All I can say is keep going, and you won't regret it. There's more, much more.
 
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