In a battle fitting for Westeros, I've started wondering if the HBO series "Game of Thrones" has managed to surpass George R.R. Martin's books.
The list of movies and TV shows that have managed to be better than the books they're based on is pretty small. The Godfather, basically, and a few others.
It's simply extremely difficult for filmmakers to match the depth and scope of novels, and seeing characters and events on the screen almost always fails to match our imagination.
I approached the series thusly: I read Game of Thrones before I watched the series. Then I watched Season 1, and marveled at how faithful it was to the book. I plowed forward with Season 2, which was terrific, without reading Clash of Kings. I'm now simultaneously watching Season 3 and reading Clash of Kings.
I have to say, right now I'm preferring Season 3 to Clash of Kings. Yes, that could partly be because I already know roughly what's going to happen in the book, but I think it's a testament to how judicious show creators David Benioff (a terrific author himself) and D.B. Weiss are at keeping the best of the series, discarding the excess threads, and even improving certain key characters.
Neither series is finished, and it will be interesting to see how (or whether) George R.R. Martin wraps up his series and whether the HBO show will eventually beat him to it.
But right now my vote is for the show.
What do you think? Poll below: