The Game of Spoils: One Fan’s Struggle to Read the Books Before Watching Game of Thrones

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I have mentioned a few times before, including in my last post, that I am a fan of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series; also known simply as Game of Thrones, after the HBO series adapted from the books. I read the first book in 2009, when the HBO TV adaptation of the series was still only an idea. Back then I knew maybe one or two people who had heard of the series. Since the show’s debut made the series’ popularity explode, I soon had discovered I had a lot of friends I could talk about the series to. I even got my boyfriend in on it, and luckily on the book side more than the show. Sadly, he is a much faster reader than I am and he finished what is currently published of the series within a couple weeks. (He still taunts me for being ahead, too.) It was cool in the beginning, because I had read the first book, I essentially knew what was going to happen and enjoyed watching the shock of those who hadn’t read the books. But my struggle began around the time that the second season started.

For those of you who don’t know this, George R.R. Martin’s books are FUCKING LONG. Not saying that this is a major issue; I find them very detailed and incredibly written. That man truly knows how to write a battle scene and develop characters. Unfortunately, I am a slow reader and I often get distracted with other things from time to time in life; (work, modeling, writing, movies, other book series, comics, conventions, etc) so I kind of abandoned seriously reading the second book, A Clash of Kings until the second season of Game of Thrones came out on HBO. My reaction was, “Oh no! I need to catch up!” so I read the book, and then watched the entire second season…..because it is impossible to do both at the same time. I tried it, in the beginning. I just got confused, especially since so many things in the second season were completely different from how things went down in the book.

Just as I was finishing with getting caught up on season 2, season 3 was already going. I figured I would do the same thing as last time, read the book before watching the third season. We have OnDemand, after all, so I can do that.

But then…..

Apparently, something super amazingly shockingly epic happened, and I don’t even know what it was, because I have not been watching. In fact I refuse to do so until I finish the third book. But the entire internet instantly buzzed about it and how shocking it was to the point that there are all these “reaction posts”.

Knowing George R.R. Martin, I’m going to assume lots of major characters died in some traumatic way that will leave me shaking in the fetal position when I finally read it….Just a guess.

Yeah, we know.

Yeah, we know.

Do you know how hard it is to avoid spoilers, when you are friends with so many fans of this show, there are so many memes available related to this show, and you spend as much time on the internet as me?

Among my friends in my newsfeed alone, I have had to ignore or alt tab or scroll my way away from accidentally reading spoilers several times over the last week. I understand that I’m totally missing out and whatever happened was super shocking…..but I’m still reading the books! Don’t tell me!!!! And then there’s sites like Tickld, which is now almost a drug to me, and is filled with fans of this show. And Cracked, and even regular news outlets have been discussing it ad nauseam.

I think I’m turning off the internet for a while.

Before the next season starts, I want to have read all the way through to the end of A Dance With Dragons….

That probably won’t happen, but I can hope.

I’m liking the books more so far anyway.


3 responses to “The Game of Spoils: One Fan’s Struggle to Read the Books Before Watching Game of Thrones

  1. I’m reading your post just 5 minutes after I watched that shocking episode everyone everywhere is talking and I admire your will power. I tried to do that because I wanted to read all the books first, but I gave up. I couldn’t do it. It was too much the urge to watch the next episode as soon as it was aired.

  2. So, I’m in full agreement. I’m trying soooo hard to not hear anything at all about what happened on series. I figured it would differ a good bit from the books, and want to reread the series first before watching the tv show. I will probably punch any person who spoils the show for me. I wish you luck in your avoidance, Kelley. I have a feeling we’ll both wind up punching someone at some point soon.

  3. I, like you, had not read the books until the first episode of Game of Thrones hooked me! I immediately went to the library and finished reading through DWD before the first season on HBO was done. I will tell you, book 4 took me the longest to get through. Unfortunately, having read the books, I too had a hard time remembering what had transpired on HBO and what had yet to be revealed. I am ashamed to say I totally ruined the huge spoiler you mention above for my boyfriend. But that’s just a testament to how awesome Martin is – he writes so well that I THINK I’ve watched a scene & not read it. I wish you luck in getting through the books! I hope Martin publishes the 6th book before HBO gets through DWD!

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