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Gracious Anthracite @anthracite
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I am reading a thread on Metafiter about the apparently-disastrous last couple of episodes of "Game of Thrones" and I kinda feel like my decision to never bother investing time in a TV series based on a book series that was unfinished when the show began, and has remained unfinished over the decade the show ran, was a wise one. As was my decision to not read the books either.

@sc

Apparently trying to end a sprawling epic series with a thousand sub-plots in a half-dozen episodes results in an incoherent mess? I haven't really examined the details of how people say it is a mess very closely as they're talking about matters that are just so much gibberish to someone who's seen zero episodes and read zero pages.

@anthracite ah, yeah. i can see that. i'm worried the same thing will happen to petscop because i think we may be close to the end with that series. i can only imagine how bad it must be for GoT

@anthracite I gave up after the first episode and that seemed to be the right choice

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@anthracite I haven't watched the latest season, but I already feel like the previous season and frankly the last two books kind of broke my heart. It's such an ambitious story with great writing and characters, but I think he should have tried to wrap it up by the third or fourth book.

The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman is a good counter-example of a tightly-written series that wraps everything up in three books.

@nolan

I think my entire experience with GRRM's writing is maybe one standalone novel. It sure does sound like he really went off into the worldbuilding weeds with Game of Thrones. Hey I bet what everyone wants is a middle novel that introduces a bunch of characters halfway across the world with little to no connection with the characters this story is ostensibly about, I'm sure they'll love it!

One begins to wonder if he ever had even the vaguest idea of how he was gonna end this thing at that point.

@VyrCossont

I think it was maybe about vampires on the Mississippi? I'm not sure, it was decades ago.

@anthracite That's exactly how I feel about it. It's as if Tolkein stopped writing Return of the King and decided to put The Silmarillion in there instead.

@nolan

Oh damn that's a REALLY good way to summarize it, nice!

@anthracite It's also a story of the perils of TV writing. Few ambitious TV shows can beat the continual honing of a manuscript.

My friends have said the quality of the writing beyond the source material just has not been up to scratch.

@sullybiker

Yeah, I definitely get that impression. It could have probably worked if GRRM had, like, actually finished the series in the time between the show starting and ending instead of... counting all his money, I guess, I know that show made a ton for him!

@anthracite I wonder what happens with the subsequent story GRRM; if he finishes it does that mean the show isn't canon?

@anthracite Also, Arthur C. Clarke said that adaptations tend to colour one's writing, as you consider the film/TV work instead of your own writing. I suppose it poisons it a little as you see the show's characters and events as well as your own.