I’m not by any measure a big fan of fantasy on film or television and I most decidedly prefer the source material to adaptations of books into film or television storytelling but I am very, very excited about an upcoming series on HBO, the American premium series, that will adapting the first book of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones, into a ten episode television series that looks absolutely stunning.
It was made into an audiobook some years back with Roy Dotrice, Father on The Beauty and The Beast series which had a Medieval feel to it, doing the narration. I will be reviewing that narration within a month or so.
As another reviewer said for us of this novel, ‘Whereas Tolkien kept the narrative of The Lord of the Rings on a more or less single-minded track (destroy the One Ring!), George R. R. Martin’s story stretches far and wide very quickly, all details and subplots and tangles and conspiracies, which explains the enormous length of the novels. Meticulously organized, he maintains several narratives at once, juggling from one point of view to the next, scarcely letting one plot drop before picking up another, creating a consistent sense of suspense and excitement from start to finish, but also leaving the books with a daunting amount of content.’
Now I had very serious doubts that anyone could adapt A Song of Ice and Fire for film or television, but what I have seen of the footage suggests that it will be great storytelling. Martin has stated that the pilot script was very faithful to his work. Certainly the primary locations of Paint Hall Studio in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Malta along with lots of castles in Scotland and the like should capture the feel of the landscape well, the custom and weapon design is spot on, and the cast is stellar to say the last.
I suspect that the DVD set that will no doubt be out in time for 2011 Winter Holiday shopping season will be an amazing affair indeed! And keep in mind that there are at least six more volumes in this series so HBO could have a very long running series on its hands if the ratings are decent so let’s hope they are stellar!