Tag Archives: game of thrones

Book Adaptations: Are Television Series the New Cinema?

American Gods

As many of you have probably noticed, there have been several book adaptations made into televisions series or miniseries of late and I am LIVING for them! In fact, I have noticed that overall fan reactions and critic reviews tend to look favorably on adapted television series. This has launched a property scramble among television stations and independent streaming services to create shows centered around the many books that we love. And while this is still a relatively new pop cultural trend, it does seem to be a profitable one. So what is it that causes serialized book adaptations to be more successful than their cinematic predecessors?

NOTE: There are some spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t binged or read American Gods, The Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones, or Anne with an E, be aware that I’m talking about them here and highly recommend you check them out.

1. Minor characters you secretly wanted more of are further developed:

Fan-fiction has often been devoted to the development of those side characters you were craving more of before they exited the story, either of their own violation or in a body bag. Series adaptations, however, are playing with this idea to elongate the show and keep the bucks flowing in. This is probably most noticeable in the American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale series. Mad Sweeney, the down on his luck leprechaun, got more screen time than book time and was received incredibly well by fans and critics alike. He gets to go on his own road adventure with other minor characters, Laura Moon and Salim. And while I’m not a huge fan of Laura Moon’s fleshed out character in this series, some did find her likable. Critics, apparently, enjoyed her apathy.

Ofglen’s expanded storyline.

The second property has created quite the buzz given our current political climate and the additions made to this story have proven to be welcome ones as well, namely the development of the original “Ofglen” and her story. She is made a more complex character by being a lesbian, or “gender traitor,” in an environment that is incredibly homophobic and religiously influenced. Fans were stricken with grief to discover that Ofglen underwent female castration. The lines still haunt me to this day: “you cannot desire what you do not have.” Serena Joy, the Commander’s wife, is also more colorful as the true antagonist of the show, helping to create the laws that currently oppress the women of Gilead. I find myself hating her more than I do the Commander at times.

What’s in a Name?

While Juliet from Romeo and Juliet felt that names weren’t as important as character, when it comes a story, names give away a lot about the characters. While Juliet asks the following question:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

The playwright, Shakespeare, has fair Verona divided between two feuding households—making name loyalty and the power behind influential names a theme within the play itself. Indeed, it is the young lover’s last names that keep them apart and their struggle to overcome their names to be together which leads to the character’s deaths. So, Juliet, a name is a very important thing.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, named her characters carefully so that the character names reflected the personalities of the characters themselves. This may be more obvious with her characters that have Latin and Greek-based names, like Severus, Latin for stern or Sirius—a Greek name associated with the Sirius dog star Alpha Canis Major. Even the more simple names in the series, like Harry, have carefully selected meanings. Harry is an English name that means army ruler and is a diminutive form of Harold or Henry, former kings of England.

The power of names can stretch across series and authors as well. A good example of this is the name Sam. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, as well as Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, characters named Sam share many characteristics.

Game of Thrones: Is Going Off Book Going to Ruin The Ending?

Everyone’s favorite adaptation is five episodes in and running out of source material. This season, as everyone is well aware of, the show is going to go off in its own direction and go off-book.


 
While the series is very loosely based on the War of the Roses which started in England around 1455 with the House of Plantagenet and the houses of Lancaster and York claiming rights to the throne of England, it’s hard to say that the books are supposed to have the same ending as the history they are based off of. So how can the show creators go off script if they aren’t sure how the book series is supposed to end?

Well, G.R.R. Martin told the show’s creators the ending he has in mind. This is where the problem arises—at least in my mind. If the creators know the ending and G.R.R. Martin hasn’t yet written the character’s paths to that point, the show gets to do the path-forging. This in itself isn’t bad, but what happens if G.R.R. Martin and the show create two different paths for the same ending?

Literary Paraphernalia: Literary Couple Tattoos

Oh yes, it’s February, and we all know what that means.

Mushy stuff.

Romance abounds and, for the couple that loves books and tattoos, we have something cool for you.

So, in honor of mushy stuff, here are some great literary tattoos for couples.

A split quote from Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance.”
While I feel like these are on one person’s pair of feet, matching Harry Potter inspired patronus tattoos would be great for couples.
Speaking of Harry Potter inspired couple tattoos, this one captures my heart, always.
A George R.R. Martin quote for the “Game of Thrones” lovers.
For the “Hunger Games” fans.

Literary Paraphernalia: Cool Bags from Jumping Jackalope’s Etsy Shop

A few months ago, we featured a really cool Shakespeare bag from Jumping Jackalope’s Etsy shop. I loved it, so I bought it and have been using it as my school bag for the past quarter. From personal experience I can say that this bag is strong, durable, and pretty cute. And the cool thing about Jumping Jackalope’s shop is that she has tons of literature-themed bags. If you’re ever looking for a strong, durable, and literary bag, you can’t go wrong with one of these. I should also mention that the bag is available in eight different colors, even though the pictures with the embroidered designs are featured on the putty color.

You can also customize the colors of thread used within your design. I have a white Hamlet Skull on the Smoke bag and it’s awesome looking.

Edgar Allen Poe Raven Bag

Yes, that is a Raven made up of the text of “The Raven.”

Once Upon a Time Bag

Start your own fairy tale off with your own fairy tale bag.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Bag

This would look great on a green bag, much like the green light Gatsby kept gazing at across the water.

2014 Book Gift Guide

It’s the season for gifts, and what better gifts are there to give than books? The gift of the book is not just a gift of knowledge, but of a whole second life to live. It’s through books and reading that we’re able to experience the ups and downs of human emotions without actually having anything dire happen to the reader. As it was said by an unknown author:

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.

With that in mind, here are the best books that came out in 2014 and who might appreciate them as gifts.

For the pop-culture fan in your life:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Honestly, who isn’t a Parks and Rec fan? This gift is good for everyone!

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Well, maybe a little bit of that kind of girl. Just a smidgen.

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Inconceivable!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

I really hope there’s at least 1 page that says “You died. Start over.”

For the literature lover:

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr

Seriously, this book has been on the New York Time’s Best Seller’s List for 6 months. If you know someone that loves literature, this book is a must-get.

Everything I Never Told You: A Novel by Celeste Ng

I’ve actually been keeping more than a few secrets. It’s a pretty big book.

Should You Take Writing Breaks During NaNoWriMo?

No.

That’s the end of my post.

Oh, I have to write more? Alright. I guess I can expand upon this answer.

Yes and no.

It’s dangerous to take breaks once you’ve established a set, habitual writing time. But you don’t always have to write the main part of your novel during your set-aside NaNoWriMo writing time. If you feel stuck on your story, or just don’t feel like writing, or are suffering from that (fictional?) pest writer’s block, don’t give up the time you’d usually spend working on your project and play video games or go to the movies or something. Instead, do other writing-related projects with your novel when you get stuck.

1. Further develop your characters

There’s a lot of background and planning that can go into a novel that a reader never sees. Having an entire biography for a character, along with a personal profile, is one such aspect of a novel readers aren’t often privy to. If you haven’t already developed a ton of information on your characters, this can also help you get to know your characters better and understand their motivation more within the story. I’m talking minor characters or supporting characters as well. Even if the character is featured in one character of the book, having an entire life history worked up for him or her can make them one of the most compelling characters of your novel. So pretend like you’re character is making a profile on a dating cite like OkCupid and have at it!

Hobbit Week Repost: What’s in a Name?

While Juliet from Romeo and Juliet felt that names weren’t as important as character, when it comes a story, names give away a lot about the characters. While Juliet asks the following question:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

The playwright, Shakespeare, has fair Verona divided between two feuding households—making name loyalty and the power behind influential names a theme within the play itself. Indeed, it is the young lover’s last names that keep them apart and their struggle to overcome their names to be together which leads to the character’s deaths. So, Juliet, a name is a very important thing.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, named her characters carefully so that the character names reflected the personalities of the characters themselves. This may be more obvious with her characters that have Latin and Greek-based names, like Severus, Latin for stern or Sirius—a Greek name associated with the Sirius dog star Alpha Canis Major. Even the more simple names in the series, like Harry, have carefully selected meanings. Harry is an English name that means army ruler and is a diminutive form of Harold or Henry, former kings of England.

The power of names can stretch across series and authors as well. A good example of this is the name Sam. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, as well as Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, characters named Sam share many characteristics.

Literary Paraphernalia: 10 Literary Prints for the Home

Next week, I’m moving to a new studio in Downtown Portland, and because I can’t afford a Picasso, I decided to stick with some cheap prints that show off my love of words. Here are a few of my favorites:

Get it here.

 

If you know me at all, you know that I love Sylvia Plath and her one and only novel The Bell Jar. The Etsy shop Pomalia sells many prints with the black-and-white typography based book covers. You can get a few of your favorite titles and display them on a wall in your living room.

 

Get it here.

 

If you’re a Kurt Vonnegut fan, you may recognize this quote from Slaughterhouse-Five. This sentence in particular has been a favorite of many readers. It simultaneously accepts and dismisses everything. In other words, it gives zero fucks.

 

Get it here.

 

This famous Shakespearean line comes from Hamlet. It is the last piece of advice that Polonius gives to his son Laertes, who is itching to get to Paris. However, the phrase originally didn’t have such a new-agey meaning. Instead, it meant put yourself first, because then you will be in a better position to help others.

 

Get it here.

 

Literary Paraphernalia: 10 Pieces of Workout Apparel for Book Lovers

I know, I know—writers and readers don’t exercise, right? They just sit in their dark bedrooms, hunched over a good book or their computers. That was sarcasm. I know many book lovers who do exercise, and with these ten t-shirts from Activate Apparel, you can get a work out while sporting some nerd gear.

Enjoy!

Get it here.

 

Get it here.

 

Get it here.