Read the book first, or watch the movie first?

If you are going to read a book and watch the movie/TV series that is based on that same book but have not done either yet, which one would you do first?

Would you read the book first? Or would you watch the movie/TV series first? Or does it depend on what book it is?

These are the questions that popped into my head when I decided a few days ago that I would start reading George R. R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones”.

Now I haven’t watched the HBO TV series of the same name, but I plan on doing so. I’m not sure how closely the TV series follows the plot and events in the novel.

However, it will probably be awhile before I actually do get the chance to watch the TV series. As I stated in a previous blog post, I’m not subscribed to HBO or any other premium movie channel. I will be buying season 1 of the TV series on DVD (or blu ray) but not until I can find it for $20.

Now to answer my own question that I ask in the title of this blog post, I usually like to watch a movie (or TV series) before reading the book it’s based on. The reason for this is that when I’m about to watch a movie that I have not seen before, I want to know very little about it. So while I’m watching the movie, I don’t want to already know what happens next.

Then after watching the movie, I’ll read the book and (hopefully) it will flesh out the story more, expand on some plot points, and fill in any “missing story gaps” that the movie didn’t cover, perhaps due to time constraints.

This is exactly what I did with the Harry Potter movies. I would watch the movie first, then I would go out and buy the book and read it.

Now granted I didn’t know about the Harry Potter books until the first Harry Potter movie was about to be released in theaters.

However, there were a few times where I read the book before watching the movie. As a kid, back in the early 90s, I read all three Lord of the Rings novels (and I also read The Hobbit). I only read them once though, so by the time the Peter Jackson movies were released I had forgotten most of the plot.

I also read two of Dan Brown’s novels “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons” before watching the movies, but I read these books before they announced that they would be turning the books into movies.

So anyway, why am I reading “A Game of Thrones” before watching the TV series? No good reason, I just felt like doing it.

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2 Responses to Read the book first, or watch the movie first?

  1. Commander says:

    I would rather watch the movie, or tv series first, if I hadn’t already read the books. That way, the book can fill out more of the story that the movie couldn’t cover. If I had or were to read the book first, I tend to be disappointed in the movie, finding it lacking.

  2. For the most part, Game of Thrones seems to follow the books pretty closely, save for some trimming for brevity’s sake, age increases for TV acceptability, the odd name change “to avoid confusion” and one or two extra subplots not present in each season’s respective book.

    I watched Season 1 before getting into the books and enjoyed both thoroughly, but I think I made a mistake in reading the second book before Season 2 kicked off, because now I’m finding myself a little disappointed in some of the changes and very annoyed at one in particular. Aside from that and a terrible casting choice (in my opinion) I’m still loving the series so far.

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