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Game of Thrones (no spoilers, just opinions)
I honestly haven't decided if I actually *like* the series so far. It's a bit gratuitously nasty, and there's a distinct undertone of, "Hey, if we could do it for Rome, we can do it for fantasy! More swords and boobs!". (Not that I have anything against boobs, but it does sometimes feel like each episode is required to have a precise USRDA of sex.)

That said, I find it curious that the character I *do* like best is turning out to be Tyrion. He's a right little bastard, but he's an *honest* bastard, probably the most straightforward person in the entire story, while not being an excessively earnest stick. He's probably the only person in the whole sprawling cast that I could see having over for dinner.

Second favorite is, of course, Arya, but it's hard to dislike the girl who is clearly supposed to wind up as the high-fantasy heroine when she grows up. (No, I haven't read the books, and I have no idea where this is actually going. But Arya does rather read like the lead of a good YA fantasy novel.)

I have this vague sense that Daenerys is supposed to have a personality, and I hope that she develops one (and a decent storyline) eventually, but so far that's nothing more than a wish. I do prefer that my sex-appeal leads be at least a *bit* interesting. They're hinting broadly at Destiny and all that, but that whole plot is pretty cardboard-cutout so far...

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I have read the books, and it's interesting seeing the opinion of someone who hasn't. Your guess is right, Daenerys IS supposed to have more of a personality and so far they've stripped the heart of her story line out.

I think they're giving Daenerys room to grow. Right now in the story, she really is just a pawn, first of her brother and then of her husband. If they do as well with her as with the others, things should get interesting soon.

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I actually find Daenerys decently sexy -- surprisingly so, really, since I tend to go more for brunettes. But so far, she has the personality of a dishrag: in particular, she is downright annoyingly passive. Hopefully they'll fix that soon: there do seem to be hints in that direction.

(And frankly, Arya is fun for much the same reason as Tyrion: she's straightforward and honest, with little patience for either deceit or pathos...)

I am with Don. I think that this models the book pretty well - at first she really has nothing going on, but as things progress she grows into her own, and it is the arc that makes her interesting. More interesting than if she started out cool.

Yeah. This is Dany's plan:

Step 1: Grow Spine.
Step 2: Get Personality.
Step 3: Profit.

Tyrion and Arya are also my favorite characters from the books for exactly the reasons jducoeur mentions.

I've read the books but not seen the TV show. Tyrion was one of the few characters I liked, for much the same reasons as you.

Tyrion is my favorite characters in the books. There is an honesty to him you'll find. And they got the perfect actor to play the part.

The books are gratuitously nasty, IMO. I ended up not liking any of the characters by the end of the third book.

I thought the books were nasty, too. Very realistic and life-like in the way the characters do *not* often get what they deserve, politics runs rampant over virtue, and as many important characters die as do redshirts.

I was so unhappy with the realistic history feeling books that I stopped reading them: they were too disturbing to me.

I'm hesitating about watching the series, too: the first one I saw followed the book quite closely, and that makes me unhappy about watching. I want less pain with my fantasy. I'll probably succumb, though... eventually.

Daenyrs and the way she grows in the book is different...right not those sections feel like I've stumbled on an old skin-i-max soft porn....

The books are dark and filled with many unlikable characters, and some that aren't as off-putting. There's gratuitous sex and much violence, so what you're seeing might not be modifications for the sake of titillation.

I gave up on the series a few books in, because it was too depressing, even for me. I had to go listen to some Leonard Cohen and Eric Boggle music on my way back to cheer up gradually and not shock myself with happiness at stopping. :)

I've only read the first book, but yes, there's a great deal of sex and violence - some of it gratuitous. Even if they only included what's in the canon, it would probably look overdone to a modern TV audience.

Daenerys in the first book was a vapid creature for some time - she grows some spine later. If she gets a personality, it's after the first book, in my opinion.

They've filmed them? Ambitious, given that the books aren't done yet - or did he finish and I missed it? I kind of dropped out because the level of truly horrific violence topped what I wanted to cope with in my fiction...

Yaas. Big-budget adaptation by HBO, in much the same style as Rome and The Tudors. The books are still in-progress, and that's a mild concern -- he's on record as saying that he can stay ahead of the adaptation *if* they stretch a couple of the longer books to multiple seasons...

If they've paid any attention at all to the way George writes, they should have more than a mild concern - "A Dance with Dragons" has been forthcoming since 2005, and he doesn't seem much worried about the delivery dates in his contracts. Maybe this is the push he needs, though.

If they're following canon, I don't think I want to watch it. The further in it gets, the worse he treats his characters. It's one of the few where I really want to know how the story ends, but I'm not sure I want to read it to find out - which is unusual for me.

ExACTly. I feel sorry for EVERYONE at the end of the last book he wrote, and I am torn between not reading the next one because I don't want to see them tortured any more, and reading it to see How Everything Comes Out.

Well hello there!

Yes, that's my problem precisely. Also, they're involved enough that with the long delays in between books it pretty much necessitates a re-read to remember what's going on, and I'm not really sure I want to.

Me too. In fact, I stopped after the second book, because I just couldn't take it anymore. But my goodness he writes realistic historical political fiction. I really admire it, but it's just too ugly for me.

Tyrion is just about everyone's favorite character, including mine, though I think I'm one of the very few people who find Arya annoying, especially in the later books. I've only seen the first episode so far, but I definitely plan to watch them all. Let's just see how long this series lasts on HBO, though. It's a very big budget production, and I don't see it getting immensely popular with viewers.

As for GRRM, he needs to get that next book out. It's the just the second half of book 4; it was more than half-done when Feast for Crows was released, back in 2005. WHAT IS HE WAITING FOR?

(Yeah, I've been waiting since '05...)

It's neat to see the response of someone who is very new to the series! I'm the opposite--I haven't seen the TV show, though I read the books. The first few were really good, though it felt like it got away with him around the fourth one, which was the last I read. I didn't think Daenerys really had much personality either at first, but hang in there, and likely she'll get more developed as time goes on. Arya is pretty much awesome, too, as was her sister. As crazy as it sounds, I really thought Sansa was one of the more sympathetic characters in the series. I felt for her, stuck in just this horrible situation and having her concepts of chivalry torn apart before her very eyes.

Tyrion is an overwhelming favorite of both me and my friends who've read the series, though I wonder if the author really intended him to be the "human" face of the series.

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