Over in Ireland, HBO is hard at work on a series adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, the first book in a long, complex, multi-faceted fantasy series that began back in 1996. The project had been rumored for years, with fans doing their geeky faux-casting exercises, and Martin, who’s worked in TV before on the 80’s version of the Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast, dropping all kinds of hints and innuendo.
A co-worker and I, both big fans of the books, agreed we wouldn’t get too excited until we knew it was actually in production. To quote, the incessant new Nike ads, boom. Follow the link for production diary, interviews, teasers and more.
So we’re pretty excited in Beemsville, and will certainly have to pony up for the HBO package when this premiers next year. The show will feature Sean Bean as Ned Stark and Peter Dinglage as Tyrone Lannister, among others. And if they follow the novels, the show’s producers could have years and years of source material, replete with intrigue, richly conceived characters, betrayal, and a hint of magic. If HBO can make a decent series out of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, they should be able to really hit with GoT.
What they won’t have is an ending. Martin has given us four big-ass books (averaging about 800 pages each), and only moved forward a couple of years in the series’ timeline. It’s beginning to border on Robert Jordan territory. While his sense of place and character are nearly unmatched, the last book was disappointing in the way it moved away from the more integral characters.
And now it’s been years since any hint of the next novel in the series, which is supposed to jump ahead a decade or so to get us to the some of the long promised showdowns. If I had to choose I’d much rather have the promised concluding novels than the TV series (even done the HBO way), but with the show moving forward Martin will have the perfect opportunity for massive cross-marketing and (hopefully) the time to concentrate on his books.