You’ve got to start somewhere.

As I was sitting at a traffic light on my way home from work, I noticed a guy on a motorcycle next to me. I wanted to roll down my window and ask him why he had chosen his helmet – it was black, with a medium-ish skull and crossbones on the back.

I wondered if he’d chosen it because it said he was ‘dangerous’. A rebel. A pirate. Deadly.

Because if that was the reason, he might want to rethink the Crumpler Messenger Bag he had slung over his shoulder.

Winter is here.

I was determined to finish reading Game of Thrones before the series premiere tonight, and I made it — by 12 minutes. If I think I am going to like something, or if I think the source material is a ‘classic’ that I just haven’t read yet, I always feel compelled to read the book before seeing the movie. Or, in this case, the TV show.

It took me just under eight hours. I curled up on the couch at about 12.45 and read straight through until about 5.30. I took an hour break to walk the dog, order dinner, etc. and then got stuck back into it. It was 8.18pm when I finished and the show started at 8.30.

The first thing that struck me in the first few scenes was the cinematography. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. I loved the slightly desaturated look and how each tree in the woods they showed at the beginning seemed to pop just ever so slightly.

But most of the actors were just a bit off to me. A danger, I guess, of reading the book beforehand. I imagined the characters looking a certain way, speaking a certain way – and when I saw them on the screen, it was disappointing. I find that’s often the case with books I love that are turned into movies. It’s bit of a letdown when the characters look a bit different or have a different cadence in their voice than you imagined.

The one exception was Tyrion Lannister. He was perfect. He was also one of my favourite characters in the book. The actor just nailed it — he wasn’t exactly as I had imagined, but his performance and look were so spot on that I was enamored on the spot.

Having finally finished the book, I was free to read about the series on teh internets. There was so much, “I can’t believe they let [main character] [action]!” which bugged me. *They* didn’t do anything. George R.R. Martin wrote it that way. While it’s a great TV show, it’s a great adaptation of a great novel. The writers of the show were successful because they were able to transfer the book to the screen, not because they wrote plot twists and developed characters out of whole cloth. Sheesh.

I had thought about getting the next book in the series right away, but instead I’m going to reread Game of Thrones, reading as much as is covered each week in the series. I’m not at all disappointed in the show so far, but I do think the book is just that much better.

And once the series is over, it’s on to book two.