The Challenges of Adaptation: Composite Characters and Abandoned Storylines

While the first season of Game of Thrones was incredibly faithful to the source material, more recent seasons present the fascinating opportunity to examine HBO’s decisions regarding composite characters and abandoned storylines. This article offers a close reading of the second season in particular, examining how HBO overcame the challenges of adaptation when the series remained in direct correlation with the novels yet had already begun to subtly diverge from the source material.

While many of these narrative and casting choices are praiseworthy, the plot of the show will quickly advance beyond the novels by its sixth season. Questions of textual authority and adaptation are already being explored in the early seasons, and later seasons will inevitably inform extrapolations and predictions for Martin`s narrative.

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