Mixed emotions often follow ‘big’ announcements, and my emotion is in the minority (or seems to be) for one of the latest. As anyone who is familiar with the name George R.R. Martin has surely heard by now, it has been announced that HBO has picked up the rights to film Martin’s landmark A Song of Ice and Fire series – and it seems that things are progressing rather quickly in terms of production. Translation: this sounds like it’s for real. So, what’s the reaction from Martin fans – shouts of joy, unintelligible glee, proclamations that HBO is the only place that can do it ‘right’, etc.
My reaction – irritation, some anger, and now disappointment. While there are loads of good arguments for why it’s good when a work of one media crosses over to another, I’m ignoring them all and concentrating on how I feel about this. It saddens me that what people are treating as the greatest thing to happen to this series is its cross over to visual media – it will be watered down, loose its magic, and ruin my imagined interpretations and people scream in joy. What is it saying about books and the written word when such a reaction occurs? Is this indicative of people believing that a work is ‘incomplete’ if it’s only in the written form? Has imagination been monopolized by the huge, visual media conglomerates? Could these joyous revelers survive a week, or even a day without their TVs and video games?
As most of you know, I’m a regular poster at several message boards. One – Wotmania OF, where I’ve been a member for a long time now is the perfect example of how the written word seems to be fading in significance. Over the past 5+ years that I’ve been active in some form at that board I’ve seen it regress from a place of great discussion to one where a forum originally intended for book-talk has the majority of its activity talking about TV shows. What the fuck is up with that! TV shows? Come on, even the best TV show can’t stack up against a merely mediocre book. It seems that the visual media market has made the imagination an endangered species, and is working hard towards its extinction. I know there are others who think the same – speak up. Write, talk – be more intelligent and eloquent about it than I am (or less – whatever works).