Now that season 5 has finished, Game of Thrones is in this weird place where, if the 6th book doesn't come out before the next season comes out, I might finally be able to have a serious discussion with people about the show without them smugly withholding information or giving half truths! My question, to you people who insist on reading the books before you watch the show, in addition to "how do you sleep at night?" is, "What kind of life is that?"
We have all heard people claim, "the book is better than the movie!" How could it not be? Time spent with a book is much more intimate. You decided what the characters look and sound like. You can even enjoy the story at your own pace. However, I have some friends that aren't just reading a book before the movie comes out like Gone Girl. They are digesting an unfinished story in two different media.
Let's use this past season as a prime example of why I find it baffling that anyone would enjoy reading the books while also watching the TV series as it unfolds. Without ruining plot lines (which is clearly not something you book reader/show watchers can get mad about really); it is safe to say that your knowledge of some storylines from books 4 and 5 have hindered your appreciation of this season as it pertains to a place called Dorne.
As someone who would actually like to experience the A Song of Fire and Ice saga in real time using only one medium, I didn't really have a problem with the Sand Snakes. I know there is still more story to tell over at least two more seasons. Ignorance is truly bliss in this case. I haven't read the books so I don't know how their story ends or how it lines up with any other events in the story so I can't get frustrated with the lack of detail given to the characters this season. To the extent that season 5 wasn't the last season, I can reasonably expect to see more from these characters going forward. I just enjoyed what little I did see this season.
I feel like nothing can live up to how you've built it up in your head so why go through it while you watch everyone else enjoy the show free of preconceptions? Why enter into conversations knowing you'll have to hold your tongue or flat out lie to friends and family? Why live in a world with less surprises?
Stannis' adventures seemingly went into unknown territory this season for book readers . What a rush that must have been! Experiencing something truly for the first time in a show filled with gut wrenching moments that can only serve as microwaved left-overs to someone who already read about some of these moments conceivably 19 years ago. Have fun re-reading Stannis' journey this season in the books when they appear.
I guess I'm saying, let season 6 and 7 be surprises. The main reason for this is so that I don't have to read the books until after the show is done and I can talk to my friends about the show without having them knowingly smile and say "I don't know..." when I ask their opinion on what will happen in any given episode of the show. I'm looking at you, Aidan!
Or you could just be like Pauline and state that the show and books are not for you due to Dragon related antics and sundry other fantasy tropes.
Either way, let's all agree that reading the 6th and 7th books should be saved until after the show is done!