Review – Game of Thrones #17

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writers: George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham
Artist: Tommy Paterson
Release Date: 30th October 2013

This Game of Thrones adaptation continues to sloth its way through the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. After the death of the King Robert Baratheon and the imprisonment of Eddard Stark, Winterfell reacts and the Knights Watch discovers a new threat.  Considering the scale of the source material, this must be one of the toughest adaptations ever to move from print to panel.

One of the main differences between the comic and the book is the narrative style. The multiple first person, chapter to chapter, narrative has been sacrificed for a more third person omniscient narrative which does a good job where consistency is concerned but a lot of the urgency and intimacy of the characters inner thoughts is lost; it’s annoying to see, ‘Jon thought’ or ‘Jon wanted to say’, after reading it in front of a panel showing Jon himself. A simple change of font and a little more trust in the artwork and in the very medium of comics would’ve done the job a lot better.

The narrative is also at fault in other areas when it gets through a page worth of art and action in one panel. It’s a shame because I can understand their choice in narrative but it seems to forget what comics can do. It can feel like there is a lack of communication between the art and narrator.

The art is good. I like the way the characters look (I saw a lot too much of a rather handsome looking Hodor which made me gasp and my wife blush). The lighting is excellent and Patterson and Nunes work well together to show a vibrant variety of environments from snow covered mountains to desert bazaars; from warm taverns to cold stone. Although some of the characters can seem a bit cartoonish from time to time.

This adaptation has shown up pretty late to the party and at the rate it’s going we’ll be well into the 100s before we get to the point where the books are. It’s unfortunate that, for fans of the book, there is nothing new to learn. And worse, if you are a new comer to this great series, it would be hard to recommend this adaptation as the place to start.

Rating: 6/10.

The writer of this piece was: James McQueen


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