The books, as I have said before, I like quite a lot. The author is(or his editor, or a combination thereof is) a pro at painting word pictures and making plots compelling. The literal HBO pictures, not so much. They seldom follow the books.
HBO’s costume drama is mainly scenes of gratuitous nudity and extreme violence, the two big sellers in flickers/movies/videos/what-have-you these days. Mere love and hope are also rans. It wasn’t always this way and back in those less-graphic days our society had a good many fewer mass murders. Are the two connected? That seems obvious to me.
I paid roughly $71 to watch Amazon streaming versions of the first thirty episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones. It was interesting. The nudity got old, especially in these days of ubiquitous Internet porn, and the ever-more-graphic violence got depressing. When I finally reached the end of Season 3, I realized that with very few exceptions, all of the characters I was interested in were dead.
Still, like a good addict of modern media I decided to press on. Then I discovered that Amazon’s price for Season 4 was more than twice that of Seasons 1, 2 & 3. Wily marketing that. But I decided not to go on. Not worth more of the same at twice the price. Not to me. Your mileage may vary, of course.
I’m sticking with the books. I’d still recommend them.