Oh, here we are again. A bit longer (10 minutes) piece of wait-for-it for the HBO Game of Thrones series.
And again the nagging feeling that the people, damn it, they don’t look like that in my head. Jaime Lannister is prettier; he and Cersei are much more androgynous leaning on the female side. The Hound is stockier and broader and uglier; not a wolf but a pit bull. Gregor Clegane is surely even bigger, cartoonishly big if he wasn’t such a menacing brute. Tyrion is a lot uglier, and more vicious, and has a voice with a whole lot less of warmth and shit tolerance in it. Daenerys has a narrower, more arrow-shaped face (so does Viserys) and her hair isn’t such a tangle. Joffrey I didn’t notice, but he can’t possibly be as hateful as needs be when portrayed by a living human being. They are recognizable, many of them (I picked the Clegane brothers out without anyone naming them), but they aren’t close to how I’ve seen them.
Which is all just griping, especially since my pictures of them aren’t from the way George R. R. Martin wrote them; I just remember a detail or two and sort of build the rest from how the character feels like.
The same thing with the Lord of the Rings movies, way back: nice scenery, nice acting, but seriously, they don’t look like that! Not in my head they don’t!
Somewhat related is that sometimes, when I’m reading a book, this little parallel process jumps up and starts thinking how the scenes would be staged in a movie, if they were a movie: How to convey the information without a narrator? What to show, where to shoot from, how would it all look? Sometimes I even drift to something like a style, fast-paced or lingering, plain or with lots of shots of falling leaves. Sometimes the process, parallel to reading, isn’t “how would this look as a movie?” but “how would this look as an anime?”, which then invites its peculiar exaggerations and flourishes.
The difference of pictures I know to be universal, but do other people get these internal film reels? And before films, did people run the book as a theatre play, or a puppet show, now and then, as a little voice alongside asking how this all could be conveyed differently?