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Maisie Williams Isn’t Having Your GAME OF THRONES Ire, Ya ‘Snobby’ Book Fans

Preach, Arya Stark, preach. The actress otherwise known as Maisie Williams has apparently taken a page from our own playbook — sorry, but man that panel at Comic-Con was frustrating — and decided to needle (pun completely intended) that particular subsection of Game of Thrones book fans that get really, really upset about the HBO series’ deviations from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. And to that we say: yes, thank you. We’re glad we’re not the only ones saying it. Naturally, there are some spoilers ahead from the books, kids, so if you’re not a fan of that, please back away now.

“I’m so sick of going on the internet and seeing all the book readers being snobby,” Williams explained in an interview with TVLine. “Spoiling it for other people, then saying, ‘Well, it’s not a spoiler. The books have been out for years.'”

“Like, couldn’t you just stop being mad for a second and let other people enjoy the show? They feel they have a claim on the series because they read the books first, and I understand that, but they don’t need to be mean about it.”

The actress continued to fan the flames of her own rage fire by calling out what she thinks are the book readers’ main insecurity. “That’s why I liked moments like [The Lady Stoneheart thing], because book readers think they know what’s coming, then we change it and it’s really funny to watch their reactions. They’re always like, ‘That’s not what happened in the books, so the show’s really bad now.’ But really, they just feel insecure because they’re used to knowing what’s coming next.”

What do you think of Williams stance on unhappy book readers? Are they spoilsports intent on keeping their special thing special? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. George Martin has said numerous times that the TV show was going to deviate from the books on PURPOSE because he was tired of book fans constantly saying “Oh I already knew that happened I wasn’t shocked at all.”  
    The entire purpose of Game of Thrones is to tell a great story that shocks you, and people who have read the books lose that value of it.  It isn’t a bad thing, it is just an alternate way of telling a story.  Both can be good!   See before I actually didn’t want to read the books because I didn’t want to spoil anything from the show.  I was going to wait until after the show was over.  Now I’m not, and am going to buy the books.  
    Book fans ARE snobby and I was always constantly annoyed by them too!  I was so happy when Martin announced the show would deviate to wipe the smug looks off their faces.

  2. I’m a book reader and book snobs annoy the crap out of me. Of course it’s not going to be the same story, of course there are going to be changes. Although the lack of purple contact lenses annoy me. xD

  3. As someone who watched the series first then started the books, I’m fine with the deviations because it keeps the books from being too predictable, and the series fresh as well 🙂 Haters gonna hate tho.

  4. Booksalwaysbetter says:

    I’m fine with the changes, it just means I have 1 less series to watch now. If you’re a fan of the books and don’t like where the show is going, just stop watching it… Simple. It’s not like the show was going to be better than the books in the first place. I’ll just wait for the next books to come out

  5. name says:

    There are few things that they ommitted in the show; jaime’s talk with tyrion before he goes on a kiling rampage. and most importantly “the bastard’s girls” and Kyra, elements essential to theon’s arc

  6. Jenni says:

    I read all the books.  I loved the books.  The show is it’s own entity.  I’m glad it’s different.  It’s still true to Martin’s world.  And, he does advise on the show.  As a book reader, other book readers need to go with the flow…

  7. bernard says:

    Bloodraven looks dumb in the show and his appearance ignores things that happened during the Blackfyre rebellion…for no good reason. 

    Also – recasting Tommen Lannister with an actor that already played a Lannister that died on screen does not seem like a well thought out idea.  And that new Mountain DEFINITELY looks like the Hound’s older brother?

    The show has made mistakes both big and small, but it has also had great moments.  The adaptation is complicated and criticism and opinions do not equate to “being snobby”.

    But I don’t know where this idea came from that the watered-down fan fiction HBO version of Westeros is bulletproof – or free of all criticism.  I get that people like the show and want to defend it.  The same goes for the book readers and everyone in between. 

    I would think that the “nerdist” would have some empathy for book nerds…or at least try to stay neutral in some of this rather than continuously stirring the shit with Game of Thrones book nerds in these recent articles? 

    • Whirlygirl9 says:

      perhaps it’s because book readers use snobbish terms like “watered-down fan fiction”…that’s not exactly mending the bridge is it?  You drop a loaded comment like that and then stand back and say “wha?  what did i do”.

  8. whiteflea says:

    Oops, didn’t mean to make this two different comments. Anyway, I think of the show and the books as separate versions of the same story, just like when they make a movie out of a book you like – they are going to change some things for practical reasons, some for artistic, but it’s never going to be 100% the same. Personally, I think the show is better for the most part.

  9. whiteflea says:

    I read the books long before I started watching the show, but I totally agree with her. I avoid giving spoilers extremely because I always find spoilers of stuff I like particularly offensive, too.

  10. Darkdreamz says:

    And as far as Lady Stoneheart goes..  I am happy they are dropping her.   Reasons:   Horrible person and Mother IMO.  In my opinion*

  11. Darkdreamz says:

    She nailed it with : they just feel insecure because they’re used to knowing what’s coming next…

  12. Grant says:

    I understand the need to shape the drawn out book narrative to fit an episodic format. One disappointment for me is that the show appears deliberately dumbed down for the lowest level of understanding, which detracts from the intricate plots which sometimes take an entire book to unfold.  The other area of disappointment is when the show kills off characters that are still alive in the books. This means that I won’t invest any more interest in their ongoing book arc as I know they will not play any major part… Just my own personal perspective… 

  13. Antoni says:

    I don’t mind that the show deviates from the books, I really expected that.  That being said, there are a few deviations that I don’t like (for example, I feel that the show makes both Sansa and Arya seem like weaker than they are in the book).  And, I try to avoid giving out spoilers, I just think it’s funny when people complain about spoilers from the show when the books have been out so long.

    Either way, unless the end of the series (to both) reveals that it was all a dream in one characters’ head (I’m betting on Tyrion), I’m happy with both versions.

    • blurb says:

      That’s exactly the point. If you are just beginning to read the book, and one who’s already read it keeps deliberately spoiling everything without warning just to be snobbish, then that just sucks. Same if you’re watching the TV series. Sure, the internet is full of spoilers for such an old book, from blogs to rants to threads, but these can be avoided so they’re okay. It’s different when spoilers actually approach YOU with a specific event that’s important to the plot.. THEN it’s dumb. But yeah, there are TV viewers who spoil themselves by approaching long-time book readers’ blogs.. they’re either unlucky or idiotic.

  14. Sojourner says:

    I couldn’t care less if the Series deviated from the book. What I care about is the bloody books being written and finished. So I get the best of both worlds. Alas, that won’t be the case at the least ’til 2027.

  15. Mariah says:

    Preach girl! I’m a book reader but I could care less if the TV show follows the books. It’s a whole new medium and different mediums call for different storytelling. I love both. My only beef with the TV series is the treatment of women. Other than that it’s good.

  16. Claire says:

    My favourite part of the books are the frustration you endure when characters are SO CLOSE to meeting and never do (Arya at the Twins, etc.) so the only reason I was disappointed with Lady Stoneheart’s omission is because the minute Arya decides where to go (leaving Westeros), we find out about Lady S. Heartwrenching stuff. However! There are some parts I liked that they left out or changed, so I understand what Williams is saying (even if she says it in a rude way). I don’t think she should take pleasure in other people’s disappointment, but the changes they do make either have no effect on the end result, or make it better. I also agree that people who spoil it for others should get their comeuppance. 

  17. Chris Brocco says:

    I was looking forward to Lady Stoneheart but who knows she may show up next season and if not oh well not much I can do about it.

  18. Jack Creed says:

    As with any movie or TV show that is adapted from books, I think it’s best to take them as something separate.  To me, the GOT books are the books and the show is the show.  It’s the same as Harry Potter or LOTR.  The show/movie is inspired by its source material, but it will not, and often should not (Return of the Kings twelve endings), be exactly the same.  

  19. @T_Magus666 says:

    The show is just that, light entertainment. The show, while a decent drama, is a mediocre adaptation of the books. The books are AMAZING and anyone else who says different are either illiterate or just plain stupid. I enjoy the show but I have to call out the inaccuracies or plain deviations from the book becasue if is so jarring and confusing as to why you would mess with a plotted novel just for TV. And lets not get started on all the $hit the TV has added compared to the book merely for “dramatic emphasis.” OMG…all of the excessive T&A gets annoying after a while…it should be called SHAME OF THRONES and put some groovy 70’s & 80’s music on it for all the sex that goes on in the TV show. I don’t seem to recall all of that in the books…or maybe we call if Fifty Shades of Thrones.

    All in all, I conclude my rant with this…Read the books and turn off the damn TV.

    • Allyn says:

      Ummm…  I’ve got a Masters in Lit with an emphasis on 20th Century American fiction and have published articles on Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner, so I’m neither illiterate nor stupid.  With that in mind, the books are certainly imaginative, and exist as good beach reads, but in the grand scheme of all things literary, they are from amazing.  The books exist as fun, light entertainment (and there’s nothing wrong with that) but they lack anything close to literary weight, nor do they reflect someone with much skill at writing itself.  Martin’s great gift is in creating a vast fantasy world and a massive backstory, as well as being able to create plots with some fun (albeit cheap) thrills and chills.  That said, neither of those qualities are that unusual, and to some degree, his work in GOT is more noticeable for its bulk than it is for being any better than dozens of other large-scale sci-fi and fantasy series written over the last fifty or so years.  Furthermore, his prose is often amateurish, frequently aimless and repetitive. 

      • @T_Magus666 says:

        My responses…In this order:

        1-Who doesn’t have a Master “in English/Lit” nowadays; it is as common as houseflies.                   
        2-Again…not that special. A lot of us have been published.

        3-And it was Hyperbole…

        The books make for good reading. Pop culture GOT novels are for reading enjoyment (obviously); GOT TV (pop culture) is watching for enjoyment…but the two are quite distinct in my opinion and it is hard to watch the TV show after having read the (as you call them) amateurish books; you make my entire point for me.

        Also, you (Allyn) wrote “…they are from amazing.”

        Did you possibly mean they are FAR FROM AMAZING and that goes back to stupid or illiterate (and your personal opinion). Everyone has or is one. Maybe you need your editor around to help blog? Spell and grammar check maybe next time.

    • tim says:

      You need to reread the books! The books had far more Sexual situations than what can be shown on cable

      • @T_Magus666 says:

        I am reading them right now…besides Jamie and Cersei have random sex in the Sept, there is a lot of NUDITY in the books but little sex when compared to Sex of Thrones the TV show.

  20. Alix says:

    One thing is one thing, another thing is another thing. The books are the books and the show is the show. It’s called an ADAPTATION. If the show was just like the books, there wouldn’t be anything to be interested about, the exact movie of the book you make it in your head, imagining it as you read it. When you put a story on screen, it needs to be adapted to screen, avoiding having one thousand characters that viewers won’t remember just by visual memory. I love Game of Thrones as a series and I love A Song of Ice and Fire as a book. If anything is being spoiled on the series, it’s nothing that the readers haven’t either figure it out or already interpreted in that way. It’s all about interpretation. I mean, Jon’s mother? Common, any serious reader has already figure that out even before the series came out. Besides, in the books you can only see what the characters see. No omnipresent point of view like in the series. For exemple- You can guess and assume that Loras and Renly have a love relationship in the books (because of their close alliance and friendship), but you won’t ever see it because you don’t have their point of view. When on the first season they made it plain and graphic their relationship, it was just a shortcut for the viewers to understand since their are not reading the characters’ thoughts or descriptions. However- I think it’s very important that the actors and directors of GOT must without a doubt read the books. It’s like if Daniel Radcliffe hadn’t read any Harry Potter books. Do you really think he can be a convincing Harry if he doesn’t know what the character has been feeling or went through in the past? I was very disappointed to see on the Comicon interview that almost none of the actors had read the book. Do the homework man.

  21. Kesia says:

    I watch the show to be entertained; and I am. I read the books to be entertained; and I am. Honestly, I don’t care if the stories are the same from book to tv, as long as I’m being entertained for my time. Usually I read the books to find out the little tidbits that are not capable of being shown. I watch the shows as something my husband and I can do together. I 100% agree with Maisie, and we absolutely adore her as Arya.

  22. Thors Mann says:

    Martin himself said that one is not dependent upon the other. He said that while the show is based upon his written work, it’s a separate entity and will not unfold exactly as the books do.

  23. Time Slippin' says:

    /rant: One thing that I rarely see anybody take into consideration, is that maybe not everybody has time to read. In today’s economy, with many people having several jobs and a family to support. Some people may prefer to watch an “hours” worth of programming at the end of the day, instead of sitting on the couch or laying in bed reading a book. I know for me personally. when I’ve worked a long ass shift and try to read when I get home, I start to fall asleep. /endrant

  24. boB says:

    As one of those aforementioned “snobby book-readers” myself, I completely agree with what she said here. 🙂  I do initially complain when big changes are made to the story, because A Song of Ice and Fire is my favorite story of all time for a reason.  But I do, also, realize that not only is the show a different medium, but it’s run by different storytellers.  If I’m not upset by differing versions of Lord of the Rings, Batman, or Prince of Persia, then I need to calm down and embrace this as a similar, yet slightly different, story.

    • boB says:

      Oops, there’s no edit button… I just wanted to go on and say that the books will undeniably be the far superior version (as in most cases is true), but the show can be very different and still be great.

  25. Kit Walker says:

    Douglas Adams got it right every time he adapted Hitchhiker’s Guide to a new medium – keep it undeniably the same story, but make changes to keep interesting and suit the medium.

  26. Nim says:

    Though I was really, REALLY hoping Lady Stoneheart would make an appearance… I am not angry in the least. I love how they are doing the show and I love the books. A little deviation keeps it fresh!

  27. I couldn’t agree more. I read the first couple of books years ago and stopped (probably due to the rest not being written) and subsequently forgot about them and moved on to other things. I watched the series and couldn’t wait to get caught back up on the books. I did. I also read them in conjunction with the end of season 1. First, I was amazed at the show runners bringing the world to life. I couldn’t have been more in love with a series. Second, the books are incredible. Lastly, I thank the seven gods they’re different. I think the show runners and actors have absolutely captured and stayed true to the characters and have taken them in my new and unexpected directions. The same argument can be made for The Walking Dead. It’s really fun not knowing what’s coming and may be a richer experience to think you are following the same path and find out you just took a ride. 

  28. Changing aspects of the story is one way to keep the show fresh for EVERYONE.  That’s why I’m not scared to see a film adaptation of the Dark Tower! (See how I changed topics?  Now, WHEN IS IT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!  I need to see a Thinny.)

  29. pc says:


  30. smartbunny says:

    You tell ’em, Maisie!

  31. jd says:

    One of the things I love about the walking dead, even if you read the comics, your not sure on the how and who and when something is going to happen

  32. Laurel Lea Perkins says:

    That’s what I love (d) about True Blood. Although I read all the books I didn’t have any idea what was coming…

  33. I’ve read the books. I love the books. I love the show. Changing the story doesn’t upset me at all. In fact it makes it fresh again and gives some suspense back to the story, not knowing what will happen next.

  34. Perfect! As long as the story remains true to the characters (which this will thanks to Martin’s involvement) then another medium is free to take directional changes. 
    There are a lot more constraints to telling a story in visual media then there is in print. People need to remember that.
    Also stop being rude to others. If the show, not the books is what gets them into the series who cares? Does it propagate more material for you? Say media and merch? Then let them enjoy and you reap the rewards!

  35. Massey says:

    People just need to understand that this is just another different version of the story. Re-read the books if you want the same exact story.

  36. Victoria says:

    am i not allowed to get miffed when they take consensual sex scenes from the books and make them nonconsensual? lol

    • aardvarkgod says:

      If you want to be mad at that, be mad at the rapey aspect but not the creative liberties.

    • Ian says:

      That isn’t at all what she’s talking about. That was a crappy scene, but she’s talking about the book readers who go on forums and Facebook and spoil what’s going to happen for the other people, and who complain too much when the story deviates from the books, like with Lady Stoneheart or Brienne’s starting her journey with Jamie a season early. That scene was horribly done and shouldn’t have been done that way, but that’s not what’s being addressed here.