Is Winter Coming? Adaptation in the time of fan fury.

Authors: Berger, R.

Start date: 12 April 2017

Fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, have been waiting since June 2011 for the next novel in the popular fantasy series. With the HBO adaptation now being the most decorated television drama of all time, and having caught up with - and in places exceeded - the storylines in Martin’s sprawling source material, fans are increasingly expressing their frustrations online. Fan-sites, such as Is Winter Coming? exist purely to critique Martin’s output and the behaviour of his most enthusiastic fans. The YouTube channels, Emergency Awesome and The Last Harpy endlessly reflect on fan-theories, and how and why the television series diverges from the novels.

Similarly recent English-language adaptations, and remakes of European crime novels and television serials, have also been scrutinised, in ways which offer much to the adaptation scholar. Writers such as Jim Collins (Bring On the Books for Everybody) have argued that literature has now been relocated and re-represented in our visual culture. This now offers a wealth of new opportunities and avenues of inquiry for those of us working in adaptation studies.

This paper will examine fan sites where adaptations are under constant discussion and re-appraisal. The paper will further offer some thoughts on how this material can be organized and utilized, and will discuss which methodologies and methods are now appropriate for future adaptation research. This paper will close, by arguing that new forms of fidelity criticism are emerging in these spaces, but not in ways which are necessarily concerned with medium-specific silos, or any binary conceptions of source/target exchanges.

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