Curiously nerdy posts.
Whaaaaat!? An update that isn’t a book review? Weird, right?
Well, this is a topic that is at least related to books, and is interesting to discuss with any fellow book geeks out there.
Anyway. Let’s cut to the chase.
Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles (you know, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, and whatever books are coming out in the future) is apparently going to be getting the… everything treatment. Movies, a TV show, maybe even a cartoon (that last one is a joke, but I think something animated would be the best actual translation for his work), you name it, it’s happening. I’m not sure how to feel about this.
On one hand, Patrick Rothfuss is, by all accounts I’ve heard, a very cool dude. He helps run an immensely successful charity that does a ton of good in http://www.worldbuilders.org. He’s amazing to his fans. Heck, when I bought his first book, he friended me on facebook. I had a mini-conversation in facebook chat with the guy. I haven’t done so since he originally friended me, since, you know, that would be rude and intruding of me to do.
But yes. He’s a great guy, and deserves all the success he gets. He’s also a very talented writer, which helps.
But you know… I just can’t shake the feeling that if your main goal is to see an actually great story come out of this, the timing for this sort of deal to happen is all wrong. From where I’m sitting, this is going to be like Game of Thrones all over again, where the studio burns through the books much, MUCH faster than the writer can write them.
For anyone wondering what I mean by that, it’s simple. Game of Thrones earned the following it has because of great acting, great atmosphere, but most of all, an intricate world with a huge number of characters where, even if you hated some of them, you’d still love others – which makes the inevitable tragedy that befalls 99% of the characters in the show feel like a punch to the gut. I personally witnessed a friend get blackout drunk after watching the Season 5 finale because he was so distressed over what happened to his favorite character.
But even close to the end of season 5, fans were complaining about plotlines that weren’t particularly well done, or didn’t make sense. And there’s a simple explanation for that. The show ran out of book material at that point, and suddenly had to deviate from it to keep going. Look no further than Episode 10 of Season 5 for all the examples you need of this.
It doesn’t take a psychic to anticipate that this could happen with Pat’s books… rather quickly. In the very blog post about this news, he mentions that he’s been working on this series for the past 20 years. He’s a good writer, but he’s got George RR Martin’s speed.
As one last point, due to all the previous comparisons I’ve made between his work and Game of Thrones… a lot of people love his books, and have read them 8+ times, etc. But there’s also a lot of criticism of his work out there too, some of which I agree with. His books simply don’t have a lot of moving action in them. I mean, we’re 1000+ pages into his world. We know where Kvothe began, and where he is at in real time. But it’s still unclear on why anything happened. Heck, we still don’t know anything at all about the big bad scary villains. Rothfuss’ strength comes from his actual writing – he’s at his best when regaling you with mythical little side stories about the meaning behind The Wise Man’s Fear. He’s not going to wow you with a Red Wedding-like scene.
I’m just not sure how well his will translate from prose. Prove me wrong, Lionsgate.
I understand where Pat is coming from. If a studio comes to your door and offers you a dump truck full of money, would you say no? Of course not. None of us would. That’s the end game for anyone who cares about making money writing. So regardless of anything else, this is a happy ending for Rothfuss.
But is it a happy ending for his fans? Only time will tell.
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