… I was asked, “What’s it all about?”

I realise that there isn’t much on this blog about what my research on fandom is actually about.  The summary after the break will help in the meantime, until I’m able to put something more detailed together (say, for example, a 100,000 word thesis).

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series (1991-current) has recently erupted from the status of little-known work of fiction to the source material of Game of Thrones (2011-current), the most pirated television show of 2012.  Changes in the ways texts are produced and engaged with are attracting growing academic interest, alongside the field of fan studies that has been developing steadily since the early 1990s.  My thesis will contribute new detail, via a case study of Game of Thrones and its fandom, to the fields of fan studies and adaptation theory. 

The over-arching question guiding my research is, ‘What are the changes that occurred in the A Song of Ice and Fire fan culture after the novel series was adapted to television?’  Ethnographic research and textual analysis is in progress now, and through it I am interrogating several subtopics of Game of Thrones and its fandom via different, though related, avenues.  In summary, the areas under investigation are:

  • The expectations that ASOIAF‘s book readers have of the adaptation and how those relate to the experience of watching the show
  • Tensions in discussions about the representation of nudity in the novel series and the show
  • The impact of actors embodying literary characters on fans’ relationship with the novels and show
  • Fans’ relationships with producers, writers, directors, authors 
  • The way that the fandom has changed since the show and books gained so many more fans since the show started
  • Textual boundaries and authenticity
  • Visual imagery’s relationship with mental images.  

Hopefully this gives you some insight into what I’m spending my time on, and why I don’t update the blog very often.  I’m trying to make contact with people connected to the production of Game of Thrones so that I can ask some questions about the production and their own experiences of the fandom.  If you know anyone who could help me, please send them my way.


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