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The Hitchhiker's Guide to Changing Stories Through Media

"That's not what happened in the books!"

If previous seasons are any indication, a subset of Game of Thrones Fans are going to be screaming this a lot on their TVs for the next few Sundays. They will probably tweet and leave angry comments about the changes they don't like.

They shouldn't.

Media have different strengths and weaknesses, and adapting a text from one medium to another sometimes requires substantial changes. Perhaps no one understood this better than legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams.

The hitchhiker's guide to adaptations

Adams is best known for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , a story that begins with the destruction of Earth to make room for a hyperspace bypass, and only gets weirder from there. If you're not familiar with this body of work, you should be:it's a delightful mix of science fiction, comedy, and philosophy.

But there is a caveat:I wouldn't start with the 2005 movie, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy . Created after decades of production hell, and years after Adams's death in 2001, the film's tone was... muted.

The movie is terrible for many reasons, which I won't go into here. But a common complaint is that it wasn't faithful enough to the book.

It makes sense that people would feel this way:the book version of this story is loved by millions and the movie...is not. But the book isn't the original version of the story either:it's an adaptation of a radio show.

Almost, but not completely, unlike the book

That's right:Adams wrote the first book in the five-part trilogy after initially penning the story for a BBC radio drama (a clip of which, complete with fan animation, is shown below).

He later put together a TV version, complete with animations of the famous guides..

That's not all:there is an incredibly frustrating text-based video game. 5 Great Interactive Fiction Games You Can Play Online Right Now. 5 Great Interactive Fiction Games You Can Play Online Right Now. Are you interested in the genre of text-based adventure games? Do you want to try playing a text-based game? Here are several that you can find online right now. Read More There's an album version of the radio play, shorter, and there's an audio book version of 10 Best Free Audiobooks of Books. You Should Listen To 10 Of The Best Audiobooks Of Books, You Shouldn't Listen To Them. To be confused with the radio version, it is a reading of the book version.

Still confused?

It is important to note that none of these versions is consistent. Adams kept tweaking the story, adapting it to different media and making all sorts of plot changes to make it better suit his medium :

Adams also wrote much of the script for the 2005 film. We won't know how much Hollywood changed until someone leaks the original script, but I suspect it's a lot (WikiLeaks:go for it!)

Don't panic; Share and enjoy

Adams's ability to recognize the relative strengths and weaknesses of different mediums is what allowed his story to make the transition from radio drama to novel.

The book can be the version of Hitchhiker's Guide that is the most popular, but it is far from the “real” version of the story. There is no such thing:arguing over which is the “correct” version of a fictional story shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the meaning of the word. “fiction”.

So, if you're watching Game of Thrones (or any adaptation from one medium to another) and someone tells you that what's happening on screen isn't what "really" happened, ignore them Same goes for anyone who's Twittering episode 3 Easy Ways to Live Events 3 Easy Methods to Live Blog Events Whether you're attending a conference, participating in an event, or even watching a football game, there are a number of ways you can share your comments, thoughts, images, and more. While Twitter has become immensely... Read More TV shows or movies that adapt a text aren't "wrong":they're different. Learn to enjoy different versions of the story for what they are, and you'll be much happier.

What do you think?

What do you think about adapting a particular work to different media? What do you think about fan theories overlapping with the books they're based on? 10 Intriguing Game of Thrones Fan Theories 10 Intriguing Game of Thrones Fan Theories Read More ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Or just paste your favorite Douglas Adams quotes for everyone to enjoy. I'm looking forward to it.

If that fails, stay put and watch this great animation of Marvin, one of the most memorable robot characters. 4 Fantastic Books With Memorable Robot Characters 4 Fantastic Books With Memorable Robot Characters Robots have appeared in every media outlet that humans have created, but literature Is where you'll find the greatest treasure trove of automaton characters with depth and complexity. Read More