This question is a simple and straight-forward one, what differences are there between the Game of Thrones TV series, and the original books? However, since its asking, it's accumulated 1 general answer that touches on a handful of the differences and 18 "me, too" answers. It's a textbook bike shed question, which has been left open, which means it will continue to accumulate more answers, especially since the TV series is ongoing.

I closed this question, which is cut from the same mold, but asking about the ongoing The Hobbit films. At that time, it had 2 "me, too" answers already.

What should be done with this sort of question? They're too broad to be properly answered in a single answer, and people never supply such a thorough answer anyway. Instead they accumulate a bunch of partial answers. From my perspective, this fits the Not Constructive close reason:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

(emphasis mine)

I didn't close the Game of Thrones question since that one has seen extensive attention, and mods at the time found it acceptable. But I think these types of questions are just too broad for a single answer to act as a definitive response to the question. Can these questions be edited to become more constrained and answerable? Should they be closed? What other ideas does the community have on these? Are they not viewed as a problem?

  • Just to clarify - my Hobbit movie question was significantly less broad than the generic "what are the differences between book and movie". It was very explicitly "Which of the differencess between book and movie were borrowed from OTHER books of the same series". The latter is a fairly contained list, and as a matter of fact, it only had 1 great answer and one me-too (from a new user, which can easily be solved by protecting the question if "me-toos" are your main concern) Dec 17, 2012 at 16:17
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    In other words, even if we as a community decide to ban generic adaptation difference questions, I don't think the Hobbit one fits that set due to its significanly smaller scope. Dec 17, 2012 at 16:20
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    I'm going to win by asking "Which movie has the most differences to its corresponding book?". No wait, "What was the earliest movie showing significant differences from the originating book/poem/opera?" Dec 17, 2012 at 17:14

2 Answers 2


We should always keep in mind that the point of this SE site is different than StackOverflow or ServerFault. We're not asking questions because we need the answer. No difficult problems are at stake.

I think that we should weed these questions down to a single answer, and mark it CW. Protect it so that you don't get additional answers.

The only thing missing at that point is that maybe somehow people who edit it should get rep to encourage those to be maintained. But that's a new feature. I don't know if all the previous editors should get +10 per upvote, or if they split the +10 among them or what... but it would encourage maintenance.

And of course, edits to such answers should probably not bump it to the front for activity. But that'd be a second feature.

Of course, there are those who will say that if keeping the question requires new features, it's not a good fit for this site. But that's silly. If someone had asked the question 10 years from now after the last book had come out and the last episode filmed, it would be a good question. And I don't think whether or not a question is good is dependent on when it was asked.

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    I agree completely. Dec 17, 2012 at 17:11
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    +1. "Don't take this stuff too seriously" is the right answer.
    – Aditya M P
    Dec 18, 2012 at 11:47
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    "maybe somehow people who edit it should get rep to encourage those to be maintained" I don't think this is necessary. The amount of reputation potentially available from editing is already trivial, and many (most?) people edit because they want the content to improve, not because they want rep. I also think its okay for edits to bump to the front; otherwise, how would anyone know an edit had been made? I'm not saying this to disagree with you; rather, I think its workable as you propose, but without needing any custom modifications.
    – Beofett
    Dec 18, 2012 at 15:06
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    Edits would go to the review queue. Other than that, why would you need to know that an edit has been made... you're searching out the question because you want to know the answer, people who aren't shouldn't see these dominate the "active" list.
    – John O
    Dec 18, 2012 at 15:11

This question is still open, and it's very problematic. It's asking us to compare all the differences between a 1000000+ word book series and its 40 hour tv series adaptation. Surely that's the definition of Too Broad! If you disagree, can you explain why?

Some edits were made which changed it to ask about major plot differences, but they have since been rolled back. Perhaps @Keen could explain why he rolled them back?

Actually now that I look at it again the question is still asking for plot differences. There are a lot of non-plot answers which should be deleted. I flagged them before, but they remain.

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    I rolled back the edits, as they invalidated a large swath of the answers. The question was never closed for being too broad, and this meta post didn't indicate the community thinks the question as it originally was is too broad.
    – user1027
    Jul 25, 2014 at 2:37
  • @Keen seeing as the question still asks for plot differences would it be appropriate to remove the ones which aren't? For example the second most upvoted answer is in no way a plot difference. For those with multiple points would it be appropriate to edit them and remove the non-plot ones? Jul 25, 2014 at 3:44

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