‘The Queen’s Gambit’: What the Series Got Wrong and Where it Differed From Walter Tevis’ Book

This fall is one of Netflix’s latest releases TV shows, Queen’s Gambit, hit the highest numbers for the streaming giant. The following miniseries set a cult, even leading to a huge increase in the purchase of chessboards. The series is based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name.

The book and the show have the same basic premise: Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), an orphan who develops dependence on tranquilizers at a young age, is a chess supporter who proof that her gender will not stop her from growing into the best player in the world. However, the show takes some creative freedom in terms of changing it.

Queen's Gambit
Queen ‘s Gambit Ken Woroner / Netflix © 2020

Beth was treated like a woman

In the TV show, Beth often talks about how she doesn’t think much about how a woman enters a male realm. She just aims to get better and hit them instead. But the show lightly touches on the sexuality that Beth has. She doesn’t like it when a reporter targets her gender. Beth instead desires the focus instead of his skill. Reporters also note the amazing feeling Beth has when she attends chess games. While many are jealous of Beth’s fashion, her male opponents are rarely (if ever) asked about their clothing choices.

In the book, Beth has a stronger response to being a chess girl, each Slate. A man refuses to shake Beth’s hand after her chess game. In the novel, Harry Beltik (produced by Harry Melling in a Netflix adaptation) is not as understanding as he is with Beth in the show when she proves that she has surpassed her talent at game. Instead he shows bitterness by “shouting” to her and leaves when he realizes she is better than him.

The next draw for Cleo

Beth reveals curiosity for sexuality at a young age in a Netflix change. She is seen watching a close couple in the library and is amazed at how much she enjoys sex after sleeping with Benny Watts (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) while she was training. with him in New York City. Some LGBTQ fans were thrilled to see Beth’s attraction to Parisian model Cleo (Millie Brady). Beth avoids men when she meets Cleo, aiming to impress the model with her chess ability.

Later, Beth meets Cleo in Paris before her big game against Vasily Borgov (Marcin Dorociński). Beth sweeps away with Cleo, courting her over many drinks, with the two waking up together in the same bed the next morning before Beth blows the chess game the next day.

Taylor-Joy herself described her character’s attraction to Cleo in an interview with Refinery29: “From the second Beth sees Cleo first, she’s fascinated by her. So with the boys in the background [at the hotel], she’s like, ‘Eh, you’re not that interesting. Cleo, you are cool. ”

It doesn’t happen like this in the book as Cleo was a new character added to the miniseries, probably based on the character Jenny Baynes, each Screen. There is also a fan theory that Cleo is a spy working for the Russians to help them defeat the inimitable Beth Harmon.

The last game

Queen's Gambit
‘Queen’ s Gambit ‘ Phil Bray / Netflix © 2020

The whole series leads up to one final game against Borgov. This is Beth ‘s chance to prove herself since she lost him in Paris before. While most of the series shows the difference between how Americans play chess independently and the Russians working together as a team, the show goes against that idea at the end, with the old crushing DL Townes (Jacob Fortune Lloyd) appearing in Russia for her last game. , as well as an attractive phone call with all of Beth ‘s chess friends to help her get that ultimate win.

In the book, Townes does not appear at the tournament in Russia and is also not part of the phone call with Beth, Benny, Harry, and her other friends. That phone call is limited to just Beth and Benny in the book. But the show’s element of inclusion that helped Beth get to her last game is a beautiful addition that goes against her loneliness and loneliness as a young orphan at first with just her chess skill to get it through.

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