I hated the Baldur's Gate novelizations. I really do. Not just because the characters were butchered like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars The Last Jedi, and Abdel is as unlikable and unrelatable like Rey (I HATED the way Jaheira is portrayed in the novels!!!), but because the novel made so many creative differences from the games that it hurts its credibility as a "canon" story. Ever since 2013, the time when I started playing Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition, I've gotten so obsessed with D&D that I've bought the sourcebooks and novels over the years to this day. And I can say without a doubt that the Baldur's Gate games, the original edition and enhanced edition, are more faithful to the D&D lore more so than the novels, and I feel the need to explain why it is an insult to the Baldur's Gate games to claim the novels are canon.
Baldur's Gate 1 Novel Errors
1. In the part of the first novel when Abdel check's Gorion's dead body and finds a letter referring to the Time of Troubles, the letter says that "The Black Lord will spread his seeds during the Avatar Crisis". Bhaal's title is not The Black Lord, that's one of Bane's titles! It disappoints me that the author Philip Athans made this error.
2. The Baldur's Gate novel claims that the Iron Throne is a splinter group of the Zhentarim. This is strongly hinted by the fact that Sarevok sent Montaron and Xzar to spy on Abdel and lure him to Sarevok, but they failed, and the penalty of their failure was their deaths. However, the 3rd edition sourcebook called "Lords of Darkness" refutes the novel's lore and support's the game's lore of the Iron Throne. See, according to the sourcebook, the Iron Throne was actually founded by a tiefling woman named Sfena. She was the daughter of Glasya (the demon princess who rules Malbolge of the Nine Hells) who appears in the "Brimstone Angels" novels, which makes Sfena the granddaughter of Asmodeus himself. Sfena founded the Iron Throne 21 years before the Baldur's Gate game's story, and she had absolutely NO connections to the Zhentarim. During the year 1347, when she arrived to Faerun from the Nine Hells, she was somehow captured by storm giants and they prevented her from escaping into the Nine Hells by transforming her body into a crystalline substance. The reason why she created the Iron Throne is because she needed to produce a super rich mercantile organization and trade the organization off to a devil in exchange for a cure for her condition. These details from the sourcebook perfectly correspond to the reason why she would sanction Rieltar's plan to make the Iron Throne rich by instigating a shortage of iron in the Sword Coast in the Baldur's Gate game, but the sourcebook does not add up with the novelization's story at all. The Iron Throne was never part of the Zhentarim.
3. In the Baldur's Gate novel, Sarevok runs the Iron Throne alone. His foster father, Rieltar, and the other two guys, Brunos and Thaldorn are completely absent in the novel. The game makes it clear that Sarevok has no interest in the business practices of the organization, and that the Baldur's Gate branch of the Iron Throne fell to ruin under his control with the iron crisis leaders were killed, but in the novel, the Iron Throne somehow prospers fine under Sarevok's leadership. And ironically, in the part of the novel that is based on the chapter of the game where Gorion's Ward must return to Candlekeep to spy on the leaders of the Iron Throne, Abdel goes back to Candlekeep even though as I pointed out before, Sarevok's foster father and the other two guys do not appear in the novel, Sarevok is the sole leader, and technically there is no meeting in Candlekeep even though Abdel goes back to Candlekeep for the same reasons Gorion's Ward does from the game.
4. Another serious discrepancy is a certain corrupt Flaming Fist officer named Angelo (those of you who played the game should know who I'm talking about) is a Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate in the Baldur's Gate novelization. That is SERIOUSLY wrong, because sourcebooks like "Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast", which Volo wrote and published a year before the events of the Baldur's Gate game and novel never had any record of ever having a Grand Duke by the name of Angelo, there was only Entar, Liia, Eltan and Belt, and Belt and Liia never appeared in the novelization, they were both replaced by Angelo. A novel giving a D&D character who only appears in the D&D games a title that should make him/her noteworthy in the sourcebooks is a terrible idea and seriously hurts that novel's credibility as a canon story.
Baldur's Gate 2 SoA Novel Errors
1. Minsc and Imoen never appeared in the first novel, but they were captured alongside Abdel by Irenicus as if the author knew how significant they would be to the story. It is obvious that the author added in Minsc because the game's story made him one of the companions who was with Gorion's Ward after they left Baldur's Gate because of people figuring out that Gorion's Ward is Sarevok's brother. Minsc having red hair and a beard is an affront that should not be forgiven. What also cannot be forgiven is how the author discarded Minsc as soon as he could.
2. Drow. Do not. Eat. Spiders! I don't understand what made Philip Athans believe that drow eat spiders. They can get in serious trouble with Lolth for that.
Baldur's Gate 2 ToB Novel Errors
1. The Throne of Bhaal novel is set after Baldur's Gate and before Baldur's Gate 2 Shadows of Amn, or so they think. Why? The prologue of the ToB novel is set in 1368 DR, but after the prologue ends, the author somehow forgot to make it clear that the rest of the story takes place in the "present day", therefore the continuity of the Baldur's Gate novelization series is seriously thrown out of order, Throne of Bhaal is before Shadows of Amn even though it should be the other way around, because in the novel Jaheira gets killed by Abazigal, and Imoen gets killed off by Sendai, and in the Shadows of Amn novel, Jaheira and Imoen are alive and healthy, except for Jaheira, because she had been recently brought back from the dead from getting killed by Sarevok at the end of the first Baldur's Gate novel.
Even if you consider the novels not canon, there is one character from the Baldur's Gate novels that you must consider canon because he appears in the "Murder of Baldur's Gate" tabletop adventure game which takes place approximately 114 years after the first Baldur's Gate game. That character is Abdel Adrian. But don't worry, you can consider your version of Gorion's Ward and Abdel as two different characters because of their vastly different backstories and the year they were born, there is plenty of evidence to support an argument that they can be seen as two different characters. Abdel was not rescued by Gorion, he was rescued by a paladin named Sir Daesric who brought him to Gorion, and Abdel was born in 1343, which should make him 25 years old in 1368 DR, and he left Candlekeep in 1360 DR, and the novelizations boast that he has seen much of the Sword Coast over the past 8 years, and he has even been to Amn once. The game protagonist "Gorion's Ward" should be 20 or 21 years old during the time the first Baldur's Gate game happens, which means he/she should be born around 1347 or 1348 DR, and the narrator at the beginning of the game states that "Gorion's Ward" has lived in Candlekeep for most of his/her life, he/she has never been outside Candlekeep's walls until the game's story starts, and there is an NPC named Abdel in Candlekeep who trains you on the rules of playing the game.
Last edited by BladeDancer; 13/03/20 04:07 PM.