GoT book vs show

Top 5 differences from GoT books to Series


Every week, millions of people tune in to watch Game of Thrones, but a tiny group of die-hard fans, who are lovers of George R. R. Martin’s original novels, recoil in horror whenever the HBO series deviates from the sacred text. The disparities are more pronounced and prevalent than you would think. Even before it caught up to the novels, the program had deviated in a number of significant ways.

Talisa / Jeyne meets a grim fate

In Game of Thrones’ most notorious episode – the Red Wedding – the most viscerally horrific event occurred when Robb’s young wife Talisa (Jeyne Westerling in the novels) was brutally murdered through her very pregnant belly. In the novels, Robb makes the more rational option not to bring Jeyne to the wedding, and she lives; however, Talisa on the show did not have the same success. Talisa’s horrific destiny was arguably the most startling event in these cruelest of times.

Lady Stoneheart

Despite popular expectations that Lady Stoneheart would return on many occasions during the season, the program has so far abandoned this plotline. The enigmatic Lady Stoneheart takes over the gang of outlaws previously commanded by Beric Dondarrion in the novels, and she is eventually revealed to be none other than a revived and furious Catelyn Stark.

Given that she’s supposed to have had her throat slashed and clawed her own eyes out at the sight of her son’s death, it’d be fantastic to see Michelle Fairley return on the program, even if she’s wearing heavy make-up, but it appears Lady Stoneheart will remain exclusively on the page for the time being.

Jaime is Borne to Drone

Sending Jaime and Bronn down to Dorne was one of the major adjustments in season five, allowing the show to avoid introducing a slew of new characters without having any existing characters to anchor them. The Dornish sequences were largely the most disappointing element of the season, and the program may have been better off focusing on presenting Arianne Martell as a key new figure instead.

We also miss out on Darkstar, a formidable warrior, and a Dornish scheme to crown Myrcella, which results in her taking a sword to the face and losing an ear. Despite the fact that the narrative took a different path, Jaime’s progeny still endured a poison kiss from Ellaria Sand, and the series didn’t end well for her.

Sansa suffers Jeyne Poole’s fate

Sansa’s tale was conflated with that of Jeyne Poole, which was one of the most contentious alterations the series made. In the novels, Jeyne was Sansa’s childhood companion at Winterfell, and she’s the one who’s forced to marry and suffer Ramsay Bolton after his cunning father Roose deceives the realm into believing she’s Arya Stark in order to legitimize the Boltons’ reign of the North.

Sansa’s tale was conflated with that of Jeyne Poole, which was one of the most contentious alterations the series made. Combining narratives to bring more actors together isn’t a bad idea in theory, but by switching Jeyne’s rape and sexual abuse onto Sansa, the scene not only distorted Sansa’s story into anything significantly different from the novels but also provided more weaponry for those who believe she was raped and abused.

Mance Rayder dies

Mance Rayder’s death in the series is identical to that in the novels, with the exception that in the books, he doesn’t actually die…

After being burned at the stake and put to death by Jon Snow’s arrow, it is subsequently revealed in the novels that the victim was not Mance at all, but the Wildling general Rattleshirt, whom Melisandre had disguised with enchantment. Theon’s escape from the Boltons at Winterfell is then made possible by Mance. Even if you pay great attention to the burning scene, there’s no evidence of any such deceit in the program, and Mance appears to be one of the numerous people that died on television before.

Ser Barriston bites the dust

Ser Barristan Selmy, a grandfatherly elderly knight who was killed by the Sons of the Harpy in season five, is also another figure whose fate is pushed forward on the program. Barristan is still alive and well in the published novels, and following Danaerys’s abduction on Drogon’s back, Barristan becomes one of Meereen’s most powerful characters, effectively controlling the city in the Queen’s absence.

Barristan is unlikely to live the book series in any case, and unless George RR Martin has something severe intended for him in The Winds of Winter, his early death on the show shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance, and it definitely provided book fans with a rare surprise to appreciate.

Jojen Reed kicks the bucket

Another early demise poses a greater challenge. Jojen Reed has killed off in the season four finale, but considering his importance to Bran in the novels – his prophetic visions drive much of this plot thread and will likely continue to do so – it felt strange to kill him off. This was the first significant death in the show that wasn’t in the novels, and if nothing else, the difference made it easy for viewers to see the two versions of the tale, books, and TV series as completely distinct.

Aegon Targaryen lives

The revelation that Prince Aegon Targaryen was alive was one of the most shocking revelations in book five, A Dance with Dragons, published in 2011. Aegon was discreetly taken away by Varys and left in the hands of many trusted associates to educate him in the ways of the world, and to prepare him to regain the throne for House Targaryen, after being allegedly dashed against a wall by The Mountain as a baby.

Not only does the arrival of another Targaryen complicate the line of succession to the Iron Throne, but it also provides us with a proper answer as to what Varys and his plots have been supporting all this time. However, it appears that it was a step too far for the program since there is no sign that it will be addressed.

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