Whether you love Game of Thrones or hate it because some of your favorite people ALWAYS seem to DIE, read on to discover the
Game of Thrones
Top 3 moments in the TV series that were not in the book (but were awesome!)
Top 3 moments in the book series that would have been strong additions to the HBO show
I know I just returned from my adventures in Martinique, but since I had to wait an ENTIRE WEEK to watch the season 4 Game of Thrones finale, I figured I’d start with this post before it became too late! I promise that I’ll share some Martinique photos and stories within the week!
This post contains spoilers for moments up to and including the season 4 finale of Game of Thrones as well as moments in the book series.
Top 3 moments in the TV series that were not in the book:
I’ll be honest, I think D&D made some fantastic choices that veered away from the books. The show creators and writers have ultimately made the story less confusing and added in a number of awesome character dynamics that would not have existed otherwise.
Let me say how difficult it was for me to chose my favorite three: “It was difficult.” There. I said it.
1. Brianne of Tarth vs the Hound
Season 4, Finale “The Children” gives us a fantastic fight between Brianne and Sandor Clegane (the Hound) as they’re both trying to protect Arya. In the HBO series, Brianne and Podrick accidentally happen across Arya as she’s practicing her “water dancing” whilst out in the middle of nowhere with the Hound. In the books, Brianne and Arya actually DO meet up, sadly without their awesome counterparts, but they don’t realize who the other one is. Though it’s an interesting moment for the reader, the route the show took is MUCH more satisfying!
2. Where do white walkers come from?
Season 4, Episode 4 “Oathkeeper” had a magnificent surprise ending. We see the main white walker bringing Craster’s child to the lands of always winter, and we get to experience the creation of a new white walker. In the books, we are told of the walkers but do not get anywhere near this amount of detail.
3. Tywin and Arya
In Season 2, there’s an amazing dynamic between these two which never existed in the books. Lord Tywin immediately recognizes the intelligence and bravery within Arya (though not knowing who she really is, of course) and this starts a relationship of mutual respect muddled with a surprising bit of trust. Granted, Tywin is still on Arya’s kill list, but they confide in each other in a way they cannot with other people.
Note that I’m not mentioning the lack of Lady Stoneheart, whom many people hoped would make an appearance in the episode 5 finale. I think leaving her out (at least for now) was a good choice. Don’t know what I’m talking about?
Top 3 moments in the book series that would have been strong additions to the show
Though I think the show has made some very smart and fantastic changes from the books, there are a few moments that stand out to me that I feel could have been a lot stronger if the creators of the show took a few more cues from the book:
1. Arya and the Hound at the Red Wedding
If you remember correctly, the Hound was just about to deliver Arya to her family at the Red Wedding (with the Freys). However, before they got inside they heard about the death of all Starks in attendance. The Hound realizes this place is bad for the both of them and tries to get out, but Arya is transfixed on trying to get to her mother and brother
I came so far. “We have to go get my mother”
“Stupid little bitch… You go in there, you won’t come out.”
Arya runs towards the gate as the portcullis is closing. Run fast as a wolf, she tells herself as she looks back to see the Hound on his horse running after her.
And Arya ran. Not for her brother now, not even for her mother, but for herself. She ran faster than she had ever run before…
His axe took her in the back of the head.
That’s how it is in the book. Do you see my point?
~~ WE THINK ARYA IS DEAD! ~~
AH! No! So many great characters JUST died at the red wedding and then George RR [expletive deleted] Martin takes away Arya too?
12 chapters go by before we read Arya’s name as the chapter title, and our hearts fill with joy. I think Arya is dead for 25ish% of the book! It was fantastically done, and this moment is completely lost in the TV series.
2. Robb Stark’s chosen bride
In the third season of the HBO series, we get to see Robb’s love story with Talisa unfurl. The character Talisa was extremely likeable: a wise and beautiful young healer. She and Robb fell madly in love with each other, and made the choice to marry for love.
In the books however, Robb grieves in hearing of the death of his brothers, Bran and Rickon, and seeks carnal comfort from a noblewoman named Jeyne Westerling. He had a completely human moment with serious consequences. Robb, like his father Ned, is very much bound by honor. In order to preserve Jayne’s honor, Robb made the choice to break his oath to the Freys in order to marry the woman whose virginity he took.
By the way, Jeyne doesn’t die at the red wedding. She doesn’t even attend the red wedding: a decision made so they do not further anger the Freys.
This one I’m torn on. The TV series gives us a beautiful love story and the book gives us raw human moments but honorable choices- both of which lead to a horrific end. As king, I believe Robb would have been more likely to follow the book’s path, assuming the Frey’s would understand his needing to follow the code of honor. Though, killing 2 more Starks (wife and child) at the red wedding make it even more glorious of an affair.
Ok ok, since I’m not completely sold on that one, here’s another:
2.b. Stannis saves the wall
In the Season 4 Finale, Stannis Baratheon defeats the wildlings north of the wall. The problem is, in the series, wildlings seem to be much less of a threat after the previous victory of the Night’s Watch. So the first thing I find lacking is that Stannis looks like much less of a savior than he really is. The second thing can be surmised in this quote from Stannis as to WHY he came to help the wall (remember that no one else – in all the seven kingdoms- came to help the wall when they were called upon).
“I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne” -Stannis Baratheon
3. The wedding night of Daenerys and Drogo
Season 1, Episode 1 we see the wedding night of Daenerys (“Dany”) Targaryen and Khal Drogo. In both the book and in the show, Dany is a young girl going through culture shock at her own wedding and is frightened by what it means to be a wife on her wedding night.
The fear came back to her then…. she felt like a child once more, only thirteen and all alone, not ready for what was about to happen to her
In the show, the scene is quick and rough. The Dothraki chieftain has a slight touch of care and compassion towards Dany, but the moment almost feels like a rape scene.
In the book, however, this is the moment I believe Dany fell in love with her “sun and stars“. It was beautiful and it showed the loving, compassionate side of Khal Drogo.
The book and show share the moments where Drogo says “no” a few times, wrongfully answering Dany’s question, “Is that the only word you know?” Then the book continues the story much differently:
Dany slowly unbraided his hair then he tenderly undressed her. Taking his time, Khal Drogo held her hand, stroked her face, combed her hair with his hands, massaged her shoulders…
It seemed as if hours passed before his hands finally went to her breasts. He stroked the soft skin underneath until it tingled. He circled her nipples with his thumbs, pinched them between thumb and forefinger, then began to pull at her, very lightly at first, then more insistently, until her nipples stiffened and began to ache.
He stopped then, and drew her down onto his lap… He cupped her face in his huge hands and she looked into his eyes. “No?” he said, and she knew it was a question…
…”Yes” she whispered…
If you would like to check out some other geeky things,
Martin, George RR. A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones. 1996
Martin, George RR. A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords. 2000.
Of course, these Game of Thrones moments were the ones that stand out best in my memory of both the books and the show…. I’m sure I’ve missed some great ones.
- What moments would you have added?