Game of Thrones top 3 moments: TV vs Book

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!)

and the

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!

Arya leaves the Hound for dead in both versions, denying him a swift, clean, act of mercy.



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.

Click here to view a scene of theirs on youtube.  Or click here for a different scene


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?




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.

Click here to view it on youtube.

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…


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Why do people feel the need to give away the surprise moment in a story, the twist of a plot, or the end of a sporting event


If you haven’t yet gathered, this post is about



(…. but no spoiler alert. For any series or movie.  (yes, even Game of Thrones.) I promise guys. It would be silly of me to do a rant of sorts about spoilers AND give away a spoiler in the process.)


river song spoilers



I find it sad that I cannot mention to some people that I began watching a new TV series, or am about to watch a certain movie.  They don’t respect my desire to discover the story on my own time, in my own way.


I shared that I began watching Orange is the New Black and had someone “promise no spoilers” but then give a vague spoiler (hello, I’m smart enough to get it folks!!), thus spoiling what is one of the main thru-lines.


Not too long ago, a facebook friend gave a huge Game of Thrones spoiler away on their timeline THE MOMENT it happened. Now, I was watching it too at the same time –either way, I had read the books, so I knew what was going to happen– but it bothered me that they posted this so carelessly and ruined the episode for their friends.





People, it’s simple:



If you want to talk about something that happened in a story and you know it would be a surprise to anyone who is not where you are in the story:

  1. Post “SPOILER ALERT!!!!” very obviously early on in your post
  2. Give space before you actually write the spoiler
  3. …like this…
  4. It gives people time to realize they’re chasing a white rabbit… because perhaps they don’t want to….
  5. Then post the spoiler


Simple.  And then your friends *might* still like you.


Geico pig is showing you what NOT to do:



So, why do people do this to each other?

I feel as though anyone who does the spoiling is like the kid on the playground in elementary school chanting “I know something you don’t know….nah nah nah naah naaaaah!”


It seems as though they only care about themselves and how exciting it is that they know this secret — they are part of the “in club” because they’re in the know. This feeling is so exciting, they don’t realize they’re not showing respect and care to the other person. They’re not allowing the other person to experience the story on their own time.




Is this REALLY a big deal?  No, not really.  We’re not withholding the cure for cancer, nor removing all unicorns from the face of the planet, nor anything equally horrific.  But we’re ruining a story!


Perhaps it’s the theatre major in me. I love a good story. Heck, I love a bad story. Spoiling the story is like ripping the writer’s soul out of the piece. -It is like removing the READER‘S soul out of the piece. It is removing the joy of the journey.


We read a book – or watch a show/movie- to enjoy the journey; to experience what the characters experience.  To see parts of ourselves in the characters and feel the exultation of their joy, the deepness of their sorrow, the thrill of their triumph.  We go on this journey because we want to get wrapped up in their story, to be transported to their world, to be part of something bigger than ourselves.



And to take that away from someone is pretty small.




So just don’t spoil things, k guys?

friends don't let friends spoil stories.





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Turn People into Trees

Ram daas tree quote



When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees.
And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight,
and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever.
And you look at the tree and you allow it.
You appreciate it.
You see why it is the way it is.
You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way.
And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that.
And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.”
That judging mind comes in.
And so I practice turning people into trees.
Which means appreciating them just the way they are.

- Ram Dass




I read this quote today and loved it so much I added it to a photograph for easy sharing.


So often we judge ourselves, each other, celebrities, people on the internet, friends, families, lovers, people we don’t even know, people we haven’t even ever seen in person….

Even just little judgements- on our own figure, on our friend’s nose, on our family member’s way of talking, on some celebrity’s kiss…. whether the judgement be “good” or “bad”…. they’re unnecessary and unhelpful to us as people, as humans, as spiritual beings.

Just let them be. Allow them to be.

Sometimes I just need a reminder of that, and assuming I’m not the only one in this boat, I wanted to share the love with all of you.


Thank you for being.






The quote is from Ram Dass, an American contemporary spiritual teacher.


To see the full context and some more insight, click here.


The photograph was taken by me in Glendalough, in Wicklow Mountains National Park, Ireland.  Click here to read the first post about Glendalough (and know there are more to come eventually).



  • Practice turning people into trees- which means appreciating them just the way they are.
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I just had a moment that heightened my faith in humanity.

Most importantly, this moment was NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL.  It was just a usual moment; simple and seemingly un-special.



I had just finished dinner at Kobe, a japanese hibachi steakhouse in Orlando, Florida.   It was a fabulous dinner with lovely company. Before I got into my car, I took a quick pitstop to the restroom.

Whilst in the restroom, I overheard a young mother talking to her less than two-year-old son. There was absolutely nothing special about the conversation she had with her son, but that is the reason it was so special:

She spoke to him with respect, love, and care:  “You need to tell mommy when you’re wet. Say, ‘mommy I am wet’ or ‘mommy I pooped’… I don’t know these things and you’re a big boy; you need to tell me…. You are a big smart boy, you can tell me these things….”  And speaking of him being a smart boy she then went on to ask him where to find his brain… then his feet and his nose and his eyes….


Like I said, there’s nothing extremely special about this interaction. It was a simple interaction that I would expect  – or hope – most any parent would have with their child. However, living in the middle of theme park central, one often witnesses a number of not-so-ideal family conversations. My most memorable  –and least favorite– experience witnessing a family interaction took place at Disney World.  A young female child seemed to be deathly afraid of the ducks that wandered around the table while the family was eating outside. The mother was extremely embarrassed by her daughter’s fear; the mother spent more time looking at us bystanders and trying to shrug off what was happening than she did consoling her daughter or trying to convince the terrified girl that the ducks were not going to harm her.



But THIS mother…. THIS mother today in the restroom of a dining establishment…

THIS mother was valuing her child’s brain more than anything.
The way she continued to ask him questions- daring him to learn, to think, to grow…
The amount of communication she had with him,
and how she encouraged him to keep communication with her open…
The games she played with him that caused him to learn, showing him that learning CAN be fun…
The small things she was doing to encourage the production of a loving, caring, thoughtful person…
THAT is was what made my day.
(And I told her so.)



The moral of all this, is that it’s all of the little things that make up life. It is all of those little things that make us who we are. And who we are has to do with what we learn as children because of people like this mother, and all people who do little amazing things every. single. day. to help make the world a slightly better place.



“If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.” -Dave Barry

(yes, this is actually called “The waiter rule”… it even has its own wikipedia page)




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