In season one of Game of Thrones, creators D. B. Weiss and David Benioff stayed very faithful to the first book of the Song of Ice and Fire series. This season, however, more liberties have been taken, and while the creators have noted that they are covering the books as a whole and not as individual entities, the blogosphere seems split as to whether these new developments on the show are true to George R.R. Martin’s saga. Here are some of the major changes we’ve noted from book-to-screen. But be warned: if you haven't read the books, there may be spoilers!!!
THE NEED FOR REEDS
The books: The Reeds, especially Jedi Jojen, are a huge part of Bran’s story.
TV Show: Both Jojen and Meera are absent thus far.
What we think: While this means more screen time for Osha—whom we kinda love—it would still be cool to see our favorite Crannogmen. The producers have hinted that Jojen may enter the fray in season three, but nothing has been confirmed. Season two is about the build-up to and battle of the Blackwater, and Bran has a great arc in the third book, so we’re thinking we’ll see Jojen’s green-dream wisdom and Meera’s Katniss-like qualities next season.
The books: Arya was Roose Bolton’s cup-bearer and had no significant contact with Tywin Lannister. She also killed a few grown men on her journey to and from Harrenhal.
TV show: Tywin sees Arya’s shrewdness and guile immediately, and chooses her for his cup-bearer. Arya hasn’t (as of yet) killed anyone this season.
What we think: The banter between Tywin and feisty tomboy Arya has been an entertaining surprise. Take the scene where Tywin asks Arya—whose true identity he never knows—what killed her father. “Loyalty,” she answers, gaining a dash more of his admiration. “Maybe you should devise our next battle plan,” he tells her another time, making her grin in spite herself. Watching Tywin discover how wonderful Arya is has been a treat, but we’re wondering why the show has stayed away from the moments in which Arya kills? In the books, Arya becomes rather casual about killing at a very young age. her desire to kill those who wronged her family is largely what shapes her. It’s twisted, we know, but it’s true. Other than staring at Tywin’s jugular while clenching a knife, she has shown no homicidal tendencies since that boy in King’s Landing.
The books: Dany and her dragons leave Quarth unharmed.
TV show: Dany’s dragons are stolen, and her khalasar is killed before she even enters the House of the Undying.
What we think: This came out of nowhere, so we weren’t sure how to take it. In the books, Dany’s dragons are highly coveted and thus, constantly in danger, so we’re thinking this might be foreshadowing—like the creepy scene with Theon and Osha last season. This change won’t bother us as long as she gets her dragons back unharmed, which she has to, because they’re a huge part of how she claims her army in the third book.
The books: Catelyn sends Jaime with Brienne after hearing that Bran and Rickon had been killed. Fearing she may soon have no children left, Cat sends Brienne to trade Jamie for Sansa and Arya.
TV show: Catelyn sets Jaime free after he has just killed two men while being held prisoner—before hearing the rumor that her youngest two children were dead.
What we think: This change makes very little sense, and it might even be detrimental to Cat’s character. She’s not the series’ most dynamic female, to be sure, but in the books, Lady Catelyn is a constant voice of reason, and she sends Jaime with Brienne out of extreme desperation. The Cat from the books would never release the Kingslayer after he had just killed two men! People who haven’t read the series may find this rash and plain stupid, and it kind of was. Catelyn deserves better.
- Jon Snow goes with Ygritte and the wildlings before slaying Qhorin Halfhand. He still slays Qhorin, but this change made us pause.
- The role of Robb’s love interest has been expanded in the TV series. Jeyne Westerling is now Lady Talisa, a healer. Because of the dire consequences of their romance, we think this expansion of character is a good thing. It gives Robb a new depth he lacked in the books.
Which new scenes/characters have added or subtracted from the books?