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George R.R. Martin’s editor is unhappy with Game of Thrones’ departures from the books

An overlying theme of Game of Thrones’ fifth season has been the show’s increasing willingness to diverge from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Many fans of the books who also happen to love the show (myself included), have been extremely unhappy with the story-arcs of certain characters, and many of the decisions that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have made. Quite often, these concerns are voiced by bloggers on fan sites such as this, or can be found festering on message boards such as the ASOIAF Reddit.

However, now a new voice has been added to the throngs of fans who are unhappy with the direction of Game of Thrones: that of Jane Johnson, George R.R. Martin’s very own editor. Taking to Twitter on Monday, Johnson first expressed her displeasure over Loras’ in-show storyline.

She went on to expound on her statement, when one of her Twitter followers asked her what she meant.

She’s not wrong. The character of Loras, on the show, has been stripped of all the complexity he had in the books, a topic I will cover in depth on this week’s Razor’s Rant.

Johnson wasn’t done yet. When Ser Barristan the Bold went down fighting the Sons of the Harpy, she once again took to Twitter.

This tweet seemed to draw a mixed reaction from her followers, as some ignorantly claimed that Martin had decision-making power as a producer and therefore should take blame for these changes, which could not be further from the truth, a fact and point made quite clear by Westeros.org founders, ofttimes GRRM confidants, and A World of Ice and Fire collaborators/contributors Elio and Linda.

Elio and Linda went even further in describing Martin’s role on Game of Thrones.

Ser Barristan’s story was tragically cut short. Tragic in the fact that show-only fans will miss out on some absolutely fantastic and amazing moments from the books…moments that defined his character and story-arc in Meereen.

In the end, Johnson voicing her displeasure with the direction of the show only further validates what fans of the books have been saying all along. That, while some changes are absolutely necessary in a 10-episode season, cutting solid characters from the show before their time (Barristan), or completely altering their character development (Loras) is something that is cheapening the show’s legacy, as a whole.

274 Comments

  • I think it’s too early to say that killing off Ser Barristan early cheapens the legacy of the show or is necessarily a bad thing. We need to see how the season -and series- as a whole pans out before we can say that. I’ve long viewed the show and books as separate entities, with one based on the other rather than being a word for word translation to the screen, and think it is rather exciting that the show is diverging from the books. Also, I’ve never seen Sir Loras as a “gay cartoon” in the show. He’s gay, that’s clear, but he’s not a lazy stereotype.

    • I disagree with you on Loras. He is absolutely a cartoon gay character…on the show.

      Book Loras = Thoughtful, valiant, badass knight that even garners begrudging respect from Lord Commander Jaime Lannster, and was a man who deeply loved another man, so much in fact that he killed two of his guards who failed to keep him alive, buried his body where no one could disturb his eternal sleep, and took the white and vows of the Kingsguard because he had in fact lost the one true love of his life, Renly.

      Show Loras = Shaver of men’s chests, frilly lace wearing wedding dreamer, who only cares about sex with other dudes not Renly, and who is as dumb as a box of rocks.

      PLUS: Book Loras would have NEVER allowed the Faith Militant to waltz right up to him and take him captive (he would have single handed killed everyone of those crazy nutjobs)…and neither would his friends/men at arms because Book Loras was loved by everyone except Cersei.

      • Amen! I normally have been loving the changes that they’ve made from the books so far, but how they handled Loras is just sad. Being gay, I am happy to have an openly gay character, but he’s not anywhere near as valiant, respected or tough on the show as he is in the books. Your comment just totally nailed how I feel about that character.

      • Absolutely agree with your view. Book Loras is one thing, show Loras is entirely different and in a bad, stereotypical way. As for Ser Barristan, while I am very sad to see him go that way, I can understand the decision. I am betting Ser Jorah gets to play the badass on the show and have to admit, it makes sense. We need to wait and see

    • While GRRM does not have control, he did tell the producers
      what each character’s story line was and their ultimate role.
      This allowed them to determine which character’s need to live
      (or have some of their parts taken up by others).

      The character of Quentin, for example, was ultimately pointless
      to include even though interesting in the book. They apparently
      are not bringing back Caitlin Stark, even though that was a cool
      character in the book and seemed to have a big role later.

      Sir Barristan was probably going to die in a similar manner
      in the book, even if more spectacular, and this is probably
      as good a way as any for him to go. He was bad-ass at the end.

      • GRRM did give them an overview of his story ideas, that doesn’t mean the TV show is going to faithfully follow them. George Lucas gave his story ideas for the Sequel Trilogy to Disney, and Disney chose to go their own way.

        Barristan Selmy may well die in TWOW, but you’d be foolish to assume it just because the show killed him off. They’re two completely separate stories at this point.

      • Quentyn seemed to mostly serve as an illustration that Doran Martell was neither weak nor stupid, and is actually playing a deep long game. That’s probably easy enough to show in other ways, though after this episode I’m not sure that’s going to happen. They’ll probably eliminate all of his character’s depth and focus on the Sand Snakes.

      • The only thing in book Meereen worthy of killing Selmy are the dragons. Vic has the dragon horn so it is easy to see how this could go down.

        The only thing in TV Meereen worthy of killing Selmy were the dragons, presumably in some sort of Quentyn-esque event where the Harpies tried to kill them in order to undermine her real power (remember, she is not Mother of the Unsullied). Selmy interrupts, the dragons get loose, and tragically kill their own savior. Of course that would take budget, and so what we got instead was the greatest westerosi knight of his generation getting taken down by some redshirt Level 1 peons. Yay.

        It was definitely an underwhelming end for him, especially given that Bronn put up a more absurd and spectacular fight just minutes before.

    • It is not too early to say that ser barristan’s death cheapens the legacy, it introduces utter inconsistency. The unsullied are an elite fighting force and selmy is one of the finest swordsmen the seven kingdoms had ever known, they get attacked by the sons of the harpy, a renegade band of rich spoiled brats. They stand with 6 armoured and armed with spear and shield, fighting cloth wearing civilians with daggers. They should have taken 100 down before even one unsullied would have fallen.
      Yea sure HBO, an elite fighting force who as a first action break rank… Way to take yourself seriously.

      • You’re exactly right, the unsullied are supposed to be an elite fighting force. They died too easily, and Ser Berristan, the best swordsman in Westeros, would not have gone down so easily either. Maybe the directors do have a plan to making the show work without him, but they should have made his death a little more spectacular.

      • Exactly right, Jazz. No way they should have lost any soldiers given their discipline and fighting style (which bizarrely was totally missing in the choreographed fighting scenes). And Ser Bararistan with his sword should have gone through them like he was cutting down weedy plants.

        Very badly conceived fight scene. The lowest moment of the show to this point, where they’ve lost sight of the underlying realism in their quest for cheap, seedy drama.

    • Ser Barristan had to die for one simple reason in the show. They’d accelerated the meeting between Tyrion and Dany, and Tyrion needed to be useful to her for her to believable take him on as an advisor. Therefore, since Ser Barristan had knowledge of Westeros, what would be her need for Tyrion if he was still alive.

  • Dear Book Purists,

    Stop watching and commenting on the show. You’ll be happier. We’ll be happier.

    It’s a win-win.

    • Nothing about being a purist. Imagine if Boromir was killed in Mordor attacking the orcs instead of sacrificing himself to save the Hobbits from the Uruk Hai. It would cheapen his character and the film as a whole. The problem here is the the show is trying to separate itself from the books by adding in new twists for the sake of shock.

      • ASOIAF has faaar more storylines and characters than TLOTR; the way both are adapted is completely different so don’t compare. I LOVE the books and the series, I cant believe why people complain so much!! The books are there and will be there, so if you dont line the show just dont watch!! No one is taking the books away from anyone, and we wont know wheter the changes were really bad until the show is over.

        • I agree, but to borrow a meme, one does not simply compare LOTR to ASOIAF. I like the show (GoT), I like it a lot. If the writing becomes inconsistent, then most will start watching it. We’ll just have to see. Frankly, the books rewritten into show form were better to me, before they had to diverge so much due to the amount of diverging in the books. But it’s not like Peter Jackson didn’t also manage to tick off a LOT of Tolkienists (and reportedly TOLKIENS) with some of his adaptation choices. No one will ever make everyone happy, but they can give consistent screenplays.

      • It’s no different then the Lord of the rings movies. Which had a much larger following cutting characters and what not. It happens. Thier separate entities. So get off the high horse. Thier both amazing in Thier own right.

      • Since you have not a clue the way Barristan is gonna bite it in the books, your statement is pure bullshit.

      • No one gives a crap, you stupid dork. That was the above commenter’s point, I believe. If not, then it’s my point! Lots of people have seen a tv or film version of something for which they haven’t read the source material. That’s how culture works, in general. People talk about elektra complexes and penis envy without ever reading a word of freud. God, for someone who probably thinks of themself as a smart person, you’re pretty slow on the uptake!

    • People who whine about “purists” make themselves miserable. It is a childish insult and serves no purpose other than to signal that you are not capable of reasonable debate.

    • Yes. We should all stop active discussion of everything that way we can all be safe from other people’s opinions.

    • Lord Baelish,

      Quit worrying about what others choose to do, they’ll be happier and so will you, a real win win. Also if you don’t like the comments for the book readers why read the “spoilers” or comments section where we are bound to express our opinions. (see above the button that states “skip spoilers”)

    • Dear TV purist,
      Stop reading posts under a topic about the book Editor being unhappy about the show. You’ll be happier. We’ll be happier.
      It’s a win-win.

  • Let’s just sort this out now shall we. The streamlining of Tyrion and Jorah’s story means that Jorah is more than likely gonna reconcile with Daenerys before seasons end, meaning he can do everything Barristan does in the books, making Ser Barristan an irrelevance. Game of Thrones has no time for irrelevance. I was sad about his death, but I thought he got to go out the way he would have chosen, and it was a great fight. Also it’s it looking like there’s gonna be a war with Meereen so there’s another reason he’s no longer needed. I see nothing wrong with this deviation from the books

    • We’ll see how it plays out in the rest of the season, but I agree. I’m glad they’re diverging.

      And I’m really glad they’re keeping the plot moving. Because it’s been stopped dead for the past two books.

    • I expect Daario to be able to do all the fightring that either Jorah or Barristan cpuld have done.
      As for the friend part… that has already been explained.
      The counseling on how to rule part for Danaerys…Maybe only Tyrion will eventually be there for counseling the queen, and Jorah may be killed off by Drogon, or Daario, or maybe he just crawls into a hole and dissapears. But I do not expect Jorah to get reconciled with Danaeris.

  • Barristan trying to distract Drogon is one of the most noble and badass acts in the book. He has served three kings and wished to serve a leader he took pride in just before he dies. Being a king/Queen’s guard he sacrifices himself to defend his Queen. He should have died then rather than being knifed to death by a rabble of armed peasants. Its funny how they finally start portraying Stannis right after all the complaints but start messing up loads of other characters.

    • They might replace Barristan with Jorah or Tyrion and still get similar effect out of it. It might not be so good as it is in books, but it wouldn’t be very far from that..

        • Considering TV ultimaytely serves an audience, it will be so much more plausible to have the story go the way fan fiction wishes on TV, disregarding GRRM’s storyline while those who wish to stick to the original story will have to read the books.
          This will mean a decline in the TV story as the integrity of each haracter depends on mantaining a coherence between the way they are thought of originally and the way they are eventually portrayed. As characters become illogical in their actions, the storyline will begin to be absurd, and the show will be totally ridiculous by the middle of season six.
          Meanwhile in the paper world of Westeros, we will continue to have coherent characters until the end of the story, which will be totally different from the cancellation on TV.

          • I agree, the show will be totally ridiculous by the middle of season six. I no longer have the same passion for the show, but will continue to watch it. I love the books, George is a great writer, and I will continue reading them.

    • Would the series be better if Robb died heroically on the field of battle, or survived to avenge his father? Should Arya have slain Joffrey in single combat? Would the story be better if Tywin was tried for war crimes, but not before tearfully admitting he was wrong to treat his children so harshly? Saying that Barristan taking down 12 men half his age isn’t cool enough because it’s not enough of a glamorous ending seems very un-GoT. BUT I LIKE THE SHOW AS MUCH AS THE BOOKS SO WHAT DO I KNOW.

      I’m also annoyed that every entertainment site on the net felt the need to post an ‘exit interview,’ post-mortem,’ or ‘curtain call’ about Barristan. It’s bad enough the internet is a minefield of spoilers for the most recent p within minutes of it ending, but now it’s spoiling the cliffhangers for the following week.

    • I don’t like how they portrayed some great characters or legends in the tv show. loras, barristan etc… as someone pointed out above that loras could have killed a dozen or so sparrows before being taken. he was the best Knight present in the Kings landing at that time. again same for barristan, he rescued the mad king single handedly from enemy’s castle for Christ’s sake. show him some proper respect.

  • Kinda funny she’s complaining about the show, since one of the most common complaints about book 4&5 (which I liked) is it’s lack of solid editing. I try to see the two as seperate, they each have to work their own way.

  • If u watch thronecast, the actor for Barristan literally says that Dany’s entire season 5 plot line is built around Barristan Selmy dying.

    Get over it.

      • I mean… hes a tertiary character…
        same w/ Loras.

        I’ve devoured the books multiple times where it is possible to have 100 interesting, fully developed side characters, but this is not a 1000000 page book. I suspect the show is cleaning house of the tertiary characters in order to clear budget.

        • I completely understand the show’s need to clean house and narrow the cast down. So why not clean out some of Margaery’s hand maidens? Perhaps not chase a character arc in Season 4 like Karl or Locke just to give Jon Snow more screen time.

          I do appreciate the fact that Barry had a noble death. That was a good thing, he died saving a friend and he took out quite a few SoH before he bit it. That much I am grateful for. But I would have rather seem him die by possibly Drogon’s fire in Daznak’s pit, while taunting the dragon from Dany because that was the Barristan the Bold I loved.

          • again…
            its about serving the plot.
            He died in a heroic way… but now this will affect Dany and the decisions she makes going forward.

          • “Why not clean out some of Margaery’s hand maindens”

            Because those actors are cheap as hell, Barriston is a much more important character and he gets a lot more screentime, his actor is way more expensive.

          • I think you miss why Harpys were the ones that killed Barristan: now we see the Harpyes as a real threat and not Dany’s villain of the week. We will want them to lose and understand the decisions Dany will make even if would not approve them and we will sympathize with her when she has lost somebody important and probably will feel even more alone and confused. Drogon killing him would have completely different implications to the storyline. That moment was great and I am sorry not to see it but I do not think Barristan was killed just for shock value and heroic moment witch that would hava been.

  • His premature death rendered his whole character and story arc in the show mute and, ultimately, completely pointless. He could have been written out from the start and everything would have stayed exactly the same. Those minor, insignificant things he did in 5 seasons he’s been around could have been done by other characters or even scrapped and IT WOULDN’T AFFECT A DAMN THING. But of course – f*cking Missandei is still around!

    • What’s wrong with Missandei? She doesn’t take up a lot of screen time and the actress is lovely…

  • I feel for the book purists. I was the same way with True Blood, though I do think in this instance that D&D are not interested in completely modifying the story to the point of not bearing much resemblance to the books at all, like Alan Ball did. He loved Bill and it became a show about Bill, regardless of the fact that out of the last ten books, Bill had probably a few paragraphs AT MOST. He was a minor character in every sense, and it was frustrating to say the least to watch the other characters, the MAJOR characters, have their personalities gutted and stripped and the story become unrecognizable. The books didn’t even end the same way as the show.

    I don’t think this is happening in Game of Thrones. I think they have their eye on the main theme and ending, and are getting there in different ways due to the constraints of time and the fickle nature of television. Will it really matter in the end that Barristan dies or that Sansa takes Jeyne’s place? I don’t think it will, in the scheme of things.

    But I do know how it feels to watch a story you love unfold in ways you don’t like. Luckily Outlander doesn’t have as many characters as GoT. LOL

  • Not to argue with any of the criticism of the show, but Jane Johnson is NOT George’s editor. She’s a director at HarperCollins, which means she’s like his editor’s boss’ boss’ boss, an executive. His actual editor is Anne Groell, and has been for decades.

  • Oh my god so much crying.

    The series has more viewers than ever, I suspect this won’t affect most peoples’ enjoyment of the show. I swear with most book purists, they don’t care about the plot, they just complain because it’s not how it was in the books.

    If Barristan had died in the books like he did on the series, I’m sure it would have been hailed, and if he had survived on the series, people would have said it cheapened him by not having him sacrifice himself for his friend and ally.

    Just enjoy both books and series, it’ll be so much happier for you.

    • If Barristan had died in the books like he did on the series, I’m sure it would have been hailed, and if he had survived on the series, people would have said it cheapened him by not having him sacrifice himself for his friend and ally.

      Spot on.

    • I understand the complaints, because people who love the books feel like he had a cool role in the books, while he got killed off before he could live up to that in the show.

      That said, I don’t agree at all. First off, the way he died in the show worked for me, and I have no idea why he’s still alive in the books. Second, the writers are working with lots of storylines, not just Barristan’s. I see no reason to believe that this will end up as a net loss. Especially since the season isn’t over yet.

  • The fact that D&D spent two season on ASoS and will spend one season on AFFC and ADwD combined is about right.

    They spent the time on the good stuff, and have radically pared down the dreck. Maybe if GRRM had a better editor in the first place, some of these story changes wouldn’t be necessary. But he didn’t — and they are necessary.

    That’s the ugly truth. She should deal with it and look at the mirror for answers.

    • They spent the time on the good stuff, and have radically pared down the dreck. Maybe if GRRM had a better editor in the first place, some of these story changes wouldn’t be necessary. But he didn’t — and they are necessary.
      That’s the ugly truth. She should deal with it and look at the mirror for answers.

      Bravo, Robert!

    • Never go full retard man, that’s one of the most ignorant, stupid things I have read in a while. Try to keep your opinions to yourself if they are going to be all like this.

      • Wow seriously. I agree with his opinion. Obviously you’re one of the purists. Yea the show is “based on” the books. that does not mean a word for word transition to screen.

  • ppl who say ‘if you don’t like the changes, don’t watch it’ will infact be the ones that might bring the show ratings down. I’ve seen this happening with a lot of shows, people comment, ‘don’t like it, don’t watch it’ and gradually the ratings come down and sometimes reach towards cancellation. Now when the ratings dip down to a minimum, these same people will then say ‘why aren’t more people watching’. well you were the same people who said ‘don’t like it, don’t watch it’ and thats exactly what happened.

    Imagine if most of the book readers got so annoyed and if they stop watching the show entirely, it will bring the ratings down.

    Now, me as a book reader don’t want the show to come down in the ratings at all, because I personally love it. It has to be changed and will be different from the books for sure but, I say again and stress on it, changes like these will not have a good effect on the show.

    Right now, I am really not sure whether this move will be ignored or it might as well come back and haunt D&D for taking such a route, only time will tell.

    • Killing Barristan Selmy is not going to ruin the ratings, because she show knows that Meereen is DANY’s storyline, and they are taking steps to ensure her story remains interesting and keeps propelling forward, while still hitting the major beats that its meant to.

      • you maybe forgetting the fact that the ratings includes book readers also. hence, if you make more and more UNNECESSARY changes, then yes, it might effect the ratings overall.

        EDIT: I personally feel that this was an UNNECESSARY change. But, that does not mean I’m against the show. as mentioned, the show will have changes, just not too many UNNECESSARY changes just to show that the show is diverging.

        • Book readers won’t stop watching. They all either enjoy the show, or enjoy ripping on it too much to stop.

    • Thing is most people do like it. I just feel that on forums like this there is a very vocal minority of book fans intent on seeing an exact copy of the books, in comparison to a huge audience of books fans like myself who appreciate the changes for keeping things interesting for us. As well as this, there’s a very large group of people with no interest in the books but who are very invested in the TV series.

      • No offense, but I’m pretty sure that there are more people who watch the show and have never read the books, than there are people who have read the books and watch the show.

        • You’re probably right there. Point is, I’m convinced that for all people can complain that the show “cheapens” the story, the vast majority of people see it as a story on it’s own, separate from the books.

          Most people won’t give a damn what this publisher complains about, we know a good story when we see it, and the TV series is a brilliant story and top of the ratings for a reason.

        • You are right. That’s the nature of television and the nature of a television show on HBO. BUT I think it’s unfair to say that book purists are a minority. As someone in the above comments noted, ask True Blood’s rapid decline into oblivion and horrible tv if the book purists were the minority.

          • I don’t think anyone can prove or disprove this, but I’d bet a kings ransom that True Bloods rapid decline had more to do with the quality of the episodes then the deviations from the books.

            While I understand that some purist will say the book deviations are lowering the quality of the show, I know myself, and it seems most critics, would disagree. Meanwhile I don’t think anyone can defend the final few seasons of True Blood.

          • I think True Blood’s mistake was a weakening script and a seeming decline in acting, not necessarily due to changes from the books to screen. I’d also point out (though hesitantly because this isn’t something I’m sure of and I shall certainly look foolish!) that ‘The Southern Vampire Mysteries’ never hit even close to the heights of ASOIAF, even after the TV series aired.

            I’m just not sure the two are compatible, particularly as Game of Thrones has already had some major departures and yet viewing figures were higher than they’ve ever been for the premiere!

            I know I’m not a great case study, but counting myself I only know of perhaps 5 people who have read ASOIAF and watch the TV series, but I would still hesitantly suggest that book readers are a minority, though perhaps a sizable minority.

          • Joe, I’m not anything like a book purist (I haven’t read any of these books), but I think someone could make the argument that the decline of a TV show and its increasing deviations from the books are not a coincidence which you can treat as easily separable.

      • ” just feel that on forums like this there is a very vocal minority of book fans intent on seeing an exact copy of the books”

        Literally no one on earth thinks this. It would be impossible, even with unlimited screen time and budget. If you think “purists” believe this, you don’t understand them.

    • Except the show’s more popular than ever (even with the stolen 4 episodes) and it’d be nice if people could discuss THE SHOW without the OH MY GOD PAGE 1015 WAS LEFT OUT crowd not ruining it for everyone with their whining and spoilers.

      • None of the books readers I know are so up in arms about any changes that they’re quitting the show. One said he liked seeing the changes, because it kept him on the edge of his seat when he watched. I commend his patience. LOL

      • i am gonna give you a golden advice for free like so many TV only viewers are giving to book readers .” don’t read about show if you don’t wanna get spoiled. “

  • So what if Ser Barristan’s book storyline is cut short. It works for the show, by killing off Ser Barristan it heightens how much of a threat the Son’s of the Harpy are, it adds more emotional weight to the storyline as it’s a character the audience recognize as opposed to just some random Unsullied soldiers. It also makes to have Dany’s small council reduced considering Tyrion looks likely to serve as an adviser.

    Also while they may have killed off Ser Barristan this season just think of how much other characters fro the books have severely improved on the show. Bronn is fantastic in the show and has been given a lot more to work with, same with characters like Joffrey, Oberyn, Sandor, Gendry, Robb and Sansa to name a few.

      • Where’s Gendry, where’s Yara, Where’s BwB etc…

        Oh wait, maybe they will turn up out of the blue. This will confuse the unsullied more

      • The dude couldn’t even swim! I’d say he’s fish bait, poor kid. LOL But I guess we’ll see.

    • You’re right about Bronn being one of the many great characters but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t make it through the season. Ned Stark, Kal Drogo, Prince Oberyn, the Hound and Ser Baristan were tremendous characters with great potential for furthering the storylines but, nonetheless did not survive.

  • I don’t the changes are that big a deal. In fact, in some ways they’re better. By making Sansa the one to marry Ramsay it makes viewers more sympathetic to her situation. Much better that having it be some random background character that you feel sorry for, but don’t really care much about.

    • Yeah same with Barristan’s death, you really care for the development of the characters’ motives far more than a faceless Unsullied being killed. Totally agree!

  • “….cheapens the legacy of the show.”

    Wow that’s a strong statement. One could argue that spending multiple (I honestly can’t remember how many it was) chapters covering the events in Meereen, where nothing really of note happens but preparing for battle, cheapens the legacy of the books.

    D&D are simply streamlining the series, as they only have 6 episodes left to tie up the Meereen storyline and can’t ramble on forever like GGRM did (which Mrs. Johnson allowed too).

    I will agree with her that Loras is a bit of a cartoon in the show, but I didn’t find him all that enjoyable in the books anyways, nor do I think GGRM did as if I remember correctly Loras disappears off to Dragonstone in AFFC and we never hear from him again.

    • Good point, GRRM dragged on Meereen to the point it was better to read chapter recaps online. Streamlining that is good, but the other matters….

    • That’s my issue with it. She’s complaining about the decisions they’re making…well, honestly, at least something is happening in the show. At this point in the books, we’re watching lots of nothing happen. All over the world. In real time.

      • Yes, but the sped UP the KL storyline with the Faith Militant and the Sparrow movement without making it clearer that this was caused by the ongoing wars and destruction. They need to balance it a bit better, just as GRRM does.

  • And while I agree that Loras would’ve fought the stupid religious zealots (and would’ve had his men backing him up), I’d much rather see him temporarily imprisoned but still alive, unlike in the books. At least this way, we have the chance to see more of him. Also, he fuels Margaery’s plot line and gives us an excuse to see the Queen of Thorns again.

    • I am hoping, as the storylines are already diverging, to have Olenna take revenge on Cersei. Of course, there are a number of ways she can do this, starting with having Cersei imprisioned by the Sparrows and please have ser Meryn killed off… wishful thinking though.

    • One of the problems with showing Cersei’s tale on TV is that from AFFC onwards, GRRM relies upon the literary device of the unreliable narrator. (He also does this with Reek). Readers have to read Cersei’s chapters VERY carefully to understand what Cersei misses and what is actually going on.

      Lady Taena sets Cersei up for her arrest and makes sure that Cersei knows the Targaryen law about who can defend her Honour as Queen (only a member of the Kingsguard). Once Cersei knows that and repeats it to her, Lady Taena flees the capital and Cersei goes to her own arrest.

      Loras’ fate in the books is, in fact, very unclear.

      Many readers, me among them, believe that Loras is, in fact, uninjured and was not horribly scarred from the Battle of Dragonstone. He was only described as a battlefield casualty, horribly scarred and injured by fire to Cersei so that she would not call on Loras to defend her honour as a member of the Kingsguard after she was arrested. But what the reader knows at this point is only what Cersei knows — and Cersei is surrounded by Tyrells bent on her destruction. You must consider not only the words, but the source. Are they telling Cersei the truth?

      It will be only when Margaery’s trial by battle proceeds that we will find out that Loras is alive and well.

      Of course, the Tyrells don’t know about “Robert Strong”, but that’s a different matter…

  • I have some advice for you and everyone who thinks every page of the book needs to be filmed: Stop watching the show. Unplug your TV Sunday nights. Pick up your worn out Feast of Crows/Dance of Dragons paperbacks, and read them over and over again. We’ll all be happier. P.S. Nobody’s cheapened the legacy of the books more than GRRM with the last two turds he turned out.

    • Disagree. But that’s okay, we don’t all have to agree on everything. I love the show, but I do not like SOME of the changes. Does that mean I need to stop watching the show? Really? That’s the laziest means of argument on the internet. So if you, for example do not like the way chicken tastes, should I then say to you, “Stop eating and die of hunger,” instead?

      By the way, I do re-read my worn out copies of every ASOIAF book. On my 5th re-read of the series. Doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the show. It also doesn’t mean I have to agree with every change that D&D make.

      • So if you, for example do not like the way chicken tastes, should I then say to you, “Stop eating and die of hunger,” instead?

        Well, first thing: I’m a vegetarian. Second thing, yeah, if I didn’t like chicken, I’d stop eating it and, no, I wouldn’t die of hunger. I’d find something else to eat ( and do!). My life is happier for it. If you don’t like the show, stop watching it. If you prefer the books, keep reading them. So, no, it’s not a lazy argument. It’s good advice. The millions of us who love the show can then watch it and critique is AS A SHOW, and not some slave to a completely different medium. Thanks!

        • Peter you are missing my point. Insert vegetables for chicken, then. It’s the same thing. I can be a fan of both and enjoy both. However, I do NOT like some of the horrible changes. So, yes, your obligatory “Then stop watching” is a lazy response used by everyone who tries and fails to argue the show > the books theory.

          I would respect your opinion a ton more, had you given me reasons why, however you did not. =(

      • 100% bang on @David (Razor) Harris

        We don’t need to agree to all the changes being made.

        I also think, that D&D are now rushing to complete the show because of the size and scale. In doing so they are completely dropping storylines. For example, they introduced BwB and never touched that part of the story in future seasons. I just hope they give some conclusion to the stories that they are dropping here and there by the end of the series.

        • I believe they introduced the BwB to show what Mel is capable of. I think she will need to use that power on someone very important soon.

      • So if you, for example do not like the way chicken tastes, should I then say to you, “Stop eating and die of hunger,” instead?

        No. But if you do not like the way chicken tastes, then the smart thing to do would be to stop eating chicken and eat something else instead, don’t you think?

        The same applies here. You don’t like GOT? Then watch something else. Simple as that.

        • Zod: Missing the point again…
          Insert the words ALL FOOD for chicken, then. Are you going to allow yourself to die because you dislike the taste of life-giving nourishment from food? No, you aren’t, and if you would, then perhaps this is not the correct forum to discuss your obviously deeper issues.

          My point is this: I can like both the show and the books, in fact I do, but just because I dislike the direction of a certain story-arc or character development, doesn’t mean I need to stop watching and just read because LOL BUK RDRZ SUK AND R LAME SHOW RULEZ!!1111

          We can all have differing opinions. We don’t always have to agree, but we can talk about our differences here, and try to work to a better goal or solution. =)

          • OK, so we’re at a dinner party and they’re serving chicken. A bunch of people who love chicken are enjoying their meal and some people who don’t like chicken start talking about how “Chicken is ruining the legacy of food.”

            Actually, they don’t hate chicken that much, but they wish it had been served differently. Maybe as a chicken Kiev. For the rest of dinner, however, every bite they take they complain more and more about how the chicken isn’t what they hoped it would be and how awful it is. The other guests, eventually, are just going to get annoyed because all the complaining is ruining dinner. The hosts tried to prepare the chicken in a good way, they just didn’t have the time (and only half of the guests chipped in to help buy the ingredients).

            What was my point? I’m really hungry now…

      • I think the point is that if you are unable to view the show as a separate story, then you might as well stop watching. Are the changes dramatic? Sure, but it’s absurd to say you don’t like the changes without seeing the series in its entirety- which, of course, none of us have.

        If three years from now you still dont like the story, fine, but for now- just stop worrying about the books and let this adaptation run its course.

        And for what its worth- can we all just publicly admit that the last two books stunk, and maybe some of these huge changes are a good thing? Everyone is so eager to blame DD, but if GRRM didnt add 376 unnecessary characters and storylines, maybe they wouldnt have to make such dramatic changes to make the show watchable.

    • The books aren’t exactly great literature, but the characters are sound and interesting. I liked certain off book scenes quite a lot last season (Brienne and The Hound, for example) because they were well written. It’s not the off book nature that bothers me, it’s the rushing of everything to the point of absurdity and poor treatment of previously consistent characters.

    • “I have some advice for you and everyone who thinks every page of the book needs to be filmed:”

      Since no such people exist, who are you talking to?

  • This was the episode that has completely separated the books and show. All the small changes have been leading to this and some of them were needed just to be practical but ones like killing Ser Barristan, who ends up becoming a major character, weren’t needed. And also he was supposed to be one of the best swordsman in the world and he’s killed by a few harpies with no armor. The guy even says he could cut through the kingsgaurd like carving a cake and they were trained to fight and had armor.

    • And also he was supposed to be one of the best swordsman in the world and he’s killed by a few harpies with no armor.

      He kills like 15 of them, even though he’s far from being in his prime. Just WTF else did you expect? This isn’t LoTR or 300.

      • I know he’s not in his prime but still he should’ve had the sense to put his back to a wall or charged in and overwhelmed them cus his attacks would’ve injured them more since no protection. And I am well aware it’s not LOTR which have some accuracy when it came to fights. And 300 was not at all accurate. Also part of my issue is the unsullied are supposed to great soldiers but grey worm has no sense of tactics so the get butchered by people who are unlikely to be that well trained if at all. And I know numbers can trump training but then kill greyworm who never becomes that important or vital story wise. Maybe I’m just annoyed that they got rid of someone important instead of a third tier character

      • No he’s not in his prime, you’re correct. BUT why would the Lord Commander of Dany’s Queensguard walk openly through a city that has already proven it hates its occupiers, WITHOUT ANY ARMOR???
        Barristan the Bold form the books probably would not have survived that fight from Sunday night, but he for sure would not have been there without armor or at least a friend or two.

        Also, can we talk about how the MOST FEARED soldiers in Essos were taken out by a bunch of dudes in robes and mardi gras masks? PLEASE?

        The Unsullied are so completely badass in the show AND the books that having them get REKT like that was even a shame to my Unsullied wife and friends. Seriously, that was ridiculous. A trained Battalion of Unsullied in full armor and compliment of weapons being lead by their appointed leader, Grey Worm, were beaten by a bunch of pompous spoiled and untrained rich dudes who are too cowardly to show their face…riiiiiiight.

        Honestly, that shocked me more that Barristan’s death, even though I did not like him dying, either.

        • They’re feared as AN ARMY. On the fucking BATTLEFIELD. And they aren’t feared because they’re 300 individual badasses but because of their extreme discipline which allows them to do wonder as a PHALANX.

          They aren’t trained or equipped to patrol streets in small groups. They aren’t trained to face guerilla tactics in an occupied city where you can’t even tell whose your friend or your foe. And they sure as hell aren’t some godlike warriors : when they’re ambushed, overwhelmed and stabbed in the back they just fucking die (and that happens in the books too, you know?).

          • yes a an army they are nearly unbeatable. And I know full well what happens in the books having read each multiple times. I’m not expecting them to be anything like the Spartans who at termopalea were backed up by several thousand other Greeks, so even the 300 weren’t quite the badasses the movie made them seem. And your right in the books they face a losing battle cus they were oftentimes alone. It’s not till stalwart shield dies that they are ordered to always have someone else by thier side. Even before Danys orders they were able to put up s fight cus the are trained to do that from age 5. But back to grey worms patrol of 6-8 guys they could’ve formed a mini phalanx and I say mini because a key component of a phalanx is guys behind you to help brace you. Once again I must point out that the unsullied had on armor and the harpies don’t so your pointing out 300 and the battle of termopalea helps prove my point of how armor would’ve put the harpies at a disadvantage. The Persians didn’t wear much if any armor due t thier climate so any hit was likely to be fatal. It would be the same thing in the corridor the unsullied could’ve stood back in phalanx formation and stabbed away. Or use a sword something they have in the books. And before you say they had no time to get in formation research the scene and you’ll see there was time. You may or may not know but they are trained from age 5 to fight and the harpies are nobles who don’t really know how to fight. Also one other tidbit the unsullied are modeled after the legions of the ghiscari empire which went toe to toe against Valaryia and long lost cus of the dragons. So each soldier is vastly suppior to others when it comes to fighting.

          • extreme discipline

            Hey look, you just agreed with me. The Unsullied were not disciplined in the past episode, which is why they were butchered. The book Unsullied would not have done that…but hey, we can keep running in circles if you want.

    • Thank you. This is a man (show and books) who escaped the Kingsguard without armor or even his sword after his removal of armor and throwing his sword at Joffrey’s feet and made it Dany. When characters start acting unlike themselves, it just becomes bad writing. Imagine a Breaking Bad where Hank says, “Oh, screw it, I’ll help you, Walt! We’ll get rich together!” That is basically what I am seeing here.

  • It DOES cheapen the characters. Take a show that wasn’t adapted from books, same thing when they jump the so called shark–which is almost always from having characters start acting out of character. Jaime? What is he even DOING?? Ser Barristan, going into a brawl without armor instead of rushing back to guard his Queen? Sansa left with a flaying lunatic? It just views like rushed fan fiction now, regardless of how it diverges. Brienne never fought The Hound or ran into Arya in the books, but that scene was so well written even book viewers didn’t complain. This has just become bad television. The Faith Militant being brought up, armed and ransacking King’s Landing in about 5 minutes’ time? The Unsullied proving to be incapable of fighting well? Everything is too rushed and out of control. Like Dany’s dragons, the showrunners seem to have lost control.

    And yes, to rob us of Barristan Selmy in a very poorly choreographed fight scene (that one sword slash should have cut that guy in half, not knocked him over, especially on a show that isn’t shy about blood, was absurd) when he plays a central role after these events is going too far. It’s not just that it’s not in the books, it’s killing off a fairly important and well loved character who is alive in the books and doing it poorly. (I didn’t mark this as a spoiler as the entire article was about this and these other points.)

    • We haven’t seen how it will play out in the rest of the season, that’s my problem.

      I didn’t particularly care about Barristan in the books, or Loras for that matter, but I still wish she had waited to see where this plotline was going before complaining about it.

  • Selmy’s self-sacrifice was inconsistent with the books, but it was at least consistent with who his character was. Besides, I bet the plot decision here has more to do with the way Tyrion’s story is also being altered. I think that will all make sense as the season unfolds.

    What really bothered me this week was Loras. Even within the world of the show, they portrayed him as a capable knight. It just wasn’t believable that a capable knight, armed for sparring and practicing with fellow knights and squires, could be carried off by a handful of angry monks with pitchforks and shovels. Not only did Loras weakly allow himself to be hauled off, but the other knights just stood around watching it happen. Unless all those knights were paid off by Cersei (and there was no indication of that), there is no way those knights would have recognized the authority of some new unknown group of monks to haul away the Queen’s brother.

    • Hauled off by Lancel, no less….he could’ve cut him down like a pigeon. Or a sparrow, I suppose.

    • /sarcasmon…but but but they gave the Faith Militant a cool montage where they smashed barrels of liquid and bullied gay guys in a brothel…THEY CLEARLY WERE IN GOD MODE AND LORAS STOOD DOWN BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO GET PWND BY GUYS WITCH SCARY CARVINGS ON THEIR FOREHEADS AND CHAINS AROUND THEIR IRONICLY BLACK ROBES…/sarcasmoff

    • I haven’t read the books, but in the show Loras appeared totally shocked and didn’t have the time to react appropriately. I am soooo hoping that he demands a trial by combat and fights the new Frankenstein-Mountain. We as show only watchers will finally understand what a badass he is supposed to be. (I only remember that he got pawned by Brienne in season 2). There’s a certain redundancy to this scenario (ie -season 4) so I just can’t imagine D&D going in this direction :/

      • I would love a show-down between Loras and the FrankenMountain, but like you said, I do not think they are heading in that direction. However, I do think we MAY see new and improved Lancel take on FrankenMountain, later on in the season as part of the Cersei’s trial by combat vs the faith.

  • Honestly, the character is not all that interesting in the show–and not even particularly memorable in the books–though he has more to do. The actor was serviceable, but really, overall, not going to miss the character all that much.

    • Yeah, that was my issue. His “highlights” in my mind are long over by this point in the story. When I read the books, I’m always curious about why he isn’t dead by now.

  • Even if I would fully agree with her (I would like maybe a bit more accuracy but I have loved the episodes so far) I think saying something like this is rather unprofessional. At least she could have waited after Season 5 is finished, now she just sound like she is seeking attention or is taking the show too seriously and could not help but complain.

    • I’m glad they’re diverging from the books, personally. As long as the show tells a good story, I couldn’t care less whether it’s accurate to the books or not.

      That said, I absolutely agree with you. She’s already complaining about the story decisions of the show as though it’s a given that they will result in a weaker plotline and less interesting characters. Well, no. That’s only if the story proceeds the way she expects it will.

      At least wait until the season’s completely over to complain about it.

    • She’s selling books is what she’s doing. From her very first tweet, “Read the books if you want to know the story the way the author intended it.”

      GRRM already said they were going to kill characters he hasn’t, yet. He knew what was going to happen long before the show aired. No one is up in arms about it except book fan(atics). I’m a book (all books) lover myself, and the fact is, book five was mostly filler and irrelevant plotlines. I knew the Connington plot line would be cut because it shouldn’t exist even in the book. Though I do wish they’d have spent a little more time with Tyrion and Varys on the road. Same with Quentin Martell, totally useless plot line, happy to see it gone. Heck they may be rushing to get to the part where book 5 actually got interesting. It would be the opposite of book five, which was 3/4 boring filler and 1/4 rushed good stuff. I’ll give them this, Loras should have killed half of those angry altar boys. And they should have maybe kept the bit with Doran and the Sand Snakes. Fine with the rest. If losing that stuff is the price for more Bronn, it was a bargain!

  • i don’t really think it’s about wanting a copy of the book on TV BUT about some changes going too far! sure, there’s people who doesen’t mind and people who doesen’t read the book, but for the readers, it’s not like we want it to be exactly the same as in the book, what we wished for was an adaptation of what happened in the book, which is pretty different from making changes like they are!

    take season 1 and 2 for example, they were pretty well adapted! i remember reading book 1 and watching season 1 and i was like “wooow, this is so well done!”! ofc with the introduction of more characters in the other seasons, with the plot becoming bigger and more complex, they had to make some cuts and simplify things! but i wish they didn’t deviate so much from the storyline in the books!

    i no longer face the show as an adaptation but as “based on the book”! like, they thought ASOIAF is cool and decided to write a TV show based on it!
    that’s a much better way to face it and accept the changes they make, because while i think “this show is adapted from the book”, there are things, as a book reader and lover, i will just never accept!

  • The thing i complain the most about is that the scene was so ugly filmed amd i wasnt suprised when i read the writer for the episode was new to the series.

    I didnt like the change but i think and hope Dan and made it for a good reason.

  • I think that these changes to the books are a win-win for both GRRM and the producers.
    We can expect the storyline of the show to progress further than described in “A Dance with Dragons” before “Winds of Winter” comes out.

    Many readers who watch the show, will probably be reluctant to go after the book if all the plot twists are revealed or stay the same.

    This way, we (book readers) have an interest in watching the show, even though we dont approve all of the changes but we watch because there is something “unknown” about to happen, and we will, after we watched even season 6 buy “Winds of Winter” just to see the genuine story without changes presented in the show.

    It was a great business decision, and in my opinion probably a “fan service”, to implement the changes and not to shot the show word by word based on the book. This way we have 1 and a half ASOIF to enjoy :)

  • Absolutely tired of the story line of the show. There is not one word of homophobia in the books.
    They have skipped over so much interesting material that it seems like they want to get to the point where they can spoil the story line.
    I’m done with the show until after book 6 arrives. Canceling HBO.

    • Interesting material? They’re skipping over long stretches of nothing significant happening.

      The plot’s moving a little quickly now, I grant you, but it was stopped cold in the books. The TV show has reanimated the dead horse that George Martin was beating for two long books, and I’m thankful for it.

      As for homophobia, do you really think the creators of the show are trying to show Loras’ homosexuality as a negative quality? Because I very much doubt that they are. If they wanted to use his storyline as some anti-homosexuality morality play, they could have made him sinister or stupid, or just written him as heterosexual and effeminate. But they didn’t.

      He reads as campier on the show than he does in the book, sure, but a measure of that comes with the territory when you have to portray him in a visual medium. Some of what people are complaining about as “stereotypical” is when he’s talking romantically with another man, which is basically part and parcel of being sexually involved with men.

      Besides which…so he acts a little stereotypically in a few scenes. So what? He’s still a proactive gay character with his own story. He’s the strongest gay character on TV right now. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’m surprised that you would be abandoning GoT.

  • Yeah…agree to disagree, I guess. I’ve read all the books multiple times, and I still feel that the show is doing a much better job of telling this story than the books alone do. I’m glad Season 5 has started to diverge from Martin’s vision, and I think they’re doing an excellent job of keeping me invested in the characters. In the books, I didn’t care what happened to Barristan or Loras. In the show, I do.

    George Martin is an excellent writer, but his ideas aren’t gospel.

    • Rehgar61

      For me the issue I have is the way Ser Barristan fought. I feel like his skills were less than they have been portrayed to be. The fight with the Sons of the Harpy was poorly done. Granted he wasn’t wearing armor. However the fight was less than what I imagined. After all he is “ The Greatest Knight in the Seven Kingdoms”. He deserved a glorious death. He just didn’t live up to his legend. Could have been done better it seemed rushed.
      Loras has the same issue, so with his armor on he is a badass. However when the sparrows walk up he takes his helmet off and suddenly he is meekly taken into custody. His character just doesn’t work for me. One minute he unseats the mountain the next minute he’s a winning little wimp?

  • The irony Is had the editor did a better job editing book 4 and 5
    D&D probably would not have had to make as many major changes in the first place lol

    P.S. claiming that the changes to a small side character like Loras is cheapening the show’s legacy, as a whole is ridiculous.

    and trying to make George RR Martin out to be a powerless victim who has not control or power is also ridiculous. Martin is just as responsible for lot of these changes as D&D themselves
    because he was the one decided to sell the rights to books that he wasn’t even finished writing and leaving D&D to finish his story.

    A lot of these changes could have been avoided had Martin waited to finish his book series before selling it to HBO

    So I don’t blame D&D or HBO at all
    I blame martin and his editor

  • I’m glad she’s come out and stated her position at least I know I’m not alone in that regard.

  • If she was one of the editors of book 4 and 5, I can not take her seriously…sorry, these books are very poorly edited.

    The reason she cries now, is that she sees how much streamlining of the bloated books can be done and how much it improves the storyline. But as editor she can not just admit it and therefor she tries to defend her work.

    I loved books 1 to 3 but I like now the tv show much more than books 4 and 5. I think I would be more forgiving regarding books 4 and 5 if ASOIF would have been finished. When I read them now (and the sample chapters of book 6) than I am just all the time frustrated because I can see that GRRM bloats and bloats the story and invents new unnecessary story lines and persons which will make it impossible for him to ever finish the series.

    The show has probably only 26 episodes left and they have to streamline the story, start the endgame and get rid of for the endgame unimportant persons. Something which in book 5 writer and editor should have started too.

  • I like the show better. The books linger on pointless topics for pages at a time. She gets right down to business.

    The book people…. This includes the purists, editor, and probably GRRM (based on his lack of comments for the season) need to get over themselves.

    And you wonder why major companies are so afraid to start new major franchises. There will always be a portion who hates the material no matter how close it is to the source material.

  • There is enough real content in books 4 and 5 to make one good book. Instead we got 2 mediocre ones over the last 10 years.

    The show has improved all of that.

  • Neil Degrasso Tyson said it best about book purists…. don’t watch! If you like the books so much don’t watch!

    I casually read a few forums back in the Harry Potter days and it was all of the same complaints. The book purists will never be pleased. That is what makes them book purists. They should stick to paper and avoid screens.

    • Eh I take everything Tyson says with a grain of salt. He’s trying to sell his own brand. And, as a book purist, I KNOW FOR A FACT that it is possible to enjoy the show and the books, as I do, but you can still be upset with certain changes, as I am.

  • I am a fan of the books but like many others are saying show is show and book is book. I have always kept them separate and in many other book series as well. Trust me book readers its less stressful this way. Don’t sweat changes. Just accept them as two different mediums. I have seen other shows where they had pointless cuts/changes for no reason. D & D are pretty sharp guys and I am sure they have good reasons for these adjustments and have clever ways to compensate for them like Jorah theory for example. I think this editor is just trying to convince people to read the books and by them :)

  • It’s very presumptuous to assume that Barristan has become ‘irrelevant’ in the books. Don’t you think that his editor has a clearer notion of what GRRM intends for the character’s arc than D & D do? What if Septa Lemore is Ashara Dayne and the author plans to bring them back together? What if Dany goes full-blown crazyass Targ and Barristan decides to join the Aegon team – or better yet in terms of an ironic twist, Mr. Paragon of Chivalry and Fealty ends up stabbing her in the back? That’s a scene I would love to see, but now the showrunners have ruled it out.

    We ‘book purists’ do NOT expect the show to follow the books to the letter. We understand that it’s a different medium and that characters and plotlines have to be streamlined or merged on account of time constraints. We are not naive or stupid, so kindly stop patronizing us. Most of us even like many of the changes. But we do object to potentially crucial plotlines and characters being excised or made unrecognizable – especially when a lot of the new stuff beibg introduced, like putting Bran’s party at Craster’s keep last season, just seems like pointless, time-wasting filler.

  • YOU TELL ‘EM JANE!

    The problem is not the separation per se, but the fact that it’s making the show WORSE than the books.

  • The show is defaming the books. I fear that HBO will somehow dictate what may happening in the next book (now a year behind schedule). There are so many critical story elements missing that I can’t even watch the show anymore. The show is dumbed down to please America’s short attention span and lack of appreciation for detail and character development. The worst part is, not only was good stuff taken out, but it was replaced with cheesy cliche crap! The kind of thing a 9 year old would think is cool, not an adult. I assume Michael Bay is lurching in the shadows somewhere pleased to see that is handiwork in destroying Transformers and TMNT is now rubbing off on projects he is not even involved it. The show is a damn disgrace.

  • First off: I am a book-reader fan of the show (I am very much Sullied). I know the story of ASOIAF pretty much inside and out, and that includes the history that preceded it (yes, I bought and absorbed the World of Ice and Fire compendium that was released last year).

    Having said all that: I am perfectly OK in the end with the changes that that the TV series has made, and here is why. First, it’s Martin’s own fault for allowing his series to make it to the screen before it was even finished. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he did so, but it meant that the possibility was always there that the series was going to overtake the books, especially given the glacial pace at which Martin writes. Now the possibility has become reality, and the show writers are doing their best to continue a story which hasn’t been completed yet in the books. Don’t blame them, since they’ve been forced to fly blind, just like Arya did in ADWD.

    To address specific complaints: Ser Loras as a cartoon character? So what? He was never a major character in the books, and as anyone who has read them already knows, he should also be a non-existent minor character fairly shortly unless something miraculous happens for him. As for Ser Barristan- I will say that I was annoyed at how he died in the show, given that in the books he is still one of the finest knights in the Seven Kingdoms both in terms of skill and character. However, in the end, he is also a minor character, albeit one who is getting the chance to really kick ass and shine in the upcoming book. I am sad to see him go in the TV series, but since he wasn’t really given that chance to shine that he was in the books (Winds of Winter, read his chapters, they are awesome), his death has a smaller impact in the show.

    In the end, I think that the book-readers have to treat GoT as a separate entity rather than as a mere adaptation of the books. Enjoy GoT for what it is rather than constantly comparing it to what the books are. No adaptation has ever been perfect, but many have been good or better, and GoT is among them.

    • Best logic so far. If GRRM spent the time writing, then changes might not have been necessary. A book doesn’t have to weigh a ton to be worth reading. I am like you, have all the books and the background work, but I still enjoy the show. HBO is spending a ton of money on this. Be glad that one of the few fantasy programs has made it this far and enjoy it for what it is. Quit trying to make it into the book.

  • I guess, the producers spent a huge amount to do what they please… GRRM has all possibilities to create his own legacy AND a huge amount of cash more in his account.

    I strongly dislike the fact, that opinions are evaluated, even judged in the comment section of a show fan page. Think about it: What was your first contact to this page? What did you come here…? Just assume, others feel the same. It might change your way of communication.

    And just one tiny thought: the best method to get a book on screen is in your own head by using your imagination… Hence, the best TV show already exists and another show (probably that from HBO) cannot win the contest with your expectations.

    AND NOW: THIS WAS A GREAT POST AND I AM ABSOLUTELY 100% RIGHT!

  • I’m a book fan first, and a show fan second. Many characters are completely different than their book counterparts since the pilot episode. I just accept that and enjoy them both. At the same time, I feel that it has overall been a fairly faithful adaptation.

  • I agree with the editor. This season is the one that deviates from the story GRMM tells the most in all seasons so far. And to make it worse, it’s done with POV characters and characters that are off book at the end of “Dance”. Loras is dieing from massive burns in an effort to reclaim Storms End. He is never arrested, Margery is. See how that changes things? Barristan isn’t dead, he lives to defend the city in a major way. Danny is gone and no one knows where. See the difference? Jamie doesn’t go to Dorn, he is taking care of the Kings business and is abducted by Lady Stone Heart, as is Berriane. No one knows their fate, will she kill them. She’s been killing a lot of people up and down the Riverlands. No nothing happened in book 4 and 5, nothing at all.

  • It’s Game Of Thrones – not ASOIAF. Two different things. Please. The books are not so fantastic that they should be treated as if they are a sacred text. If every line,character and event in the books was somehow recreated on the show it would be dreadful – and some of you would still find something to whine about.” Her hair is not the same shade of red as I pictured it in the books! I’m never going to watch it again!” “That horse should be bigger!”
    Please. Forget the books. GRRM did ages ago but he won’t admit it. The Winds Of Winter is going to be another rambling curate’s egg just like the last two. His editor is just worried about lost sales.

    • ” If every line,character and event in the books was somehow recreated on the show it would be dreadful ”

      And no one is asking for this. What is your point?

      “I think this specific change was bad” does not imply “I think that the books should be adapted word for word and scene, regardless of any differences in the medium or any realities related to cast, budget, or logistics”.

  • I’m glad that something is finally happening in Mereen. You’re talking about pointless changes and stalling, Martin had to do a lot of that when he decided against the five year gap.

    And please stop taking as if changing his words is a sin. The dude is not Dostoevsky.

  • You go Jane! And you’re right. i’ve been a supporter of the show until season 4, i was a show-fan first. But i can’t support these nonsensical, butchering plots and changes.

    And before some smart-ass D&D apologist retorts with a “butthurt book purist” type of comment: you have cancer in your taste.

  • Hey book-talibans, that’s why the show’s called ‘Game of Thrones’ and not ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. Duh.

  • The sad truth is that book 4 and 5 just weren’t great books

    It was smart of D&D to try to stay close to the first 3 books because the first 3 were really good.
    book 4 and 5 are not great books and I don’t care how much some fans try to convince themselves they were.

    Maybe if martin had a better editor they could turned book 4 and 5 into 1 great book
    but as it stands book 4 and 5 are an indulgent, over-written, un-edited, un-focussed mess

    and I dont blame HBO or D&D at all for making huge changes and cutting a lot of stuff out
    ( something the editor should have done lol)

  • Let´s face it.

    Barristan in DWD is filler.

    No Barristan = No pointless battle for a place noone cares about (Mereen) = no filler = show can keep moving faster than the fast 2 filler books

  • To adapt the books for TV is not going to work if you follow the books faithfully. Not enough time or money. Many of the characters have be be merged and will hopefully end the way Martin intended. A viewing audience is quite different than a reading audience and many plot lines have to be spelled out if the viewing audience is going to stay intact, otherwise they won’t have the time or the energy and HBO won’t have the money. I have read the books and I’m not disappointed in the HBO version. Many plot lines hinted at in the books are put forth more fully and in your face so to speak but believe they have done a terrific job.

  • “Go watch something else, whaa whaa whaa”.

    Some may not have noticed, but GRRM, however he wanders around in his prose and generally NEEDS reining in (that the show thus far has given), bases a lot of characters on historical figures. Yes, sometimes several historical figures mashed into one. The one purest “fantasy” version, however, I have seen of Sir William Marshal was Ser Barristan Selmy. I have been cheering for Selmy (this has not gone unnoticed online, either, google the two names or just look up The Marshal) based in part on this. A great interpretation of England’s “Greatest Knight”, in a strange Westeros/Essos kind of way. And D & D effing killed him. Badly.

    They’ll have to go full R+L for me to even take another peek.

    • I wish there were options for upvoting posts, because I would have upvoted yours to the [email protected] top. =)

      • David (Razor) Harris, I’ve thought the same of your posts all day. Thank you.

        One last thought, think about it. Westerosi fighters are trained to fight on horseback in full plate or ringmail armor with greatswords or longswords. The Unsullied (book or show) are basically as advanced as the fighters in The Iliad in terms of armor/weapons. And now we see they can’t even handle a street fight (as per the show). Look at cavalry use (with similar armor) vs. little cavalry at all at Hastings and this becomes pretty clear. Without Westerosi supporters and the dragons better trained, does Dany stand a CHANCE in terms of conquering Westeros? Unless Drogon develops some Balerion the Black Dread skills, and FAST, where is this even going?

        GRRM is more into military history than I am (from what little I’ve read), and he surely knows of the numerous theories regarding cavalry at Hastings favoring the Normans. Or armed cavalry against any unhorsed army (as per his commentary in the 2nd season DVD Blackwater Battle episode). So, how would Ser Mormont at least not see this as a disadvantage (in acquiring the Unsullied for the purpose of conquest of Westeros)? Barristan Selmy clearly would’ve. But no mention, book or show, other than, early on, (Jorah) Mormont describing the difference in swords and armor to a Dothraki.

        Just another musing on the work as a whole.

        • Well, there is no single military technique or tactic that is guaranteed to always succeed. I agree the Unsullied have not been as impressive in the show as they were said to be in the books but then again they’re not policemen. They’re not supposed to be fighting in alleys with unguarded flanks. A short sword or dagger would be a better weapon for that area than an 8-9 ft spear. Once the attacker is past the point the spear wielder has some big problems.

          But a massed army of spearmen/pikemen who hold together can stand off an army of cavalry primarily because horses usually aren’t suicidal and won’t run headlong in numerous spearpoints. Even at Hastings the Normans won because the Anglo-Saxons broke ranks prematurely and lost cohesion. At Courtai the French knights couldn’t break the Flemish pike/spear lines and ended up getting curb stomped by the so-called lowly infantry. I think the primary purpose of the less than stellar (show) abilities of the Unsullied is to drive home to the viewer that as with any counter-insurgency/occupation, the ruling authority has superior weapons that are nonetheless inadequate to the specific job.

        • Well I had a very long response which was lost. Just as well. I think the show is playing down the skills of the Unsullied precisely because their skills are best used on the battlefield and not as policemen/city guards. It’s like any other counter-insurgency/occupation in which the ruling power has overwhelming force but finds that it can never bring that force to bear in a way that would change things politically.

          As far as the efficacy of infantry vs cavalry I think the answer is it depends. The Normans weren’t able to break the Anglo-Saxon line at Hastings and only won because they were able to lure the Anglo-Saxons into breaking ranks. Flemish infantry armed with spears, pikes and godendags curbstomped French cavalry at Courtai, in large part because they didn’t break lines. Horses usually won’t rush headlong into a mass of spear or pike wielding men. The Unsullied given proper arms and armor with someone guarding their flanks can hold off cavalry charges. They did it against the Dothraki and could do it against Westerosi knights. Or they could be hit from afar from afar by bolts and arrows, break ranks and be ridden down and slaughtered.

          I think their success or failure would depend more on the tactics of their leadership and whether their weak spots were protected than just being infantry fighting cavalry.

  • She should me mad at George for A) allowing the show to pass him and B) holding up all her deadlines (and next big payday).

  • Am I a total idiot and just can’t remember the books? Wasn’t it one of sanza servants rather than Sanza that was married off to Bolton’s bastard. have I gone buts orbdo I remember the books correctly. Also, the HBO series would be great if I would have never read the books.

    • It was Jeyne Poole being passed off as Arya Stark (or the “tricked-up steward’s whelp”, as Cersei put it) who was married to Ramsay Bolton (Snow, I says, because he truly is a bastard in every sense of the word).

      It’s hard, I know, but try to treat the TV series differently from the books at this point. This should be easier for you if you’ve forgotten those books. :)

  • Being impatient for the next season, I just read my first book “A Feast For Crows”.

    Sorry; I’m unimpressed. The show is better; at least seeing things acted out is entertaining.

    Both don’t get very far with each installment – too many parallel stories going on. Also; they both keep killing off the good characters before they really go anywhere satisfying, often after investing ourselves into them way too much for that.

    In short; they don’t believe in poetic justice. Instead; chaos reigns supreme.

  • I don’t have a problem with the deviations from the books, it’s especially understanding considering the show has the largest cast for a TV show ever, from what I’ve read, so it’s not surprising that characters will need to be omitted or prematurely killed off. My only issue with Barristan’s death is that his presence with Dany seriously legitimized her claim to the people of Westeros so his death prior to her return to claim the iron throne seems to me to make his inclusion in the show pointless. I do think the show is very well written and whatever direction they go is bound to be interesting.

    • To address your point about Barristan- while he added *lustre* to the name of anyone he served (hence why Renly was saving a spot in his Rainbow Guard for him), he wasn’t needed to add legitimacy to Dany’s claim. Everyone already knows that she is the legitimate child of Aerys II, not to mention that the presence of her dragons would have removed any lingering doubts.

    • Barristan added luster to the name of anyone he served, hence why Renly was saving a Rainbow cloak for him. However, he wasn’t needed to add *legitmacy* to Dany’s claim. Everyone already knows that she is the trueborn child of Aerys II- this is why Robert wanted her dead.

      • Claim, yes, but see comment above. Dany has no battle experience in terms of Westeros, Ser Barristan was the last to possibly advise (again, see above comment) on how barely armored non-cavalry (the Unsullied) would fare against knights of Westeros. Unless they just bring Mormont and Tyrion into the fold and have Drogon get REALLY tame.

        • (Did not read the books) Glad to know that I’m not the only person who thinks that Dany is totally ill-prepared for not only conquering but ruling Westeros. Her sense of self-entitlement is grating. After all this time in Mereen, I would feel cheated if all she has to do is ride a dragon and become queen, having learned nothing from her hardships. (I laughed out loud when she said, “I am not a politician. I am a queen.”) She is proof that conquering and ruling requires two completely different skill sets. I hope that Tyrion can teach her a few things. Also is it just me…after watching all five seasons, I care less and less about matters of “legitimacy” and “claim.”

          • It’s not even a lack of preparation, it’s using bronze age era technology against medieval (while the Bravosi seem to be a few centuries ahead, real world). I think she is unprepared, and getting worse, frankly, but there is no way spearmen not used to armor could defeat cavalry with swords. A lot MORE cavalry, at that. Even the Dothraki, their weapons have no parallel since about 1300BC pretty much, as those curved blades were obsolete by that time–against new inventions like ringmail (look up the khopesh). Too much mixing of technologies, which is really what weaponry and armor were, along with archers, heavy horse, etc. It wouldn’t work. I realize there are more involved in the books perhaps, but on the show? It’s like Agamemnon Vs. Edward I.

            Maybe her claim will be good enough once Cersei wreaks havoc with the Faith Militant and eyes turn north to Stannis marching on Winterfell? Who knows where this is going!

        • They ARE going to bring Tyrion and Mormont into the fold under Dany’s service. Tyrion as an advisor is all Dany needs, as he is his father’s true son in the best way (*tap the brain*). In ADWD, one little moment that shows this is when Tyrion was at the well with Penny and Jorah waiting for water and he observed that the very fact that there WAS a working well so close to Meereen showed what a novice Dany was, as his father would have poisoned all wells within reasonable distance of the city, forcing the besiegers to use the river for drinking water.

  • the materlal so cool that am happy to see posslble solutlons
    bad that good co-operatlon on start goes that way but slow progres of story cannot slow the show
    also would be happy to see more but am aware of p&l drlver

  • I find it hilarious the EDITOR is telling people to read the books to get the story AS MARTIN INTENDED IT. Too funny. Toooooo funny.

  • I love the books, and I love the show. However, I’d take Sir Barristan over the Sand Snakes in either story format. For being probably the most formidable and honorable Knight in Westeros, his early exit was sloppy imho. Not the writing alone mind you…but the direction. He should have taken on like 20 harpys, and almost won, only to be overpowered at the end by like 20 more. They should have left his actual death a mystery till next episode. That would have been more fitting end for this great knight. At least he would have gone out like a bad ass. He was a “painter” after all.

    • so people like to compare how realistic GRRMs writing is to other writers and have this 65 year old man take on a whole army. GRRM even makes fun of the idea of a hero being surrounded and we don’t feel scared for him in his interviews. Arthur Dayne is known to be the most deadly knight in Aerys kingsguard and he died after fighting Ned Stark and eight of his friends, I don’t see how 65 year old Barristan can take on more than 20 guys in a street fight, give him full armor and everything and he still going to get tackled from all sides in a real life situation and get stabbed to death.

      • You have a good point. However, he didn’t get tackled on all sides. He was knifed by one guy out of a handful of disgruntled rich guys…not Ned Stark and battle-hardened warriors. My literal point being it would have been cooler had he going out more heroically. It was done poorly.

    • I got the feeling that they were actually cliffhanger-ing his death…then after watching Sunday night I went online and saw the actor spilling the beans and that was that! The show does seem to be suffering some growing pains.
      But hey! Two positives I just thought of with these deviations; if you think about it, we are getting more time with the story because of the show. Something for us to do while Martin changes his typewriter ribbon or whatever seems to be the holdup. And the other good change is thank the gods Jorah is good-looking in the show because in the books he was extremely ugly to look at. And apparently we will be spending more time with him. So there’s that.

  • I like both the books and show. I found Barristan’s show ending very moving and while knowing he’s still alive in the books inevitably gives you a feeling of ‘what if’ I think that was about as good as he could get on the show. He goes out honourably, feeling better about the royal he has been supporting (after long years of Aerys, Robert and Joffrey). His death will have a major impact on Dany. There are so many stories to be wrapped up before the end – and probably a number of major deaths to occur. This is actually a good time for a much liked supporting character to bow out – gaining the attention he deserves.
    On Loras I much prefer book Loras to show Loras for reasons other people have outlined. But there are several cases where it goes the other way where the show depiction has been better than the character on paper. I can understand what they have done in terms of streamlining the Kings Landing stories.
    Overall I think the quality of this season is standing up to previous years.

  • This year, the book purists crying weekly about the changes are the best source of entertainment.

    Look, I liked books 4 and 5 very much, but I also realize, they are entirely unsuitable for close adaptation! There was never an option to make two seasons out of them which means cuts, cuts, cuts. D&D stripped all storylines to bare bones, yet still needed 3-4 slow episodes to even set them up this season.

    Sansa storyline without changes would have been a disaster. If Winterfell was not an option, D&D would have sent her to Dorne. Or to Meereen, because anything is better than watching her sitting in the Vale all season doing nothing. Happy now?

    Or consider Ironborn storyline, which cannot be adapted without major changes, includes 3 new characters that need screen-time (and most people hate these dudes anyway), and is costly to do because of kingsmoot, ships and naval battles. Why even bother?

    • I was paying attention to you until you said

      Or consider Ironborn storyline, which cannot be adapted without major changes, includes 3 new characters that need screen-time (and most people hate these dudes anyway), and is costly to do because of kingsmoot, ships and naval battles. Why even bother?

      Sorry now all your points are tainted =(

      • Care to elaborate why?

        Let’s imagine the Ironborn storyline was included in S5 (copy pasted from the books ofc). It would look maybe like this:
        Ep1 – Balon
        Ep2 – Aeron
        Ep3 – kingsmoot
        Ep5 – Shield Islands
        Ep6 – E sends V to M
        Ep8 – stop at V, willing maiden
        Ep9 – V lands at M

        This is actually pretty horrible. Ep1 is a huge WTF because it’s supposed to happen off-screen and most show watchers simply don’t remembers this guy. Kingsmoot lacks drama because all characters are brand new. Shield Islands are completely unimportant and no one cares if they’re pillaged. Their voyage to M is too long. The story lacks drama, it just has a promise that perhaps something happens at the end. But the worst thing is Ironborn do not interact with anyone and they’re just doing their own stuff. The show desperately tries to get rid of similar storylines, by forcing characters interactions.

        The introduction of Oberyn worked because he appeared in familiar place, had familiar faces to talk with, and brought a glimpse of hope with him. If they ever make Iron Islanders return, they should do it in a similar way. Ironborn fit the show perfectly with the brutality, customs etc, it’s just their storyline as designed by GRRM is too clunky to work on screen.

        There were rumors Yara is in S5 so we have to wait and see. I think D&D should bring back Ironborn anyway, but 1) skip travel to M 2) make them attack Casterly Rock and/or Highgarden instead of fucking shield islands 3) skip Euron and Aeron, add just Victarion 4) use Yara and someone else to introduce him 5) make Vic interact with established characters several times

  • Questions of loyalty to book aside, killing Barristan was a bad change. There is now no character in Dany’s story tied to Westeros other than Dany herself. Barristan was the logical way to introduce any background and exposition about the old days. Loosing him magnifies the problem of Dany effectively being in a separate TV show.

    • True but since they are sending Tyrion and Jorah her way that may be a moot point. Of course.. isnt Tyrion supposed to get side tracked?? I really need to go read the last book again.

  • I am a dyed in the wool book lover, but I am less upset about the changes thus far this season than I was about the loss of Tyrions chain during the battle of Black Water or the fact that Robs wife was at the red wedding. Those changes ticked me off to no end ..especially Tyrions. Im also curious what they are going to do with Jon Snow.. there are rumors aplenty and if my memory serves me correctly he is either dead in the books or very well could be. I just want them to pick up the pace and get to the good stuff with Cercei. lol

  • I’m fine with characters like Barristan, Jojen and Mance dying prematurely in the show, because in the books it looks like they’re about to die anyway. So the show is just beating the books to the punch slightly, due to the fact that they’re trying to speed up things.

    Barristan – is about to participate in a giant battle for Mereen, while also caught up with political machinations. Most people suspect his pages are numbered.

    Jojen – again, very heavy hinting by GRRM that the character is about to die. Hell, Jojen even outright says he’s at the end of his life.

    Mance – arguably the most egregious of the changes. It seems instead of Mance helping Theon rescue “Arya”, Theon will probably rescue Sansa without any help? Last we see of Mance in the books he’s naked in a cage, with all his allies dead. Again, it seems like he will die any page now.

    What annoys me most as a book reader are changes such as the removal of the Ironborn storylines and the Brotherhood Without Banners Storyline, especially Lady Stoneheart. I seriously hope we see them both next season!!

  • I Love the Show and I Love the Books! While I definitely shed a lot of tears over Ser Barristan’s death, I will still hold my judgement about whether it was a good or bad change until after the entire season 5 has concluded. We dont know what D&D have in store for us. They have delivered 4 absolutely brilliant seasons so far, so I wont criticise their decisions regarding this season, just YET! Let’s wait and watch!

  • If you like the books, read the books. SHUT UP ABOUT THE SHOW! Jeez let them do whatever! The show is great, you want what the book had then go read it and quit crying

    • If you like the books, read the books. SHUT UP ABOUT THE SHOW! Jeez let them do whatever! The show is great, you want what the book had then go read it and quit crying

      *Bangs head into wall repeatedly.

  • They clearly are messing up quite a lot already. The rest of the season will have to be very good at making the storyline converge with the books if they want to tell the same (or at least a similar) story.

  • The show is better than the books, which seem to introduce a new character on EVERY FRICKIN’ PAGE. It’s pretty unreadable.

  • Jane Johnson is a lousy editor for Martin. She has herself said that she is Martin’s biggest fan. That is a very bad sign. The latest books have taken forever and are really quite boring and just rambling on.

    Maybe Jane should stop watching TV and start doing her actual job.

    • Jane IS doing her job! Promoting the books. She might as well tweet: “Great job GoT and D&D. Now the Unsullied do not need to read the books anymore, because you adapted the books so well!”

  • During thenext season and formost the final season you will observe tweets like: “THAT IS NOT THE WAY GRRM WANTED TO END THE STORY!” Keeps the books interesting!

    For me, it’s all good! I read the books twice, I started watching the show, I will keep watching the show and I will read the final books (maybe twice), and after that I will decide, what arc worked best for me… It’s a journey! Enjoy the ride!

    • Well said! The books are good in their own way and the show is amazing in its own right. Since both are far from over, it’s unfair to make any judgements about which was better, the show storyline or the book plot.

  • It’s kinda of ridiculous to say that cutting characters “before their time” or altering characters (Loras) is cheapening the show’s legacy. It totally depends what kind of changes are made. The show could still stand on it’s own legs, but that is something that usually cannot be normally debated with book readers. Many of them are “purists” who wouldn’t want any changes at all, and even those people who accept some changes can be rather difficult to talk to, because it’s usually absolutism all the way. Also just because we love Barristan it doesn’t mean he’s a major character in the grand scheme of things.

    I’ve been saying since season 1 that the show doesn’t have enough episodes, so they will be forced to compact the stories into 10-episode seasons. I think even a 13-episode seasons would make huge difference, and the story of Greyjoyes and some of the rest could easily be told. But that would probably be much more costly so ok, it’s understandable.

    It’s also understandable that they’ve cut many smaller characters or just fuse 2, 3 characters into one. Because I know that many show watchers have problems following the storylines of the houses and many times can’t remember what happened in season 2’s subtle talk between two characters which is now shown in season 5 for example. The show is ultimately for tv watchers and not book readers. Because majority of tv watchers are not like us the minority, who have spent countless hours looking at maps, analysing things etc.

    Jane Johnson says she’s not loving these huge divergences and that is completely understandable, but it’s also good for her and Martin because if there will be big differences at least we won’t be spoiled as much as we thought at first. Also I laughed a little when she twitted: “Read the books if you want to know the story the way the author intended it”. Well no sh** that is what I’m trying to do, when I’ll be able to do it.

  • I think this whole notion is a little childish. Does it stem from your inability to lord over people who are not readers of the books? If you love the books, read them. I think it’s wonderful that they’re diverging, now I have two stories instead of just one. Plus it won’t spoil the books so much when (and they will) fall behind due to GRRM’s glacial writing pace. Well thought out future-proofing by the show runners, good work.

    Plus Sansa has always bored the absolute shit out of me in the novels. Cersei bores me perpetually but we can’t all get what we want.

    • Again, missing the point.

      Let me be very clear. The VAST and OVERWHELMING number of book “purists” or readers have no desire to “lord over” anyone. AND we do like the show. AND we do enjoy SOME of the changes. Sansa’s change is perfect! Loras’ change not so much! Barristan’s change, ehhhh 50/50…probably do not like. etc etc etc etc…hopefull you get the point, now.

  • The fact is that 90% of show watchers have never read the books. If you have and dont like some of the variations, I have no issue with that. Unfortunately only 10% of people actually give a s#*t. So why bother telling everyone about it on the internet? That’s easy. You dont like going outside and talking to people in person, and whilst you have time to get out your thesaurus at home and construct your witty remarks over an hour long period, in reality, you couldn’t hold an inpromptu conversation with the postman.
    I love the show. Can’t wait for the next one.

  • Book purists coming from Westeros.org are just like the Faith Militants on the show, with ‘GRRM’ carved in blood on their foreheads instead. I won’t tell them to stop watching the show, it’s much healthy for me to stop reading them. That’s what I did.
    If possible, fanatic book purists would come through the screen to storm the show like Faith Militants on brothels and demand for Jamie to go back to Riverlands and bore us to death. I can imagine the worst of them assaulting the boat and yelling at Tyron: «There’s a special place in the seven hells for dwarfs who despise endless observation of turtles and do not care where the whores go».
    I just can’t read them anymore, they’re too annoying. Ignore the book fanatics, have good conversations with reasonable book readers and keep enjoying the show.

    • That’s funny. I find it is the anti-purists that come in and make baseless and ridiculous straw-man accusations about nearly mythical purists.

      Saying that a particular change was a mistake relative to the source does not make you a “purist”. It just means that in one’s mind, a particular scene was better in the books and should have been done that way.

  • The show is the show and the books are the books, like it’s been said numerous times before. If the books hadn’t existed before the show, the show’s story lines would have been still been awesome and surprising, something that would keep the viewers still intrigued. Just let the show finish before dealing blows like “cheapening the show” and whatnot. That’s my opinion.

    • Absolutely correct! It’s annoying when they say the show producers are “cheapening the show.” Havent they given us 4 excellent seasons before? Lets be patient. :)

  • Hope I’m wrong but I can see a bitter GRRM laboriously rewriting all the chapters in Winds of Winter to give Barristan a bigger role just to spite D&D :)

  • If from the book, barristan selmy dies in mereen by the fire of a dragon then it does not bother me that on the show, barristan selmy dies in mereen by the blade of the sons of the harpy. The point is the barristan selmy character dies in mereen period. I’m very disappointed in the way the unsullied fight, aren’t they supposed to be highly trained skilled badass army, the can never match up to the knights of kingslanding. Sir Barristan fight which got him killed was disappointing as well, he is one the best knights in all 7 kingdoms his final fight should have been epic. I blame the fight choreographers . The unsullied should be fixed their fighting skills very poor. Dario fights better. Bronn too

  • “Why don’t people wait until they see how everything plays out before they start complaining?”

    I don’t understand the logic behind this type of comment which I’ve read at least 10x in this thread. Is this a standard criterion to which we hold any other television show? That we withhold all criticism until the show has finished airing, so that we’re sure we “Get” it all?

    Shoot, by that logic, I guess I don’t truly know whether I like the books, yet, since they haven’t all been released. Jury’s still out, huh? Not buying it, if something smells fishy, I have no problem with people pointing it out in real time. If an individual scene or episode is no good, odds are slim that later episodes will illuminate things to such a degree that a previously awkward, poorly directed sequence will suddenly become more enjoyable.

    I love the books, and have great affection for the show, but what gets my goat more than the excising of whole plotlines and characters for brevity’s sake, is when they have all the elements aligned for a great scene, and choose simply to change the words being spoken. It feels like a big Screw You to GRRM, for reasons that usually do not add up.

    I still refuse to believe that in this day of binge-watching and internet forums galore for the average person to find out any detail they wish, that “Only Cat” just HAD to be changed to “Your sister”, or else “Nobody would know who Littlefinger was talking about,” cause “Show viewers don’t pay attention.” That, to me, is dumbing down for idiots, and not improving things in any conceivable way.

  • Whether or not GRRM likes the changes to the show or not, the fact is he put D&D in the situation they are in, where they are now adapting a work that will not be finished. I’m fine with the changes, because the two works are now separate pieces. The way for Martin to have guided the show’s direction more forcefully would have been to write the concluding books. Since I’ve long given up on the books, the show is what I’ve got left to complete the series, so I now view it as I would Boardwalk Empire or any other HBO soap opera.

  • Was a total waste of a great character (killing off Sir Barristan). Enough is enough. Then you kill off Grey Worm and turn Loras into a Wimp who is taken so Easily.
    Pretty soon they are going to have very few good Characters/Reasons to watch the show if they are not Careful.
    It’s not about deviating from the books. That is not really important. Its already turned into the Reader’s Digest Version as it is.

  • All I’m seeing are tears and soiled breeches. Green boys, the lot of you. As useful as nipples on a breastplate.

  • I’ve read all the books, a few times. I guess that makes me a purist, whatever that means. I happen to like a lot of what the show has done. I’m very interested in Sansa’s show plot line and really never cared for her plot line in the book.
    I happen to agree with some of the “purists” about Loras. He may be a minor character, but his plot line is important and has yet to reach its pinnacle. As one of the other commenters posted earlier, we really don’t know what his condition is at Dragonstone. And I don’t like the way they are making his sexual preference the forefront of his character. His is a bad-a$$ knight, that is his character. No way he would have let a few scrubs in flour sacks haul him away without a fight.
    Another commenter said if Selmy’s death made way for more Bronn, all the better. Must be a Bronn purist. For the book readers, as far as we’re concerned, Bronn is pretty much retired and spending time with Lollys. Rumors are Bronn is taking the place of Arys Oakheart. I have bad news for you….
    And yet another commenter mentioned if less Barry = more Jorah “I’m in.”
    Jorah purist. I don’t like Jorah. I think he’s a starry-eyed, love sick tool. I understood his story arc though.
    Barristan provided information a lot of book’s readers are looking for. More on the Harranhall tourney and the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Maybe he had more information on what happened at the Tower of Joy and could pass that on to Dany. But mostly, he was a great character that I hate to see leave.
    It’s not about being a purist. It’s about opinions. Just because we read the books, doesn’t mean we can’t have an opinion. Sometimes our opinions are influenced by the books. It doesn’t make them any less valid.

  • *sigh* This is going to be one huge comment

    That book purist = The show should be exactly like the book is a false assumption.
    As far as I am concerned I am a “purist” in that I want the show to be as good a reflection of the books as it can possibly be, and to me “purists” accept that changes has to be made to fit the media. The problem is that a lot of the changes made make no sense at all. That is where my issue lies.

    A lot of the changes that are made this season make so little sense that I sometimes have to shut down my brain in order to watch the show, because there is no logical reasons why the characters in question behave as they do… Except that the plot requires them to do so. <– That is just bad writing!

    Take Barristans death for instance. I am fine with him dying in a brave and heroic way because that fits with the character, and because Barristans iconic moment in aDwD can be given to someone else and still make sense based on the other characters personality (Jorah Mormont (He loves Dany and it is no stretch to imagine him sacrificing himself to save Dany.). That is a pretty huge change, but it makes sense based on the show world, so it ok. It is even ok if they cut the iconic moment completly. I will be sad that it’s not there, and the show will in my opinion be poorer for it, but it is not a game breaker.
    What is a game breaker however is that Barristan Selmy, greatest living knight in the world, Queens guard and hand of the queen, (fully aware of the threath posed by the Sons of the Harpy) walk around in the streets of Meereen alone and unarmored. That is just so unbelivably out of character for both(!!!) show and book Barristan that it’s way beyond stupidity!

    And then there is the unsullied. Now I believe that they are overhyped in the book world, and that they are not as good as their reputation (Weapons, Armor and tactics are outdated), however, am I supposed to accept that a squad of unnsullied are unable to or dosen’t think to form a simple shield wall? (The exact tactic a squad of highly trained soliders would adopt when ambushed like they where.)
    The unsullied that have trained to do exactly that from dawn till dusk every day since they where 4-5 years old… They would do it without thinking about it! It would be second nature to them. It’s fine to slaughter them, but please do it in a way that is belivable! Lure them into a dead end and pepper them with arrows or crossbow bolts for instance.
    And don’t even get me started on Grey Worms streak of slaughter. Unsullied are poor fighters alone, but great together because of their dicipline and training. There is no realistic way that Grey Worm should be able to single handedly kill 5-10 sons…. It’s like watching a scene from a computer game!

    Moving on we can look at the sansa plot. This is the most mindblowingly stupid plot they have ever come up with! It makes absolutly no sense from Sansas POV. It makes NO (!!!) sense from Littlefingers POV and it makes little sense from Roose Boltons POV.

    Take Sansa first. She is supposed to marry Ramsay why?!? Because Littlefinger tells her to? Because Littlefinger says so, she is going to marry the son of the man that murdered her brother and had a hand in murdering her mother? Why? Because of REVENGE!!!
    Nah… Not bying it!
    It eliminates her growth as a character (At this time show Sansa is supposed to be a decent manipulator but instead the plot regresses her back to the easy manipulated naive girl she used to be…

    Moving on….
    Littlefinger. The genious that is Littlefinger. The shows most devious man. The man that leaves as little to chance as possible. A man that have informers all over Westeros and makes it his business to know everything! and i mean EVERYTHING!!!. Yet he knows nothing of Ramsay Bolton even if he is integral to his plans? We are supposed to accept that Littlefinger has not checked out what kind of person Ramsay is before proposing the marriage to Roose? Ok maybe Littlefinger knows but does not care. That would be a little bit out of character because LIttlefinger has a weird sense of love for Sansa and even if he would sell her out in a heartbeat if it served his goal. I do think he would think twice about sending her to marry a psycopath… At least when marrying her to Ramsay gains Littlefinger exactly NOTHING! And it really does not gain him anything, it could actually backfire completly! (But we know it will pay of don’t we. Because of plot armor!).
    Littlefinger explains that his plan is a gamble on Stainnis to defeat the Boltons or that Sansa would be able to manipulate Ramsay. The victor be it Bolton or Stannis will have Sansa and make her wardeness of the North. However waiting in the vale while the Boltons and Stannis fight each other would gain him the exact same thing but without the gamble. Bolton wins. Marry Sansa to them then. Stannis wins. Send Sansa to Stannis and let him proclaim her wardeness of the north. In both cases LIttlefinger would gain exactly the same as his gamble would give him if the gamble yields it’s best case scenario. However his gambles worst case scenario would leave Littlefinger a lot worse of then he would be if he waited. Because if Stannis wins and Stannis being who he is, is just as likely to execute Sansa as an enemy who sided with the Boltons, as he is to proclaim her wardeness of the north. You would have to assume that Littlefinger knows this. Because he has served on the small council with Stannis for years, and know exactly what kind of guy Stannis is. The whole plot is just designed so that they can have Sansa perform Jeyne Pools role from aDwD. And it is very poor writing! If they need Sansa to be fArya. Please make a plot that makes a little sense at least.

    Over to the Boltons. Why it makes little sense for them.
    First of if we are to accept that Bolton has a smaller army then Stannis they had to cut the Freys even if it makes no sense to do so. The Freys lives close to the neck and Moat Cailin. If the Boltons should lose their fight for the north the Freys are in a bit of a bother with the north remembers and all that. But that is a change that it fine. There could be a lot of reasons why the Freys are not with the Boltons. However the Boltons need the Lannister/Tyrells to be happy in order to keep the north. Because if the Lannisters and Tyrells are unhappy. They will be fighting a two front war and hence they are even more likely to lose. But that is actually fine because they will gain the vale as an ally to protect them against the Lannister/Tyrell army. But the big issue is with Littlefinger himself. Roose knows that Littlefinger is devious and not to be trusted and that having him as an ally would be an uncertain alliance at best. A disasterous one at the worst. Why then switch an ally you know depend on you for dominance of the north with an ally that can stab you in the back at any time. You would be stupid to do so, and Roose is many things, but stupid is not one of them!

    So you see it is not about being book purist at all… All the points I have made here are made on the show alone! The changes that they have made are not better then in the books, in fact a lot of them are moronic and out of character. It’s not good TV, it is bad writing!

    • Well thought-out post. I like it when people take the time to put thought behind their words instead of some re-hashed internet meme response. Well done.

    • The worst thing for me is the fact that they’ve added unnecessary plots to background characters (like Grey Worm-Missandei, or that gay dude of the brothel, Bran and co at Craster’s, etc, etc) but erased some major ones. We still don’t know how everything will work out, but is just stupid to spend precious minutes wandering with Missandei’s and Grey Worm’s affair, or with Bran at Craster’s, or Stannis daughter teaching Gilly to read, instead they could’ve introduced or furthered other plotlines.

      • The worst changes so far were the nauseating romantic scenes between Robb Stark and that made-up nurse. To me, they appeared like scenes out of a soap opera. A major glitch in the viewing experience, but ultimately not a very big deal.

  • As a semi-Sullied (I have read parts of the books, know a lot about the changes that have been made and spoiled myself on many of the events of books 4 and 5 before season 5 began), I am totally fine with these changes. I understand the demands of streamlining a story for the show, and the story of the books has gotten increasingly complicated and meandering. So it doesn’t make sense to say that they were more faithful at the beginning, so why can’t they be more faithful now? It’s because the story in the books has become way too sprawling to do faithfully on-screen and have it make any sense.

    And I also find it funny that 9 out of 10 book fans I’ve seen discussing books 4 and 5 have said that they aren’t as good as the first 3 books anyway… but now that the show is changing things, suddenly, books 4 and 5 are sacred now? Oh, how book fans will sway in the wind.

    But more specifically, I cannot abide by the notion that Loras has been presented as a “gay cartoon” on the show. As a gay person, I actually find that notion offensive, considering it’s being said because they’re actually presenting Loras as an out and out gay person. In the book, as he’s described in these very comments, he’s less gay and more just a man who happened to love another man. But in all others ways, he’s very straight-acting. So that makes him “better” in the books… okay. So the show has made him an actual homosexual, who despite having lost the love of his life, still has a sex drive like a normal, healthy human being who’s not emotionally dependent on just one person. That’s what gets called a “gay cartoon”? Excuse my bluntness, but fuck you.

    And so what if he was taken hostage by a group that outnumbered him? So was Jaime, so was Brienne, so was the Hound… they’re all badass fighters too, but it doesn’t matter how good a fighter you are… when you’re outnumbered and being physically held, then you can’t really fight. That’s just reality. It would be unrealistic and cliched to do the whole, “Oh, he’s SUCH a badass fighter, even when outnumbered, he still comes out on top!!!”… this isn’t 300. It’s a realistic story. The show showed how that situation would go down in reality, no matter who it was.

    And on that same note, Barristan being killed was realistic too. It doesn’t make him look like a weaker fighter… it makes him look like an AGED fighter who was outnumbered and fought as valiantly as he could, given the situation. It seems like all the people complaining want this to be a comic book movie, where our favourite fighting characters are superheroes who can handle anything… What show have you been watching for 5 years???

    It fits with the world the show has presented. Remember when Brienne said to Jaime, “…or perhaps people just love to overpraise a famous name.” I think that was meant to imply that all the supposed legendary fighters in this world who are made out to be these amazing, larger-than-life people… might just be good fighters who did well in a battle or tourney or two, and then got overpraised because of it. Maybe Jaime, Barristan, Loras, etc… never really were as amazing as their reputations suggest. The Mountain and the Hound had their size to throw around, but that’s really the extent of their extraordinary capabilities. Brienne seems like one of the few who’s actually the real deal, considering she’s bested Loras, Jaime and the Hound, and she doesn’t get the legendary reputation she deserves. This is all to convey yet another layer of injustice in this world: “famous names” get overpraised, while the real deals get overlooked.

    So when we finally see Barristan fight, and it turns out he is only human after all, susceptible to old-age and being outnumbered, and not some invincible god of fighting like the legends have told… I think it’s perfectly in line with this theme of the story.

    But I guess interesting thematic storytelling isn’t as “awesome” as what all these book fans here (who I would think should care more about storytelling than cool fighting and how “badass” the characters are) seem to want.

    And yes, purists are entitled to their “opinion”. But that doesn’t mean you’re immune to being told when people think your opinion is wrong.

    As great as George RR Martin is, and as much credit and respect he deserves for having come up with this story and gotten all this started… it doesn’t mean he’s infallible. It doesn’t mean his work can’t be improved upon. It doesn’t mean a different approach can’t be either equally valid or even better. Different people coming in and adding their own touch to a story that was started by another can sometimes be the best thing that can happen for the story. George Lucas created Star Wars and made the first amazing movie. But then Lawrence Kasden and Irvin Kershner came in and made Empire Strikes Back, probably the best movie in the series. Lucas went on to make the prequels…

    There are many decisions the showrunners have made that I believe are improvements over the book. I’ll agree with anyone who says the Sand Snakes scene wasn’t very good, but aside from that scene, Sons of the Harpy was an excellent episode that escalated things very nicely for the plotlines between Cersei and the Tyrells, and in Meereen. It was great television, in a way that sticking to the books simply wouldn’t have been. Just because Martin is the original creator, it doesn’t mean that different artists coming in and doing their thing with the material is automatically sacrilege or automatically worse. The Faith Militant being installed by Cersei to deal with debt problems is not as interesting as her doing it as a play for power against the Tyrells. It’s more in line with her character, it creates nice drama between Margaery and Tommen, and Cersei and Tommen… The show did it better.

    Again, I find it funny that book fans are suddenly so defensive of books 4 and 5, when before this season began, all I heard about those books were how boring and off-point they got. Now that the show is turning up the tension and condensing things to be more on-point and involve established characters more… suddenly, you guys have a problem with that? Is it just a kneejerk reaction for book fans to automatically cry foul at any change? Always looking for the bad in any change and never recognizing the point of it? Oh no, it’s always just done for shallow, book-hating, author-disrespecting reasons… grow up.

    And one last irony: It’s funny that the editor of the books, which got too indulgent and needed some MASSIVE editing improvements in books 4 and 5… is complaining about the show doing a better editing job with the story. I remember a comment a few weeks ago that said, “The show is great. It’s the editor that GRRM needed.” I agree.

    • See? You and I may not agree on everything, but I respect your opinion because you actually put thought into your post. Thank you.

    • Thank you AWS, you brilliantly represented the thoughts of all of us who dont “hate” the changes being made to the plotline.

  • Great comment AWS, now we are arguing over content instead of people dismissing legitimate arguments on the basis that the commenter is just a “butthurt purist”

    Lets forget the books for a little while and adress the issues that I highlighted in my last comment.

    The Barristan scene –> Not the dying. That is fine, but do you think it make sense that he is unarmored considering the situation he is in?

    Does it make sense that the unsullied does not do what they have trained all their life to do when faced with a situation where what they have trained to do is the correct reaction to the ambush?

    The sansa story… Do you disagree with my points about why it makes no sense? If so care to explain why it makes sense and put forth an argument to show that you are right?

    As I said earlier all the arguments I have made is from a show point of view. They have nothing to do with the books at all, but all highlight that the shows writing this season has been of a poor standard.

    • The Barristan scene –> Not the dying. That is fine, but do you think it make sense that he is unarmored considering the situation he is in?

      Excellent question. That’s my whole problem with his death scene. Not that he died, but that he died the way he did/the situation leading up to his demise.

      Does it make sense that the unsullied does not do what they have trained all their life to do when faced with a situation where what they have trained to do is the correct reaction to the ambush?

      It makes ZERO sense. I’ve seen a lot of folks respond with “Unsullied aren’t trained to deal with the fighting tactics of the SoH” and I just laugh. The Unsullied are trained to be disciplined and would NOT make such a mistake as breaking rank during the ambush, not using their shields in a close-quarters fight, and allowing the SoH to lure them into a bad situation without back-up.

      The sansa story… Do you disagree with my points about why it makes no sense? If so care to explain why it makes sense and put forth an argument to show that you are right?

      I’m a purist who actually likes the Sansa story in the show. I see why they do it, because why would the audience care about fArya when they haven’t seen her since Season 1? Plus with the training she is receiving from Baelish, the next logical step is to put all that training into practical use and get revenge on the Boltons and Frey because now that Fat Walda is preggors she could cause her to die or have a miscarriage and use Ramsay to do it, thus driving a rift between him and Roose. Next, start baking people up in some pies! =)

      • Oh Im not having a problem with why they are doing sansa as fArya. because their reason for doing it makes a great deal of sense. My problem is rather how she arrives there.

    • On Barristan not being armoured: He hasn’t been armoured since he took it off and threw it at Joffrey’s feet. Not once since he took off his hood in front of Dany and Jorah has he worn armour. So how is it out of character for him? He didn’t know he was going to be fighting, but even if he did, he still probably wouldn’t have worn armour. Perhaps it’s because he’s over confident in his abilities and doesn’t think he needs armour? I don’t know, but this is nothing new. He’s been armourless for three straight seasons now.

      On the Unsullied breaking formation: I don’t know where everybody is getting the idea that the Unsullied are definitely trained to form a shield wall, etc… We’ve never seen them do that. We’ve never been told they were trained to do that. What we have seen is them killing the masters at Astapor in much the same way they fight here. We’ve seen Greyworm fight on his own with Jorah and Daario, and do well fighting on his own. So where is this idea that they’re only good together and trained to fight together coming from? The books? If so, then let me remind you, this is the show. Not the books.

      Perhaps it would have been smarter to fight together and form a shield barrier and whatnot… but they didn’t. They fought the way they’ve always been shown to fight. Once again, this is nothing new, but now that it’s in a scene that’s a departure from the books, suddenly, it’s a great big problem. You seem to looking for reasons to criticize and say it makes no sense.

      On the Sansa storyline:

      Sansa’s POV: She quite clearly had objections when she was first told about the plan. She said everything you’ve said. But Littlefinger convinced her by explaining exactly what you’re using to argue the opposite: She’s grown up and is a manipulator now. You say this is making her regress back to being manipulated, but I think she knows exactly what the dangers are and what she’s getting herself into. She voices her concerns to Littlefinger in the crypts, when she asks, in so many words, “What if things don’t go according to plan?” But despite her concerns, she’s on-board because she’s ready to take a risk. She’s back home and I think she feels it’s worth fighting to keep it. She’s not being manipulated here. She’s willingly participating in the plan.

      Littlefinger’s POV: You say that he never leaves anything to chance. I don’t think that’s true at all. If anything, he leaves EVERYTHING to chance, but knows how to act given any outcome. He’s said it himself… he likes chaos. He likes rolling the dice and seeing what happens. Sometimes he gets his way and the man who married the love of his life gets executed. Other times, he rolls the dice and the love of his life gets massacred at a wedding. He’s the one who put the War of Five Kings into motion, and it’s the War of Five Kings that got Catelyn killed. So you’re saying he never leaves anything to chance? How did the love of his life getting killed fit into his airtight plan, then? Sometimes, things don’t go his way, but he rolls with the punches. He’s playing things fast and loose. He’s not a rigid schemer. He’s the Joker of Westeros. He’s an “Agent of Chaos”.

      But more to the point, I don’t think he does know much about Ramsay. You have to remember, he’s been on the road for the better part of two seasons now. Yeah, he was the most informed man in the world while in King’s Landing, where he was at the centre of his spy network, serving as Master of Coin… but now he’s gone rogue, travelling under low profile on a secret mission to Winterfell… You really think he’s as connected and well-informed these days as he was in King’s Landing? We haven’t seen him getting raven after raven, telling him everything… We’ve seen him get TWO ravens since he left King’s Landing. One just telling him that the Boltons accepted his marriage proposal, and the other from Cersei telling him to come back to King’s Landing. Aside from that, it seems he’s been flying relatively blind lately. And Ramsay’s ascension to being a Bolton and not just some random, low-profile bastard of some northern Lord, is a recent development. If Littlefinger’s not as up-to-date on recent developments, then it’s very possible he doesn’t know that much about Ramsay. He wouldn’t have had much reason to know anything about Ramsay before he became more than some random bastard in the north.

      As for caring about Sansa’s well-being… well… as explained, he’s comfortable rolling the dice. Even with people he cares about. If playing his game is more important than Catelyn’s well-being, then I assume Sansa is no different, no matter how much he might wanna bone her. Just like with Sansa, he knows the risks… but he’s willing to take them. We don’t yet know what his full plan is, so this is definitely one the storylines where we can’t really judge whether what Littlefinger’s doing is wise or not until we know what he’s actually doing.

      Roose Bolton’s POV: He explained it quite well in episode 3. He doesn’t have an alliance with the Lannisters anymore. He had an alliance with Tywin, but Tywin’s dead now. He says that the Lannisters will not lift a finger to help them keep the north, and they’ve never marched an army north, so they aren’t going to start now to either help or fight the Boltons. That’s not a concern. The Lannisters are out of the picture in his mind.
      The Freys would not grant the loyalty of the Northerners. The Northerners hate the Freys for the Red Wedding even more than the Boltons. It would do Roose no favours to even speak to the Freys ever again. Pretending that one of them or Jeyne Poole or whoever is a Stark is not as solid a claim on the north as using an ACTUAL Stark. Which Littlefinger has given him. Sure, he should be suspicious of Littlefinger, as the show is clearly showing him to be. He’s being careful, but he knows what’s at stake. Once again, he knows the risks, but he’s willing to take them, because the rewards will be worth it. He’s in a lose-lose situation otherwise. Either the northerners continue to rebel against the Boltons until they rise up and kill the them… or Stannis comes and kills them… either way, not securing the loyalty of the northerners with a Stark would mean more trouble for them than, at this point at least, Roose believes Littlefinger could ever pose. Once he has the loyalty of the northerners, he’ll have an army to fight Stannis with. That’s really his only good option, and whatever risks might be involved are worth it.

      You may think you’re basing your objections only on the show, but it seems your familiarity with the book version is clearly colouring your perception of what makes sense. Just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Again, I think you’re just looking for reasons to criticize, because you’re having an emotional reaction to things being different, and then you’re trying to justify those feelings by nit-picking supposed logical problems. You’re jumping to the conclusion that characters must be stupid just because they’re willing to take risks, whereas when characters take risks or make mistakes in the books, I bet you’re not so quick to criticize, because you think Martin is automatically credible for writing such storylines. But if David & Dan do it, then you pick it apart with a fine tooth comb. This is the essence of what is ultimately so annoying about book purists… the book gets the benefit of the doubt, while any changes made to it in the show are scrutinized as much as possible. If a character takes a risk or makes a mistake, like Ned does and Dany does in the books all the time… even Tywin makes fatal errors in judgement… then it’s seen as character depth or as strategic storytelling. But if the same thing happens in the show and it’s not what happened in the books… then it means the characters are stupid and things don’t make sense. But things DO still make sense in the show, within the context of the show itself.

      And at this point, we haven’t even seen the Sansa/Littlefinger/Bolton storyline play out, so even if things seem a little uncertain right now, we don’t know yet how it’s all going to work until the storyline is complete. So yes, the people saying that it’s too soon to judge (at least in reference to this storyline) are right. Try waiting and seeing. It may all make perfect sense to you by the time things are said and done. I remember I thought the smoke baby that Melisendre gave birth to was fucking stupid when I first saw it, and thought it was totally a jump-the-shark moment… but then when I saw it kill Renly, it retroactively changed my whole opinion on it. Seeing what they did with it made it make sense to me. A setup is nothing without the payoff. Wait and see what the payoff is before you judge whether the setup is worth it.

      The ironic thing here is that I don’t see you complaining about the one scene this season that I think IS worthy of criticism: the Sand Snakes scene. In fact, their whole motivation is pretty damn flawed. Oberyn died in a Trial-By-Combat that he WILLINGLY participated in. If they were claiming to just be taking up Oberyn’s crusade to get revenge for Elia and her children, in order to honour Oberyn’s wishes, then it might make more sense, but they’re claiming to be seeking revenge for Oberyn’s death. On who? The Mountain? Nope, on the Lannisters… okay, they hate the Lannisters in Dorne, but… they’re gonna start a war, that will no doubt kill many innocents, just to satisfy their bloodlust for the Lannisters? Oberyn was at least being relatively smart about his revenge, trying to get Tywin’s guilt outed publicly, etc. The Sand Snakes are just being emotional and irresponsible about theirs.

      Buuuut… I’m guessing this storyline is more or less what happened in the books, so your kneejerk instinct to criticize its logic wasn’t activated. Am I right?

      • First of why so patronizing? I can’t remember me being so patronizing to you, if I came across that way that was never the intention and if I did than I apologize.

        I have to say that your assumptions that I am a certain way and that I will give the book a free pass when it’s storyline doesn’t make sense angers me. You know nothing about me (!!!). So please do not pretend that you do!

        I have read the books so yes, ultimately they will have colored my view on the how things should be. I have also studied history and military strategy, so my knowledge of these matters will also affect how I view things. Please do not patronize me by assuming that I am unable to argue a case on something that happened on the show just because I have read the books!

        I said that I was perfectly fine with Barristan dying, just not the manner of it. The arguments against Barristans death was that he behaved in a way that is not consistent with his personality, and also that no person would act like that if they were Barristans situation. My arguments had nothing to do with how Barristan is in the books.

        I am going to argue why in a later post. But being a dad with limited time on my hand I have more important things to do at the moment than argue with people who patronize me on the internet.

        I will reply to all your arguments in a later post because I love a good argument, but I just don’t have time right now.
        I will probably comment again on Monday so if you want to continue our argument then feel free to pitch in with your views again, because even if they don’t fit with my views I do appreciate someone who takes the time to explain in detail why they think the way they do.

        Oh, and by the way, I did not include the dornish plot because I found it meh in the books because of the same arguments that you put forth.
        Since I expected it to be meh and it was meh, it just didn’t register with me on the same level as Barristan, the unsullied and Sansa.
        If it was up to me the dornish plot would have been cut entirely this season in favor of another story line instead. But that is a whole other argument.

      • I am going to reply to your post at a later time, because I do not have time now.
        I will probably comment on monday.

        • Ok, I’m back to argue some more. I will start of with Barristan, and go trough all of your other points in the same order that AWS did.
          Again, this will be one giant comment!

          On Barristan not being armoured: He hasn’t been armoured since he took it off and threw it at Joffrey’s feet. Not once since he took off his hood in front of Dany and Jorah has he worn armour.

          Ok so it is not out of character, I will give you that one.
          We just have to conclude that he is stupid then.
          Let’s look at his current predicament.
          He is a high ranking person in Danys entourage.
          He is in a hostile city on the brink of revolt. A city where a hidden brotherhood is ambushing and killing Danys people in the streets.
          He is well known by the nobility because he is attending when Dany holds court, the same nobility that the SotH grew out of.
          Being such an important member of Danys entourage he know that he is a target by the nobility/sons of the harpy…
          So he goes out for his evening stroll. Unarmored even though he knows fully well that he can be ambushed at any moment and that his armor could very well save his life. It may not be out of character as you have pointed out, since he has been shown to not wear armor in earlier scenes/seasons, but it is very much stupid.
          On top of that, he is alone. Even though he knows that would make him an even bigger target for tSotH. It has even been ordered that no unsullied is allowed to go alone anymore because this makes them vulnerable to attack. Yet here is Barristan alone even if he is a much bigger target for tSotH then the unsullied will ever be.
          It’s not Barristan being arrogant and overconfident in his own abilities. It’s Barristan being plain old stupid!

          I don’t know where everybody is getting the idea that the Unsullied are definitely trained to form a shield wall, etc…

          They are solider’s. Infantry, and their arms and armor tell you a lot about how they fight. They have shields, short swords and spears. With those weapons, a shield wall or different variations of shield walls should and would be their tactic of choice.
          It has been basic tactics for infantry (before gunpowder) since the days of Alexander the Great and maybe even earlier.
          You do not train medieval infantry without teaching them how to form a shield wall. It was true in our world, and it is true in Westeros.
          Also, you are wrong in that their training has not been described. Remember the sales pitch when Dany bought the unsullied? Where they killed newborn babes etc… It was also said that they have mastered the short sword, the shield and the spear. (You cannot master the shield and spear as infantry without mastering the shield wall!)
          Also please watch the fight after she buys them again. Because It is pretty clear that before they attack, they form a shield wall and attack together as a unit.
          I have no problem with them killing unsullied in ambushes. I just don’t believe the way it happens. I described a better way of doing it in my last post. Please check it out and tell me which is more believable. The way in the show, or my way?

          We’ve seen Greyworm fight on his own with Jorah and Daario, and do well fighting on his own. So where is this idea that they’re only good together and trained to fight together coming from? The books? If so, then let me remind you, this is the show. Not the books.

          Well yes. Some of it comes from their description in the books granted. Some of it is also logic. The most important aspect is that they are eunuchs. Cut before puberty and hence their strength is more in line with most women rather than most men.
          That does not mean that they can’t be good alone, because of course they can. Some may even be very good, but it makes less sense to train an eunuch to be a good fighter one on one, because you know he will most likely be weaker than his opponent This is actually one of my gripes with the books as well. The unsullied doesn’t really make any sense from a book perspective either. I just does not make sense to castrate people you are going to train as soliders, when you know that this will leave them physically weaker than their opponents. Also a solider that knows no pain can be a liability, because he can’t feel his wounds. For instance marching, something a solider will do a lot of during his life. If he can’t feel his foot sores and similar ailments he is more likely to get infected and die from that. Actually people that suffer from congenital analgesia often have trouble with their extremities because they can’t detect when hands and feet have been injured.

          Sansa’s POV: She quite clearly had objections when she was first told about the plan.

          What plan? At this point (At Moat Cailin) she’s not been told about the plan yet. Littlefinger tells her the plan later in the crypts of Winterfell, after she has already agreed to marry Ramsay.
          She had objections that she was to marry into the family that helped kill her family. That is fine. She voices her objections, and littlefinger tells her nothing. Just that she has to do it so that she will get revenge… Oh revenge you say.. I’m in! *skipping happily to Winterfell while whistling a merry tune*.
          That is not a person who is a manipulator. That is a person who does what she is told. Wouldn’t the logical argument here be: Oh revenge you say… How?!?
          Unless she has her own plan that is. Knowing the fArya storyline in the books, how likely do you think it is that Sansa has a plan? Do you think that the show will reveal a show Sansa masterplan? Or is it more likely that she will be fArya? I know what I think it will be. By the way… Yes you got me there, I am arguing this point based on what happened in the books. I am saying this because I have a pretty fair notion where this is going, and it is not a nice place for Sansa!
          If it turns out that I am completely wrong about where we are heading, I will happily come back here and say that I was wrong!
          And you know what contrary to what you believe, I am actually fine with Sansa being fArya. Because Sansas Vale storyline while okish in a books, it is just not TV material. I don’t mind that they are giving her something more exiting to do. What I am not fine with is how she gets there, because there are so many plot holes in her story that I can’t get my head around it. I have been over this again and again in my mind trying to find an explanation that can work in the shows context, but I just can’t. No matter how I twist and turn it around it is always at few places where it doesn’t fit with the characters involved. Usually all three of them on some level.

          Littlefinger’s POV: You say that he never leaves anything to chance. I don’t think that’s true at all. If anything, he leaves EVERYTHING to chance, but knows how to act given any outcome.

          Then we have two very different interpretations of show littlefinger. I say show littlefinger because he and book littlefinger are two very different persons, although not in this. This plot would actually make more sense on Roose Boltons POV if it were book littlefinger he was dealing with and not show littlefinger.
          Littlefinger takes risk yes! I agree with you a 100%. He has to. He is to lowborn to be taken serious and if he is to climb on the social ladder he has to take risks. What he does not do however is take risk for the sake of it. He takes calculated risks based on information, and always has backup plans if something don’t pan out the way he intended. He is very much a person that is able to adapt so you are correct in that. Yes he likes chaos and he is actually dependent on it to climb. However his ability to navigate through chaos stems from his knowledge. He knows more then his adversaries and so he benefits.

          You really think he’s as connected and well-informed these days as he was in King’s Landing?

          No I do not expect him to be as well informed. However I do expect him to be well informed about things that directly affect his plan. Something like who Ramsay is and how would Sansa be able to manipulate him. Is I have explained, Littlefinger does nothing while blind. You say that he has been on the road for a while now, but that does not matter. He made this plan before he started traveling. He sent the proposal to Roose from the Eyrie after all.

          If Littlefinger’s not as up-to-date on recent developments, then it’s very possible he doesn’t know that much about Ramsay. He wouldn’t have had much reason to know anything about Ramsay before he became more than some random bastard in the north.

          You forget that Ramsay is an important part of littlefingers plan. If Stannis is defeated littlefinger depends on Sansas ability to manipulate Ramsay. He would have made it his business to know everything there was to know about Ramsay when he made his plan. He would have researched him thoroughly before he tossed the dice. To do otherwise is very much against littlefingers character.

          We don’t yet know what his full plan is, so this is definitely one the storylines where we can’t really judge whether what Littlefinger’s doing is wise or not until we know what he’s actually doing.

          Well at least we know some of his plan, and as I argued in my last comment. Littlefinger would accomplish exactly the same with a lot less risk if he had waited in the eyrie while Stannis and Roose fight it out. A part of playing the game ot thrones is to know when to act and know when to wait. This is a text book situation on when you should wait! And being the player that he is… Littlefinger should know that.

          Roose Bolton’s POV: He explained it quite well in episode 3. He doesn’t have an alliance with the Lannisters anymore. He had an alliance with Tywin, but Tywin’s dead now. He says that the Lannisters will not lift a finger to help them keep the north, and they’ve never marched an army north, so they aren’t going to start now to either help or fight the Boltons. That’s not a concern. The Lannisters are out of the picture in his mind.

          He also says that the Lannisters are a spent force. No threat to anyone anymore. So are we just supposed to take Roose’s word for it? Because again this reasoning is not very clever. Let’s look at the facts.

          We know that the Lannisters has a large army in the Riverlands.
          The Freys are not at Winterfell with Roose so we have to asume that they also are in the Riverlands. Maybe they have joined their forces to the Lannister army.
          We know that the Lannister army is a good deal larger than Rob Starks army was, because Rob Stark needed the Freys desperately before the red wedding, and even with the Freys, Robs army was still a lot smaller than the Lannister army. Since Boltons forces was just a fraction of Robs army, the Lannister forces (With or without the Freys) are gigantic compared to Boltons.
          On top of that the Lannisters have an alliance with the Tyrells. The same Tyrells that has the largest army of them all. Both these forces can be used against the Boltons if the Lannisters/Tyrells were so inclined.

          Ok, so the Lannisters has never marched on the north, and they won’t do it now either we are lead to believe. Except they most certainly would!!! Because of Sansa! Remeber that Sansa is the second most wanted person in Westeros (Behind Tyrion). Cercei would do anything in her power to get at Sansa. That means that the Lannister army in the riverlands would most certainly go north.
          And I would argue that so would the Tyrells, because even though they have the larger army, they still depend on Tommen for legitimacy. Without Tommen as king, Margaery is no queen either, and since the Tyrells have no claim on the throne on their own (They come from a line of stewards), they cannot stay in power without connections to a legitimate monarch (Tommen, though his legitimacy can be discussed.)

          That is why they supported Renly, because he had a legitimate claim to the throne, and that is why Robert was king after his rebellion and not Ned Stark for instance. Because the Baratheons have Targaryen blood and thus a better claim to the throne.

          Now this is a pretty brutal feudal society, and having a person wanted for regicide walking “freely” around in the realm will make Tommen look weak, and it will act as a beacon for other rebellious lords that they too can do whatever they like without it having any consequences. That is why the Tyrells can’t ignore the Sansa situation either. They need to make an example out of her to show other lords what will happened if they rebel against the throne.

          So you see why this is not such a good move from Roose?

          Lets sum it up:
          He gains an uncertain alliance with the vale.
          He gains the Lannister/Tyrells as enemies. Both with larger armies and the Redwyne fleet (from the books) so that they can sail around moat Cailin and land an army in the north.
          They still have Stannis and his larger army to contend with.
          In short they will be fighting a two front war that they cannot hope to win.

          Buuut I guess for the sake of the story, Cercei will just forget that Sansa killed her son, and the Tyrells won’t care that Sansa makes Tommen look weak if she is allowed to roam free.

          I have said it before and I will say it again. D&D needed Sansa to perform a role at Winterfell, so that they came up with a way to get her there without considering the implications it would have on the story as a whole. That is just poor writing and poor storytelling. If a story requires a person to ignore what has happened earlier in the show and ignore the personalities of the persons involved in order to make sense to the viewer, then that should tell you that maybe it is a story that would have been better of left out of the show.

          You may think you’re basing your objections only on the show, but it seems your familiarity with the book version is clearly colouring your perception of what makes sense. Just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Again, I think you’re just looking for reasons to criticize, because you’re having an emotional reaction to things being different, and then you’re trying to justify those feelings by nit-picking supposed logical problems.

          Except this is the first time I have felt the need to criticize the show. For instanceI did not complain about the Jeyne Westerling/Talissa swap because even if it is a bit of a stretch that a Volanteen noblewoman would act as a battlefield nurse in Westeros, I can think of several ways to explain why it could happened.

          Also I did not complain last season when Arye/The hound met Brienne/Pod in the vale, even if that did not happened in the books. Becasue both Arya/The hound and Brienne/Pod was in the vale at the time and you do not need a big imagination to figure out that freak things like that do happened.

          the book gets the benefit of the doubt, while any changes made to it in the show are scrutinized as much as possible. If a character takes a risk or makes a mistake, like Ned does and Dany does in the books all the time… even Tywin makes fatal errors in judgement… then it’s seen as character depth or as strategic storytelling. But if the same thing happens in the show and it’s not what happened in the books… then it means the characters are stupid and things don’t make sense. But things DO still make sense in the show, within the context of the show itself

          Except I have shown that the books does not get the benefit of the doubt when they make logical mistakes like the ones D&D has done here.
          I explained my point about the unsullied, and I have the same qualms about Dorne as you do. He participated in that trial by his own free will for christ sake!
          There is also why the hell would Khal Drogo marry Dany when she has nothing to offer him besides her beauty?

          If a character takes a risk or makes a mistake, like Ned does and Dany does in the books all the time… even Tywin makes fatal errors in judgement… then it’s seen as character depth or as strategic storytelling. But if the same thing happens in the show and it’s not what happened in the books… then it means the characters are stupid and things don’t make sense.

          Except this is not one person making a mistake, or one person acting out of character. This is three persons acting out of character in order to get one person to a certain place so she can perform a role that D&D needs her to perform.
          At least two of those people are considered to be the most devious people in Westeros and the third is considered by most people to be well on her way to supersede both of them. To believe that one of them might make a mistake such as this is ok. (Bolton for one might do this out of desperation), but all three? Naah not buying it!

          But things DO still make sense in the show, within the context of the show itself.

          Maybe if you shut your brain of and don’t think critically about it, but if you do, then I think I have shown that they don’t…

  • I disagree that the TV show has made Loras a “gay cartoon” and I also disagree that his character is “nuanced”.

    In the books, it’s never overtly acknowledged that Loras (or Renly) are gay, but by showing Loras’s gay relationships on screen doesn’t mean the show has made him into a cartoon. He is also never a POV character so I have never felt there are any opportunities to learn his nuances.

    If anything, the book Loras is MORE of a gay cartoon – he’s a member of the Rainbow Guard!!

    With Barristan, I am sad that we’ll never get to see some of his awesome scenes against the Yunkish armies but I think show-Dany needed a motivation for the decisions she will make as the season progresses.

    In season 5 everyone is going on about all the changes being made but most of them don’t bother me. The one that does bother me though is one that nobody seems to have mentioned; Cersei!! In the books her story is about how she craved power, finally gets it, then weilds it very badly. In the show they have changed her from Queen Regent to Dowager Queen with dwindling power who’s scenes so far have reduced her character to being a bitch.

    • “The one that does bother me though is one that nobody seems to have mentioned; Cersei!! In the books her story is about how she craved power, finally gets it, then weilds it very badly.”

      I think that’s coming through in the show very well. She’s clearly wielding her power very poorly BECAUSE she’s being a bitch and using it for vindictive reasons. I don’t see how her storyline isn’t communicating her craving power, finally getting it and then wielding it poorly… that’s exactly what the show is communicating.

  • How can anyone even say that Ser Barriston is dead? Until I see him with some stones on his eyes-he aint dead.

  • I’ve generally been in favor of the showrunners adapting the books their own way. To kill off Ser Barristan Selmy like that was a big blow however. Having said that, I think the D&D need to make surprise choices like that in order to keep the show on edge. What annoys me about it is how the actual scene was shot and how it ended. From a cinematic standpoint, I found it unreasonably misleading.

    After having witnessed the ending of the Grey Worm/Barristan fight scene, one might as well think: “Oh, thank God Ser Barristan was saved there in the end from having is throat cut. Surely he must have made it, even though with injuries.” Then if you go straight in to read the Game of Thrones Viewer’s Guide, it says Ser Barristan was killed by the Sons of the Harpy. Now to have an episode end in relative ambiguity regarding the fate of an important character (who is actually a POV character in the fifth book), while at the same time having made it clear outside the show he was actually killed, that makes no sense to me at all.

    There was a similar problem with the election of Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. The whole election process was so much shorter than in the books, that I didn’t find it nearly as believable. While the outcome was the same, the events leading up to it was simply skipped over, to the detriment of the story as a whole. I fully understand the show needs to be a bit more to the point, but this could have been handled so much better.

  • I just don’t like the show this season. I feel the departures of the book are ok if they make sense. I love those scenes that further develop characters that are slightly undeveloped in the books; e.g. Tywin and Jaime in season 1 as well as Stannis and Shireen season 5. What went wrong in Season 5? The short answer is that DnD’s decision to finish this show within seven season was short-sighted and unnecessary. I’m sorry to hear that DnD miss Golden Corral and K-Mart but there’s no reason why this show couldn’t have had an eighth season.
    The showrunners should’ve stuck with the Ironborn plot instead of, or alongside, this debacle they’re pulling down in Dorne. How will Daenerys bring an army without the Iron Fleet? People think Loras is cartoony? What about Oberyn’s over-the-top daughters. The Sand Snakes are a side-story in the books because they weren’t meant to be headliners; they describe Martell family relations and succession laws.
    The trailer for episode 5 shows Barristan’s funeral so I guess his death’s speculation is true. Ian McElhinney must’ve asked to be cut or he made someone angry.
    Finally, since Aegon is the prince who was promised, omitting Faegon just sucks. This twist turned the story upside down for me and I feel sorry for show watchers because they really don’t know why this whole story takes place. It’s a succession crisis, bent at putting a Targaryen back on the throne. Although Littlefinger did try to explain some of this, I feel like show watchers don’t have any idea who Aerys and Rhaegar are. There seems to be no reference to history at all in this show, kinda like the Walking Dead.

  • I just don’t like the show this season. I feel the departures of the book are ok if they make sense. I love those scenes that further develop characters that are slightly undeveloped in the books; e.g. Tywin and Jaime in season 1 as well as Stannis and Shireen season 5. What went wrong in Season 5? The short answer is that DnD’s decision to finish this show within seven season was short-sighted and unnecessary. I’m sorry to hear that DnD miss Golden Corral and K-Mart but there’s no reason why this couldn’t have been an eighth season.
    The showrunners should’ve stuck with the Ironborn plot instead of, or alongside, this debacle they’re pulling down in Dorne. People think Loras is cartoony? What about Oberyn’s over-the-top daughters. The Sand Snakes are a side-story in the books because they weren’t meant to be headliners, for a reason; they describe Martell family relations and succession laws.
    The trailer for episode 5 shows Barristan’s funeral so I guess his death’s speculation is true. Ian McElhinney must’ve asked to be cut or he made someone angry.
    Finally, since Aegon is the prince who was promised so omitting Faegon just sucks. This twist turned the story upside down for me and I feel sorry for show watchers because they really don’t know why this whole story takes place. Do show watchers have any idea who Aerys and Rhaegar are? There seems to be no reference to history at all in this show, kinda like the Walking Dead.

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  • The Sansa stans saw this coming from season 1 and they called us crazy for it. Oh how the turntables…

  • It’s all pretty straightforward to me. Dani’s storyline clearly needed a nudge for TV – and you could kinda tell by the fact they hacked strong Belwas that Selmy’s role was going to be different than the books. Imagine if they had to build the story up like in the books, where its really long and complicated. That would kill some audience hype – and remember people were complaining about her story being boring already.

    Loras’s storyline falls roughly under the same category, and lets not forget that the TV show was intended to capture a different kind of audience than the books – had there not been a TV show I would not have read the books, and I guess the same goes for a lot of people out there. It’s only logical that some aspects of the story will be (and are) “modernized”, and its no big surprise that TV Loras sits well with a lot of fans who will not share the book purist view. Having said that, its true that you have to keep things separated – we will know what happens next when the next book is out, and where we are right now in the series I am sensing there will be a few things this season that even book readers are not suspecting.

    Unsullied ambush. The only odd thing to me is that the sons of the harpy are fabulous fighters. I did not get that impression from the books. Other than that I find everything else almost consistent with the books – I mean some unsullied will die in every battle, GRRM did not write that they are immortal – just good fighters.

    Boltons – Sansa – Stannis. I am curious to see how they will handle these major departures. I am not cursing as like I already said I’ve come to terms with the fact that TV show and book are two different things. I feel things are moving faster than I was expecting, and I cannot place Brianne anywhere, but episode 5 gave me hope that maybe we could see LS. By the way LS would be great for the show but Im not so confident we will see her at all.

    There’s so much more to talk about, but let’s leave it at that it’s interesting to have all these changes, the books are there for anyone to read, and for those who already read them you know what happens in the books so far. There’s no great need to judge the TV show, as it already has millions of fans so whatever we may be thinking is really irrelevant. At the same time, show lovers should not be as aggressive towards people who feel this “link” to the books and would like to see more things the way they know them.

    Main thing is to try and have fun, I’ve re-read the books a few times and I watch each episode at least twice or even more times. Passion is a great thing, fanaticism not so much.

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  • A significant departure from the books is Aemon Targaryen lamenting the plight of poor Daenerys off in a foreign land with no other Targaryen to counsel her. I believe this small scene was done to set the stage for John Snow to send Sam and Gilly to accompany Aemon to Meereen (instead of to Oldtown), perhaps to see if Aemon can convince Daenerys to send some recruits to the Wall. For Daenerys to meet the ancient Targaryen would be a nice touch that I was disappointed did not occur in the books, and would also allow Aemon to take over the “wise counselor” role that Ser Barristan (now deceased in the HBO series) continued to play in the books.

    Another indication that Oldtown will be absent from the theatrical version (the series) is a small scene in which Sam tells Gilly about the library in old town and the training of maesters there. Several times in this series the writers have put in references to or discussion of things that were in the books but are not going to be shown in the theatrical version, in order to quickly “touch base” and/or fill in the blanks about background matters that the viewers are not going to see directly. An example is how they removed Shireen’s fool “Patches” from the theatrical version (the series) but they gave a nod to the book version by having Shireen sing the song he always sang (“I know, I know, oh, oh, oh”) during the credits at the end of one of the episodes.

    The quick discussion of the library in Oldtown seems to be one of these “nods” to the book version. That little scene is a bit of exposition about the Citadel at Oldtown because they will not be going there so the viewers won’t get to see it directly. Otherwise they wouldn’t have mentioned it – they would have just shown Gilly’s amazement when she actually sees it.

  • Since HBO is making up bad drama and random plot points that have little or nothing to do with the book… I would appreciate it if they would change the name of the show and the characters to some other random names like Tyrion=Tylion and Dany = Dannelle or something instead of defecating further on the Song of Ice and Fire series.

    HBO… just make your own show with your own fantasy elements. Since the story of the show diverges so much from the source material, why not go all out and throw in magical airships, Orcs, White Walkers with Snowmobiles, magic girls who can transform into defenders of justice, doctors from across the ocean who can restore Greyworm’s missing manhood so he can have a family with that overgrown “Missendei” (HAHA).

    HBO… you guys might as well throw in a new plotline where Stannis & John Snow come across a magic rock that gives them superpowers so they can use their powers to fight against evil and save Westeros. Also, diverge some more and throw in a chance encounter with Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective who goes around solving mysteries from Kings Landings to Oldstown to Winterfell… maybe even north of the Wall.

  • Here’s another idea for you HBO, since the source material doesn’t matter… might as well change the story by bringing back NED STARK.

    Redhead priestess makes bad sex scene with John Snow, who finally gives in. In addition, to cave in to show fans, he changes his last name to STARK and as a bonus Redhead priestess does some BS magic spell (that HBO writers taught her) to bring back Ned Stark in a hilariously corny ritual of love, love making and time-sinking theatrics (to kill off 15 more minutes of show time) and behold, Ned Stark/Sean Bean returns and still has his head. Now all is right and the North will be saved, all cheer for the Starks…

    Might as well diverge further and have the whole Stark Family get revived, ya know, for show fans to go nuts over.

  • Well… I could read the sixth book to now what GRR Martin intended to do with the characters if said book was published, but it isn’t.

  • As a books reader, I’d like the show to be even MORE divergent from the books. This way I’ll be able to enjoy them when they are released, as I won’t know what’s coming next.