12 Terrible Changes From The Books In Game Of Thrones

UPDATE! Part II is now available: 12 Terrible Changes From The Books In Game Of Thrones – Part II

George R.R Martin’s fantasy epic “A Song Of Ice And Fire” already had its cult following before HBO decided to turn it into their most profitable TV series ever. And just like any other adaptation from written medium to an audio visual one, changes had to be brought in order to facilitate the transition of mediums. Changes that would have angry fans come out of the woodwork and express their anger.

Now Benioff and Weiss did indeed make some amazing changes between to the books and the show, but they also had some mishaps along the way. Here are 12 changes that angered fans the most, and for good reasons at times

NOTE: We did not include anything related to the Greyjoys and Coldhands, since they just might both make significant appearances in the 6th season

12 – Renly’s Peach

via HBO
via HBO


A small yet impactful event in “A Clash Of Kings” when Stannis and Renly Baratheon meet in the Stormlands to discuss their claims. After the parley goes sour, Renly offers his older brother a peach which Stannis refuses. After his death at the hands of a shadow demon he helped conceived, Stannis is vexed and later haunted by the memory of his brother’s peach. Not sure why this scene wasn’t added, as it would have emphasized on Stannis’ regrets with having murdered his own brother.

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  1. Mia

    #4 is wrong. Jaime confesses to Tyrion that Tysha was NOT a paid prostitute in the books. Tyrion had been led to believe by Tywin that Tysha had been paid to marry him and that she had never loved him, but after setting Tyrion free from the black cells, Jaime confesses that her love was in fact genuine and it was all their fathers plot to teach Tyrion a lesson, inspiring Tyrion to pay a visit to his dear old dad before leaving across the narrow sea

    Reply
    • Prestor John

      GOT didn’t use this scene, but The Vikings on The History Channel sure did.

      Reply (in reply to Mia)
    • Prestor John

      GOT didn’t use this scene, with Tyrion’s chains in the Black Water Battle, but The Vikings on The History Channel sure did.

      Reply (in reply to Mia)
    • Jessica

      Isn’t that what it said?

      Reply (in reply to Mia)
    • Norm Higgs

      That’s pretty much exactly what the article says.

      Reply (in reply to Mia)
    • Eddie Riley

      The Tysha thing was the reason Tyrion turned on his brother and told him about Cersei, even making some of it up and also said he killed Joffrey when he’s the only person we know DIDN’T do the poisoning.

      The Shae thing is typical Hollyweird “hooker with heart of gold’ mentality. They refuse to look at the reality of how badly they have it being prostitutes, which Martin seeming to know exactly how.

      The Dorne storyline was a pure Fubar and they might as well have a tidal wave level the place. The Sand Snakes weren’t “strong women” but pure sociopaths with nothing to separate their personalities except how they looked in the movies.

      By putting Bronn in that situation, they completely ignore his side swipes at Cersei. Naming Lollys’ kid “Tyrion” for one, taking over the castle another.

      Jaime shows his true mettle and just how he’s becoming a true knight in the Riverlands. He’s strict but fair to all that’s still fighting. Having this side trip to Dorne negates all of that.

      I’ve got to stop or I’ll rant all day.

      Reply (in reply to Mia)
  2. Veer

    Stannis’s butchered story was pretty bad.

    Reply
  3. jubejubes

    For me, the part that annoyed me the most was that Sansa was married to Bolton when that did not happen in the book. Even though Sansa showed strength in that alteration, I found it rushed and fake in her presentation when she boldly went to asked Theon for his help. Just my opinion.

    Reply
  4. Jbrish

    Where’s Cold Hands and Darkstar?

    Reply
  5. Jenn

    Wasn’t Missandei 12 years old in the books? Completely boring romance anyways.

    Reply
  6. Ann

    Okay list. Several things are missing: the character assassination of Stannis; Shireen’s death; Sansa marrying Ramsay; the circumstances of Jon’s stabbing; no Coldhands (*wipes away a tear*); the reason for Margaery’s arrest, and resulting reduction of Loras’ character to a stereotype; leaving out the valonqar…I better stop now or I’ll be at this all day.

    I get why they killed Jojen…for the same reason they killed Barristan. They can have other characters take over some of their stuff. Tyrion can advise Dany about Westeros, and Three-Eyed-Raven can tell Bran most of what Jojen could have told him. I’m sure they have a similar reason for offing Mance–whose duties will probably be taken over by Tormund and/or Howland Reed. Agreed that Barristan’s death was lame though. At least Jojen was attacked by supernatural ice forces. Barry was taken down by some chumps in masks…who were attacking in broad daylight, which is stupid.

    To date, I consider the omission of the truth about Tysha to be the biggest mistake they’ve made. It makes such a difference to Tyrion’s character and without that he never would have wasted time trying to talk to Tywin. The whole point is that he wants to know where Tysha is. He doesn’t plan to kill his father, it just ends up that way. It’s a crime of passion, as opposed to the slightly premeditated murder it is on the show.

    I think the Griffs were cut to save money on CGI. With Young Grilff in the mix, there’s a good chance of a battle between dragonriders, which would have been incredibly difficult to produce. Also I think the kid will end up dead anyway and mainly exists for the way the other characters react to him.

    Reply
  7. Erika O'Bar Schwink

    Are we positive that they won’t try to introduce Lady Stoneheart? This was what I most looked forward to – the fans would have loved the shock and surprise!

    Reply
  8. Jake

    A complete waste of time. The origins of this nonsense is probably rooted in requests to increase “minority” screen time in the show.

    Reply
  9. Jake

    What they did to the Dorne story line is nothing less then lazy writing. The attempt to create “bad ass Bitches” is simply boring. The characters, as written in the book and their interaction with Doran was amazing. What D & D has done is a travesty.

    Reply
    • AJ

      Totally agree about the Dorne story line in the show. The sand snakes in the show are loathsome and ridiculous. Terrible dialogue and acting. A complete waste of precious storytelling minutes.

      Reply (in reply to Jake)
  10. Amanda

    Anyone who understands film and editing would get why these pieces were cut and that others were revised. I think the show has done a great job highlighting the important characters and limiting the lesser characters. I think adding more time to these minor characters and minor details would have made the show drag on and become overly confusing. You just have more time to spell things out in a book.

    Reply
  11. Jen

    I agree with almost all of the comments so far. However, I think that the changes to the battle in the snow for Winterfell were lame. Melisandre did not even go with Stannis, which in his past defeats, he also chose to leave her behind. Missed some good foreshadowing there among other things. I am concerned with all of the changes the first episode of this season has made to the story in book 5. I am concerned much time will be wasted developing storylines not actually in the book and leaving out some that true fans will sorely miss (like Lady Stoneheart). I supposed there is still time…

    Reply
  12. twitch

    Were is the youngest brother of starks? Its like he just disappeared.I really want him to come rideing back in with a army and the starks banners flying.

    Reply
  13. FusionSteak

    Hoq about how Robb Starks wife was killed in the show but in the books is alive and in hiding.

    Reply
  14. Cheevus

    Who gives a shit about the lame ass books?

    Reply
  15. ROb

    Let’s be honest, Lady Stoneheart is crap in the books. Tyrion taking over Mereen is way better than what happens. As for your number 1, I agree and disagree.

    The unsullied are sworn to Daenerys – not Tyrion. Tyrion saving Missandei helps Grey Worm trust Tyrion, and I’m guessing at some point in the show Tyrion is going to need the unsullied to solve the harpy problem in Mereen. Also, the subplot about unsullied going to visit brothels might come back, and is definitely related to that relationship.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      She is going to kill off freys. She might be more important than we think.shes still alive so the next book night have her more. Plus she did kill a character that’s still in the show. But maybe they will still bring her back the freys have not been shown since the red wedding.

      Reply (in reply to ROb)
  16. Chadoui

    I agree. The Missandei gray worm romance is pointless, especially since that means relevant storyline gets cut.

    Reply
  17. Chasmosaur

    Thank you for mentioning Daario. Michiel Huisman is quite charming…but in the book, Daario is more of a sleaze with a high level of self-interest. Missing flamboyant costuming & makeup aside, I thought Ed Skrein embodied Daario so much better, and I was bummed to see him recast.

    Reply
  18. JT

    The Grey Worm/Missandei romance was created out of PC reasons, nothing else. Many of the other changes I can understand, but I do agree that Selmy’s death was underwhelming – he deserved better. I also lament that the show is not giving us more insight on the Tyrian/Tysha story, which in the books is such a driving force behind his actions.

    Reply
  19. Schwaba

    The homosexual scenes between Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell in the series. Why?! Where are they to be found in the books and why would they be important? The same goes for Oberyn Martell! Somehow the writer of this article was very meticulous in his research, but strangely omitted to notice these discrepancies.

    Reply
  20. Ben

    1. No Strong Belwas…

    Reply
  21. Sandra

    Ok what about the skinchangers. Why are they leaving that out? Like six skins who rode with Mance. He had six different animals that he lived in. And that Jon and Bran were both skinchangers. And that Rickon was like 3 in the books not 13. He may have been 5 or 6 tops at this point but thirteen? Am I missing something?

    Reply
    • Norm Higgs

      They made all of the Stark children 2-3 years older than in the books. Not necessarily a bad change, more of a neutral change.

      The books span probably close to 5 years time. Jaime was imprisoned by the Starks at Riverrun for over a year….

      Reply (in reply to Sandra)
  22. Bbushh

    The worst thing….it basically gutted Season 2 and 3 was the execrable Talisa Maegyr. A ridiculous modern stereotype with a big mouth that stole endless scenes from the wonderful Kat (a truly magnificent intelligent and strong woman).

    Reply
  23. Wuffie

    Martin doesn’t know how to stop himself. Just one, if the visuals were all as he described, the show would be ridiculous and ridiculed, review his description of armor and heraldry. plenty more. the show runners are doing a good job of editing, which the books could have used to begin with.

    Reply
  24. Game Of Thrones Books Kat | YouRich

    […] 12 Terrible Changes From The Books In Game Of Thrones … – Mia #4 is wrong. Jaime confesses to Tyrion that Tysha was NOT a paid prostitute in the books. Tyrion had been led to believe by Tywin that Tysha had been paid to … […]

    Reply
  25. Thomas

    I don’t know why people get all bent out of shape over differences between the show and the books. If it were exactly the same, it’d be kinda boring. I like the changes, they keep me on my feet.

    Reply
  26. Jim

    I heard that Lady Stoneheart will be appearing in the last season. Who knows?

    Reply
  27. Jon

    Some of the changes in the show were actually changes George R.R. Martin wished he did in the books. For instance the Stark children ages. Originally in the books there was suppose to be a 5 year gap between books. This would allow the children to age and make it more believable for someone like Jon Snow to be Lord Commander. However, Martin realized he would have to waste so many chapters doing flashbacks (as it would be unbelievable nothing significant happened to anyone in 5 years) that he just moved the plot forward. Because of this he’s said on record he wished he started off those characters at an older age.

    All the main plot points of the books line up with show. Considering the show is now ahead of the books it actually gives insight into the fate of many minor book characters. Cutting Young Griff out of the show must mean his character in the book is much more insignificant then he appears. Additionally in George R.R. Martins original 3 page outline of the whole story only 5 main characters are ever suppose to live until the end: Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen.

    Reply

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