'Game Of Thrones' Is Playing Fast And Loose

by Keertana Sastry

As HBO's hit series Game Of Thrones gets further and further into its plots, characters and the world of Westeros, it continues to build its following and tease diehard fans with changes in its adaptation from the book series off which it is based, A Song of Fire and Ice. Game of Thrones Season 5 has provided some of the biggest changes yet with how it has veered in story lines for Tyrion, Sansa Stark, Jaime Lannister and many others. These are just a few fundamental changes Game Of Thrones has made that really surprised book fans such as myself.

Fans probably shouldn't be too surprised by new plot and character revisions considering the series will most likely soon pass the books in numbers as George R.R. Martin has yet to release the sixth book in his series. The series has always made adjustments from the very first episode like making the characters older from the books (a fact that actually helps tone down the creep factor of certain plot lines), changing names of characters, and working in additional scenes to help establish characters who do not get to share their point of view in the books. But now it's getting harder and harder to figure out as a fan what's going to happen next. Here's everything that's rocked our worlds so far.

1. Lady Stoneheart Doesn't Exist

In what is one of the coolest ideas from the books, Catelyn Stark gets resurrected after her death at the Red Wedding. When she returns from the dead just three days later, her wounds haven't healed yet and she can't speak. She does however go by the name Lady Stoneheart and takes leadership of a group of outlaws whose former leader, Baric Dondarrian, gave his life for hers. She then goes around basically swearing vengeance against those who wronged her and Robb Stark. The series has skipped over Lady Stoneheart completely so far and might not ever include her.

2. Sansa's Storyline Is All Over The Place

From changing the way she handles herself at the Eyrie in favor of Littlefinger after the death of Lisa Arryn, to being betrothed to Ramsay Snow/Bolton, things with Sansa are changing big time. Big Time. I'm not really even sure of anything regarding the eldest Stark daughter anymore.

3. Robb Stark's Poor Wife Didn't Need To Die At The Red Wedding

News flash guys. Robb Stark's wife in the books is not Talisa Maegyr. Robb marries a woman named Jeyne Westerling who nurses and later sleeps with Robb after he gets shot in the arrow and learned that his two younger brothers may have died. Robb marries Jeyne after their night together as a way to save her honor, despite the fact that he's betrothed to Walder Frey's daughter. She is not pregnant in the books either. The reason for the Red Wedding still falls on Jeyne's shoulders but in the books she doesn't actually attend and is therefore spared from the horrific killing spree at the event. Currently in the books she has been ordered by her mother to not remarry for two years and must have a protective detail so as to keep Jeyne out of harm's way and to show that she did not produce Robb's heir.

4. RIP Ser Barristan Selmy

Basically Barristan was never supposed to die. I'm still not over it guys, the wound is still so fresh and raw. Can't write anymore about it now.

5. Tyrion Has Yet To Meet The All-Important Griffs

Non-book readers, I know what you must be thinking: Who?! On his journey, Tyrion meets two other travellers: Old and Young Griff. Their actual names are Jon Connington and Aegon Targaryen.

Yup. That's right. Aegon Targaryen. The same Aegon Targaryen whose parents are Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell.

Yup. That Elia Martell. The same woman who was the sister to Prince Oberyn Martell who tried to kill Gregor Clegane for raping Elia and killing her alongside her two kids. Confused yet?

Apparently Aegon escapes thanks to Varys actually. He meets Tyrion on his way to propose to and marry Daenerys who is his aunt (creepy) so they can rightfully claim the Iron Throne together. Tyrion somehow convinces him to go to Westeros with an army and show his worth via an attack in the midst of the crumbling camps battling for the throne. Aegon will have to become important later on, right? So why haven't we seen him on the series yet?

6. Why Is Jaime Off To Dorne?

Tasked by Cersei to go to Dorne to "save" their daughter Myrcella from the House Martell, Jaime brings Bronn along with him. While I actually enjoy this storyline so far thanks all the actors' good chemistry and their most recent fights against the Dornish soldiers, it is quite the deviation from the books. Cersei doesn't send Jaime after Myrcella in A Song Of Ice And fire, she instead tells him to go to Riverrun following the events of the Red Wedding to end the unrest. There he is reunited with Brienne and his partner in the venture is Ilyn Payne, Robert Baratheon's royal executioner.

7. The White Walkers' Plan Is Revealed

Is this a potential spoiler from George R.R. Martin's future entries in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series? In Season 4 we finally see what happened to Caster's children after they were sacrificed to the White Walkers. Apparently the Walkers have the ability to turn babies into Walkers themselves, a moment that has never been uttered in the books. Could this be where we're headed though? I hope so, it was most certainly a fascinating twist.

8. Why No Coldhands?

This mysterious character from beyond The Wall dressed as a Night's Watchman and described as looking similar to a wight in the books saves Samwell, Gilly and her child from wights in the series' third novel A Storm Of Swords. He once again appears in A Dance With Dragons to help guide Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor to the cave of the three-eyed raven so Bran can learn the ways of the greenseer. As he cannot enter the cave himself, he protects the rest of the gang by fighting off the wights at the entrance. In the series however, Coldhands has yet to appear. And his lack of help when Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor reach the cave of the three-eyed raven is missed sorely as this next big change occurs...

9. RIP Jojen Reed

I honestly still can't believe this change. Poor Jojen Reed is attacked by the wights at the entrance to the cave of the three-eyed raven. Out of mercy, Meera stabs and kills Jojen and then burns his body so that he won't become a wight as well. It's a horribly tragic moment in the series and one that I never even thought would happen. Quite the deviation from the books.

10. Brienne & The Hound's Epic Fight Is Totally New

The way The Hound is left to die is very much similar to the books but the fight that potentially does him in is completely and totally different. In A Song Of Ice And Fire, Arya and The Hound encounter Polliver and his men and The Hound is severely wounded. He asks Arya to kill him and put him out of his misery but she refuses and walks away. However in the series, The Hound and Arya encounter Podrick and Brienne of Tarth who proceeds to fight The Hound until she is victorious.

11. Possible Change: Mance Rayder's Death

If the series chooses not to follow the books, Mance is officially dead thanks to refuses to kneel before Stannis Baratheon. He is set on fire and then Jon Snow shoots an arrow in his heart out of mercy to kill him quickly so he will not suffer a long death. In the books, Melisandre charms another man Rattleshirt to look like Mance and take his place in pyre and she later trains with Mance. But it looks as though a big deviation has been set up now by the series as killing Mance removes a lengthy storyline. It may not be the biggest difference out of the bunch but still an important one.

Bonus: Where Is Ser Pounce? Like Actually?

Surprisingly enough, there actually is a Ser Pounce in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series. However, Ser Pounce was actually given as a gift from Margarey with two other cats to Tommen. The first cat of Westeros doesn't make a lot of appearances in the books, but he's around. However HBO confirmed the Ser Pounce won't return this season. I would like to see Ser Pounce again as soon as possible Game Of Thrones writers. Consider it your gift to me.

Don't tease me Martin.

Images: Helen Sloan (9), Macall B. Polay (1), Screenshot (3)/courtesy of HBO; Giphy