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Differences between books and TV series - Season 2

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The following is a list of differences between Season 2 of the television show Game of Thrones and the second and third novel of the A Song of Ice and Fire series; A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords.

The North Remembers

  • The book starts with Cressen's chapter on Dragonstone, which is also different than Cressen's storyline in the show. In the book, Cressen receives a message from the Citadel first, then Shireen Baratheon visits him. After that, he meets Ser Davos, then he visits Stannis and tries to convince him to not accept the Lord of Light. Cressen then appears at the feast where he is humiliated by Stannis' wife Selyse Florent. Then he tries to poison Melisandre and dies in the process.
  • In the book, Stannis doesn't receive the letter from Eddard saying that he is heir, because Tomard was killed before he could deliver it. The letter is intercepted by Cersei and used as evidence of Eddard's "treason". Stannis knows about Robert's children not being true born heirs long before Eddard, as he had first taken these suspicions to Jon Arryn, and they had been investigating it together.
  • Melisandre is not cruel to Cressen, it is Stannis' wife Selyse doing the mocking. She also realizes Cressen's plan and tells him he doesn't have to do it.
  • The poison Cressen uses is not hidden in his Maester's chain, in the novels, but is hidden in a pouch in his sleeve.
  • Maester Cressen dies several days before Stannis allows Melisandre to burn the statues of the Seven, which does not happen on the beach.
  • The show starts with Joffrey's tournament, which is the third chapter in the book (the Prologue's storyline is altered in the series, the second chapter was moved to the first season).
  • Sansa is at the tournament when the scene opens in the show. In the book she is escorted there by Ser Arys Oakheart who shares court gossip.
  • Sandor Clegane does not fight in Joffrey's name day tourney, he is dismissive about the poor quality of the competition.
  • The tournament in the book is a joust competition with horses and lances and takes place in a small tourney ground set up inside the keep walls as the city and surrounding land is too dangerous. In the series, they compete in a fight with blunt weapons on the walls of the Red Keep.
  • In the book Ser Dontos arrives late, chasing his horse (which he is too drunk to mount), and only wearing the top half of his armor (he is nude from the waist down). Joffrey orders a barrel of wine for him to be drowned in (as opposed to having it poured down his throat as it happens in the show), but Sansa dissuades him the same way she did in the show.
  • In the book, Prince Tommen rides against a quintain.
  • In the book, Daenerys follows the Red Comet, where in the series she is heading in the opposite direction.
  • In the book, Daenerys' silver mare doesn't die in the Red Waste, it is in fact it is still alive and well.
  • Daenerys sends riders out in different directions to explore what's around them in the Red Waste; in the book she does not do this until reaching Vaes Tolorro, the city of bones.
  • In the series, Jeor Mormont says that they passed through six villages, and found them all abandoned. In the book the ranging force passes through seven abandoned villages, the fourth of them is White Tree.
  • In the series, Craster's Keep is shown to have a wall of sharpened stakes surrounding it, where in the novels it is described as having only a small earthen dike around it.
  • In the book, following a night excursion beyond the camp, Jon Snow finds a horde of buried Night's Watch equipment and clothing including chunks of obsidian from which he fashions daggers. In the series, Jon's excursion finds Craster sacrificing one of his male offspring to a White Walker, the killings of which in the book are learned from one of Craster's daughters.
  • When Tyrion meets with Cersei at the small council meeting, he chides her for the dismissal of Barristan Selmy. He points out that Selmy is popular and respected throughout the realm, and will now join one of their enemies, giving them additional prestige, which Cersei admits she had not considered. He also makes her admit that she killed Robert, indirectly, by ordering Lancel Lannister to give the King a lot of very strong wine.
  • In the book, Tyrion does not bring Shae to the Tower of the Hand, he hides her in a manse outside the Red Keep in the city.
  • In the book, Lord Karstark is upset over Robb's peace offering and leaves the hall.
  • Neither Robb Stark nor Jaime Lannister are POV characters in the book A Clash of Kings, so the scene where Robb and Grey Wind confront Jaime in his cell and talk about bannermen, incest, and Bran's accident is never depicted in the book. This is instead told from the POV of Catelyn Stark who confronts Jaime in the dungeons of Riverrun after news reaches her of the deaths of Bran and Rickon.
  • Robb sends Cleos Frey with his terms to King's Landing. Cleos Frey is Tywin Lannister's nephew and Jaime's first cousin, son of Genna Lannister and Emmon Frey. There is no Alton Lannister in the novels.
  • The scene where Cersei tells Littlefinger that "power is power" does not happen in the novels. Littlefinger never strongly implies to Cersei, as he does in this scene, that he knows the rumors about an incestuous relationship between her and Jaime are true.
  • The scene where Cersei slaps Joffrey  and he threatens her in the Great Hall does not happen in the novels. Joffrey never treats his mother as poorly as he does in the series, and rather obeys his mother for the most part. At worst, he increasingly ignores her pleas to restrain his own behavior.
  • In the book, it is Cersei who sends the Gold Cloaks out to kill all of Robert's bastards, not Joffrey.
  • In the series the Gold Cloaks under the command of Janos Slynt go to the brothel to kill the baby Barra, and when his man will not carry this out, Slynt takes the baby from her mother Mhaegen and does it himself. In the books Barra's mother fights them and is killed along with the baby, the murders being carried out by Allar Deem, one of the Gold Cloaks.
  • The scene of Tobho Mott being interrogated does not occur in the books. It is not explained how the Gold Cloaks knew that Gendry is in Yoren's caravan.

The Night Lands

  • Littlefinger never has a conversation with any whore about the slaying of Robert's newborn bastard. In fact, Ros is not even a named character in the books.
  • Yara is named Asha in the novels. Her name was changed to avoid being confused with the wildling Osha.
  • Later, Yara, pretending to be "Esgred", does guide Theon through Pyke, but she is not in Pyke when Theon arrives. It is Theon's uncle, Aeron Damphair, priest of the Drowned God, that greets him at the harbor, baptizes him almost immediately, and provides context as to what has transpired since Theon became a ward of the Starks, while he takes him to the castle.
  • The Gold Cloaks that attempt to arrest Gendry are met at an inn in the novels.
  • Arya does not reveal her identity to Gendry until much later in the novels.
  • The meeting where Varys reveals he knows Shae's identity takes place in an inn in the city outside the Red Keep's walls, shortly after she enters the city and before Tyrion finds a manse for her, instead of the Hand's chambers.
  • The warning Jeor Mormont sent to King's Landing is not only a letter, but also a wight's severed hand in a jar still twitching delivered by Ser Alliser Thorne much later in the book.
  • In the books, Bronn is not made Commander of the City Watch. That role is filled by Ser Jacelyn Bywater, he is the one to arrest Janos Slynt at Tyrion's dinner. Slynt having been named to the small council and made Lord of Harrenhal, gives a list of six men who are possible replacements to head the Gold Cloaks. This list is given to Ser Jacelyn to be rounded up to go with Slynt by ship to the Wall, with special reference to Allar Deem (killer of baby Barra); the captain is to be told that it would not be amiss if a wave washed him overboard.
  • Salladhor Saan was recruited long before in the books.
  • Ser Davos Seaworth has seven sons in the books; Dale, Allard, Matthos, Maric, Devan, Stannis and Steffon. In the series, he only has one, Matthos.
  • In the show, Matthos is shown being King Stannis' scribe; in the book his younger sibling Devan is Stannis' squire, is taking reading lessons, and is encouraging his father to convert to the religion of the Lord of Light. In the book Matthos is Davos' first mate.
  • The scene that Stannis and Melisandre make love is not present in Volume Two "A Clash of Kings" of the novel (Season 2 is adapted mostly based on this volume). This affair is only faintly hinted in Chapter 25 of Volume Three "A Storm of Swords", in a dialogue between Melisandre and Davos, much later than the shadow assassin of Renly in timeline.
  • It is never said in the books that Selyse is sickly, weak and shut away in a tower, nor that she ever gave birth to stillborns.
  • It is Doreah, not Rakharo, who dies in the Red Waste in the novels. She dies of a wasting sickness, while Rakharo is still alive in the books.
  • It is Jon Snow, not Sam Tarly, who rescues Gilly from Ghost. Ghost doesn't corner Gilly because she is carrying dead rabbits in the book. Gilly set up a rabbit hutch and Ghost breaks into it killing the rabbits. Gilly yelling at him results in her being cornered, and Jon has to come shoo Ghost away.
  • The scene where EddGrenn, and Sam talk about women doesn't happen. Sam is not shown talking to Gilly, but he has given her his black cloak so she can go to talk to Jon without anyone knowing that she is one of Craster's wives.
  • The scene where Craster sacrifices his son to the White Walkers is never shown in the novels. It is instead explained to Jon Snow by Gilly.

What is Dead May Never Die

  • While Bran does confer with Maester Luwin about the interpretation of his dreams, in the book most of these exchanges happen between Bran and Jojen Reed, a young man from the Neck who also dreams "in green." (This is meant to delineate between real dreams and those that are premonitions). Also, Bran meets Jojen later on in the series; in the book they meet at a feast at Winterfell.
  • Craster never expels the Night's Watch from his keep in the novels, they leave of their own accord.
  • The scene where Sam gives Gilly a thimble never happens in the books.
  • Renly's Kingsguard is called the Rainbow Guard in the books. They wear rainbow cloaks and rainbow coat-of-arms to connect them to the Faith of the Seven. Each member of the Seven wears a different color of the rainbow armor.
  • The scenes with Renly, Loras and Margaery never happen in the books. In fact, the relationship between Loras and Renly is never shown in any of the novels; it is only hinted at.
  • Balon Greyjoy's war council is also attended by his brother Victarion, who has yet to appear in the series.
  • Theon Greyjoy never attempts to compose a letter to Robb Stark, warning him of his father's invasion plans.
  • The scene where Theon is baptized happens in the novels the moment he sets foot on Pyke.
  • Shae does not become Sansa's handmaiden in the novel, instead serving Lollys Stokeworth, until much later in the book. She is not moved to the Red Keep as handmaiden until after the city riots and fires make it too dangerous.
  • The scene where Tyrion tests Pycelle, Varys and Petyr happens slightly differently in the books. He tells Varys that he plans to offer the Martells gold, land, a seat on the small council, and to foster Prince Tommen in Sunspear.
  • In the books, Tyrion is given a new symbol of the Hand: a necklace composed of hand-shaped segments. In the series he uses the badge that Eddard used in Season One.
  • The long conversation between Arya and Yoren never happens in the book.
  • The battle between Yoren and his recruits and Ser Amory Lorch is different. Yoren and his charges are holed up in a small stone keep and refuse to open the gates. Lorch attacks them without any reason or provocation. A protracted battle takes place, with the same result. Arya is captured by Ser Armory and his host of Lannister men after Yoren is killed. However, in the books, Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie, and a few others escape the assault. Only later when Gendry is caught and Arya and Hot Pie fail in a rescue attempt are they captured at a small seaside village by Ser Gregor Clegane and then taken to Harrenhal. Arya's true sex is revealed on the march to Harrenhal (as there is no privacy for rest room breaks).

Garden of Bones

  • In this episode, Robb meets Lady Talisa, which starts a budding romance. In the book, this character does not exist. Rather, this character is intended to be Jeyne Westerling, daughter of Lord Gawen Westerling from the Crag. After Robb marches west to defeat the Lannisters​ at the Crag, he disappears from the book only being referred to in messages from ravens until he returns to Riverrun already married to Lady Jeyne. She is not a battlefield healer, but she does nurse Robb back to health after he takes an arrow to the arm storming the Westerling castle.
  • Though Arya is at Harrenhal with Tywin Lannister, she is not appointed his cupbearer and they never converse. Arya serves in various roles while at the castle, working for several people. Going by the name "Weasel" she works for the steward at Harrenhal.
  • It is actually Varys who suggests the whores for Joffrey in the book, not Bronn. In addition, the scene where Joffrey brutalizes Ros and the other whore never unfolds. It is unclear if this suggestion is ever acted on.
  • The Battle of Oxcross is never shown in the book, only mentioned.
  • It is Boros Blount, rather than Meryn Trant, who beats and strips Sansa in the Throne Room at Joffrey's behest. The Hound yells "enough!" during the spectacle. Tyrion, who is also accompanied by Timett, scolds and threatens Blount in the same way he does to Trant in the TV series. Additionally, Sansa's beating is toned down in the TV series. In the novel, she is stripped naked, which was removed from the series as the character was below the required age set by UK decency laws.
  • Kovarro does not appear in the books. Jhogo is the third Bloodrider, but his name was changed to Rakharo.
  • In the novels, Daenerys takes up residence in an abandoned walled city (Vaes Tolorro) for a time. There they eat fruit and drink water and regain much of their strength. They are not desperate to leave this city for Qarth, though Daenerys' followers do believe the abandoned city to be haunted.
  • Qarth has three walls in the novels, thirty, forty and fifty feet high respectively, each intricately carved with scenes of animals, warfare, and lovemaking.
  • In the novels, Daenerys is brought to Qarth by Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree and Quaithe. The three meet Daenerys in Vaes Tolorro, being brought to her by Jhogo. They have come to see the dragons and invite her to Qarth. Once there, they are immediately let into the city, without the events at the gates from the series. The city residents warmly welcome Daenerys and her followers, with Drogon clearly visible, and no one asks about the dragons.
  • Xaro is described as having pale skin and a long, beak-like nose crusted with jewels: rubies, opals and flakes of jade in the books, while in the series he is has black skin. It is also implied in the books that Xaro is homosexual, while in the series he clearly desires Daenerys.
  • The Thirteen of Qarth fight for dominion over Qarth with the Tourmaline Brotherhood, the Ancient Guild of Spicers and the Pureborn; they are not the only ones charged with governance.
  • There is no Spice King in the books; however, his alias is a reference to a merchant organization in Qarth, the Ancient Guild of Spicers, that does not appear on the TV Series.
  • Petyr is not sent to Renly's camp in the books. He does treat the Tyrells, but only long after Catelyn departed.
  • Catelyn and Littlefinger never saw each other again after their meeting at King's Landing, where he lied to her about the dagger.
  • Catelyn does not receive Eddard's bones at Renly's camp; she gets them when she returns to Riverrun later in the novel.
  • In the book, the sentence "a naked man has few secrets, but a flayed man's got none" is not said by Roose Bolton but attributed to him by "Reek" (Theon Greyjoy).
  • In the books, the reason Renly and Stannis meet is because Stannis has besieged Storm's End, the seat of Renly. It is not made clear why Stannis and Renly parlay.
  • In the series, the shadow Melisandre in sight of Davos happens outside Renly's camp. In the book there are two shadow assassinations. The birth Davos witnesses is the second one when it is sent to kill Ser Cortnay Pentrose, the castellan of Storm's End (not included in the TV series). He has to row Melisandre into a cavern under the castle as there are protective spells built into the castle walls.

The Ghost of Harrenhal

  • The Assassination of Renly Baratheon in the books is quite different from in the series:
    • ​The shadow is described to appear like the common planar shadow of Renly himself on the wall, rather than the black 3-D entity in the TV series. As described from Catelyn Stark's point of view, she sees "only the King’s [i.e. Renly's] shadow shifting against the silken walls".
    • The shadow is noticed​ to be abnormal because it acts differently from Renly himself: the shadow raises the sword, while Renly himself still have his real sword in the shealth.
    • In the assassination, Renly's steel gorget is cut through "like cheesecloth", and his throat is sliced, while the shadow makes no physical contact with him (since it is a planar shadow on the wall). In the series, he is stabbed in the back while he is not wearing any armor.
    • In a deleted scene from Season 2, some time after Renly dies Loras is looking over his armor (which he took from his body) while talking to his sister Margaery, and he asks her if she has any idea how difficult it is to cut through a steel gorget. Either Renly was still wearing another piece of armor under his clothes, or this scene is a relic from an earlier draft of the script which more closely matched how Renly died in the books.
  • Brienne does not kill any of Renly's Kingsguard in the books. She cuts off the arm of unnamed soldier and perhaps kills another who entered the tent with Robar Royce and Emmon Cuy.
  • In the novels, Loras did not believe that Stannis killed Renly, he believed that Brienne killed him.
  • Stannis and Davos do not discuss what transpired in the cave in the books. In fact, it is unclear if Stannis knew that Melisandre created the Shadow.
  • Davos did not lead Stannis' fleet into battle. It was led by Ser Imry Florent, Stannis' brother-in-law.
  • When Tyrion visits the Alchemists' Guild, Bronn does not accompany him. It is Hallyne who warns him of the dangers of putting the wildfire in the hands of untrained soldiers.
  • The Iron Islanders sail longships, not galleys.
  • In the books, Theon is given command of eight longships. In addition, his uncle Aeron Damphair is sent to watch over him.
  • Theon's ship, the Sea Bitch, is named by him in the books.
  • In the novels, Dagmer Cleftjaw is an infamous reaver and captain, not Theon's first mate. Dagmer is the master-of-arms at Pyke, and Theon grew up calling him uncle. His appearance is also drastically different. The cleft-jaw from where he gets his name was caused by his being hit in the head with an axe. He recovered but his mouth and jaw were split, making his smile terrifying.
  • In the books, Theon comes up with the idea to give Cleftjaw ships to raid Torrhen's Square as a distraction, while Theon himself subjugates Winterfell.
  • Ser Rodrik Cassel takes 600 men from Winterfell's garrison against the ironborn who besiege Torrhen's Square, not 200.
  • While at Harrenhal, Arya serves as cupbearer to Roose Bolton rather than Tywin Lannister.
  • The Tickler is not the first name Arya speaks to Jaqen in the books. It is one of Gregor Clegane's soldiers, Chiswyck, who laughingly relates a terrible story of an innkeeper's daughter gang-raped by Ser Gregor and his men, and her brother was killed while trying to intervene.
  • The Fist of the First Men is much different than in the books, being a cliffside rather than a hill surrounded by the Haunted Forest.
  • In the books, Qhorin Halfhand arrives late and encounters trouble on the way from the Shadow Tower.
  • The ranging force of the Night's Watch does not consist of 400 men as Qhorin mentioned, but 300 men, 200 from Castle Black and 100 from the Shadow Tower.
  • In the books, Qhorin suggests to send search parties not in order to kill Mance Rayder but to find out what is the power the wildlings were looking for at the Frostfangs.
  • Qhorin suggests, and Mormont agrees to send three search parties, five men each, to spy on the Wildlings: one to probe the Milkwater, one the Skirling Pass, one to climb the Giant's Stair. The parties are led by Qhorin Halfhand, Thoren Smallwood and Jarman Buckwell.
  • The Halfhand chooses Jon himself for his scouting party. Mormont initially objects, since Jon is hardly more than a boy and is not a ranger, but asks Jon for his will. Jon says "To go" and Mormont agrees.
  • The other men that Qhorin chooses for his search party are Dalbridge, Ebben and Stonesnake. There are no characters named Harker and Borba in the books.
  • Daenerys' dragons only breathe fire at the end of the book. She has to cook their food for them.
  • In the books, Daenerys dresses in the manner of a well dressed woman of Qarth; this consists of dresses that leave one breast bared. Jorah Mormont cannot help staring at her chest, but Xaro, despite his constant declarations of love and marriage proposals, seems more interested in his many good-looking male slaves.
  • Pyat Pree never uses the tricks from the series in the books.
  • Daenerys does not learns about Ser Jorah's feelings in the second book.
  • Quaithe does not warn Ser Jorah in the book.
  • There is no mention of an impregnable vault in the books.
  • Daenerys is informed of Robert's death by a sailor Jorah met on the docks. In the series she is told by Xaro.

The Old Gods and the New

  • In the series, Dagmer is Theon's first mate and second in command at Winterfell. In the books, he never comes to Winterfell. Theon sends him from the Stony Shore to Torrhen's Square with the diversionary force that draws Ser Rodrik Cassel away. He does not return to Winterfell but stays in Torrhen's Square.
  • In the series, when the people of Winterfell are brought together for Bran to officially surrender, Farlen, the kennel master, is shown insulting Theon. He is beaten with a club and ordered to stop. In the books, it is Mikken the blacksmith who begins yelling insults, and he is killed for his defiance.
  • In the series, Ser Rodrik is captured coming back from Torrhen's Square. He spits on Theon, and Dagmer tells Theon that he must be executed, or Theon's men will lose respect for him. In the books, the one who spits on Theon is Benfred Tallhart, a former friend of Theon's who was ambushed by Theon and his men at the Stoney Shore. It is Theon's uncle Aeron Damphair who tells Theon to order him executed, and he is ritually drowned.
  • Rodrik Cassel is not killed when Winterfell is taken, and he is not killed by Theon. A messy execution carried out by Theon does happen, but with the kennel master Farlen, later. 
  • Theon does accept Osha as a fighter in the book, demanding only that she swears loyalty to him, and she does. He also never sleeps with her.
  • Roose Bolton is not the one to deliver the news of Theon's betrayal to Robb. In fact, Roose Bolton does not meet up with Robb in the second book. He commands the northern footsoldiers of the eastern shores of the Trident. By proxy, he does not suggest to send his bastard son to retake Winterfell because he has no way to contact him.
  • Any scenes between Tywin and Arya do not happen in the books because Arya is never cupbearer for him.
  • Petyr never meets with Tywin at Harrenhal. In fact he never sets foot in Harrenhal, being aware of its curse.
  • Amory Lorch is not Arya's second name spoken to Jaqen. It is Weese, an understeward who frequently beats her.
  • Both House Dormund and its Lord are never mentioned anywhere in the books. In the books, Dormund is the mentioned as being a son of Tormund Giantsbane.
  • In the books, Lorch is killed when he is thrown into a bear pit by Vargo Hoat.
  • There is no mention of Jaime having an early reading disorder.
  • In the books, Myrcella doesn't cry when she is sent to Dorne. In fact, she comforts Tommen, who is crying.
  • During the riot, the royal procession is mounted on horses and proceed to Maegor's Holdfast, not the Red Keep.
  • In the books, the rioters also start a fire in the city.
  • In the series, Sandor saves Sansa from being raped and carries her to safety. Tyrion thanks him as he walks away. In the books, Sansa is not nearly raped. A man tries to pull her off of her horse, but Sandor cuts his arm off. Sandor brings her to safety riding double on Sansa's horse. Lollys Stokeworth is raped by dozens of men behind a tavern instead, and becomes pregnant.
  • Preston Greenfield of the Kingsguard, Aron Santagar, and the High Septon lost their lives in the books during the riot.
  • Jon Snow kills the wildling sentries much later in the book. In addition, it is only Jon and Stonesnake who kill them. Qhorin and the others arrive later.
  • Qhorin does not tell Jon to kill Ygritte, but leaves it to Jon to decide her fate; he tells him "you must do what needs be done".
  • Jon simply lets Ygritte go and continues on with Qhorin and his sworn brothers; Qhorin knows that Jon did not kill Ygritte.
  • There is never a meeting with the Spice King in the books. The character does not even exist in the books; however, he is a nod to Qarth's Ancient Guild of Spicers.
  • In the books, there is no massacre of Daenerys' people while staying in Xaro's manse.
  • In the book, Daenerys' dragons are not stolen and Irri does not die in Qarth; she remains in Daenerys' service.

A Man Without Honor

  • Shae does not help Sansa dispose of her bloody sheets, nor does she threaten a maid, nor does the Hound appear in this scene in the book. Shae is not her maid, and Sansa tries to burn her sheets and mattress by herself, filling the room with smoke, which attracts attention and what happened was reported to Cersei.
  • Robb Stark is never shown talking to Talisa, who is Jeyne Westerling in the books, or inviting her to the Crag.
  • Jaime's brief escape does not happen in Robb's camp. In the book, Jaime is held at Riverrun in a tower room. Tyrion sends four Mummers disguised as Lannister guards to escort Cleos Frey (who is replaced in the series by Alton Lannister) with peace terms. Their true purpose is to free Jaime. One is an impressionist who pretends to be Edmure Tully and gets them to open the gate; unfortunately for them, the real Edmure Tully chooses that moment to be returning from a brothel in town and the escape attempt fails. Jaime is recaptured and kept in the dungeons afterwards.
  • In the books, Jaime was a squire for Lord Sumner Crakehall, not for Ser Barristan Selmy; he never had any squire named Brian. When he took part in the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood, he was fifteen years old, not sixteen; and he never competed against Balon Swann.
  • Jaime does not kill Cleos Frey (who is replaced in the series by Alton Lannister). In fact, Jaime has never killed any of his kin. Cleos is killed later by outlaw archers.
  • In the book Catelyn doesn't meet Jaime this early in the story. She meets one time with Jaime in the dungeons of Riverrun. In the show they take the dialogue of this one scene and make two scenes, with Catelyn meeting alone with Jaime the first time and with Brienne the second time much later.
  • In the book, during the one conversation in Riverrun's dungeons, Catelyn and Jaime make an agreement to speak the truth. She tells him about the war and what is happening to the Lannisters. Jaime, who is also getting increasingly drunk on the wine Catelyn sent to him, confesses many things: he is Cersei's lover; he is the father of Cersei's children; he attempted to murder Bran by pushing him from the window. Jaime affirms that neither he, Cersei or Tyrion had anything to do with the catspaw assassin. Catelyn believes him, since he has no reason to lie having confessed to pushing Bran. To Catelyn's question about the dagger, Jaime says that Littlefinger had lost it to Robert, not to Tyrion. He independently confirms Tyrion's original defense; that he could not have lost the dagger betting against Jaime with Littlefinger, because Tyrion never bets against his brother. Only then does Catelyn realize that Littlefinger lied to her, and Tyrion was innocent. Jaime also told Catelyn how the Mad King had executed Ned's brother and father, before adding his own personal anger at Ned; Jaime rages that Ned should have thanked him for avenging his family.
  • Lord Rickard Karstark does seek revenge on Jaime Lannister, but it is for the killing of his two sons at the Battle of the Whispering Wood, not one killed in a failed escape attempt. The sentence "Any man who steps between a father and his vengeance asks for death!" was said by Rickard much later, in different context.
  • Jon Snow let Ygritte go and returned to the rangers, so their scenes walking around and them talking about freedom and sex didn't happen.
  • During this time in the books, Jon Snow and the rangers are scouring Skirling Pass to look for a way out.
  • Ser Jorah never meets with Quaithe.
  • There is never a conspiracy to control Qarth staged by Pyat Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Thus, the Thirteen are never killed, Pyat Pree is not allied with Xaro Xhoan Daxos, nor does he kidnap Daenerys' dragons to lure her into the House of the Undying. She goes there of her own accord.
  • None of the scenes between Tywin Lannister and Arya Stark transpire in the book. Tywin's comment to Arya that she should say "m'lord" rather than "my lord" if she wishes to pose as a commoner is based on a similar comment in the novel A Dance with Dragons.
  • The scene between Cersei and Tyrion, with Cersei admitting that Joffrey is a monster never happens. In the novels, Cersei and Tyrion are never as friendly as they are in this scene, and Cersei never acknowledges Joffrey's cruelty, calling it 'willfulness'. The change in Cersei's reaction to Joffrey is heavily due to the changes with Joffrey and Cersei's relationship.
  • Theon was sleeping with a tavern wench named Kyra, not with Osha, when he wakes and realizes that he can't hear the wolves howling in the godswood. The wolves were confined there when Shaggydog got violent. He tells a guard to check and is then told the Stark boys have escaped.
  • In the books, Farlan, the kennel master of Winterfell, leads the hounds tracking Bran and Rickon after his daughter is threatened to get his cooperation. In the series, Theon has brought his own master of hounds.
  • In the books, when Bran and Rickon escape with Hodor  and Osha, the two Reed siblings are with them (characters later introduced in the show). They don't go to a farm, they only go to the woods leaving an obvious trail, then backtrack, sending the wolves on to make a trail for the dogs. Theon and his men don't go to the farm either.
  • In the series, the entire burned bodies of the children are hung on either side of the main gate. In the books, the bodies are brought in dressed in the clothes of Bran and Rickon, but the heads have already been removed and tarred, with the faces peeled off. The bodies are thrown on a fire and only the heads are put onto spikes on the castle walls.

The Prince of Winterfell

  • The cache of dragonglass weapons is discovered by Jon Snow and Ghost the first night they spend at the Fist, not by Grenn. It contains blades, a dozen knives, leaf-shaped spearheads, at least 200 or 300 arrowheads and an old broken warhorn. Jon makes daggers for himself, Grenn and Mormont. He gives Sam the old warhorn, a spearhead and a dozen arrowheads, and passes the rest out among his other friends for luck.
  • Asha (Yara in the series) does bring reinforcements for Theon, but only 10 soldiers. Also, Dagmer Cleftjaw is not at Winterfell, he is besieging Torrhen's Square.
  • Luwin is aware that the Stark boys are alive, but is not aware that Osha is hiding with them in the crypts.
  • In the books, the prostitute that Cersei captures is Alayaya, a prostitute in a local high-end brothel, not Ros (who is not a character in the books). In addition, Tommen had been moved to Castle Rosby north of King's Landing long before Stannis arrives, but is captured by Tyrion's sellswords. Tyrion threatens to harm him if Cersei harms Alayaya, "the beatings and the rapes included". To make the threat worse, he says that he'll do that himself. The scene ends with Tyrion having the upper hand.
  • Tyrion and Bronn don't argue in the book about Bronn not wanting to wear a gold cloak. Bronn is not Commander of the City Watch, that is Ser Jaclyn Bywater. Bronn is in command of Tyrion's private army of hired sellswords. He has not rounded up or gotten rid of all known thieves.
  • Arya never asks Jaqen's help to escape, nor to kill Tywin Lannister. Instead, she uses his name to help her free a group of northmen being held by Ser Amory Lorch. When she really escapes, she takes mounts for herself, Gendry and Hot Pie, and has to kill a guard.
  • Robb's scene with Talisa (who is Jeyne Westerling in the books) is never shown; her story is also changed from the book.
  • Robb does not send any force to free Winterfell. He does not make any offer of surrender to the ironborn who occupy Winterfell.
  • Robb does not arrest Catelyn in the book. Desmond Grell, the castellan and master at arms of Riverrun, did confine her in her father's bed chamber for forms sake (only after she gave her consent to), after she helped Jaime escape, but when Robb returned, he forgave her, stating that she made that mistake out of love. Robb had himself acted rashly, in breaking his marriage pact with the Freys by marrying Jeyne Westerling (who is replaced by Talisa in the series).
  • Davos is not made Hand of the King in "A Clash of Kings", but much later in "A Storm of Swords", after he is released from jail. At that time, Stannis' Hand was Alester Florent (Selyse's uncle).
  • Brienne isn't seen escorting Jaime to King's Landing until the third book.
  • Jaime never tells anyone that there are three men in the kingdoms who might have a chance against him in battle.
  • Daenerys' scenes debating whether to go to the House of the Undying do not happen because: she goes there of her own accord, her dragons are never stolen, and there is no conspiracy.

Blackwater

  • For a full list of the differences between the battle in the series and that of the book, see the "In the Books" section of Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Ser Davos is not the commander of Stannis' fleet. It is Imry Florent, Stannis' brother-in-law.
  • In the book, Tyrion collects all of the armorers in King's Landing and orders them all to forge one chain link each. He collects them and has them linked together under the surface of Blackwater Bay. Once the majority of Stannis' fleet has passed the hidden chain, it is raised, creating a wall for the warships, preventing them from escaping once the wildfire has been released.
  • Stannis does not personally fight; he stays south of the bay in case of a defeat. Despite this, he is still adamant about not retreating.
  • The Royal Fleet is sacrificed in the books by leading Stannis' fleet into the Tyrion's wildfire trap. In the series, Tyrion sends the bulk of the fleet away to safety, and only one ship filled with wildfire is let loose.
  • The scene with Varys and Tyrion never happens. Varys has long since told him how he was made a eunuch.
  • In the books, all the burned out hulls of the ships create an effective bridge for Stannis' infantry to reach the beach.
  • Cersei never obtains Essence of Nightshade from Pycelle, or anyone. She never contemplates killing herself, nor Tommen, who is even not in King's Landing during the battle, having been sent away from the city by Cersei beforehand.
  • The room where Cersei and the highborn ladies gather for the battle is different; in the book it is akin to a small banquet hall. 
  • Shae does not speak to Cersei or Sansa during the battle.
  • In the book, the Hound holds a knife to Sansa's throat after throwing her on the bed, has her sing him a song, and then leaves.
  • It is Ser Loras Tyrell's older brother, Ser Garlan, who wears Renly's armor in the battle.

Valar Morghulis

  • In the books, Tyrion's wound is much more gruesome. He has half of his nose and a part of his upper lip cut off by Ser Mandon, not just a gash across his face. He was also hit in the arm with an arrow, and almost lost his arm as a result.
  • It is Maester Balabar, not Pycelle, who first visits Tyrion.
  • Bronn visits Tyrion's sickbed, not Varys.
  • Shae does not visit Tyrion while he recuperates in the book.
  • It takes longer for Tyrion to recover in the books; he is disillusioned and hallucinates.
  • Ros and Varys' scene in the brothel does not occur in the books; Varys is not a point of view character and Ros was made up for the show, a compilation of various prostitutes.
  • It is not Littlefinger but Ser Dontos Hollard who explains to Sansa that Joffrey's betrothal to Margaery Tyrell would not stop him from having his way with her, and promises to take her home. Ser Dontos also gives Sansa a hairnet, and tells her to wear during the wedding between Joffrey and Margaery.
  • Margaery wasn't in King's Landing immediately after Blackwater.
  • Ser Loras Tyrell doesn't ask the reward of Joffrey marrying Margaery. He asks to join Joffrey's Kingsguard, and his wish is granted. The request for Joffrey to marry Margaery is made by her older brother Garlan Tyrell, who does not appear in the series.
  • Stannis never attacks Melisandre physically, though he threatened to kill her if she ever lied to him. He never admits in the books that he had anything to do with Renly's murder.
  • Talisa is not a character in the books; Robb instead marries Jeyne Westerling and news of the wedding does not reach the reader until the subsequent book A Storm of Swords. He doesn't talk to Catelyn about breaking his marriage contract; Catelyn only finds out after they marry and return to Riverrun.
  • The Northern army besieging Winterfell is commanded by Ser Rodrik Cassel in A Clash of Kings. In the series he is already dead.
  • Theon did not immediately dismiss the suggestion of joining the Night's Watch. In the book, he seriously considers being stationed at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea with a ship of his own to captain. He had almost talked himself into doing it until events outside changed the situation.
  • Dagmer has never been to Winterfell in A Clash of Kings, and did not betray Theon. He went to Torrhen's Square as a diversion, and is mentioned to be still there in the later volumes. Theon is not knocked out by his own men and given to the northern army, but he is betrayed by Ramsay Snow, who befriended Theon at Winterfell and was sent to obtain sellswords for him. Ramsay returns with an army, massacres the besieging northern army and once the gates are opened to them by Theon, he turns his army on the ironborn and punches Theon with a mailed fist.
  • Wex is Theon's mute squire and is twelve years old. In the show no such character appears, and the name is only announced in the speech as one of the ironborn.
  • Maester Luwin wasn't stabbed by Dagmer in the books, though he did sustain a grievous wound during the Sack of Winterfell. He is overjoyed to see Bran and Rickon, as he never visited them in the crypts. He knew that Bran was alive because he noticed the leg muscles of the corpse dressed in Bran's clothes.
  • Luwin doesn't tell them to go to the Wall to Jon. In the books Luwin is not sure which route is safe, but does advise them to split up and take different roads.
  • The House of the Undying is a flat, one-story building in the book rather than a tall tower.
  • In the books, Daenerys comes to consult with the warlocks. She is brought by Pyat Pree, given Shade of the Evening to drink, and is told that she must enter alone, while Ser Jorah and her bloodriders wait outside. In the series, she is magically brought into the tower, separating her from Jorah and Kovarro.
  • In the book, Daenerys receives several visions relating to her past and future. She does not meet the Undying Ones and receives no prophecies about her future in the show.
  • In the book, the dragons had not been captured but Daenerys had brought Drogon into the House of the Undying with her, and he does save Daenerys from the warlocks by burning the Undying Ones when they try to trap her.
  • In the series, Pyat Pree tries to imprison Daenerys, and her three dragons free her by setting him on fire. In the books, Drogon is the only dragon present and while he does kill the undead warlocks and sets fire to the House of the Undying, he does not kill Pyat Pree. He is outside when Daenerys emerges and, in a rage at the destruction she has caused, he vows revenge on her.
  • Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah are not locked in a vault by Daenerys in the books. Xaro does not betray Daenerys and no vault is mentioned. Doreah has long been dead, having died of a wasting sickness in the Red Waste.
  • Daenerys does not plan to buy a ship with Xaro's looted goods in the books. Daenerys and her people do not loot Xaro's house. Three ships have been sent to her by Magister Illyrio to return her to Pentos.
  • Sam was inside the camp and not with Grenn and Edd when the White Walkers and the wights arrived. They attacked in the dead of night, not during the day.
  • In the book, Jon Snow is immediately forced to fight Qhorin when they are caught by the wildlings at the mouth of a cave; they are not led away first, but Qhorin does strike the first blow. Qhorin's last word is simply "...sharp", not "we are the watchers on the wall".
  • In the book Qhorin's leg was torn apart by Ghost, allowing Jon to kill him.
  • Jaqen H'ghar leaves Harrenhal shortly after he helps Arya free the captive northmen in Harrenhal, before she and her friends escaped. She does not see him again afterwards.
  • Gendry and Hot Pie weren't with Arya when she said goodbye to Jaqen. In the book Arya says goodbye to Jaqen at Harrenhal, long before the escape. Arya arranges the escape herself.
  • In the book, Jaqen doesn't kill the guards at the gate. Arya distracts only one guard and slits his throat. Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry leave on horseback.
  • By this time in the book, Jaime has shaved off his hair and kept a thick a beard to avoid recognition.
  • Brienne and Jaime did not meet three Stark soldiers, although they did find women hanged by Stark loyalists, but when Brienne climbs the tree to cut the bodies down, she spots a soldier filled galley that has been sent after them from Riverrun, and they must flee leaving the women unburied. Their successful escape down the river is much more exciting and dangerous in the book. They travel with Cleos Frey, a cousin of Jaime, whose role was loosely filled by Alton Lannister in the show.

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