Game of Thrones Book Spoiler Thread (Season Five)

After a first season that adhered fairly closely to the source material, Game of Thrones has increasingly moved away from absolute adherence to the structure of George R.R. Martin's books. Now that we’re in season five, we’ve reached the point at which the show is covering material that’s new even to us book-reading snobs.

That's both exciting and confusing for those of us who have read the books, as we still have a few exciting things to expect, but we also don’t know what might change from the books or go beyond them. And because we want the reviews to remain safe for those readers who haven't read the books, we need a place to talk about those changes.

This is that place: a discussion thread for those of us who have something to say about the changes, adaptations, alterations, and deletions in the fifth season of Game of Thrones.

The rules for this season are simple: anything in the books—any of the books—is fair game. So if you haven’t read A Dance with Dragons, beware the spoiler dragon who lurks below!

(We’ll provide a link to this thread in all of the Game of Thrones reviews this season.)

34 comments:

Korlis said...

I posted in the "Wars to Come" review that I'd been a little down on Thrones prior to the season premiere, because I've had the growing feeling that the show was less and less what I wanted it to be - not that it didn't have great moments, but that scenes I had wanted to see either didn't happen, or happened with less complexity and subtext because of what had gone before, or no longer looked like they could happen because of changes in the show so far.

That episode has kind of flipped my opinion, as it seems to so assertively be different from the books (the death of Mance, Littlefinger and Sansa going... somewhere, the Tyrion and Varys road trip) that it no longer feels like "Oh, if only they had done x slightly differently..." but that this a very different, almost alt-universe take on the story. I have no idea where it may go, or how closely later episodes may hew to the remaining source material, but I'm pretty excited again for the first time in a while.

Juliette said...

I love TV Varys, who is so much more interesting than Book Varys. I'm confused by Book Varys (which I'm sure is the idea) but after his killing of Kevan Lannister he seems to be pretty much a Targaryen loyalist (possibly). TV Varys' desire to help the realm is much more interesting, I'm loving it.

I do wonder what they're going to do with Brienne and Pod if they're not doing Stoneheart though. Maybe Gendry will turn up again, and the remnants of Dondarrion's men?

Juliette said...

Brienne and Pod feel so much like they're wandering around without a purpose since their storyline's been written out! I hope they're going to come up with something meaningful for them to do soon.

Juliette said...

Does anyone else think Littlefinger might be cooking up some Frey pie? I can't imagine why else he'd ally with Catelyn Stark's murderers!

I'm rather dreading where they're going to go with Sansa though, if she's replacing Jeyne Poole...

Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: I have only watched the first episode of this season so far.

I'm so confused about how Sansa is supposed to marry Ramsey. Leaving aside the fact that she's already married, aren't the Boltons in with the Lannisters? Or at least pretending to be? And doesn't Cersei believe Sansa helped kill Joffrey? How exactly is this supposed to work? Has this been addressed?

Also, I just really don't want to see what happened to Jeyne happen to Sansa. No thank you.

TheShadowKnows said...

I'm not sure how I feel about the changes in last night's episode. In the book Daenerys is naively manipulated into doing something stupid (reopening the fighting pits and marrying one of the very slavers who are behind the Sons of the Harpy). I can't decide if the stupid idea being her own decision is better or worse.

Rish said...

^^
I think they represent the same character arc just foregoing some of the subtleties. Dany is forced to marry Hizdar because of the actions of the Harpy.

And honestly at this point I am done even comparing with the books since they clearly seem to be just taking characters their own direction. They might somewhat converge towards the end, but only if Griffs appear towards the end of this season or early next season. I reckon they could still be introduced via the first JCon POV chapter. I think that could be a good intro to the characters.

Since my understanding of the books is that we seem to heading towards a second Dance of the Dragons ( I might be wrong), cutting out that arc has big repercussions.

TheShadowKnows said...

Oh boy. I expect plenty of commentary about another "bonus" rape scene being added to the TV version.

TheShadowKnows said...

If people are upset about the sexual humiliation of women now, wait until the religious nuts frog march Cersei through King's Landing naked. Yikes.

Jess Lynde said...

I think that's maybe why they had the Sparrow's followers put the High Septon through the "walk of shame" a few episodes ago. It didn't happen that way in the book, and I think maybe the intent was to show that this particular method of punishment isn't about humiliating or sexually shaming women per se. This is an approach they use for anyone that doesn't adhere to their moral codes.

It will be interesting to see how people react though. Especially if this same type of punishment doesn't end up befalling Loras. Personally, I can't wait for Cersei to be brought low, but that's because I really hate book Cersei. They've tried to soften her on the show --- which bugs the crap out of me --- so I'm not sure if the audience will be as on board with her downfall.

TheShadowKnows said...

At least it was only ATTEMPTED rape this week. I really do think they could ease up on the sexual assault though. We get the point guys; it's time to move on.

On another note, even though she didn't dig her own grave quite as elaborately as she did in the book, it was still a thrill to see Cersei tossed in a cell!

TheShadowKnows said...

A thought: since it appears the show has scrapped the stuff with her nephew, and given the death of Aemon, is Daenerys now the last surviving "pure" Valyrian?

TheShadowKnows said...

That episode was wild! Almost nothing from the books in it.

Juliette said...

Yeah it was awesome! I'm so, so glad we're seeing so much of Tyrion and Dany together. Books 4 and 5 felt so much like waiting endlessly for people to get to places they never get to, it feels great to get so much forward movement. And I got chills watching the army of the dead stand up - Jon explains that obviously this will happen in the books but that's nothing like actually seeing it!

Juliette said...

I noticed once again no Greyjoys apart from Theon were mentioned when logically they should have been (Tyrion and Dany left them out of their discussion of rival houses and rival kings, when surely Balon Greyjoy's claim should have got a mention at least). I'll have no problem at all if the show just quietly gives up on the Greyjoy storyline because I find it dull as ditchwater, but do you think that's what they're doing? Or will the Greyjoys be back next year when the decks have cleared a bit?

Juliette said...

Oooh, one other interesting thing - Show Tyrion still trusts Jaime, which presumably Book Tyrion doesn't any more. No idea if that's relevant or if they'll ever meet again (I got the sense maybe not from the way the show handled their goodbye) but interesting...

Jess Lynde said...

I haven't completely given up on the idea that Asha (Yara?) will turn up in the midst of Bolton v. Stannis clash, but I think they may be letting the rest of that Greyjoy stuff slide. Balon's still alive, right? So no need for the Kingsmoot and all that. Which is fine by me.

(Side note: You'd think Stannis would have pointed out that Melissandre's blood magic didn't take out the third usurper on his list when she was pressuring him to kill his daughter. He's kind of a stickler for details. Maybe next time we see him?)

Jess Lynde said...

After last night's episode, I was pondering the interesting pacing of Arya's story and what it might mean. By the end of this season, all the other story threads will either have been kicked to the curb, brought to their current resting spots in the books, moved beyond the books, or shifted into totally different territory. But it looks like Arya is pushing towards killing someone she's not supposed to (probably Meryn Trant in this version), and then being struck blind. Which is only part way through her book journey. I wonder if they wanted to stretch things out with her a little more so that they could parallel her warging abilities with whatever is coming up with Bran and with what might happen next with Jon.

sunbunny said...

I really like Tyrion and Dany meeting. His storyline was PAINFULLY dull in ADWD and hers had its moments but was still characterized by a lot of wishy washy agonizing over what to do.

I loved the White Walker battle. It's not canon but it's (sort of) canon compatible? Wasn't the Hardhome thing in the books that Jon sent people but they got there too late? The scene had the same result: saving some Wildlings, losing a whole lot more. Plus we're reminded of the very real threat the White Walkers pose, confirm that Valyrian steel is awesome, and see some much needed action.

In addition to the Greyjoys, Tyrion also left the Martells out of his wheel analogy. Of all of the houses in Westeros, they would be the most likely to support Dany's rule, given their ties to that dynasty, their hatred of everyone else in Westeros, and their progressive view on gender equality. Seems worth mentioning.

Are they still doing the Mance Rayder/Lord of Bones thing?

Josie Kafka said...

Sunbunny, that's an interesting point about "canon" and "canon compatible."

I've just accepted the show as its own canon at this point.

What about everyone else?

TheShadowKnows said...

They've clearly diverged wildly. I would be surprised if they even end the same way at this point (actually, I'll be surprised if GRRM finishes the books at all).

I'm not worried about it myself.

Juliette said...

Yeah the show is its own thing now, though lining up with the books in various ways - every time a non book reader says 'hey do you think that Olly kid might plan to do something to stop Jon?' I have to go very quiet! Yeah I think he might...

I think the reason Tormund killed the Lord o Bones was to put to rest the idea that they'll do the book storyline there. If they're not doing Stoneheart because they don't want to lessen the impact of Catelyn's death, there's no way they're gonna reveal Mance is suddenly alive, and Brienne has taken his place in the plot.

Presumably Stannis will get mad at Melisandre for wanting to sacrifice Shireen and send her back to the Wall, since, though none of us know what's going with Jon after the end of ADWD, general consensus is she's likely to be involved somehow? I thought warging might also be involved, but the show hasn't set it up at all. (That's why I don't think Yara will show up at the battle either - this season has done nothing to set that up. It's mentioned Theon is a Greyjoy a few times, but I don't think that's enough. For TV audiences it would come out of nowhere if it happened now).

TheShadowKnows said...

Well, that was unpleasant.

sunbunny said...

As beyond adjectives horrible as Sansa's rape was, it was something that could happen in terms of character. Ramsey is...Ramsey. But this is just...Stannis wouldn't do that, and Selyse would NOT be the one freaking out about it. Switch those roles. Melissandre...yeah she would. It's actually been one of my biggest fears for the books while reading that Melissandre would go behind Stannis's back to kill Shireen with Selyse's help. I wonder if any of the changes D&D make are going to end up not hurting girls? Find a new tune, boys. This one's getting old.

It's not a spoiler, but I also need to say that Dany riding Drogon was probably the worst CGI the show's ever done. Very disappointing. He looked great on the ground, but the second she climbed up on him it was...let's just say not up to their usual, very high CGI standard.

J.D. Balthazar said...

As horrible as it was to watch, I think I have to disagree with you Sunbunny. Stannis loved Shireen, which makes it a sacrifice. He is so devoted to his cause at this point, so brainwashed by Mellisandre, that I believe he truly thinks this is the only way to win Winterfell.

GRRM was even the one who suggested this plot twist, so there has to be some validity to it. Selyse is a broken person, her disconnect with her daughter stemmed from loosing all those children at birth. After the dragonscale, she turned away from her husband and daughter and threw herself into her faith. Yet, when it came to the moment, watching her daughter get burned alive brought up the trauma she has been suppressing with her insanity.

For me, Stannis has never been a good man, he is a zealot, and I've never understood how anyone could root for him.

TheShadowKnows said...

Although I'm sorry to see Shireen go, I'm not really surprised. Stannis is a religious fanatic (or at least enables them for his own purposes) and he had his own brother assassinated. He's not a good guy.

The scene was still pretty harrowing though. Ser Meryn the Chicken Hawk didn't make the episode any easier to stomach either. Ugh!

Anonymous said...

#werenotwaitingforyoutofinishthatnextbook

TheShadowKnows said...

That was pretty grim. Plenty more fresh gloom piled on top of Jon Snow's expected death. I had assumed Ramsay was lying in the book about wiping out Stannis' army, but I guess it's probably going to happen way or another. RIP Stannis you poor fool.

sunbunny said...

Jon Snow better not be freaking dead in the books. SERIOUSLY.

Anonymous said...

Is the concept of resurrection by the red god established in the series? I can't quite remeber.

Josie Kafka said...

Yes, Beric Dondarian underwent repeated resurrections.

TheShadowKnows said...

The TV show actually showed Melisandre talking to the Red Priest about the resurrections he'd been performing.

Getting some "how-to" tips maybe?

Juliette said...

Jon's definitely not (going to stay) dead in the books, but I'm uncertain whether D&D are lying and he'll come back in the show, or they're doing another Stoneheart and leaving him dead. I can't see that working though, the narrative really needs him. Another possibility, given they and Harington both insisted he wouldn't be back next season, is he's away for season 6 and back for season 7...

TheShadowKnows said...

Darlton were known for being very evasive and deceptive without technically lying on the LOST podcasts, so you always had to look for the loophole. In the case of D&D, I get the feeling they're more likely to just tell a straightforward lie to preserve the surprise.

But who knows? Maybe Jon really is permanently dead, in the books and on the show, and it's just another hate letter from GRRM to the idea of "romantic" fantasy.