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Game of Thrones Season Three: Book vs. Show Discussion

After a first season that adhered fairly closely to the source material, Game of Thrones moved away from absolute adherence to the structure of George R.R. Martin's second volume, A Clash of Kings, and the third season looks primed to continue that tradition. That's both exciting and confusing for those of us who have read the books, as we know what to expect but not when to expect it. 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 as A Storm of Swords is transformed into the third season of Game of Thrones.

The rules are simple: anything in the third book is fair game, but let's not spoil beyond that, at least for now. (This may change, depending on where Season Three takes us.) So this thread is safe if you've read A Storm of Swords, and unsafe if you haven't.

If this thread proves popular, I'll keep linking to it in my reviews of Season Three so we can continue the discussion.

And now, to get us started: What part of the books are you looking forward to most this season?

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  1. I'm really looking forward to the way Dany takes control of the Unsullied. Hopefully that will happen next week.

    I'm also excited to see how the Sansa/Shae friendship plays out, especially in light of events that take place later in the books. As I can't remember which books they take place in, I'm going to leave that vague.

  2. I'm curious to see what changes they make to the Dragonstone storyline. Stan, Mels and Davy have very little to do in ASOS until later in he book. Judging by the trailers it looks like Mels is going to be leaving Dragonstone and mingling with some character she never met in the book. Hopefully this will serve some purpose and not just be a load of padding keep the actors busy.

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  4. I'm really looking forward to the Margaery/Joffrey scenes. As a big Natalie/Jack fan, it's interesting to see their chemistry.

    Also, more Margaery and Loras sassing Cersei, please.

  5. I would watch a whole series just about Jaime and Brienne, with occasional guest spots from Tyrion and Arya. Looking forward to seeing them.

  6. I'm very curious about how Shae's story is going to progress. The character on the screen is so different than the character in the books, and I can't see Screen Shae meeting the same fate as Book Shae. At least, I can't see her getting there the same way. I really like Screen Shae. Her fierce protectiveness and loyalty is very endearing, and I can't wait to see what they do with her and Sansa.

    I'm glad they introduced Barristan Selmy the way they did. It was a tad on the cheesy side, but they never could have pulled off that Arstan Whitebeard business on screen, and I was worried they weren't going to bring him back into the fold at all. I'm curious how it will play out later, with the whole "sense of betrayal" aspect of the reveal off the table.

    I'm also wondering how they'll handle Talisa going forward. Particularly at the end. Will she go with Robb to the wedding, or stay behind as Jeyne did? If she stays behind, what will they do with her then, since she's not tied to a Lannister bannerman's family? And since she's not getting dosed by her mother to keep her from having an heir, is she going to prove infertile?

  7. I don't know if I'm alone in this but when I read each book, I realized they all had their own "color" in a way and Storm was full of songs. I was a little disappointed that Mance didn't sing "The Dornishmen's Wife" and that the scene with Sansa and Olenna doesn't seem to include "The bear and the maiden fair". This seems like a detail, yet it was my favorite in Storm.

  8. I'm hoping beyond hope we get the 'Bear and the Maiden Fair' - it's absolutely crucial for Brienne but it needs some set up. Given how much we've heard the Rains of Castamere it'd be nice to have some of the other songs.

    I was disappointed Jon Snow didn't give his book reason for joining the wildings, about him being sat in the corner in Winterfell. In the book that's as powerful as Tywin and Tyrion's conversation. It might come up later though, hope it does.

    I really like how fleshed-out Margaery's role is, Natalie Dormer plays it perfectly. Her versus Cersei is going to be brilliant and hopefully the Queen of Thorns influence will be made more obvious.

    They had to change Barristan's reveal, it just wouldn't have worked on screen. Disappointed he's lost his staff - that was a nice touch - and I hope Strong Belwas hasn't been written out: he was brilliant.

  9. Oh and they're going to have to do something different with Shae: she's just far too nice and I'm not sure I can support Tyrion doing what he does with this version of Shae. This breaks my fundamental GoT rule: Tyrion is always right.

  10. I agree about Shae. It should be Tywin doing to her what Tyrion did in the books, which would give Tyrion further motivation to do to Tywin exactly what he did in the books. :-)

  11. Are we counting things said in the commentaries for S2 as acceptable for this thread, or would it be too spoilery? There's an interesting conversation between Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage during the commentary for Blackwater.

  12. I feel the same way with Shae and I do not like it one bit. I hated Shae in the books and what the final reveal, with Shay and Tywin, was extremely satisfactory, but instead I just feel that they made her "Shae the funny whore" because Peter Dinklage ; same thing for Bronn who I thought was much less sympathetic and friendly in the books, it seems they made him nicer and you cant't feel that much danger around Tyrion like you did in the books. Tyrion's storyline seems to be only here to make Cersei a villain and Tywin an asshole instead of preparing him for Dance.
    And I must be the only person alive who's favorite character is Cersei.

  13. In the Blackwater commentary, Peter and Lena are talking about Shae. They'd just done the read-through for S3 and they made the comment about how different Shae's story ends in the series compared to the books.

    It's nice to see the showrunners feel the same way about Shaw as the fans do.

    Quite nerdy, but the commentaries are an absolute gold mine of information and insights.

  14. Colin - I love Cersei. She's not my fav (Tyrion and Arya constantly battle for that crown), but I do love her. She's a pretty terrible person but her motivations are always clear, at least in the books. Still haven't seen season 2 of the series. Add that to the list of shows I'm behind on.

  15. Two thoughts about "Dark Wings, Dark Words" (and I talk about all of A Storm of Swords in this post, because those are the rules):

    1. I wonder if the silly fight between Shae and Tyrion about Sansa are a hint about how the writers are planning to tweak the Shae/Tyrion arc that comes at the end of A Storm of Swords? Shae gets increasingly jealous, wants to injure Tyrion, etc etc.

    2. Why the changes to Catelyn's and Jon Snow's relationship? Do you think that the writers want to shift Jon's character away from daddy issues, since those are so important for Tyrion, and they didn't want to be repetitive?

  16. Does anyone else think that Iwan Rheon's "boy" character is actually Ramsay Snow playing games with Theon?

    And now Roose is on the loose.

    I honestly wouldn't mind if they shifted Jon's character away from the books slightly, because sometimes book!Jon can be a bit of a mop.

    Not sure how I feel about seeing Theon's actual torture.

  17. If the "Boy" isn't the Bastard I'll make a three course meal out of all my hats.

  18. Yeah, as soon as "boy" popped up on the screen, I pointed to him and said "That guy is so the Bastard. Just look at him! Look at those eyes and that face! If he isn't the spawn of Roose, they're going to have a bitch of a time casting someone more fitting." And he is almost certainly playing games with Theon.

    I really hated Catelyn's little story. I guess they just wanted to put even more emphasis on the broken promises = your doom point re: Talisa and Robb. Sigh.

    Interesting thought about Shae and Tyrion, Josie.

  19. Catelyn's scene was interesting. I think part of it was simple sympathy: she'd just lost her father, I think her mother is dead, so she understands what Jon is going through. That she couldn't meet her vow also reinforces the idea that Catelyn can't be trusted, contrasting with Brienne's faith in her.

    It's also important for the upcoming story: her and Robb need to reconcile before the Red Wedding so she needed to come down off her high horse and realise she'd forsaken some vows herself. That's my take on it at any rate.

    As for Tyrion/Shae - in an exceptionally well-written episode, that scene stuck out as being quite poorly written. Didn't work for me at all.

  20. Same for me Iago, I thought the Tyrion/Shae scene very awkward.
    On the other hand, I always felt a little sad that we never got a Joffrey POV in the books, we only had other people's opinions of Joff, so great job on fleshing out the character, writers ! It's also actually nice to see more of Margeary, and Theon's fate, which, I cried.

    I don't really know how much of a spoiler this might be, considering book three and beyond, I might be a little fuzzy, so, SPOILER WARNING fellow readers ;

    - Eventhough it was an unexpected departure from the books, Catelyn's story felt very satisfying, especially in light of the theories about Jon's real parentage ; the Red Wedding made me terribly sad because Catelyn would never know. And since, at the end of Storm, she has become Stoneheart, I don't know if there's a way she ever will, so I cheered at that scene, and cried, also.

    Great review, Josie !

  21. I'm now in the middle of A Feast for Crows. I heard they'd make the 3rd season based on the first half of the 3rd book, more or less. I ruched my reading to give a good buffer in order to avoid spoilers. I feel spoiled by Theon's scenes.

    But hey! Simon from Misfits. I heard he'd been cast as the Bastard. He's a great actor and I'm glad they've cast him for this particular role.

    I imagined Thoros diferently too, but not so much, just a lot more red-headed. But doesn't his roaming around contradict the whole "resurrecting Lord Beric all the time" thing?

    A pity we didn't see the Fool singing loudly to muffle Sansa and Olena talking. That'd be awesome.

    As for scenes I look forward to seeing: Lord Beric rising after the Hound kills him, the Dornish arriving (though I think they'll leave it to season 4), and, sad as it is, the Red Wedding. Mainly because it's greatly written, and it should be a great scene to watch and despair.

  22. I'm looking forward to the Red Wedding, not least because of how viewers who haven't read the books are going to take it. Considering how upset everybody was when Ned was killed, I think the Internet is going to explode! Rob's wife was a real nonentity in the books: she's much more engaging on TV and so will be more of a loss.


  23. Probably spoilery up to the end of Book 4...

    I'm hoping for the same thing as Michael - that it's Tywin who goes after Shae and that's when Tyrion snaps.

    The worst possible outcome would be the same as the books, but with the viewer knowing Shaw was actually trying to help in some weird way. Following the books would be nearly as bad - that's probably my least favourite bit of all and nearly put me off all together. Though Tyrion/Tywin is kind of wickedly awesome!

    I'm sort of assuming that Season 3 will end with the Red Wedding, though whether Joffrey will be allowed to hang on until Season 4 I'm not sure. I suppose it's possible that both weddings happen at once?

  24. So, after 'Walk of Punishment' I'm wondering if Stannis's daughter is going to play the part of Edric Storm this season. Melisandre very pointedly noted that others had Stannis's blood, not "king's blood." It could set up a more interesting dilemma for him and his wife (a newly devout adherent to the Lord of Light), if the path to him gaining the throne requires sacrificing his daughter rather than one of his hated brother's bastards. Thoughts?

  25. Jess, I actually thought Mels was talking about Gendry since some of the trailers have shown her meeting with the BWB and having sex with someone who looks like him. But I like your theory about Shireen and wouldn't mind seeing that play out. Stannis is pretty ruthless but would he go so far as to sacrifice his only child for Iron Throne?

  26. Maybe it will be both. Whatever she does with Gendry (if such comes to pass) could sub in for the burning of the leeches. But when that yields unpredictable or unsatisfactory results, she could suggest burning Shireen. Then Davos can intervene.

  27. I wasn't sure about commenting on the "Walk of Punishment" page, so here I go. Great review, as usual, Josie.

    I think this season, the smallest of details disturb me, like :
    - Why don't they make us aware that Dany understands Valyrian ? Her Astapor storyline must be slightly unfathomable for non-readers.
    - Also, where are Dalla and Val? They might not be paramount to this season, but Val and the kids have their importance in Dance.
    - Also, if "Boy" is Ramsay, it's the same thing as with Jojen, I don't think they're supposed to be so sexy? At least, Jojen just got older but Ramsay really, REALLY scared me in the books and I can't deal with him being cute.
    - And Barristan Selmy doens't seem at all in a rush to remember that when he was on the council, Jorah was spying on Dany.

    But those are details, in the larger scheme of things, I think it really delivers. And I can't wait to see... whatever the hell Melisandre is gonna do. Carice van Houten really amazes me everytime she opens her mouth.

  28. That "boy" "helping" out Theon HAS to be the bastard! He's setting him up for an epic emotional collapse... hope of escape and all that...

    I don't remember all the details from the books (I rushed through them, couldn't get to the "next bit" fast enough!), but I was pretty sure Robb's wife wasn't at the Red Wedding but stayed behind in Riverrun! So this "she will be more of a loss" (Anon) surprises me! But maybe I'm forgetting it wrong... anyhow this wife is less complacent that in the book so I have trouble imagining her staying behind.

    Catelyn's tale about Jon was a big surprise! They are changing quite a few details here!

    I think Melissandre is off to find Edric Storm. Or did they send Davos for him?

    Epic episodes! I'm pretty sure the next one will give us Dany's plans for the Unsullied... ;o)

  29. I'd assumed Melisandre was off to find Edric Storm but her going to Gendry could be very interesting. I've got a feeling Gendry is going to be very important in the later books because, even after he parts ways with Arya, he keeps on cropping up. His conversion to the faith of R'hllor struck me as important. If Mels does go for him, that would almost confirm my hunch - Benioff and Weiss know how GRRM wants to end the saga, they know who they need and who they don't (given their absence from the series, I'm giving up on Shireen and Edric Storm in the books - they're red herrings).

    Sticking with the far future, yet again an episode caused me to think about the epilogue of Dance With Dragons. Look at how happy Varys was with Tyrion and Tywin sat opposed: Varys is being outmanoeuvred by Littlefinger but he's grinning when Tyrion makes his move. They're really planning for the future.

    Since we've had Rains of Castamere last series, the Bear and the Maiden Fair this series, what are the chances we'll get The Dornishman's Wife next series? It'd be a nice way of linking the north-of-the-Wall with King's Landing/Dorne.

    Iwan Rheon is Ramsay Snow: he just has to be. No-one else would get the prominence. Colin, whilst he's undoubtedly sexy, it's worth watching some of the earlier Misfits episodes where Rheon shows he can do creepy and unsettling: the guy, who by all accounts is one of the loveliest blokes walking, can make your skin crawl. He's got some serious acting chops.

  30. Iago, I totally see what you mean now. I actually paused the episode 25 minutes in to come here because Iwan Rheon brought back Alfie Allen to his cross and he made this crazy, CRAZY smile. And it chilled me to the bone.
    You were right. He's very good, he got me with one look.

  31. Does anyone else get chills when they see Tywin writing those letters?

  32. Colin and Mark,

    I've heard people talking about the letters Tywin was writing, but I have no recollection whatsoever as to their significance. Is this something that's revealed on book 5? I've read up to book 4. If it's on book 5, just tell me so, please. If it's something I should know already, refresh my memory, please?

    Thank you!

  33. Gus, he's setting up the Red Wedding. That was my first thought when I saw him writing.

    The Varys/Queen of Thorns conversation was an interesting twist compared to the books: I'd always assumed it was Littlefinger who connived with her.

  34. It's actually a very nice touch to leave those Set-up-letters in the show, even in a Cersei scene. (I do have a screencap of the face she makes, it's quite priceless.)

    Iago, I actually think they got it right. If I recall correctly, in the Tyrion chapter where he learns he has to marry Sansa, Tywin tells him that Littlefinger brought him word of the Tyrell plot, thus explaining that he rewards him with Harrenhall and the hypothetical Eyrie because he keeps demonstrating his loyalty. (Which, by the way, good job a lowering your guard, Smartest Lannister.)
    I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong but if I'm not, I should be safe to say it was a Varys-Tyrell plot.

  35. I saw on the GOT-pedia the other day what the "red wedding" really meant (although I had a little doubt, now confirmed). Oh boy ! It will be interesting to see how they'll film that.

    Haven't read the book, I now ship Dany with the crown, dragons and cool liberated army helping. Unless....nobody will get the crown ?? That would be an interesting twist...

  36. Of course, the Red Wedding. I'd never think of it. I imagine Tywin writes letters all day long as Hand. Thak you, Iago.

    It seems the Red Wedding is coming faster than I expected. I thought it would be the center of the 9th episode, the episode in which s**t gets real every season. Maybe they're setting up the battle at the wall for that episode.

    We've been seeing so little of Bran that we may see him flying and commanding an army of wolves and not knowing how he came to that (that's what I imagine he'll do. I've just started book 5).
    Another thing that started very soon is the fact that Davos will start reading, leading them to the wall. If it happens this season, it means they'll have only half a season to elect Jon as Lord commander... and I can't imagine a timeline in which Joffrey's wedding can happen after that. I also imagine they're saving Tyrion's trial and escape for the 9th episode of Season 4. I even pictured how his confrontation with his father, his going down the stairs with Varys and saying "let's go", if no music is played, will feel a lot like The Wire. Which would fit with his Omar scar.

    I'm confuse.

  37. So I don't have HBO and am still in the middle of the second season (boo!) but I'm really excited to see non-book people's reactions to the Red Wedding. I remember how utterly shocked I was at the turn of events. It was so brutal and so bloody and it just creates this vacuum. Who do I root for in this war now? Dany's still off in the middle of freaking nowhere and everyone else I even slightly liked for ruler of the Seven Kingdoms is well, dead.

  38. I'm with sunbunny. I'm super eager to get the reactions to the Red Wedding (which I'm pretty sure be Ep. 9, Gus, based on the episode titles). My husband has been catching up with the books via audiobook while he commutes, and as he was approaching the RW material, I was eagerly anticipating his reaction, because based on our discussions, he really had no idea it was coming. One morning I had an email waiting from him that was simply titled "HOLY CRAP!" (yes, in all caps) and I knew he'd finally gotten to the wedding. Now we're both eager to get the HOLY CRAP reactions from non-book-readers!

    I really loved the material with Shireen this week. In part, because they made her so charming ("What are they going to do? Lock us in cells?"), and in part because they are building up her role more, which feeds into my "the part of Edric Storm will be played by Shireen" theory.

  39. So far Jess, I think you maybe right about Shireen, although she seems to be herself, and Edric, and the maester, and she sings Patchface's song.
    I was quite... I don't actually have a word for what they did to Selyse. I wonder how this fragile and clearly INSANE person is going to be all high and mighty to Jon when we're at the Dance with Dragons stuff. Babies in jars, really? I remember Selyse taking part in some of Stannis' councils in Storm, acting like a normal person who just had a moustache, big ears and a strong liking for religion, but never this creepy creature of the dark. AND she didn't seem to fear Shireen!

  40. Although I loved the idea that, as Jess put it, "the part of Edric Storm will be played by Shireen," it looks to me like it will be played by Gendry.

    I'm of two minds about this, depending on where they go with the story. I like Gendry, so this could be a cool way to keep his character in play. But I also hate the idea of anything bad happening to him.

  41. I haven't entirely ruled out the idea that she leeches Gendry (or whatever she's going to do to him) to take out the other kings, but when the results are "unpredictable" she steps up the program and decides that Shireen needs to be sacrificed to the flames. So it could still be both Shireen and Gendry playing the part of Edric. Or not.

    I did love that they used Melisandre's presence in the Riverlands to sort of keep in the Ghost of High Heart's freak out about Arya, the blood child, who reeked of death. I always liked that unexpectedly dark prophecy coming at this point in the story.

    Also, while I'm not overly keen on watching Theon get tortured, I kind of love the way they are demonstrating just how psychotic the Bastard is, as they are slowly laying the groundwork for Roose's Red Wedding turn. If they save the reveal of the Bastard's identity to occur at the same time the audience learns what a devious son of a bitch Roose is, it could be a pretty powerful one-two punch.

  42. Just wachted episode 6 (The Climb) which seems to have moved a little more away from the books than usual?

    I'm pretty happy if this is the case. There's certain stuff from the books that's I don't know, sacrosanct or something - the Red Wedding in a bad way, Joffrey's wedding in a half-bad half-good way, on the awesome side BEAR! BEAR NEXT WEEK! - but there's also a lot that isn't going to work, especially at the very slow pace the series is moving at now. They're going to have to invent extra stuff for Bran, Gendry, Arya and in later season Brienne and Sam to do because some of the stuff that takes them the best part of a book will use up barely five minutes of screentime (OK, an exaggeration, but still. I'm sort of hoping Theon does actually disappear for season 4 because please, no more torture).

    Anyway, my point is, I'm happy that they seem to be starting to invent stuff, and so far I'm enjoying what they're inventing (I really hope Arya rescues Gendry like a knight saving a damsel :) ) Or am I exaggerating the amount of invention and seeing what I want to see?

  43. The torture scenes are indeed very hard to watch.

    And suddenly, I had a flashback : when Picard was tortured in ST TNG. Huge difference between these 2 shows (and the broadcasters as well), yet, the same unpleasant feelings. Thank God it's not real. Powerful acting in both cases.

    I haven't read and will not read the books. Too much LOL.

    And this famous Red Wedding ? Are we going to have it this season or the next one ?

  44. Marc, do you really want the answer to that question?

  45. From what I can tell, there will be two weddings this season and one the next. Red and Gold should be this season, Purple will be next.

    Am I the only one who really does not care about the whole bear thing next week?

  46. Morgan, that's my favourite scene of the entire series, but that might just be me! :)

    I have a feeling I read somewhere on the internet that GRRM is writing episode 2 of season 4, so I wonder if that's the Purple Wedding, though it seems a bit early. But then, there's probably more to do after it than before it, all the first ep really needs to do is introduce Oberyn Martell.

  47. I thought they'd be doing all three weddings this season! I mean, what else would top the Red Wedding which will probably be in episode 9? How do they end episode 10 and the season after something like that?

    Gendry definitely looks like he's going to stand in for Edric Storm! Which on the one hand I like because it means yay! More Gendry!!! But since we still don't know in the books exactly what Melisandre has in store for the lad... that worries me! :o(

    So far am liking the changes from the books, streamlining things. But I don't remember all the details, have to re-read them.

  48. I wonder if they'll end the season on the reveal of Lady Stoneheart, though that would mean the need to find something for her to do for the whole of seasons 4, 5 and 6 until she eventually turns up again...

  49. No, I think that would be better reserved for when Lady Stoneheart has actually something to do... otherwise we'd be dragged constantly back to the Brotherhood just to keep tabs on her. Better give her a bit of a rest! ;o)

  50. Josie

    Patience is a virtue, as they say. I'll take it one ep at a time...

    Morgan India

    will it be a POLAR bear ?

  51. I think they may end the season with the Lady Stoneheart reveal, just to keep non-book readers on their toes. If they have the Purple Wedding early on in season 4, it would allow for the whole trial to take place, as well as the scene with Cersei/Jaime that people are itching about on Tumblr after the Red Wedding.

    I'm going to be really sad when we lose Jack Gleeson. I recently watched All Good Children, and he really does need more recognition.

    I have no idea why I'm not keen on the bear scene. Maybe it's because I didn't really get interested in Brienne until book four.

    celticmarc, I have no idea what that means.

  52. Purple Wedding? What book is that in? I'm thinking I haven't gotten there yet...or my memory is truly that bad...
    In re-reading Storm of Swords as the season goes along, I am pleased to see just how much dialogue IS taken straight from the book (perhaps not all word-for-word, but pretty darn close).

  53. I know this hasn't been proved "canon" yet, but if there is a Grand Tyrell Conspiracy in Feast/Dance, isn't it necessary for Loras to be part of the Kingsguard ? I feel like they should have give one brother to Loras, whichever one they liked, but it would have made the story simpler.

  54. I'm assuming by the end of this season, Loras will be in the Kingsguard, though I don't know how that'll happen exactly.

    This isn't relevant to what we're talking about but this seemed the place to share it and it's spoilery. I suddenly realised this morning why I like Jaime Lannister so much...

    He's blond and snarky. When you first meet him, he's totally evil, but motivated mainly by love for his twisted and equally evil girlfriend. Then he gets captured and injured and now he can no longer fight people the way he used to. He starts hanging out with, and falls for, a much nicer woman who by the way kicks all kinds of ass. I suddenly realised I've seen this story before... ;)

  55. As I understand it the direwolves are of great importance in the books, right? I wonder if we will ever get to see that transported into the series. So far it's not clear at all what the initial fuzz was about. I would love to see more of them but since Summer is already dead, Nymeria gone (will she come back sometime? Has she in the books?) and Ghost separated from Jon Snow the chances might be not so good. What do you think?

  56. Lady is the only wolf that's dead! Sansa's, in the second (or 3rd?) episode of season 1. All the others are alive as far as we know (no sign of Nymeria since Arya shooed her away).

    So I think Gendry has definitely taken the place of Edric Storm... I wonder what the red woman will do to him...

    Wedding in each of the next three episodes do you think? Or will they save one for next year?

    And does anyone rememmber if Robb's wife was pregnant in the book too? I had a vague feeling she was, but since she's never been mentioned after the Red Wedding I'm no longer sure...

  57. I think they're gonna hold that last wedding for next season. My guess is it will come early though. Possibly Ep. 3 or 4.

    As far as we know, Robb's wife was not pregnant in the books. Her mom was loyal to the Lannisters, and was secretly drugging her so that she wouldn't conceive. So, if true, Talisa being pregnant is a significant change. As is her going with Robb to the Twins. (The Blackfish, too. I thought he stayed behind to hold Riverrun.) I'm wondering if they are just trying to amp up the tragic, doomed romance factor with the pregnancy, so that everyone will be even more upset when things go down. It's kind of fun to have some genuine questions about where things are headed.

  58. Maybe they'll have them turn back just in time???

  59. The Blackfish did stay back to hold Riverrun. As far as I have gotten Jeyne (Talisa) wasn't pregnant - they just kept saying that they "are trying a lot"...but I haven't read the latest book so not sure if something was revealed later on. Just finished reading the Red Wedding chapter again...brutal, truly. I hope they at least have one good scene of Tyrion and Sansa as a married couple - the book has several where Tyrion is trying his hardest to be nice...and Sansa is confused as to his motivations...and I wish they'd stop having Shae be all jealous, she's much more practical in the book. I'd say I'm about 2/3 through my re-read, and so far, most key events (ok except the RW which we think is coming up) have been shown on the show...wonder what they are saving for next season.

  60. I think GRRM will write Joffrey's wedding, so it will be the 2nd ep of season 4, which would fit. (Oberyn Martell hasn't appeared yet, so it can't be in season 3). The only slight problem is that means Jaime and Brienne have to take 5 or 6 episodes to do a journey that took 1-2 in season 1, but we'll just have to ignore that!

  61. Juliette - I am glad you mentioned Oberyn, I was wondering about him...he has a fairly significant part to play. And actually the more I read (been reading most of today) I am finding that quite a bit is happening in this last 1/3 of the book.

  62. There was a status for HBO or Game of Thrones saying that they were preparing to cast Oberyn for season 4 very soon. So I'm assuming the Purple Wedding will take place in the first half of the season, with Tyrion's trial taking up the rest of the season, followed by Tyrion versus Tywin at the end of the season.

    I'm honestly going to be really sad during the Purple Wedding. Without a constant, reliable villain, things are definitely going to change.

  63. I think the events of the Purple Wedding will allow to reduce the focus on King's Landing and spend more time at the Wall or Yunkai as well as with Arya.
    There's going to be have to be a big shift after the Red Wedding anyhow... at least with Tywin and his management of the war.

  64. Aside from my increasing irritation at the odd bits of chronology and geography, I'm looking forward to season 4, partly because I think they might deviate from the books a bit more in writing a courtroom drama for King's Landing. And I must admit I find Joffrey's death quite sad, mainly because his mother is right there watching and no matter how horrible she is, that's not nice.

    What worries me is that we're going to see more of Dorne and the Iron Islands, both of which I can't stand and skip all those chapters in the books (I like Oberyn, but the rest of his family are horribly dull). I'm really, really hoping that Books 4 and 5 get squished together into one season, so we can focus on the characters we already know (and there are enough of them already even without Robb, Joffrey and Tywin) and see as little as possible of the Greyjoys or the Martells. I can't see TV viewers qwho haven't read the books reacting very well to spending loads of time with boring Martells or worse, the deeply unpleasant Greyjoys while beloved characters like Arya, Dany and Tyrion hang around doing nothing much for weeks on end...

  65. I really hope they will combine AFFC and ADWD, just because it would be more intelligent to do so. But I would be extremely disappointed if I were robbed of Aeron, Victarion, Arys, Hotah and mostly Quentyn.

  66. Just watched last episode and I honestly thought I was prepared for the Red Wedding, but there is no way one gets prepared for that level of gruesome and barbarity. Now, please enlighten me someone! Did Jeyne go to the red wedding in the book? I can get myself to re-read it...

  67. Samantha,

    Jeyne didn't go to the wedding. There was no talk of a baby either. She reappears in A feast for crows, with a big revelation, but I'll avoid it here.

  68. Does anyone else feel a bit of post-wedding letdown? Not in the "that didn't live up to my expectations" sense, but more in the "we've been planning for and anticipating this thing for so long, and now it's over, and I feel a bit at sea" sense. I kind of feel like I did the week after my own wedding. Weird.

    This episode definitely lived up to my expectations, except for the very final moments. I wanted a much more viscerally mad-crazy reaction from Catelyn, not a quiet, catatonic one. The silence and delayed action after her scream ended up feeling a bit cheesy to me. I wanted to see her tearing at her face and howling that unearthly scream as they put an end to her. The direction they chose felt somewhat underwhelming to me. Or disconcerting, perhaps. The other might have felt a bit more cathartic. A parallel release of disbelief and agony.

    That said, the material with Arya and the overall focus on missed connections with the Starks was a great central spine for the episode. Despite all the bloodshed and gory imagery from the end, I think the two images that will most stay in my mind from this one are the look on Arya's face as she stood on that hill looking towards the Twins with fear and hope (which brought a rather large lump to my throat), and the look on Ygritte's face as Jon rode away and left her behind. Great, great stuff.

  69. Because I liked show Robb and Cat more than book Robb and Cat that was so much worse for me. I put off watching for as long as possible, even considered skipping it altogether at one point. Part of me hopes they don't show the mutilation of Robb's body next week.

    The question now is will they reveal Lady Stoneheart in the finale or wait until next season? I think they might show us the actual resurrection because it would be odd to introduce Beric and then have him die (for good) off screen reviving Cat.

  70. Boy, I do have to get moving with my re-reading...I don't remember anything further happening with Robb's wife in the books (a big revelation), and while I know who Lady Stoneheart is, I didn't remember that it was Beric who revives her.
    Jess, I also felt that "letdown" - for me I think it was anticipating it for so long and now it's over. I am sure I'll feel that even more next week when we have to wait another year for season 4. And I agree with your assessment of Cat's reaction - I wanted the scratching of the face and the unholy wail....but overall, still very powerful and a wonderful performance by Michelle Fairly.

  71. I kept hoping somehow the Blackfish and Robb's wife would turn around before reaching the Twins! Why didn't she accompany him in the books? I don't remember... But it makes it all the more visceral, her presence their. She embodies the insult to Lord Walder so of course he's want to see her dead first. And done in such a way... Arrrrrrgh!!! So brutal and so true!
    But I don't know if Bolton is perhaps even worse! Pure betrayal there from a Northman!

    I wonder if we'll see the Blackfish escaping? We didn't see him die... and he did go searching for "a tree"...

    I kept waiting for someone to slice Cat's throat... And when they did... how will Beric bring her back after such a long time? I had understood he had to be revived immediately after dying!

    Poor Arya! To have witnessed so much... There's no wonder she follows the path of Valar Morghulis...

    Major acting props to Michelle Fairly! The look on her face as Catelyn put two and two together... as she overheard the choice of the unborn child's name...

    Lady Stoneheart would definitely be a great ending to the season!!!

  72. Another adaptation choice I found interesting or perhaps troubling: Roose went with a more generalized "The Lannisters send their regards" before finishing Robb, instead of the specific "Jaime Lannister sends his regards." Since we got the scene of Jaime asking Roose to send Robb his regards, I wonder why they made this change here? To make it perfectly clear to the audience that Roose was in league with Tywin?

    It strikes me as significant that, in the book, Cat heard "Jaime Lannister" named as a villain who betrayed her trust right before dying. It has implications for what's to come. For Stoneheart and Brienne. I guess it doesn't really necessarily change Stoneheart's overall motivations if her nemesis is the whole lot of Lannisters, but the change still troubles me a bit.

  73. Jess, I wondered about that too. At first I thought it was just to avoid naming Jaime or Tyrion - this episode only ever talked about 'Lannisters,' it never named the ones we like. Then I read a review by a book-reader who was utterly convinced that Jaime was somehow behind the Red Wedding in the books - which is totally not the case! (Unless I've remembered them very wrongly). So I think it may have been to make sure that viewers knew it was Tywin behind it, not Jaime.

    Gus, I think you might be thinking of Jeyne Poole... (though there was a revelation about the Westerlings, other than Jeyne).

    I loved the still, silent Catelyn at the end. I was writing the scene up for Den of Geek and I nearly wrote 'she already looks like a zombie before she's killed' but I was afraid it would be spoilery so I went for 'dead.' But I think we saw Stoneheart right there, even before her throat was cut.

    And I think we'll see Stoneheart next week (possibly we'll see Beric sacrifice himself for her). Partly because it's a good cliffhanger, but mostly because if she stays dead a whole season or two, bringing her back will feel cheap to TV viewers and they'll wonder who else isn't dead after all. Bringing her back next week looks more carefully planned.

  74. I've been poking around a bunch of interviews this morning. Either Stoneheart's been re-cast as a different actress, or this lot are getting as good at lying to the audience as Steven Moffat!

  75. What interview would that be? Even if she's returning as Stoneheart it wouldn't be until season 5 or 6... so they need to keep that a big secret! Which would reduce the possibilities of our seeing Stoneheart in the season finale next week...

    Either that or like you said, they're getting really good at lying! :p

  76. I can't even remember now, I think it might have been Entertainment Weekly. She said something quite clever about 'knowing how many years her contract was for' and the others tried their hardest to focus on Richard Madden...

    I am absolutely convinced we'll see Stoneheart next week, because it just doesn't make TV-sense to wait so long, and because they'll never keep her appearance in later seasons a secret (though I suppose they could pretend it's a flashback). But I'm fairly sure we'll see Dondarrion revive her next week, and Gendry will join up with her while she kills Freys and hunts for Lannisters next season. OTOH, I was convinced when I first read the books that all the Stark children were safe, so what do I know...

  77. Remind me: does Stoneheart appear at the end of Storm of Swords or not until Feast of Crows? I read the first four books (have yet to get to the fifth...) in a row so I'm a little fuzzy on what happens when.

  78. Stoneheart first appears in the epilogue of ASOS

  79. Gosh, my memory is soooo bad, I didn't remember any of that, or the violence was so hard to Catelyn I kind of blocked things in my mind. BUt if I'm not mistaken, Frey orders his men to cut off her tongue for she speaks too much, so that's why she does "not speak but remembers"? Or Am I only nuts?
    Either way, the red wedding this week leaves us with the return of JOn SNow to the wall and Lady Stoneheart for the last episode? Is there anything important that can be developed in just one episode that I'm forgetting?

  80. Yes, I was nuts. I have gotten the nerve and reread the book scene. Her throat was cut too deep, that's why she can't speak, I don't know where I got the tongue removal idea... But boy, it's even harsher than the show scene. To think of her scratching her own face and slitting the throat of Frey's grandson is even harder. I can't wait to see Lady Stoneheart!!!!!!!

  81. Looks like I was wrong again! Wonder how on earth they'll manage to keep that secret for next year, or whenever they decide to do it...

  82. I was also convinced we would see Stoneheart this week. I thought for sure we'd at least see Beric give his life to revive her. The way I see it now they'll either stay true to the book and save the reveal of Stoneheart until the end of season four (giving Michelle Fairley a nice long holiday) or they'll reveal Stoneheart in the opener of S4, ensuring the season gets off to headline grabbing start.

  83. It makes sense. Showing her this soon would diminish the emotional devastation that was the Red Wedding. But, like you pointed out on Twitter, Mark, they're going to have a job keeping Michelle Fairley's presence on set a secret.

  84. It is possible, if they are going to hold the reveal off until the end of next season, that they could've shot that scene already. That way Michelle Fariley won't have to show up for the filming of season four.

  85. I have now decided it would be really awesome if we didn't see anything of her at all until SPOILER WARNING FOR BOOKS 4&5 she captures Brienne, so the viewer gets the same nasty shock Brienne does. But that seems unlikely - I'd guess they'll want to show Beric reviving her, and presumably Gendry will join up with her and what's left of the Brotherhood again.

  86. I can't see Gendry signing back up with the BWB after they= way they sold him to Mels. The only logical reason he could have for seeking them out again is to find Arya.

    It is possible they the writers will give him his own storyline, one independent of all the others. Since it will likely only cover the final third of ASOS, I expect season two will contain more original material than the previous three seasons, such as Asha/Yara's more than likely doomed rescue of Theon.

  87. So much for thinking that Gendry was there to replace Edric Storm!!! With his escape there's no way he's joining them on the Wall now. Does that mean we can suppose young Edric will be safe in the books?
    But what will they do now with Gendry's story? This big a change from the books... they'll have to keep it up 'cause there's no way he's rejoining the Brotherhood after they game him up to Melisandre...

    I think Juliette's right about the Stoneheart reveal, they'll wait until Brienne. And Juliette I think they'll show her origin in a flashback as they explain it to Brienne. Keep the surprise as late as possible. Season 4 finale? ;o)

    I'm really looking forward to seeing a bit more of Arya and the Hound!!!

    And hasn't Sam told the others at the Wall about the mutiny against Mormont?

    Damn the long wait until season 4!!! grrrr...

  88. Oh, I considered this episode the fulfillment of the "Gendry will be playing the role of Edric Storm" theory. Stannis wanted to sacrifice him, Davos helped him escape so that wouldn't happen. Job done. I don't remember Edric Storm having significance beyond that. I'll have to go check the wiki's now! :)

    I would think the others that made it back to Castle Black ahead of Sam told everyone about the mutiny. Presumably, people like Grenn made it back. Not everyone was killed, right?

    I wish they had done Stoneheart as the final thing for this season, but hopefully it will still be awesome when it comes.

    Something I'm still incredibly curious about: how is Shae's story going to play out? And how will that affect Tyrion going forward? She really does love him, which is a huge change. I sort of hope she gets to live, but I suspect she's still going to die. Let's just hope it is in a different fashion, because I'd really hate to see Show Shae be forced to turn on Tyrion and then suffer the same fate through some kind of misunderstanding. :(


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