The controversial rape scene in the Game of Thrones show a few weeks ago was just one of the elements not in the books. However, the show runners have taken a number of aspects of the Songs of Ice and Fire series and turned them into something different and interesting. It certainly makes the show exciting for those who have and have not read the books.
One thing that HBO has done is make sure George R.R. Martin is happy with the changes. While he has been fine with most, there have been times that he requested character names or facts were changed because the show had strayed too far. That is a perfectly reasonable request, and one that the show runners adhered to. One of the most standout characters is Locke, who was introduced by the show runners.
The man who cuts off Jaime Lannister’s hand in the books is completely different, and called Vargo Hoat. Martin believed the idea behind the character was so different that he preferred it to be a completely different character.
Some of the changes were due to keeping fans of the book series guessing and wondering. The Red Wedding was completely changed and made more gruesome by the addition of pregnant Talisa. She was never in the books, as Robb Stark’s wife had stayed away from the Freys at this point. The show runners decided that introducing Talisa instead would work well for the show.
There are some Game of Thrones show elements not in the books due to the way the books are written. The books are taken from a character point of view, which makes it harder to establish the characters in their own rights. The TV show could not do this, so needed various scenes for the side characters in the books to round them out for the viewers. This has led to some of Robb Stark’s events that had happened “off-screen” in the books to being “on-screen” in the show.
The ages of the Game of Thrones characters has also differed. The Stark children are much younger in the books, with Robb being just 14-years-old. It would have been difficult to do this for the show, especially for the main protagonists that people would root for. Instead, some of the characters were made older. This worked in the opposite for Osha, who became younger and more sarcastic in the show.
There is news that season four will differ further from the books. Part of this is due to the season covering the last half of book number three. There may not be enough material to do this, so the show runners would have to add more scenes to make it plausible. The details have not been shared, but season four is expected to have more death and more shocking scenes. Some of those have already been seen.
When books are adapted into film or TV shows, the producers need to make a decision over whether to stick fully to the storyline or adapt it more. The latter was decided for this hot HBO show. Fans of the books will be continually guessing the show because there are scenes and elements in the Game of Thrones show never seen in the books.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham