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The phenomenon that is Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 12, and then to laptops everywhere an hour after that. The show, of course, is based on 20 years of books by George R.R. Martin, which require a fair bit of streamlining and condensing to tell the story in a visual format that isn't 700 hours long. Sometimes, though, the showrunners decide to make changes to the source material that wind up making certain scenes and characters make no goddamn sense whatsoever.

5
Tyrion Kills Tywin for Insulting a Woman He Just Killed

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While fleeing for his life in the Season 4 finale, Tyrion decides to pop into the Tower of the Hand to pay his father, Tywin, a visit. He makes a pit stop along the way to kill Shae, the woman who cruelly betrayed him. In the very next scene, Tyrion kills Tywin for saying rude things about Shae, which, as you may recall, is a woman he himself just killed for being a treacherous douche. It makes absolutely no sense, and the viewer is left feeling like, "Well ... maybe Tyrion still cared about Shae? Even though he killed her?"

HBO
"Say hello to my little friend."

Amazingly, the only difference between the book version of this scene and the TV show version is a handful of sentences, which were omitted from the episode for reasons that cannot possibly be explained.

Before they part ways, Jaime reveals to Tyrion the truth about Tyrion's first wife, Tysha -- Tysha was not a whore that Jaime had hired to gaslight his younger brother, as Tyrion had spent the past several years believing. You see, Tyrion and Jaime came upon her after she'd just been attacked, and while Jaime rode off to annihilate the attackers (because he's Jaime Lannister), Tyrion stayed behind to comfort her, and they fell in love. They married in secret, and when Tywin found out, he had Jaime reveal to Tyrion that Tysha had been a whore the entire time, and the whole thing was a lie. Except it wasn't -- Tywin was so furious about the marriage that he forced Jaime to lie about it.

HBO
"We'll never have enough time to discuss all that! Now, let's talk
for five minutes about beetles."

So, when Tyrion confronts Tywin in that final scene, he's not asking about Shae -- he's asking about Tysha. Specifically, he asks where Tysha went after she was sent away, to which Tywin responds, "Wherever whores go." Tyrion says the equivalent of, "Me and this crossbow don't think you should use that word again," and Tywin respectfully ignores the suggestion, so Tyrion blasts him.

That's the entire reason Tyrion decides to stop mid-escape to seek out his father -- the trauma that drives his character arc, the idea that he is entirely unlovable, was all a lie created by his father. He shoots his father not because he called Shae a whore but because he destroyed Tyrion's marriage to a woman who truly loved him, and he had let Tyrion believe his whole life that it was his fault. Apparently that wasn't strong enough motivation for the show's producers, because including this would've literally required two or three sentences of dialogue.

4
Robb Stark Is a Mooncalfing Teenager in Love

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Robb is the firstborn son of the Warden of the North. Ever since his first name day, he's been groomed to take over as head of the family, which he is called upon to do once his father, played by Sean Bean, gets his head made into a lawn decoration.

HBO
The stake went next to the lawn jockey and across from the three-eyed-raven feeder.

Robb's mother and father did not marry for love, nor did his aunt, nor will his sister, because this is a medieval world where people marry for advantageous unions with powerful families or land. Usually land.

Robb knows how significant marriage arrangements are -- his uncle is called the Blackfish for refusing a marriage pact, fucking wars are fought over marriages, and Robb is in the middle of commanding half the continent in a war against a crown-wearing child maniac sculpted by incest. Yet, after pledging to marry one of legendary sexual predator Lord Walder Frey's daughters in exchange for an army, Robb heroically throws the marriage in the face of Lord Frey (a man who is known throughout the kingdom for hanging onto a grudge so long that it's almost admirable) after falling in love with some nurse on the battlefield, because Ernest Hemingway and shit.

HBO
"Now, let's consolidate our territories, if you know what I mean."

As an audience, we forgive him falling in love, because we live in a world where we marry whomever we damn well please, often to our detriment. But it makes Robb look like a foolish boy rather than the conflicted but capable head of a powerful household, and we all saw how "marrying for love" worked out when Robb inexplicably decided to take his entire host to Walder Frey's house and dangle his new bride in the noted psychopath's face.

Ned would never have made that decision, right?

Actually, in the books, Robb makes the exact decision Ned would've made in his position. You see, Robb gets injured during a battle, and is being cared for by a family called the Westerlings while the war continues without him for a bit. While in Castle Westerling (or whatever the hell it's called; there are literally thousands of named locations in these goddamn books), he gets word that his younger brothers Bran and Rickon have supposedly been murdered by Theon, who grew up with Robb and is as close to him as a brother. Understandably upset by this development, he has sex with Jeyne, the Westerling daughter who is caring for him, because Ernest Hemingway and shit.

HBO
"Here in Westeros, we bone when sad. And when happy. And when bored.
And when monologuing. And when-"

Now, in medieval lords' and ladies' times, this is a serious problem -- the daughter of a noble family immediately becomes unmarriageable if she isn't a virgin. Robb essentially strolled into the Westerlings' home and ruined their young daughter's chance of finding a noble husband. That's like dropping by a distant relative's house for a prolonged stay and burning down their garage. So, Robb does what any decent man (like his father) would've done, and decides to marry Jeyne.

Everything else happens pretty much the way it does on the show, with one important exception -- Robb doesn't bring his new wife to the Red Wedding, because he's not an idiot. So, Jeyne doesn't get a carousel of knife wounds to the uterus. She's being kept in a castle by the Blackfish, and then Jaime Lannister shows up to try to talk to him ... it's this whole thing.

HBO
And Jaime says A Farewell to Arms, because Ernest Hemingway and shit.

Anyway, Robb's marriage wasn't a doofy teenage love story about defying archaic traditions -- it was all about tradition. Robb screwed up and did the only thing he could to make it right with the Westerlings, knowing full well the weight his decision would carry with the Freys (although admittedly not expecting that Walder Frey would murder the tap-dancing shit out of him). But he figured the damage had already been done to Jeyne Westerling, whereas Lord Walder's daughter was still eligible to be married off to some future lord (that's the whole reason for the Red Wedding -- Robb basically trades himself for his uncle Edmure). It makes the parallels between Robb and Ned so much more poignant -- Ned's unfaltering dedication to duty and honor is what ultimately got him killed, and Robb goes down the same way. The show just makes Robb look like a naive dummy.

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3
Daenerys Leaves Her Dragons Unprotected at Xaro Xhoan Daxos' House

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Xaro Xhoan Daxos is the enormous Qartheen man who finds himself locked inside his own vault by Daenerys the Dame of Dragons at the end of Season 2. He also exists as proof that George R.R. Martin deliberately names his characters just to fuck with us. Basically, Dany gets taken in by all the higher-ups in the city of Qarth, misguidedly placing her trust in Xaro, and he rewards her by stealing her goddamned dragons, because she just casually leaves them around Xaro's house like a set of goddamn car keys.

HBO
Fukhing kakhees is Dothraki for "parental abandonment."

Xaro does have a role to play in the original novels, but not until much later in the story. All he does during Dany's stay in Qarth is cry a whole bunch every time Dany refuses to have sex with him. But more importantly, Daenerys' dragons don't get stolen by anybody, because they're her freaking children, and you don't leave your children unattended. Those dragons are incredibly meaningful to her, as they represent both families that she lost (her royal Targaryen bloodline and the miscarried child she had with future Aquaman Khal Drogo). She knows exactly where those motherfuckers are at all times (except for later on, when Drogon takes off, but that's ... that's a whole other thing), and she never trusts Xaro further than she can throw him, which is zero, regardless of what unit of measurement you select.

HBO
He's a man of great height, width, and Qarth.

However, the showrunners were stuck in Season 2, because in the books, Dany doesn't really do much while she's in Qarth. They couldn't end the first season with a cliffhanger showing us dragons and then barely have the dragons in the show the next season, so they invented the dragon-napping storyline to give Dany something to do. Unfortunately, the whole thing made her look like a goober, because she just blindly trusts all these people whom she knows are only interested in her dragons.

2
Jon and Ygritte Share a Romantic Moment Mid-Battle

HBO

Game of Thrones is infamous for its intense depiction of the sudden, grisly horror of violence. When someone dies in Westeros, it's hard-fucking-core, and it carries real emotional weight. Half of the tragedy of death is the fact that it usually comes out of nowhere, and Game of Thrones has been draining consecutive threes in this department.

HBO
This should count as a three with an and-one.

Taking that into account, there's an odd moment in last season's Battle for the Wall when Jon Snow comes eye to eye with his attempted one-night stand, the wildling Ygritte. The world stops spinning around them as they exchange lusty glares, and Jon even breaks his wounded puppy scowl with a smile. In the midst of this stare, Ygritte is struck by an arrow. She stays alive just long enough to remind Jon that he doesn't know diddly-shit about the world before dying in his arms.

Kind of weird, right? This seems more like a scene from a heavy-handed drama like Les Miserables than a show wherein a fan-favorite character suddenly gets his head exploded by a giant rapist. Well, unsurprisingly, this generously tender demise doesn't exist in the books, because George R.R. Martin lives to destroy your feelings.

HBO
We still haven't forgiven him for making Arya and Hodor fight to the death. (Spoilers.)

There is no pause in battle, no final loving stare, and no bittersweet farewell embrace. Instead, Jon finds Ygritte's body in a pile of other dead wildlings riddled by Night's Watch arrows. It's about as unceremonious as finding your cat dead in your driveway. In fact, there's a strong possibility that Jon himself actually fired the arrow that killed Ygritte. So, rather than being a tragic moment wherein Jon gets to say a tearful goodbye to the only woman he's ever slept with and wonder about whether he's fighting for the right side, Jon has to forever deal with the fact that not only might he be on the wrong team but also it's entirely possible he shot the object of his internal "honor-bound duty vs. boner of freedom" conflict. So there's that.

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1
Littlefinger Tells the Lords of the Vale Lady Lysa Killed Herself After Obviously Murdering Her

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When Petyr Baelish uses all 10 of his little fingers to shove Lysa through the moon door, the show's infamous master of deception explains to the other Lords of the Vale that she jumped to her death. This requires a hefty suspension of disbelief from the viewers, because Baelish has literally just married Lysa and inherited her fortune, and the only two witnesses to her apparent suicide are him and his "bastard daughter" Sansa (not to mention the fact that Lysa was so devoted to her weak, insane son that she never would've jumped off of anything unless little Robert was tied to her back like a parachute). The Lords of the Vale totally buy his explanation, though, and Littlefinger gains control of the Vale in what is easily the sloppiest crime of his career.

HBO
"I look like a twit; you must acquit!"

As you've probably guessed by now, this scene makes way more sense in the books. You see, in the story, there is a third witness to the murder of Lysa -- a singer named Marillion, who briefly appears in Season 2 of the show (the fact that they'd already hired someone to play this character makes his omission from Lysa's death scene even more confusing). He's working a full-time gig as resident singer in Lysa's castle, and Baelish takes advantage of his presence to pin Lysa's murder on him. He's in the room when Baelish shoves Lysa through the Moon Door, so when the rest of the Lords of the Vale come thundering in, it's Marillion's word against theirs.

HBO
You remember Marillion. He was that brown-haired guy, the one with facial hair.

Under the duress of torture, Marillion confesses, which is how torture works. The confession of a third suspect is much more convincing evidence than just Baelish and Sansa pinky-swearing that they didn't dropkick Lysa out into space, so the Lords of the Vale accept this explanation for the sudden death of their regent (even though some of them are still suspicious, because Baelish has resting pedophile face, and cannot be trusted).

Michael Hossey has been following you to work, so why not follow him back on Twitter?

Also check out 5 Early Roles of 'Game of Thrones' Characters and Why We Should Be Glad 'Game of Thrones' Is Ditching the Books.

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