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.
5Tyrion Kills Tywin for Insulting a Woman He Just Killed
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?"
"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.
"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.
4Robb Stark Is a Mooncalfing Teenager in Love
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.