Game Of Thrones is known for being gruesome and unpredictable, as there aren't many other places you can watch a live castration outside of videos of the beef industry. But the show has also received an increasing amount of backlash for being needlessly exploitative, focusing too much on rape, sexual violence, and sudden decapitations to make sure every season stays buzzy.
And believe it or not -- as fans of the Song Of Ice And Fire series of novels that the show is based on can tell you -- Game Of Thrones is actually pulling some of its punches. There are numerous scenes in the novels that were toned down or flat-out omitted from the television series, because in terms of hardcore fucked-upedness, HBO cannot hang with George "Reverend Run" Martin. For instance ...
(Spoilers for the books and the show ahead!)
5Brienne Has Her Face Bitten Off
When Brienne teams up with Podrick (and one or two other characters who never made it into the show) to go looking for the missing Stark girls, they come afoul of Rorge and Biter, better known as the two heinously disgusting demon boners locked inside the same cage as Jaqen H'Ghar. Biter, as you may have guessed, is the giant feral ogre baby with filed-down cannibal teeth. This becomes important in a moment.
Along with the fact that the character is literally named Biter. Not exactly subtle, George.
After being released earlier in the story by Arya, Rorge and Biter attack Brienne and Pod at an inn. Biter gets the upper hand and proceeds to eat Brienne's face. Seriously. He fucking eats it:
Biter's mouth tore free, full of blood and flesh. He spat, grinned, and sank his pointed teeth into her flesh again. This time he chewed and swallowed. He is eating me, she realized, but she had no strength left to fight him any longer.
Brienne is saved by Gendry (who is still running around the Riverlands at this point in the novels), but she's left with half a chewed-up hamburger face, not unlike Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex. We assume TV Brienne is still running around with 100 percent of a complexion for the same make-up reasons TV Tyrion isn't currently waltzing around with a big, golden Humpty-Hump nose.
4Ramsay's Wedding Night Is Somehow Much Worse
Rather than being handed over to Ramsay Bolton like a sack of old Pogs, at the end of A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in the series, Sansa is still safely in The Vale posing as Littlefinger's daughter (we are admittedly stretching the definition of the word "safely" in this context). Instead it is Sansa's gal pal from the Winterfell days, Jeyne Poole (being masqueraded as Arya), who is handed over to the Bastard of Bolton, even though both Ramsay and Roose know damn well she isn't really Arya.
Ramsay marries Jeyne to solidify a claim to Winterfell and forces Theon/Reek to confirm in front of the rest of the Stark bannermen that Jeyne is actually Arya (even though Theon also knows damn well she isn't).
Evidenced by the lack of spit in their faces.
Now, on the show, viewers got mighty pissed over Sansa and Ramsay's "wedding night" and how it was yet another example of how tasteless and exploitative the show has become in its constant portrayal of sexual assault. This is a 100 percent accurate interpretation, but it is our duty to inform those of you who haven't read the books that Ramsay's wedding night was mind-blowingly worse in George "Mixmaster" Martin's original text:
"No." Lord Ramsay poured himself a cup of wine. "Laces take too long. Cut it off her."
[...] Finally the gown fell away, a pale tangle round her feet. "Her small-clothes too," Ramsay commanded. Reek obeyed.
[...] Ramsay rose, the firelight shining on his face. "Reek, get over here. Get her ready for me."
For a moment he did not understand. "I ... do you mean ... m'lord, I have no ... I ..."
"With your mouth," Lord Ramsay said. "And be quick about it. If she's not wet by the time I'm done disrobing, I will cut off that tongue of yours and nail it to the wall."
Somewhere in the godswood, a raven screamed. The dagger was still in his hand.
He sheathed it.
Reek, my name is Reek, it rhymes with weak. Reek bent to his task.
"Yo, my name is Reek, and I'm here to say ..." -original draft
Yep. Ramsay, proving he will be difficult to unseat in the upcoming "Most Horrible Person In The Universe" awards, forces Theon to assault Jeyne. Later, when Theon finally decides to try to break her out of Winterfell, we find out that things have only gotten worse for Jeyne, as she stammeringly refuses to go with him:
"No. This is some trick. It's him, it's my ... my lord, my sweet lord, he sent you, this is just some test to make sure that I love him. I do, I do, I love him more than anything." A tear ran down her cheek. "Tell him, you tell him, I'll do what he wants ... or whatever he wants ... with him ... or ... or with the dog or ... please ... he doesn't need to cut my feet off, I won't try to run away, not ever, I'll give him sons, I swear it, I swear it ..."
So, um, yeah. Ramsay makes her have sex with his dogs. What the hell happened to that precocious middle-schooler who used to pester Stan Lee with overly effusive letters praising his ability to write scenes involving The Fantastic Four falling down manholes?
"Dear Stan and Jack, who would win in a fight: Dr. Doom or Joe Namath?
Who would win if they turned into naked women? Thanks!"