5 'Game of Thrones' Book Plots The Show Totally Botched

Game Of Thrones took some baffling liberties with its source material, like writing out Frodo and turning Gandalf into a sexy blonde. And it's clear that the show made plenty of other changes that weren't exactly for the best. SPOILERS INCOMING.

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5
The White Walkers Aren't Mindless Monsters

In The Show:

The White Walkers are a bunch of creepy ice demons capable of turning corpses into wights (which are basically zombies, but with prettier eyes). They are led by the awfully convenient Night King, first of the White Walkers, who operates under Dracula logic -- kill him and all the others will crumble like Popsicles left out in the sun. That's exactly what happens in the final season.

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The Night King wants to kill all humans because, uh, he wants to kill all humans. Truly a villain on par with Walter White and Tony Soprano.

But In The Books ...

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First of all, there's no Night King in the books. The showrunners made him up to give the characters a nice big clearly designated target. The White Walkers (known in the books as "Others," but Lost kinda stole that name) are far from mindless, silent monsters whose only motivation is "kill all humans." Not only do they have speech (like "the cracking of ice on a winter lake"), but it's also recognizable enough for humans to infer tone. We know this because in one scene, they're speaking to "mock" one of the brothers of the Night's Watch, presumably on account of his pathetically tiny sword.

HBOWe're now going to imagine all of them talking like Chandler from Friends, and there's nothing HBO can do to stop us.

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To aid in the making of the graphic novel adaptation, George R.R. Martin described the Others as "strange, beautiful ... think, oh ... [fairies] made of ice, something like that ... inhuman, elegant, dangerous." Only the "made of ice" part seems to apply to Game Of Throne's ugly-ass White Walkers. This makes sense, because Martin has also said that he doesn't "want to write about the band of heroes on one side and the orcs on the other," and that he dislikes fantasy stories where the races are defined by a single personality (orcs are evil, elves are snobbish, hobbits are sex fiends, etc.).

When an audience member asked specifically about the Others, Martin declined to comment. Normally we'd assume he was trying not to crap all over the show that made him rich, but this was before the show even started, so we're assuming he didn't want to spoil some plot twist regarding them. Like maybe they're just taller Smurfs or something.

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Related: 'Game Of Thrones' Ended With More Garbage (Literally)

4
Euron Is A Dark Sorcerer, Not A Hot Topic Pirate

In The Show:

Iron Islands leader Euron Greyjoy is the human personification of a can of Axe body spray. He exists to magically sneak up on Daenerys' forces with his huge ships while delivering 4chan-level zingers with a stupid smirk on his face. Even the actor who played him called him a "f-cking idiot." Here's his second ever scene, in which he seems almost as concerned with dongs as, well, a Game Of Thrones writer:

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But In The Books ...

Book Euron is not quite as edgy as his TV counterpart, but he's more of a malevolent entity. The actor said he was stoked for the role because he believed it'd be like the book version: "I wouldn't have minded if he was a little more like a Dark Lord." People talk about him (and his ship, Silence) in ominous terms. When Tyrion asks a prophet what he sees concerning Dany, this is what we are told:

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Moqorro: Others seek Daenerys too.

Tyrion: Have you seen these others in your fires?

Moqorro: Only their shadows. One most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood.

That makes him sound like a Lovecraft monster, not some dude out of a CW show. Oh yeah, he actually does have a black eye "shining with malice," and his nickname is the Crow's Eye. That's no coincidence. Some fans believe the Three-Eyed Crow/Raven sought out Euron before Bran:

Euron stood by the window, drinking from a silver cup. "When I was a boy, I dreamt that I could fly," he announced. "When I woke, I couldn't ... or so the maester said. But what if he lied?"

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Euron turned to face him, his bruised blue lips curled in a half smile. "Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower?" There was something obscene and disturbing about his nakedness. "No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap."

That sounds a lot like Bran's crow-themed visions, except with more nakedness. Hey, maybe the books will end with this guy becoming king instead of Bran and immediately turning all of Westeros into a mandatory nudist colony.

Related: Game Of Thrones Used Sci-Fi Weapons To Prevent Spoilers

3
The Three-Eyed Raven Is More Than Some Nameless Guy Sitting In A Tree

In The Show:

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Spoilers in case you haven't seen GOT's final episode (or already blocked it from your memory): The ultimate winner of the titular game of thrones is Bran, the kid with the magical bowl cut who also calls himself the "Three-Eyed Raven." But what the Seven Hells is a Three-Eyed Raven? Bran's predecessor first appears to him in dreams, as an actual raven with three eyes, and in Season 4 we meet his physical representation living in a forest. He looks like Pai Mei from Kill Bill landed on a few bad years.

HBO"Hello, Bran. There's a family of squirrels living in my anus."

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By Season 6, the show upgraded the actor to Max von Sydow, who appears for a whopping three episodes before getting whacked by the Night King and passing the title on to Bran. But, again, who was that guy? The show didn't seem to care. Here are ten more episodes about random people arguing!

But In The Books ...

In the books, he's the Three-Eyed Crow, and rather than being an old man who got caught up in some branches, he's a famous Targaryen bastard who's about 150 years old and fused with a Weirwood tree. His name is Brynden Rivers, aka Bloodraven, and he was one of the Great Bastards of King Aegon IV. He fought against the other Great Bastards, who were trying to overthrow the Targaryens. Why "Bloodraven"? The red, raven-shaped birthmark on his face might have something to do with it, but who knows.

HBO / Behavior Interactive"Bloodraven" was also the name of his '80s hair metal band.

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Brynden was a diehard Targaryen loyalist, but he was eventually exiled to the Night's Watch, where he rose to Lord Commander before disappearing beyond the Wall. During his years of Hakuna Matata-ing, he becomes a greenseer (forest wizard) and starts going by "Three-Eyed Crow." He's a much more robust character in the books, and it sure doesn't seem like he'd happily contribute to the extinguishing of a restored Targaryen monarchy, but we won't know his exact intentions until the last two books come out. (That is, when George R.R. Martin finally gets bored of those untold millions of dollars at his beck and call.)

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Related: 7 Game Of Thrones Book Scenes (The Show Totally Screwed Up)

2
Qhorin Halfhand Isn't Some Feckless Gallivant

In The Show:

Most of the criticism of the show focuses on the later seasons, when the showrunners had run out of book material and started pulling ideas out of their uninspired behinds. But no, the problems of strange character choices go all the way back to the beginning. In Season 2 we meet Qhorin Halfhand, a senior member of the Night's Watch who goes all R. Lee Ermey on Jon Snow. When Jon says he'd gladly give his life for the Watch, Qhorin grabs him and says, "I don't want you to be glad about it. I want you to fight for your heart to keep beating." He goes on to tell Jon that "[his] death will be a gift for those south of the Wall."

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Inspiring stuff. Then Qhorin asks Jon if he bought all that, and laughs on his face when Jon replies yes.

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He says Jon is even dumber than he looks! None of it was true! He even mocks the Night's Watch vows, saying, "They're just words, they mean nothing." He later sacrifices himself, probably because, eh, who cares, nothing means anything anyway.

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But In The Books ...

In the books, Qhorin is one of the sincerest members of the Night's Watch. He repeatedly tells Jon that the only thing he has to give is his life. At one point, he says:

"Our honor means no more than our lives, so long as the realm is safe [...] If we are taken, you will go over to them. They may demand that you cut your cloak to ribbons, that you swear them an oath on your father's grave, that you curse your brothers and your Lord Commander. You must not balk, whatever is asked of you. Do as they bid you ... but in your heart, remember who and what you are. Ride with them, eat with them, fight with them, for as long as it takes. And watch."

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He then makes Jon recite the Night's Watch vows, because to him, they are sacred. The show completely reverses his character, and it makes his sacrifice mean less. It diminishes him for the sake of a cool ending for a scene ... which feels like GOT in a nutshell. But at least this was only a minor character, unlike ...

Related: This 'Game Of Thrones' Parody Is The True Ending We Wanted

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1
Jaime Goes From Savior Of King's Landing To Not Giving A Crap

In The Show:

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Jaime Lannister is a highly complex character who starts as a sister-porking kingslayer, then slowly gets redemption ... and flushes that redemption right down the toilet. He goes from "I killed the king" to "I only killed the king to save people" to "Nah, eff people, actually." Throughout the series, they tease Jaime's turn into a better person, but they always have him turn back to his old incest-loving, kid-killing ways. In Season 6, he says he'll kill babies -- and anyone, really -- to get back to his sister Cersei since she's the only one who matters to him. He proves that in the final season by straight up saying he doesn't care about innocent people burning to death and running back to Cersei, right in time to get killed with her.

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But that's just how he is. He's intended to be a commentary on how people don't really change, and how we're all suckers for thinking he could evolve, right?

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But In The Books ...

Nope! In the books, Jaime not only pulls away from Cersei, but even grows to hate her. He burns a letter she sends him asking for help, and thinks about killing her. It's also heavily hinted that he'll do more than just think abou it. According to the Valonqar prophecy, Cersei is destined to lose her children (in progress), be usurped by a younger queen (check), and get choked to death by her little brother. She assumes it refers to Tyrion, but Jaime is a few minutes younger than her and, again, freaking hates her, so he seems like a strong candidate.

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Given all that, it seems pretty unlikely that Jaime in the books will betray his pals and go "meh" at the death of innocents ... or if he does, at least it probably won't be because he wants to make another ugly baby with his sister.

For more, check out The Inconvenient Truth About Game Of Thrones:

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