Season four of Game of Thrones drifted away from George R.R. Martin’s source material more than any other season to date. This is mostly good and occasionally bad! Listing every difference would require hundreds of entries, most of them entirely minor and insignificant, so instead, let’s take a look at 12 of the most prominent changes (and Tywin’s speech), ranked from least welcome to most.
12. Brothers are doing it for themselves.
The TV show is sure going all-out to make us love Jaime, aren’t they? The scene in the finale, when Jaime helps Tyrion kill Tywin, plays out very differently in the book. During the escape, Jaime tells his brother that the story he’s been fed all these years, that Tyrion’s first wife Tysha was a hired whore, is bull. She was, in fact, in love with Tyrion. Hearing this enrages Tyrion, and he slaps Jaime in rage. Including this in the show would have given context to Tyrion seeking out his father with a crossbow, and not make it seem like a whim he has at the last second. “Wherever whores go.”
11. Lady Stoneheart.
Oh Lena, you big ol’ tease. (Maybe it’s unfair to include Lady Stoneheart on this list, because the show probably will get around to her next season — no specific spoilers, please — but whatever, screw Alex Graves says.)
10. Needs more Strong Belwas.
There’s no good reason for Strong Belwas, a bowling ball of a former Meereen slave who protects Daenerys, to be in the show, other than Strong Belwas is awesome and instead of Daario whipping out just the tip, he takes a massive dump after killing Oznak zo Pahl. Here’s a depiction:
I’d watch that.
9. Jaime and Cersei
If only it had been portrayed the same way it was in the books. Then we would have been spared THIS.
8. Through the moon door.
Marillion is a singer who can’t sing. He had his tongue ripped out by Ser Ilyn Payne in season one. But he plays a major role in A Storm of Swords: he’s accused of throwing Lysa Tully through the Moon Door. Littlefinger is still the one who does the deed, but Marillion, who previously tried to rape Sansa, was nearby, attempting to sing and play the harp so as to drown out Sansa’s screams, and now he’s confined to the sky cells. Littlefinger blaming someone else, and not passing off a story about Lysa committing suicide, is more in-character, but it’s not too egregious of a change.