The Game of Thrones showrunners were very up front about Season 5 diverging from the books in certain key areas. Many characters have been omitted, some who are alive in the books will be killed, and a few favorites are having their entire story arc changed to make for better television.
The big departures so far include Jaime and Bronn heading off to Dorne, Brienne and Podrick being much more successful in their quest to find the Stark girls, and Sansa and Littlefinger returning to Winterfell. Here’s writer-producer Bryan Cogman explaining to Entertainment Weekly why the HBO show decided to switch up the Sansa storyline so much:
“In the books, Sansa has very few chapters in the Vale once she’s up there. That was not going to be an option for one of our lead characters. While this is a very bold departure, [we liked] the power of bringing a Stark back to Winterfell and having her reunite with Theon under these circumstances.”
Besides, Cogman pointed out: “You have this storyline with Ramsay. Do you have one of your leading ladies—who is an incredibly talented actor who we’ve followed for five years and viewers love and adore—do it? Or do you bring in a new character to do it? To me, the question answers itself: You use the character the audience is invested in.”
Yep, the audience is definitely more invested in Sansa Stark than the book character she is apparently replacing. Unfortunately for Sansa and Sansa fans, her new story arc is one of the darkest and most disturbing of the entire Song of Ice and Fire series.
Slight spoiler alert here, but book readers already know what to expect (as much as book readers can really claim to know anything about the future of the show these days). HBO-only fans, on the other hand, should just think about what they know of Ramsay Bolton and extrapolate from there.
Several cast members have mentioned certain scenes from this season of Game of Thrones, putting even “The Red Wedding” to shame. If you’re a betting kind of person, you might wanna put some coin down on Sansa Stark being involved.