The seventh season of Game of Thrones recently came to a close, leaving the fans of the acclaimed cultural phenomenon on their knees, begging for more scenes with fire-breathing dragons, royal houses and monstrous White Walkers.
Although the recent episodes were pretty solid, the show has seriously departed from the books, and as a result, some of the primary and secondary characters have lost their mojo. In the Song of Ice and Fire novels, the story is more complicated, featuring many important characters who alter the course of the story in their own unpredictable ways. In the show, however, some of these heroes are missing, and others are toned-down, since there’s limited screen time.
After watching the finale, I decided to create a list featuring the players of the game of thrones who appeared in the TV series but didn’t get the influence their book-counterparts did. Hopefully it will get some of you all pumped up for The Winds of Winter!
Warning: This post contains spoilers for both the television series and the books.
10. Kevan Lannister
Kevan is the younger brother of Tywin Lannister, the head of House Lannister and the leader of Casterly Rock. In the books, Kevan is a smart man who tried to save the realm from Cersei and unite the remaining Lannister loyalists in order to deal with their enemies. Even Varys himself considered him a threat and decided to murder him, in order to ensure the success of the upcoming Targaryen invasion.
In #GameofThrones, Kevan is more of a background character. He’s killed in the finale of Season 6 along with the High Sparrow and most of the Tyrells when the Great Sept is incinerated with wildfire. He only has one good scene, which is kind of a bummer, since he’s such an awesome addition to the Lannister family.
9. Wyman Manderly
Lord Manderly is the ruler of White Harbor. You might remember him from Season 6’s finale, in which he pledged his allegiance to the King in the North after hearing Lyanna Mormont’s passionate speech. In the books, the situation is way more complicated.
In A Dance with Dragons, it is revealed that Manderly is actually planning to overthrow the Bolton family and restore the Starks as the rightful rulers of the North. He charges Davos Seaworth with the task of finding Rickon Stark, who is currently hiding in Skagos, an island inhabited by cannibals. Later in the book, Manderly has Roose Bolton and the rest of his soldiers unknowingly eat the notorious Frey pies. The writers of the show gave this part to Arya Stark, in an attempt to enrich her character’s storyline.
8. Mance Rayder
The King-Beyond-the-Wall was a Night’s Watch deserter who led the Wildlings against his former colleagues and was defeated by Stannis Baratheon’s forces in Season 4. In the next season, Mance was burned alive by Melisandre in front of his men as a punishment for his deeds.
The book-version of Mance plays a bigger part in the story than his TV version – he’s actually kind of a mentor to Jon Snow. Mance’s life is secretly spared and he’s sent to Winterfell to rescue Jeyne Poole, a girl who is masquerading as Arya Stark and is set to marry Roose Bolton’s bastard son, the evil Ramsay Snow.
7. Loras Tyrell
The Tyrells are the Wardens of the South. While Olenna and Margaery are the brains, Loras is the brawn. He is a great fighter, being exceptionally skilled with the sword and well-trained in the art of warfare. While in the series he’s portrayed as a spoiled and arrogant young man, the book version of Loras is more honorable and more likable.
After the death of Renly, he devotes his life to the Kingsguard of Tommen Baratheon and vows to never love again. Furthermore, when he learns that his family’s home is being attacked by the Greyjoys, he pleads with Cersei to send her armies to Highgarden to destroy the Greyjoy fleet. Cersei declines his request, stating that she needs to take Dragonstone first, and Loras rushes to Dragonstone with a skeleton crew and leads the assault on the castle. However, during the siege, Loras is gravely injured and is now dying a hero’s death.
Lord Varys is one of the most mysterious members of King’s Landing’s Small Council. His real motives are uncertain and his origins are left ambiguous. HBO’s Game of Thrones goes with a more kind-hearted and friendly version of the perfumed eunuch, but the novels give us a more mischievous and threatening Varys.
In A Dance with Dragons, Varys claims to have saved Rhaegar’s son with Elia Martell. He raised the supposed-Aegon to become the perfect king and is now pulling the strings, leading a Targaryen invasion from the shadows. There is suspicion that this Aegon is actually a bastard Targaryen and the son of Varys’ best friend, Illyrio (the guy who arranged Daenerys’s marriage to Khal Drogo in Season 1), however, none of this has been confirmed. As far as the books go, the character is still a mystery — a very interesting mystery, I might say.
5. Doran Martell
Many fans agree that the infamous Dornish storyline is by far the worst part in the TV series. While the majority of the audience blames the Sand Snakes, the Martell family failed to impress, too — with the exception of Oberyn. Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne, appeared in only five episodes and didn’t leave his mark on the world of ice and fire.
In the books, Doran Martell is a skilled manipulator and an avid player of the game of thrones. At first glance, he seems peaceful, but in reality, he is a force to be reckoned with, planning to avenge the murder and rape of his sister Elia, restore the Targaryens to power and bring the downfall of House Lannister. He managed to submit the Sand Snakes to his will, and he’s currently planning to use them to infiltrate the ranks of the crown and the Sparrows.
4. Stannis Baratheon
Despite the fact that he was a man with no charm, Stannis Baratheon had a very loyal fanbase. However, even some of his most passionate supporters grew to detest him after he sacrificed his daughter to the Lord of Light in the TV series.
Just like Loras Tyrell, book Stannis is more honorable than his TV counterpart. For starters, Stannis has no idea that Melisandre used magic to murder Renly, although he suspects that the Red Woman had something to do with it. He holds Davos in high regard and is very skeptical when it comes to the Lord of Light. Last but not least, it seems unlikely that he will kill Shireen, since he left her at the Wall with her mother and Melisandre. On the contrary, he commands one of his men to continue fighting the war if he dies and make his daughter queen of the realm.
3. The Three-Eyed Raven
Bran’s journey in Season 6 was extremely impressive thanks to the presence of the Three-Eyed Raven, the old man living under the tree beyond the Wall who taught him how to use his powers. Veteran actor Max Von Sydow did a fantastic job portraying the old wizard, but we never got to know more about the character’s backstory.
A Song of Ice and Fire gives us many details about the character’s past. The Three-Eyed Crow, as he is called in the books, is Brynden Rivers, one of the legitimized bastards of Aegon IV Targaryen. He was a great warrior, he fought in three Blackfyre Rebellions, he served both as Hand of the King and as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch — and then he mysteriously disappeared from the world. It’s safe to assume that Martin is probably going to shed more light on his backstory, answering some demanding questions about the White Walkers in the process.
2. Euron Greyjoy
The Greyjoy clan consists of many stubborn, traitorous scumbags, like Balon, and brutal barbarians, like Victarion, but Euron Greyjoy is by far the worst and most dangerous Greyjoy there is.
Although the show’s version of Euron proved to be pretty threatening, book Euron is way worse. In his youth, he used to abuse his younger brothers and even killed some of them. Later on, he slept with his brother’s wife and then was exiled, only to return years later, leading a ship of bloodthirsty mutes who had their tongues removed. He is in possession of a Valyrian steel armor and a gargantuan horn which can control dragons. And did I mention that he also probably has magical powers? No? Well, he does!
1. Catelyn Stark
Catelyn Stark is a controversial character. Many fans hate her because of her hatred for Jon Snow, and many fans love her because of her determined personality and her love for her children. Although she made some dumb decisions during the series, it was really sad when the show killed her off in the Red Wedding episode.
In A Storm of Swords, Catelyn Stark’s throat is sliced by Raymund Frey during the Red Wedding, and her body is thrown into the Green Fork. However, her dead body is later found by Beric Dondarrion, who exchanges his life for hers. Catelyn is resurrected as a vengeful zombie-like figure called Lady Stoneheart. She wants to destroy the Freys and the Boltons and leads the once heroic Brotherhood Without Banners against both guilty and innocent men. Her story is amazing and it raises many questions regarding true honor, vengeance and vigilantism. It’s truly a shame that the producers decided to exclude her later-form from the show. It seems as if Game of Thrones’s Catelyn is dead and the whole Stoneheart story died with her at the Red Wedding.
What character from the books do you think got snubbed in the TV show?Comment below and let me know!