Ever since its first episode in 2011, Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular television shows of all time. HBO's production team have led us through a twisted path of triumph, dread, laughter, heartache, and everything in between along the way, and none of us are ready for the show to finally end - both because its absence will leave a void in our lives, and because apparently we will "need therapy" after the finale.
As majestic an epic as HBO has created, there have been plenty of notable exclusions from the series we see on television. Like most books that are adapted to the screen, Game of Thrones is far from a carbon copy of its source material, George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.
With the final season just a few short months away and Martin's final books due to come out...sometime, we thought it best to compile a list of some of the major plot points and characters that never made it into the show. 10 Major Things HBO Left Out of Their Adaptation of Game of Thrones.
10. Daenerys' Eye Color
The casting of Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen has turned out to be almost as perfect as any book reader could have envisioned. Not only does she personify the strength and complexities of the "Khaleesi" on the page, but she looks the part, too, in almost every single way - the main difference being the color of her eyes.
"Look at her. That silver-gold hair, those purple eyes... she is the blood of old Valyria, no doubt, no doubt..."
In the books, Daenerys' eyes are violet, a shade of purple that is a common trait in her Targaryen lineage. Though showrunners toyed with the idea of having Emilia wear colored contact lenses, they were too uncomfortable for the actress, and ultimately scrapped. What we see in the show is Clarke's natural eye color, which is a heterochromatic mix of grey and hazel.
9. Jorah's Greyscale (Or Lack Thereof)
Show-only fans will remember the tragic moment from season 5 when Jorah Mormont contracts greyscale from one of the stone men on he and Tyrion's journey to see Daenerys. In the books, Jorah is scale-free, and is not even present during this stone men encounter.
It appears as though the TV version of Jorah took the place of a book character that has yet to make an appearance in the show - Jon Connington. Jon, his crew, and Tyrion Lannister are traversing the river Rhoyne when they are attacked by stone men (who carry greyscale). After Tyrion falls into the river, Jon risks himself by reaching in to save Tyrion's life. Afterward, Connington realizes that he has become infected, and attempts to hide it, similar to Jorah's reaction to keep his greyscale a secret in the show.
8. Jon Snow and Arya Stark Are Also Wargs
In the books, Bran Stark is not the only warg among the Stark siblings, as it is believed that Jon Snow and Arya Stark also have warg abilities. Differing from Bran, the talents of Jon and Arya are untrained and unfulfilled, never quite reaching the spectacles that Bran's end up offering. Jon and Arya's warging is mainly confined to vivid dream sequences, where they take mind in their direwolf counterparts, Ghost and Nymeria.
7. The OG Aegon Targaryen is Alive?
Up to this point in the show, the only two Targaryens left in the world with a claim to the Iron Throne are the pure-blooded Daenerys and the newly revealed hybrid, Jon Snow. In the books, there appears to be another: Aegon. The son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell, Aegon was the firstborn son of the prince and princess, and would have a legitimate claim to the throne, should he be alive. Aegon would be the half-brother of Jon Snow (aka Aegon 2.0) and nephew of Daenerys. In both show and books, Sir Gregor Clegane claims to have murdered the children of Rhaegar and Elia during the Sack of King's Landing.
"Elia Martell! I killed her children! Then I raped her! Then I smashed her head...in like this!"
But, in the books, a boy disguised as "Young Griff" claims to be the heir of Rhaegar, and is on his way to King's Landing to claim his rightful place on the throne. If this turns out to be true, it would mean that a child swap occurred, and young Aegon was snuck out of the city, and Clegane killed an impostor. This makes the "game of thrones" of the book so much more complicated than the show.
6. Quentyn Martell and Daenerys, Sitting in a Tree...
The show has scrapped the character of Quentyn Martell altogether, leaving out a pretty interesting arc that could have saved the polarizing Dorne plot that left a bad taste in viewers mouths.
Quentyn Martell is the eldest son of Doran Martell, and nephew of Oberyn Martell in the book universe. Doran devises a plan to overthrow the Lannisters, by marrying his son to Daenerys, uniting the Targaryen and Martell houses, and solidifying a powerful place for them in Westeros. Quentyn goes to Mereen to "woo" Daenerys, but she is having none of it. She perches on Drogon, and flies away, leaving Quentyn in a trail of heartbroken dust. Determined not to come home a failure, Quentyn attempts to tame and steal her other two dragons, Viserion and Rhaegal. Unfortunately for him, dragonfire is a lot hotter than the climate of Dorne, and he ends up dying from the injuries obtained from their flames.
5. Arianne Martell and Viserys, ...K-I-S-S-I-N-G
Doran Martell devised another cupid-esque plan to marry his family with the Targaryens, this time with his daughter Arianne and Viserys, Daenerys' brother. Unfortunately, this plan to wed also fell through.
Show-only fans will remember well the moment Khal Drogo brutally killed Viserys by pouring molten gold onto his head as a "crown." Well, in the books, Drogo kills Viserys in the exact same way, ultimately and inadvertently foiling the Martell plan.
4. Daario's Beard
Thus far, we have had two different actors portray Daario Naharis in the Game of Thrones television adaptation, and neither one of them gave us the beard that was promised.
In the books, Daario's beard is cut into three distinct prongs (like a trident), which he keeps dyed blue, along with the hair on his head. The mustache portion of his beard is dyed gold, making his face an assortment of royal color contrasts that match the loud colors of his clothing.
3. Strong Belwas
The exclusion of Strong Belwas from the show is an unfortunate miss for the book fans, as he becomes one of the favorites during Daenerys' chapters. Belwas spent most of his life as a slave, and fought in the pits of Mereen, before being sold around from owner to owner. Belwas is a very large man, and his entire body is covered with scars. According to him, the scars came from all the men he fought in the fighting arenas, as he would let each of his opponents cut him once, and then he would kill them. He jokingly boasts that this is proof of how many men he has killed, and claims to have never lost a fight.
Belwas joins Daenerys' queensguard after being sent to find her by his owner, Illyrio, and would have been a source of entertaining comic relief to her scenes in the show, if he had been included.
2. Victarion Greyjoy
Parallel to the complexity of the Targaryen claims to the throne, the Greyjoy's claiming the Iron Islands is also much more complicated in the books. In the show, we are mostly exposed only to the rival claims of Euron Greyjoy, and his niece, Yara Greyjoy (along with her brother, Theon). The books provide a third Greyjoy on a mission for power - Victarion.
Victarion is the middle child of three, brother of Euron and Balon. Interestingly, Victarion is the Greyjoy who fields an alliance with Daenerys in the books, whereas it is Yara who joins her in the show.
1. Lady Stoneheart
We all know the tragedy that was "Red Wedding." The backstabbing Bolton's struck, and the leaders of the Stark empire were murdered. In the show, that is pretty much where it is left. We have the revenge plot of Arya that develops, but what is dead is dead.
In the books, Catelyn Stark is resurrected by Lord Beric Dondarion, and she becomes Lady Stoneheart. Her wounds do not heal completely, making her a terrifying sight for her enemies to behold. She assumes leadership of the Brotherhood Without Banners, and mercilessly pursues and executes everyone in her path that she deems a Lannister collaborator.
"She don't speak. You bloody bastards cut her throat too deep for that. But she remembers."
What other major things have been left out of HBO's adaptation of Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments!