Season 6 of Game of Thrones was a corker throwing surprises at us with every episode, and I have to say I enjoyed each one of these surprises. At the beginning of the season, when it dawned on me that this is a whole new twist on the books, I formed the grand intention of blogging about each episode, only for it to die a natural death – been too slammed with work on all fronts.
So, it was a really pleasant surprise when Kate Lee contacted me asking if she could post her thoughts on the show vs the books on my blog.
Warning: spoilers abound for some parts of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons (books 5 and 6 in the series).
So without any further ado, here’s her post:
Season six of Game of Thrones started dramatically and ended spectacularly, once again earning HBO high ratings and acclaim from fans. This season has also reached territory not yet explored or expanded on in the novels as George R. R. Martin has taken his time in releasing the new novel in the series. However, spoiler-phobic book fans have been able to find solace in knowing that the as-yet unreleased future novels may still be full of surprises. Given the changes that the show has made to several key elements from the books, there may yet be surprises to come even as the series comes towards an end. Warning: There are spoilers below. If you haven’t watched season six yet, make sure to catch up through DirecStarTV and HBO.
It seems that book fans have been speculating about the show appearance of Lady Stoneheart since season three. A key character in the novels, Lady Stoneheart is what becomes of Catelyn Stark after the Red Wedding. She is resurrected days after the murderous “wedding” but she is not who she once was, and is solely hellbent on getting revenge against House Frey for her and Robb’s murder. Season six has given us the Brotherhood again as well as the Red God – but we have yet to see Lady Stoneheart.
One other key character is Jeyne Poole, Sansa’s best friend and maid. In the novels, Jeyne filled in as a fake Arya Stark and ended up marrying Ramsay Bolton in Winterfell. This significant change in the show brought a huge wealth of contention and criticism as Sansa seemed to take the place of Jeyne and took the majority of Ramsay’s abuse. Many believed Sansa’s abuse, her rape in particular, was unnecessary and insulting while others believed it fueled her character progression.
Perhaps one of the biggest faults of the show was the portrayal of Dorne and the Sand Snakes. In the novels, Dorne plays a slow, intricate political game against the Lannisters while secretly reaching out to Daenerys Targaryen in the name of revenge. Additionally, there are eight daughters in the novel while the show only shows three – Obara, Nymeria and Tyene. The whole plot of the Dornish was forgotten after a flurry of murders in the beginning of season six until the finale. Viewers and book fans alike can hope that this plays out better in episodes still to come.
And then there is Aegon Targaryen, Rhaegar’s firstborn son. Instead of being killed by the Mountain, in the books he was seemingly switched with another baby and raised across the Narrow Sea, only to come back and make his own claim for the throne. While book fans may mourn the lack of this plot and some of its accompanying characters, the change may be for the best. With the series so close to the end, it is truly time to begin wrapping up plots instead of introducing new ones.
Despite or due to these changes, fans can look forward to the last seasons of Game of Thrones. The show seems to be barreling to the end with no sign of slowing down, and we are all along for an exciting ride. Hopefully the last two seasons will give us the answers we are seeking and do a better job of appeasing some major plot issues. Either way, season six was a vast reminder of how Game of Thrones never fails to excite and surprise, as it was arguably one of the best seasons yet.