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Old 05-20-2019, 02:21 AM   #1
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Perspective of a TV Show Watcher Turned Bookreader after Season 4 (spoilers)

I watched the first 2+ seasons of Game of Thrones marathon-style. I think I caught up a few episodes before the Red Wedding.

After season 4, I read all five books in the next couple months and entered the bookreader thread. This link is my first post in that thread.

I'll add some new comments in italics.

Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
I'm in the bookreader club now after going through all five books since Season 4 ended.

With most people in this thread presumably having read ADWD in 2011, I'm not sure how to jump into the discussion. So, I'll off a new bookreader's perspective as to what the most surprising moments in the books were. Some were events covered in the TV series but different in the books while others were events yet unseen on TV.

Catelyn Stark is 'alive'.
I was nearly finished with ASOS and found the epilogue a bit dull. The reveal was a true jaw-dropper. I don't think the follow-up in AFFC and ADWD was good enough.

This was easily surprise #1.

Catelyn Stark was killed at the Red Wedding. Her dead body (and other murdered Northerners) was dumped in the Green Fork river and drifted downstream (south). Three days later, her corpse is found by Beric Dondarrion and the Brotherhood without Banners. Dondarrion sacrificed himself with a little R'hllor magic and resurrected Catelyn Stark.

However, being dead for three days had a terrible impact. She's not quite herself or, perhaps, even human.

Catelyn is now known as "Lady Stoneheart". She's obsessed with revenge and leads a demoralized Brotherhood in murders of anybody connected to the Lannisters, Freys, or Boltons.

Lady Stoneheart still has her wounds from the Red Wedding, including a slit throat and scratched face.

Tysha was not a whore.
Poor Tyrion. I wonder if we'll learn of Tysh'a fate.

This was an inexcusable omission since it is easily done through dialogue.

Tysha was Tyrion's first wife. He spoke about her is season 1 (and it was subtly mentioned in season 8 during the drinking game at Winterfell). Tyrion married her after he and Jamie saved her from an attack by several men.

When Tywin learned of the marriage, he was furious. Jamie eventually told Tyrion that the whole event was staged by Jamie. Jamie told Tyrion that Tysha was a whore paid to sleep with Tyrion and then took advantage of Tyrion's naivety.

Tywin then had Tysha gang-raped by Lannister guards with Tyrion being the last to rape her.

However, when Jamie frees Tyrion from the prison cells (for Joffrey's murder), Jamie confesses that he lied. Tysha was not a whore and the rescue was not a setup. Tywin had forced Jamie to tell the lie.

It was this story which compelled Tyrion to climb the secret entrance in the Tower of the Hand to confront his father about Tysha and find out what happened to her.

Tyrion kills Tywin when he says she went "wherever whores go".

Jeyne Westerling's mother was complicit in the Red Wedding.
When I read the Westerling's were pardoned, it struck me as very anti-Tywin. But, I still didn't see this coming. It's not clear to me how this transpired.

Jeyne Westerling didn't appear in the TV show. She was Robb Stark's wife. The TV show wife character of Talisa doesn't exist in the books.

Robb was injured when his army attacks the Crag of House Westerling in the Westerlands. Young Jeyne Westerling cares for Robb. In fact, her mother encourages her to do so.

Robb learns that Bran and Rickon are believed to be dead during his recovery. It's then that Robb and Jeyne sleep together. To protect Jeyne's honor, Robb marries her and renegs on his promise to Walder Frey.

Later, we learn that Jeyne's mother was in communication with Tywin Lannister. Robb and Jeyne were pushed together by Jeyne's mother to create the type of problems which eventually occured. House Westerling is rewarded by being given Castamere.

Jeyne Westerling wasn't at the Red Wedding and is still alive.

Bran's first dream.
Bran being able to see to the ends of the world defined his abilities much differently than the TV show. I also thought it was interesting that the three-eyed crow made Bran forget Jamie pushed him.

While still in his coma, Bran's powers are obviously enormous in scope. He can see events as they are happening, including Ned and Robert traveling down the King's Road and Daenerys and Khal Drogo riding east to Vas Dothrak.

It's obvious from very early in the story that Bran is superpowered.

Prince Aegon Targaryen is alive.
Everybody expected a Targaryen to invade Westeros, but I never saw a clue that Aegon was alive. Were the Beggar King and Daenerys meant to be a decoy?

Aegon Targaryen was the son of Prince Rhagar Targaryen and Elia Martel and therefore heir to the Iron Thone. He was an infant at the end of Robert's Rebellion when King's Landing was sacked.

He was believed to be killed by the Mountain, Gregor Clegane, by having his head smashed against a wall.

However, he may still be alive (after a baby switch). Someone claiming to be Aegon backed by the Golden Company invaded Westeros at the end of Book 5. This is at about the same time Dany flees the Mareen fighting pits on Drogon, flies north, and eventually is surrounded by Dothraki.

It's also possible that this person is only pretending to be Aegon in coup attempt backed by Varys and Illyrio Mopatis.

So, in the books, somebody named Aegon Targaryen has a better claim to the Iron Throne than Dany does. Dany might get angry when she finds out.

Cersei's walk of shame.
It was obvious Cersei was self-destructing while she thought of herself as the greatest ruler the realm had ever seen. But, I didn't expect she'd hit such a low point.

The show really nailed this scene.

However, one of Cersei's motivations for accepting this penance was that Margaery had already been released by the High Septon. She was desperate to get out in order to protect Tommen. In the TV show, Margaery is still captive when Cersei is freed.

Varys shows up with two pages to go.
I knew about the basic structure of AFFC and ADWD before reading them. So, when Tyrion wasn't a character in AFFC, I wasn't bothered that Varys wasn't in that book. However, when Varys wasn't in Pentos with Tyrion, I thought it was strange and wondered what Varys was doing. More than midway through the book, it seemed he just wasn't going to make an appearance. As I read the epilogue, I thought it was just a Kevan Lannister chapter setting up his regency for the next book.

Varys didn't make an appearance in the first 2,000+ pages of books 4 and 5.

In the epilogue of book 5, shortly after Cersei's walk of shame, Varys shows up and murders Kevan Lannister who was governing the realm for Tommen.

The action seemed to be intended to allow the incompetent Cersei to take back power.

Doran Martell has been playing the game quietly for a long time.
Littlefinger is a character that readers have been able to watch make moves that other characters don't see. But, Littlefinger isn't as good a player as Doran who hides his moves so well that other characters don't know he's even in the game.

The whole Dorne storyline in the TV show is abysmal. It's far more complex and far better in the books.

Doran Martel is a big player and will have real impact on the fate of Westeros.

Arya is dreaming she's Nymeria even from as far away as Braavos.
Arya's warg powers seem second only to Bran's, especially after she displays cat-warging abilities.

Arya is also superpowered. While she sleeps, she wargs into Nymeria. She does this during her stay in Harrenhall and her travels through Westeros. Even from as far away as Bravos, she can do it . In fact, it was Nymeria/Arya who discovered Catelyn's dead body first and the Brotherhood showed up shortly afterwards.

Arya shows some ability to control her warging by moving her mind into a cat during her Faceless Men training.

Jon Snow dies.
Despite Melisandre's warnings, I didn't expect Jon to die. Though, I quickly realized he could have warged into Ghost (and later read a theory of him rewarging into his reanimated body), it's still a surprise that Jon isn't a character who makes it to the finish line.

Jon dies at the end of book 5. His presumed resurrection is coming similar to the TV show.

Like Catelyn Stark/Lady Stoneheart, I expect Jon Snow to be different when he returns to the living.

It's clear Melisandre has misread her fires. Stannis is not Azor Ahai reborn.
The TV show makes Melisandre seem almost infallibly prescient. However, I'm betting that Maester Aemon was right about her.

The TV show eventually eventually showed Melisandre was fallible.

Dragons breast feed from Daenerys.
Only mammals drink milk from their mothers. GRRM is too pervy.

Yup. Danny breast fed the dragons. That was probably a good edit.

Everybody wants to marry Daenerys.
Sure, she's hot and can make you King of Whatever, but why do her suitors from half a world away expect her to be intersted?

One of Doran Martel's sons goes to Mareen to marry Danny. Of course, Euron wants to marry her. And, Dany actually does get married in Mareen to Hizdarh zo Loraq

Khal Drogo has a manse in Pentos.
He doesn't seem like the type of guy to invest in real estate. Or throw house parties.

Drogo was gifted a manse by Illyrio Mopatis. This is where he first meets Dany.

Arstan Whitebeard was Ser Barristan Selmy.
Maybe I was slow on this one since I knew from the TV show that Selmy was showing up. Maybe there were plenty of clues. But, as ASOS was getting close to the end, I was still wondering "When is Ser Barristan going to show up?"

Ser Baristan hides his identity from Dany for a long time so that he can evaluate her. He let his hair and beard grow long to disguise his appearance from Ser Jorah
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