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We know, we know, it is blasphemy to say the Game of Thrones Television show is much better than the books. But hear us out!

The two are Pretty various experiences, and Each are a ought to for any fan.

We’re just saying that whilst quite a few points are performed masterfully in the books, some of it is in fact enhanced upon in the show!

[Note: we are NOT including the show’s absolutely brilliant costumes and music as that would be an unfair comparison for a book and is a given in the show’s favor.]

HARDHOME

Season 5 brought misery and despair and heartache. But it also brought Hardhome.

The titular battle of the episode comes when Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) travel to exactly where the bulk of the wildlings have gathered to bring them south of the Wall on ships prior to they can be massacred by the White Walkers.

Regrettably they’re just a tiny bit late — the White Walkers arrive throughout the evacuation and attack. What follows is possibly the most tense 20 minutes ever place on Television.

Jon and a handful of wildling warriors fend off the army of the dead whilst the boats are filled one particular final time. In single combat with a White Walker, Jon is pretty much killed — till he learns his Valyrian steel sword is one particular of the only points that can kill the icy generals.

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Even nonetheless, he and (some of) his allies barely get away with their lives… and are forced to watch from the boat as the Evening King raises all their personal dead as soldiers in his army.

The battle is a important point in the show as it completely represents the stakes of the war to come. If the living do not come with each other and defeat the White Walkers in the subsequent massive confrontation, each and every single particular person in the planet will die.

The moment the Evening King raises the fallen is a turning point for the viewers and for Jon he knows, with no query, this is the battle that matters. Every single choice he tends to make going forward is with this sight in thoughts.

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It is an action-packed sequence, but it is treated pretty much a lot more like a horror film. Thrilling but utterly spine-tingling. But what tends to make it so significantly much better than when it occurs in the books?

Effectively, that is the thing… it sort of occurs in the books?

There is a massacre at Hardhome, but we under no circumstances see it. The complete factor requires location out of the sight of any of our POV characters.

Yep — Jon is not even there.

He hears about it in letters, and Melisandre has a really expressionistic vision of it, but it is all in the background.

Not only do readers not get this splash of ice water to warn us what’s to come, Jon does not see it!

ARYA + TYWIN

In the books, when Arya hides out at Harrenhal below a fake name, she ultimately becomes the cupbearer for… Roose Bolton.

Yep. The really man who is about to betray her brother.

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Bolton nonetheless ends up in Harrenhal in the show, that is not till Season 3 — properly immediately after Arya has left.

As an alternative the man who comes in and requires more than the ruined castle is Tywin Lannister.

And it was the suitable get in touch with, no query!

Arya nonetheless overhears points she shouldn’t, attempting to suss out battle plans whilst creating confident not to give away her identity.

But in the show the interaction requires on a complete new life.

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Just after the death of Ned Stark, the tween tomboy finds a series of replacement father figures, like Yoren, The Hound, and Jaqen H’Ghar.

And in a series of scenes by way of the back half of Season Two, Arya has a partnership with the most unlikely patriarch. Tywin is the father/grandfather/boss of just about every person on her kill list, but the two create a genuine affection regardless of all that.

Tywin provides Arya a sense of pride by recognizing her intelligence and prospective and she knows how sincere it is for the reason that it is generally teetering on suspicion of her station.

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In Arya, Tywin finds the foil he lacks creating battle plans all day with uneducated Lannister generals, all either dullards in their positions due to nepotism or brutish beasts elevated by their talent for killing.

The two have spirited sparring sessions, sweetened by compliments and peppered with veiled threats — and you can see in their eyes they each really like it.

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Certainly key kudos go to newbie Maisie Williams for maintaining up with the inimitable veteran Charles Dance.

They are as significantly an odd couple on screen as on paper, and each and every scene involving them just plain functions.

BRIENNE VS THE HOUND

Bear in mind that astounding scene at the starting of Season 4 when Arya (Maisie Williams) goes immediately after her sword and The Hound (Rory McCann) has to stick to — then proceeds to trash speak the Lannister guys prior to they each clean home?

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In the books, Sandor Clegane is injured in that fight, and it is his wounds finding infected that leave lying on the ground begging for mercy as Arya leaves him for dead.

The show writers had the concept to get to that moment an additional way…

By possessing him fight Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) in a no holds barred, brutal brawl for Arya.

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It is almost certainly the greatest, most evenly matched duel in the complete show. It comes down to a bloody slugfest, and each and every moment is produced so significantly a lot more breathtaking by the truth at this point, most audience members really like Each characters.

Not only is it a much better way to send Sandor on his way — finding defeated by possibly the greatest fighter on the show — but it also provides Brienne a massive moment she’s missing in the books.

Certain, she wipes the floor with some random soldiers, as she does on the show, but finding that one particular epic duel — brilliant.

GILLY

OK, this one particular calls for WAY as well significantly explanation of an extremely convoluted plot in the books.

We’ll just say this as a word of warning: if your head is spinning at the finish of all this, we feel you can agree the easy story of Gilly on the show is significantly much better.

OK, so on the show and in the books, Gilly is one particular of Craster’s daughters AND wives, who runs away with Sam immediately after providing birth to a son — which Craster would have provided to the White Walkers.

It is a dark, twisted backstory, but it gets worse for her in the books.

It all begins with Mance Rayder, the King Beyond The Wall. This guy:

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See, the wildling leader also has a pregnant wife. She dies in childbirth, but her infant is alive and healthier — so Gilly ends up caring for it when Mance gets burned at the stake.

And when Jon sends Gilly with Sam, it is not to preserve her protected. He sends her with Mance’s infant to guard it from Melisandre — who is eager to get her hands on any one with “king’s blood.”

The challenge is, he orders her to take Mance’s infant and leave her personal.

So he’s defending a infant from becoming burned alive by the Red Lady by… replacing it with an additional infant. How is that supposed to assist?

It is one particular of the dumbest, most inscrutable choice Jon ever tends to make, and frankly indicative of a lot of convoluted goings on in that region of the books. (Mance also turns out to have been switched with an additional wildling who was burned in his location. It’s… a lot.)

The upshot is, Gilly is forced — by our hero — to leave her personal infant to be burned alive or, at greatest, abandoned. So her complete story just continues to be tragic as she generally cries her way by way of an complete book.

Why is this so significantly much better on the show? Apart from the simplicity, it is about balance.

On the show Gilly remains one particular of handful of unassailably optimistic characters regardless of the tribulations she’s faced. Her partnership with Sam is just regularly adorable.

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In a planet which can be so cruel and unforgiving, she is one particular of the uncommon spots of brightness. No, not every little thing must be sweet, but spending time with people today who are is a essential respite from the awful realities of this gritty planet.

In the books… just an additional drop in a relentlessly dour bucket.

THE RED WEDDING

Yes, we stated it.

The centerpiece shocker from A Storm Of Swords happens immediately after Catelyn Stark and her eldest son Robb Stark have currently been provided bread and salt by Walder Frey.

They’ve been provided guest rights and are lulled into a sense of security throughout Cat’s brother Edmure’s wedding — and then they’re slaughtered like sheep out of nowhere.

It is definitely the most brutal scene in each the books and the show.

Generally on the show we’re provided a much better appear at what’s taking place all round but missing that added emotional effect of becoming inside the POV character’s thoughts.

But frankly Michelle Fairley‘s peerless overall performance brought us Appropriate in.

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We felt each and every moment of her agony as she begged Robb to get up and away. The only factor we missed out on was Catelyn’s description of the feeling of the knife slicing her throat — but the genuine effect was the knife in all our hearts, wasn’t it? And on Television the knife was twisted just a small deeper…

How?

A single word: Talisa.

In the books Robb is not a POV character. We get all our scenes with him by way of the eyes of Bran or Catelyn. We get news of his military exploits secondhand as Cersei or a person hears about it.

We barely even MEET Robb’s wife in the books. We know what occurs.

Robb meets a girl named Jeyne Westerling who nurses him immediately after he gets wounded in a battle, they finish up sleeping with each other and finding married — destroying his alliance with the Freys, which was primarily based on a promised future marriage. She’s a Westerosi girl, not a foreigner, and her character is… forgettable at greatest. Like we stated, we barely meet her. There are like a thousand characters in this saga.

What you will need to know is this… Jeyne’s parents are generally about scheming and probably pushed her into finding close to Robb to assist their position.

Talisa is various. When we meet Talisa she is not attempting to get close to the King in the North, she’s criticizing him for warmongering. It is generally a rom com meet-cute.

Talisa Stark first meeting

We get to see Robb come to be intrigued with this capable, complicated lady — as she is impressed by his compassion and virtue. We get to watch them fall in really like.

The audience may well nonetheless feel Robb is an idiot for breaking his vow to Frey, but they Realize. Due to the fact he and Talisa are so very good with each other. Their partnership is playful but complete of mutual respect. It is attractive but sweet.

And when she tells him she’s pregnant, it is a wonderful and moving moment.

Game of Thrones Robb finds out Talisa is pregnant
Awwww… #RIPLove / (c) HBO/YouTube

Enter the Red Wedding.

In the books, Jeyne is not just absent figuratively, she’s absent from the occasion PHYSICALLY. That is suitable she is not even AT the wedding. She stays in Riverrun so as not to additional insult Walder Frey. She and her loved ones remain protected. (Her parents may well or may well not have identified what was going to come about like we stated, they’re schemers.)

But Talisa… Talisa does not just attend the wedding, she is the very first casualty.

Walder Frey’s very first nod is to his son, who stabs Talisa in the belly, killing Robb’s wife and his unborn youngster prior to the very first crossbow is fired.

[Warning: Pixelated Cartoon Brutality Ahead]

Red Wedding 8 bit
An correct chronological depiction we can in fact stand to watch once more with no crying.

Watching from Cat’s eyes as Robb is murdered was devastating. Seeing Talisa and “Little Ned” snuffed out by way of Robb’s eyes? It doubled down on the tragedy.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stated for months it was the moment they’d been pondering about placing on film considering the fact that they very first pitched the adaptation — and it definitely shows.

The moment was so effectively performed, a handful of posted reaction videos — probably by book readers who knew roughly what their loved ones have been about to go by way of — went viral, major to what has come to be its personal cottage sector of Game Of Thrones reactions on YouTube!

[Image via HBO/YouTube.]

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