25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

Essentially, in the books, everyone’s younger, uglier, and they're always eating. This has no spoilers for the first three seasons!

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  1. Tyrion Lannister, Everyone's Favorite, and Coolest Dude Around

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    He's an incredibly intelligent actual human monster.

    First of all, he's way uglier. In Season 3 of Game of Thrones, he gets a cool scar in battle. In the books, however, he loses most of his nose and ends up looking even uglier. Basically, Tyrion in the books looks like a literal monster. He's also a little less charming and a little more of an asshole.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Shae, Tyrion's Mysterious Prostitute Lady Friend

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    She's an annoying background character.

    Not only are Shae's biographical details in the show different, she's also a lot more manipulative and way more of a one-note drag. She's a lot younger, as well. One of the nicer changes to Shae in the show is you actually get to see her interacting with Sansa, which really rounds out her motivations.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Tywin Lannister, Super-Duper Lannister Grumpy Dad

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    He's a total piece of shit asshole, oh my god, he's the actual worst.

    Tywin in the show is seen as someone who is actually pretty cool. I mean, he's kind of a jerk, but he's actually kind of entertaining! In the books he's horrible. He's one of the most despicably cruel characters in the series. Why are they so different? If I had to guess, it's because one, the actor playing Tywin, Charles Dance, is so good. And two, his interactions with Arya at Harrenhal, which aren't as fleshed out in the books, are pretty lovely.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Daenerys Targaryen, a Total Badass and Mother of Dragons

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    She's a terrified and naive 13-year-old girl lost in the desert.

    Basically, Dany in the show is a lot stronger and more exciting than Dany in the books. Dany is a teenager at the start of the series. On her wedding night with Khal Drogo, she's 13 years old. And then you follow her through puberty in a very realistic way. She isn't as much of the kick-ass, courageous young woman you see on the show. Interestingly enough, the one thing Dany in the books does have a lot better of a handle on than her HBO counterpart is her sexuality. For instance, in the books, she initiates and leads all intercourse with Drogo. Oh, also, she's bald for, like, a whole book because her hair burns off.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Xaro Xhoan Daxos, the Sketchy Guy Trying to Steal Dany's Dragons

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    He's a sketchy guy who isn't trying to steal dragons.

    Xaro is kind of a creep in both the book and the show, but that's all the two characters have in common. In the show, he's a backstabbing merchant from the Summer Islands who helps the warlocks steal Dany's dragons. In the books, he's actually a glittering bird-like man from Qarth who gives Dany a thousand knights for her army. It's also heavily implied that he's gay.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Barristan Selmy, the Cool Old Man Who Ends Up in the Desert with Dany

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    He's an even cooler old man who ends up in the desert with Dany.

    The key difference between Barristan Selmy in the books and the show is that for a long time he's disguised as a character named Arstan. Unfortunately, on a TV show it's really hard to disguise a character as a completely different character so the really amazing reveal of learning Dany's new knight is actually Selmy was scrapped. And that also changes the dynamic between Selmy and Jorah Mormont in all kinds of spoilery ways.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Daenerys' Army

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    It has Strong Belwas in it!

    Unfortunately, if you haven't read the books, there's actually a character you haven't heard of before. His name is Strong Belwas and he's a completely unhinged warrior who fights for Dany. He has some pretty memorable scenes that will most likely be given to other characters, so we won't go into them. Just be on the lookout for anyone scarfing down an entire bowl of honeyed locusts.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Robb Stark, the Young King of the North

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    He's a kid who politically makes every wrong decision possible.

    In the show, Robb is a really brave and heroic kid who sacrifices everything for love and is betrayed by those around him. In the books, Robb is actually kind of a moron who won't sacrifice his pride and his honor to make the right decisions politically. His death is supposed to mirror his father's, with the idea that the Starks can never win because they won't play dirty.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Talisa Maegyr, the Poor Woman Who Ends Up Married to Robb Stark

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    She's a completely different person.

    In a cool move on the part of the show, Talisa Maegyr is an actual fleshed-out character — or at least more of a character than Jeyne, Robb's wife in the book. Of course, the only issue with this is that in the books, Robb's wife was a Westerling. The Westerling House is an ally of the Lannisters. When he marries Jeyne, out of honor and not because he loves her, after sleeping with her, it screws up his alliance with the Freys. And that's what leads to the Red Wedding. So the show veers off from that just a bit. Also, in the books, Jeyne doesn't get stabbed in the pregnant belly, which is all I can say about that...

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Catelyn Stark, the Poor Woman Who Ends Up Married to Ned Stark

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    She's a shrewd, vicious political figure and not-so-great mother.

    In the books, Catelyn Stark is an incredibly stern woman who is more often than not pushing the men of the Stark family into confrontations. She's the one who pushes Ned to go find Jon Arryn's killer. She's far less motivated by feelings of homesickness and love for her family and way more into the war effort. On the show, Catelyn is more of a worrying mother figure. A lot fans were actually pretty upset over the drastic changes to Catelyn's vicious and politically charged character.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Bran Stark, the Little Stark That Dreams of Crows

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    He's a much more important character.

    Bran's character is pretty similar in both the show and the books. The key difference is how often you see him. In the books he's a pretty big character early on and remains pretty important throughout. The show juggles him weirdly, so you don't get as much time with Bran. If you're into the more mystical, magical sides of Game of Thrones, you should read the series, because Bran brings a lot more of that.

    He's a much more important character. Tiziano Baracchi / Via fantasyflightgames.com

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Osha, the Dirty Sarcastic Woman from the Woods

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    She's not nearly as interesting.

    Osha is much funnier and more interesting in the show — so much so that George R.R. Martin has said he's going to change the direction of the character to be more like actress Natalia Tena's portrayal. A lot of the back-and-forth she has with Bran in the books is actually given to Jojen and Meera Reed.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Sansa, Poor, Poor, Poor Sansa...

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    She's slightly more interesting.

    Sansa, like Dany, is a little more fleshed out in the books. She's a main character for much of the series, and readers get to hear her inner monologue. So a lot of the seemingly dumb and naive things she does make a lot more sense. Plus, it makes you really feel bad for her as things keep spiraling out of control around her.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Theon Greyjoy, The Massive Dick Who Eventually Loses His Own

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    He's still a massive dick, but in a different way.

    Theon's another one of those characters who is entirely different without an inner monologue. In the show he's just kind of a massive son of a bitch. But in the books, thanks to the fact the reader knows what he's thinking, you get a much fuller portrait of Theon. You learn that Theon is a broken, pitiful person stuck between the world of the Starks and the world of the Greyjoys and so utterly lost. If you want to feel bad for Theon, read the books.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Beric Dondarrion, The Wandering One-Eyed Knight With A Flaming Sword

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    He's a wandering one-eyed knight that's basically a zombie

    Beric Dondarrion and is Brotherhood Without Banners are a lot more active in the books. Dondarrion on the show is this very noble swordsman-type. In the books, however, he's been killed and brought back to life six times already, which has made him into a total mess. He's an angry corpse that walks around with a flaming sword. How cool is that?!

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Locke, the Guy with the Pointy Beard Who Chops Off Jaime Lannister's Hand

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    Vargo Hoat and "The Bloody Mummers."

    Vargo Hoat and Locke are essentially the same guy: a sadistic lunatic who works for a group of sellswords called the "Brave Companions" or "Bloody Mummers." Hoat and the rest of his completely terrifying group of sellswords are actually way more present in the books, however, particularly in Arya's storyline. Also, in the books Brienne bites Hoat while escaping Harrenhal. That bite eventually festers and drives him insane. Hoat and the "Brave Companions" also stay in control of the castle until Gregor Clegane, "The Mountain," shows up and well, things get really, really, really gross after that.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Gendry, King Robert Baratheon's Super-Hunky Bastard

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    He's two different characters: Eldric Storm and Gendry.

    In the books, Robert Baratheon has a bunch of illegitimate children. To simplify things for the show, they took Gendry and combined his plotline with another later-revealed Baratheon bastard named Edric who Stannis gets a hold of in Storm of Swords. The combining of these characters might have some interesting consequences, however, with Arya, who was very close to Gendry.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Melisandre, the Red Lady Who Has Sex with Everyone for Possibly Evil Reasons

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    She's a red lady who has sex with everyone for definitely not evil reasons.

    So Melisandre is super-duper sketchy, but in the books she's actually a heck of a lot sketchier. In the show her dynamic with Stannis is very "vague and magical and menacing," but in the books you get a clearer sense that she think she's one of the good guys. Instead of her being Stannis' weird manipulator, in the books, Melisandre is just a woman trying to get a job done while working with a total moron.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Samwell Tarly, Jon Snow's Unfortunate Friend

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    He's a comic relief who becomes a totally badass hero.

    Jon's story in Game of Thrones, both the show and the books, is one of the best and most classic. Part of that is because of Jon's BFF in black, Sam Tarly. If you like Sam and you wish Sam got a lot more time to shine, you should read the books. Everything good about him in the show is there but with the added bonus of his internal monologue.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Gregor Clegane, "The Mountain" Who Everyone Is Always Talking About

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    He's a massive knight who actually shows up and does stuff.

    Due to casting issues, The Mountain doesn't pop up too much on the show, which is both a good and bad thing. It's good because The Mountain is one of the most disgusting, despicable characters you come across. It's a bad thing, however, for the same reason. The Mountain is so completely evil that it's actually kind of a bummer people who have only seen the show haven't had more time with him. Based on some things that happen in Season 4, though, expect to see a lot more of him.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, the Sneaky Pimp with a Pointy Mustache

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    He's much sneakier.

    Littlefinger is way sneakier in the books. In the show you have a pretty good sense of what he's up to. In the books he's much more of a wild card and as power begins shifting in Casterly Rock, that makes him a lot more dangerous.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Ros, the Prostitute Who Seems to Randomly Pop Up All Over the Place

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    She's actually a replacement for dozens of nameless prostitutes.

    It seems like the entire economy of Westeros rests almost exclusively on the backs of sex workers. In the books there is a constant, unending background cast of prostitutes, so for the TV show they actually named one of them and used her as a way to tie everything together. That is, until Joffrey shot her full of arrows.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. The Iron Throne

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    It's a bigger Iron Throne.

    The Iron Throne is a lot bigger and lot more uncomfortable. It's built from hundreds of thousands of swords — which is a little unfeasible to make it look believable on camera.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. All the Sex Scenes

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    They're food scenes.

    Seriously, the food descriptions in the book are legendary. If you read, be prepared to gain a good amount of weight and become very curious about how many ways you can cook capers.

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It

  1. Hodor

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    Hodor?
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    Hodor!

    Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor

25 Things They Altered For TV In “Game Of Thrones” That Will Change The Way You Watch It