Almost everyone has watched the HBO series Game of Thrones, but it is only the true fans who really will know the deepest secrets of the show; the readers. Game of Thrones is a complex show, offering both the die-hards and the casual fans something they can enjoy. One can sit the whole day watching Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow screen adventures, and at the most surface level take in the show, enjoying every single minute of it.
However, there is a deeper level, whereby allusions and hints and are dropped at a frighteningly pace that is super quick if you know what is to be paid attention to. Those who have watched Game of Thrones and those that have read the books do not read on the same page of information. For instance;
- Arya is much less helpless, a darker character than the cherubic-looking Maisie Williams
In Season 2 of the Game of Thrones, Jaqen H’ghar assists Arya and her company of friends to escape from Harrenhal. In the books, Arya is seen engineering her escape on her own; she kills a guard in cold blood. Jaqen, however, helps her in other ways.
Arya as well executes a plan helping some Northern prisoners escape; this part has been completely dropped on the show. Arya is, therefore, a much more competent swordswoman than what the show depicts her.
- In Season 5, Catelyn is not dead
Catelyn technically dies in the Red Wedding, but Beric Don-darrion resurrects her after the Brotherhood without Banners finding her dead body. To bring her back, Beric gives up his own life.
Catelyn now becomes Lady Stone-heart, spending the time to track down and kill the Freys with the Brotherhood without Banners who orchestrated the Red Wedding. Driven only by mindless revenge, Catelyn loses the sense of compassion as well as the understanding of who she is.
- The books portray the ability to enter the minds of other living creatures
Skinchanging/Warging, the ability to enter the minds of other beings has been portrayed in the books. On the show, it is only in relation to Bran that it has been depicted. Bran wargs into his dire wolf Summer and into Hodor. However, in the books, every Stark child, Jon included, have the potential, and Jon Warg and Arga do not realize what it is they are doing.
Arya beats Bran at it in some ways, remaining conscious and in her own body at the same time seeing through an animal’s eyes, unlike Bran the other skin-changers. The dire wolves connection with the Starks connection is of greater importance in the books. Arya’s lost wolf Nymeria and Jon’s dire wolf Ghost play critical roles in the upcoming books.
- A lot of characters are alive and well in the books, but dead on the show
Pyp and Grenn, Jon’s friends, die in Season 4 Episode 9 but are alive in the books. Some of Dany’s Dothraki followers are killed in Season 2 but are alive in the books. Jojen Reed, is also alive in the books, although he seems to be likely dying. In the show, he dies in Season 4 Episode 10.
Robb’s wife is presented as a fascinating case, being a completely different character in the show and books. In the books, Robb’s wife Jeyne is missing at the Red Wedding, thus alive and not pregnant. On the play, Talisa is killed at the Red Wedding.
- In the show, the importance of visions and prophecy is severely underplayed
The books contain a lot of prophecies; some that have already come to be, and some with an open status. A particularly important source of predictions is The House of the Undying scene in Book 2. On the show, it has been turned to not more than a couple of scenes with personal meaning for Dany.
In the book and both meanings of the word, it is one very surreal trip. Dany is bombarded with a massive number of prophecies and visions, with many having to do with Westeros’s fate itself or people she does not know. Other heroes and events with enormous significance in the books such as Azor Ahai and The Prince who was promised are barely mentioned on the show.
- The show underplays the importance of religion, being a vital part of the background in the books
The North people follow the ‘Old Gods’ – i.e., a nature-worshipping religion, pagan, with thousands of nature gods which are nameless. Worship is centered on weir wood trees growing in gods woods; special woods.
The religion called the Faith of the Seven is the ‘New Gods,’ followed by most people in the south. At the beginning of ASOIAF, religious tolerance in Westeros is significant, with no discrimination or proselytizing. Religious differences are more pronounced as the story advances. Old gods are also slowly portrayed to be more powerful, being much darker than mere nature spirits.
Thus, the above facts are only known by Game of Thrones readers. Judging by the episodes of Season four and five and other behind-the-scenes information, this list continues to increase exponentially after Season 5.