A Song of Ice and Fire


Because one is so much better than the other.


Not in the end if it’s left hanging


As long as writes clear enough notes try can whisk Sanderson in to finish it all off in a few weeks.


I hold out onto the TV series as long as I could and after finishing Dance a few years ago, I started on the TV show. And I must say that the TV show is different enough that you could start either way. In fact, I would think it is easier to start the TV first and then go into the books. At this point, I have pretty much forgotten a lot about the books but the TV shows are still vivid in my memory.


As an avid book reader, I can agree that as the TV series goes on, they diverge significantly. At this stage in Season 6, I am fairly confident that what we are seeing on the screen is so different with what we will read on the page that about 85%-90% of the Winds of Winter has not been “spoiled”.

Characters are alive in the books which have been killed on screen. Magic in the books plays a far more prominent role. The role of prophecy in the tale has been almost entirely ignored on screen. Sansa is not in the North. At all. The Maesters of the Citadel has been ignored in this series (which is why we have only two scenes with Sam Tarly in all of Season 6). Dorne is utterly different. The Iron Islands is very different. Hell, the North is vastly different too. And King’s Landing is also very different where GRRM uses mostly an unreliable narrator to tell his tale and whole swaths of important characters have a different role to play. It’s just NOT the same tale at all. They are almost completely different.

We have Jon Snow, Melisandre and most of the Wildlings. I am guessing much of that is the same, but it is the only thing that is. Stannis isn’t dead and Ramsay is not precisely the same psychopath, either. The machinations of the houses is different. The 3ER and Bran are very different. I don’t think Bran is going to get south of the Wall in the books ever again but I am pretty certain he will on screen later this month.

It’s a FAR more complicated tale on the page – and darker, too.

The books and the TV series are two very distinct entities right now.


I agree that their are significant differences, unfortunately the broad strokes of the plot are likely to be the same. Not only would it not make sense for the show to follow the major beats of the story but I believe both GRRM and the creators of the show have confirm that the show does. A Battle of the Bastards will happen, Daenyris will take over the Dothraki and ride her Dragon back to Mereen. What I find more disconcerting is that in what the show chooses to show or not show they are essentially tipping their hat to what is and isn’t important. The fact the LSH likely won’t be in the show I think implies a lot about just how important her character is in the show.


I just think the show will make reading the book the same experience as when you see a movie and then read the book it is based on. Sure, the book may be more detailed with better character development and you have a pretty good idea where everything is moving. The reveals are no longer a surprise to you. You only read it for stuff the movie couldn’t show.

I really doubt the show and book are going to end in widely varying ways.


We shall agree to disagree then.

I think they will be wildly different; all the more so as GRRM has not written them and will have an opportunity – and a growing and firm intention – to surprise his readers. When the show tacks to port along the course, he will choose a move to starboard – if for no other reason than because it will be different.

Who sits the Throne at the end will be the same. The destruction of the Army of the Dead will be the same. The path to those events and everything else will be wildly different. I honestly don’t think we will be spoiled by hardly any of this at all. Too much has been fundamentally changed already. Wargs, Sansa, Stoneheart, Jaime, Brienne, Lady Merryweather, Littlefinger, the Pink Letter, Stannis, the Dothraki, Victarion, the Dragon Horns, The Maesters, Marwyn, the Glass Candles, Connington and the false Aegon, the Manderlys, Freys, Nymeria and the wolves. Such a wildy different deck of cards will result in a very different order of play to get to the final trick.


I would not make that assumption at all. It requires D&D knowing years ago in very fine detail things that GRRM likely didn’t know himself yet or didn’t choose to tell. No one interviewed has ever said the show’s producers were given detailed road maps, but rather fairly broad strokes and overall story arcs. They’ve already departed from the books with so many characters I think it safe to say we don’t know crap about GRRM’s intentions. I think think differences will be substantial in terms of tone, detail, character development, acts and events. You can argue that both will ultimately show the Others being defeated, but readers/viewers could settle on that expectation after the prologue/pilot. The two, if both are finished, will be very different experiences.


If GRRM didn’t know whether or not Lady Stoneheart would be important for later (especially when it was such a shock reveal) when D&D asked about her, then that doesn’t say anything positive about GRRM’s writing.

Also, if GRMM is changing planned plot points specifically in response to the show, then that’s not great either.


That would probably guarantee the final book coming out in about 2030 then if you think GRRM will write on purpose to avoid the plot lines of the show.


How important is subjective. Maybe what GRRM rattled off the top of his head didn’t sound that appealing. It allowed them to free up Jaime and Brienne for entire seasons. Just with this last episode at Riverrun we don’t have Robb’s wife (who isn’t pregnant), the Blackfish escapes, Tom o’ Sevenstreams hints very strongly at the possibility of a Black Wedding at Riverrun to Jaime, no Aunt Genna (fantastic conversation between her and Jaime). It’s similar only in the broadest strokes, and we have no idea where LSH’s vengeance goes, but if it leads to the Blackfish and the BWB pulling off a Black Wedding on the Freys in the books, that’s going to be f’n fantastic to read. Even Catelyn’s reveal at the end of book 3 was awesome.

Considering the shit writing in the show, I’m well beyond the point of assuming anything based on what they do or don’t include.


Well, GRRM does not plot out his novels beforehand. He has said he knows where the destination of a particular character or plot ends up; but the path it will take to get there is mostly unknown to him until he writes it.

I am sure he has many major waystations planned in his head and D&D took those that worked with their vision of the tale and ignored those that did not. That’s the exact sort of thing that will lead to increased divergence in the path the show and the novels take to get to the same end point.

For example, I do not think that Bran ever leaves that cave again (in the flesh) within the books. His ability to communicate with others beyond the cave was carefully worked into GRRM’s story by the inclusion of the Glass Candles, the (probable) requirement that you had to have at least MET the person you wanted to communicate with telpathically before in real life – and the careful meeting between Sam Tarly and Bran at the Wall (and Sam never tells Jon about it). Then Sam is sent to the Citadel in Oldtown which is the location of one of the Glass Candles. And then there is Jaqen in the Citadel, too.

All of that is, I believe, the plot point which drives Sam’s presence in the tale after he leaves the Wall. Sam is destined to be GRRM’s magic telepathic relay between Bran and Jon – and maybe the Armies of the South under Randyll Tarly. Except in Season 6, Sam on the TV series has nothing to do. The Glass Candles are cut out, the prophecies have no place or reason to decode them in the Great Library, and Bran has left the cave and is going to cross the Wall himself.

So where’s Sam and what’s he doing? Nothing and nobody cares. His importance has been written out of the story, essentially, and he is given things to do that aren’t in the novels because the show downplays magic. Sam no longer has a reason to be in the show. Which is why he has had what, four scenes all season 6? Pathetic, really.

There are more examples of this, but that’s the divergence between novels and show. They are wildly different at this point.


I dunno…

[spoiler]GRRM certainly planned to make the “Hold the Door” moment iconic.

It’s tough to imagine that the Show version and the Book version will be radically different.


Except GRRM has said his reveal of that moment will be very different. So yeah; I’m doubling down on it. Moreover, I don’t think Bran survives the series in human form. In the end, Bran will be left alive living only in Drogon, I believe.


I don’t think you need a detailed road map. They were given the major plot points and the end point and the show reveals what those are. I completely agree about tone, detail, and character development, a lot of that is already different from the book, with Jaime being a prime example. But the major beats, what moves the story, will very likely be the same and it’s telling and disappointing in many ways to have a show reveal so far ahead of the book. Already my experience of reading the next book is changed because the show has told me Jon is alive and Daenerys conquers the Dothraki, the details may be interesting but the hat is already tipped.


I knew Jon would be resurrected and Dany would conquer the Dothraki in 2011. The how for both will differ enough to make the moments enjoyable, I’m pretty confidant saying. The only thing so far I feel spoiled over is the Hodor/hold the door reveal.

I think Arya doesn’t survive in human form. I think she dies in Braavos, wargs into Nymeria, pulls the trigger on that massive Chekhov’s Gun at a fortuitous time, and then slowly fades away with no one ever knowing what became of her. Not sure on Bran, I think my piece of fan fiction that got me banned for a week over at Westeros.org is more likely (the final pages of the last book being Bran sitting alone in that cave, the roots of the weirwood tree slowly growing into him, as he uses it to see a past moment of the Stark family all alive and well, even Theon, in the godswood. . .AGoT hardly let us see them together in Winterfell before the story scattered them, and I think Bran sitting alone, revisiting those past moments, is the bittersweet ending GRRM could go for).


I mean unless you got advance copies of both books I’d say you didn’t know you suspected or assumed, as we all did. To me at least there is a fairly big difference between a well founded suspicion and a fact.


True. I suppose I should write so confident I didn’t feel spoiled at all by either event, and felt both to be rather unsatisfying. So I still look forward to how they play out in book 6.


This post kept going through my mind as I was reading through Feast of Crows. And I can sort of see it. There was indeed a lot of travelling in Feast of Crows, and it was definitely a slower paced book compared to the previous two. I would say the pace was closer to the original Game of Thrones.

However, I’m halfway through Dance With Dragons, and I have to say, it’s very different from Feast of Crows. There’s so many stories that basically have me on the edge of my seat all the time now. The pace is already picking up again, and every chapter break happens at a pretty exciting time now. I am just loving how the book starts off slow like Feast, but picks up steam in nearly all the half-dozen threads it’s following.