This isn't close to the truth... Characters were drastically changed from the books
1. Stannis would have never charged the wall himself. He led from the back of the battle
2. Bronn and Sandor would never have gotten in a who's dick is bigger contest right before a battle
3. Shae would have never gone out of her way to help Sansa... or anyone but herself for that matter.
and most importantly,
4. Cersei would have never... never... never considered poisoning Tommen.
What happened here is that GRRM adapted all of these things so that we could get similar emotional responses as we had when reading the books. This is the exact same thing that has gone on all season.
I am not saying that all of the changes this year were as good as this, Mr. Martin obviously knows just what emotional response he wants from his series and was able to adapt these things better than anyone else.
Unfortunately, we don't get unlimited time and money in bringing the series to the screen. Changes are necessary. I think they've done an excellent job overall.
I'm not going to debate about who understands and writes the characters better. I'll just say that it should be George R.R. Martin, since they are his characters that he invented.
I cannot imagine how challenging it is to bring this series to life with finite time and money, and that challenge will only grow as the story expands. I have a hard time keeping track of everything and I've read the books multiple times.
I thought Stannis being the first man up the ladder was totally unrealistic. Yet, I liked it. This is television and fantasy...it doesn't have to be realistic for me to enjoy. I like a little unbelievable on occasion.
I also thought the Bronn vs. Hound scene came from out of nowhere. But again, I loved that one. I thought the whole scene did a fantastic job of capturing Bronn's character. As one of the better minor characters in the series, I like it.
Edited by Lord Manwoody, 29 May 2012 - 08:50 AM.