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The show isn’t diverting from the books that much after all.

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So, is it just me, or isn’t the show diverting from the books after all. I mean, you can see differences from the show and the book from the start, and I really felt for the first 2/3 episodes of season 5 that the show was really diverting from the books. But if I look at it now, nothing is really changing.



Yes, we have some changes like no Uncat, Barristan is dead, no (f)Aegon and JonCon, Arianne and so on. But if you accept that their storylines won’t change the outcome of the books, nothing really changes. I mean, Dany is marrying hizdar. Tyrion seems to join forces with a Targ and fulfills the same role (whether Aegon is fake or not, as far as we know he is a Targ). The pale mare is gone, but Jorah will bring grayscale. The pink letter might not be likely, but the wildlings will join the NW and Jon will be betrayed most likely. Stannis/Bolton clash will be there. Jaime will (try to) rescue Myrcella instead of Arianne running of with her. Cersei is having trouble with the faith, in a (little) different way, but the outcome seems the same.



At the beginning of the season I felt it was diverting even more from the books, but as the season continues, it seems like it’s actually coming closer to the books. What do you all think?


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I completely agree. I think we're being spoiled by what's been cut, in fact. Things I didn't expect, like Missandei being the only reasonable candidate for the Harpy, due to process of elimination




(no Green Grace, Hizdahr is terrified of Dany, Daario actually has good ideas, and I think the rest are dead!).




Particularly when Missandei gave Dany a clearly stupid bit of advice that made my hair stand on end in this episode: that Dany's decisions were best when they weren't influenced by counselors and Dany went with her instincts. (You know, all the times Dany has completely screwed up and made the Meereenese hate her. —Probably "good" for Sons of the Harpy recruitment, but not so good for Dany as the kind of ruler she wanted to be.)



Actually, I don't think Missandei is the actual "Harpy", but I think Missandei is there because Illyrio/Varys PUT her in Astapor to get Viserys or Dany where they needed to be. I guess that would make I/V the Harpy! And Missandei an agent of I/V, but only to keep a Targ moving towards Westeros instead of getting comfortable in Essos. Possibly preparing her to conquer with dragons instead of an army.



And I/V having strong links to Dany's movements also makes sense with Varys trying to hand-deliver Tyrion to Dany, and not using his resources to run down Jorah and rescue Tyrion (after learning Jorah was taking Tyrion TO Dany ...if Jorah isn't working for I/V directly).



It's all in keeping with the books, I think. (I think I've gotten rid of book spoilers except where marked.)


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I don't think the Sons of the Harpy are the Masters…. they are still in their pyramids and can now get super-cheap labour due to oversupply - not as cheap as slaves, but still profitable. Much more likely they are a mass movement of the people who were not slaves but not masters in Meereen before Dany came. There are a lot of them. They were doing OK, like the traders, craftsmen, innkeepers, shopkeepers etc of Kings Landing, but have now been undercut by cheap labour from the former slaves both from Meereen and the thousands of extra ones Dany brought with her, who they see as 'dirty immigrants' as well. They have got nothing to lose now. It would seem far-fetched to me if Hizdar really turns out to be the Harpy. He is such a weak character.


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I think showSotH is less a terrorist group guided by a single individual and more a general revolt of the former masters. I don't think we're going to get a Harpy in the show, honestly. Although I love the Missandei idea, that would be unexpected for sure.


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So, is it just me, or isn’t the show diverting from the books after all. I mean, you can see differences from the show and the book from the start, and I really felt for the first 2/3 episodes of season 5 that the show was really diverting from the books. But if I look at it now, nothing is really changing.

Yes, we have some changes like no Uncat, Barristan is dead, no (f)Aegon and JonCon, Arianne and so on. But if you accept that their storylines won’t change the outcome of the books, nothing really changes. I mean, Dany is marrying hizdar. Tyrion seems to join forces with a Targ and fulfills the same role (whether Aegon is fake or not, as far as we know he is a Targ). The pale mare is gone, but Jorah will bring grayscale. The pink letter might not be likely, but the wildlings will join the NW and Jon will be betrayed most likely. Stannis/Bolton clash will be there. Jaime will (try to) rescue Myrcella instead of Arianne running of with her. Cersei is having trouble with the faith, in a (little) different way, but the outcome seems the same.

At the beginning of the season I felt it was diverting even more from the books, but as the season continues, it seems like it’s actually coming closer to the books. What do you all think?

I guess it depends on your definition of "diverting," but to me the level of change in the story is very great, such that this season we actually see only a handful of events and scenes that actually took place in the books. Compare this season to Seasons 1 & 2, which were relatively faithful adaptations of the books, and you'll just how dramatic the difference is. It's true that a few of the major story elements remain, and in other places there are clear signs that character X is replacing character Y, but there's also a lot of stuff that is flat-out new and changed.

To sum it up in qualitative conclusions, I think it's clear that their only concern with the books at this point is to cling to some skeleton of an outline like "Daenerys marries a Meerenese Master," but they're in too much of a hurry to pack everything in, plus service the cast and include their little made-up goodies that they're in love with, to spent much time on little details like why she does that.

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I agree with OP, basically. I find it somewhat disappointing as the pieces begin to fall into place.



The Northern plotline in particular will be very similar, despite other characters' presence:



Roose leaves, and Ramsey starts going apeshit.


Sansa escapes with Theon's and Brienne's help.


They run into Stannis' army nearby, and that's the last we see of them (or perhaps we don't see them meet Stannis)


...


Jon gets back from a partly failed Hardhome mission, but does bring back a few hundred wildlings.


Jon receives the Pink letter from Ramsey claiming that Stannis is dead (NOOOOOO!) and Sansa/Reek are missing


Jon is really P'O'd about Stannis and desperate to save his sister


Jon asks the wildlings to march on Winterfell, and gets shanked by Olly



All in all, really similar.



re: Mereen



I do think that Dany's storyline will have to end somewhat differently. There doesn't seem to be any threat from Yunkai, and thus no "Battle of Fire". Dany will fly off... but then what?? I feel like they need to do something with Tyrion and Jorah... curious to see what.



The SotH are almost exactly the KKK and that goes for show and books. I'm not trying to be incendiary with that statement - their motives and makeup are essentially the same. Like the KKK there are a few prominent members who are from the elite and powerful, but their rank and file are poor and middleclass free born men who feel threatened by slavery ending. When slavery existed, they could say "well, at least we are better than those people (slaves)". Now, they don't have even that to fall back on, and they have to compete directly with those they formerly were placed above. As for whether there is a primary Harpy... I don't know. I don't buy Missandei, that's horrible! I think that many of the former Masters condone or directly back the SotH. They have every incentive to do so - Dany is far too much of a threat and as in the books, they assume she'll leave sooner or later, and sooner if they put the pressure on.

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Usually, rather than drop a story line, Benioff and Weiss will truncate it and/or amalgamate characters to fill multiple roles.



That said, they did make the decision to simply rip out the Riverlands, the Iron Islands, the Vale and Aegon from the story.


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yeah I mean, as much as people like to hate on the show for its changes, I still think they're relatively faithful to the larger story. They have cut out a lot of characters (and locations even) and generally simplified things, but more or less they are bound to GRRM's story, at least in broad strokes.



Cutting out Aegon seems to have little impact-- in the books, Tyrion is headed towards Dany anyway. In the show he will get there too.



As a frustrated reader who wanted to see at the very least the Battle of WInterfell resolved in ADWD as well as Dany leaving Mereen for good to head for Westeros, I've always viewed all the Dornish and Ironborn POVs as nothing but a nuisance who should have been cut out. I know I'm not alone in finding the majority of those POVs boring and unnecessary, although obviously there are people who will disagree with me on that. I don't think either one of them really impacts the larger story in a major way, and the show will be able to get to similar spots (like Dany escaping Mereen) without Victarion being involved (although to be honest I would like to see Euron and Vic on the TV show).

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There's definitely something important going on with Missandei. Otherwise, this whole story line with grey worm is beyond pointless. I think she will turn out to be the show harpy but I still believe the GG is the book harpy. Or maybe the faceless man theory is true and she is trying to undermine dany to weaken her and make her dragons more vulnerable.

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I know it is a controversial opinion but I agree that cutting out Aegon was right for the television show as well. The television audience has an emotional investment in the Lannisters. The drama of Daenerys taking them on would not be matched by her confronting a new character that was just introduced in the fifth season and who most of the general populace would be highly confused about. If one reads reviews of television-only watchers, you will note that they struggle to understand who Rhaegar Targaryen is. To now try to make them remember about his children I think is a bridge too far, and that is before even getting to the subject of the Blackfyres, that I am positive only an infinitesimal part of the audience know about.


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There's definitely something important going on with Missandei. Otherwise, this whole story line with grey worm is beyond pointless. I think she will turn out to be the show harpy but I still believe the GG is the book harpy. Or maybe the faceless man theory is true and she is trying to undermine dany to weaken her and make her dragons more vulnerable.

Why again can't Grey Worm and Missandei be falling in love? Because he doesn't have a dick? Please. People are not attracted to genitals, romantically or sexually.

Her being the Harpy goes against everything we are shown about the character, verbal and nonverbal. Missandei is loyal to Daenerys because she is personally grateful, and grateful on behalf of all enslaved persons, and furthermore like Jorah, Barristan, and other Dany supporters, she sees first hand that Dany has a gentle heart underneath that Fire and Blood.

There is none of this that does not make sense.

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A lot of folks in this thread seem to think that so long as a story eventually winds up in the same place, it's the same story. I don't see it that way at all. In this latest episode, for example, I think every scene was either brand new or dramatically changed from the way it happened in the books. I guess it's true that, if you have read the books and know the story well, in most cases you can see where this all is leading (or could be leading) to similar plot points as those in the books, but if you think that means this is the same story as in the books, you have a low bar for "same story." The story where Sansa goes off to Winterfell for reasons that were (1) poorly explained to start with and (2) don't remain consistent (didn't LF tell her to make Ramsey hers?), is not the same story GRRM wrote. Or when Daenerys, who locked her dragons up so they wouldn't eat humans, decides to give them a tasty human treat, plus they've suddenly learned how to obey her commands without ever having been trained and with no audience preparation for their willingness to obey, that's not the same story.

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If you're under the impression that a story is a discrete set of plot points and pesky things like characterizations, context, and themes don't matter, then yes. Totally the same.


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I know it is a controversial opinion but I agree that cutting out Aegon was right for the television show as well. The television audience has an emotional investment in the Lannisters. The drama of Daenerys taking them on would not be matched by her confronting a new character that was just introduced in the fifth season and who most of the general populace would be highly confused about. If one reads reviews of television-only watchers, you will note that they struggle to understand who Rhaegar Targaryen is. To now try to make them remember about his children I think is a bridge too far, and that is before even getting to the subject of the Blackfyres, that I am positive only an infinitesimal part of the audience know about.

Is it really that controversial? I'm more disappointed because it signals very strongly that Aegon is going to be another dead end like Quentyn was, and he will have been introduced late in the game and in the end, won't matter.

In the same way, if there are no Greyjoys it only means they were another authorial indulgence.

I'm a little more baffled by no riverlands and so little of the direwolves because it's hard to believe that there isn't going to be any type of resolution of this plot point in the books...Stoneheart, the Freys, Nymeria's pack, the Blackfish. It would be really sad if this all peters out to nothing in the books.

Where the is really beginning to falter for me is in not only adding too many invented characters and storylines of it's own, as I said on other other thread, filler is filler, whether Martin or the Ds invented it, but in changing the actual personalities of the characters. Cersei is a completely different person now. Marg is not even sympathetic. Littlefinger is stupid and so is Sansa.

And they just miss a lot of opportunities by some of their ill thought out inventions that don't do justice to the intent of the source material.

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Is it really that controversial? I'm more disappointed because it signals very strongly that Aegon is going to be another dead end like Quentyn was, and he will have been introduced late in the game and in the end, won't matter.

In the same way, if there are no Greyjoys it only means they were another authorial indulgence.

I'm a little more baffled by no riverlands and so little of the direwolves because it's hard to believe that there isn't going to be any type of resolution of this plot point in the books...Stoneheart, the Freys, Nymeria's pack, the Blackfish. It would be really sad if this all peters out to nothing in the books.

Where the is really beginning to falter for me is in not only adding too many invented characters and storylines of it's own, as I said on other other thread, filler is filler, whether Martin or the Ds invented it, but in changing the actual personalities of the characters. Cersei is a completely different person now. Marg is not even sympathetic. Littlefinger is stupid and so is Sansa.

And they just miss a lot of opportunities by some of their ill thought out inventions that don't do justice to the intent of the source material.

Yes, the Aegon stuff being cut is not really controversial. I remember when ADWD first came out many people on here hated the Aegon reveal and thought it was pointless (and fake, as all the Faegon threads drove home). I think it has always been clear to a certain extent that he was a dead end...He's not winning the Throne and perhaps his only purpose is to bring Jon Con, and thus Grey Scale to Westeros.

The Greyjoys to me have always been an indulgence- This coming from somebody who actually enjoyed Vic's chapters (but conversely despised Aeron's). Similar to Quentyn, this is all stuff that could have, and should have, been resolved in 1 page (Doran: By the way, I"ve sent my son Quentyn on a dangerous mission. Later- Dany: Oh hi Quentyn). No need for the extra POVs detailing his journey. I feel the same about the Ironborn and Vic. Let Asha mention them, and then have them show up in Mereen.

I do agree about the Riverlands stuff. Don't quite understand why it has been cut so completely as well as the Direwolves.

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So, is it just me, or isnt the show diverting from the books after all. I mean, you can see differences from the show and the book from the start, and I really felt for the first 2/3 episodes of season 5 that the show was really diverting from the books. But if I look at it now, nothing is really changing.

Yes, we have some changes like no Uncat, Barristan is dead, no (f)Aegon and JonCon, Arianne and so on. But if you accept that their storylines wont change the outcome of the books, nothing really changes. I mean, Dany is marrying hizdar. Tyrion seems to join forces with a Targ and fulfills the same role (whether Aegon is fake or not, as far as we know he is a Targ). The pale mare is gone, but Jorah will bring grayscale. The pink letter might not be likely, but the wildlings will join the NW and Jon will be betrayed most likely. Stannis/Bolton clash will be there. Jaime will (try to) rescue Myrcella instead of Arianne running of with her. Cersei is having trouble with the faith, in a (little) different way, but the outcome seems the same.

At the beginning of the season I felt it was diverting even more from the books, but as the season continues, it seems like its actually coming closer to the books. What do you all think?

Dude, Im actually fed up with this D&D support vs hate. Anyway I just give a funny example to make my point.

Some documentries are very realistic

Some movies are kindof believable

Other ones have stunts that are a bit unbelievable

And then we have some where cars fly, guy kills 200 people with his bare hands and various levels of shit. ;)

Some just cant stand the level of stupidity while some love that unrealistic stuff because they can ignore it easily.

Anyway.. My point is different people see it differently. Some like the books story so much that even a small change is a dealbreaker.

Some can bear any amount D&D change make and just accept it without any probs

As long as there are different people along this imaginary bearabilty line, there will be varied perceptions of change and how much change a person can tolerate.

I could stand all changes until I recently could take no more.

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The show has not deviated much this season in the same way that

does not much deviate from Pink Floyd.

:lol:

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The general plotlines and major story beats are the same. That's why we can actually guess quite accurately how the season is going to end.



The biggest difference this season is that they're simplifying and trimming A LOT of the fat of Feast/Crows. Not only the new "lesser" storylines are gone (Greyjoys, Griff), but the endless chapters of Jon/Cersei/Dany rulling are being condensed and focused on specific plot points. That's the only way to cover the whole story in 10 episodes (and it still seems "slow" for most viewers!)


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