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Clash

Which story arcs have stayed closest to the books and why? (SPOILERS)

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There have been many complaints about story arcs that have deviated significantly from the books. I say significantly because time constraints with a TV show, even one that has run for so mnay seasons, means that there will always be a certain amount of editing that doesn't really impinge on the story as we know it. What interests me though is how these deviations point towards how the story will conclude. The (reasonable) assumption being that they will both end in the same way.

For the purpose of this discussion we can ignore the story arcs that have already ended such as those of the dead Starks and at the Eyrie. It can be noted however if they have also deviated significantly (imo not too much).

The remaining arcs would be: The Wall/Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Jaime, Brienne, Theon, Cersei, Danaerys, Tyrion, Dorne (ahem), Aegon (who?), Arianne (ahem again). I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two but you get the idea.

Apart from some time telescoping necessary to move things on and to dispense with some more minor characters that may have intersected their paths at some point or other, the following are the ones that have stayed closest imo.

The Wall/Jon, Arya, Danaerys, Tyrion.

Discuss :)

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By this point it's hard to name any character arc that isn't a complete deviation from the books. It's like finding the least worst option.

I agree with your picks, but still they can hardly be compared to their book counterparts. Look at Arya in the last episode, who was sobbing and panicking because she is blind and is attacked on the street. Compare this to book Arya who willingly became blind again every night just to practice. Tyrion on the show is the most white-washed character of all and they forgot about Tysha entirely. He has also taken over Barristan's role.

Daenerys is hardly the strong independent woman from the books, she constantly needs to be saved by Daario/Jorah and in the last episode she was completely outclassed by the Dothraki. Compare this to the book scene where she lands next to the Dothraki horde with Drogon still by her side. The pit scene last season is another good example. In the books, this is a very important moment for Daenerys where she returns to her roots and takes charge of her own life. In the show, she is completely helpless, needs help from Daario/Jorah, is accepting the fact that she might die and then Drogon swoops in.

I'd say that Jon is maybe the character with the smallest deviation from the books, although we got the whole Night King scene and the show is (which is understandable I guess) skipping most of his political/commanding scenes.

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Perhaps I was a bit too vague in my introduction.

I know that different things have happened to characters and their journeys shortened and actions changed. What I'm looking at is not so much how they got here (although the closer the journey is to the books the better) but where they have arrived and in what state and whether there's any real difference to the books.

So as you say, Jon's arc hasn't deviated very much from the books at all. As we currently stand, he's pretty much in the same position as aDwd left him (apart from his body being moved inside; which is probably going to happen in TWoW). Dany's likewise, although again she has moved a step forward from ADwD but in an expected direction.

The point being that there are numerous hints as to how the story will develop both from who's arc remains closest to the books and from those who have deviated significantly. In the case of Sansa for example, it clearly is important that she gets back to the north. There must be other steps in her journey in the book, but the end game is to have her in the north for some purpose.

 

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I guess Arya's arc and the Wall have stayed pretty close to their book counterparts, at least in terms of surface events if not themes and characterisation. Although Jon's arc did have all the Craster's filler. And Hardhome. And a lot of stuff with the wildlings cut (like Val and Alys' Karstark's marriage to the Thenns), and the Horn of Winter. So Arya's is the closest I guess.

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Despite not watching the show anymore I'd like to throw in that the assumption that there cannot be a difference between characterization, actions, and wherever a character stands plot-wise in comparison to the books. This is all a unity, and if we would be talking about coherent characters (which we actually don't with this show) then such and such a character/action/event would lead naturally to another. That's what constitutes good writing.

If character arrives at a point which sort of reflects or seems to be resembling a book event then this doesn't mean the show has stayed close to the book. It is just a resemblance or a nod to the books.

I'd argue that by now nobody can say that any character in the show does show any sort of resemblance or similarity to the book counterparts. 

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2 minutes ago, protar said:

I guess Arya's arc and the Wall have stayed pretty close to their book counterparts, at least in terms of surface events if not themes and characterisation. Although Jon's arc did have all the Craster's filler. And Hardhome. And a lot of stuff with the wildlings cut (like Val and Alys' Karstark's marriage to the Thenns), and the Horn of Winter. So Arya's is the closest I guess.

So that tells us that what Jon and Arya have done to this point is important and that they still have a part to play. The state of play at the Wall is important, also what Bran is doing and where he is. Dany marked time for a while but is moving forward again and Tyrion clearly has an appointment with Dragons; again possibly with a purpose or else to do his best Quentyn Martell impression (a sooty one on the nearest wall :))

The more faithful arcs (if I can call them that) seem to indicate that the character and what they do is important. The less faithful ones have to be looked at in terms of the destination of that arc: such as Dorne on a collision course with the Lannisters, Sansa in the North and Brienne with her.

2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Despite not watching the show anymore I'd like to throw in that the assumption that there can be a difference between characterization, actions, and wherever a character stands plot-wise in comparison to the books. This is all a unity, and if we would be talking about coherent characters (which we actually don't with this show) then such and such a character/action/event would lead naturally to another. That's what constitutes good writing.

If character arrives at a point which sort of reflects or seems to be resembling a book event then this doesn't mean the show has stayed close to the book. It is just a resemblance or a nod to the books.

I'd argue that by now nobody can say that any character in the show does show any sort of resemblance or similarity to the book counterparts. 

I think you may be responding to the thread title rather than how I've exapnded on it.

We can take it that character development, resemblance or otherwise to their counterpart in the books will be different. It's a different medium with different constraints and written from the point of view and outlook of different writers. If they were the same, it would probably be the first time ever in a screen adaptation of a book.

The point is using the information from the show to extrapolate what is likely to happen in the books and who the players will be.

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23 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Despite not watching the show anymore I'd like to throw in that the assumption that there can be a difference between characterization, actions, and wherever a character stands plot-wise in comparison to the books. This is all a unity, and if we would be talking about coherent characters (which we actually don't with this show) then such and such a character/action/event would lead naturally to another. That's what constitutes good writing.

If character arrives at a point which sort of reflects or seems to be resembling a book event then this doesn't mean the show has stayed close to the book. It is just a resemblance or a nod to the books.

I'd argue that by now nobody can say that any character in the show does show any sort of resemblance or similarity to the book counterparts. 

That is quite an astute observation of the show and the position I feel it currently finds itself. In my view the characters are hitting certain plot  points but when they do it makes little sense because there is often little motivation or back story to explain why the characters are acting this way or why they want to do this thing or go to this place or get revenge for these people etc. There are too many plot holes for my liking and I feel as if the viewer has to do do way too many mental gymnastics in order to understand why any one of these people would do whatever they are doing. Littlefingers abandoning Sansa to the Boltons tops the list to me, he schemed and plotted and worked to acquire  Sansa and then he just gave her to the people who stole her home and betrayed and murdered her family so she could "avenge"them. One must ask why LF did all this to start with (did he want Sansa or not?). Not only this but nobody anywhere has been able to demonstrate with any sense yet just how a young lady in Sansas position who has experienced the traumas she has been forced to endure would gain any vengeance on a house such as the Boltons by marrying into it! It beggars belief and it makes Littlefinger look stupid and incompetent, among other things.

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19 minutes ago, Neds Secret said:

That is quite an astute observation of the show and the position I feel it currently finds itself. In my view the characters are hitting certain plot  points but when they do it makes little sense because there is often little motivation or back story to explain why the characters are acting this way or why they want to do this thing or go to this place or get revenge for these people etc. There are too many plot holes for my liking and I feel as if the viewer has to do do way too many mental gymnastics in order to understand why any one of these people would do whatever they are doing. Littlefingers abandoning Sansa to the Boltons tops the list to me, he schemed and plotted and worked to acquire  Sansa and then he just gave her to the people who stole her home and betrayed and murdered her family so she could "avenge"them. One must ask why LF did all this to start with (did he want Sansa or not?). Not only this but nobody anywhere has been able to demonstrate with any sense yet just how a young lady in Sansas position who has experienced the traumas she has been forced to endure would gain any vengeance on a house such as the Boltons by marrying into it! It beggars belief and it makes Littlefinger look stupid and incompetent, among other things.

Not trying to dismiss your post, but the point of this thread is to use what we know from the show to ascertain what way the story is going to go. There are lots of thread here to discuss polt holes and I thought it was time to look at this in a different way.

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5 minutes ago, Clash said:

I think you may be responding to the thread title rather than how I've exapnded on it.

We can take it that character development, resemblance or otherwise to their counterpart in the books will be different. It's a different medium with different constraints and written from the point of view and outlook of different writers. If they were the same, it would probably be the first time ever in a screen adaptation of a book.

The point is using the information from the show to extrapolate what is likely to happen in the books and who the players will be.

I don't think you really can take the show doing that. Perhaps you can say that those characters living in both the show and the books might become important in future books, but even that wouldn't be good guesses because George has repeatedly said that there are characters that will die in the show that are still alive in the books (and, of course, vice versa).

And you actually don't really need to extrapolate which characters - Dany, Tyrion, Jon Snow, Bran, Sansa, Arya - will be important. I guess Jaime, Brienne, Davos, Arianne, Euron, Varys, Illyrio, Littlefinger have a good chance to stick around for the grand finale in the books, too. And Aegon and Stannis most likely will be important and crucial players in the next book at least.

The idea that the show right now can give us any indication how George is going to tell his story makes no sense. There is no hint that the people writing the show care about George's story all that much and are intending to reach the same goal in a different way.

Just take the Hardhome plot as an example (Jon Snow the action hero) - while it is clear that Jon Snow the fifteen-year-old boy in the books is training very hard and wants to be a great swordsman there is no reason to believe that George's Jon Snow will ever in any way closely resembling the Harrington version. Simply because a 'realistic setting' as depicted by George in the books has no room for action movie heroes. People throwing themselves recklessly into battle get killed in that world as they do in the real world.

In that sense, I think we can reasonably conclude that the books series climax will not depict Jon Snow fighting the 'Head Other' with a magic sword, killing him, and then see every evil creature in the series evaporate along with him. But the show might actually do that because right now it clearly cares more about doing stuff like that than actually telling the story of the books it is based on.

9 minutes ago, Neds Secret said:

That is quite an astute observation of the show and the position I feel it currently finds itself. In my view the characters are hitting certain plot  points but when they do it makes little sense because there is often little motivation or back story to explain why the characters are acting this way or why they want to do this thing or go to this place or get revenge for these people etc. There are too many plot holes for my liking and I feel as if the viewer has to do do what too many mental gymnastics in order to understand why any one of these people would do whatever they are found. Littlefingers abandoning Sansa to the Boltons tops the list to me, he schemed and plotted and worked to acquire  Sansa and then he just gave her to the people who stole her home and betrayed and murdered her family so she could "avenge"them. One must ask why LF did all this to start with (did he want Sansa or not?). Not only this but nobody anywhere has been able to demonstrate with any sense yet just how a young lady in Sansas position who has experienced the traumas she has been forced to endure would gain any vengeance on a house such as the Boltons by marrying into it! It beggars belief and it makes Littlefinger look stupid and incompetent, among other things.

Considering that I only watched season 5 once all that is kind of a nebulous haze for me. I really have forgotten how bad the show was and was actually honestly pissed about some stuff in seasons 2-3 (Robb's wife, the guy claiming to be Xaro Xhoan Daxos and telling us a hundred times how he is a self-made man) I had actually forgotten existed.

If the show runners actually want to make sense of the show they should actually decide to screw everything Martin wrote or plans to write (or has told them he is writing) aside from plot gems/little scenes/twist they like or could squeeze in their version of the story. And that's what they are doing. Stannis sacrificing Shireen is George's idea - the circumstances, setting, and context it happened in the show was completely made up by the show runners.

Something like that might happen again but we'll have really no way of knowing whether such events are then plot gems George has told them about, whether they are loosely based on such, or are cleverly crafted/interesting scenes completely made up by the show writers. Considering that the dialogue has become really bad in the last season when they wrote everything themselves without using George's lines (at least as far as I remember) it would be really difficult to try to recognize a 'Martinesque element' in the show because the dialogue would be, most likely, a complete invention by the writers of the show. The chances that George has given them unfinished chapters to pull dialogue from (or that they would care to do that if they had access to such chapters) are not very good.

Season 1 was the only time in which you could honestly look at scenes and wonder whether the writers were setting stuff up that would become important later in the books because one could assume the writers had 'special information', were pretty close to the source material, and were planning ahead. But that was an illusion even back then because all of those interesting new scenes we got were essentially just inventions by the show writers. They didn't shed any new light on the book characters at all.

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4 minutes ago, Clash said:

Not trying to dismiss your post, but the point of this thread is to use what we know from the show to ascertain what way the story is going to go. There are lots of thread here to discuss polt holes and I thought it was time to look at this in a different way.

Yes and from LFs behaviour I'm wondering exactly what his end game is, if he has no use of Sansa then what exactly is he up to in the books, how much chaos does he need to create in order to achieve what he wants, and what does he want if not Sansa?

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1 minute ago, Neds Secret said:

Yes and from LFs behaviour I'm wondering exactly what his end game is, if he has no use of Sansa then what exactly is he up to in the books, how much chaos does he need to create in order to achieve what he wants, and what does he want if not Sansa?

Thanks.

That one has always been a mystery to me, even in the books. It's a guesing game at best but I'm not sure chaos is his aim. I'd be more inclined to the view that weakening the great houses whilst putting his pawns in play and gaining influence wherever he can in order to strengthen his own position would be the most obvious conclusion.

His ambitions clearly exceed gaining control of The Vale. Is the Iron Throne his ultimate objective?

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42 minutes ago, Clash said:

Thanks.

That one has always been a mystery to me, even in the books. It's a guesing game at best but I'm not sure chaos is his aim. I'd be more inclined to the view that weakening the great houses whilst putting his pawns in play and gaining influence wherever he can in order to strengthen his own position would be the most obvious conclusion.

His ambitions clearly exceed gaining control of The Vale. Is the Iron Throne his ultimate objective?

It's possible, but LF in the book is very different, in the book he makes it a point to 'keep his hands clean' as much as possible and do everything in secret.  In the show, he's out in front, monologuing to all kinds of people about what his intentions are, and much less circumspect about his plots.

Jon and Dany  and Arya and Bran will almost assuredly have the same book ending.  So, far, we've not seen anything of the Northern lords in the show, which could mean they all end up dead in the books, not having had much of an impact.

I think we got a huge red flag now that the entire Dorne story is one long expansion of Quentyn's POV, lots of stuff, ultimately leading nowhere but they kill off a few other characters.

I have no idea what they're doing with Sansa or how or if it differs from the books.  It's set up that she will eventually go back to WF with Harry's Vale army, and there meet up with the 'giant' that she slays...so it may not be as divergent as it seems in the end game, only in the clumsy way the show has gone about it all.

And despite the personality transplant of the Lannister twins, they will undoubtedly have the same fate in the books, same for Tyrion.

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7 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I think we got a huge red flag now that the entire Dorne story is one long expansion of Quentyn's POV, lots of stuff, ultimately leading nowhere but they kill off a few other characters.

Dorne is a perfect example of what I'm looking for and probably is what prompted me to start this thread. It's almost 100% certain that there will be a war between Dorne and KL and if you assume that's the objective, you can extrapolate from there as to what the purpose of such a war is.

Quote

 

I have no idea what they're doing with Sansa or how or if it differs from the books.  It's set up that she will eventually go back to WF with Harry's Vale army, and there meet up with the 'giant' that she slays...so it may not be as divergent as it seems in the end game, only in the clumsy way the show has gone about it all.

 

The clumsiness is a direct result of combining Sansa with Jeyne Poole. There was no excaping the ramifications of that decision once it was set in train. Since she has survived her Jeyne instalment (a situation that could have gone eiother way), she clearly has an important part in the end game.

 

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think you really can take the show doing that. Perhaps you can say that those characters living in both the show and the books might become important in future books, but even that wouldn't be good guesses because George has repeatedly said that there are characters that will die in the show that are still alive in the books (and, of course, vice versa).

And you actually don't really need to extrapolate which characters - Dany, Tyrion, Jon Snow, Bran, Sansa, Arya - will be important. I guess Jaime, Brienne, Davos, Arianne, Euron, Varys, Illyrio, Littlefinger have a good chance to stick around for the grand finale in the books, too. And Aegon and Stannis most likely will be important and crucial players in the next book at least.

The idea that the show right now can give us any indication how George is going to tell his story makes no sense. There is no hint that the people writing the show care about George's story all that much and are intending to reach the same goal in a different way.

Just take the Hardhome plot as an example (Jon Snow the action hero) - while it is clear that Jon Snow the fifteen-year-old boy in the books is training very hard and wants to be a great swordsman there is no reason to believe that George's Jon Snow will ever in any way closely resembling the Harrington version. Simply because a 'realistic setting' as depicted by George in the books has no room for action movie heroes. People throwing themselves recklessly into battle get killed in that world as they do in the real world.

In that sense, I think we can reasonably conclude that the books series climax will not depict Jon Snow fighting the 'Head Other' with a magic sword, killing him, and then see every evil creature in the series evaporate along with him. But the show might actually do that because right now it clearly cares more about doing stuff like that than actually telling the story of the books it is based on.

Considering that I only watched season 5 once all that is kind of a nebulous haze for me. I really have forgotten how bad the show was and was actually honestly pissed about some stuff in seasons 2-3 (Robb's wife, the guy claiming to be Xaro Xhoan Daxos and telling us a hundred times how he is a self-made man) I had actually forgotten existed.

If the show runners actually want to make sense of the show they should actually decide to screw everything Martin wrote or plans to write (or has told them he is writing) aside from plot gems/little scenes/twist they like or could squeeze in their version of the story. And that's what they are doing. Stannis sacrificing Shireen is George's idea - the circumstances, setting, and context it happened in the show was completely made up by the show runners.

Something like that might happen again but we'll have really no way of knowing whether such events are then plot gems George has told them about, whether they are loosely based on such, or are cleverly crafted/interesting scenes completely made up by the show writers. Considering that the dialogue has become really bad in the last season when they wrote everything themselves without using George's lines (at least as far as I remember) it would be really difficult to try to recognize a 'Martinesque element' in the show because the dialogue would be, most likely, a complete invention by the writers of the show. The chances that George has given them unfinished chapters to pull dialogue from (or that they would care to do that if they had access to such chapters) are not very good.

Season 1 was the only time in which you could honestly look at scenes and wonder whether the writers were setting stuff up that would become important later in the books because one could assume the writers had 'special information', were pretty close to the source material, and were planning ahead. But that was an illusion even back then because all of those interesting new scenes we got were essentially just inventions by the show writers. They didn't shed any new light on the book characters at all.

:agree:

I think the show went from being a fairly faithful adaptation in s 1, to creating a lot of stuff and still trying to hit some big plot points in s 2 &  3, to just doing what they thought best for the show regardless of what happens or doesn't happen in the books in s 4 & 5. Too early to tell what's going to be the deal with s 6, especially without TWoT to compare it to. 

At this point, I don't feel confident that the show will even hit the major ASoIaF plot points, and I think it's very possible that this will be not a different telling of the same story, but a different story altogether. And I wouldn't bet one penny that all the major characters will have the same fates books and show. 

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56 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

At this point, I don't feel confident that the show will even hit the major ASoIaF plot points, and I think it's very possible that this will be not a different telling of the same story, but a different story altogether. And I wouldn't bet one penny that all the major characters will have the same fates books and show. 

What odds would you give me? Because I'll take that bet and your hand with it :D

There's a lot of throwing of toys out of the pram wrt the show. I was never foolish enough to have expected it to follow the book storyline slavishly, that's never happened with a screen adaptation and was hardly going to happen with thousands of pages of book to adapt and hundreds of characters.

The endpoint is a different matter. If you believe that fervently it'll be differenty then I'm ready and willing to take your bet. A penny seems a bit meagre though. ;)

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3 hours ago, Clash said:

So that tells us that what Jon and Arya have done to this point is important and that they still have a part to play. The state of play at the Wall is important, also what Bran is doing and where he is. Dany marked time for a while but is moving forward again and Tyrion clearly has an appointment with Dragons; again possibly with a purpose or else to do his best Quentyn Martell impression (a sooty one on the nearest wall :))

The more faithful arcs (if I can call them that) seem to indicate that the character and what they do is important. The less faithful ones have to be looked at in terms of the destination of that arc: such as Dorne on a collision course with the Lannisters, Sansa in the North and Brienne with her.

I think it's hard to ascertain that. I think it has just as much to do with how much D+D personally like certain parts of the book. There's really little logic to the adaptational changes and at this point I find it hard to believe that D+D have a solid plan for more than the current season. 

I mean that said Jon and Arya will obviously be important characters. But we knew that already. I don't think we can look at the mess that is the Dornish plotline and assume that that means that they will not be important in the books. I mean from the hints Martin has given us Aegon (and by extension the Dornish most likely) could be Dany's biggest opponent's when she first arrives at Westeros.

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18 minutes ago, Clash said:

What odds would you give me? Because I'll take that bet and your hand with it :D

There's a lot of throwing of toys out of the pram wrt the show. I was never follish enough to have expected it to follow the book storyline slavishly, that's never happened with a screen adaptation and was hardly going to happen with thousands of pages of book to adapt and hundreds of characters.

The endpoint is a different matter. If you believ that fervently it'll be differenty then I'm ready and willing to take your bet. A penny seems a bit meagre though. ;)

I guess the problem is just how define 'endpoint'. Is it enough for you to see the same person defeat the Others and claim the Iron Throne in the end as George plans to do or do you expect something more? Or do you even expect less - say, the show will have a 'huge climax' and the books, too.

Just take an example - you first watch 'The Return of the King' and later read the book by Tolkien. On a superficial level you could describe the Jackson movie as 'hitting the main points' - like the destruction of the One Ring, various battles, and so forth. But since the devil is in the detail you'll notice a lot of differences in characterization and plot if you actually look at the details.

A story isn't just plot but also characterization. And if different characters do loosely the same stuff it isn't the same story even if the plot is remotely similar.

This is completely separate from the transfer of a story to another medium. We know that movies/TV shows aren't books, and we also know that a good writer/director working in the movie department knows that he has to cut or change stuff. But you actually can do make great movie/show adaptations of books if you have the right budget and actually writers who want to make a good adaptation.

 

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10 minutes ago, protar said:

I think it's hard to ascertain that. I think it has just as much to do with how much D+D personally like certain parts of the book. There's really little logic to the adaptational changes and at this point I find it hard to believe that D+D have a solid plan for more than the current season. 

I mean that said Jon and Arya will obviously be important characters. But we knew that already. I don't think we can look at the mess that is the Dornish plotline and assume that that means that they will not be important in the books. I mean from the hints Martin has given us Aegon (and by extension the Dornish most likely) could be Dany's biggest opponent's when she first arrives at Westeros.

From this point on though, they don't have a book to work with. They must have an outline from GRRM, because they've said it and he's confirmed this when asked. So there will continue to be differences from the book, some will be of the nature of condensation and some will be because of past changes. But as we get closer to the end (and we're in that final stretch now), the points of divergence can't be that far for the stories to have the same ending.

I'm assuming that they'll have the same ending because that's presumably the outline GRRM gave them and what they're working towards. A bit like a game of golf really; everyone starts from the tee and ends in the hole, but there are many different ways of getting there: some bits are rough, some are smooth and some are sandy. ;)

Which is the point of this thread really. Figure out the endgame from what the show is doing.

Of course if it morphs into Xena, all bets are off :D

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I cant really think of one to be honest. Yes theres vague resemblances to some characters current book plots however, the circumstances, context and the motoves are all vastly different  and uncomparable.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think you really can take the show doing that. Perhaps you can say that those characters living in both the show and the books might become important in future books, but even that wouldn't be good guesses because George has repeatedly said that there are characters that will die in the show that are still alive in the books (and, of course, vice versa).

And you actually don't really need to extrapolate which characters - Dany, Tyrion, Jon Snow, Bran, Sansa, Arya - will be important. I guess Jaime, Brienne, Davos, Arianne, Euron, Varys, Illyrio, Littlefinger have a good chance to stick around for the grand finale in the books, too. And Aegon and Stannis most likely will be important and crucial players in the next book at least.

The idea that the show right now can give us any indication how George is going to tell his story makes no sense. There is no hint that the people writing the show care about George's story all that much and are intending to reach the same goal in a different way.

Just take the Hardhome plot as an example (Jon Snow the action hero) - while it is clear that Jon Snow the fifteen-year-old boy in the books is training very hard and wants to be a great swordsman there is no reason to believe that George's Jon Snow will ever in any way closely resembling the Harrington version. Simply because a 'realistic setting' as depicted by George in the books has no room for action movie heroes. People throwing themselves recklessly into battle get killed in that world as they do in the real world.

In that sense, I think we can reasonably conclude that the books series climax will not depict Jon Snow fighting the 'Head Other' with a magic sword, killing him, and then see every evil creature in the series evaporate along with him. But the show might actually do that because right now it clearly cares more about doing stuff like that than actually telling the story of the books it is based on.

Considering that I only watched season 5 once all that is kind of a nebulous haze for me. I really have forgotten how bad the show was and was actually honestly pissed about some stuff in seasons 2-3 (Robb's wife, the guy claiming to be Xaro Xhoan Daxos and telling us a hundred times how he is a self-made man) I had actually forgotten existed.

If the show runners actually want to make sense of the show they should actually decide to screw everything Martin wrote or plans to write (or has told them he is writing) aside from plot gems/little scenes/twist they like or could squeeze in their version of the story. And that's what they are doing. Stannis sacrificing Shireen is George's idea - the circumstances, setting, and context it happened in the show was completely made up by the show runners.

Something like that might happen again but we'll have really no way of knowing whether such events are then plot gems George has told them about, whether they are loosely based on such, or are cleverly crafted/interesting scenes completely made up by the show writers. Considering that the dialogue has become really bad in the last season when they wrote everything themselves without using George's lines (at least as far as I remember) it would be really difficult to try to recognize a 'Martinesque element' in the show because the dialogue would be, most likely, a complete invention by the writers of the show. The chances that George has given them unfinished chapters to pull dialogue from (or that they would care to do that if they had access to such chapters) are not very good.

Season 1 was the only time in which you could honestly look at scenes and wonder whether the writers were setting stuff up that would become important later in the books because one could assume the writers had 'special information', were pretty close to the source material, and were planning ahead. But that was an illusion even back then because all of those interesting new scenes we got were essentially just inventions by the show writers. They didn't shed any new light on the book characters at all.

:agree: Good post as always Lord Varys.

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