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[Book Spoilers] An Unexpected Death

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What exactly does "a character is killed" mean? Is someone killed by someone else within the story (for example Beric Dondarrion by Gregor Clegane) or is someone killed off by the writers (for example Hoster Tully who would die of old age or disease)?

Considering that the early death must yield some potential to compress the narrative or geographic scope of A Storm of Swords / season three, relatively unimportant people like Chett, Harwin or Rast seem unlikely.

Then there are some non-POV or 'minor' characters whom to kill off prematurely would be blatantly insane: Tywin Lannister, Sandor Clegane, Jeor Mormont.

To me Hoster Tully (even though or maybe because Riverrun is nearly cut from season one), Rickard Karstark and Beric Dondarrion seem to be the two most likely fatalities when it comes to plot-compressing potential...

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Hang about, isn't Tywin off'd in AFfC. So that means there's no way it can be Tywin.

The only death I can think of that people might give a damn about is Berric Dondarion. However I don't see that shortening the script for Season 3 any, because it's Arya's story, and it's not really necessary to knock off any characters early to truncate her story arc. Dondarrion gets bugger all pages dedicate to him alone. And I think the fact that he ultimately needs to sacrifice his life for a [perceived] greater cause would be good to keep in the TV series.

I don't see the other "death" in Arya's story arc being viable in season 1. Because that's a secondary character (potentially becoming a PoV in later books?) and far too important to other story arcs.

But George does spend a few pages in ASoS on Hoster Tully's drawn out death. His character is totally superfluous to the ASoS story, and the clues he reveals to Cat can be handed to her by different means, including her finding some old papers of his talking about...stuff. Or they can be revealed to her in season 1, with her not really paying much attentions to what he says until season 3. Almost entire Cat chapters can be cut with Hoster meeting an early end in Season 1. Good call that.

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GRRM says he pointed it out to them (I'm assuming they sent him the script to read that mentioned this death, presumably in some very unambiguous way), but they decided to stick with it.

ETA: I should note that I didn't get the sense, "Oh, they have this wrong," more that, "Huh, did they really mean to make that change?" and my impression from GRRM's remarks is that they were aware of it but had reasons for it. He did not sound disgruntled or chagrined. It's just one of those things that one does in adapting.

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I'd go for either the Greatjon or Rickard Karstark. Probably the Greatjon, because Karstark's death in SoS is a character-building moment for Robb, whereas Umber is just one of the many Red Wedding fatalities.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's the Smalljon who dies, not the Greatjon, who is simply captured. Karstark is an interesting choice, his death is a character-building moment but it also contributes to Robb's army falling apart. However, the latter can be accomplished simply with the Frey's leaving and Bolton losing part of his army at the Ruby Ford, while the former can perhaps be dispensed with. I wouldn't do it myself, but I can understand why the producers might have decided to go ahead with it.

Of all these choices, though, I think I'd be fine with Hoster's death the most.

Hang about, isn't Tywin off'd in AFfC. So that means there's no way it can be Tywin.

No, he dies in Asos.

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I am leaning towards Beric myself, or possibly Lord Hoster. Hoster seems like a smallish cut to be doing now, though, but I guess if they were just thinking of simplifying things by making Edmure the unambiguous lord...

I would have no trouble with Lord Hoster dieing. I have picked him as a dropable character previously. There is enough other Tully's around. The only thing that makes me wonder is the way his death is described. "He is killed" rather than "he dies"?

And it really throws the grief Cat's way. Her father and her husband! If I was going to drop Hoster, i'd just have him dead before the book starts. Simplest.

So Beric would be an alternative. They'd have to make his death especially vicious to convince us he is dead (another decapitation?). We could still have a great death scene without having him really die of course. :P

The best thing about Beric is that he makes Cat's reanimation more logical. Otherwise, it really does come from nowhere. Although, if Beric dies for good, we may have to consider them dropping the unCat storyline? And then we're really changing things.

Hmm. I'll be hoping its Hoster. :)

If they kill Karstark in S1, I wouldn't see the point of introducing him in the first place.

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I made a quick PHP script computing the intersection of a list of characters portrayed by actors in season 1 of Game of Thrones (from here) and a list of characters killed in A Storm of Swords (from here). In other words, I got a list of all characters killed in ASoS that are portrayed by an actor in GoT. Now, Ran never said it had to be a character played by an actor, so I'm not sure this is of any use. But you never know. If anything, it got me to stop lurking and finally register an account on this fine board!

  • Catelyn Stark
  • Jeor Mormont
  • Joffrey Baratheon
  • Lysa Arryn
  • Rast
  • Robb Stark
  • Shae
  • Tywin Lannister

For anyone interested, here's the PHP script used to get this result.

<?php

$got_characters = array(
  "ARMECA",
  "ARYA STARK",
  "ASSASSIN",
  "BENJEN STARK",
  "BERIC DONDARRION",
  "BRAN STARK",
  "BRONN",
  "CATELYN STARK",
  "CERSEI LANNISTER",
  "DAENERYS TARGARYEN",
  "DAREON",
  "DOREAH",
  "EDDARD STARK",
  "GALBART GLOVER",
  "GARED",
  "GENDRY",
  "GRAND MAESTER PYCELLE",
  "GRENN",
  "HODOR",
  "HOT PIE",
  "HULLEN",
  "ILLYRIO MOPATIS",
  "IRRI",
  "JANOS SLYNT",
  "JEOR MORMONT",
  "JHIQUI",
  "JOFFREY BARATHEON",
  "JON ARRYN",
  "JON SNOW",
  "JON UMBER",
  "JONOS BRACKEN",
  "JORY CASSEL",
  "KHAL DROGO",
  "LANCEL LANNISTER",
  "LOMMY GREENHANDS",
  "LYSA ARRYN",
  "MAESTER AEMON",
  "MAESTER LUWIN",
  "MARILLION",
  "MASHA HEDDLE",
  "MHAEGEN",
  "MIRRI MAZ DUUR",
  "MORD",
  "MYCAH",
  "MYRCELLA BARATHEON",
  "NIGHT’S WATCH OFFICER",
  "OLD NAN",
  "OSHA",
  "PETYR BAELISH",
  "PYPAR",
  "QOTHO",
  "RAKHARO",
  "RAST",
  "RENLY BARATHEON",
  "RICKON STARK",
  "ROBB STARK",
  "ROBERT BARATHEON",
  "ROBIN ARRYN",
  "RODRIK CASSEL",
  "ROS",
  "SAMWELL TARLY",
  "SANDOR CLEGANE",
  "SANSA STARK",
  "SEPTA MORDANE",
  "SER ALLISER THORNE",
  "SER BARRISTAN SELMY",
  "SER GREGOR CLEGANE",
  "SER HUGH OF THE VALE",
  "SER ILYN PAYNE",
  "SER JAIME LANNISTER",
  "SER JORAH MORMONT",
  "SER KEVAN LANNISTER",
  "SER LORAS TYRELL",
  "SER MERYN TRANT",
  "SER VARDIS EGAN",
  "SER WAYMAR ROYCE",
  "SHAE",
  "SHAGGA",
  "STABLEBOY",
  "STIV",
  "SYRIO FOREL",
  "THEON GREYJOY",
  "TOBHO MOTT",
  "TOMMEN BARATHEON",
  "TYRION LANNISTER",
  "TYWIN LANNISTER",
  "VARYS",
  "VISERYS TARGARYEN",
  "WALDER FREY",
  "WILL",
  "WINESELLER",
  "YOREN",
);

$asos_deaths = array(
  "IGGO",
  "SER JACELYN BYWATER",
  "GUNCER SUNGLASS",
  "DALE SEAWORTH",
  "ALLARD SEAWORTH",
  "MATTHOS SEAWORTH",
  "MARIC SEAWORTH",
  "JATE BLACKBERRY",
  "LORD CHYTTERING",
  "HOOKFACE WILL",
  "HAL THE HOG",
  "GLADDEN WYLDE",
  "LOTHAR MALLERY",
  "MASLYN",
  "SER OTTYN WYTHERS",
  "THOREN SMALLWOOD",
  "SMALL PAUL",
  "SER HELMAN TALLHART",
  "TION FREY",
  "WILLEM LANNISTER",
  "DELP",
  "ELWOOD",
  "RICKARD KARSTARK",
  "CLEOS FREY",
  "SER IMRY FLORENT",
  "MONFORD VELARYON",
  "KRAZNYS MO NAKLOZ",
  "GRAZDAN MO ULLHOR",
  "JARL",
  "SYMON SILVERTONGUE",
  "BROWN BERNARR",
  "HAKE",
  "BANNEN",
  "CRASTER",
  "GARTH OF OLDTOWN",
  "ROLLEY OF SISTERTON",
  "SER BYAM FLINT",
  "JEOR MORMONT",
  "ALYN",
  "HOSTER TULLY",
  "KYLE",
  "SEPTON UTT",
  "BODGER",
  "SALLOR THE BALD",
  "PRENDAHL NA GHEZN",
  "BALON GREYJOY",
  "LORD BOTLEY",
  "LARK THE SISTERMAN",
  "SOFTFOOT",
  "RYLES",
  "CHETT",
  "ROBIN FLINT",
  "SER WENDEL MANDERLY",
  "LUCAS BLACKWOOD",
  "DONNEL LOCKE",
  "OWEN NORREY",
  "DACEY MORMONT",
  "SMALLJON UMBER",
  "ROBB STARK",
  "AEGON FREY",
  "CATELYN STARK",
  "GREY WIND",
  "DEAF DICK FOLLARD",
  "RAST",
  "YOUNG HENLY",
  "OLD HENLY",
  "EASY",
  "DORNISH DILLY",
  "STYR",
  "QUORT",
  "STONE THUMBS",
  "YGRITTE",
  "OZNAK ZO PAHL",
  "MERO",
  "JOFFREY BARATHEON",
  "SER DONTOS HOLLARD",
  "VARGO HOAT",
  "DONAL NOYE",
  "MAG THE MIGHTY",
  "RED ALYN OF THE ROSEWOOD",
  "SER ENDREW TARTH",
  "SER ALADALE WYNCH",
  "OBERYN MARTELL",
  "HARMA DOGSHEAD",
  "POLLIVER",
  "THE TICKLER",
  "WATT OF LONG LAKE",
  "DALLA",
  "SHAE",
  "TYWIN LANNISTER",
  "EON HUNTER",
  "LYSA ARRYN",
  "PETYR FREY",
  "SER GARSE GOODBROOK",
  "SER TYTOS FREY",
  "MERRETT FREY",
);

$result = array_intersect($got_characters, $asos_deaths);

print_r($result);

?>

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If they kill Karstark in S1, I wouldn't see the point of introducing him in the first place.

He may just be an extra who in the script is referred to as "Rickard Karstark."

Or maybe he's killed by Jaime at the Whispering Wood in place of his children?

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Rickard Karstark is in Season 1. He's a 'featured extra' played by Vincent McCabe.

As far we know Chett hasn't been cast, but given how low-key he'd be, that's unsurprising even if he was present. So Karstark can definitely be added to the list, whilst Chett and the Smalljon (and Dacey Mormont, though GRRM apparently said it was male) could be 'maybes' depending on if they've been cast for Season 1.

Dontos first appears in Book 2, doesn't he? Hmm.

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My guesses, Rast, Hoster Tully or Rickard Karstark.

Rast could be killed by Othor rather than a Thenn.

Hoster dies off screen and Cat only hears of it.

Karstark is killed in battle and the betrayal thing either never happens or it's someone else such as the Greatjon.

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Considering that the early death must yield some potential to compress the narrative or geographic scope of A Storm of Swords / season three, relatively unimportant people like Chett, Harwin or Rast seem unlikely.

Why does this change have to have anything to do with compression of the third book? If for example it was Rast being killed by a wight, it would provide some satisfaction to the audience since he's a dick.

...

I'll be more than pissed if it's Beric.

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He may just be an extra who in the script is referred to as "Rickard Karstark."

Or maybe he's killed by Jaime at the Whispering Wood in place of his children?

Fair enough. I have changed my mind. I'd prefer Karstark dieing to Beric.

Robb will lose some of his men in battle. So why not name one of them Rickard Karstark? Cut that thread from aSoS. I have to say that I really liked that thread though. It was a great character moment for Robb.

I'm still hoping for Hoster! :)

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Hoster is a possibility I suppose, but since they haven't cast Edmure or the Blackfish and we know that the northmen don't make it to Riverrun in the first season, I'm not sure how word of Hoster's death would even make it into the script. Seems like it'd be confusing to have random northmen reporting an offscreen death of someone we've never seen.

Beric seems unlikely, unless GRRM is just playing word games, since he's supposed to die anyway. And is he definitively dead by the end of SoS? I don't remember that.

I'm hoping it's just one of the Stark bannermen, or maybe someone at the wall.

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I can see it being Beric, if he still comes back to give the kiss to Cat, and everyone thinking he was dead--after all, everyone in story did think he was dead!

But do we absolutely know it's not

Robb?

I'm just terrified now. Without that particular storyline, that would take an awful lot of oomph out of a possible third season, and crowd this one up quite a bit. Someone reassure me???

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I can see it being Beric, if he still comes back to give the kiss to Cat, and everyone thinking he was dead--after all, everyone in story did think he was dead!

But do we absolutely know it's not

Robb?

I'm just terrified now. Without that particular storyline, that would take an awful lot of oomph out of a possible third season, and crowd this one up quite a bit. Someone reassure me???

They've talked about giving said character more screen time in season 2 than he gets in the book.

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I find it difficult to believe they would kill Robb in the first season. The Red Wedding is one of the most memorable scenes in the whole series so far. I think Beric is the most likely it, but I don't know. Karstark is another possibility.

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Based on what Ran has said, I think we can assume that it is not one of the major deaths from book 3. I'm sure that both

Robb and Tywin

are safe (for this season).

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It's not a major character. I'd call Robb very major. In point of fact, the producers even mentioned perhaps featuring Robb's story if there's a second season, rather than have him do so much off-camera.

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My first thought was Tywin. That's something they could get away with, and Cersei could just take his place. But that would change what happens to him and who WOULDN'T want to see that on TV?

So I think it's Lord Tully. Seems like that would make a small impact and perhaps make Cat's character more sympathetic? I mean, everything's her fault anyways. :)

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