*SPOILERS AHEAD* The A Song of Ice and Fire series is packed with tons of minute details and interesting characters. Unfortunately, they can’t all be included in the TV adaptation. There are only 10 hours per season, so the writing team have to make lots of tough editorial decisions. While removing some of the minutiae isn’t particularly controversial, there are a couple characters so integral to the books that fans are up in arms about their being written out of the television series. If they and their scenes are left out, the show must come up with new stories to fill out the narrative gap.
Of course, other scenes are notoriously completely altered, like the torture scene with Theon Greyjoy and Oberyn’s scenes. And so, no one knows for sure exactly how season 5 will go – not even those who have read the book. If season 4 is anything to go by, however, it’s easy for fans to make educated speculation on which storylines will and won’t grace the screen.
Given the current narrative arc, certain scenes will have to be either eliminated or entirely altered at this point. The following list includes scenes that have already happened in the A Song of Ice and Fire storyline, as well as scenes based around characters that are either yet to be introduced or are not expected to make an appearance at all.
5. Lady Hornwood and Ramsey Snow’s Wedding
Donella Hornwood provides deeper insight into the monster that is Ramsay Snow. Although this scene does not appear in huge detail in the books, it is still related to terrifying effect. In the second book, Donella is married to Ramsay – though not of her own accord. She is seized by Ramsey so that he can claim her lands. That night, she is forcibly married, sexually assaulted (so that the marriage is consummated) and locked in a tower. She is then left there to starve, and does. She is found some time later starved to death with blood on her hands and her fingers chewed off.
This gruesome subplot paves the way for another vital scene that was removed from the TV show: Ramsay’s betrayal. He pretends to be Reek himself, eventually forcing Theon to assume the role himself. Since this was not in the show, however, Donella didn’t have to appear either – though it would have shown Ramsay to be even more of a psychopath.
4. Coldhands’ Guidance and Rescue
Many were disappointed by the absence of Coldhands from the GoT TV series. Unfortunately, it seems that Bran and Hodor will be on the back burner for season 5, so it is unlikely that Coldhands will make an appearance.
When Coldhands is first seen, it is when he saves Samwell Tarly and Gilly from wights. It is thanks to him that Sam is able to pass beyond the wall. He seems dead, yet alive, with black eyes, black hands and a rattling voice. He commands ravens and does not breathe. A hood hides his features.
In A Dance With Dragons, Coldhands leads Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen to the three-eyes raven. He protects the group until the end, even killing his elk companion when it fails along the way. In the end, he ensures that Bran makes it to the last greenseer, holding back the undead. He cannot enter the cave due to magic. No, Jojen does not sacrifice himself in the end.
Coldhands is obviously a significant character, but the show made acceptable adaptations without him. Perhaps it would have taken too much time to explain his character?
3. Jeyne Westerling’s Character
In the TV series Jeyne Westerling is replaced by Talisa Maegyr, Robb’s wife. But the two characters could not be more different. In the novel, the scenes with Jeyne paint her as a loving, timid young girl, certainly not one who has seen much fighting. Her story is sad, but she does not meet the same fate as Robb. Jeyne does not attend the infamous “Red Wedding” and is instead left a widow when Robb is killed there. After the wedding, she is pardoned by the Iron Throne and is expected to move on after her marriage.
Robb and Jeyne were very much in love, and she goes into mourning for him. Her mother Sybell Spicer isn’t, however, and is discovered to have given her potions against fertility. Jeyne is unable to wed for two years so there are no rumors about pregnancy.
What makes Jeyne so compelling is that she is really quite average. She is not brave, she is not incredibly beautiful, but she truly and deeply loves Robb. She stands up to her mother in small ways, such as tearing her clothes in mourning. It’s obvious she will never have a happy or easy life, which makes her character even more tragic than the one who died in The Game of Thrones.
It was easier, and more shocking, for the TV show to axe her character at the wedding, but the result is that this other, perhaps more interesting character did not make a debut.
2. Patchface And His Songs
Patchface is a fan favourite who doesn’t appear in the show. His cryptic scenes are often replaced by Shireen, which removes the haunting humor that accompanies Patchface’s songs.
Once a clever boy, after being saved by Stannis from a shipwreck his wits have all but left him. He has tattoos all over his face, hence his name. He speaks nonsense and has an odd gait, but Stannis’ daughter Shireen loves him and he follows her everywhere. His songs also serve a purpose in the narrative arc; he’s able to prophesize events, although no one listens to him. For instance, he foretold the Red Wedding in a song.
His character is not necessary for the main telling of the story, but he adds a unique presence and a colour that’s sorely missed in the series.
His songs, as sung by Shireen in the TV series, often end with “I know, I know..” such as:
“Under the sea, the birds have scales for feathers. I know, I know…” (From A Clash of Kings)
1. Lady Stoneheart’s Vengeance
“She don’t speak. You bloody bastards cut her throat too deep for that. But she remembers.”- Tom of Sevenstreams (A Storm of Swords).
Lady Stoneheart is the one character the fans are hoping will make a debut in season 5, though it seems doubtful. Towards the end of season 4 many were hopeful, but she didn’t end up making an appearance.
Who is Lady Stoneheart? She is, in fact, Lady Catelyn Stark – as a zombie, of course. Brought back to life by black magic, Catelyn is no longer the loving, forgiving woman she once was. She is filled with a lust for vengeance and her heart has turned to stone. She now only wishes to get revenge for the slaying of her husband and children.
There are hints that Nymeria, Arya’s direwolf, finds Catelyn’s body on the riverbank, bloated and with her throat slit, but is chased off when unknown men appear.
In the novel, Lord Beric is the one who gives her the kiss of life, a regrettable mistake. The scenes in which Stoneheart appears are chilling. She must cover her slit throat to speak, though it’s still hard to understand her. Indeed, she is the one who makes Brienne answer for failing to protect her daughters, and carrying a Lannister sword. Brienne is executed via hanging by the Lady who once trusted her.