The world of the Seven Kingdoms is as vast as it is complex. The characters are fiercely devoted to the lands they call home, and everyone knows they must be wary of who they trust.
While much of the HBO series adaptation Game of Thrones has followed creator George R.R. Martin‘s novels, the series has been known to make several drastic changes to the series plot. As time has gone on, we have seen multiple characters not only shift direction from their story lines in the books, but many have met deaths on Game of Thrones when they are very much alive in the novels. While these changes have been created in part by Martin himself, who is a writer and producer of the HBO series, keeping track of these storyline changes can be both time-consuming and confusing. Due to the highly political and warring nature of the Martin’s world (both on paper and on screen), deaths and the story lines that are altered in the absence of these characters can have a profound impact on nearly everyone in the Seven Kingdoms.
From alliances to cover ups and quiet dismissals, there is much to debate about why certain characters met a premature death on Game of Thrones, but these instances keep you thinking about the various possibilities that are presented in these deaths, and the influences of each of the major characters.
With the anticipation of the sixth season of Game of Thrones hyping up for it’s recently announced April 24th, 2016 release date, here are eleven of the characters who have died on Game of Thrones but are still alive in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
11. Mance Rayder
As leader of the Free Folk and former member of the Night’s Watch, Mance Rayder is a determined leader. In keeping with the ways of the Free Folk, Rayder refuses to return to the laws of the Night’s Watch (or anyone within the seven kingdoms). In book five (A Dance with Dragons), Rayder is sentenced to burn on a pyre for not bending to Stannis, but it is not actually Rayder, but Rattleshirt disguised as Rayder who is killed. His story is continually evolving in the books. By contrast, we see Rayder burned alive (though Jon shoots him through the heart to make the death quick) in Season 5 Episode Episode 1, “The Wars to Come”.
10. Hizdahr zo Loraq
Wealthy, handsome, and eerily confident, Hizdahr zo Loraq, Fourteenth of that Noble Name is a Meereen man who is confident and convicted. His ability to bring an end to the Sons of the Harpy’s killing spree for 90 days earns him a marriage to Daenerys. At the reopening of the fighting pits, Daenerys and Hizdahr are watching the show. He offers her food that she refuses, but Belwas eats with pleasure. The scene turns to chaos when Danny’s dragon Drogo shows up. She flees the scene on Drogo’s back. Belwas nearly dies from eating the food Hizdahr pushed on Danny. In the books, Hizdahr is taken into custody by Ser Barristan due to his inability to act effectively when Meereen hostages are threatened under his rule. On Game of Thrones, Hizdahr is stabbed to death by the Sons of the Harpy.
Fellow newcomer to the Night’s Watch, Pypar (Pyp) is a young man who Jon comes to know well as they adapt to taking the black. While Pyp is a minor character, he is connected to Jon and Sam in that he is also assigned to be a steward for the watch. In the books, Pyp is a minor character, though he is referenced in A Dance with Dragons for making rude comments about the God of Essos, R’hllor. On Game of Thrones, Pypar dies in Season 4 Episode 9 “The Watchers on the Wall” where he is killed by the wildling Ygritte during a battle between the Night’s Watch and The Wildlings at Castle Black.
8. Barristan Selmy
Ser Barristan Selmy is a man who fits the standard description of a true knight — honorable, loyal, wise, and courageous. After having grave concerns about his actions as part of King Robert’s Kingsguard and feeling Westeros, Selmy finds Daenerys and becomes part of her Queensguard. While in Meereen, he does his best to give Danny the best political advice he can offer. In the books, Selmy is last seen giving direction for an attack on the Yunkish camp where Meereen hostages are being held. On Game of Thrones, Selmy dies in the streets of Meereen from wounds inflicted on him by the Sons of the Harpy when he attempted to help Grey Worm. While it is initially uncertain if the attack killed Selmy, his corpse is shown in Season 5 Episode 5 “Kill the Boy”, confirming his passing.
7. Pyat Pree
Creepy and confident, Pyat Pree is a character that is difficult to forget despite his short life on Game of Thrones. The bald warlock becomes known to readers when Daenerys is introduced to (and enters) the House of the Undying in Quarth. We last hear of Pree in the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons when Daenerys is made aware that she may have an enemy in Pree because of her role in burning down the House of the Undying. In Game of Thrones, Pree dies in Season 2 Episode ten “Valar Morghulis” when Daenerys commands her trio of dragons to burn him on the spot.
6. Catelyn Stark
Wife of the late Ned Stark and mother of the five Stark children (Arya, Bran, Rickon, Robb, and Sansa), Lady Stark is a woman who not only thinks for herself, she is willing to take risks to ensure the safety of her family. When Catelyn is wounded and “dies” in A Feast for Crows, she shifts from the (mostly) level headed, cautiously defensive mother to a force of vengeance. After her death, Lady Stark is known as Lady Stoneheart, both referring to her current undead state and her merciless killing of any she suspects would be a threat to her family. In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Catelyn was killed in Season 3 Episode 9 “The Rains of Castamere” when her throat is slit by Black Walder Rivers.
5. Jeyne Westerling (Talisa Stark)
Jeyne Westerling is a character who’s adaptation from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels to HBO’s Game of Thrones series is altered in not only her actions, but her name as well. In the books, she remains Jeyne Westerling, in the series, she is known as Talisa Maegyr and becomes Talisa Stark when she marries Robb Stark. In the novels, Jeyne is last seen in the fourth book, A Feast for Crows when she goes into mourning after the death of Robb. On the show, Talisa is killed by Lothar Frey in Season 3 Episode 9 “The Rains of Castamere”.
A fellow member of the Night’s Watch, Grenn is a minor character in both the books and the HBO adaptation of the series. Grenn has the often admired job of a Ranger within the Watch, which was the job that Jon hoped to achieve himself when he first joined their ranks. In the novels, Grenn flows in and out of the Night’s Watch scenes, verifying he is very much alive. Grenn was noted in the series’ most recent book, A Dance with Dragons when he’s chatting with Pyp. On the show, Grenn is slain by Mag Mar Tun Dohn in Season 4 Episode 9 “The Watchers on the Wall” .
3. Xaro Xhoan Daxos
Xaro Xhoan Daxos is another wealthy and attractive man whom Daenerys meets while in Quarth. After her experience at the House of the Undying, Daxos is put off that Dany refuses his offer to whisk her away on his ship. While Daxos does not seem accustom to being told no, he ultimately meets his demise in the show when Daenerys leaves him to die when she feels he has betrayed her in Season 2 Episode 10 “Valar Morghulis”. In the books, Daxos goes to Meereen in A Dance With Dragons to offer a fleet of ships to Daenerys that will take her to Westeros and put a halt to the harm her presence is creating with the local slave trade. When Dany refuses, Daxos makes sure she understand that refusing him means they are now enemies.
2. Shireen Baratheon
One of Game of Thrones most haunting episodes involves the only child of Stannis Baratheon, Shireen. The young girl has lived a solitary life, not only due to her family’s reserved nature, but because she suffers from grayscale, a disfiguring skin disease that covers much of her body. Despite this cosmetic flaw, Shireen is bright and warmhearted. In the novels, Shireen is last seen in A Dance of Dragons at Castle Black (the Night’s Watch). While her condition is mentioned with fear, no harm comes to Shireen in the book because of it. Alternately, in Season 5 Episode 9, “A Dance with Dragons”, Shireen is burned at the stake in the name of the Lord of Light. This horrifying adaptation shows the unyielding influence Lady Meslisandre has over Stannis, as it was her idea to sacrifice Shireen.
1. Jojen Reed
Jojen Reed is the brother of Meera Reed and convinces Bran to travel with him after having visions of a three-eyed-crow. Jojen is what is known in the world of A Song of Fire and Ice as a green seer. A green seer is a bit like a psychic who relies on their prophetic (green) dreams and intuition for guidance. In the novels, Jojen is last seen in A Dance with Dragons when he is debating with Meera about where to continue their travels after their journey with Bran has ended. On Game of Thrones, Jojen suffers massive injuries from a wight (zombie) and put out of his misery by his sister in Season 4’s finale episode “The Children”.