**Spoilers from the books abound**
In any adaptation, characters and plots are going to be changed, combined, or eliminated. In the case of “A Song of Ice and Fire“, there are thousands of characters, dozens of plots, and so much back story that the “Game of Thrones” series creators can be forgiven for leaving out a few fan favorites.
George R.R. Martin isn’t just the originator of the world of Westeros, he’s a fan as well. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he mentions five characters from the novels that he misses from the television adaptation. He isn’t necessarily upset by their exclusion, these just seem to be personal favorites of Martin that he would have been interested seeing appear on screen.
The first character he mentions is Strong Belwas, the hulking eunuch in Dany’s entourage. He seems to have been cut to streamline the action over in Essos but as Martin says, “I understand why he was cut, but I kind of miss him.”
He also talks about Jeyne Poole. Book readers know Jayne as a friend of Sansa who disappears after a brief mention in the first book only to reappear in later novels. Or as Martin describes it, “She’s a minor character in the first book, then vanishes and then — boom — there she is in the fifth book in a major way.” In the show, her story with Ramsay Bolton has been taken over by Sansa with results. It makes sense for the series to utilize a character the audience is invested in but if Martin had his way, we’d be reacting to that scene involving a new character and not one we’ve watched grow up on screen.
[amz asin=”055358202X” size=”small”]The final three characters he mentions seem to upset him more because he indicates they have more of a role to play in the story to come. He starts with the two older Tyrell brothers, Willas and Garlan. Book readers will remember Willas as the Tyrell that Tywin Lannister tries to force Cercei to marry. And Garlan wore Renly Baratheon’s armor at the Battle of the Blackwater to try to confuse and scare the other armies. Based on the events of “A Feast for Crows”, the last book in which the Tyrell brothers appear, it looks like their role will greatly expand as the Ironborn make their way along the coast. With Pyke set to have a larger role in season six, it will be interesting to see how the show proceeds with this story.
The final character Martin misses probably isn’t much of a surprise to any book reader, that being Lady Stoneheart. I still hold out hope for her appearance but it doesn’t seem likely as even Martin can’t muster a passionate argument for her inclusion, “Lady Stoneheart does have a role in the books. Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough… I think it is, or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.” There would need to be a real good reason to introduce her as a character on the show (other than fan service) as her appearance would potentially lessen the stakes on a show where normally “dead is dead”.
Martin famously allowed David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to do the adaptation because they were able to give a satisfactory answer as to who Jon’s mother was – they clearly know and understand the story. Having major characters removed from the narrative naturally changes the way the story will be told and as the show deviates from the novels in more significant ways while it barrels towards its conclusion, we should expect more changes and even more fan favorite characters to not make it off of the page.
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