He’s A Grown-Up: George R.R. Martin Doesn’t Really Mind When ‘Game Of Thrones’ Changes His Story

After Jon Snow’s sudden murder at the hands of his brothers in black at the end of Season 5, has begun . But in a recent interview on the podcast, creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss talked about what it’s like working with George R.R. Martin, and how he handles letting other people rewrite his story:

Jon Snow's Death / HBO

Jon Snow’s Death / HBO

“He’d got Emmy nominations before this [show] so he knew how the sausage got made. A lot of authors who have their work adapted have never been part of an adaptation process before and they get really precious about every last thing.”

Overall, Martin doesn’t seem to mind the changes that get made:

“Not to say that George has agreed with everything we’ve done, but by and large, on the grander scale, he gets what you need to do to adapt something and he’s a grown-up and a gentleman about it.”

Here Are A Few Major Differences Between The Series And The Books:


Daenerys, the Stark family (and adopted family), and Baratheon bastards all have different ages. Everyone is slightly older in the show.

Targaryen Eyes

Daenerys Violet Eyes

Daenerys Violet Eyes

In the books, all the Targaryens have violet-colored eyes. Initially, they tried to keep that in the show by having the actors wear colored contact lenses, but the lenses interfered with their ability to convey different emotions normally, so they were scrapped. Check out all these physical differences between the books and the show and .

Burn Them All?

Mad King Aerys / HBO

Mad King Aerys / HBO

In the books, no one ever says that the Mad King Aerys cried out this notorious line before Jaime killed him.

Mance Rayder

The Wildling leader was not actually so calm during his execution. He was trapped in a cage over a fire in front of the Wildling prisoners, and screaming and struggling until the end. PLOT TWIST: In the books, it wasn’t actually Mance that died. It was a man named Rattleshirt, spelled to look like Mance. Mance remains alive, and Jon, Stannis and Melisandre plan to use him later.

Sansa Never Marries Ramsay

Sansa Marries Ramsay / HBO

Sansa Marries Ramsay / HBO

Instead, Littlefinger disguises Jeyne Poole, one of Sansa’s girlhood friends, as Arya, and marries her to Ramsay. No one at Winterfell offers to help Jeyne.

Daenerys’s Cupbearers

Daenerys Threatens With Her Dragons

In the books, Dany doesn’t threaten the heads of the noble families of Meereen. Instead, she takes their children as hostages to serve as her cupbearers.

Same Lines, Different Characters

“You don’t know him.”

The scene from “The Battle of the Bastards” where Jon says he’s defeated worse than Ramsay Bolton, and Sansa responds, “You don’t know him” actually happens in the books between Stannis and Theon.

What differences did you notice between the books and the series?

The Three-Eyed Raven. The past is already written. The ink is dry.

The Three-Eyed Raven. The past is already written. The ink is dry.


Nostalgia never gets old. Find me on Twitter @gen_vanvee