Game of Thrones By the Book: Tyrion's Nose, Margaery's Hunger and Sliced Nipples
Natalie Dormer | Photo Credits: Keith Bernstein/HBO
Hello, friends and bannermen. Game of Thrones kicked off Season 3 in high style with "Valar Dohaeris" on Sunday. How did it match up with the books? How did it differ?
This weekly chat series is for fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, upon which HBO's fantasy drama is based. It's meant to be a safe haven to discuss spoilers and changes from the novels and how they have played out or will play out in the TV series. Hanh Nguyen and Sadie Gennis are longtime fantasy fans of varying levels of geekiness who will sound off on all things Westerosi (and beyond!).
Game of Thrones recap: Jon Snow goes wild!
[Warning: If you're a Game of Thrones fan who has stumbled upon this chat and haven't read the books yet, begone! Instead, check out our recap of Sunday's episode "Valar Dohaeris" for a spoiler-free discussion.]
Sadie: I was disappointed with the way they handled Tyrion's "disfigurement." He wasn't mangled it all! It's more of a sexy Michael K. Williams look. I understand not losing the nose, but even the scar wasn't bad.
Hanh: But Cersei did have that line: "They said you lost your nose, but it's not as gruesome as all that."
Sadie: I thought that was a cute nod to the fans of the books.
Hanh: I have friends who read the books and are just disappointed in Tyrion in general because he's not ugly enough. But I'm OK with that because TV is a visual medium after all. You have to make some concessions for adaptations.
Sadie: I just wish he looked a little more banged up, even if they were superficial wounds that would heal because it makes his whining afterwards much less sympathetic. Just compare Tyrion to Davos! That man looked like he was in a battle.
Hanh: And Davos was just exposed to the sun. His face was kind of stomach-turning. I'd rather look at Tyrion. Beyond that, what also bothered me was that Jon Snow's reason why he told Mance Rayder he wanted to join the wildings was different.
Hanh: In the books, he implied he was bitter because of the different (poor) treatment he received as a bastard compared to his true-born siblings. Whereas on the show, he said it was about the Night's Watch turning a blind eye to Craster's sacrifice of his baby boys. I think it lost some of the impact.
Sadie: Definitely. Especially because before Jon told his story, he made Mance share the reason he fled the Watch. For Mance, it was the simple reason of wanting to wear a different cloak, rather than the same black one as everyone else. The cloak then became this amazingly weighted symbolic object, to which the show, once again, nodded when Mance told Jon that they needed to get him a new cloak. But people who hadn't read the books wouldn't understand how important that was in Jon's journey.
Hanh: Well, a turncloak hasn't always been a nickname for a traitor. But it's true that there's a little bit of shorthand on the show because we don't know the characters' inner thoughts, which we get from their P.O.V. chapters in the book. And I also have to say I was disappointed that Ser Barristan Selmy wasn't undercover as Arstan when we first meet him on the show.