In many ways, Shae’s trajectory has been similar thus far to her role in the books. She meets Tyrion on a battlefield and is brought to King’s Landing where Tyrion hides her in plain sight. However, Sibel Kekilli’s portrayal of the character is completely different. In HBO’s world, Shae is a mysterious character, neither lowborn nor stupid, who ends up as Sansa’s handmaiden much earlier than she does in the books. She has a fierce affection for Sansa, despite it hurting her deeply that she must work for the woman her lover, Tyrion, has married.

She’s lovely and mysterious and often likeable on television. It’s easy to see this through the way Varys treats her on the show. Instead of thinking Tyrion is a fool for liking a slippery whore like Shae, Varys sees her as a kindred spirit and even tries to help the young woman slip out of King’s Landing. It will be interesting to see if her character continues to evolve in Season 4 or to see how the writers help to maneuver the character back into the realms of George R. R. Martin’s writing.

On television, like in the books, Gendry is good-natured and strong, a man with blacksmithing skills. Unlike the books, his storyline is merged with another of Robert’s bastards, Edric Storm, and taken to Storm’s End. In the books, Gendry is still hanging out and using his blacksmithing skills to remain a part of the Brotherhood Without Banners. In HBO’s show, he’s busy making shadow babies and getting leached by Melisandre. It’s a big change and one that puts the character into more of a dangerous but prominent position. In the books, we can assume Gendry will be safe because he isn’t aware that he is the bastard son of a King. On television, he is fully aware of his status and is more valuable because of it. We’ll have to wait and see where that will take the character during Season 4.

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