A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R.R. Martin has spoken out quite a bit about HBO’s Game of Thrones in recent weeks. Martin has revealed how characters who are alive in the books will see their downfall and more. This week he shared his feelings about the changes Game of Thrones has made to accommodate different deaths and how that should affect the HBO drama in the future.
Martin’s perspective on losing characters he has kept a bit nearer and dearer while writing is actually pretty pragmatic. The man seems pretty fine that he sold the rights to HBO, and mostly chalks the different deaths up to having fewer characters to work with on TV.
Writing books, I literally have a cast of thousand. We don't have that many named characters in the Night's Watch on the TV show. We can't afford to cast that many. So they'll kill Pyp and Grenn and get an emotional response because the viewer knows who they are.
Speaking of those beloved characters, Mark Stanley, who played Grenn, spoke out recently to talk about the tumult related to getting killed off of the HBO series when he wrongly assumed his character would have a long shelf life, mostly thanks to still being alive in the books. So, the shocks are not just limited to the fans watching the series on TV.
What I find most intriguing about Martin’s recent comments, which were reported by THR, is that Martin mentions how the books have a lot more characters for him to play with. Characters with lives and interesting personalities in the books, like Donal Noye, are often important enough to be given interesting death sequences. However, Donal Noye isn’t a character on the TV show, and in order to get his epic death sequence into the plot, HBO’s Game of Thrones had to substitute Noye for Grenn.
The lesson to take from this, at least for book readers, should be to think about some of the big sequences coming up, and who might die on the show in place of characters who might die in the books. We currently have no idea what will happen, but I am certainly interested in one storyline shift we already do know is taking place during Season 5.
We won’t have too long to wait before the death toll rises. HBO’s Game of Thrones hits the schedule this Sunday, April 12 at 9 p.m. ET. New episodes of Veep and Silicon Valley will follow. You can find out what we know about Game of Thrones so far, and check out our summer TV premiere schedule here.