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Adaptation Dye Job / Game of Thrones

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  • In the books, most of the Stark children (Robb, Sansa, Bran and Rickon) inherit the Tully look of auburn hair and blue eyes from Catelyn, while Arya and Ned's illegitimate son Jon inherit the Stark look of dark brown hair and grey eyes from Ned. However, in the show, it's switched around: Ned has light auburn hair rather than brunette and most of his kids have dark hair in the show: Bran has the Stark look with brunette hair and dark eyes, Robb has auburn hair initially but it darkens to brown later and Rickon has brown hair. Catelyn and Sansa are the only ones who keep both their blue eyes and red hair, though Sansa's hair is more red-red than her auburn (red-brown) hair in the books. Jon and Arya keep their dark hair, though Jon's is more black. The change is notable because the kids' appearances have an impact on the family dynamic in the books: Catelyn is resentful that Ned's illegitimate son Jon looks more like him than any of the trueborn sons she bore him and Arya's feelings of not fully fitting in are partially because she and Jon are the only ones of Ned's kids to inherit the Stark look while Robb, Sansa, Bran and Rickon all inherited the Tully look. In the show, because Jon, Robb, Bran and Arya all look very alike, classically Stark, and have darker hair than Ned due to his adaption, the dynamic is inverted and Sansa appears as the odd one out among her siblings due to her red hair — though she's still considered the pretty sister and shares both her parents' colouring.
  • The Lannisters have bright gold curls in the books but, except for natural blond Charles Dance, they have much straighter, darker blond hair in the show to cope with the actors' natural dark hair. This is particularly noticeable whenever Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) grow any facial hair because it remains its natural colour.
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    • Starting in season 2, Jaime's blonde hair fades. While he spent most of this time in captivity and one might assume the color change is mostly due to the dirt in his hair, Jaime's hair remains mid-range brown rather than blonde after his escape. Somewhat justified due to weather, since summer has ended and his hair will be subjected to less bleaching from the sun. Tyrion goes from having very straight light blonde hair in season 1 to having curly mop of hair that's an even mix of blonde and brown later on, which is actually somewhat closer to his description in the book (in addition to being a dwarf, he also has a birth defect which causes his hair to have patches of different color).
    • In the books, Kevan Lannister is blonde, whereas TV Kevan has Ian Gelder's gray hair. Doesn't help him look like he's younger than Tywin, even though Gelder is actually younger than Charles Dance.
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  • The Targaryens of the books have very striking Mystical Silver Hair and Supernatural Purple Eyes as opposed to the platinum blond hair and natural eyes of the show. Word of God is that the purple contact lenses interfered with the actors' performances.
  • The distinctive jet-black Baratheon hair of the novels is dark brown in the show, which is a natural shade for most of the actors and so looks more authentic onscreen, though Joe Dempsie (Gendry) is a natural blond dyed to match the other actors because his hair is a plot point. Gendry is also notable for being one of the few Baratheon characters to have the piercing blue eyes of his book counterpart. Ned Stark, when reading through the house's records, still notes that they have black hair. In the books, Shireen has black hair. The show gives her light brown hair; Kerry Ingram, who plays Shireen, is blonde in real life.
  • The dragon Viserion is cream-white accented with gold in the books but a straight brownish-gold in the show.
  • Doreah is silver-blond and blue-eyed in the books, dark-haired in the show.
  • While Talisa herself is a Canon Foreigner, the books are clear that Volantene noblewomen like Talisa are pale and silver-haired like Daenerys, rather than olive-skinned and dark-haired like Oona Chaplin.
  • Catelyn's brother Edmure and uncle Brynden lack the auburn Tully hair of their book counterparts (the Blackfish has gone completely grey in the books but in the show, he clearly has dark hair under the grey).
  • Theon and Yara have mid-brown hair and blue eyes instead of the black hair and dark eyes they have in the novels. Their uncle Euron has similarly lighter hair, and has normal blue eyes instead of having one eerily blue "smiling eye" and one black "blood eye".
  • Daario doesn't have the garish blue hair and beard or gold tooth described in the books, and instead has natural brown hair, and his wardrobe is darkened to the show's standard brown leather instead of his colourful, lacy getup from the books that one might expect on a swashbuckling pirate or musketeer.
  • Fat Walda is blonde in the books, and has the ubiquitous dark of the Freys in the show.
  • In the books, Ghiscari nobles sculpt and dye their hair into outrageous shapes and colours. To avoid the great potential for narm, the series omits this detail and associated points like Daenerys' supporters shaving off said hair.
  • In the books, Daenerys' vision of her stillborn son is one of a bronze-skinned man who closely resembles Drogo with the Targaryen silver-blond hair and purple eyes while in the show, Dany's vision shows her stillborn son as a brunette baby with paler skin.
  • The books' vibrant wardrobes and heraldry are given a more subdued, pastel treatment across the board in the show.
    • In the March 28, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly, costume designer Michelle Clapton revealed this was intentional in the case of swapping the Tyrell's green-and-gold for a gentler teal-and-cream palette to emphasize their Silk Hiding Steel philosophy. An exception that proves this rule is Loras' sparring outfit in "Kissed By Fire", where there is no need to disguise that he is a formidable Tyrell warrior. This endures until "Oathkeeper" when hints of green and gold begin to creep into the Tyrell wardrobes until they are all bedecked in it in "The Laws of Gods and Men". That they have quite literally shown their true colours symbolizes both their confidence in the now-formalized alliance and their willingness to now push back against the Lannisters.
    • The Bolton banner has a black or dark blue field instead of a pink one and their wardrobe is likewise darkened, no doubt to avoid the potential narm of Real Men Wear Pink.
    • Renly adopts the colours of House Tyrell for his Baratheon sigil in the show, with it being a golden stag on a green background — the King in Highgarden, indeed. In the book, he incorporates their sigil and colours in a dozen other ways but always retains the traditional black stag on a gold field as a sign of legitimacy.
    • The White Walkers wear black armour very similar to that of the Night's Watch instead of the reflective crystalline armour described in the books.
    • Rainbows are a common motif of the Faith of the Seven and a symbol of piety in the books because of their seven colours, but this is entirely absent from the show, likely because their strong LGBT association would inevitably create entirely different implications, especially in the case of a homosexual character like Renly being guarded by a Rainbow Guard in rainbow cloaks.
  • Ser Loras Tyrell and his sister Margaery from the novels have brown eyes, but their TV counterparts are blue-eyed. Loras' hair is also dark blonde instead of brown.
  • Maege Mormont's hair is already snowy white in the books. Here, it's still brown.
  • Tyene Sand in the books has blond hair which she inherited from her mother. But when the show made Ellaria Sand as her mother, Tyene would have to inherit Ellaria's black hair color.
  • Jaqen H'ghar in the books has white hair on one side and red on the other. In the series he has reddish brown hair with a Skunk Stripe.
  • Jorah Mormont is described as dark-haired and balding in the books, but played by blond Iain Glen.

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