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Adaptation Personality Change / Game of Thrones

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A lot of characters have had their personalities changed from the books:

  • Sam. In the books, he's a complete Shrinking Violet who improves only very gradually and insists, "It was the dragonglass that slew it, not me," while in the show he likes to brag up his accomplishments: "How many brothers can say they've killed a White Walker and a Thenn? I might be the first in history!" Similarly, in the books he's "almost as frightened of brothels as the haunted forest," while in the show he constantly goes on about girls (Grenn and Edd lampshade this) and asks, "Don't you think it's a bit unfair, making us take our vows while they sneak off for a little Sally on the side?" He's also significantly less terrified of his father, being willing to steal Heartsbane from him and showing little concern at the possible reprisal.
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  • In the books, Roose Bolton is a medieval health nut who drinks hippocras (spiced wine believed to have medicinal properties) and advocates the health benefits of prunes and leeching to the extent that many call him "the leech lord". The show has none of this, with even his adaptational The Teetotaler trait based on alertness rather than health.
  • The show's stern, formidable Mance Rayder is a far cry from the books' crafty, unassuming badass bard who sings, goes on secret adventures south of the Wall, and leads cavalry charges in his Non-Uniform Uniform and winged helm.
  • The Waif is a Jerkass Alpha Bitch who strikes, bullies, and denigrates Arya, instead of the friendly and helpful mentor she is in the books.
  • In the books, Tommen is an adorable (if unprecocious) 8-year-old Cheerful Child whose idea of governance is playfully stamping decrees and plotting to outlaw beets. In order to keep him in the same Puppet King role despite an Age Lift into his teens, the show makes him a Weak-Willed Extreme Doormat.
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  • Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank is much sterner and more disapproving than the obliging clerk of the novels.
  • Fat Walda in the show is shy, demure and amenable unlike the jolly Big Fun she is in the books.
  • Sansa. The books never even imply that she was "awful" to Jon as they agree in "Book of the Stranger", only that they were never as close as Jon and Arya and that she correctly referred to him as a half-brother which, oddly enough, is something Littlefinger needs to remind her of in the same episode. In fact, despite the aloofness between them, in the books Jon recalls Sansa teaching him how to dance and talk to girls and Sansa thinks warmly of Jon in A Feast for Crows. Moreover, this all comes across as an Informed Flaw within the show itself, as Sansa is never shown acting like this with Jon or even arguing with Arya about it.
  • Ellaria Sand has the exact opposite personality of her book counterpart. In the books, Ellaria was the Only Sane Man trying to convince the Martells to let go of their feud with the Lannisters. Here, she's a War Hawk who wants to march to King's Landing or, barring that, to send Myrcella home in bits.
  • Prince Doran Martell. In the show he wants to stop the Cycle of Revenge consuming his family. In the books, he's been plotting against the Lannisters despite Lord Tywin and The Mountain both being dead. His schemes have already claimed the life of one of his sons.
  • In the original books, Renly is frivolous, charismatic, entitled and superficially charming, with a love for the fashion and romance of knightly pursuits, but mainly an arrogant Jerk Jock and Sleazy Politician who was fiercely anti-intellectual. He seeks the throne simply because he has the support to do so. In the show, Renly is the complete opposite: a serious, intelligent (the intellectual of the Baratheon brothers) and bureaucratic genuine Nice Guy who hates bloodshed and must be convinced to seek the throne because he'll make a better ruler, as a result of Adaptation Expansion which explores Renly's private life much more than the novels do.
  • Tywin in the book series never has a thought beyond what he needs to do to attain and keep power. In the show, we learn that he does have a softer side, at least with Arya. His true ruthlessness seems to be reserved for his own family and others he expects more of.
  • Shae: Shae from the books was a Gold Digger who was only interested in Tyrion for his money and betrayed him when she got a better offer from Cersei. In the show she's a Hooker with a Heart of Gold who genuinely loves Tyrion. She still betrays him, but in the show it's because she's a Woman Scorned after Tyrion tried to Break Her Heart to Save Her. The show also makes her more physically assertive, threatening and/or attacking several characters with knives.
  • Dagmer Cleftjaw from the books only appears once, but it's established he's an Honorary Uncle figure to Theon Greyjoy. In the show he's The Corrupter and a Poisonous Friend, convincing Theon to do darker and darker deeds to gain his men's respect and eventually betraying him after Theon's occupation of Winterfell fails. He's essentially a stand-in for Ramsay Bolton, who had the same role in the books.
  • Robb Stark is a lot more confident and assertive in the show than in the books, where he's just a teenage boy trying to live up to the expectations placed on him. Similarly, many of Daenerys Targaryen's insecurities were erased after her dragons hatched, whereas her book counterpart at times struggled with feelings of being in over her head.
  • Brienne: While both versions of the character are stubborn, honorable and brave, in the show she's also self-confident, aggressive, brusque, judgmental and even cynical at time. This goes hand-in-hand with her Age Lift and Adaptational Attractiveness. In the book, she's a shy, awkward Wide-Eyed Idealist with extremely low self-esteem and with a general aversion to violence in spite of her interest in fighting.
  • In the books, Euron is a Faux Affably Evil cosmopolitan, theatrical mastermind striving for eldritch power. His show counterpart, while still flamboyant in his own way, is a crude, unsubtle horndog. Bizarrely, in his first scene he acts almost identically to his book counterpart, even quoting a couple of his famous Badass Boasts, but in every appearance afterwards he communicates almost entirely in crude jokes.
  • Tyenne Sand is remarkably less subtle and manipulative than her book counterpart, who is unsettlingly good at faking innocence while perhaps being the most cruel of the Sand Snakes through the usage of poisons and assassination. There is little in the show to distinguish her from her more martial sisters.
  • Cersei is significantly more mentally stable than in the books, lacking that version's extreme paranoia.
  • Davos in the show is a firm atheist while in the books he is a firm believer in the Seven old gods, which makes him stand out in Stannis's court who follow the Lord of Light.
  • Show!Margaery is far more overt about her (and her family's) ambitions and her willingness to use her sexuality to further those ends. Book!Marg still possesses these qualities, but intentionally keeps them under the radar, instead choosing to outwardly milk the Princess Classic persona for all it's worth.
  • Show!Arya is more stoic and confident compared to her emotional book counterpart. Book Arya is introduced as a sociable child who will "make friends with anyone" which she retains despite all her experiences, is insecure about her place in the Stark family, and fairly sensitive and prone to tears. In the show, she's much tougher and more sure of herself throughout her experiences at Harrenhal and with the Hound. The show also makes her more anti-woman, having her outright announce that "most girls are idiots" while in the book one of her earliest lines was protesting that women are also important.


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