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A lot of characters gain focus in the show:


  • Ros was originally a Canon Foreigner intended only for Tyrion's introduction, but the producers liked the actress enough to expand her into The Watson for most of Season 1's Sexposition and eventually a supporting character.
  • Robb gets quite a bit more screen-time than page-time because of the producers' liking for the actor and the character's Ensemble Darkhorse status in both versions. In the books, his story is told only through other characters, particularly Catelyn, and his Westerlands campaign and marriage are all relayed second-hand. In the show, Robb remains on-screen and Catelyn and the campaign both take a backseat to his Adaptation Expansion romance.
  • Shae's scenes in the book consist almost entirely of her liaisons with Tyrion, while in the show, particularly the second season, she serves as a Cool Big Sister to Sansa and interacts with other characters like Cersei and Ros.
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  • Margaery is a major recipient of House Tyrell's increased presence in the show. For instance, her role in A Clash of Kings (analogous to Season 2) is to be present at Renly's side when Catelyn arrives at Bitterbridge and be betrothal to Joffrey in absentia. That's it.
  • Olenna is a relatively minor character in the books, so only her interactions with Sansa are directly analogous to the books.
  • Craster appears in only two chapters of the books and the fate of the mutineers is very subtly implied in a third. The show expands what he does with his sons and what happens to the mutineers into a minor arc.
  • Regarding the show's ultimate Big Bad, the Night King, George R. R. Martin has stated on his "Not a Blog" that in the books "he is a legendary figure, akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder, and no more likely to have survived to the present day than they have."
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  • In the books, Orell is killed by Jon in the skirmish where he meets Ygritte, but the show gives him a few of Varamyr Sixskins' traits and expands him into Jon's antagonist for Season 3.
  • The captive squires Willem and Martyn Lannister (along with Tion Frey) are just mentioned in the novels, but get a couple of scenes in Season 3. One of these actors, Dean-Charles Chapman, was later recast as Tommen Baratheon as well, making him also this, in an amusing sense.
  • After being created for one scene in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", the writers liked Myranda so much that they expanded her role as Ramsay's paramour in the following season. Season 5 sees her become a recurring character.
  • Rickon quite possibly gets more screen-time in "The Rains of Castamere" than all his other appearances put together.
  • Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon are little more than placeholders until Seasons 4 and 5 respectively, where they finally become prominent.
  • The Sand Snakes are secondary characters in the books whose main purpose thus far is to be War Hawk sounding boards for the Dornish protagonists Doran and Arianne. The show eliminates Arianne and sidelines Doran in favour of playing up the Sand Snakes as antagonists to Jaime and Bronn's Adaptation Expansion adventure to the region.
  • Ellaria's adaptational villainy raises her from a despondent tertiary character who just wants to end the Cycle of Revenge into the Arc Villain of Dorne.
  • Trystane Martell is The Ghost thus far in the books but gets a minor, non-influential role in the show.
  • Mossador was a face in the crowd with two or three lines in "Oathkeeper" but appears on Daenerys' small council in "The Wars to Come".
  • Tormund Giantsbane is an Ensemble Darkhorse who's appeared in just five chapters, but in the show he's given another character's mission of attacking Castle Black from the south, and becomes an even closer companion to Jon and the only major wildling character from Season 5 on.
  • Khal Moro is no more than a name in the crowd in Dany's very first chapter, but in the show he's head of the khalasar that captures her in "The Red Woman".
  • Maester Wolkan is a minor background character in Season 5, he gets more screentime in Season 6.
  • Lyanna Mormont is an unseen character mentioned in a single anecdote in the novels; in the show she is made the Lady of Bear Island and appears in person, even accompanying the Starks into the field.
  • Kevan Lannister's scene in 5x02 alone is more memorable than all his previous screentime put together. Many viewers should be excused if they take this as a Remember the New Guy? situation.
  • Gregor Clegane gets more screen time in Season 6 after his "resurrection" because Cersei makes him her Right-Hand Attack Dog.
  • In the books and the early seasons, Sandor is seen from the perspectives of Ned, Sansa, Arya, and Tyrion. He has his own story starting from Season 6.
  • Qhono used to be a nameless Dothraki ko from Moro's khalassar before he got upgraded to one of Daenerys' generals.

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