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Composite Character / Game of Thrones

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Happens frequently in Game of Thrones, with many characters taking traits from a variety of book characters. Some of many examples include:

  • Gendry, perhaps the biggest example, has seen his own book plot combined with the book plot of Edric Storm, another of Robert's bastards who only appears in the book series, who is taken to Dragonstone and targeted by Melisandre as a potential Human Sacrifice and is spirited away to avoid this, which happens to Gendry in Season 3. In the books, at least two of Robert's other bastards survived: Edric Storm (sent to the Free Cities) and Mya Stone (in the Vale with Sansa). The TV series never introduced the others and seems to treat Gendry as the only surviving bastard.
  • TV's Rakharo combines Jhogo (the whip) and Rakharo (the arakh), two of Dany's Dothraki bodyguards. The character was originally going to be called Jhogo, but executives thought it sounded too similar to Drogo and changed it to Rakharo to avoid confusion. The rest of the supporting Dothraki cast are condensed into Daenerys' handmaid Irri, who in the books is one half of a Those Two Gals combo with Jhiqui, who in the show is largely an extra (while Irri has gained a lot more personality), Drogo's bloodrider Qotho, and Kovarro, who is a combination of Jhogo and some of Rakharo's traits which were not used in Rakharo, with all the rest Demoted to Extra.
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  • In series 2, Rodrik Cassel's death is a combination of the death scenes of several minor Northman characters, namely Benfred Tallhart (who scorns Theon with Theon being told to kill him for disrespect) and Farlen (whose death Theon botches), with some of his own last words thrown in.
  • Jory Cassel gets several conversations from minor Stark guardsmen.
  • In another major example, Davos has seven sons in the book, several of whom go with him into battle, but material on the DVD confirms that they have been condensed into one, Matthos. He fulfills the job of scribe rather than Maester Pylos and follows the Lord of Light like Devan Seaworth.
  • Ser Barristan Selmy is, conversely, a downplayed example, taking no story plots from other characters, yet taking elements of Ser Arthur Dayne the "Sword of the Morning"'s badass reputation and the admiration that Ned and Jaime have for Dayne (although book-Barristan was just as badass as his TV counterpart, this mostly takes the form of compliments and stories about Dayne in the book being redirected to Selmy), and taking the role of the knight Jaime Lannister squired for, held in the books by Lord Sumner Crakehall.
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  • Thoros of Myr takes some characteristics from fellow Brotherhood members Lem Lemoncloak and Tom 'o Sevenstrings, with Tom's affable nature, singing voice and introduction.
  • Loras Tyrell is a combination of his brothers Willas and Garlan's roles as Sansa's betrothed and Renly's ghost respectively. His brothers seem to have been written out of the series entirely. Future need for this trope may also be why Loras hasn't followed his page-bound counterpart's plotline after "Blackwater".
  • In Season 2, Tyrion names Bronn Lord Commander of the Gold Cloaks rather than Jacelyn Bywater, who only has a few scenes in A Clash of Kings and dies in the Battle of Blackwater anyway. Bronn has also roughly taken the place of Ilyn Payne, who becomes Jaime Lannister's sparring partner and traveling companion after he gains his golden hand. In addition, Bronn takes Addam Marbrand's role as the Lannister's go-fer PA starting and also borrows characteristics from Marbrand, namely his frustration of having his Hypercompetent Sidekick talents abused with work he doesn't like.
  • All over the place with the Sand Snakes in season 5, since they were condensed from 8 characters and only 3 have appeared on-screen so far. Along with their mother Ellaria Sand, they are also condensed to be Arianne Martell and her various co-conspirators in the kidnapping of Myrcella Baratheon:
    • Obara has remained mostly the same, being the oldest Sand Snake and using a spear in battle.
    • Nymeria, the second oldest Sand Snake, now uses a whip as her weapon of choice, which was one of Obara's weapons in the books.
    • The youngest Sand Snake in the series is Tyene Sand and the main thing she has in common with her book counterpart is her affinity for poisons. She uses daggers in battle like the book version of Nymeria and she is now the child of Ellaria Sand. Her personality is most like Elia Sand, who is the oldest daughter of both Oberyn and Ellaria in the books.
    • Ellaria herself receives an Adaptational Villainy by becoming just as revenge-driven as the Sand Snakes in their plot to destroy the Lannisters. Book Ellaria, despite being arguably the person most affected by Oberyn's death by seeing it happen, actually discourages the Sand Snakes from pursuing revenge with a powerful speech, telling them revenge only breeds more revenge. She also takes no part in the plot to kidnap Myrcella.
  • In the backstory, the omission of Jaehaerys II (and with him, an entire generation of Targaryens) makes Aerys II the younger son of Aegon V, who inherited the throne after his father and disinherited older brother Duncan died at the Tragedy of Summerhall. In the books Aerys and his sister-wife Rhaella were the children of Jaehaerys (and his own sister-wife, Shaena), and thus were Aegon V's grandchildren instead of his children; Duncan was their uncle who, along with Jaehaerys and Shaena, had a sister named Rhaelle (the grandmother of Robert, Stannis and Renly) and a brother named Daeron (who was the Targaryen betrothed to Olenna Redwyne before she married Luthor Tyrell). While a placeholder for Daeron was mentioned in discussion by Olenna in Season 4, the rest of Duncan's siblings appear to have been replaced by/combined with Aerys and Rhaella.
  • Meryn Trant is a catch-all for the Kingsguard who are not Jaime Lannister and Barristan Selmy.
  • Ros is a Canon Foreigner who incorporates elements of Theon's lowborn bed-mate Kyra, the Summer Islander madam Chataya (who owns the most prominent brothel), and Alayaya (who is mistaken for Tyrion's lover).
  • The dozen clansmen Tyrion interacts with in the novels are condensed into Shagga in Season 1 and Timett in Season 2.
  • Polliver is a combination of several soldiers from the books, most notably his namesake (who steals Needle) and Raff the Sweetling (who murders Lommy). His death in particular combines the circumstances of Polliver's and the Tickler's; at the hands of Arya like the latter (with her repeating his own words as an Ironic Echo) and with the dialogue of Raff's, with him having his tendons cut so that he's as helpless as Lommy was before Arya kills him. Raff dies early into The Winds of Winter — although the book hasn't yet been released, George RR Martin leaked the chapter mere days before the first airing episode of Season 4, which in turn featured Polliver's death.
  • The Tickler and Amory Lorch take the place of Adapted Out Chiswyck and Weese as Arya's first two names for Jaqen H'ghar.
  • The Spice King is an amalgam of the Pureborn of Qarth and the book version Xaro Xhoan Daxos with a name reminiscent of the Ancient Guild of Spicers.
  • Osha takes on the role of Theon's bed-warmer in "The Old Gods and the New" instead of a local peasant named Kyra from the adjacent Wintertown. She also takes over aspects of Old Nan, and also from the Reed siblings until they show up in Season 3. Part of this was Real Life Writes the Plot since Nan's actress, Margaret John, died after the completion of the first season.
  • Despite his name, Dagmer's role as Theon's Evil Mentor is drawn almost entirely from Aeron Greyjoy and the second Reek rather than Dagmer Cleftjaw, the Living Legend who acts more like a proper father to Theon than anyone else in the novels.
  • Brynden "Blackfish" Tully takes his aggression from the Greatjon, who was Put on a Bus after Season 1. For instance, it is the Greatjon who punches Rickard Karstark in the novels, and the Blackfish of the novels never threatens or demeans Edmure.
  • Shireen is introduced singing an eerie song lifted from her page-bound companion Patchface the jester and replaces Maester Pylos as the one who teaches Davos to read.
  • Tormund Giantsbane takes over Styr's role being mistaken for Mance in "Valar Dohaeris" and combines Styr and Jarl's role of leading raiders over the Wall in "The Climb". His more brutal attitude (such as threatening to pull Jon's guts out through his throat) is also courtesy of Styr and recedes somewhat when Styr is introduced as a separate character in Season 4. He is also captured and held for questioning in place of Rattleshirt.
  • Rast combines his namesake (a bully who enjoys beating Sam) with Chett (who actively plots to kill Sam) and Ollo Lophand (who stabs Lord Commander Mormont).
  • The Second Sons of the series actually share more with the Stormcrows than the Second Sons. Prendahl and Daario are both Stormcrows in the novels, Mero is a composite of a Stormcrow and a Second Son, and their Season 3 subplot is that of the Stormcrows.
  • Lord Axell Florent. In the books Queen Selyse's uncle Ser Axell is perhaps a worse fanatic than Melisandre and his elder brother Lord Alester Florent is an opportunist who pays lip service to the red god but is ritually burnt after Stannis convicts him of treason for corresponding with Tywin Lannister and offering to surrender Shireen as a hostage without Stannis' knowledge or consent. As for Selyse's brothers, in addition to Ser Imry, her other brother in the books was Ser Erren Florent, a captive at Highgarden. Axell being burned to death for refusing to abandon the Faith of the Seven is taken from Guncer Sunglass in the books.
  • It is hard to tell whether the King Orys I mentioned in "Breaker of Chains" is a composite of several Targaryens with the name of the founder of House Baratheon (who was never a king) or a complete Canon Foreigner.
  • Daario stands as Daenerys' counter to the Champion of Meereen Oznak zo Pahl in place of the Adapted Out former gladiator Strong Belwas. In Season 5, he has also taken up Belwas' role as a former pit fighter who wants the practice resumed. In Season 5, he also replaces the Adapted Out Shavepate as Dany's ruthless advisor.
  • Ralf Kenning, the commander at Moat Cailin, combines the name and position of Ralf Kenning with the actions and fate of Dagon Codd.
  • The seven Lords Declarant of the Vale are distilled into Yohn Royce and Anya Waynwood, who are also swayed by Littlefinger in the matter of Lysa Arryn's death, an action of Royce's more corruptible cousin Nestor in the novels.
  • Varys sends Tyrion to Daenerys in Meereen while in the books Illyrio Mopatis, who doesn't appear again after the first season, was the one who did that. He also takes Illyrio's role of welcoming Tyrion to Pentos, though they're still in Illyrio's house, followed by replacing Griff and his entire team in escorting Tyrion to Meereen.
  • The Sorrows, one length of the river Rhoyne, is combined with the ruins of Valyria and the Smoking Sea. The depiction of the area as the mysterious, misty ruins of a long-destroyed civilization where insane sufferers of greyscale lurk just out of sight is taken straight from the books' descriptions of the Sorrows, but the show calls this place Valyria. The show does acknowledge the book's hearsay descriptions of Valyria and the Smoking Sea as a fiery, smoky demons' haunt, but using the less hellish look of the Sorrows would imply that, at least in the show, the fire-and-brimstone version is simply a myth. The script hangs a lampshade on the Sorrows/Valyria amalgamation with Tyrion asking, "Where are we now? Not the Rhoyne."
  • In season 5 Sansa takes over the role of Jeyne Poole (who was Adapted Out other than a brief unnamed cameo in the first episode) as the girl Ramsey marries to increase his legitimacy as heir to Winterfell. Like Jeyne, Sansa is horribly raped and abused and has to turn to Theon to help; though unlike Jeyne she still despises Theon. In her Season 6 reunion with Jon, Sansa takes the role of Alys Karstark as well.
  • Hizdahr zo Loraq is a catch-all for the various Meereenese nobles Daenerys interacts with like Reznak mo Reznak and Galazza Galare.
  • The writers sometimes don't understand that maesters (scholars) are not septons (priests) which is why we get Grand Maester Pycelle speaking the High Septon's dialogue at Ned Stark's execution and Maester Cressen criticizing Stannis' followers for converting to the Lord of Light.
  • Black Walder Rivers is a composite of quite a lot of the books' Walder Frey's descendants: Black Walder Frey (his first name and nickname), Walder Rivers (his bastard surname, being sent to parley with Starks and Tullys to spite them), Raymund Frey (killing Catelyn Stark), Ryman Frey (threatning to hang Edmure Tully and getting slapped by Jaime for making empty threats) and Jared Frey (blunt Frey who gets made into a pie).
  • Ramsay's allies in season six, Harald Karstark and Smalljon Umber, serve as composites of Rickard Karstark's and Greatjon Umber's respective sons, Rickard's eldest son Harrion Karstark (the one of Rickard's three sons who lived in the novels and is in turn is another composite character in the show - his death comes from that of his own brother Eddard Karstark, who seems to have been Adapted Out to prevent confusion with Ned Stark) and Smalljon Umber (in name), and their respective uncles, Arnolf Karstark, who becomes the new ruler of the House and sides with the Boltons, and Mors "Crowfood" and Hother "Whoresbane" Umber, the former for his hatred of Wildlings, and the latter for allying with the Boltons. In addition, Harald's resentment of Robb for killing his father is taken from Rickard's daughter Alys in the book.
  • Benjen with Coldhands, as the former Night's Watch member who was turned into a wight, and comes to Bran's rescue in the north. Many book fans have speculated Coldhands to be Benjen, but Word of God is that they're different characters.
  • It is Arya Stark and not Wyman Manderly that gets to bake the Frey Pies — which she serves to Walder Frey personally right before opening his throat.
  • Bran Stark's green dreams about the sea flooding Winterfell are experienced by Jojen Reed in the books.
  • In the books, Ser Imry Florent is the one who leads the fleet in the Battle of the Blackwater, instead of Davos Seaworth. The fact that Davos (or any other seasoned sailor) was not in charge of the fleet is a large part of how the fleet was trapped and burned in Blackwater Bay.
  • In the novels, it was Loras who slew two of Renly's Kingsguard; this role was transferred to Brienne on the show.
  • Ramsay Snow with Harrold Hardying as the pawn used by Littlefinger to betroth to Sansa.
  • Locke takes over most of the role of Vargo Hoat (without the Qohorik mercenary background or the comically exaggerated lisp), as well as a few of the other Brave Companions, notably cutting Jaime's hand off which is something Zollo the Fat did in the books. The name "Locke" is briefly mentioned in the books as a Northern family, sworn to the Starks. Locke's lisp is slight but still noticeable, mostly during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jaime. Furthermore, his friendship with Ramsay may be a reference to the first Reek from the books.
  • Myranda has no counterpart in the books but she has aspects of several background characters. Very loosely, she's sort of a gender-swapped version of the Bastard's Boys, the gang of toadies who follow Ramsay around, as well as the first Reek, given how she and Ramsay are childhood friends. Her bitterness over Ramsay marrying a highborn comes from Mya Stone having her heart broken by Michael Redfort. She's also somewhat reminiscent of Kyra, as a lower-class woman who works at Winterfell and sleeps with the occupier. Her name and attempt to ingratiate herself with Sansa come from Myranda Royce.
  • While Lyanna writes the letter to Stannis in the books as well, the show version seems to combine aspects of Wyman Manderly's granddaughter, Wylla, with her wanting to fight in the name of House Stark — odds be damned — and her capacity for badass speeches. She's also basically a condensation of all four of Maege's younger daughters from the book series into a single character.
  • Tywin's intro of butchering a stag is actually from Randyll Tarly, Sam's father. And his use of Arya as a cupbearer is taken from Roose Bolton.
  • Jaime takes over for Balon Swann, a Kingsguard knight sent by Cersei to return Myrcella to the Capital. Jaime did not go to Dorne in the books.
  • Aspects and plot elements of the Adapted Out Greyjoy, Victarion, have been distributed between Euron (such as his violent boarding raids and wielding of an axe in combat- Euron is never really depicted on-page as a great warrior instead proving his mettle as a strategist, cunning manipulator and sorcerer), and his nephew and niece (such as Yara's quest to meet up with Dany in Slaver's Bay, as Yara's post-Kingsmoot story in the books was wrapped up with Stannis, who'd already been killed on the show). Euron also takes the role of Cersei's untrustworthy naval commander from Aurane Waters, her Master of Ships from the books. Time will tell if he follows the same path. In addition, Euron's role as Cersei's crass and roguish follower who she has an affair with also resembles Osney Kettleblack.
  • Jon Snow mixes this with Decomposite Character. He takes Catelyn's role as the Stark who is ressurected and joins forces with the Brotherhood Without Banners. In another combination with Decomposite Character: While Daenerys gets Young Griff's storyline and (expies of) his team, he gets his half brother's real name.
    • A similar mix of the two happens with Arya Stark seemingly taking her mother's post-resurrection quest of bloody vengeance against the Freys—although Arya notably leaves the Riverlands pretty quickly and decides against slaughtering innocents (only killing the male Freys and leaving the women alive, befriending rather than killing the lower-born conscripted Lannister soldiers she meets in the season 7 premiere, etc.)
  • Martyn Lannister takes the place of his cousin Tion Frey, who is a Lannister on his mother's side.
  • Some of Lord Leo Lefford's lines come from Ser Harys Swyft, another Lannister bannerman.
  • Melara Hetherspoon, of Cersei's two friends, Melara Hetherspoon and Jeyne Farman. She's Melara in that she goes with Cersei to see Maggy the Frog and does not run away scared, and Jeyne in that she is apprehensive about doing so and from what we can see, does not suffer the death that Maggy foretold.
  • Sandor Clegane:
    • He, rather than Vargo Hoat (or his show counterpart Locke), gets his ear bitten off by Brienne. Though this is after he escaped losing an ear in the fight with Polliver's men as in the books, so it evens out.
    • Like Victarion Greyjoy, Sandor is a big brute of a man being told by a follower of the Lord of Light (Beric instead of Moqorro) that he has some great destiny ahead of him.
  • Weasel includes some traits of some of the Mountain's men.
  • As of Season 5, Daenerys' storyline has basically been combined with that of Young Griff — her presumed deceased nephew whom Varys was hoping to restore to power in the books, and whom Tyrion actually joined forces with. Much in the same way, many of the characters who are connected with Daenerys have been combined with characters from Griff's entourage. Tyrion being named Hand of the Queen is an echo of Jon Connington being named Hand of the True King. In the book, Tyrion has yet to meet Daenerys, though he is close, while the person who becomes the Hand of the Queen is Barristan Selmy, who is killed off relatively early in the show.
  • Daenerys going full-on Mad Queen near the end of the series is likely an exaggerated composite of her lesson learned at the end of A Dance With Dragons — when she realizes that she will need to use more than diplomacy to solve the Siege of Meereen and the Sons of the Harpy — and a Foreshadowing about Young Griff when he meets Tyrion. Tyrion notices that Young Griff has a streak of Targaryen madness after seeing him throw a fit for losing a game of cyvasse, which convinces him that he is Prince Aegon Targaryen after all. Her final actions also incorporate aspects of Maegor the Cruel's actions, as described in Fire & Blood. While Aerys II merely threatened to burn King's Landing with wildfire, Maegor actually did burn King's Landing (specifically, Rhaenys' Hill), without regard of civilian casualties, using a dragon (Balerion, the one that Drogon is said to be the second coming of). Maegor died in the throne room, and although his cause of death is unknown, one of the theories is that his queen Elinor Costayne assassinated him. After his death, she retreated to live a life of peace away from the capital, much like what Jon Snow does at the end of the series.
  • In Season 5, Jorah takes some of Jon Connington's role from the books, particularly getting infected with greyscale while rescuing Tyrion from drowning on their way to Daenarys.
  • Mossador has no real equivalent in the book. However, his name, comes from one of Missandei's brothers who was made into Unsullied. His advocacy of violence to fight the Sons of the Harpy seems to stem from Skahaz mo Kandaq, the Shavepate, while his status as a prominent freedman is reminiscent of Symon Stripeback and Rylona Rhee.
  • Doreah, in a way, with Shae from the books. While the Shae from the series is the book character in name only, Doreah plays the character's book role of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing playing the part of a Hooker with a Heart of Gold, who eventually betrays a POV character when a better opportunity comes along, and is killed because of this betrayal. In contrast, the book's Doreah is a minor handmaiden of Daenerys who dies before her procession even reaches Qarth.
  • Stannis Baratheon:
    • In the books it's Guyard Morrigen who leads the vanguard at the battle of Blackwater. In the show it's Stannis himself.
    • The leading from the front and being the first one to climb the ladder up the wall is an aspect taken from the book version of young Robert Baratheon.
  • As no name is given to the Baratheon General during the last stages of the march to Winterfell, and Stannis in the books had several knights serving as his subordinates, it's presumed he is a composite of Ser Richard Horpe, Godry Farring and Justin Massey.

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