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Death By Adaptation / Game of Thrones

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A lot of characters who are still alive in the novels are killed in the show:

  • Rakharo is killed, with hints from the showrunners that it was at the actor's request, as he was scheduled to play a role in the film version of World War Z. Later in the season, Irri, the character's implied love interest on the show, was also killed off via Real Life Writes the Plot, unlike their page-bound counterpart.
  • Pyat Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos both get a Karmic Death at the end of Daenerys' Qarth arc. Neither has died in the books, though Pree is implied to have suffered a fate much worse than dragon fire.
  • Dagmer, who is really an In Name Only Composite Character, receives an off-screen Karmic Death while his namesake is still very much alive (and undeserving of such karma) in the novels. Ironically, this death is inflicted by one of the characters from whom he is composited.
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  • Joyeuse Frey takes the place of an Adapted Out character as the victim of a slashed throat in "The Rains of Castamere".
  • Talisa is killed despite her clear counterpart Jeyne Westerling remaining very much alive as a possible Chekhov's Gunman in the books.
  • In "The Watchers on the Wall", Pyp and Grenn receive this on behalf of several minor characters who died in the books, most obviously Deaf Dick Follard and Donal Noye.
  • Jojen Reed, in "The Children", is mortally wounded by wights and mercy-killed by Meera just before reaching the Three-Eyed Crow. In the books, he's still alive.
  • Mance Rayder in "The Wars to Come", who is executed by Stannis and Melisandre at Castle Black. In the books Melisandre executes a decoy and lets Mance go in secret.
  • Barristan Selmy gets stabbed in Meereen by the Sons of the Harpy at the end of "The Sons of the Harpy" and is confirmed dead at the beginning of "Kill the Boy". His book counterpart still has an important role to play in the Meereen storyline and is still alive and kicking by the end of A Dance with Dragons.
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  • Hizdahr zo Loraq is killed by the Sons of the Harpy in "The Dance of the Dragons," while in the book he is arrested by Barristan after the assassination attempt under suspicion of having planned it.
  • Shireen Baratheon is burned alive by Stannis in "The Dance of the Dragons", while in the book, she's still alive and is at Castle Black while Stannis began his siege at Winterfell. She was alive in the books when the episode aired but GRRM told the writers to kill her off, so she'll presumably face a similar fate in the books.
  • Selyse Baratheon is also still alive as of A Dance With Dragons.
  • Stannis Baratheon was killed by Brienne of Tarth in the Season 5 finale and his death was confirmed by Roose Bolton in the Season 6 premiere. His fate in the books remained unknown as Ramsey claimed in his letter to Jon Snow that he’s dead while he’s alive for now in Theon’s preview chapter in the upcoming The Winds of Winter planning for an assault against Ramsey.
  • Myrcella Baratheon is poisoned by Ellaria Sand via Kiss of Death just before returning to King's Landing in "A Mother's Mercy" and tragically dies on the journey back. In the books, she barely makes it out alive after a crazed Dornish knight tries to kill her, losing her ear in the process but is definitely in no danger from the books' Sand Snakes and book Ellaria, unlike the show's villainous versions. However, it's already foretold that she may die.
  • With the exception of Balon Greyjoy, Smalljon Umber, Kevan Lannister and Pycelle, all of the characters who have died throughout Season 6 are still alive as of A Dance with Dragons. As George R.R. Martin mentioned before in the foreword of ADWD that by the time The Winds of Winter will be released, more bodies will be dropped.
    • In the novels, Shaggydog, Osha and Rickon are alive at Skagos, far from Winterfell.
    • In the books, Harrion Karstark is captured at the Battle of the Green Fork, imprisoned at Harrenhal and released when Arya and Jaqen H'ghar liberate the northern prisoners and the Brave Companions turn on Amory Lorch and deliver the castle to Lord Bolton. In the novels, Rickard has three sons and two of them die, one of which is named "Eddard Karstark" after Eddard Stark. Given the TV series's reluctance to use the books' intentional aversion of the One Steve Limit rule, because they thought the audience would be confused, they swapped Eddard Karstark's death with Harrion - though whether "Eddard Karstark" will take his brother's place from the storyline in later novels, or if he will be renamed, or simply be Adapted Out, is anyone's guess.
    • Tommen Baratheon committed suicide after seeing his mother kill several people including his wife and mentor. He is still alive in the books, though book!Tommen is still foretold to die as well.
  • Rodrik Cassel dies much earlier than he does in the book, at the hands of Theon Greyjoy instead of those of Ramsay Snow.
  • In the books, Old Nan is perhaps still alive, although her current state of existence can't be pleasant. Because of her actress' death before the show's premiere, the producers decided not to recast her character.
  • The Greatjon is a captive of the Freys after the Red Wedding in the books. Here, he's revealed to have suffered a Bus Crash in Season 6.
  • Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover are still presumably alive in the books. In the books, they are sent on a mission to find Howland Reed but haven't been heard of ever since.
  • While Willem Lannister meets his end in the books, his twin Martyn is also killed in the show, instead of Tion Frey. This is in keeping with the show's substituting the Frey descendants of Tywin's sister Genna with Lannisters to avoid the explanation of there being Freys both on the Stark and the Lannister side.
  • Ser Amory Lorch is of the "died earlier than in the source material" type. In the books, the second murder Jaqen H'gar commits for Arya is that of Weese, the steward of Harrenhal understewart, for whom Arya works and who had hit her. Amory Lorch still dies, but later in the same book and not at the hands of either Arya or Jaqen.
  • The Tickler dies in the place of Chiswyck, a man-at-arms sworn to the Mountain.
  • If Young Griff is Prince Aegon, Aegon turns up Not Quite Dead in the books.
  • Catelyn Stark is an interesting situation. Technically she died in the same place than her book counterpart (The Red Wedding). But because Lady Stoneheart was Adapted Out, that means that she's Killed Off for Real in the show compared to how she Came Back Wrong in the book.


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