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Demoted To Extra / Game of Thrones

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A lot of supporting characters tend to lose focus in the show:

  • The Dothraki were important enough to have a Conlang in Seasons 1 and 2, but are reduced to the background in Season 3 and are largely invisible in Season 4. In season 5 they vanished entirely, though they reappear in Seasons 6 and 7 (or at least, some Dothraki do - they aren't the same characters as before). In particular:
    • Dany has three bloodriders—Aggo, Jhogo, and Rakharo—throughout the novels, but in the show Jhoqo is Adapted Out completely, Aggo appears only as an extra, and Rakharo is killed off to be replaced by Kovarro, who then disappears after Season 2.
    • Dany also has two Dothraki handmaids, Irri and Jhiqui, but in the show Jhiqui disappears after just one scene, and Irri suffers a Death by Adaptation midway through Season 2.
  • In contrast to being a major viewpoint in the books, Catelyn increasingly becomes a supporting character to Robb's Adaptation Expansion romance with Talisa, especially in Season 3.
  • Tommen and his sister Myrcella weren't exactly large characters in the books but were demoted in early seasons to only a handful of scenes and a few speaking lines (including extended absences after Season 2, though Myrcella gets a bit more time in Season 2 and this is averted with Tommen in "Blackwater", where he has a minor role, whereas in the book he's not even present in King's Landing) but appear to be ascending in later seasons with Tommen recast for Season 4 and Myrcella recast for Season 5. Myrcella becomes a recurring character in Season 5.
  • The secondary characters of the Kingsguard are mostly rolled up into Meryn Trant. Bronn even lampshades this when he refers to one of the others as "Ser Whosit of Whocares?"
    • Except for Loras and Brienne, Renly's Kingsguard is the same. This is most evident when Brienne is totally unfazed by killing two of them, an act that haunts the doer in the novels. Their names were Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce, incidentally.
  • Ser Dontos Hollard plays a much more prominent role in Sansa's storyline in the second and third books than he does in the same period of the series.
  • Ygritte's Adaptation Expansion in Season 2 comes at the expense of Qhorin Halfhand.
  • The one-line extra who acts as Stannis' number two aboard his flagship in "Blackwater" is credited as Ser Imry Florent, the admiral who led Stannis' fleet into Tyrion's trap (instead of Davos) in the novels.
  • Subverted with Stannis' wife Selyse, who is portrayed by an extra in "The North Remembers" and promptly forgotten. While never a major character, she's more prominent in the books, where she eagerly joins the faith of the Lord of Light after Melisandre arrives on Dragonstone. However, she becomes an actual part of the cast in Season 3, with actual lines.
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  • A significant portion of House Greyjoy's subplots and screen-time were removed from the first four seasons. In the books, they play a more important role in the War of Five Kings, particularly after the Sack of Winterfell. For instance, Robb's first priority after the Battle of Blackwater in the novels was to drive the Greyjoys out of the North rather than to besiege Casterly Rock. Furthermore, Aeron and Victarion Greyjoy are entirely absent in Season 2, with Victarion Adapted Out. Aeron appears in the second book and is a POV character in the fourth book, where his background (including his fear of Euron) is explained. Yara is demoted in Season 3, only appearing in the finale. In Season 4 she only appears in one episode as well (though it's a memorable appearance), and is entirely absent from Season 5. Season 6 brings House Greyjoy back into the limelight after Balon's death, Yara reaching POV character status as the star of the Ironborn plotline and there is the introduction of Euron and Aeron (as an extra only identified by All There in the Manual), but Euron acts as merely The Dragon to Cersei, as opposed to the Sorcerous Overlord and potential human Big Bad of the books.
  • House Tyrell's importance drops off exponentially in the second half of Season 4. After Margaery's midnight visit to Tommen's bedchamber, the entire family is reduced to background characters for the rest of the season. Loras Tyrell in particular has only a few lines in "The Lion and the Rose" even before that.
  • At Castle Black, Othell Yarwyck and Bowen Marsh do appear, but only as extras. In the books, they are Jon's officers and initially support Jon but in A Dance With Dragons, Marsh and Yarwyck vehemently oppose many of Jon's decisions, especially in regard to working with and saving the wildlings. In the show, their arcs are merged into Alliser Thorne's show arc, who is not present at Castle Black for most of A Dance with Dragons. In the book narrative, Bowen Marsh leads the mutiny against Jon and Thorne is not present when the mutiny occurs. In the show, Alliser Thorne leads the mutiny against Jon.
    • In the books, Denys Mallister is a major player in the politics of the Night's Watch, and the frontrunner to win the Lord Commander's election. His show counterpart appears only briefly in a none-speaking role, and only really exists so that his candidacy can ensure a contested election and deny Alliser Thorne automatic victory, thus enabling Jon Snow to be nominated as a third candidate at the last minute.
  • Rickon is by far the most Out of Focus Stark even in the novels, but in the show he appears so little that viewers keep forgetting he exists and the only time he really goes beyond the generic Tagalong Kid is his Tear Jerker scene just as he's being Put on a Bus in "The Rains of Castamere". Even when The Bus Came Back in Season 6, it's merely as a Plot Device to prompt Jon and Sansa to campaign against Ramsay and he only appears in two brief scenes without a single word of dialogue before he's killed off.
  • Roose Bolton, the Big Bad of the North in Seasons 4 and 5, is shoved aside in favor of his bastard son Ramsay, culminating in Season 6, when Ramsay murders him.
  • Podrick Payne was completely cut from Season 1. In Season 2, he hardly speaks and is part of the furniture, although occasionally remarked upon as "odd." Then comes "Blackwater", after which he experiences a rise in appearances and ceases to be a glorified extra.
  • Rickard Karstark in Season 1, although he becomes Robb's most visible bannerman in the second and third seasons.
  • Maege Mormont is demoted to an extra in the show, in contrast to the books, and suffers from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in Season 2.
  • In the books, Wyman Manderly is an architect of a vast conspiracy in the North to undermine the Boltons and Freys and restore the Starks to power. In the show, he sits out the Battle for Winterfell and only ever appears after Jon and Sansa have reclaimed Winterfell.
    • Wendel Manderly only appears as a non-speaking extra in one episode. The only way to recognize him is that if he's wearing a big House Manderly merman sigil brooch, which you'd have to read the books to recognize until his father Lord Wyman appeared in Season 6.
  • Kevan Lannister has a single appearance in Season 2. He is Adapted Out of Season 3, whereas in the books he becomes the Master of Laws following the Battle of the Blackwater. Also in Season 4, his interactions with Tyrion as a Go-Between for Tywin and quasi-lawyer are taken over by Jaime Lannister.
  • Lothor Brune is The Dragon to Littlefinger in the novels. Here, he only appears once in the Season 2 premiere when Dontos Hollard is introduced, and then as a faceless armoured extra in wide shots.
  • One of Biter's major scenes in the books is cut.
  • As a friend of Jaime Lannister and a distinguished warrior in his own right, Addam Marbrand has much more to do in the book as opposed to his one-episode appearance in the show.
  • Many of Lord Leo Lefford's lines are given to Kevan, though he gets an (uncredited) appearance in "Baelor", which is more than Marbrand can say.
  • Ser Harys Swyft's actor is not even identified and he has no dialogue — all his lines from the strategy meeting are distributed between Kevan and Leo in the show. In sharp contrast, he appears in some capacity in every book of the series so far (even if it's just one scene or two), serving as an important supporting character in his own right. In Season 5, it's Mace Tyrell who's sent off to treat with the Iron Bank of Braavos in person instead of Swyft as in A Dance with Dragons.
  • Missandei has less of a presence in Season 5, particularly the latter half.
  • The dragons Viserion and Rhaegal are Those Two Guys who aren't Drogon. They don't even get names until Season 5. Viserion finally becomes slightly more prominent late in Season 7 by virtue of becoming the Night's King's mount, but plenty of viewers reactions were still along the lines of, "Oh no, not... that one."
  • The Dothraki are demoted yet again in Season 8 when they are unceremoniously annihilated by the Army of the Dead in the very first minutes of the battle against them, providing nothing more than wight fodder. They’re fine in a few episodes, though.
  • Bronn's screentime in season 8 is reduced to a mere three scenes: One where Qyburn gives him a crossbow and sends him off to kill Jaime and Tyrion, one where he instead negotiates a better price out of the brothers for not killing them, and finally, his appearance at the end of the series where he's now on the Small Council as Master Of Coin and is now also Lord of Highgarden.


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