***Book and possible series Spoilers ahead! Read at your own peril.
Our hopes (because he’s scaled back on public appearances, and writing Game of Thrones’ episodes), George R. R. Martin had buckled down and gotten serious about finishing the last two Song of Ice and Fire books may have been just a smidge too high, since he’s still poking out his nose for publicity interviews. But, there’s also a hint he’s been working hard. Speaking with EW, Martin mentions that two of the book characters he wishes Game of Thrones had kept in play a part in both The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. If you’re a reader, you’ve likely made your own complaints about at least one of these omissions, and I swear, another has made so many appearances in interwebical speculation as late, it will be more of a shock if we don’t see her, than if we do. Here are the five bookfolk the author wishes hadn’t been left out of the HBO series.
1. Jeyne Poole
“”She’s a minor character in the first book, then vanishes and then—boom—there she is in the fifth book in a major way.”
Of course, readers know some of Jeyne’s storyline has been incorporated into, and bastardized for Sansa’s fifth season goings-on, and about all we can say about that is: It could have been worse?
2. & 3. Willas Tyrell and Garlan Tyrell
“…Loras is not the eldest son in the books. There are two older brothers, Willas and Garlan. I didn’t just put them in for hoots and giggles, they have roles to play in the last two books, and they don’t exist in the show. I’ve said from the start I wish we had more hours, but showrunners [David Benioff and Dan Weiss] work 24/7, 12 months a year.”
Readers may remember an accident during a jousting match with our beloved Oberyn Martell, poor Willas was permanently injured (his leg), and instead of Loras, Tywin had plans for Cersei to marry Willas (Loras also stood in for Willas when Margaery suggested he could be Sansa’s future husband in season 3). Younger brother, Garlan may be less memorable; he’s appointed Lord of Brightwater Keep after the Battle of Blackwater, and attempted to save Joffrey after the wedding poisoning.
4. Strong Belwas
“Strong Belwas, who was part of Dany’s entourage. I understand why he was cut, but I kind of miss him.”
The great Meereen warrior and “undefeated” fighting pit champion who also served as Daenerys’ bodyguard is loved (and missed) by many readers.
5. Lady Stoneheart
“Lady Stoneheart does have a role in the books. Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough… I think it is, or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.
I’ve talked about Gandalf [in The Lord of the Rings], and how the impact of his death was enormous. When I was a 12-year-old kid reading The Fellowship of the Ring and ‘Fly, you fools!’ and he goes into the chasm … it was ‘Holy shit! [J.R.R. Tolkien] killed the wizard! That’s the guy who knew everything. How are they going to destroy the ring without him?’ And now the ‘kids’ have to grow up because their ‘daddy’ is dead. If Gandalf could die, anybody could die. And then just a few chapters later Boromir goes down. Those two deaths created in me the ‘anyone could die’ thing. At that point I was expecting [Tolkien] to pick off the whole Fellowship one by one. And then we also think in The Two Towers that Frodo is dead, since Shelob stung him and wrapped him up. I really bought it because he set me up with those other deaths. But then, of course, he brings Gandalf back. He’s a little strange at first, but then he’s basically the same old Gandalf. I liked the impact we got from him being gone.
Lady Stoneheart is not Cateyln. I’ve tried to set it up beforehand with Beric Dondarrion and his repeated [resurrections]. There’s a brief appearance by Beric in Book One and he rides into the city and he’s this flamboyant Southern knight. That’s not that man we meet later on.”
Of course, some of us haven’t given up hope of seeing Lady Stoneheart, and Martin bringing her up, as well as other possible clues, makes me think Martin’s (and our) wish just might come true.
While a lot of Ice and Fire fans were hoping to see Arianne Martell show up this season, after seeing the wasted potential of Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene, and being completely disappointed with the entirety of Dorne, I’m almost glad they didn’t bother.