For the most part I’ve been avoiding most of the rumors about where they’re going with the plot this season. But most of what I’ve been hearing is since the publication of the latest book, Winds of Winter was delayed for another year, this is the first season where they start to diverge from the book deliberately. Admittedly they’ve been doing this since season one but for the most part it was in the way that a television show has to make little changes whether they want to or not and these changes gradually snowballed into big changes. This is the first time when they are doing major alterations to the plot on purpose.
Along with these plot changes they are shuffling the events of Feast For Crows and Dance With the Dragons together (sensible since they take place at the same time but are divided by the location of viewpoint characters.)
There were other big changes but I think I’ll wait until they happen in the show before I mention them. For the most part I don’t have a problem with this. I’ve mostly been listening to the audio books. One of the side benefits of this is that Roy Dotrice’s reading feel like a separate performance to me, complete with different actors, and because of this I’ve never had any trouble separating the book from the show. In fact I look forward to not knowing what happens.
Anyway like most of the season openers the plot spends most of the time showing us where everyone else is. Cersei and Jaimie are at the Sept of Baelor mourning the death of their father who had been killed by their brother Tyrion. Tyrion has just arrived in the city of Pentos in a box. Brienne and Poderick are wandering around the Aerie where unbeknownst to them one of their quarry Sansa is under the “protection” of Littlefinger. Meanwhile in the north Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch are recovering from the attack on the Wall by the Wildings and banging heads with King Stannis Baratheon who is camping his court and army at Castle Black.
Already we start with big changes from the previous season. Both Brienne and Sansa’s plots have been changed completely the rest are be more subtle. Loras Tyrell is not part of the King’s Guard, since he is the only Tyrell heir (in the book he’s the youngest of three sons so can afford to give himself over to the crown in his mourning for his lover Renly Baratheon) King Tommen Baratheon is about twice as old as he is in the book which means while he’ll certainly be easily pushed around by Cersei he wont be passing death warrants just because he likes to sign his name on any bit of paper put in front of him. Robin Arryn is being fostered out so he is no longer a pawn for Littlefinger to femove at his leisure…. The list goes one.
And now that we see where the pieces are placed in this year’s game of thrones let us see who will make the next move.
This is going to be fun!