Game of Thrones “Hardhome” – What was Different?

Game of Thrones’ latest episode, “Hardhome,” like the last few episodes mainly featured altered takes on book moments, or completely new portrayals just for the TV show. There was a lack of similarities for the most part, but there were two or three scenes that echoed the books quite competently. I did quite enjoy the final battle scene, even though it’s a major difference from the book’s events, but the action was real solid, and who doesn’t like seeing Darth “Ice” Maul and his band of White Walkers getting tough with a few Wildlings and Black Brothers?

Head on down below to see the differences, and the similarities that were featured in the latest episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones as it relates to the A Song of Ice and Fire franchise. There are also a bunch of new behind the scenes videos and a preview of next week’s episode in the “Videos” section after the analysis.

SPOILERS, you have been warned about SPOILERS, repeat, there are SPOILERS below for the show and the novels.

What was Different

Tyrion as Dany’s new advisor – In the books Tyrion hasn’t even met Dany yet, so he hasn’t provided her with any sage dwarf advice at this point in the novels. In fact, he’s still a slave prisoner with another dwarf and they have to do jousting shows for their masters. He eventually becomes a sellsword, but has yet to meet Dany in person.

Theon confesses – Again, the whole Sansa at Winterfell plot thread is completely made up for the TV show. Theon never confesses that he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon to her, because she’s never in Winterfell in the books. Theon does help out Jeyne Pool, who is the fake Araya Ramsay marries to solidify the Bolton claim on the North, but he never tries to right his many wrongs with the red haired beauty of House Stark.


Jorah freed and then reenlists in fighting circuit – Jorah is a slave in the novels, but not a fighter, he’s actually beaten to a pulp because of how dangerous he is as a slave and chained outside of his master’s quarters for most of the two books this season covers. Therefore he never is freed by Tyrion, so he never reenlists as a fighting slave to serve Dany in some capacity.

The Battle of Hardhome – Hardhome is indeed a location in the books, and Jon does ask Tormund to go there to recruit people, but he never goes with him thanks to some news he hears about Winterfell at the last minute. There is not a massive battle between Wildlings, Black Brothers, and the undead army of the Night’s King, who is definitely Darth Maul’s ice twin, and also not mentioned in the books. The whole scene was actually pretty great, but nothing like this happens in the books unless George has plans to do something similar in books six and seven.


Kevan Lannister made Hand of the King – In the books Kevan turns down the Hand of the King position, but later is appointed Regent to the King after Cersei gets locked up. He then names Mace Tyrell Hand of the King to help fix the relationship between the Tyrells and Lannisters that Cersei has put under serious strain with her actions.

What was Similar

Cersei’s imprisonment – Watching Cersei get beat in the head with a spoon and drink water from the floor played out exactly as I envisioned it while reading about her plight in the books.


Arya and her oysters – Her name as an oyster cart girl is different in the TV show, but Arya does indeed sell bounties from the sea to learn information for the Faceless Men. She is tasked with her first assassination too, and the target is a shady dude working at the port.

The Videos

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Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.