Game of Thrones ‘The Lion and the Rose’ – What was Different?

The latest episode of Game of Thrones is titled, “The Lion and the Rose,” and it is a doozy. It stayed fairly true to the books, but there were more than a few differences, with one scene in particular being completely different from the book’s version of it. Overall it was a great episode, and it surely gave TV viewers a bit of vindication with its powerful ending.

Please proceed with caution as there will be major spoilers for the TV show and the A Song of Ice and Fire novels in the sections below.

SPOILERS, you have been warned about SPOILERS, repeat, there are SPOILERS below.



“The Lion and the Rose” opened with a scene featuring the ruined Theon Greyjoy who has now fully embraced his role as Reek, which technically wouldn’t have been in the third book, but the timeline used in the show works. Reek was then introduced to Roose Bolton, who was more than disgusted by what Ramsay did to him, but Roose still has plans for Theon in his scheme to steal the North.

The episode proceeds to check in on most of the main factions, although Dany’s story didn’t get any action. Bran’s journey North was featured, and shed some light on his role in the series, and how powerful his skin changing powers truly are. The episode also stopped by Dragonstone to check in on Stannis and his fire loving friends who proceeded to burn his wife’s brother alive to honor the Lord of Light. The meat of the episode revolved around Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery, and his growing disgust for his Uncle Tyrion, and ultimately his death at the hands of an unknown poisoner.

What was Different

Bronn as Ser Jaime’s sword coach – In the books Bronn has a much smaller role at this point in the story. In the show it’s revealed that he will help train Jaime to use his left hand to sword fight with, which isn’t the case in the books. Ser Ilyn Payne, the tongueless executioner that beheaded Ned Stark in season one, is actually Jaime’s choice for his trainer in the novels. Tyrion has no involvement in this decision whatsoever. Jaime makes him his sparring partner because he knows that Payne can’t talk, so no one would know how bad Jaime is at sword fighting with his left hand. This is easily the biggest change from the books that was featured in “The Lion and the Rose.”

In the show Tyrion helps Jaime get some training
In the show Tyrion helps Jaime get some training

Ramsay’s girl – The scene with Ramsay hunting one of his slaves features a girl companion who doesn’t exist in the novels. Ramsay has a gang of goons that go on his dog hunts with him, so this girl was created for the show.

Tyrion yells at Shae – There’s a scene where Tyrion berates Shae to make it easier for her to leave him. This never really happens in the novels.

Joffrey’s little people – The scene during Joffrey’s wedding with the dwarves reenacting the War of the Five Kings is slightly different from the book version. In the book there’s just two dwarves jousting with each other who ride a dog and a pig. These two dwarves actually have larger roles in the subsequent novels, so it’ll be interesting to see how the show writers take things from here.

Reek shaves Ramsay – I may be wrong on this one, but I don’t think Ramsay ever made Reek shave him to prove to his father how obedient Theon Greyjoy has become. It’s a great scene in the episode though, and shows just how insane Ramsay truly is.

Ramsay Snow greets his father Roose
Ramsay Snow greets his father Roose

Stannis’ wife’s disgust for her daughter – There’s a scene at Dragonstone where Stannis’ wife describes her daughter as being punished by the Lord of Light for being disobedient, which is why she has a scaly and calloused face. This never happens in the books as his wife really doesn’t have much of a role until the last two novels.

No mention of Coldhands – Bran is shown deep in the north, but the show has still yet to reveal Coldhands, the eery dead guy that helped Bran and company to reach their destination. There may have been a shot of Coldhands during Bran’s tree vision, but this mysterious character has yet to truly been realized on the TV show.

Loras and Oberyn – There’s a scene where Loras and Oberyn exchange flirtatious glances at Joffrey’s wedding, but this potential love affair never takes place in the books. In fact, I found it odd that Loras still isn’t in the Kingsguard, which he is a part of in the books.

Cersei’s jealousy of Brienne – Brienne attends Joffrey’s wedding in the show and has a talk with Cersei, and it’s clear that Cersei is disgusted by her and is jealous of her bond with Jaime.

What was Similar

Queen of Thornes – There’s more than a few scenes that feature Olenna Tyrell and her snarky attitude perfectly. The best one was between her and Tywin as they jockey for power, and she completely takes a dump on her son Mace, which is spot on to how she treats him in the books.

Joffrey and Margaery’s Wedding – This entire event plays out nearly identically to the book’s version. Besides the little people show difference, everything played out as I remember. Joffrey’s cocky attitude and his attacks on Tyrion were spot on, and so was his demise.

Joffrey was an a-hole until the bitter end
Joffrey was an a-hole until the bitter end

If I missed anything please chime in with your discrepancies in the comment section below.


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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.