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Top five key ‘Game of Thrones’ book characters that still haven’t appeared on the show

Warning: Spoilers from the first five books in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and spoilers from season 6 of Game of Thrones.

The sheer volume of characters in Game of Thrones means it’s sometimes hard to keep up with everyone. And when you bring George R. R. Martin’s books into the equation, things get even more complex.

It wasn’t always this confusing. The show’s first season stuck fairly closely to the storyline of A Game of Thrones (Book One of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga), and thanks to things like casting calls, fans had an upfront insight into what upcoming seasons might hold.

But as the show grew rapidly in popularity, its creators grew more secretive. Vague character descriptions replaced names in casting calls; actors were sworn to secrecy; to make things even more confusing, the show’s storyline grew increasingly separate from the plot of Martin’s novels.

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Now, with Season 6 well in its stride, this divergence is more noticeable than ever. Timings are different, some storylines have been altered or removed, and some fairly big characters — like the ones below — are still nowhere to be seen.

Here are four of the key characters from the books that haven’t (yet) turned up on the show. And while some of them still could, others have been written out completely.

Quentyn Martell

Quentyn Martell

 

Who is he?

One of Doran Martell’s sons (yep, Doran has more than one in the books). A fairly decent chunk of writing is devoted to Quentyn’s exploits in A Dance with Dragons, as he and a couple of companions journey across Essos to try and reach Daenerys. (Quentyn is basically hoping that he and Daenerys will be a hot new couple, and she’ll travel back to Dorne with him.) Sadly, things don’t quite go as planned.

What does his absence mean?

Unlike the characters below, there seems to be a pretty clear reason why Quentyn has been omitted from the TV show. Although his story in the books is entertaining, his quest comes to an abrupt and fruitless end when he’s turned down by Daenerys — then horribly burned to death by her dragons.

Quentyn’s relatively short-lived presence in the books does two things. Firstly, it serves to highlight the alliance that was long planned between Dorne and the Targaryens. (Quentyn’s sister Arianne — another character who doesn’t feature in the show — was supposed to wed Daenerys’ brother Viserys). Secondly, it allows Daenerys’ dragons to escape their pit when Quentyn fails to tame them.

Could he still show up?

Nope. The show’s story has overtaken Quentyn’s timeline, Trystane Martell was the only one of Doran’s children ever mentioned, and Tyrion has freed Rhaegal and Viserion from their chains now, anyway. Quentyn has been entirely written out of the show — probably as a necessary evil to save screen time. But it’s still a bit of a shame; he and his two companions, Ser Gerris and Ser Archibald, were an entertaining trio.

Victarion Greyjoy

Victarion Greyjoy Game of Thrones

 

Who is he?

Theon’s uncle, and one of the three brothers of now-deceased Balon Greyjoy. Victarion is a bit of a warrior badass in the books; he’s the powerfully-built Lord Captain of the Iron Island’s much-loved fleet, and — fittingly — he spends much of A Dance with Dragons battling his way across the sea en route to Meereen.

What does his absence mean?

It might mean that the whole Iron Islands “kingsmoot” storyline gets abridged on the show. It’s a pretty long section in the books; Victarion’s whole character arch may have been chopped out to save screen time.

Could he still show up?

It’s hard to say at this point, because the Iron Islands storyline in the show is actually one of the few that’s still behind the books. Theon’s other uncle, Euron, only just showed up in episode 2, and although there’s still no sign of Victarion at this stage we can’t completely count him out.

The importance of Victarion’s role in the books has yet to be determined. His brother basically sends him on a quest to propose to Daenerys on Euron’s behalf, although Victarion secretly wants her for himself. Until The Winds of Winter finally appears, we won’t know how big a part Victarion will have to play in the battle that’s approaching Meereen. If the show doesn’t incorporate him this season, though, it may mean he’s sailing towards death in the books.

Young Griff/Aegon Targaryen

Young Griff Aegon Targaryen Game of Thrones

 

Who is he?

Remember how Ser Gregor killed Elia Martell and her two children? How Oberyn repeats this over and over again while dueling The Mountain in Tyrion’s trial by combat?

Well, apparently it’s not all true.

In the books, at least, Elia’s youngest child — a baby boy who, don’t forget, is Rhaegar Targaryen’s son — is still very much alive. The twist is revealed in A Dance with Dragonsthrough the eyes of Tyrion, who meets a disguised Aegon (whom Varys has been hiding for years) while traveling through Essos.

Aegon is part of Varys’ long-term plan to re-install the Targaryens in Westeros. He’s hoping that a duel attack by Aegon and Daenerys will be enough to topple the Lannisters from the throne.

What does his absence mean?

Aegon being alive is a big reveal in the books, so it’s pretty significant that he hasn’t yet turned up on the show. Could his TV absence mean that his character in the books is not as important as some might think?

It’s possible. A few fans have speculated that Aegon is nothing more than a stalling tactic in the novels (a side plot to fill time while other, more central characters like Daenerys are still developing). Others think he might not actually be a Targaryen at all. (The story goes that Varys switched him with another baby and smuggled him to Essos to protect him when he was a child, but — aside from Aegon’s Targaryen-like features — there’s no way of proving this.)

If Aegon continues to be absent from the show, it likely means one of two things: either he’s not a real Targaryen, or his part in the Westeros invasion is doomed to failure in the books.

Could he still show up?

It seems like the time may have passed. There was no sign of Aegon while Tyrion was making his way to Meereen, which means this could well be a branch of the story that show bosses decided to cut as dead weight.

We can’t be sure, though. The series has now diverged to such an extent from the books that it’s always possible Aegon will show up later than expected in order to surprise readers. If therumours about there only being two seasons of Thrones left are true, though, it does seem unlikely.

Lady Stoneheart

Lady Stoneheart Game of Thrones

 

Who is she?

A mute, vengeful version of Catelyn Stark, brought back from the dead by Beric Dondarrion. (You know, that seemingly immortal guy the Hound dueled in a cave back in Season 3?)

In the books, Beric essentially passes his immortality — given to him by Red Priest Thoros — on to Catelyn after she’s been killed at the Red Wedding. She comes back to life, takes charge of his band of outlaws, and drifts through the Riverlands like a grim ghost, picking off Frays and anyone else she deems responsible for what happened to her family.

What does her absence mean?

Lady Stoneheart’s absence from the show may have been the first and biggest split from the books — and the fact that she’s still nowhere to be seen in Season 6 has ongoing complications.

At the end of A Dance with Dragons, for instance, Lady Stoneheart’s band of mercenaries capture (and almost end up hanging) Brienne, whom they release on the condition that she will kill Jaimie Lannister. At first it looks like Brienne will let herself die, but in the end she appears to acquiesce — and the last time we see her, she has indeed found Jamie, and is tricking him into coming with her.

The whole Riverlands story — which sees Jamie travelling to Riverrun in an attempt to take the castle from the Tullys — has yet to happen in the show, and how the writers will handle Jamie and Brienne’s storyline is yet to be seen.

Could she still show up?

It’s looking less and less likely with each passing episode. It’s possible that show bosses worried the Jon Snow storyline would have less impact if Catelyn had already been resurrected. Or maybe it was simply another case of limited screen time. Other characters’ storylines have been merged or cut on the show, and the TV versions of Brienne and Jamie are in radically different places than their literary counterparts.

It’s possible that they’ll end up in a similarly hazardous situation in the Riverlands via a different build-up. We’re not ruling out a late appearance from Lady Stoneheart — but seeing as she’s gone unmentioned for the last two seasons (and actress Michelle Fairley is being booked into other TV roles), the odds aren’t great.

So what does it all mean?

Ultimately, the books and the show have become two different beasts — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The further the show grows from the books, the more we can enjoy each separately without having to worry too much about spoilers — especially now that parts of the show have gone beyond what Martin has written. (And, let’s be honest, the show will almost certainly be finished before A Dream of Spring is released.)

“Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter in Season 6 may not be spoilers at all,” wrote Martin in a LiveJournal update back in January. “The show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so.”

In particular, he focussed on characters who are dead on the show but alive in the books, as well as characters that never appeared on the show to begin with.

IMAGE: LIVEJOURNAL

It seems unlikely that the show’s creators will deviate too much from Martin’s central story; we can’t imagine them killing off Tyrion if Martin plans for him to still be alive at the books’ conclusion, for instance. But, like the creators of The Walking Dead have done when adapting the original comic books, they’re clearly not afraid to change things up a bit.

Iwan Rheon, who plays Ramsay Bolton in the show, recently told Interview he wasn’t allowed to reveal his character’s identity until season 3, episode 10. Before the reveal, he’d been codenamed “Boy.”

It’s still possible that one of the characters mentioned above is hiding out backstage, waiting to pop up at some point and surprise everyone — it just won’t happen when or where we’re expecting them.

[Mashable]

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