Game of Thrones: Book vs Show S1E1

Season 1, Episode 1: Winter is Coming
First Aired: April, 17, 2011
This is not a summary of the show and/or book but a comparison to see how the books were written verse how they are portrayed in the show.  Like the first book in the series, Game of Thrones, the show starts out the same way, The Night’s Watchman. This introduces the first White Walkers in a thousand years.

Changes to the story:

  1. Bran learning how to shoot an arrow, more of a filler in the show to introduce the Stark family before the news of Jon Arryn’s death has reached them.
  2. Jon Arryn’s funeral with Jamie and Cersie Lannister speaking about how Jamie should be the next Hand of the King.  This is something that Bran overhears later in the book in the broken tower after we know a little more about the Lannister’s.
  3. Tyrion Lannister’s whorehouse scene.  Not part of the book and I don’t really see a reason for it this early in the show.
  4. Sansa Stark tells her mother Catelyn that she really likes Prince Joffrey.  In the book we know that she likes Joffrey from sewing class. We do not know if she ever spoke to her mother about her feelings towards the prince.
  5. Eddard Stark asks Benjen Stark about the boy he killed for abandoning the Night’s Watchmen.  He then tells Benjen about the White Walker sighting. Not part of the book, or at least at this point.
  6. Sansa Stark’s meets the Queen at the feast and we learn that she is 13 in the show, 11 in the book.
  7. In the scene where Catelyn Stark gets a message from her sister, she is the one who does not want Ned to become the Hand of the King.  She mentions Ned’s father and brother and how they did not come home after serving the King’s call.  In the book this scene is reversed.  Ned is the one who doesn’t want to leave fearing for a repeat in history.  This scene changes the character descriptions as Catelyn is seen as a strong woman in the book, Ned is made to look like the hardened warrior in the show.
  8. Daenery’s wedding skips a few chapters ahead and is shown in this episode.  It follows the book, however, the consummation is rushed and violent compared to the book.
  9. The King thanks Ned for becoming the Hand of the King.  Nothing in the book even implied that he had given the King an answer at that time.
 Key scenes missing from the Show:
  1. Ayra and Jon watching the Stark boys play fight with the Princes.  This gives us a first glance at Joffrey’s temperament but is missing at this time in the show.

There are other missing scenes but are not critical to the flow of the story.

Ages are not what they seem in the show.  The book states that Jon Snow and Robb Stark are both 14 while Daenerys Stormborn is only 13.  Sansa Stark is 11 (13 on the show), Arya Stark is 9 (11 on the show), Bran Stark is 7 (10 on the show),  and Rickon Stark is 3.

This episode includes the chapters Prologue, Bran I, Catelyn I, Daenerys I, Eddard I, Jon I, Arya I, Bran II and Daenerys II from the book Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Point of views have been swapped around in the timeline of the show.

I am using a guide to help determine which chapters to stop at for this blog as I don’t want to read too far ahead.  You can find the guide I am using at Chapter Guide.


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