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Five Game of Thrones storylines from the books we wish we saw on the show



lady stoneheart fan art

No book adaptation comes to life without having to cut out essential book moments, and Game of Thrones was no exception. A Song of Ice and Fire is a hefty series that is filled with detail. So it is understandable why every intricate storyline was not explored. In the beginning, every season’s storyline corresponded with one book. Hence why after season 6, the producers ran out of original material. But here are the storylines from the book we wish the show has explored.

Lady Stoneheart’s Revenge

lady stoneheart a song of ice and fire game of thrones

Art Credits: orig00 on deviantart

No one needs a reminder of the Red Wedding. It threw us off our collective couches, and the deaths of Catelyn and Robb Stark and even his direwolf, Grey Wind’s deaths were hard to move on from. Later, Catelyn’s corpse is thrown into the river beneath the Twins, the stronghold of House Frey. Her lifeless form is then discovered and dragged from the water by a special wolf, none other than Arya’s long-lost direwolf, Nymeria.

Nymeria had previously vanished into the Riverlands, and this event marks a significant early occurrence of Arya’s warging abilities in the books. Arya primarily experiences her warging abilities during her sleep, and her wolf dreams as Nymeria, where she retrieves Catelyn’s body from the river, serves as one of the first instances of her warging talent.

In the book the Brotherhood Without Banners, led by Beric Dondarrion discovers Catelyn’s lifeless body and attempts to bring her back from the dead using Beric’s final life force. However, Catelyn’s resurrection is far from the warm reunions often portrayed in fantasy stories.

Instead, she emerges as a vengeful and tormented figure, her throat slit and face disfigured, driven solely by the desire to exact revenge on those who she thinks have wronged her family. Her presence could have added a dark and chilling layer to the show.

This arc showcases the brutal cost of the Starks’ suffering and explores the darker side of resurrection and vengeance. Her presence could have also influenced the characters’ decisions, challenging notions of justice and pushing characters to confront their past actions. After all, hell hath no fury like a mother wronged.

Read More: Everything George R. R. Martin has worked on instead of finishing The Winds of Winter

Young Griff storyline

young griff by tantavie fake aegon targaryen

Art by Tantavie

It is disappointing how the show doesn’t even dip its toes into this whirlpool. In the books, Jon Connington, a dear friend of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, enters the plot. After Robert’s Rebellion, during which the Targaryens were overthrown, Jon was exiled and went into hiding to escape the wrath of the new Baratheon-led regime. He was believed to have been killed during his time in exile, but he secretly resurfaces in the books.

Now, he has dyed his hair blue and goes by ‘Griff.’ Jon also has a son who is referred to as Young Griff, who Connington claims is secretly Rhaegar’s supposedly dead son, Aegon VI. Jon is determined to see the Targaryen line restored to power. Raised and trained to be a king by Jon Connington, Young Griff possesses the education, skills, and charisma fitting for a ruler.

Aegon VI Targaryen’s appearance in the books raises significant questions about the legitimacy of the Iron Throne’s current claimants. Believed to have been killed during Robert’s Rebellion, Aegon’s sudden emergence introduces a possible hidden heir to the Targaryen dynasty, complicating Daenerys’s quest for the throne.

Young Griff’s inclusion could have added a new layer of political intrigue and moral ambiguity to the show. The storyline involving Young Griff also introduces a more complex Varys and his true motivations.

Varys, who in the show supports Daenerys, actually supports Aegon in the books, leading to intriguing plot twists and furthering the idea of unpredictable allegiances. The presence of Young Griff would have opened a whole new pandora’s box, raising the stakes for Daenerys and her path to the throne.

The Battle of Ice


Stannis Baratheon attempts to reclaim the North and fulfill his destiny as Azor Ahai by battling against insurmountable odds outside Winterfell. It is a highly awaited battle that will feature in George R.R. Martin’s upcoming book in the series, The Winds of Winter.

The Battle of Ice occurs outside Winterfell, the ancestral seat of House Stark. Stannis’s forces are camped in the snow-covered, frozen landscape, besieging the castle, which is held by House Bolton. The Boltons have taken control of the North after betraying and murdering Robb Stark during the Red Wedding.

In the books, the situation for Stannis is dire, and his army is greatly outnumbered and weakened due to the harsh winter conditions. However, Stannis remains steadfast in his determination to take Winterfell and gain the loyalty of the Northern houses. The battle becomes a test of his military prowess and the loyalty of his men.

The Battle of Ice represents a crucial moment in Stannis’s arc, but it never takes place in the show. The battle represents a crucial moment in Stannis’s arc as he attempts to reclaim the North and fulfill his destiny as the chosen Azor Ahai, the legendary hero destined to fight the darkness.

The show’s deviation from this storyline alters Stannis’s fate, leading to a controversial and abrupt end for the character. By excluding this event, the show missed an opportunity to further explore Stannis’s complexities and inner turmoil as he battles against seemingly insurmountable odds and perhaps dies a more honorable death.

Moreover, this event would have set up a bigger storyline for the North’s fate and the larger narrative’s development.

Read More: 5 characters that might not survive The Winds of Winter

The Grand Northern Conspiracy

lord wyman manderly grand nothern conspiracy got

Lord Wyman Manderly

Though this is a fan theory, it has plenty of evidence in the books and even a little in the show. It has been extremely well-documented here if you want to dive in, but the gist is this: the Northern houses have been biding their time and waiting for the right moment to act against House Bolton, who currently holds Winterfell and the North.

Led by loyal northern lords like Wyman Manderly, the conspiracy seeks to rally support for the Starks against the Boltons, who currently hold Winterfell. In the show, he rescues Ser Davos, who was ordered to be executed just as a ploy before the Freys. Manderly then keeps Davos alive and reveals that he is only pretending to be loyal to the Freys and Boltons. He is loyal to the Starks and seeks revenge for Robb and Catelyn’s deaths. Manderly then starts killing the Freys from within.

This subtle and intricate web of intrigue showcases the resilience and loyalty of the northern houses to the Stark family. The inclusion of this plotline would have given greater depth and complexity to the North’s storyline and strengthened the narrative’s focus on loyalty, vengeance, and the struggle for power.

In a kingdom where everyone wants power from themselves, The Grand Northern Conspiracy explores a covert plan orchestrated by several northern houses to avenge the Red Wedding and restore House Stark to power.

It would have set up an even stronger foundation for Jon Snow to take over as the Lord of Winterfell and the reunion of the Starks. This could have been an emotional display of the entire North reuniting once again, not just the Starks. The Grand Northern Conspiracy would also provide a whole new meaning to: The North Remembers.

Sansa Stark’s Alayne Stone and the Vale Plot

sansa stark alayne

We know Sansa has been through a lot on the show, but she goes through even more manipulation plots in the books. The show took Littlefinger and Sansa to Vale, but the books house a huge storyline attached to this. In the books, Sansa Stark adopts the alias ‘Alayne Stone’ and finds herself under the protection of Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) in the Vale.

After the events of the Purple Wedding, Littlefinger takes Sansa to Vale, ruled by her aunt Lysa Arryn, under the alias. Littlefinger had previously married Lysa, and he now schemes to solidify his power by marrying Sansa to Robin once Lysa passes away.

In the Vale, Sansa must navigate the intricate politics of the court and learn to play the game of thrones to survive. Littlefinger takes her under his wing and mentors her, using her disguise as Alayne Stone to his advantage. He encourages her to hide her true identity and develop her skills in manipulating and charming those around her.

Now Sansa, who has often been portrayed as naive and innocent, begins to grow in cunning and intelligence as she adapts to the new persona. She even takes on a maternal role towards Sweetrobin after Littlefinger kills his mother, Lysa.

It’s theorized that Littlefinger now wants to kill Sweetrobin as well since he plans to marry off Sansa/Alayne to Harry Hardyng. Hardyng is the heir to the Vale if Robin dies without any next of kin. With Sansa and Harry married, Petyr plans for Sansa to claim the throne of Winterfell.

Read Next: Five theories that The Winds of Winter needs to answer

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