George R.R. Martin is a famously dense author with each of his books filled with meticulous amounts of detail. It’s unsurprising that not all of it could make it into the show. Here are nine things that book readers will have picked up on that show watchers missed. This article is spoiler free for anybody whose watched the show but hasn’t read the books. If you haven’t finished Season 4 turn away now. You have been warned.
1) Alliser Thorne Was Douchey To Jon Because Ned Stark Was Responsible For Exiling Him To The Wall
Thorne happened to be on the wrong side of Robert’s rebellion, and when Robert and Ned won, Thorne was forced to take the black. Ned Stark’s bastard reminds him of what happened. *As a commentator below clarifies, it was Tywin that sent Thorne to the wall. Robert and Ned were merely the main leaders of the rebellion.
2) These Giants Are Probably Father And Son…
*Internet commentators have noted that this isn’t confirmed.
3) The Best Part Of The Tywin Death Scene Is Left Out
After Tyrion kills Tywin, Tywin’s bowls loosen creating a foul stench. Tyrion then notes* “in the end, Lord Tywin Lannister did not in fact, shit gold”
4) The Colour Of Brienne’s Armor Is A Subtle Acknowledgement Of* The Colour Renley Gave Her When He Made Her A Part Of His “Rainbow Guard”
5) Stannis Defeats The 100,000 Wildlings With A Little More Than 1,000 Men*
6) The Titan of Braavos Is More Than Just A Pretty Sculpture
The giant statue defends the main entrance to Braavos. Not only does it emit a loud blast whenever a ship approaches, it’s full of arrow slits and murder holes that are used to repel invaders.
7) Oberyn Martell Has Children Of His Own
Just like bastards in the north are given the last name Snow, bastards in Dorne are given the last name “Sand”. Oberyn’s nickname is “The Viper”. His eight bastard children are thus called the “Sand Snakes”.
8) Tywin Lannister Has Spent Most Of His Life Trying To Secure A Valyrian Sword For His Family
In Westeros a mark of a great family* is a Valyrian steel sword passed down through the generations. The Lannisters lost theirs, and Tywin has tried everything – including outright offering to buy one – to secure a sword for the family. It hasn’t worked since no family is willing to give up their house weapon. This is what makes the season opening so poignant – Tywin has utterly and totally won when he melts down the Stark Valyrian blade.
9) Tormund Giantsbane Really Does Claim To Have “Fucked A Bear”
In the book we get the full story. He thought he saw a large wildling women in furs and took her to bed. The next morning he realized that it was a bear who bit half his penis off. Tormund claims that even with half a member he’s twice as big as any other man. Also? When the she-bear leaves he remembers the “queerest pair o’cubs” following her.
*We have made corrections based on comments from this Reddit thread. Sorry.