How can you tell if someone has read the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series? Don't worry, they'll tell you... every time an episode of the HBO version airs on TV. I'm 100 percent guilty of this. It's impossible not to pause the show every two minutes and frustratedly tell your friends, "You just don't understand, in the books, they..." Your friends may hate you for accidentally leaking spoilers (Although, personally, I think we all dod a good job at keeping the whole Jon Snow death thing a secret) or giving them smug, knowing looks when you know something they don't, but unless they read the entire series, they just don't get it. Here are 10 things only people who have read the books understand about the (equally great, but very different) HBO show:
Warning: Some spoilers ahead if you haven't read up to "A Dance with Dragons" or if you've only seen the television show.
10. The annoyance you feel when some major ASOIAF plot points are completely ignored ...
The Tyrion and Aegon plot? Arianne Martell? Coldhands? The fight over who will rule the Iron Islands? Lady Stoneheart?
9. You're not even sure what was up with, like, the entire Dorne plot.
Silly Jamie, what are you doing in Dorne?
8. The show's tendency to "sex up" all of the characters gives some of the characters a completely different vibe.
Show Jorah Mormont may be the rugged and lovable knight we all can't help but root for, but the books portrayal of him as an overly hairy, balding, "not particularly handsome" man makes his love for the Khaleesi a bit less cute. Not to mention, Dany is only 13 when Jorah meets her, so... double creepy.
7. Actually, the show's habit of aging everybody up also makes all of the character's actions slightly less reasonable.
Sansa Stark's timid actions in the first couple of seasons make a lot more sense when you realize that in the books she's only 11. On the other hand, Arya seems way more badass when you realize she's only 8.
6. The confusion you feel when you're not sure if the show is releasing major book spoilers with all these character deaths or simply paving its own path...
For book Barristan Selmy, Mance Rayder, and Shireen's sake, let's hope it's the latter.
5. The show's habit of putting Sansa through the very worst...
Sansa and Ramsay? What's that all about? Where's Jeyne Pool?
4. Actually, the show has a habit of putting most of the main female characters through the very worst.
The infamous Jamie/Cersei rape scene? The Khal Drogo/Dany rape scene? What's with the show's creepy rape obsession? Even George R. R Martin, famous for ruthlessly killing off anyone he damn well pleases, was kind enough to make those scenes entirely consensual.
3. You have contemplated every fan theory there is.
"The dragon has three heads?" Very likely. "Cleganebowl?" It's possible. "R + L = J"... that's not even a theory anymore. It's practically bible.
2. You love George R. R. Martin, of course, but you also hate him with every fiber of your being.
What are you doing George? Where's 'Winds of Winter?' You should be writing your books, but instead you're doing ... literally everything else?
1. That horrible feeling when you no longer know what's going to happen from here on out any more than the show-watchers do.
What can we hold over their heads now?