You’ve probably heard of this little show called Game of Thrones. The HBO show is based on a wildly successful book series written by George RR Martin, but because Martin is a notoriously slow writer, the transition from page to screen has required some creative license in the show’s scripts. As with any epic series, Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is densely populated with incredible characters, some of whom have been trimmed from the TV show, to the chagrin of the book’s fans. Here are some of the best characters from the page we may never get to see on the screen.
Val is a Wilding girl, and the sister of Dalla (Mance Rayder‘s wife). According to the books, Val is a slim, gorgeous woman with dark honey colored hair. She makes her appearance when the captured Jon Snow is taken to confront Mance Rayder, the king beyond the wall. Once the Wildlings are defeated by Stannis Baratheon’s forces, she’s taken prisoner by the Night’s Watch, and Stannis offers to marry her to Jon, if Jon agrees to become the Lord of Winterfell and aid Stannis in getting to the Iron throne. She delivers Dalla’s child and becomes his surrogate mother after Dalla’s death.
Jon sends her to make peace with Tormund, a Wilding warrior. She succeeds in doing so, returning back to Castle Black with Tormund. She’s shown to be afraid of Shireen (Stannis’ daughter) because of her greyscale, and suggests that Jon kill her. Val appears in the books A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons, and is mentioned briefly in A Feast of Crows. If you haven’t read the books, and only relied on the TV Show, you’ve completely missed this beautiful and intriguing character. Dalla and her child are also missing from the TV show.
9. Jeyne Poole
Although she appeared as merely a background character in a single season one episode, Jeyne Poole plays a vital role in the series that was given this past season to Sansa Stark. In A Storm of Swords, Jeyne Poole is sent to Winterfell posed as Arya Stark in order to be wed to Ramsay Bolton (Roose Bolton’s son, born bastard but legitimized through a decree from Tommen Baratheon). Once in Winterfell, Jeyne pleads to Theon Greyjoy to save her from Ramsay and help her escape. Basically, take all of the horrible things that happened to Sansa this past year happened to Jeyne in the books.
After the wedding, she’s confined in her tower and repeatedly tortured by Ramsay in revolting ways that make the TV show’s portrayal of Sansa’s treatment look tame by comparison. Later, Mance Rayder is sent to rescue Jeyne, who the people in the north still believe is actually Arya. Mance is caught, but Jeyne succeeds in escaping with Theon. The last time we saw them in the books, they’ve been found by Mors Umber and taken to Stannis Baratheon’s camp.
8. Garlan Tyrell
Ser Garlan Tyrell, also called Garlan the Gallant, belongs to house Tyrell. He’s Mace Tyrell’s second son, and the older brother to Loras Tyrell, who you know on the show as Margaery’s brother. He’s proficient in sword fighting, and while he strongly resembles his younger brother, unlike Loras he lacks any interest in gaining glory. In the Battle of Blackwater he leads Tyrell and Lannister joined forces wearing Renly Baratheon’s armor. Stannis Baratheon’s army takes him for Renly’s ghost, sending their ranks in confusion and terror and securing a victory for the joined Tyrell-Lannister alliance.
After the war, he’s seen dancing with Sansa during her marriage to Tyrion Lannister, which is where he tells her that she’d be happier with Tyrion than Loras. He’s also present during Margaery’s wedding to Joffrey Baratheon. He backs up Tyrion when Joffrey tries to ridicule him, and also attempts to save Joffrey from choking. In A Feast for Crows he takes half the Tyrell’s strength from King’s Landing to the Reach, so as to win Brightwater Keep from Ser Colin Florent. However, he learns about the Ironborn’s conquest of Shield Islands, and begins gathering men to retake the isles.
Patchface may be a minor character in the books, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a pretty fascinating person in Martin’s world. He earns his name because of the red and green squared tattoos covering his face and bald head. He was a jester slave in Volantis before being freed by Steffon Baratheon and brought to Storm’s End.
In A Clash of Kings Patchface appears when he accompanies Shireen Baratheon (daughter of Stannis Baratheon) to Maester Cressen’s chamber to meet White Raven, and he’s also present when Cressen poisons Melisandre’s wine in a failed attempt to kill the priestess. In A Storm of Swords he’s seen playing with Shireen and Edric Storm (one of the many bastards of Robert Baratheon), and in A Dance with Dragons he accompanies Shireen and Selyse to Castle Black, where Melisandre tells Jon Snow that Patchface is dangerous.
It’s not his appearance in the book that makes him so intriguing, but his words. At first they seem nonsensical, but as we later discover, they turn out to be ominous and prophetic.
6. Euron Greyjoy
Euron Greyjoy appears a little late in the books, but he’s a strong character and has an important role to play in the plot. Euron is the younger brother of Lord Balon Greyjoy, better known as Theon’s dad. He’s also known by the name Crow’s Eye and owns a ship called Silence, which gets its name from the fact that all of its crew are mutes due to Euron, er, ripping out their tongues. He’s only popped up in A Feast for Crows so far, but he’s mentioned in all the books.
After the death of Balon Greyjoy, he comes back to claim the Seastone Chair. When Aeron Greyjoy calls kingsmoot to appoint a new King of the Isles, Euron arrives with his crew. He claims that he can win all Westeros for the Iron King by using dragons with the help of the Dragon horn. It is this horn that helps him win the kingsmoot against Asha Greyjoy, as well as Euron’s brother Victarion and other challengers. He later sends Victarion with the horn to Meereen for reasons we’ll get to in just a bit.
5. Aeron Greyjoy
Aeron Greyjoy is the youngest brother of Balon Greyjoy, and the son of deceased Quellon Greyjoy. He becomes a priest of the Drowned God after nearly facing his death during Greyjoy’s rebellion, and is also known as Damphair. He makes is first appearance in A Clash of Kings to bring Theon Greyjoy, sent by Robb Stark to negotiate an alliance, before Balon. Balon refuses the alliance terms, and sends Theon and Aeron to raid Stony Shore. After that, Theon goes to capture Winterfell, while Aeron goes on to raid another village.
In A Feast for Crows, after learning about the death of Balon as well as Euron’s claim over the Seastone Chair, he calls kingsmoot to appoint Balon’s successor. His goal with the kingsmoot was to apoint Victarian the new king, but as we just mentioned above things don’t work out that way. He doesn’t show up in A Dance with Dragons, but his drowned men claim he’s hiding at Great Wyk and would soon unleash the Drowned God’s wrath upon Euron and his men. Obviously, that would make for some very interesting storytelling, which apparently Martin agrees with considering Aeron is expected to be one of the point of view characters in Winds of Winter.
4. Victarion Greyjoy
Victarion younger brother of Euron Greyjoy but older than Aeron, and is famously large and strong, and loyal to Balon Greyjoy. He’s served as a point of view character in the books, leading to the belief that he’s a pivotal player in the series. In A Clash of Kings he attends a feast at Pyke with Balon and Aeron, and Balon sends him to capture Moat Cailin. In A Storm of Swords he’s mentioned by Robb Stark, who thinks that after Balon’s death Victarion would go from Moat Cailin to claim the Seastone Chair.
Later, in A Feast for Crows, he arrives at the kingsmoot to make his unsuccessful claim, and Euron sends him to lead an assault on Shield Islands. Many of his men start favoring Euron, leading to a growing hatred for his older brother. Unaware of this hatred, Euron sends him to Meereen to find Daenerys Targaryen and deliver Euron’s marriage proposal. If you’re a big fan of the Greyjoys, though, don’t worry: speculation is rampant they’ll play a major role in the upcoming season, so the three we’ve mentioned could very well make appearances.
Coldhands is another mysterious and interesting character from the books, and might be the one readers have been hoping to see the most. He appears first in A Storm of Swords, when he saves Sam and Gilly from from Wights. He wears black clothes like the Night’s Watch, leading to speculation that he’s a former Brother of the Watch. He rides an elk, and his hands are black and cold to touch. He sends Sam to Black Gate to bring Bran and company across the wall, since he himself is unable to cross to its southern side.
In A Dance with Dragons, he accompanies Bran, Hodor, and the Reed siblings to the Last Greenseer far beyond the wall. Bran sees him killing some traitors to the Night’s Watch, and later discovers that he’s actually dead, existing somewhere between humanity and the White Walkers. He sees the company safely to the cave of three-eyed crow, though he’s unable to enter. He fights the wights following them, and if you remember two seasons ago you’ll note that’s where we left Bran and Hodor. Since that story has already occurred on screen it seems unlikely Coldhands will ever make an appearance.
2. Aegon VI Targaryen
In the books, it’s unclear if this character is really Aegon VI Targaryen or someone posing as him, but that’s exactly what makes his involvement in the storyline so interesting. Aegon was supposedly killed during the sacking of King’s Landing, his skull crushed against the wall by the Mountain. However, when Tyrion is headed toward Essos, he meets an interesting pair, each called “Griff.” The older Griff is a knight named Jon Connington, and Young Griff is allegedly Aegon VI.
Aegon controls a band of sellswords called the Golden Company and plans to marry his aunt Daenerys, and rule the seven kingdoms with her at his side. Daenerys sees him in her vision as a newborn in the House of Undying, and later, in A Dance With Dragons, she muses over the thought that if he was alive she might have married him. Of course, the show gave his basic storyline to Jorah Mormont last season, so chances are we’ll never see Aegon pop up in the TV universe. Jon Connington, a former Hand of the King, is another character omitted from the TV series, leaving the Griff duo on the sidelines.
1. Lady Stoneheart
Lady Stoneheart is none other than reanimated Catelyn Stark, brought back from the dead by the Brotherhood without Banners. She takes control of the Brotherhood after Berric Dandarion, their previous leader – who has been depicted on the show – sacrifices himself to resurrect Catelyn. She was a strong woman in life, but after death she has become less amiable, more vengeful, and unforgiving.
To avenge the events of the Red Wedding and other atrocities toward her family, she hangs any person associated with Freys, Lannisters, or Boltons, no matter how small their involvement in the massacre. Since her dead body spent a lot of time underwater, she’s also undergone several horrifying changes in her appearance. Her flesh is soft and milky white, and what little hair she has left is white and brittle. Her throat is still open from the lethal slit she received, a wound she needs to cover in order to form any speech.
Chances are she’ll play some major role in the upcoming books, but we’ve yet to see appear in the TV show and probably never will.