Was the Game Of Thrones finale right to stick to the books?

Feature Juliette Harrisson 18 Jun 2014 - 07:00

Juliette argues that Game Of Thrones should have made a dramatic change to the events of season 4 episode 10. Spoilers...

This article contains major spoilers for the TV show and the books – do not read it unless you’ve read all the books and are completely up to date with the TV show.

Game Of Thrones season four has made more changes to its source material than any other season to date, and these changes continued into the finale, The Children. Following the deaths of minor characters Pyp and Grenn in The Watchers On The Wall, Jojen Reed became the most significant character who is still alive in the books to die in the TV show, and one of the series’ most impressive and visceral fights took place between Brienne and the Hound, two characters who have never met in the books.

These however, could be said to be fairly cosmetic changes. Pyp, Grenn and Jojen Reed may have predeceased their book counterparts, but their characters, arcs and motivations remained more or less the same, just shorter. Brienne has met Arya and has rather better knowledge of the girls she’s looking for than her book counterpart, but she will be able to slide easily into the rest of her A Feast For Crows/A Dance With Dragons plot while Arya left the Hound in the same way she did in the books following a different fight. The most drastic changes to the source material in the season four finale weren’t the premature deaths, but the character arcs and motivations surrounding two of its most popular characters – Jaime and Tyrion, the Lannister boys.

The alterations made to the climactic events surrounding Jaime and Tyrion at the end of this season have their roots much further back, in changes made earlier on in this season and going right back to season two, and both stem from the series’ approach to their relationships with women. Leaving aside the controversy surrounding where the show has taken Jaime and his relationship with Cersei this season for the moment, let’s have a closer look at just how and why Tyrion’s final confrontations with his brother, father and lover were changed.

In A Storm Of Swords, when Jaime releases Tyrion from his cell, they haven’t spoken in months and Jaime was genuinely uncertain whether Tyrion was guilty of his son’s murder or not. He released him, not because he knew he was innocent (though he hoped it) but to atone for an incident in their youth. Contrary to what Tyrion believed, his first wife Tysha was not, in fact, a prostitute but an innocent young woman who genuinely loved Tyrion, who was gang-raped by half the Lannister guards including Tyrion himself and sent away when Tywin found out about her. Reeling from this revelation, Tyrion lashes out by lyingly telling Jaime he did kill Joffrey before seeking out his father.

The TV show hasn’t written Tysha out altogether – she’s been mentioned a couple of times and the original story as Tyrion understood it was told in season one – but none of these revelations came to light in the season four finale. This is an understandable alteration, chiefly because TV viewers are unlikely to remember the details of a story told four years ago. Additionally, in the books, while we’re in Tyrion’s head, we feel his pain clearly, but as viewers of a TV show, it’s harder to care so deeply about a character we’ve never seen (especially given the show’s deliberate choice to avoid flashbacks). Omitting any reference to Tysha also gives Jaime and Tyrion a touching farewell rather than tearing down Tyrion’s only remaining good relationship. (There was an echo of his angry assertion that “I killed your vile son” in his trial in The Laws Of Gods And Men, when he told Cersei he gained great relief from watching “your vicious bastard die”, but directed at the hated sibling, not the loved one, and without actually confessing).

So, there are sensible reasons for omitting any reference to Tysha, much as it might anger book fans. But while the omission streamlines Jaime and Tyrion’s farewell, it creates some problems in his final confrontation with his father, since in the books, while Tyrion was fairly angry on his own account, it was for Tysha that he really wanted to take revenge, not himself.

There was a solution to that problem available, one several viewers thought the show might go for, but in the end they didn’t because it would have strayed too far from the books. Should Benioff and Weiss have stepped away from the books even more, and had Tywin kill Shae as he had so frequently threatened to do, leaving Tyrion to avenge Shae rather than murdering her?

Tyrion’s killing of Shae is a difficult scene for any number of reasons. As far as the books are concerned, many readers may feel that Tyrion was justified in killing Shae because she had betrayed him and helped his father and sister to condemn him to death. Even so, the scene in which he murders a defenceless, naked woman right after she’s told him (whether truthfully or not, we never get the chance to find out) that she only did what the queen ordered her to, that his father frightens her and she asks if he has come to take her away makes for uncomfortable reading. For some of us, we have not especially enjoyed Tyrion’s chapters or been able to root for him since, which is a shame considering he was once a favourite character (this is not true for all readers, of course – as ever where fiction is concerned, your mileage may vary). To see this scene play out as it did in the book on screen, without the reader being inside Tyrion’s head and without any reference to Tysha or how shaken he is at the revelations surrounding her, would have been even worse.

Of course, a character does not have to be likeable for audiences to want to watch them (is anyone else missing Joffrey, just a little?). It could be argued that we do not have to like Tyrion to be interested in watching his story. But Tyrion’s role in the books and the show was always as one of the characters we do like, in early seasons the only Lannister for whom that was the case. Most of us need someone to root for and someone to like in amongst all the horror. Add to that the controversial scene between Jaime and Cersei in the sept in Breaker Of Chains that rendered the other semi-likeable Lannister impossible to like for many viewers, and depicting audience favourite Tyrion as a man who murders his former lover, however badly she treated him, does not seem like a good idea.

Benioff and Weiss’s solution was to have Shae go for a knife and attack Tyrion first, making his killing of her more an act of self-defence than murder. This has probably safeguarded Tyrion from audience backlash, even though her death still feels deeply unpleasant to some (again, your mileage may vary – personal reactions to scenes of this nature will always vary among viewers and no one’s individual reaction is more ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ than anyone else’s). In the book, Tyrion simply murders her while, naked, she tries to win him back with words. In the show, Shae (clothed for once) lunges at Tyrion with a knife and he defends himself, as although he knocks the knife out of her hands, she continues to attack him physically. Afterwards, he apologises to her body.

The problem with this solution is that the TV version of Shae’s character had moved so far away from her book counterpart in seasons two and three that this final brutal confrontation doesn’t entirely feel right. For Shae to be so intensely angry at Tyrion for dumping her that she wants to kill him seems excessive, even after she knowingly condemned him to death with her evidence. Still, it was necessary to preserve Tyrion as a character the audience can root for in a world where those are few and far between.

These changes to Tyrion’s escape have a further impact on his final scene with his father. In A Storm Of Swords, when Tyrion confronts his father, Tywin calls Tysha a “whore” one too many times and that is what finally drives Tyrion to shoot him. Tyrion has just discovered that to call Tysha a whore is factually incorrect as well as rude and the word reminds him of just what a terrible thing his father has done. While his murder of Shae may be problematic for some readers, almost no one has a problem with his murder of the man who gang-raped and sent away his first wife, father or not.

In the TV version, however, it’s Shae who Tywin refers to as a “whore” and Tyrion objects to the de-valuing of the woman – which would be nice if he hadn’t just killed her himself (and he refers to the act as ‘murder’ despite the element of self-defence involved). After the first arrow, Tyrion and Tywin have one more confrontation surrounding their terrible father/son relationship before Tyrion ends it for good. Where Book Tyrion was driven to murder his father both by his own treatment but even more by his desire for revenge for Tysha, TV Tyrion kills him almost entirely for himself. Even his assertion that he loved Shae feels more like a complaint that his father took her away than a statement about her life or value – at the same time as he asserts her right not to be referred to as a ‘whore’, Tyrion reduces Shae to a plaything his father took away from him.

This is why there’s an argument to be made that having Tywin kill Shae rather than Tyrion would almost have been truer to the spirit of the book, while further away in terms of plot specifics. Tyrion would have murdered his father largely out of grief at his father’s treatment of his lover, as well as on his own account. With Tysha’s true story written out of the sequence, using a character the audience have come to know and love – the TV version of Shae –in her place would seem to make sense.

The main thing that would have been lost if Tywin had killed Shae rather than Tyrion is that his final hypocrisy might not have been revealed. After years of criticising his son for sleeping with prostitutes, Tyrion discovers that Tywin has been doing exactly the same thing all along. Shae’s betrayal would also have been less deep if she did not go willingly to Tywin, though since neither book nor TV show make it clear exactly what’s happened to her or whether she’s been threatened by Cersei or Tywin (“your father frightens me” might imply that she had been in the book), that will remain forever a grey area. It would also affect Tyrion’s motivation and state of mind as he escapes to Essos, but removing the revelation about Tysha probably has a bigger effect on that story as TV Tyrion will not be looking for her, and killing his father would seem to be quite traumatic enough to give Tyrion’s character the hard edge he has in A Dance With Dragons.

Perhaps, though, that solution couldn’t work in the context of season four, because of Shae’s actions during Tyrion’s trial. Essentially, after writing her as a very different woman in seasons two and three, Benioff and Weiss have spent season four forcing Shae back into her book role. Unlike her book counterpart, she became jealous, possessive and unable to accept reality and was then sent away and hurt ‘for her own good’. After that, she reverts to behaviour similar to her book counterpart, almost as if she’s been diverted back onto a train track she had left for a while, betraying Tyrion at his trial and moving on to his father. In the book, Shae was a prostitute who told her lovers whatever they wanted – and paid her – to hear. In the series, however, she had appeared genuinely loving and caring – indeed, her betrayal of Sansa at the trial was almost more shocking than her betrayal of Tyrion, and she had previously appeared so fond of the girl.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about Shae in both the books and the TV series is that, since we only see her from Tyrion’s point of view (and occasionally Sansa and Varys in the series), we never really know what’s happening to her or what her motivations are. This season, we saw her turn up to Tyrion’s trial and betray him but we saw nothing of what happened to her in between or what her life was like without him (having lost both her only client as a prostitute and her job as a lady’s maid). We heard her remind him of how horribly he treated her when he sent her away during the trial (and she could have no way of knowing that he did so with the best of intentions). Then finally we see her in bed, having moved on to a new client because that is her job (though the choice of client and “my lion” had to hurt). If we’d had access to Shae’s thoughts and feelings, or known whether Cersei and Tywin threatened her, would we feel more sympathetic towards her?

Ultimately, there is simply no good way to portray your lead and most likeable character murdering his former lover in her bed, no matter what terrible things she’s done. Perhaps Benioff and Weiss’ solution was the only possible one available – stick to the basic plot of the books, but add Shae lunging for that knife and imply that it is self-defence. But, having changed so much of Shae’s story earlier in the series and written themselves into something of a corner, some of us can’t help but wonder if they might have done better making more dramatic changes, rather than forcing characters that had grown and developed in different directions back into a pre-determined course.

Read our spoiler-filled review of the season four finale, The Children, here.

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Never read the books, but found Tryion's escape fairly moving on TV. Saved by the one family member who still likes him... soon finds that the woman he loves has betrayed him and bedded his dad... who's still trying to kill him.

Him then entering killy revengey mode still packed an emotional punch, and was justified - for me at least! Seems like it has split opinions though, and there's no 'right' response, as ever.

Great article though, a v interesting read. And you're right, I had completely forgotten he even had a wife before!

I feel no sympathy for murderers and regard revenge as a bestial act. Game of Thrones is far too similar to the real world it was written in for comfort. We like a little pretence of nobility and virtue in our fiction normally, but since that pretence has been devalued by the lies told to justify stupid, self interested and brutish actions by our lords and masters in the real world, I suppose it won't wash any more.

In my eyes it was obvious that Shae was using Tyrion from the start as when he first walked into Tywin's bed chambers she was lying on the bed face down. She heard someone walk into the room and before looking up she said "Tywin, My Lion", so she had obviously been bought and betrayed him. This would also add to his anger towards his father as a) He tried to kill him using the fake trial and b) was two faced in the way he banned Tyrion from seeing whores but then boffed Shae. However it would have been nice if they referenced Tysha if only in his speech to his father.

Thought it was great tv, but having read the books did feel a little short changed minor quibble aside they left the books epilogue off which really would have been a great wtf moment but sure

Blasphemy!!! In Tyrion we trust!!! Burn the non believer!!!!

I'm still not sure that Shae was always using Tyrion, but it struck me straight away that hearing someone you love(d) referring to her new 'lover' (specifically your father) with her pet name for you might well tip you over the edge!

Personally I love the ambiguity of whether or not her death was deserved. In my eyes it was more deserved in the show than the books. In the books he could have listened to her (but she may have been lying), in the show however she goes straight for that knife. There is no lying about that. If she really had not wanted to betray him wouldn't she have responded with shock and joy to his escape not fear and violence? My guess is that she genuinely cared about Sansa and Tyrion but after being sent away shut herself off from that part and did what it would take to cement her comfortable life post Tyrion. Understandable due to the world they live in but still makes her a selfish traitor. At least Bronn never lied about being a sellsword (and seemed genuinely upset he couldn't help Tyrion.)

I find it hilarious when people say that revenge is so bad. that is the talk of the type of people who would rather wait for the police to save them from someone than to man up and realize that when someone is threatening the lives of you and your loved ones their life is forfeit.

I did find Tyrion's murder of Shae a little unnerving, and the shoe-horning of her character into the role the producer's needed her to play even a little more unnerving. One idea I had: have Tywin on the toilet tell Tryion: "She came to me to try and save you." BOOM. Right there you have justification for Shae staying in King's Landing (add in a line here about how it was Shae's idea to send Tyrion to the wall, and the price Tywin wanted for the deal was her), for 'betraying' Tyrion...and holy crap, you throw a whole lot more guilt down on Tyrion's shoulders, comparable to the guilt he felt over his role in the rape of his first wife. That's actually how I thought it would all go down but, no...she was 'just' a whore. I found the way it played out a bit...disappointing.

Interesting points. As I was watching this series I was wondering if they were going to have the balls to have Tyrion murder Shae or whether someone like Bronn would do it for them, because almost everyone loves Tyrion but strangling your former lover and killing your dad while he was on the toilet was a real eye opener when I read it. Almost as shocking as the end of book 5 part 2.

The best last ten minutes of an episode on TV that I have seen glad tyrion weighed his old man in. Walking down to the privy with a crossbow and not giving a flying f...k. Well done my lion

Nice read, cheers

I haven't read the books, but I didn't feel like it was a disappointing ending, and I don't think you need the previous wife history to at least get into Tyrion's mind.

It's made quite clear throughout the show he loves Shae, and it's only her testimony and treachery at the trial that finally breaks him and makes him have his (glorious) rant.

Therefore, I think he'd be naturally quite peeved to find that she was now sleeping with his Father - a man who was against him having Shae, and the man who of course has spent his entire life wanting Tyrion dead. Plus the minor thing of actually condemning him to death. Walking in to his chambers and seeing her all relaxed (not scared, not getting into a role - relaxed and waiting) would ultimately push you over the edge, especially in Game of Thrones land.

So no, I don't think you need Tywin killing Shae to really anger Tyrion, I thought it worked as Tyrion seeking his (quite grim) vengence after all that. It's hardly like he enjoyed killing her. You could have had more 'layers' by showing whether Shae was coerced or not... but going by her vitriolic testimony at the trial, there didn't seem to be much doubt over how she felt...

Tryion did good in my eyes

"who was gang-raped by half the Lannister guards including Tyrion himself"

Did you mean Tywin?

No, in the books, Tywin makes Tyrion take her last, after the guards, and pay her in gold instead of the silver the guards pay her, if I remember rightly.

Keep calm and Tyrion !

One of the things I loved about the show, up til now, was that some of the little extra touches (or changes) actually added more layers to the characters. For example;

Cersei's conversation about how she was trapped in a horrible, loveless marriage to Robert, who cared nothing about her and had the ghost of his true love (and her original betrothed, who she DID have an interest in) hanging over it.

Robb's wife, and the interplay between the two.

The little boy (can't remember his name) killing Ygrette in revenge for her doing the same to his father.

All of these provided the above characters with a little more sympathy, a little more humanity, fleshed them out and made them more three-dimensional than they were in the books.

The changes made to Tyrion's flight from Kings Landing was the first real change the show has made (other than the scandalous omission of Strong Belwas!!!) that I didn't like or appreciate. The drama of his brother revealing the level of his father's betrayal, the angry parting between the two (especially after his brother had 'forced' Varys into going along with the escape) and one of the best lines in the book "Where do whores go?" along with Shae's (in my mind) conniving lies to try and save her own skin - it all added up to an unbelievably tense and dramatic scene, and Tyrion killing her and his dad was in a wrathful fury, perhaps to be regretted at leisure later on.

In not taking this path, they've actually made his actions less sympathetic and understandable, as they're now cold and deliberate, instead of a reaction to a huge revelation. They took away his reason for going into the Tower of the Hand in the first place and it left me cold.

Obviously, this is one of the few drawbacks to having read the books - when something works, or is improved, it's great, but if something doesn't match with what you loved about the written version, it can jar badly.

(As an aside, I was also saddened by the lack of a certain one-armed blacksmith, but I can understand why Gren was used in his place.)

No, Tywin actually made Tyrion do it. Here's a quote from the Wiki: "When Lord Tywin Lannister found out, he had Jaime tell Tyrion that Tysha was a whore who had been paid to make Tyrion a man. Tywin then had her passed around among his guards to have sex with her; for each guard, he gave her a silver. To drive the lesson home, Tywin forced his son to be the last man, for whom Tysha was paid a gold coin, because Lannisters were worth more."

the headline makes NO SENSE since almost everything the TV show gave as motivations for Tyrion's to kill BOTH Shae & Tywin was at once DIFFERENT & somewhat similar to the books. As a "reader", i can tell you that in virtually every case, i think the story was IMPROVED by the diversions from the books

I share the author's concerns about what impact the omission of the Tysha revelation will have going forward as it has, to date, proven a lingering issue for Tyrion in the books. That said, I did like the way that this meant that he and Jaime's farewell was a fond one as Jaime is, even in the books (knowing the extent to which Tywin can force anyone to do his bidding), one of Tyrion's few true friends. The changes made regarding Shae did not bother me, though, as we had been shown enough times the very real feelings that Tyrion had for her and her betrayal of him was so absolute by the end that (in the context of the show) his actions were inevitable.
I am also concerned about the premature deaths of Grenn and Pyp. Without them, I can't see how Jon will have enough vocal support to take control of the Night's Watch, assuming the TV show will follow that plot thread. Sam is still very much an outsider and, apart from Edd, we haven't really seen any other significant supporters of Lord Snow (except maybe Aemon) that would enable him to win a vote for the post.
Sadly, my real regret this season is not a change that was made but one that wasn't. The death of the Red Viper does drive the story forward but, at least in the books to date, has left a bit of a charisma void in Westeros and, in particular, Dorne. The same goes for the Hound. Personally, I have found very few (if any) of the new characters that GRRM has introduced in the last two books to be at all interesting or, where they have potential (eg the Sand Snakes) he rapidly sidelines them in favour of what can only be termed a dead end diversion. The less said about the Iron Born and their tedious elections, or Dany and the intricacies of meetings and ruling a city, the better.
I think the writers have their work cut out for them next season. I hope they are up to the task as I would hate this story to be cut short.

As a fellow reader, I have also thought that the diversions from the books have improved the story in virtually every case(missing beloved cast members, like Strong Belwas aside).I never thought that It "felt riight" to have Tyrion and Jamie part as enemies, and to me--Tyrions's subsequent actions still made perfect sense in the light of Shae's testimony, finding her in Tywin's bed & then of course, Tywin had LONG deserved those crossbow bolts, IMO.

I liked the Tysha storyline in the books and, yes, it was a shame that it wasn't worked in but in adapting texts of this length and complexity it is surely inevitable that some plot strands are omitted.

That said, if the premise is that the finale left us with more room for feeling ambiguous and uncertain about Tyrion's actions, then I would say this is a hugely successful result.

It is, for me, perhaps the greatest strength of the stories that characters are not moral absolutes and it is what sets them apart from the majority of popular fantasy fiction. More of this for me, please.

What a nonsensical piece of over analysis. I'm intentionally waiting until the entire TV show has finished to read the books because I'm treating them as two entirely different entities. Problems with him killing Shae? The little bitch deserved it. I literally fist pumped. The only disappointment is that he didn't butcher Cersei. I don't have a single problem with Jaime raping Cersie, it's just a shame he didn't let the entire king's guard have a go. I hope her death is the most slow, brutal death of the entire series. I'm just beginning to wonder if Lena Headey can play anything but a self righteous sanctimonious miserable bitc because you could put a cigarette paper between most of her recent roles

You sound like a nice chap.

Gratutious male/female violence makes me feel queasy too- however, couple of points here.

Firstly, she's not defenceless- she grabs a knife, and the killing comes at the end of a fight (if anything, she's the one with the weapon, and Tyrion is initially defenceless).

Secondly, and more importantly, one of the things that Game of Thrones has got right is the effect of continued brutalisation on people who are at least capable of empathy and honesty. The parallel case in 'The Children' is what Arya does to the Hound: she could spare him an agonising death- but she doesn't. In a moment I thought was the most heartbreaking in the episode, she just walks away. The Arya we first meet wouldn't have done that; but she's no longer that person. Similarly, the Tyrion we first meet wouldn't kill Shae: but he's not that person- not any more.

Cheers mate! Horrible characters deserve horrible ends

Think you're maybe a bit over-excited.

Shae was a whore who finally got a position she liked, so she went for the knife. Not every sexual coupling is as genuine as it may seem. In the book when Tyrion sees her she doesn't even get her pet name for him correct which tips the reader off that to a degree she was playing him.

Ahhh i see.....thanks

Thanks

Now that was a succinct explanation, why not have Tywin tell Tyrion that? More than enough reason for Tyrion to shoot him the first time. Then Tyrion can angrily ask "where is she?" and Tywin can reply (as casually as is possible with an arrow through your chest "wherever whores go"... Boom!

Her eyes as she watches him plead. She's cold, hard, a killer. He's made her like that. Him and his 'education' plus her experiences.

Shae didn't try to stab Tyrion because she wanted revenge for him dumping her. Her testimony at the trial was her revenge. No, she woke up and found herself face-to-face with the guy whose death she pretty much clinched (she gave pretty damning testimony, and it was her that drove Tyrion to reject the Wall option in favor of trial by combat). TV Shae is much smarter than Book Shae in many ways, and she realizes that she is in deep, deep trouble. TV Tyrion is pissed enough that I think he would have killed her even if she hadn't tried to stab him.

When does this actually happen?

I have read the books and appeciated how they handled the Tryion arc , I was less pleased though with how they handled the bran arc. They skipped a good ammount of his story after passing the wall e.g coldhands,going through wilding villages etc . It seemed very fast forwarded to get him to the cave/tree. As his storyline now is pretty much up to date with the latest book besides some of his training. So does this mean he will be pretty much non existent for the next season or two?

What I personally found a bit lacking in logic about Tyrion's scene in the final episode is not so much the murders as it is how he got there. In the book we get to know from Tyrion's perspective of the existence of the secret passages build by Maegor leading from the dungenos to the Tower of the Hand and when Jaime finally confeses that Tysha was not a whore Tyrion deliberately goes to Tywin for revenge and happens to find Shae, which breaks him even more. However in the series we just see him staring at the exit and then we see him arriving to the Tower of the Hand. There is no real motivation other than "f#$k it, I'll go kill my dad"

I know. Thought it was amazing acting (but I thought that the second time I watched it. First time, I was a bit too emotional).

They killed off Jojen Reed in the TV series?! Jesus. Read all the books so far and waiting for the series to finish off completely before binging on it all.

I did find Shae's sudden temprament change at the trial really jarring, she's not the same character at all as in previous season's. Tyrion was trying to get her to leave for her own safety for ages before he 'spurned' her, it should have been crystal clear why he spoke to her as he did. The original Shae character was far more intelligent and three dimensional than the one who ended up killed in Tywin's bed.

I'm not so sure with Arya, I think she wanted him to die but didn't want to do it herself because she had grow attached to him.

Like others I've not read the books and forgot completely he even had a wife previously. Have to say him killing Shae made perfect sense to me. She tried to kill him (undoubtedly fearing what he may do to her seeing as all she sees is a pissed-off ,dead man walking who has escaped jail) while he acted out of self-defence and heartbreak. Then with his mind racing with more confusion than Iker Casillas at the World Cup he did what he did, whether he meant it or not.

I think the writing of Shae did maybe subtly give an indication she may go properly bananas. Anyone who has a crazy ex in their past may tell you that after she was refusing to leave KL and kept sneaking in to his room despite the danger and the jealousy of Sansa may have been indicators that she might go full on psycho bitch. Perhaps the producers have had crazy exs too.

There was a scene earlier in the series when Tyrion is the hand and thinking about the attack at blackwater that he talks of all the tunnels under kings landing. He as the hand would have looked for an escape route from that room too. It's there in a way and logical.

What I had trouble with in the show was what was his motivation to go and see his father? He was free and was going to lose that freedom. He was unarmed and rolled up to the bed still unarmed. So even if he wanted to kill him he would have had a hard time of it.

I did like how he went fully prepared to reload though. I liked that a lot.

Perhaps when she was getting jealous and possessive that shows a dark side to her character. When Tryion the only man (presumably) to not treat her like a whore says she is a whore and he wants the girl she was handmaiden to and was jealous of anyway, she feels so betrayed she wants revenge. Add to that the master manipulator Tywin in her ear and suddenly Tryion is a monster. It is quite a bit of supposition but the groundwork is there though perhaps a touch flimsy.

So spoilers go both ways hey? Still the warning was there.

Well ready to reload too. I liked that touch a lot. Especially how relaxed he was about it. Like he had killed him a thousand times in his head and now it was just the nitty gritty.

I recently read that reciprocity was one of the strongest psychological motivators in people. If this is the case then perhaps revenge is not so strange a thing. Who knows what darkness lies within us if we were driven to extremes. Understanding the human experience is much harder from up on a soap box.

I've heard elsewhere that unless GRRM has big plans for that character in the as yet unpublished books then it will dropped for the TV show. It would be incredibly difficult to do the character as its described, and it has no storyline to speak of. So why bother.

That look on his face it was priceless the crossbow as big as tyrion nearly but it looked like his weapon no one else's and it was for the sole purpose of privy killing. Also brienne and the hound the pre amble and fight were amazing a great piece of writing and acting. Brienne is sexy IMO

This is a TV show set in a fantasy world where the slightest insult is met with a sword. Its not a civilized setting or story. Tyrion had been completely betrayed by someone he loved, and condemned to death by someone he despised. We know he's a fighter..so it made perfect sense that he wouldn't run until he had his revenge.

Whether he intended to kill anyone or not we don't know. TV shows are not big on digging into people's minds the way a book can since they are a totally different medium, and what works in print doesn't always work on screen.

Something something glass houses...

This is what I missed:

“You shot me,” he said incredulously, his eyes glassy with shock.

“You always were quick to grasp a situation, my lord,” Tyrion said. “That must be why you’re the Hand of the King.”

I have to say first being a fan of both the books and the TV Series they were going to have to change a few things at some point the books get boring soon and we are going to need some things changed. that said i want to say i love the Tysha Story in the books it gives Tyrion's story a heart at times in the sense in the books a lot of what i feel comes across at times is he wants to find her and make a mends he still loves her. where on the tv show i feel they tried to make us believe he loved Shae. to me the bigger thing of the Finale was Varys Leaving with Tryrion i mean this could be a huge change from the books that could be EPIC. Varys and Tyrion Traveling together in search for the Doctor And the Tardis or a Vortex Manipulator i cant wait to see where they take those 2 :D

I just began reading books : my god, what is this language he uses ? It looks more like some romantic novel for teenage girls or virgin boys than a fantasy book. Sometimes, I'm waiting for Martin to introduce rainbows and unicorns.

Ok, i'm not very far in the story but somehow, you got to forget the TV show and keep distance between what your imagination builds and the acting in the show...

Anyway, i got 10 months to be on equal line between Tv and books, cheer up !

I too am unfamiliar with the books but my interpretation of the scene with Tyrion/Shae was that when Shae refers to Tywin as 'my lion' we are meant to infer that she had been Tywin's pawn all along and that this was another of Tywin's plots to control Tyrion in the same sense that he did with Tyrion's previous wife in the pre-history of the show. I assumed that Shae's change of character was due to her finally being called upon by Tywin to fulfil the role and reveal what she had learnt about Tyrion. Great episode whatever your thoughts!

This is the most insightful thing I have ever read on the internet, ever, and I'm not joking.

I literally clicked on your comment from a different page just to see what you were referring to... and now my eyes are bleeding.

Fair enough but it was the jaw dropping moment of the book, but wel wait and see how it pans out

Got to say I disagree.

Yes the WTF happens and then very little happens, but I think almost hanging Brianne and the current set up going into WoW where it appears Jaime, Brianne and Lady S will have a rather large face off suggests to me she isn't finished.

I honestly think she wasn't shown because of a) the large gap between her apperance and her actually doing anything and b) because books 4 and 5 have so few WTF moments that they are going to shoe this in longer in line. It's too much of a big moment not to use.

fair point, i just really liked that bit. im interested to see what they do over the next season with books 4 and 5 being a bit light, except maybe with jon snow and stannis. regardless of all that how did you like season 4

This was also my only issue. Like you say, in the books he gets that horrible news and, filled with rage against his father, see's the secret passage and decides to go and take him out (I think the only reason he kills Shae is because he's so angry, if he hadn't just got that news he'd still be hurt by it but not enough to want to kill her). In the TV series there's no reason for him to go and find Tywin, he's already free and he only decides to kill Tywin after he finds out about Shae. It made no sense for him to take that risk in the first place.

I actually think book Shae deserved it more than TV Shae. TV Shae does get a bit of a reason for selling him out (being sent away) but the way I read it, book Shae just sells him out at the first opportunity and shows no remorse (this is, of course, only seen from Tyrion's perspective. If we'd got in Shae's head there might have been a more justified reason for her actions). Like you say though, you can understand people in this universe looking out for number one because it's very rare anyone else does

Tyrion's murder of Shae was his release after 2 seasons of devaluing and betrayal, especially after his heroics of saving his family in season 2 and was rewarded with said betrayals and devaluing. Shae's betrayal at his trial was even worse in this context; this was somebody he had genuinely loved and here she was playing a pivotal role in his demise. Escaping and finding her in Tywin's bed, calling for her lion, was like being kicked while you were down, and then kicked again. Although it is tough to accept he would commit murder, you'd have to have a very hard heart not to understand the heartbreak, betrayal, frustration and demeaning that led to it.

Holy Toledo, are you overthinking this...

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