“The House of Black and White”: How this Week’s Game of Thrones Differs from the Books

It’s been noted Game of Thrones’ fifth season will take characters further from their original plot lines than ever before, and fans on Twitter have finally caught up with that realization after watching this week’s episode.

Here’s a breakdown of how things went down in “The House of Black and White” versus how things played out in the books.

The Man of Many Faces


How it went down on the show: Arya arrives at the House of Black and White, recites the phrase “Valar Morghulis,” and reveals the coin she received from Jaqen H’ghar back in season two. She’s received by the Man of Many Faces but is denied entry. Later, the same man finds Arya in the streets of Braavos and takes her back to the House of Black and White. He reveals himself as Jaqen H’ghar and Arya disappears into the House with him.

How it went down in the books: Arya arrives at the House of Black and White and finds the door is open. She’s greeted inside by the Man of Many Faces. This character is not portrayed by Jaqen H’ghar in the book. Arya has never met him and he refers to himself as the Kindly Man. Fan theories suggest the Kindly Man is actually Arya’s former dancing master, Syrio Forel, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Lady Sansa and Brienne of Tarth


How it went down on the show: Brienne confronts Sansa Stark and Littlefinger at an inn along the road. She offers to pledge her sword to protecting Sansa’s life, but the Stark girl declines her offer. Brienne follows Sansa down the east road with the intention of protecting her regardless of her refusal.

How it went down in the books: At this point in the book, Sansa Stark is still hiding out at the Vale with Littlefinger and Lord Jon Arryn, making it impossible for Brienne to ever cross paths with her.

Jaime and the Sand Snakes


How it went down on the show: In season one, Tyrion sends Myrcella Baratheon (Jaime and Cersei’s love child) to Dorne to wed Trystane Martell. Now, with the blood of Prince Oberyn Martell on her hands, Cersei is consumed with the idea that the Martells will hurt Myrcella. After receiving threats from the Sand Snakes, Jaime sets out for Dorne to collect their illegitimate love child. He asks Bronn to join him.

How it went down in the books: Jaime never went to Dorne and, at this point, Bronn is irrelevant to the story. Instead, Jaime leads an army to siege Riverrun with Ilyn Payne as his companion. Cersei is hopeless in her protest to retrieve Myrcella from Dorne.

Daenery’s and the Harpy


How it went down on the show: Grey Worm and Daario Naharis discover a Son of the Harpy in hiding. After discussing the matter with her council, Daenerys decides to grant the Harpy a fair trial. Mossador (a former slave and advisor to the Queen) kills the Harpy prisoner and is later executed by Dany as punishment for his betrayal. Drogon visits Dany.

How it went down in the books: Daenerys holds no Son of the Harpy prisoner. Mossador is murdered by the Harpy, not by Dany for all of Meereen to see, and at this point in the book, Drogon is still MIA.

The Lord Commander


How it went down on the show: Following the death of Jeor Mormont, The Men of the Night’s Watch elect a new Lord Commander to replace Ser Alliser Thorne as acting Commander. Sam nominates Jon Snow and Jon wins the honour by a single vote.

How it went down in the books: Several votes take place with a number of eligible candidates. Sam Tarly devises a scheme to convince the Men of the Night’s Watch to vote for Jon. Jon wins by a significant number of votes.

Game of Thrones season five airs on HBO Canada Sunday nights at 9e 6p. Read our show-versus-book recap of last week’s season premiere here.

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