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How much do Game Of Thrones characters resemble their descriptions in the books?

Photo: HBO

Like any good film or TV adaptation, HBO’s Game Of Thrones inevitably had to deviate from its source material to best serve the medium’s appeal and aesthetics. Fans of George R.R. Martin’s series love to discuss how things really are in the books as fans of the show roll their eyes. If there’s one aspect that book devotees can embrace, it’s that the series did a remarkably impressive job envisioning and casting the characters—for the most part.

In this new video from WhatCulture, 22 different Game Of Thrones characters are described as they are in the books, with images from the show serving as a means of comparison. What’s revealed is just how on point the casting is among the show’s central characters.

Sean Bean, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, and John Bradley were especially inspired casting decisions as Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Samwell Tarly, respectively. Points also go to the show’s White Walkers, who, despite the CGI of it all, still embody the gaunt, pale bodies and piercing blue eyes Martin describes.


There’s some amusing tidbits of information, such as Arya being called “Arya Horseface” by bullies, or the fact that Tormund Giantsbane is described as short “but immensely broad” in the books. But even more interesting are the characters they drastically changed, such as Daenerys admirer Jorah Mormont. In the book, he’s described as bulkily muscular, insanely hairy, and decidedly not handsome. That’s a far cry from Iain Glen, who’s a handsome dude.

And then there’s Daario Naharis. Despite being played by two different actors in the series, neither even come close to how he’s described in the book. In Martin’s eyes, Daario sports a gold tooth, blue hair, and a three-pronged beard. In the show, he’s Sonny from Treme.

Oh, and Tyrion was supposed to lose his nose in the Battle Of The Blackwater, but your book-reading friends told you that already.

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