With some exceptions, HBO’s Game Of Thrones has done a relatively faithful job of adapting George R. R. Martin’s sprawling blood and dragons saga, A Song Of Ice And Fire. Even with characters condensed or excised, and events moved chronologically to adjust for pacing or actor’s schedules, the basic outline of the plot follow’s Martin’s writing closely.
If you need proof of that, have a look at this chart, produced by reddit user jonnyi94, which tracks on its y-axis every episode of the series, and shows which chapters of the books they’re adapted from along the top.
You can go here to see a zoomed-in version. A warning for the spoiler averse, though: While the chart’s author was kind enough to blank out unused chapter titles in the books that have yet to be adapted, so as not to spoil the nature of those chapter’s POV characters, it’s still possible to glean some information about the show’s future via careful examination.
Even in the zoomed-out version, though, it’s easy to see how faithful the adaptation has been, especially in the show’s first season. There, every episode tracks to a solid block of chapters, adapting the book in simple, chronological order. As time has gone on, and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have grown more confident with the material (and as the books have begun covering more characters, in more disparate locations), you start to see divergences—events from later books adapted early, pieces of chapters being adapted throughout the season, even entire sections of the books being skipped. Still, even at the end of Season 4, the chart’s slope is relatively stable, with the books and the show doling out information at roughly the same pace.
It’ll be interesting to see what this chart looks like come Season 5, when the show tackles the challenge of adapting Martin’s fourth and fifth books, A Feast For Crows and A Dance Of Dragons, which occur simultaneously from the points of view of two different sets of characters.