10 Memes That Perfectly Sum Up The Books Vs. The Show

Game of Thrones continues to be one of the biggest fantasy franchises in the world and after the recent success of HBO’s House of the Dragon, audiences are returning to the books to get their next dose of Westeros storytelling. But there are significant differences between the page and the screen.

Flying drone with camera

Fans have been creating all manner of memes to try and highlight the contrasts and comparisons, from what George R.R. Martin originally wrote and what Game of Thrones eventually adapted. While there are improvements to notice and criticisms to be made, ultimately its presence is still something to celebrate.


10/10 Best Fantasy Adaptation

Comparison memes are abound and this particular image can be taken in any number of ways. While on one hand it’s a fight between the best fantasy authors, there is certainly a point to be made about adaptations and how well the material has been taken from the page to the screen.

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For many, the way that Game of Thrones has been adapted is somewhat similar to Harry Potter, with some tweaks, major changes, and a few faithful elements. Of course, Lord of the Rings and its Oscar-worthy movies far surpass anything that the other two franchises have produced; ironically they are all led by Warner Bros. of course.

9/10 Euron Differences

Euron Greyjoy is an incredibly powerful and influential figure in the books, and someone that could significantly change the landscape of Westeros after betraying his family. However, the show begins by forging him as a larger threat, before abandoning those plans.

Fans were disappointed to see the mighty Euron essentially forgotten about by the time the season finale aired. This meme compares the two variations on the character well. The image itself is well-chosen considering Euron’s Kraken-inspired and oceanic imagery.

8/10 Stannis Shifts

No matter which iteration fans focus on, Stannis was far from a worthy king. However, there is a lot more nuance to the way in which George R.R. Martin portrayed the would-be monarch, compared to how the show finished off his narrative.

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Many were disappointed that the layers of gray that were applied in Game of Thrones were stripped away for the adaptation, with Stannis essentially becoming yet another villain. The burning of his daughter was what really tipped the scales in how he reacted as this meme sums up.

7/10 Working Blind

When the novels are being crafted, George R.R. Martin has a general idea of where the story is going. He is the mastermind of this universe after all and understands what beats have to be put in place for a satisfying arc across multiple novels.

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As this meme points out though, by the time Game of Thrones hits its final season, the showrunners absolutely know nothing about where the story could go next. That’s a major comparison between the page and the screen, with the direction of the books far clearer because of their writer.

6/10 Showrunner Decisions

A lot of criticism has fallen on the shoulders of David Benioff and D.B. Wise, the two men responsible as showrunners for Game of Thrones. Fans were unhappy with some early writing choices in the series, and things never improved from there, especially with the finale.

This meme pokes fun at the team behind the show, taking their words to the extreme and translating them into what the fans hear every time that they talk; that they essentially forgot to tell a good story because of all the budget and mayhem surrounding such a massive project. Compared to the books, that was disappointing.

5/10 Room To Tell The Story

George R.R. Martin got all the time in the world to tell his story. One of the major complaints about the show compared to the books is that the story ended up being rushed. Fans felt that the final season especially just didn’t give enough airtime to finish every subplot.

This meme points out that the run time of each episode will simply have to do, which is a natural comparison to the novels which continue to get longer and longer so that the author can finalize his work in a satisfying way. The HBO adaptation just didn’t have that opportunity.

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4/10 A Changing Prince

The Prince of Dorne is an extremely subtle character in the books and a vital one at that. He has a main role to play in the history of Westeros and his point of view is always very apparent, with a dignified approach taken to the writing of the character.

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For Game of Thrones though, as the meme suggests, the Prince is presented as a pushover. He is barely featured or mentioned again and Dorne itself becomes a bit of a non-player in the larger map of Westeros with air time getting focused on those surrounding King’s Landing.

3/10 Robb And Joffrey’s Portrayal

Robb and Joffrey have been portrayed in slightly different ways in the books and the show. It’s rare to see someone preferring the presentation of a character on the screen compared to what George R.R. Martin had done, but that’s the case here.

This meme suggests that A Clash of Kings didn’t have nearly enough time for Robb and Joffrey compared to what audiences would have liked to have seen. The characters are incredibly well-cast in the series so it’s no surprise that fans are happy to see more from those iterations.

2/10 Dropping In Quality

The books never ran out of quality because they never ran out of source material; they were the source material. But this meme has been used again and again to describe all manner of shows, and it’s easy to understand where it’s coming from with Game of Thrones.

Compared to the books, there was a dip in quality, and audiences still have a bitter taste in their mouth about how the season wrapped up. George R.R. Martin has a massive task on his hands to live up to the potential that A Song of Ice and Fire has presented. This meme would be very different if it was just the books.

1/10 Still Alive

Game of Thrones meme about characters alive in the books

Source: Pinterest

One huge difference between the books and the TV shows is which characters end up getting killed off. Throughout the books, there are dozens of personalities that are still alive that are completely removed from the series, largely for the sake of convenience.

Fans often suggest that these figures have been mishandled and that they were so much more well-rounded on the page. Regardless, Game of Thrones fans essentially has a few options when it comes to their favorite version of a character and indeed the interpretation of their story.

More: GoT’s Maisie Williams & 9 Other Actors Who Hated Their TV Character Endings

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