As far as adaptations go, fans of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire have been pretty lucky when it comes to Game of Thrones. The show has provided a successful and well-put-together product that has remained mostly loyal to the source material, while also growing the brand into a worldwide phenomenon. Still, some fans are far from satisfied. The list of Game of Thrones adaptation complaints is a long one, mostly due to fans’ intense infatuation with the original story. They generally feel any deviation is a poor and unnecessary choice.
Complaints about Game of Thrones from book readers are usually centered around aspects of the novels that were cut from the show, a choice that sometimes has to be made in order to condense the storyline. But what really angers book readers are the few occasions in which the Game of Thrones showrunners chose to completely change the story from its original plot. Those sorts of changes are often deemed unacceptable by the most hardcore devotees, and can result in some serious backlash.
By far the most mismanaged portion of George R. R. Martin’s plot, according to book reading fans like Sun-Glasses on Reddit, are the elements of the story set in Dorne. While most are happy with the adaptation of Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper, his brother Doran is reduced from a master schemer to a doddering old fool who is quickly and unceremoniously killed off.
The Sand Snakes are relatively cool characters in the novels, but their over-the-top lameness and weak fighting skills made them the butt of jokes and memes among the Game of Thrones fandom.
Barristan Selmy is a renowned and legendary fighter in A Song of Ice and Fire, and perhaps the greatest swordfighter in the history of Westeros. In both the show and books, he crosses the sea to join Daenerys Targaryen, but his ultimate fate is still unknown as far as the novels go.
Most fans, like Reddit user ask327, hope that book Barristan doesn’t share the fate of his television counterpart, who was killed in decidedly un-legendary fashion. That version of Barristan was stabbed by a bunch of Meereenese Harpies in a dark alley, which many fans feel is far from the dignified death a character like Barristan deserves.
When introduced in the novel A Game of Thrones, Loras Tyrell is every bit the ideal knight, and his homosexuality and relationship with Renly Baratheon is only subtly hinted at thereafter. The television adaptation, on the other hand, makes Loras’s sexuality quite explicit, and several people, like Reddit user TheTrueMilo, have criticized it for turning a once complex character into a gay stereotype.
The TV versions of Loras and Renly are both far more feminine than their book counterparts, and Loras is depicted as a boy-crazy horndog after Renly’s death, as opposed to the mournful and dedicated lover he is in the books.
The scope of A Song of Ice and Fire is greater than that of the television adaptation, so entire characters and storylines had to be cut in order to condense the plot. While fans generally understand the need to leave out some elements of the story, one character seems to be universally missed: Lady Stoneheart.
Stoneheart is the name taken on by a reanimated and vengeful Catelyn Stark. In the books, Beric Dondarrion gives up his own resurrected life to bring Lady Stark back after her murder at the Red Wedding, and she subsequently takes over the Brotherhood Without Banners and embarks on a campaign of Frey murder. Fans like Rythiz on Reddit really wanted to see the zombie mother take her undead revenge.