As I said the other day, it looks like the show could start diverging from the books. This is a good thing. It is not that the books are bad, but they tend to bog down and the stories keep drifting further away from some kind of resolution. I feel like it would take a few more seasons to just set up where the books are and the show does not have that kind of time. Obviously things will be cut. Here are my suggestions. And if you have not read the books, then you may want to stop reading. Just a warning…
1. Cersei’s Tale
Her story really goes nowhere. Plus you have to introduce a bunch of characters and factions. The Warrior’s Sons were a cool story, but really unnecessary in the show. I believe HBO will try to stay away from that one because it could bring too much religion into the show. It is funny that the Sept resembles the church, but they believe in multiple gods, yet Melisandre’s religion believes in one true god. Kind of funny.
In the books she starts sleeping with the Kettleblack brothers, uses them to seduce Margaery and then has the High Septon arrest her for infidelity. The High Septon realizes that the Kettleblack’s are lying, he tortures one of them and arrests Cersei. She is forced to march from the Great Sept to the Red Keep naked to atone for her sins. Although, at the end of it, she does not seem like she learned her lesson.
I am not sure how to change her story, I guess it depends on what Martin plans to do with her in the next book.
2. Jon Connington
Do not get me wrong, I actually like his story. The best friend of Rhaegar. Given the task of hiding Aegon, Rhaegar’s son and training him. He ends up attacking Westeros with an army and wants to put Aegon on the throne. He does the thing that we all want Daenerys to do.
Unfortunately, he is unnecessary. It might seem a bit cruel to say, but no one is going to care about another Targaryan vying for the throne. Or, if they decide to have Connington show up, maybe introduce him to Daenerys and have him help her when they land in Westeros.
Speaking of the Mother of Dragons, her story gets way too bogged down. She ends up living in Meereen and deciding to rule the people there since she has no experience ruling a nation. Her story becomes so tedious with the political machinations of Meereen. Then they introduce a Prince of Dorne to the equation. And Daenerys gets married and a bunch of stuff happens. Yet none of it gets us any closer to Westeros.
Get her moving out of Meereen to keep the show interesting. Introduce her to Jon Connington, leave Aegon out of it and have him present her with another army and ships to sail to Westeros. Also, use his plan of where to attack.
4. Areo Hotah
I always like sword fights between experts, but this would definitely be something to cut from the movie. As well as the whole trip to Dorne and the attempted assassination of a Prince and I think they tried to rescue Myrcella. It never felt like it had much of a point except to provide another enemy to the Lannisters.
If that is what you want, have the Dornish side with Daenerys and Jon Connington when they arrive in Westeros. You can even mention that one of the girls was to marry Viserys and they were going to fight to regain the throne.
There is absolutely no way the show takes it’s most popular character and has him become such a lowly and unimportant character. I think they simplify his story and have him in exile meet Jon Connington then when he joins with Daenerys, Tyrion can offer his help. If she gets him to Casterly Rock, he can become the Lord of Casterly Rock and offer his support and financial backing to her.
The goal should be to get Bran to meet with the Three-Eyed Raven., who teaches him to be a greenseer and all the other cool stuff he learns. Bran meets the Children of the Forest and it seems like he could be building allies to fight the White Walkers.
I love her story. I love seeing her as an assassin in training in Braavos. Where does this story go though? Will she return to Westeros and kill Cersei? That would actually be a pretty fitting end for the Queen. Arya spends way too much time though as a blind girl roaming the streets.
8. The Greyjoys
So much time is spent on the whole choosing of a king and the brothers sailing to capture a dragon with some magic horn. I guess the idea is that Victarion will ride one of the dragons, but it just seems so unnecessary. The only thing the Greyjoys would be good for is giving Daenerys a ride across the ocean.
9. The White Walkers
The show already seems to be doing more with these guys than the books. They are the big threat in the North and since the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, it is assumed that the only thing that will stop them is Daenerys’ dragons. Right? The show needs to make that the point.
If there are three or four seasons left then things need to progress quickly. It does not help that Martin is not finished writing the books, although he supposedly told the Benioff and Weiss how things would end. This should give them enough time to figure out how to wrap this up…