HBO epic Game of Thrones is known for turning George RR Martin’s cast of colourful characters into their screen counterparts.
While the likes of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister have all made the leap to the show, what about those faces unique to the show?
Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have come up with their own inventions over the past seven seasons, so let’s look at 10 Game of Thrones characters that aren’t in the books.
Noah Taylor’s snivelling Locke gets the honour of claiming Jaime Lannister’s hand in the show, but that part went to a completely different person in the books. Locke was created purely for the show, which is strange considering he’s taken on nearly all of a character called Vargo Hoat’s storyline.
Elsewhere, Locke seems to be the amalgamation of several characters and replaced the Kettleblack brother who was sent to kill Jon Snow at the wall. There’s no denying that Taylor was a great villain, so it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of him. Swapping out Hoat might’ve made more sense if Locke had been a series regular, but instead, he was quickly dispatched when Bran warged into Hodor.
Tipped to be the new Lady Melisandre, Kinvara was instead a little underwhelming. Seen briefly in Season 6, the ‘new’ Red Priestess was by Daenerys’ side during her domination of Meereen. The books focussed on a Red Priest called Moqqoro, who eventually became part of Victarion Greyjoy’s storyline.
Both Moqqoro and Victarion are missing from the show, and it’s unclear how/why Kinvara would factor into Season 8. With Dany now stuck up North and facing the impending Army of the Undead, it’s doubtful that Game of Thrones will return to Meereen or Kinvara.
If there’s one thing Arya Stark is missing on Game of Thrones, it’s a decent mother figure since the demise of her own. While on her travels to Braavos, the plucky Stark had a brief reprieve and seemed to find a potential mother when she came across a theatre troupe and Lady Crane
Sadly, Lady Crane wasn’t long for this world -- even after Arya refused to assassinate her. The Waif caught up with Lady Crane and did what Arya couldn’t by slitting her throat. Another noble member of the Seven Kingdoms was taken too soon.
Ian McShane was a stellar addition to the Game of Thrones cast, and even if the Deadwood star doesn’t have much love for his time in the Seven Kingdoms, his part as Brother Ray was definitely memorable.
Even though Brother Ray only appeared in Season 6’s “The Broken Man”, he was influential in the return of Rory McCann’s Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound. Brother Ray appears to be a hybrid of book characters Septon Meribald and the Elder Brother. Unfortunately, The Hound hasn’t officially returned in the books, but with Brother Ray’s one-episode role, don’t expect Meribald or the Elder Brother to do much in The Winds of Winter.
One character who sure made his way around the cast of characters was the horny Olyvar. A prostitute and spy employed by Littlefinger, Olyvar was basically the male version of Ros.
Olyvar was left in charge of Baelish’s brothels while he went on his quest to the Vale and soon caught the eye of Oberyn Martell, Ellaria Sand, and most importantly, Loras Tyrell. Part of the toppling of King’s Landing, Olyvar turned on his former lover and gave Loras up while also implicating Margaery for perjury. After doing Cersei’s wicked bidding, Olyvar hasn’t been seen since.
The first character created exclusively for the show was the buxom Ros. As an expanded version of "red-headed whore" from the first book, Esme Bianco was only supposed to appear in the pilot. The Season 1 commentary revealed that producers were impressed with her performance and bumped her up to a recurring character.
The wily Ros shed her Northern roots and headed to King’s Landing under the care of Littlefinger. Although she remained in the background until Season 3, Ros became lost among Baelish's’ plotting and was little more than a punching bag to Joffrey. Being nailed to the wall with a crossbow, at least she got a memorable death.
The surly girlfriend of Ramsay Snow, Myranda was shown to be just as vicious as her lover. Introduced during Theon’s torture phase, Myranda took great joy in his castration. She then returned to hunt a girl she was jealous of in Season 4 and was seen being particularly vile to Sansa during her time at Winterfell.
Myranda thought that Ramsay should only have eyes for her and it was what ultimately got her killed. When she cornered an escaping Sansa as Ramsay fought Stannis, Theon finally grew a backbone and saved the Stark heiress. Chucking Myranda from the battlefronts, the whole of Thronedom cheered.
Oona Chaplin found her fame playing Talisa Stark on Game of Thrones, but did you know that her character doesn’t even exist in Martin’s world? Instead, the King in the North sleeps with a woman called Jeyne Westerling and marries her out of guilt.
We mer Talisa in Season 2 as a war nurse from Volantis. Talisa’s backstory was sparse, to say the least, leading some show fans to think she was a mole planted by Tywin Lannister. Unfortunately, Talisa was the real deal and doomed herself to a sharp exit for herself (and her unborn child) at the Red Wedding.
Pitch Perfect 2’s Birgitte Hjort Sørensen was truly brilliant as Karsi and it’s easy to imagine her settling in with the rest of the wildling characters. Appearing only in Season 5’s “Hardhome”, Karsi was a spearwife leader who had lost her father, uncle, and two brothers during the Battle of Castle Black. She wasn’t impressed when Jon Snow and his men arrived at Hardhome to warn the wildlings about the White Walkers -- a mood that cost Karsi her life.
When the White Walkers swarmed Hardhome, Karsi had a change of heart and fought alongside Tormund and Jon. Sadly, she was overwhelmed by a group of young wights when she was unable to kill them and was then reanimated as a wight herself.
Considering Olly was briefly the most hated character in the Seven Kingdoms thanks to the Night’s Watch mutiny, he was a great invention for the show. Introduced as a young orphan with an axe to grind against the wildlings, Olly was originally a loyal squire to Jon Snow.
Things took a turn for the worse when Jon became Lord Commander and showed leniency to the wildlings. In a shocking twist, Olly was one of those who stabbed Snow while uttering those solemn words of “For the Watch”. The little bastard was finally hung alongside the rest of the mutineers and was last seen with his eyes bulging out of his head.