“Hardhome”: How this Week’s Game of Thrones Differs from the Books

Coming up with an explanation for how this week’s Game of Thrones differs from the books is the journalistic equivalent to fighting White Walkers. The drastic changes make it difficult to know what’s different and what could be a spoiler from the incomplete sixth novel. We can only write what we know.

Here’s a breakdown of how things went down in “Hardhome” compared to how things played out in the books—so far.

The Advisor


How it went down on the show: Tyrion met with Daenerys Targaryen and managed to convince her to listen to his plea. Dany banished Jorah from the city of Meereen for a second time and Tyrion did what he does best. Over a bottle of wine, the Lannister killer convinced the Queen to let him join her war.

How it went down in the books: Tyrion hasn’t met Daenerys (yet) and Jorah Mormont hasn’t seen her since she banished him from Meereen. Following their performances in the fighting pits, Tyrion and Jorah carried on as slaves, leaving the Dragon Queen and Meereen behind.

Waterfall of Walkers


How it went down on the show: Jon and Tormund Giantsbane brought ships to Hardhome with the hope to persuade the Wildling army to join them. After speaking with the elders, they convinced the majority to join them at Castle Black. When they were loading the boats, a waterfall of White Walkers flooded the camp, killing hundreds of men, women, and children. Jon was near death when he used his Valyrian steel sword to shatter a White Walker. Safe on the water, Jon watched from the boats as the newly dead awoke as Walkers.

How it went down in the books: There were three separate missions to convince the Wildlings to join the Crow’s fight at the wall. The second involved a camp of Wildlings surrounded by walkers, and a sea of Castle Black’s ships unable to reach them. Jon and Tormund had planned to set out on a third mission to save the Wildlings and Brothers of the Night’s Watch, but due to unforeseen events the mission was never attempted.

It Reeks of Winter


How it went down on the show: Sansa confronted Theon (Reek) about outing her escape plans to Ramsay. Theon described the torture he endured at Ramsay’s hand when he tried to escape and Sansa expressed her desire to inflict the same pain on him for what he’d done to her family. In a moment of weakness, Theon let slip that Bran and Rickon are still alive.

How it went down in the books: Theon never confessed anything to Sansa since she wasn’t in Winterfell. They hadn’t seen each other since Theon fought for the Starks.

Watch new episodes of Game of Thrones Sundays at 9e 6p on HBO Canada.

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