While some storylines from the books’ huge assortment have been adapted with skill to the small screen – hell, the HBO series even managed to improve a couple along the way – Dorne has been such an unmitigated disaster, it stands as a category all of its own. As showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss attempted to untangle the characters and throughlines from the overly-dense fourth and five novels that they wanted to prune, while still servicing the overarching plot, they left much on the cutting-room floor, including the entire payoff to Prince Doran Martell’s (Alexander Siddig) character arc – namely, that his cautious patience was just a veneer that hid some rather ambitious, world-changing plans (and which had Prince Oberyn Martell [Pedro Pascal] as his active partner-in-crime).
10. DAENERYS AND JORAH’S RAPPROCHEMENT
The exile of Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) was a major emotional development for both him and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and both have had to bear the burden of the parting and the sudden loss it’s produced in both of their lives. That the disgraced Westerosi knight went on to drink and mope his way across Essos, where he would summarily be captured and rendered into slavery, comes as no surprise to book readers; where the new material starts to rear its surprising head is when Jorah saves Queen Daenerys’s life in Meereen, is exiled for a second time, and then stubbornly insists on attempting to save her life all over again when she’s taken prisoner by the Dothraki.
Where the storyline takes its greatest turn, however, is when the two are brought face-to-face once again, this time after Dany has successfully managed to level the horselords’ entire leadership in one fell swoop (more on this in a moment). It is here that her acceptance – and forgiveness – of Mormont is spurred by the revelation of his greyscale, an affliction that will undoubtedly lead to his death (and probably do so by season’s end). It’s been a bumpy, topsy-turvy road for the two, and it’s extremely touching to see it seemingly end this tenderly and simply.