Word around the rumor mill this week was that Griff and Young Griff, two characters who featured prominently in A Dance with Dragons,
might be appearing on the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, despite widespread assumptions that they didn’t make the cut. These characters caused their fair share of controversy among book readers when A Dance with Dragons came out back in 2011, and some fans were happy to learn that they probably wouldn’t be showing up. Their inclusion is by no means a foregone conclusion, and we’ll know whether they make an appearance soon enough. Still, the news brings up an interesting question: apart from whether or not they actually appear in the show, SHOULD they appear on it? The Small Council discusses the question below.
DAN: Without access to the remaining books in the series, it’s hard to know whether the plot involving Griff and Young Griff will eventually bear fruit. That said, count me among the fans who weren’t terribly enthusiastic about their appearance in
. I kind of reacted to them in the same way that Ani reacted to the inclusion of the Ironborn and the Dornish in
. I had a general sense of, ‘Why am I spending time with these new people instead of with the characters I already like?’ Also, I got the feeling that including them would complicate a story that was already getting a shade too complex for its own good. Did we really need
powerful faction vying for the Iron Throne? I wanted to get to the dragons, the White Walkers, and the fireworks factory, and I wanted to get to them now!
So no, I wasn’t really broken up when it started to seem like the Griffs wouldn’t appear on the show. And if you ask me, they’re better off left on the cutting room floor. The producers get a lot of flack for altering things from the books, but some of those changes have worked out well. Take the way they adapted Tyrion’s trap in
. In that episode, Tyrion told Pycelle, Varys, and Littlefinger different stories about what he intended to do with Princess Myrcella in an attempt to find out which of them was disloyal. In
, this process requires a fair amount of setup, but the show disposes of it in a clear, fun, efficient way. Of late, the producers have been applying this kind of thinking on a grand scale—they decided, for example, to cut the Ironborn entirely from Season 5. They’ll need to keep thinking this way if they truly want to complete the series in seven seasons, and given how many other important stories are already in play, the Griffs seem like a natural cut to make.
ANI: Now see Dan, I was actually bummed when the Griffs were cut! Not because I wanted another False Dragon running around—I had my fill of those back when I read the
series. But the two of them were the most interesting part of those “Casual Boating With Tyrion and Friends” chapters from
. I’ve held out hope they were just being kept as a SuperSecretSurprise. I was more bummed that their being cut also seemed to cut Penny. Because clearly Penny was nowhere to be seen, and unlike the Griffs, who are normal-sized humans who could be rather easily kept under wraps the same way the show has gone to great lengths to keep Hardhome under wraps, Penny—and a casting call for her—would be pretty hard to miss.
I consider Penny a pretty important character for Tyrion’s development, once he leaves the safety of Pentos and the last people who respect his “Lannister Privilege,” if you will. As bad as the scene would be, there’s a corollary scene to the dwarf scene at the Purple Wedding, in which Tyrion and Penny joust, which shows just how far Tyrion has fallen in the world. But the reason I think she’s important is less for that, than for the fact that she’s the first woman who Tyrion befriends platonically, as women to him up until now have either been unobtainable or whores. I understand the need to streamline. (And I’ll bet Peter Dinklage would be damned before he rode a pig, no matter how big this show is.) But I’m sorry for the loss of the Griffs and Penny, and though I know it’s foolish, I would love to see them show up.
DAVID (RAZOR): I’m with Ani on this one. The Griffs made Tyrion’s entire trip, down the Rhoyne, all the more interesting. The cyvasse games between Young Griff and Tyrion shed light on whether or not Young Griff had Targaryen blood. But it’s not just the Griff’s possible exclusion that bothers me, it’s the characters that get the axe along with them.
I always wanted to know more about Septa Lemore, almost-Maester Haldon, and Ser Rolly Duckfield. Even if the Griffs are somehow being sneakily sneaked into Season 5, I don’t see those three characters joining them. Of course we have Nikolaj Coster-Waldau teasing book spoilers with a duck in his hands, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will see Rolly Duckfield.
The book purist in me, rages against the exclusion of these book characters that, over the years and through many re-reads, I have come to know and love. However, the rational side of my addled brain whispers to me that this is just an adaptation of
, and not every minute detail can be included in a 10 episode-a-season slate.
Can Benioff and Weiss pull off the campaign for the Iron Throne, without possibly-false Aegon (Young Griff) and his mentor Jon Connington (Griff) around? Is Aegon a true Targaryen? What about the possible spread of Greyscale, in Westeros, from Jon Connington and Tyrion, when he returns with Dany? And, on that note, will Tyrion even get Greyscale on the show? These are stories that I would love to see played out on my television screen, but sadly, I just do not see it happening…and I say that, fully hoping that I am wrong.
CAMERON: I have a certain degree of hesitance in saying “yes” or “no” definitively to this question. The Griffs are in kind of a weird place right now, because the book-readers (or most of the ones that I talk to) are convinced that they will have a huge role to play in the endgame, and I don’t really think there’s enough evidence of that just yet, nor do I think the show can commit a significant amount of time this season trying to convince show-watchers of their importance. Yes, Jon Connington is a POV character in
, but lest we forget, George also created Ser Barristan’s POV chapters specifically to solve a plot problem. If the show does include them, I’ll take it as a sign that D&D will get some use out of them, even if it will be different from whatever plans George has for them in the books. But most of what I want from Season 5 has very little to do with these currently minor characters who may or may not have any kind of actual impact on the overall story.
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Personally, I’d be relatively disappointed if the Griffs and company are not in season 6 but I’ve already written them off for this season. I didn’t heavily follow GoT in earlier seasons so I’m not sure if they’ve previously withheld casting characters until they were revealed on show. Even so, there is so much that ought to be covered this season that I can’t find a place within 600 minutes of screen time to put them.
see happening is a quick 4 minute scene in episode 10 to tease their intro and arc for season 6. I feel like that would be sufficient for my tastes, although only 4 minutes of Septa Lemore is about 56 minutes less than ideal.
And, on that note, will Tyrion even get Greyscale on the show?
Are you really sure that Tyrion got Greyscale in the books, as I remember he fell into the river, but JonCon dived in to pull him out, and Tyrion was told when he woke up that so far, he was okay, he just need to keep cutting his fingers and toes to make sure, and so far im reasonably sure there is no mention of anything else going wrong, it was JonCon who was revealed to have Greyscale, in the chapter when he recaptured Griffins Roost
You’re right. I guess I remembered that different. Something like him having to constantly prick his fingers to see?
‘Why am I spending time with these new people instead of with the characters I already like?’
Basically you’re not a real fan. You’re willing to throw out 2000 pages of this series because it doesn’t get to dragons fast enough. These books are important to the series. These characters are just as important as the Starks. It’s as if you were reading about the War of the Roses, got bored and stopped reading after Henry VI because you didn’t want to know about the Yorks. Hey….Edward the IV has some pretty cool turns in his story too.
What’s going on this year could signal the end of this series as a serious piece of work. D & D are cutting most of the new characters, they better pray they know they what they’re doing or the whole thing is going to jump the shark. There’s a reason why people always say the book is better, that’s because it is. The only movies that are as good, and very seldom better, than the book are those that stick very closely to the source material and build on it, taking it places the book can’t go. For example “Silence of the Lambs.” The movie is practically word for word with the book.
Hells Yes, I want Griff and Young Griff and Wyman Manderly too. You know Dany is supposed to kill “the mummer’s dragon” isn’t that enough of a plot point to include him? Everyone on the shy maid has a mysterious past that I feel will have some relavence in the story. The producers started out talking about making a complex series that didn’t patronize it’s audience yet all I can see happening since season one is simplification, streamlining and general Hollwoodification.
I can’t agree with you more. I really hate the opinions that say ‘well, he or she was cut from the show, so it means that they are not important to the story at all’. Actually I would have really liked to see the Griffs, and the Attack on the Sorrows is just one of the best parts of ADwD (dunno if they will include that part despite the absence of the Griffs).
And I still hate it that the most badass faction in Westeros, the Ironborn are still represented by a mentally crippled eunuch, a balding old dude and a girl. Damn it, I want to see Victarion, Euron, Aeron, Andrik the Unsmiling, Ralf the Limper, Nute the Barber, Dunstan Drumm, Red Oarsman, Gorold Goodbrother, Rodrik Harlaw, Lucas Codd, and all the rest… Oh, so you Jon Snow and Sansa fanboys/fangirls don’t know what I’m talking about? Figures…
(Don’t get me wrong, I still like the show very much, that’s why it upsets me that they don’t include my fav characters from the books.)
I like the streamlining the show is doing, the books are at times hard to read, I won’t forgive them for lady stoneheart that is a major thorn in my side at the moment and the reveal would’ve made great TV it’s not as if Michelle Farley isn’t available. Now losing the Griff seems another one too far, the whole point of the name of the last book “a dance with dragons” was linking the 2 dragons(targs) that was my opinion anyway, my main bone of contention is the Greyjoy story arc, Balon isn’t even dead yet and the show clearly ain’t going down the “horns” storyline which is a shame because Euron and Vic are great characters
Yes, and it’s a shame that in the show, we actually have no clue of where is the Ironborn main force… Clearly the Ironborn at Moat Cailin wasn’t the main force, but in the books it is at least explained why a fortification so important is protected by so few men. Clearly Yara/Asha wasn’t the one leading the main force as she only took 30 ships to capture Deepwood Motte, and we know, from the books that the Ironborn have much more ships than that. So where is exactly the main force in the show? I guess they could be at Torrhen’s Square… But if the show wants to tell us that the Ironborn gone home after the Boltons managed to capture and flay some of them is just stupid.
But anyways, hopefully we will see how the meeting between Yara and Stannis will go in season 5 (I read some hints that it will possibly happen), maybe then we will get some insight at what’s going on in the Iron Islands (but I kinda doubt it).
I completely understand why the Griffs are being cut from the show.
I found their inclusion slightly annoying initially in the books as I felt sidetracked.
When i t later became clear to me that what I was learning was Varys and Ilyrios masterplan. And reading Dunc & Egg… that’s why Varys shaves his head….learning about the Blackfryre rebellions — it all made sense. Brilliant. Not so brilliant for a TV show which would have to do a lot of back story for viewers to understand. But the pace of the whole show would be lost, ratings and reviews drop etc etc. So I agree with this decision but am pretty angry that LSH is looking like being dropped. Sand Snakes looking pretty naff too.
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