Now that Game of Thrones season 3 is over, I'm left wondering how much of A Storm of Swords they were able to adapt. In some sources (Wikipedia) it's stated that "roughly the first half" of the book made it into the third season. It'd be interesting to know an exact figure from someone who has both read the book and watched the TV series.

What was the highest-numbered chapter in the third book that they were able to squeeze into the TV series? Up to what chapter was covered for each of the POV characters? (example: Daenerys III, Jon III) No spoilers, please! I'm reading the book before watching the third season.

  • my raw estimate is between half and two-thirds; I expected the three leeches shown in ep3, and that was dragged to ep8. many plotlines were messed up so it's not easy to just tell a point
    – Balog Pal
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 0:13

2 Answers 2


It's not a clean break.

Season 3 includes the entirety of some characters/regions plot arcs, while barely touching others. We've seen roughly half of the content, but the order of events has been so jumbled, as to make it impossible to really set a chapter as the point to read up to.

For example, the character of Oberyn Martell has not yet been introduced in the TV series. He has been cast for Season 4 (he hasn't been cut), but his entire narrative arc has been shifted to season 4. Meanwhile, Catelyn and Robb's storyline has entirely resolved itself. There's little-to-nothing left to include in season 4 unless the writers dip into the content of the subsequent novels to keep them in for occasional scenes.


The season covered about 1/4 of the book, the next season is expected to cover about the same (1/4), making it 2/4 of the third book. Some events that take place in the series are nowhere to be seen in the book, and some events are dragged forth from the fourth book (A Feast For Crows).

Some differences:

There is no Theon Greyjoy in the third book (The Storm of Swords) (he is only mentioned once, at the Red Wedding). Some battles which should have taken place at this timeline in the book are missing from the series. A lot of Arya, Jon, Bran, Sansa, Tyrion, Davos chapters/events are not shown in the series. Osha and Rickon are not traveling with Bran and the rest of his party. A character named Coldhands is missing from the series (mayhaps they will include him in the next season). Davos doesn't teach himself how to read, he is thought by a Maester. Davos actually saves another Roberts bastard and not Arrya's friend. When Sam and Gilly are attacked in the village while fleeing from Craster's Keep, Sam doesn't actually kill an Other but a wight (a brother of the Night's Watch he used to know called Small Paul), it is here that he gets saved by the character Coldhands. The Red Wedding is more brutal, and there are a lot differences around it, also Arya doesn't see the direwolf get killed, and The Hound fights some men of and lands an axe on Arya's head to prevent her from running to her death.

These are some differences, there are many more. It's really a clash of book chapters and series episodes. The series is just a jumble and a tease to the fans, it doesn't get into the core things happening in Westeros, a lot of the events around history of the characters are lost or thrown out, only key events are kept and even they are crippled.

As far as chapters are concerned, there is no chapter per episode or even several chapters per episode kind of thing, it's more of an events per episode kind of thing. And since some event have been omitted and some randomly thrown in, it is kind of hard to point at a chapter and tell exactly where it is in the series, it's more of a jumble of events. I can tell you from rereading the book that the first two or three episodes of the series roughly take the events and chapters from the first 400 pages of the book and jumble them up in those three episodes. Then they suddenly jump ahead to the events of 700-800 pages, and take it from there, but omit some events which will probably be in the next season.

  • 1
    OK, explain the down vote please!
    – Secko
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 1:40
  • 4
    I expect it to be because the downvoter thinks Season 3 covers a lot more than the a fourth of book 3 that you claim. I also think so - a fourth seems like a very low number (though since I don't have any hard evidence for the claim, won't downvote). Also, season 4 is generally expected to cover roughly the rest of book 3, not just half of it, as you claim. Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 5:52
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    Correction: Sam kills both a wight and an Other in the books. First time, using the dagger, but against Small Paul's wight, it shatters against his ringmail, so he kills him by shoving an ember into his mouth.
    – TLP
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 8:10
  • @TLP Yes, but I said DIFFERENCES and when he kills the Other in the beginning of the book/series it doesn't count as a DIFFERENCE!
    – Secko
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 22:07
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    @IlariKajaste Point taken. I could have easily said 2/4, but half of the events that lead to an important event in the series are missing. So the series will cover all the important events, but not the minor ones, and that is why I expect it to be 2/4 at the end of season 4. The rest of the 2/4 are minor events and significant conversations that take place in the book and are missing from the series.
    – Secko
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 22:12

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