I hope the title isn't a spoiler anymore. Anyway, I am currently rereading the books and watching the show more or less in parallel to see the differences. I understand some (mainly to keep the cast and locations smaller), though for others I don't see any reason at all. One if this is in Season 4 Episode 4 or 5,

where Jon Snow revisits Crasters keep: First of all, in the books Sam swore to Brandon to keep it secret that he goes north of the wall. In the show Sam tells Jon about it and is overheard by one of Boltons officers (initially I thought this is the shows representation of Vargo Hoath as he was in Harrenhal). They then set out to Craster keep to kill the deserters and Boltons guy just joins to get Brandon. Brandon then kills this guy through Hodor and is convinced by Jojen not to talk to Jon as he would take him back to the wall.

I don't see any purpose in this whole plot arch. I didn't watch Seoson 5 yet, but I don't mind any spoilers if it would explain this.

There are others scenes, which I don't understand the show creators intentions like:

The fight between Brienne and The Hound, they could have gotten the hound wounded in the inn, just like in the books whereafter Arya leaves him to die as well.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Joe L., The Fallen, Shevliaskovic, Praxis, Stark07 Jun 11 '15 at 13:04

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    I think there is a point of showing Brienne could beat Sandor, from her character development point of view. What I found more jarring was that they showed a cold blooded Arya, and not the raging berserk Arya in the books. They even borrowed from a preview chapter from TWOW. – TLP Jun 11 '15 at 8:24
  • Season 5, as yet (and I doubt it will), does not explain the reasons for the scenes you've detailed. At this stage the book and TV show have diverted quite heavily. It does give the viewer the chance to see Locke get his comeuppance, and everyone likes to see a bad-guy get that. – Mark Rowlands Jun 11 '15 at 9:28
  • Bran's journey beyond the Wall involves Coldhand. And as Coldhand's not presented in the TV show, they had to somehow integrate Bran into story. I think that's the purpose of the event you are referring, it was meant to show how Bran advanced farther North and what difficulties he had to face. As to the Bolton's guy, the guy is named Locke and he's involvement probably is meant to show that Bolton's are aware of Bran being alive and that they want to deal with it. – Nika G. Jun 11 '15 at 9:52
  • @NikaG. I don't get why they don't have Coldhands in the show, as they have the Other rider who carries the last son of Craster but isn't really present in the books. And regarding Bolton, that is shown in the 1st or 2nd episode of season 4 when Bolton meets up with his bastard Ramsey who commands Reek to tell Bolton that he did kill farm boys and not Starks. – Thomas Jun 11 '15 at 11:26
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    For all questions like this: They're not trying to create the closest 1:1 recreation of the books they can. They're trying to create the best possible TV show inspired by the books. Having Bran persist on his mission despite the hardship of hungrily trudging through snow for weeks works as character development in a novel, but it would be terrible television. "I'm still cold and hungry!", "We know!". Showing Bran persist on his mission despite near-death terror and coming touching distance from his last adult relative, however, is good character development and good television. – user568458 Jun 11 '15 at 22:28

"They could have just gotten the Hound wounded" wouldn't have made for a great conversation piece for people around the water cooler the next day. "Did you see the hound dying slowly from an infection?" or "Did you see that epic battle between the hound and Brienne?"

I find a lot of the changes the show made are to give the characters more to do. Where Sansa spends lots of time doing not much in the later books, in the show they merge well known characters into smaller characters roles to give them things to do (like Jeyne Pool). It was the same with Jaime going to Dorn rather than a Kingsguard no one knew much about. The books have time to introduce the Kingguard and give him a backstory. In the show people know Jaime and want to see more of him.

If Jon Snow didn't go to deal with the mutineers he would have been sitting waiting at the wall. As it was anyone who hadn't read the books would have been wondering if he would meet bran and what would happen then.

Without Coldhands the trip north for Bran would have been very boring with the guys slogging through the snow to the drum beat of "Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!"

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    Not that boring, the actor playing Hodor is a professional DJ. I'm sure that the drum beat would have been more of a techno/dance remix. :-P – user46271 Jun 11 '15 at 10:45
  • I'd tune in for that! "Ho-Ho-Ho Hodor in the house!" – Mikey Mouse Jun 11 '15 at 10:48
  • You got some good points here. Though also in the show Brienne doesn't kill the Hound right away, Arya leaves him just as well to die and doesn't put needle in his heart as he asks her to do. But you are right, as they are stripping a few chars, they need more screen time for the existing and cherished ones. – Thomas Jun 11 '15 at 11:23
  • @Thomas Yeah, it's happened a few times. People like Varys (who doesn't get much to do) so bye Harrington, hello Varys to escort Tyrion. Silent Ilyn Payne to help Jamie fight left handed? Naw audience hates him, enter witty Bron who isn't doing much. – Mikey Mouse Jun 11 '15 at 11:30
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    This is also an important moment for Bran because he actually has a choice about whether he wants to look for the Three-eyed crow or not. Ever since fleeing Winterfell he hasn't had a lot of other options. When he sees Jon and chooses not to reveal himself, he shows that he really wants to find his destiny north of the wall. He didn't just fall into it accidentally. – mbocek Jun 11 '15 at 17:54

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