8. Wildling Out
THE CHANGE: Jon Snow's experiences with the wildlings north of the Wall are a good deal wilder here than they are in A Clash of Kings. His disaster with Craster is a new invention – in the books he doesn't witness the incestuous old fucker's sacrifice of a newborn to a White Walker, that's for sure, nor does he get brained by the guy for his troubles. The chase scene and bump-and-grind with the charmingly blunt warrior-woman Ygritte never happens either, since Jon deliberately lets her go rather than executing her.
THE VERDICT: Not feeling this one. Jon's chase scenes amp up the adrenaline at the expense of the story's slow build and narrative cohesion. Like, shouldn't it be a bigger deal that an actual White Walker came within yards of the Night's Watch's expeditionary force? Couldn't he have just skipped the baby and killed the freaking Lord Commander in his sleep a few yards away instead? Drumming up extra Jon drama raises more questions than it answers.