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"Game of Thrones" Dark Wings, Dark Words (TV Episode 2013) Poster

Trivia

On their journey north, Bran and his companions pass Hadrian's Wall, the real-life inspiration for the Wall.
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Jump to: Spoilers (11)
The episode title "Dark Wings, Dark Words" is an old saying which is used frequently in the books about messages delivered by ravens, suggesting that such messages are often bad news. In this case, it refers to the two ravens that bring Robb the bad news about Bran and Rickon gone missing after the sack of Winterfell, and the death of his grandfather Hoster Tully.
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This is the first time since Game of Thrones: The Kingsroad (2011) that Richard Madden and Kit Harington are seen on screen together, although it's in a dream.
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The torture of Theon by the Boltons comes from their story lines in the fifth book "A Dance With Dragons", two seasons before most of the show's parallel story lines reached the same point.
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The boar mounted on Joffrey's wall that he and Margaery shoot with a crossbow is the same boar that mortally wounded his father Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones: You Win or You Die (2011). The scene does not appear in the books.
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Mance Rayder explains the difficulties of uniting the various wildling tribes. Although this sounds impressive to the point of near-impossible for a former member of the Night's Watch (for whom the wildlings share a notorious hatred), the books add that Rayder was actually born a wildling, but was orphaned as an infant when the Night's Watch killed his parents, and took him to be raised as a black brother. He eventually grew tired of the lack of freedom in the Watch, and deserted to the wildlings. The novels also explain that they don't speak seven different languages, only two: the Old Tongue (the native language of Westeros before the Andal invasion), and some speak the Common Tongue as well.
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First appearance of Locke (Noah Taylor), the leader of Roose Bolton's hunting party. In the novels, Locke is not a person but a noble house of the North. On the show, Locke and his group of soldiers replace the Essosi character of Vargo Hoat and his notorious sellsword company known as the Brave Companions from the books. They are based around Harrenhal and were originally employed by Tywin Lannister, but after Arya helped most of the prisoners escape and Tywin abandoned the castle, they switched over to the Boltons. Writer Bryan Cogman explained that the change was made for simplicity's sake, as adding yet another band of soldiers would only confuse the audience. They were planning to keep the name Vargo Hoat, but since he was changed to a Bolton character, author George R.R. Martin requested that he be given a Westerosi name.
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Ned Stark (Sean Bean) is heard for the first time since the character's death in Game of Thrones: Baelor (2011), although it is archive audio, only heard during Bran's dream.
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In the book, Sansa tells Loras Tyrell that they already met at the Tourney of the Hand (which happened in Game of Thrones: The Wolf and the Lion (2011) on the show) when he defeated Ser Robar Royce in a joust. This upsets Loras, because it reminds him of killing Royce and his fellow Kingsguard Emmon Cuy in a fit of rage, after they failed to protect their king, Renly Baratheon. While meeting with Olenna and Margaery Tyrell, Margaery's mother Alerie is also present (she was completely omitted from the series), as well as an entire retinue of people. Sansa relates much more of Joffrey's misdeeds, and out of concern of being overheard, Olenna has a jester sing a song to drown out their conversation. The women suggest that Sansa could marry Willas Tyrell, Margaery's crippled older brother (Loras is not an option, as he is Kingsguard and can't marry), to which she is very receptive.
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First appearance of regular characters Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), Orell the Warg (Mackenzie Crook), and Jojen and Meera Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ellie Kendrick). Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) also makes his first on-screen appearance, after being mentioned in Game of Thrones: Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things (2011) as fighting for King Robert in the Greyjoy Rebellion.
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In the book, the survivors of the Night's Watch flee through the Haunted Forest. Rast is not among them, as he didn't even join the ranging mission beyond the Wall in the first place. One of the stewards, Small Paul, has to carry an exhausted Sam on his back. They later come across an Other (White Walker in the series), but this encounter was moved back to Game of Thrones: Second Sons (2013) on the show.
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In the book, Shae is not yet Sansa's handmaiden, so she has little concern for her. She and Tyrion meet in the cellars of the Red Keep.
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Orell the Warg is already dead in the books at this point; he was slain by Jon when Jon and Qhorin Halfhand's search party found him and Ygritte beyond the Wall. His spirit survived because he warged into an eagle. The Orell in the series (played by Mackenzie Crook) is a combination of Orell from the books and another wildling warg, Varamyr Sixskins, who takes control of the eagle.
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In the book, both Catelyn and Robb already received messages from Ser Rodrik Cassel shortly after the Ironborn invaded Winterfell, bearing the news that Bran and Rickon have allegedly been killed. Their grief is one of the reasons why Robb impulsively engaged in an ill-advised marriage, and why Catelyn released Jaime Lannister in exchange for Sansa and Arya (even though her hope that Arya is still alive is already fleeting). On the show, Catelyn and Robb only receive messages that the boys are being held hostage and that they have gone missing. The change was made because the writers thought that having Catelyn go through another process of grief would be too similar to the loss of Ned Stark; they preferred her and Robb holding on to a tiny bit of hope.
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Jojen and Meera Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ellie Kendrick) already featured in the second novel, 'A Clash of Kings', since Bran became acting Lord of Winterfell and they came to the castle during a harvest feast to pledge their allegiance to the Starks. They were there when the Ironborn invaded, and escaped together with Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor. However, the showrunners felt that season two was already crowded enough with new characters, and that their sudden introduction in season three would be more memorable. In the books, by this time, Rickon, Osha and Hodor have already split off from Bran and the Reeds, which doesn't happen on the show until much later. Jojen is also much younger, and Meera and Osha have never threatened each other with weapons.
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In the book, Catelyn and Robb Stark do not need to travel to Cat's ancestral home of Riverrun for Hoster Tully's funeral, because she has been there for most of the war already (rather than in Robb's camp) to be with her ailing father. Robb is there as well when Hoster dies, having recently returned from his campaign in the Westerlands; neither of them ever went to Harrenhal. Robb doesn't have a candid conversation with Rickard Karstark about how his marriage and losing his home may cost him the war, and Catelyn's story to Talisa about making a prayer wheel for Jon Snow was also specifically written for the show.
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Although it is never explicitly mentioned, knowledge of the marriage between Robb and Talisa seems to have gone public, as Roose Bolton addresses her as "My Queen". Since Rickard Karstark mentions that Robb may have lost the war when he married her, it all but confirms that House Frey has learned that Robb broke their marriage pact, and has pulled back their forces. In the book, the Freys react furiously, and leave with lots of commotion and upheaval. Although on the show, Robb almost seems to shrug off the loss, in the novel, this is a major blow: not only did the Freys contribute a considerable number of men to his host, they also control the road back to the North.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

First appearance of Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton's bastard (although he is not properly identified until Game of Thrones: Mhysa (2013)). In the novels, Ramsay, using the alias "Reek", has already been imprisoned for rape at Winterfell when Theon and the Ironborn invade the castle. Ramsay briefly serves as Theon's advisor before betraying and taking him prisoner. Before Iwan Rheon was cast in the role, a lot of fans at the time suggested that Cillian Murphy should play the part, but he wasn't asked and Rheon was cast instead.
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Robb, Catelyn and Arya never realize how close they are to each other. Arya has left Harrenhal for Riverrun just before Robb and Catelyn arrive there from the Riverlands; assuming that Arya avoids main roads and Robb and Catelyn don't, they may have just missed each other by miles. And when Robb and Catelyn also leave for Riverrun for Hoster Tully's burial some time later, they would have undoubtedly reunited with Arya there, had the Hound not recognized her, which caused the Brotherhood to keep instead of release her.
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Hoster Tully is added to a short list of characters in the show who die a natural death, following Old Nan from the first season. She was implied to have died after actress Margaret John passed away herself, and the writers decided not to re-cast the role. Hoster Tully is thus the first character to explicitly die of natural causes.
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In the books, Roose Bolton never suggested to send his bastard son to liberate Winterfel, but did it anyway. He does not report that Theon and the Ironborn have fled, but claims instead that Theon was captured and taken to the Dreadfort for torture after he and the Ironborn killed all of Winterfell's inhabitants and put it to the torch; Rob responds that he prefers him dead, but begrudgingly agrees to keep him alive, as leverage against the Ironborn. Theon's actual fate is told in flashbacks in the fifth book, 'A Dance With Dragons', but the writers didn't want to omit the character for two seasons, so to keep the audience guessing, Theon is taken to an undetermined place on the show, tortured by an unidentified party, even though some of his captors wear Ironborn clothing.
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In the book, Arya and her friends are on horseback when they try to reach Riverrun, and meet the Brotherhood on a road near a river rather than a forest ruin. Thoros is not among them; the man Arya hears singing is Tom of Sevenstreams. When she finally meets Thoros, he has an accent (as he is from Essos), and she vaguely recognizes him from King's Landing, when her father sent him, Beric Dondarrion and some of his personal guards to liberate the Riverlands from the Lannister army (on the show, Ned only sent Beric in Game of Thrones: A Golden Crown (2011)). It is one of those guards, Harwin, not Sandor 'the Hound' Clegane, who recognizes Arya from his time at Winterfell, and reveals her real identity; Sandor doesn't show up until later.
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In the book, Jaime and Brienne are accompanied by Jaime's cousin Cleos Frey, who dies when they are attacked by archer outlaws. Brienne is injured by two arrows, but Jaime takes Cleos' sword (not Brienne's spare sword) and uses it to attack her shortly afterwards. He puts up even more of a fight than on the show, despite being malnourished and in shackles. The fight is longer and even takes them into the river, but ends when Jaime slips and falls. They are not betrayed by a farmer, but because the noise from their fight attracts the Brave Companions (replaced in the series by Locke's hunting party).
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In Game of Thrones: No One (2016), Thoros asks the Hound 'The fuck are you doing here?' the same question that the Hound asked Thoros.
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In Game of Thrones: Oathkeeper (2014), Jaime relates to Brienne's oath to return the Stark girls to their mother.
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In Game of Thrones: The Children (2014), Brienne tells Arya that she swore to her mother to bring Arya home to her.
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In Game of Thrones: Mockingbird (2014), Brienne tells Hot Pie about her vow to bring Catelyn's daughters home.
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In Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White (2015), Brienne tells Sansa that she swore to her mother she would find Sansa and protect her.
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