The adaptation of the novels through television requires many changes per the compressed format of the alternate medium. Combining characters and story lines, and dropping characters and storylines, is often necessary.

For instance, they changed Asha Greyjoy to "Yara" Greyjoy because the television audience might have confused her name with the wildling Osha.

Sometimes, these alterations extend to how a character is depicted. For instance, Daario is not depicted with dyed hair and beard, as in the book, or even as hyper-masculine, in order to appear attractive to the "lowest common denominator".

But why did they omit Euron's disfiguration?

I'm hard pressed to understand the reasoning here. Also, why is this spooky, evil character, the embodiment of "sinister", portrayed in such a neutral fashion?

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    The producers don't often address this directly, but if they ever do I'd bet money that the reason is so viewers didn't get him mixed up with eyepatch-wearing Beric Dondarrion. Don't forget that if you don't have the anchor of having read the books it's difficult to keep up with all the relatively minor characters (biggest cast of any non-soap fictional TV show, apparently) Dec 12, 2016 at 18:38
  • @user568458 Man, you are probably right!
    – DukeZhou
    Dec 12, 2016 at 18:40
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    Also it's a bit speculative, but regarding "why is this spooky, evil character, portrayed in such a neutral fashion" - I was surprised too, obviously the answer will be in future books / series but it's worth mentioning that the role that made that actor's name (Kasper Juul in Borgen) was a very complex, deep character, disturbed and cynical, but with many redeeming qualities too and a complex history that explains his darker side. So, maybe Euron isn't quite the matinee villain GRRM is tricking us into thinking he is? Maybe we'll come to understand and sympathise with him? Dec 12, 2016 at 18:44
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    ...and it's really common for GRRM to use outlandish descriptions as a way of doing efficient "show don't tell" character development with fewer words, which really helps in a book stuffed full of characters but is unnecessary when an actor's face does the job better (e.g. Tywin's hair > he's uncompromising, Dothraki bells > they're unsubtle and don't sneak, Daario and Jaqen's hair > they're flamboyent, Euron's eye > he's mysterious, Olena's nameless guards > she's snooty - all things the actors can communicate less distractingly with one facial expression) Dec 12, 2016 at 19:00
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    Indeed, when I first saw Euron on the bridge confronting Balon, I thought it was Victarion!
    – Skooba
    Dec 14, 2016 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


Probably due to budget constraints, I have read a similar article about the eye color of the Targaryens which was supposed to be purple. Showrunners didn't want to make their eyes digitally purple everytime which would cost a lot so they tried contact lenses for this detail but it made acting/emoting harder so they dropped it.

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    Intersting point, if you can add a link or a reference to where the showrunners say that this'll be a good answer Dec 12, 2016 at 18:53
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    I think this is a valid answer regarding the Kingsmoot and the blowing of the dragon horn, but not for the eyepatch, which wouldn't be a big deal from a budget perspective.
    – DukeZhou
    Dec 14, 2016 at 21:34

But why did they omit Euron's disfiguration?

The first answer I'd offer is simply that it is omitted by irrelevance. I haven't read the books, but if Euron's disfigurement doesn't change the plot in any way, it's not required.
This can be for budget reasons (or not overly complicating the story), but I can't find any proof to support that.

Secondly, you have to consider that you have to look at the characters in a TV show, but not in a book. Describing Euron's disfigurements in a book would take up a page and never really effect the rest of the story.
However, seeing a disfigured Euron would be a permanent thing that permeates through all of his screen time.
Similarly, Tyrion's disfigurements from the battle of Blackwater, while present, are a whole lot easier on the eyes in the TV show. In the book, iirc, he lost his nose and looked really horrible. Again, you can't do that to a main character.
This is different from the books. In the books, all scenes can continue as planned, and we still read what Tyrion has to say and evaluate him based on his character, without having the image tainted by looking at a disfigured face.

In the same vein, imagine if a character has an annoying high pitched voice. You could still give them a long monologue in the book (and mention that the listeners are annoyed by his voice) without having the reader be annoyed by the annoying voice_.
You couldn't let that same character do it in a TV show, because you would force your viewers to sit through a monologue that's maybe very important to the plot but horrible to have to listen to.

Lastly, from what I've heard of the Euron storyline, there is supposed to be a possible interpretation of Euron being likable. He has charisma, he can get people to see things his way (e.g. in the TV show, how he made himself king instead of Asha/Yara).
The Hound was often interpreted as a "bad guy" in the first seasons. This wasn't because of his actions (one of the first things we see of his character is rescuing a jouster from the Mountain who "cheats" and tries to kill him after the joust; and also killing the people who try to rape Sansa), but he is still disliked because of his general demeanor. His facial disfigurement makes the viewers interpret him as a (potentially) a bad guy. It takes a lot of character development to change the viewer's opinion, and even now there are still people who consider the Hound more evil than good.

If the next season will want the viewer to question whether they like Euron or not, then it might be better to omit the facial disfigurement. That way, the viewers aren't being suggested that he is a bad guy, and it is much more open to interpretation.

  • Just curious, as someone who hadn't read the books, what was your impression of Euron when he was introduced in the show? "This guy seems... [insert here]". I'm curious how the character came across to someone without pre-existing expectations. Jan 30, 2017 at 10:15
  • I think he was painted as more evil than he is. Killing Theon's dad was a crime, but you do have to admit Theon's dad was a cunt of a man to begin with. Just from the casting choice and general presentation, I expect Euron to slowly gain popularity and continually seem like a better guy with every action he takes; but to be revealed as a bad guy (or just petty or greedy) in the end.
    – Flater
    Feb 1, 2017 at 9:04
  • E@user568458 Unfortunately, my impression of him on the show was similar to the second, less masculine Daario (i.e. bland as opposed to the hyper-masculine dandy in the books.) Euron is incredibly spooky, dark and cruel, possessed of strange magic and relics. His portrayal on the show as is fairly bewildering.
    – DukeZhou
    Feb 1, 2017 at 20:33

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