It’s no surprise for anyone familiar with book-to-film or book-to-TV (or anything-to-live action!) adaptations that the Game of Thrones TV series contains differences from the books. Some of these differences are slight, while others are significant—from radically changing the ages of the characters to adding in subplots, new characters and new motivations.
One of the most popular characters from the TV show is Margaery Tyrell, played by actress Natalie Dormer. Natalie Dormer is best known for TV fans for her roles on Sherlock and The Tudors, as well as her upcoming role in the last The Hunger Games films.
When it was first announced that Natalie Dormer was cast as Margaery Tyrell, many fans were surprised because it would mean—once again—the TV series would be deviating from the books on which they were based. Let’s take a closer look at how the Natalie Dormer TV version of Margaery Tyrell differs from her book counterpart.
In the Game of Thrones books, Margaery Tyrell is 16 years old. In the ‘Game of Thrones’ world, this means she is more or less considered a young adult—old enough to marry, to manage households, and (if it’s in the cards) rule. Natalie Dormer’s Margaery Tyrell, on the other hand, is most definitely past her sweet 16. Although Margaery Tyrell’s age in the TV series is not explicitly stated, it is clear that she is at least in her 20s and at least a few years older than Robb Stark. This makes her noticeably older than her book counterpart, who is still a teenager.
In the Game of Thrones books, Margaery Tyrell is a rather vague character. Her motivations are never clear and her actions are (likely deliberately) left vague and unexplained for the readers. In other words, she’s unpredictable and it’s difficult to see what her ultimate goals or machinations might be. Natalie Dormer’s Margaery Tyrell, on the other hand, has a much firmer characterization in the TV series. In the show, it is made clear that Margaery Tyrell knows how to plot—and does plot—to further herself and her family. In the TV series, it is clear to see that she knows how to manipulate; whether she is manipulating the people to view her as an angel or manipulating Joffrey to view her as a trustworthy, enigmatic and helpful wife to be. When you have a cable TV subscription, you can watch Game of Thrones whenever you please.