Season Two of Game of Thrones, HBO's rat's-eye-view of the struggle for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros (and beyond), is nearing conclusion. We already know the penultimate episode, "Blackwater," will focus on the battle for King's Landing, and the remaining weeks will hopefully offer resolution to matters regarding Daenerys's missing dragons, Arya and her death genie Jaqen, and Robb and Jon's respective (and wildly divergent) romance issues.
And also the whole, you know, war.
What's become even more apparent this season than last is how far afield David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are willing to travel from George R.R. Martin's source material, especially in (but not limited to) the examples listed above. Time constraints are one reason, and I heard somewhere that Martin was trying to create some minor distance from the books as a treat to readers (he's obviously underestimated the anal retention of ASoIaF nerds). But anyway I did one of these for season one and figured now would be a good time to look at some of the occasionally significant ways the show's producers are altering the landscape of the books.
But be warned, I'm about to spoil the shit out of the rest of the season and possibly several books going forward. If that was too subtle for you -- SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU'RE GOING TO GET ALL PISSY IN THE COMMENTS BECAUSE YOU FOUND OUT WHO DIES NEXT SEASON.