Game of Thrones book fans may have been left confused by season 2’s drastic changes to the plot. Read story editor Bryan Cogman’s thoughts on the matter!

The Mary Sue did an excellent interview with Cogman a few days ago in which the story editor opens up about his favourite characters and plotlines, and explains why the HBO series had to change a few things that readers of the A Song of Ice and Fire saga may have been surprised by.

Notably, he notes some characters that appeared in the books which were left out of the series, justifying the omissions by saying that if they had left everything in, there wouldn’t have been enough time to give the main stories their due. Cogman says, “I know some die-hard book fans are upset that, say, Jeyne Poole is gone — but how would they have liked a version of the story that omitted Daenerys? Or half the Stark children? Or Jon Snow’s entire storyline?” He goes on to say that, had they gone ahead with their original plan to adapt the series into movies rather than 10-episode TV seasons, this would have happened to a far greater extent.

But the series not only omits characters, it also makes significant changes to the plot. “There is never a single change on this show that’s ‘arbitrary,'” Cogman insists. “Every change is debated and discussed at length and there’s always a good reason — be it creative, budgetary, etc. D&D [Benioff & Weiss] make decisions in the adaptation based on what’s best for the show. Of course, I’d love everyone to love every bit of the series, but you can’t please everyone all the time.”

On who he most enjoys writing in the series, Cogman says, “I had a great time writing Theon in season 2 and I’ve really enjoyed writing Jaime in season 3. And I always like writing for the kids.” He also teases a future character: “There’s a character I love from the books — Aeron Damphair, who we haven’t seen on the show yet, but it’d be fun to get a crack at him. We’ll see.”

Book fans, have you accepted the changes and omissions the series has made so far, or do you think they’re shooting themselves in the foot in some instances (as with, say, the prophecy) as far as future plot developments go?

Read the full interview with Bryan Cogman on The Mary Sue! And thanks to Game of Owns for bringing this to our attention.