It's largely accepted by most that any adaptation, no matter how successful, is never as good as the original source material, and very rarely is it actually better. This is especially true of Game of Thrones, now more than ever, as the series came under fire for its dip in quality.
The books are a masterpiece written to play to the strengths of the medium as well as being full of brilliantly realised characters and locations all fleshed out with extremely nuanced detail. It would be impossible for anyone to adapt all of it to such a high standard.
But when the show played to its own strengths and captured the spirit and the tone of the books, it didn't just match the novels but sometimes surpassed them.
From increasing a character's screen time, to altering their actions or just through their being on TV, the show was able to expand on events and persons in unexpected ways.
Now it's all over it feels like the perfect time to celebrate those stand out and seminal moments that have gone on to influence and re-shape the medium.
10. Fleshing Out More Of The Characters
Remember all your favourite characters and how you bonded with them or formed deep emotional attachments? Characters like Robb Stark, Jaime and Cersei, Olenna Tyrell, Joffrey and Tormund Giantsbane? Well they're not in the books as much as the show, especially the first two novels.
Due to Martin's writing style each chapter is told from a specific character's perspective, meaning you only get to hear about things that happen rather than experiencing them first hand.
That doesn't translate to TV. Characters need equal time to get their personalities across and for their actions to define them. As such we see a lot more of the secondary characters, more dialogue and actions are invented to suit the characters, and deeper bonds are formed. Their victories and their tragedies carry far more weight.
Do you remember how you felt when we lost Robb?