It was bound to happen. In a book as dense as A Game of Thrones, some things must be left behind, even in a 10 episode television series. Even purists have to admit that bringing each and every character from GRRM’s masterpiece to life is…well…nearly impossible.
George RR Martin explained the choice on his play saying
A few last words about a part that has NOT been cast. Since the release of the HBO fact sheet last week, I’ve gotten several emails wanting to know about a role that was not listed — another knight of the Vale, Ser Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, uncle to both Lady Lysa and her sister Catelyn. Some of you wanted to know if he’d been dropped.
Not dropped, no. But, alas, his appearance has been postponed. Even with such a huge project as ours, there are budgetary constraints that require some characters to be cut, combined… or deferred to later seasons. That’s what is happening with the Blackfish. The plan, I am told, is to delay the introduction of the Tullys (Lord Hoster and Ser Edmure as well as Ser Brynden) until the second season. Brynden’s part in the events of A GAME OF THRONES will be filled in part by Ser Vardis Egen, and in part by Ser Rodrik Cassel.
This will upset the purists among you, I know. I regret that. But some changes of this sort are necessary whenever a book as big as mine is adapted to television or film. You will get your Blackfish eventually (assuming we get that second season). Just not now.
I admit I’m a little upset. The Blackfish has always been one of my favourite minor characters, but waiting until season 2 (if we get it) to see the Tullys makes some sense. With everything that happens in King’s Landing, the Vale, and the Wall, it makes sense to cut some locations.
Confirmed Character Cuts for Season One
Desmond (recently mentioned as background character without lines)
Brynden ‘Blackfish’ Tully