Game Of Thrones: Tropes E to F

Tropes A to B | Tropes C to D | Tropes E To F | Tropes G to K | Tropes L to O | Tropes P to S | Tropes T to Z |

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    E 
  • Ear Ache: Brienne bites off her opponent's ear during their Combat Breakdown in "The Children."
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Important antagonist Rast is among the convicts that join Jon and Tyrion en route to Castle Black in "The Kingsroad."
    • Hizdahr zo Loraq appears among the Great Masters gathered on the walls when Daenerys arrives at Meereen.
    • Dontos Hollard appears in "The North Remembers" but then disappears until "Two Swords" despite being a frequent character during the same interval in the novels.
    • The three-eyed raven first appears in Bran's dreams in Season 1 but is only revealed to be a real person in the finale of Season 4.
    • Inverted by characters like Podrick, Meera, Jojen, Ramsay, Edmure, and the Blackfish whose introductions are delayed until they become more important to the plot.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Much of the pilot was re-shot, resulting in an unusual number of continuity errors. Segments of a scene were sometimes filmed months apart with different actors, child actors age months between scenes, titles identify each new location, and facial hair had to be retconned with a barber scene. Hodor also has a beard which was dropped in later episodes because it made him look like a "Classics professor."
    • The first season in general also counts, since it is the only season to use Malta rather than Croatia for the exteriors of King's Landing. The White Walkers also underwent a slight redesign for Season 2.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: So far, Hot Pie is the only character to exit the story in a content, non-violent manner by becoming a baker in a quiet wayside inn. It's actually quite touching.
  • Easily Forgiven: Robert cemented his control of Westeros by forgiving any remaining Targaryen loyalists who surrendered, including Barristan Selmy, Jaime Lannister, Varys, Pycelle, the Tyrells, and the Martells.
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • Loras shows great anticipation as Renly removes his shirt in "What Is Dead May Never Die".
    • Arya can't keep her eyes off shirtless Gendry as he forges a sword in "The Ghost of Harrenhal".
    • Sansa stares longingly at Loras as he walks away in "Dark Wings, Dark Words" until Margaery gentles snaps her out of it.
    • Oberyn and Loras exchange smoldering gazes during the feast in "The Lion and the Rose" that can only be interpreted as, "I want you for dessert." Oberyn and his paramour Ellaria also spend a great deal of time ogling the eye candy in Littlefinger's brothel.
    • Dany clearly enjoys Daario stripping for her in "Mockingbird".
    • Littlefinger clearly approves of Sansa in her black dress in "The Mountain and the Viper."
  • Eat the Rich: The spirit of this trope is very much alive when the famine-stricken inhabitants of King's Landing riot against the aristocracy and tear the gluttonous High Septon limb from limb in a scene very reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse.
  • The Eeyore: Dolorous Edd is a humorously pessimistic Deadpan Snarker.
    "We'll live another day. Hurrah."
  • El Cid Ploy: Loras Tyrell pretends to be King Renly's ghost to sow terror and confusion among his enemies.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Robb says Old Nan once told him the sky was blue because they live inside the eye of blue-eyed giant named Macumber.
  • Elective Monarchy:
    • The wildlings occasionally unite behind a king, but this king only holds power so long as the wildlings choose to follow him and there are always holdouts like Craster.
    • Robb is acclaimed King in the North by his bannermen and the riverlords of the Trident.
  • Elephant in the Living Room:
    • Over the 8,000 years since the Long Night, conditions at the Wall have steadily deteriorated, leaving the Night's Watch undermanned and underequipped to hold the Wall against the wildlings and White Walkers beyond. In addition, the long summer is ending and the War of Five Kings has distracted everyone, even the Starks, from preparations for the coming winter.
    • Neither Jon nor Ygritte want to face the question of what will happen when Jon is forced to choose which side he's really on.
    • Tyrion calls Joffrey a bastard in front of everyone in "The Laws of Gods and Men," though his entire speech is so venomous it's doubtful anyone read too much into it.
  • Eloquent In My Native Tongue: Khal Drogo's Westerosi is very limited, but his subtitled Dothraki reveals him to be a highly-intelligent war leader, a loving husband, and an eloquent and fiery speaker. This sometimes overlaps with Strange Syntax Speaker since the Dothraki don't have words for things like castles and plate armor.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • Petyr Baelish grimaces slightly when Arya asks why people call him "Littlefinger."
    • Tyrion dislikes being called "the Imp," but owns it regardless. He even takes some pride in the sobriquet "Halfman" given to him by the mountain clans. He only takes real offense to being called a "twisted demon monkey."
    • Jaime detests being called "Kingslayer," particularly when it comes from men like Ned and Robert whom he views as hypocrites since they fought a rebellion against said king.
    • Jon seethes at the name "Lord Snow," until Tyrion tips him on how to deal with it.
    • Theon plans a Last Stand to avoid being remembered as "The Greyjoy Who Ran," but the ensuing events culminate in him becoming "Reek."
    • Lord Karstark declares that Robb should be called "The King Who Lost The North."
    • Walder "the Late Lord" Frey earned his moniker for his tardiness at the Battle of the Trident.
  • Empty Shell: Drogo becomes this following a life-saving ritual. Vorpal Pillow ensues.
  • Endless Winter: Winters can last for years and there are oral traditions of a winter that lasted a generation the last time the White Walkers invaded and attempted to cause a winter that never ends. Word of God is that the unnatural seasons are caused by magic, though whether it is the Walkers' magic or something else remains ambiguous.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: The Hound undercuts veiled threats by chugging his opponent's ale and demanding one of his chickens. A Bar Brawl with swords ensues.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Lannisters and the Tyrells against Stannis.
    • Jaime and Brienne become this when they are captured by Locke.
    • Arya and the Hound make a good Badass and Child Duo even though they hate each other.
    • The wildlings have united to attack the Seven Kingdoms despite their inextricable tangle of rivalries and feuds because the White Walkers will kill them all if they don't.
    • Oberyn Martell champions Tyrion much more for a chance at revenge than for any sense of justice or personal connection between them.
    • Ser Alliser Thorne tells Jon outright that they will go back to hating each other after the battle is over.
  • The Enemy Of My Enemy:
    • Subverted by Stannis and Renly, who refuse to cooperate with anyone who refuses to submit to them. Renly at least offers to let Robb remain king in name, but Stannis refuses to view any other claimant as anything but a usurper who must be forced to submit.
    • Loras initially views the Lannisters as his enemy but chooses to side with them to avenge his lover Renly.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Ser Waymar Royce is killed by a White Walker this way in "Winter is Coming".
  • Enraged By Idiocy: Tywin has no patience for incompetence of any kind.
  • Ephebophile: Tyrion usually ends up just digging himself deeper whenever he denies sexual interest in Sansa. However, almost no one else has any such reservations since Westeros (much like medieval Europe) has a negligible concept of adolescence, viewing teenagers as merely inexperienced adults.
  • Epic Flail:
    • Brienne wields a flail during her melee with Loras in "What Is Dead May Never Die."
    • Theon is unhorsed with one in "Walk of Punishment" and spends the next several seconds disoriented and struggling to breathe.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: When Jon descends the Wall during the Battle of Castle Black, the camera swoops 360 degrees around the courtyard to view Ygritte, Styr, Tormund, and Sam playing out scenes.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Tywin Lannister doesn't care if you're a man or a woman; he cares whether or not you are Stupid Evil.
  • Equivalent Exchange:
    • Mirri Maz Duur tells Daenerys that only death can pay for life.
    • Jaqen H'ghar also mentions this as his reason for assisting Arya.
  • Erotic Eating: Oberyn and Loras signal their sexual interest in each other by sensually chewing fruit in "The Lion and the Rose."
  • Establishing Character Moment: Almost a requirement of every character, since their sheer number requires clear and concise introductions.
    • Ned Stark grimly passing sentence and personally executing an oathbreaking deserter while his sons watch tells you all you need to know about his concepts of strength, duty, honor, and justice.
    • Arya is introduced deathly bored of her needlework and sneaking out to the archery range to hit a target her brother missed, and from farther away.
    • After riding into Winterfell like a stern, proud king, Robert Baratheon immediately shows his boisterous, jovial nature and brotherly affection for Ned in three words and a laugh: "You got fat." Their time together in the crypts cements the first impression.
    • Jon's conversations with Benjen and Tyrion in the practice yard establish him as a slightly resentful bastard son and an aspiring warrior who wants to join the Night's Watch.
    • Daenerys is introduced as a timid maiden without even the courage to resist to her brother's fondling, yet also shows her intelligence by recognizing that their host must want something from them even though he hasn't asked.
    • Viserys is introduced feeling up his little sister and forcing her into an Arranged Marriage in exchange for an army, even saying he would let all 40,000 of Khal Drogo's Dothraki and their horses fuck her if it won him the Iron Throne.
    • Tyrion Lannister is introduced as a witty and affable dwarf with a lecherous side in his introduction scene with Ros.
    • Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane beheads his own horse and attempts to murder his opponent in a fit of rage after being unhorsed in a tourney, all in plain view of the audience and the king. When he is re-introduced in "Mockingbird" he is using lowborn prisoners as practice dummies.
    • Littlefinger gives an Info Dump on his background and raison d'etre framed as a speech to his whores about making their customers forget their true nature.
    • Tywin Lannister's stern, aloof patriarchism and Pragmatic Villainy are laid bare in his very first scene, during which he chides his son to Do Wrong, Right and makes it clear that his goal of empowering House Lannister won't be hampered by honour or morality, all while butchering a stag.
    • When Stannis Baratheon composes the declaration of his claim to the throne, he orders "beloved brother" changed because he and Robert didn't love each other and adds Jaime Lannister's nickname "Kingslayer" but also the title "Ser" because, "Whatever else he is, the man is still a knight."
    • Lysa Arryn breastfeeding her much-too-old son Robin establishes her as quite mad and overbearing and Robin as developmentally stunted.
    • Balon chastising Theon for wearing a gold necklace he bought with money establishes their cultural alienation and that Balon suffers from the ironborn version of Honor Before Reason: he would rather take land and riches than let someone give it to him.
    • Roose Bolton is introduced reporting battle casualties and recommending the torturous interrogation of prisoners in a dispassionate, clinical tone.
    • Brienne of Tarth is introduced winning a tourney melee comprised of the best warriors in Renly's army, including the renowned tourney knight Ser Loras Tyrell. Then she takes off her helmet.
    • Hoster Tully's funeral provides two. Edmure tries his best to light his father's boat pyre with a fire arrow, but fails repeatedly until his uncle Brynden "Blackfish" shoves him out of the way and dismissively hits the target with ease, establishing Edmure as well-meaning but somewhat incompetent and the Blackfish as a Badass Old Soldier.
    • Oberyn Martell is introduced selecting prostitutes of both genders for a foursome with his paramour, only to break off to confront some men he hears singing a pro-Lannister song. His intelligence, Dornish sexuality, hatred of Lannisters, and violent unpredictability are all established immediately.
    • Styr and the other Thenns are established as Obviously Evil by their shaven heads, ritual scars, and eating habits.
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • Robb Stark is betrayed by Theon Greyjoy in Season 2 and by Rickard Karstark and later to his death by Roose Bolton and Walder Frey in Season 3.
    • Shae is this to Tyrion in Season 4, which is implied to be revenge for sending her away. Notably, she's the only person at his trial who tells an outright lie against him.
    • Tywin can hardly fathom that his children would be capable of rebelling against him. His miffed line, " You shot me," carries far more indignation and disbelief than it does fear or pain.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil:
    • Varys could be described this way, although that's not how he sees it even if he is not entirely benevolent. He even lampshades it when Eddard is leery of the water he offers, asking with exasperation, "Why is it no one ever trusts the eunuch?"
    • Averted by Theon who suffers an involuntary penectomy only after showing remorse for some of his evil acts.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • Ned has one in "A Golden Crown" when he realizes the truth Jon Arryn died for.
    • Theon has one in "The Ghost of Harrenhal" when he considers that attacking Torrhen Square would draw out the garrison of Winterfell.
    • While explaining geography to his foreign wife, Robb realizes that his forces stand between the Lannisters and their home at Casterly Rock.
    • A conversation with Shireen reminds Davos of the Iron Bank of Braavos, and how they could fund Stannis.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Several characters are only redeemed from being complete monsters by this trope.
    • Cersei Lannister is probably the most notable, as her scheming against Ned is strongly motivated by a desire to protect her children. Tyrion even lampshades this by calling it her only redeeming quality besides her cheekbones.
    • Likewise, Jaime's nefarious ambush of Ned in the streets is motivated by his fury that his brother had been abducted.
    • Tywin Lannister seems incapable of expressing affection for any living thing besides his son Jaime. Later, in a uncharacteristic moment of paternal concern (of course, paired with obvious dynastic pragmatism), he moves swiftly to shield his grandson Tommen from Joffrey's death scene. Also, his hatred for Tyrion is deeply rooted in the Death by Childbirth of his very beloved wife, Joanna.
    • After doing nothing but humiliating and arguing with Theon, Yara Greyjoy shows genuine affection for her little brother when she urges him to abandon his prize before it drags him to his death.
    • Littlefinger declares that his involvement in Joffrey's death was revenge for the death of Catelyn. The amount of truth in this is left ambiguous.
    • Joffrey worships his "father" and is devastated when he dies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Hound, who rode down an innocent peasant boy in "The Kingsroad", has an obvious distaste for seeing women abused as shown by his protective actions with both Sansa and Arya. The Bluray extras mention a Dead Little Sister when enumerating suspicious deaths attributed the Sandor's brother Gregor.
    • Sacred Hospitality is very Serious Business throughout the known world. While at the Nightfort, Bran recalls the myth of the Rat Cook, whom the gods cursed not for murdering a prince, nor for baking him in a pie, but for harming his guest.
    • The entire Lannister small council's reaction to Joffrey's intent to serve Robb Stark's head to Sansa at his wedding feast. Even Cersei wants to believe he's just joking.
    • Invoked and mocked by Ramsay Snow. After emasculating Theon, he eats a suspiciously-shaped piece of meat only to feign shock and indignation when his victim draws the obvious conclusion, assuring him it's just pork sausage. It's all part of Ramsay's cruel Ear.
    • Tormund is a pitiless wildling raider who kills innocent villagers without hesitation, but even he hates the Cannibal Clan Thenns.
    • Subverted by Rast, who is very conflicted about leaving a baby in the snow, but ultimately goes through with it after covering the baby's face to dehumanize it.
    • Ygritte, despite presenting a much darker side all season, spares Gilly and her child in "The Mountain and the Viper."
  • Even the Guys Want Him:
    • Ser Loras Tyrell, who is described by two common Lannister soldiers as "prettier than the Queen" and immediately targeted by the bisexual Oberyn Martell when he arrives at court.
    • Oberyn Martell also finds the male prostitute Olyvar so desirable that he isn't at all deterred by the fact that he's "wildly expensive."
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Combining HBO's penchant for Not Safe for Work content with the source material's mentality that sexuality is integral to the human condition definitely results in this trope. The show helped popularized the term "sexposition," many scenes are staged in Littlefinger's brothel, bastard children are common, and sex and sexuality are frequent plot points.
    • The adulterous Twincest between Jaime and Cersei has vast implications for the entire continent.
    • Daenerys' change in sexual position is her first major instance of Character Development.
    • Melisandre's magic is sometimes powered by sex.
  • Every Man Has His Price: A matter-of-fact principle of the Lannisters that occasionally gets subverted.
    • In "Walk Of Punishment", Jaime plays it well with a seemingly agreeable Locke, only to get rejected.
    • It is totally subverted in Season 4 when the Lannisters find themselves in debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos. Cersei tells her father Tywin Lannister to find someone at the bank to bribe or bully, he replies that the Iron Bank won't respond or bend to such tactics.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep:
    • The Spice King, who receives Daenerys outside Qarth, lampshades it by insisting his name is too intricate for foreigners to pronounce.
    • The wildling leader who captures Jon and Qhorin is known only as Lord of Bones.
    • The head of the Faith of the Seven forsakes his name upon ascent and is known only by his rank: High Septon.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • A city watchman refuses an order to kill an infant girl, leaving Janos Slynt to do it himself.
    • Tyrion is so disgusted by Janos Slynt's actions that he revokes his title and banishes him to the Wall, though he also has the personal motivation of getting rid of a lackey of Cersei who back-stabbed the previous Hand of the King.
    • Bronn normally radiates a calm apathy towards the horrible things he sees but openly shares Tyrion's detestation of Ser Meryn Trant and his mistreatment of Sansa on Joffrey's orders.
    • Zigzagged with Bronn, who is calmly apathetic to many things but openly detests Meryn Trant for his mistreatment of Sansa yet also declares that his only quibble with murdering an infant girl would be his payment for doing so.
    • The Hound insists he's not a thief even when Arya points out that he rode down a peasant boy early in the series. Then, at the first opportunity, he robs a kindly farmer and just shrugs off the renewed accusations of hypocrisy.
  • Every Scar Has A Story: Beric Dondarrion opens his shirt to show the scars created by his multiple deaths.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The spinning rings of the astrolabe sun in the Title Sequence show the backstory through sigil metaphors, culminating in the Title Card.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Corpses touched by the White Walkers turn into undead "wights" under their control. These wights are resistant to normal weapons but can be destroyed with fire, given a lot of credence to the wildling tradition of cremation.
  • Evil All Along: Roose Bolton and Walder Frey were rather unpleasant all along, but the Red Wedding cements them as completely irredeemable bastards.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Joffrey seems genuinely baffled but intrigued by Margaery's charity work in "Valar Dohaeris."
    • Kraznys mo Naklos and his fellow slave masters cannot comprehend that Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil.
  • Evil Chancellor: Tywin Lannister deconstructs the trope quite thoroughly. Despite being very much a terrible father and The Unfettered, he is also extraordinarily competent and committed to doing what he thinks is best for the dynasty he shares with his king.
  • Evil Costume Switch: While she has yet to perform a Face-Heel Turn, Sansa illustrates her transition from naive victim to Bastard Understudy with a Grand Staircase Entrance in a severe black dress complete with Spikes of Villainy shoulders made of raven feathers and a good deal more cleavage than previously.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Ramsay Snow to Jon Snow. Both are the bastard son of a northern lord, but Jon is fairly heroic and Ramsay is definitely not.
    • Joffrey Baratheon to Robb Stark. Both are young men who rise to power after their father's death and die by treachery at a wedding, but Joffrey is The Caligula and Robb is the Young Conqueror.
  • Evil Cripple: "Lame" Lothar Frey is vicious participant in a massacre despite his limp.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The direwolves. Ghost alerts Jon to the wight in Castle Black, Summer giving Jojen a Licked by the Dog moment leads Bran to trust him, and Grey Wind is very restless in his kennel just before the Red Wedding begins.
  • Evil Former Friend: Theon Greyjoy to Robb Stark.
  • Evil Gloating: Deconstructed by several characters who only gloat after their victims are thoroughly dead. Notable examples include Walder Frey the morning after massacring his enemies and Tywin Lannister as he oversees the re-purposing of an enemy heirloom for his own family with smug satisfaction.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor:
    • The more someone is hurt or humiliated, the funnier Joffrey thinks it is. This extends to everyone else during Joffrey's wedding, where you can tell which characters are meant to be sympathetic by their reactions to Joffrey's tasteless entertainment.
    • Ramsay Snow gets plenty of sadistic laughs out of physically and mentally torturing his victims.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The Mountain is a character of such massive size that the 6'9" professional strongman portraying him in Season 4 is introduced via a low-angle shot to make him seem even bigger.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The White Walkers, who emanate cold and have a material culture almost entirely structured around ice and snow.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • After he reveals his true colors, Ramsay turns into a giggling, mood-swinging, Large Ham psychopath.
    • Littlefinger's "Chaos is a ladder" speech.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Joffrey is not above stealing Tyrion's stool for a few cheap giggles at his struggle to cloak his taller bride.
    • Cersei does this whenever she's feeling powerless, such as deriding Sansa for keeping hope alive during the Battle of Blackwater, or domineering Pycelle and ordering the leftovers be given to the dogs instead of the poor during Joffrey's wedding
    • Locke maims Jaime Lannister just because his aristocratic attitude was annoying.
    • Karl Tanner and his mutineers run on this trope, turning Jeor Mormont's skull into a cup and baiting Hodor with spears.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Walder Frey has one during and after the Red Wedding.
    • Averted by notably humourless Tywin Lannister and dispassionate Roose Bolton, who almost never laugh at all.
  • Evil Makeover: Joffrey gives the throne room one early in his reign by stripping away the artwork and adding giant spiky braziers to the base of the pillars. He basically makes it look like a supervillain's lair, claiming he's bringing it more in line with the conquering spirit of the old Targaryen dynasty.
  • Evil Matriarch: Cersei Lannister until her father The Patriarch arrives in the city.
  • Evil Mentor:
    • Dagmer is re-imagined into one for Theon Greyjoy, driving his pupil to heinous actions by playing on his insecurity and hoping to share in his success.
    • Littlefinger seems to have begun coaching Sansa in how to play the game of thrones in Season 4.
  • Evil Nephew: Joffrey plotted the assassination attempt on Tyrion at the Battle of Blackwater; Ser Mandon Moore carried out his order.
  • Evil Old Folks: Tywin Lannister, Craster, Walder Frey.
  • The Evil Prince: Joffrey actually subverts this trope. Yes, he's a Royal Brat and an evil king, but his sole sympathetic moment is his distraught moment at the deathbed of the man he considers his father.
  • Evil Redhead: Melisandre provides the trope image. She's a Knight Templar priestess of a fire-themed god who practices blood magic, advocates human sacrifice by burning, and generally serves as an Evil Chancellor to Stannis. However, she seems to believe her actions are necessary to save humanity from the Bigger Bad White Walkers.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Pyat Pree the Warlock.
  • Evil Sorceress: Melisandre.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Styr of the Thenns.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Karl Tanner.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness:
    • The five massive towers of Harrenhal are all the more ominous for having been melted by dragonfire.
    • The House of the Undying in Qarth is intentionally shot at angles that leave its summit unseen to make it seem more imposing.
  • Evil Uncle: Deconstructed by Stannis and Renly Baratheon, who contest their nephew's claim to the throne. However, since Joffrey is The Caligula and neither the rightful king nor their nephew besides it takes more than just wanting to depose him to make them "evil."
  • Evil Wears Black: Tywin Lannister frequently wears a black leather coat and Sansa illustrates a darker turn in her character by donning a black dress.
  • Evil Will Fail: Despite their faction's successes Joffrey Baratheon and Tywin Lannister are killed as a result of their evil actions.
  • Evolving Credits: New locations are periodically added to the opening title sequence as the story moves into new regions. For added symbolism, the credits continue to depict Winterfell, the seat of House Stark, even after the action moves away from it, with its heart tree totally unharmed.
  • Exact Eavesdropping:
    • Subverted when Arya tries to relay Varys and Illyrio's cryptic conversation to her father in "The Wolf and the Lion". Since she's only eleven and doesn't understand most of it, the information gets all mixed up in her head and Ned justifiably tells her Not Now, Kiddo.
    • Played straight when Locke overhears Jon and Sam speculating about Bran.
  • Exact Words:
    • Tyrion says he's willing to confess his crimes, but not necessarily the crimes he's accused of.
    • A twofer in Vaes Dothrak: it's illegal to shed blood within the city, but Viserys threatens Daenerys and her unborn child to demand the crown he was promised. Khal Drogo responds by giving Viserys a crown of molten gold without shedding any blood.
    • Joffrey swears to grant mercy if Eddard Stark confesses to treason. Unfortunately, Joffrey considers a quick beheading merciful. Later, he says his mother told him never to strike his lady, so he orders Ser Meryn to strike Sansa instead...with a gauntlet.
    • Mirri Maz Duur says her blood magic will save Drogo's life, but only brings him back as an Empty Shell.
    • Melisandre promises to give Stannis a son in "The Night Lands" and gives birth to a living shadow assassin a few episodes later. In a meta example, the dialogue of that scene is also deliberately vague about whether Stannis has a daughter because the producers had not yet decided if Shireen would be Adapted Out.
    • Jon Snow, as a sworn member of the Night's Watch, swore that he "shall take no wife and father no children." Ygritte points out all the obvious loopholes.
    • Brienne explains killing some scumbag Stark loyalists by insisting she only serves Catelyn Stark.
    • Arya tells the Hound that her victim in "Mhysa" was the "first man" she killed, leaving out the boy she killed in "The Pointy End" and her emphasis suggests that he's only the first.
    • Sam justifies bringing Gilly and her son to Castle Black by pointing out that his vows are to "guard the realms of men," which he insists includes the wildlings.
  • Excrement Statement: The champion of Meereen pisses at Daenerys' army to taunt them into a Combat by Champion.
  • The Exile:
    • Daenerys and Viserys have spent the time since Robert's Rebellion seeking supporters and running from enemies in the Free Cities.
    • Ser Jorah Mormont fled Westeros to avoid punishment for selling slaves. Later, he is also banished from Meereen for spying on Daenerys in the beginning.
    • Season 4 ends with several prominent characters departing Westeros to become this.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Rast escapes the attack on Craster's Keep only to be killed by Ghost.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Lady Olenna so outmatches Tyrion that she expresses disappointment in finding a "browbeaten bookkeeper" instead of the Deadpan Snarker Depraved Dwarf of his reputation. Tyrion is so outmatched that he can't even come up with a good comeback.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Jaime's hairstyle changes to a shorter, simpler cut in Season 4 to indicate his new-found humility and a disconnect with his earlier self.
  • Expy: The series is very loosely inspired by the Wars of the Roses, but there are very few one-to-one comparisons that hold up much beyond superficial scrutiny. "Lannister and Stark" is similar to "Lancaster and York" but their family histories, characters, and relationships are very different. For example, both Robert Baratheon and Edward IV were powerful warriors who won their thrones from a mentally-unstable predecessor and later grew fat, but nearly everything else is different, most notably Edward was a Yorkist and a strong administrator who married unwisely rather than a terrible administrator who secured his throne with a marriage.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Arya stabs an enemy many more times than is necessary in "Mhysa."
  • Eye Patch After Time Skip: Beric Dondarrion when he reappears in Season 3.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Beric Dondarrion wears one after "surviving" a dagger in the eye.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Jory Cassel is killed by a dagger through the eye in "The Wolf and the Lion".
    • Jaime is threatened with this when Locke takes offense to his Every Man Has His Price attitude.
    • Beric Dondarrion wears an Eyepatch of Power because he was stabbed in the eye.
    • During his Bar Brawl in "Two Swords," the Hound slams one opponent onto his own knife multiple times, using CGI to make it a single shot.
    • Prince Oberyn has his eyes gouged out in a very graphic death scene.

    F 
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Syrio Forel's You Shall Not Pass stand to protect Arya.
      "The First Sword of Braavos does not run."
    • Ned Stark closes his eyes and quietly embraces his impending death once he knows Arya will not see.
    • Ygritte's only requests when she believes Jon is about to execute her are that he kill her clean and burn her body.
    • Theon Greyjoy has every intention of going out in a blaze of glory, but his men don't give him the chance.
    • The horse breeder the wildlings capture in "The Rains of Castamere" is granted permission to stand up for his execution.
    • During his execution, Ser Rodrik Cassel calmly comforts the children who are begging and crying for him to be spared.
    • Robb Stark stands to deliver his Famous Last Words in a tone that suggests he's accepted his inevitable death.
    • Tywin Lannister shows great composure throughout the tense scene leading up to his death.
  • Face-Heel Turn:
    • Theon illustrates his turn by burning his warning letter to Robb as the Stark theme shifts into the Greyjoy theme.
    • Its only referenced obliquely, but Mance Rayder went from being one of the best rangers in the Night's Watch to King Beyond the Wall.
  • The Faceless: Masked Quaithe of Asshai pops up twice in Qarth to have enigmatic conversations with Jorah Mormont.
  • Faceless Goons:
    • The Lannister men-at-arms (a.k.a. red cloaks) wear helmets with visors over their eyes and noses.
    • The City Watch of King's Landing (a.k.a. gold cloaks) wear helmets with chainmail over their noses and mouths.
    • The Unsullied all wear identical spiked helms with face plates and make a rare light-grey morality version under Daenerys' command. Their commander Grey Worm is established as a character the moment he removes his.
    • The men in ironborn armor who pursue Theon in "Walk of Punishment" are these, except for their leader.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Shireen Baratheon is introduced lying on her side and its only when she runs up to hug her father that the audience can see the scarred half of her face.
  • Face Your Fears: The pyrophobic Sandor Clegane when he fights against Beric Dondarrion's Flaming Sword in "Kissed By Fire."
  • Facial Dialogue: Varys has a variety of amusing facial expressions to express his feelings about what is being said or done around him, particularly in council meetings.
  • Facial Horror: Sandor Clegane has nasty scars on his face from his brother holding his face into a brazier as a child.
  • Facial Markings: Talisa describes a mundane version among the slaves of Volantis, who have cheek-tattoos to indicate their occupation.
  • Fade to White: When Jon passes beyond the Wall at the end of "The Watchers on the Wall."
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • In "Baelor", Arya is by far the most conspicuous person in the crowd, yet no-one but Ned notices her outright.
    • Despite suffering Flaying Alive Fingore on an X-shaped crucifix, Theon fails to guess his torturers are House Bolton, whose sigil is literally a flayed man on just such a cross.
  • Fainting:
    • Still very sick and weak from recent events, Jaime passes out in a moment of high emotion in "Kissed By Fire".
    • Parodied when Jon tries to explain to his Action Girlfriend what swooning is.
  • Fainting Seer: Jojen Reed frequently faints or has seizures during his visions.
  • The Fair Folk:
    • The White Walkers are malevolent magical creatures who take human children offered to them, reminiscent of changelings.
    • The Children of the Forest are mysterious, magical, forest-dwelling creatures who have long contested with humans and have been fading as The Magic Goes Away.
  • Fake Defector:
    • Osha offers to pledge herself to Theon to allow her to help Bran and Rickon escape.
    • Jon Snow joins the wildlings in "Valar Morghulis" and remains with them throughout Season 3.
  • Fake Guest Star:
    • Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) is billed as "also starring" (curiously enough, only after all the guest stars) despite being a major character.
    • Neither Julian Glover (Pycelle) nor Conleth Hill (Varys) are credited as regulars in the first season, even though they are arguably as important and appear as often as Aiden Gillen (Littlefinger), who is credited as a regular.
    • In Season 2, Donald Sumpter (Luwin), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Natalia Tena (Osha), and Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H'ghar) are all credited as guests even though they appear full as often as several characters credited as regulars.
  • False Confession:
    • Ned Stark makes one to save his daughter Sansa.
    • Tyrion subverts this twice by claiming he wishes to confess only to launch into a "The Reason You Suck" Speech against his accusers.
  • False Flag Operation:
    • Xaro Xhoan Daxos has several of his own guardsmen killed to conceal his involvement in stealing Dany's dragons.
    • In the beginning, Theon's torture is conducted by men dressed like ironborn.
  • False Friend:
    • Ramsay does a very intricate version of this to Theon.
    • Jon is oblivious to the fact that Locke plans to kill or capture him and his half-brothers.
  • False Reassurance:
    • Khal Drogo promises Viserys "a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold."
    • Mirri Maz Duur promises to save Drogo's life with Blood Magic and strongly implies that a horse can be used for Equivalent Exchange. In reality, Drogo is left an Empty Shell and Dany's unborn son is used instead of the horse.
    • The unofficial motto "A Lannister always pays his debts," can be used this way. At face value it promises gratitude to those who do well by them, which is true, but it is frequently used to promise revenge to those who have wronged them.
    • In "Blackwater," Sansa tells Tyrion that she will pray for his safe return... just as she prays for Joffrey's
    • In "Mockingbird," Littlefinger assures Lysa he's only loved one woman his entire life. It's not her.
  • Famed In-Story: Tywin Lannister's destruction of House Reyne inspired the song "The Rains of Castamere," which serves as the Lannister theme.
  • Famous Ancestor:
    • Daenerys is directly descended from Aegon the Conqueror, the first king to unite all of Westeros except Dorne.
    • The supplementary "Histories and Lore" segments on the Bluray release elaborate on the famous ancestors of many other noble houses such as the Starks (Brandon the Builder), Lannisters (Lann the Clever), Baratheons (Durran Godsgrief & Orys Baratheon), and the Tyrells (Garth Greenhand & Harlan Tyrell).
  • Famous Last Words: Quite a few since Anyone Can Die. Of particular note are:
    • Various characters have different interpretations of Jon Arryn's final words, "The seed is strong," but the true one is that Baratheon brunette genes are dominant over Lannister blond.
    • Jaime Lannister explains that Mad King Aerys' final words were the same thing he'd been saying for hours: "Burn them all..."
    • "Dany, please!" — Viserys Targaryen.
    • "Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost." — Rodrik Cassel.
    • "We are the Watchers on the Wall..." — Qhorin Halfhand.
    • "Kill me and be cursed. You are no king of mine." — Rickard Karstark.
    • "Mother..." — Robb Stark. The great King in the North has been defeated and in his last moments he sounds so young and broken.
    • "You know nothing, Jon Snow." — Ygritte.
    • "Tywin? My lion..." — Shae.
    • "You're no son of mine." — Tywin Lannister.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Daenerys' attempted assassin is forced to walk naked behind her horse until he collapses.
    • Grand Maester Pycelle exercising in a see-through bed gown in "Fire and Blood".
    • Theon flirts with and gropes a girl on Pyke who turns out to be his sister.
    • Tyrion sends a pair of prostitutes to help Joffrey unwind, but Joffrey prefers to force one, at crossbow-point, to severely beat the other—possibly to death.
    • Melisandre teases Davos about his desire to see her naked. Soon after, she drops her robe to reveal she's hugely pregnant and promptly give birth to a nightmarish Living Shadow.
    • Jaime is normally quite attractive, but when he strips naked for a bath at Harrenhal he's dirty, battered, and a recent amputee.
    • Beric Dondarrion's Shirtless Scene is entirely devoted to recounting his innumerable nasty scars.
    • Two beautiful, naked women are all over Theon in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", but its very coerced on his part and obviously another cruel prank by his psychopathic captors. The punchline is his forced penectomy.
    • Melisandre seduces Gendry in "Second Sons", which quickly turns nightmarish when she binds him and places leeches on him, including his Most Sensitive Area.
    • The sex scene between Jaime and Cersei in "Breaker of Chains." Both are played by attractive people but their characters are twins, they are right next to their son's dead body, and consent is... questionable to say the least.
    • Craster's daughter-wives display plenty of skin in "Oathkeeper" but it's not even slightly sexy since most are being raped and beaten.
    • Margaery's attempted seduction of Tommen is rendered creepy by the age difference.
    • Ramsay gently bathing Reek is like a hideous, twisted No Yay version of Ho Yay.
  • Fanservice: So much that it is frequently parodied, including by SNL. Littlefinger's brothel is probably the largest supplier since it is the simplest justification for Fanservice Extras.
  • Fanservice Extra: Littlefinger's whores (some played by real porn actresses), the captain's daughter Theon beds en route to Pyke, the bedslave Mero fondles while discussing Daenerys, etc. The character of Ros was initially conceived as this, but was later expanded because the showrunners were so impressed with the actress.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention:
    • Within Westeros, those descended from the First Men tend to have shorter, straight-forward names (Stark, Reed, Mormont, Bolton) while the Andals tend towards more complex names (Lannister, Tyrell, Arryn).
    • Valyrian names almost always contain "ae" and frequently end in "-on", "-ar", or "-rys" (Aegon, Aemon, Rhaegar, Maekar, Aerys, Viserys, Daenerys).
    • Male Dothraki names end in "-o" (Drogo, Rakharo, Kovarro). Daenerys combines Valyrian and Dothraki conventions for her son Rhaego and her black dragon Drogon.
    • The letters "k", "r", and "z" are very common among the Ghiscari of Slaver's Bay and there is a "mo", "na", or "zo" between the given and surnames (Kraznys mo Nakloz, Razdahl mo Eraz, Prendahl na Ghezn, Hizdahr zo Loraq).
    • Names from the Free Cities often have suffixes like "-io", "-is", and "-o" (Syrio Forel, Illyrio Mopatis, Daario Naharis, Tycho Nestoris). Others show clear Valyrian influences (Varys, Petyr Baelish, Shae, Talisa Maegyr), and some are even more exotic (Jaqen H'ghar, Salladhor Saan).
  • Fantastic Nuke: The ship full of wildfire explodes into a giant green fireball that consumes thousands.
  • Fantastic Rank System:
    • The prime minister of the Seven Kingdoms is called the Hand of the King. He is supported by a "small council" (privy council) of officials such as the "Master of Coin" (treasurer), "Master of Whisperers" (spymaster), and "Master of Laws" (attorney general).
    • Dothraki khalasars are led by khals who are protected by three "bloodriders" and appoint lieutenants called kos who each command their own unit called a kas. When a khal dies, the strongest ko will strive to replace him.
  • Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: The War of Five Kings is loosely inspired by the Wars of the Roses and Aegon's Conquest has obvious parallels to the Norman Conquest of England.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Westeros has clear parallels to medieval Britain.
      • Word of God has confirmed the parallels between the Wall and Hadrian's Wall, the 80-mile-long barrier built to protect Roman Britain from the Picts. The Narrow Sea also approximates the English Channel and King's Landing roughly corresponds with London.
      • In terms of history, the First Men are similar to ancient Britons as the oldest human culture in the realm and their connection to the old gods and the children of the forest echoes legends of druids and fairy folk. The next migrants, the Andals, are similar to the Anglo-Saxons in bringing new cultural and political influences to the south. Then the Targaryens, like the Normans, conquer the entire realm and institute further political, cultural, and infrastructure reforms.
      • The accents generally approximate England's own accent distribution, particularly in early seasons. For example Ned, a northerner, has Sean Bean's native Sheffield accent whereas Cersei, a southerner, has more of a London/RP accent. The mountainous region of the Vale tends to Welsh or Celtic accents and Dorne has Latin Lover accents.
      • The names Lannister and Stark are thinly veiled references to those of Lancaster and York, the two great warring houses in the Wars of the Roses, while the Joffrey, Stannis, and Renly branches of House Baratheon mirror the Lancasters and Yorks as rival branches of House Plantagenet.
    • The ironborn resemble hornless Horny Vikings, particularly the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles. Like the Norse, they are a seafaring society with a foreign religion from a harsh region that drives them to rely heavily on adventuring and raiding for prosperity, hence the Greyjoy motto, "We Do Not Sow."
    • The Vale is the most mountainous part of Westeros and has an ethnic mix of castle-dwelling Andals (i.e. Anglo-Saxons) and restive tribes of First Men (i.e. Celts) that likens it to Wales, which suits Ser Vardis Egan's Welsh accent. In addition, a mountainous region that is notoriously hard to invade and whose people keep to themselves militarily draws obvious comparisons to Switzerland.
    • The Riverlands are climatically and culturally similar to northern France and southern England, but its status as a crossroads surrounded by antagonistic regions means it's people are frequently drawn into turmoil in the same manner as Poles or Belgians. As such, the ruling House Tully has developed a penchant for forging marriage alliances to secure further power, similar to the Hapsburg dynasty.
    • The Reach is analogous in many ways to the south-east of England and to Aquitaine in southern France as the most populous and prosperous region of Westeros and the heartland of chivalry. House Tyrell also bears a strong parallel to the The House of Stuart as stewards who ascended to power following the demise of the previous rulers while their golden rose sigil is a near-exact replica of the red-and-white Tudor Rose.
    • If the people of the Reach are analogous to the people of Aquitaine, then stormlanders like Robert, Stannis, and Brienne of Tarth are analogous to the people of northern France such as Normandy and Maine: a similar but harsher people from a harsher climate. This is perhaps best exemplified by Renly's dissonance with his own family and his affinity for the Tyrells.
    • In addition to their vaguely Hispanic accents (as opposed to the ubiquitous British/Irish spoken elsewhere), the Dornish are traditionally Hot-Blooded, sexually adventurous, and hail from an arid peninsula separated from the rest of the continent by mountains. In fact, Spain was a primary location for Dorne in Season 5. Also, just as medieval Spain was heavily influenced by the Moors, Dorne is the only part of Westeros to be influenced by the Rhoynar culture. Dorne also has similarities with Wales in that both were once independent realms that maintain an separate culture, have "marches" along their border, and are ruled by a prince.
    • The Dothraki are a loose conglomeration of Turko-Mongol nomadic horse-culture influences and actors who range from Indian to Hawai'ian in ethnicity.
    • Mirri Maz Duur's people, the Lhazareen, resemble the Semitic shepherd cultures of the ancient Middle East and even worship a "Great Shepherd."
    • Qarth is part ancient Carthage ("Qart Hadasht") for its wealthy mercantile center surrounded by desert and part medieval Constantinople for controlling an important sea lane. The set decor and motifs also feature eastern influences from ancient Babylon, Persia, and India.
    • The Free Cities seem to represent a hodgepodge of Mediterranean cultures. Braavos is a city of canals like Venice guarded by an expy of the Colossus of Rhodes called the Titan, Lorathi characters have German accents, Volantis is a powerful city obsessed with the legacy of a lost empire like Constantinople, etc.
    • The Valyrian Freehold and its successor states resemble Ancient Grome; Valyrian even sounds similar to Greek.
    • As independent city-states with a shared cultural heritage, Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen are reminiscent of Ancient Greece, but their clothing and cosmetics are more reminiscent of North Africa and their pyramids are a mixture of Mesopotamian ziggurats and Egyptian pyramids. Their strong reliance on slave soldiers also has parallels to the Mamluks and Janissaries who served the Ottoman Empire, and the Unsullied in particular receive training similar to the Ancient Spartans blown Up to Eleven.
    • The wildlings' most obvious comparison is to the ancient Caledonians who lived beyond Hadrian's Wall, but names like Tormund, Ygritte, and Styr show obvious Norse influence and the costuming is clearly influenced by the Sami and Inuit cultures of the far north.
  • Fantasy World Map: The award-winning opening credits.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Arya and the Hound are offered food, shelter, and employment by a kindly farmer and his daughter. After accepting the food and shelter, the Hound robs the farmer of the proposed wages the next morning, claiming such folk will not survive the winter anyway.
  • Fatal Flaw: Almost every character has their own fatal flaw, often of the excessive virtue type; some survive it, others do not.
  • Fat Bastard:
    • Deconstructed by Robert Baratheon, who isn't an evil man, but is still an obese hedonist, an incompetent king, a neglectful father, and a terrible husband (though his wife is just as vicious to him). Robert was a better man in his youth but really let himself go physically and morally after losing Lyanna Stark and being stuck with a throne and a wife he didn't want.
    • Subverted by Hot Pie, a chubby boy who bullies Arya (alongside skinny Lommy) to project strength but backs off and becomes quite friendly later.
    • Played straight with Rorge and Biter, who are both fat and stupid criminals from King's Landing.
  • Fat Best Friend: Samwell Tarly is a Shrinking Violet with terrible self-esteem issues due to his abusive upbringing.
  • Fate Worse Than Death:
    • Tyrion implies that the Night's Watch is this, claiming that most rapists choose the dangerous process of castration rather than taking the black.
    • Torture at the hands of Ramsay Snow certainly qualifies.
    • Beric Dondarrion, who's becoming more and more empty every time he's resurrected, tells Arya that he would not wish his fate on her father, but Arya disagrees.
  • Fat Girl: "Fat" Walda Bolton née Frey. Roose Bolton was offered his wife's weight in silver as a dowry, so he chose the fattest.
  • Father Neptune: Ser Davos Seaworth, a smuggler-turned-knight, complete with Sea Dog Beard.
  • A Father to His Men: Robb, Renly, and Daenerys are shown to be caring and affable commanders towards even the lowliest soldier in their army. Robb explains that he inherited this mentality from his father, Ned. Lord Commander Mormont is also this as much as he can be to an Army of Thieves and Whores.
  • Fat Idiot: Hot Pie is the bumbling comic-relief member of Arya's group.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish is rather charming and polite, a combination he uses to further his schemes and lull his targets. He quickly betrays those he offers to help, like Ned Stark and occasionally shows his true colors to his sex workers.
    • Ramsay is cheerful and jocular during all his torturing and murdering.
  • Fauxreigner: Ros claims the whore Aremca pretends not to speak Westerosi to increase her exotic appeal.
  • Fear of Thunder: Hodor's almost gets Bran and Rickon discovered by wildlings.
  • Feed the Mole: Tyrion feeds Pycelle, Littlefinger, and Varys different plans for a marriage alliance so when Cersei angrily confronts him about a particular plan, he has his mole.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: Pod calls Brienne "Ser" out of habit, earning glares from both Brienne and Jaime.
  • Feel No Pain: The Unsullied, as Kraznys mo Nakloz is pleased to demonstrate in "Valar Dohaeris" by cutting off one's nipple. The books elaborate that this is brought about by a potion they consume at every meal.
  • Female Gaze:
    • Melisandre consciously invites one by remaining undressed in Queen Selyse's presence. Selyse takes a long look, apparently envious of the woman who seduced her husband. Melisandre goes on to claim flesh is just another trick of the Lord of Light.
    • Dany clearly enjoys what Daario is packing when he strips for her in "Mockingbird."
  • The Fettered: This is the main factor in making the Starks the most sympathetic Great House, since in the beginning they are utterly wedded to love, honour, and justice. White and grey are even their House colours.
  • Feuding Families: A major theme of the series.
    • The Starks and Lannisters were never on the best terms, but they quickly slide into Arch-Enemy territory when Catelyn Stark abducts Tyrion Lannister and Cersei Lannister imprisons Eddard and Sansa Stark. By "Baelor," a civil war breaks out between them.
    • There is a lot of bad blood between the Lannisters and Martells since Elia Martell was murdered during the Sack of King's Landing when Tywin Lannister sent men to kill her children by Rhaegar Targaryen.
    • Adapted Out in the case of the Martells and Tyrells, who have a long-standing rivalry in the source material dating back to the ancient wars between Dorne and the Reach, but in the series canon Oberyn Martell and Loras Tyrell openly flirt with one another.
  • Fiction500: The Lannisters are frequently referred to as the riches family in Westeros. Cersei calls the Tyrells the second richest in "Second Sons."
  • Fictional Currency:
    • Westeros runs on the Gold–Silver–Copper Standard (dragons, stags, and stars respectively).
    • Coins from other cities are also depicted, including Jaqen H'ghar's Faceless Man iron coin in "Valar Morghulis," a square Braavosi one in "Second Sons," and the voucher-tokens of the Iron Bank in "The Laws of Gods and Men."
  • Fiery Redhead:
    • Melisandre, almost literally, though her ferocity is masked by an icy, enigmatic, almost regal exterior.
    • Ygritte, the wildling encountered by Jon north of the Wall.
    • Ros, the savvy prostitute.
    • Tormund Giantsbane provides a male example.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Pyat Pree can create copies of himself.
  • Finger in the Mail: Ramsay sends Theon's "favorite toy" to his family in a box made of his breastplate with the promise that more pieces will follow if they don't withdraw their forces.
  • Finger Muzzle: Margaery does this when she wants Renly to stop quoting philosophy and focus on consummating their marriage.
  • Fingore:
    • Davos lost the fingertips of one hand as punishment for his crimes, and keeps them around his neck as a Creepy Souvenir.
    • One of Ramsay Snow's favorite games is flaying his prisoners' fingers until they beg him to amputate.
    • Although the show never elaborates, Qhorin is called "Halfhand" for a reason.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Jaime and Brienne after their ordeal in the riverlands.
  • Fire Keeps It Dead: Burning is the surest way to prevent or dispose of a wight. This is likely the root of the wildling custom of cremation.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Unsurprisingly given the title of its source material, the series uses this to contrast various political and supernatural factions.
    • The first season is book-ended by the return of the White Walkers and the dragons on opposite sides of the world. The White Walkers are undead beings from the frozen north who build, arm, and armour themselves with ice and melt like ice when killed while the dragons are living, fire-breathing creatures described as "fire made flesh."
    • Although not in direct conflict as yet, worshipers of the ocean-dwelling Drowned God show their devotion by wearing blue-grey, anointing with seawater, and Kill It with Water while the worshipers of the fiery Lord of Light wear red and show their devotion with bonfires and Kill It with Fire. Furthermore, the cosmology of the Lord of Light sees all things as a contest between fire and cold, light and dark, and life and death.
    • Many factions of the War of the Five Kings are visually associated with fire, water, or ice and tend to align similarly to their elements. House Stark is constantly associated with ice and cold and tends to stoic or unyielding personalities whereas their greatest rival House Lannister bears fiery colours like red and gold and are characterized by pride and wrath. The Starks are also closely allied with the water-associated House Tully of the Riverlands and indirectly opposed to the Lord of Light worshiping Stannis Baratheon and dragon-owning Daenerys Targaryen.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Bran is pushed out a window for discovering Cersei and Jaime engaged in adulterous twincest.
  • First Name Basis:
    • After insistently calling him "Kingslayer" ever since they met, Brienne displays her new-found regard for Jaime Lannister by calling him "Ser Jaime."
    • Littlefinger frequently reminds Sansa to call him "Petyr" to encourage some intimacy between them. She prefers to call him "Lord Baelish," which is still more polite than "Littlefinger."
  • Fish out of Water:
    • The honest and honorable Ned Stark at the Deadly Decadent Court in King's Landing. He knows it, too.
    • Daenerys and Viserys among the Dothraki. Daenerys takes to it much better than her brother.
    • Jon among the lowborn poachers and rapers in his training squad in the Night's Watch.
    • When Davos puts Gendry in a rowboat, the poor boy doesn't even know which way to sit or how to swim if he falls out.
  • Five Second Foreshadowing: Jojen sees a vision of Karl's dead body burning. Five seconds later, the attack that results in just that begins.
  • Flaming Sword:
    • Thoros of Myr is famous for using wildfire to set his sword afire in battle and tourney.
    • Beric Dondarrion makes a similar sword to Thoros' using his own blood and the magic of the Lord of Light.
    • Stannis Baratheon launches his bid for the throne with a ritual where he draws a flaming sword from a bonfire.
  • Flat Joy: This is how Dolorous Edd earns his name.
  • Flaw Exploitation: This is generally how characters overcome their enemies. The better a character is at this trope, the more successful they are.
  • Flaying Alive: Lord Roose Bolton provides the page quote: "A naked man has few secrets; a flayed man none." House Bolton has a long enough tradition of this activity to make a flayed man their sigil. Roose's bastard son Ramsay does it for fun.
  • Flower Motifs: The Tyrells' emblem is a rose, but they are strongly associated with flowers in general.
  • Flowers of Romance:
    • Sansa Stark believes the red rose Ser Loras Tyrell offers to her at the Tourney of the Hand is a token of his affection. If only she had noticed that the Knight of Flowers was in fact making eyes at Lord Renly Baratheon sitting behind her...
    • Daario Naharis offers Daenerys several flowers under the pretext of teaching her about the surrounding region. She responds with bemused aloofness.
  • Fluffy Tamer: In "The Night Lands," Sam appears to be the only person Ghost will listen to besides Jon.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Each Stark child receives a pup that quickly becomes a full-grown direwolf capable of tearing out throats and more than willing to savage anyone who threatens their masters. Robb, Arya, and Jon Snow go for fittingly impressive names but Sansa, Bran, and Rickon name theirs Lady, Summer, and Shaggydog respectively.
  • Flynning: Generally averted since Combat Pragmatism is a common theme in the series. Oberyn's rather showy Wushu-inspired acrobatics are perhaps the straightest example in the series.
  • Foil: A wonderful result of the Loads and Loads of Characters is the extraordinary amount of this trope.
    • Daenerys Targaryen
      • To Sansa Stark. Both are young maidens who enter an Arranged Marriage pact, but Daenerys is married almost immediately to a brutal barbarian who turns out to have a sensitive side and frees her from her abusive brother whereas Sansa endures a long betrothal to a handsome prince who turns out to be a total sadistic sociopath who separates her from her loving family. Daenerys' childhood as a Noble Fugitive has also left her far less naive than Sansa.
      • To Robert Baratheon. Both are excellent at galvanizing support, can be ruthless to their enemies, seize power by right of conquest, and struggle with the realities of establishing a new order of things. Both show visible unhappiness at the realization that conquest is far easier than postwar administration and reconstruction, but Daenerys shows a commitment to learning how to rule that Robert never showed.
      • To Joffrey Baratheon. Both are products of Brother-Sister Incest from a powerful house hailed for their good looks with a certain sense of entitlement and a vindictive streak for those who cross them. However, whereas Joffrey grew up a sadistic Royal Brat, Daenerys grew up a Noble Fugitive who understands the plight of the lower classes and the value of kindness.
    • Cersei Lannister
      • To Daenerys Targaryen. Both are queens who buck at traditional gender roles and can be merciless to people who threaten them or their children, but whereas Cersei antagonizes her subjects and subordinates with disdain, Daenerys constantly gets distracted by her empathy for them and sidetracked by her need to save every individual.
      • To Catelyn Stark. Both are beautiful women who entered an Arranged Marriage to cement a dynastic alliance, but while Catelyn grew to love her husband and was content with her station, Cersei grew to despise her husband and constantly yearned for more power. Both are also Mama Bears who have difficulty controlling their newly-crowned sons after losing their husbands.
    • Joffrey Baratheon
      • To Robb Stark. Both are young men who come to power in the wake of their father's death, one by the acclaim of his bannermen, the other in a powerplay at a Deadly Decadent Court. Both pursue relationships with women against the advice of their mothers which ultimately leads to their sudden demise at a wedding. Despite his youth, Robb is A Father to His Men who leads from the front while Joffrey is The Caligula and a Dirty Coward.
      • To Stannis Baratheon. These two become very direct foils in the Battle of the Blackwater when Stannis personally leads the assault, proving that despite his flaws he truly believes in his cause and is willing to put himself him in tremendous danger for it. Meanwhile, Joffrey brags endlessly before the battle but proves a Dirty Coward who panics at any setback and prevails only because others do all the work.
      • To Gendry. Both are the children of adultery on the part of the royal couple of Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister, but Robert's son Gendry is unacknowledged, poor, hardworking, brave, kind, and clever whereas Cersei's son Joffrey is his polar opposite: presumed legitimate, spoiled, idle, cowardly, cruel, and idiotic.
    • Renly Baratheon
      • To Ned Stark. Renly is an flashy-but-astute Non-Action Guy politician who can navigate a Deadly Decadent Court while Ned is a modest, stoic warrior who is ill-suited for intrigues. Ned and Catelyn have an openly Perfectly Arranged Marriage whereas Renly and Loras must maintain a Secret Relationship because homosexuality is a taboo.
      • To Littlefinger. Both are ostentatious Non-Action Guy politicians who excel at Snark-to-Snark Combat, but Renly grew up Spoiled Sweet as a privileged high lord while Littlefinger only rose from a very minor noble by being a ruthless Self-Made Man. Renly's charm and Nice to the Waiter qualities sharply contrast Littlefinger's The Sociopath and Bad Boss traits, Renly loathes the Lannisters and seeks to oust them while Littlefinger supports them, and Littlefinger is an Unlucky Childhood Friend infatuated with Catelyn while Renly's love for Loras is reciprocated.
      • To Robb Stark. Both are young, sensible, nice guys who aspire to be The Good King, but where Robb is Modest Royalty warrior who excels on the battlefield, Renly is an ostentatious courtier whose strength is his political acumen. This is most clear when Renly marries precisely the right woman for an alliance whereas Robb throws away an alliance to marry his lover.
      • To Joffrey Baratheon. Both are introduced into Season 2 presiding over a tournament. Joffrey is pleased when his non-knight Kingsguard, Sandor Clegane, kills a fellow competitor whereas Renly's tourney features no death and culminates in the elevation of a female non-knight to his Kingsguard. Renly is also courteous to his wife Margaery and Catelyn's embassy whereas Joffrey is abusive to his fiancée Sansa and his new councilor Tyrion.
      • To Margaery. Both believe that Machiavelli Was Wrong is the best approach to ruling and mirror each other in their personas as The Good King and The High Queen and their A Father to His Men and Friend to All Children behaviour, which earns them a 100% Adoration Rating. Their charm, wit, and ostentatious fashion-sense also makes them both well-suited for the Deadly Decadent Court. They are also unperturbed by each other's homosexuality and lack of virginity respectively and share a deep love for Loras Tyrell (in different ways, of course). However, Renly is a Black Sheep who receives no emotional support from his family while Margaery is her grandmother's favourite and part of a loving family.
    • Tywin Lannister
      • Tywin Lannister to Tyrion Lannister. Both are intelligent and cunning strategists in both war and intrigue who serve very competently as Hand to a mentally-unstable king. They also both have no problem hiring prostitutes, but where Tyrion is open about it, Tywin keeps it a very strict secret. Tyrion simply has far more morals and less interest in preserving the family name.
      • Tywin Lannister to Robb Stark. Tywin is a proud, aged grand strategist with decades of experience in war and administration who treats everyone (including his family) like chess pieces. Robb is a young, Modest Royalty tactician with little experience who treats everyone (including his men) with honor and respect.
    • Sandor Clegane
      • To Brienne of Tarth. Both are non-knight Lightning Bruisers who come to serve on the traditionally knights-only Kingsguard. However, Brienne seeks to uphold the lofty notion of chivalry despite being denied knighthood because of her gender whereas Sandor is a Blood Knight who disdains knightly chivalry as an absurd construct and actively refuses knighthood. Brienne also remains Undyingly Loyal to her king while Sandor deserts his king during battle, and Brienne is motivated to uphold her vow to protect the Stark girls whereas Sandor is motivated to keep Arya close so that he can sell her for money.
      • To Bronn. Bronn is an Affably Evil sellsword who hides his brutal instincts behind jokes and smiles. Sandor cannot hide that he is a brutal Blood Knight and hates that knights and sellswords like Bronn can pretend to be what they're not.
    • Margaery Tyrell
      • To Cersei Lannister. Margaery carefully projects an image of The High Queen to earn the adoration of the smallfolk while Cersei doesn't give a damn about them and, not surprisingly, the feeling is mutual. Margaery is comfortable with her femininity and doesn't see it as a hindrance in her pursuit of power. Cersei resents her gender because she believes it gives her an unfair disadvantage and envies the power that men wield. Margaery has Joffrey wrapped around her finger, whereas Cersei completely loses control of her son after he becomes king.
      • To Sansa Stark. Both girls entered in to betrothals to Joffrey Baratheon. The younger and more naive Sansa threw herself into the relationship, believing it would be a storybook love affair only to discover that Joffrey was a cruel psychopath. By contrast, the older, more cynical Margaery proceeded cautiously and pragmatically, scoping out her future husband, considering the best way to appeal to him, and carefully learning to manipulate him instead of becoming his victim.
    • Loras Tyrell
      • To Jaime Lannister. Handsome, overconfident, and highly-skilled knights who have a queen for a sister, become Lord Commander of a Kingsguard, and conceal a socially unacceptable romance with royalty. However, Loras is a Knight in Shining Armor widely admired by the smallfolk while Jaime is a Blood Knight reviled as The Oathbreaker. Loras and Margaery make a Brother-Sister Team whereas Jaime and Cersei engage in Brother-Sister Incest. Loras is recognized as a savior for breaking Stannis' siege of King's Landing while Jaime is despised for betraying his king to save the city from the Mad King's wildfire. As of Season 4, Loras is considered a young rising star whereas Jaime is considered an over-the-hill, middle-aged cripple.
      • To Brienne of Tarth. Both are Knights In Shining Armor introduced winning a tourney with the aid of Combat Pragmatism. They are both heirs to their Houses but love Renly enough to dedicate their lives to serving as his Kingsguard and become vengeful Knights In Sour Armor after his death. Loras' Pretty Boy appearance and ostentatious wardrobe also mirrors Brienne's in-universe Lady Looks Like a Dude looks and utilitarian attire, but Loras' prowess is generally respected by everyone despite his Muscles Are Meaningless appearance and he receives very little direct abuse for his homosexuality whereas Brienne's prowess generally goes unrecognized despite her size and she endures lots of abuse for her masculinity. Ironically, Loras becomes an increasingly powerless pawn after Season 2 while Brienne becomes essentially a Knight Errant who can lend her sword to any cause she deems worthy.
      • To Sansa Stark. An aspiring Knight In Shining Armour and Princess Classic with romantic ideals of living Happily Ever After with their Prince Charming, both learn the hard way that life isn't a fairy tale when their dreams turn into nightmares. By Season 3, they are both reduced to miserable political pawns and end up betrothed to someone they don't want to marry but maintain something of a Stepford Smiler persona. The major distinction is that Loras still has the support of his powerful family, which Sansa, as a prisoner, completely lacks.
    • Melisandre
      • To Davos Seaworth. Both are extremely loyal to Stannis and want him to become king, Melisandre out of religious fanaticism and Davos out of mundane gratitude. As his advisors they frequently play Good Angel, Bad Angel and even dress the part with Melisandre in red and Davos in grey. Melisandre is a sorceress who believes there is only good and evil while Davos is a ordinary man who sees in shades of grey.
      • To Thoros of Myr. Both are foreign priests of the Lord of Light, but Thoros was never very devout whereas Melisandre's faith is unwavering. Both can perform magic, but Melisandre uses hers to bring death while Thoros uses his to restore life. Both claim to be serving the greater good in the name of the king by preventing an apocalypse or protecting the smallfolk, but are not averse to sacrificing a few innocents along the way.
    • Olenna Tyrell
      • To Tywin Lannister. Both hold the opposite gender in some disregard, with Olenna dismissing her son as an oaf and her grandson as only good at knocking men off horses and Tywin dismissing his daughter as not as smart as she thinks. They also ride roughshod over their children, saying things like "Not now, Mace, Lord Tywin and I are speaking," and "You're my daughter; you will do as I command," and focus their attentions on their grandchildren, with Olenna taking a great interest in making Margaery a queen and Tywin discussing kingship with his grandsons. Both arrange political marriages between their dynasties without consulting the parties involved and resort to violating sacred hospitality at a wedding for the good of their family and are perfectly willing to let others take the fall, whether they be co-conspirators or innocent bystanders.
      • To Walder Frey. Both are the Screw Politeness Im A Senior leader of a Social Climber House who place a pedigree on reputation while simultaneously denigrating their own progeny. They even share some Dirty Old Senior attitudes and violate sacred hospitality to betray and murder an "allied" king at a wedding to advance their family's interests, but Olenna does all these things with a grandmotherly smile while Walder does so with a contemptuous sneer.
    • Grand Maester Pycelle
      • To Varys and Littlefinger. All three characters lie and scheme to survive in their positions in the Deadly Decadent Court, putting on false personas to deflect suspicion, but while Varys and Littlefinger have higher ambitions, Pycelle in content to fly under the radar and live out his life in the comfort afforded by his office.
      • To Qyburn. Both are healers trained as maesters who serve the Iron Throne, take their orders from Cersei, and are known for inappropriate behaviour. However, Pycelle is far less ambitious than Qyburn, making him both less dedicated to his craft and more ethical since he is not a Mad Scientist who plays with syringes.
      • To Maester Aemon. Where Pycelle is corrupt, depraved, and despised by his masters, Aemon is thoroughly dedicated to his vows, offers genuine advice, and beloved and respected by the people he serves.
    • Ramsay Snow
      • To Joffrey. Both are sadistic Bastard Bastards whose favourite pastime is Cold-Blooded Torture. However, where Joffrey is a Dirty Coward, Ramsay shows impressive combat skills; where Joffrey believes he is legitimate and entitled to power, Ramsay's bastard background drives him to achieve; and where Joffrey is a Stupid Evil Smug Snake, Ramsay at least shows a talent for short-term schemes (his siege of Winterfell and his torturous games) if not for long-term plots.
      • To Jon Snow. Both are bastard sons of powerful northern lords who share the surname Snow, but Jon is a Heroic Bastard while Ramsay is a straight-up Bastard Bastard.
    • Oberyn Martel
      • To Tyrion Lannister. Both are highly-intelligent and profligate second sons with a wide reputation for wit and depravity who are unable to marry their lovers. However, whereas Tyrion is despised by his family and by society in general and forced into a political marriage against his will, Oberyn is accepted by his family and loved by the people of Dorne and enjoys an open relationship with his lifelong paramour, Ellaria Sand, with whom he has several children.
      • To Loras Tyrell. Both are formidable, non-heterosexual warriors who dress more flamboyantly than the norm and maintain a romance with someone they can never marry. They also share a deep love for their older sister who married into royalty and despise the Lannisters for the death of a loved one but are nevertheless allied to them through political marriage. However, Oberyn is more passionate and is quite open about his sexuality and Tranquil Fury whereas Loras is restrained and decorous which creates a lot of Suppressed Rage.
      • To Ned Stark. Strong warriors and family men from a culturally and climatically isolated region who disapprove of mainstream Westeros, especially the Lannisters, who come to King's Landing to investigate the death of a loved one and accept an invitation to serve on the king's small council.
    • Eddard Stark to Tyrion Lannister. As Hand of the King, Ned suffers the consequences of Honor Before Reason and a refusal to compromise. His successor Tyrion is not corrupt by any means, but does accept the demands of Realpolitik far better and is able to curtail the excesses of his king and the machinations of Cersei better than Ned. Nevertheless, Tyrion eventually ends up imprisoned and facing banishment to the Night's Watch as a scapegoat much like Ned.
    • Sansa and Arya have The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry going on until courtly Sansa becomes involved in the Deadly Decadent Court of King's Landing while tomboyish Arya travels the war-torn riverlands amid the common people, resulting in similar Break the Cutie arcs. Arya slowly becomes a cold and methodical Child Soldier while Sansa maintains an innocent persona while becoming an accomplice to one of Westeros' foremost Manipulative Bastards.
    • Varys and Littlefinger. Both are self-made Chessmasters from humble foreign beginnings with a Dark and Troubled Past who have worked their way up to the small council without the support of a faction. The key contrast is that Varys claims to fight for stability and The Needs of the Many whereas Littlefinger strives to create chaos to further his personal quest for power. An additional contrast is Littlefinger's occupation as a perverse provider of sex while Varys is an asexual eunuch.
    • Theon Greyjoy to Jon Snow. As a bastard and a hostage respectively, Jon and Theon both desperately want to be Starks, suffer from "Well Done, Son!" Guy, and are Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. The difference appears when Jon finds a new conduit for his honor and ambition in the Night's Watch while Theon betrays his adopted family to seek the approval of blood relatives who distrust and mistreat him.
    • Stannis to Tyrion. Both are the outcast, maligned, and underestimated second son whose elder brother left them Overshadowed by Awesome and face interference and betrayal by an ambitious sibling who refuses to acknowledge their rights, accomplishments, and sacrifices.
    • Lancel Lannister to Loras Tyrell. They're both Pretty Boy knights who once squired for a Baratheon and are in an illicit relationship with a monarch, but whereas Loras is the emotionally dominant partner to Renly, Lancel is almost a total doormat in his dalliance with Cersei. When it comes to battle, Loras co-leads the glorious winning charge to honor his lover's memory while Lancel is last seen having his grievous wound punched by his lover for suggesting escorting Joffrey back to the battle.
    • Roose Bolton to Eddard Stark. Both are northern lords with bastard sons, but very different personalities. Ned is an honorable, honest, kind, and content man whereas Roose is treacherous, deceitful, cruel, and opportunistic. Roose tells Ramsay, "My banners, not yours. You're not a Bolton; you're a Snow," whereas Ned tells Jon, "You are a Stark. You may not have my name, but you have my blood." Ironically, in the end, Roose legitimizes his bastard, something Ned never did.
  • Food Porn: The wedding feast in "The Lion and the Rose" looks amazing.
  • Food Slap: Joffrey pours wine over Tyrion's head in an attempt to escalate an argument. When Tyrion refuses to rise to the bait, Joffrey resorts to other tactics.
  • Forced to Watch:
    • Ned believes it is important for his sons to watch him carry out executions with his own hand to instill them with a strong sense of justice. His children continue to be forced to watch terrible things for far less noble purposes throughout the series.
    • Olly sees both his parents killed when the wildlings raid his hamlet in the Gift. Styr then forces him to look at their bodies while gloating that he is going to eat them before sending Olly to Castle Black as a lure.
  • Forceful Kiss: Sansa is on the receiving end of one in "Mockingbird." She reacts with shock rather than enthusiasm and her counterpart is obviously disappointed.
  • Foreign Fanservice:
    • Doreah suggests in "The Kingsroad" that this is Daenerys' appeal to Khal Drogo.
      "If he wanted the Dothraki way, why did he marry you?"
    • Shae is occasionally consumed by fears that this is all she is to Tyrion.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The discovery of stag-direwolf Mutual Kill in "Winter Is Coming" is obviously a bad omen even in-universe.
    • Theon is all too eager to kill a direwolf, the sigil of House Stark, in "Winter Is Coming".
    • Cersei's mention of her black-haired firstborn in "The Kingsroad" draws some attention to her three blond children.
    • In "The Kingsroad", Jaime tells Tyrion, "But even if the boy lives he would be a cripple, a grotesque. Give me a good, clean death any day." In "Walk of Punishment", Jaime loses his sword hand and briefly his will to live.
    • When Doreah talks of what she's seen, she mentions a dragonglass dagger (like those Sam finds) and a man who can change his face (like Jaqen H'ghar).
    • Arya must shoo her direwolf Nymeria to save her from the Lannisters in "The Kingsroad". In "The Pointy End", Arya herself must also flee to escape the Lannisters.
    • In "The Wolf and the Lion", Ned comments that if the king did as he liked all the time, he'd still be fighting a rebellion. He was speaking specifically of Robert's delight for battle, but in a different context accurately presages the outbreak of civil war in part due to Joffrey's capricious actions as king.
    • Cersei justifies her incest in "You Win Or You Die" by invoking the precedent of the Targaryens, several of whom went mad, which, when paired with Joffrey's Royal Brat behaviour, foreshadows the kind of uncontrollable lunatic Joffrey becomes.
    • In "The Pointy End", Bran assures Rickon, "They'll be back soon. Robb will free Father, and come back with Mother," but Rickon eerily replies, "No, they won't.
    • Daenerys taking scalding hot baths and picking her dragon eggs out of a lit brazier foreshadow what she does in "Fire and Blood".
    • Loras' suggestion that Renly could claim the throne with the support of the Tyrell armies and wealth becomes a reality by "Fire and Blood".
    • In "The North Remembers," Tyrion whistles "The Rains of Castamere," an in-universe song that appears more fully in "Blackwater" and becomes the series' leitmotif for whenever a Lannister does something particularly awesome, evil, or both.
    • In "The North Remembers", Melisandre makes a chilling prophecy that after the long summer darkness shall fall heavy on the land, the cold breath of winter will freeze the seas, and the Dead shall rise in the North. Switching forward to the season finale...
    • In "Garden of Bones," Melisandre says, "Look to your sins, Lord Renly. The night is dark and full of terrors." By the end of the episode, she gives birth to terrifying shadow that assassinates Renly.
    • In "The Old Gods and the New", Xaro speaks of doing some unpleasant things to become what he is, then opens the doors to his estate to find the guards killed and Dany's dragons stolen. In "A Man Without Honor", it is revealed that Xaro was an accessory to this crime.
    • In "Walk of Punishment", Theon's torturer uses his last words to call Theon's rescuer a "little bastard." It is later revealed in "Mhysa" that the rescuer is Roose Bolton's bastard son Ramsay Snow.
    • In "The Rains of Castamere", Walder Frey promises that "wine will flow red," the hall doors close ominously, and the band starts playing the pro-Lannister song "The Rains of Castamere", all as a prelude to a bloody slaughter.
    • In "The Lion and the Rose", Lord Mace Tyrell presents the groom with a goblet and the words "May you and my daughter Margaery drink deep, and live long." Later that day Joffrey drinks from a cup and drops dead.
    • When he first becomes Master of Coin in Season 3, Tyrion mentions that the Iron Bank of Braavos will fund the enemies of anyone who doesn't pay them back. In Season 4, even though the Lannisters have not yet ceased repayment, the Iron Bank agrees to provides one such enemy with enough coin to keep his claim alive just in case.
    • Olenna Tyrell's line to Cersei in "And Now His Watch Is Ended" takes on new meaning in light of her conspiracy with Littlefinger to murder Joffrey in "The Lion and the Rose".
    • Tyrion tells Shae he would kill for her and suspects he will before everything's said and done. The final straw that causes Tyrion to murder his own father is Tywin repeatedly insulting Shae by calling her a whore. Ironically, Tyrion had already killed Shae herself at this point.
  • Forging Scene: Lord Tywin oversees with villainous smugness as the Ancestral Weapon of House Stark is melted down into two smaller swords for his own family.
  • Forging The Will: Portrayed sympathetically when, as he is dying, King Robert dictates his will for Eddard Stark to write. Robert says "to my son, Joffrey", but Ned replaces this with "to my rightful heir", as he has learned that Joffrey is not actually Robert's son but wishes to spare his dying friend the truth.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend:
    • Benjen Stark has hardly been mentioned since his disappearance, despite one of main missions of the great ranging being to investigate the disappearing rangers. Jon never even bothers to ask the wildlings about his uncle while gathering information as a Fake Defector.
    • Subverted by Mycah the butcher's boy. While some viewers might only vaguely remember his unjust death in "The Kingsroad," Arya never forgets and his unjust death remains at the center of her hatred for Sandor Clegane. Arya even brings up Mycah during the Hound's trial in "And Now His Watch Is Ended" and the Hound uses it in his attempt to goad her in "The Children."
  • Formally Named Pet: Tommen has a cat named Ser Pounce.
  • For Science!: Qyburn lost his maester's chain for performing medical experiments on living men.
  • For the Evulz:
    • This is Joffrey's motivation for most of his endeavors, but it's possible one of his most nefarious acts, namely Ned Stark's execution, is actually a subversion since it is unclear how much of the plan he was told and he seemed to believe he was making a clear example of what happens to his enemies.
    • Theon's captor in Season 3 tortures him and eventually extracts one piece of useful intel: Theon did not in fact kill Bran and Rickon Stark. Then the captor continues brutally torturing Theon, admitting that it's not for any reason other than he enjoys doing it.
    • Having expected a larger ransom, Locke tosses Brienne into a bear pit instead, saying it gives him more pleasure than gold ever could. Qyburn explains that such men live for the moment because they don't expect to be alive when all the fighting's done.
  • For Want of a Nail: Maester Aemon mentions that he refused his birthright to become king, so the crown passed to his younger brother, who then passed it to his son the Mad King and inspired Robert's Rebellion. How different might everything have turned out if Aemon had forsaken his vows and taken the job?
  • Founder of the Kingdom: 300 years before the series, Aegon I Targaryen and his sister-wives conquered and unified six of the Seven Kingdoms with the aid of dragons. Accepting and rewarding all who surrendered, they founded King's Landing and the Kingsguard, forged the Iron Throne, and are fondly remembered for the most part. Aegon's Landing even marks a Year Zero in the chronology of Westeros.
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: The 4 main Houses
    • Starks = Optimists
    • Lannisters = Cynics
    • Baratheons = Realists
    • Targaryens = Conflicted
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: As of the end of Season 4, the series is currently following:
    • The Lannisters and Tyrells at court in King's Landing,
    • Stannis' court at Castle Black,
    • Daenerys' court in Meereen,
    • Tyrion and Varys bound across the sea,
    • Jon and Sam with the Night's Watch,
    • Sansa and Littlefinger in the Vale,
    • Arya bound for Braavos,
    • Bran and his companions with the three-eyed raven,
    • Brienne and Podrick in the Riverlands, and
    • Roose, Ramsay, and Reek at Winterfell.
  • Four-Star Badass: With medieval command-and-control being very limited, this is an important trait for any successful general.
    • Robb Stark wins his battles by leading from the front.
    • Jaime Lannister was this until his army was ambushed. Even then he killed a dozen Stark men before being captured.
    • The Battle of Blackwater features no less than four: King Stannis who leads the assault from the very front, Tyrion Lannister who leads the desperate counterattack against him, and Loras Tyrell and Tywin Lannister who combine their respective armies into a massive cavalry charge to save the city.
  • Fragile Speedster: Several duels hinge on the Competitive Balance between this trope and Mighty Glacier.
  • Frame-Up: Tyrion finds himself the victim of this twice.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Cersei seems to believe she's doing this in Season 4.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The close-ups of The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and The Book of Brothers reveal in-depth texts related to some of the backstory from the source material.
  • Frequently-Broken Unbreakable Vow:
    • Vows of chastity are integral to orders such as the Night's Watch, Kingsguard, and Maesters of the Citadel, but Loophole Abuse is common since the Exact Words often only forbid wives and children. The nearest town to Castle Black even has a thriving brothel catering to black brothers of the Night's Watch.
    • A major reason for Jaime Lannister's openness about his lack of honour is his disgust with being vilified as The Oathbreaker for killing the Mad King despite solemn oaths of loyalty and moral behaviour being violated on all sides.
    • The Hound's consistently refuses knighthood because he considers their vows to be this. Thoroughly reprehensible men like his brother Gregor are knights, so in the Hound's opinion knights are just killers pretending not to be. He prefers to forgo the pretense altogether.
  • Freudian Excuse: Given the Black and Grey Morality of the setting, such excuses are common.
    • Tywin Lannister's father Tytos was weak man whose forgiving nature was mocked and exploited so frequently it nearly brought ruin to their House, leaving Tywin to restore the power and glory of his family by any means necessary. Later, his beloved wife died in childbirth and his decades of loyal service as Hand of the King were rewarded with suspicion and derision by his increasingly mad former friend King Aerys II.
    • Sandor Clegane was mutilated at a young age by his psychopathic older brother and grew up watching that brother rewarded for his brutality with praise and eventually a knighthood, leading Sandor to embrace his Blood Knight tendencies and disdain knighthood because he believes nobility and chivalry are absurd constructs and only the strong survive.
    • Petyr Baelish came from the absolute lowest nobility but was fostered by one of the most powerful lords in the realm. Nicknamed "Littlefinger" for his small stature and low birth, Petyr fell unrequitedly in love with Catelyn Tully and challenged her fiancée to a duel, urged on by stories of the plucky underdog, only to lose badly and have Catelyn cut off contact with him. These events helped turn Petyr from a mischievous, romantic boy into a ruthless Machiavellian schemer obsessed with power.
    • Viserys Targaryen lost his family and kingdom when he was no more than a child, leaving him to care for his newborn sister Daenerys (whose birth killed their mother) and carry the fate of the dynasty on his shoulders practically alone. Given the stress of such a situation and the Targaryen tendency for madness, its not really surprising he went nuts.
  • Freudian Slip: In "Valar Morghulis," Loras subconsciously lets it slip that Renly was far more than a brother-in-law to him when he tells the court, "My sister Margaery, her husband was taken from us before..." He should have said "her husband was taken from her," or simply "her husband was taken" instead.
  • Freudian Threat:
    • Played for Laughs when Shagga warns Tyrion that Shagga will cut off his manhood if he betrays the hill tribes. Tyrion is familiar enough with the threat to interrupt him and complete the phrase "...and feed it to the goats, yes". Later in King's Landing, Tyrion tells Timett to cut off Pycelle's manhood and feed it to the goats. Timett protests that there are no goats, so Tyrion tells him to "make do."
    • Theon's captor provides a rare example of actually carrying through on such a threat in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair".
    • Played Straight when Tyrion threatens Joffrey with this to stop him harassing Sansa in "Second Sons".
  • Freudian Trio:
    • The Baratheon brothers form one: Robert is a hot-blooded and impulsive warrior (id), Renly is an affable and easygoing politician (ego), and Stannis is described as a skilled strategist but not at all a people person (super-ego). True to the Crapsack World, the brothers resent each other and cannot cooperate rather than working together as an effective Power Trio.
    • This dynamic is also present in the menage-a-trios between Renly, Loras, and Margaery with Loras' id providing the emotional support to Renly's ego while superego Margaery provides the coldly logical and strategic advice such as the necessity of an heir.
  • A Friend in Need:
    • Concern for his friend Robert's safety is a major motivation for Ned to accept the office of King's Hand.
    • Podrick refuses to betray Tyrion in exchange for a knighthood, even though the alternative is likely persecution.
    • Averted when Bronn jumps ship the minute he gets a better offer, just like he always said he would.
  • Friendless Background: Brienne is ostracized by Westerosi society due to her unattractiveness, large size, and her pursuit of a traditionally masculine occupation.
  • Friendly Enemy: Mance Rayder treats Jon with surprising respect instead of just killing him in "The Children."
  • Friendly Sniper: Anguy the Archer is one of the deadliest archers in Westeros and a genuinely friendly guy.
  • From Bad to Worse: A major theme in the series. Anyone Can Die, Hope Spots abound, and Winter is Coming. Earn Your Bittersweet Ending is really the best anyone can hope for at this point.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Melisandre, the terrifying Red Priestess with great powers, reveals to Gendry that she was once a slave.
    • Daenerys rises from a timid bride to a Young Conqueror.
      "A fortnight ago I had no army, a year ago I had no dragons."
    • Walder Frey goes from a unpleasant but relatively harmless Dirty Old Man to the regicidal lord paramount of the Riverlands without even leaving his chair.
  • Frontline General: As a medieval society where fighting prowess is an important aspect of generalship, commanders in Westeros commonly take the field with their men.
    • Robert Baratheon won his throne by slaying his counterpart (and second cousin) Rhaegar Targaryen in battle.
    • Khal Drogo's only claim to leadership is his ability to be this.
    • Robb and Jaime both lead their men into battle, which allows Robb to capture Jaime by surprising him in the Whispering Wood.
    • Lord Commander Mormont flat-out refuses to sit meekly at Castle Black and takes command of the great ranging beyond the Wall.
    • In the Battle of Blackwater, Tyrion approves of Joffrey joining the troops on the walls for morale even though Tyrion is actually in command. Indeed, when Cersei orders Joffrey brought back to the Red Keep, the soldiers falter and Tyrion is forced to lead a sortie himself to shame them into action.
    • In direct contrast to Joffrey, Stannis Baratheon inspires him men by being the first off the boats and the first up the ladder.
    • Tywin Lannister and Loras Tyrell lead the cavalry charge that wins the Battle of Blackwater.
    • During the Battle of Castle Black, Alliser Thorne and Jon Snow do this for the Night's Watch while Styr and Tormund do it for the wildlings. When tasked with defending the inner gate, Grenn is also front and center among his men.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Hobb, Castle Black's cook, kills a few wildlings by flinging boiling stew and then pummeling them with his cooking pot.
  • Full Boar Action: King Robert Baratheon is killed by a boar in a Hunting Accident.
  • Full-Circle Revolution:
    • Robert's Rebellion to depose and punish Mad King Aerys Targaryen for his atrocities resulted in atrocities against King's Landing and the Targaryen family that go entirely unpunished. Years later, Robert is enraged by objections to assassinating a pregnant Targaryen, including the declaration that only "fear and blood" keeps the kingdoms in line, an alarming echo of the Targaryen motto "Fire and Blood."
    • No sooner has Daenerys completed her Slave Liberation in Slaver's Bay than she must face uprisings against her regime.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: After shrinking away when Jaime first joins her in Harrenhal's baths, Brienne rises to confront him when he mocks her failure to protect Renly. It's so sudden and powerful that Jaime apologizes immediately.
  • Full-Name Basis:
    • Ygritte is quite fond of Jon Snow's full name.
    • The Spice King refers to Xaro Xoan Daxos by his full name for the benefit of the audience during his introduction.
  • Functional Addict: Tyrion and Cersei both spend an inordinate amount of time with a cup of wine in hand, particularly when they are nervous or upset, but it generally doesn't affect their control of a situation.
  • The Fundamentalist:
    • Melisandre is out to spread the good news about the Lord of Light. The good news is that all your false gods will be thrown in a fire. The bad news is you might just join them if you don't go along with her.
    • Stannis' wife Queen Selyse is a fanatic supporter of Melisandre and her red god.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Ser Barristan cannot openly disagree with his king, but his facial expressions when Renly and Robert are arguing in "A Golden Crown" shows that he actually supports the younger brother's War Is Hell rant.
    • In "Fire and Blood", Joffrey orders Sansa to accompany him; he wants to show her something. What's going on in the background (and mercifully out of focus)? A minstrel who insulted the late King Robert having his tongue ripped out.
    • In "Garden of Bones", Loras laughs merrily after Renly makes his ham joke, but as soon as Catelyn starts talking, the Knight of Flowers becomes annoyed and sighs heavily.
    • In "Valar Morghulis", it turns out that the Dothraki can lift the peacock statue from Daxos' palace after all.
    • In "Two Swords", Janos Slynt's derisive laugh when Jon mentions that Mance's army includes giants peters out hilariously when all the experienced officers take the claim seriously.
    • Loras appears to be flirting with a young nobleman while Cersei recounts the story of the Reynes of Castamere in "Second Sons."
    • When Joffrey rises to inspect his new Valyrian sword in "The Lion and the Rose," Mace Tyrell raises his eyebrow at Tywin and his wordless query is, "Are you sure it's wise to give that maniac a deadly weapon?"
    • During the applause in the sept during the royal wedding, Oberyn sneaks a glimpse of Loras Tyrell, perhaps indicating that he thinks Loras is more attractive than his sister Margaery.
    • Varys expressing his opinion of various scenes, particularly council meetings with only Facial Dialogue such as eye rolls become a Running Gag.
  • Funny Foreigner: Shae accuses Tyrion of seeing her this way and sarcastically dubs herself "Shae the Funny Whore."