Game Of Thrones: Tropes L to O
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- Named Weapons:
- House Stark's ancestral greatsword is called "Ice."
- Jon Snow receives House Mormont's ancestral bastard sword "Longclaw."
- In "The North Remebers," Melisandre stages a ritual in which Stannis retrieves a burning sword that she proclaims is the mythical sword "Lightbringer."
- As part of his Miles Gloriosus personality, Joffrey gives his swords names like "Hearteater" and "Widow's Wail".
- Brienne of Tarth names her Valyrian steel sword "Oathkeeper," referencing the oath she and Jaime swore to return Catelyn Stark's daughters to their home.
- Arya names her rapier "Needle" as an ironic jab at her distaste for girly pursuits like needlework.
- Arya recounts that Visenya Targaryen, sister-wife of Aegon the Conqueror, had a sword called "Dark Sister."
- The Hound disapproves of this practice.
Arya: Lots of people name their swords!
The Hound: Lots of cunts.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Characters with nicknames like the Hound, the Mountain, the Kingslayer, and the Young Wolf make this a staple of the series. Nearly all of them live up to the names.
- The Necromancer:
- The White Walkers reanimate those they kill as undead wights.
- Thoros of Myr has resurrected Beric Dondarrion six times, although he sees it as a Healing Hands type power.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight:
- Harren the Black (the founder of Harrenhal) should have known better than to spend decades building the world's largest castle when his neighbors had dragons.
- Pyat Pree though he could keep Daenerys and her dragons chained up for eternity. Bad idea.
- Never Heard That One Before: Salladhor Saan relates a certain joke to a couple of prostitutes, who beat him to the punchline. Davos asks them if there's any pirate in Braavos who hasn't told that one.
- Never Say That Again: Tyrion and Tywin on using the word "whore" to describe Shae. Tyrion keeps his word.
- Never Live It Down: Several examples in-universe:
- Jaime Lannister is derogatorily known as "Kingslayer" for his Bodyguard Betrayal, even by people who knew said king was insane and whose successful rebellion forced Jaime into that position. Jaime has struggled with Then Let Me Be Evil ever since.
- Catelyn never quite forgives or forgets that Ned was unfaithful to her and sired Jon Snow.
- The Lannisters and perhaps the Boltons are careful to officially distance themselves from the Red Wedding, since they know such a blatant violation of Sacred Hospitality will stain them for generations.
Tyrion: Oh, I know. Walder Frey gets all the credit... or the blame, I suppose, depending on your alliegence.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Margaery tries to invoke this trope when Joffrey demands to know why she didn't provide an heir to Renly while they were married. It doesn't work because Joffrey considers him to be a traitor undeserving of any respect even after death. Margaery then does her best to answer her betrothed's question without being too brusque about Renly's sexuality.
- News Travels Fast: Varies depending on characters' proximity to each other and messenger ravens, and generally handwaved by an implied Dashed Plot Line.
- News of Ned Stark's death spreads across Westeros over the course of the next episode, with characters in the North, the Riverlands, and at the Wall reacting to it.
- Justified when Stannis Baratheon publishes the illegitimacy of Cersei's children very widely and it catches by Word Of Mouth. By Season 4, it's spread across the Narrow Sea to Braavos and Meereen.
- Since Daenerys has been living with the nomadic Dothraki and wandering the Red Waste, she learns Westeros has plunged into a Succession Crisis only after arriving at the port of Qarth. Later, when she's settled in the major port at Meereen, she receives news much faster.
- Arya and the Hound spend most of Season 4 out of the loop as they cross the Riverlands.
- Nice Guy:
- Renly is one of the few characters who treats Brienne with respect and kindness. He even accepts her into his Kingsguard despite knowing it will cause a scandal with his bannermen, his wife, and his lover, perhaps because he knows the sting of not adhering to defined gender roles.
- Davos stands out as a down-to-earth, morally-upstanding man able to relate amiably to nearly everyone from king to commoner.
- Brienne of Tarth can be surly at times but she is also loyal, honourable, and compassionate.
- Barristan Selmy is famed in-universe as a paragon of knighthood and proves polite enough to give an accused spy a heads-up before informing his queen.
- Samwell Tarly never so much as raises his voice to another character until he really wants Pyp to open the fucking gate in "Watchers on the Wall," which Pyp immediately lampshades.
Pyp: "I never heard you curse before."
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Congratulations, Sansa! Lying to the king and queen about Joffrey got your own direwolf killed!
- Congratulations, Ned! Ignoring Littlefinger and Renly's advice has led to Cersei and Joffrey ruling, your guards all being killed, and you being arrested and eventually killed!
- Congratulations, Catelyn! Capturing Tyrion Lannister has compromised the safety of your husband and daughters in the capital, and caused his father to unleash Gregor Clegane on the lands of your own family!
- Congratulations, Robert! Sending assassins after Daenerys managed to piss off Drogo enough that he changed his mind about not invading Westeros!
- Kudos, Daenerys! Saving a wise woman from rape and then asking her to save the life of your husband has led to said husband winding up as an Empty Shell and your son to be stillborn.
- Good job, Mirri! Destroying everything of value to the naive queen you sought revenge against has made her more cunning and dangerous than her deceased husband or stillborn son could ever have been. Bonus points for teaching her that mercy is for the weak, giving her a crash course in blood magic, and providing the means for her to hatch three dragons.
- Congratulations, Robb!
- Sending Theon home in an attempt to gain military support resulted in the exact thing your father prevented by keeping Theon as a hostage in the first place, and now you have to fight a war on two fronts!
- Executing Lord Karstark despite all counsel lost you the support of his soldiers, forcing you to turn to the infamously untrustworthy Freys whom you already pissed off by breaking a marriage pact!
- Kudos, Loras!
- By inciting Renly to make a bid for the throne you made a civil war worse and got your lover killed.
- By telling Olyvar about your secret betrothal, the information is passed to the Lannisters, who move to block your family's plan.
- Jaime lies about Brienne's family wealth to prevent Locke from raping her, but later Locke refuses to ransom her because he expects more.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: Congrats Joffrey! By killing all of Robert's bastards you've confirmed in the eyes of many that you know they had a better claim to the throne than you and given your enemies the rallying cry "The Queen kills babies!" If Tyrion wanted to slap you before, imagine how he thinks of you now.
- Nice to the Waiter:
- In "What Is Dead May Never Die", Renly shows concern for the common soldiers in his army, making the effort to remember their names and keep track of their problems.
- Right after chiding his underlings, Lord Tywin treats his cupbearer Arya with a surprising amount of respect and warmth. Combined with some exposition of his backstory, their interactions effectively show Tywin's more humane side. Then he leaves her behind with Gregor Clegane.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Ramsay Snow, whose appetite for torture seems to know no bounds.
- Night of the Living Mooks: People killed by the White Walkers come back as wights.
- The Night That Never Ends:
- Winter is coming, and with it the days grow shorter. There is an in-universe Fairy Tale of a Long Night that lasted a generation the last time the White Walkers invaded Westeros.
- Stannis mentions it by name in "Second Sons" when discussing Melisandre's prophecies with Davos.
- Nipple and Dimed: It's beginning to look like most of the adult actresses have clauses in their contracts that require them to appear at least partially, if not fully, nude at least once.
- Noble Fugitive:
- Viserys and Daenerys are the last scions of their deposed dynasty and are served by the exiled lord Jorah Mormont and later by the exiled knight Ser Barristan Selmy.
- Later, the surviving Starks and Tyrion Lannister.
- No Dead Body Poops: Robert discusses this one when he's reminiscing on old war experiences and how everything gets romanticized.
Robert: You never hear about how [the slain] all shit themselves. They don't put that part in the songs.
- No, Except Yes: This exchange in "Nightlands":
Janos: I won't have my honor questioned by an imp!
Tyrion: I'm not questioning your honor Lord Janos... I'm denying its existence.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- Daenerys believes this of Mirri Maz Duur's betrayal until Mirri points out that Daenerys' beloved husband was the cause of all her woes in the first place.
- Jaime Lannister intercedes to prevent Brienne from getting raped, is spite of dueling with her just hours before. This compounds his captors' enmity, leading them to chop off his hand.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Robb Stark is shot with crossbows, stabbed in the heart, and decapitated.
- No Name Given:
- The Spice King insists his name is too long and hard for foreigners to pronounce, perhaps because he is a Canon Foreigner.
- Non-Indicative Name: The Artifact Title "Seven Kingdoms" originally refered to the seven independent nations of Westeros that existed before Aegon's Conquest: The North, the Mountain and Vale, the Isles and Rivers, the Rock, the Reach, the Stormlands, and Dorne. Following the Conquest, the Riverlands and Crownlands were separated from the Iron Islands and Stormlands respectively and Dorne was only added two centuries later, creating one kingdom with nine provinces.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: Ser Alliser Thorne tells Jon and Sam that he and some others were reduced to cannibalism when stranded beyond the Wall the previous winter.
- No Periods, Period:
- Averted in "Winter is Coming." The second thing Cersei ever says to Sansa is the question, "Have you bled yet?"
- Later, in "A Man Without Honor," Sansa has a Catapult Nightmare of being stabbed brought on by the cramps of her first period. Realizing her period means she can now be married to Joffrey, she panics and tries to hide the evidence.
- Non-Indicative Name: The Dothraki Sea is not even remotely a large body of salt water. Rather, it is an area of rolling grassy plains, so named for its immense size and how easy it is to get lost in there.
- Non-Specifically Foreign: Shae, played by Turkish-German actress Sibel Kekilli, playfully refuses to tell Tyrion where she's from, but Cersei pegs her as Lorathi, perhaps because Jaqen H'ghar (who claims to be from Lorath) is played by fellow German actor Tom Wlaschiha.
- Noodle Incident:
- Tyrion's list of "confessions" in "A Golden Crown" is cut off before he can describe an escapade involving bringing a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel.
Robin Arryn: What happened next?
- What Podrick did with/to the prostitutes that they liked so much they refused to accept payment. This one borders on Running Gag in Season 4.
- When Tyrion is drinking with Bronn, the latter admits his first kill was a woman when he was a child. When he gets frowned at, the only background given to justify it is that she swung an axe at him.
- North Is Cold, South Is Hot: The farther north you go in Westeros, the colder it gets, progressive from the southernmost deserts of Dorne to the arctic glaciers beyond the Wall in the north.
- Nostalgia Filter: King Robert likes to muse about the good old days, before he was king. You know, when the entire country was either ruled by an insane dictator or in a state of civil war. His younger brother Renly does not hesitate to call him out on this.
- Not So Different:
- Tyrion muses that the difference between the people of the Seven Kingdoms and the wildlings is that when the Wall was built, their ancestors just happened to be on the right side.
- Ned insists in "The Wolf and the Lion" that assassinating Daenerys will make them no better than the Mad King they overthrew.
- Maester Luwin asks Theon if he should really be mocking Osha for her situation in Winterfell, because "a prisoner and a guest" describes his situation almost exactly.
- Maester Aemon reveals to Jon Snow that he knows all about the pain and frustration of being torn between duty and family. Even as a blind old man he chafed at remaining on the Wall while his entire dynasty, even the little children, was overthrown and slaughtered. Bonus points for identifying with Jon despite Jon being the bastard son of one of those overthrowers.
- Tywin telling a disguised Arya how much she reminds him of his daughter. Surely Arya was thrilled.
- The Hound claims that Bronn is a Blood Knight much like himself. The jury's still out on how much either of them actually qualifies.
- Tyrion's final words to the father he has just fatally wounded: "I am your son. I have always been your son."
- Not So Extinct: People from Westeros and Essos believe that the ice-demonic White Walkers and fire-breathing dragons are creatures only found in tales and songs from the past. People are proven wrong by the end of Season 1.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Jamie tried to use this on Bran in "Winter is Coming". It didn't work.
- The Nothing After Death: According to Beric, the "other side" is just darkness.
- Number Two: The office of Hand of the King could be considered this, but depending on where the individual who holds the title falls on the morality scale, or where their king falls for that matter, this could also be The Dragon.
Jaime: "What's the line? 'The King shits, and the Hand wipes.'" note
- The Oathbreaker:
- Deserters from the Night's Watch are summarily executed as oathbreakers.
- Jaime Lannister is widely reviled for killing the king he swore to protect, and provides the page quote.
- In "Two Swords," Jon Snow must defend himself from accusations of oathbreaking for his unplanned stint as The Mole among the wildlings.
- Obfuscating Disability: Grand Maester Pycelle's hidden spryness and sharpness of mind, despite his age and apparent senility. One deleted scene with Tywin makes it particularly explicit.
- Obligatory Joke: Anything related to Tyrion's height.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: Take your pick.
- Arya's scenes in Harrenhal before Tywin arrives.
- The hanged women Jaime and Brienne find in "Valar Morghulis."
- Locke's torture and abuse of Jaime and Brienne.
- The murders of Willem and Martyn Lannister in "Kissed By Fire."
- Occult Blue Eyes: The eyes of the wights and White Walkers. The wight from "Winter is Coming" even provides the page image.
- Odd Friendship: Samwell Tarly and Jon Snow, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion and Bronn's odd friendship has received the buddy comedy treatment.
- Oddly Small Organization: The "Warlocks of Qarth" apparently consist entirely of a single guy: Pyat Pree.
- Offhand Backhand: Jaime shoves Bran out the window with a sudden but casual shove while not bothering to look at him.
- Offing the Offspring:
- Old Nan tells a story about women smothering their babies rather than see them starve during a winter that lasted a generation.
- Tyrion suspects his father is putting him in the vanguard of a battle to invoke this, and Tywin is not particularly excited to see him alive afterward.
- Tyrion remarks to Jon Snow that if he had been born a peasant he might have been left in the woods to die. In "Mhysa," Tywin confesses he considered it, but changed his mind becaue Tyrion was still a Lannister.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
- In "Baelor," two major battles occur, but only the aftermaths are shown. First Tyrion gets knocked unconscious by the rush of clansmen following a Rousing Speech and only wakes up after the battle, then Robb is shown returning triumphant from battle with Jaime Lannister as his prisoner.
- The sack of Yunkai happens almost completely offscreen. Dany's three champions fight off an initial wave of guards, then report back that they've fomented a slave uprising. Later, the sack of Meereen only shows a single master getting swarmed by angry slaves in a narrow alley.
- Off with His Head!:
- Ned Stark has an enormous greatsword called Ice made of Valyrian steel that he uses for beheadings, as he does a Night's Watch deserter in "Winter is Coming." In "Baelor," he himself is beheaded with his own sword.
- In "The Old Gods and the New," Theon beheads a man using an ordinary longsword and botches it, eventually kicking the head off. Proof if proof were needed that Theon is no Ned Stark.
- In "Kissed By Fire," Robb beheads Lord Rickard Karstark for treason in a scene with obvious parallels to Theon's, but Robb takes the head off clean.
- Oh, Crap:
- Varys' reaction when Littlefinger reveals he is aware of Varys' secret meeting with Illyrio.
- Jaime and Cersei's reactions to learning Bran may live.
- Tyrion's reaction to Catelyn talking a whole tavern into arresting him.
- Loras when he realizes that the Mountain is about to attack him with a sword at the Tourney of the Hand. Loras doesn't have a weapon at this point, only a shield to protect himself.
- Viserys once he realizes what is meant by giving him a "golden crown."
- Jaime when he realizes Ned Stark just rope-a-doped him.
- Bronn when Tyrion tells him that Lord Tywin is placing them in the vanguard in the next day's battle.
- Tyrion upon seeing Stannis' charging forces at the Battle of Blackwater.
- Arya in disguise as Tywin Lannister's cupbearer at Harrenhal when they announced that Littlefinger has arrived. A similar scene occurs when the Hound is found by "The Brotherhood Without Banners" and she does get recognized as a Stark.
- Davos realising the Blackwater has been filled with wildfire.
- The Season 2 finale.
Grenn: Three blasts? Edd: RUN!
- Kraznys, when he learns that Dany can speak Valyrian. Doubly so when he hears her order the Unsullied to kill him. Missandei is a bit quicker on the uptake, getting her Oh, Crap shot the moment Dany addresses her new troops.
- The Hound's expression when Beric lights his sword on fire.
- Catelyn when the Frey musicians start playing "The Rains of Castamere". And again when she realizes that Roose Bolton is wearing armor to a wedding.
- Joffrey gets this in "Mhysa" when he calls Tywin a coward and remembers too late who the most powerful man in Westeros actually is.
- Lysa when Littlefinger tells her that the only woman he ever loved is Catelyn, shortly before he pushes her out of the Moon Door to her death.
- In "The Mountain and the Viper", Tywin has one when Oberyn tries to get Ser Gregor to confess who gave the order to murder Elia. Tyrion and Jaime join in after Gregor crushes Oberyn's head.
- The Night's Watch get very pale and Alliser stops being so sure of himself when Jon declares that the Wildlings have got Giants on their side.
- Many characters react in shock and fear when when the Stark direwolves make their presence known. Several Starks deliberately use their wolves to intimidate others.
- Old Master: Ser Barristan Selmy.
- Old Retainer: Ser Rodrik Cassel and Maester Luwin to the Starks.
- Old Soldier: Qhorin Halfhand, Jeor Mormont, and Rodrik Cassel.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Maesters wear a chain with each link representing mastery of a different field of study, and they are expected to earn as many as possible.
- One Steve Limit:
- Robert Arryn is named Robin (after a nickname from the books) to avoid confusion with King Robert Baratheon.
- Asha Greyjoy is named Yara to avoid confusion with Osha the wildling.
- Averted with the White Walkers and their zombie minions, the wights since "white" and "wight" are homophones.
- Averted with the Freys. One of the two descendents Lord Walder Frey sends to arrange Edmure and Roslin's marriage is known as Black Walder to differentiate him.
- The One That Got Away: Lyanna for Robert and Catelyn for Littlefinger.
- Only a Flesh Wound: The series generally averts the trope, but some primary characters do seem to be Made of Iron.
- When Ned gets speared in the leg in "The Wolf and the Lion," he's unconcious for a long period between episodes and weak for several episodes after, requiring a cane to get around.
- When Khal Drogo allows himself to be cut by an uppity tribesman, Daenerys and Mirri Maz Duur agree the wound must be washed and sewn. Unfortunately, it festers anyway—possibly due to Mirri's sabotage—and by the next episode he's dying of blood poisoning.
- Tyrion loses consciousness after being wounded in the face during "Blackwater."
- Played Straight when Jon Snow recovers from three serious arrow wounds between "Mhysa" and "Two Swords" before wildlings who shot him can even make their next move. In "Watchers on the Wall," Jon also survives having his head smashed on an anvil hard enough to kill anyone not Made of Iron.
- Only Friend: "Friend" might be stretching it a bit, but Davos is the only man Stannis trusts and respects completely.
- Only in It for the Money:
- Bronn makes this clear to Tyrion. When his services earn him a knighthood, he insists on a higher wage. Eventually, Bronn accepts money and an advantageous marriage to not stand champion for Tyrion in a Trial by Combat, a deal Tyrion cannot match.
- Littlefinger points out that the gold cloaks will support whoever pays their salary.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Hot Pie and the Tickler.
- Only Sane Employee: This seems to be the purpose of the office of Hand of the King.
- Robert lampshades it when conferring the title on Eddard:
"I'm not trying to honour you, I'm trying to get you to run my kingdom while I eat, drink, and whore my way to an early grave!
- Tywin Lannister's first term as Hand was the most peaceful and prosperous period in recent history, which says something considering Aerys later became known as "The Mad King."
- Davos Seaworth is this for Stannis' faction, caught between his inflexibly righteous boss and his religiously fanatical co-advisor.
- Only Sane Man:
- Renly feels he is this, and as of "You Win or You Die", he might be right.
- Tyrion has hints of this on his trip to the Eyrie.
- Varys has shades of this as well. When asked by Ned who he truly serves, he simply says "The realm, Lord Stark. Someone must."
- At several points early in her relationship with Khal Drogo and the Dothraki, and with her brother becoming more insane by the day, Daenerys gives the impression she feels this way, until her friendship with Jorah solidifies.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Some of the actors' natural accents do slip through, such as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's native Danish, Richard Madden's Scottish accent and Michelle Fairley's Northern Irish accent. American Peter Dinklage's English accent is not totally correct, but is at least consistent.
- Oop North: Winterfell and the Starks are Northern, and the accents of the actors involved reflect this, especially textbook Yorkshireman Sean Bean as Ned. Bean's contract specified that he be allowed to use his native accent for the role. Conversely, those associated with the Lannisters and/or the South tend to speak with RP (BBC English). The Northeners' general opinion of the South is broadly similar to cultural stereotypes between the South of England and the North.
- Open Secret:
- Joffrey being born out of incest. As of "A Man Without Honour" in the second season, even Jaime and Cersei have given up denying it.
- Renly and Loras seem to have done a poor job trying to conceal their illicit romance. Even two lowborn Lannister soldiers on the other side of the country have heard the rumors.
- Otherworldly And Sexually Ambiguous: The Seven Gods consist of a male trinity (Father, Warrior, Smith), a female trinity (Mother, Maiden, Crone), and the Stranger (Death) who is neither.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons are fire-breathing, egglaying wyverns with batlike forelimb wings who exhibit high animal intelligence and a strong link to magic (though the cause-effect relationship is still unclear). Given enough food and space they grow continuously with most able to carry human riders and some large enough to "swallow a horse whole." They also possess a strong imprinting instinct and eat only cooked meat.
- Our Elves Are Better: The Children of the Forest are a race of short forest-dwellers with magical powers who have been slowly pushed out of Westeros by humans. Bran encounters one in "The Children."
- Our Giants Are Bigger: They are about twice the height of a grown man and look like humans with a low brow and oversized thick legs to make them Square/Cube Law compliant.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Although wolves are common, wargs can take control of all kinds of animals, such Orell's eagle and a Thenn who can control an owl. Bran even wargs into Hodor on occassion.
- Our Wights Are Different: The corpses reanimated by the White Walkers have blue eyes and can only be killed by fire.
- Out of the Inferno: Daenerys emerges unburnt from a funeral pyre with three baby dragons.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Cersei Lannister proves a competent schemer in her own right by facilitating her husband's death and ingratiating herself to her opponent's judges.note Unfortunately, she happens to be sister to Chessmaster Tyrion, twin to Master Swordsman Jaime, and daughter to Dragon-in-Chief warlord Tywin. Even her own son Joffrey overshadows her in-universe by completely resisting any of her attempts to be the power behind the throne.