Game of Thrones is an HBO series based on George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.In the land of Westeros, the seasons last for years. The story opens with the threat of a long winter fast approaching. The Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, has unexpectedly died. King Robert ventures north to Winterfell to name his old friend, Eddard Stark, his new Hand and second in command. Despite the concerns of his wife, Catelyn, Eddard reluctantly accepts his new title out of duty. While there, he uncovers evidence that Jon Arryn was murdered—and that the hand behind Arryn's death may now be poised to strike the king. The plot thickens and twists from thereon.The series was adapted for television by David Benioff and Dan Weiss. In describing the series to newcomers, Benioff jokingly called it "The SopranosmeetsMiddle-earth". The producers and Martin have a tentative plan for eight seasons, with Book 3 (itself the length of the entire LotR trilogy) being split into two. This is also partially a delaying action, as Book 6 is only partially written and Book 7 but a gleam in Martin's eye; fortunately, contingency plans for a Gecko Ending have been set in case Martin isn't able to write fast enough.The show premiered on April 17, 2011. The first season was nominated for 13 Emmy awards, winning two — Best Opening Title and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister) and the second season won six creative Emmy Awards.HBO's official site, featuring behind-the-scenes teasers, can be found here, whilst the main fan nexus is Winter Is Coming.Has an episode recap guide.Vote for your favorite episode here.
This series provides examples of:
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Action Girl: Cultures throughout the world see women of action in a variety of lights, from acceptance to scorn.
Arya Stark practices swordplay and looks up to fellow action girls from Westerosi history, such as Visenya Targaryen, sister of Aegon the Conqueror, and Nymeria, Warrior Queen of the Rhoynar (after whom she names her direwolf).
Brienne of Tarth is a large and strong woman whose one want in life was to be a knight. She has dealt her entire life with the scorn of others for her choice of a non-traditional role.
Yara Greyjoy after all her older brothers were killed in battle and her younger brother taken hostage, she was the only child of the Greyjoy line left and took on the role her eldest brother would have served at her father's side.
Wildling spearwives such as Ygritte and Osha.
Meera Reed is skilled with weapons and acts as her brother Jojen's protector.
Jorah Mormont in the book is hairy, balding and "not handsome," which is a stark contrast to how he looks in the series (played by Iain Glen). Eloquently demonstrated here◊.
Tyrion Lannister is described as having not only dwarfism but also a deformed face. Peter Dinklage portrays him without facial deformity and is even called rather handsome by Margaery. The facial wound he receives on the Blackwater is also much less grievous than in the books, in which he loses most of his nose.
Lysa Arryn is described as being very fat and wearing a thick coat of painted makeup. In the series, she is extremely skinny and looks like a more gaunt version of her sister Catelyn Stark.
Robin Arryn is a normal-looking child in the show, while in the books he's sickly and small for his age, constantly has a runny nose and watery eyes, and suffers bouts of shaking fits.
In the books, Dagmer Cleftjaw has a horrible scar that splits his lower face in half. In the show, the scar is in the left side of his face and is not that noticeable.
Brienne is described as extremely ugly in the books, but she's fairly average, apart from her height, in the series. She is, however, much plainer than her actress is in real life.
Ygritte is described in the book as as short for her age, skinny but well-muscled, with a round face, small hands, a pug nose, and crooked white teeth, but considered beautiful by Jon. In the series, she is played by the conventionally attractive Rose Leslie.
Arya Stark is usually described as "horse-faced". In the series, she is round-faced and cute.
In the books, Osha is said to hardly look like a woman. She's lean, tall and covered in scars, with a hard face. In the show, she's played by Natalia Tena, an attractive actress with a feminine and unblemished physique. Her costuming, including a shapeless robe and scraggly hair, goes a way towards toning it down.
In the books, Brienne has a very awkward and insecure personality. She also only barely manages to beat Jaime in a swordfight, in spite of his emaciated condition and manacled hands. In the show, she's angrier and more self-confident. She also defeats Jaime rather casually even though he's in better condition than he is in the book.
According to Word of God, Ned in the books is only an average swordsman for his social class, while his older brother was a bigger and better fighter. In the show, Ned has a reputation as being a very strong swordsman and even matches the Kingslayer during their duel. Littlefinger also calls Ned "an even more impressive specimen" than his older brother.
In the novels, Stannis Baratheon may not be a slouch, but he prefers to lead as a general instead of at the front like his brother Robert. Not so in the show, where he leads the storm of King's Landing personally.
Adaptational Heroism: Several characters are presented as more sympathetic than they are in the books.
Cersei Lannister gets several scenes in Season 1 that underlines her miserable marriage to Robert, her sympathy for Bran Stark's injury that she caused, and scenes showing her main virtue (love for her family, save Tyrion). Two of her biggest Kick the Dog moments from the second book are done by Joffrey instead. Her relationship with Tyrion is also considerably less antagonistic. They still don't like each other much, but they at least share a modicum of respect and even understanding, while in the books their relationship is nothing short of absolute mutual hatred.
Renly Baratheon is changed from a prideful Sleazy Politician with entitlement issues to a serious and thoughtful young man who rebels against Joffrey out of a genuine sense that he'd be better at the job. His main Kick the Dog moment (mocking Brienne of Tarth behind her back) is changed to genuinely respecting her abilities and service.
In the books, it's left ambiguous for a long time whether Shae really loves Tyrion or is Only in It for the Money. The latter interpretation is very difficult to take away from the show's version of the character, given for example her jealousy at the prospect of anyone else taking him from her. Serving as a Cool Big Sister to Sansa is also original to the show.
Tywin in the books is a JerkassMagnificent Bastardchessmaster who has little regard for his children except for what they can do to further his agenda, and is willing to do whatever it takes to secure the Lannister's power base. In the series, he's still stern and at times cold, but is more of a Pragmatic Villain who believes he's doing what must be done instead of the complete asshole he comes across as in the books. He also has a different role in season two compared to A Clash of Kings that casts him into the role of Arya's master instead of Weese and Roose Bolton, making her a Morality Pet that brings out a softer and more obviously paternal side before he leaves her.
Theon's motivations (his feelings of rejection, his desire to belong to at least one of his families, and belated realisation that he wanted to be a Stark) as well as his horror at his own actions are shown much more clearly and earlier than in the books.
Tyrion Lannister is "the grayest of the gray" in the books, perGeorge R. R. Martin. The show omits virtually all of the less than heroic aspects of his character in favour of making him a more traditional protagonist. He also benefits from the aforementioned adaptational heroism of his girlfriend Shae, whose much more sympathetic character changes what was originally a purely shallow relationship based on Tyrion's misguided perception of her into a genuine love affair.
In the novels Sandor Clegane goes to Sansa's room during the Battle of Blackwater with the apparent intention of raping her, throwing Sansa onto the bed with a knife at her throat. The show has their confrontation be much less frightening, making her refusal to escape with Sandor to the North less understandable.
The show is no stranger to nudity; however, scenes in Qarth do not depict the custom of women wearing gowns that expose one breast, as described in the books, mainly because this would have been way too distracting.
The scene where Eddard & Catelyn receive the letter from Lysa claiming that it was the Lannisters who murdered Jon Arryn has both of them clothed, whereas they were naked in the books as they had just got done making love.
Due to laws about child nudity, a scene where Sansa Stark is stripped naked is changed to just having her dress ripped (with the implication that it would have gone further had Tyrion not intervened). Tyrion also spares her from having to undress on their wedding night; in the book, he doesn't back off from consummating the marriage until everyone's naked.
In the books, Xaro Xoan Daxos wants nothing more than to marry Dany so he can get control of one of her dragons, but in the show he allies with the warlocks to assassinate the rest of the Thirteen and seize control of the city, then imprison Daenerys and steal all of the dragons.
In the books, Doreah is a loyal servant. In a cut scene from the show, she strangles Irri to death and helps Xaro steal Dany's dragons.
Stannis nearly strangles Melisandre in "Valar Morghulis". In the novels, he was never physically violent towards a woman. Unlike his book counterpart, Stannis on the show is much more willing to sacrifice his nephew (Gendry on the TV series, Edric in the novels) to the Lord of Light.
Joffrey is a horrific little power-tripping psychopath in the books, but his show counterpart's taste for sexual violence against prostitutes is an exaggeration (or perhaps an extrapolation, given his age-up) of his sadistic streak.
In the books, Littlefinger isn't involved in anything so vile as serving up his prostitutes to necrophiliacs and serial killers. On the whole, his villainy is much more overt in the show.
In the books, Rast is just a bully who must be convinced to leave Sam Tarly alone and dies fighting wildlings with his brothers. In the show, he is upgraded to a prominent mutineer who actively wants Sam dead and personally murders the Lord Commander.
Adaptational Wimp: Renly's book counterpart is a big, burly man with an enthusiasm for jousts and battlenote Though he's mentioned as having no talent for battle at all, and enters jousts only to be beaten by better fighters and have a good laugh about it.. In the show he's of smaller stature and has no love for violence.
Adaptation Distillation: The show is an adaptation of a series of fantasy Doorstopper novels. Even with about 10 hours of screen time devoted to each book, there is a lot of condensing, particularly in the form of reducing the number and combining the roles of various characters. Individual scenes often convey the same plot-critical information as their book counterparts, but superfluous banter between characters or world-building exposition is toned down.
In the books, all the Stark kids except Jon and Arya are redheads like their mother. In the series, Sansa and Robb are the only redheads (Robb's is especially dark, but it is definitely red), Bran is Stark-colored and Rickon is a dark shade of blond.
The distinctive Baratheon black hair seems to be dark brown in the show, as is the case with Robert, Renly, Gendry, and Shireen.
Adaptation Expansion: Due to the POV-centred nature of the books, the show invented or expanded on scenes featuring major characters who don't have POVs in the books.
In the books, Khal Drogo removes Mirri Maz Dur's poultice, relies on the Dothraki healers instead, and his wound gets infected. This lends some credibility to Mirri, who criticized the Dothraki methods. In the TV series, they use Mirri's method, Drogo gets infected anyway, and Danaerys still trusts her to heal him. It's even heavily hinted that Mirri wanted him to die. It all makes Dany seem naive and oddly trusting of someone she knows little about.
In the second season, The Hound offers to help Sansa escape while he's fleeing the city. She refuses, as she does in the books. In the books her situation is less perilous and she already has a plot to escape of her own. In the show, however, she has no other alternative, so there's no motive for her to refuse so out of hand.
In the intro to the novel A Game of Thrones, the last surviving Night's Watchman is Gared, who stays with the horses during the Others' attack and flees when he hears fighting. In the series, the sole survivor is Will, who we see come face-to-face with the White Walkers. How or why he survived is never explained.
A similar event occurs in the Season 2 Finale: The White Walkers are shown looking at and walking past Sam, despite having no explained reason to leave him alive. In the prologue to A Storm of Swords (the chapter which this scene is drawn from), Sam is with the rest of the Night's Watch and doesn't explicitly come face to face with the Others.
The White Walkers are called "Others" by Westerosi main culture in the books. The show uses the wildling term for these beings because Capital Letters Are Magic doesn't come across in spoken lines, and it avoids any inadvertent reference to LOST.
Asha Greyjoy is renamed Yara to avoid confusion with Osha.
Two Slaver's Bay characters: Grazdan mo Ullhor of Astapor is renamed Greizhen mo Ullhor, while Grazdan mo Eraz of Yunkai is renamed Razdal mo Eraz. Apparently Grazdan is the Ghiscari equivalent of "Joe".
Adapted Out: Dozens of characters (including those with fairly important subplots) don't make it from page to screen—justified, of course as the books have Loads and Loads of Characters, even moreso than the show. Major examples include:
The Brave Companions. Jaqen, Rorge and Biter end up joining the Lannister army instead. Their roles after they go over to Roose Bolton have been substituted by a group of Bolton men-at-arms led by Locke, Bolton's Dragon.
Willas and Garlan Tyrell; part of their roles have been delegated to either Loras or Margaery.
The entirety of House Florent, who are some of Stannis' main supporters.
King Robert. He used to be a great warrior, but got fat while on the throne.
Magister Illyrio is overweight and has a high rank in Pentos.
The Spice King is fat and apparently leads the Thirteen of Qarth.
Adopt the Dog: After a moment of consideration, Renly grants Brienne's wish to join his Kingsguard. It would've been easier for him to adhere to everyone else's expectations by rejecting her request (he was presumably pondering the consequences of having a female protector during the brief pause), but he chooses to do the right thing by giving the position to a warrior who earned it, regardless of her gender. The reaction to Brienne's appointment is fairly negative; his bannermen audibly gasp, his wife gives him a Disapproving Look, and his lover berates him for it later that evening, but Renly sticks firmly to his decision.
Rory McCann, who plays Sandor Clegane, gets about a handful of lines per season, most of them short, and has gone at least a couple of episodes with no lines at all, or only one scene. He's billed as a regular for both seasons.
Harry Lloyd appeared in five episodes. Credited as a regular for all of them.
Season Two is worse; out of 25 actors credited in the opening sequence, fewer than half of them actually appear regularly. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Rory McCann appear in only half the season; Carice Van Houten, Natalie Dormer and James Cosmo appear in less than half the season. Cosmo himself is in only three episodes.
Conleth Hill and James Cosmo both appear in FEWER episodes after they are promoted to the opening titles, though they both cast even larger shadows in Season 2.
Season 2 copes with this problem by changing its opening titles for each episode, depending on who's actually in the episode, rather than who has what contract with HBO. Most prominently, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appears in only a few episodes, but when he does, he's always the third billed behind Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey.
Aerith and Bob: Well, Aerys and Robb. People from Westeros tend to have European names, some familiar (Robert, Jon) and others more exotic (Eddard, Sandor). People whose families hail from outside Westeros, such as the Dothraki and the Targaryens, have fantastical names (Aerys, Drogo).
Tywin Lannister is ruthless, cold-hearted, cruel and completely without mercy, having no problem with employing rape-happy psychopaths like Gregor Clegane, having his own garison decimated in order to root out an assassin, using his own children as pawns in his schemes to control Westeros, and generally treating Tyrion like shit. However, he starts to show shades of affability around Arya Stark, complimenting her on her intelligence and holding almost pleasant conversations with her; he even accepts a few smart-mouthed remarks at his expense - though he does warn her not to go too far.
Jaime also has shades of this, though he's more often than not into Laughably Evil territory rather than truly being sympathetic - up until season 3.
Afraid of Blood: Renly is squeamish around anything which is the least bit gory.
In the books, the Ned/Robert/Catelyn/Cersei/Jaime generation are in their early to mid 30s while the Dany/Jon/Robb generation are in their early teens. In the show, the older generation is implied to be somewhere in their early to mid 40s. The youths in the show are all aged up several years and are played by actors in their late teens to late 20s. According to the showrunners, this was also done partly because they didn't want to have to deal with 'kid' actors and partly because by casting older, any changes the kids might undergo as part of their aging would be less noticeable than if they'd cast them age appropriately. It also helps avoid the Deliberate Values Dissonance of Daenerys being in a positive sexual relationship at the age of 13.
In the books, Missandei is ten years old, while in the show she's an adult.
Viserys' death, which is treated as rather pathetic and sad after the character's sneering villainy through most of the show.
Doreah, who screams for forgiveness rather pathetically. Interestingly, the character's villainous actions were left on the cutting room floor, making it rather ambiguous as to whether she was a willing participant in the villany. This, along with it being Adaptational Villainy from the books (where she was good to the end), makes it all the worse.
The Alliance: Robert's Rebellion, which gathered four of the eight Great Houses against the King.
All There in the Manual: The Complete Guide to Westeros included in the Season 1 bluray. The Season 2 bluray includes not only the Histories & Lore section by also a War of the Five Kings feature that explains stuff like the origin of the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Houses that declare for Renly and then for Stannis, and even why the Greatjon is missing from Season 2.
All There in the Script: Dany's dragons are called Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, but you wouldn't know it if you hadn't read the books.
Alternate Universe: Game of Thrones Ascent, which follows the plot and events of the TV show (such as the death of Rakharo or Xaro Xhoan Daxos' betrayal) but incorporates elements of the novels: like Vaes Tolorro or Catelyn taking two Freys as wards.
And Another Thing...: Tywin Lannister ends some meetings with an afterthought. His hostile distaste for Tyrion's whoremonging ends two political conversations with his son, and when Tywin is heading for the door after a one-sided audience with King Joffrey, he feels the need to add a last second pleasantry, so he turns back and utters a condescending "Your Grace".
And I Must Scream: This fate is planned for Daenerys Targaryen at the end of Season 2; she ends up turning the tables with the same exact punishment for Xaro and Doreah.
Many Great Houses have an animal on their coat of arms that represents them and frequently tells you something about the house, metaphorically. It is implied that some houses have a paranormal affinity for their house animals. The Targaryens rode dragons in years past, and Daenerys displays an immunity to fire several times. The Stark children also seem to have a mystical bond with their direwolves.
The traditional sigil of House Baratheon is a black stag on a yellow background, which is most commonly associated with Robert in the series. After Stannis is converted to the faith of the Lord of the Light, his sigil becomes a black stag encased within a red heart surrounded by yellow flames. When Renly allies himself with the powerful House Tyrell, he incorporates the colours of his wife's (and lover's) sigil into his own, so he's represented by a golden stag on a field of green.
The astrolabe sun in the opening tells parts of the backstory using animals to stand in for the houses: the stag (Baratheon), the direwolf (Stark), the dragon (Targaryen), and the lion (Lannister). The dragon takes over and rules Westeros, then proceeds to go nuts, so the stag, lion and direwolf slay it; the stag now wears a crown and the wolf and lion bow to it. This is a metaphor for the fall of the Targaryens 17 years before the show starts.
The sigils next to the actors' names also correspond to their characters' Houses.
Varys is frequently referred to as the Spider, because he has a web of spies.
Sandor Clegane is known as The Hound, and in a manner of speaking he acts as a hound for Joffrey. The sigil for house Clegane is three dogs.
Littlefinger made his own sigil, a mockingbird.
Ravens and crows are a running motif. Ravens are used to send messages, Brannote A name derived from the Welsh for raven, incidentally sees a three-eyed crow in his dreams, and wildlings refer to Night's Watchmen as "crows" because of their black uniforms. The birds are also common in promotional artwork.
Anyone Can Die: Lampshaded by Arya in the season 2 trailer: "Anyone can be killed."note Martin joked on a panel that everyone would die by book 5, and book 6 would be a 1,000 page description of the snow blowing over their graves. The series itself runs with the trope, and the following characters prove it:
Season 1: Lady (Sansa's direwolf), Jory Cassel, Viserys Targaryen, Robert Baratheon, Ned Stark, Septa Mordane, all of House Stark's men in King's Landing, Khal Drogo, and Mirri Maz Duur.
Season 2: Cressen, Rakharo, Yoren, Lommy Greenhands, Renly Baratheon, The Tickler, Ser Rodrik Cassel, Ser Amory Lorch, Irri, Alton Lannister, The Thirteen, Matthos Seaworth, Ser Mandon Moore, Maester Luwin, Qhorin Halfhand, Pyat Pree, and most likely Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah
Season 3: Craster, Jeor Mormont, Kraznys mo Nakloz, Willem and Martyn Lannister, Rickard Karstark, Ros, Orell, Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Talisa Stark, Grey Wind (Robb's direwolf.)
A promo for season 4 that aired at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones panel parodied this with an "in memorium" video for all the characters that had died in the first three seasons.
Appeal to Force: A recurring theme of the series. Aegon didn't seize the kingdoms because he had any claim or right, he seized them because he could. Power may come from knowledge, the gods or derived from the law but ultimately a swordsman decides if a king, a priest, or a rich man live.
Lord Tywin: You really think a crown gives you power?
Theon is shown to be an excellent one in Season 1.
Joffrey is obsessed with crossbows and actually has impressive aim.
Anguy can angle a shot to come straight down on a target only a few feet in front of him.
Ramsay Snow is shown to be this in "Walk of Punishment", where he shoots and kills in quick succession all of the Bolton guards that were about to rape Theon.
Arc Number: Used in-universe in the Seven Kingdoms with the Faith of the Seven, worshiped primarily in the south. There are seven gods, seven Kingsguards, seven hells, etc. Perhaps by coincidence, the soundtrack to the second season trailer is "Seven Devils" by Florence and the Machine.
Arc Symbol: The Flayed Man sigil of House Bolton is prominent throughout Season 3, in response to the Boltons' expanded role and as a hint as to who is holding Theon prisoner.
Ser Hugh is killed in a joust when he's struck in the neck by a splinter of Gregor Clegane's lance. In the books, it's explained that he lacked a squire and so did not put on his gorget correctly; in the show he is clearly under armored compared to his opponent and it's subtly implied the armour was sabotaged.
Syrio defeats several armored guards with a wooden practice sword, knocking a few out by hitting them on the helmet before the Kingsguard breaks the stick.
Jorah Mormont gets into a debate with Rakharo over the merits of armor. Jorah argues that armor will make an arakh useless, while Rakharo believes speed trumps protection. Jorah is right, as Qotho fatally discovers.
Played straight when Bronn champions Tyrion against Ser Vardis Egan. Bronn refuses a shield and wears almost no armor, using his speed and maneuverability to simply evade his opponent until Egan's heavy armor exhausts him and makes him a sitting duck.
Balon: "We do not sow.We are Ironborn! We are not subjects, we are not slaves. We do not plow the fields, nor toil in the mine. We take what is ours! Your time with the wolves has made you weak!"
Theon: "You act as if I volunteered! You gave me away, if you remember?! The day you bent the knee to Robert Baratheon! After he crushed you! Did you take what was yours then?"
Theon is on the receiving end later, from Bran: "Did you hate us the whole time?" He didn't, but he's stuck between his sense of obligation to a family that hates him, as well as his loyalty to his birth culture (which he tried, and succeeded, in holding onto as Ned Stark's ward, no matter what Balon Greyjoy thinks) and a family that he loves and probably loved him (at least Robb did), but just not quite enough to make him ever stop feeling like an outsider and prisoner, and whom his asshole dad has chosen for an enemy.
Ascended Extra: Ros, a Canon Foreigner, was originally intended only for Tyrion's introductory scene, but they liked the actress and expanded her character into additional scenes, eventually turning her into a fairly major supporting character.
Ascended Fanboy: Jaime talks about how he idolized Barristan Selmy as a boy. When he grew up, he became Barristan's comrade in the Kingsguard.
Out of universe, the producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss, both avid fans of the series since at least 2005. The story goes that the two had met with George R.R. Martin in a restaurant to pitch the idea to him of adapting his series to television. Martin was unsure whether they were just looking for a hot fantasy property to adapt and make a quick buck, so he wanted to see if they really "got it". So he asked them one question and one question only: "Who is Jon Snow's mother?" No one has ever said if they got the "right" answer, but the producers knew enough to speak intelligently on the subject and convinced Martin that they really understood the story and would be able to adapt it faithfully. And the rest is history.
Asshole Victim: After The Red Wedding, Arya and the Hound happen on a group of four soldiers in the wilderness. Arya approaches them with the intent to kill them. Of course, they are revelling about the deaths of her older brother and mother. Them being rude to Arya certainly doesn't help their case either.
Asskicking Equals Authority: The Dothraki, the Wildlings, and the Mountain Clans. This is also the way Robert got the Iron Throne, but is somewhat deconstructed in that he's shown to be a terrible peacetime ruler who hates the job.
Jaime begins his first conversation with Cersei by reminding her that he is her brother, for the benefit of the audience. This scene wasn't in the original pilot and was written and included at the suggestion of HBO, who feared that the viewers would not get the significance of one banging the other in the last scene of the episode - despite the fact that Jaime enters Winterfell while Arya literally says "Look! It's Jaime Lannister, the Queen's twin brother!"
Tyrion spells out Jon's place in the Stark family to Jon himself, which is justified as firmly reminding him that no one else will ever forget he's a bastard, so he shouldn't try to deny it.
Jaime gives Jon a lot of exposition about the Wall and the Night's Watch, framed as a subtle warning about what he's getting himself into.
Lampshaded with the reveal about Varys: "Did you know Lord Varys is a eunuch?" "Everyone knows that!"
Tyrion describes the Greyjoy rebellion to Theon Greyjoy, along with pointing out that he's the Starks' ward. Maester Luwin is also fond of doing this. Of course in both cases they're just doing it to remind Theon he's not as awesome or as important or even as welcome as he thinks he is.
In the second season, Stannis describes the reason why he made Davos a knight to Davos himself. He makes it during a speech explaining why he considers Davos better than any of his other knights.
There are several examples of men in power due to their birth who are still fearsome fighters, such as Jaime Lannister and Robert Baratheon. King Stannis Baratheon takes the cake when he personally leads the assault over the wall of King's Landing in "Blackwater", and fights like a One-Man Army.
Tyrion Lannister gives a justification for this trope when he notes that the social elite get much better equipment and are trained from birth in combat. Jon Snow finds this out when he joins the Watch and his lowborn fellow recruits barely know which end of a sword to hold.
Aegon the Conqueror deliberately had the Iron Throne made so it would be uncomfortable to sit on.
Harrenhal is the greatest fortress in the Seven Kingdoms. It's also a logistical nightmare, practically impossible to man and govern properly, which is why the Lannister troops abandon it, rather than defend it, when the Northern army arrives.
Awesome McCoolname: In a world of fantasy that is Game of Thrones, it's pretty much standard.
In "Fire and Blood," we get two: first, the Stark bannermen proclaim Robb the King in the North following Eddard's death, and then Daenerys proclaims herself the new leader of the khalasar after Drogo's death.
Also, appropriately enough, in "A Golden Crown" for Viserys. "Tremble to behold" indeed. Though that's really a Horrifying Moment of Crowning that's only Awesome by virtue of the crownee being a first-rate Asshole Victim.
Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Khal Drogo really didn't care all that much about Westeros, until Robert tried to assassinate Daenerys. Then he becomes hell-bent on vengeance.
The words of each Noble House is one — Bran mentions House Baratheon's "Ours is the Fury," House Greyjoy's "We Do Not Sow," and House Martell's "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" in one episode. One exception is the Starks' "Winter is Coming," but Robb Stark manages to use it as a Badass Boast anyway:
Robb: "Tell Lord Tywin that winter is coming for him."
"The Prince of Winterfell" features a Badass Boast from Tyrion to Cersei: "I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you will know the debt is paid."
Many of the history segments in the Bluray extras seem to end with these. Stannis' summation of the War of Five Kings is particularly striking:
"Now Robert is dead, and a bastard pretender soils my throne while the realm fills with schemers and traitors. But the rightful king is coming for them all, and I will not stop until I have scoured the land clean of abomination. The Baratheons say Ours Is the Fury. I will show them: fury burns."
Olenna Tyrell is frustrated that House Tyrell doesn't have a badass boast or a big scary animal on their coat of arms; their symbol is a golden rose and their motto is "Growing Strong", which she describes as the dullest words of any house.
Badass Bookworm: Samwell Tarly, Butt Monkey of the Night's Watch, whose only knowledge of the world comes from books, becomes the first person in thousands of years to kill a White Walker.
"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."
Invoked about the Night's Watch, which has fallen on hard times. Of the once veritable army that once existed to safeguard the realm, they've been reduced to a token militia of only a few thousand, that's both severely under-equipped and can only afford to keep three of their nineteen castles along The Wall manned and maintained.
Evoked and discussed in-universe with Robert Baratheon, who was a mighty warrior. When the series begin he's living on past glories, is too fat for his armor and spends his days partying and trying not to piss himself.
Badass Family: The Lannisters, Starks and Targaryens all aspire to embody this trope, in various flavors and with various levels of success. The Cleganes, Umbers, and Mormonts seem to produce nothing but badasses.
Badass Longcoat: Jaime pulls this off with a duster practically whenever he's not wearing his armor.
Bad Future: Dany gets a glimpse of this in the House of the Undying. The Red Keep is in ruins, winter has come (and hasn't left for a long time), everyone's dead, and snow sits on the Iron Throne.
Balancing Death's Books: Arya releases three prisoners in danger of dying in a fire. One of them later invokes the trope and offers to kill any three people that she nominates.
Ballistic Discount: Daenerys buys the entire slave army of Astapor in return for a single dragon. Only hitch? The slaves are hers the moment she's holding the whip, while the dragon only obeys his mother. And Dany has come to really hate the slavers of Astapor...
Bargain with Heaven: Lady Stark blames herself for the misfortunes of her family, rationalizing that it's all a punishment from the gods because she was unable to fulfill a promise about raising Jon Snow like her own son, a bargain made when he was very ill as a baby. Specifically, she prayed that he would die, because she hated that her husband had brought home a bastard. She then recants this and makes the vow after she realized what just happened.
Robb purposely tells the captured Lannister scout his plans and lets him go because it's a ploy to fool Tywin into responding to a diversionary attack while Robb attacks Jaime's forces.
Tyrion fishing the mole in the Small Council. He feeds each member a different version of the same story and tells them to not tell Cersei, so when he is confronted by Cersei over one of the versions he knows who's the one spilling the beans to her. Varys sees through Tyrion's gambit immediately, but the culprit doesn't.
Battle Discretion Shot: Occurs when Tyrion is prepared to march off to the front lines for his father, when he is trampled over and falls unconscious before the battle even begins.
Bawdy Song: "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," a humorous song descibing a sexual tryst between the eponymous bear and maiden.
The Beard: In Season 2, Margaery is shown to be well aware of her role, much to Renly's surprise. She tries to persuade him that even if he'd rather sleep with her brother, he still needs to father an heir to strengthen his position (and to make her a more convincing beard).
The Beautiful Elite: Just about everyone in Westeros nobility, with the glaring exception of Tyrion and Brienne.
In the book, Daenerys' hair is burned off in her Out of the Inferno moment. In the series, it's as fireproof as the rest of her - and not even a bit sooty.
Loras is a rare male example of this trope. In "Blackwater," he removes his helm and his curly hair looks perfect despite having fought a battle. A popular animated gif on tumblr◊ pokes fun at this improbable moment.
Bears Are Bad News: Jaime has to save Brienne after she's chucked in a bear pit in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair".
Be Careful What You Wish For: Sansa wishes to live in the royal court. And Arya wishes for a live of adventure away from court and the restrictions of being a highborn lady. Robb wishes to be like his father and leads a rebellion, much like his father. Jon wants to join the Black. None of these wishes turn out like they were expecting.
Berserk Button: Ned Stark is a pretty mellow guy most of the time, but disrespecting his wife will still get you choke-slammed.
Best Her to Bed Her: Jaime Lannister guesses that boys had tried to force themselves onto the gigantic Brienne of Tarth, and that she secretly wished that one of them could overpower her and take her virginity. She declines to confirm the guess, saying only that no man ever succeeded.
Better to Die Than Be Killed: In "Blackwater", Ilyn Payne stands guard over the holdfast where the highborn women and children are holed up. Cersei initially claims he's there as protection, but as part of tormenting Sansa tells her that he is there to kill them. Cersei herself has procured a vial of poison.
Daenerys proves, in "Fire and Blood," that she's no longer someone you screw with, when she has Mirri tied to Drogo's funeral pyre to burn alive as punishment for deceiving Dany.
The Lannisters take a little too long to learn this lesson about Robb Stark.
Big Bad: Joffrey is the most obvious example, considering that he is the king of all of Westeros, is one of the more evil characters, and is the one everyone is trying to defeat; however, as seen below, there are countless other villains, most of them allied with Joffrey, and many of them far more intelligent and sinister.
Viserys Targaryen tries to amass an army for the Targaryens to take back the Seven Kingdoms from King Robert, but despite marrying off his sister to Khal Drogo he never gets any respect from the Dothraki due to his arrogance and disrespect for their customs. He gets fed up with waiting on Drogo to fulfill his promise, and is killed after he threatens both Daenerys and Drogo's unborn son.
Cersei Lannister tries to be the political heavyweight of the Lannisters at first while her father is out in the field, seizing the throne from Ned Stark and Robert's brothers on Joffrey's behalf and Tywin's consent. Joffrey quickly undermines her power by going over her head to execute Ned, and this pisses off Tywin so much that he sidelines her in favor of Tyrion to get things back in order in the capital.
Big, Badass Wolf: Direwolves in general, which grow to be the size of a pony. It may be implied the direwolves somehow take after the humans who own them.
The first time we really see Shaggydog is when he comes snarling out of the crypt to attack Osha.
Nymeria shows her colors when she jumps in to savage Joffrey for daring to threaten Arya.
Bran's direwolf, Summer, also has his moment when he tears out the throat of his would-be assassin.
Jon's albino direwolf, Ghost, who helps his master warn one of the Night's Watch would-be-bullies to lay off Samwell, and unlike other animals shows no fear of those touched by the White Walkers.
Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf, takes off two fingers from a bannerman who draws steel on Robb. He's also said to have killed "a dozen men and as many horses" in battle with the Lannisters.
Averted by Lady, who is as gentle and well-behaved as Sansa.
Bigger Bad: The White Walkers to the War of the Five Kings and the villainous characters responsible for it (Tywin, Joffrey, Littlefinger, Balon etc.). Their threat overshadows any other in the setting, but most factions aren't even aware of them and facing lesser but more immediate enemies.
Big Damn Heroes: Tywin Lannister and Loras Tyrell arriving just in time to save King's Landing from being overrun by Stannis Baratheon.
The Big Board: Stannis' table carved in the shape of Westeros. And of the various maps shown, Robb Stark's map set with carved wooden animals and miniature sigils of the various House forces gets the most close-ups.
Big Little Man: Tyrion Lannister is introduced talking face-to-face with Ros, who is crouched down. It's not until she stands up that we see Tyrion is a dwarf.
When Robert (who is ignorant of his youngest brother's homosexuality) asks him, "Have you ever fucked a Riverlands girl?", Renly's vague response is "Once, I think." Renly's annoyed facial expression indicates that he often uses this line whenever someone inquires about his sexual conquests.
In "What Is Dead May Never Die," Renly blames the wine for his inability to perform, but Margaery sees right through his charade.
Margaery telling Joffrey in "Dark Wings, Dark Words," "The subtleties of politics are often lost on me."
Blunder Correcting Impulse: In an episode of season 3, during the funeral of Lord Hoster Tully, Edmure Tully was charged to end the ceremony by firing a flaming arrow at the floating pyre. After he missed three times in a row, his uncle Blackfish took over and hit on the first try.
Ser Jorah Mormont is in love with Daenerys Targaryen.
Renly was the object of affection for both Loras (an unusual reciprocal example because they form a same-sex couple) and Brienne (a rare gender inversion of the trope) while they were members of his Kingsguard.
Season One begins with the discovery of the wolf and stag carcasses as an omen of the fall of the Stark and Baratheon houses. Ends with the hatching of Dany's dragons symbolizing the resurgence of House Targaryen. Appropriately, the first and last episode of season one (where these two events take place) are titled "Winter is Coming" and "Fire and Blood", the words of houses Stark and Targaryen, respectively. Also, in the beginning and ending episodes of season one, Black Brothers ride under the Wall.
Inverted by the last episode of Season 2 and the first episode of Season 3: "Valar Morghulis" and "Valar Dohaeris" are Valyrian Arc Words that are often seen together, translating to "All men must die," and "All men must serve."
Braids of Action: Daenerys's hairstyle slowly becomes more and more braided as her character grows throughout the first season. By the season finale, her hair is in a single thick braid. This is likely linked to the Dothraki custom of warriors braiding their hair and decorating them with bells. A warrior adds bells to his braid for each victory, and, should he be defeated in battle, the braid would be cut off so the world can know his shame.
In "The Kingsroad," Tyrion mentions he wants to visit the Wall so he can "piss off the edge of the world." He goes through with it, to Jon Snow's amusement, near the end of "Lord Snow."
Also, the possibility of a Dothraki invasion:
Daenerys: If my brother was given an army of Dothraki, could he conquer The Seven Kingdoms? Mormont: [...] King Robert is fool enough to meet them in open battle. But the men advising him are different. —- King Robert: Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in open battle. note He does, however, go on to explain that it would be necessary to do so for political reasons, and to avoid scorched earth warfare.
Two members of Dany's khalasar discuss how to best steal a giant golden peacock from their host in Qarth, and she reprimands them. In "Valar Morghulis" two men can be seen behind Dany, as she walks from Xaro's house... carrying a giant golden peacock.
In Season 2 Tyrion complains about all the Jerkass Gods and asks, "Where's the God of Tits and Wine?" In Season 3 while even more drunk than usual Tyrion proclaims himself this particular god to annoy his father.
British Accents: Appropriately, the Northerners speak (on the whole) with Yorkshire accents — Sean Bean's native Sheffield accent is perhaps the best example. The Southerners (on the whole) speak with more of a London/RP accent — Cersei and Joffrey are good examples. This follows the North/South accent distribution in England. There also seems to be a tendency for characters from the Vale to speak with Irish accents, most noteably with Littlefinger's slight lilt, and several of the background characters from the episodes set in this area have these accents as well. The Ironborn (not counting House Greyjoy themselves) speak with West Country "pirate" accent.
Viserys, extortionist and self-proclaimed dragon, threatens the life of Khal Drogo's unborn child and gets subsequently killed by the warlord at the first chance.
Mirri, in a (somewhat) literal example.
In the season two finale Pyat Pree, in a literal example after the fact, is killed by the infant dragons of Daenerys, his captive. Since he is not aware of any possible backfire at this early stage of development it can also be classified as Mugging the Monster.
Craster feels confident enough to insult and threaten the Night's Watch men in his home despite being one man surrounded by dozens of armed soldiers, many of whom are rapists and murderers. He gets away with it because the Night's Watch needs an ally beyond the Wall, but he eventually pushes them too far.
Burning the Flag: In "Mhysa," there is a shot of a Stark flag burning, symbolizing the defeat of the Northern rebellion after the Red Wedding.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In Season 3 episode "Walk of Punishment", Arya meets the Hound (Sandor Clegane) again at the same little inn where the Hound killed her friend, Mycah the butcher's boy, way back in the second episode of the series ("The Kingsroad"). Arya asks "Do you remember what happened the last time you were here?", but the Hound has no idea what she's talking about at the time.
But Not Too Gay: Renly and Loras' intimate scenes are not nearly as sexually explicit as the heterosexual (and one lesbian) pairings on the show.
"What do we say to the god of death? 'Not today.'"
When Renly realizes that Loras is jealous of Brienne in Season 2, it mirrors the scene from Season 1 where Loras notices that Renly is jealous of Ned because Robert loves his friend more than his own brother.
Loras told Renly in Season 1, "I've never fought in a war before, but I'd fight for you." He keeps his promise to his dead lover by wearing Renly's armour during the Battle of Blackwater.
After gleefully telling the injured Tyrion what a mess he's in, Grand Maester Pycelle flicks him a coin, saying, "For your trouble," calling back to when Tyrion arrested him in his bedroom and tipped his prostitute using the same words.
In the House of the Undying, Daenerys rejects her vision of living with Drogo and their child by repeating the words said to her by Mirri Maz Duur, that she would have a child "when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east" and so forth. When Daenerys rejects the vision, Drogo's face also grows blank and expressionless like he was after the botched ritual.
In "Dark Wings, Dark Words," Sansa has to remind Loras of their first meeting when he gave her a red rose at the Tourney of the Hand. The audience knows that the reason why Loras doesn't remember Sansa is because he was too busy staring at Renly at the time.
In "Walk of Punishment" Jaime explains to Locke his wide vocabulary is due to being forced to learn to read for hours as a child. In the previous season, Tywin tells a disguised Arya that Jaime is dyslexic, so Tywin had to teach him for hours every day how to read.
The terrified way Brienne screams "NO!" in "Walk of Punishment" sounds similar to the cry she let out when she had witnessed Renly's murder in Season 2, the last traumatic event that she had experienced.
The execution of Rickard Karstark in "Kissed by Fire" strongly resembles that of Rodrik Cassel in "The Old Gods and the New." The scenes share the same background music, the same weather (rain) and both of the condemned use their last words to insult their executioner. Both of these scenes harken back to Ned's execution of a Night's Watch deserter in Season 1, showing how Ned has influenced Robb and Theon. Theon botches the execution and makes an utter fool of himself, while Robb takes the head off clean in one swing.
When Loras describes how he dreamed of marrying a bride wearing a "beautiful gown of gold and green brocade", it's reminiscent of the richly decorative cape that Renly wore at the Tourney of the Hand.
Littlefinger's speech to Varys ("chaos is a ladder") is eerily reminiscent to Varys' speech to Tyrion on the same topic ("power is a shadow on the wall"), albeit each character arrives at a very different conclusion after their insight.
When Roose takes his leave of Harrenhal, Jaime tells him to give his regards to Robb Stark. Several episodes later, Roose tells Robb, "The Lannisters send their regards" while impaling him.
In Season One, Sam admits that he always wanted to be a wizard. In Season Three, Gilly calls him a wizard, causing him to beam.
People keep warning about the White Walkers, but no one's doing anything about it. Even those who do seem concerned, like Tyrion and Ned, get distracted by other matters and seem to completely forget about them.
"Winter is Coming," the Stark motto, could be considered this. While everyone is busy playing power games and coups—and indeed, each house's words reflect this—the Starks' only concern is the long and brutal winter that's on the horizon, which could last years.
Catelyn warning Robb to "never trust a Greyjoy.".
King Robert regarding the threat of Dothraki invasion.
Davos is certain that Melisandre can't be trusted and repeatedly tries to warn Stannis about this.
"Walder Frey is a dangerous man to cross with."
In one of the most ironic scenes in Season 3, King Joffrey (normally portrayed as short-sighted and stupid) demands his Hand investigate the rumors of Danys and her dragons, but Lord Tywin shoots him down with cold, implacable logic (no-one has been able to successfully breed a dragon in hundreds of years, and those ones were severely stunted).
Each house has their own motto by which they are identified.
Stark: "Winter is coming."
Lannister: "A Lannister always pays his debts," is more renowned and used than their actual motto, "Hear me roar."
Targaryen: "Blood and fire."
Tyrell: "Growing strong."
Olenna Tyrell:"The dullest words of any house. Winter is Coming, now that's memorable..."
Tully: "Family, duty, honor."
Baratheon: "Ours is the fury."
Martell: "Unbowed, unbent, unbroken."
Greyjoy: "We do not sow."
Ygritte: "You know nothing, Jon Snow!"
Irri: "It is known."
Sam: "I read it in a (very old) book."
Syrio Forel: "Just so."
Lady Olenna lampshades that Varys greets newcomers with the line, "The city has been made brighter by your presence."
The Cavalry: Literal example in the Battle of Blackwater. The mounted forces of Ser Loras Tyrell and Tywin Lannister arrive at the last moment and win the battle for the defenders driving back the second wave of Stannis' forces, prompting a general retreat by the attackers.
Cavalry Betrayal: During the last days of the Mad King, Tywin Lannister's forces entered King's Landing as allies and then proceeded to sack the city in Robert's name. Jaime knew too well his father was invoking a ruse, but his warnings were not heard.
The Charmer: In "Dark Wings, Dark Words," Sansa says that Renly was very gallant, and Olenna then adds "...charming and very clean. He knew how to dress and smile..." Mace Tyrell liked him enough to crown him king. People are naturally drawn to Renly's charisma, according to Loras in "The Wolf and the Lion."
Loras: People love you. They want to serve you because you're kind to them. They want to be near you.
Jorah's talk with Rakharo about how a Dothraki blade won't pierce plate armor.
Also, the dragon eggs.
The Lannister lion necklace that Tyrion gives Ros as a tip, seen in episode five of season one, gets her implicated as Tyrion's whore in episode eight of season two.
Daenerys teaching her dragons to breathe fire on command, first presented as a pet trick, becomes very important in season two finale "Valar Morghulis".
When Littlefinger threatens Ros about the story with the Lysenthi whore, he makes good on his promise when he finds out she's Varys' spy, by giving her to Joffrey.
In Season 2 the Night's Watch discover a buried stash of obsidian blades beyond the Wall. In Season 3 Samwell Tarly discovers they have a lethal effect on the White Walkers while steel blades only shatter on their touch.
Bran's habit of climbing the walls and buildings of Winterfell is established early on in the pilot.
Later on, Theon's archery skills, which he rightly boasts about.
Cherry Tapping: Khal Drogo does this when Mago challenges his authority. He casually dodges Mago's attacks and completely disarms himself, then kills Mago with Mago's own weapon to show how many orders of magnitude more badass he is.
When Robb leaves Winterfell to fight against House Lannister, Bran becomes the acting Lord of Winterfell.
Bran's cousin Robin Arryn is the Lord of the Eyrie.
Then there's a very dark example in the teenaged King of Westeros, Joffrey Baratheon.
After Robert won his rebellion, he bestowed the title of Lord of Storm's End to his youngest brother Renly, who was only a child at the time. note In the novels, Renly was around 5 years old when he became the liege lord of the Stormlands.
Even though the Freys are bannermen for House Tully, they have a history of refusing to help unless they have something to gain. The Starks and their more trustworthy allies are Genre Savvy enough to assume that House Frey could sell them out at any moment if they don't know the Starks or Tullys could give a better price.
Littlefinger warns Ned Stark that the Gold Cloaks will only be loyal to whoever pays them the most.
The Greyjoys led a rebellion against Robert in the backstory, leading to Theon being forced to live with the Starks as hostage. The second Theon returns, to offer peace terms from Robb, Balon Greyjoy plots to rebel against the North again, and Theon joins him.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Greatjon is missing from seasons 2 and 3 due to scheduling conflicts with the actor. It's unclear whether the character will ever return.
City of Spies: According to Littlefinger, just about everyone in King's Landing is a spy for someone.
The Clan: Each of the major houses could be considered one, what with their long and complex histories, tangled branches, sigils and mottoes, and similar looks, which become a plot point concerning Joffrey's parentage. House Frey is a notable example, with Lord Walder Frey's multitudes of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. People in the Seven Kingdoms joke Lord Frey is the only man in the Seven Kingdoms who could field an army out of his britches.
Click Hello: Osha pulls this on Jojen, then gets it pulled on her by Meera.
Season 1: Sansa is held captive in the court of King's Landing. Tyrion becomes Hand of the King. Arya, disguised as a boy, joins a caravan of "volunteers" for The Wall. Robb is declared King in the North. Jon Snow and others of the Night's Watch venture out beyond The Wall. Daenerys puts Khal Drogo out of his misery and hatches her dragon eggs.
Season 2: Sansa's engagement to Joffrey is nullified and Littlefinger offers to get her out of the city. Tywin and the Tyrells assume power in King's Landing. Tyrion loses power. Arya escapes Lannister custody and vows to return to her family. Robb breaks his marriage pact. Jon Snow goes to meet Mance Rayder. Daenerys gets back her dragons and loots riches for ships. Winterfell is razed, Theon is betrayed by his men and the Stark boys flee north. The White Walkers move to attack the rangers beyond the Wall.
Clingy Jealous Boy: Loras becomes jealous of Brienne after she defeats him in the melee, and he "punishes" Renly for accepting her into the Kingsguard by withholding sex.
Clock Punk: Not the show itself, but the opening animation invokes it. Watch as King's Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, and land across the Narrow Sea come out of the ground. Later locations, like the Eyrie and the Twins, are depicted here as the show focuses on them.
Coitus Ensues: Averted. Many episodes have at least one sex scene, yet the writers go out of their way to ensure the scene isn't just there for the sake of T&A. Although not the first production to combine actual plot movement with sex scenes, reviews of the series are responsible for coining the phrase "sexposition" to describe scenes that might otherwise stop the show dead, yet actually provide sometimes quite important plot information.
The Lannisters are jerkass blondes. The Baratheons are all black-haired warriors. The Targaryens are all universally white haired and pale, because they're descended from Valyrians (also, incest). Actually plays a rather large part in the plot, especially considering hair color isn't the only thing being passed down.
Soldiers' uniforms: Stark soldiers wear grey and brown, Lannister soldiers wear black, red and gold, Baratheon soldiers wear light brown and orange, soldiers of the Vale wear blue, the Kingsguard wear bronze and white cloaks, the Night's Watch wear black and Greyjoy soldiers wear dark, Cambridge blue.
Combat Pragmatist: Since this is a series where things don't go well for those who act honorably, there's multiple examples of characters winning fights by not fighting "fair":
Loras Tyrell wins his joust with Gregor Clegane by riding a mare in heat (knowing Gregor would be riding a stallion). Characters disagree over whether or not this is cheating.
Bronn wins his Duel to the Death because he didn't fight with honor and his opponent did. He avoided his heavily armoured opponent until the knight was too tired to fight.
The Dothraki believe that armor is for the weak. Jorah fights one wearing armor, and the Dothraki's speed doesn't do much against plate and mail.
Robb refuses to fight a Combat by Champion against one of the deadliest warriors in the Seven Kingdoms, because he knows he would lose.
In a tournament between Brienne and Loras, Loras disarms Brienne, but she tackles him and draws a dagger, forcing him to yield.
When Jaime fights Ned's bannerman, their swords lock together. Jaime suddenly pulls out a dagger with his other hand and stabs his opponent in the eye.
Yoren threatens a mounted king's soldier by pointing a dagger at his femoral artery, stating that men are so worried about their necks that they often forget about everything below it.
Lord Tywin scolds Jaime for sparing Lord Stark because of his desire for a clean fight and remarks to Tyrion that killing 10,000 men in an open battle is not more noble than slashing a dozen at dinner.
Comet of Doom: Visible in the skies of Westeros in the season two premiere.
Comforting the Widow: Littlefinger tries this on Catelyn after her husband dies. She pulls a knife on him and tells him to get out, since he's the reason her husband is dead. To make it even more inappropriate, the reason he was meeting with her was to deliver her late husband's bones.
Con Lang: Several have been created for the series by conlanger David Peterson, based only on the few scraps of Fictionary provided by the source material. It's reached the point where George R. R. Martin consults him on the fragments of languages he puts in the later books.
High and Low Valyrian, as spoken by Daenerys and Kraznys respectively; the setting's equivalents of Classical and Vulgar Latin.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Jorah Mormont, Gray Worm and Daario Naharis take on upwards of fifty guards without a scratch during the sack of Yunkai.
Continuity Lockout: If you haven't read the books, you really have to start watching at the beginning to have any hope of following the story.
Cool Chair: The Iron Throne was forged in dragonfire by Aegon the Conqueror out of the swords of his defeated subjects. Many promotional shots for the show feature various characters sitting on it. As you might expect from a chair made from blades, it's bloody uncomfortable to actually sit on (which was Aegon's intention when he had the thing made).
Varys: Ugly, don't you think? Baelish: Yet it has a certain appeal.
Cool Sword: The Starks' Valyrian steel greatsword Ice, Arya's Needle and Jon's Longclaw. Joffrey boasts he's named his sword Hearteater... but he flees the battle before taking the opportunity to use it.
Corpsing: In-universe; Varys, who prides himself in his ability to act, struggles or fails to keep a straight face in public several times when Tyrion mocks Joffrey.
Couch Gag: The world map in the credits highlights the major areas featured in each episode.
Could Have Avoided This Plot: Tywin and Tyrion repeatedly point out that, if Joffrey hadn't killed Ned Stark, he could have been traded back, along with Sansa and Arya, to avoid the war with the Starks.
The unforgettable moment when Jaime Lannister says he'd be willing to go to war with the king over his sister. "They can write a ballad about us. The War for Cersei's Cunt." (Armor-Piercing Slap from Cersei).
Renly too, in reference to the Lannisters.
Tyrion in regards to his father.
Bronn spouts his own brand of unique, worldly wisdom with regards to Joffrey.
Yara drops it on Theon at Winterfell. He tries to protest, but she just repeats it louder.
Locke uses it to describe Catelyn.
Courtly Love: Gender-flipped with Renly Baratheon and Brienne of Tarth. She is a devoted knight who will do anything for her beloved king, and she is resigned to the fact that he will never return her feelings. (Brienne believes that Renly's lack of romantic interest is due to her ugly looks and lower social status, not because he's gay).
Crapsack World: In the cutthroat world of Westeros the nobility are squabbling over the throne whilst hideous monsters are waking from their long sleep and will likely invade, but no-one is preparing properly for it. Most of the smallfolk are treated horribly and many nobles think nothing of raping or murdering them. Winters can last for years and everybody worries about starvation; if there isn't enough food set aside, everyone will die. Meanwhile, in Essos, the Dothraki go around raiding, slaughtering and enslaving anyone who can't buy them off or get out of the way in time, and the cities to the East are pretty much dependent on slavery. To aggravate things some more, Being Good Sucks.
The wildling child killed and turned into a wight by the White Walkers.
The attempted assassin sent by the Warlocks. It's unclear of it's an actual child or an adult Warlock disguised as a cchild.
Cross Referenced Titles: "Valar Morghulis"/"Valar Dohaeris," the season two finale and season three opener. The former is a Valyrian phrase taught to Arya by Jaqen meaning "all men must die," the latter the traditional response, "all men must serve."
Crowd Surfing: Daenerys does this with the slaves she has just freed in Season 3 finale "Mhysa".
Crown of Horns: Robert, Joffrey and Renly wear crowns which feature stylized stag antlers; the latter's is arguably the most striking piece of headwear in the series. In fact, Renly is the image for the trope page.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Khal Drogo is an expert at this. Like ripping out someone's tongue for speaking ill of his wife. Or dumping molten gold over a guy's head.
The Faith of the Seven is vaguely reminiscent of the Catholic Church. It worships One God with Seven Aspects (or "faces"). It has a hierarchy of celibate clergy, with Septons (priests) and Septas (nuns) at the bottom and a single High Septon at the top. Being part of the Faith (or at least paying lip service) is mandatory to become a knight (i.e., styled "Ser"). It's the official religion of the Seven Kingdoms, having been brought over through conquest to supplant the local, pagan religon of the "old gods."
Melisandre's Lord of Light, a fire deity who she constantly describes as the "one true God".
The Drowned God faith, confined to the Iron Islands and inspired also by the Scandinavian mythology, is a monotheistic religion based on a figure that died but came back to life. The god has a more evil counterpart in the Storm God and initiation is marked by a baptism in sea water, considered holy.
Cyanide Pill: Cersei procures a bottle of poison before the events of "Blackwater", just in case. She intends to use it on herself and Tommen, but the cavalry arrive just in time.
"You Win or You Die" (played at the climax of the eponymous episode) is this for "The King's Arrival" (which plays when Robert and his entourage arrive at Winterfell). Also reprised in "The North Remembers" as "The Throne is Mine", which plays over a vignette of the Gold Cloaks purging all of Robert's bastard children, on Joffrey's orders. Inverted in the same piece, as a more triumphant rendition of the Baratheon theme "Black of Hair" plays when Gendry escapes the purge.
The National's "The Rains of Castamere" during the end credits of "Blackwater" acts as this for a far more cheery rendition performed by Bronn earlier in the episode.
"The House of the Undying", played during Bad Future vision in the House of the Undying sequence near the end of "Valar Morghulis". It's a grimmer rendition of "Finale", the track played over the reveal of the dragons at the end of the first season, mixed with elements of "The Wall".
"Three Blasts", the music that accompanies the march of the White Walkers at the end of the season 2 finale, is an extremely dark, foreboding, slowed-down variation on the series's main theme.
Theon's Season 2 theme, "What Is Dead May Never Die," is first heard when he is returning to the Iron Islands. It is played again at the end of episode 7, this time sounding very twisted and dissonant, hinting at his deteriorating mental state. Taken even further in Season 3: The first half of "Reek", played when Theon is escaping from The Boy's men early in the season, is Theon's theme sped up and set to a drum beat, reflecting his panic. The second half plays in the season finale when Ramsay tortures Theon into accepting his new name.
Deadpan Snarker: Tyrion Lannister truly is the Lord of House Snark. His sellsword traveling companion Bronn, as well as Tyrion's older brother Jaime, can bring the snark plenty themselves. Sansa also becomes a master of subtle insults and back-handed compliments in later episodes. Davos Seaworth is likely the only man in Stannis' service comfortable enough to be this to his king's face.
Joanna Lannister when Tyrion was born, which makes his father and his sister treat him like he is some sort of murderer.
Rhaella Targaryen, Daenerys' mother, died giving birth to her on Dragonstone.
Death Glare: Brienne gives Jaime a very menacing one in "Dark Wings, Dark Words" when he goes way overboard with the gay jokes about Renly.
Death of the Old Gods: The Faith of the Seven has largely replaced the Old Gods, who were worshipped by the original inhabitants of Westeros. The Northerners who pray to the old gods and the new are virtually the only worshippers left. The religion of R'hllor, a militant, monotheistic religion from the East, has taken a foothold in Dragonstone, where Stannis embraces the Lord of Light and burns the statues of the the Seven at the beginning of his bid for the throne. Arya is taught and adopts a Braavosi cult: there is only one god, and his name is Death.
In "Second Sons", Daario presents Dany with the heads of his former bosses as proof of his loyalty.
Joffrey threatens to present Robb's head to Sansa once he's raised his armies and defeated him. After Walder Frey and Roose Bolton murder Robb, Joffrey demands to have Robb's head sent to King's Landing to follow through with his threat, but he's refused.
On hearing that Dany has become leader of her own tiny khalasar, a rival khal sends her back one of her bloodriders with his head in the saddlebag of his horse.
Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Arya throws the Lannister men off the trail of Gendry by claiming that a kid they'd already killed was Gendry. Luckily the dead kid had stolen Gendry's distinctive helm.
Declaration of Protection: Faithfully serving Renly as a member of his Kingsguard is Brienne's quiet way of expressing her (unrequited) love for him.
In 2x02, Cersei justifies not sending more men to the Wall on the basis that she's sure the members of the Night's Watch can ably defend the realm. Cut to Watch member Dolorous Edd amusing the others with fart jokes.
Tyrion warns that for every enemy they kill, two more will spring up in their place. Cut to Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark just before they hack down some of their Frey allies. In the same episode, Bran tells a story of how the gods punish those who violate Sacred Hospitality; cut to Lord Walder Frey Evil Gloating over his part in the Red Wedding.
Did Mom Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Tyrion returns to his quarters to find Varys chatting with his mistress Shae, who is supposed to be there secretly and her presence unknown to anyone else. Varys makes friendly conversation but obliquely references to Tyrion what a shame it would be if Tywin learned about her presence.
Died in Your Arms Tonight: King Renly collapses into Brienne's arms after he is stabbed through the heart, and she holds him for a moment before he dies.
"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword" is a customary law in the North, where the incumbent Lord Stark judges, sentences and personally carries out every execution. It's meant as a safeguard against tyranny because a ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is and may become arbitrary.
Ned sacrifices Lady because she deserves better than a butcher, but he's afflicted by Robert's call.
Stannis shows regret over killing Renly despite rationalizing that his brother wronged him by stealing his bannermen.
Joffrey forces a prostitute to beat another so badly it is unclear whether she survives.
Littlefinger reveals that he's not above letting his customers murder his prostitutes, especially if they displease him. In the third season, we see the truth of this claim when he gives Roz to Joffrey for target practice because she spied on him for Varys.
Common with Joffrey. Lampshaded by Tyrion when Joffrey orders that an unruly mob be slaughtered. "They threw a cowpie at you, so you decide to kill them all?!"
In "The Rains of Castamere", The Red Wedding. Walder Frey's idea of making things even after Robb goes back on his word to marry one of his daughters, is to have him, his pregnant wife, his mother and most of his men slaughtered during a wedding. What makes it more galling is that he broke the sacred laws of hospitality. All because he lost his chance to become the father of the Queen of the North and the grandfather of the future king.
Distaff Counterpart/Spear Counterpart: Sansa and Loras. Although neither of them are fully aware of the other's suffering in "The Climb," Sansa (an aspiring Princess Classic) and Loras (an aspiring Knight In Shining Armour) have learned the hard way that life isn't a fairy tale. Both of them carried romantic ideals, believing that they would "live happily ever after" with their beloved Baratheon ("Prince Charming" Joffrey for Sansa, "The Good King" Renly for Loras). Both have been crushed emotionally when their dreams transformed into nightmares (Joffrey turned out to be a sadistic psychopath and executed Sansa's father, while Renly was murdered not long after Loras pushed him to become king).
At first it seems that Viserys will be the Big Bad, but his plans are constantly ignored and delayed by Khal Drogo, and when Viserys makes his move, he goes too far and gets himself killed.
Drogo becomes this as well. Now the runner-ups for Big Bad are King Joffrey and Lord Tywin.
Don't Look Back: Dany doesn't look back as one of her dragons incinerates the soldiers on the wall behind her in Astapor.
Double Take: Ned has a tiny one when he sees Jaime Lannister killing Jory.
Draconic Humanoid: Although not seen, Daenerys Targaryen's stillborn son Rhaego is described as having come into the world with draconic features such as scales and wings after a blood ritual in which he was sacrificed in a sabotaged attempt to save Khal Drogo, demonstrating that the Targaryens are the real blood of the dragon.
Viserys considers Khal Drogo to be his Dragon (though he thinks he himself is "the Dragon" in a different sense). Drogo doesn't care what Viserys wants and kills him off when he threatens Daenerys and her and Drogo's unborn son.
Ser Jorah Mormont for Daenerys.
Dagmer to Theon.
Locke to Roose Bolton.
Dragon-in-Chief: Nominally, Lord Tywin Lannister is second-in-command to King Joffrey, but in reality he is the true power behind the throne, and the enemy that anyone wishing to oppose Joffrey's reign must contend with, while Joffrey is little more than a figurehead.
King Joffrey pitches a Smart Ball when he worries about the menace of Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons, but Lord Tywin dismisses the brewing threat because he has more pressing concerns and outdated intelligence.
In "Mhysa" two lesser lords laugh at Tyrion as he walks with Sansa and Shae. He begins to repeat their names ans Sansa asks if he is adding them to a kill list. He doesn't have such a list... but Sansa's own sister does.
The White Walkers, the legendary and feared monsters of the North.
Tywin Lannister became one after wiping out house Reyne of Castamere and sacking King's Landing. Tyrion defines Westeros as "Seven Kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister" and even a vicious madman like Joffrey is intimidated in his presence.
Dress Hits Floor: A rare male version of this trope occurs in "The Wolf and the Lion" when Loras removes Renly's pants (and any undergarment the latter may be wearing) in one swift movement and letting them drop to the floor.
Drop Dead Gorgeous: An episode ends on the dead body of Ros the prostitute, who has been shot to death with a crossbow. The camera pans across her body, and somewhere between her tousled red hair and the soft lighting, she ends up looking like a martyr in a Renaissance painting. She was also scantily clad, a former sex-worker, and killed whilst sitting tied to the end of a bed.
Stannis, victorious defender of the terrible siege of Storm's End, resents Robert because his older brother gave Storm's End to Renly, the sibling who never did any fighting.
After holding the fort for the family during a brief but good chancellorship, Tyrion brings himself to ask his father for some recognition and consideration since he's the lawful heir, but Tywin rewards him with minor grants and a callous, devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech instead.
One of the first things that Robert and Ned do in Winterfell is paying a visit to the burial site of Lyanna Stark. Ned burying her in a cold tomb in the North is the cause of some friction between the two friends.
When Ser Hugh gets killed, Ser Barristan stands vigil for him a whole night, establishing early on that he is not like the average piece of meat who serves in the Kingsguard.
Joffrey finding joy staring at the heads on a spike of his enemies and forcing Sansa to look at them is another facet of his deranged personality.
Tyrion returning the remains of Ned Stark is not only a political token of goodwill, but a humane gesture as well.
Loras stands vigil over Renly's body, and remains near his beloved even as Tyrell bannermen are panicking to flee the area before Stannis' fleet arrives. It's revealed in a deleted scene that Loras also buried Renly on his own, which is a detail taken from the novels. From the books... He tells Jaime in A Storm of Swords: "I buried him with mine own hands, in a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm's End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest."
A fallen comrade of The Night's Watch deserves a proper ceremony even if the unit is knee-deep in hostile territory in the far end of the world.
The Hound threatens to desecrate the corpse of any soldier who wavers during the battle of Blackwater.
The villainy of Walder Frey and his cronies hits a new low when they decapitate Robb, attach Grey Wind's head on the stump and parade it around chanting "The King In the North" as mockery. Later on, some random soldiers who gloat about it get a karmic death courtesy of Arya and Sandor Clegane.
DVD Bonus Content: The first season Blu-ray release contains "In-Episode Guide", a series of pictures narrated by the actors over the history of Westeros especially Robert's Rebellion where each character tells the viewer of that event from their point of view.
E - F
Early-Installment Weirdness: Much of the pilot was reshot. For this reason, there is an unusual number of continuity errors, as parts of scenes were filmed much later, often with different actors. Hodor also has a beard, which got dropped in later episodes because it made him look like a "music professor."
El Cid Ploy: Loras pretends to be King Renly's Ghost at the Battle of Blackwater to sow confusion and fear among Stannis' common soldiers.
Elephant in the Living Room: Over the eight thousand years since the Long Night, the conditions at The Wall have steadily been ignored, leaving the garrison there undermanned, undersupplied, and incapable of holding the wall against the Wildlings or the White Walkers. Outside The Wall, nobody seems to openly acknowledge the dangers the coming winter will bring. Even the Starks' own words, "Winter is coming," haven't prepared them.
Eloquent In My Native Tongue: Khal Drogo's Westerosi is very limited, but when his speech in Dothraki is subtitled he's revealed to be a highly intelligent war leader, a loving husband, and an eloquent and fiery speaker. It sometimes overlaps with Strange Syntax Speaker, as the Dothraki don't have words for things like plate armor or castles.
Endless Winter: For pretty much all the same reasons mentioned in the entry for the books it's adapted from. Winters can last for decades. There are oral traditions of a winter that lasted for generations, and a myth that, should the White Walkers return and invade Westeros, they will cause a winter that never ends. Word of God is that the unnatural seasons are caused by magic, but it's unclear if it's the Walkers' magic or something else.
The Enemy Of My Enemy: Loras initially viewed the Lannisters as his enemy, but he chose to side with them after Stannis murdered Renly.
Epic Flail: Brinne wields a flail during her melee with Loras.
Equal-Opportunity Evil: Tywin doesn't care if you are a man or a woman. He cares whether or not you are an idiot.
Gregor Clegane (AKA The Mountain) after being thrown from his horse in a jousting match, beheads his own steed in a fit of rage, and then attempts to do the same to the other jouster who beat him. This is all done in plain view of everyone, including the King.
When King Robert's brother Stannis Baratheon has a letter written declaring his claim to the throne, he makes them change "beloved brother" because he didn't love him and adds Jaime Lannister's nickname the "Kingslayer" but also the title "Ser" because "whatever he is, he's still a knight."
While most of Viserys's dialogue indicates his Royal Brat character, a particularly standout is when he tells Dany to her face that he'd let all forty thousand of Khal Drogo's Dothraki and their horses have sex with her if it got him the Iron Throne, quickly establishing their relationship.
Littlefinger's speech to two of his whores about making their customers forget what they are. He basically sums up his background and raison d'etre.
Arya's introduction shows her deathly bored of her needlework and sneaking out to the archery range, where she hits a target her older brother missed, and does so from farther away.
Lysa Arryn breastfeeding her much-too-old child, establishing her as quite mad and her child as developmentally stunted.
Balon chastizing Theon for wearing a gold necklace he bought with money, establishing their cultural alienation and the fact that Ironborn would rather take land and riches rather than letting someone give it to them.
A Viking Funeral includes two for the Tullys: Edmure tries to light his father's funeral pyre boat with a fire arrow, failing repeatedly. He tries his best, but he just keeps missing. As people grow uneasy, Brynden Blackfish just shoves him out of the way and hits the target with ease, not even bothering to watch and see if his arrow hits the boat. Blackfish has to disdainfully clean up after his nephew's errors.
Et Tu, Brute?: In Season 2, Robb Stark is betrayed by Theon Greyjoy and it only gets worse in Season 3, when Robb is killed by his bannerman Lord Bolton, in league with Walder Frey and the Lannisters.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Several characters are only redeemed from being monsters by this trope. Cersei Lannister is possibly the most notable, as her scheming against Ned is mostly motivated by a desire to protect her children.
Even the Guys Want Him: Two common Lannister soldiers believe that Ser Loras is prettier than Queen Cersei—and she's considered to be the most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms.
The city guardsman who brings out Robert's infant bastard from the brothel refuses to kill her, leaving Janos Slynt to do it himself.
Tyrion is disgusted by Janos Slynt's aforementioned actions (which he thinks were at Cersei's command, but actually Joffrey's as he later finds out), and revokes his title and sends him off to the Wall. He also doesn't like having around a lackey of Cersei who backstabbed the previous Hand of the King.
Bronn normally radiates a calm apathy towards the horrible things he sees others do, but he openly detests Ser Meryn Trant and his mistreatment of Sansa on Joffrey's orders. So does Tyrion.
Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Ned Stark has a bastard son, and Robert has countless. Many scenes take place in Littlefinger's bordello. The sexual relationships of a number of characters are major plot points. Melisandre's magic is frequently powered by sex. Dany's change in sexual position is even a major turning point in her character.
Everything's Deader with Zombies: When corpses are touched by White Walkers, they turn into zombies called "wights," which are under the White Walkers' control. Wights are resistant to normal wounds, but can be killed with fire. Wildlings always burn their dead when possible to prevent them from coming back as wights.
Evil Makeover: Joffrey gives the throne room an evil makeover early on in his reign by stripping away all the artwork from the walls and the pillars, painting everything black, and adding giant spiky braziers to the bases of the pillars. He basically makes it look like a supervillain's lair. He claims he's bringing the Red Keep more in line with the spirit of the old Targaryen dynasty.
Evil Mentor: The character of Dagmer is reimagined into one of these for Theon Grejoy. He feeds his pupil's ambition and feelings of insecurity, clinging on to feed off his success. When Theon intends to die in a blaze of glory alongside his men, Dagmer knocks him unconscious and sells him to their enemies for a ticket home. Ramsay Snow takes Theon but has Dagmer flayed alive instead when he captures the Ironborn, possibly for his treachery, but more likely because he just thought it'd be fun.
The five massive towers of Harrenhal, even as dilapidated and ruined as they are.
The House of the Undying in Qarth.
Evolving Credits: New map locations are seamlessly added to the opening sequence on occasion. Taken further in Series 3, where Winterfell is now depicted bellowing thick clouds of smoke, after having been sacked by the retreating Greyjoy forces at the end of the last series.
A twofer in Vaes Dothrak: Viserys demands one too many times that Khal Drogo give him the "golden crown" that he was promised. It's illegal to shed blood within the city. Drogo gives Viserys his crown.
Joffrey states that his mother told him he should never strike his lady. He then orders one of his Kingsguard to strike Sansa instead. With a gauntlet.
Jon Snow, as a sworn member of the Night's Watch, 'shall take no wife and father no children'. Ygritte points out all theobviousloopholes.
Brienne serves Catelyn Stark, and only Catelyn Stark. She has no loyalty to Robb Stark, or any of his men, as Jaime quickly learns.
Eureka Moment: Ned has one in "A Golden Crown," concerning Joffrey's true parentage.
The Lannister soldiers, a.k.a. the Redcloaks, whose helmet' visors cover their eyes and noses. Also the Gold Cloaks, a.k.a. the City Watch, who wear mail over their noses and mouths. Ironborn raiders sworn to House Greyjoy do similarly.
The Unsullied all wear identical, spiked helmets with faceplates. Under Daenerys's command they make a rare heroic (well, lighter shade of gray) example of the trope.
Fake Guest Star: In the first season, Jason Momoa, for whatever reason, is billed in the closing credits as "also starring" (curiously enough, only after all the guest stars have been credited) despite being a major character who appears throughout the season. Julian Glover and Conleth Hill are probably as important to the show as Aidan Gillen (and appear as often), who is credited as a regular, but neither man gets their names in the opening credits. In Season Two, Donald Sumpter, Joe Dempsie, Gwendoline Christie, Natalia Tena, Tom Wlaschiha are all very important characters who appear more often than several characters who are credited as regulars.
Fake Defector: Jon Snow joining the wildlings at the end of Season 2.
Dany, translating Khal Drogo's words for her brother's benefit in "A Golden Crown:" "You shall have a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold."
Mirri promises that Drogo will live and strongly implies that she is sacrificing a horse in exchange for healing him. In reality while Drogo lives, he's left an Empty Shell, and while she kills it, the horse wasn't used for Equivalent Exchange—Dany's child ("The Stallion Who Mounts the World") was.
The Lannister's unoffical motto, "A Lannister Always Pays His Debts," is pretty much an example of this. At face value, it seems to indicate that Lannisters show gratitude to those who do well by them, and this is true. However, it also indicates the reverse, that they will take revenge on anyone they think has slighted them, and that meaning is seen much more frequently.
Famous Last Words: Quite a few since so many characters die over the course of the show. Of particular note would be at the end of season three's episode "Rains of Castamere" when Robb dies. His last words are just saying his mother's name but they carry so much emotion. The great King of the North has been defeated and in his last moments he sounds so young and broken. It's amazing to see a great warrior like Robb be reduced to such despair.
The brief scene where Dany's attempted assassin has to walk naked, tied behind Dany's horse, until he collapses.
The first season finale "Fire and Blood" gives us Grand Maester Pycelle...wearing only a see-through bathrobe thing.
Theon flirts with a girl he meets on Pyke, and gropes her on their ride to his father's castle. She soon reveals herself to be his sister.
Tyrion sends a pair of prostitutes to Joffrey's room to help him unwind. Joffrey forces the first one, at crossbow-point, to severely beat the second with a whip and a baton, possibly to death.
Melisandre teases Davos about his desire to see her naked. Moments later, she drops her robe to reveal that she's hugely pregnant and promptly gives birth to a nightmarish shadow creature.
"Kissed by Fire" gives Jaime a nude scene, but he is dirty, very bruised and a recent amputee. The same episode also gives a Shirtless Scene to Beric Dondarian, whose chest has a lot of very nasty scars.
In "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," two beautiful women seduce Theon. The problem is that Theon's currently a prisoner by a psychopath, and it's obviously another cruel prank. The punchline is his castration.
Then in "Second Sons" we have Melisandre seduce Gendry which quickly turns nightmarish as soon as she binds his hands and feet and places leeches on him, including one on his Most Sensitive Area.
Anglo-Saxons: Westeros is quite clearly based on medieval England, and indeed the north/south geography and accompanying accents clearly approximate England's own geography and accent distribution. For example Ned, as a Northerner, has Sean Bean's native Sheffield accent, whereas Cersei, as a Southerner, has more of a London/RP accent. The family names Lannister and Stark are also thinly veiled references to the War of the Roses, a civil war in England fought between the houses of Lancaster and York. The great Wall itself has obvious parallels with Hadrian's Wall, a huge, 80 mile long barrier stretching across the top of England which was began in AD 122 and built to protect Roman Britain from Pictish invasion. Sections of the wall still stand today. The Narrow Sea corresponds to the English Channel, and King's Landing, as seen on the opening-credits map, roughly corresponds with London.
The Northerners also have a vague affinity to the Celtic peoples, especially the Lowland Scots: the Northerners are descended from the First Men, who were driven out of the richer, warmer southern parts of Westeros by the Andals, but later came under the influence of Southern culture, adopting some but not all Southern customs. The Lowland Scots are descended from Celtic peoples, primarily Gaels from Ireland, Picts who were already there,note The intermingling of the Picts and Gaels formed the Kingdom of Alba, the earliest institutional form of Scotland and Britonsnote Who held the fairly long-lived Kingdom of Strathclyde until Alba conquered it in the 11th century, forming a unified Scotland—some of whom were already there, while were driven out of the richer, warmer southeast by the Anglo-Saxons; they later came under the influence of English culture, adopting some but not all English customs.
Wildlings are quite similar to Highland Scots; the Wildlings never came under Andal influence, and the Highlanders only came under English influence relatively recently.
The Ironborn are based on Horny Vikings (sans the horns) and Scandinavian peoples as well as the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles. Their society is seafaring, and like historic Norse cultures, they rely heavily on raiding other nations for sustenance, hence the Greyjoys' motto, "We Do Not Sow." The comparison is made stronger by the affinity of the Ironborn to Northerners; like Northerners, they are descended from the First Men, just as the Manx and people of the Isles are also historically Gaelic-speaking Celts.
Mirri Maz Duur's people, the Lhazhareen, resemble ancient Semites, a resemblance made even stronger with their worship of the "Great Shepherd."
Qarth has some similarities to Byzantium, with some Middle Eastern influences thrown in.
The Free Cities (Braavos, Lorath, Volantis, etc.) seem to represent a hodgepodge of western Mediterranean cultures, including the Italian city states, Spain and the Maghreb.
The Valyrian Empire and its successor states resemble Ancient Grome; Valyrian even sounds similar to Greek.
Alternatively since Word of God is that Westeros is roughly the size of South America (and most geusstamates could easily place Westeros as even the size and breadth of Europe just tilted 90 degrees. The North is [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KievanRus Russia]] especially when you consider the Karstarks and other Stark derived Houses as likely the result of Gavelkind Law. From there the Riverlands is Poland, King's Landing is Southern Europe, the Vale is Greece, the Storm Land's becomes something akin to France, and Dorne is a combination of Spain and Morocco and so on.
Fate Worse Than Death: Tyrion implies that the Night's Watch is this. He says that when a rapist is given the choice between taking the black and castration (which would be a dangerous, often deadly, procedure in a time without sanitation), most choose "the knife."
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.
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.
Feuding Families: The Starks and the Lannisters quickly slide from general dislike towards Arch-Enemy territory. In "Baelor" there is a civil war between them, Ned Stark is killed on Joffrey's orders, and Jaime Lannister is captured and held hostage by Robb.
The two conflicting religions based around the ocean-dwelling Drowned God (whose followers show their devotion by anointing their heads with seawater) and the fiery "Lord of Light" R'hllor (whose followers show their devotion with huge bonfires).
A major inciting event involves the simultaneous return of the White Walkers and the Dragons. The White Walkers are undead creatures from the frozen North who carry weapons made of ice and melt like ice when killed, and the Dragons (obviously) breathe fire. Notably, both returns happen on opposite sides of the world, and both happen in the domains of two opposing factions of the war.
Many factions in the War of the Five Kings are visually associated with fire, water, or ice. If two factions are associated with traditionally opposed elements, it's a good sign that they're enemies.
House Targaryen's members are legendary for their dragon-taming skills, they follow the motto "Fire and Blood", they have a dragon as their sigil, and they claim to trace their lineage to Old Valyria (which was supposedly wiped out by a series of volcanic eruptions). King Aerys, one of the most (in)famous members of the family, started a lot of drama by attempting to use alchemical weapons to burn King's Landing to the ground.
Lord Stannis Baratheon is a militant follower of the religion of the aforementioned god R'hllor, he wears a red gold crown with points fashioned to look like flames, and he has a ring of heart-shaped fire worked into his personal sigil.
House Greyjoy is based in and around a series of islands, their members have a kraken as their sigil, they anoint their leaders with crowns made of driftwood, and they follow the religion of the aforementioned Drowned God.
House Stark and their Northern allies are constantly associated with ice and cold: they follow the motto "Winter is Coming", their seat is "Winterfell" and their Ancestral Weapon is a greatsword called simply "Ice". There's also Jon Snow's surname, even if he shares it with all the other bastards in the North.
Joffrey's motivation for most of his endeavors, but most notably having Ned Stark executed simply to be a dick, even though it's against his political self-interest.
Theon's captor in Season 3 tortures him, and eventually extracts one piece of useful intel—that Theon did not kill Bran and Rickon Stark but that they are in fact still alive. Then the captor continues to brutally torture Theon, admitting that he does it because he enjoys it.
Locke was expecting a larger ransom for Brienne, so he tosses her into a bear pit instead, saying that it gives him more pleasure than money. Qyburn explains that men like them don't expect to be alive when all the fighting's done, so they're living for the moment.
When Ned gives up his position as hand of the king, Robert tells him, "I'll have your head on a spike!"
Theon is all too eager to kill a direwolf - sigil of the Starks - in the pilot.
In "The Pointy End", when Bran tells Rickon "They'll be back soon. Robb will free father, and come back with mother" Rickon eerily replies "No, they won't."
When Doreah talks of what she's seen, she mentions a dagger of dragonglass, a man who could change his face and a pirate who wears his weight in gold.
Arya shoos her Cool Pet Nymeria away to save her from being killed by the Lannisters. By "The Pointy End," Arya must too run away to avoid capture and possible death from the Lannisters.
Loras' suggestion to Renly in Season 1 that he can crown himself king with the help of the Tyrells' armies and wealth becomes a reality in Season 2.
Cersei justifies her incestuous relationship with Jaime and having his children by invoking the precedent set by the Targaryens. Except that the Targaryen penchant for incest led to Aerys Targaryen, foreshadowing that Joffrey will be an uncontrollable lunatic of a king and do things like having Eddard Stark executed in defiance of all diplomatic sense.
In "The Wolf and the Lion", Barristan comments that Robert plans to joust and will do what he likes regardless of if Ned protests, and Ned says that if the King just did whatever he liked, he'd have rebellion on his hands. Flash forward to Season 2 when the Seven Kingdoms are in civil war due in part to Joffrey taking the throne without being the rightful heir and abusing his power to suit his whims.
When Ned asks Petyr if the Gold Cloaks of the King's Landing City Watch will side with him to overthrow Joffrey, Petyr replies that the Gold Cloaks are ultimately loyal to whoever hands them their paychecks. Much of the series stresses how the Lannisters are the richest noble house in Westeros.
Daenerys walks into an extremely hot bath despite the warnings of her handmaiden, and later takes a hot dragon egg out of a lit brazier without burning her hand. In the Season 1 finale, she walks into her dead husband's burning funeral pyre and emerges from the ashes unharmed, naked, with three baby dragons. Not to mention when her brother dies from his 'Golden Crown': "He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon."
In "The North Remembers", Melisandre makes a chilling one during her prophecy. She says that after the long summer, "the cold breath of winter will freeze the seas, and the Dead shall rise in the North". Switch forward to the final scene of season 2...
In "The Old Gods and the New," Xaro talks about how he's had to do some nasty things to become as wealthy as he is. Immediately after, he opens the doors to his estate and we see that someone has killed several Civic Guards protecting his house and members of Dany's khalasar and stolen her dragons. In "A Man Without Honor," we learn that Xaro helped the perpetrator.
In "Walk of Punishment", Theon's torturer uses his last words to call The Boy a "little bastard." It later turns out that The Boy is Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Roose Bolton.
In "The Rains of Castamere" Walder announces that "wine will flow red," during the feast. Catelyn notices that the hall doors are closed and the band starts playing the Lannisters' song, "The Rains of Castamere," all of which precede a bloody slaughter.
Forging The Will: As King Robert is dying, he 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 had learned that Joffrey is not actually Robert's son.
Daenerys, her entourage and Unsullied army in Essos.
Sansa Stark, the Lannisters and Tyrells at King's Landing.
Jon Snow with the Wildlings.
Samwell Tarly and the Night's Watch.
Robb and Catelyn in the Westerlands, at war with the Lannisters.
Arya Stark and Gendry, Robert's only known surviving bastard, in the Riverlands.
Stannis' war, first against his brother Renly, then against Joffrey Baratheon and now back at Dragonstone after his defeat.
Theon Greyjoy in an unidentified Torture Cellar somewhere in the North.
Bran and Rickon Stark heading toward the Wall with Osha and Hodor (and now Jojen and Meera Reed as well).
Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister captured by Bolton's men.
Freudian Slip: In "Valar Morghulis," Loras subconsciously let 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've said "her husband was taken from her," or simply "her husband was taken" instead.
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."
Tyrion threatens this to Joffrey after he harasses Sansa.
Freudian Trio: The Baratheon brothers form one: Robert is a hot-blooded and impulsive warrior (id), Renly is a calm and easygoing politician (ego), and Stannis is described as a skilled strategist but not at all a people person (super-ego). In this case, rather than being three disparate personalities who are a team, it explains why the brothers don't like each other.
Friendless Background: Brienne is ostracized by Westerosi society due to her unattractiveness, large size, and her pursuit of a traditionally masculine occupation.
Dany tries to convince Drogo to help her retake the Seven Kingdoms for their son, and after she's nearly assassinated while pregnant, he agrees... and announces this with a long speech in which he explains his plans to basically ransack the entire continent. Dany's later reactions show that she has no taste for Dothraki brutality.
Cersei doing everything in her power to ensure Joffrey sat on the Iron Throne. Needless to say, most of Westeros has her to thank for the reign of King Joffrey.
Ned Stark, who tries to get King Robert to do the right thing, and mitigate the damage whenever his advice is ignored.
Tywin Lannister's backstory. He served for twenty-years as Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen, the Mad King, in what was considered the most stable and prosperous period Westeros had experienced since Aegon's Landing. Things went truly south after Tywin was dismissed. He later takes the position again in Season 3, as he is the only thing keeping his grandson on the throne.
Tyrion serves as Joffrey's much needed counterbalance in Season 2. In no small part, the Lannister banner is sustained thanks to Tyrion's brief but brilliant stint as acting Hand of the King.
Davos serves as this to Stannis Baratheon, which helps counterbalance the influence Melisandre has on him.
He doesn't back Renly's bid for the throne, but Renly's a diplomat with no combat experience in a situation that WILL require winning a war. Sure enough, Renly does nothing but divide the forces against the Lannisters. He also does not have a right to be king at the time, and you can't kick Joffrey off the throne because he's not the rightful king and replace him with someone else who isn't the rightful king.
He tries to broker a compromise with Cersei Lannister: she needs to go into exile before he tells Robert that she's been cheating on him with her brother and none of the children are Robert's. But as the daughter of the richest, most powerful man in the realm and the sister/lover of an infamous warrior who already killed one king, letting Robert bludgeon her to death in a fit of rage really isn't a wise move either.
His only really dumb move is trusting Littlefinger despite repeated instructions by Littlefinger himself that that is really not a good idea. This makes him more of a Horrible Judge of Character.
The Good King: Subverted. Many characters aspire to be good kings, but playing the Game of Thrones always seems to force them into making dishonorable choices or putting them in Morton's Forks where they cannot help but cause something bad to happen.
Good Vs Good: Catelyn tries to avoid this by proposing to Stannis and Renly that they join forces against the Lannisters. She fails.
Gory Discretion Shot: Averted constantly and inverted in-universe. People (especially the Stark children) are sometimes forced to witness beheadings and other things they'd rather look away from.
Stannis Baratheon, who corrects Davos Seaworth on the usage of "less" versus "fewer" when Davos is talking about his severed fingers. Overlaps with You Make Me Sic, as it was Stannis who had them cut off.
Tyrion corrects Cersei's word usage several times.
In "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", Ramsay castrates Theon.
In "Second Sons":
Melisandre puts a leech on Gendry's groin to extract his royal blood. When the leech is removed, he screams like mad.
After Joffrey tries to sexually abuse Sansa one time too many, Tyrion tells him that if he does it again, Joff will have to fuck Margaery with a wooden cock.
Hand Wave: In the books, Jaime grabs Cleos Frey's sword before his swordfight with Brienne. Cleos was written out of the show, so Brienne carries two swords and Jaime steals one of them. Jaime notes, "I never understood why some knights carry two swords," as a handwave for why Brienne has an extra sword for him to steal.
Hands-On Approach: Margaery prompts Joffrey to show her how to use a crossbow as a means of flirting with him.
Happily Married: Ned and Catelyn Stark seem to be genuinely in love in a world where most marriages (including their own) are arranged for political reasons. Khal Drogo and Daenerys form a surprising bond.
Heir Club for Men: All the noble families thus far seen practise male-preferential primogeniture inheritance: the oldest son inherits, but if there are no suitable male heirs, a daughter can make do. The Iron Throne, however, can only go to a man according to Septa Mordane. If a king only has daughters, his closest male relative will sit the throne instead. This is different from the books, where evidently a woman can sit the Iron Throne, as Stannis has explicitly named his daughter Shireen his heir should he win the throne.
Held Gaze: Doreah spells its importance out for Dany. Very clearly.
No one in the Night's Watch wears a helmet, despite the freezing conditions. Qhorin and Will at least wear hats.
Robb in both the Battle of the Whispering Wood and the Battle of Oxcross.
When they meet Stannis in "Garden of Bones," Loras is the only member of Renly's Kingsguard who doesn't wear a helm.
Brienne wears her helmet for a Samus Is a Girl introduction, and during the parley between Renly and Stannis, but never after.
During "Blackwater," none of the main characters wear helmets, not even Stannis, who is leading the siege. Tyrion does don one early on when he leads the flanking force and only removes it when he thinks they've won. Nevertheless, he fights with his visor open. George R.R. Martin complains about this throughout the DVD Commentary, as he went to some trouble to avert the trope in the novels.
Members of the Kingsguard and Goldcloaks are Faceless Mooks, but important/sympathetic characters will either ditch their helmets after their first appearance or will not wear them at all. For instance, the villainous Janos Slynt does appear without a helmet (because he's a significant character), but he is shown wearing one. In contrast, his more sympathetic replacement, Bronn, forgoes the outfit because he thinks it impede his fighting.
The Unsullied are Faceless Mooks for whom Individuality Is Illegal (or was, before they were freed). When Grey Worm is made general, he removes his helmet and keeps it off after that (also indicative that he's a significant character and not an extra).
The Hero: In a series infamous for its moral ambiguity, there are several characters (Davos, Ned, Brienne) who are genuinely heroic, and a few who, though a bit more cynical, fit the mold for classic fantasy heroes:
Robb Stark, King in the North, is fighting for Northern independence and justice for the death of his father. He's noble, honorable, kind, charismatic, and a natural leader, though not without his flaws.
Stannis Baratheon serves as a deconstruction. He has the natural Baratheon genes, and is a just, dutiful man, along with being the rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms. Unfortunately, his staunch commitment to duty and utter lack of charisma make him come across as cold at best and villainous at worst. Despite apparently being The Chosen One, he has far fewer followers than any other claimant, and Melisandre's influence, along with his multiple setbacks, have left him an insecure shell of a man struggling to pick up the pieces.
Lord Beric Dondarrion, leader of the Brotherhood Without Bannersis a subversion. He's one of the more altruistic characters in the show and is fighting for the smallfolk, and is one of the only people in the war who is, but he's a devoted servant of the Lord of Light, and is willing to do anything in service to him, including selling an innocent bastard boy to be sacrificed.
Heroic BSOD: Catelyn, after Robb is killed. After an initial scream, she just stands there staring into nothing until her throat is cut.
Heel Face Door Slam: Theon seems to catch a break from the universe deservedly shitting on him when one of his captors helps him escape the prison where he was being tortured after the fall of Winterfell. He talks to the captor about how he made all the wrong choices in the previous season. It seems like he is being set up for a possible redemption, until it's revealed that the captor has led him right back to the prison to be tortured yet again, and takes the credit for tracking him down.
Hollywood Old: Walder Frey, who is at least 90, is played by a 70-year-old actor. Given how much more spry he is in the series than in the books, you'd think it was an Age Lift, but he specifically mentions his age in his first scene.
Ned Stark is a man bound by honor to do the "right" thing.
In "A Golden Crown," he all but declares war on the Lannisters for committing horrific atrocities against serfs, even though this could cause a civil war with the Lannisters pitted against his own house.
In "You Win or You Die," he refuses to make the first strike at the Lannisters within King's Landing, even though this could grant them time to plan a strike of their own. He also rejects Littlefinger and Renly's underhanded but eminently sensible plans.
Stannis, despite his much smaller forces, refuses to make peace with either Renly or Robb to take down Joffrey and the Lannisters. Admittedly, he does have Melisandre on his side, but he doesn't find out how useful she will be until later.
Jaime is called 'Kingslayer' as an insult for both metaphorically and literally stabbing the Mad King Aerys in the back. Even characters like Robert, Ned and Stannis who wouldn't have hesitated to kill the Mad King themselves if they'd had the chance, look down on him for it. No one cares for Jaime's explanation that if he hadn't killed him, Aerys would have blown up King's Landing and killed its entire population.
In Season 1, Ned Stark is set to be sent to the Night's Watch by the Lannisters, where he'll live on in exile with Jon Snow. Then Joffrey has him executed.
In Season 2, Renly, who has, by far, the largest military force in the War of Five Kings, agrees to an alliance with Robb Stark, planning to "end this war in a fortnight." Not thirty seconds later, he's stabbed through the heart.
In Season 3, Robb, after suffering multiple setbacks during the war, is about to receive additional forces from Lord Walder Frey with which to attack Casterly Rock and, unknown to him, is about to be reunited with his little sister Arya. Along with that, his wife is now pregnant and his mother is finally starting to warm up to her. Then Walder Frey has Robb, his wife, his mother, and nearly all of his bannermen butchered, with Arya bearing witness to a good portion of it.
I Am X, Son of Y: A fairly standard introduction, at least among Dothraki and Mountain Clans. Particularly noteworthy are Drogo son of Bharbo, Shagga son of Dolf, Timett son of Timett, Chella daughter of Cheyk and Bronn son of "...you wouldn't know him."
Idiot Ball: The Astapori sell their entire invincible slave army to Dany, leaving themselves totally defenseless when then she turns that army right around and attacked them. It tends to get handwaved away by the idea that the Astapori were blinded by greed with the prospect of dragons.
Tyrion: You're Ned Stark's bastard, aren't you?... Did I offend you? Sorry. You are the bastard, though." Jon: "Lord "Eddard Stark is my father..." Tyrion: "And Lady Stark is not your mother. Making you... the bastard. Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." Jon: "What the hell do you know about being a bastard?" Tyrion: "All dwarves are bastards in their fathers' eyes."
In "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"—
Tyrion: "With the right horse and saddle even a cripple can ride." Bran: "I'm not a cripple!" Tyrion: "Then I'm not a dwarf! My father will rejoice to hear it."
He brings the hill tribes so under his sway that "The Halfman" and "Little Lion" become something of Affectionate Nicknames for him. The former is even used as a Battle Cry.
Imminent Danger Clue: In the final scene of "The Rains of Castamere," Catelyn notices three of these. First, someone bars the doors. Second, the musicians begin playing a song whose key, content, and especiallysubject matter (though this version is an instrumental) are inappropriate for the setting. The final, threat-confirming clue is the reveal that Lord Bolton is wearing chainmail under his clothes.
Brienne is in love with Renly, and she refuses to believe the foul rumours surrounding him and Loras. Renly is unable to consummate his marriage with Margaery in spite of her accommodating efforts.
Sansa has harboured a crush on Loras since the Tourney of the Hand, and it grows when she is betrothed to him. Loras is somewhat awkward while conversing with Sansa in "The Climb," but he does seem to genuinely want to help her escape King's Landing through their marriage and give her a better life in Highgarden.
Sansa is constantly referred to as most beautiful.
In-Series Nickname: Sandor "the Hound" Clegane, Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, Varys "the Spider", Tyrion "the Imp"/"Halfman" Lannister, Ser Loras "the Knight of Flowers" Tyrell, Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister, Brienne "the Beauty" Tarth, Ser Davos "the Onion Knight" Seaworth, Lady Melisandre "The Red Woman", Brynden "the Blackfish" Tully.
Played for Laughs when Jaime Lannister walks in on his brother at a brothel in Winterfell and tells him to hurry up, then proceeds to send in more prostitutes in order to hurry him up.
In the beginning of Season 3, when Podrick Payne comes to summon Bronn at Tyrion's behest. Bronn is... extremely reluctant to leave.
Tyrion and Bronn bursting in on Pycelle in Season 2.
In the Back: How Jaime Lannister offed the Mad King, making his Bodyguard Betrayal twice as dishonorable. Ned rubs it in Jaime's face despite having had family members personally tortured to death by the King, showing how people in Westeros see this kind of thing.
With most families in the show, the similarities could be argued to be a result of nurture rather than nature, but Viserys' insanity is quite clearly inherited from the "Mad King" Aerys, most likely as a result of generations of inbreeding.
Robert Baratheon mentions that he favoured wielding a war hammer in battle. The first time we see his bastard son Gendry, who is an armourer's apprentice, guess what he's working with.
I Owe You My Life: The Knight of Flowers says this word-for-word to the Hound after Sandor saves him from the Mountain, and Loras decides to repay the debt by forfeiting the final round of the joust and giving the championship title (plus the substantial award money) to the Hound.
In "Winter Is Coming" Ned Stark establishes what sort of man he is by sentencing and beheading an outlaw himself, eschewing an executioner. In "Baelor" he is beheaded, by an executioner, with his own sword.
In "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", Jaime offers a sarcastic platitude to Roose Bolton: "Tell Robb Stark I'm sorry I couldn't make his uncle's wedding. The Lannisters send their regards." In "The Rains of Castamere", Roose uses this line as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner before sticking a knife in Robb's heart.
Instant Messenger Pigeon: Messenger ravens arrive at their destination across the continent in the matter of a scene or two. The show often skips substantial periods of time for pacing's sake.
Instant Seduction: It doesn't take long for Loras to be seduced by Olyvar. Justified, since the spy is presumably one of Littlefinger's prostitutes, and therefore quite experienced at this, plus Loras hasn't been physically intimate with anyone since Renly's death.
Alliser Thorne treats the recruits of the Night's Watch with cruelty. He later tells Jon and Sam that his company was stuck in the land beyond the Wall for over six months during the last winter, even resorting to cannibalism of their fallen comrades at the end. Given how terrible the winters are, his comments on how strong someone has to be to serve the Watch may be valid.
Jaime Lannister argues that due to the inherently contradictory nature of the oaths sworn by knights, everyone becomes an oathbreaker eventually (e.g. if your father hates the king and you've sworn to obey both).
The Spice King is rude and condescending, but when Daenerys tries to get him to lend her some of his ships to get to Westeros, he makes some very good points: namely, that she's far too confident in both her ability to retake Westeros and her belief that the people actually want her back.
The Jester: Subverted. We see a minstrel singing a jaw-droppingly insulting Bawdy Song about Robert and Cersei in front of Joffrey's entire court, at the end of which Joffrey laughs and applauds. If the minstrel's terrified expression and quavering voice didn't clue you in, Joffrey's offering him the choice between keeping his fingers or his tongue is the final hint that he's actually on trial.
Lord Tywin goes out of his way in his harsh mistreatment of Tyrion, admittedly his most competent kin or underling.
Killed Off for Real: Pyat Pree, the warlock of Qarth. He escaped death once before due to his duplication magic. When Dany's dragons burn him alive however, he doesn't return and is killed permanently.
Seems to be the only way to get rid of those who were touched by the White Walkers.
This was also apparently the Mad King's favored method of killing people, and his daughter Daenerys uses fire to kill Mirri for her treachery. He was "The Dragon", after all.
In "Blackwater" Tyrion uses wildfire to kill half of Stannis' entire fleet!
Kissing Cousins: After Jaime goes off to war, Cersei starts getting her incest fix with her cousin Lancel. While cousin relationships are considered much more acceptable in the society (Cersei's parents were one, for instance) than more closely related ones, Cersei certainly seems to have a disturbing habit of shaking the family tree when looking for a bed partner. According to the books, this is because Lancel physically resembles a young Jaime. In Season 2 Tyrion uses this knowledge to blackmail Lancel into reporting to him about Cersei's activities, as neither Jaime or Joffrey would be happy with Lancel's affections toward her.
Jaime Lannister looks exactly like this, but is generally reviled as a kingslayer and oathbreaker. He's also a rather self-centered Blood Knight rather than a hero. When his physical state degrades, however, he actually starts living up to the trope.
Loras Tyrell also looks the part and, apart from some Combat Pragmatism, comes closer to actually acting like it. Unfortunately for his Fangirls (at least those of the non-yaoi persuasion), though, he's gay.
Barristan Selmy arguably fits this trope the best.
If it weren't for the sexism of Westerosi society, Brienne of Tarth would be considered one as well.
Knight in Sour Armor: Brienne and Loras become this after Renly is slain. It's even shown symbolically with the latter, as the Knight of Flowers' once spotless suit of armour (which practically made him look like a walking mirror in Season 1) is now somewhat tarnished.
Kukris Are Kool: Bronn has one strapped to the small of his back, which he puts to good use on occasion.
Cersei Lannister is behind some of Robert and Jaime's callous or outright evil decisions.
Loras provides a rare male example and fulfills this role when he suggests to Renly that he should be king instead of his brothers and nephews with the help of Highgarden. Loras comes to regret his role after Renly doesn't win the game of thrones.
It initially appears to be a gender inversion of this trope when Ser Loras gives Sansa a rose before his joust, but it's quickly subverted when it turns out to be an empty gesture. Lord Renly is his true sweetheart, but Loras obviously cannot offer his favour to another man in a homophobic society, so he simply hands the rose to the young lady who happens to be seated the closest to Renly in the stands.
Gender-flipped when Sam gives Gilly his mother's thimble, his sole keepsake from his former life before he joined the Night's Watch.
The Lancer: Jory for Lord Eddard Stark and Theon for Robb.
Large Ham: Syrio Forel, Greatjon Umber, Viserys. Drogo chews the scenery with much gusto during his Rousing Speech after the assassination attempt on Daenerys. Similarly, King Robert nearly scrapes the castle walls clean while ordering the assassination of Daenerys and her child. Roy Dotrice's One-Scene Wonder as Pyromancer Hallyne does credit to his equally hammy readings of the A Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks.
La Résistance: Tywin's occupation of the Riverlands is hampered by the "Brotherhood without Banners," a group unseen until the third season.
The Leader: King Renly is a Type IV. His charismatic personality is what wins the support of Lord Mace Tyrell and his bannermen. He commands the combined army strength of the Reach and the Stormlands, which numbers around 100 000. Renly uses diplomacy to diffuse the tension between Catelyn and his two overprotective Kingsguards.
Lecture As Exposition: Maester Luwin teaches Bran, and the audience, about the Houses of Westeros. Upon arrival in King's Landing, Sansa gets quizzed by her septa about the history of the Seven Kingdoms.
The melancholy Stark theme is the most frequently heard, playing in the pieces "Goodbye Brother," "Winter is Coming," "Jon's Honor, and "King of the North." In Season Two, it appears at the beginning of "What Is Dead May Never Die," played during Theon's Face Heel Turn, in which it gradually shifts into the Greyjoy theme instead.
The Lannisters have the "The Rains of Castamere" and its variations. It usually manifests as dark, ominous background music, but Tyrion whistles a faster, more sing-song version of it a few times in Season Two, and it finally appears in full in Blackwater.
The Baratheons have two themes: the "kingly one," used mostly for Robert, Joffrey and Stannis, is a bombastic fanfare, fitting for the royal family, first heard in "The King's Arrival" and then reprised in "You Win Or You Die," (where it incorporates elements of "The Rains of Castamere") "The Throne Is Mine," and "Wildfire". The other one, most frequently used for Robert's biological children, is "Black Of Hair", which is reprised in "Bird Without Feathers" (played when Cersei tells Catelyn about her first son who died as an infant), "Await The King's Justice," and "The Throne Is Mine."
"Chaos Is A Ladder", Littlefinger's leitmotif, is a slow, creepy piano version of "Await The King's Justice" which rises up into a variation of "The Throne Is Mine."
The White Walkers also have their own, which can be heard in "North of the Wall" and "The Night's Watch".
Daenerys has two distinct themes. One, a mysterious-sounding, powerful melody which can be heard in "Fire and Blood", has a distinctly Eastern feel to it. (This makes sense: the Targaryens were originally from Valyria, which lies in Essos.) The other is more triumphant, often mixing with the Game of Thrones main theme, and is reserved for her more glorious moments, such as Season One's "Finale" and "Mother of Dragons".
Jaqen H'ghar has a quiet, distinct tune which plays whenever he makes an appearance or performs an action affecting the plot. A broader, deeper version plays when Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie escape in "The Prince of Winterfell".
Lie Back and Think of England: A very dark version of this trope is presented when Jaime suggests to Brienne that she think of Renly when her would-be rapists have their way with her. Jaime knows that Brienne will be killed if she resists.
Lighter and Softer: While the show has more sex and violence than could be shown on network television, it pales before the books. Some examples include:
Arya kills more people, and in cold blood as well, in the books. She also suffers more degradations in the books.
Sansa is not as abused by Joffrey as badly as in the books. For example, she is stripped naked in the books, while in the series her dress is torn.
The young characters are all aged up in part so that all this sex and violence isn't happening to even younger characters.
Bodily mutilations are less pronounced for practical reasons. For example, Tyrion and Rorge both keep their noses in the series. This is Lampshaded in Season 3, where there were rumors that Tyrion had lost his nose during the Battle of Blackwater.
Melisandre, a representative of the Lord of Light, claims very passionately that light is good, but her bonfires, ominous threats and shadow magic make her quite malevolent at times.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Nineteen names in the credits of the first season (and, as mentioned above, Jason Momoa isn't included there for strange reasons), with the end result that only two characters appear in every episode of Season 1 (Joffrey and Cersei) and one in Season 2 (Tyrion). You can find a guide to help keep them all straight here.
Robb Stark falls in love with the field nurse and Volantine noble Talisa Maegyr, despite the fact he is already engaged to one of Walder Frey's daughters. His mother warns him over what a stupid political move this is, but he marries her anyway. Lord Karstark remarks that he lost the ongoing war the day he married her.
Catelyn going behind Robb's back and freeing the Kingslayer in an attempt to get Sansa and Arya back.
Sansa is convinced that Joffrey is a great guy until he chops off Ned's head.
Jaime Lannister. He's willing to push a kid out of a window to hide his secret affair, even saying, "The things I do for love..."
Cersei Lannister. She was, like many women in the Seven Kingdoms at the close of his rebellion, quite in love with Robert when they married, but a life of humiliations and occasional domestic abuse ended with her plotting her husband's death.
Petyr: his unrequited love for Catelyn caused him to become obsessed with achieving power over his social betters.
Maester Aemon's lecture to Jon warns him about the dangers of love, as it is the one thing that can cause a man to ignore his duty.
Tyrion remarks that he would kill for Shae and offhandedly adds that he expects he will have to someday.
Lured Into a Trap: The King in the North, his entourage and a major chunk of his army are wiped out in the Twins when Walder Frey turns the renewal of a marriage alliance into "The Red Wedding".
Lysistrata Gambit: A rather atypical example is provided by a same-sex couple. Feeling slighted by Brienne's Rank Up, Loras not only withholds sex from Renly, but he punishes his boyfriend even further by bringing Margaery to Renly's bed, knowing full well that Renly utterly dreads the prospect of having to consummate the marriage.
Machiavelli Was Wrong: Invoked by Ser Loras in his convincing Renly to make a play for the throne. He argues that Renly's charisma would make him a far better king than those before him because he would rule through love and respect rather than fear.
Macho Masochism: The Greatjon laughing off a direwolf eating two of his fingers. Also, Drogo showed his badassery in a duel by deliberately allowing his opponent to cut him, in order to draw the guy closer. This came back to bite him, as the wound gets infected and nearly kills him.
The Magic Comes Back: Magic is considered a folk tale by most of the people and wisemen of Westeros, but fantastical elements are gradually introduced into the story. It's implied or discussed that there's more than a correlation between the reborn of magic and the reappearance of White Walkers and dragons.
Mass "Oh, Crap!": Almost everyone present at the Sept of Baelor's reaction the moment that Joffrey decides to execute Ned Stark.
Master Swordsman: Jaime Lannister, Loras Tyrell, Sandor and Gregor Clegane, Eddard Stark, Barristan Selmy, and Syrio Forel are all described by various people as some of the best swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms. Jaime speaks particularly highly of Barristan Selmy, calling him an artist who only uses red paint. Brienne of Tarth also shows significant skill, but is generally underestimated because of her sex.
Tyrion: [noticing her foreign accent] "What sort of accent is that?"
"I pushed him out a window."
"I hoped the fall would kill him."
Mauve Shirt: Poor Jory, Rakharo, Irri, Alton and Matthos.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Robb Stark dies shortly after Stannis performs a magic ritual cursing his rival "kings." It's left ambiguous as to whether the ritual was in any way responsible for Robb's death.
Lord Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell share a lingering one at the Tourney of the Hand, and it's our first clue that these two characters are more than friends.
They exchange another look when Brienne asks to become one of Renly's Kingsguard. As Renly considers her request, Loras' expression basically reads, "Tell her no." Renly decides to disregard this silent plea, much to Loras' irritation.
Another occurs between Margaery and Loras in "Valar Dohaeris" after they witness Cersei and Joffrey's snarky discussion. The Tyrell siblings, who are Thicker Than Water and work as a Brother-Sister Team, are surprised that mother and son have used veiled insults against each other in front of their future in-laws.
In "Second Sons," Tyrion raises his glass in pity to Loras, and his eyes say, "You're next to get married." Loras, who is already quite frustrated from the day's events, sighs and turns his head away.
In-universe, bastard children have last names determined by region, so anyone meeting Jon Snow already knows something about his parentage and place of origin.
The family names Lannister and Stark are thinly veiled references to the War of the Roses, a civil war in England fought between the houses of Lancaster and York.
'Stark' has several meanings, including "rigidly conforming," "desolate" and "strong." All of these meanings can apply to the Stark family or the North.
The Mentor: Several, for most of the younger main characters and some of the older ones. Jon Arryn was this to Robert and Ned, Rodrik Cassel to Robb, Jon and Theon, Lord Commander Mormont to Jon, Syrio Forel to Arya, and Septa Mordane to Sansa. In Season 2, Quorin Halfhand takes over for Jon, Dagmer Cleftjaw for Theon, Yoren , Jaqen H'qar and Tywin Lannister for Arya and in a way, Cersei Lannister for Sansa.
The Medic: Talisa of Volantis, who attends to the wounded after a battle between Robb Stark's army and the Lannisters'.
Me's a Crowd: The Warlock(s) of Qarth seem to be entirely composed of one person, who makes copies of himself.
Meta Twist: HBO gleefully marketed the show as if Sean Bean were the main character, and thus the one star with Contractual Immortality. Nothing could be further from the truth, though those who had read the book would know this already - it would be impossible to even remotely follow the book's story with Ned alive.
Season 1: Robert Baratheon dies, and Eddard is arrested.
Season 2: Xharo Xhoan Daxos and Pryat Pree are working together, they stole Dany's dragons, and kill the Thirteen of Qarth.
Season 3: Arya runs away from the Brotherhood, Sansa finds out about her impending marriage, and Gendry finds out his true parentage, though that's more a twist for him than the audience
Miles Gloriosus: Joffrey Baratheon is a coddled teen, but likes to brag and pretend that he's a badass swordfighter. No one believes him, but everyone except his family humors him because of his high birth (and because he's crazy). In "Blackwater" he prances around in a suit of armor blathering about how he'll give Stannis "a red smile", only to turn tail and run away when Stannis and his army start attacking the city.
A Million Is a Statistic: Discussed when people try to call out others for heinous actions that might actually prevent greater bloodshed.
Tywin states that the Red Wedding prevented thousands of deaths by ending the rebellion in the North.
Melisandre and Stannis argue with Davos about whether sacrificing the innocent Gendry to end the War of the Five Kings with magic is preferable to the thousands of soldiers who would die in conventional warfare.
Minor Insult Meltdown: Wildlings refer to everyone south of the Wall as "Southerners," which annoys several Northerners.
Loras becomes the male version of this trope after Renly marries Margaery.
Shae after Tyrion marries Sansa.
Melisandre for Stannis, who is married to Selyse.
Mock Millionaire: Xaro Xhoan Daxos, whose conspicuous treasure vault is completely empty. He's cunningly leveraged his fictional fortune into a lavish lifestyle and political power.
Moment Killer: In "What Is Dead May Never Die", the foreplay between Renly and Loras is unexpectedly interrupted after Renly starts kissing the bruises on Loras' chest. This reminds Loras of the humiliation he suffered earlier in the day, and it kills the mood.
Jory's Distracted by the Sexy moment in the brothel is immediately followed by his death. Also happens when the story switches between the various different plot-threads. Arya training with Syrio? Cool, and even a little funny. But then the next thing you see is Dany eating a horse's heart.
"Walk of Punishment" ends with Jaime's hand being chopped off, and a cut to black as he screams in horror and agony, followed immediately by a bawdy punk cover of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" over the end credits.
Theon's torture starts with a sudden, comically timed blowing of a horn.
Morton's Fork: King Robert explains how a Dothraki invasion would put him in a Morton's Fork. If he faces the Dothraki horsemen in open battle, he'll be defeated. If he barricades himself in his castles, the Dothraki will rape and pillage the countryside so badly that he'll lose his kingdom anyway.
Ros the gorgeous prostitute didn't have one scene in the first season where she kept all her clothes on all the way through. Actress Esme Bianco has a background as a burlesque performer, so she's quite comfortable performing nude. In Season 2 and thereafter she's promoted to Littlefinger's aide, and thus earns the privilege to wear more clothes.
Daenerys, especially in her first appearances.
Muscles Are Meaningless: Although Loras does possess a slender build in the books, Finn Jones' skinny physique and his lack of muscles on the show make it difficult for some viewers to believe that his character is one of the best knights in Westeros.
The Mutiny: A bunch of hungry, pissed off Night's Watchmen rebel in "And Now His Watch Is Ended", with violent results.
My Nayme Is: Many of the character's names are very similar to modern names, such as Eddard for Edward.
Mythology Gag: In "Valar Dohaeris", when Cersei first sees Tyrion again following his wounding at the Battle of Blackwater, she says it was rumored his nose was cut off, but the truth is "not as gory". This is in reference to the books where Tyrion really did lose his nose in addition to gaining the nasty scar he has in the series.
Jaime Lannister is derogatorily known and addressed as "Kingslayer" by everyone, even his allies. Even those who rebelled against the king and knew that he was insane criticize him for it. Jaime insists that people should be grateful for it.
Catelyn never quite forgives or forgets the fact that Eddard Stark was unfaithful to her and sired bastard son Jon Snow.
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 Renly to be a traitor, and therefore isn't deserving 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.
Renly is the only man who has treated Brienne with kindness and respect, and he's probably the only king who has accepted a woman into his Kingsguard. He did this despite knowing full well that it would shock his bannermen, annoy his wife, and piss off his lover. Renly praises Brienne's martial skills and her devotion when Loras confronts him about it. Margaery describes Renly as "brave and gentle" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words."
Ser Davos stands out among Stannis and his supporters for being a down-to-earth, morally upstanding knight able to relate and be friendly to almost everybody.
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 executed!
Congratulations, Catelyn! Capturing Tyrion Lannister has compromised the safety of your husband and daughters in the capital, and resulted with Lord Tywin unleashing 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 of the enemies you sought revenge on made her more cunning and dangerous than her deceased husband or stillborn son could ever have been. Extra points for teaching her a lesson in the process that mercy is for the weak, giving her a crash course in blood magic, and providing the means for birthing her three dragons.
Sending Theon home to Daddy in an attempt to gain his support in combat resulted in the exact thing your father had been preventing by having Theon in the first place: The Iron Islands have taken up arms against Winterfell and now Robb has to fight wars on two fronts.
Executing Lord Karstark for treason, despite all of his counsel warning him not to. This results in the Karstarks pulling back their forces, which make up half of Robb's army. Now he's got no choice but to the turn the infamously untrustworthy Freys for help, who he's pissed off by breaking their marriage pact.
Splendid, Loras! Inciting Renly to make a bid for the throne gets your lover killed.
Kudos, Loras! By revealing to Olyvar that you're secretly engaged to Sansa, the information is then passed on to the Littlefinger, who then shares it with the Queen Regent, and now your family's plan is ruined.
Jaime lies that Brienne's family is much wealthier than they are to prevent Locke from raping her. He later learns that Locke refused Brienne's ransom, still believing his lie and expecting a much larger ransom.
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.
The Night That Never Ends: Winter is coming. Pray it's a short one - they have been known to last a decade. There is an in-universe Fairy Tale about winter lasting a generation - kings froze to death in their castles, and women murdered their own babies to save them the agony of starving to death.
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.
Jaime Lannister intercedes on Brienne's behalf to prevent her from getting raped, in spite of trying to kill her only a few hours before. In the process, he compounds the enmity his captors feel toward him, causing them to chop his hand off.
No Name Given: The Qartheen member of the Thirteen who first receives Dany outside the city walls. He does not give his name, saying that it is too long and hard for foreigners to pronounce. This is probably because he's a Canon Foreigner. When his actor was cast, he was called the Spice King, but that is his nickname and not a name.
No Periods, Period: Averted. The second thing Cersei ever says to Sansa is asking if she's had her first period. And later, Sansa dreams of her near-rape during the riot and wakes up when she's stabbed in the dream. She quickly realizes that she's bleeding and panics, knowing that now she can be married to Joffrey. Shae attempts to help her hide the evidence(even threatening to murder another handmaiden), but Sandor Clegane, of all people, happens in while Shae is chasing down the other woman, and the secret is out.
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, who playfully refuses to tell Tyrion where she's from. Later, Cersei pegs her as Lorathi, which might be a joking way of connecting Shae (who is played by Turkish-German actress Sibel Kekilli) to Jaqen, who claims to be from Lorath (and is played by fellow German actor Tom Wlaschiha).
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.
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 comparing Robert to the Mad King Aerys in "The Wolf and the Lion."
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 he more than anyone else in the Night's Watch knows his anger and being torn between his oath and wanting to do something to defend his family. He was already an old man, long since blind when the ravens delivered the news that most of his entire family had been slaughtered, even the children, during a time of war. He's Aemon Targaryen, the uncle of the Mad King.
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.
Not So Extinct: People from Westeros and Essos believe that the demonic ice-like White Walkers and the fire-breathing dragons are creatures only found in tales and songs from the past. People are proven wrong by the end of season 1.
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 books put it much more nicely, with the phrase "What the King dreams, the Hand builds".
In a conversation with Jon Snow, Tyrion remarks that had he been born a peasant, they might have left him out in the woods to die. In "Mhysa", Tywin confesses he thought about it but couldn't bring himself to do it because after all, Tyrion is a Lannister.
During the events detailed in Episode 9, there are two battles going on, but only the aftermaths are shown. In the first instance, Tyrion gets knocked unconscious by the rush of his troops following a Rousing Speech, and only wakes up when the battle is over. Later in the episode, Robb returns triumphant from a battle not shown on screen, with Jaime Lannister as a 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.
Ned Stark has an enormous greatsword made of Valyrian steel called Ice that he uses for executions, and he does so in the first episode, taking a deserter's head off in a single stroke. Towards the end of the first series, he is beheaded with his own sword.
Varys' reaction when Littlefinger reveals that he was aware that Varys had been meeting secretly with Illyrio.
Jaime's and Cersei's reactions to finding out that Bran is going to live, and Tyrion's reaction to Catelyn talking a whole tavern of people 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.
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.
Grenn: "Two blasts is Wildlings." Edd: "You're not fighting them alone. Come on." *third blast* 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.
Robert Arryn's name was changed to Robin to avoid confusion with King Robert.
Averted with the White Walkers and their zombie minions, the wights. "White" and "wight" are pronounced the same, which can cause confusion.
Asha Greyjoy has been renamed Yara to not be confused with Osha the wildling.
Only a Flesh Wound: Averted all over the place. When Ned gets speared in the leg, he's unconscious 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 in a duel with an uppity tribesman, Daenerys and Mirri Maz Duur both agree that the wound must be washed and sewn, or it will fester. In the end it festers anyway—possibly due to Mirri's sabotage—and by the next episode he's very, very ill. Quite realistic for a setting with barely-above-medieval medicine.
Bronn makes it clear to Tyrion that he's expecting payment for his work, to which Tyrion assures him that no one can beat a Lannister's price. When his work for Tyrion earns him a knighthood, before long he's complaining that as a knight he should get a higher wage.
Petyr points out that the Gold Cloaks fight for whoever pays their salary.
Only Sane Employee: This seems to be the entire point of the role of The Hand Of The King.
Robert lampshades it when conferring the title on Eddard:
Robert: "Lord Eddard Stark, I would name you The Hand Of The King." Ned: "I'm not worthy of the honour." Robert: "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!"
When Tywin Lannister was the Hand of the King, it was the most peaceful and prosperous period in recent history, which says something considering that the King he served was "The Mad King"
Davos Seaworth, in between his inflexibly righteous boss and his boss' religiously fanatic other advisor, is this for the camp of Stannis Baratheon.
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. Someone must."
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.
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 rumours.
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.
Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons had high animal intelligence, breathed fire and varied in size, with most large enough to carry human riders in the air and some large enough to "swallow an aurochs whole". Their fire was hot enough to melt stone. They had two legs and two batlike arm/wings. They laid scaled eggs, some of which are still preserved. They have been extinct for over a century; some people seem to believe that magic died out with (and is now returning with) the dragons, though whether there's a causal relationship, and if so, which caused which, is unclear. Upon their return, we learn that dragons have a strong imprinting instinct and only eat cooked meat.
All the time; the Lannisters in particular are masters of it.
In both "The Wolf and the Lion" and "Fire and Blood," Varys and Littlefinger have scenes that exemplify this trope.
The dinner scene with Cersei, Joffrey, Margaery and Loras in "Valar Dohaeris."
Pass the Popcorn: Walder Frey continues to slurp his wine while watching his men massacre Robb and his followers during Edmure's wedding.
The Patriarch: All the major houses have one, of course, but Tywin Lannister wins the prize.
Lord Tywin: The house that puts family first will always defeat the house that puts the whims and wishes of its sons and daughters first.
Peaceful in Death: Despite the horrific manner in which King Renly was killed, his body looks remarkably at peace. The corpse is later dressed and positioned in a way to make him appear regal and dignified, and Margaery can't resist mentioning how handsome he was, with Littlefinger agreeing.
By "Lord Snow," it looks like Daenerys and Khal Drogo are pretty damn happy together.
Ned Stark and Catelyn Tully as well, though it did not start that way.
Phallic Weapon: In season 3, Joffrey fires his crossbow from the hip, and the camera angle clearly implies this trope. This is after he has lovingly shown and described it to his fiance, and he has already shown that he gets turned on by violence and killing.
Playing Drunk: Tyrion plays up his drunkenness, making very self-deprecating jokes, to get away with having made a threatening statement to the king.
Plot Armor: Not only subverted but outright inverted. GRRM has said that the safer a character "should" be by the rules of normal storytelling, the more deliberately he sets out to do them in.
Plot Triggering Death: Jon Arryn's death is what causes Eddard Stark and his family to become tangled in the game of thrones.
Poke the Poodle: Tyrion's "confession" in the Eyrie describes a number of acts which, while not exactly innocent, are hardly the stuff villains are made of.
"Where do I begin, my lords and ladies? I am a vile man, I confess it. My crimes and sins are beyond counting. I have lied and cheated, gambled and whored. I’m not particularly good at violence, but I’m good at convincing others to do violence for me. You want specifics, I suppose. When I was seven, I saw a servant girl bathing in the river. I stole her robe, and she was forced to return to the castle naked and in tears. If I close my eyes...I can still see her tits bouncing. When I was ten, I stuffed my uncle’s boots with goat shit. When confronted with my crime, I blamed a squire. The poor boy was flogged, and I escaped justice. When I was twelve, I milked my eel into a pot of turtle stew. I flogged the one-eyed snake. I skinned my sausage. I made the bald man cry into the turtle stew, which I do believe my sister ate—at least, I hope she did. I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel—"
Posthumous Character: Lyanna Stark, Joanna Lannister, Aegon I The Conqueror, Rhaegar Targaryen, "Mad" King Aerys Targaryen and Jon Arryn are among the characters mentioned frequently but already dead by the beginning of the series, though Arryn is seen briefly (lying in state) in the pilot episode.
P.O.V. Cam: There is a tracking shot in Winterfell from the perspective of Bran's wolf Summer, following Hodor to Bran's bedroom and jumping onto his bed, which then immediately switches to Bran's POV as he wakes up and looks into the wolf's eyes. He then goes on to describe his "wolf dreams" to Maester Luwin.
The Power of Love: Averted horribly when Daenerys tries to use this to bring Khal Drogo out of a coma. Of course, it doesn't work, which is on par with the theme of the series.
Praetorian Guard: The Kingsguard, a group of knights who protect the king and serve for life. Like their namesake, one of their members was reponsible for the death of the previous king.
Pragmatic Adaptation: The series contains large amounts of pragmatic adaptation largely due to the transition from a rotating third person limited POV series of novels (complete with inner monologues) to a televised ensemble piece. Some changes worked better than others.
The show excises flashbacks and prophecies entirely. Flashbacks would require the expense of hiring an entirely different cast, while prophecies are tricky to write and pay off in a satisfactory manner. Because of this, Daenerys' hallucinations focus on her own story, rather than long-dead characters or those that live on a different continent; Ned's memories of his sister's demise are replaced with other foreshadowing devices; while the mysterious masked Quaithe's role is altered from prophecy sounding board to a foil for Jorah Mormont. Arguably, this streamlines and improves the series greatly.
Tywin Lannister, Robb Stark, and Littlefinger were offpage for the vast majority of A Clash of Kings, but the writers of a television show could not afford to have these popular (and probably well paid) actors disappear for a whole season. So they were either moved into someone else's story (Tywin into Arya's), had the previously secondhand exploits shown first hand (Robb's campaign and courtship of his non-Frey wife), or apparently develop mysterious teleportation powers to cameo in mulitple stories (Littlefinger making deals with at least three factions of the War of the Five Kings).
Arya's story had an extensive road trip portion with multiple kidnappings, then a stay in Harrenhal where she interacts with a bunch of new characters and ends up facilitating a palace coup with even more new characters. To streamline her story, much of the road trip portion was cut out and instead of working for Weese and later Roose Bolton (who was moved to Robb's camp for character development), the palace coup was cut out, and she only served one master in Harrenhal—known character Tywin Lannister. These changes also changed the focus of her story from the suffering of the smallfolk during war to the cat and mouse game to hide her identity.
Jon and Dany's stories in Clash were very internally focused with almost no action until the respective last chapters. To make them more action packed, Jon gets separated from the group to spend more time interacting with his love interest and Dany has to deal with the kidnapping of her dragons and betrayal by one of her handmaidens.
Due to the POV structure of the book, we needed two shadowbaby assassins birthed by Melisandre in order to understand how they came to be and what they did: the one that kills Renly (which we see in action from Catelyn's point of view) and later the one that ultimately kills Cortnay Penrose (which we see birthed from Davos's point of view). In the show, we see the same shadowbaby being born (with Davos smuggling Melisandre somewhere close enough so that the assassin can kill Renly, which is seen from Catelyn and Brienne's point of view.
Related to the cutting of the second shadowbaby, Storm's End, Penrose, and the entire subplot surrounding Stannis wanting his bastard nephew's blood was cut. Stannis's family was also cut from Season 2. However, with the casting of his wife and daughter in season 3, it remains to be seen how much, if any of Stannis's family drama and Storm's End is repurposed for Season 3. Considering that Stannis does not do much except sulk in Book 3 until serving as the Big Damn Heroes for Jon at the Wall, moving the Storm's End and Stannis's family plot to Season 3 may be the most pragmatic way to adapt that storyline, especially since the third book is going to be spread out over two seasons.
Much of the dialogue of Davos Seaworth in the TV series does not appear in the books, since much of his character development in these is restricted to his inner thoughts; the fact that further books concerning Jon Snow's actions on The Wall are written like that as well, there will probably be changes in dialogue in further seasons of the TV series.
In the books, all POV Stark children whose direwolves are still alive (meaning Jon Snow, Arya and Bran) are shown warging into them when sleeping. In the series, only Bran's dreams are kept, because they are essential to his Story Arc, while Jon's and Arya's stories can work without them.
In the books, Barristan Selmy joins Daenerys under the alias Arstan Whitebeard, which is enough to disguise his identity as Daenerys is the only viewpoint character for this story, and had never seen him before. On the show, of course, the actor is easily recognizable, so he reveals his true identity to her right away.
Ser Loras Tyrell; George R.R. Martin even described the character as "...the teen idol of Westeros" in this HBO featurette. Two lowborn Lannister soldiers consider him to be prettier than the Queen. In "The Climb," Olenna calls Loras "...the pride of Highgarden, the most desirable bachelor in all of the Seven Kingdoms."
Jon Snow is prettier than half of Craster's daughters, according to Craster himself.
Deconstructed with Margaery, who is an astute politician and manipulator, but puts on the persona of a charming and harmless princess to all and sundry. This has gained her the fanatical support of most of the common people (making them forget about the near-famine caused by her family's boycott of the capital).
And of course deconstructed with Sansa who was raised by her mother to be the perfect princess and is eager to fulfill this role, only to find her Prince Charming is a petulant evil psychopath ruling over a Crapsack World.
Private Military Contractors: Daenerys seeks a mercenary army that she can use to invade Westeros. She goes to Astapor to purchase Unsullied, eunuch slaves who are considered the finest soldiers around.
Promotion to Opening Titles: Six recurring characters in Season 1, got promoted for Season 2: Jon Bradley (Samwell Tarly), James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Conleth Hill (Varys), Sibel Kekilli (Shae) and Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister). Oona Chaplin (Talisa Maegyr), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), and Joe Dempsie (Gendry) are promoted in season 3.
Properly Paranoid: The Wildlings insistence that you must burn dead bodies to prevent them coming back as wights under the control of the White Walkers.
The Dothraki, who will cut their hair in shame if they lose a fight.
And the ironborn take pride in the fact that they are reavers. They traditionally do not wear jewelry that was not won in battle. House Greyjoy's words, "We Do Not Sow," brag that they do not work for a living, they kill for it.
Psycho Supporter: Ramsay has two attractive women who seem to take pleasure in helping him torment Theon.
Bronn is pretty mellow when he's not fighting, but he makes it clear that he'll do anything for the right price.
Lannister soldiers are shown slaughtering the entire Stark household, even the septas, but when we see a few relaxing at camp, they're pretty normal people.
Puppet King: Cersei does her best to train Joffrey to become one of these for her. Subverted when Joffrey goes spectacularly off-script at the end of "Baelor," and his puppetmasters are powerless to stop him. Lampshaded by Tyrion in "The Pointy End":
Lord Tywin: Joffrey rules in King's Landing. Tyrion: My sister rules you mean. (Tywin tilts his head in approval)
The Purge: In "The North Remembers", Joffrey has all of Robert's bastards hunted down and killed. It's rather disturbing to watch, considering many of the people involved are children.
The Dothraki are seen to be indulging in this, which comes back to bite Khal Drogo later on when he needs medical help.
Offscreen, by Ser Gregor Clegane at the behest of Tywin Lannister. Gregor Clegane's band is reported to be doing this in the Riverlands. Ned is so appalled that he officially attaints him and sentences him to death, giving the Lannisters yet another grievance against him.
However Tyrion successfully plays on this trope to motivate his reluctant soldiers during the Battle of Blackwater, saying they should fight not for honor, gold, glory, or their king, but to stop Stannis' army from sacking their city and raping their loved ones.
Rapunzel Hair: Common for a fantasy series, plenty of female characters sport this: Catelyn, Cersei, Talisa, Ros and several noblewoman and whore extras.
Red Baron: Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, Ser Gregor "The Mountain That Rides" Clegane, Ser Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannisternote played with, as in-universe this is a mark of shame, Aerys "The Mad King" Targaryen, Daenerys "Mother of Dragons" Targaryen.
Reaction Shot: When Tyrion's plan to wipe out Stannis' fleet with wildfire goes ahead, the view switches between the carnage itself and the horrified expressions on onlookers' faces. Most notably, Sandor looks genuinely fearful, Tyrion looks remorseful, Joffrey almost smirks, and Pyromancer Hallyne is giggling.
Real Men Wear Pink: Loras' ornate armour, clothing and accessories always have a floral pattern. Justified, since his house's sigil is a rose, but he's still seen as being over-the-top about it, and is known as "the Knight of Flowers".
In "And Now His Watch Is Ended," Lord Commander Mormont manages to choke Rast after Rast (literally) stabs him in the back. While at first it appears that Mormont will take his killer to the grave with him, his wounds weaken him too much. Rast escapes and stabs Mormont some more.
Littlefinger tells an associate that he challenged Brandon Stark for Catelyn's hand because he'd heard all the stories and songs where the "plucky little hero" triumphs over the odds and wins the maiden's heart. However, Littlefinger wasn't a great swordsman or soldier, and Brandon was.
Renly Baratheon tells Robert exactly what he thinks of his "glory days".
Renly: Which days exactly? The ones when half of Westeros fought the other half and millions died? Or before that, when the Mad King slaughtered women and babies because the voices in his head told him they deserved it? Or way before that, when dragons burnt whole cities to the ground?
Robert: Easy boy, you might be my brother but you're speaking to the king.
Renly: I suppose it was all rather heroic, if you were drunk enough and had some poor Riverlands whore to shove your prick inside and make the eight.
Lord Tywin's answer to Tyrion's demands:
Tywin: You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust and low cunning. Men's laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine. And to teach me humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about, wearing the proud lion that was my father's sigil, and his father's sigil before him. But neither gods nor men will ever compel me to turn Casterly Rock into your whorehouse.
Lord Karstark points out that Robb pardoned his mother for releasing an enemy, but wants to execute him for killing members of the same enemy family.
Jon: I know your people are brave, no one denies that. Six times in the last thousand years, a King-beyond-the-Wall has attacked the kingdoms. Six times they failed. You don't have the discipline. You don't have the training. Your army is no army. You don't know how to fight together.
Being assigned to the Wall is seen as this, especially since the majority of the guards stationed there are criminals who choose service over their punishments. Others such as Ser Alliser Thorne are members of the former regime who chose the Wall over death.
Cersei plans to do this to Ned Stark in "Baelor." Joffrey, however, has other plans.
Red Right Hand: Shade of the Evening stains the Warlocks' lips and mouths blue, making them easy to spot... when they are't hiding it with magic.
The Stark household guard, with the exception of Jory.
Lannister soldiers in a more literal sense.
Season one itself seems to be comprised of Stark bannermen and guards getting speared or destroyed. The only aversion to this is the Battle of the Whispering Wood, which in the series only shows the capture of Jaime. Of course, they were massively outnumbered before.
The Night's Watch, which is composed mostly of thieves and murderers who join to avoid their punishments. The rest of the kingdom forgets about them as they freeze and fight.
Robb's diversionary army is seen as completely expendable in-universe.
Refusal of the Call: Renly initially rejects Loras' suggestion that he should be king in "The Wolf and the Lion", but the idea gradually becomes more appealing after he argues with Robert, and he finally embraces it in "You Win or You Die." When Renly first appears in Season 2, he has already crowned himself king with the help of the Tyrells.
Lord Tywin: I see that the rumors of your demise were unfounded. Tyrion: Sorry to disappoint you, Father. No need to leap up and embrace me, I wouldn't want you to strain yourself.
Revealing Coverup: The attempted assassination of Bran was the only thing that gave Catelyn reason to believe that he hadn't fallen, but was rather thrown, causing her to dig deeper into the affair and discover various clues pointing to the Lannisters.
Revenge: Loras and Brienne swear vengeance against Stannis after Renly is murdered.
Revenge Before Reason: In "The Ghost of Harrenhal," Loras is ready to storm out of Renly's tent to put a sword through Stannis' righteous face, but Margaery and Littlefinger manage to convince him that it would be hopeless, as he would be killed by Stannis' men long before he ever reached his target.
Reverse Arm Fold: Loras adopts this pose in Season 3 whenever he wishes to appear relaxed; examples include his greeting of Cersei and Joffrey in "Valar Dohaeris," while he walks away from Sansa in "Dark Wings, Dark Words," and Tyrion and Sansa's wedding ceremony.
Jaime and Cersei are seen having sex while wearing most of their clothing. Lampshaded by Benioff and Weiss in the commentary for the first episode, where they explain that Jaime is not only a master swordsman, but also a master of having sex without taking off any clothes.
Tyrion is also rarely seen naked during his sex scenes, as opposed to his partners.
Stannis Baratheon has sex with a completely naked Melisandre while covered in several layers of clothing.
Theon Greyjoy, of all people, gives a good one in "Valar Morghulis." It is immediately subverted, as one of his men gives him a Tap on the Head and announces they're going to flee. But he does concede that "it was a good speech"...
Royal Brat: Just look at the image on the trope's page.
Royally Screwed Up: The Targaryens provide the page quote for the trope, arguably due to a long-standing tradition of Brother-Sister Incest. And King Joffrey seems to combine the worst aspects of each of his already-unpleasant parents (also brother and sister).
In "Winter Is Coming," the Starks find two dead animals who died fighting each other - a stag and a direwolf. The latter has six pups which map directly onto the Stark children (including Jon Snow, who gets an albino who ran or was driven away from the others). Everyone is disturbed by this in-universe, as the symbolism of the house sigils is very important in Westeros. Theon Greyjoy is quick to suggest killing the pups, which is foreshadowing.
At the beginning of "You Win or You Die," Tywin Lannister is shown very calmly butchering a stag as he instructs Jaime on how to carry on the family legacy. (Apparently, Charles Dance was dressing a real dead deer.) A Deleted Scene of Season 3 has Tywin fishing. The sigil of House Tully is a fish.
In a room full of guards and soldiers, Littlefinger, a schemer with no physical talent, is the person who holds a knife to Lord Stark's throat, underscoring his backstabbing.
Ruling Couple: A ruling threesome in this case: King Renly, Queen Margaery and Ser Loras are presented as this in Season 2. Natalie Dormer describes their complicated union as a trinity in this featurette. It's Renly's romantic relationship with Loras which allows for the alliance to be created in the first place, and his marriage to Margaery seals the deal officially. Renly treats both his lover and his wife as his equals (the latter is shown symbolically in the melee scene, where Margaery's seat is of the same size as Renly's). The Tyrell siblings essentially function as a Brother-Sister Team in this three-way marriage; Loras' goal is to help Renly win the Iron Throne, while Margaery's job is to help her husband keep it.
Sacred Hospitality: Taken very seriously in Westeros. Once you've eaten bread and salt under someone's roof, you're their guest and are officially under their protection. It's illustrated in the story of the Rat Cook, told by Bran, who says violation of hospitality is the one crime that the gods cannot forgive. The law is flagrantly broken by Walder Frey at Edmure Tully's wedding to his daughter.
Sacrificial Lamb: The three members of the Night's Watch (Will, Gared, and Ser Waymar Royce) who appear in the pilot. And Lady. And Jory, squeaking in just under the 5-episode limit.
You're free to leave your cell in the Eyrie at any time; the cells actually have only three walls. Of course, the cells are cut into a cliff face, with the missing fourth wall being the one that would keep you safe from falling out into space. Lysa Arryn implies that the cells have sloped floors, which pull the prisoner closer to the edge, as Tyrion shows when he nearly rolls over the side in his sleep.
Joffrey gives a minstrel who offends him the choice between having his tongue cut out or losing his hands.
Sarcastic Clapping: Joffrey does this after hearing a minstrel's song mocking his family. The confused members of court aren't sure whether they should be joining him or not.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Locke is a rare villainous example. He hates the fact that nobles can buy their way out of trouble, so he chooses to torture his noble captives rather than trade them in for riches.
Jon Snow, Robb Stark, and Theon Greyjoy in season 1, as they're waiting for a shave from Winterfell's barber.
Renly and Loras have one in Season 1; Loras is shaving Renly's chest while trying to convince his lover that he should make a claim for the throne. They have another in Season 2 where they're kissing passionately in Renly's tent.
Joffrey in season 3, when he's trying out various royal outfits.
Loras has another in Season 3 when he beds Olyvar.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Ros' arc, a character who does not exist in book canon. For the majority of the first two seasons, she is a prostitute who exists primarily for the show's infamous "sexposition", although she has a distinct personality. At the end of season 2 and in season 3, she begins navigating the political world as a spy, and doing quite well for herself. She is killed in a brutal and sexualized manner in order to prove the cruelty of two (male) characters, both of whom have already had multiple scenes dedicated to just that.
Jon and Sam, two characters in a fantasy world, telling each other what they wanted to be when they grew up: a ranger and a wizard, respectively.
The helmets of Lannister soldiers are quite similar to those of the German soldiers in Alexander Nevsky, which were, in turn, based on the Stahlhelm of Nazi Germany soldiers.
One of the names Viserys mentions when listing the Targaryen dragons is Vermithrax.
Shrouded in Myth: Facts from the past are prone to be embellished or turned into legends. Aegon, for instance, didn't melt the thousand swords of his vanquished foes into the Iron Throne, but fewer than two hundred. This kind of mystique helps to seam the realm together.note George R.R. Martin's original vision of the Iron Throne is much larger and more monstrous-looking than the show version, with the "thousand swords" statement apparently being meant literally.
Sigil Spam: Many of the great houses have their emblem in everything. The Tullys have a pier outside Riverrun with fish carved to their beams. Sandor Clegane has a helmet the shape of a dog. Renly's crown has stag antlers on it. The Tyrells don't have a single article of clothing without their rose on it. The last one is pointed out by Lady Oleanna, as a reaction to the stitching of one of her relatives:
"Another golden rose. How original. I eat from plates stamped with roses. I sleep in sheets embroidered with roses. I have a golden rose painted on my chamber pot, as if that makes it smell any better. Roses are boring, dear."
Silent Credits: Used in "The Rains of Castamere" to allow the audience to absorb the shock of the brutal deaths of Talisa, Robb and Catelyn.
Sissy Villain: The eunuch Lord Varys subverts this trope brilliantly. Raised by actors, he knows how to play the role properly to keep the Queen and her council guessing. Even Magnificent Bastard Petyr Baelish doesn't quite know what he's up to. It's mostly an act, when he gets truly angry or serious he drops his usual polite, facetious tone and his voice becomes considerably lower, first seen when he delivers quite a hardass What the Hell, Hero? to Ned Stark.
Smug Snake: Cersei is one of these most days. Her father dresses her down for it.
Tywin : I don't distrust you because you are a woman, I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think you are.
Snake Oil Salesman: Bronn accuses Pyromancer Hallyne of being one of these, even going so far as to suggest that the Wildfire he's making is actually pigshit. Averted during the Battle of Blackwater, where his Wildfire turns out to be the real deal.
Ser Gregor kills his own horse and attempts to murder an unarmed Ser Loras (who only carried a shield at the time) after the latter defeats him in the joust.
Although Loras doesn't do or say anything negative to Brienne after she wins their melee competition, he's shown to be bitter about his defeat when he speaks to Renly in private.
The Spartan Way: The Unsullied are put through hellish training that makes them immune to pain and robotically loyal.
Spikes of Villainy: Being made entirely of swords, the Iron Throne practically reeks of this trope. Aegon the Conqueror fashioned it to serve as a symbol and to intimidate the hell out of anyone who would challenge his rule, however, by all historical accounts, beyond that he was a surprisingly decent monarch. Played straight with Aerys II and Joffrey, who also adds giant spiky braziers to the bases of the pillars of the throne room.
Spirit Advisor: Jojen Reed has started to appear in Bran's dreams about the three-eyed crow, advising him on how to follow it.
Spoiled Brat: In "The Wolf and the Lion," Lord Renly reveals that his brothers consider him to be a spoiled child. Ser Loras' facial expression and his silence strongly indicate that he agrees. Renly then points out that Loras (whose family is richer than his) is overly-pampered as well.
Renly: And how much did your father pay for that armour of yours?
Loras is a Type A in Season 3. He puts on a charming smile and a pleasant disposition most of the time, but his mask slips at a very public event in "Second Sons", and his misery betrays itself more subtly in "Valar Dohaeris" (Loras—who is no longer paying attention to the dinner conversation—has a melancholic expression when Joffrey says, "I'm sure she knows what she's doing"). In "The Climb", he tells Sansa, "It's [King's Landing] terrible isn't it? The most terrible place there is," which clearly indicates that Loras is suffering in silence.
Straight Edge Evil: Jaime Lannister discusses the trope in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," commenting to the teetotal Roose Bolton, "You know how suspicious that seems to most people, don't you?" Bolton's not drinking is brought up again in "The Rains of Castamere", when his villainy is finally revealed.
Straight Gay: Renly Baratheon has a more masculine appearance and demeanour than his lover.
Catelyn's reaction to Robb's death. The silence continues with a total lack of music or sound during the entire credits sequence.
The reaction to a drunken Tyrion slamming a dagger into the table and threatening to castrate King Joffrey.
Subordinate Excuse: Loras is the sole male heir of the second-richest family in Westeros, and presumably he has duties in Highgarden and the Reach, yet in Season 2 he chooses to devote his entire life to protecting Renly. Being the Lord Commander of his brother-in-law's Kingsguard is a very convenient way for Loras to be able to spend a lot of time with his beloved, as his frequent visits can be explained away as being job-related. (It doesn't stop the rumours about them from spreading among Renly's followers, however.)
Succession Crisis: One begins at the end of episode seven, and is the main focus of season two.
Type 0: Most of the non-combatant cast, most peasants
Type 1: Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, Bronn, Stannis Baratheon, Ser Loras, Khal Drogo, Ser Jorah, Jon Snow, Yoren, Brienne of Tarth, Syrio Forel, Sandor Clegane, Ser Gregor Clegane
Loras' body language cannot disguise the utter disgust and frustration that he feels at having to bend the knee to Joffrey in "Valar Morghulis."
The abrupt and rude manner in which Loras storms away from the wedding feast in "Second Sons" is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the true depths of his anger over his current situation (i.e. his forced betrothal to Cersei, his inability to mourn for Renly in public, etc.).
Sure, Let's Go with That: Happens when Margaery explains to Sansa—who's dreading having to sleep with Tyrion when they're arranged to be married—how a woman might not know what she wants sexually until she's tried it.
Suspiciously Apropos Music: Invoked. "The Rains of Castamere," a song about the slaughter of a major house that stood up against the Lannisters, is played just before Robb Stark and his bannermen are slaughtered by House Frey and House Bolton, who have sided with the Lannisters.
Sword Pointing: In "The Ghost of Harrenhal," Loras points his sword right in Littlefinger's face and accuses the older man of wanting to sell him and his sister to Stannis as hostages.
Tangled Family Tree: When Loras Tyrell is to wed Cersei Lannister and her (inbred) son Joffrey is to marry Loras's sister Margaery, the family tree gets hilariously complicated all of a sudden. Lady Olenna tries to wrap her head around their familial relations. Specifically:
Loras will be Joffrey's stepfather and brother-in-law.
Cersei will be Joffrey's mother (as well as aunt) and sister-in-law. note Depending on definition. A lot of people nowadays don't count the spouses of your siblings-in-law as additional siblings-in-law, but in this society they seemingly do.
Margery's and Joffrey's son will be Loras's nephew and step-grandson.
Loras will be Margaery's brother and father-in-law.
An unlucky hog farmer gets two in "The Rains of Castamere", courtesy of the Hound and Arya respectively. This foreshadows Sandor knocking Arya out when she tries to intervene in the battle at the Twins.
Tempting Fate: Benjen, Ned, and Robert all say something akin to "we'll talk when I get back". They thought they would, huh?
Thicker Than Water: The Tyrells always stick together. Olenna, Margaery and Loras never express anything but care for each other despite the family's ambition. Olenna and Margaery are also the most accepting characters of Loras' sexuality besides Renly.
Margaery: Luckily for us Tyrells our blood runs quite warm, doesn't it, Loras?
Jaqen H'ghar refers to himself as "a man" rather than "I" and other people in a similar way, such as referring to Arya as "a girl" rather than "you."
Slaves from Slaver's Bay, including the Unsullied, are required to refer to themselves as "this one" to help destroy their sense of identity.
Title Card: It's housed in the floating astrolabe that functions as the sun for the giant Clock Punk map of Westeros and Essos in the opening credits. It's revealed to the audience at the end of the credits when it eclipses the sun plate at the centre of the sphere, however, if you're paying attention you can briefly see it at the start of the credits as the camera zooms past the sphere and down to King's Landing.
Title Drop: Every episode is Title Dropped since the episodes are typically named after a significant line from them, and the titles aren't displayed. However, the one that tops them all is a series title drop and episode title drop in one line:
Cersei Lannister: When you play the game of thrones, you win... or you die. There is no middle ground.
Those Two Bad Guys: Ser Boros Blount and Ser Meryn Trant of the Kingsguard, who are used as thugs by Joffrey and Cersei. Another mook takes the place of Blount occasionally.
Bronn: Ah! Look at these two shining warriors! Ser Taryn Mant and... Ser Whosit of Whocares.
Those Two Guys: Pyp and Grenn. Dolorous Edd is added to the mix in Season Two.
Thousand Year Reign: The Lannisters have this goal in mind. In season 1 Lord Tywin discusses the war plans with his son Jaime, explaining that the events of the coming months will either cement a Lannister/Baratheon dynasty on the Iron Throne that could last a thousand years, or they could collapse into nothing like the Targaryens (who made it to 300 years themselves).
Took a Level in Badass: Daenerys Targaryen starts as a young maid effectively whored into an arranged marriage for an army, to a conqueror.
During their stay at King's Landing, Ned gives a doll to Sansa. At first, she views this gift with disdain, claiming that she hadn't played with dolls since she was eight. After her father dies, it's revealed in a short scene during the second season that she kept the doll.
Renly's armour fits this trope for Loras. This heartbreaking deleted scene from Season 2 makes it more obvious. It's the only physical object that Loras has kept as a reminder of his lover after he buries Renly's body.
Training Montage: A minor one for Arya in her first "dancing" lesson with Syrio Forel. Gets echoed in "The Ghost Of Harrenhal," where Arya passes on Syrio's wisdom during Gendry's Shirtless Scene.
Transparent Closet: The rumours surrounding Renly and Loras' relationship are far more rampant on the show than in the books, to the point where some book readers actually expressed surprise to discover that Renly and Loras were lovers after watching the show.
In "Fire and Blood," Joffrey shows Sansa the castle wall adorned with heads on pikes, of all the members of her household. This most importantly of all includes her septa and her father, and he forces her to look.
Everything that happens to Theon Greyjoy in Season 3.
The main theme gets this treatment on a couple occasions, the first being when Robb rides back from battle safe and sound, with Jaime Lannister as his prisoner, and the second over the final scene and closing credits of the season. The latter is so effective it's difficult not to leap from your couch, fist pumping and cheering when it cuts to black. Dragons have that effect.
As noted above, while the "The Throne Is Mine" during Joffrey's purge of Robert's bastards is the Dark Reprise of the Baratheon theme, it segues into a triumphant rendition of "Black of Hair" when Gendry escapes to safety.
Robert Baratheon's theme also gets a triumphant reprise when Gendry learns his true parentage in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair".
"The King In The North" is reprised, not for Robb who died in the previous episode, but for Bran as he goes to the Wall in "Mhysa.".
The official title of the King on the Iron Throne is "X of House Y, Number of his name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm". It's easy to understand why fans will usually call the position "King of Westeros".
Dany's evergrowing magnificence tangles it some more, since she lays claim to the above title and adds "...of the Blood of Old Valyria; Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea; Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons". You can see why most people just call her Khaleesi.
Turned Against Their Masters: Astapor slavers created the best soldiers in the world, the Unsullied. However, they didn't count on Daenerys Targaryen's first act after buying the Unsullied, was to free them from their bonds and give them the option to slaughter their former masters. The Unsullied took it..
Twenty-Four-Hour Armor: King Renly doesn't seem to have any formal clothing other than his armour in Season 2.
Varys, Pycelle and Barristan are all survivors from the Targaryen regime. Each of them is too good at what they do to have been removed from their posts. Defied with Ser Barristan, who expects to serve for life but is dismissed in the transition from Robert to Joffrey after Robert dies under his watch.
Littlefinger tries to bump it up to Vetinari Job Security, right to Cersei's face, but she reveals that she's impulsive and capricious enough to just up and kill him, no matter the consequences.
Uncertain Doom: Syrio Forel. The last we see of him is when he is about to fight Ser Meryn Trant with a broken practice sword. We hear his battle cry and the sounds of a fight before the scene cuts away. Trant appears later, unscathed, but Syrio's fate is never addressed.
Undead Child: In the very start of episode one, we see a young wildling girl, murdered by the White Walkers and nailed to a tree. A few minutes later, she's no longer stuck to the tree, and is giving us a good look at her unnatural blue eyes. Creepy...
Undying Loyalty: While House Tyrell joined the Lannisters out of a desire to gain more political power, Loras himself only wanted to avenge Renly's murder. Commanding a cavalry charge while wearing his deceased lover's armour is quite a grand romantic gesture, as it was Loras' way of honouring the vow he had made to Renly in Season 1.
The Unhug: Between Cersei and Tyrion in Season 2, except that they don't even get as far as hugging. After spending a season and a half thoroughly loathing one another, Cersei finally breaks down in front of Tyrion, starts crying, and admits that there is something terribly wrong with her son. Tyrion realizes that this is the moment when you're kind of supposed to do *something* to make your sobbing sister feel better, but he's so out of practice that he crosses the room to her and then has no idea what to do. He winds up just sort of patting her hand a little, and then they both sit there silently looking awkward.
Unreliable Narrator: The Blu-ray extras of the history of Westeros narrated by the characters in the show. Each character has a biased or one-sided view over certain events. For example: from House Lannister's POV, they viewed their sacking of King's Landing during Robert's Rebellion as a just action to bring order back to the kingdoms, but in the House Baratheon and House Stark POV, they viewed the Rape, Pillage, and Burn as an atrocity, which Robert felt was a Necessary Evil while Ned viewed it as a terrible crime. Meanwhile from Viserys Targaryen's POV, he calls the sacking an unjust betrayal, despite the fact the other three Houses pointed out that the Mad King firing Tywin was the cause of him siding with the rebels.
The Unreveal: Shae is vague and mysterious about her past. When Cersei corners her and demands details about her life, Shae starts, "When I was thirteen..." but gets cut off.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Dany's advisors are appalled by her trading of a dragon for an army. Neither they nor the viewers are aware that her plan involves turning her dragon against the would-be buyer and using the army to conquer Astapor.
The Usurper: Robert Baratheon is a much more sympathetic example than most, given the behaviour of his predecessor.
Vagina Dentata: Referenced when Ygritte is trying to seduce Jon. "It doesn't have teeth..."
Vengeance Feels Empty: Even though Robert Baratheon killed the man who captured his beloved in single combat, he seems to be unable to be satisfied with it. He mentions in his dreams that "he kills him every night" which betrays the emptiness he feels even with having revenge.
Viking Funeral: Catelyn's father Hoster Tully receives one in "Walk of Punishment".
Villainous Breakdown: Viserys begins showing greater and greater signs of this as he spends more time among the Dothraki. His breakdown reaches its climax when Khal Drogo presents him his "golden crown."
Villain Song: "The Rains of Castamere", also known as the Lannister song, is a composition which chronicles Tywin's annihilation of house Reyne of Castamere, a rebellious vassal. Famous in-story, it's effectively used as Badass Boast, Implied Death Threat and leitmotif.
Visual Innuendo: Ramsay Snow has a penchant for gelding captives and eating sausages.
Vorpal Pillow: Daenerys' method of euthanizing a catatonic Drogo.
The Wall Around the World: Characters refer to the Wall as "the edge of the world." The Wall itself has startling parallels with Hadrian's Wall, a huge, 80 mile long barrier stretching across the top of England which was began in AD 122 and built to protect Roman Britain from Scottish invasion. Unsurprisingly George R.R. Martin has stated a visit to Hadrian's Wall was his inspiration.
The War Room: High lords typically have a war room in their castles or in the field where they plan their next move around an elaborate Big Board.
The Watson: Ros's function, particularly during the first season (besides being Ms. Fanservice), is to receive exposition. She was apparently created for the show to avoid "As You Know..." conversations.
"Winter Is Coming:" Jaime pushes Bran out of the window.
"A Golden Crown:" The Dothraki seize Viserys and break his arm.
"You Win or You Die:" The goldcloaks turn on Ned's men.
"The Rains of Castamere:" The doors are shut and "The Rains of Castamere" starts playing.
What the Hell, Hero?: Arya calls out the Brotherhood Without Banners for callously selling out Gendry for gold, despite their claims of being a Band of Brothers and fighting for the people.
Where Is Your X Now?: After losing the battle of Blackwater, a pissed off Stannis chokes Melisandre, who promised his victory through the God of Light. "Where's your god now?" he says. She responds, "Inside you," and he releases her.
While You Were in Diapers: In "The Ghost of Harrenhal" one of Theon's crewmen, less than impressed by Captain Theon, goes even further back, saying that "I have been reaving and raping since before you left Balon's balls."
White Stallion: As part of his regal image, King Renly rides one in "Garden of Bones." His lover Ser Loras will later charge into battle in "Blackwater" on Renly's white horse to better enhance the illusion that he is King Renly's ghost.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Sandor was horribly burned as a child by his brother, and has an intense phobia of fire. In "Blackwater," he deserts the defense of King's Landing when the battlefield gets covered in fire. In "Kissed By Fire," he's forced to fight a duel with an opponent wielding a flaming sword.
Worf Had The Flu: Jaime Lannister is supposed to be one of the best swordfighters in the realm, but when he's pitted against Brienne, she beats him fairly easily. However, he had spent several months in a jail cell, and had his hands tied at the time.
World of Badass: Pretty much every character is capable of either out-fighting, out-thinking, out-plotting, or out-lying every other character, often only failing due to Tragic Flaws that are usually a deficiency in one of those aforementioned areas.
Tyrion telling Shae that despite the betrayal and outmaneuvering by his family, he wants to stay in King's Landing because he both belongs there and he likes playing the game against his family and the other manipulators of the city.
Littlefinger's awesome "chaos is a ladder" speech to Varys. Destroying "the Realm" isn't the end, it's an opportunity.
Littlefinger and Varys seem to enjoy verbally sparring with each other and clearly see each other as the only other person on their mental level.
Jaime sees Eddard as one in regards to swordfighting. He admits that he's heard of Eddard's reputation and wants to test his mettle. When he finally gets the chance to square off with Eddard, a guard screws it up by interfering.
Harren the Black, the builder of the great fortress of Harrenhal. He boasted that a million men could assault the walls and a million men would be repelled, that no army could take the fortress by land. So the Targaryens took the fortress instead with dragons from the sky.
Viserys thought himself to be "The Dragon" and the one destined to raise an army and seize back the Iron Throne for the Targaryen Dynasty... only to be killed by Khal Drogo and his sister prove to be far more successful in her attempt to retake the throne than he ever was. Furthermore, Dany's immunity to the effects of fire make it clear who the real Dragon most likely is.
Littlefinger challenged Brandon Stark to a duel because he thought he was the plucky hero of the songs and poems he'd heard growing up. Brandon, being a much better fighter, promptly kicked his ass.
Renly invokes this trope when trying to convince Ned Stark to support his coup for the throne, pointing out that while Stannis has the legitimate claim, he's the most qualified heir for the job.
In the backstory, Aerys Targaryen was unquestionably the rightful king, and Viserys his heir. Robert Baratheon was a traitor and a usurper. That being said, Aerys had a nasty habit of burning people alive to amuse himself, and Viserys wasn't much better, so most people were quite happy to accept Robert as king.
Almost everyone who's left Winterfell has never returned home to it (Ser Rodrik Cassel being the only notable exception). And they may never now that it has been burned down. Then again, Winterfell is thousands of years old and made of stone; it's fixable.
Jorah and Dany are also struggling with this trope, though if Dany has anything to say about it, it will die screaming.
Jon Snow calls Craster a monster to Commander Mormont, for marrying his daughters and daughters/granddaughters, and because he sacrifices all his baby sons to the White Walkers. Mormont agrees with him, but states that they have other fights to worry about.
Cersei opens a conversation with Tyrion with "You monster!" because he is sending her daughter Myrcella away to Dorne.
Joffrey is casually called a monster by Loras in Season 1. In Season 3, Sansa admits that Joffrey is a monster to Olenna and Margaery Tyrell after significant prodding.
Joffrey refers to Tyrion as "You little monster" during one of his rants. Tyrion snarks back nonchalantly.
Syrio Forel holds up four Lannister soldiers and a member of the Kingsguard while Arya escapes. He does this armed only with a wooden sword.
And later Yoren tries to do the same for Arya and Gendry. It doesn't work.
Jorah Mormont does it twice, first against Viserys when he tries to steal dragon eggs and later against a battle-hardend Dothraki fighter. Fittingly, his family motto is "Here We Stand."
Zombie Apocalypse: The White Walkers have the ability to reanimate corpses into undead "wights". The season two finale has an entire army of wights going to attack the Night's Watch, led by the White Walkers.
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention!"