YMMV / Game of Thrones


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  • Actor Shipping:
    • Many avid Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell fans ship Gethin Anthony and Finn Jones together. Both actors fuel the Ho Yay with public displays of affection, by jokingly admitting that they're gay for each other in this interview clip, and Finn had some... interesting comments in the Feb. 2013 issue Gay Times magazine which make some people strongly suspect that he has a serious man crush on his co-star.
    GT: Did you have to go a few times for that scene [in Season 2]?
    Finn Jones: "Oh all the time, I remember," he howls with laughter. "One point in the scene we were really getting into it, and I just turned around to him and I went 'Gethin in the next take,' dead seriously,' really grab my dick this time, really go for it. ' And then just out of the corner of my eye, I saw the camera guys going..." he pulls a concerned face. "I realised 'Oh shit, maybe we're going for it a bit too much.' " He cracks up laughing again. "But it's good, it's good to be on that level to be able to really get into the moment."
  • Adaptation Displacement: Sort of - although the television series is more well-known than the book series that it is based upon, many people recognize that it is a book series. However, more people that watch the show refer to the books as "the Game Of Thrones series" instead of A Song Of Ice And Fire. Crossover promotion right on new books' covers helps this along.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • In "The Climb", Ros gets tied up and used as target practice by Joffrey. Fan reaction to the character is still pretty negative, but many of the detractors were disgusted by the brutal manner of this death.
    • In "The Rains of Castamere", a pregnant Talisa is stabbed in her stomach... again, and again, and again. Even her legions of haters found the scene to be absolutely traumatizing.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: So many of them:
    • Is Daenerys a lovable and heroic protagonist who is a suitable candidate for the Iron Throne, or an increasingly ineffective and narrow-minded leader?
      • Furthermore, it's become a hotly debated topic on whether Daenerys is a fundamentally good person or an increasingly-insane lunatic. Her defenders are quick to point out her good intentions (ending slavery), loyalty towards her friends, and compassion towards the smallfolk who are crushed by the nobility of the realm. They are also quick to point out that Good Is Not Nice. In contrast, her detractors note her tendency towards inflicting Cruel And Unusual death upon her enemies, her black and white view of the world, her habit of conquering cities and leaving them worse off than before, and the fact she seems to kill people on a whim, even when she has no proof they'd done anything wrong. Some have gone so far to claim she's a worse ruler and person than Cersei Lannister.
    • Renly, is he the Only Sane Man among the Baratheon brothers who won't let the fact that he's a younger brother stop him from doing what he believes is best for the realm, or just a weak and self-serving man who has being manipulated by the Tyrells into trying to take the throne from the rightful heir despite being too weak to hold it?
    • Stannis, a tyrant who made a Deal with the Devil and does increasingly desperate and evil actions for his own ambition, or a rightful and just King, repeatedly betrayed and forced to resort to pragmatic means to do his duty and preserve the realm from all internal and external threats?
    • Also, Stannis's claim for the throne, which is as good as Robert's was. Considering that Robert himself is seen as an usurper by some - specifically the children of the previous rightful king - and took the throne relatively recently, about twenty years ago, when Stannis was an adult and fought alongside him. So while Stannis taking the side of his older brother and liege lord comes off as dutiful (and from that point, his rage at Renly's betrayal is understandable), his disdain for rebels, usurpers and people who don't acknowledge "the rightful king" comes off as a little hypocritical. Then again, Robert was being more honest about his reasons for revolt, as Aerys II was a monster, while Joffrey and Tommen are claiming the Iron Throne on the grounds they are Robert's sons, which is false.
    • Craster, is he a Complete Monster who practices incest with his daughter-wives and sacrifices his male offspring to the White Walkers in exchange for leniency, or merely a ruthlessly pragmatic jerkass, who recognises that without these regular sacrifices, him and his ilk would otherwise be shambling through the Haunted Forest as Wights by now? Consider that with his death, those of his daughters who weren't murdered by the mutinous Night's Watch members are now alone in hundreds of miles of White Walker-infested forest; it's pretty much a Downer Ending for them either way. Lampshaded in "Breaker of Chains", which reveals that the Night's Watch mutineers set up shop in Craster's Keep and had taken his daughters for their own, leading Edd to darkly quip, "Bet those girls never thought they'd miss their daddy?"
    • The end of "Mhysa". Considering that Daenerys is currently on a conquering spree across Essos and has just taken their city, do the newly liberated slaves really worship her as their savior, or are they merely smart enough to realize that free or not, this benevolent conquering woman with the large army and dragons at her command, is still going to be the new "master" at the end of the day? Considering what she did to their old masters, isn't it better to get in good with the new boss by sucking up to her as soon as possible?
    • Shae. She doesn't get any lines in her death scene beyond "Tywin, my lion," leaving it completely up in the air how she got into Tywin's bed, and how long it had been going on.
    • Are the Tyrells really kind loving rulers? Or are they jerks who don't really care who is the rightful King or who would even make a good King just so long as they are in charge? Loras' claim to Renly he should usurp the throne comes across as quite odd considering he is passing over Stannis basically on the grounds Stannis doesn't have a nice personality, even though Stannis has had more years more experience running the realm. and Renly taking the throne is breaking with the laws the realm's power is based on. And after Renly's death the Tyrells support Joffrey even though Loras said he was a monster. So apparently a monster would be a better King then a guy who doesn't have a good personality?
    • Tywin Lannister.
      • Is there some grandfatherly affection below his kind mentorship of Tommen or is he merely shaping the boy to be another pawn? When Tywin rushes to cover Tommen's eyes while Joffrey chokes, in his mind, is he sparing the trauma to a little boy or to the next ruler?
      • Was that speech to Tyrion true? Or was it just an attempt to escape a death he knew was coming? Probably the latter, but his utter contempt toward Tyrion's threatening him was just so complete that he might have really believed he was in no danger. And there's just barely enough support in Tywin's overriding concern for Family Honor (and Charles Dance's towering performance) to believe that the speech might, just might, have been true.
    • Is Ser Barristan Selmy truly one of the most honorable, morally upstanding men in the show and a true knight as others praise him to be, or a moral coward who may preach virtues but hides behind his oaths to avoid having to take a stand against dishonorable or evil actions?
    • Broadly speaking, does incest truly cause insanity, or is it simply a scapegoat explanation for more complex mental issues? Aerys wasn't born insane, but grew mad over the course of his reign, which could have had any number of causes. Viserys and Joffrey both had troubled upbringings that could easily be blamed for the roots of their issues. Further, other products of inbreeding and incest, such as Maester Aemon, Daenerys, Tommen, Myrcella and Gilly all seem perfectly sane.
    • Who does have the "right" to be the King or Queen of Westeros, really? Is it Daenerys, the last surviving offspring of an incestuous dynasty consisting largely of psychos, who isn't even physically present on the continent? Stannis, the 'rightful' heir of the last King, Robert, who had overthrown the previous rightful King and didn't even manage to establish a dynasty? Or maybe if usurping twenty years prior was OK, the present usurpers who don't have any "right" are just as good, though they are claiming it under false pretences? There's Renly, who feels he would make the best king, or the Lannisters, after losing their most psychotic crown puppet and de facto controlling the throne could be a good bet under Tywin's competent leadership? Or Robb and Balon, reviving the once existing traditions of, respectively, Kings of the North and Kings of the Iron Islands; don't they also have some sort of legitimacy? All of them? No one?
    • Does the High Sparrow actually care about fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, or is it just a convenient excuse to lock up the wealthy and powerful. He basically says that his goal is a faith-based Westerosi socialism where "the many do not fear the few."
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Khal Drogo, the fearsome leader of the Dothraki horde, is viewed as an upcoming Big Bad by the Westerosi. Dies without even touching the Narrow Sea, after complications from a wound he intentionally inflicted upon himself during an otherwise one-sided fight.
    • Locke is all set up to be a major problem for Jon and Bran, being in a perfect position to backstab the former at a crucial moment and kill the latter — and then Bran easily wargs into Hodor and kills him.
    • Tywin Lannister, unquestionably the Biggest Bad in Westeros, is unceremoniously shot dead on the shitter by Tyrion. This example, unlike many others, is likely better than if he had gotten a more dramatic defeat, given his sheer reputation as well as the nature of said death.
    • Roose Bolton, one of the poster boys of Pragmatic Villainy, has been fully aware of his son's sociopathic tendencies and has threatened him multiple times as a Spare to the Throne should his new wife give him a son. When that finally happens, he has a huge leap of logic when Ramsay claims he's happy for his father, and tells him he'll always be his firstborn. Cue the knife to the chest; apparently not even Dangerously Genre Savvy Roose saw that coming. Ignominious doesn't begin to cover it.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Jon and Ygritte spend a rather inordinate amount of time in the second half of Season 2 walking around the snow bitching at each other.
    • Theon's story in Season 3. Rather than let the character disappear for a while and insinuate what happened to him in the intervening time, the show portrays the events and stretches them over an entire season. This was a pragmatic decision so that the actor and character didn't just disappear for a season, but people still got bored and then agonized by the requisite 'What horrible thing is Ramsay doing to Theon this episode?' scenes.
    • Stannis hangs around Dragonstone for a season and a half after he loses the Battle of Blackwater. Even after resolving to come to the aid of the Night's Watch at the end of Season 3, he spends all of Season 4 getting the necessary funds and doesn't show up until the Season 4 finale.
    • Arya and the Hound spend the entirety of Season 4 traveling to the Vale, and doing nothing plot relevant.
    • Many fans found the Dorne plot of Season 5 pointless, made worse by the Sand Snakes, an extremely underutilized Alexander Siddig as Prince Doran, and extremely illogical choices from many of the characters. It's made worse by the fact it's rendered all for nothing since Myrcella dies anyway, with zero character progression for any of the characters.
    • In Season 5, Brienne and Pod spend the whole season Out of Focus, waiting around outside Winterfell thanks to the whole point of their story from the books having been removed.
    • Arya spends the majority of Season 5 either sweeping, sponging dead bodies or yelling, "Oysters, Clams and Cockles!"
  • Ass Pull: S6, Episode 5 "The Door." Climactic and exciting as the White Walkers converging on the cave, there was absolutely nothing to indicate that the White Walkers could somehow mark a person in a vision in a way that not only allows them to track them, but also breach their magical defenses.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • In an apparent response to the criticism that the Season 3 finale took for the scene in which slaves played by local Moroccans hoist the white Daenerys into their arms and declare her "mother," a Season 4 scene featuring a nearly identical scenario includes many more white extras among the slaves.
    • After some fans complained about Jaime and Tyrion leaving on amicable terms in the series as opposed to their strained relations in the book, "Sons of the Harpy" seems to resolve this by showing that Jaime regrets freeing Tyrion due to him murdering Tywin, and plans to kill Tyrion if they ever meet again.
    • Several fans feared that House Martell's seat and majority of Dorne would be downsized to the Water Gardens after the Season 5 opening labelled it as Dorne, despite that it's the name of the region. The Noble Houses of Westeros book features that Sunspear is still House Martell's main castle.
    • Many viewers were wondering, “Where the hell is Ghost?!” when Jon Snow was betrayed and stabbed by his Night’s Watch brothers. The Season 6 premiere revealed that Ghost is locked in a room, howling and trying to get out after sensing his master’s death.
    • Some viewers were questioning why Jaime didn’t bring Trystane with him while delivering Myrcella’s body to the shore of King’s Landing. The contents of Jaime’s letter to Doran revealed that he knew that Ellaria is responsible for Myrcella’s death and that Cersei won’t be satisfied with just Ellaria’s head and would hurt Trystane instead. This explains why Jaime left Trystane on the ship so he can send him home. Too bad Trystane won’t be going home alive after Obara killed him.
  • Award Snub: Inevitable, given the high caliber of talent involved.
    • A lot of fans wanted Lena Headey to get an Emmy nomination for Season 2. A lot of fans also preferred Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Michelle Fairley over Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke for Season 3.
    • Some also see Clarke's Season 3 nomination as a way of making up for her failure to get recognition for Season 1.
    • Sean Bean also had some people in his corner for Season 1 (likely due to those knowing it would be the only chance to recognize him).
    • "Blackwater", due to some odd campaigning on HBO's part, failed to receive nominations for either Writing or Directing. That makes Season 2 the only one so far not to have a writing nom to its credit.
    • Charles Dance wasn't nominated for season 4, commonly agreed to feature the best of his always great work on the show. Also, Pedro Pascal went un-nominated for his arresting work as Oberyn Martell. And this was the last time it could have happened for both of them, too.
    • More than a few fans believe that Alfie Allen should have received a nod for Season 4, many were shocked when they heard he wasn't even suggested. He was snubbed again during Season 5. In fact, Alfie Allen has never once been nominated for any kind of award, let alone an Emmy, during the entire run of Game of Thrones.
    • Jack Gleeson wasn't nominated at all for his excellent performance as Joffrey, and like with Dance and Pascal, Season 4 was his last chance.
    • Maisie Williams has yet to receive any nods, despite having proven time and time again to be an excellent actress among a cast full of excellent actors and actresses. (This was to be expected, because for some reason, the primetime Emmys snub minors; the last person under 18 to get a nomination was Claire Danes in 1995).
    • Ramin Djawadi didn't receive a Emmy nomination for his awesome music except in 2014 for the "The Mountain and The Viper" episode but lost to Cosmos
    • Fans were rather shocked that "Hardhome", easily regarded as the high point of Season 5, was nominated for neither writing nor directing.
    • Many fans can't begin to imagine how Emilia Clarke or Peter Dinklage (who are universally agreed to be excellent, but didn't have much to do) received nominations for Season 5 while Stephen Dillane and Kit Harrington received almost no attention. And like many before Dillane, this was potentially his last chance to be nominated for Game of Thrones.
    • Conleth Hill's calm but relentless back-and-forth dynamic with other prominent actors and his ability to underscore any scene with body language alone have been largely ignored by the awards.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Tyrion, after losing his position as Hand of the King. He's demoted, disgraced, and disfigured. Unlike Season 2, where he was almost always in control of the situation, he's now pushed around by his father and the Queen of Thorns. He's aware of this decay, and isn't happy about it.
    • Theon, to such an extent that you would forget that he was ever a badass in the first place. He was skilled as an archer, skills he put to good use intercepting ravens. As adviser to Robb and essentially his deputy, he led men in several victories against the Lannister forces. Once he went to the Iron Islands...
    • Jaime's return to King's Landing is riddled with a show of embarrassments, to the point that he essentially becomes a Failure Hero.
    • The fact that the Lannister family goes into decline is a plot point of the show. While ruling the Seven Kingdoms in all but name, Tywin suddenly admits that the family has been living on borrowed money for some time and needs to make alliances to stay in power. Once Tywin dies, the family has no strong leader, and their hold on the Iron Throne wanes as the Tyrells wax.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Carice Van Houten's performance as Melisandre has been divisive, particularly in her native Netherlands, where she's a much more prominent celebrity.
    • Ros's status as a Canon Foreigner who takes screen time away from characters in the books makes her the The Scrappy to a lot of people (being the main participant in most of the sexposition scenes doesn't help), but plenty of critics and viewers find her snarky, charismatic and sexy.
    • Talisa Maegyr and Robb. Some viewers enjoy the expanded role that Robb's romantic relationship gets, while others dislike the new material for various reasons, including Talisa's Canon Foreigner status, viewing it all as a Romantic Plot Tumor, and seeing the changes as making Robb less sympathetic.
    • This occurs nearly every time a major character is cast with someone who isn't a universal fan favourite, but the casting of Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell stands out. Many fans were displeased with his ethnicity which they considered unfitting. (Let's just leave it at that...). Also, naturally for such a popular character, there were the general discussions whether he has the right looks, age, etc. Others had trust in the casting department which usually chose well in the past and preferred to wait until we actually see him in the show. By the end of the season, however, Pascal's performance as Oberyn had won over most of the fanbase.
    • Podrick the Sex God, for not being remotely based on anything from the books, not having any apparent point, and eating up screentime even as the producers continue to plead that they don't have enough time each season for everything the fans want.
    • Shae, largely due to her characterization being vastly different from in the book. While in the book she's a manipulative opportunist, in the show she's unreasonably jealous and vindictive. Fans are divided on whether the change works.
    • Karl Tanner, leader of the mutineers of the Night's Watch. While Burn Gorman's performance was generally well received, the character is unique to the show, which upset some of the book readers. Some viewers also prematurely judged him to be a Small Name, Big Ego and were upset when he outclasses Jon Snow in a fight.
    • Tyrion Lannister. In spite of being the most popular character on the show overall, some book readers object to his Adaptational Heroism, which removes some of the moral complexity of his book counterpart.
    • Stannis Baratheon.
      • Stannis was already fairly divisive, with fans giving him the nickname Stannis the Mannis from those who adore him and consider him the rightful king and others thinking he's just a boring character who also happens to be a religious fanatic.
      • In Season 5, after Stannis sacrifices his daughter to R'hllor, Stannis fans divided on whether Stannis remains a sympathetic character or has done a Face–Heel Turn into a Hate Sink.
    • There are several different debates around Sansa Stark. First, transferred over from the book fandom, considerable vitriol is directed at her in some quarters for (variously) being stupid, girly, or passive. Second, there are the people who like the book character and dislike the changes made to her by the show's writers (such as removing her involvement in her escape from King's Landing and being generally more sympathetic to Tyrion).
    • Daenerys Targaryen. Some fans see her as a kindhearted Magnificent Bastard with the strongest claim to the throne and a really fancy wardrobe, others are appalled by her various Mary Sue traits, find her incompetent, overrated and her lines to be full of Narm. There are also different opinions on how much of this is either the fault of the writers, or Emilia Clarke's acting.
    • Olly also gets a lot of hatred in Season 5 due to being whiny, anti-Wilding and for delivering the final kill on Jon Snow in the season finale. Other people believed that he didn't deserved that much hate and pointed out that Olly hated the wildings because they killed his parents and destroyed his village in Season 4. In fact, his actions in the season finale could be justified due to believing that Jon let Tormund off the hook despite being one of the ringleaders who raided in his home.
    • Brienne of Tarth's Undying Loyalty to Renly has resulted into her falling into this in Season 5 and 6. Brienne carries out her oath to murder Stannis, but for some viewers, Stannis suffered from Informed Wrongness so Brienne's actions and later taunting Davos about it rubbed them the wrong way.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Ask a casual viewer about the show and they'll likely mention "sex while people are talking about something important with people dying left and right, rape, dragons, naked women, Zombie Apocalypse, boobs, people fighting over who gets to be the king and some guy's dick". Not Helping Your Case is one of the directors admitting that executives insisted he insert nudity for "the pervert side of the audience".
  • Broken Base:
    • Whether Season 2 was just as good as the preceding one or even a case of Growing the Beard, or whether the show hit a bit of a Sophomore Slump in trying to fit too much material into just ten episodes and still had too many Trapped by Mountain Lions subplots.
    • Catelyn's monologue concerning her treatment of Jon Snow as a child got some criticism from book fans who thought it's too out of character from her book version, though everyone seems to appreciate Michelle Fairley's delivery.
    • The Hold Steady's cover of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" being played over the end credits of "Walk Of Punishment" immediately after the gruesome shot of Jaime's hand being cut off. Fans differ on whether it's a good use of Mood Whiplash.
    • Loras's characterization in Season 3, including his fling with Olyvar and his discussion of his dream wedding.
    • Whether or not the direction was effective in the Red Wedding. Given that it is one of the most emblematic moments of the entire series, this is to be expected. Some felt it was undramatic and even narmy, while others felt it was appropriately horrifying given the event.
    • The recasting of Gregor Clegane (after Conan Stevens left to do the Hobbit films). Gregor went from this to this, and fans are split on whether or not Stevens' replacement is adequately threatening. The recast before season 4 was similarly base breaking, with some thinking the new actor ( Hafþór "Thor" Júlíus Björnsson) was too young and soft looking, and others thinking his imposing size was more important. After "The Mountain and the Viper," however, very few people had issue with the choice in actors.
    • "Breaker of Chains" caused arguments in the fanbase over whether Jaime and Cersei's sex scene could be considered consensual or whether it's rape, and whether Jaime's behavior is in-character or not. Notably, this particular scene crossed the line for many viewers from "things we can kind of squabble over" to "not watching this show anymore" territory. For the love of god, PLEASE let's leave it there.
    • "The Watchers on the Wall" is a quite divisive episode. Its supporters say it's ten kinds of epic and does a great job doling out big scenes for all the major characters, while its detractors were less impressed by the battle sequence and were angry that it took up the entire episode, leaving less time for additional details in the finale.
    • Fourth season finale "The Children." While many viewers were impressed by the emotional impact of the episode, most of its detractors criticized it for the many deviations from the books, including Jojen's death, Jaime and Cersei having sex again, Jaime and Tyrion's amicable farewell, Tysha not getting mentioned, and the absence of Lady Stoneheart. Some fans also disliked the changes in the appearance of the Three-Eyed Raven; from the sinister, practically half-weirwood red-eyed albino, to a Wizard Classic whom other fans have confused with Gandalf.
    • When Hodor and Meera Reed's actors confirmed that they won't be in season five, there was a natural split between those okay with it and those not. The really interesting thing is that how you feel about it is probably strongly influenced by how much you know about the books.
    • Barristan's Death by Adaptation is very controversial. Depending on who you ask, it is either a realistic and suitably heroic Last Stand justified by the character's age and the number of attackers or a blatant Contrived Coincidence that feels like Dropped a Bridge on Him or Stuffed into the Fridge.
    • Sansa's Season 5 storyline where she marries Ramsey Bolton, taking on the role of Jeyne Poole from the books, has divided viewers due to the drastic deviation from the source material. Some like how it streamlines the story and have praised its handling of Sansa's horrific wedding night. Others say that it makes Sansa's character development inconsistent and object to how the rape scene ends with a Take Our Word For It Reaction Shot of Theon rather than concentrate on Sansa's suffering.
    • There's also much criticism for the many characters and stories Adapted Out - not because the stories were cut altogether, but because the show runners preferred to make existing characters into Composite Character rather than casting and writing new roles. This is especially evident in Season 5. Some fans support it because it streamlines the plot, while others argue that it makes for incoherent characterization.
    • The announcement that HBO was looking to add an eighth season to the show's contract. Some fans are wild about having more of the show, while others are worried that it will screw up the pacing after so much of the story was designed to fill exactly seven seasons, plus this meaning that if they'd been a little quicker to share the possibility, certain developments in Season 5 wouldn't have needed to be so rushed.
    • Season 5 seemed to be the first season as a whole that created a wildly divisive reaction among fans, with even supporters noting some greater flaws than the previous seasons. The main derision came from what felt like a rushed streamlining of many plots and character development, as well as an increasing use of composite story lines, the poorly received Dorne subplot (with its mass Idiot Ball moments, the Narm-y presentation of the Sand Snakes and a final denouement that made the whole affair seem pointlessly drawn-out) and Stannis's plot line (with Stannis' Adaptational Villainy and an incredibly anti-climatic attack on Winterfell that mostly took place off-screen, especially as this is basically the opposite of the books), another very controversial rape scene that wasn't in the books, and a sense that the show was both trying to shove in too much story (it was adapted from most of both Books 4 and 5) but not moving fast enough at the same time. Others admitted there were some more notable weaknesses this season but as a whole still praised the story and especially the second half, where things noticeably kicked into higher gear. That's led to a debate whether this was a show slowly losing its sense of direction or its "edge," so to speak, as it's struggling to adapt the last of George R. R. Martin's novels and trying to find out where to go next now that there's no source material and this is a case of incurable Seasonal Rot, or whether this was just a season that moved a bit slower than previous ones and with a few more weaker episodes than usual but at its high points was still Game Of Thrones at its best.
  • Cargo Ship: Thanks to the Season 4 premiere, Sandor Clegane is often paired with chickens.
  • Catharsis Factor: After he became more and more of a Villain Sue, seeing Ramsay Bolton openly disrespected and insulted by Smalljon Umber is deeply satisfying; someone is finally putting him in his place.
  • Consolation Award:
    • Some felt that the show winning for Best Drama Series in the 2015 Emmys is more of a compensation for the previous seasons after losing to Mad Men, Homeland and Breaking Bad considering that Season 5 is a very controversial season.
    • Peter Dinklage's second Emmy win is likely this for not winning for his performance in the Season 4 episode, "The Laws of Gods and Men".
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Greatjon Umber, in a hilarious case of Defeat Means Friendship.
    • Jaime has a moment in Season 3; what else could you call jumping into a bear pit with one hand, no weapons, armour, or allies, and only the hope that the various enemy soldiers are sufficiently scared of Lord Bolton and Jaime's father to get them out in time?
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Jaqen's idiosyncratic speech patterns, including his use of third person, contribute a lot to his memorable character.
    • The supposed Night's King of the White Walkers for his Darth Maul get up.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The show actually gets hit even harder by this than the already pitch black source material. The typical way it's spelled out is that the books refuse to cheat to let the heroes win, while the show cheats to let the villains win, robbing us of a lot of what little hopeful material the books have.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Many fans view Cersei as a positive female role model, despite the wide variety of other female rolemodels available in the show. While Cersei is indeed more sympathetic in the show than in the books, that still doesn't change the fact Cersei is a paranoid, power-hungry alcoholic with delusions of grandeur who had an incestuous relationship with Jaime, her own twin brother, for several years. For all her talk about valuing family above all else, Cersei still abuses her younger brother Tyrion out of spite, she makes little attempt to curb Joffrey's psychotic behavior despite the shame she feels about it, and Cersei is not anywhere near as smart as she thinks she is. She fancies herself a schemer like her father Tywin despite being nowhere near his level. Perhaps a more positive example of cunning female schemers feminist fans should look to could be Margaery and Olenna Tyrell.
    • Though Character Development has made him more of an Anti-Hero, fans of Jaime Lannister often downplay the fact that in the very first episode he pushed a child out a window to cover up his incestuous relationship.
    • Khal Drogo is a bloodthirsty rapist and a slaver, but due to him being a Badass and having some sweet moments with Daenerys (who he ''also'' raped) he has legions of fans who would have liked nothing more than see him wage war on Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne. Even on this very site his speech about raping Westeros' women and enslaving its children is on the Crowning Moment of Awesome page.
    • Unlike his book counterpart, Littlefinger being a little bit more villainous (and shown to be more actively in his sleazy businesses) has been slow to get this. But by Season 4, the revelations that he started the War of the Five Kings with cunning misinformation, the fact that he is just as much anti-Lannister as he is anti-Stark, that he killed Joffrey and the fact that he is a small-time noble who still faces racist rebukes for his Braavosi roots makes a lot of people openly root for him. That and his fairly sincere Anguished Declaration of Love to Sansa, the fact that he immediately gives her a Forceful Kiss is seen as part of his Byronic Hero Yandere nature.
    • Ramsay Bolton has his fangirls too, some of whom think he's redeemable whilst others actually seem to want him to torture them, which presumably counts as either Too Kinky to Torture or Comically Missing the Point, especially considering he's a sadistic rapist. It's mostly as a result of him recieving Adaptational Attractiveness via casting and being an Adaptational Badass.
    • Even after the controversial episode 9 of Season 5, Stannis Baratheon still has fans who root for him, though now it's driven by fans calling Death of the Author on the showrunners for giving him Adaptational Villainy more than anything else.
  • Drinking Game: Play the Drinking Game of Thrones here. Either you win or you die by pancreatic failure.

     E-I 
  • Ear Worm:
    • The Main theme.
    • "The Rains of Castamere", as performed by the rockband The National for Season 2.
    • "Bones", which plays during the Season 3 trailer.
    • Granted it plays the moment after Jaime gets his hand cut off in a chilling manner, but after high anticipation and long wait, "The Bear and The Maiden Fair FINALLY is played during the credits of "Walk of Punishment".
    • "Chaos Is A Ladder", the creepy and eerie music that plays while Littlefinger confirms Varys' suspicions in "The Climb" that he'd burn the entire world if it meant he could be King of the Ashes.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a lot actually.
  • Evil Is Cool: Several of the villains have committed fanbases.
    • The Lannister and Bolton patriarchs (Tywin and Roose) are widely considered to be among the best acted and coolest characters in the show.
    • The Night's King has been getting this since his extremely memorable appearance in Hardhome. In fact, the White Walkers as a whole made a jump to this after the awe-inspiring ending of that episode.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • The Lannisters are renowned for their physical attractiveness as well as ruthlessness.
    • While Sansa isn't really evil yet, she makes an Evil Costume Switch in an attempt to take charge of her life and embraces this trope to its fullest.
    • Roose Bolton has quite a few fangirls. As does Littlefinger.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many fans and critics note that the only way that Jaime's characterization in the episode "Oathbreaker" makes sense is to disregard the infamous sept scene of "Breaker of Chains" as a failure on the part of the director to convey the proper intent.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • It's hard to find a Game of Thrones fan not rooting for Daenerys/Jorah.
    • If you do, then they are probably holding out for Jon/Daenerys, believing that the two will become King and Queen by the time the show ends. Fans that support this will point out that the book series isn't called A Song of Fire and Ice for no reason.note 
    • Brienne/Jaime and Sandor/Arya (despite being to some No Yay because of the age difference (in the books at least- the actress in the show is considerably older when the Sandor/Arya scenes greatly increase by season 3)) are popular BetaCouples, mainly cause their both odd couples spending a lot of screen time alone traveling Westeros together.
    • Margaery/Sansa has become the most popular Les Yay pairing by far, and even given near-canon teasing. It also goes well with the canon Renly/Loras.
    • Davos/Stannis has proven surprisingly, but undeniably, to be the most popular Ho Yay pairing so far.
    • In the Toy Ship category, there's a sizable number rooting for Arya/Gendry.
    • There's also Sandor/Sansa, a very popular ship.
    • Coming out of nowhere in season six, and taking a surprising lead, Tormund Giantsbane/Brienne of Tarth
  • Fantasy Ghetto:
    • Some of the early reviews are placing the series firmly in the ghetto, even so far as to claim Network Decay of HBO. Not only did fantasy / SF blog io9 have a few things to say about that, both the fans and other professional critics also called them out on that outright bias. So much so Troy Patterson recused himself from reviewing the series from that point forward.
    • Combine this with fetish fuel. The second review linked above, by Gina Bellafante, claims that all fantasy is boy-oriented, and the sex was added to draw in a female audience (despite much of the sex also being in the source material). The same review claims that "we are in the universe of dwarfs, braids, wenches, loincloth," which seems to indicate that the reviewer didn't watch the show in the first place — or perhaps thinks Tyrion Lannister is supposed to be a Tolkien-style dwarf rather than a human with dwarfism, which goes well beyond research failure and really swings for the fences.
    • According to Liam Cunningham, "I think it's wrong to call this a fantasy series [...] it's a proper, magnificent drama show". Because a fantasy can't be a "proper, magnificent drama," right?
    • Jonathan Pryce originally turned down a role because he is not into the sword and fantasy thing and found it all too strange. He changed his mind once he realized the product had gravitas.
    • Ian McShane had no interest in the show for quite a while, and ultimately only joined for a chance to work with his old friends Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane. When he learned they'd both already been killed off, the only thing that kept him from walking was his only having to be in one episode. Then he casually spoiled what his role was, and replied to the fans that got upset, "Get a fucking life. It's only tits and dragons."
  • Fight Scene Failure: A fairly common complaint about the Sand Snake battle in "Unbowed, Unbent, and Unbroken" is that the scene itself was shot and choreographed like an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess as opposed to the show's usual quality. The editing is also seen as questionable. The short time allowed on the Dorne set and restrictive budget probably contributed.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Yoren's description of the man who killed his brother.
    • To say nothing of the interactions between Bronn and Tyene Sand.
    • There's a little of this when Myranda is assisting Sansa with her bath.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Many of the changes made in the show's later seasons come from small changes in earlier episodes which, as George R. R. Martin pointed out, created a butterfly effect of small tweaks leading to big changes. One example is Renly's Adaptational Heroism from an arrogant, self-absorbed Glory Hound to an archetypical The Wise Prince, initially, it wasn't especially problematic. However this did lead to the Tyrells becoming more sympathetic, while at the same time getting Adaptation Expansion. It also changed Brienne's arc by giving her a revenge quest which she did not have in the books, while it painted Stannis as far more openly villainous than the books did, and altered the dynamics to the point where it is now Stannis, rather than Renly, who is driven by ambition (according to the writers, though even in the show Stannis comes across as more duty-driven than ambitious).
    • Tyrion's initial marriage to Tysha. In the show when he tells Bronn and Shae about it, Shae notes that of course Tysha was a paid prostitute, making the very logically sound point that no woman who was just nearly sexually assaulted would just instantly start coming on to someone else, even the person who helped her out of the situation. In order to preserve this logic, Jaime's confession to Tyrion that Tysha was not really someone he hired and really was a young woman who had a Rescue Romance with Tyrion was excised in favor of a conversation about a mentally-disabled relative of theirs.
      • Similarly, in the books Shae is much more obviously just a sex worker that Tyrion is projecting feelings onto (he assumes her much more innocent than she really is while show!Shae acts more worldly) and has no protectiveness over Sansa while in the show she "would die for her." This makes the scene where she testifies against them both at the trial come off as much more mean spirited, as the show plays it as a Woman Scorned instead of just Cersei getting a hold of someone who knew Tyrion's weaknesses and her utterly throwing Sansa under the bus comes off as despicable given her alleged prior care for the girl.
    • Loras and Margaery being the only Tyrell siblings allows Tywin to threaten to make Loras a Kingsguard in order to leave the family with no heirs so that the Tyrells are forced to agree to marry him to Cersei. This means also Loras cannot have his book plotline of actually being a Kingsguard and besieging Dragonstone, instead pushing him into the Faith Militant plot.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • If you're a fan of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, chances are you're also a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, particularly the show itself. A sizable portion of Skyrim's library of Game Mods is devoted to adding Game of Thrones-related content to the game ・there is more than one mod that adds a fully-modeled Longclaw, for example.
    • There's also some overlap between Game of Thrones fans and players of Crusader Kings II, since the latter is essentially a medieval politics simulator. There's a Game of Thrones-themed Game Mod which is reasonably popular, which has in turn inspired a number of After-Action Report fan fictions. Now that there is also a mod for Crusader Kings II that allows you to play as one of the rulers in Tamriel, it seems the cycle is now complete.
    • Outlander fans and Game Of Thrones fans get along just fine since the authors of the books (Diana Gabaldon and George R.R. Martin respectively) are good friends regardless what online articles say about Gabaldon's opinion on Martin's Schedule Slip. Likewise, Tobias Menzies (who played Edmure Tully) appeared in the Outlander TV show and Martin is also appalled with the lack of Emmy nominations that the show received.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Hodor's repeated use of "Hodor" became a running joke, affectionately regarded by fans and other characters. Then "The Door" reveals that Hodor is forced to say it after being accidentally mind-raped as a young teen by Bran: the final order by Meera to "hold the door" and sacrifice his life was projected back in time and seared into his brain. Hodor has been saying over and over the circumstances of his death for two decades.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In the third episode of the second season, Lord Varys tells Tyrion a riddle. Anyone with a background in political science (especially in international relations) will recognize Varys' answer as a down-and-dirty explanation of the constructivist school of thought. Xaro Xhoan Daxos' empty vault is a second example of the illusory nature of power.
    • There's a funny one in a Get Thee to a Nunnery kind of way when Ygritte says "You know nothing, Jon Sno-oh-oh!" as he eats her out. Yes, he does know "nothing" — in the Shakespearean sense. "Nothing" was Elizabethan-era slang for female genitalia.
  • Genre Turning Point: With their adult-only stories and themes, the massive critical and commercial success of Game of Thrones and its source material has forced many to reconsider their perceptions of Fantasy as primarily a family-friendly or youth-friendly affair, greatly contributing to the growing mainstream acceptance of the genre.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Theon's Male Frontal Nudity scene in Season 1 almost looks like sinister foreshadowing about him being castrated in Season 3.
    • The final scene in "The Laws of Gods and Men" renders romance between Tyrion and Shae into an example. During Shae's betrayal, she actively picks out the sweetest moments from their romance to twist into mockery.
    • Several times through Seasons 2 and 3, Robb is talking to Roose Bolton about the war, only to be interrupted by Talisa. A regular but very unremarkable occurrence, until the Red Wedding. Robb constantly breaking war councils to talk to a pretty girl in the camp probably contributed to Roose's belief Robb was a boy with no hope to win the war.
    • The show's most overtly villainous family having the lion as their sigil became pretty nasty when Katherine Chappell, one of its visual effects editors, was killed by a lion in South Africa.
    • Doran Martell saying "We don't kill little girls" sounds like a general statement of being a civil ruler... then Stannis kills his own little girl. Even more relevantly, at the end of Season 5 Ellaria does in fact kill a little girl.
    • The scene where Barristan Selmy takes offense when Joffrey discards tradition and dismisses him from service becomes a little harsher considering the way the actor eventually left the show. He was reportedly upset about the show changing the books' plot to kill off his character.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • In his review of The Station Agent Roger Ebert wrote that there was no reason why Peter Dinklage couldn't play Braveheart. Flash forward to "Blackwater" — where he does.
    • In Season 3, Loras talks about his boyhood dream of marrying a bride cloaked in beautiful green and gold brocade. Way back in Season 1, Renly attended the Tournament of the Hand wearing a green and gold brocade cloak. Loras is apparently visualizing Renly when he talks about his "bride."
  • He's Just Hiding: If a character isn't killed on screen, then fans will believe this.
    • Syrio Forel. His scene gets a Bolivian Army Ending where he engages the fully armored Meryn Trant. Trant is later shown alive and well, and Arya later says that Syrio's dead, but since the audience never sees him die, they don't believe it. Seeing as Trant would likely be too proud to admit that Syrio might have escaped him and as of the season 5 finale Arya's ensured that he'll never be able to admit it, the show doesn't seem like it will address the issue anytime soon.
    • Benjen Stark. His riderless horse came back, but there's no word about him.
    • Sandor Clegane. Although the plot point suggesting he actually did survive was Adapted Out, many are still hoping he'll be back in order for a duel with his brother Gregor to occur.
    • Regardless of the actor and the producers' statements, many fans (including the non-book viewers) are not buying for a second that Jon Snow is dead. Not only are there several possible workarounds for his death, but his fate in the last book is left ambiguous. On top of the In-Universe fuel, there's the behind-the-scenes evidence as well. Helping this is that the producers stated right at the start of the show that what got them the job was correctly guessing Jon's parents, which would be quite the odd decision if that fact doesn't actually matter to the story at all. Adding more fuel is that Kit Harrington and Carice van Houten just happened to be filming completely unrelated projects at the exact same place and time right around the time filming started on Season 6. He's brought back to life in the second episode, in a textbook case of It Was His Sled.
    • A lot of fans aren't buying that Rickon's direwolf, Shaggydog, was killed so abruptly. Not only was the so-called death incredibly anticlimactic and off-screen, but many fans are speculating that the wolf's head didn't come from a direwolf because it was far too small, and that Shaggydog's alleged killers beheaded a normal wolf.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Tyrion asking Joffrey if he "killed any puppies today" is ironically funny when you see this video of Jack Gleeson cuddling with a puppy.
    • King Robert being completely ignorant of Renly's homosexuality during their hunting scene ("Have you ever fucked a Riverlands girl?") is quite amusing after you finish watching Season 3. The show now portrays Renly and Loras' romance as the worst kept secret in all of Westeros; virtually everyone besides Sansa seems to know about it, so how the heck is it that Robert didn't have a clue?
    • If Lady Olenna Tyrell knew the song "Betcha By Golly Wow" by The Stylistics, she'd have even more reason to hate the Tyrell motto, "Growing Strong".
    • A deleted scene on the season 3 DVD has Twyin meeting Pycelle in private and revealing he knows full well that Pycelle's appearance of a doddering old man is an act, asking "Am I the only one who sees through this performance?" (Speaking normally, Pycelle admits even he has a hard time believing it works so well). With this in mind, watch when Pycelle and Twyin share a scene in seasons 3 and 4 and you can see Twyin fighting not to roll his eyes when Pycelle speaks and even glancing about as if thinking "Seriously? You all buy this?"
    • One has to wonder what the Lannisters would make of Katy Perry's song "Roar", which repeats their motto "Hear Me Roar" several times.
    • "He was no true dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon" becomes funny to those who've seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and realise that Daenerys is absolutely correct.
    • Michelle Fairley went on to play another mother of a red-haired girl in 24: Live Another Day... and this time she also happens to be the Big Bad, whose motivation is her husband's death, among other similarities. She followed this with a role on Resurrection as a woman who comes back from the dead and despises her daughter-in-law for ruining her family.
    • One of the reasons Talisa was such an unpopular character (besides the changes made from her book counterpart) was the sense that she didn't quite fit into the tone of the show, with more than one reviewer describing her as a field nurse that had stepped out of WWII. Actress Oona Chaplin now stars in The Crimson Field — in which she plays a WWII field nurse.
    • The porn parody of Game Of Thrones has a seen between Ygritte and Jon Snow, where she seduces him by convincing him his vows prevent him from owning a land and title, or taking a wife... but this leaves a bit of wiggle room which they exploit. Then come season 4, where Sam gives a similar argument to Jon Snow, though about himself and Gilly.
    • Season 3 has Jaime mocking Brienne about Renly, claiming that "if the Iron Throne was made of cock they'd never keep him off it." Well...
    • The season 4 finale, in which Tywin is directly confronted with the fact that two of his children are incestuous lovers and his grandchildren are the product of it, then gets killed by his other son, happened to air on Father's Day.
    • In season 3, Tywin, after announcing his plan to marry Cersei to Ser Loras, has a discussion with Lady Olenna about Cersei's fertility. Then in February 2015 Lena Headey announced that she was pregnant with her second child.
    • In the 2015 Cinderella movie Richard Madden (Robb Stark) plays the prince, falling in love with a beautiful, strong-willed girl who came from wealth but is not a political match for him.
    • In the Season 5 premiere, blond-haired former queen Cersei suddenly has more power than ever before and is the de facto ruler of Westeros. The very day it premiered, Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for President.
    • It seems the Lannister incest trend has invaded the real world, as Tommen and Myrcella's actors are now dating. Even better, they never actually worked together on the show so it doesn't quite count as Romance on the Set.
    • In "The Laws Of Gods And Men", Tywin is eager to have Tyrion sentenced to death. One year later, Charles Dance portrayed Hanging Judge Wargrave in the BBC adaptation of And Then There Were None.
    • The Japanese dub of the show has some incidences of this:
      • Eddard Stark is voiced by Hideaki Tezuka who also voice A, The Fourth Raikage: A loses an arm due to Sasuke's Amaterasu technique. On the other other hand, Eddard Stark ends his days by losing his head.
      • A meta-example happens with Nobunaga Shimazaki (Joffrey Baratheon): Assuming it was a not a coincidence, it's not very hard to see why he was cast as Joffrey, taking into account he shares the same name of a (in)famous daimyo of the Sengoku-era Japan. Extra hilarity Oda Nobunaga was nicknamed "The Fool of Owari".
      • In a more straight example involving the aforementioned voice actor, Shimazaki voiced the Male Avatar (aka Corrin/Kamui) who is a noble prince who, depending of the actions of the player, can become into The Good King. Tell that to Joffrey again, dudes. This also become ironically hilarious after the Male Avatar has a child and that child is attacked by invaders, forcing the Avatar to act in a way that it could sound not too out-of-place for Joffrey, except the Avatar is the hero of the game.
    • In this show, Charles Dance plays badass general Tywin and Lena Headey is the increasingly ineffectual Cersei. Contrast to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, where Dance is the milquetoast Mr. Bennet and Headey is the badass Lady of War Catherine De Bourghe.
    • In Season 6, by far the most popular theory about Jon was that Melisandre would bring him back to life. Then the premiere reveals that she's actually an extremely old woman, and looks quite similar to Miracle Max, the Trope Namer for Only Mostly Dead.
  • Hollywood Homely:
    • Brienne of Tarth is called Brienne the Beauty as an Ironic Nickname because she's supposed to be ugly. Gwendoline Christie isn't uglied up much beyond a few facial scratches and men's clothing/armor. It's apparently a case of Adaptational Attractiveness, and the nickname has more to do with her being a woman.
    • Plenty of Walder Frey's (grand-)daughters, especially those who don't get put forward by his snarky comments, are mostly uglied up with unflattering clothing and greased hair.
  • Ho Yay
    • The producers point out in a commentary track that Roose Bolton has quite a few scenes of competing for Robb's attention with Talisa.
    • With the start of Season 3, Stannis x Davos has become a thing in the fandom. "Stannis is married to Selyse, but we all know who his true queen is... it's Davos." Which is really just a tradition being continued from the books. Invoked by Salladhor Saan in Season 2, who jokes that Stannis cut of Davos' fingers and he responded by "falling in love with him". Note that he didn't deny it, either.
    • Davos' rivalry with Melisandre can be viewed as Betty and Veronica fighting over who gets to win Stannis' affections.
    • Robb reacts very personally to Theon's betrayal. They were even more bromantic in the book, but the point remains in adaptation.
    • Margaery and Sansa. For whatever reason, Margaery is incapable of staying out of Sansa's personal space or not touching her. Examples include:
      • In "Bear and the Maiden Fair," she talks with Sansa about her future marriage and all the different things that different women want in their beds. She randomly throws "pretty girls" in the middle and even gives Sansa a flower: a yellow, red-tipped rose, which in the real world is supposed to mean "I am falling in love with you."
      • Margaery and Olenna are pretty much the only people Sansa feels safe and comfortable around, to the point of being the only ones with whom she talks about how twisted Joffrey is. She knew saying something like that might have gotten her killed, yet she entrusted Margaery and Olenna with her fears... and they did not betray her by telling everyone she was saying "traitorous" things about the king. They just kept quiet about it.
      • To top it all off, Sophie Turner (Sansa's actress) ships it.
    • Margaery is also quite flirty and touchy-feely with Brienne.
    • It's been noted that Varys and Littlefinger have an ongoing manipulator feud that kinda comes off as two gay high school students attacking each other's clothes.
    • Beric and Thoros speak in very fond tones to one another after Thoros revives Beric. They also look at each other a lot and bringing Beric back to life is the only reason Thoros even believes in god...
    • Daenerys and Missandei, a call back to Dany and her handmaidens. Especially when you consider how in Season 5, when she thinks she's about to be killed by assassins in the arena, the person she pays attention to is not Daario, the guy who's supposedly her romantic interest, but Missandei, whose hand she grabs before closing her eyes.
    • Daenerys and Doreah get a lot of this, with their scene back in Season 1 where Doreah teaches Dany "how to be good in bed" and all the times they exchange flat-out flirty looks with each other in the show after Drogo, Dany's husband, has died. Considering how Dany sleeps with her handmaidens, well... one does wonder where this would have gone had Doreah not betrayed Dany. (Or even how far it did go, off-camera, considering the way they look at each other and how Dany's dragons seem to absolutely love Doreah...)
    • Squicky version between Theon and Ramsay Snow. It builds throughout Season 3, culminating in the Season Finale, where he gets all up in Theon's grill as he forces him to take "Reek" as his new name. The entire scene is definitely meant to invoke a dominance ritual, and it's not hard to imagine him making Theon his bitch in other ways...This gets even more disturbing in "The Laws of Gods and Men" in which Ramsay, suddenly speaking very tenderly, "rewards" Reek for not taking the opportunity to escape with Yara by making him strip and giving him a bath.
    • Shae and Sansa. "I love that girl, I'd kill for her!"
    • In the show, Ellaria kills Myrcella by poisoning her. How does she do this? By kissing her square on the lips.
  • I Am Not Shazam:
    • The book series upon which the show is based is called A Song of Ice and Fire. The title of the show is taken from the title of the first novel in the series, A Game of Thrones. New printings of the book series have "Game of Thrones, The Hit Original Series From HBO" stamped on them now, anyway.
    • A lot of show-only fans seem to be under the impression that "Khaleesi" is Daenerys Targaryen's actual name instead of one of her titles.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Loras' trial in season 5. It begins with Cersei making the idiotic decision to arm and legitimize the Faith Militant. Then, when menacing armed men come for Loras, immediately after training, he doesn't think to try to get back his sword. Then, at his trial, Olyvar for some reason testifies against Loras, incriminating himself in the process (which is a double-whammy because Loras was an idiot for resuming his relationship with Olyvar after he betrayed him once already). Fortunately, Olyvar's (fictional) testimony had a convenient explanation... the crux of the testimony was that Olyvar knew of a birthmark on Loras. Therefore they had to be lovers. Except that Olyvar's claim was that he was Loras' squire... someone whose job includes helping Loras get dressed. So if Loras pointed that out, he could be in the clear. Or he could instead yell and lunge at Olyvar instead, cementing his guilt. In fairness to Loras, however, Olyvar takes about squiring for Loras as though it was a one-off occasion.
    • General consensus is that the Dornish story arc in season 5 suffers greatly from this; from Jaime's ill-planned attempt to 'rescue' Myrcella in the first place, to the constantly stupid and petty behaviour of the Sand Snakes, to the fact that Myrcella dies anyway via coming into close contact with Ellaria who, while reprieved, had already made an attempt on her life. It somehow gets even dumber in Season 6: Ellaria murders Doran and Trystane, for being "too weak" to avenge Oberyn. Ellaria has killed Oberyn's brother for refusing to avenge his death and Trystane for basically no reason, she has now exterminated Oberyn's house, screwed over Dorne's relationship with the Iron Throne, and as she was never Oberyn's wife, she nor any of her daughters have any claim to the rule of Dorne. All for "revenge."
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Arya goes through misfortune staring down some of the most terrifying characters of the kingdoms.
    • Tyrion, until the abuse and humiliation in "The Laws of Gods and Men" finally causes him to snap with Shae's betrayal, at which point he makes an enraged speech about how he wishes he let the ungrateful citizens of Kings Landing be slaughtered by Stannis and how he wishes he could watch them all die.
    • Brienne. She's practically shit on by every character she meets (with the exception of Renly and Catelyn) and is still one of the deadliest fighters in Westeros.
    • Davos loses his son Mathos, his young friend Shireen and his king and friend Stannis, and his resolve doesn't diminish one bit.
  • It Was His Sled: Even if you don't read the books, several spoilers are already known once it's shown:
    • Season 1: Robert and Ned died and the dragons are reborn.
    • Season 2: The Lannisters won the War of the Five Kings and Winterfell is sacked.
    • Season 3: Jaime killed the Mad King because he was about to burn King's Landing and Robb, Catelyn and the rest of Stark bannermen are massacred in the Red Wedding.
    • Season 4: Joffrey and Tywin died and Tyrion flees from Westeros.
    • Season 5: Stannis was defeated by the Boltons and Jon Snow was condemned and stabbed by his Night's Watch brothers.
    • Season 6: Jon Snow is brought back from the dead. This reached It Was His Sled status in record time, as it is impossible to so much as check out at a grocery store without hearing about it. That issue of Entertainment Weekly came out less than a week after the episode premiered.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: A Vocal Minority of fans of the books sneer at the thought of people learning of it from watching the TV show.

     J-R 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Robert is an obnoxious oaf most of the time, but deep down his excesses are the way he overcompensates for the unwanted life he's living. The bloody King of Westeros complaining about his station in life really says something about the overall malaise of the characters.
    • Viserys is a complete dick to everyone around him, including his sister. However, the reason he's such a jerk is because he's lived his life as "The Beggar King," a royal outcast forced to mooch off of others and beg for helping in winning a throne he's been told is his birthright. It doesn't help when his sister acquires a position of prestige and authority, yet he remains a useless beggar. Another thing that's often overlooked is that he managed to get Daenerys to her wedding day healthy, unharmed, reasonably innocent and with her virginity intact—a very impressive feat in the Crapsack World they inhabit—which seems to suggest there's slightly more to him than just being an asshole.note 
    • It is hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Lancel Lannister after all the abuse Robert gives him.
    • Theon, who's a bit of an asshole, but also takes hideous amounts of shit from all sides. By the third season, he's a helpless torture victim and no longer has any ability to be a jerkass.
    • Lord Rickard Karstark, he is very rude and disrespectful towards Robb (who's his king) and his mother (his liege lord's widow). However, it's all because he's a father in deep mourning for his dead son, who was killed by Jaime Lannister in his unsuccessful escape from the North's detainment. He's a grieving father who simply wants vengeance for his murdered son and it's plainly clear he loved his son dearly.
    • The fans that dislike Daenerys tend to see her as this. It's undeniable that her childhood and teenage years have not been nice, at all.
    • Cersei Lannister. Okay, so she's an incestuous, arrogant bitch who's responsible for at least half the shit that happens in the story. But between Lena Headey's amazing acting, a more Sympathetic P.O.V. overall and the fact that she really DOES suffer for her actions, it's hard not to feel sorry for her at times. Her Heel Realization scene where she acknowledges that Joffrey is a Complete Monster and that it's all her fault is especially powerful; even Tyrion, smug as he is, tries to comfort her in his own way. And then Joffrey dies in her arms choking on his own blood and vomit, her father shows her precisely no sympathy whatsoever, and Jaime forces her to have sex beside Joffrey's corpse. It helps that she is generally a hell of a lot more sympathetic than her book counterpart. By the time when her second child dies and she laments how she felt that giving life to someone as good as Myrcella makes her think she's not a monster you just want to cry with her.
    • Jaime Lannister, after losing his sword hand. The Bolton soldiers make him wear the hand around his neck, deprive him of food and drink, and trick him into drinking horse piss just for a good laugh.
    • They're pretty hard to come by, but there are some fan circles who feel some sympathy for Joffrey, at the very least because he is very much a product of his environment. Joffrey's actor, Jack Gleeson, even supported this interpretation to an extent. Between Robert's neglect of him, combined with Cersei's own admission of spoiling him and enabling his psychosis, and being the result of an incestuous affair, it's not hard to see why he behaves the way he does.
    • Possibly Lysa Arryn, as well. Despite all her Ax-Crazy and dangerous behaviour, and trying to kill her own niece, in the end she is just a pathetic and emotionally broken woman, desperate for a bit of affection, and being played like a fiddle by Littlefinger.
    • Sandor Clegane becomes this, especially when he confesses to Arya his painful memory of Gregor scarring him, telling her that the worst part of it was the fact that it was his own brother and his father covered it up simply because of his family ambitions and the fact that he literally has no one. Arya feels genuine sympathetic to him on hearing this.
    • Selyse Baratheon is an uncaring mother and a religious fanatic who supports human sacrifice. This is all because her sanity was shattered by a string of miscarriages that left her unable to produce a male heir. Ultimately she repents of her disregard for her daughter too late, and suffers terribly for it.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some people became fans of Game of Thrones after hearing there would be dragons and/or tons of Fanservice in it.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Sansa. Sansa/Sandor, Sansa/Joffery, Sansa/Robb, Sansa/Margery, Sansa/Ramsay, Sansa/Theon... It's far quicker to list the characters the poor girl isn't shipped with by fandom. Even without the fandom, she's been engaged to Joffrey, planned to marry Loras and Robin Arryn, actually married to Tyrion Lannister and Ramsay Bolton, and attracted the attention of Sandor Clegane and Petyr Baelish.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Almost no one believed that Jon Snow was gone for good.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen in the first season.
    • Jack Gleeson's performance as Joffrey perfectly encapsulates every smug, stupid and cruel element of his book counterpart so well that the fandom often heaps praise on how well the character is portrayed.... or conflates Jack Gleeson with his character.
    • Tywin Lannister is an unforgiving piece of work but a remarkable nemesis all the same, oozing competence and contempt at every turn. Charles Dance gives live to a formidable character who is a dreadful force to be reckoned with.
    • Despite being one of the most horrific characters on the show, Ramsay Snow has gained quite a following due to his frequent displays of Crosses the Line Twice Black Comedy and Iwan Rheon's chilling performance.
    • Petyr Baelish is getting this treatment as well, given the extent of his Magnificent Bastard status.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Petyr Baelish, a.k.a. Littlefinger. The man manages to turn on Eddard Stark successfully and undermine him, then breaks up a marriage alliance between two powerful houses. He tops this all off in Season 4 by helping Olenna Tyrell plot Joffrey's death, then revealing that he is the reason the War of the Five Kings started - he had Jon Arryn poisoned.
    • Varys qualifies as well.
    • As does Lord Roose Bolton.
    • Tywin Lannister served as Hand of the King for twenty years under King Aerys II. Given that this is the man named "the Mad King", and that he was able to not only placate him but maintain the position for twenty years this is pretty impressive. He really shows his brilliance in Season 3 with the orchestration of the Red Wedding, defeating Robb Stark and wiping out the majority of his forces in a single stroke. He spends the entire season sitting around waiting for everything to come together because he's already won and nobody else knows it.
    • Mirri Maz Duur, the witch, who got her revenge on Khal Drogo for his men sacking her village and raping her. Unfortunately for her, she pulled her scheme a little too well, and Dany learned a bit about Equivalent Exchange in the process.
    • Tyrion Lannister. The little guy can bend almost anyone to his will.
    • Xaro Xhoan Daxos, as of "A Man Without Honor". The man played everyone else in his entire storyline for chumps right from the start. Possible subversion in how all his plans amounted to next to nothing in the end, but he gets points for effort.
    • Margaery Tyrell is quite skilled at manipulating others and has been intelligently maneuvering herself into positions of power while gaining the favor of the smallfolk in the process.
    • Her grandmother Olenna Tyrell has become this trope and more. She and Littlefinger orchestrate Joffrey's assassination in broad daylight in front of a large crowd and not only get away scott-free but are not even on the list of suspects. Olenna defeated Tywin Lannister right under his very nose and he doesn't even know it. You almost forgive her for making Tyrion her Fall Guy and Sansa, Littlefinger's hostage and implied payment.
    • Daenerys Targaryen reaches this point in Season 3 with the Sack of Astapor. Knowing her dragons wouldn't obey Kraznys, she willingly traded one away, and used the Undying Loyalty of the Unsullied to overthrow the slave masters, and subsequently frees them. Now she has a loyal army, three dragons, and a reputation as a liberator of slaves, rather than a slaver.
    • In another surprising change from the books reminiscent of Margarey above, Sansa Stark eventually decides to embrace her inner MB in episode 8 of Season 4, joining Littlefinger in playing all the lords of the Vale, possibly including Littlefinger himself.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Khal Drogo. Jason himself is of the opinion that Drogo would win in a fight with Conan the Barbarian, one of literature's most famous memetic badasses, whom he has also portrayed.
    • Stannis. A man of short words and seemingly dry, he's blunt, to the point, and will fight for his right. He's the first man to touch down upon King's Landing in the Battle of Blackwater and proceeds to lay waste Lannister soldiers and had to be dragged out by his own men after the fight was lost, and he was still determined to fight. And in season four he has a Big Damn Heroes moment when he shows up to save Castle Black from the Wildling army just in the nick of time. Other characters on the show refer to Stannis as the most skilled military leader in the Seven Kingdoms, and fans of the show have joked that "The reason the Wall is 700 feet high is to protect the White Walkers from Stannis."
    • Robb Stark's a boy of probably no more than 18 and yet he's won three battles straight and captured in universe memetic badass Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister in his first victory. A title like "King in the North" certainly should be enough to strike fear and if not his badass pet Grey Wind sure will.
    • It is said that there really aren't Seven Kingdoms, just people that Ser Barristan Selmy allows to live.
    • Tywin Lannister can cure dyslexia through sheer persistence. He also gives bollockings to an Ax-Crazy Complete Monster who's nearly a foot taller than him. In addition, he is pretty much singlehandedly waging a war with in-universe Memetic Badass Robb Stark.
    • Arya Stark, the Little Miss Badass with a nasty revenge streak, more bravery than many soldiers, and an impressive body count in spite of her twelve years of age.
    • Varys is a noncombatant form of this; he knows what you had for breakfast three days ago, there are no surprises here. Neatly described when he talks with Oberyn Martell in season four;
      Oberyn: "Lord Varys."
      Varys: "Only Varys. I'm not actually a nobleman; no-one is under obligation to call me Lord."
      Oberyn: "And yet everyone does."
    • Thoros of Myr seems to be an in-universe one, given the way that Jorah, Jaime, and Jory all Squee! over him using a Flaming Sword at Pyke.
    • Tommen's pet cat Ser Pounce. After it was revealed that he will not be in any further episodes in Season 4, reasons for his departure include theories that he's playing the game of thrones against Littlefinger or getting the hell out of town after poisoning Joffrey for threatening to kill him and put his guts in Tommen's food.
    • Theories run wild regarding the survival of Karl Tanner, the fooking legend of Gin Alley who will save Westeros from White Walkers for seven silver.
    • The Blackfish. From his badass Establishing Character Moment to Roose and Walder fearing that he was the Sole Survivor of the Red Wedding, the fans have run with it painting him as some sort of archery god.
    • Though mostly a tongue-in-cheek jab at the implausibility of their actions, Ramsey's "20 Good Men" are now stated to be the ultimate fighting force capable of defeating any other army in Westeros.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Memetic Troll: Roose Bolton is considered this by much of the fandom. Between showing Catelyn his chainmail right before the massacre at the Red Wedding, serving Jamie a dinner he couldn't cut because his men cut off his right hand, and telling Ramsay how he raped his mother beside the corpse of her hanged husband he really comes off as one.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Based on the number of tumblr pages and Youtube videos on the subject, there are lots of fans who ship Sansa and Littlefinger.
    • There are fans who genuinely believe that Cersei, of all people, would make a good queen based on some of her snappy retorts and her "power is power" boast to Littlefinger. Never mind that she was basically in power for a while and the kingdom didn't exactly benefit from it. Not to mention that Littlefinger had the last laugh, leaving her and the Lannisters in the worst position they've ever been in.
    • While Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are mostly loathed, there was a portion of viewers who thought that their decision to murder Doran and Trystane and seize control of Dorne was an empowering feminist moment for them, despite it clearly being portrayed as a Moral Event Horizon.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Due to the moral greyness of the series, many characters avoid this trope in spite of performing some pretty terrible deeds, but there are still a few irredeemable bastards:
    • Viserys putting a sword to his pregnant sister's belly. No coming back from that.
    • While a highly sensitive topic, some viewers would argue Daenerys Targaryen passed it with her "justice" in Meereen, where she killed multiple innocent people in horrific ways on flimsy evidence. The most commonly cited example is feeding a noble to her dragons after claiming he may be innocent of any and all wrong doing and that she does not care.
    • If Janos' betrayal of Ned didn't put him over the edge (he was only doing what he was paid for, after all), then leading a massacre of Robert's bastards, including personally killing a baby certainly did.
    • Joffrey crossed it when he has Ned executed. Especially since he first made it look like he was going to do the exact opposite.
    • In-Universe, Theon's killing of Ser Rodrick is seen as this.
    • Dagmer killing Maester Luwin entirely for the hell of it.
    • Locke confirms what sort of person he is pretty quickly when he prepares to rape Brienne (only stopping because Jaime bullshits him about her value as a hostage) and then cutting off the chained and helpless Jaime's sword hand, even after he'd made his point quite effectively, apparently just because he resented Jaime's aristocratic overconfidence in his own authority and the reputation of his father, and enjoyed the role reversal.
    • Rast crosses it the moment he stabs Lord Commander Mormont in the back. The fact Mormont fought till his very last breath and then Rast the asshole stabs him over and over again when he's down demonstrates what a low-down coward he really is.
    • Ramsay's moment that he crosses the line would be when he falsely gave Theon a way out just so he can psychologically break him. It only gets worse from there, as the entirety of Theon's torture scene serves to prove how much of a monster Ramsay is, as his sadistic acts of violence against Theon are purely for his own enjoyment. Even though he's well across the line by Season 5, his rape of Sansa, complete with forcing "Reek" to watch is often seen as being even worse than what he did to Theon, and has pretty much convinced anyone who gave him a Draco in Leather Pants treatment that there is nothing redeemable about him.
      • Ramsay goes on to make these actions look mild in comparison when he goes on to stab his father to death and shortly after murdering his stepmother and half-brother by feeding them to the hounds.
    • Littlefinger threatens Ros by revealing that he serves up disobedient and nonperforming prostitutes to thrill-killers who torture them to death. From this point, it's clear that Littlefinger isn't just another schemer; he's evil to the core. As the show progresses, it turns out that this is only one horrible crime of many up his sleeve.
    • The Red Wedding is one long crossing for Roose Bolton and Walder Frey. Walder had Robb Stark and all of his bannermen massacred just because he didn't marry Walder's daughter, and Roose turned on his fellow northemen and personally killed his own king. One could argue that Tywin Lannister's organising the whole thing might itself make him applicable for this, though he at least has pragmatism as an excuse.
    • Balon Greyjoy chooses to abandon his own son after he receives his genitals and a ransom demand, saying that "he isn't a man anymore," despite Theon's entire predicament being due to a desperate wish to win love and acceptance from his father. Even scumbags like Walder Frey treat their kids better than this guy. His refusal to save Theon and his snide little insults at his lack of manhood angers Yara so much that she calls him out on his behavior and begins preparations for a rescue mission.
    • The overlords of Meereen fly far over the moral event horizon before they even appear by crucifying over 163 slave children to mile-posts on the way to Meereen, just to piss Dany off. Made worse as the first girl sacrificed visibly resembles Dany herself, making this slight at her seem even more intentional.
    • The Sparrows at first seem like some of the most good people in the show, wanting to help out the common people in whatever way they can and prepared to sacrifice anything of their own to do it. Then they get the power of the Faith Militant and it turns out they're far more Westboro Baptist Church than Christian missionaries.
    • Both Melisandre and Stannis finally cross the point of no return and become true villains (arguably) when they have Shireen burned alive in an attempt to ensure their victory over House Bolton. Numerous viewers, including long-time fans of Stannis, have turned on him for this act, and some are going so far as to root for the Boltons over him.
    • Wanting to kill the innocent Myrcella in revenge for Oberyn's demise is appallingly bad on its own , but going through with it after Prince Doran mercifully grants Ellaria and the Sand Snakes a second chance puts all of those women way past redemption.
      • And they only go further in the Season 6 premiere when they kill Doran and Trystane as well, all in the name of "avenging" Oberyn. That act is even consider to be kinslaying, which is one of the worst crimes in Westeros.
    • The Night's Watch brothers who are involved in the betrayal of Jon Snow. Particularly Olly, whom Jon was kind enough to take under his wing.
  • Most Annoying Sound: In the Season 5 finale: "Shame. Shame. Shame. *ding ding ding* Shame. Shame. Shame. *ding ding ding* Shame. Shame. Shame. *ding ding ding*"
    • Arya yelling "Oysters, clams and cockles!" over and over.
  • Narm: Though the show usually does a good job at dramatic scenes, it does have its share.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The sight of Jaime's rotting stump is enough to turn anybody's stomach.
    • Talisa getting stabbed repeatedly in the stomach while pregnant. And then when Robb crawls over to her, he presses his hand on her mutilated womb.
    • Joffrey choking to death on his own blood and vomit after being poisoned, however fitting it was.
    • Oberyn's brutal, gruesome death.
    • The medical equipment in Pycelle's lab, including tubes presumably made from animal gut and huge rusty syringes.
    • Similarly, the sight of Gregor Clegane's flesh burning and rotting away before our eyes as a result of Oberyn's manticore venom is stomach-turning.
    • Roose's fond story of Ramsay's conception is some Berserk grade nightmare fuel.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Whatever the Internet tells you, Daenerys actually did more in Season 2 than run around screaming "Where are my dragons?" at everyone.
    • Viewers who see the sex scene in "Breaker of Chains" as non-consensual regard Jaime as a rapist, which significantly changes how they see him from then onward.
    • Stannis sacrificing his daughter is obviously a huge moment in the character's arc, and it has had a significant effect on his memetic online fandom, probably for the rest of the series.
    • Thanks to the "bad pussy" line uttered by Tyene Sand to Bronn in "Mother's Mercy", it will forever be associated to the Dorne arc in Season 5.
  • Older Than They Think: The character of the Night's King. The reveal caught book readers and non-readers alike off guard because in the novels there has been no hint of the Others having a singular leader and of the Night's King being anything more than a myth or historical character. However, the Green Ronin Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game did feature a very similar character, called the King of Winter, in its Night's Watch supplement a full two years before Oathkeeper aired; the book does mention that at that point, Green Ronin was essentially making up new lore for the purposes of tabletop gameplay, so it's up for debate as to whether or not Green Ronin guessed right about the White Walkers having a monarch or if the showrunners just decided to steal their idea as they diverged from the novels.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Balon and Yara Greyjoy both have one scene the third season, during which the former sinks to new levels of dog-kickery, and the latter calls out him out on it, openly defies him and pledges a Roaring Rampage of Rescue for her brother.
    • Walder Frey appears in three episodes during the first three seasons. It's safe to say his actions during his second appearance will be forever ingrained in the minds of the characters and of the viewers alike.
    • Sadly, Word of God says that Ser Pounce will not make any future appearances on the show.
    • "Bart the Bear", the real bear used in Episode 7 of Season 3 is one affectionately with the fans of the series.
    • Syrio Forel appeared in three scenes in the first season, and is still a fan favorite.
    • Salladhor Saan has also only appeared in three scenes, but his were spaced across three seasons. He still gets some of the show's funniest lines.
    • Karl Tanner, the Night's Watch renegade and self-proclaimed "fooking legend" of Gin Alley, appeared in all of four episodes across Seasons 3 and 4, and his performance is, well, fooking legendary.
    • Tycho Nestoris, the Iron Bank representative who meets with Stannis and Davos in Season 4 and offers them a loan, memorably played by Mark Gatiss.
    • The nameless slave keeper in "The Gift" who frees Tyrion for no obvious reason beyond compassion. Despite his lack of lines, fans have become fond of him for his charity (rare on such a show) and resemblance to Strong Belwas, a beloved book only character.
    • Karsi, the female wildling chief from "Hardhome." A Mother to Her Men, a Reasonable Authority Figure, and a well-acted Action Girl in stark contrast to the Sand Snakes was beloved by fans despite the fact that having been killed by the White Walkers, she's not going to be reappearing except as a mindless wight.
    • The Long Dead Badass Ser Arthur Dayne appeared in one episode, a flashback before he died, yet the sword fight was so epic that he went up the ranks as one of the greatest badasses on the show. Being a convincing and frighteningly effective One-Man Army Master Swordsman.
  • Padding: A Storm of Swords is a bit too long for one season, but not quite long enough for two, so seasons 3 and 4 have a number of scenes that were created for the show to pad out the length, like everything concerning Podrick as a Sex God.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: A few fans have accused D&D's portrayal of some female characters of fitting this trope- namely Brienne's insultingly calling Jaime a woman, the uber-girly Sansa becoming seductive and wearing a "needle" necklace (akin to her sister's Needle) to show how "strong" she's become, and Arya being far more of a stereotypical tomboy than she ever was in the books and slight misogynist (shooting a perfect arrow without any training, saying herself other girls are idiots, derisively dismissing Sansa's girly interests, and generally being portrayed far more sympathetically than the feminine Sansa). In the books, Brienne respects Catelyn's "woman's courage", Sansa's girliness is never portrayed as silly or weak, and Arya admires many women and looks up to her Girly Girl sister. Also, who in the books is the only one of the Starks showing support to incorporating Cersei's House's sigil into the royal sigil, because "the woman is important, too"? Yes, Arya. Quite a different approach than her Boomerang Bigot tendencies in the show.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Sansa was unpopular in early seasons because she is captive and has many intentionally unsympathetic character traits. When she was finally able to become more proactive and manipulative in the King's Landing court, she started getting more appreciation as a sympathetic character.
    • Ros's severe Break the Cutie in Season 2 got her more sympathy from viewers who were annoyed by her presence.
    • Some viewers disliked Shae in the beginning and considered her a Satellite Love Interest to Tyrion. After witnessing her new-found badassery in Season 2 and taking on a protective role over Sansa, the critics disappeared. Sadly, she begins to slide back into it with Season 3 by becoming a Clingy Jealous Girl once Tyrion is forced to marry Sansa and betraying both of them later on before dying at Tyrion's hand because she tries to kill him.
    • As bad as Ros had it in Season 2, Theon goes through far worse in Season 3, with a similar response.
    • Many fans rejected Ed Skrein's characterization of Daario Naharis. When Michiel Huisman was recast in the role and gave Daario a completely different personality, critics of the character generally approved of the change.
    • Meta example with Ian Whyte. He was considered to be a Replacement Scrappy as the second Mountain, but Wun Wun is considered to be one of the best things about the Wall story line.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Watch Dany's scenes in Astapor again after The Reveal that she can understand what the slavers are saying. She says nothing aloud, but her facial expressions react accordingly.
    • The Season 4 episode "The Lion and the Rose" gains this in light of the revelations of following episode, "Oathkeeper". In terms of the arc of Olenna Tyrell and Littlefinger, it also casts nearly all their scenes in Season 3 in a new light, hinting that even minor setbacks such as Tyrion marrying Sansa was All According to Plan.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Some fans declare they now support the White Walkers, if only because seeing everyone die in a Zombie Apocalypse will hurt less than whatever Gut Punch the show has in store.
    • Due to the murky morality of the show this scenario commonly comes up when major forces clash against each other. The best example is the Battle of the Blackwater, where Stannis besieges King's Landing. Not only is Stannis the rightful king, he is also the first character who has the opportunity to kill Joffrey, avenge Ned Stark and rescue Sansa. But the episode is written and filmed to place a large amount of focus on the battle being an achievement for Tyrion, and it's clear that if the Lannisters lose he will be killed. So the trope ends up working in two ways: Stannis, who would normally be the hero, ends up playing the role of the empire while the actual empire invites sympathy.

     S-W 
  • Scapegoat Creator: When director Alex Graves commented that including Lady Stoneheart in the fourth season's finale would have been "a waste," fans blamed him for the decision in spite of the fact that he's a director, not a writer or showrunner, so the decision wasn't up to him.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ellaria from Season 5 onwards has not been well received due to her plan to execute princess Myrcella to avenge Oberyn and plunge Dorne into a war, a highly irrational plan that Oberyn himself would not approve of. The fact she's the driving force of the utterly loathed Dornish subplot in Season 5, as well as her close connection to the Sand Snakes, has done nothing to remedy the situation. It gets worse with the Season 6 premiere now that she and the Sand Snakes are murdering Oberyn's entire family to "avenge him." Idiot Plot can't even begin to cover this.
    • The Sand Snakes have not been received well, due both to the clunkiness of their first two scenes and the plain idiocy of their story arc in general. Their attempted characterization as badass, ruthless Dark Action Girls just doesn't jive with the fact that their plotline has been merged with Arianne Martell's disastrous attempt to kidnap and crown Myrcella and the incredible Fight Scene Failure that is their sole action scene. As a result, viewers generally just see them as stupid and petty for trying to hurt an innocent girl who had nothing to do with their father's death. And of course their reputation is hugely undermined by their failure in even this pathetic crime. It gets worse in the Season 6 where they help Ellaria kill their own uncle and cousin which is nothing more than committing kinslaying, one of the greatest sins in the Seven Kingdoms. While book fans are incensed that these fairly popular characters from the book wind up as as a wasted opportunity, the fact they're loathed by casual fans as well shows just how poorly-handled they are.
    • Olly. Fans find it genuinely surprising that the character was meant to be sympathetic, despite his role in the deaths of two prominent characters (Ygritte and Jon). While he started off decently popular despite being a Tagalong Kid to the Night's Watch, he lost popularity by the end of the season, with his performance during "Watchers on the Wall" being considered narm-y to most. In season 5, he becomes the embodiment of the Watch losing faith in Jon Snow, and the foreshadowing of his betrayal of Jon Snow was heavyhanded to the point of being jarring. The writers were trying to go for an Et Tu, Brute? vibe with him, but unfortunately it just fell flat.
      • Take That, Scrappy!: Is thrown in the Castle Black dungeon following the Wildling attack, and executed with the rest of the mutineers by Jon Snow himself.
  • Seasonal Rot: As mentioned above under "Broken Base", Season 5 are not as well-regarded as the preceding four seasons due to slower pace, the condensing of major storylines from the books, some controversial plot points (Barristan Selmy's Death by Adaptation, Sansa's storyline, Stannis' denouement, the entire Dorne subplot), controversial acts and scenes that come across as cheap shocks, and unlikable new characters such as the Sand Snakes. However, "Hardhome" is widely considered to be one of the best episodes.
  • Ship Mates: Fans of Renly/Loras and Margaery/Sansa exist quite harmoniously, especially since they have the perfect cover for each other.
  • Slow Paced Beginning: Most of what goes on in Season 1 establishes the many protagonists and significant locales that will be heavily involved later in the plot. With the exception of some key moments, most of what unfolds is exposition layered on top of more exposition, with not much plot inertia going on (similar to how The Wire started). This all changes once the big Wham Episode hits in episode nine, which throws the semi-stable equilibrium of the previous episodes into outright chaos, which defines the following episodes, and never relents from that point onward.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The golden crown for some. And the end result looks more like wax than metal.
    • The full-grown direwolves look less real than the dragons. CGI dragons are easy. CGI fur isn't, so they filmed real wolves in front of green screens, and insert (bigger versions of) them in the filmed shots. It shows.
    • When Ser Barristan is being relieved of his place on the Kingsguard, if you look closely you can see his helmet bending as he holds it, almost like it's made out of rubber or plastic.
    • Difficult to see unless you're specifically looking for it (and hidden by the lighting) but when Tyrion chops off the Baratheon captain's leg in "Blackwater", the blood that splatters his armor is obviously being thrown at him from offscreen.
    • The Clean Cuts in "Blackwater" reach an interesting medium between this and Squick.
    • In the premiere of the second season, Shae looks out at King's Landing from the Tower of the Hand. It's glaringly obvious that the city is a green screen.
    • In "Oathkeeper", the White Walker's horse looks more decayed in close-up shots. In far shots, its decay appears limited to its skull head.
    • Lysa being shoved out of the Moon Door has 'green screen' written all over it.
    • In "The Dance of the Dragons", the green screen effects and lack of wind are clearly visible when Dany rides on Drogon.
    • The Disney Villain Death of Myranda in Mother's Mercy is an even bigger instance of blatant green screen than the example already mentioned.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Due to shared inspiration (specifically, the real life Wars of the Roses), fans have considered this the closest thing to a Darker and Edgier live action adaptation of Final Fantasy Tactics they're ever likely to see.
  • Squick:
    • Lysa Arryn breastfeeding her son Robin. In the book, he was about six when this scene happened, while in the show he's eight when we first see him - and it's implied to be still going on for the next several years before her death.
    • Daenerys having to eat and keep down the entire raw heart of a horse. By the time she barely finishes it, her mouth and both her hands are soaked with blood. Still, that she does — while pregnant, no less — is something of a Moment of Awesome.
    • The description of what's going to happen to the man who tried to poison Dany. We only get to see the beginning of it, but it's still pretty gruesome.
    • The description of what Littlefinger's more demanding clientele want from his brothels, including young boys, amputees, and fresh corpses (of beautiful women). It can also put the opening scene of episode 7 to new, unpleasant light, since the children being bathed outside his brothel may be his prostitutes as well.
    • Khal Drogo fights a warrior who insulted Dany, and slashes a hole in his throat. Messy, but fair enough. Then he rips out the man's tongue through the hole. This was apparently Jason Momoa's idea. The original plan was to have him just decapitate his opponent, but Jason wanted something more visceral, to show what kind of fighter Drogo is like. Being the one to do the tongue-ripping-out, he ended up being squicked by his own idea.
    • "Garden of Bones". Just about half of the episode in one form or another. Within the first five minutes, we have a man getting his leg amputated, and we can hear the bone being sawed through, and him screaming through the gag as Robb holds the poor bastard down.
    • The Tickler's dead body, with his head twisted completely around.
    • A priest getting literally torn apart by an angry mob, especially when it's implied that cannibalism ensues. The commoners of King's Landing are already going insane from hunger, and the Winter hasn't even started yet.
    • The Big Badass Battle Sequence in "Blackwater" is riddled with gruesome deaths, one of which includes a soldier's head getting smashed in by a large falling rock.
    • Tywin's horse taking a shit on the floor in the Season 2 finale. With a close-up view of the dung.
    • Kraznys cutting off one of the Unsullied's nipples is quite painful to watch, to say the least...
    • When he's being tortured in "Dark Wings, Dark Words", Theon gets a hole drilled through his foot and a blade shoved under his fingernail.
    • After Locke delivers a glaring "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jaime Lannister, he chops off Jaime's hand in one swipe. It takes but three seconds for Jaime to realize what just happened and he screams in horror as he pulls back his arm and shows the freshly opened wound complete with exposed bones.
    • When Jaime is nearly crazed with thirst and begs for water, his captors give him a cup of liquid that he hastily drinks — and then they tell him that it's horse piss. Uuuuuuugh.
    • Varys' rather graphic description of how he was castrated.
    • It turns out that Selyse Baratheon keeps her stillborn sons in jars. Huh.
    • Sansa is forced to marry Tyrion, a man in his late 30s, in spite of just barely having started menstruating.
    • Dammit, Melisandre, did you really need to put that leech there? After getting Gendry all worked up, too?
    • Talisa getting repeatedly stabbed in her belly and left to bleed out is pretty gruesome. Also, she was pregnant enough to have a baby bump.
    • The sight of Robb's decapitated corpse with Grey Wind's head in place of his own, being paraded around in the aftermath of the Red Wedding, while the Frey soldiers mockingly chant "Here comes the King in the North!"
    • Ramsay Snow mailing Theon's severed penis to Balon Greyjoy in a box.
    • Jaime forcing himself on Cersei in front of their own son's dead body.
    • Margaery's sexual relationship with the much younger Tommen. When he's barely into adolescence, she sneaks into his room at night and attempts to seduce him, but ultimately just kisses him on the forehead. When he's only 15 or so (even within the show's timeline he shouldn't be over 13), they are married and have sex multiple times on their wedding night.
    • The ending to the Oberyn Martell/Gregor Clegane duel is this is many ways. It goes from a punch that knocks out several of Oberyn's teeth to Gregor gouging out his eyes and crushing his skull. Next time we see Gregor, he's comatose from being poisoned by Oberyn's weapons and his flesh is rapidly rotting. On top of all the gore, Oberyn's screams throughout his death are painful to listen to, and Cersei and Tywin even manage to throw in some sickeningly smug looks after the whole thing, given that it means it condemns Tyrion to death.
    • Littlefinger going on about how he loved Catelyn and how in a better world when the Power of Love would triumph, Sansa would be his daughter. And then proceeding to kiss Sansa. Thankfully, Sansa is not twelve anymore and her actress is actually as tall as him, but it's still unpleasant to watch.
    • In the Season 4 finale, Tywin sleeping with his son's whore is bad enough, but we also get to hear her address him with the same term of endearment that she had used for Tyrion.
    • Considering how most of the other entries under Squick are concerned with gore, rape and the occasional spot of old ultra-violence, it certainly says something about the actor's abilities that Littlefinger's tendency to force the occasional kiss on a passive Sansa truly makes the skin crawl right off the flesh and flee for Puerto Rico.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Viewers who complain about Robb's romance with Talisa and don't see it as a Romantic Plot Tumor will go the opposite route, saying that not enough time is spent showing how Robb could fall so deeply in love that he'd break his marriage pact.
  • Teasing Creator: For three finales, the episode titles have suggested that a major twist which is so far book-only, Lady Stoneheart, will appear: Mhysa and The Children. Lena Headey's instagram fake clue only fueled the speculation. When it was revealed that the Season 5 finale is titled "Mother's Mercy", book fans were convinced that they were being outright messed with by the writers.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Inevitable when you're dealing with such a nerd-loved property. Though interestingly enough, George R.R. Martin himself denounces this view on the DVD commentary, saying that things like Syrio having hair and Ghost making noise just work better for the new medium.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The two main wildlings in "Hardhome," Karsi the Reasonable Authority Figure and Loboda the Jerkass Thenn. Karsi shows her Action Mom chops, while Loboda offers some timely Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, but both are Sacrificial Lambs for the undead to kill and don't make it out of the episode.
    • The death of Ser Barristan Selmy is getting this reaction from a lot of fans, as he is still alive in the books and at this point in the books his character actually began to take a more active role after being a mostly passive figure. It doesn't help that he died in a somewhat anti-climactic manner with little fanfare or build-up.
    • Stannis who was killed off in an incredibly ignominious fashion after sacrificing his daughter and having his army slaughtered by the Boltons. Especially as Shireen's death hasn't happened at that point in the books, Martin has confirmed Stannis is still alive in the books, and Stephen Dillane is thought to be one of the best actors in the show.
    • Doran Martell was given plenty of build up in Season 5 and was widely seen as one of the few good things about the Dorne story arc of that season. Come the Season 6 premiere and he is brutally killed without much fanfare, along with his bodyguard and son, having accomplished nothing of importance at all. Especially jarring considering that, as he lies dying, Ellaria snaps at how he did nothing after Elia and Oberyn's deaths, while in the books he was revealed to be even more vengeful than Oberyn about such things and had plans to avenge Elia, but that entire plot was dropped.
    • Osha, the badass Wildling girl who basically singlehandedly outsmarted Theon and saved Bran and Rickon from the Greyjoys is killed unceremoniously after she returns in Season 6. She's murdered on the spot by Ramsay in her second appearance before she can do anything of note, in yet another example of how very evil and protected by Plot Armor Ramsay is.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Yara's vow to free Theon from Ramsay Bolton in season 4, one of the major cliffhangers of the previous season. It's resolved in a single scene in season 5, where Yara and her band are easily driven off by Ramsay. And that's the end of that plot line.
    • Sansa's story in season 4 ends with her playing the lords of the Vale like a fiddle, and showing that she's figured out how to appeal to Littlefinger's interests, suggesting she's going to start being a much more active player in politics. Come season 5, she's shipped off to Winterfell pretty quickly, removing her from the Eyrie, Littlefinger, and politics in general for the rest of the season.
    • The Stannis plot in Season 5 about trying to win control of the North against the Boltons is ended very abruptly, with a single off-screen raid by Ramsay and then another off-screen Curb-Stomp Battle, culminating in Brienne apparently killing Stannis... off-screen. This gets especially bad considering in the books Stannis is still alive and looks set to defeat the Boltons. This has also upset players of the Telltale Game of Thrones, considering that the Forresters' only appearance in the books has them joining Stannis.
    • Many book fans have complained that removing Lady Stoneheart from the show completely guts the entire purpose to the Brotherhood Without Banners story, plus Brienne and Pod's entire subplot, resulting in their infamously spending all of Season 5 waiting to see a candle being lit.
    • The whole Dorne storyline in season 5. After Oberyn Martell became a major fan favourite in season 4 and suffered a gut-wrenching, tragic death, there was much anticipation for a visit to his homeland in season 5. Yet most just considered it one of the season's biggest disappointments, thanks to way too much anti-climactic action, massive Idiot Ball moments (Did Jaimie and Bronn think they could just sneak into Dorne willy-nilly? Why is Doran so nonchalant about Ellaria coming into close contact to Myrcella, when she's made direct threats to torture or even kill her?), the cheesy and underspent Sand Snakes and a Cruel Twist Ending that made the whole drawn-out affair seem utterly pointless.
    • Roose and Walda Bolton. The former is a cunning, ruthless schemer who could have played a relevant role as the Warden of the North, while the latter has very few scenes and almost no lines despite her book counterpart being known for her snarky sense of humour. Just as it seemed that their position as rulers of the North was cemented, they are unceremoniously (and unnecessarily) murdered by Ramsay.
  • Too Cool to Live: This seems to define Game Of Thrones, as the list of people fitting this trope could go on forever. For the sake of brevity, only the coolest will be listed here:
    • Rhaegar Targaryen, the complete antithesis to Aerys II, killed many years before the plot starts.
    • Ned Stark, a man known for his integrity, honor and bravery, whose death triggers an all-out civil war.
    • Khal Drogo, who planned to conquer Westeros for Danaerys and could actually pull it off.
    • Robb Stark, the King in the North who was undefeated in every battle he ever fought, but lost the war.
    • Oberyn Martell, a charming, highly educated man and a deadly warrior, nicknamed the Red Viper for his habit of using poisoned weapons. Killed off less than a season after his introduction. Many fans didn't want to get attached to him because they feared this trope.
    • Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. A man whose sheer charisma and strength of ideals brought together ninety clans of wildlings for a massive assault on the Wall. One of the few monarchs in the series who truly understands that a king must serve his people, and not the other way around. Wins the respect of not just his supporters, but his enemies as well. Killed off in the first episode of Season Five. Especially as he's still alive in the books and is playing a major part in the Northern storyline.
    • Ser Barristan Selmy. The ultimate Memetic Badass and Living Legend of Westeros. It took over four full seasons for us to be able to see him in action and although he does indeed prove how much of a badass he is, Reality Ensues and he gets overwhelmed fighting too many enemies.
    • Karsi, the no-nonsense Action Mom and Only Sane Man among the wildlings at Hardhome. Ends up being the Sacrificial Lion to remind us how horrifically evil the White Walkers are.
    • Shireen Baratheon, the kind, innocent, intelligent, Wide-Eyed Idealist princess, who bonds with fan-favorite Davos Seaworth and teaches him how to read, brings out some warmth and goodness in her father Stannis, and refuses to accept the cruely of Melisandre's religious fanaticism. She is so precious and good that there is no way they let her survive this series. Which they don't, having her die one of the most horrific deaths ever seen on the show.
    • As of the Season 5 finale, Stannis Baratheon. By all evidence, he might have made a suitably effective ruler had anyone given him the chance and he wasn't forced down a path of self-destruction, costing him everything in his pursuit of his right to be king. He also proved each time he's been in combat that, if nothing else, he is a true badass. He is so cool that many fans condemn the showrunners for robbing them of the greater, fully-realized character of the books.
    • Doran Martell is a Reasonable Authority Figure who refused to get entangled with the war and one of the few likable characters in the widely despised Dorne arc. Killed off unceremoniously by his brother’s lover and his nieces because of his apathy on his siblings’ death.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Although Conan Stevens barely appears in Season One, the fandom in general seems to prefer him over his replacement Ian Whyte in the role of Gregor Clegane. However, Hafþór "Thor" Björnsson, the third Gregor, is widely considered to be just as good or even better than Stevens.
    • The Sand Snakes are clear attempts to recapture the exoticism, danger, and badassery of Oberyn Martell, but exhibit none of the charm, intelligence or fighting ability that made him such a popular character. The result is the opposite: they're the only characters almost everyone in the fanbase dislikes.
  • Ugly Cute: Dany's dragons.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Some viewers criticized the final shot of Season 3, in which the white, blonde Daenerys is hoisted onto the shoulders of a city's worth of liberated Ambiguously Brown people, all of whom are calling her "mother." [1] [2] [3] George R. R. Martin himself defended the scene, saying that the extras were locals from Morocco, but that Daenerys "frees slaves of all colors, races, creeds, and nationalities."
    • There have been complaints about whitewashing the cast in Game of Thrones by either leaving out characters of color from the books (such as Strong Belwas, Xhondo (a One-Scene Wonder who saved Sam Tarly's life in the books) and Jalabar Xho), having them portrayed by lighter skinned actors, killing off characters of color in the show who are still alive in the books (such as Daenerys' handmaidens Irri and Jhiqui) and giving them race lifts (such as replacing the black characters Chayata and Alayaya with the caucasian Ros). While the show does have some ethnic diversity and George Martin has defended it, some issues remain unaddressed and still rankle with fans.
    • The show has been accused of sexualizing violence or relying too heavily on Gratuitous Rape for cheap shock value by online critics. In particular, Jaime and Cersei's sex scene in "Breaker Of Chains" was changed from the source material to appear to many viewers to be rape. The fact that the director has stated that it is a consensual sex scene in spite of Cersei's protests has added fuel to the fire. As has the scene in Season Five where Ramsay rapes Sansa after their wedding.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The sex scene between Jaime and Cersei in "Breaker of Chains". According to the director, it's Jaime who's been abused in this relationship, and audience sympathies should be with him. However, because the scene appears to be a rape in the eyes of many viewers (Cersei repeatedly begs Jaime to stop, right up to the time the camera cuts away), Cersei becomes unintentionally sympathetic as a rape victim, and Jaime unintentionally unsympathetic as a rapist.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • The number of people in-universe who like Tyrion can be counted on one hand. The number of people in real life who don't like Tyrion can also be counted on one hand.
    • The Hound is reviled as a terrifying and brutal man (which he is), but fans love him for his brooding persona, badassery, and Pet the Dog moments.
    • Jaime is slowly working his way into this category as well. The notorious Kingslayer is hated by everyone but his own family, but his Character Development has him emerging as a fan favorite. The rape of his sister in the Season 4's third episode has been a setback in the eyes of many fans, though.
    • Stannis Baratheon is deeply unpopular within Westeros and is submitted to quite a bit of Adaptational Villainy; but Stephen Dillane's performance, as well as the constant support of fan-favorite Davos Seaworth, means that he has a far bigger fan following out of the show (and more vocal), than within it, although his sacrifice of his daughter Shireen complicates matters. However, many fans are more angry at the writers than Stannis over this, especially as the writers make Stannis far nastier than in the books and admit to not liking him.
  • The Untwist: The only people surprised by Jon Snow's resurrection were those who thought it was so obvious that the showrunners were going to take it a different way to subvert expectations. Ultimately they brought him back in the most predictable way possible.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Lancel. There is this gem in the Season 2 DVD commentary:
      Carice Van Houten: Oh, listeners and viewers, you might think: why is he so cruel to this girl?note 
      Liam Cunningham: That's a boy.note 
    • The little assassin sent after Daenerys by the Warlocks of Qarth. Is it a boy? Is it a girl? Whatever it is, it's quite creepy.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Despite the limitations of a television budget, Game Of Thrones has some notably impressive visual effects.
    • The reveal of the dragons in 'Fire and Blood' is fantastic.
    • In "Blackwater" the wildfire explosion is quite simply awe inspiring.
    • That White Walker at the end of Season 2? It's not CGI.
    • The giant that shows up in the first episode of Season 3 is brilliant.
    • In the final scene of "Walk of Punishment", you may catch yourself wondering "Did they actually cut the actor's hand off?"
    • The closing aerial shot in "And Now His Watch Is Ended" of Dany's army of Unsullied leaving following the Sack of Astapor, her three dragons flying in the foreground.
    • The closing shot of "The Climb": Jon and Ygritte making out on top of the amazingly rendered top of the world.
    • In the final scene of "Second Sons" (noticing a pattern here?): Sam stabs a White Walker with an obsidian dagger, causing it to turn to ice and shatter.
    • And Season 3 finishes off with a rapid zoom out into the sky, showing Daenerys surrounded by hundreds of recently freed slaves paying homage to her, finishing with a dragon flying into the camera.
    • In Season 4, the dragons are more impressive than ever. You can practically feel the texture of their scales.
    • The makeup work for Joffrey's death. You'll probably feel some sympathetic pain no matter how much you hated him.
    • If you thought The Eyrie looked amazing in Season 1, wait till you see it in Season 4.
    • The giants and mammoth in "The Watchers on the Wall".
    • The scene from the Season 5 showing the harpy statue at the top of the pyramid in Meereen sliding down and slamming into the ground, complete with stonework flying and the statue's wing getting bent as it hits the ground. Truly a sight to behold, that is.
  • Vocal Minority: Viewers who have read the books are particularly vocal online, so that a large percentage of the online reactions, at least in certain circles, are regarding changes from the source material.
  • Wangst: Early on in the show, Jon Snow's angst about being a noble bastard in the first season comes across as this to some viewers. Although he is an outsider in his own home and has a Wicked Stepmother, he also enjoys the comfort and privileges of a noble upbringing. This is partially deliberate, as various characters point it out to him, and he eventually grows out of it.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Any meme would get people to watch this show but it's usually "Winter is Coming", any variation of Tyrion slapping Joffrey or anything related to the Red Wedding.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Robb chooses to break his marriage contract with the Freys and marry Talisa, alienating a vital and already reluctant ally.
    • Loras thinks it's perfectly acceptable to tell Olyvar about his possible marriage to Sansa. Naturally, Olyvar is one of Littlefinger's spies.
    • In "The Children," after Tyrion is sentenced to death, Jaime and Varys have risked everything to break him out and provide him with the means to flee King's Landing. Rather than listen to their directions and flee to the docks, he chooses to go to the Tower of the Hand to have one last confrontation with his father, which at this point is tantamount to suicide, as there are very few ways this could possibly end without him being recaptured and his friends punished. While he does manage to survive purely by luck, the end result is still utterly tragic.
    • And for that matter Tywin in the same episode. Oh sure, go right ahead Tywin and insult the dead girlfriend of your son who is not only pissed as hell at you but has a loaded crossbow aimed at you... after he warns you to not say that word again. I'm sure this will turn out well.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After Season 5 was nigh-universally declared the show's weakest with several controversial story decisions and wildly fluctuating ratings, Season 6 got a ton of people interested in the show again by finding good ways to follow through on those stories, plus bringing back several characters and plotlines that had fallen by the wayside years ago as it prepares the story to be wrapped up. In comparison to the Sand Snakes, the Greyjoy plotline is considered far more interesting and well-acted, as well as much more faithful to the overall spirit of the books despite certain differences.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • In Season 2, Margaery Tyrell is inexplicably dressed in what looks like a giant brown burrito. Mercifully the costuming department wised up and put her in more flattering dresses for the Season 2 finale and beyond.
    • The show usually uses top-notch and fairly convincing wigs. The one worn Daario Naharis in season 3 on the other hand looked like it was stolen from the stock of a cheesy '90s fantasy series.
    • The costuming designer herself says that it wasn't her intention to put nipples on the Sand Snakes' breastplates, and whoever was responsible for them made a mistake (apparently the fabrication process left large nubs at the tips of the breasts that were meant to be sanded smooth).
  • The Woobie:
    • Daenerys at various points.
      • In the first season. The crap her brother puts her through just makes you want to hug her.
      • Seasons 4 and 5 dive her headlong into this after 3 seasons of success. She slowly but surely loses control of her Dragons as they grow increasingly wild and bloodthirsty, culminating in her being forced to chain two of them up in her dungeons after they (seemingly) butchered and devoured a little girl. Her uncompromising punishments towards the slavemasters of Meereen have made the majority of the populace fear and despise her. She discovers that one of her Queensguard, a man who travelled with her since the beginning of her quest and whom she trusted more than anyone else, had been secretly spying on her, forcing her to exile him. Finally, the vengeful former slavemasters band together and plunge her city into open civil war, costing her her other Queensguard and severely shaking her faith in her people.
    • Bran Stark goes from being a cheerful kid full of adventurous ideas to being crippled and wanting to die for simply seeing something he shouldn't have.
    • Poor fat Sam. His father constantly mocked and abused him for being "weak" because Sam preferred reading to fighting and eventually threatening to outright kill Sam if he did not join the Knight's Watch. When he does join, he's bullied relentlessly until Jon puts a stop to it and, even though things improve somewhat for him after he meets Gilly, his beloved mentor dies and he goes back to being treated with contempt without Jon and Maester Aemon around.
    • Tyrion. He is certainly introduced as someone discriminated against and put upon, but seems to triumph over it with little emotional fallout. Then you meet Tywin. Then you learn some backstory. Then you want to hug him forever.
    • Jon never knew his mother, grew up with a stepmother who hated him and despite having siblings and a father that loved him, never felt like he belonged in his family. He then goes off to the Wall to live a life of celibacy and freezing cold. Then his brother goes to war, his father is killed and his sisters are taken captive, and he can do nothing but sit by as everything goes to hell around him. And then in Season 5, he tries to help the Wildlings against the White Walkers, only to suffer crushing losses and witness the casualties raised as wights. And then, he gets betrayed and murdered by his own Night's Watch brethren, all for trying to do the right thing, in true Stark fashion.
    • Sansa Stark, who spends a full season being tormented by Joffrey. And even when things got better for her in the third season, life still sucked for her. And that was all before her storyline got merged into her Adapted Out friend Jeyne Poole's in Season 5...
    • Arya Stark, forced to run without knowing what's going on, spending several days without food, watching how her father is dragged and booed and hear how he's beheaded. Then, forced to forsake her identity. And then, unlike her father, actually witnessing the desecration of her eldest brother's corpse.
    • Even though some may consider her The Scrappy, Ros has a Trauma Conga Line through Seasons 2 and 3, ultimately leading to being fatally pin-cushioned by Joffrey.
    • By Season 3, Catelyn Stark has lost her husband and her father, her youngest sons are missing and presumed dead, her daughters are presumed captive and in danger of dying at any moment and the only son that is with her is in the middle of a war and could die at any moment. And all throughout this she can do nothing but watch and blame herself in her impossible assumption that this may be divine retribution. And then she dies, right after watching Robb die. In one of the commentaries, Vanessa Taylor is a bit amused by how the end result of this is that she seems to spend the entire third season crying.
    • Lord Mace Tyrell may be a pompous, naive doofus, but he's disrespected and ignored all the time when he's characterized as little more than a lighthearted people pleaser.
    • Tommen Baratheon spent most of his childhood bullied by his older brother. When Joffrey dies Tommen inherits his throne. Even though Tommen is a much better king, he's forced to deal with all the hatred and animosity towards his family despite having done nothing wrong himself.
    • Hizdahr zo Loraq sees his father crucified without any proof of the latter's guilt, is despised by Daenerys's council despite his efforts to keep stability in Meereen, comes this close to being roasted and eaten by dragons, is forced by Daenerys to marry her (and she tells Daario that will never share her bed with him). It could be undermined by the fact that he's suspected of being an ally of the Sons of the Harpy. "The Dance of Dragons" cements his Woobie status, since he gets killed by the Sons, and while trying to help Daenerys no less.
    • Myrcella has been called out as a bastard and a child of incest, taken away from her mother to be married to the prince of a foreign land, never to see her family again. Assassins then attempt to kill her for the sole reason that she's a Lannister and her family was indirectly responsible for the death of a man who volunteered for a trial by combat. The first time she sees a member of her family in years, it's when he's abducting her from her happy home and her beloved. And just when things start to look up for her and she's on her way back home to see her mother and brother again with the love of her life, she dies of poison from the assassins, staring up at her father in fear.
    • Shireen. The poor little kid has disfiguring facial scarring and is locked away in a tower for most of her life. Her mother treats her with naked contempt and she barely sees her father, who is rather awkward when he does see her. Her only friend seems to be Davos. And then, just when their relationship seems to be improving, Stannis chooses to sacrifice her to curry favour with the Lord of Light, while Shireen cries and begs her parents to save her.
    • Fat Walda. Although she doesn't spend much time onscreen to show it, living with the Boltons would be dreadful for anyone. Even with Roose's protection, she clearly feels threatened by Ramsay. Once Roose is dead, Ramsay has her and her newborn baby devoured by his hounds.

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