YMMV / Game of Thrones


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     A-D 
  • 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."
    • Shipping Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner is quite popular as well. Even Sophie Turner ships it, having made up her own version of Westeros where Margaery and Sansa are a couple.
    • Pedro Pascal and Hafþór "Thor" Júlíus Björnsson (Oberyn Martell and the third Mountain) get some of this as well. This largely stems from this image from Pascal's Instagram.
    • Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke. Look here and read the comments about them; skip ahead to 1:00 to see if they are right.
  • 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.
    • In "The Winds of Winter", Tommen commits suicide. While some were irritated that he made an ineffectual king and allowed himself to be manipulated, it's hard not to feel sorry for him when he silently jumps to his death upon witnessing his mother plunge King's Landing into ruin, including the murder of his wife, brother-in-law, father-in-law, great uncle and cousin.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Enough to have its own page.
  • 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 with a fatherly hug. Cue the knife to the chest; apparently not even the cunning Roose saw that coming. Ignominious doesn't begin to cover it.
    • Ramsay Bolton follows suit; although he's able to successfully command his army against the coalition that Jon Snow assembled, he gets his ass handed to him in under a minute in a one-on-one confrontation.
  • Anvilicious:
    • The show's biased depiction of religion with its one-dimensional Religion Is Wrong message comes across as this to the point of likely being an Author Tract, especially in comparison to the books where religion is dealt with fairly Warts and All, even if the author, GRRM, is an atheist/agnostic.
    • Many criticized the show's shoehorning of 21st Century issues dealing with LGBT issues into the Sparrow plot, rather than portray it as a peasants' rebellion by commoners turning to the Sept to bring the crown to task after suffering during the War of the Five Kings as it was in the books. Some commentators note that this issue far from criticizing homophobia ended up reducing Loras Tyrell to a "gay cartoon" as noted by Jane Johnson and likewise give no context to the Sparrows outside of some fundamentalist crusade.
    • The depiction of Rhillorism has also led to this, especially since Melisandre, described by GRRM himself as his "most misunderstood character" is given inconsistent characterization based on Hot Witch Femme Fatale stereotypes, rather than the more rounded Well-Intentioned Extremist (who eventually convinces Book!Jon Snow of her powers) with a heavy handed denouement at the end of Season 5 note  tacked on to give a simple message about religious fundamentalism which to some comes across as a Space Whale Aesop since Rhillor has demonstrable magical powers and actual powers of prophecy, the key reason why an atheist skeptic like Stannis supports it and many note that the situation of the plot, a Cold Equation and the actual denouement of Melisandre's actionsnote  make the eventual heavy handed aesop delivered by Davos at the end of Season 6 to come of as a violation of Show, Don't Tell.
    • On a general note, many note that the great majority of openly atheist characters on the show compromises the verisimilitude of the show's feudal setting, noting that it made little sense for religion to have a dominant part in this society, if characters can openly mock religion repeatedly with little consequence and social punishment. They also note that the show runners have made characters who are religious in the books such as Davosnote  and the genuinely pious Sansa into non-believers which likewise opens the show, and the showrunners since they control what goes on the show, to accusations of anti-religious sentiment.
  • Arc Fatigue: Has its own page.
  • 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.
    • From the very next episode, Daenerys all of a sudden knows exactly how to find and control Drogon, even though the last time Daenerys saw him made it very clear that she still had no clue how to do either.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise:
    • The show's one-sided anti-religion message, particularly the Straw Character Faith Militant and High Sparrow, is a big turn-off to religious people. It even alienates some fans of the books due to some of them being religious people themselves, the retconning of three character's beliefs and there religion and religious people are portrayed in a more accurate and sympathetic manner.
  • 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.
    • After the unpopular detour to Dorne in Season 5, fans are thrilled that Jaime is finally heading to the Riverlands in Season 6 just like in the books. Likewise, Brienne will be going there as well which will set up their reunion.
  • 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.
    • 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.
      • And once more, it happened again during Season 6. Once again, fans were infuriated.
    • 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 until 2016, 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). She finally got nominated at the Emmys 2016 though some felt that she should have been nominated in the previous seasons.
    • 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. Many people were appalled that when the 2016 Emmys nominations came out, Djawadi is still snubbed despite his wonderful piece on "Light of the Seven".
    • 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 (see Base-Breaking Character below) or Peter Dinklage (who is universally agreed to be excellent, but didn't have much to do) received nominations for Season 5 while Stephen Dillane, Alfie Allen, 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.
    • Lots of fans are upset that Sophie Turner didn't get a nomination for Season 6, and a few are even upset she didn't score one in Season 5
    • As of Season 6, Emilia Clarke has inverted this. As fans complain again and again about countless deserving actors being snubbed, she is consistently given nominations despite the fact that a portion of the fanbase is very critical of her acting. In addition, those who do like her acting tend to agree that Clarke is rarely given a good opportunity to show off her skills, instead being relegated to storylines that focus more on big action sequences and special effects rather than emotional, dramatic scenes.
  • 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.
    • Justified; 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. Until Cersei eliminates most of her enemies, including nearly all the Tyrells, in a single stroke.
    • Ramsay goes from a Blood Knight badass Master Swordsman in Season 4 to a Dirty Coward in Season 6 who goes down after a few hits to the face.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Has its own page.
  • 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: Has its own page.
  • Cargo Ship: Thanks to the Season 4 premiere, Sandor Clegane is often paired with chickens.
  • Catharsis Factor: In "Oathbreaker", 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".
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Even with recaps at the start of every episode, this series is absolutely unforgiving to latecomers, with episodes in Series 6 hinging on viewer memories of events from as far back as the first episode of Season 1. The Blu-ray releases of the series attempt to combat this by providing optional on-screen character and location concordances with every episode.
  • 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?
  • Creator Worship: After directing the three best-received episodes between Seasons 5 and 6, it seems Miguel Sapochnik can do no wrong. The fact that he won't be back for Season 7 (due to obligations with a Netflix series) is heartbreaking to many fans.
  • 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. This may have been averted as of Season 6 with Jon's resurrection, the Starks regrouping and finally taking back Winterfell, as well as Ramsay's satisfying and well-deserved death at the hands of his own dogs loosened onto him by Sansa.
  • Dork Age: Season 5 is still good but it hit a low stride. Asides from the controversial changes in Sansa’s and Stannis’ storylines, the Dorne arc is considered to be the lowest point in the show due to its low production values (such as the bad fight scene in the Water Gardens), the poor characterization of Ellaria and the Sand Snakes and the Idiot Plot about getting Myrcella back home which ended moot when she was poisoned by Ellaria. Fortunately, Season 6 reintroduced several characters and storylines that had been absent such as Bran Stark, the Greyjoys, the Freys and the Tullys and Sandor "The Hound" Clegane.
  • 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 show runners 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 Daenerys/Jon, 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 
      • Following the two characters' (admittedly very charming) first interaction in "Battle of the Bastards", Daenerys/Yara rocketed immediately into popularity.
    • Brienne/Jaime are popular as they spend a lot of screen time alone traveling Westeros together, and Brienne pushes Jaime to become a much better person than he is around Cersei.
      • However coming out of nowhere in Season 6, and taking a surprising lead, Brienne/Tormund.
    • Davos/Stannis has proven surprisingly, but undeniably, to be the most popular Ho Yay pairing so far.
    • Oddly enough, Robb/Theon is the most popular Robb ship, despite Theon betraying him and allegedly murdering his younger brothers.
    • Sansa has a few popular options, with Sansa/Sandor in particular having a lot of fans especially in early seasons.
      • Meanwhile Sansa/Margaery 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.
      • Sansa/Jon is increasing popular for a crackship, since their very affectionate reunion in Season 6. And made fortunately much less squicky with the reveal that they're actually cousins.
    • Arya/Gendry is the most popular Arya ship, given their close friendship during everything they went through together.
    • Bran/Meera is just as popular as it was in the books, particularly following a few small, but loving interactions during the otherwise pitifully bleak opening of "Blood of My Blood".
    • Shireen/Rickon Stark, even though they don't share screentime together, are very popular with shippers, possibly due to them both being The Woobie and Shireen being a Lonely Rich Kid.
  • 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.
    • Before delivering his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jaime, Edmure remarks "You're a fine-looking fellow, aren't you? Your square jaw, your golden armor..."
  • Franchise Original Sin: Has its own page.
  • 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.
    • There is an overlap between fans of Game of Thrones and the works of Yasumi Matsuno. It does help that Matsuno is also a fan himself.
  • "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, 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. And to "know" someone in the Biblical sense was to have sex with them.
  • 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."
    • The reveal that Lyanna was Jon's mother puts multiple moments from early seasons in this light: Ned telling Jon that he may not have his name but he "has his blood" and that Ned never cheated on Catelyn and was actually faithful to her his entire life. Jon and Arya's particularly close relationship among the Stark siblings gets even sweeter with the reveal, as Arya is implied to be a Generation Xerox of Lyanna — meaning Jon had a special attachment to his mother without even realizing it.
  • 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. He officially came back in Season 6 by aiding Bran and Meera against a pack of Wights. After revealing his identity, he tells them that he and his accompanying riders engaged the White Walkers, and was stabbed by one and left to turn. Luckily, the Children of the Forest found him before that could happen.
    • 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. And lo and behold, the Hound returns in Season 6, saved by a traveling septon.
    • 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.
    • With the Season 6 finale, many fans are hoping this is the case with Margaery Tyrell despite the fact that she is shown moments before the Sept explodes and the blast radius of the Wildefire would render an escape moot. But her death isn't directly shown leading some people to still hope.
      • A very popular fan theory that has emerged is that the Margaery Tyrell who died could be a faceless man hired to save Loras and kill the High Sparrow. Said faceless man would've been hired by Mace in Braavos back in S5's finale as things had begun to go to hell already. The real Margaery is chilling in High Garden and plotting her revenge against Queen Cersei. However, this theory has a pretty glaring hole - the faces faceless men use are taken from corpses.
    • Viewers are skeptic of Blackfish’s offscreen death in "No One" after some random Lannister mook informed Jaime about it. Considering that in the books he escaped by jumping off to the river and swam his way out when Riverrun was seized, some viewers believed that he faked his death and escaped the same way he did in the books.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its own page.
  • 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: Has its own page.
  • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" for the budding romance between Tormund and Brienne in Season 6.
  • 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."
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Jon and Sansa, as of Season 6. With both having gone through the Trauma Conga Line, and being the only family either has seen in ages, they become very close and prone to held gazes and affectionate gestures. With Sansa having been at the mercy of the biggest monsters of the setting, and Jon's big brother protectiveness showing in full force, plenty have run away with it. The confirmation that they're cousins/adoptive siblings rather than half-siblings has only served to encourage them.
  • 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 King's 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.
    • Lady Olenna Tyrell watched her grandchildren being dragged to the black cells by religious fanatics and then, she lost them and her son by Cersei’s wildfire but the Queen of Thorns hadn’t lost her resolve when she agreed to ally with Daenarys Targaryen.
  • 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: Cersei Lannister is forced to make her walk of atonement. Stannis was defeated by the Boltons and Jon Snow was condemned and stabbed by his Night's Watch brothers.
    • Season 6: Cersei blows up Queen Margaery, the High Sparrow, and basically everyone else in King's Landing during the Green Trial. Jon Snow is brought back from the dead and is confirmed to be Lyanna Stark's son, not Ned's. Benjen Stark and Sandor Clegane are actually alive. Daenerys is finally heading to Westeros.
  • 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.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Season 6's Northern plot is essentially a repeat of Season 5's, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits marches to topple the Boltons from Winterfell and meet them in battle despite being heavily outnumbered. Except while the first time The Bad Guys Win, the repeat has the Boltons soundly defeated.

     J-R 
  • Jerkass Woobie: Has its own page.
  • 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 life 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: Enough to have its own page.
  • Memetic Badass: Enough to have its own page.
  • 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. This is not helped by the fact that Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa, ships them.
    • 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.
      • This hasn't let up at all since Seasons 5 and 6, either. In the former, Cersei essentially has complete, unlimited control of King's Landing and runs the entire city into the ground and loses her control to a dangerous enemy through sheer incompetence. To rectify this error in Season 6, Cersei blows up an enormous amount of King's Landing, including everyone with political power in the Great Sept of Baelor. The sequence even vaguely resembles 9/11. Yes, a queen that blows up her own citizens is certainly ideal.
    • 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: Has its own page.
  • 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 of poorly-executed moments.
  • 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.
    • Jon's savage beatdown of Ramsay, while initially cathartic, crosses over into nauseating after it goes several seconds too long and the sounds of impact get progressively wetter whilst his victim's face slowly degrades into a bloody mush.
  • 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.
    • Bran being the cause of Hodor becoming Hodor in Season 6. Even though it was a complete accident that he was horrified by, many fans instantly turned on him for it. It didn't help that the scene was a bit ambiguous over whether he was still warging into Hodor to make him hold the door, which Kristian Nairn himself had to set the record straight on.
    • Both in universe and out, Cersei will never live down the Green Trial or its aftermath. For a character who had been a Stupid Evil Jerk with a Heart of Jerk for the entire series, this moment is near unanimously regarded as her definitive Moral Event Horizon.
  • 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 show runners 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.
    • Lyanna Mormont, already an Ensemble Darkhorse based on a one-sentence written letter in Season 5, appears in person in Season 6 and more than lives up to billing, played brilliantly by Bella Ramsey in her first credited acting role.
    • Aerys II Targaryen, The Dreaded Mad King himself. He's only appeared for a few seconds, but he left one hell of an impression thanks to his bone chilling line: "BURN THEM ALL"
    • Septon Ray only appears in a few scenes in one episode, and is killed at the end of it. However, he makes great use of his screen time, being a Good Shepherd and Cool Old Guy who's trying to atone for his past by helping the smallfolk. Unlike the High Sparrow, Ray's down-to-earth, approachable, funny, and is an example of someone who uses their faith to help people redeem themselves instead of punishing them. He even manages to reach Sandor Clegane, whose life he saved. Being played by Ian McShane doesn't hurt.
    • Fans are immensely glad to finally see Lyanna Stark appear twice in flashbacks during Season 6; the first one by showing to be a Tomboy Princess just like her niece Arya, the other one by giving birth to Jon Snow, confirming the most popular theory about Jon Snow's parentage.
  • Pacing Problems: The show normally manages to move most plots at an even pace, however Season 5 suffers from multiple slow-moving story arcs with anticlimactic endings. (With Jon and Tyrion being about the only two characters whose stories avert this).
    • Jaime and Bronn take an entire season to get to Dorne for one terribly choreographed fight with the Sand Snakes, a brief chat with Doran, and turn around again. And then Myrcella - their whole reason for going in the first place - dies just as they leave with her making the entire arc pointless. Their numerous man-to-man chats feel like blatant Padding.
    • Similarly, Stannis after a dramatic comeback in the Season 4 finale, takes a whole 10 episodes to get from the Wall to Winterfell in his reconquest for the throne. Even worse, the Curb-Stomp Battle ends up being the most anti climactic confrontation in Game of Thrones history. And then he dies as well.
    • Meanwhile, Arya's momentous decision to travel to Braavos has her spending the season sweeping floors, washing dead bodies and even upgrading to (now don't get too excited) selling clams. She doesn't get any action until the final episode when she actually takes a Face and kills Meryn Trant. Particularly frustrating due to her lack of plot in Season 4, note  meaning she's had two straight seasons with little development.
    • Sansa spends yet another season as a prisoner of yet another sadistic psychopath. Made worse by the fact that the audience already knows how deranged Ramsay is, so watching her get persuaded into the marriage by Littlefinger and slowly realize the truth about Ramsay is particularly frustrating. (The deviation from the books, where she's in the Vale actually learning some political savvy from Littlefinger and has more agency doesn't help). Her imprisonment also means Brienne and Pod spend the season hanging around waiting for her.
  • 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 4 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.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Olly tends to get this treatment. While it is true that his character arc probably wasn't put into scene in the best way, it's still baffling how many people outright ignore or downplay his family and village being wiped out by Wildlings and fail to see any reason why he wouldn't want to ally with them and why he would be angry and disappointed of Jon Snow.
  • 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.
    • Cersei Lannister orchestrating the deaths of her enemies: the High Sparrow and his followers, the Tyrells, Kevan Lannister, Pycelle and countless denizens of King's Landing, in the Season 6 finale is starting to get this treatment from certain fans.

     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 show runner, so the decision wasn't up to him.
    • On a grander scale, Bryan Cogman is one of the writers on the show most often blamed for the perceived poor quality of certain storylines; in particular he gets a lot of flak for Arya's plots in Seasons 5 and 6 which is a major Broken Base.
  • The Scrappy: Has its own page.
  • Seasonal Rot: As mentioned above under "Broken Base," Season 5 is not as well-regarded as the preceding four seasons due to a 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 which is basically the opposite of his Northern storyline in the books, the entire Dorne subplot and the straw-stuffed negative portrayal of the shows religious characters), scenes that come across as cheap shocks, and unlikable new characters such as the Sand Snakes.
  • Ship Mates: Fans of Renly/Loras and Margaery/Sansa exist quite harmoniously, especially since they have the perfect cover for each other.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Shireen/Rickon is a very popular ship despite them never appearing in scenes together.
  • 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.
    • Jon's "Valyrian Rubber" sword.
  • 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: Enough moments to have its own page.
  • 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.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Despite being portrayed as Fundamentalists and receiving large amounts of Adaptational Villainy (in line with a possible Author Tract), the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow have a good point about how corrupt King's Landing is. The poverty, the manipulative governments caring about their family's reputation over the people they're trying to protect and particularly where the High Sparrow denounces the deceitfulness of Cersei's reign and implies that Pcyelle is a lickspittle to their faces. To some, while the Faith Militant's more heavy-handed approach than in the books and their literal heteronormative crusade is problematic, it pales in comparison to the mistakes and deeds done by Tommen's predecessors such as Robert (who was bankrupting the kingdom with frequent tourneys) and Joffrey (known among other things for killing people because they irritate him and torturing others for Revenge by Proxy), and even with their controversial aspects they're a far better influence on Tommen (still inspiring him to care for the people even during their power trip) than Cersei "Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!" Lannister.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • No one in the fanbase gave a damn of Olly being executed by the resurrected Jon Snow, which they see it more as "Good riddance!".
    • It seems like the writers finally got the hint the show's versions of the Sand Snakes weren't well liked by the Season 6 finale. Olenna makes a journey to Dorne to make an alliance with the Martells against Cersei and quickly verbally shuts down each of them.
  • 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. Being played by Star Trek alumnus Alexander Siddig probably helped. 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 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 by forging an alliance with the Targaryens, but that entire plot was dropped. It's even worse that Ellaria is now the one forging an alliance with Targaryens, and only because Varys came to Dorne and needed ships. It makes you wonder if it would make more sense if Doran should be the one making the alliance, since he was more personally affected by the deaths of his relatives like Elia, rather than Ellaria, who only did it for selfish reasons. It doesn't help that Alexander Siddig was contracted for ''four episodes'' in Season 6, only there had been a change of plans during production which he wasn't aware of and this became a sad case of What Could Have Been.
    • 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.
    • Rickon Stark, out of all the Stark children, has been the most Out of Focus throughout the first three seasons. For Seasons 4 and 5, he was Put on a Bus with Osha, and when he finally reappears in Season 6, his direwolf and protector are quickly killed, he gets two scenes, no lines, and is Stuffed into the Fridge by Ramsay prior to his showdown with Jon. Rickon's entire life and death served no purpose in the show but to give Jon another reason to hate Ramsay.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Yara's vow to free Theon from Ramsay Bolton in Season 3, one of the major cliffhangers of the previous season. It's resolved in a single scene in Season 4, 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 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 and gets worse when in Season 6, Stannis' overall Character Arc is transplanted to Jon and Sansa, who seek to rally the Northern allies and ally with the Mormonts, who in the books finally did ally with Stannis. Considering that the plot is identical to Season 5's, where The Hero gathers a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, and marches through the cold, to fight the same villain outside the same location, many are upset that Stannis' arc was short-circuited just so The Main Characters Do Everything. It's also thought that Stannis' military plan in the books, where it is widely theorised he intends to trick a Frey army into charging onto an icy lake, would have looked much better than the battle in the show, where a Vale army just turns up suddenly to defeat Ramsay. This has also upset players of the Telltale Game of Thrones, considering that the Forresters' only appearance in the books has them joining Stannis, which lots of players were looking forward to but now can't happen.
    • Related to Recycled Plot directly above, after the Red Wedding, a lot of build-up was made to how beloved the Starks were by the North, and how the North would never forget the betrayal perpetrated by the Freys and Boltons. Come Season 6, when Jon and Sansa beseech Northern Houses for support, only the Mormonts are seen allying with them. The Umbers—whose leader claimed Robb the King in the North in the first place—betray the Starks by handing over Rickon to Ramsay, Lord Glover refuses them outright and insults Robb for losing the war, and barely any Northern Houses join Jon and Sansa's war. Apparently the North remembers, they just don't care.
    • 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 Jaime 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.
    • After Dany's story in Season 5 had so much focus on finding the leader of the Harpies, the end of the storyline in Season 6 indicates that they never had an actual leader and were just a general bunch of malcontents.
  • Too Cool to Live: Has its own page.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Although Conan Stevens barely appears in Season 1, 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 5 where Ramsay rapes Sansa after their wedding.
    • The show has also received accusations and complaints of discrimination against religion, in particular regarding Seasons 5-6. This is due to the Adaptational Villainy the Faith of the Seven and the High Sparrow get saddled with (including the Adaptational Villainy of the High Sparrow's predecessor being a whoremonger, which he wasn't in the books where he was also murdered by Osney Kettleback on Cersei's orders) followed by having them gruesomely killed off and treating them as Asshole Victims, particularly Lancel and Unella. There's also the fact that Brienne is made into a secular hero from being pious in the books, that Davos who was a religious man of the Faith is made into an atheist, the one good religious leader (Septon Ray) in the show is killed off (with a potential second being a One-Scene Wonder) and that Sansa loses her faith when she is still a believer in the books. Some have noted the heavy-handed change appears to have been done by the writers and show runners so as to ridicule religion, especially Christianity. note 
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Surprisingly enough, a lot of fans express sympathy for Hizdahr zo Loraq, of all people, and his relationship with Dany. He is one of the native Meereenese in her council and is regarded largely with suspicion, but his backstory makes him a Woobie; after seeing his father unjustly killed, he tries to reason with the ruler who killed him and be the bigger man, and when things for said ruler go south, he's one of the ones tortured and locked up as a scapegoat, and is told he must marry said ruler against his will. Some fans note how this sounds suspiciously like how Joffrey treated Sansa Stark. It even ended worse for Hizdahr, since he actually had to go through with the marriage, and despite suspicion that he was the leader of the Harpies, he actually wound up killed by them, meaning he was exactly what he appeared to be: someone who was trying to make the best of the conquest of his city and death of his father without selling out his morals. Yet because it was Danaerys who did the conquering, he was depicted as a whiner and went unmourned when he kicked the bucket.
  • 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.
    • Renly Baratheon's Adaptational Heroism was also intended to make him the "right man" in his contest against Stannis but the story still has Renly asserting to be King by force of arms rather than Popularity Power, and likewise leaves unaddressed Robb Stark's defense of the Succession Crisis as well as the consequences of his actions. Renly and Loras' dismissal of Stannis for his "personality of a lobster" and his churlish attacks on Stannis' character during the parley, especially as Stannis showed himself willing to negotiate very reasonable terms with Renly, makes him even more unsympathetic especially in light of the 2016 Elections where such personal Ad Hominem insults and attacks are no longer considered funny and cool. Also there's the fact that despite the criticism Stannis gets for killing Renly, Renly makes it clear he intends to kill Stannis, meaning that rather then a villainous murder, his death can seem like a vain traitor being killed in self-defence.
  • 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 openly disliked by the show runners who have given him Adaptational Villainy while his enemies get Adaptational Heroism. However Stephen Dillane's performance and the sudden and poorly developed denouement of his arc in Season 5, which drastically diverged from the booksnote  has led many fans to call Fanon Discontinuity, especially since Season 6 gives Book!Stannis' plotline to Creator's Pet characters. This ensures that Stannis has a vocal fanbase drawn to his comically serious personality and his no-nonsense Hates Small Talk attitude, and they also note that its fitting that Stannis is wrongfully usurped of his rightful plotline in adaptation.
  • The Untwist: The only people surprised by Jon Snow's resurrection were those who thought it was so obvious that the show runners were going to take it a different way to subvert expectations. Ultimately they brought him back in the most predictable way possible.
    • By the time of the Season 6 finale, R+L=J was practically canon already. You either were sure it was right, or you thought it was so obvious that clearly we were supposed to think so. Turned out to be exactly correct.
  • 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: Has its own page.
  • 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 highborn bastard in the first season comes across as this to some viewers. Although he is somewhat of an outsider in his own home and has a Wicked Stepmother, Jon loves and is loved by his father and siblings, and receives 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, then to add insult to injury, decides to take his new wife to the wedding when said ally agrees to wed a girl of the family to Robb's uncle.
    • 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.
    • Sansa never tells Jon about the Vale army, leading to his army almost getting defeated and thousands of his men being slaughtered before the Knights of the Vale arrive and easily crush the Bolton force. It doesn’t help that Sophie Turner admitted in an interview at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con that Sansa withheld that information so that she could get credit for it which obviously didn’t pan out well because Lady Lyanna Mormont and the rest of the lords give recognition to Jon for avenging the Red Wedding rather than her.
      • In the same episode, Rickon is sent running to Jon as Ramsey shoots arrows at him. And even when they start coming down, he continues running in a dead straight line, rather than the zigzag motion every fox and deer knows. Naturally, he doesn't make it.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After Season 5 was nigh-universally declared the show's weakest with several controversial story decisions and wildly fluctuating ratings, with only "Hardhome" being universally praised, 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.
    • This is taken Up to Eleven with the final two episodes of Season 6: Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter, both of which became the highest rated episodes in all of Thrones with solid 10.0s on IMDB. Battle of the Bastards is even more popular than Hardhome or The Rains of Castamere.
  • Writer on Board: The controversial retcon of Davos and Brienne from religious to non-religious, and moreso the pious Sansa losing her faith (in her already controversial show-only storyline) is seen as trying to push anti-religious sentiment by some fans. See Anvilicious and Unfortunate Implications above for more.
  • 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 by 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: Has its own page.

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