These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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 seriousman 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."
Gethin's Twitter response to another section of Finn's GT interview is absolutely precious!
GT: Naturally we have to ask how good a kisser Gethin is.
Finn Jones: "I've got to say that I don't dig beards that much, I think without the beard he'd be a nine out of ten? But with the beard... I've got quite a soft face, and it can kind of give you a bit of chafage, but I would say, no disrespect Gethin, but if you lost the beard a nine, with the beard probably a five."
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? The books portray him as somewhere in between.
Stannis, a tyrant who made a Deal with the Devil to murder his own brother for his own greed, or a rightful king who was forced to resort to pragmatic means to do his duty and defeat a traitor with no claim to the throne?
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 or raped 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.
The end of "Mhysa". Considering that she's currently on a conquering spree across Essos and has just taken their city, do the newly liberated slaves really worship her as their saviour, or are they merely savvy enough to realise 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?
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, which is more time than they needed. Though it's also a bit justified as Alfie Allen couldn't be put out of work for that long.
Award Snub: 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.
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...
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.
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 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 three, 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.
This occurs nearly every time a major character is cast with someone who isn't an universal fan favourite, but the casting of Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell stands out. Many fans are displeased with his ethnicity which they consider unfitting (Let's just leave it at that...). Also, naturally for such a popular character, there are the general discussions whether he has the right looks, age etc.. Others have trust in the casting department which usually chose well in the past and prefer to wait until we actually see him in the show.
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 of Daario Naharis. Ed Skrein wasn't considered a good fit for the role among many book readers who are now hopeful that Michiel Huisman will do a better job. Others don't like the idea of recasting in general or expressed worries that the recast might confuse casual viewers.
Joffrey. Yes, Joffrey. While there's no question that he is pure evil and a nasty piece of work, fans are divided between whether the character should be loved simply for being pure evil (and to some, amusing) or utterly despised for being pure evil. Most people on both sides will fully praise his actor, through.
Daenerys, as in the books, managed to separate the fandom between those who hate her for the stupidity and hypocrisy of her actions, and those who praise her for freeing the slaves.
Podrick the Memetic 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.
Gregor Clegane. Within two minutes of being introduced, he's already murdered someone and been given a backstory in which he held his brother's face in a fire for playing with his toy. After this, and the incident following his joust with Ser Loras, we don't even need to be shown his sacking of the village to know exactly how brutal it would have been with the survivor's description of his crimes including mass rape, burning children alive, and slaughtering anyone he and his men saw. Further details of his attacks were later fleshed out in Season 3, including his attack on Mummers Ford where girls as young as 7 were raped and babies ripped in two while their mothers were forced to watch by him and his men. Also it is revealed here that he personally murdered the children of house Targaryen during the sack of Kings Landing.
Joffrey is a dyed-in-the-wool sadist who seems to take pleasure only in fear and suffering. A brief list of his crimes include executing Eddard Stark out of spite, tormenting Sansa mercilessly, slaughtering Robert's bastard children, forcing one prostitute to beat another (one possibly to death), and killing Ros personally. At his uncle's wedding he's threatening to rape Sansa as his men hold her down and seems positively aroused by the prospect of her trying to resist him.
Craster. The man fully embraces the absence of laws Beyond the Wall and freely acts as horrible as humanly possible. He brainwashes, enslaves, and rapes his daughters so that they can produce new daughters for him to brainwash, enslave, and rape. If they bear him sons, he gives them up to the White Walkers. Worst of all, his usefulness to the Night's Watch means that they have to accept whatever he does or lose a critical ally.
Ramsay Snow. Roose Bolton's bastard son. Even before he came on screen or was mentioned by name he burned Winterfell to the ground, butchered everyone within and flayed the surrendering Ironborn alive. And that's just what he did off screen. He spends most of season three sadistically torturing Theon Greyjoy both physically and mentally in the worst possible ways for no reason other than his personal amusement (and perhaps for some manner of sexual depravity), until the man is left nothing but a broken shell stripped of almost everything, including his name. Said torture involves him killing his own men to gain Theon's trust, finger removal and eventual castration of his helpless victim. At some point, he also states that he is going to enjoy hunting down Bran and Rickon, who are on the run.
Walder Frey. While he's somewhat repugnant in his first appearance, he seems to be a fairly competent ruler and willing to help the heroes, for a price. His next appearance even has him come across as a Cool Old Guy, forgiving Robb's slight against him. Then comes The RedWedding, which opens with Robb's pregnant wife being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, Robb, Catelyn, and the Stark Bannermen being murdered in a massive violation of guest right, laughing and eating the whole time. To top it off, when his wife is held hostage, he simply tells the hostage taker to kill her, she's expendable and replacable. To drive the point home, he begins the next episode by recounting the Red Wedding with glee, showing no remorse and celebrating the power his betrayal has brought him. Furthermore, he jokes about looking forward to searching for wife number nine, all while the servants are still scrubbing the bloodstains left from wife eight off of the floor.
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?
Jaqen's idiosyncratic speech patterns, including his use of third person, contribute a lot to his memorable character.
Crosses the Line Twice: Ramsay cuts off Theon's cock. A few episodes later, Ramsay eats a sausage in front of Theon, culminating in Ramsay using it as a prop to make jokes about the latter's dismembered manhood.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Like the book series it's based on, the show is getting this reaction, especially after the violent penultimate episode of Season 3, where the side that is closest to being 'the good guys' is decimated.
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 eery 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.
Though a fairly minor character in the first season, Jory Cassel has a small, loving fanbase that remind everyone on Facebook his wonderful qualities by means of a meme called "Why We Love Jory Cassel".
Syrio Forel, the badass and Large Ham fencing master.
Hodor. Hodor? HODOR!
Greatjon Umber. In the same scene where he starts off as a bit of a jerk ass, he instantly redeems himself when he takes Robb's act of mercy upon losing two of his fingers to Grey Wind and then jokes about it and laughs it off with all the Northmen.
Jaqen H'ghar is popular for his mysterious, deadpan nature and awesome killing abilities.
Bronn the blue collar sellsword for the endless amounts of entertaining interactions between him and Tyrion and his Deadpan demeanor.
Sandor Clegane aka "the Hound," what with his terrific battle sequences and brooding personality; especially notable in relation to the books given how little screentime he comparatively has.
Barristan Selmy's got himself quite a loyal following as well considering his Memetic Badass and straight up badass traits. He even pulled off an amazing comeback scene in the Season 3 premiere when he saved Dany's life from a Manticore.
Yoren's got himself a small following as well. From looking out for Arya's safety following her father's execution and even having A Dying Moment of Awesome all to protect her and the kids he was bringing to the Night's Watch. He's also got a knife sharp enough to "shave a spider's arse"
The Spice King of Qarth's 13 gained a small following as evident by a following on Facebook that went as far to hold a memorial event page for him. It helps that not only is he a humorous and interesting character (for character not even from the books), but for those that don't like Daenerys he provides an in-universe outlet of understandable criticism of her attitude and actions and all in the most polite and reasonable manner.
Lady Olenna Tyrell, a Cool Old Lady who got very popular, very quickly for being bitingly acerbic and frank and holding her own against many of the most powerful players in the game.
Thoros of Myr is already being called the Game of Thrones version of Captain Jack Sparrow , what with his rather carefree cloud cuckoo lander attitude and outlandish approach to greeting Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry. Also helps within a span of about five seconds he demonstrates what an amazing swordsman he is when he casts aside Arya's suspicions he's just a silly drunk and not good with a sword at all.
Margaery Tyrell's fanbase grew exponentially with each appearance of hers in Season 3. She tamed and manipulated Joffrey of all people, caused Cersei (the "Power IS Power" Queen) to start panicking, has inherited at least some of her grandma's wit and cunning, and despite her gender and age is one of the best players in the game of thrones. She is also one in-universe, having endeared herself to the smallfolk as well as much of the court (something a pure power player like Cersei deeply resents).
Beric Dondarrion became this way before his re-appearance in Season 3 and then solidified his staus as this simply because of his presence, his status as a leader amongst a group of people fighting not for any side of the war, but for the good of the small townspeople whom are suffering the worst out of anyone in the War of the Five Kings and in the name of Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark who are both long dead and his seriously threatening reputation as a man that cannot die and even The Mountain is desperate to find and be done with. Also, his duel with Sandor was among the best duels in the series thus far.
"Bart the Bear", the real bear used in Episode 7 of Season 3 is one affectionately with the fans of the series.
Edmure Tully has a growing fanbase for being a hilarious Upper-Class Twit who nonetheless does his king and nephew a solid to make up for mistakes that were entirely Robb's fault.
Brynden Tully, the Blackfish, just like with the books, is one of the most popular minor characters, for being both a Cool Old Guy and for being a skullcracking badass.
Yara Greyjoy, especially after her single show-stealing scene in season 3.
Roose Bolton—despite personally killing Robb Stark at the Red Wedding and conspiring against the whole North—actually has a growing following if the comments on Youtube and various Game of Thrones forums are to be taken into account. One cannot help respecting the man for his subterfuge, style, and the fact that he's an outright troll.
Evil Is Cool: Several of the villains have committed fanbases. The Lannister and Bolton patriarchs (Tywin and Roose) in particular are widely considered to be among the best acted and coolest characters around.
Evil Is Sexy: Quite a lot of examples, particularly the Lannisters.
Fan Dumb: There are vocal fans of the books who will deride the show and call it the worst adaptation ever in response to the most minute and inconsequential changes, such as a character's hair color or a few lines of unimportant dialogue. Never mind that most of the changes made had practical reasons, such as condensing exposition or combining character roles.
There's also the fan base's reactions to the Red Wedding, where tons of people freaked out over it and one "reviewer" even said that he was canceling his HBO subscription despite the incident happening in the book.
Some of the accusation against Ned's apparent bad-decision making can be a little ridiculous. One of the common arguments is that he should have agreed kidnap Joffrey and let Renly take the throne. In season 2, Renly tried to take the throne, in a five way war, which he ultimately lost.
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.
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 the vulva.
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."
Gwendoline Christie shows way more range in four episodes of Season 3 than in the whole of Season 2, proving that any perceived "woodness" back then wasn't a fault on the actress' acting, but part of how Brienne really was supposed to be as a character.
After getting notoriously little to do for almost three full seasons, Art Parkinson finally gets to show his stuff in "The Rains of Castamere," fully proving he's able to handle more dramatic material.
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 Brienne and Sansa seem 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".
One has to wonder what the Lannisters would make of Katy Perry's song "Roar", which repeats their motto "Hear Me Roar" several times.
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.
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. 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.
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...
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...
Shae and Sansa. "I love that girl, I'd kill for her!"
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 her title.
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.
It Gets Better: Season one can be aptly described as Prolonged Prologue in TV form. Most of what goes on 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.
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.
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.
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 bad for Joffrey, whom they believe to be a product of his environment. According to them, Robert's neglect of Joffrey, combined with psychosis caused by his parentage is the reason he acts the way he does.
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.
Same can be said to a lesser extent to Charles Dances' performance as Tywin Lannister. If his first scene in Season 3 is any indication, then it looks like we'll be seeing Tywin's more extreme jerkass qualities flesh out in this season, but some fans are still mesmerized with how great he plays his character and refuse to cast aside his badass qualities that were seen in the previous season.
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.
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.
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, who 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.
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.
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.
Cersei's play for power at the end of Season 1 — when Ned threatens to reveal the truth of her children's lineage and expose her relationship with Jaime, she arranges to get Robert intoxicated while hunting, leading to his death, and in the power vacuum sweeps in to place Joffrey on the throne, places herself as Queen Regent, and declares Ned a traitor and conspirator against the crown. The one good thing she does in this is decide to have Ned spared and sent off to the Night's Watch rather than be executed, but it's not out of niceness, only to avoid antagonizing the North.
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.
Lord Karstark's Revenge Before Reason finally leads him to cross this when he kills two Lannister children in cold blood because they had the misfortune of being there.
The entirety of Theon's torture scene serves as one long, horrifically drawn-out crossing point for Ramsay Snow, who tortures him sadistically and purely for his own enjoyment.
If he hadn't already crossed the line long ago, Littlefinger finally proves his utter lack of empathy and redeeming qualities when he uncovers Ros' alliance with Varys and ends it by having Joffrey brutally torture and murder her.
The Red Wedding is one long crossing for Walder Frey and Roose Bolton. 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.
Salladhor Sann appears for only one scene in Season 2, but my god what an establishing character moment he has when he assures Davos and Mathos after he helps them win the battle of King's Landing he's going to screw Cersei Lannister. Mathos of course is appalled and condemns the man for wanting to go to war to rape the queen. Salladhor then firmly corrects Mathos by assuring him he's "not going to rape her, he's going to fuck her," saying he's very persuasive.
It's unlikely anyone's going to be forgetting the bear any time soon.
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.
Sansa, who begins to give Joffrey spirited answers that are often masked as innocent observations. She also tries her hand at manipulating him, once managing to get him to spare a man, and once attempting to goad him into fighting in the Battle of the Blackwater.
Ros's severe Break the Cutie in season two is getting her a lot more sympathy.
A considerable number of viewers (mostly women, for some reason) 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.
As bad as Ros had it in season two, Theon goes through far worse in season three, with a similar response.
Talisa, especially among book fans. In contrast to Jeyne, her book's counterpart's storyline, which shows Robb as a man torn between two honorable things he should do (keeping a vow and marrying a girl whose virginity he's taken), Talisa's storyline makes him an idiot.
Daario Naharis. Some fans reject his surfer-boy appearance and find his smirking sex-god personality to be cheesy.
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.
Lysa Arryn breastfeeding her son Robin. In the book, he was about six when this scene happened, and in the show he looks even older.
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.
"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 delievers 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.
The revelation that Tywin plans for Tyrion to marry Sansa and Cersei to marry Loras. As Big Name Fan Larry Williams says, "One is young enough to be Tyrion's daughter, and the other is young enough to be Cersei's son. EUGH!"
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.
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.
Stop Helping Me!: Variant: Jaime loves fighting, and he didn't appreciate a guardsman stepping in during his duel with Ned Stark. Related: The Mook doesn't understand the Duel to the Death trope and averts it. Jaime, being Genre Savvy, is so incensed he punches the Mook in the face. In fairness, the mook was just obeying Jamie's orders (to kill Ned's guards but only wound him) which he hadn't rescinded.
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.
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.
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.
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."  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".
Viserys rashly breaks a Vaes Dothrak's laws and threatens the wife and unborn son of the barbarian horde on which he relies. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Robb chooses to break his marriage contract with the Freys and marry Talisa, alienating a vital ally. Not long after Robb executes Lord Karstark rather than keep him hostage to ensure loyalty from Karstark's forces and instead ends up halving his army when they leave his side.
Apparently Pyat Pree forgot that dragons can breathe fire. He did remember that putting the mother close to the dragons made them stronger, but collating these two facts didn't occur to him until Dany uttered the "Dracarys" command.
Kraznys mo Nakloz decided it was a good idea to give an army of thousands to a foreigner inside his walls in return for an animal he doesn't know how to control. It doesn't end well for him.
Loras thinks it's perfectly acceptable to tell Olyvar about his possible marriage to Sansa. Naturally, Olyvar is one of Littlefinger's spies.
After the aforementioned breaking of his marriage contract, Robb then thinks it's a great idea to bring Talisa to Edmure's wedding! This gives Walder Frey ample opportunity to insult and belittle her, and gives the Freys equally ample opportunity to kill her by stabbing her repeatedly in the stomach. What makes it worse is that he doesn't bring his wife to the wedding in the book series.
What The Hell, Casting Agency?: The numerous recasts for Season 4 lead to this. So far we have a new Daario Naharis, Tommen Baratheon and Gregor Clegane, the latter being recast for the second time in three seasons. Tommen is an interesting case: It was speculated for a while that it would happen...except with someone younger as Callum Wharry grew faster than the show's timeline. Going the other way is mostly seen as just confusing, especially since Dean Charles-Chapman has already played another role on the show.
What The Hell, 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 flatting dresses for the Season 2 finale and beyond.
Daenerys in the first season. The crap her brother puts her through just makes you want to hug her.
Bran Stark goes from being a cheerful kid full of adventurous ideas to being crippled and wanting death for simply seeing something he shouldn't have.
Poor fat Sam. He doesn't even get the benefit of nerd rage.
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.
Sansa Stark, who spends a full season being tormented by Joffrey. And even when things get better for her in the third season, life still sucks for her.
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.