YMMV / Game of Thrones


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  • Actor Shipping:
    • Many avid Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell fans ship Gethin Anthony and Finn Jones together. Both actors fuel the Ho Yay with public displays of affection, by jokingly admitting that they're gay for each other in this interview clip, and Finn had some... interesting comments in the Feb. 2013 issue Gay Times magazine which make some people strongly suspect that he has a serious man crush on his co-star.
      GT: Did you have to go a few times for that scene [in Season 2]?
      Finn Jones: "Oh all the time, I remember," he howls with laughter. "One point in the scene we were really getting into it, and I just turned around to him and I went 'Gethin in the next take,' dead seriously,' really grab my dick this time, really go for it. ' And then just out of the corner of my eye, I saw the camera guys going..." he pulls a concerned face. "I realised 'Oh shit, maybe we're going for it a bit too much.' " He cracks up laughing again. "But it's good, it's good to be on that level to be able to really get into the moment."
    • 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:
    • 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.
    • On the other hand, the success of the show's early seasons, led the show to becoming a Gateway Series for the books, mainly for some show-watchers to know what would happen in Seasons 4 and 5, especially after the Season 3 shocker of the Red Wedding, and this meant that the show's divergences from the books especially in Season 5 received much attention and was openly discussed in many prominent mainstream publications.
  • 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.
    • In "Queen's Justice", Ellaria is forced to watch her daughter succumb with the same poison that she used to kill Myrcella. While poisoning Myrcella is indeed wrong for all the wrong reasons, watching her own daughter die slowly as she struggles in those chains is tragic. For all what's worth, Ellaria has to pay for the consequences that she did not only to her dead lover and family but to all of Dorne.
  • 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.
    • The wealthy Tyrell family, head of bountiful Reach, loses some key bannermen and is immediately knocked out of the game by the already exhausted Lannister family, in a single, quick and off-screen move.
    • After 7 Seasons of plotting, scheming and manipulating, accomplishing goals such as the murder of the Hand of the King, murder of the King, becoming Lord of one of the Seven Kingdoms, and starting the War of Five Kings in the first place, Littlefinger is killed by Arya on Sansa's orders when he tries to turn them against each other. The list of his known misdeeds is long enough that nobody, not even his bannermen, try to prevent his death.
  • 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. For example several characters' religious faith in the books is altered into a state of nonbelief on the show, and the Faith Militant and High Sparrow are treated as Straw Characters, while the one attempt to avert it, Septon Ray, a Composite Character of the popular One-Scene Wonder characters (Septon Meribald /Elder Brother) from A Feast for Crows is of questionable piety and lacks the compelling characterization and speeches of his book counterpart, with the trajectory of the show reversing that of the booksFrom The Books .
    • 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 gave no context to the Sparrows outside of some fundamentalist crusade.
    • The depiction of Rhllorism has also led to this, especially since Melisandre (described by GRRM as his "most misunderstood character") is characterized inconsistently as a Hot Witch Femme Fatale or a Well-Intentioned Extremist, with a heavy-handed denouement note  tacked on at the end of Season 5 about religious fundamentalism that can read as a Space Whale Aesop, since R'hllor has demonstrated magic and prophetic powers—the key reason why an atheist-skeptic like Stannis even supports the religion; many note that the context of the plot, a Cold Equation, and the end-result of Melisandre's actionsnote  make Davos's Season 6-ending aesop seem like it violates 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.
    • Season 7, Daenerys arrives at the abandoned castle on Dragonstone, and decides to send a raven to The Wall. There wasn't anyone around to have maintained an aviary of homing birds, or any reason for her retainers to be in communication with The Wall, but somehow an Instant Messenger Pigeon was sent.
    • Season 7, Episode 6 "Beyond the Wall." Traveling at the Speed of Plot is pushed to the max. Jon and his group are stranded North of the Wall, on a rock in the middle of a frozen lake, surrounded by an army of wights and White Walkers. Yet they survive long enough for A) Gendry to sprint back to Eastwatch in a night when it should be days away, B) send a raven from Eastwatch to Daenerys in Dragonstone, and C) Daenerys to fly her dragons all the way to where they're stranded to save them. Somehow all of this seems to happen over the course of a day and a half, this time making it impossible to the viewers to kid themselves than "ugh, there must have been weeks or months in-universe!"
  • 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.
    • Several fans have taken issue with the show's very negative portrayal of religion, especially since the books treat the subject rather fairly. Over the course of five and a half seasons, we haven't seen a single religious person who has not tried to exploit his position for some sort of ill-gotten gain. But then come Season 6 Episode 7, we are introduced to Septon Ray, working with several peasants to construct a sept and treating everyone as though they were one of his own family, even Sandor Clegane, saving him from his near-death in "The Children" and playing a role in helping Sandor find his way, even posthumously.
    • Euron Greyjoy initially was poorly received, with viewers, particularly book fans, complaining about his very plain appearance and far more dull personality compared to his book counterpart, who was an insane and charismatic pirate king. Season 7 gives Euron a makeover to make him look quite different, and he ramps up the hammy wildness and eccentricities big time. While he's still not on the same level of coolness as Euron in the books, it's agreed that this rewrite brings the show Euron closer and is much more engaging.
    • Season 7 as a whole may as well be dubbed "The Fanfic" season. Not that the show was running out of steam by any stretch, but people had become a little tired of drawn out arcs, especially involving the religious sect of the preceding season. Flash forward to now and the pacing has increased tenfold, epic battles have come aplenty, fan despised characters meet a particularly brutal end to new fan favourite villain, nearly every character has finally met one another in some capacity and even the Dany & Jon ship is setting to sail.
    • Many viewers, particularly book readers, got sick and tired of Jaime constantly being on Cersei's side despite her atrocities — even using the caches of wildfire to blow up half of King's Landing, which he'd outright killed Aerys the Mad King for trying to do! — which in turn delayed any path of redemption he could take. In the Season 7 finale, Cersei reveals that she has no intention of aiding Jon and Daenerys and has decided to let the White Walkers kill her enemies, which causes Jaime to realize that his sister/lover is indeed a selfish bitch. And he finally walks out on her.
  • 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, and by the time of Seasons 6 and 7, he has become more or less a sidekick to Dany's story.
    • 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 so riddled with embarrassments that he essentially becomes a Failure Hero in Seasons 4 and 5, and by Seasons 6 and 7 he also regresses in his Character Development and becomes a minion for Cersei, willingly enforcing her cruel regime and policies even after she unleashed wildfire on King's Landing, the very action Jaime was most proud of stopping in Season 3.
    • 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.
    • Bronn goes from being a cynical but affable Social Climber who had a wonderful dynamic with Tyrion in Seasons 1-4, to becoming Jaime's Hypercompetent Sidekick forever grumbling about the better castle and wife Jaime promised him in Seasons 5-6, and who he is still stuck serving when logically he should sell his sword to someone else at this point.
  • 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: Season 7 was fairly divisive among fans and critics alike. Some appreciated its faster pace and felt that it made sense for the story to pick up speed as it neared its end, and they liked the fact so many characters who were until then, Hero of Another Story, were finally interacting and meeting face-to-face. Others felt that the faster pace robbed the series of the more organic and coherent character development that characterized its early seasons, and opened up several plot holes along the way. Many were enthralled by the numerous character meet-ups and reunions, but others despite admitting that they expected it, felt that it was too rushed and that it felt underwhelming. The thrilling action scenes were a series highlight to many, even critics appreciated the impressive CGI work and execution of the dragon scenes but others found their enjoyment of these scenes was hampered by the various implausibilities that had to happen to set up these scenes, with one of the episode directors, Alan Taylor, openly admitting that the show was aiming for Emotional Torque over plot logistics.
  • 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.
    • Two words: Purple. Wedding. No show in history has ever made so many people ecstatic over the horribly prolonged choking death of a child.
    • "Battle of the Bastards" is this for a lot of fans, seeing as Ramsay Bolton finally gets his comeuppance in deservedly gruesome fashion.
    • "The Winds of Winter" gives us a similar example with Arya feeding Walder Frey the remains of two of his children in a pie, then revealing who she really is, slitting his throat in the exact same way her mother's throat was slit, and making him bleed out as painfully as possible. For anyone else still alive on the show with the exception of Cersei this would have been a case of Kick the Son of a Bitch, but it's Walder Frey, making it a clear case of Karmic Death.
    • Similarly, the Sand Snakes are the most universally-hated characters in the show, so hearing Olenna tell them off in her gloriously brutal, accurate fashion was very satisfying. Then, Season 7's second episode has Euron Greyjoy killing Obara and Nymeria Sand by using their own signate weapons against them and capturing Ellaria and Tyene Sand so he can deliver to Cersei for their crimes of poisoning Myrcella.
    • The Season 7 premiere kicks off with this when Arya single-handedly engineers the destruction of House Frey in one fell swoop as retribution for the Red Wedding, giving the conspirators poisoned wine while impersonating Walder Frey. She caps it off with a Badass Boast: "The North remembers. Winter has come for House Frey."
    • The Season 7 finale brings a satisfying end to Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish who is responsible for kickstarting the War of the Five Kings. Just when he thought that he has Sansa under his control, it turns out she was never really on his side and then Arya slits his throat using the same dagger that nearly killed Bran.
  • 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?
    • Euron Greyjoy, the deadly, insane terror of the seas who brings an amused, slightly unsettling and highly enjoyable theatricality wherever he goes, making up for decades of embarrassing defeats for the Ironborn in the process.
  • 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 dark and bleak source material. The typical way it's summarized is that the books refuse to cheat to let the heroes win, while the show cheats to let the villains win using contrived Diabolus ex Machina and questionable storytelling solely to fill the vacuum of compelling Love to Hate villains like Joffrey and Tywin by elevating Ramsay Bolton as a Replacement Scrappy even if the latter has none of the Fatal Flaw that Joffrey has or any of Tywin's Evil Virtues.
  • Dork Age:
    • Season 5 was the first season in the show to go fully Compressed Adaptation after Seasons 1-4 being relatively faithful to the plots, subplots, outlines of Books 1-3, so naturally it was quite polarizing:
      • The controversial changes in Sansa’s and Stannis’ storylines, the elevation of Ramsay Bolton into an incongruous mix of Joffrey and Tywin, which also requires Littlefinger making an error in judgment are contentious enough to be listed elsewhere on this page. The Faith Militant and the Sparrow subplot was well received in part for Jonathan Pryce's casting and performance but others felt that the introduction of religion into the show's narrative was not adequately set-up and came off as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
      • One thing everyone agrees is that the Dorne arc was the lowest point in entire show, on account of 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, the bizarre normalization of incest, with Myrcella being happy about Jaime really being her father and Ellaria bizarrely equating sex-outside-marriage and alternative sexuality with incest, and the regressing of Jaime and Bronn's character arc and development. The Dorne storyline was drastically shortened by the showrunners in response to negative feedback but it somehow became worse in the opening of Season 6 with a poorly set-up palace coup killing off Doran Martell (the only character everyone liked in the story) and was foreshortened in Season 7, with the end result being that Oberyn Martell and the entire Dornish story more or less went nowhere and contributed nothing to the show.
    • Season 7 saw multiple critical voices lament the series prioritizing spectacle over steady plotting and organic character interaction. The Traveling at the Speed of Plot Easy Logistics which had been a pet joke among fans at least since Season 2 (where it largely revolved around Littlefinger travelling faster than other characters) became a major complaint as other characters started to travel wide swathes of Westerosi terrain at an incredibly quick pace which strained credulity.
  • 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, and his Character Development in Seasons 3-4 nonetheless gets rendered pointless by the fact that he ends up becoming Cersei's minion by Seasons 6 and 7, and threatening to murder Edmure's infant son by a trebuchet, proves that he is still the same Lannister who Would Hurt a Child.
    • 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. This is balanced by the fact that Khal Drogo would not have invaded the Seven Kingdoms or moved an inch had it been for Robert and Varys' attack, and technically speaking he's the one responding to a breach of Sacred Hospitality (attempted murder in a diplomatic safe zone).
    • 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. This is only increased in Season 6 and Season 7, by Brienne pettily gloating about killing Stannis as if she won a great duel rather than kill a man when he was already wounded and beaten, and that by the time of Season 7, Stannis is more or less Vindicated by History since he came to the aid of the Night's Watch and accepted the Long Night where Dany and Tyrion continue to subscribe to Arbitrary Skepticism, Varys who claimed that Stannis would have made a bad king turned out to have a Missing Steps Plan all along, Jon Snow becomes an Idiot Hero whose leadership is subject to Informed Attribute, and Stannis encouraging Sam's scholarly pursuits helped him to go to the Citadel where he laments that he should have listened to Stannis when he mentioned having dragonglass on his island fortress. Tormund admits that Mance Rayder was a fool who should have bent the knee to Stannis, and likewise Daenerys claims that one has to see the Night King and White Walker threat to believe it, except Stannis believed it without seeing it.
  • 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.
  • Escapist Character: Generally the series averts this. As fans joke, people may want to live in Middle Earth but no one would want to, even visit, Westeros and even the few characters who are heroes (Jon, Tyrion, Bran, Davos) have very difficult lives full of emotional and psychological pain and violence. Having said that if people have to go they'd rather do so in the shoes of these characters (who surprisingly are all women):
    • Arya Stark is the favorite child of the only really good father in the series, is indulged by her elder brothers (Robb Stark, Jon Snow), becomes the Morality Pet to violent but cool Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain (Jaqen H'ghar, The Hound), survives in the wild entirely on her own, travels and lives in a City of Adventure (Braavos) and almost always comes out on top of whatever life throws her way, becoming one of the most intelligent, most deadly, and most accomplished characters, all at a very young age.
    • Daenerys Targaryen has a life of adversity starting out weak and abused but slowly and steadily, she changes and overturns her own life from pain to pleasure, and goes from being the most powerless to becoming the most powerful. She's incredibly beautiful, effortlessly charismatic, immensely powerful, intelligent, sophisticated, attracts a Badass Crew of incredibly accomplished men and women, and always triumphs and defeats her challengers, and ends up being celebrated as a Young Conqueror, a liberator, and a Messianic Archetype, who at a very young age has secured a place in the history books of her world, before her return to Westeros.
  • 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.
  • 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 Ice and Fire 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 rediscover his honor and strive to be a better person.
    • However, coming out of nowhere in Season 6 and taking a surprising lead, Brienne/Tormund. Tormund's enthusiastic appreciation for the very traits others mock in Brienne made the ship a hit within a single episode.
    • 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.
    • Arya/Jon has a compact but vocal fandom, helped by their much closer relationship in the books and that GRRM originally planned to develop a romantic relationship between the two in the series early drafts.
    • 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.
    • Back in Season 2 the Spice King said that he would rather have Daenerys' baby dragons killed, stating that they will bring the world untold misery. In Season 7, one of them becomes an undead dragon and is used by the Night King to herald The End of the World as We Know It.
    • In the Season 2 episode "The Old Gods and the New", Sansa is attacked and nearly raped by four men, one of whom lecherously asks, "You ever been fucked, little girl?" Cue "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" when Sansa is raped by Ramsay Bolton on their wedding night.
  • 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 Highgarden and plotting her revenge against Queen Cersei. Possibly Jossed, given that, as of Season 7, Episode 3, the Lannisters took Highgarden.
    • 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.
    • In the Season 7 finale, Fans are desperately hopeful that Tormund and Berric survived the destruction of the Wall overlooking Eastwatch since they are not seen perishing onscreen. It's not out of the question, assuming they made it far enough west to avoid the collapsing section. For what it's worth, the last shot of them is them watching the Wall collapse just short of where they're at.
  • 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.
    • They also tried giving Obara Sand a mannish-appearance, which is consistent with how she's described in the books, but Keisha Castle-Hughes is actually rather pretty. The biggest indicator is that she's Ms. Fanservice in many of her pre-Thrones roles.
  • 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."
    • The Season 7 finale retroactively turned all of Robert's Rebellion into one. Rhaegar and Lyanna eloped to get married, because they were apparently in love with each other, despite Lyanna being betrothed to Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar being married to Elia Martell, with whom he has two children. When Lyanna disappears, her brother Brandon and her betrothed Robert are obviously furious, thinking that she has been kidnapped by Rhaegar. So Brandon bursts into the thronerrom demanding to see Rhaegar, he is arrested by Aerys and the rest, as the say, is history. House Targaryen would still be in power and thousands would still be alive today if Rhaegar or Lyanna had bothered to tell their families. Or, they could have just not eloped. That would have worked too.
  • 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.
    • Jon's other Fan Preferred Pairing is with Daenerys, his biological aunt. Which actually became canon by the end of Season 7, though neither character knew the truth.
  • 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 becomes the last Tyrell after losing Mace, Loras and Margaery in Cersei's wildfire plot but the Queen of Thorns doesn't loss her resolve and stays in the game allied 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: Jon Snow is brought back from the dead and his parentage is finally revealed.
    • Season 7: Rhaegar and Lyanna really fell in love with each other and the White Walkers finally pass the Wall by destroying one section of with the use of the undead Viserion.
  • 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. The denouements of both sequences rely on respectively Diabolus ex Machina/Deus ex Machina.

     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:
  • 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, less desirably, 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 Jaime 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.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The low cello lick that plays just before a dragon is about to roast someone.
  • Narm: Though the show usually does a good job at dramatic scenes, it does have its share of poorly-executed moments.
  • Narm Charm: Euron Greyjoy in "Stormborn". His Ax-Crazy, Screaming Warrior act is so completely batshit insane and OTT it makes the gruesome carnage pretty fun to watch.
  • 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.
    • In the Season 7 premiere, asides from serving grub and arranging the books, Sam spends most of his time in the Citadel getting the bedpans filled with piss and shit, throwing the bedpans' disgusting content out and then, scrubbing them. We had an entire montage of him doing all the icky stuff and Sam nearly puked while doing it. John Bradley mentioned in his interview that the montage was shot for five days and he spent the whole week scrubbing the toilets while his castmates are at the Emmys 2016.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Littlefinger will never live down being the guy who made and codified Sexposition in the famous scene in Season 1 where he gives a long monologue about how he's going to betray people while two prostitutes have sex in the background, occasionally interjecting to give instructions to them. He hasn't even been personally involved with managing the brothel he owns since Season 3.
    • Daenerys in Season 1 was kind of a Breakout Character for the show, with many Signature Scene (such as the horse-heart eating scene, and her sacrifice of Miri Maaz Duur to summon the three dragons). However since her Book 2 Plotline was shorter and not very action-packed, her Season 2 plotline was filled with much Padding and likewise had the "the dragon theft" original subplot to give more action to the plot. Most parodies of Dany as well as arguments about her character and personality stem from her Season 2 plotlines which had many episodes that had her travel in the desert to Qarth and then a prolonged extended sequence giving ridiculous speeches to the Qartheen to open their doors, followed by even more exchanges where she imperiously demands the Qartheen give her an army to take back her kingdoms, and after her dragons are stolen, going around and demanding "Where are my Dragons". Her plotline in Season 3 brought her back on track but till today a number of videos refer to "Where are my dragons" so often as if it is some kind of catchphrase.
    • 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. After the backlash, the showrunners came forward to clarify that the scene was written as consensual and came about as a result of mixed messages to the director and poor staging and editing, but the behind-the-scenes issues ultimately did not absolve Jaime of his actions.
    • 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. The fact that she didn't have dialogue in Season 6, and had only a few lines in Season 7 before her implied offscreen death does her no favours.
    • 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.
  • No Yay:
    • Due to the wide cast of characters and explicit nature of the show, it's no stranger to potentially Squicky pairings. However, a few top the rest, such as unironically shipping sadistic psychopaths like Joffrey and Ramsay with Sansa. These are the same people who gleefully murdered members of her own family and have either already raped her or threatened to do so.
    • Same goes for Ramsay/Reek, which has a few Ho Yay moments but is a Torture Technician and Stockholm Syndrome type of thing.
  • 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 and a brief chat with Doran before they turn around and leave. 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.
    • And then the opposite happens in Season 7; because of the decreased number of episodes, the story is extremely compressed. This leaves characters with the apparent ability to teleport — for instance, Euron brings a captured Yara, Ellaria and Tyene to King's Landing and then appears to have sailed around to the Western coast of Westeros to besiege the Unsullied in Casterly Rock in the same episode. Additionally, encounters and plot points that readers and viewers alike have been waiting years for Jon and Dany meeting, the Starks returning to Winterfell can feel rushed and underwhelming. It also lends distinct Strangled by the Red String problems to Jon and Daenerys's burgeoning relationship.
  • 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.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Sansa was unpopular in early seasons because she is captive and has many intentionally unsympathetic character traits (quite simply: she's a well-meaning but naive and pretty shallow teenager). When she was finally able to become more compassionate and tolerant, and at the same time more proactive and manipulative in the King's Landing court, she started getting more appreciation as a sympathetic character. Becoming a victim of Domestic Abuse in order to get revenge on those who hurt her family and getting No Sympathy and an Ungrateful Bastard reaction from Bran and Arya (although both had gone through a lot) resulted in even more viewer sympathy, at the expense of Arya, usually a fan favorite. Judging from You Tube comments, even people who had disliked her until Season 7 ended up siding with her, to their amazement.
    • 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.
    • Within two episodes of Season 7, Euron Greyjoy was able to overcome a great deal of the criticism of his weak appearance at the Kingsmoot, no doubt due to his audacious sense of humor and punk-rock getup and Asbaek's genuine screen presence. Then in the next episode, he proved himself to be badass and ferocious by ambushing Yara's fleet and killing two of the Sand Snakes, who are two of the most hated characters on the show.
  • 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.
    • Euron Greyjoy is a complete psycho who kills his own kin and is firmly in villain territory, in league with Cersei Lannister and all, but plenty of people root for him when he goes up against the kinslaying, child killing and much maligned lot that go by the name of Sand Snakes, proving who is an actual badass in the process.

     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 an episode 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:
    • 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 show's religious characters), scenes that come across as cheap shocks, and unlikable new characters such as the Sand Snakes. That being said, "Hardhome" and (to a lesser extent) the episodes that followed were seen as redeeming factors in an otherwise disappointing season. Season 6, conversely, was much more well-received.
    • Season 7, while still praised for Visual Effects of Awesome, is criticized for rapid pacingnote , plot holes, character making illogical decisionsnote , and the loss of lives having little emotional impactnote . Overall, the season appears to be the reverse of the overarching theme from Season 1: No matter how much you believe in your ideals, if no one supports you, you die.
  • 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, look closely and 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.
    • Dany and Jon are told by everyone how obvious it is that they have feelings for each other as early as one episode after they meet. Their on-screen chemistry is of divided opinion among the fanbase and some feel that their romance is more of this trope than an actual connection due to not enough time being spent on this plot as a result of Season 7's increased pace.
  • 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 Pycelle 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 about 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 form an alliance with the Martells against Cersei and quickly verbally shuts down each of them. Then in Season 7's "Stormborn", Euron Greyjoy kills two of the Sand Snakes, to the joy of many fans, and captures Ellaria Sand and her daughter, Tyene, so he can deliver them to Cersei as vengeance for Ellaria killing Cersei's daughter Myrcella. Then, Cersei herself poisons Tyene with the same poison used that killed her daughter and forces Ellaria to watch her own daughter die.
  • 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, 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.
    • Echoing many fans, George R.R. Martin feels that Lady Stoneheart was the biggest missed opportunity for the show to be Adapted Out. Others extend this further noting the dialing down of the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Occupation of the Riverlands, the fallout of the Red Wedding with the Tullys which were major subplots in Book 4 and which tied into the arcs of Jaime, Brienne, the rise of the Sparrows, fan-favorites like the Blackfish, and also the legacy of Sandor Clegane was essentially removed from the proper place in the show with much of these characters and subplots Put on a Bus only to be hastily adapted in Season 6 with a rushed resolution and in the case of the Sparrows, adapted without any sense of general context. Some argue, that even if they left out Lady Stoneheart and continued with the show's Brotherhood, there was much wasted potential, since the show's version of Lord Beric, and Thoros of Myr are highly beloved by fans of both the show and the books, and the Dorne subplot which was favored over it in Season 5 was definitely a case of the show backing the wrong horsenote .
  • 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. However, most viewers 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. It's not helped by how flimsy Ellaria's motivation for revenge is. Oberyn's death was terrible, but ENTIRELY his own fault. He volunteered to take part in a legal fight to the death against one of the most powerful warriors in Westeros, let himself get cocky when he thought he had it won, and paid the price for it. It's a valid reason to be upset for sure, but extremely petty to base going on a murderous vendetta over.
    • 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.
    • Season 6 reintroduced the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Freys and the Tullys after a long Put on a Bus (absent for both Season 4 and Season 5) as well as the Greyjoys. However, on account of being brought back outside their original time in the plot, with the showrunners focusing on the reviled Dorne arc instead, the storylines was subject to much Adaptation Distillation and hastily shortened, with the removal of Lady Stoneheart more or less removing the keystone of the entire section and many felt that if they had Adapted Out Dorne instead and focused on the Riverlands, the show could have been better balanced even with the other changes in the plotline. Pilou Asbaek's Euron Greyjoy despite limited screetime in Season 6 was well-received and many felt that if they had brought him earlier, he could have become the horn-wielding sorceror of the books.
  • 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.
  • Unexpected Character: No one has any idea that the Night King is behind (or at least heavily involved with) the rising of the White Walkers. Not the Night's Watch, not Melisandre, no one. This is also a meta-example — in the books, he was just a part of the series backstory, and readers had no way of knowing he would appear in the show. Though interestingly enough, The King of Winter, a character very similar to him appeared two years earlier in the Night's Watch supplement for the Green Ronin A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game; the origin is different, being the monarch of the Others from before their fall, but his role as their Big Bad and king is essentially the same, and there's even a similar description regarding a deformity resembling a crown on his head.
  • 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.
    • Despite his Adaptational Villainy, Stannis Baratheon still has a lot of fans who appreciate his deadpan humour and conflicted nature. Even after the events of Season 5, most of his fanbase sees his TV!version as a capable, if tragically misguided, leader, and is of the opinion that his campaign, as unsuccessful as it was, paved the road for the defeat of the Boltons. It also helps that Stephen Dillane is considered one of the best actors of the show, and that ultimately he's fighting to defend the realm and came to the Night's Watch defense in their direst moment and prioritized research on the White Walkers and at the start of Season 7, Sam Tarly remembers Stannis mentioning Dragonglass which only further highlights that more things would have been accomplished had he received more support and help from the start, with a pointless Fetch Quest plot to find the Mineral MacGuffin added just to take his plot. Likewise, both Daenerys and Tyrion express skepticism about the White Walker threat even after Jon Snow risks everything to warn them in person, when Stannis openly accepted and came to the Night's Watch aid on their word alone.
  • 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.
    • Rhaegar Targaryen after the relevation that he loved and married Lyanna (making Jon the rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms) which was apparently intended as heartwarming. While not being a rapist is always a good thing, his treatment of Elia Martell (annulling their marriage, which would degrade and humiliate her if she lived long enough to learn about it) and their two children (making their status dubious at best and illegitimate at worst, since it was an annulment not divorce) was really appalling, especially considering that they soon died specifically for being his family. In the light of those events you can now really pity Oberyn and almost pity Ellaria and the Sand Snakes.
    • Same goes for Lyanna Stark. Her romance with Rhaegar is meant to be true love, but with how Elia is just brushed aside it constrives to paint Lyanna as a homewrecker and further shows them both as incredibly irresponsible for insulting both Houses Baratheon and House Martell simultaneously by breaking off their engagements/marriages to people from those Houses and setting off a civil war. This is all the more perplexing since her nephew Robb's impromptu marriage to Talisa is treated as a political blunder that was Robb's undoing. Combining this with Rhaegar's example above, it makes Robert's Rebellion look like the direct result of two stupid young people eloping without bothering to mention this (rather important) fact before it's too late. Or even after it's too late, for that matter.
  • 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.
  • Vanilla Protagonist:
    • A lot of viewers feel this way about the show's version of Jon Snow, with even Kristian Nairn (who played Hodor) while praising Kit Harington's performance, lamented that the character he played was boringFrom the Books . Unlike the other Stark children (Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb) or Tyrion, Jaime, Stannis and Daenerys, Jon Snow is more or less a standard fantasy hero played straight complete with Good Is Dumb and Plot Armour, and unlike other "good" characters in the show (such as Ned Stark) with very few instances of actual morally compromising choices and decisions to make. His actions and achievements are also subject to benefiting of other people's help (such as the Vale arriving in time to bail him out in the Battle of the Bastards, and Stannis coming in time to save him and crush Mance Rayder), with much Informed Attribute (such as becoming King in the North, despite a weak claim, poor military leadership and generally spotty record).
    • Tyrion Lannister is also becoming this in Seasons 5-7, where characters like Varys praise him for being a brilliant political mind, and the Adaptational Heroism he receives dials down some of the original and tragic aspects of his book counterpart, which has the side-effect of making him a more conventional character than originally envisioned. Where the Tyrion of Seasons 1-4 was driven by ambition, angst, resentment and a need to assert himself, Tyrion spends the later seasons being a sidekick and Satellite Character to Dany's story and even trying to serve as a conscience and calming influence on Dany with very little sign of having his own goals and interests. Complicating this is that much of his plans and ideas fails, such as his olive branch to the slave-owning cabal in Essos, and his original invasion scheme for Dany which falls apart in the first three episodes of Westeros, largely because of Diabolus ex Machina to better serve Dany's more dynamic story.
  • 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 adaptational choices of turning Davos and Brienne from religious to non-religious, having the pious Sansa lose her faith as a sign of character growth, and making Stannis both more villainous and less intelligent in addition to more fanatical (punctuated by his string of failures), is seen by some fans as the writers trying to impose their own anti-religious sentiment. It's also noteworthy that D.B. Weiss has admitted he dislikes Stannis and David Benioff's prior work on Troy shows some similar sentiments. 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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