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Daenerys's Court
"Strike the chains off every slave you see."
"I will do what queens do. I will rule."
Daenerys Targaryen

The sole remnant of House Targaryen, the last Valyrian house, Daenerys Targaryen rules Meereen and influences all of The Bay of Dragons (formerly known as Slavers' Bay), the last vestiges of the Ghiscari Empire. From here she fights to ensure the slave trade dies, and plans her return to the Seven Kingdoms to retake her father's throne.

    In General 
  • The Alliance: Upon reaching Westeros, she is supported by an alliance consisting of the Dothraki Horde, the Unsullied army, House Tyrell and the Reach, Ellaria Sand and Dorne, Yara and Theon Greyjoy and half the Iron Fleet, Tyrion Lannister, Varys, and (tentatively) the Second Sons mercenary company. The Westerosi allies are quickly knocked out by co-ordinated strikes by Cersei, Jaime, and Euron. Afterwards, the alliance includes the Starks (and, by extension, the Vale and the Wildlings) after Jon Snow pledges himself to her when she promises to defeat the Night King and in gratitude for saving him and his group. A nominal truce exists with the Lannisters to fight the White Walkers, but Cersei only pretends to agree to join Jon and Daenerys in the battle for the living with no intention of honoring the deal.
  • Bread and Circuses: Dany reluctantly reintroduces gladiator games, even though this promotes slavery in all but name.
  • Cult of Personality: Dany and her followers both buy into and spread her cult across Essos and into Westeros. She's called Mhysa (Mother) and the Breaker of Chains by the former slaves of Essos, Khaleesi by her entourage and by Jorah (even if the latter as a Westerosi Knight in exile should call her Princess/Queen), while Dany certainly makes full use of her reputation by reminding everyone who visits her that she's more powerful, courageous, accomplished than they are, with the Long List of titles to prove it. She also is quite keen to remind everyone that she's the "mother" of dragons (in contrast to the 'Young Wolf' Robb Stark, who never quite escapes the tag of youth because of this moniker). In Westeros, Cersei tries to turn Dany's mythology against her, using the natural horror Dany's exploits in Esso engender in otherwise outside observers and a bit of Historical Villain Upgrade propaganda to try and turn as just many people against the "Dragon Queen" as her legend would otherwise win over.
  • Dwindling Party: The huge alliance Daenerys built against Cersei Lannister with Yara Greyjoy's loyalist fleet, Ellaria Sand's forces and the forces of the Reach led by Olenna Tyrell didn't survive the first half of Season 7. Poor strategic decisions by Tyrion as well as surprise attacks by Euron Greyjoy's formidable fleet ensured said allies were wiped off the map, leaving Daenerys with only two of three dragons, her Dothraki horde and trapped Unsullied. The events of Season 8 leads to the deaths of many of the Dothraki, Jorah Mormont, Rhaegal, Missandei, Varys, and half of the Unsullied, making Daenerys's initial forces much smaller than they were when she sailed to Westeros — but, alongside the Northern forces, they are still enough to put King's Landing under seige.
  • Freudian Trio: Jorah's the Superego, Barristan Selmy the Ego, and Daenerys the Id (which doesn't match up with their being The Spock, The McCoy, and The Kirk, respectively, but Daenerys has a huge Honor Before Reason thing going on with slavery).
  • Foreign Ruling Class: Ends up becoming ruler of all the Dothraki, which they accept pretty readily because they believe in Asskicking Leads to Leadership; Daenerys killed all the other khals (Dothraki lords), leaving her few rivals and has a sizable army and three dragons at her back, so she is quite easily the strongest among them. She incorporates their warriors in her conquest of Westeros, which in Randyll's opinion, is just another point against her.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Much like House Stark, many of Dany's allies and clients come from individuals who held offices in rival and enemy regimes. Ser Jorah Mormont, her oldest ally and retainer, fought alongside King Robert Baratheon and Lord Eddard Stark against House Targaryen during the Rebellion. Ser Barristan was loyal to House Targaryen and fought alongside Rhaegar at the Battle of Trident but he was also Kingsguard to King Robert, and briefly, King Joffrey, Tyrion Lannister is the son of Lord Tywin, who was responsible for the Sack of King's Landing and Varys the Spider was a spy who has undermined many regimes, as are Theon and Yara Greyjoy.
  • The Magocracy: A version. Daenerys is only so powerful because she possesses three of this world's equivalent of magical WMDs.
  • Might Makes Right: A primary reason why they rule Meereen.
  • Keystone Army: By Season 7, they are clearly the most powerful faction on the show (with the possible exception of the White Walkers) once they are allied with the Starks to defeat the Northern threat. However, multiple characters note that if Daenerys herself (the only one capable of controlling her dragons and commanding the Dothraki) is killed, her alliance will crumble instantly. Tyrion advises against Daenerys fighting in the field for this very reason. In episode 4 of Season 7, Jaime Lannister demonstrates Daenerys's importance when he initiates a suicidal charge against her for the chance to end the war between Daenerys's faction and the Lannisters.
  • Nice Guy: Most of the (living) characters on this page are pretty damned decent and friendly people, which should indicate the kind of leader Daenerys is (though she is more than occasionally brutal, she has this for her default setting). Even Daario Naharis mellows out a lot, and Tyrion settles into full hero protagonist mode (after previously being an anti-hero) once he enters her service.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Westerosi exiles and rejects, scorned nobles, fugitives, tarnished knights, mercenaries, eunuch warriors, Dothraki, and former slaves are all part of her retinue. And her three dragons as well.
  • The Remnant: Daenerys is the last known Targaryen. House Targaryen themselves are The Remnant of the Valyrian dragonlords.
  • Rightful King Returns: Everything Daenerys does is for the eventual goal of retaking the Iron Throne as the remaining Targaryen.
  • Slave Liberation: Many of Daenerys's followers are slaves she freed when she brought down the Masters of Slaver's Bay.
    Daenerys: I fought so that no child born in Slaver's Bay would ever know what it was like to be bought and sold. I will continue that fight here and beyond.
  • Succession Crisis: A concern brought about the House's future, as Daenerys was believed to be barren by Mirri's spell and does not think she can have children.
    • In Season 7, Tyrion attempts to discuss it by offering alternatives about who should succeed her, but Daenerys is unwilling to hear it and will only address this after her conquest is complete. Making things even more difficult is her forming a relationship with the Warden of the North Jon Snow, who — unknown to either herself or Jon — is her nephew Aegon Targaryen, son of her brother Rhaegar and whose claim to the Iron Throne supersede hers.
    • In Season 8, when Daenerys and Jon eventually learn the truth, Jon has no want or interest in the throne but Daenerys fears others will press Jon's claim to the throne over hers — and she's not wrong. When Jon's sister, Sansa Stark, learns the truth, she breaks her promise to Jon not to reveal this secret and tells Tyrion (who tells Varys) in hopes of putting Jon on the throne over Dany. This results in Varys scheming for the same purpose. Tyrion argues that the Daenerys and Jon should get married since incestuous marriage has been a traditional Targaryen practice but Varys speaks against this, saying that marrying one's aunt is not common practice in the North, where Jon grew up.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Dany's new allies never seemed to get along very well where Tyrion despises working with Ellaria Sand for poisoning his niece Myrcella while Ellaria blames him for Oberyn's death. Olenna doesn't seem to trust Tyrion and advises Dany not to always listen to him. It gets even worse once Jon shows up. He and Dany spend much of the formative days of their alliance bickering over whose authority supersedes whose.
  • True Companions: Daenerys and her main followers are a lot more to one another than just a queen and her servants.
  • Two Girls to a Team: As of the Season 5 finale, Daenerys herself and Missandei are the only prominent women in this party. To be fair, however, Daenerys is The Leader, so that eases the sexism quite a bit.

    Queen Daenerys Targaryen 

Queen Daenerys Targaryen

Played By: Emilia Clarke

See Queen Daenerys Targaryen.

Queensguard and Household

    Hand of the Queen Tyrion Lannister 

Hand of the Queen Tyrion Lannister

Played By: Peter Dinklage

See Tyrion Lannister.

    Ser Jorah Mormont 

Ser Jorah Mormont
"There's a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand."

Played By: Iain Glen

Dubbed By: Patrick Béthune (European French, Season 1 to 7), Loïc Houdré (European French, Season 8)

Ser Jorah Mormont: The common people pray for rain, health, and a summer that never ends. They don't care what games the high lords play.
Daenerys Targaryen: What do you pray for, Ser Jorah?
Jorah: Home.

An exiled knight from the Seven Kingdoms and son of Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Ser Jorah pledges his sword to Viserys, has an association with Khal Drogo and accompanies both until their deaths. He becomes something of a Mentor to Daenerys, and transfers his allegiance to her. He serves as Daenerys's chief general and Lord Commander of her Queensguard, until Daenerys learns that Ser Jorah once spied for King Robert when Ser Barristan receives a copy of the pardon Ser Jorah was given after informing Varys that Daenerys was pregnant. She banishes him for it but not even that is enough to dent Jorah's loyalty to her, compelling him to earn her forgiveness.

  • Abled in the Adaptation: In his fight with Qotho. In the books, Jorah's hip is wounded and Qotho cuts off part of his ear. Here, Jorah only gets a slight cut on his cheek and keeps both ears.
  • Accentuate the Negative: Jorah tends to find faults in everyone Daenerys meet.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Described as dark-haired and balding in the books, but played by blond Iain Glen.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Ser Jorah Mormont is explicitly described in the book as "not a handsome man." Iain Glen, on the other hand, is quite appealing, which is echoed by a number of the female cast.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While he remains a pragmatic realist, he's a higher tier of man than his book counterpart, with his physical lust for Daenerys downplayed to focus on his romantic love for her. At one point his book counterpart gives a Forceful Kiss to Dany and asks her to run away with him, only for her to refuse him — this scene is omitted entirely from the show. Dany's Age Lift in the show also makes Jorah's attraction to her seem less creepy (in the books, she's about 15 to Jorah's ~45). When the show's Daenerys banishes him from her court because she found out he was originally spying on her for Robert, he tries to reason with her but she refuses to listen; in the books she's planning to forgive him if he apologizes but instead he tells her that she "must" forgive him and refuses to take responsibility for his actions, which makes it impossible for her to pardon him. In the show, he finally comes to terms with Ned Stark's banishment of him and admits that the Lord Paramount was entirely right to punish him for his crimes; his book counterpart has yet to do so and retains a grudge against Ned. The show depicts him as Daenerys's Morality Chain, whereas in the books like the other men around her he pushes her to act more ruthlessly and she resists doing so.
    • In the book, Jorah advises Drogo to make for Meereen to sell the many captives taken, because following a recent plague its brothels pay double for young girls and triple for boys under 10. The show omits this particularly ugly detail.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Mostly regarding his unrequited love for Daenerys. In the books, Jorah comes off as pushy and frankly predatory towards Dany at times, such as forcing a kiss on her and – consciously or not – trying to alienate her from her other advisors. It's to the point that Dany is reluctant to be alone with him and calls him out for trying to get her to rely solely on him. In the show, Jorah is far more respectful towards Dany and appears resigned to the fact she will never return his romantic love, yet he is still willing to serve and protect her. There's also less emphasis on him viewing her as a Replacement Goldfish for his ex-wife and more on his admiration for Dany herself. Overall, his show counterpart comes off as more selfless and less possessive. Dany's Age Lift helps a little; while a man in his forties being attracted to a young woman in her late teens / early 20s is still eyebrow-raising, it's far more palatable than his book counterpart lusting after a 14 year old.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: His Bodyguard Crush on Daenerys is not working in his favor and although Daenerys does love Jorah, it's not romantically.
  • And Starring: Unusually, starting in Season 4, Iain Glen received the "with" credit at the end of the cast list, with nobody else following him to receive the "and".
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: To Dany, who is moved to tears by it:
    Jorah: I love you. I'll always love you. Goodbye, Khaleesi.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: His House's sigil is a bear, and he's as big, burly and hairy as one.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Jorah sold slaves in a desperate attempt to make his wife happy. When Eddard Stark discovered his crimes and Jorah was forced to flee in exile, Jorah's wife abandoned him.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Daario Naharis and Grey Worm. He even performs a Combination Attack with Daario on the final enemy. In "The Long Night" he teams up with Daenerys to fight off wights.
  • Becoming the Mask: Originally traveling with Daenerys and Viserys as an informant of Varys seeking to earn a pardon from Robert Baratheon. Gradually, he falls in love with Dany, defending her life on several occasions, and becoming a key ally in her plan to retake the Seven Kingdoms, even after he has secured his pardon.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Threatening Daenerys' life is the biggest for him, as some characters find out the hard way.
    • In Season 5, he shows that he has very little patience for Tyrion's sarcastic japes. When Tyrion scoffs at his predicament and desperate plan, the otherwise peaceful and stoic Jorah responds by punching him in the face.
  • Black Sheep: Aside from his current reputation, Jorah is a northerner fighting to place the Mad King's daughter on the throne of Westeros. A girl who has lived most of her life outside of Westeros and the daughter of the same king who was deposed by Ned Stark, the man to whom Jorah owed allegiance.
  • Bodyguard Crush: He develops one for Daenerys. Doesn't end well.
  • Boring, but Practical: His fighting method, the typical armored hack-and-slash method of Westerosi knights, is this in comparison to some of the more elegant fighting styles encountered in Essos. It shows in his fight with Qotho, and is best seen when Jorah, Grey Worm, and Daario fight off Yunkish guards in "The Rains of Castamere". Daario and Grey Worm are far more graceful in their movements, but Jorah is just as effective. For this reason, this video labels him as the best swordsman in the entire series.
  • Call It Karma: After getting exiled for selling poachers into slavery, he's captured by slavers himself.
  • Carpet of Virility: Adding to his bear-like appearance.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Has no qualms about fighting an unarmored foe with his armor on, and in fact makes that a principal piece of his strategy to win the fight, trapping Qotho's blade against his armor and cutting open his face.
    • In Season 3, he begins counseling Daenerys to take a more pragmatic approach to her campaign to retake Westeros, without concern for the morality of her actions, in opposition to the more idealistic advice given by Barristan Selmy.
    • In the fighting pits he beats another fighter by removing the opponent's helmet and beating him over the head with it.
  • Composite Character: In Season 5, he takes some of Jon Connington's role from the books, particularly getting infected with greyscale while rescuing Tyrion from drowning on their way to Daenerys.
  • Cool Sword: In Season 8, Sam gives him Heartsbane, the Valyrian Steel sword of House Tarly.
  • Courtly Love: Deconstructed. His obsession with Lynesse destroyed his life, but his love with Daenerys made him a better person.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Jorah gets jealous of any man who offers Daenerys help and constantly advises her to push them away in the hopes that she'll become dependent on him alone instead. Daenerys catches on.
  • Cultured Badass: He's very well-read and speaks a few languages.
  • Culture Clash: While the Dothraki call him "the Andal," the Mormonts are actually blood of the First Men. The Andals are the Saxon invaders to the original Briton occupants of Westeros. From the books... 
  • Cultural Rebel: Jorah is one of the few Northmen to be an anointed knight (a calling associated with the Faith of the Seven and would require Jorah to convert from the Old Gods to the Faith of the Seven). As a result of his exile and travels, Jorah has become the most widely traveled and cosmopolitan Westerosi of his generation, despite the fact that he originated from the most insular and isolated part of the Seven Kingdoms. This is given a Lampshade by his nickname "Jorah the Andal" despite the fact that he's of the First Men.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments, mainly with Tyrion:
    Jorah: Do you ever shut up?
  • Death Seeker: After being exiled for a second time, it becomes evident Jorah has lost a fair share of his will to live, and his return to the gladiator arena is partly out of a wish to die. Of course, having Greyscale doesn't help matters.
  • Dented Iron: In Season 6, his age and Greyscale infection are starting to catch up to him. Though he retains his skill, he has stamina issues compared to younger men like Daario.
  • Determinator: After being exiled by Daenerys, he spends some time Drowning His Sorrows, then kidnaps Tyrion Lannister, the most wanted criminal of Westeros, with the intention to bring him to Dany. He drags the dwarf around Valyria, withstands contracting the Greyscale and being kidnapped by slavers and sold to fighting arenas, and finally, when not chosen to be presented to the queen during a fight, he makes his way for himself by punching out his master. Then he wins the tournament and succeeds in getting Tyrion to Dany (with Tyrion's cooperation, to be fair). He gets exiled again, resolves to go back to his former master, sell himself back into slavery, and take part in fighting in the pits in front of Dany again. He wins again (though with a little luck this time), and manages to save Dany's life by throwing a spear at an assassin. All of that finally earns him her forgiveness, but by then his greyscale is so advanced that he cannot return to Dany's court. Dany orders him to Find the Cure!, so he goes to the Citadel where Samwell Tarly manages to cure him against all odds, using an extremely painful procedure. Jorah then returns to Daenerys, who is happy to take him back.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After Daenerys exiles him twice, Jorah volunteers as a warrior in Daznak's Pit in a last, desperate attempt to return to her good graces, or die trying.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Jorah's plan to kidnap and hand Tyrion over to Daenerys was doomed to failure from the beginning, as Tyrion himself points out. Even if they had managed to get to Meereen safely (which they didn't), what would stop Daenerys from simply executing Jorah once and for all? Instead, Daenerys spares Tyrion and exiles Jorah... again.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: At the end of "The Long Night", he dies in his beloved khaleesi's arms from the wounds he sustained.
  • Dirty Old Man: Downplayed. Jorah is old enough to be Daenerys' father, and he is in love with her. But he never tries to kiss her forcibly the way he does in the book.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: He gets infected with greyscale in Season 5 after rescuing Tyrion from Stone Men. In the books, this Story Arc belongs to Jon Connington while Jorah himself remains healthy. Jorah gets cured in Season 7, though.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His exile for the crimes he committed, in his mind at least. Though Daenerys herself is appalled with this.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Jorah contracts greyscale, a hopeless condition, but Samwell Tarly manages to cure him.
  • The Dragon: To Daenerys.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Revealed in "The Wolf and the Lion" to be spying on Daenerys on behalf of Varys.
    • In "You Win or You Die", he protects Daenerys from an assassination that he was the indirect cause of.
  • Dual Wielding: Carries a pair of dragonglass knives for the mission Beyond the Wall in Season 7.
  • Enemy Mine: With Tyrion, whom he initially takes prisoner and intends to give to Daenerys to gain back her favor, fully expecting she'll execute him. After the two almost died during the journey through Valyria and after being imprisoned as slaves, they seem to have accepted each other as partners in the mutual enterprise of escaping a very bad situation.
  • Everyone Can See It: In-universe, everyone and their mums seem to be aware that he's got a crush on Daenerys.
    • Viserys is the first who calls him out on it in "A Golden Crown".
      Viserys: You stand there all nobility and honor. You don't think I see you looking at my little sister, hm? Don't think I don't know what you want.
    • Xaro Xhoan Daxos also mentions it to Daenerys in "The Ghost of Harrenhal", but she denies it at first.
      Xaro: So, tell me, how long has your manservant been in love with you?
      Daenerys: He's not my manservant and he's not in love with me.
    • In "Mockingbird", it is hinted that Daario Naharis is aware of Jorah's feelings, so he pats him in the back and proudly tells him that "she is in a good mood. He later makes Jorah admit it in "The Red Woman", and in "The Book of Stranger", he mocks him for being too old and not fit enough for 'riding' her.
    • Tyrion Lannister notices it, too.
      Tyrion: He worships you. He's in love with you, I think.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Despite disgracing his family he had the decency to leave Longclaw behind for his father.
    • When he is forced to fight in the fighting pits Jorah goes out of his way to not kill anyone.
  • The Exile: From Westeros, due to the crime of selling slaves. Later, he is formally banished from Meereen and Daenerys's side, when she discovers from Barristan how he was spying on behalf of Varys whilst in her service.
  • Failure Knight: He fell for a noblewoman who took him for everything he had. Soon he begins to fall for Daenerys.
  • Fatal Flaw: He dislikes bowing and scraping to people, whether they are queens, merchants, or slavers. This is both a virtue and a flaw: Westeros is the kind of place where this attitude can be deadly.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Played with. By modern standards, the Westerosi hatred for slavery seems pretty reasonable, but the Essosi consider it to be a ridiculous overreaction. They consider the normal practice of forcing poachers into the Night's Watch to be more or less morally equivalent. And considering that other nobles in Westeros routinely partake in murder and torture, selling a couple of poachers into slavery seems downright tame in comparison! From the books... .
  • Find the Cure!: After she learns of his greyscale, Daenerys orders him to find the cure and return to her. He gets his wish after being treated by Samwell Tarly at the Citadel.
  • Flaying Alive: The treatment for greyscale involves removing every single piece of infected skin.
  • Four-Star Badass: To Daenerys as her commander-in-chief.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Barristan Selmy. They both have much in common and are quite similar in terms of character, but each has his issues with the other. And while always friendly or at least polite with one another, they're both quite frank in expressing their reservations about the other.
  • Genius Bruiser: A capable and intelligent knight. Unfortunately, see Love Makes You Dumb...
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's not fond of anyone who poses a threat to his close relationship with Daenerys. He dislikes all the men who try to approach her romantically.
    • In Season 1, it's hinted that he's jealous of Daenerys's husband, Khal Drogo.
    • In Season 2, it's clear that he feels uncomfortable when Xaro Xhoan Daxos is near Daenerys. It just worsens when he learns about Xaro's marriage proposal.
    • Although not in a romantic sense, he is jealous of Ser Barristan Selmy.
    • In Season 3, he sees the mutual attraction between Daenerys and Daario Naharis, which he doesn't approve of at all. In Season 4, he becomes deeply hurt when he sees the half-dressed Daario leaving Daenerys's chambers in the morning. According to the Word of God, 'he is both incredibly jealous and a bit angry with Daenerys for falling for a man he considers so unworthy of her.'
    • As of Season 7, the list of rivals just doesn't end when, as soon as he is reunited with Daenerys and returns to her service, he catches a glimpse of the increasing attraction between her and Jon Snow, who is of similar age to Daenerys.
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Daenerys, to the point that his fan nickname is "Lord Friendzone". Heck, their first meeting is at her wedding to Khal Drogo, whom she eventually comes to love. Even after he dies, Daenerys is oblivious to Jorah's feelings, then hooks up with Daario Naharis, who often mocks Jorah about this. She dumps Daario after sending Jorah off to find a cure for his greyscale, but the moment he gets back she's making goo-goo eyes at Jon Snow. At the very least, Jorah seems to approve of Jon much more than Daario. Which makes sense, as Jon earned the approval of Jorah's own father Jeor, enough to inherit Longclaw from him. If Jorah had to lose out to anyone in the end, it might as well be a man like Jon.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jorah is a big, hairy, hulking knight and his queen Daenerys is a small, waifish girl.
  • I Choose to Stay: He chooses to remain by Daenerys's side even after being pardoned and allowed to return by King Robert.
  • I Dub Thee Sir Knight: Earned his knighthood at the Siege of Pyke.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Put himself in this position by trying to cater to his wife's expensive tastes.
  • In-Series Nickname: Despite being a Northman, thus a descendant of the First Men, he's called "Jorah the Andal" by the Dothraki because he hails from Rhaesh Andahli (Land of the Andals), which is the Dothraki name for Westeros.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Although he is in love with Daenerys, and jealous of every potential love interest of hers — Daario Naharis in particular — he knows that his feelings are unrequited. In spite of that he serves her, doesn't give much voice to his jealousy, and his greatest wish is to see her sitting on her throne and to be by her side.
    • He implies this when he declines Jon's attempt to return Longclaw to him, saying that it rightfully belongs to him and his future children, indicating that he's come to terms with any relationship between Jon Snow and Daenerys, who do fall in love with one another, although he believes that Dany is infertile so this could also be an averted example. It helps that, unlike Daario, he actually seems to like Jon.
  • I Warned You: His modus operandi regarding his counsel to Daenerys. It comes to bite him when Daenerys finds out that he had been spying on her.
  • Kick the Dog: When Tyrion mocks his desperate plan to get back into Daenerys' good graces, the normally stoic Jorah loses his temper and slaps Tyrion so hard he faints.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Not nearly as straight an example as Barristan Selmy (indeed, his armor's a rather dull, functional grey, reflecting his pragmatism), but he's definitely got his moments. Also Reconstruction in his case, as he began the series as a rather self-centered manipulator (selling out the Targaryens, to whom he had sworn an oath, to Varys and King Robert in exchange for a pardon). But when he finds someone truly worthy of his loyalty, and whom he also loves (Daenerys) he drops it immediately, Becoming the Mask and a rock-hard Targaryen loyalist, not to mention upright, kind, and honest, while still being reasonably pragmatic and ruthless towards the Targaryens' enemies.
  • Lady and Knight: The Knight to Daenerys's Lady. He's a classic example; he loves Daenerys but knows his feelings are unrequited, so he dedicates his life to protecting and serving her.
  • The Lancer: To Daenerys.
  • Last of His Kind: Outlives his cousin Lyanna by just a few minutes; his death marks the extinction of House Mormont.
  • Last Stand: During the Battle for the Dawn, he chooses to fight to the end to protect Daenerys. He succeeds but at the cost of his life.
  • The Leader: Of Daenerys's Queensguard.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Was the second into the breach at the Siege of Pyke, behind Thoros with his flaming sword. He was knighted by the king himself for his bravery. Averted as an advisor to Daenerys, where he tends to council restraint, instilling her with patience and doing things the right way, even if it is harder or longer.
  • Longing Look: For Daenerys on many, many occasions. Except the time of his banishment, he has been following her around like a lovesick puppy from pretty much her wedding day.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Generally a knowledgeable, reasonable, and insightful person, it all goes out the window in his desperation to make his wife(and later, Daenerys) love him.
  • Manly Tears: We can see him struggling with his tears — both times Daenerys dismisses him and once in the brothel.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: When cornered with Daenerys by wights in "The Long Night", he gets mortally wounded a half-dozen times over, but refuses to stay down and keeps fighting to protect her. Only when Arya kills the Night King and all the wights die along with him does Jorah finally stay down and dies from his wounds.
  • The Mole: Originally, to Varys. He later becomes the mask and serves Daenerys loyally.
  • Morality Chain: To Daenerys. Out of all her supporters, Jorah is the most loyal, and believes the most out of all of them that she will be a good and just ruler when she ascends the Iron Throne. His death in the Battle for the Dawn is the beginning of Daenerys's Sanity Slippage. Combined with Rhaegal and Missandei's deaths in the following episode, and the deterioration of her relationship with Jon Snow, Daenerys ends up completely losing it in the penultimate episode of the series, burning down King's Landing with Drogon while her army sacks the city.
  • Mr. Exposition: As a seasoned advisor and mentor, one of his roles consists in providing information to Daenerys, who is a newcomer. The producers even refer to him as "Jorah the Explorer".
  • Number Two: Daenerys considers Jorah this and relies on her advice and opinion more than that of Ser Barristan(who she only recently met) and Missandei. She consults him in private after dismissing her council about her misgivings for riding to Westeros and listens to him when he counsels mercy.
  • Perma-Stubble: He never really grows a full beard.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After holding off dozens of wights and protecting Daenerys in spite of serious wounds, Jorah collapses once they're all shut down by the Night King's death, knowing his queen is now safe. He succumbs to his wounds soon after.
  • Private Military Contractors: After being exiled from Westeros as a fugitive, Jorah became a sellsword and served with the legendary Golden Company for a while, before meeting Daenerys.
  • Red Baron: In Essos, he's known as Jorah the Andal.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: After Barristan Selmy joins Daenerys, Jorah becomes the Red to his Blue. Which is odd, since being The Spock and The McCoy respectively, the roles should be reversed.
  • Redemption Quest: To some extent, his loyalty and commitment to Daenerys is driven by his need to atone for souring his honor in Westeros and initially spying on Daenerys.
    Jorah: Better men than me have learned that what a man sells for gold, he can never buy back. He must earn it, by fire and blood.
  • Say My Name: "KHALEESI!"
  • Seppuku: His greyscale becomes bad enough for the maesters to plan to send him to die with the stone man. Because he's a knight, however, they give him a sword and suggest that he do with it as he will.
  • Shipper on Deck: According to the actor, Iain Glen, after his terminal illness and being exiled by his love interest, Jorah has already accepted that he will never be involved with Daenerys romantically and he is now content with simply being by her side as her friend and advisor. Therefore, when he meets Jon Snow, whom he comes to respect and admire, he subtly gives his blessing to him and Daenerys by not taking back the family sword, Longclaw.
  • The Spock: His pragmatism makes him this to Barristan's McCoy and Dany's Kirk.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: A slaver comments that due to his age, he would not be able to make it in the fighting pit. While Jorah does show he has what it takes, he is clearly at a disadvantage when he faces younger fighters of equal or greater skill. He has less stamina than them as well, and must resort to the style of fighting that has served him well.
    • His death in Dany's arms in "The Long Night" is set up to be a Dying Declaration of Love. He's far too injured for that: all he can do is croak out what sounds like "I'm hurt" before his multiple wounds catch up to him.
  • Taking the Bullet: At one point during "The Long Night", he pushes Daenerys out of the way to take wight's blade through the chest... and then keeps fighting.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Daenerys. She banishes him twice, and he returns twice, until he finally earns her forgiveness. He eventually dies in the Battle for the Dawn, fighting by Dany's side and protecting her until his last breath.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Jorah both plays this straight and deconstructs it. On one hand, given an opportunity to come back to Westeros with a full pardon and leave the hard life of Essos for good, he chose to remain loyal to Dany and personally foil an attack. On the other hand, as Dany and Tyrion note, given ample opportunity during several years of service, he never once divulged his past to her. Dany all but implies that had it not come to light in the shameful way that it did (being outed by Tywin) and had Jorah been honest from the start, she would have forgiven him.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: He sold some poachers into slavery and fled rather than facing Ned Stark over it. Subverted, as informing on Daenerys has earned him a royal pardon. Which he's ignored so far to continue serving Daenerys.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Thanks to his greyscale infection he's pretty much doomed no matter what he does. Sam's treatment manages to save his life.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Downplayed twice, first against Viserys when he tries to steal the dragon eggs and later against a battle-hardened Dothraki fighter. Fittingly, his family motto is "Here We Stand."
    (drawing his sword against Qotho) No further, horselord.
  • Zombie Infectee: Jorah is infected with greyscale when he and Tyrion are attacked by the Stone Men. In true zombie-movie fashion, he keeps it hidden. Unlike most examples of this trope, Sam is able to properly treat it by skinning off the infected skin.

    Ser Barristan Selmy 

Ser Barristan Selmy
"Sometimes it is better to answer injustice with mercy."

Played By: Ian McElhinney

"I burned away my years fighting for terrible kings. A man of honor keeps his vows, even if he's serving a drunk or a lunatic. Just once in my life before it's over, I want to know what it's like to serve with pride, to fight for someone I believe in."

Also known as "Ser Barristan the Bold". Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under both Aerys II and Robert, he is dismissed by Joffrey upon inheriting the throne; Selmy departs then to serve "the rightful king,' or Queen, as it turned out. Now serves as Daenerys's bodyguard and the second member of her Queensguard.

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: A minor one. Ser Barristan was always a decent person, but in the books, he despised Jaime for being the Kingslayer and thought "he should switch that white cloak for a black one". In Season 1, he shares a mentor-student Friendship Moment with Jaime in which the younger knight hero-worships him and Selmy compliments him on being a Child Prodigy. While a scene later on does have him mentioned Jaime profaning his oath, it seems that he at least is polite enough to not say that to his face.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In comparison to the Barristan of the books who despite his advanced age was a fierce fighter, an impeccable bodyguard who halted an assassination attempt on Daenerys with a mere staff and a brilliant soldier and competent Frontline General. The show's Barristan doesn't serve as Dany's military advisor and while he doesn't disappoint when he finally shows his combat chops in Sons of the Harpy, his death at the hands of undisciplined knife-wielding back-alley thugs is quite galling to fans of the books, even though he took them on fifteen to one, killed seven off-screen and one more before engaging the group, giving him the single highest (onscreen) body-count of any character in any single battle. Book Selmy never was in a similar situation but the consensus is that he would have made it.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted completely, if he were wearing armor then he would have likely survived the fight that killed him. In the books, he wore a full suit of plate all the time as part of his duties.
  • The Atoner: He considers himself as having failed the Targaryens, and swears himself to Daenerys's Queensguard to remedy that.
  • Badass Boast:
    • To his fellow younger Kingsguard brothers while missing part of his armor: "Even now I could cut through the five of you like carving a cake!"
    • "Your Grace, I have won more single combats than any man alive". He's probably right.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Barristan hands in his resignation and rages that he "shall die a knight", throwing aside his cloak and armour, Littlefinger sneeringly quips Selmy will be "a naked knight, apparently", prompting snide laughter from the rest of the court...which abruptly ends the second Selmy rips his sword from its scabbard and threatens to take on the rest of the Kingsguard singlehandedly, reminding everyone that it's not a good idea to make fun of a man who's considered the greatest fighter in recent history and now has nothing left to lose. Littlefinger's expression, in particular, screams an indication that it might have been better to keep his mouth shut.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Season 3 premiere, he shows up just in time to save Daenerys from an assassin.
    • Again in "Sons of the Harpy" when he saves Grey Worm from certain death by killing twenty-two enemies single-handedly.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Season 3.
  • Composite Character: It's really subtle, but some of his attributes, namely the admiration Ned and Jaime have for him, seems to be taken from Jaime's mentor in the books, Memetic Badass Ser Arthur Dayne, the "Sword of the Morning". Jaime squiring for Ser Barristan comes from him squiring to Lord Sumner Crakehall.
  • The Conscience: Barristan is Dany's voice of reason and essentially her mentor, guiding her to fair decisions and regaling her with fond stories of her family.
  • Cool Old Guy: Honorable, pleasant, and just a generally decent person in a very screwed up world. Regarded as the most badass person in the series. And that's saying something. Just over sixty-years-old, snowy-haired, and has served three separate kings, but he is still considered a complete badass and is treated with reverence by anyone with sense. When he is forcibly retired he pointedly mentions that he could cut his way through his other six Kingsguard brothers as if they were nothing. He's of the old order, when skill and valor were true hallmarks of a knight. He is even shown cutting through eight combatants in a matter of seconds before they can give him a challenge.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ser Barristan is alive and kicking in the books by the end of A Dance with Dragons. The series has him killed in Meereen by the Sons of the Harpy.
  • Defector from Decadence: Though he was also one after taking Robert's pardon after the Rebellion.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: At the end of Season 1 where he figuratively spits in Joffrey and Cersei's faces when they try to retire him.
  • The Dreaded: When he is forced to retire, he draws his sword in court. This not only silences everyone's laughter, but provokes his fellow knights to draw steel as well and even The Hound goes for his sword. Even when he throws down his blade and tells Joffrey to melt it down and add it to the others on the Iron Throne, no one sheathes or lowers their weapons, and the look of shock on Joffrey's face says it all.
  • Due to the Dead: When Ser Hugh gets killed, Barristan stands vigil for him a whole night, establishing early on that he is not like the average scumbag who serves in the Kingsguard.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Dies saving Grey Worm from the Sons of the Harpy, in the process killing over a score of them all on his own. Indeed, Barristan lives up to the furious promise he made Cersei so long ago: he lived a knight, and died a knight.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Jorah Mormont.
  • Funny Background Event: When Renly gives his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Robert during their hunting trip, Ser Barristan's reaction shows that he completely agrees with the younger brother. He gets even more awkward moments in The Laws of Gods and Men when Hizdahr zo Loraq calls out Daenerys's hasty actions in crucifying the slavers, which Barristan explicitly counselled against. Barristan's body language essentially says, "I hate to say I told you so".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: See Last Stand below. Barristan goes against utterly impossible odds for the sake of saving his comrade's life.
  • He's Back!: In the final scene of the Season 3 premiere, he appears as a mysterious cloaked figure who appears to be preparing to kill Daenerys, which becomes a Stab the Scorpion when he instead saves her from the real assassin, and reveals his identity.
  • Honor Before Reason: Why he rejects Cersei's retirement offer; as a member of the Kingsguard, he's sworn for life. The Small Council realizes that this was a major mistake; with Tywin calling Cersei on her stupidity in firing a man like that, freeing him up to choose the side of Daenerys Targaryen.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He takes his failure to protect the drunken Robert from the boar pretty hard, despite Robert ordering him to stand aside and Ned telling him it wasn't his fault.
    • While he was disgusted by the Mad King's actions he still did his best to honor his vow to him and his failure to do so still haunts him. He carries further guilt for failing to stop Robert from killing Rhaegar and for failing to protect Rhaegar's wife and children from The Mountain. Basically, Ser Barristan has a ''lot'' of Gwen Stacys.
  • In the Hood: In the Season 3 premiere, where he shows up to save Daenerys from an assassin. Doubles as a medieval Conspicuous Trenchcoat.
  • Kicked Upstairs: His dismissal is presented in this light by the new regime; a comfortable, well-earned retirement. Ser Barristan doesn't buy it.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Quite possibly the straightest example in the series. This becomes especially clear after he joins Daenerys, and his advising her to morally correct choices contrasts with Jorah's more coldly pragmatic suggestions.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Serving one king that was Ax-Crazy (Aerys) and another that was a drunkard (Robert) greatly jaded him, but still does his duty with full dedication.
  • Last Stand: Goes down in an almighty blaze of glory saving Grey Worm from the Sons of the Harpy.
  • Living Legend: The most respected swordsman of Westeros, treated with equal devotion by fearsome comrades-in-arms and former adversaries. Ned Stark, Jaime Lannister, Jorah Mormont and even Tywin Lannister speak of him with respect.
    • A more subtle example is present when he's stripped of his rank by Cersei. The Hound, who stands beside the throne, is normally The Stoic even in the face of a threat, but when Ser Barristan draws his sword, The Hound immediately places his own hand on his hilt, indicating that even he considers Barristan a serious threat.
    • What makes this even more impressive is that Sandor at the time was standing next to the king, who himself was seated behind five other Kingsguards. The Hound believed that Selmy could cut through the Kingsguard and still be healthy enough to fight him.
  • Master Swordsman: Ned mentions being glad they never met in combat, as the widow's life wouldn't suit Catelyn. He cut through Sons of the Harpy like they were nothing until some finally surrounded him.
  • The McCoy: Due a heavy emphasis on honor and bravery, he becomes this to Jorah's Spock and Dany's Kirk.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe. Watch the Kingsguard freak out when he draws his sword in anger. After he had loosened his armor and removed his helmet. Made even more apparent by the fact that Jaime, a Memetic Badass in his own right, looks at the guy as an ideal to live up to.
    Jaime: He was a painter. A painter who only used red.
  • My Greatest Failure: The almost total destruction of the Targaryan dynasty under his watch drives him to seek redemption by serving Daenerys.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: As Kingsguard, he is sworn to serve the ruling king. In effect, this meant he once served the Targayens, and following their defeat, accepted a pardon from Robert Baratheon and served him loyally. Despite his misgivings about Joffrey he would have served him loyally had he not been dismissed. Later, he tells Jorah that being freed of his vows by Cersei and Joffrey actually made him want him to serve someone truly deserving. This is also the reason why he did nothing to aid Rickard and Brandon Stark when they were cruelly and unjustly executed by the Mad King, even though he considered it a horrific crime. Ned Stark, being honor-bound himself understands this and doesn't hold it against Barristan at all.
  • Nice Guy: An upstanding knight, proving polite enough to notify Jorah in advance before telling the Queen about the pardon from King Robert.
  • Odd Friendship: With Robert. Selmy is an open (as he can be) Targaryen loyalist and considers him an unworthy king at best, but still reflects fondly on their personal time together, and was truly heartbroken when he was mortally wounded in a mundane accident.
    • For his part, Robert admired Selmy's skill and sense of duty, and held no grudge against him even though Selmy slew a number of Robert's friends in an attempt to kill Robert himself during the civil war.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Barristan saves Daenerys from the warlocks, he is unarmored and unarmed other than a long knife. Jorah, in full armor, grabs and attempts to restrain Barristan. Seconds later, we see Barristan stab the scorpion with a knife, and Jorah only later recognizes him. The implication is that the elderly and unarmored Barristan easily overpowered the fully armed Jorah.
  • Old Master: His age grants him a wealth of experiences unmatched by almost anyone living.
  • Old Soldier: He's one of the oldest active soldiers, as he's a veteran of three previous wars.
  • One-Man Army: Takes on fifteen Sons of the Harpy and singlehandedly kills all except one of them before succumbing to his wounds.
  • Praetorian Guard: Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, before he is coerced into "retiring."
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the books, his identity is hidden for a while after joining Daenerys, since she's never met him before and he uses the alias Arstan Whitebeard. In the show, people who hadn't read the books would still recognize the actor, or have forgotten the character entirely so that a later reveal would have no impact, so he reveals his true identity right away.
  • Put on a Bus: In Season 2. He's dismissed by Joffrey for the thinnest of reasons.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Becomes the Blue to Jorah's Red after joining Daenerys.
  • Retired Badass: After being removed from the Kingsguard by Joffrey to elevate Jaime and make room for the Hound. Until Season 3, that is.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Cersei tries to have him retire to a nice seaside castle. He tells her where she can shove it before storming out. And no-one tries to stop him either, they're clearly too afraid to try.
  • Sixth Ranger: To Daenerys's team, and a supremely awesome one at that.
  • The Smart Guy: Of all Daenerys's loyalists, Ser Barristan has by far the closest ties to Westeros, making him extremely valuable for more than just his proficiency with violence.
  • Stab the Scorpion: His first appearance in Season 3.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In "Sons of the Harpy", he proves himself to be every bit the legendary warrior he is proclaimed to be and is able to kill over twenty enemies in less than two minutes but even the greatest swordsman who ever lived can be beaten when he is surrounded and unable to guard his back.
  • The Worf Effect: Barristan Selmy is one of the best fighters that Westeros has ever seen, being the superior of Jaime Lannister when he was younger. Despite that, Barristan is defeated by the Sons of the Harpy, merely to show how dangerous this sect is.
    • Though he died fighting unarmored and in close quarters against enemies that outnumbered him fifteen to one. Lesser fighters would have died in more favorable conditions.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Tywin Lannister in Season 4, when Tywin deliberately sends Jorah a pardon from King Robert, knowing full well Barristan will notify Jorah and Daenerys, causing a wedge between the two.
  • Worthy Opponent: When he served the Mad King, Ned Stark apparently considered him this, holding him no ill will. In the present day, they are on the same side, Ned remarks he is glad they never met in combat, as he didn't feel that "a widow's life would suit [Catelyn]." Ser Barristan reciprocates the feeling, telling him that he's too modest and that he thinks that he's also a great warrior. He also says that he's seen Ned cut down 'a dozen great knights', probably at the Trident.


"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall."

Played By: Conleth Hill

"Storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling."

A eunuch and a skilled schemer. Originally from the Free City of Lys in Essos, he is unfailingly loyal to the realm as whole, but has little respect for either King Robert or King Joffrey. He's not a Lord, yet everyone calls him one. The Master of Whisperers on the Small Council for four kings, he has to flee to Essos after aiding Tyrion to escape, which results in the murder of Tywin Lannister. He backs a Targaryen restoration and Daenerys as the best option available for Westeros.

  • Adaptational Heroism: Varys is, on the whole, a far more benign and far less sinister figure than his book counterpart:
    • There is no sign of his concern for Sansa in the books. The idea of marrying Sansa to a Tyrell comes from Olenna herself (albeit as a potential Unwitting Pawn). His "little birds" are implied to have their tongues cut out to prevent idle gossip. Here, Varys states that he Wouldn't Hurt a Child and the children who work for him are shown to have been well-treated until Qyburn turns them into the silent terrors of their book counterparts, in addition to carrying out political assassinations of key figures of the Small Council that Varys was behind in the books.
    • Varys's friendship with Tyrion in the show is actually genuine, if vitriolic. In the book, Varys only views Tyrion as a pawn in his larger schemes and his betrayal of Tyrion helps to utterly isolate the latter.
    • In the show, it's eventually revealed that he is totally loyal to Daenerys Targaryen albeit after walking a thin line between subterfuge and loyalty (until he betrays her for fully noble reasons). In the books, it's revealed that he never saw her as anything other than a Hot Consort first intended to be married off to Drogo to prep him for a potential invitation of Westeros, than as one for his true candidate, the Adapted Out "Young Griff", a perfect prince. Daenerys is a constant Spanner in the Works to his plans and his original intention was to throw both her and Viserys under the bus.
      • On top of that, in the books it is mentioned that he actively sabotaged Rhaegar's plans to usurp his insane father's power; which utterly contradicts his stated intent to protect and stabilize the realm. Which means that basically, it was his doing that set the Seven Kingdoms on their catastrophic trajectory. A fan theory says that Varys is ultimately just an agent of the Adapted Out House Blackfyre (an exiled cadet branch of House Targaryen) and his machinations only follow the goal to bring them to power. If that is truly the case, this would make his deeds (producing decades of war and strife with millions of dead just because of some dynastic squabble) particularly heinous and would basically turn the book version to the almost polar opposite of his tv counterpart.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • The changes in how the writers choose to support the mystery surrounding Aegon Targaryen had the side effect of majorly changing Varys' character motivations. Long thought dead by everyone in the tv setting, Varys is now spying of Daenerys and serving as her Mysterious Backer, with his ambition to put her onto the throne. Their alliance is rather tenuous at best though due to Daenerys not trusting Varys due to his years of spying on her. And then, when he learns that Aegon was alive all along and was Jon Stark, Varys immediatedly changes his ambition to putting Jon onto the throne.
    • Needless to say, this is considerably different from the novels, where Aegon Targaryen is (believed to be) alive and well and has actually secretly been under Varys' tutelage for years, who has been grooming him to be king. Varys' spywork on Daenerys is instead motivated by determining just how much of a threat she can be to Aegon's legitimacy and instead settles that the best solution would be if the two could have a political marraige.
  • Affably Evil: Varys is unfailingly polite and calm to everyone (except when he deploys barbed sarcasm). In general this is one of the things that set him apart from Littlefinger: Varys doesn't go out of his way to antagonize and belittle, and merely does needs to be done, while Littlefinger is a lot more petty.
  • Ambiguously Evil: He's definitely not an out and out good guy owing to his Playing Both Sides disposition and his conspiracy to enable a succession and invasion of Westeros by the Dothraki and later Daenerys. His goal, however, is to serve the greater good and he seeks to oppose Littlefinger, and likewise, he has multiple Pet the Dog moments. In Season 7, there is little doubt that he is not evil as he explains his motives and desires to Daenerys, he wants not only peace and stability but for the people not to suffer under cruel or incompetent rulers, hence his gambit to find a suitable ruler.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Several characters accuse him of being gay, although Varys eventually admits to being asexual. Not that Varys could have done much with anyone in any case, particularly since he was castrated as a child.
    Oberyn Martell: We have some lovely boys on retainer, but...You did like boys before? [Varys shakes his head] Really? Girls? Hmm. I hope you won't be offended when I say I never would have guessed.
    Varys: Not at all. But I was never interested in girls, either.
    Oberyn Martell: What then?
    Varys: Nothing.
    Oberyn Martell: Everybody is interested in something.
    Varys: Not me. When I see what desire does to people, what it's done to this country, I am very glad to have no part in it. Besides, the absence of desire leaves one free to pursue other things. [an aside but pointed glance at the Iron Throne]
  • And I Must Scream: During his castration, he was apparently given a drug to prevent him from moving, but which kept him fully conscious and all of his senses intact during the whole thing, and as a child no less. He eventually gets his revenge by torturing the sorcerer several decades later — see Best Served Cold.
  • Anti-Hero: A dark version. Unscrupulous Hero, maybe. While he is a schemer, isn't always trustworthy, and has a positively terrifying sense of vengeance, he does at least seem to be most interested in doing what is good for the realm, at least in the long run.
  • Apologetic Attacker:
    • While he pretty much sells out Tyrion at the trial, he makes no secret that he took no enjoyment from doing it.
      Tyrion: You once said that without me the city would've faced certain defeat; you said, the histories would never mention me but you would not forget. Have you forgotten, Lord Varys?
      Varys: Sadly my lord, I never forget a thing.
    • He later helps Jaime bust Tyrion out of prison. When Varys says he never forgets, he means it.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: To Ned in Season 1: "What of your daughter's life, Lord Stark? Is that a precious thing to you?"
  • Badass Boast: See his page quote.
  • Badass Bookworm: Effective because of his knowledge base rather than his fighting skills. It takes a lot of balls (so to speak} for him to carry out his plans in the way he does.
  • Benevolent Boss: According to him, his "little birds" are treated very well for their services (certainly better than Littlefinger's prostitutes). There is some truth to it, since it's shown they do miss him while working for Qyburn.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: At first glance, he is a benevolent, effeminate suck-up. The reality is quite different. It takes serious balls (so to speak) for Varys to pull off his manipulations the way he does. He traps the sorcerer who castrated him as a child in a box after stitching up his mouth, and even straight-up disagrees with Joffrey. It may sound like a small thing, but Pycelle would never have the guts, nor Littlefinger the moral standards to do such a thing.
  • Best Served Cold: After being castrated by a sorcerer and thrown out to die, he decided to do absolutely whatever it took to live, and then to gain power. After nursing his grudge for several decades, he finally gets to act on it — he has the sorcerer shipped to him with his lips sewn shut so he can take his time with the son of a bitch.
  • The Bus Came Back: Took a short but noticeable ride on the bus between the end of Season 2 and "Walk of Punishment".
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Tries to repeatedly get one up on the Red Priestesses, first Kinvara and then Melisandre. Both time he gets shut out and embarrassed by their clear displays of clairvoyance and magical prowess. He later discusses with Tyrion about being bothered by Dany's claims of destiny and great purpose, feeling that it was too messianic. Tyrion points out that it's hard to make that case against someone who walked into fire and came out with three dragons.
  • The Cassandra: A light case of this as pretty much no-one in the series takes his advice and warnings seriously and it has a habit of coming back to bite everyone in the ass
    • His warnings and attempts to advise Ned are not heeded until far too late
    • His repeated attempts to get Shae out of harm's way by either attempting to bribe her or increasingly dire warnings to Tyrion are not heeded until the literal last minute, and ultimately fail.
    • His warnings to literally everyone about how dangerous Littlefinger is have been universally ignored despite the entire War of the Five Kings, the bankruptcy of Westeros, and the death of Joffrey all being Littlefinger's doing.
    • Jaime Lannister also noted to Brienne that Varys warned Aerys not to open the doors of King's Landing to Tywin, believing quite rightly that Tywin had scented a Kingmaker Scenario and wanted to finish Aerys and King's Landing for good.
    Littlefinger: I admire your powers of persuasion, Lord Varys. You who can traffick so many secrets to so little avail.
    • His concerns about Daenerys's state of mind and behavior are later justified when Daenerys proves his fears by burning King's Landing after the city has surrendered, killing civilian men, women, and children. He voices his concerns over Daenerys's mental state to Tyrion and Jon but they disagree. However, Tyrion ends up invoking this when he realizes Varys was right:
      Tyrion: Our queen doesn't keep prisoners for long. I suppose there's a crude kind of justice. I betrayed my closest friend and watched him burn. Now Varys's ashes can tell my ashes, "See, I told you."
  • The Chessmaster: Part of his job considering he has to attempt to outwit other information brokers like Littlefinger. Deconstructed in that he (along with his collaborator Illyrio Mopatis) is responsible for Daenerys's rise to power, but that wasn't the intended result and things changed due to factors that were out of his control (and the dragons probably weren't planned either).
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A rare benevolent example. He worked for several regimes over the course of his life and has secretly worked to undermine them whenever they saw they were too oppressive or ineffective and in Season 7, he declares to Daenerys that he is is not loyal to her, or any ruler, but loyal to the people and the realm and the reason why he backs her is because he believes she is the best ruler who looks after the people's wellbeing. Daenerys tells him to just say it to her face when she starts to fail the people in his eyes, and dispense with this propensity... under punishment of death by dragonfire.
  • Composite Character: He takes Illyrio's role of welcoming Tyrion to Pentos, though they're still in Illyrio's house. Followed by replacing Griff and his entire team in escorting Tyrion to Meereen.
  • Corpsing: In-Universe.
    • Struggles or fails to keep his straight face and act several times when Tyrion mocks Joffrey.
    • During the Small Council scenes, Varys has a variety of amusing facial expressions as he reacts to what's going on. Especially when Littlefinger starts talking about his plan to wed Lysa Arryn, Varys does this excellent, bitchy "Oh my god" eye roll. Thanks to Conleth Hill's terrific acting, Varys commenting on a scene purely with his facial expressions becomes a Funny Background Event and a Running Gag.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Varys just so happens to have a map of every single possible secret route out of the Red Keep, just in case he has to make a hasty escape (or covertly spy on someone). He also keeps a human-sized crate just in case he needs to smuggle someone out or in the city.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Downplayed. Daenerys hasn't crossed the line into villain territory but Varys's actions inadvertently help push her there. When he finds Daenerys to be growing increasingly unstable and ruthless in dealing with those she considers her enemies, Varys fears for the people of the realm. After he learns the truth about Jon's heritage, Varys decides to push Jon's claim to the Iron Throne over Dany's, despite Jon's refusal, as Varys feels Jon is a more even-tempered option and would be a better ruler for the people. However, in betraying Daenerys as one of her closest advisors, Varys ultimately manifests Daenerys's very fears over Jon's claim and this plays a big part in pushing her to the brink where she later decides to go full Dragon Queen on King's Landing and just "burn them all" — the very thing Varys betrayed Dany to prevent.
  • Deadpan Snarker / Disabled Snarker:
    • Eighty percent of his conversations with Littlefinger and Tyrion are snark. Examples are his conversation with Littlefinger in the Season 1 finale, and this exchange with Tyrion:
      Tyrion: (after Joffrey has just gone into detail as to what he plans to do to Stannis) Imagine Stannis' terror.
      Varys: (flatly) I am trying.
    • And when Bronn jokingly suggests throwing books to repel Stannis's siege of the city:
      Varys: We don't have that many books.
  • Death by Irony: When he was castrated as a boy, his privates were thrown into a magical fire for a ritual. Years later, the rest of him is incinerated with dragon fire as punishment for betraying Daenerys. In addition, it was his machinations that facilitated Daenerys's rise to power in the first place (due to her becoming a major Spanner in the Works when he intended for her to be nothing more than a Hot Consort), meaning Varys was executed by the very pawn he inadvertently helped bring to power.
  • Determinator: It's portrayed with more subtlety than most examples, but this man went through absolute hell to get to the Small Council. It takes no small degree of determination to go from being an orphan on the streets of Myr to one of the most powerful men in Westeros.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Despite being a chessmaster, he has dropped the ball many times. The High Priestess Kinvara eventually calls him out on this, mocking him for being a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
    • His original plan with Illyrio was to bring Khal Drogo and his Dothraki across the Narrow Sea with Daenerys as his bride and Viserys as King, even arranging a botched assassination attempt to trigger Drogo. This backfired when Drogo died and then Dany hatched three dragons. Dany chews him out about this in Season 7, noting for all his "For the realm" talk, his plan was to replace a lazy but functional and basically competent king with someone who would have been another Aerys II, and that whatever his plans were, it certainly didn't include her.
    • He was also caught off guard by Ned Stark's execution, the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings and Joffrey's assassination. Likewise, going on the lam with Tyrion was never a real part of his plan but he eventually adapts to his situation, anyways. Indeed, most of Varys's actions since the start of the series has been improvising and surviving, since his original plan to bring Viserys over with the Dothraki hit a huge snag.
  • Dirty Business: One of the traits that set Varys apart in King's Landing is that unlike most of the other schemers (such as Tywin, Cersei, and Littlefinger), Varys seems to feel a degree of guilt for all the scheming he has to do. For example, it's plainly visible before and during Tyrion's trial that he absolutely hates what is happening, but keeps going because it's what he has to do.
  • Disability Immunity / No-Sell: As Ros discovered, it's very hard to seduce someone who has no genitals.
  • Does Not Like Magic: And has a pretty solid reason for it too, as in his experience, magic practitioners are typically associated with pain, torture, and death. Though he does make an exception for dragons, eventually.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite having orchestrated an assassination attempt on Daenerys, he seamlessly becomes part of her court in Season 6. In fact, their first meeting occurs entirely off-screen and has not yet been alluded to. Subverted in Season 7 where Daenerys question's Varys's loyalty and threatens to burn him alive if he betrays her. She does pardon him tentatively. Subverted in Season 8. Upon learning Varys has been scheming behind her back, Dany makes good on her earlier threat.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Invoked by Grand Maester Pycelle. It may or may not be true. Lampshaded by Varys himself when he asks with exasperation at the imprisoned Eddard being leery about the water he offers, "Why is it no one ever trusts the eunuch?" Varys's later behavior, however, demonstrates that he really isn't completely benevolent, and may have only been as kind to Ned as he was, because it could make him feel better about other things he'd done, and he knew it wouldn't cost him anything.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The Black Magic practiced by the Lord of Light religion disturbs him, and the thought of a follower of that religion sitting on the Iron Throne terrifies him.
    • He's visibly disturbed when Joffrey decides that he will behead Eddard Stark there and then. After all, he did do his best to help Ned when he could.
    • His opposition to Littlefinger is due in no small part to his awareness of how Littlefinger will happily watch the realm burn so long as it allows him to advance, and he is visibly disgusted by just how low Baelish will go.
    • He is visibly appalled when Joffrey announces that he plans to serve Robb Stark's severed head to Sansa at his wedding feast. Heck, not just visibly; he outright breaks his normal effete facade and insistently reminds Joffrey that Sansa is now his aunt by marriage. It isn't clear if he's appalled by how hurtful this would be to Sansa herself, or shocked that Joffrey's so bat-shit insane that he would do this in front of the entire court and not consider how bizarre this would appear to the lords of the realm (though probably both).
    • He makes no effort to hide his displeasure and disgust as Joffrey's "war of the five kings" reenactment at the royal wedding.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Dany executes him for treason, he simply says that he hopes he is wrong regarding his fears about Dany and that he still considers Tyrion to be a friend despite his betrayal. He doesn't even scream or show signs of pain when he is burned alive.
  • Fatal Flaw: His insanely high standards. Varys expects his rulers to be absolutely perfect at all times, and whenever their moral compass falters, he immediately begins the process of betraying them and finding a replacement. Daenerys wasn't having any of it.
  • Foil:
    • To Littlefinger. They're both self-made men who came from very humbly beginnings but ended up as two of the most powerful figures of the Realm, they're both expert manipulators with a Dark and Troubled Past, and they can both be charming when it's required. The key difference is that Varys fights for The Needs of the Many and Order and stability, while Littlefinger strives to create utter chaos in his pursuit of power, and ultimately fights only for himself. There's also the contrast that Littlefinger is a provider of sex, while Varys is an eunuch and an asexual.
      • The difference between the priorities of these two is captured perfectly by their reaction to Tyrion's Batman Gambit in Season 2 regarding Myrcella: Varys is able to respect Tyrion's ability to manipulate Pycelle and understands his need to root out spies, even reacting with borderline glee even though he was played. Littlefinger, meanwhile, is simply angry that he is not getting the power Tyrion promised him and is only calmed down when Tyrion tells him he'll still get what he was promised.
    • To Melisandre, whom he dislikes out of prejudice for magic. Both of them were born poor and slaves, are foreigners to Westeros, but circumstances led Melisandre to turn to magic and prophecy for help and support while Varys ended up hating magic to become a formidable Knowledge Broker. Both of them believe in serving the greater good and will do what it takes for the sake of their ideologies and as Dany reminds Varys, they are both Former Regime Personnel paying court to her.
  • Friendly Rivalry: To Tyrion. Not so much to Littlefinger, probably on account of his more jerkish attitude.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Littlefinger. This is deconstructed by the fact that Littlefinger's ambition actually scares Varys, and that their aims are completely different, as one fights for order and the other for chaos. Varys and Littlefinger do enjoy each other, as Varys himself admits, but as the game ramps up and the stakes increase their friendly bickering becomes nothing but a light veneer.
  • Groin Attack: As a young boy, he was ritualistically castrated against his will by a sorcerer. The sorcerer then burned his severed genitals on a pyre as a sacrifice. See Best Served Cold for how he settled that several decades later.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: While in his own words he isn't even close to a hero, he's one of the least malevolent members of the Small Council, and yet not a soul seems to trust or appreciate his job because of the widespread eunuch prejudice and the fact he's The Spymaster (considered "dishonorable" in the honor-obsessed society of Westeros).
  • Hypocrite: He has a hard time defending how his bid to remove Robert with Viserys III fits with his mantra about the "good of the Realm", as it would mean replacing a lazy and uninvolved ruler but one who provided peace and stability and was an improvement on the Mad King, with a cruel, stupid, and weak man.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: At one point he tells Littlefinger, "I did what I did for the good of the realm", and this phrase incidentally sums up how he justifies everything he does. His eventual friend Tyrion invokes this notion verbatim to defend Varys before Daenerys. This reasoning reaches its tragic conclusion in Season 8 when his intentions to save the city result in him trying to poison Daenerys and being executed for treason when he plots against her.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: The only non-Westerosi born member of the Royal Council (he's from one of the Free Cities), and yet he claims his primary allegiance is to the realm as a whole, as opposed to his own self-enrichment or the further the goals of a particular faction. Whether or not he's telling the truth is hard to determine.
  • In-Series Nickname: He's frequently referred to as "The Spider".
  • In the Hood: When going incognito, Varys wears a hooded cloak.
  • Informed Attribute: He's presented as a great all-knowing chessmaster and presents himself as someone interested in the general good of the realm. Yet throughout Seasons 1-4 he gets Out-Gambitted by Littlefinger (who kills his mole Ros, and murders Joffrey by working with Olenna Tyrell), by Daenerys herself who both survives his assassination attempt and births three dragons, then Tyrion kills Tywin, and finally his supposedly loyal "little birds" get subverted by Qyburn, and he somehow failed to unearth information about the drying of Tywin's goldmines.
    • Likewise his assessment of other characters is treated as true, such as his belief that Stannis would have been a bad king. Since Stannis was the only Southern King who believed in the White Walker threat, and came to the aid of the Night's Watch, something that Daenerys is quite reluctant to do, and instead of supporting Renly and/or Robb, he supports Joffrey and the Lannister regime, one can also doubt the extent to which he is invested in the common good or at least his judgment of character.
    • Upon pledging himself to Daenerys he insists that he will serve faithfully (though makes it clear that his loyalty is to the realm, not her) yet in the same scene he mentions Robert ordering an assassination on her, without mentioning that Ned Stark opposed it and that Robert regretted it and tried to rescind that order. His self-saving lie leads Dany to be belligerent in her meeting with Jon Snow and she talks down his support for Ned's memory by bringing up that Ned was okay with Robert's assassination.
  • Is That a Threat?: Varys makes coy, veiled threats to Tyrion in their first scene together, but Tyrion angrily cuts the bullshit and bluntly calls him out on it. He then threatens to throw Varys into the sea if he ever threatens him again, which Varys retorts with his page quote shown above.
  • Kill It with Fire: Executed by Daenerys via immolation by Drogon.
  • Knowledge Broker: Hence his nickname.
  • Last of His Kind: The last of the original Small Council that governed King's Landing, he defected along with Tyrion to Dany and managed to dodge Cersei's purge.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Varys's ethos in a nutshell. He wants to build a better realm that protects the common people. So he serves the royal government, if the government is not doing its best, he then decides to nurture a rebellion even if the guy in charge of that rebellion (Viserys) is plainly going to be worse than the incumbent. Somehow, after a series of events, this will create a better realm for the smallfolk.
  • The Mole: He serves in the Small Council at the Baratheon dinasty's pleasure, but he's secretly in league with a group of people who "saw Robert Baratheon for the disaster he was" and plans for a Targaryen restoration.
  • Necessarily Evil: How most people see Varys (I.e he's a dishonorable traitor, but his treachery serves a purpose), and even how he views himself from time to time.
  • The Needs of the Many: When asked where his allegiances lie, he says he serves the realm, not the ruler. This is his justification for going along with the plan to assassinate Daenerys, for trying to prevent Littlefinger from gaining even more power, and most likely his reason for selling out Tyrion despite obviously having no desire to do so.
  • Noble Demon: While evidently not 100% good (he himself snarks to Ned that he's no hero) Varys desires peace above all. He also has a distaste for violence and is appalled by the casual evil displayed by the likes of Joffrey and Littlefinger.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Every time Varys does something unapologetically good, it seems to come back to bite him in the ass. His attempts at helping Sansa probably set the wheels in motion for the Tyrell-Littlefinger alliance and his ally Tyrion's downfall and when he helps Tyrion escape King's Landing, this causes Tywin's death, and thus forces him to flee Westeros so he won't be a prime suspect.
    • While good deed might be stretching it, his "for the greater good" view eventually gets him killed as after seeing the signs of Danearys descent into madness (which later turn out to be true), his attempts to stop her by trying to get the more measured and tempered Jon on the throne results in him getting executed for treason.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Varys, as seen in "Stormborn", is a kind of fantasy take on Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, an official who claimed to be Loyal to the Position while boasting Vetinari Job Security, serving multiple administrations loyally while secretly working to undermine and/or replace it when he dislikes it. The resemblance is more in career and profile rather than biographical or visual similarity (Talleyrand was well-known sybarite while Varys is a celibate eunuch). The line he mentions to Tyrion about how he paddles along while storms come and go echoes Talleyrand's famous line "Regimes may fall and fail, but I do not". His interview with Dany in Season 7 echoes his meeting with King Louis Philippe of the July Monarchy who wondered if Talleyrand would serve him or eventually try and replace him as well.
  • Non-Action Guy: Lampshaded when Ned asks why he did nothing to help, and he says that he can't do much against multiple armed soldiers.
  • Nothing Personal: One of Varys's greatest strengths as a schemer, spymaster, politician and information broker is that he takes absolutely nothing personally.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • The assassination attempt on Daenerys that he orchestrated was bungled, and Khal Drogo EXTREMELY pissed off, pushing him to start preparing an invasion of the Seven Kingdoms. This was almost certainly his planned result however, being part of the conspiracy backing the invasion.
    • An even more obvious one is him warning Olenna Tyrell about Littlefinger's ambition and trying to set up a marriage between Sansa and Loras. In retrospect, he just gave Olenna a glowing recommendation of the one man other than them, who was ruthless enough to pull off a regicide and serve as her partner-in-crime. This led to Joffrey's assassination, so not a great loss all in all.
    • Being informed that Jon has a higher claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys and being mindful that she may not be a good ruler, he quickly moved to depose her before her. When his plotting is discovered he is quickly executed by dragonfire and his actions became one more step for Daenerys path to madness.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Everyone can't seem to go one sentence without mocking him for being a eunuch.
  • Only One Name: He's just Varys. He once contrasts himself and Shae with the highborn who have last names.
    Varys: You have one name. As do I. Here only the family name matters.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Any time Varys drops his Sissy Villain act and politely mocking tone of voice, you know it's come time to be afraid. The sorcerer is a prime example of what Varys is capable of when he gets serious.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Claims to fight for order and mostly acts in the interests of keeping the realm stable, in contrast to Littlefinger who actively causes chaos with intent to climb the social ladder as others fight around him.
  • Out of Focus: In Season 5, he is largely absent after the first three episodes due to losing track of Tyrion. He catches up with him in the finale, though.
  • Pet the Dog: As Tyrion is recovering from the attempt on his life from The Battle of Blackwater, he remarks that most people won't know his role in protecting the city, but the ones that do will always remember. It's hinted later on that this is part of the reason why he smuggles Tyrion out of the city after his conviction for Joffrey's murder.
    Varys: There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: After becoming Daenerys's Master of Whisperers in Seasons 7 and 8, Varys never once provides her with any advance intelligence or spreads any division or propaganda amongst her enemies.
  • Playing Both Sides: Varys seems to be playing absolutely everyone in his pursuit to be doing the good of the Realm. Tyrion hangs a Lampshade when he discusses his work with Daenerys suggesting that he had subtly been in charge of the assassination attempts for Robert while also undermining it at the same time.
  • Precision F-Strike: Varys very rarely swears, so it's quite jarring when he does, even if he's simply quoting someone else.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Starting Season 2.
  • Put on a Bus: Ends Season 2 by telling Tyrion he won't be around for a while, and is conspicuously absent from the first two episodes of Season 3.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A poignant, competent advisor and not a particularly wicked schemer by the standards of the Court. His vocal concern for the realm seems genuine enough.
  • Red Baron: It isn't made explicitly clear in the show, but Varys's nickname "The Spider" isn't his own idea; the other members of the court gave it to him due to his "web of information." Varys never claims or uses the nickname himself.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Varys's long, long history of playing the kingmaker and the power behind the throne, which has involved sabotaging or betraying all of his former masters when he deemed them unacceptable, finally comes back to bite him in the penultimate episode. When Daenerys learns that Varys has begun plans to depose her in the same way he's done all his other masters, she drags him down into the caves under Dragonstone and has Drogon incinerate him.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Daenerys executing him for treachery is the final catalyst for her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After arranging Tyrion's escape to Essos, he gets a listen to the city bells announcing Tywin's death and decides to hop on the boat himself, partly due to the fact that, since he knows the castle better than anyone, he's a prime suspect in Tyrion's escape.
  • Self-Made Man: Even more than Littlefinger, who was at least a minor noble. After Varys was castrated and thrown into the slums of the Free Cities, he became a pocket thief and whore. There, he learned to extract secrets from his clients. Gradually expanding his power, he eventually gained enough influence to earn him his seat in the Royal Council.
  • Sissy Villain: As with Eunuchs Are Evil, the half of the trope indicating villainy is in doubt, but the first half is blatant. Really, when everyone already knows you're a eunuch, what the devil's the point of wasting time embarrassing yourself by trying to look butch? Mostly, though, it's an act. When he gets truly angry he drops his usual polite, facetious tone and his voice becomes considerably lower, such as when he threatened Tyrion in Season 2 and Littlefinger in Season 3. An excellent example is how he speaks to Ned when trying to convince him to give a false confession and demands him to serve the realm.
  • Sole Survivor: As he implies to Tyrion in the quote above. Subverted when he's killed off in the penultimate episode.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: His main form of conversation with those he sees as worthy opponents, such as Tyrion and particularly Littlefinger.
  • Spies Are Despicable: People like Ned Stark don't like him. Other rulers tolerate him as a necessary evil but know that they can't count on him. Being eunuch and a foreigner contributes to his 0% Approval Rating. He supports Daenerys at first, but despite her warnings about what she does to traitors, tries to have her assassinated.
  • The Spymaster: He claims his "little birds" are everywhere. Justified when it turns out that he's cultivated a network of informants amongst the abundant and forever-overlooked orphans and poor children of Westeros. Subverted when the drawbacks of such a network are made manifest — namely, they have no particular loyalty to Varys.
  • Sympathy for the Hero:
    • The Starks are a traitor family and arch-enemies of the defacto rulers of the city, whom he serves. He shows covert sympathy for the Starks a number of times anyway. Book Varys provides the quote for the trope.
    • He's supportive of Tyrion in the aftermath of Blackwater and informs him about the attempt on his life and of his demotion.
      Varys: There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget.
  • Start X to Stop X:
    • Varys is loyal to the common people and feels they are oppressed and stifled and suffer for the wars of the nobles and the high lords. To help them he is willing to destabilize a government if he feels that it's not doing its job well. So what is his method of doing so, backing another King, starting a war and prepping an invasion, which will in all likelihood affect and hurt the same common people he claims to care about, and all for the sake of replacing one King for the sake of the another, and in the case of Viserys, a ruler who would have been far worse than the one currently in charge.
  • Stealth Expert: It has been remarked that Varys has a nearly supernatural ability to sneak in and out of any place both inside and outside of the Red KeepIn the books 
  • Undying Loyalty: At least that's how he puts it, describing what appears to be an extreme Chronic Backstabbing Disorder as being constantly loyal to the regular people who will suffer because of the high-ranking person he's just turned against.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Varys's actions have probably done more to bring Westeros and Essos to its doom than even Littlefinger's witting instigation of chaos:
    • His insistence on selling Dany to Khal Drogo started a series of Disaster Dominoes that led to the cooling of the friendship between Ned and Robert; the assassination attempt on Dany led to Khal Drogo and his khalasar murdering the Lhazareen; this leads to Drogo's death, which splits apart the Dothraki into warring factions; and to Dany hatching her dragon eggs in Drogo's funeral pyre, which leads to the birth of her three dragons.
    • His decision to support the Lannister regime in Season 2, just to prevent Stannis and Melisandre from taking over, leads the corrupt Lannister regime to assert its dominance, as a result of which Westeros becomes a chaotic despotic regime ruled by Cersei Lannister who plunders, robs, and murders her supports creating a regime where the likes of Euron Greyjoy and the corrupt Iron Bank are in charge. Likewise, by hampering Stannis' campaign, he damaged the only candidate of Westeros who could have peacefully resolved the War of the 5 Kings and rallied Westeros for defense in the Long Night, since Stannis' attempt to aid the Night's Watch and rescue the North from the Boltons collapsed because of a lack of support, and Jon Snow is meaningfully hampered in trying to pick up where Stannis left. Much of this could have been avoided had it not been for Varys.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Whatever he does, is for the good of the realm. Whether that means supporting and funding the exiled lunatic Prince Viserys Targaryen, selling his sister Dany to the Dothraki, and arranging a Dothraki invasion into Westeros and even sending an assassin to kill Dany to trigger an international incident, it's all for the good of the realm, eventually.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Varys goes out of his way to aid Tyrion and is clear he has a personal liking to the man, despite often dressing his help simply as part of his greater love for the Realm. They eventually flee together to Essos, where they share a lot of time laying low. Regardless of the circumstances, they enjoy the competence of the other and will amicably bicker at every chance.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While Varys can and will switch sides if it suits him and is willing to commit some pretty ambiguous acts, in the long run, Varys is doing it all for the sake of the Realm. He might even be one of the most genuinely well-intentioned characters in the show since he takes the little people into consideration. Though his methods and goals for doing so lack imagination.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Gives one to Ned Stark after Robert's death, asking him what on earth possessed him to flat-out confront Cersei after piecing together her secret.
    • Finds himself on the receiving end courtesy of Tyrion at the latter's trial (see Apologetic Accuser).
    • Extensively called out by Daenerys on this during Season 7, regarding his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Wild Card: Averted. Varys has definite goals in mind that he does not sway from, but must play the role to keep his enemies guessing.
    Varys: My role is to be sly, obsequious and without scruples. I'm a good actor, My Lord. As I said, I'm no hero.


"There are no masters in the grave, Your Grace."

Played By: Nathalie Emmanuel

"I remember when they rowed us away from shore. How white the beaches were, how tall the trees. And I remember my village burning, smoke rising into the sky."

Formerly a slave owned by Kraznys mo Nakloz whom he used as a translator, now with Daenerys as of "Walk of Punishment". Dany technically freed her after asking for and accepting her as a gift from Kraznys, but Missandei continues to serve her as a scribe, linguist and handmaiden.

  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Missandei and Grey Worm have no interaction in the books despite being on the same side, with the former being a very young girl and the latter a soldier. The show gives Missandei an Age Lift to a young adult and makes Grey Worm her love interest.
  • Age Lift: In the books, Missandei is around ten years old. Nathalie Emmanuel is in her early twenties.
  • Animal Motifs: During the opening credits, in place of a House sigil next to Nathalie Emmanuel's name is a butterfly, which are native to Missandei's home island of Naath. Considering her execution by Gregor Clegane's hand, it may represent the fragility of life and innocence.
  • Any Last Words?: Cersei mockingly asks her if she has any of these just before having Gregor execute her. Turns out Missandei does: "Dracarys."
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: Her slave dresses in Season 3 have Navel-Deep Neckline showing off much of her midriff, adn so do many of her outfits in Seasons 5 and 6, though in a more modest manner.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: Very beautiful and has been a slave since childhood.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: She publicly goes along with Tyrion's peace plan with the Masters, saving her objections for when they're in council.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Missandei is well-endowed. Davos lampshades this in Season 7, saying that she also (the other one being Dany) has "a big heart".
  • Cleavage Window: Her slave dresses include this, combined with Navel-Deep Neckline, which she promptly ditches after entering Daenerys's service.
  • The Comically Serious: Her and Grey Worm's interactions with Tyrion in Season 6 amount to this. He spends the majority of the season trying to get them to make a joke.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: All that Tactful Translation turns out to be unnecessary after all. It does however likely save Missandei's life since it shows Daenerys that the girl has brains and cunning.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: She hardly bats an eye at Kraznys cutting off the nipple of an Unsullied in order to make a point.
  • The Confidant: For Daenerys; not as someone she confesses secrets to, but as someone Daenerys can act herself around instead of alway keeping a Tough Leader Façade, with Daenerys braiding her hair or engaging in girly gossip.
  • Cunning Linguist: Missandei speaks fluent Common Tongue as well as High Valyrian and Dothraki. In "Second Sons", it is revealed she speaks 19 languages...all very well.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • In "Second Sons", Daario Naharis grabs her in Daenerys's tent and holds a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her if Daenerys screams. Luckily for Missandei, Daario has actually come to pledge his allegiance to Daenerys and swiftly releases her at Daenerys's command.
    • In "Mother's Mercy", she is cornered by a Son of the Harpy in Daznak's Pit, the guards being preoccupied with protecting Daenerys; fortunately, she is rescued by Tyrion.
    • In "The Last of the Starks", she is taken captive by Euron Greyjoy during the Battle of Dragonstone and delivered to Cersei Lannister. This time she isn't so lucky and is beheaded by the Mountain.
  • Defiant to the End: After being told to speak her last words, she simply replies with "Dracarys!"
  • Demoted to Extra: She has less of a presence in Season 5, particularly the latter half.
  • Dislikes the New Guy: Her actress revealed that Missandei has some distrust for Tyrion because of his foreign background. She's unimpressed with Tyrion as she thinks he's a drunk and doesn't approve of him, but she is grateful that he saved her life. Over time, the trope becomes subverted when Tyrion proves his loyalty to Daenerys, as well as appreciating his attempts to get her to relax.
  • Dress Hits Floor: When she seduces Grey Worm in Season 7.
  • Dying Curse: Her final words on the city walls of King's Landing is "Dracarys", the war cry that triggers the dragonflames. Daenerys and Grey Worm, who hear this, more than fulfill her wrath on the city of King's Landing the following day.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After becoming Daenerys's handmaiden. As a slave, her hair is tied back tightly, but after being freed she wears it loose, symbolising her newfound freedom. She also starts wearing a thin braid during her travels with Daenerys to keep her hair back.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • When she and Daenerys find themselves surrounded by Sons of the Harpy, Missandei stands at her side and calmly takes her hand. Fortunately, they're saved by the timely arrival of Drogon.
    • When Cersei offers her the chance for last words before her execution, she calmly looks to Dany, says "dracarys" and remains calm as Ser Gregor decapitates her.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Not as obvious as some examples, but her slave outfit does show off her legs and cleavage. Given her job, it would make sense that she would be dressed as sexy as possible to cause Distracted by the Sexy in Kraznys's clients. Once she joins Daenerys this changes.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: When she sees Grey Worm peeping at her, she does this... after letting him have a long look.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Not yet anyway. She never drank before, so when Tyrion introduces her to wine she can't seem to stop, sipping away every few seconds and getting more and more giddy by the minute. It's unknown whether she'll become, say, Tyrion's drinking buddy as it happened near the end of Season 6. We will never know what she would've become now that she's dead.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: She is visibly Daenerys's best friend, and they have a bond that is more than master and servant, with them discussing their love lives and other issues more intimately and with much more candour and fewer regal airs than Dany displays to anyone else.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Seems to be a much more competent negotiator than her master, though she occasionally has trouble translating around her master's crudities. She also becomes Dany's most trusted friend and confidant, and likewise was far more astute and politically sensitive than even Tyrion gave her credit for in his time as Hand of Meereen.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Doesn't appear in the series until Season 3.
  • Kill the Cutie: Sweet, clever Missandei is beheaded on Cersei's orders out of sheer spite. Daenerys is both heartbroken and incensed, and looks ready to burn King's Landing down to avenge her death.
  • Long Last Look: Missandei's only memory of her home is the view of her burning village as the boat she was on sailed away.
  • Morality Chain: To Daenerys as it turns out. Exactly one episode after Missandei is killed, Daenerys dives right off the slippery slope partly to avenge her. And also to Grey Worm, who refuses to allow his enemies to surrender after her death, and leads the Dothraki, Unsullied, and Northmen on a spree butchering King's Landing.
    • This is especially true for Grey Worm since both were in love with each other and her death drove Grey Worm to become a cold, hard soldier once again, only this time, filled with rage at the world, willing to cut down anyone in his way, innocent or not.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Has a very flattering wardrobe and two nude scenes, both in the presence of Grey Worm.
  • Nice Girl: She's one of the kindest and most gentle characters in Daenerys's plotline (and the show in general). She is always polite, even to people she doesn't necessarily like or trust, often shows compassion to others (particularly fellow slaves) and becomes a loyal and supportive friend to Daenerys.
  • Number Two: Seems to be shaping up to be this for Daenerys — Daario even says Dany trusts no one more than she trusts Missandei.
  • Off with Her Head!: She's captured by Cersei, who has Gregor cut her head off when Dany refuses to surrender, making her the only woman in the series to die by beheading.
  • Omniglot: She says she knows an astounding nineteen languages and is shown to be fluent in the Common Tongue, High Valyrian, Low Valyrian and Dothraki; she even has a bit of knowledge of the functionally dead Ghiscari language. This comes in very handy for translations.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 5.
  • Retirony: Inverted and Double Subverted. Before the Battle of Fire and Ice, Grey Worm promises to take her to the beaches of Naath after they leave Winterfell, but Missandei doesn't actually participate in the fighting, which would naturally lead audiences to expect that Grey Worm won't survive the ensuing battle. He does, but in the next episode after their reunion, she's captured by Cersei, who has the Mountain execute her.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Her death becomes one of the catalysts to Daenerys's Sanity Slippage.
  • The Savage South: Utterly averted. Missandei is one of the only speaking characters in the TV series that is actually from the third continent, Sothoryos (well, Naath, a large island off the coast) — which is the analogue to Africa in their fantasy world. One or two other characters in the TV version are from the Summer Islands, farther to the west, but it doesn't really come into the plot much. Nonetheless, Missandei is a very gentle and kind person, intelligent, and an excellent translator, knowing nineteen languages. Later, Missandei describes Naathi culture to Jon Snow and Davos, noting how the concept of illegitimate children and segregation of children from society based on their issue was utterly alien to their values, which touches both Jon Snow and Davos.From the books... .
  • Sexy Secretary: She's essentially Daenerys's secretary and is a good-looking woman to boot.
  • Ship Tease: With Grey Worm from Season 4 onwards. It eventually ascends to an actual relationship.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Missandei starts out wearing rather revealing outfits with a Slave Collar. After being freed by Daenerys, she ditches the collar and starts dressing more modestly, also emulating her queen's manner of dress in solidarity with her.
  • Slave Collar: Part of her outfit, which she loses when she is given to Daenerys. It's revealed in Season 8 that she kept it with her all these years, presumably to remind herself of her freedom. It ends up becoming a Tragic Keepsake to Dany and Grey Worm after Missandei's death, which ends up destroyed when Grey Worm tosses it into the fire, since they can't bear the reminder of what both parties have lost.
  • So Happy Together: In "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", before the big battle against the White Walkers, she and Grey Worm talk about returning to Naath — which Missandei hasn't seen she was forcibly taken from there as a child — and living a happy and peaceful life together once Daenerys takes the throne. Missandei survives "The Long Night" but in the next episode, she's captured and killed by the Lannisters while Grey Worm watches.
  • Stripperific: Another thing that's changed since joining Daenerys; she now dresses much more modestly.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the late Irri.note 
  • Tactful Translation: Missandei supplies these for her master, Kraznys, in his dealings with Dany, wherein she translates around his constant crude insults of Dany.
    • Happens again when she struggles to describe Tyrion in Valyrian to Grey Worm in a respectful manner, eventually settling on "short one." Tyrion immediately interjects (in Valyrian, no less) that he believes the proper term is "dwarf".
  • Technician Versus Performer: In terms of her linguistic skills, she and Dany have this dynamic. The latter, being naturally quite boastful and self-absorbed (albeit endearingly so to Missandei), is quite proud of her mastery of Dothraki, Valyrian, and Common Tongue, but Missandei has a better technical grasp of those languages (since it is after all her main skillset). As such, she latches on to linguistic subtleties like the gender-neutral nature of Valyrian which Dany missed since she mostly uses the language to communicate without attention to grammatical exactitude.
  • Third-Person Person: Like all slaves, she refers to herself as "this one" — at least until Daenerys frees her, and she rediscovers her first-person pronouns.
  • Token Minority Couple: With Grey Worm.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She is a genuinely kind and loyal person, who dreams of returning to her home of Naath with her boyfriend after helping her beloved queen claim the Iron Throne. This being Game of Thrones, she doesn't get a happy ending and is killed by Ser Gregor on Cersei's order purely to spite Daenerys.
  • Tragic Bromance: She and Daenerys developed a close friendship over the course of their travels together. So close, in fact, that Missandei's murder helps fuel Daenerys' descent into madness and she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the next episode.
  • True Blue Femininity: She picked it up from Daenerys. Indeed, in "The First of His Name", Missandei and Daenerys wear the exact same gowns, in blue and white, respectively.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Daenerys. After she frees her, she willingly remains in her service despite the risks and is never far from her side. When the Sons of the Harpy attack the arena, Missandei even attempts to shield Daenerys from the danger and she gets annoyed at Sansa for indirectly insulting her chosen queen. While she makes it clear that she doesn't want to stay in Westeros forever, she will only leave after helping Daenerys take the Iron Throne and her last words when facing execution are a show of allegiance to Dany and defiance towards Cersei.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: In the books, she is Mossador's sister.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If not outright Nice Job Breaking It, Hero in Season 8. Upon being captured and executed by Cersei, her final words to Daenerys are a defiant "Dracarys!" Unfortunately, in the next episode Dany takes this way overboard, razing King's Landing with dragonfire even after the Lannister forces surrender.
  • Watching Troy Burn: She recalls how she watched her village burn when her captors took her away from Naath.


""Mercy", "fair trial", these mean nothing to them! All they understand is blood!"

Played By: Reece Noi

A slave from Meereen who was one of the first to rebel against the Great Masters, and later became an adviser to Daenerys Targaryen herself.

  • Adaptational Job Change: In the books, he's an Unsullied, but in the show he's one of Daenerys's advisers.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He pleads for mercy at his execution.
  • Ascended Extra: Formerly, a face in the crowd with one or two lines, now he's on the Queen's Small Council.
  • Composite Character: He has no real equivalent in the book. However, his name, comes from one of Missandei's brothers who was made into Unsullied. His advocacy of violence to fight the Sons of the Harpy seems to stem from Skahaz mo Kandaq, the Shavepate, while his status as a prominent freedman is reminiscent of Symon Stripeback and Rylona Rhee.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's very eager to punish the Great Masters for the life of slavery he lived.
  • In Name Only: He bears little resemblance to his book counterpart. In the books, Mossador is an Unsullied from Astapor and Missandei's brother, who died when the Sons of the Harpy crushed him with stones. In the show, he's a former slave from Meereen who becomes one of Daenerys's advisers, but is executed for the extrajudicial killing of a member of the Sons of the Harpy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He takes it upon himself to slaughter one of the Sons of the Harpy after Daenerys resolves to give him a fair trial, and claims to have done so as a favor to her, clearly expecting to be praised for his efforts. This forces Daenerys into a Sadistic Choice between either abusing her power, or making a deep political and personal sacrifice. The end result; Daenerys loses a huge chunk of her loyal supporters, a massive riot breaks out, and Mossador loses his head.
  • Off with His Head!: Dany has him executed by beheading, which is carried out by Daario.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He kills an imprisoned member of the Sons of the Harpy, despite the possible ramifications for both Dany's rule and himself.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: In the books, he is Missandei's brother.

The Dragons

    The Dragons
Left to right: Drogon, Rhaegal, Viserion.

"They're dragons, Khaleesi. They will never be tamed, not even by their mother."
Jorah Mormont

Three dragons, perhaps the only ones currently alive, hatched by Daenerys. See each of their specific entries for the particular dragons, and the below for the whole bunch.

  • Adaptational Wimp: The dragons are greatly reduced in durability from their depictions in the books. According to history, once a dragon is full-grown, their scales are hard enough that their only vulnerability is their eyes, but in the show they seem to have more of a leathery hide. Viserion is killed by the Night King's ice spear, Drogon is injured when he's swarmed by multiple wights with conventional weapons, and Rhaegal is killed by multiple scorpion bolts as he approaches Dragonstone. (One of the dragons used in Aegon's conquest died due to a scorpion as well, but it was a one-in-a-million shot that hit its eye, and thousands of soldiers had already died trying to kill it).
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Averted. See Ser Jorah's quote above. At first, they generally obey Daenerys and are less threatening to those she's close to, but Seasons 4 and 5 demonstrate that they are very fierce and aren't truly under her control. This is later Played With Season 6 onward; all three dragons have obeyed Daenerys's orders without question or fuss.
  • All There in the Manual: Their names: Drogon (black and red), Rhaegal (green and bronze), and Viserion (white and gold).
    • The names of all three dragons are finally stated on-screen in the Season 5 premiere. Drogon was also first referred to by name in the Season 4 finale. Still, they went three years without ever referring to them by name.
  • Anyone Can Die: Viserion gets killed by the Night's King in the penultimate episode of Season 7. Rhaegal dies in Season 8 Episode 4.
  • Badass Adorable: Cute when little, and graduating to badass by the end of Season 2. The become less and less adorable as they grow big and unruly and Drogon kills a 3-year old girl. No longer the case by Season 6, when they are beasts big enough to blot out the sun.
  • Big Brother Instinct: They clearly love each other like the brothers they are. After being unshackled by Tyrion in Season 6, the first thing Viserion and Rhaegal do is cuddle together. When Viserion is fatally wounded, Rhaegal desperately attempts a Diving Save, and both he and Drogon are audibly distressed and are later heard mourning him with the draconic equivalent of a Death Wail.
  • Breath Weapon: Fiery breath.
  • Co-Dragons: Both figuratively and literally; they all serve as Daenerys's main muscle against her enemies. Armies and political dissent are child's play to them, and they simply torch and/or eat anyone who displeases their mother.
  • Dead Guy Junior: All of them are named after people that Dany loved and knew.
  • The Dreaded: They effortlessly strike fear into the hearts of Daenerys's enemies, especially Drogon, the largest and most aggressive of the three.
  • Dwindling Party: In Season 7, Viserion is slain and then resurrected by the Night King. In Season 8, Rhaegal is abruptly shot down by Euron, leaving Drogon as the only surviving dragon by the series' closure.
  • Extremely Protective Child: They will snap at anyone who so much as insults their "mother".
  • Giant Flyer: Especially Drogon — by Season 5, all three dragons are big, but Drogon is enormous.
  • Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: Are the size of kittens when they hatch at the end of Season 1, but as of Season 7 Drogon has grown bigger than a jumbo jet. His two brothers are smaller, but nonetheless still huge compared to their little baby selves.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The older and larger they get, the more aggressive they become. When trying to break up a fight between the three over the carcass of a sheep, Drogon whirls round and warningly snarls at Daenerys not to interfere, before taking the carcass. Jorah points out to her afterwards that at the end of the day, they are still animals, and the wilder aspects of their nature can never truly be tamed.
  • It Can Think: Tyrion suggests that the dragons are more intelligent than simple beasts, and goes down to talk to them. It's not clear if they understand what Tyrion says but they don't hurt him, and Rhaegal calmly offers his neck to Tyrion after he removes Viserion's collar. They also don't hurt Missandei, as she's a friend of their mother. Martin has compared the dragons' intelligence and attitude to cats, saying that they might choose to do what someone is asking of them, but it will be for their own reasons.
  • Last Episode, New Character: They're officially introduced in the Season 1 finale after Dany successfully hatches their eggs in the funeral pyre.
  • The Magic Comes Back: As Pyat Pree puts it, there's a correlation. The moment the dragons were born, his magic was born again.
  • Mascot: To Team Daenerys, given that they are the Animal Motif of her noble house.
  • Non Human Sidekicks: To Daenerys.
  • Not So Extinct: Played with. Initially, they were extinct; then, they were revived by Blood Magic.
  • One Hit Poly Kill: If you're in the path of their fire, you're good as dead. If you're lucky, you'll simply be reduced to ashes. If you're unlucky, you'll live long enough to feel it and die screaming.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They have high animal intelligence), fire-breathing, egg-laying wyverns who don't talk, with the main pecularity being that they are a hermaphroditic One-Gender Race. They also have a strong link to magic (though the cause-effect relationship is still unclear). Given enough food and space they grow continuously with most able to carry human riders and some large enough to "swallow a horse whole." They also possess a strong imprinting instinct and eat only cooked meat. They are the Westeros' version of nuclear weapons, as they are essentially weapons of mass destruction and one who controls the dragons can/will control the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Parrot Pet Position: In Season 2, before they grow substantially.
  • Pet Monstrosity: To some. Daenerys and her khalasar seem to love them, though.
  • Playing with Fire: All of them breathe fire.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Sort of. The fact that Daenerys named one of her dragons after Viserys shows that, despite his cruelty, she still loved him (even after he threatened her unborn son), and probably even sympathized with him. Less ambiguously, she named Drogon after her husband Drogo, and Rhaegal after her older brother Rhaegar.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Adorable as little babies, though not so much once they're a hundred times bigger.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: At first. As of Season 3, Drogon is closer to the size of a medium-to-large dog. Later on, he becomes large enough to be ridden.
  • To Serve Man: As befits their reputation of eating only "cooked meat", Drogon has killed and charred a three-year old girl, and Daenerys seems to have taken towards feeding the grounded Viserion and Rhaegal with Meereen's rebellious Masters.
  • Theme Naming: Each of the dragons are named after a deceased relative of Daenerys — Drogon is her dead husband Drogo; Rhaegal is her brother, "The Last Dragon" Rhaegar; and Viserion is her other brother Viserys.
  • Those Two Guys: Viserion and Rhaegal are rarely seen apart and given very little in the way of focus, contrasting with Drogon.


"He came from the sky. The black one. The winged shadow."

The largest of Daenerys's dragons, named after her dear departed husband, Khal Drogo. The most dominant dragon and the one with the highest kill count of the three. He serves as his "mother's" personal mount.

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the books, he goes to Daznak's Pit because he's attracted by the smell of blood and causes mayhem, before Daenerys whips him into submission. In the show, he arrives just in time to save her from an attack by the Sons of the Harpy.
  • Baritone of Strength: Drogon's roar is notably a lot deeper than his brothers, and he's also the strongest of them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After getting caught in an ambush, orchestrated by the Sons of the Harpy, Daenerys (alongside her allies) finds herself surrounded by enemies and it looking like only a matter of time before they overwhelm them. Cue the arrival of a very angry Drogon on the scene to even the odds. Most of the attackers wisely flee at the sight of him. The rest are not so lucky.
  • The Big Guy: As noted above, he's the largest dragon out of the three.
  • Cuddle Bug: When he was younger and smaller, he was easily the most affectionate out of Daenerys's three dragons, often seen seeking his mother's affection and being caressed by her.
  • Dark Is Evil: He's the dragon with black and red skin, and is also the most aggressive of the three. Subverted, in that he serves the heroic-leaning Daenerys Targaryen. Played straight when Daenerys descends into madness, turning into his "mother's" weapon of destruction and burning everything around him in King's Landing, innocents and enemies alike.
    • Somewhat subverted when he mourns over his mother's body and melts the Iron Throne until it is nothing but a puddle of molten slag.
  • Death from Above: Of course — he's a dragon. For a specific example, Drogon drops out of the sky in Daenerys's darkest hour (surrounded by Sons of the Harpy at the Great Games) and immediately starts laying waste to her enemies.
    • Takes on a very dark and chilling meaning when Daenerys uses Drogon to torch King's Landing to the ground, including every person caught in the midst be it enemy soldiers or civilians. Drogon can repeatedly be seen flying upwards then swooping down again to release more hell on the capital. In a particular shot, his massive silhouette can be seen moving over the buildings below, ominously announcing what happens next.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: He's shown as vulnerable to this when the Sons of the Harpy chuck spears at him. He's still more than capable of flying and taking on dozens of them, but he's clearly hurt and would not be able to do it forever. Of course that was at the end of Season 5, he's since grown bigger and his hide is much tougher.
    • Happens again during the Battle of Winterfell, where attempting to land causes him to get swarmed by Wights that relentlessly stab and slash at him with mundane weapons. Drogon is forced to fly off without Daenerys in order to shake them off and save himself.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Drogon becomes more unruly as he grows bigger, being more aggressive and disobedient toward his mother and flying away whenever he so pleases. Which means he's basically a typical teenager, only with scales and wings. He soon grows out of this as he becomes an adult and obeys Daenerys without fuss.
    • His initial disobedience toward Daenerys and tendency to sleep on her has also drawn comparisons to Charizard. Like Charizard, Drogon eventually respects and regains love towards their master/"mother" and obeys their every command again.
  • The Dragon: Both figuratively and LITERALLY; Drogon serves as Daenerys's main muscle and enforcer against her enemies. Armies and political dissent are child's play compared to Drogon, who simply torches and/or eats anyone who displeases his "mother". The battle against the Lannister/Tarly army turns into a joke as soon as he shows up, as well as the siege on King's Landing. Anyone who disagrees about bending the knee to Daenerys quickly do so once Drogon roars at them. Anyone stupid enough to continue disobeying her, or worse, commit treason against her, ends up being roasted alive by Drogon, as Sam's father and brother find out the hard way. Varys meets the same fate.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Subverted. He arrives in the throne room after Jon assassinates Dany to save Westeros and finds Dany in a grieving Jon's arms — but Drogon does not kill Jon in retaliation for his mother. Instead, he destroys the Iron Throne and takes Dany's corpse with him to parts unknown.
  • Due to the Dead: In the final episode, he picks up Daenerys' body and flies off with it to places unknown.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Drogon loves his Mommy. Getting between him and Daenerys, or threatening her, is not a good idea. A Son of the Harpy who tries to attack is torn into pieces by Drogon, Jaime Lannister nearly got charbroiled when he tried to charge at Dany and Drogon, still injured from a ballista bolt, immediately turned to roast him. When she's killed and Drogon finds her corpse, he sadly nudges her a few times as if to say "Mom, please get up" before letting out a heartbroken roar.
  • Fantastic Nuke: His participation in the assault against the Lannister/Tarly army finally demonstrates how utterly devastating a mature dragon can be on the field of battle. His extremely destructive and searingly hot fire breath immolates entire squads of soldiers at once and in rapid succession, takes out all the Lannister/Tarly supply carriages like they're toys and quickly turns the battlefield into an unrelenting sea of flames. Minus Qyburn's scorpion ballista, which Bronn uses to wound Drogon, nothing the Lannister/Tarly army throws at him hinders the dragon in the slightest. Even in the ballista's case, Drogon manages to regain his composure, immolates the ballista and destroys it with a single swipe of his tail for good measure. The siege of King's Landing in the penultimate episode ups Drogon's ferocity and competence to near broken levels; he destroys all of Euron's fleet, the Golden Company and all of the dragon killing ballistas stationed around the city by himself, dodging any bolt sent his way, despite his large size. Daenerys then commands Drogon to level ALL of King's Landing, and the dragon proceeds to do just that...
  • Generation Xerox: Drogon's features and temperament towards burning people in battle recalls the historical actions of Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon the Conqueror's own dragon.From the books... . In the Grand Finale, Drogon destroys the Iron Throne, which Balerion had helped forge.
  • Gunship Rescue: The closest equivalent Game of Thrones has to this trope. The first one happens in the pits of Meereen where he spontaneously saves Daenerys from the Sons of the Harpy in Season 5. Then Daenerys uses him and his two brothers to save Jon Snow's party from the Night's King's army of wights in Season 7.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Upon realizing Daenerys is dead, he begins screaming and roaring before torching the Iron Throne.
  • Incoming Ham: He's a dragon, so being big and bombastic is just in his nature. He never fails to announce his presence with a mighty roar before appearing.
  • Invincible Villain: Due to Daenerys fully giving into her madness, Drogon also ends up becoming a villain by association. In the final episodes of Season 8, Drogon has repeatedly demonstrated that nothing in the show can stand up to his might, save for the Night King himself, another dragon, and ballistas. With all those factors gone, Drogon cannot be stopped by anything, leaving Daenerys's rule uncontested, since no army alive can kill or stand up to the damn thing.
  • It Can Think: Dragons are said to be intelligent and Drogon proves them right. After witnessing his brother Viserion being shot down by the Night's King via a well-aimed ice spear, when Drogon takes off and the Night's King throws a spear at him, Drogon quickly jerks to the left to avoid being hit and the lance sails harmlessly past his shoulder. Note, he did this after the Night's King already threw the spear at him, showing Drogon was intelligent enough to guess where the projectile would go and moving quickly enough to avoid it.
    • After Daenerys' assassination by Jon Snow, Drogon arrives and rather than obliterating Jon with his breath, he aims it at the iron throne - the very thing Daenerys has lost her life trying to achieve and as far as he could have known allowed tyrants to reign. It implies a rather impressive amount of understanding in many fields on his part.
  • I Want My Mommy!: A 2013 commercial for HBO Go shows Drogon as a baby wandering around the streets of New York, looking for his mother.
  • Large and in Charge: Is the most aggressive of the three dragons and notably bullied his two smaller siblings over food. He already has a growth spurt by Season 4 compared to his siblings, but gets MUCH bigger comparatively as the other two were kept locked up (and thus didn't grow as much).
  • Last of His Kind: By the end of the series, he is the last living dragon.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As big and great as he is, this Dragon has very quick and sharp reflexes. Even when Dany was a sitting duck and hadn't fully removed the ballista bolt, Drogon quickly swivels his neck and lights up his throat to burn down Jaime. Drogon single-handedly destroys Cersei's armies and weapons (Euron's Fleet, the Golden Company and all the ballistas), with Daenerys's army merely picking off the leftovers.
  • Made of Iron: By Season 5, his hide is tough enough to take several piercings by spears and still take flight. Arrows and crossbow bolts pose no threat to him now. Even a single hit from Qyburn's scorpion weapon in his side won't be enough to put him out of action since he's still powerful enough to land safely, rev up his flames, and still be a deadly terror on the ground.
  • Mascot: In extension to being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad, if the show will use a dragon in promotional materials, it's either him alone or all three of them with him front and center.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Although an intelligent creature perfectly capable of thinking for himself he's fiercely loyal to Daenerys and by Season 6 nearly always obeys her wishes. When she rides him into battle he aims his lethal fire breath at whatever target she desires to eradicate. When Daenerys loses herself and decides to burn King's Landing to the ground, civilians included, he goes along with her without offering a shred of resistance.
  • The Nose Knows: Drogon catches an interesting scent from Jon and subsequently allows him to pet him, strongly implying he can smell his Targaryen blood. Though the bond may run deeper than just scent alone.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He suddenly becomes docile after confronting Jon, allowing the King in the North to stroke his head in a surprisingly tender moment. Daenerys is visibly stunned by this. He has never let anyone but her that close before now.
  • Parental Favoritism: It's pretty clear that he is Dany's favorite dragon. Given that he's her personal mount, crucial enforcer and main engine of destruction against even the most powerful armies, no wonder he's her favorite.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: By the time Drogon matures he's become a massive bioweapon, possessing a highly destructive fire breath that can easily immolate and destroy an entire ship in seconds, all the while the dragon itself is surprisingly fast and agile for its size and difficult to kill due to his naturally tough hide and scales. Daenerys uses his potential for utter carnage to great effect when fighting the Slaver's armada who came to retake Meereen, the Lannister army following their sacking of Highgarden and when single-handedly sinking Euron's Iron Fleet, wiping out the Golden Company and annihilating every single Scorpion Ballista on King's Landing's walls before going to town on the city itself, including its entire population and the Red Keep. What's left of the capital by the time Drogon is done is no more than a collection of burning ruins.
  • Please Wake Up: Drogon gently nudges Daenerys' body after she is fatally stabbed by Jon Snow.
  • Punny Name: Drogon almost sounds like dragon. Borders on A Dog Named "Dog".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • After killing a child, he disappears, briefly returning to share a moment with Dany before next being seen at Valyria.
    • After being speared by several Sons of the Harpy, he flees with Daenerys on his back.
    • Forced to do this once he lands during the Battle of Winterfell and gets swarmed by Wights as a result.
    • He and Daenerys ultimately flee when charging Euron's fleet is met with a volley of Scorpion bolts, the same that killed Rhaegal only moments ago.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Hogs the spotlight from Rhaegal and Viserion.
  • Stronger with Age: At the end of Season 5, Drogon is incredibly tough but vulnerable. Come Season 7, he's grown bigger, and his hide thicker and arrows bounce of his belly and a ballista bolt in a non-vital part, harsh as it is, won't stop him from making a controlled descent and landing or hamper his movement on the ground. As of Season 8, he's so fast and powerful that in the penultimate episode, he can wipe out an entire sea fleet, destroy a city's worth of ballistas, wipe out the Golden Company and level all of King's Landing to the ground, by himself.
  • Superior Successor: If one takes him as the successor to his namesake, Khal Drogo, he realizes the latter's unfulfilled promise of leading the Dothraki horde west across the "poison water" (the Narrow Sea) to "kill the [Westerosi men] in their iron suits". It is yet to be established if he can actually surpass his supposed ancestor and spitting-image, Balerion the Black Dread, but his performance at the battle with the Lannister-Tarly forces shows he has the potential (setting fire to a combined army on his own — while Aegon I, Visenya, and Rhaenys had to do it with all three of their dragons).
  • Undying Loyalty: Shows this as a babe and child, starts to rebel against his "mother" as a teenager, but ultimately settles on full obedience when he becomes an adult. Season 6 and onward, Drogon has become a living breathing monster that enforces his "mother's" will on the world, no matter how heinous, as the penultimate episode demonstrates.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Drogon has a temper as fierce as his fire and he's very angry most of the time.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Started out as an adorable kitten-sized baby, and is now a powerful engine of destruction the size of a jumbo jet.
  • Walking the Earth: Last seen heading east with Daenerys's body. Bronn hopes he goes as far away as possible. King Bran suggests that he may be able to read the dragon's future and find him, for what purpose is left ambiguous.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Drogon burns and half-consumes a toddler, prompting Dany to tearfully lock up her dragons for Meereen's protection. The siege on King's Landing has him burn countless children and babies.


Click here for spoiler for the end of Season 7 

One of Daenerys's dragons, named after her late brother, Viserys.

  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: He is named after Viserys, who was executed by having molten gold dumped on his white head, and his colouration is, you guessed it, white and gold.
  • Bloody Horror: After being hit by the Night King's spear, plenty of blood and flame erupt from Viserion's neck wound as he falls to the ground.
  • Came Back Strong: After becoming a wight, Viserion's now-blue dragonfire is powerful enough to undermine a millennia-old wall of magical ice. All by himself. He also uses his flames for far longer than any other dragon seen in the show, a feat even his larger sibling Drogon couldn't match, and holds his own against both of his brothers during the Battle of Winterfell.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Night King turns him into a wight after killing him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Night's King impales him through the neck in midair, creating a hole big enough that Viserion's flame leaks through it. Viserion loses copious amounts of blood as he flaps desperately to stay in the air, only to crash land through the ice of a frozen lake. To crush any hopes that he'll somehow recover, he is then shown closing his eyes and sinking lifelessly to the bottom of the lake. Then the knife is twisted further when the Night King turns him into a wight.
  • Demoted to Extra: Viserion and Rhaegal when compared with Drogon... leads to Those Two Guys. Viserion slightly becomes more prominent by virtue of being the Night's King's mount.
  • Dracolich: Becomes an undead dragon thanks to the Night's King's necromancy.
  • The Dragon: Becomes a literal example of this for the Night King as his most powerful weapon and mount after his resurrection.
  • Facial Horror: Rhaegal tears half his face off. Being undead, this barely slows him down.
  • Fantastic Nuke: As the Night King's mount, Viserion destroys a whole portion of the Wall at Eastwatch by the Sea, allowing the undead army to finally cross south of the Wall.
  • Gunship Rescue: Daenerys uses him and his two brothers to save Jon Snow's party from the Night King's army of wights in the penultimate episode of Season 7. He doesn't survive said rescue raid however.
  • Meaningful Name: Is named after Viserys, who is the first Targaryen to be killed onscreen in the series. Guess who is the first dragon to be killed onscreen.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Night's King manages to kill him in a single throw with an ice spear.
  • Light Is Good: Viserion is the dragon with white and gold skin, and is the dragon most tolerant to people aside from Daenerys. Hold the "good" after he Came Back Wrong.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Along with Rhaegal, he finds himself chained up in the catacombs after Drogon kills a child.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Played with. He's the most allowing of strangers in his midst, out of Dany's children, but his namesake... wasn't. His resurrection by the Night King upends this, instantly turning him into an Enemy to All Living Things, and an ever greater threat than anything the original Viserys ever imagined himself being.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Viserion is one of Dany's three dragons and has been part of the show since the Season 1 finale. Dragons are extremely tough creatures; Drogon is only slowed down by a ballista bolt and Daenerys herself remarks that nothing in Westeros could harm them. This makes it all the more shocking when the Night King kills Viserion in the penultimate episode of Season 7, putting Dany in a much more vulnerable position as well as giving her a very personal stake in the war. It also demonstrates just how dangerous the White Walkers really are that they can take out a dragon.
  • Technicolor Fire: When Viserion attacks the Wall after being turned into a wight his fiery breath is blue.
  • Thicker Than Water: He provides an example thereof — despite suffering years of abuse at the hands of her older brother Viserys, Daenerys does seem to have some lingering affection and respect for him for raising her, as Viserion is his namesake.


"They are my children. And they are the only children I will ever have."

One of Daenerys's dragons, named after her slain brother Rhaegar, whose death preceded even her birth.

  • Adaptational Dumbass: In the books he's a Suspiciously Stealthy Predator that's dangerously clever, but in the show he doesn't seem to be any smarter than his brothers.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the books, he's more savage and even burned Quentyn Martell to death when he tried to tame him. In the show, he seems to have the same temperament as Viserion, being less aggressive. He even allowed Tyrion to approach and free him from his chains.
  • A Death in the Limelight: He's been given a lot of focus in the final season, and he even becomes Jon's dragon of sorts, only to die in an unceremonious death in the antepenultimate episode.
  • Demoted to Extra: Viserion and Rhaegal when compared with Drogon... leads to Those Two Guys. And when later Viserion becomes a wight, he ends up as the dragon with the least plot focus. Poor guy. Seemingly subverted by the time he reaches Winterfell and stays by Drogon's side most of the time.
  • Diving Save: After Viserion gets speared by the Night's King, Rhaegal swoops after him in a desperate attempt to help. It doesn't work.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's unceremoniously gunned down by Euron's fleet's scorpion ballistae.
  • Emerald Power: He's a dragon - who are inherently magical creatures — with primarily green scales.
  • Gunship Rescue: Daenerys uses him and his two brothers to save Jon Snow's party from the Night's King's army of wights in the penultimate episode of Season 7.
  • History Repeats: He and his namesake Rhaegar Targaryen both die near a body of water. Rhaegar was killed by Robert Baratheon on the banks of the Trident while Rhaegal was shot down by a ballista over the ocean.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Along with Viserion, he finds himself chained up in the catacombs after Drogon kills a child.
  • Make an Example of Them: Rhaegal becomes Dany's instrument of sending a message to the other Meereen nobles when he roasts one of them alive. He then feasts on the burnt carcass with his brother.
  • Meaningful Name: He was named for Daenerys's eldest brother, Rhaegar. In Season 8, Rhaegal lets Jon Snow ride him, Jon unknowingly being the last son of Rhaegar, and like Rhaegar Rhaegal falls into the water after his death.
  • Passing the Torch: Dany invokes her famed brother's name for her green and bronze child, so that his legacy might live on.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Rhaegal survives the Battle of Fire and Ice and appears to be recovering from his wounds...only to be abruptly shot down by Euron in the next episode. His death serves as a major step in Daenerys's subsequent Sanity Slippage.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Is struck by a ballista in Euron's ambush on Dragonstone and falls dead into the ocean seconds later after being shot through the throat by another.