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Stark Household and Retainers
Ser Davos Seaworth
Played By: Liam Cunningham
Voiced By: Jorge Badillo (Latin American Spanish/Seasons 2-6), Blas Garcia (Latin American Spanish/Season 7 Onwards), Tomoyuki Shimura (Japanese)
A former smuggler who gained his knighthood by smuggling onions to the besieged Storm's End, garrisoned by Stannis and his men, during Robert's Rebellion. For the onions he was granted a knighthood and choice lands, for the smuggling Stannis cut off four fingers of his right hand (his left in the books; Liam Cunningham's a southpaw).
- Adaptational Attractiveness: The Davos of the books is described as being short, slight and with a "common" face, where Liam Cunningham is fairly tall and well built, and attractive in a rugged sort of way.
- Adaptational Badass: As elaborated on under Non-Action Guy, he's not a warrior, and the same goes for the books. He is hit with the mildest touch of this during the battle of the bastards, where he wades into the battle of the bastards, sword in hand. While he isn't shown fighting like Tormund or Jon, he does manage to survive.
- Adaptational Heroism: Mostly as a result of Melisandre being made more villainous on the show, but Book!Davos straight-up attempted to murder Melisandre after the Battle of the Blackwater out of religious bigotry (he had a religious experience where the Mother appeared in a vision and made him believe Melisandre was responsible for the death of his sons). On the show, he's made into an atheist, and lunges at Melisandre when the latter taunts him about Matthos' death.
- Appropriated Appellation: Davos is an ex-criminal who smuggled badly needed provisions (including onions) to a starving, besieged castle, and was knighted for his services. Other nobles dislike him for being lowborn and call him "The Onion Knight," a title which Davos does not mind at all, even going so far as to use an onion in his sigil.
- By the Season 3 premiere, has definitely become this to Melisandre, though she insists she's not his enemy.Davos: You are my enemy!
- Subverted by the start of Season 6, as he still doesn't like her, per se, but is not above asking her for help and seems to have a begrudging respect for her ability to have faith in something, even if he doesn't share it. This faith ends up paying off for a certain Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. In a HUGE way.
- Once again returns to full Arch-Enemy status after he discovers that Shireen was burned to death by her faith.
- By the Season 3 premiere, has definitely become this to Melisandre, though she insists she's not his enemy.
- Armour-Piercing Question: When Davos accuses Melisandre of stringing Stannis along with the Chosen One line, Melisandre protests she didn't lie, she was just wrong. Davos sadly replies "Aye, you were wrong. How many died because you were wrong?", and Melisandre can't answer.
- Armor-Piercing Response: Delivers a rightfully furious one to Melisandre, who is stunned into a brief silence and ends the rest of her pleading to Jon Snow with much less confidence than before.Davos: If he commands you to burn children, your lord is evil!
- Arrested for Heroism:
- In the old days, we would have called this trope 'The Davos.'
- His smuggling supplies into Storm's End won him Stannis's respect and loyalty, but Stannis does not consider rewarding heroism and punishing crime mutually exclusive. So Davos was knighted for his heroism, and then had his fingers cut off for being a smuggler.Stannis: Do your knucklebones bring you luck?
Davos: Well, life's been good since you hacked 'em off, Your Grace. An' it's four less fingernails ta clean.
Stannis: Four 'fewer' fingernails to clean. Never understood why you had to wear them.
Davos: Reminds me o' where I come from an' where I am now. Reminds me o' your justice. It was an honest punishment, an' you were good with the cleaver.
Stannis: You were a hero and a smuggler. A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad the good.
- In the Season 3 premiere, after managing to find his way back to Dragonstone, he immediately calls Stannis and Melisandre out on their bullshit (moping and ordering prisoners burnt alive instead of continuing the fight), and eventually pulls a knife on Melisandre. Stannis reacts by having him thrown in the dungeons.
- Again in "Mhysa". He gets arrested for setting Gendry free, in order to prevent Melisandre from sacrificing him. He only narrowly avoids being sentenced to death by Stannis by revealing the Night's Watch missive about the White Walkers marching on The Wall, as well as some unexpected support from Melisandre who claims Davos has a further part to play.
- Badass Beard: He has a thick but trimmed short beard.
- Birds of a Feather: Davos is one of the rare noblemen to be truly altruistic and dutiful to the realm as a whole aside from the Starks. Thus he is a natural addition to the Stark cause.
- Book Dumb: Davos is an illiterate man for most of his life, but is one of the most intelligent characters on the show. He's a quick thinker and excellent strategist, and even the Book Dumb part is starting to disappear since Shireen began teaching him to read.
- Broken Pedestal: Stannis, especially after he learnt that Stannis agreed with Melisandre to sacrifice Shireen.
- Brutal Honesty: This is why Stannis values him above other "nobler" Lords; he knows Davos will tell him the truth, even if it's not what he wants to hear.
- Character Tic: Has a habit of clasping his hands behind his back when formally addressing nobles or if he's feeling thoughtful.
- Composite Character: In the books, Ser Imry Florent is the one who leads the fleet in the Battle of the Blackwater. From the books...
- The Conscience: He explicitly states in "The Second Sons" that Stannis keeps him around because he needs someone to tell him when he's gone too far. He's left at Castle Black during Stannis's last campaign, and Stannis indeed does go too far in an attempt to ensure victory for his army. Emphasis on last campaign.
- The Consigliere: Whether it's battle tactics, politics, or just an opinion in general, Stannis places great trust in him. Following Stannis's death, he becomes this for Jon Snow.
- Creepy Souvenir: With a twist — the phalanges that he wears in a bag hanging from his neck are his own.
- Commander Contrarian: Considers it his duty to tell Stannis when he is wrong, even while following his orders to the letter.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.Selyse: Did you see, Ser Davos? They're with our lord now, their sins all burned away. Did you see?Davos: I'm sure they're more than grateful, my queen.
- The Dragon: Stannis's right han....er, left-hand man who also doubles as The Consigliere, as Stannis values his output more than anyone else's.
- Eureka Moment: During a reading lesson with Princess Shireen, Davos tells her about a nearly fatal run-in he had with the First Sword of Braavos, who was working for the unbelievably wealthy Iron Bank of Braavos, and suddenly he realizes that the Iron Bank has all the gold Stannis needs to hire sellswords to make another attempt on the Iron Throne in the aftermath of Joffrey's death.
- Father Neptune: Spent much of his adult life at sea as a smuggler, and certainly fits the look.
- Fingore: Stannis had his fingers cut off as punishment for smuggling. He still keeps the bones in a small bag around his neck.
- To Ned Stark, as the handpicked advisor to a Baratheon King who serves as his Only Friend and as the only man that would tell their king the truth. Both are family men who were content with their station in life before being raised to being a king's Number Two. Unfortunately, said kings do not listen to their Closer to Earth counsel and end up dying as a result. Of course, whereas Ned was a high lord, Davos was a common man elevated to knighthood.
- To Littlefinger. Both men came from almost nothing to having a great deal of power and influence, though are still mocked for their initial positions. While Littlefinger is resentful of the mockery and betrays even those who gave him power in order to get more, Davos takes it in stride and rewards the man who gave him his power with Undying Loyalty.
- To Jaime Lannister. Despite coming from totally different backgrounds (a crabber's son vs the scion of the richest family in Westeros), both council a King who burned his subjects, both have maimed hands, both are Guile Heroes of the highest caliber, both are disrespected by everyone except their closest confidants, and both are very honorable men. The only other difference is that one had to kill his king to save the realm, and the other tried to save the realm by following his king's stubborn descent into madness.
- To Tormund Giantsbane, as second-in-command to a vanquished leader. Despite Stannis having executed Mance Rayder, the two strike up a friendship while fighting for House Stark.
- Friend to All Children: He has a knack for talking to children with respect, and in return they quickly trust him.
- God Is Evil: He accuses the Lord of Light of being evil when he lashes out at Melisandre.
- Godzilla Threshold: Invokes this when negotiating with Lyanna Mormont by pointing out the North has got bigger problems heading their way than just the Boltons.Davos: The real war is between the living and the dead and make no mistake, my lady...the dead are coming.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: The good, with Melisandre as the bad.
- The Good Chancellor: Stannis plans to make him Hand of the King and has him serving as his Number Two at Dragonstone. Davos takes the position very seriously.Davos: I understand (being sentenced to death), but since you have not unnamed me Hand of the King, it is my duty to advise you against it.
- Good Parents: Along with Ned Stark, one of the few genuine good fathers to his offspring in the series. Discussed for tragedy with Salladhor Saan after Mathos dies.Saan: But, Davos, you were a good father.
Davos: If I was a good father, he'd still be here.
- Good Samaritan: What led him to relieve Stannis in the Siege of Storm's End. He had heard of them starving in the castle while the Tyrells held camp, and resolved to brave the waters of Shipbreaker Bay, bringing food and supplies because to him the people in the castle, despite being lords and highborn, were starving and reduced to straits just like he was growing up in Flea Bottom.
- Guile Hero: Despite his rough appearance, Davos is intensely charismatic (and indeed helps to compensate for Stannis's complete lack of charisma), and uses it to good effect to bring people like Salladhor Saan into Stannis's service. And despite looking like your stereotypical Old Soldier, Davos has only once drawn his sword, and clearly prefers to get by on his considerable intelligence than with violence. His charisma, honesty, and diplomatic skill leads to several unexpected alliances for Stannis, first with Salladhor Saan and then with the all-powerful Iron Bank of Braavos (an institution he formerly tried to rob and who have neither forgotten nor forgiven) into backing Stannis on pure nerve and implacable logic.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Stannis.
- Hollywood Atheist: Growing up in Flea Bottom and being told of some new "true god" in each new port he docked in made him consider that gods were something people made up to give themselves hope. This is in clear contrast to the Book canon, where Davos is the odd man out in Stannis's court not because he is an atheist, but because he remains a firm believer in The Seven.
- Honest Advisor: As Maester Cressen puts it, Stannis is surrounded by fools and fanatics and Davos is the only one who tells him hard truths.
- Honour Before Reason: In "Second Sons", when Stannis offers to let him out of prison if he swears never to raise a hand to Melisandre again, Davos agrees, but makes it clear that he will not stop speaking against her if he feels she's leading Stannis astray.Stannis: (Amused) You have little regard for your own life.
Davos: Quite little, your grace...verging on none.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: While Stannis is a very capable leader, Davos is the one who can assemble his army, and acquire ships from pirates and smugglers. He's also the one who convinces the Iron Bank to give Stannis a loan for his war efforts, as he has better social skills than Stannis. He plays this part too with Jon and Sansa since they have no idea how to gather allies among nobles.
- Iconic Sequel Character: He does not appear in the series until Season 2.
- In-Series Nickname: The Onion Knight. Originally, the name was meant as an insult by the nobility who despised him because he was a commoner who bought his knighthood with a pack of onions and salt fish. However, Davos took the name with pride and made the Onion his family sigil.
- Insistent Terminology: Most people think Ser Davos was a pirate. He insists he was a smuggler, though the distinction is lost on people like Stannis.Davos: I was never a pirate, I was a smuggler.
Shireen: What's the difference?
Davos: Well, if you're a famous smuggler, you're not doing it right.
Shireen: My father says a criminal is a criminal.
Davos: Your father lacks an appreciation for the finer points of bad behavior.
- He also objects when the Iron Bank refers to him as a thief. He counters that a smuggler doesn't steal things, they just move things that someone else stole.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Shireen Baratheon. He gives her toys and talks with her, she offers to help him read and visits him when he is imprisoned.
- Ironic Echo: In "Garden of Bones", while smuggling Melisandre to the cliffs near Renly's camp:Davos: Someone once told me the night is dark and full of terrors.
- Tragic flavour; he didn't want to accept the knighthood and only did it because he wanted a better life for his son. Serving Stannis eventually leads to the death of Matthos, killed in action during Blackwater.
- When Stannis sentences him to death, Melisandre of all people saves his life because she concedes that Davos will be needed in the fight ahead. The irony makes Stannis ''laugh''.
- It's Personal: After learning about Shireen's death, he demands that Jon allow him to personally execute Melisandre for the princess's death. When Jon decides to exile her instead, Davos warns her that if he ever sees her again, he will kill her himself.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Not a straight example, because he doesn't wear armor, but he's one of the very few unambiguously good non-Stark characters and is a knight. It's thus a welcome development that he has now become the leading retainer of the resurgent Kingdom of the North, together with Brienne.
- The Lancer: To Stannis's Hero. Unless you consider Stannis a villain, then he's the Token Good Teammate. Following Stannis' death, he serves as this role to Jon Snow, being a great asset in recruiting forces to take back Winterfell and also being his second-in-command along with Tormund Giantsbane. Following Jon's coronation, Davos serves as his second most important adviser after Sansa and unofficial Hand.
- Meaningful Name: Commands Stannis's war fleet. Invoked, he created his own surname and chose one that reflected his life at sea.
- Morality Chain: To Stannis, and both are very well aware of it. Davos even says to Stannis that the reason Stannis freed him from prison was because Stannis knew Davos would talk sense into him.
- My Greatest Failure: Davos's reaction to his son's death in the wildfire explosion at Blackwater has shades of this trope.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Tells his son emphatically that he doesn't believe in any God, but if he had to choose one, then as far as he's concerned, Stannis would be it. He plays this off against Maester Cressen as well.
- Nay-Theist: Stannis points this position as illogical since Davos continues to hold it after witnessing Melisandre's powers first hand. True to this trope, however, Davos's continued rejection of the "true god" is likely less about not believing and more about not wanting to worship something that terrifying. He flat out spells it out to Melisandre while asking for her to resurrect Jon Snow, saying he wants the help of a Lady of Black Magic, not her Lord of Light. Later, when he finds out what happened to Shireen, he doesn't deny that R'hllor demanded the sacrifice, but instead accuses a god who demands the death of a young girl of being evil.Davos: Fuck him then. Fuck all of them. Im not a devout man. Obviously. Seven gods, drowned gods, tree gods, its all the same. Im not asking the Lord oLight for help. Im asking the woman who showed me miracles exist.
- Never Learned to Read: Due to his humble origins. Davos's wife and son tried to teach him in the past, but it's suggested he was wary of that because they were trying to convert him through holy books. Shireen decides to teach him and he finally learns.
- Nice Guy: Stands out among Stannis and his supporters for being a down-to-earth, morally upstanding knight able to relate and be friendly to almost everybody.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If the sacrifices to the Lord of Light are actually useful, his decision to save Gendry from Melisandre indirectly leads to another sacrifice of royal blood. And this time Shireen is the one who is sacrificed.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- The reason he was Fingore'd by Stannis. While he did saved the Stormlands troops when it was under siege during its, it did not excuse his past crimes that Stannis believed should be punished.
- His decision to free Gendry. See above.
- Non-Action Guy: Claims to be a poor fighter which is probably true as he lacks four fingers on his right hand and never had any highborn training. His mind and no-nonsense attitude is better than any sword he could use.
- Nouveau Riche: Davos is unusually wealthy for a knight; given the extremely important service he rendered, he was given some of the most prosperous lands in the Stormlands. Also subverted, given that Davos was a very, very good smuggler prior to going straight. A rare honorable and heroic example. Also, unlike other examples like Janos Slynt and Littlefinger, he's more humble about it.
- Odd Friendship: With Stannis, Salladhor Saan, Shireen, Gendry and later Tormund Giantsbane.
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees that the single Lannister ship in the mouth of the Blackwater Rush is empty and pouring wildfire on the water.
- Only Sane Man: With a stubborn king, a religious fanatic, an insane woman and a self-interested pirate as allies, Davos is easily the most level-headed. This continues even after he moves on to others' service, such as House Stark.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Davos actually disobeys Stannis in attempting to kill Melisandre, illustrating succinctly just how large a threat Davos perceives Melisandre to be as well as how unbalanced his grief over his son has made him.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Unlike in the books, where Davos had seven children, in the show, Matthos is an only child, adding more drama to his demise.
- Parental Substitute: With Shireen Baratheon, Jon Snow and Gendry.
- Fanon collectivity refers to these three and sometimes others as Davos's adoptive children.
- Plug 'n' Play Friends: With Jon Snow, whom he becomes staunchly supportive of after Stannis is killed, despite prior interactions being limited and cordial in the main.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In the books, his left hand is maimed, which was changed to his right as Liam Cunningham is left-handed.
- Rags to Riches: Grew up in Flea Bottom as the son of a crabber and was a smuggler. However Stannis knighted him as a reward for smuggling food into Storm's End and even made him their Hand. Stannis even tells him "You'll be the first crabber's son to ever be the hand of the King." All this before he even learns how to read.
- Raised Catholic: Davos is either agnostic or atheistic, but still instinctively invokes the Seven when seeing something as shocking as Melisandre getting heavily pregnant within days and giving birth to a shadow monster.
- Refuge in Audacity: Stannis sentences him to death, and Davos accepts it. However, Davos reminds Stannis that he is still his Hand, and as such he counsels Stannis against killing him.
- The Rival: To Melisandre, for the position of Stannis's right hand.
- Rousing Speech: Gives an epic one to get Stannis the money from The Iron Bank of Braavos.
- Street Smart: As a former smuggler, Davos is well acquainted with the seedy underbellies of both Westeros and Essos, and still has many friends and acquaintances (especially Salladhor Saan) who prove very useful both to him and Stannis. He also remains a capable smuggler, though he's "lived within the law for 17 years."
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Ned Stark — a Baratheon king's most trusted friend who acts as The Consigliere and can be trusted to tell him what he doesn't want to hear. The key difference is Davos is about a million times more aware of the cutthroat climate of Westeros.
- Team Dad: When he joins up with Jon, he's the oldest member of Jon's retainers and the only one who was a father once. His interaction with Gendry in season 7 is similar.Davos: Don't mind me, all I've ever done is live to a ripe old age!
- The Reason You Suck Speech: Delivers a short, but very effective one to Melisandre in regards to her trying to justify murdering Shireen.Davos: If he commands you to burn children, your lord is evil!
- Trauma Conga Line: He outlives Matthos, Shireen, Stannis and Jon Snow. Jon comes Back from the Dead, but the others don't.
- Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: Loves to play up his humble, plebeian origins in an apologetic way before delivering accurate, powerful and convincing dissertations worthy of the best statesman. This is both out of genuine humility and an awareness that bragging in any way of his eloquence or intelligence is not going to be well recieved by the very people he is trying to win over to a cause. The result is that the arguments he follows up such self deprecating introductions with tend to be highly effective and compelling.
- Undying Loyalty:
- To his lord King Stannis, which he frequently displays.
- Despite his misgivings about waging war against enemies that outnumber them, he remains loyal to Stannis and will follow wherever he leads. In spite of Stannis cutting off three of his fingers, which is lampshaded in-universe by Salladhor. Davos explains it's because Stannis raised him up to nobility, which ensured Matthos a future Davos could never have dreamed of providing for.Salladhor Saan: You Westerosi are funny people. Man cuts off your fingers, you fall in love with him!
- A more subtle instance of this happens when Davos is stranded on an islet in Blackwater Bay after the destruction of Stannis's fleet. When a ship sees him and sends out a boat to investigate, they ask him which king he serves. Davos knows fully well that they might well be serving Joffrey, and he doesn't even know if Stannis is alive. He still answers "Stannis Baratheon".
- When he's thrown in a dungeon under charges of treason, Davos remains loyal to Stannis and when Shireen asks him if he really is a traitor, he accepts that he is. Furthermore emphasised in "Mhysa", when Stannis prepares to sentence him to death for letting Gendry escape, Davos informs him that he'll fully accept that if it's his will, but since he's not removed him as Hand of the King yet, then as Hand, he'd advise Stannis that it would be a mistake.
- Following Stannis's death, he has now shifted it to Jon Snow as he is one of the many among the crowd to proclaim him King in the North.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Salladhor Saan.Davos: Salladhor Saan is an old friend. I've known him for 30 years. I never trusted him.
- We ARE Struggling Together: His relationship with Melisandre. Davos openly mistrusts her and works to thwart her on several occasions.
- Working-Class Hero: A competent commoner who learned his trade on the seas before he was knighted.
Ser Brienne of Tarth
Played By: Gwendoline Christie
Voiced By: Irene Jimenez (Latin American Spanish), Kimiko Saito (Japanese)
A tall, masculine-looking woman who feels more comfortable wearing a suit of armor than a dress, the only daughter of Lord Selwyn of Tarth, known as the Evenstar. Originally introduced as a warrior sworn to King Renly Baratheon, she's sworn herself to Catelyn Stark. Since Catelyn's death, Brienne has made it her mission to fulfill her oath to retrieve Sansa and Arya and take them somewhere safe.
- Action Girl: Oh yes. She's introduced kicking the ass of Loras Tyrell, renowned badass. Even Renly applauds her for her skill as a warrior.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, she is considered hideous by everyone who meets her, with an overly broad face, a nose that's been broken several times and so upturned to look somewhat pig-like, an overly wide mouth with crooked teeth, and lips so big they look swollen. In the series, Gwendoline Christie is made up to look plain, including some minor facial scars, but overall she's not as hideous as her written counterpart. Doubly so for her time at Harrenhal. Out of armour and after a good bath she starts to look a little more like the normal Gwendoline Christie. Even the dress she's forced to wear, which in the books is described as both garish and several sizes too small for her, looks rather decent.
- Adaptational Badass: In the novels, by the time Brienne arrives at King's Landing with Jaime she's never killed a man. In the series, she shows herself to be a far more capable fighter (with a much higher body count) in each season, with twelve deaths to her name at the end of Season 6:
- In Season 2, she effortlessly kills several of Renly's guards while in the middle of sobbing at his murder, and kills a small squad of Stark soldiers in barely a few seconds a few episodes later.
- In Season 4, she not only defeats Sandor Clegane (whom she never met, let alone fought in the books) in a swordfight with similar ease, she out-wrestles and is able to physically overpower him in an extremely brutal brawl a few seconds later, sending him earless and tumbling down a cliffside. In the Hound's defense, the infection in his neck put him at a bit of a disadvantage.
- In Season 6, she kills three Bolton men-at-arms pursuing Sansa and Theon as they escape; one outright as she charges in on horseback, a second in a duel after she gets dismounted, and a third after she tackles both horse and rider to the ground.
- Adaptational Jerkass: In the books, Brienne is unfailingly kind and stubbornly idealistic, recoiling at the thought of killing and treating everyone around her with an unfailing fairness. In the series, possibly thanks to the writers age lifting her by close to a decade, she's considerably more bitter and cynical, harboring no delusions as to the state of Westeros, and projects a much colder exterior as a result — particularly when it comes to Davos and Melisandre, who she openly regards as opportunistic traitors. That being said, she's still bullheadedly honorable and rarely crosses over into being openly unkind — even when it comes to Podrick, whom she initially treats a mite harshly but ultimately takes under her wing after bonding with him and apologizing for her behavior. However she still takes obvious pleasure in killing enemies, even if it's a wounded man who can't fight back, and gloating about it, while in the books Brienne has only ever killed in self-defense, and even though they were utterly vile people she never takes pleasure in it. From the Books
- Age Lift: From 18 in the books (when she first appears) to being in her mid-to-late 20s.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Jaime quickly deduces that she had feelings for Renly.
- There is also the very strong hint that she has feelings for Jaime, who explicitly loves Cersei. That said, Jaime has some affection for Brienne, which he has only ever extended to his siblings and children, but circumstances prevent them from pursuing any further relationships. It's blatant enough that Bronn openly ships them the first time he sees them together.
- Ascended Fanboy: Renly offers her anything she desires as a reward for mopping the floor with Loras; Brienne asks for a position on his Kingsguard. In later episodes, she reveals that she was quite sweet on him.
- Arch-Enemy: She has said more than once that she wants to kill Stannis for murdering Renly. Stannis, however, isn't even aware of her existence, and at the time of his death, regards Brienne's grudge against him with indifferent amusement rather than dislike.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Cersei point-blank asks her if she has romantic feelings for Jaime at the Purple Wedding. While she doesn't answer in the affirmative, her sputtering, deer-in-headlights reaction tells Cersei all she wanted to know.
- During their shared bath at Harrenhal, Jaime asks her whether she would have faithfully obeyed her "precious Renly" if he'd ordered her to commit horrible atrocities for no good reason, giving her a shocking but unique insight not only into what "the Kingslayer" did and why, but how "honour" and "good" aren't necessarily the same thing.
- Attempted Rape:
- Badass in Distress: For most of Season 3 thanks to Locke and Roose Bolton, culminating in the eponymous scene of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" where Locke pits her against a bear.
- Bears Are Bad News: She had to learn this the hard way in Season 3.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason for her crush on Renly, since he's the only man who has shown her kindness and respect. He himself understands how painful it is to be frequently mocked for not adhering to rigid gender roles (Robert and Stannis have bullied Renly for his lack of combat experience and obvious yet unconcealable sexuality), so his empathy towards Brienne's situation allows him to be accepting of her masculinity.Brienne: He didn't love me, he didn't want me. He danced with me because he didn't want to see me hurt. He saved me from being a joke.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Jaime.
- The Berserker: She starts her fights with proper poise and footwork, but when she's pushed she'll go absolutely feral on her enemies, biting and screaming like a maniac until they are down.
- Best Her to Bed Her: Possibly subverted; Jaime Lannister guesses that boys had tried to force themselves onto Brienne when she was young, and suspects that she secretly wanted to find a man who could overpower her. She declines to confirm this, saying only that no one ever could.
- Big Damn Heroes: Finally gets her chance to save one of Lady Catelyn's daughters in the Season 6 premiere.
- The Big Guy: Brienne is massively tall and muscular, and her status as Action Girl cannot be denied.
- Black Knight: Despite not technically being a knight until Season 8, Brienne is this in both appearance and effect, quite ironically like Sandor Clegane. Jaime has a suit of black armor forged for her in Season 4, and strictly speaking she no longer follows a master after Catelyn's death until she finds Sansa, much like the black knights of old Europe.
- Blatant Lies: When Jaime realizes she had a crush on Renly, she desperately tries to deny it. Jaime doesn't believe her.
- Bodyguard Crush: On Renly (a rare gender inversion of the trope), judging from her reaction to his death. She later rues the fact that she only held him once, as he was dying. Jaime later figures it out.
- Boyish Short Hair: In contrast to the perfectly coiffed Loras (it must take some time for him to style the unruly curls every morning), Brienne keeps her straight hair short and simple.
- Brawn Hilda: Less so than in the books, but she's very large, foreign (as the only heir and retainer of Tarth) and quite unattractive (by Westerosi standards, at least.)
- The Champion: She is this to King Renly, Lady Catelyn, and then to Sansa Stark in Season 6.
- Combat Pragmatist: While Brienne seems to dislike playing dirty, she's not afraid of using her sheer size and strength to her advantage, particularly if she finds herself disarmed, as shown with her duels with Loras and, later, Sandor Clegane, who she is ultimately forced to beat to a pulp with her bare hands after being disarmed.
- She will also use any advantage she gets, like punching a man in the balls, biting his ear off, clubbing him with a rock, and holding him by his armor and repeatedly punching him so he can't gain the distance to use his sword.
- The Comically Serious: As stoic characters on Game of Thrones tend to be.
- Composite Character:
- In the novels, it was Loras who slew two of Renly's Kingsguard; this role was transferred to Brienne on the show.
- Takes Mors "Crowfood" Umber's role as the person who picks up Ramsay's bride (Jeyne Poole in the books, Sansa in the show).
- Cool Helmet: She wears an antlered helm in "Garden of Bones" when she accompanies Renly to his parley with Stannis.
- Cool Sword: Jaime presents her with the Valyrian steel sword his father had made for him from half of Ice, which she names Oathkeeper. Once she swears to Sansa, Ice returns to the North... partially.
- Courtly Love: Gender-flipped with her and Renly. She is a devoted knight who will do anything for her beloved king, and she is resigned to the fact that he will never return her feelings.
- The Cynic: In the books, she was more naive and relatively innocent, while the show hints at a more jaded, cynical personality. For instance, she's under no illusions about Jaime surviving the night after his escape attempt, when she happens upon three hanged victims of the Stark army she's saddened but by no means surprised, and she manages to spin a fairly convincing cover story for herself and Jaime on the spot when confronted by hostile soldiers.
- Daddy's Girl: She recalls her father in both "The Children" and "The High Sparrow", smiling fondly whenever she mentions him.
- Death Glare: She gives Jaime a very menacing one in "Dark Wings, Dark Words" when he goes way overboard with the gay jokes about Renly. She also shoots daggers from her eyes when the Kingslayer insults her for being unable to protect her king in "Kissed by Fire." Lampshaded in "Beyond the Wall".Tormund: Well... not with her yet. But I see the way she looks at me.Sandor: How does she look at you? Like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?Tormund: You do know her!
- Declaration of Protection:
- Faithfully serving Renly as a member of his Kingsguard is Brienne's quiet way of expressing her (unrequited) love for him.
- After a long quest to seek her out, she officially takes oaths of knightly service to Sansa.
- Defiant to the End: Whether it's being dragged off to be gang-raped or facing off against a bear with only a wooden sword, Brienne will never, ever go down without a fight.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: To Podrick, as she didn't want a squire, so she often berates him. She does eventually come to respect his loyalty and apologises for being harsh towards him, however.
- Did Not Think This Through: Went to "save" Arya Stark... who believes her whole family is dead or prisoner of the Lannisters... with a Lannister-customized sword, a Westerlands squire, and a non-Northerner accent. What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
- Decides to fulfill her oath to kill Stannis instead of protecting Sansa. Of course, Stannis dying will keep the Boltons in control of the North meaning Sansa continues to be in danger. She manages to rescue Sansa just in time from Bolton men after escaping on her own from Winterfell, but it was a close-run thing and had it not been for Theon, she and Pod would have failed.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Renly dies in her arms after being stabbed by Melisandre's shadow-son. Brienne later tells Catelyn that this was the only time she was ever able to hold him.
- Do Wrong, Right: Her father, Lord Selwyn Tarth, was upset at her belligerent attitude to all her potential suitors and eventually shrugged and had Brienne given formal training as a knight, reasoning if she is going to get in fights and beat people up, she might as well do it right.
- Don't Call Me "Sir": Does not like to be called "Lady" Brienne, although as the daughter and only heir of the Lord of Tarth she is indeed officially a lady. Yet as she's not a knight, she can't be called Ser either ...until Jaime knights her in Season 8.
- Epic Flail: She wields a flail during her melee with Loras.
- Establishing Character Moment: Defeats Loras in their duel using her size and strength, spear-tackling him to the ground.
- Everyone Can See It: How she feels about Renly, and later on, how Jaime feels about her.Bronn: I'd fuck her. You'd fuck her, wouldn't you?Podrick: I'm her squire.Bronn: Oh. (speaking about Jaime) Well he'd fuck her, that's for sure. And she'd fuck him, don't you think? The way she looks at him.
- Failure Knight: How she feels about herself after the deaths of Renly Baratheon and later, Catelyn Stark, neither of whom she was in a position to protect. Littlefinger even points out her inability to protect either of them in "The House of Black and White." This changes by the middle of Season 6, where Jaime praises her for succeeding in fulfilling her oath.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Jaime and Pod, eventually. Also with Sansa, who becomes friendly with Brienne after she rescues her.
- She is this to the Hound. Brienne has a lofty notion of chivalry and honor, aspiring to be respected as a knight, while Sandor does nothing but spit on the notion that knightly honor exists. Both are former Kingsguard members; Brienne is still loyal to Renly even after his death, but the Hound deserts Joffrey during the Battle of Blackwater. Neither character carries the title "Ser," although in Brienne's case, she's not entitled to it because of her gender. Brienne searches for Sansa because she wants uphold her vow to keep the girl safe, whereas Sandor only keeps Arya by his side so that he can sell her to Lysa for money. This becomes very evident during their confrontation and duel at the end of Season 4.
- To Tyrion. Brienne is big, Tyrion is small, and they are both outcasts because of their physiques. They both are given mocking nicknames because of it and both cannot fulfill their respective expected gender roles in society: a dainty lady and a dashing knight. Tyrion has his brains to make up for it, Brienne has her brawn — and their brilliance goes unacknowledged by almost everyone. They are both considered somewhat embarrassing offspring by their fathers, but Brienne's was loving or open-minded enough to help her become a competent fighter, while Tywin did nothing to nurture Tyrion's talents. They don't get to interact, but they both fill the role of Jaime's Morality Pet, and Podrick served as a squire to both of them.
- Friendless Background: She is ostracized by Westerosi society due to her unattractiveness, large size, and her pursuit of a traditionally masculine occupation.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Does this to Jaime in Harrenhal's baths when he mocks her failure to protect Renly. It's very sudden and powerful.Jaime: That was unworthy. Forgive me. You protected me better than most.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Like Tyrion, she ends up inverting this after Locke's bear leaves her with a nasty-looking set of massive claw scars on her neck.
- Groin Attack:
- She drives her sword through the crotch of a murdering rapist Northerner in "Valar Morghulis".
- During her brawl with Sandor Clegane, she delivers a brutal punch to his balls... which he immediately responds to by delivering an equally brutal kick between her legs.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's the gender-flip version of the heroic male characters that typically fall under this trope.
- Has a Type: Between her hopeless love for Renly, the Belligerent Sexual Tension between her and Jamie, and her complete disinterest in Thormund, it seems Brienne's tastes run towards pretty, well-groomed men more so than rugged ones.
- Heartbroken Badass: She becomes this after Renly's assassination.
- Heroic BSoD: She experiences this when Renly is slain before eyes. Catelyn manages to snap her out of it in time to flee Renly's camp.
- Honor Before Reason: Displays Undying Loyalty to an extreme. Continues to serve Catelyn Stark even after her death. Becomes a fault of hers as she's so committed to protecting the Stark children, she couldn't simply let Arya be with the Hound. She ends up supposedly killing the Hound and losing track of Arya, meaning Arya's all on her own now.
- Hypocrite: Tells Stannis she's killing him in the name of Renly the rightful King... even though Stannis clearly had more right to the throne then Renly, and if he hadn't killed Renly they probably would have killed him.
- Later, Brienne tells Sansa not to trust Davos for supporting Stannis and cites the fact he wasn't with Stannis to show his disloyalty. However, Davos was away on Stannis' orders and by this logic Brienne was disloyal to Catelyn for not being with her when she was murdered. In fact, she comes across as worse by this logic, as rather then remaining to protect Sansa she went off to murder Stannis and it was only luck that enabled her to save Sansa.
- Iconic Sequel Character: She does not appear in the series until Season 2.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: There was absolutely nothing she could do to defend her beloved king Renly against Melisandre's black magic, but she nevertheless feels horrible that she couldn't save him. She later feels this way about Lady Catelyn, who she similarly couldn't save because she was performing a task given by her and wasn't at the Twins at the time of the Red Wedding.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Renly.
- In-Series Nickname: Brienne the Beauty, an Ironic Nickname.
- Insistent Terminology: She is no "Lady". And you know what, she's also not a knight (since women can't officially be knights, even though she has the skill of one and adheres to the knightly code of honor better than most). She keeps insisting she's not a knight right up to the moment Jaime knights her in Season 8. note
- Ironic Nickname: Brienne the Beauty. The men consider her to be unattractive. Subverted or zig zagged depending on your point of view as of "Kissed by Fire", when she's revealed to be extremely good looking underneath all that armor, dirt, and sweat.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Locke throws her into the bear pit at Harrenhal with nothing but a wooden sword and that ugly pink dress, and from the look of things she was holding her own rather well against the bear before Jaime showed up, but still in serious danger.
- Knight Errant: She's heading progressively into Black Knight territory (as in the Real Life masterless, landless black knights) after the deaths of Renly Baratheon and Catelyn Stark.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Along with Barristan Selmy and Loras Tyrell, she comes the closest to being one. She's dedicated, an excellent fighter, unwaveringly loyal, protective of the weak, noble, and good-hearted. In Season 8, just before the Great Battle of Winterfell, Jaime citing the gender-neutral ambiguity of the precedent "any knight can make a knight", knights her for real. She arises as 'Ser Brienne of Tarth, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms', becoming a knight for real in front of witnesses.
- Knight In Sour Armor: She becomes this after she is unable to save Renly from a monstrous Living Shadow.
- The Lad-ette: A big part of her character is that she's very much "one of the boys" in the less-than-progressive Westeros. In "The Lion and the Rose", she bows to Joffrey and Margaery instead of performing a curtsy. When Cersei inquires about this odd behavior, Brienne explains that she could never master the curtsy.
- Lady and Knight:
- A gender inversion where she is the strong, brave warrior who is sworn to protect the handsome and gentle King Renly.
- After Renly is assassinated, Brienne then serves the gracious Lady Catelyn (a same-sex variation). Then she serves Catelyn's daughter Sansa.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Jaime (who is both shorter and considered to be way prettier than she) thinks she's far too masculine-looking for a woman.
- Lie Back and Think of England: A very dark version of this trope is presented when Jaime suggests to Brienne that she think of Renly when her would-be rapists have their way with her. Jaime knows that Brienne will be killed if she resists.
- Lightning Bruiser: Both very big and strong (the actress who plays her is 6'3" in real life) and very fast (after losing her weapon in the melee, she is able to defeat Loras by ducking inside his defenses and tackling him to the ground before he can bring his weapon to bear to defend himself).
- Love Hurts: Although Renly did not return her feelings, she is still mourning for him in Season 4.
- She and Jaime have a deep respect and maybe a little yearning for each other, but are technically on different sides of the war, and there is the matter of Jaime's relationship Cersei, who is herself very dangerous.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy:
- She and Renly are specifically the Action Girl and Non-Action Guy pairing. Brienne adores Renly because his sweet and caring nature is so different from the malicious, violent men that she has encountered in her life. Renly is fond of Brienne (to the point where Loras is even a bit jealous of her) because he admires a woman who, despite the numerous obstacles she has faced in her pursuit of a masculine occupation, is able to beat the formidable Knight of Flowers in the melee.
- Master Swordsman: She's the winner of Renly's tourney, defeating all opponents, including the Knight of Flowers — who's taken on the Mountain and the Kingslayer and won. She quickly takes down the members of Renly's Kingsguard who try to kill her, and even the Kingslayer seems impressed when he first sees her in action. Come Season 3, she easily defeats Jaime. Granted, he was wearing manacles at the time and somewhat out-of-practice, but it's still no mean feat, particularly since near the end of their engagement, she actually looked slightly bored.
- She also beat Sandor Clegane, who himself is one of the few people who can match his brother, The Mountain.
- Meaningful Look: After she is appointed to his Kingsguard, Renly winks at her◊ as he applauds to further communicate his warmth and reassurance that he's on her side, regardless of his followers' unfavourable opinion.
- My Greatest Failure: She perceives her failure to protect Renly from a magical Humanoid Abomination as this.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In her attempt to protect Arya Stark, she ends up (supposedly) killing Sandor Clegane, the only person left that was keeping Arya safe. And to top things off, she loses track of Arya.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon:
- Brienne is a victim of this; the reason why she's in love with Renly is because he's the only man who recognizes her worth as a human being and a warrior, and does not judge her based on her appearance or gender.
- Jaime suggests that, given her physicality and her affront to the rigid patriarchal structure of Westeros, more than a few men must have tried to rape her out of spite. Brienne replies, "one or two tried."
- Averted in Season 6 when Tormund is shown to be very attracted to her. Poor Brienne doesn't know what to make of it, especially since Tormund's version of flirting is nothing short of awkward and hilarious.
- Further averted when she and Pod come to Riverrun and meet with Jaime. Bronn comments that "I'd fuck her" and goes on to observe that "[Jaime]'d fuck her, that's for sure."
- Not in This for Your Revolution: A curious example in that while Brienne altruistically upholds oaths and enters services of people she respects and admires, she limits her loyalty to personal relations rather than the causes they espouse, and is more keen on personal commitment than beliefs in said individual's values and goals:
- She swears an oath to Renly who saw himself as a benign alternative to Stannis and Joffrey, and later to Catelyn Stark who also opposes Joffrey. Yet after Renly's and Catelyn's deaths, she somehow doesn't see anything contradictory in hanging around King's Landing among the Lannisters (the very people who ordered Catelyn's death) and not only attending the royal wedding but personally greeting Joffrey, who Renly and Catelyn hated. This does bite her later, when Sansa calls her out on her chumminess with the Lannisters at Joffrey's wedding and questions her loyalty to her mother, on their first encounter.
- Her vendetta against Stannis is such that she doesn't take into account the fact that at the time of his death, Stannis was fighting the Boltons and seeking to liberate Winterfell (which technically puts her and Stannis on the same side). She deserts her post to fulfill her oath to Renly, who she calls the rightful king Because You Were Nice to Me and she had sworn an oath to him rather than any legal principles. She takes this even further when she arrives at Castle Black and, despite taking revenge on Stannis, insults both Davos and Melisandre even when they are on the same side, going as far as taunting them about Stannis's death and trying to turn Sansa against them.
- When she meets Jaime Lannister at the Siege of Riverrun, she doesn't raise the fact that Jaime is marching alongside the Freys, the same people who slit the throat of Catelyn Stark and committed the Red Wedding. She lets it slide because she is friendly with Jaime, and she does admit that she doesn't look forward to actually meeting him in battle, hoping to fulfill the letter of her oath to Sansa while keeping her friendship with Jaime intact, despite the fact that Sansa is an enemy and fugitive of the Crown (as Jaime points out). If necessary, however, she'd have had to fight him.
- Not So Stoic: She generally keeps her calm, even when slicing down a gang of murdering rapists. However, when she witnesses Renly's murder or is dragged off to be raped by some Bolton bannermen, she starts to scream.
- The Oath-Breaker: Played With; She swore two oaths: to keep Cat's children safe and to kill Stannis. By deciding to abandon her vigil to wait for a signal from Sansa, instead deciding to go after Stannis, she basically broke her first vow. Strictly speaking she upheld the letter, if not the intent; Sansa had released her from her oath to the Starks, and her original vow to Catelyn had a specific exemption that it would not hold her back from persuing Stannis. She manages to uphold her first oath by rescuing Sansa from Bolton hunters shortly after her escape from Winterfell, and after Arya's and Bran's return to Winterfell, she has fulfilled her oaths.
- Oblivious to Love: According to Bronn, she gazes at Jaime differently and Podrick seems to agree.
- Off with His Head!: It's implied that she decapitates Stannis judging by the movement of her arms.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Further evidencing the darker take on her character in comparison to that in the books, in which she had never killed a man before. She seems to have no issue doing this when a trio of rapist Stark soldiers confront her and Jaime on the way to King's Landing, absolutely wrecking two of them before killing the ringleader by driving her sword through his crotch, making a point of killing him as slowly and painfully as possible.Brienne: Two quick deaths. (castration)
- Pink Means Feminine: The dress Roose Bolton's men find for her to wear whilst at Harrehal is a very loud shade of pink. She looks like she's just waiting for the opportunity to murder whoever put her in it the entire time she's wearing it. From the books
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Starting Season 4.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Her beating the shit out of the Hound is heralded as one of her crowning achievemnts by other characters in the show and is ultimately one of the feats that least to Jaime knighting her.
- Revenge: She swears vengeance against Stannis for slaying Renly. She finally takes it in the Season 5 finale.
- Rescue Romance: Serious Jaime/Brienne Ship Tease starts from when Jaime (without a weapon) leaps into a bearpit to rescue her.
- Samus Is a Girl: Very briefly. Her gender isn't clear to viewers until Renly asks her to remove her helmet; when she does it elicits gasps from the crowd.
- Saying Too Much: In "Two Swords," after she calls Renly "our king" while speaking to Margaery, the Tyrell lady gently, but sternly, reminds Brienne that Joffrey is king now. Brienne would get her head chopped off if Joffrey ever found out that she is still faithful to Renly's memory.
- Screaming Warrior: Whenever she fights a powerful opponent she tends to let out pretty intimidating roars and shots of anger. Taken Up to Eleven with her fight against Sandor Clegane in which she punctuates beating the shit out of him with a rock by screaming with rage non-stop.
- Secret Keeper: She's the only other person who knows the truth about why Jaime murdered Aerys Targaryen.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: While the gaudy pink gown doesn't suit her well, she still looks somewhat pretty in it, which is more than we can say for her book counterpart. In the novels, the pink dress makes Brienne seem more unattractive. Suffice it to say the leather tunic and blue riding skirt she wears during her time in King's Landing suit her far better.
- Shield Bash: She hits Loras' helm-covered head with her shield in the melee, but he recovers from the blow.
- Shields Are Useless: Her shield isn't of much help in the melee, as Loras causes enough damage to it with his axe that she is forced to discard it during their fight.
- So Proud of You: How she feels about Arya during Season 7, as she says to the Hound.Brienne: The only one who needs protecting is the one who gets in her way.
- Subordinate Excuse: She is the sole surviving child of Lord Selwyn Tarth (and therefore his heiress), but she neglects whatever duties she presumably has in her home city in favour of dedicating her whole life to protecting King Renly, whom she has feelings for. What makes Brienne's devotion quite remarkable is that, as a woman, she herself isn't obligated — or even expected — to physically fight for Renly when he summons his Stormlands bannermen (which House Tarth is a part of) to his cause.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- With Catelyn. Lampshaded by Brienne herself when she comments that Cat has courage, "not battlefield courage, perhaps, but a woman's kind of courage..."
- This trope also applies when she interacts with Margaery.
- With Sansa too in Season 6.
- Triang Relations: Type 4. She's in love with Renly, but he and Loras have already been a romantic couple for years, and she doesn't believe in any of the gossip surrounding them. While Renly is aware that Brienne is very loyal to him, it's unclear on the show if he ever suspected that she fancied him.
- True Beauty Is on the Inside: She is the epitome of this trope. Only Renly, Catelyn, and Olenna are able to look past Brienne's unappealing physique and see her inner beauty.
- Ironically, the person who probably knows this best is a man who should be her enemy, Jaime Lannister.
- Undying Loyalty: A double example and this almost leads to disaster. She remains dedicated to King Renly even after he dies, swearing to avenge him. When Jaime insults Renly's homosexuality one too many times, she becomes furious and forcefully grabs Jaime's head, looking like she wants to kill him. Brienne's vow to bring the prisoner to King's Landing alive is the only thing that prevented her from carrying out her wish. She still refers to Renly as her king in "Two Swords." At the same time, Brienne swore loyalty to Catelyn Stark directly after Renly's death and vowed to retrieve her daughters and protect her. She points out to Jaime "I dont serve House Stark, I serve Lady Catelyn". Later, she still insists on bringing Sansa and Arya to safety after Catelyn's death.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She becomes one with Jaime.
- She also settles into this with Podrick, who is exclusively on the receiving end, but she still values his loyalty.
- White Stallion: As befitting a Knight in Shining Armor, Brienne rides a white horse in "Garden of Bones."
- When She Smiles: A genuine smile has crossed her face only once so far, after Jaime knights her in Season 8.
- Will Not Be A Victim: Unlike most women about to be raped by soldiers, she really can fight back.
- Worf Had the Flu: Not her, but her victories against two of the most formidable fighters in Westeros (Jaime and Sandor) took place when they both were weakened by illness or another similar disadvantage.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Brienne is known to use her brute strength to tackle her foes when at a disadvantage. It's how she defeated Loras in a tournament duel, and also how one of the Bolton men pursuing Sansa met his end (and she also tackled the man's horse down too).
- You Can't Go Home Again: Renly Baratheon and Catelyn Stark are dead. Brienne doesn't have much of a home left, at least until Sansa takes her in.
Podrick "Pod" Payne
Played By: Daniel Portman
Voiced By: Emmanuel Bernal (Latin American Spanish), Josaku Shirakawa (Japanese)
Tyrion Lannister: I have a certain sympathy for odd little boys.
Tyrion's trusted young squire. Hails from a lesser branch of House Payne, the family of executioner Ilyn Payne. Later becomes Brienne's squire as she starts her quest to find Sansa once Tyrion realizes King's Landing is too dangerous for him.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Pod in the novel speaks with a stutter, largely due to his chronic shyness.
- Adorkable: Pod is nervous, shy, and impossible to dislike.
- Age Lift: In the books, he's twelve when introduced. Here, he's in his late teens at least.
- Alliterative Name: Podrick Payne.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Tyrion in "Blackwater" from being killed by Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Subverted. Despite being a Sex God, he's reported to be about average size.
- Demoted to Extra: Completely cut from Season 1. In Season 2, he hardly speaks and is part of the furniture, although often remarked upon as "odd." Then comes "Blackwater", after which he experiences a rise in appearances and ceases to be a glorified extra.
- Distracted by the Sexy:
- During the takeover of Littlefinger's brothel, Pod finds it very hard to take his eyes off Ros' cleavage. We're right there with you, Pod.
- At Joffrey's wedding, he's almost drawn away from Tyrion's side◊ by the spectacle of the female contortionist at work.
- When Brienne and Pod have something to eat at an inn, Pod is distracted by the pretty waitress.
- Due to his reputation as "the Tri-pod", he sometimes incurs this reaction in ladies at court.
- Everyone Is Related: However unlikely it sounds, he's related to the King's Justice Ser Ilyn Payne, the royal executioner; they happen to be distant cousins.
- Hidden Depths: As Varys remarked of his sexual prowess, "Prodigies can be found in the strangest of places". You might even say he's a....Podigy? Also, despite being an awkward, adorkable teenager, he is possibly one of the most loyal characters in the series. In Season 8, he also reveals he has a wonderful singing voice, when he belts out "Jenny of Oldstones".
- Iconic Sequel Character: He does not appear in the series until Season 2.
- Improbable Age: Thanks to his Age Lift, Bronn points out that he's a bit old to still be a squire. However as Brienne isn't a knight herself, she can't knight Pod in turn.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Subtly and played for laughs — when Bronn and Tyrion realize Podrick's sexual prowess and interrogate him on the subject, the scene abruptly changes, like a mini-cliffhanger.
- Lethal Chef: Brienne learns the hard way that he has no cooking experience when he doesn't even know to skin a rabbit before cooking it. And then he manages to set it on fire.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Despite being a chubby little squire, Pod saves Tyrion's life by driving a spear through the back of Ser Mandon's skull.
- The Load: He tries hard, but more often than not, he's less than helpful in his attempts to assist Brienne in their travels together. She's completely shocked to hear he's actually managed to kill a man— and a Kingsguard, at that.
- Morality Pet: In a way, but Bronn has a soft spot for Pod and willingly teaches him a couple of fighting moves - free of charge! In Season 7, Bronn even takes Pod with him for drinks for old times' sake when everyone else is meeting in the dragon's pit, possibly to keep him out of harm's way.
- Nice Guy: One of the few unambiguously good-hearted and loyal characters viewers meet in all of Westeros.
- The Quiet One: Pod doesn't speak unless he's spoken to.
- Reassignment Backfire: After his previous master was hanged, with the noose already tied for Pod, Lord Tywin heard that Podrick's family name was Payne, commuted the death sentence and sent him to squire for Tyrion as mutual punishment for the two. Podrick ended up enjoying his new master and saving Tyrion's life.
- Running Gag: "Just what the hell did he do to those whores?"
- Sex God: Seems to be becoming one after he returns the money Tyrion gave him for an orgy with three whores. Apparently, they liked him so much they didn't take his money. Bronn and Tyrion ask him for details ... copious details. In a later episode, some ladies of the court loudly swoon over him as he walks by them.
- Shoo the Dog: Upon learning that Pod turned down a knighthood offered him in exchange for falsely testifying that Tyrion murdered Joffrey, Tyrion urges him to leave King's Landing before Cersei takes her revenge.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Maybe. In the books, Pod was hanged and possibly killed by Lady Stoneheart. Since she was Adapted Out, this fate does not befall him.
- The Squire: Played straight in that he is an exceptionally skilled, loyal and courageous one to Tyrion; he quickly adapts a full-sized knight's armor and weapon to the Imp's strength and stature, and even saves his life when one of the Kingsguard turns on him in the thick of the Battle of the Blackwater. Jaime considers it a good reward for both him and Brienne when he assigns him to her on her search for Sansa. It's then subverted in that he's nowhere near as useful to Brienne as he was to Tyrion, because he has no practical skills save squiring due to having grown up in towns and is used to sleeping in beds and eating cooked meals; he tires quickly in the wilderness and has absolutely no skill in tracking, hunting, foraging, or even preparing food.
- Street Smart: When he first become Brienne's squire, he knows little about the practical aspects of knighthood such as combat and survival skills. However, his time with Tyrion made him more politically savvy than her.
- Took a Level in Badass: After Brienne starts training him, Pod's fighting skills improve. By season 7, Brienne says that Pod "has become a competent swordsman", though we have yet to see him lay a finger on Brienne.
- In Season 8, he's taken to training men for combat, and is seen casually swatting away sword blows and easily disarming the new recruits.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite Tyrion's fall from power, Pod still remains loyal to him, even more so than Bronn, as he's not even paid by Tyrion. He even returns back to Tyrion the fee the latter paid Pod's whores, despite Tyrion not expecting it back. He still shows his loyalty to Tyrion even after Tyrion is accused of Joffrey's death. Even when told by Tyrion how staying by his side will result in torture and/or death, he still wishes to stay until Tyrion orders him to leave for his own safety. Tyrion's parting words to him: "There has never lived a more loyal squire."
- What Does She See in Him?: Tyrion and Bronn are puzzled about just why the whores of King's Landing consider Pod a Sex God, and they are helpless to explain.
- What You Are in the Dark: He could easily have kept the money meant for the whores, since nobody would have expected them to refuse payment. Instead, he returns it to Tyrion.
Hodor (formerly Wylis)
Played By: Kristian Nairn, Sam Coleman (young Hodor)
Voiced By: Jose Luis Miranda (Latin American Spanish/Seasons 1-5), Pablo Sosa (Latin American Spanish/Season 6), Itaru Yamamoto (Japanese)
A large, mentally challenged servant at Winterfell. He used to be a stable boy. Now he is Bran's "horse".
- Adaptational Dye Job: Brown-haired in the books, white-haired here. In the flashbacks in Season 6, he had brown hair, indicating he had been Locked into Strangeness.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the books his real name was Walder. In the show it is Wylis to prevent any unintended association to House Frey — especially since, unlike other characters who share names, there are two Walder Freys.
- Age Lift: In the books, it's implied he's not much older than a teenager. In the series, he's depicted as middle-aged, played by the 38-year-old Kristian Nairn.
- Backstory Horror: "Hold the door"...
- Beware the Nice Ones: Subverted. He's extremely strong, but Hodor himself is far too gentle to use his strength to hurt anybody. Whenever Hodor does use violence, it's because Bran warged into him and forced him to do it against his own will.
- Biggus Dickus: Noted with approval by Osha and shown to the audience.
- The Big Guy: He is a very huge and very strong guy. He only uses his strength and size for defense though, as does not like fighting.
- Breakout Character: Hodor's Pokémon Speak and Gentle Giant nature have made him a very memorable character, becoming as recognizable as the main cast in some circles. The series gives him a larger role than in the books, culminating in a Heroic Sacrifice and the reveal of a tragic backstory, and quite a bit of official "hodor hodor hodor"-themed merchandise is available.
- Cerebus Retcon: His Pokémon Speak that many found cute and endearing does not have a cute and endearing origin.
- Death by Adaptation: Only in this series. He's very much alive in the books.
- That said, the producers have clarified that this is a plot point that Martin told them in advance, not something they themselves made up. It will eventually happen in the books as well.
- Deer in the Headlights: Part of his refusal to fight is his good nature but also that he is simply to scared to act coherently. When a wight jumps on him, he just didn't know what to do and when the mutineers picked on him, he can just scream Hodor and run left and right.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Countries that started airing the show dubbed from the very start before 2016 with his nickname intact are gonna have a hard time figuring out how to work "Hodor" to whatever "hold the door" means in their respective language, which will likely necessitates a Dub Name Change for countries that are yet to air the series. David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have even apologized for it.
- Dumb Is Good: Despite his lack of intelligence, he is one of the kindest characters in the show.
- Dumb Muscle: He isn't very intelligent, but he can rip chains off the wall and pulverize the throat of a strong and skilled man. He also stopped a wave of wights pushing down a door to the point the wights had to break the sides of the door and slice him up to advance since the couldn't simply push him down.
- Dying as Yourself: Word of God has confirmed that Bran's warging wore off by the time that he actually held the door against the Wights. Hodor therefore chose to hold off the Wights and allow Bran and Meera to escape of his own free will. His last thoughts were even that of happiness, knowing he managed to save his friends' lives.
- Fear of Thunder: Gets a massive panic attack during a storm.
- Gentle Giant: Despite being extremely strong and powerfully built, he never so much as hurts a fly, which was probably the reason he was chosen to carry Bran around. Also, despite finding himself increasingly dangerous circumstances, he continually refuses to hurt anyone, and was extremely reluctant to take one of Sam's dragonglass knives and only did so on Bran's insistence.
- In "Oathkeeper", he can't bring himself to fight back against the Night's Watch mutineers.
- In "The First of his Name", he is utterly horrified after being forced via warging to kill Locke.
- In "The Children", he can't bring himself to fight back against wights.
- In "Home", it is shown that back when he was Wylis, he was eager to train and spar with the other children, but Old Nan scolded him and told him not to participate in foolishness.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies so Bran and Meera can escape the wights.
- Hidden Depths: He is capable of following instructions to the letter and is shown just to have been an average (yet towering) teenager in a flashback vision; it's implied that he suffered some sort of trauma later that left him simple-minded and aphasic. Turns out, Bran warged into him in the past and turned him into what he is in the present by throwing him into a loop. As D. B. Weiss argues, this short-circuited him into a single-purpose-minded simpleton.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: Ned and Lyanna actually saw a potential in him to be a warrior when they were younger due to his immense size. His great-grandmother, Old Nan, politely brushes off their then little Lords' suggestions, citing it doesn't suit their social status for him to train with highborn children. Now imagine him as a Mighty Glacier or Lightning Bruiser, maybe even an Acrofatic badass, if he trained.
- Large Ham: Given that he can only say his name, it's likely enforced to watch his mannerisms while speaking so one could understand what he's trying to say.
- Madness Mantra: His very name is this; as a young man, Wyllis was the victim of being in the presence of Bran greenseeing him while Bran was, in his own present time, warging into Hodor. As a result, young Wyllis got to experience his own death years later, repeating his last directive before that moment over and over again until it devolved from "Hold The Door" into "Hodor".
- Manchild: Owing to his limited intelligence, Hodor doesn't really act his age. In the Season 3 finale, he delightedly shouts his name into a well just to hear the echo.
- Mind Rape: Bran warging into him is essentially this. Unfortunately, it's also the reason why he is what he is, as Bran accidentally synced his dying older self to his younger one's while looking into the past, creating a cruel Stable Time Loop.
- Meaningful Name: Or nickname. "Hold the door!"
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction upon realizing that Bran used him to kill somebody.
- Older Sidekick: To Bran. Flashbacks in Season 6 show that he's also older than Ned.
- Pokémon Speak: "Hodor" is the only word he says. Subverted with the revelation that his real name is "Wylis".
- Put on a Bus: Does not appear in Season 5, same as the rest of the characters in Bran's storyline.
- Stable Time Loop: He's on the receiving end of one that was responsible for him becoming Hodor in the first place. When he was young he suffered some sort of mental break that caused him to start repeating the same word over and over and reduced his intelligence to that of a small child. About forty or so years later, Bran wargs into him to help hold off the attack on the Three-Eyed Raven's Cave to buy them time, and while doing so is greenseeing a memory of the day Wylis became Hodor. Bran accidentally wargs into Wylis while in this vision, thus causing the mental break that turned Wylis into Hodor, which would set him on the path in life that would put him where he needs to be for Bran to warg into him in the past. In addition to this, Meera ordering present Hodor to "Hold the Door" to prevent the Wights from breaking through influenced Bran's greensight warging, so when Wylis started seizing up he kept repeating a single phrase; "Hold the Door." This eventually got corrupted down into just "Hodor", and would be the only word that he would say for the rest of his life.
- Stone Wall: Despite being The Big Guy of Bran's party, he mainly uses his strength and size to defend him and only fights if he's warged.
- Stout Strength: A chubby person and one of the physically strongest characters in the series.
- Super Strength: Owing to his uncommonly large frame, Hodor is absurdly strong, easily capable of breaking a man's neck like a dry twig and throwing wights around like rag dolls. Given his nature, though, this mostly just translates to him merrily hauling Bran around.
- Super Wheelchair: His main task is to carry Bran around, making this trope his job description. Averted in the Season 2 finale, in which he pulls a cart to transport Bran.
- These Hands Have Killed: Hodor looks at his hands in horror after Bran wargs into him to kill Locke.
- Time-Shifted Actor: For flashbacks in Season 6.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The most gentle, good-hearted character in the whole series dies a gruesome death at the hands of the White Walkers.
- Undying Loyalty: To Bran.
- Unfortunate Name: Played for Drama. It's essentially the Heroic Sacrifice he has to one day make.
- Unwitting Pawn: The Three-Eyed Raven was aware of what created Hodor and brought Bran to the past Winterfell apparently to witness the child Ned departing to the Eyrie, but in reality brought him to cause Wylis' mind-loop into Hodor, which happened immediately after Ned left. Though this has cruel overtones, had it not happened, Hodor would not have brought Bran to North of the Wall in the first place safely, nor he would have ultimately saved his life, for the moment foiling the White Walkers. Had it not been for this point, it would have been an entirely Senseless Sacrifice.
- Verbal Tic Name: His true name is Wylis, and he only goes by 'Hodor' due to his Pokémon Speak.
- You Can't Fight Fate: It's implied that the Three-Eyed Raven was aware that Hodor would be thrown in a mind-loop, though the event appears to have been accidental due to the chaos and urgency that the attack on the cave caused, and Bran's inexperience in controlling his warging powers. In context, Hodor's mind-loop had to happen just because Hodor exists, meaning that it already happened even decades before Bran was born. He also made Bran concentrate on Meera's instruction, prompting the boy to create the loop. Whether he intended for this to happen (making Bran create "Hodor" in a desperate attempt to save his life) is not clear.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Holds the door against the White Walkers and their wights. The last scene shows the wights breaking through and tearing at Hodor.
Played By: Natalia Tena
A wildling woman taken prisoner by Robb Stark and permitted to serve in Winterfell.
- Action Girl: She goes up against Robb Stark and says she's used to taking care of herself around rougher men than Theon and anyone living north of the Wall has to be tough as nails to survive.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: As well as youthfulness.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: She is much friendlier and more energetic than her book counterpart.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's generally pretty sarcastic and doesn't care much for formalities.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields an axe when she fights Robb.
- Assassin Outclassin': Attempts to assassinate Ramsay using the same Honey Trap ploy she used to lull Theon into a false sense of security and murder one of his guards. Unfortunately, Theon had already told Ramsay about this trick during one of their torture sessions, so when she tries it again, Ramsay is quicker on the draw and kills her.
- Back for the Dead: She returns in Season 6 after last being seen at the end of Season 3, where she left to take Rickon to the Umbers. After her return, she's unceremoniously murdered by Ramsay in only her second scene.
- The Bus Came Back: In Season 6, though not for long.
- Cassandra Truth: She keeps saying that the White Walkers are coming, and that Winterfell's army should go North, not South. She also correctly interprets the comet in the skies over Westeros as heralding the return of the Dragons.
- Characterization Marches On: In the first season, she recommends returning North to give Bran, a relative of Night's Watch First Ranger Benjen, to Mance Rayder. By Season 3, she's dead set against ever going back beyond the Wall. Similarly, by the third season she's become such a Parental Substitute towards Bran and Rickon, she'd probably brutally murder her past self for even suggesting such a thing!
- Character Tic: She has a tendency to cock her head to the side when she's speaking.
- Composite Character: She takes over aspects of Old Nan, and also from the Reed siblings until they show up in Season 3. Part of this was Real Life Writes the Plot since Nan's actress, Margaret John, died after the completion of the first season. She also takes on the role of Theon's bedwarmer, which in the books is played out by Kyra, a girl from the adjacent Wintertown.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She reveals that when she lived north of the Wall, her lover disappeared one night. He came back as a wight and tried to strangle her, forcing her to burn their tent down with him inside.
- Deadpan Snarker: Her response to Theon hitting on her his to sarcastically mock him.
- Defeat Means Friendship: After Robb bests her in combat and makes her prisoner, she goes from trying to abduct Bran at knife point and ransom him to being his most protective caretaker.
- Defector from Decadence: Osha refuses to return to the Wildlings and when she speaks of her former people generally speaks of them with disgust displaying little to no love of them or their ways.
- Fake Defector: After Winterfell is taken by the Ironborn, she pledges allegiance to Theon supposedly to save her own ass. In actuality, she is revealed to be doing it to gain Theon's trust and help Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and the direwolves escape Winterfell.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Maester Luwin in particular during the Sack of Winterfell as both try to keep the Stark boys alive. Before granting him a Mercy Kill she promises him that she will keep the boys safe.
- Honey Trap: Uses this to distract Theon via hanky-panky long enough for her and the boys to slip out, and uses the same trick to distract a guard so she can slit his throat. She attempts this on Ramsay, with disastrous results.
- I Gave My Word: To a dying Luwin, that she'd take Bran and Rickon to their brother Jon Snow at Castle Black, and no further — as she is quick to remind Bran.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Developed one with Maester Luwin. She also has this with Bran and Rickon Stark.
- Kubrick Stare: Aided by actress Natalia Tena's huge eyes.
- Mama Bear: A foe comes to Winterfell, and is a potential menace to Bran and Rickon? Sleep with him to be sure to have a diversion, kill the guard and then take the children away. Likewise, if it weren't from Bran accepting the Reeds as traveling companions, it seems that Osha wouldn't hesitate to kill them in an instant, particularly Meera.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: She's the only survivor of the group of Wildling refugees who attacked Robb. In the books...
- Mercy Kill: Gives poor Maester Luwin a clean exit at his request.
- Ms. Fanservice: She has a memorable nude scene and is capable of pulling off a Honey Trap unless one knows the trap beforehand.
- Noble Savage: While initially a wildling, she later tidies up a bit and settles down, though she's just as badass as ever.
- Not So Different: To Meera Reed, as Bran reminds her — Meera pulled a knife on Osha the first time they met, Osha did the same to Bran.
- Nubile Savage: She might be a wildling, but she's also very attractive. She uses this to seduce Theon and an ironborn with 'wild things'.
- Parental Substitute: She eventually becomes one for Bran and Rickon, growing extremely protective of them.
- Put on a Bus: After she and Rickon part ways with Bran's group in "The Rains of Castamere".
- Show Some Leg: It saves the day twice in "The Old Gods and the New".
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Meera Reed.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: What this leads to. She also has Snark-to-Snark Combat with Meera Reed.
- Slashed Throat: Not exactly slashed, but Ramsay kills her by stabbing her in the throat.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Compare the Osha that tried kidnapping Bran to the Osha that would willingly give her life for him and Rickon. That's one hell of a difference.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Stark boys in particular, but she reveals in "The Rains of Castermere" that she has this loyalty to the entire house due to their taking her in despite having no reason to do so.
- Wild Hair: While far from subverting the trope, she's getting better.
- Women Are Wiser: Partially a result of her being a Composite Character, as explained above.
Ser Rodrik Cassel
Played By: Ron Donachie, Fergus Leathem (Young Rodrik)
An elderly knight and Master-of-Arms at Winterfell. Uncle to Jory Cassel.
- Badass Grandpa: Clearly, his age cannot hold him back. In the fight to the Eyrie, he keeps up with Bronn despite being much older than him, and is one of the few survivors.
- Blood from the Mouth: Coughs up blood when Theon makes the first cut.
- Composite Character: His death is a combination of the execution of both Benfred Tallhart — spitting at Theon and Theon being told to kill him for his disrespect — and Farlen, the kennelmaster of Winterfell — he also demands to be executed by Theon himself; Theon also fails to behead him with one stroke.
- Cool Old Guy: He's grumpy much of the time, but he's also an extremely loyal Badass Grandpa who doesn't fear death.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Decapitation usually is a clean death, but not when Theon swings the sword. Even a slasher like Cleftjaw is disturbed by the poor execution, which needs several hacks and a kick.
- Death by Adaptation: Dies much earlier than he does in the book, at the hands of Theon Greyjoy instead of those of Ramsay Snow.
- Death by Irony: Botchedly killed by Theon, a pupil turned to evil, in a clumsy way that demonstrates how he hadn't assimilated many of his lessons.
- Defiant to the End: Including a Spiteful Spit. And considering what Theon goes through later, a Dying Curse.Rodrik: Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy, now you are truly lost.
- Face Death with Dignity: He shows absolutely no fear of death, calmly reassuring Bran and giving Theon one last insult before his beheading.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-LinerRodrik: He who passes the sentence should swing the sword. Coward.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: More prominent when he was young, as shown in a Season 6 flashback. During his senior years, it grew so long that he ties it together. In the show, he gets to keep them instead of shaving them off because he got seasick in A Game of Thrones.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Though he lacks in actual shining armor.
- The Lancer: To Catelyn.
- Made of Iron: A mountain clansman hits him with a weapon. He shrugs off the wound and kills his attacker, telling Catelyn he'll be okay.
- The Mentor: To Robb, Jon and Theon. Bran's visions show he was also this to Eddard and Benjen.
- Obi-Wan Moment: Towards Bran. While Bran, Rickon and the rest of Winterfell are all begging Theon not to kill him, Rodrick just calmly smiles at Bran and says that he'll be seeing Ned soon.Rodrik: Hush now, child. I'm off to see your father.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Killing two Ironborn before getting captured by Lorren and his men.
- Off with His Head!: And it takes several swings and a kick for Theon to accomplish, contrasting with Ned's clean single stroke and Ned's own execution, as well as the clean executions Robb and Jon later conduct.
- Older Sidekick: Flashbacks in Season 6 shows that he's actually at least a decade older than Ned.
- Old Master: The man of arms for Winterfell.
- Old Retainer: One of many for the Starks.
- Old Soldier: Clearly rather old.
- Parental Substitute: To Bran and Rickon, though far less so than Maester Luwin.
- Time-Shifted Actor: For flashbacks in Season 6 (note that Fergus Leathem/Young Rodrik looks a lot like Podrick Payne — actor Daniel Portman is Ron Donachie's son in real life, so logically Daniel looks like young Ron).
- The Reason You Suck Speech: Confronts Theon for his shameful backstabbing and gets killed for it.Rodrik: It grieves me that you have less honor than a back-alley whore. You were raised here, under this roof! These people are your people! King Robb thought of you as his brother!. (Your brothers) died fighting a war your father started! Lord Stark raised you among his own sons! If he were alive to see this... I should have put a sword in your belly instead of in your hand! Gods help you Theon Greyjoy, now you are truly lost.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death shows that Theon is really starting to lose his shit.
- The Stoic: Rodrick remains a very stoical man who exhibits, at best, grumpiness and anger.
- Spiteful Spit: During his The Reason You Suck Speech, leading to Offing the Mouth.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Starks. This results in his death and he seems to literally fall under this trope since he tells Bran that he'll be seeing Ned soon, implying that he intends to serve Lord Stark even in the afterlife.
Played By: Susan Brown
A Septa in service of House Stark as a governess and tutor for Sansa and Arya.
- Cool Old Lady: Portrayed as stern and stodgy in the books, whereas in the TV show she's a more warmhearted and pleasant person, and more-or-less saved Sansa's life with her little Face Death with Dignity distraction act in "Baelor".
- Deadpan Snarker: Mildly, but still.
- Face Death with Dignity: Implied in "Baelor", confirmed in "Fire and Blood".
- Heroic Sacrifice: She allows herself to be killed to allow Sansa to escape. Her sacrifice ultimately fails, but she would've been killed either way.
- Killed Offscreen: Her execution was not shown. Her severed head on the other hand...
- Maid and Maiden: More so to the traditionally more maidenlike Sansa than to Arya; she acts as Sansa's governess and tutor and is so loyal she gives up her life for her.
- The Mentor: To Sansa.
- Off with His Head!: Though not necessarily killed this way, her head is later displayed along Ned's and those of the rest of the Stark household.
- Stern Teacher: To Arya.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Starks and Sansa, hence her Heroic Sacrifice.
Played By: Jamie Sives
Jory: Here in King's Landing? Fifty.
Arya: You wouldn't let anyone kill him, would you?
Jory: No fear of that, little lady.
The Captain of the Stark household guard and a loyal servant of Ned Stark. Rodrik Cassel's nephew.
- The Captain: Of Eddard's guard.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In a brothel, where Ned has to wearily call out, "Jory!"
- Eye Scream: Jaime Lannister puts a dagger through his eye during a confrontation outside a brothel. Adding insult to the injury, this happens an episode after he tells Jaime about that one battle where he almost got stabbed in an eye, to the point where you think that Jaime does this deliberately.
- Flynning: Takes a very large and obvious swing at Jaime Lannister, who gets him in a Blade Lock and puts a dagger through his eye.
- Forgotten First Meeting: When he talks with Jaime Lannister at King's landing, Jory tells him that they fought together during the Greyjoy rebellion. Jaime doesn't remember, but they do fondly remembered Thoros of Myr wielding his Flaming Sword like crazy.
- The Lancer: To Ned Stark's Hero.
- Looks Like Jesus: Sports dark long hair and a Badass Beard.
- Mauve Shirt: Jory has quite a few appearances, boasts a relation to another character and has a few scenes that give him character.
- Sacrificial Lamb: While significantly more badass than most examples, he still counts. His death is just a way of showing things are getting serious, without a major character being killed off.
- The Stoic: Tries to be and largely succeeds, remaining placid and loyal.
Played By: Miltos Yerolemou
A Master Swordsman hired by Ned to instruct Arya in water dancing, the Braavosi way of the sword.
- Accent Adaptation: In the original version, Syrio has a heavy Spaniard accent. In the Spanish dub, it is Arabic.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, Syrio Forel is described as bald and leathery, in contrast to his charming appearance in the series.
- Afro Asskicker: Syrio has an afro and kicks copious amounts of ass.
- Badass Beard: A goatee.
- Badass Boast: When confronted by several armed guards and holding only a wooden sword.Syrio: I am Syrio Forel, and you will be speaking to me with more respect.
- Badass Teacher: He's Arya's unrivaled sword master.
- Call-Back: "What do we say to the God of Death?"
- Catch-Phrase: "Just so."
- Cool Teacher: To Arya, teaching her how to use a sword.
- Dance Battler: A swordsman variation. His swordplay is even called "The Water Dance".
- Dashing Hispanic: Westerosi variation as he's from Braavos, though many of the traits still remain.
- Deadly Euphemism: To both himself and Arya, he is always a 'dance instructor'.
- Face Death with Dignity: If, of course, he actually died. He faces off against five Lannister Mooks and Ser Meryn Trant with no fear and only a broken sword handle. Said sword is made of wood.
- Killed Offscreen: Possibly since they Never Found the Body. Also, his head wasn't included on the spikes along with Ned and the Stark crew when Joffrey forces Sansa to look at them.
- Large Ham: He tends to be very dramatic and prone to great proclamations of his skill. Of course, these proclamations are very correct.
- Master Swordsman: Only by reputation, at first. Eventually showcased in "The Pointy End" when he takes out five fully armed and armored Lannister guardsmen and takes on a knight of the Kingsguard with a wooden practice sword.
- The Mentor: To Arya in Season 1.
- Never Found the Body: We don't see him losing the fight, and there's no mention of his head being with the others on the spears. In "The First of His Name", The Hound inadvertently throws gas on this particular fire by pointing out how crappy a fighter Meryn Trant, the man who supposedly killed Syrio off-screen, really is. If Syrio was able to beat five Lannister soldiers with a wooden sword, he should have been able to beat Trant without breaking a sweat. From the books...
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "The First Sword of Braavos does not run."
- Underestimating Badassery: Most of King's Landing seems to be under the impression that water dancing is a literal kind of dancing and that Syrio is actually just a dancing instructor rather than the First Sword of Braavos, which is why it is so surprising for Ser Meryn and the Lannister guards when Syrio hands the redcloaks their asses on a silver platter — with a training sword.
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Well, wooden training swords, but the principle is there. He beats several Lannister Mooks using it.
Played By: Margaret John, Annette Tierney (flashback)
A retired servant living in Winterfell who is known for her tale-telling abilities.
- Adult Fear: It turns out that her great-grandson Hodor was once a boy of normal intelligence named Wylis. One day, while simply standing around in the castle courtyard, he suddenly dropped to the ground convulsing from some kind of seizure, as Nan and the rest of the household looked on in helpless horror. Ever since her great-grandson was reduced to the mind of a child and couldn't say anything other than "hodor".
- Cool Old Lady: Her excellent storytelling abilities make her this; Bran is particularly entertained by her truly terrifying tales of the White Walkers.
- Death by Adaptation: In the books she's perhaps still alive, although her current state of existence can't be pleasant.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She's only ever known as 'Old Nan'.
- Ignored Expert: A flashback in Season 6 shows that Ned and Lyanna actually saw a potential for Hodor (then known as Wylis) to become a warrior due to his size and allows him to train with Benjen. Being Wylis's guardian, she politely brushes off her then little Lord's suggestion citing it's not fit for their social status to train with highborn children.
- Old Retainer: To the Starks.
- One-Shot Character: On account of the actress' passing before she could shoot more than two episodes.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is never revealed on the show, she's merely known as 'Old Nan'.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Old Nan is still alive in the books, though she hasn't appeared since the fall of Winterfell to Ramsay Bolton at the end of the second book. She's still listed as a prisoner at the Dreadfort. Actress Margaret John died a few weeks before the first episode of Season 1 aired, but all of her scenes that year were done already. Apparently the showrunners retired the character out of respect rather than recast it, as it is tacitly assumed that Old Nan simply died between Season 1 and Season 2.
- The Storyteller: Part of her job. She has many stories for many situations.
- Time-Shifted Actor: For Flashbacks in Season 6.
Played By: Alfie Allen
Balon Greyjoy's only living son who was taken by Ned Stark to ensure his father's good behavior after he rebelled against the throne. See Game of Thrones - House Greyjoy
Played By: Richard Rycroft
A litter of six direwolf pups found south of the Wall by Eddard Stark and his sons, the first ones to be seen so far south in a long time. Taking it as an omen, a pup is given to each of the six Stark children — Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon, and Jon Snow, Ned's illegitimate son — becoming their companions.
During Season 1, the show used adult Northern Inuit dogs to stand in for the young direwolves. From Season 2, all the direwolves are recreated with CGI, though using actual wolves.
- Badass Family: They're siblings and they're vicious fighters.
- Canine Companions: To the Stark children.
- Canis Major: They're huge.
- Cool Pets: They're massive, powerful wolf-like creatures endlessly loyal to their masters.
- Dwindling Party: Much like the Starks themselves, the direwolves find themselves getting killed off throughout the seasons. Lady is killed early in Season 1 by Ned, to pacify Cersei Lannister. Nymeria was released into the wild by Arya and has not been seen since. Grey Wind is killed along with Robb during the Red Wedding. Shaggydog gets killed off-screen by Lord Umber. Summer dies trying to protect Bran from the White Walkers. But Nymeria has returned in Season 7 and is now leading her own pack of wolves.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: With maybe Lady as the sole exception. They are rarely heeded.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Justified because the family sigil is a direwolf.
- Mascot: Technically, they're this since the Starks' sigil is a direwolf.
- Meaningful Name: Their names each reflect their respective owner's fate.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Like the Starks, they find themselves dying separate from each other.
- Noble Wolf: Literally and figuratively.
- Non Human Sidekicks: To the Stark children.
- Parental Abandonment: Their mother is dead when they were introduced and their father is nowhere to be seen.
- Sibling Team: Downplayed. Only Summer and Shaggydog got to work together. The rest of the direwolves end up being separated into different storylines.
- Team Pets: To the Starks. In Ghost's case, to the Starks and to the Night's Watch.
- Two Girls to a Team: Lady and Nymeria are the only female of the six direwolves.
- Uncatty Resemblance: Not physical, but behavioral.
- Undying Loyalty: To their respective owners.
Robb's direwolf, who accompanies him in battle.
- Big Sleep: Slowly closes his eyes after being shot by arrows.
- Canine Companion: To Robb.
- Dead Guy on Display: Along with Robb. An especially nasty example, his head is chopped off and impaled on his master's headless body.
- Decapitation Presentation: Postmortem, his head is sewn and impaled on Robb's beheaded corpse.
- The Dreaded: Just his growls are enough to put Jaime Lannister on edge and Lannister troops tell chilling stories about him.
- Fingore: Grey Wind bites off two of the Greatjon's fingers. Best behave yourself in front of Lord of Winterfell.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Freys and Boltons shoot him with arrows until he dies.
- Meaningful Name: The Stark sigil is a grey direwolf, and his owner was the heir and then became the Lord of Winterfell until his death.
- Noble Wolf: He mirrors his master's personality; courageous and pack-oriented and fierce.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Grey Wind is a rare heroic example. He only attacks people Robb tells him to and Robb is a good king.
- Undying Loyalty: To Robb.
Sansa's direwolf, the gentlest of the litter.
- Canine Companion: To Sansa.
- Guilt by Association: Killed to appease Cersei Lannister after Nymeria bites her son Joffrey.
- Killed Offscreen: Her execution was given a Gory Discretion Shot.
- Kill the Cutie: The most mild mannered of all the direwolves and the first one to die.
- Meaningful Name: She's a female direwolf — and a Proper Lady at that.
- Mercy Kill: Ned kills her quickly to spare her the slow death that the Lannisters might have caused her.
- Neutral Female: Unlike her siblings, she's doesn't appear to be combat proficient.
- Pet Baby Wild Animal: Lampshaded by King Robert when he orders Lady killed.
- Proper Lady: Mirroring Sansa's personality.
- The Scapegoat: She's killed in place of Nymeria.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Much like their respective owners, she's the Girly Girl to Nymeria's tomboy.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: The first of the Stark direwolves to be killed.
- Action Girl: Nymeria gives Joffrey a good thrashing.
- The Bus Came Back: In Season Seven, she and Arya meet in the woods while Arya is traveling back to Winterfell. Arya recognizes Nymeria and begs her to come with her, but Nymeria, despite remembering her, turns and leaves with her pack with Arya realizing that Nymeria has moved away from her.
- Canine Companion: To Arya.
- Cool Pet: For Arya.
- Demoted to Extra: In the books it's a recurring subplot for Arya to have wolf dreams of Nymeria, as Arya is unknowingly a powerful warg. According to the dreams Nymeria becomes the alpha of a massive horde of wolves that prowl the Riverlands. No such subplot exists on the show though and Nymeria is never seen or mentioned again until Season Seven.
- The Dog Bites Back: Literally does this to Joffrey on Arya's behalf when he's bullying her.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Justified because the family sigil is a direwolf.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Is named after a warrior queen of legend.
- Noble Wolf: Like many other Stark direwolves, she is the "Loyal pack member" variety of wolves.
- Shoo the Dog: After Nymeria bites Joffrey, Arya shoos her away to protect her from the Lannisters.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Much like their respective owners, she's the tomboy to Lady's Girly Girl.
- Uncatty Resemblance: Not physical, but behavioral, and of course like Arya, Nymeria is exiled, becomes a runaway and lives in the wild, growing large and commanding a huge pack, and just like how Arya rejected Ned's vision of his youngest daughter as a Proper Lady married off to a Lord and living in a castle, Nymeria ultimately won't go back to being a pet.Arya: That's not you.
- Undying Loyalty: To Arya. She's forced to leave her, but is never too far. Despite not going back with her, she remembers Arya and still loves her.
- Bash Brothers: With Shaggydog until Season 3.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saving Bran from an assassin hired by Joffrey.
- Canine Companion: To Bran.
- Canon Discontinuity: The direwolf whose coat has varied the most during the show's run. From grey to brown to mostly white color.
- Demoted to Extra: In Season 2.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Buys Bran and Meera precious time to escape at the cost of his life.
- Ludicrous Gibs: It's unclear if he's eventually Devoured by the Horde, but the wights are seen repeatedly hacking him off before the scene cuts.
- Meaningful Name: When Winter arrives, Summer dies.
- Noble Wolf: Summer saves Bran from an assassin.
- Psychic Link: With Bran.
- Salt and Pepper: With Shaggydog, with him being the "white" one.
- Senseless Sacrifice: His last stand ultimately barely slows the White Walkers down.
- Snow Means Death: As stated by his Meaningful Name above. He was killed by White Walkers, who are associated with winter.
- Undying Loyalty: To Bran, of course.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Dies holding the line in his attempt to prevent a horde of White Walkers from getting to Bran.
Rickon's direwolf, all black in color.
- Adaptational Wimp: The biggest and most unruly of the direwolves in the books who was feasting on unicorns in Skagos when we glimpsed him by tree-vision in Book 5, gets killed off-screen.
- Bash Brothers: With Summer until Season 3.
- Bus Crash: His decapitated head is shown to prove that Rickon is a real Stark to Ramsay Bolton.
- Canine Companion: To Rickon.
- Decapitation Presentation: The Umbers put his impaled head on a fork.
- Demoted to Extra: In Season 2.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed offscreen in Season 6, he becomes a decapitated head pegged on a hook.
- Fluffy the Terrible: You wouldn't expect Shaggydog to be the name for a terrifying direwolf, would you?
- Killed Offscreen: Only his head is reintroduced in Season 6.
- Meaningful Name: Ever heard of the term "Shaggy Dog" Story? That is what ultimately his and his owner's story are. Sent to the Umbers for refuge only to be betrayed and killed.
- Off with His Head!: It's unclear if he was killed this way, but the Umbers make a Decapitation Presentation of his head nonetheless in season 6.
- Pet Monstrosity: Lord Eddard warns against this happening. Shaggydog really doesn't like being chained in a kennel and has moments of this, justified in that his owner and trainer is a six-year-old boy who has been rendered slightly unstable due to his entire life collapsing around him.
- Put on a Bus: Alongside Rickon and Osha between Seasons 3 and 6, when Shaggydog's head makes an appearance to prove of Rickon's identity.
- Salt and Pepper: With Summer, with him being the "black" one.
- Undying Loyalty: To Rickon.
Jon's direwolf, an albino. Ghost is found last, having separated from his mother's corpse and siblings.
- Badass in Distress: At some point after Jon leaves him with the rest of the Watch for the fake defection, Ghost was captured by Karl and Rast.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Ghost saves Sam from an ax-wielding wight just as he's about to land a blow over poor Sam.
- And again in "The Gift" when he scares off two asshole Brothers who were beating Sam to a pulp and clearly planning to rape Gilly.
- The Bus Came Back: Appears for the first time in a long time in "Oathkeeper", as the prisoner of the Night's Watch mutineers.
- Canine Companion: For Jon Snow.
- Commuting on a Bus: Since being freed from the mutineers, he has been seldom seen. Explained at first by him being penned up at Thorne's order, but once Jon becomes Lord Commander, he remains suspiciously absent aside from a single appearance in "The Gift". This is mostly because the CGI budget has trouble accommodating the direwolves.
- Cool Pet: Like the other Direwolves, he's one for Jon Snow.
- The Dog Bites Back: No pun intended. Ghost kills Rast during the Night's Watch's assault on the mutineers. Rast had spent the previous episode abusing Ghost.
- Dog Walks You: In the show's continuity, Ghost abandons Jon shortly after he departs for a mission with Qhorin Halfhand and goes back to the Night's Watch to take part in the Battle of the Fist.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: The first to notice the presence of a re-animated corpse in the compound of the Watch.
- Godzilla Threshold: He seems to be the Godzilla for the Night's Watch, given how Jon sends Sam to let him out of his kennel when the siege on Castle Black starts going sour.
- Heroic Albino: He's stark white, which is also the colour of Rhaegar Targaryen's hair, fitting since Jon is his son. Ghost's albinism also has heraldic significance. A custom very common in Westeros is for highborn, acknowledged illegitimate children to use the heraldry of their noble-born parent's House but with the colors inverted. For Jon, this means that his personal sigil is a white direwolf on a grey field.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Justified, because the family sigil is a direwolf.
- Irony: He was the runt of the litter and expected to live the shortest. As of the Season 6 finale, Ghost is the only one both alive and with their owner. His siblings have all been killed or are no longer with their owner (Nymeria). To add to this, the runt's owner becomes King in the North.
- Meaningful Name: Ghost is a very appropriate name for a direwolf whose owner literally came Back from the Dead.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In the novels, Ghost doesn't make any sound at all, which is the main reason for his name. Obviously, stopping a dog from making sounds in real life is impossible.
- Put on a Bus: He gave the crew some trouble during Seasons 2 and 3, where it's often unclear where he is. He finally returns in "Oathkeeper" during Season 4, where it's revealed he's been trapped by the Night's Watch mutineers.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: It comes with being albino, it seems.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Jon uses Ghost to threaten Rast in order to protect Sam.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Ghost is master of this, especially his Big Damn Heroes in "The Gift", after which he vanishes again.
- Team Pet: To the Night's Watch by default.
- Uncatty Resemblance: Not physical, but behavioral. Like Jon Snow, Ghost is initially the unnoticed runt of the litter to individuals outside his family, but he's strong and loyal. Also like Jon, he has this habit of disappearing off to do his own thing without warning others and occasionally getting into hot water for it. Abandoning Jon may also not have been what it looked like, any more than Jon's "abandoning" of the the Watch to live with the Free Folk was. Whatever he got up to, this wolf probably had Reasons. Ghost's white fur is a subtle reference to Jon's biological father, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who had the classic Targaryen look of silver hair, whereas Jon himself mostly resembles his mother Lyanna Stark.
- Undying Loyalty: To Jon and by early Season 3, it seems to apply to Sam as well. Ghost not being at Jon's side during this time also serves to prevent having Orell trying to warg him. He firmly comes back to Jon by late Season 6, though.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He disappears and is nowhere to be seen for much in Season 6 after Jon returns to the North. This is revealed to be because of a budgeting issue: they only had enough money for either Wun Wun the giant or Ghost, not both. They chose Wun Wun, so Ghost isn't there for a while. Even though Wun Wun died in Season 6, Ghost still didn't appear in Season 7, but a mention of him by Sansa note means he is still alive. A lot of CGI this season went towards the Dragons and the White Walkers, which limits his appearances. He finally reappears early in Season 8, besides Jon, Sam, and Edd in Winterfell.