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Woobie / A Song of Ice and Fire

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    A Song of Ice and Fire 
  • The whole Stark family in different ways:
    • Sansa Stark is an 11-year old idealistic girl who dreams of going to court, being swept off her feet by a handsome knight, and initially aspires to be a Princess Classic. At the start of the first book, she is living with her loving family in a not-so-exciting, but safe home, with dreams of going off to court and being engaged to a handsome prince. She gets her wish but by the end of this same book, her betrothed — the handsome Prince Charmless — has her father beheaded while the royal family has declared almost her entire family to be traitors. While her mother, eldest brother, and younger sister are being hunted down, Sansa finds herself alone without any of her family, engaged to an abusive and cruel prince, and must become a Stepford Smiler to survive being trapped in a Decadent Court where the only one who treats her decently is Sandor Clegane. It just gets much, much worse from there on out. Now, all she wants is to go home and be reunited with the surviving family she has left.
    • Jon Snow finds himself to be an outsider his entire life, must face Westerosi social stigma of being an illegitimate child, and is often facing Conflicting Loyalty between love vs. duty. Although he loves and is loved by his family, Jon is still an outsider in his own family, yearns to know about his Missing Mom whose identity he doesn't even know, and wants to find his own purpose in the world due to his illegitimacy. Because of his highborn upbringing wherein Jon is raised by a lord father with his trueborn siblings, he is almost always a Fish out of Water as he's too nobleborn and educated to be lowborn but not highly born enough to inherit his family's titles. He believes his father would never speak about his mother's identity because he might be ashamed of it but really, it could be because he wants to protect Jon from finding out an Awful Truth or even worse. He dreams of becoming a ranger in the Night's Watch like his uncle so he can earn his own honour as an illegitimate son but his dream is crushed when he finds out what the Night's Watch has now mostly become. Later, Jon gets to go ranging but then he is ordered to fulfill extremely dangerous missions like being a Fake Defector among the wildlings, despite being only 15 years old and a brand new member. He's an outsider among the wildlings and when he returns, he's an outsider among the Watch due to his time with the wildlings. From his experiences, Jon is one of the few who understands the need of Night's Watch and the oncoming threat of the Others. He's elected Lord Commander at a very young age, where he is the first Lord Commander in thousands of years to face Westeros's greatest threat, a threat he must fight with severely limited resources and that he's working to save everyone from... but many in the kingdom don't even believe this evil is back. When he tries to save the wildlings as well from this same threat and forms an alliance with them to defend against the army of the dead that is coming for them all, he faces more dissent. By the end of the fifth book, he ends up pissing too many people off in his efforts to do what is morally right, some of which comes into conflict with the Watch's neutrality, and a faction of his own men attempt to murder him.
      • During all of this, Jon is devastated by the belief that his family has perished. And Jon's First Love ends up dying in his arms. It's gotten to the point where those still alive in the Stark family — Jon, Arya, Sansa, Bran and Rickon — don't actually know that any of the others are alive and long to see each other again, but whenever they try to get to each other, something always prevents them from reuniting. In A Dance With Dragons, Jon has the chance to save his beloved little sister Arya — but is killed for his efforts and unbeknownst to him, the girl claiming to his sister is an imposter.
    • Arya Stark has low self-esteem due to always being compared unfavorably to her beautiful, talented, and feminine older sister who bullies her. She comes from the same loving family as Sansa, Jon, and the rest of the Starks, but finds she does not fit gender roles as her siblings easily do because her own talents (horseback riding, sword fighting, maths) are considered inappropriate by Westerosi society due to Westeros’s strict gender restrictions and as a result, doesn't really fit in with Westerosi society. Though Arya has the support of her half-brother Jon, who gives Arya her Cool Sword, and eventually her father, who arranges for her to learn how to use her Cool Sword under the guise of 'dancing lessons,' she must keep her sword fighting aspirations secret and cannot openly partake in these talents. She loves befriending the small folk and is one of the only characters not to care about class distinctions but thanks to her sister's betrothed Joffrey Baratheon, Arya's friend Mycah, the butcher's boy, is killed and she's forced to drive her direwolf Nymeria away to save Nymeria’s life. All this pales in comparison to seeing her father executed in front of her and having to flee from his killers. She is forced to travel through war-torn Westeros as a refugee and is exposed to deprivation, horrific violence and the threat of rape. She's been forced to take on several identities to help her survive, which is slowly picking away at her sanity. She believes almost her entire family has been killed and thinks that they wouldn't even want her back because she's killed people and isn't ladylike enough — except for her faith in her beloved half-brother, Jon Snow, who she wants desperately to get to but she never manages to reach.
    • Ned Stark is the Only Sane Man in a Decadent Court and didn't even want the job as the king's Number Two in the first place because he loathes the petty power feuds in the court and wanted to stay away from it as much as possible. Also, he has an inferiority complex towards his older brother Brandon, who was intended to be the heir of Winterfell instead of him, and even the wife he came to love was originally meant to marry his brother. He is also struggling with his PTSD about what he witnessed during Robert's Rebellion. Memories of his sister Lyanna's death are frequently present in his mind, as is The Promise he made to her, and it has heavily influenced his mindset. He tries to do good for most of his time, will even go against rules for the sake of doing the right thing, but ends up in disgrace and executed by a boy he was trying to protect — because of schemes he never knew were being played.
    • Catelyn Stark. That poor, poor woman loses everything she holds dear and witnesses her first-born son murdered right in front of her right before her death.
    • Poor Bran Stark wanted nothing more than to be a Knight in Shining Armor, and loved climbing. Then Jaime pushed him out of a window, paralyzing him from the waist down. Now, not only can he never be a knight and will never be able to climb again, he can't even cross the room without someone's help.
    • Despite not getting much development, Rickon Stark is really having a sucky childhood — ever since his family was split into different directions by events taking place early on in the series. This is made all the sadder as Rickon had wished for none of his family to leave Winterfell in the first place and wishes for all of them to return. Now that's unlikely to happen because like the rest of the Starks, he's separated from the rest of living siblings (Jon, Sansa, Arya and Bran) while his parents and oldest brother are dead, his home is burned down and everyone in Westeros thinks he and Bran are dead. Rickon's only companions are his direwolf Shaggydog, who is violent and very wild as he himself is, and a wildling girl. Rickon is said to be an island rumored for a bunch of cannibals and unicorns (no, we're not talking about those cutesy unicorns). You can't help but feel sorry that this kid had to grow up in such a Crapsack World with a lack of parental guidance — and he's only five.
  • Dany is set up as one, being abused by her JerkAss brother and forced to run for her life — for her entire life. Then it's totally subverted with her ascent to awesomeness.
  • Tyrion is the biggest one in the series, and that's saying a lot. Though he has a good relationship with his older brother Jamie, Tyrion suffers horrible, life-long abuse at the hands of his father and sister and is derided by nearly everyone he meets because of his dwarfism, despite being one of the kindest characters in the series until he starts to indulge in Then Let Me Be Evil in "A Dance With Dragons", all while being depressed and self-loathing about it.
  • Hodor is mentally disabled and Catelyn's Frey wards viciously mock him for it. Then Bran starts mind-raping him on a regular basis.
  • Jeyne Poole manages to claim this title in A Dance With Dragons, despite being a very minor character. Being married to Ramsay Bolton is exactly as bad as it sounds. It's also all but stated that she was whipped while being forced to train as a prostitute.
  • Theon Greyjoy, as Reek, having been tortured to insanity. He did horrible things, but damn, it's hard not to pity him for the unspeakable brutal torture he suffered at the hands of Ramsay Snow.
  • Penny: The sweetness of Sansa and the stature of Tyrion.
  • Podrick Payne keeps losing people he cares about, including Tyrion, who was exiled.
  • Sandor Clegane needs more hugs. His older brother burned half his face but still got a knighthood, utterly crushing Sandor's faith in the world.
  • The smallfolk in general — the arrogance and pride of the five kings has doomed them to years of war and deprivation.
    • In a few short lines to Dany, Jorah summarizes the desires and wishes of the smallfolk, and how they never get them.
    Jorah: The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are.
  • A kind of weird inversion occurs with Robert Arryn in the first book — the reader wishes that someone would just take him away from his overprotective mother and force him to man up. You know your mother is bad when the readers wish that you had been sent to be fostered by Tywin Lannister. Even his father noticed it and wanted to send him to Stannis Baratheon.
    • Played straight in later books. As annoying and creepy as Robert Arryn is, it's hard not to have a morsel of pity for him. He's only a little kid, but he's been extremely ill for most, if not all, his life. He lost both of his parents, is in the "care" of an even creepier stepfather who is poisoning him, and is fully aware that everyone is just waiting for him to die so Harry the Heir can take his place. Only his step-sister Alayne, (who's really his cousin Sansa Stark), shows him any tenderness, but it's ambiguous whether or not she is willing to sacrifice him for her own agenda.
  • Jaime, since A Storm of Swords. We find out that he killed the Mad King in order to save thousands of lives but is always scorned for it because he broke his vow to protect the king as a knight of the Kingsguard. Then he loses his sword hand and Cersei's affection, the only two things that made him feel alive.
  • Littlefinger as a boy who, by all accounts, was adorably mischievous and full of idealism before losing the girl he loved to another man. As an adult, he can be interpreted as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Hell, even Robert has shades of Woobieness to him. It's impossible not to see that the guy is absolutely miserable as king but knows there's no way out of it.
    Robert: Damn you, Ned Stark. You and Jon Arryn, I loved you both. What have you done to me? You were the one should have been king, you or Jon. (...) Look at me, Ned. Look at what kinging has done to me. Gods, too fat for my armor, how did it ever come to this?
  • Jon Connington: He loses a pivotal battle during Robert's Rebellion because he is too decent to burn a city to the ground, loses the man who he quite probably loved, spends nearly two decades in exile protecting and raising that man's son, and is dying of greyscale so he will probably not live to see the end of his endeavors for good or for ill. And if that boy is eventually revealed to be an impostor, he's possibly doing it for nothing.
  • Lollys Stokeworth. If being The Load to her family and being viciously gang-raped "half a hundred times" by an angry mob and becoming pregnant as a result wasn't bad enough, there are plenty of hints that Lollys may be mentally disabled. The fact that she gets No Sympathy and is nothing but a source of amusement and derision for several other characters ramps this up.
  • Even among House Frey, there are White Sheep with moral standards; people without enough backbone to oppose either their father or their kin (and will be vilified by proxy for doing nothing despite being powerless to stop the Red Wedding, if not simply for their family name); children who believe that the Red Wedding isn't what it actually is because they were told otherwise; and women whose opinion and autonomy is given no regard, and they're sold off into marriages by The Patriarch. Of these, several are confirmed to be in positions of pity
    • The most sympathetic of the Freys is the poor fool, Aegon "Jinglebell" Frey. The poor guy was born with substantial learning difficulties and was thus made the butt of family jokes for decades. And, with that family, well... you just have to pity him, as it's all too easy to picture what he must have gone through. In the end, he was considered a throw-away sacrifice of not much note, too, even though he probably barely knew what was going on.
    • Olyvar is the 18th son of Lord Walder, who was made Robb Stark's squire as part of the crossing agreement between the Starks and Freys. He genuinely looked up to Robb despite being a couple years older, has a lively personality and when the Freys withdraw their support in anger over Robb breaking his vow to marry one of the Frey daughters (by marrying Jeyne Westerling instead), Olyvar is the only one present (and still alive, unlike his brother Stevron) who still supports Robb. He is not at the Twins for Edmure's wedding to his sister Roslin, ostensibly "on business" along with his nephew Alesander and his brother Perwyn. The real reason for his absence is that all three of them they were judged to be too sympathetic to the Northerners, and it's implied that Perwyn knew about the Red Wedding, yet despite objecting to it, he didn't or couldn't stop it, out of family loyalty. Olyvar only finds out about this well after his former lord and sworn King, along with many people he fought alongside during the campaign, were already massacred. This guy really needs a hug.
    • Roslin is crying when she marries Edmure, and though she claims that they're Tears of Joy, he soon learns that she knew about the Red Wedding but was forced to go along with it by her family, despite hating the thought of it. Despite the circumstances, she truly likes Edmure and even admits that she prays that their first child (which she is currently pregnant with) will be a girl rather than a boy so that her family will not dispose of Edmure once they have a Tully heir to Riverrun they can control.
  • Brienne has been mocked and rejected by many people for her lack of beauty and for her desire to be a Knight in Shining Armor. Despite being one of the characters who is closest to that ideal in the Crapsack World Westeros is, it actually makes things far more difficult for her as men try to "put her in her place". Now she's being forced by the undead Catelyn (Lady Stoneheart), a woman she has sworn a duty to, to betray Jaime, a man that she has come to respect.
  • Stannis Baratheon's wife is a Rhollor fanatic, his daughter is disfigured, his only friend is an ex-smuggler whose fingers he chopped off and he is off fighting wildlings and gods know what else beyond the Wall when he should be regrouping and reinforcing his army. Stan needs a hug.
    • Also the fact that Stannis was always by the standards of the Seven Kingdoms one of its most upright men. He followed his brother even if it was treason against his King, holding Storm's End for a year and almost starving, taking Dragonstone and defeating the first Greyjoy Rebellion, and promotes people for merit rather than nobility. He finally claims the throne because he knows he is Robert's rightful heir. Yet he barely gets appreciated during Robert's reign and most of the Seven Kingdoms believes him an Evil Uncle and Dark Lord.
    • Pretty much all of the Dragonstone group qualifies, actually. Shireen is a sweet girl who is mocked by everyone up to and including her uncle, simply for being disfigured; Davos Seaworth grew up very poor and is disrespected by everyone around him, and loses four of his sons at the Blackwater; Melisandre grew up a slave in Asshai, one of the most unpleasant and terrifying places in the aSoIaF universe, and is so traumatized by her childhood that she can't even stand the dark; Selyse Baratheon is neglected in her marriage and implied to have latched so thoroughly onto R'hllor because of loneliness; and Patchface is mentally disabled due to drowning when he was younger. And they are all going to have to deal with the Others soon enough.
  • The late Viserys Targaryen can be considered a Jerkass Woobie when you get a good long look at his backstory. His entire family was killed except a little sister he had to raise in exile while begging powerful people in Essos to help him reclaim his homeland.
  • Lysa Tully is paranoid, cruel, murderous and clearly off her nut by the time she enters the series, but her backstory is fairly tragic: As a girl, she had an unrequited crush on Petyr Baelish, who loved her more attractive sister. Her father forced her to miscarry their bastard child, implicitly damaging her womb, and then married her off to a much older man. For years she had nearly a dozen pregnancies which ended in either stillbirth or miscarriage; when she finally had a living child, Robert "Sweetrobin" Arryn, he turned out sickly with a weak constitution, and the trials of her life had by this point already driven Lysa off the deep end.
  • The historical Dance of the Dragons produced many sympathetic characters from both sides:
    • Rhaenyra Targaryen's mother died when she was very young. She gets slut-shamed and her claim to the throne is contested because of her gender and the Hightowers' ambition. Her father died, her daughter was stillborn, her three eldest sons died one after another, her youngest son was taken hostage, she saw her dragon die, her second husband might have been cheating on her, she loses control of King's Landing, she's betrayed by her own men, then she's burned alive and fed to her brother's dragon. All that in the span of less than two years. She can't even catch a break posthumously, since everyone still considers her a usurper and terrible queen, despite her being the mother of the current line of Targaryens.
    • Joffrey Velaryon, Rhaenyra's third son. After losing both his elder brothers, the Dragonpit is stormed, putting his dragon in danger. His attempt to ride his mother's dragon to save his own fails and he falls to his death, though spends ages dying in agony.
    • Poor, poor Queen Helaena. The horrific Blood and Cheese incident left her severely depressed and lead to her committing suicide (allegedly).
    • Helaena's last surviving child, Princess Jaehaera. Her twin brother was murdered in front of her, her other brother was sent away soon after and died, and her father married her to her cousin Aegon III at a young age to ensure his line would continue to hold the throne. However she died shortly after when she fell onto spikes, taking half an hour to die. She apparently committed suicide, but more likely she was murdered on the orders of Lord Peake so his daughter could marry Aegon.
    • Aegon III. He thought he had lost his brother Viserys when enemy forces attacked their ship, his dragon died after helping him escape and his brother Jacaerys died during the battle. Later his mother Rhaenyra took King's Landing, but Aegon and his mother were forced to flee once the citizens of the city turned on them, along with his last half-brother dying. Aegon was Forced to Watch as his mother was eaten by his uncle's dragon, was forced to marry Aegon II's daughter Jaehaera, and was imprisoned by Aegon II as a hostage. After Aegon II's death Aegon was released and became king, but he remained in melancholy for the rest of his life, never smiling and always wearing black in mourning for his mother. He would brood in his room for days, meaning his brother Viserys had to run the realm, and didn't even like being touched by his wife Daenaera Velaryon. He also died relatively young, at the age of 36.
  • Edmure Tully. First he fails horrendously at lighting his father's body alight, looking like an idiot in front of everyone. He's basically considered worthless at war by everyone else in the council when he realizes how badly he exceeded his command, which was partly Robb's fault due to the two not actually discussing what Robb was planning and Robb giving vague orders. He's forced to marry against his will and just when it looks like he might actually win from that, the Red Wedding happens and he's imprisoned, humiliated by the Freys to negotiate a surrender with the Blackfish, his only moment of awesome being a gambit to screw over Jaime Lannister and the Freys by helping the Blackfish escape.
  • Queen Naerys, the pious daughter of Viserys II. She was a slender, small and sickly woman who wanted to join the Faith but was forced to marry her brother Aegon IV "The Unworthy". Aegon constantly cheats on her and abuses her. Childbirth was very difficult for Naerys, after her first birth it was warned another pregnancy could kill her, but even though she bears him a son, Daeron, Aegon refuses to let her leave his bed. She had numerous miscarriages, a daughter being the only other child that survived. Even before that her husband accuses her of cheating on him with her other brother, Aemon, who is kind to her. After Aemon dies defending the brother he hates due to his Kingsguard vows, Aegon continues to spread rumors about Daeron's illegitimacy, and Naerys dies a year after her kinder brother in childbirth.
  • For such a minor character, Queen Rhaella Targaryen manages to rack up quite a few woobie points: she wasn't allowed to marry the man she loved and was forced to marry her brother instead; Aerys spent the early part of their marriage cheating on her and the later part raping and beating her; she had a number of stillbirths, miscarriages and crib deaths, to the point it was rumored that the gods were punishing her for alleged infidelity; Robert's Rebellion ended up killing off her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren; and then finally she died giving birth, not knowing if her surviving children would even live to the next day.
  • Doran Martell thought that he's not going to get younger siblings after the first two died weeks after they were born. Fortunately, Elia and Oberyn lived through their adult years. And then, Elia and her children are brutally killed by a Lannister bannerman and the current regime didn't bother to deliver that man to justice because they're closely tied to the Lannisters. This made Doran into a cynical and depressed man who is diagnosed with gout, wants revenge on the Lannisters and had to send his son, Quentyn, to a rival house as a ward to earn their alliance which cause his wife to leave him. Then, Oberyn died in a brutal Mutual Kill against the same man who had killed their sister and Quentyn failed his quest to bring Daenerys to Westeros and got roasted. Gods knows how Doran's going to take if he's going to find out about his son.
  • Despite being a Posthumous Character, Elia Martell deserves a mention. She gets to be married off to the Crown Prince, but the king is a nutty jerk that insult hers and her newborn daughter's Dornish heritage. Her husband seemed to be at least fond of her, but at the Tourney of Harrenhal publicly favors another woman in front of her and a year afterwards he runs off with her (kidnapping or elopement doesn't matter, it's bad anyway). A war ensues for it and the nutty king refuses her to leave the city for somewhere safer because she is an hostage in all but name to make her (pissed-off by brother-in-law) brother keep fighting with the royal forces. Then her husband dies in battle, the war is lost, the rebel forces sack the city, some Psychos For Hire murder her children by stabbing her daughter half a hundred times and smashing her infant son's head. Then she is raped and killed by a giant beast of a man who still has her son's blood and brain in his hands.
  • Ellaria Sand's world came crashing down when she had watched Oberyn get his skull crushed by Ser Gregor Clegane. Then, she's upset that his brother and her three older stepdaughters still want revenge despite that the people responsible for Elia's and Oberyn's deaths are gone. She clearly doesn't want them to get entangled with the horrible Cycle of Revenge that killed her lover and is worried that her four younger daughters could likely get involved in this cycle if their older sisters died.
  • Aeron Greyjoy has been a victim of Euron's abuse for his entire life and spends it looking for ways to cope. As a child,Euron would frequently come into his and Urrigon's rooms at night while drunk and rape one of them, which results in Aeron becoming The Alcoholic when he became a man. He cut the fingers off of his brother Urrigon's hand, and had to deal with the guilt of being responsible for his brother and fellow victim's death. After being drowned and reborn in the Faith of the Drowned God, Aeron spent the rest of his life up to the current books as a mad zealot, proselytizing for the Old Way. In the books proper, he's one of the only Ironborn to actively act against Euron at the Kingsmoot. His advice goes unheeded, and then the rest of the Ironborn begin to believe that he's nothing but a mad fool, perched on his beach while Euron was the truer servant of the Drowned God. Then Aeron is kidnapped by Euron, beaten by his mutes, starved, fed food with worms in it, has rats bite on his feet, salt water rising up to his genitals, and by the end of it, he will likely be sacrificed along with another one of Euron's abuse victims, Falia Flowers. The only comfort Aeron has by the end of this is the belief that he and Falia will feast in the Drowned God's halls after death and even that is might be false.
  • Before becoming Euron's lover, Falia was a woobie in her own right. She was born a bastard, but her father, stepmother, and trueborn half-sisters forced her to be their servant. Small wonder she jumped at the opportunity to get revenge when it was offered to her. It's true that Falia's... not a particularly great person — she immediately and happily sold herself to Euron when the Ironborn raided Oakenshield and proceeded to give him ideas on how to humiliate her family further, such as making all the women serve naked. She then remained at Euron's side as he gifted her multiple prizes and luxuries, ignoring Aeron's constant pleas to run. While Falia ending up as a sacrifice is very much her own fault and a fitting end..., having her tongue cut off while she's bound naked to the prow of a sailing ship despite being pregnant with his child can still net her a Woobie status in this regard, depending on your interpretation.
    • On the other side of the coin, while Falia's sisters mistreated her, not all of them deserved the humiliation she put them through after joining Euron Greyjoy. The youngest of them is only ten years old and cries when she's ordered to strip.
  • Depending on your interpretation, Cersei Lannister could be seen as a deeply complex Jerkass Woobie. Her mother died when she was a child, her father became distant, she was married off to a man who often raped her, and generally had to deal with being a woman in a patriarchal society. What makes her interesting is that her sympathetic traits are meant to explain her actions, instead of excuse them. She spent her life believing her brother would one day kill her, so she despises and abuses Tyrion. She was told everything would be stolen from her by another queen, so she plots against her daughter-in-law and guards her power at any cost. She thought her children would all die young, so she became overprotective and controlling. Even her hypocritical Boomerang Bigot tendencies arose from her internalizing the values of the society that raised her, along with her bitterness about having limited opportunities due to her gender. Cersei's Walk of Shame in the fifth book exemplifies this. Even though she'd done many horrible things, her punishment is so deliberately targeted towards her gender that feels cruel and disproportionate.
  • The sunset girl who Tyrion sleeps with in the Selhorys brothel. Her back is covered with scars from having been whipped and her eyes look completely dead. She has no identity, not even a name of her own — "the sunset girl" is what the proprietor of the brothel calls her. Despite knowing almost nothing about her, it's not hard to imagine the kinds of horrors she's been through. Even Tyrion feels ashamed of himself after he has sex with her.
  • The slaves of Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen lead miserable lives before they are freed by Dany, but a slave's life in Astapor is a living nightmare. When new slaves are led into the city, the first thing they see is the Plaza of Punishment, where rebellious slaves are punished and executed. Disobedient slaves are punished by flaying, and slave children are regularly fed to bears for entertainment. The Unsullied are castrated at age five and go through horrible training regimens that involve being forced to kill the puppies they've bonded with and murder slave infants in front of their mothers.
  • Historically, Alys Harroway, the second wife of King Maegor I Targaryen. He married her in an attempt to conceive another child when his marriage to Ceryse Hightower failed to produce any children. The High Septon and many lords of the realm denounced her as "the whore of Harroway" and "Maegor's whore". When she gave birth to a horrifically deformed stillborn child, Tyanna of the Tower told Maegor that it had been the result of Alys having an affair. Maegor responded by killing Alys's entire family, and then had Alys tortured to death by Tyanna. It took her two weeks to die, and her body was cut into seven parts and mounted on spikes atop the gates of King's Landing. The worst part? The stillborn wasn't even her fault; she was poisoned by Tyanna and framed.
  • The deceased "ugly little girl" whose face Arya wears in the House of Black and White. She has a broken nose and jaw, half her teeth are missing, and her cheekbone is shattered. When she was alive, her father beat her so often and so brutally that she decided to end her pain by asking the gift of death from the Faceless Men.

    Game of Thrones 
  • Shae. Starcrossed Lovers with Tyrion. Too bad he enjoyed the gameplaying at King's Landing and didn't want to run away with her until after it was too late. When she first arrives at King's Landing, Tyrion is terrified for her safety since he knows that his enemies would happily use her as leverage against him. The only person aside from Tyrion and Varys who she is allowed to spend time with is Sansa, while acting as the girl's ladies maid. Shae becomes very attached to Sansa and would happily kill to protect her, and Sansa is grateful to finally have a confidant who she can trust. However, this becomes very complicated and upsetting when Tyrion is forced to marry Sansa. and things never go back to how they were before. Completely averted in the end however when she double crosses Tyrion and reveals that she was indeed just a prostitute and her sole interest in him the whole time was gold.
  • Season 5 gives us Shireen, who was introduced as such in season 2, but season five had Melisandre burning her to death while her father stood by and did nothing.
  • Daenerys at various points.
    • In the first season. The crap her brother puts her through just makes you want to hug her.
    • Seasons 4 and 5 dive her headlong into this after 3 seasons of success. She slowly but surely loses control of her Dragons as they grow increasingly wild and bloodthirsty, culminating in her being forced to chain two of them up in her dungeons after they (seemingly) butchered and devoured a little girl. Her uncompromising punishments towards the slave masters of Meereen have made the majority of the populace fear and despise her. She discovers that one of her Queensguard, a man who travelled with her since the beginning of her quest and whom she trusted more than anyone else, had been secretly spying on her, forcing her to exile him. Finally, the vengeful former slave masters band together and plunge her city into open civil war, costing her her other Queensguard and severely shaking her faith in her people.
  • Bran Stark goes from being a cheerful kid full of adventurous ideas to being crippled and wanting to die for simply seeing something he shouldn't have.
  • Poor fat Sam. His father constantly mocked and abused him for being "weak" because Sam preferred reading to fighting and eventually threatening to outright kill Sam if he did not join the Knight's Watch. When he does join, he's bullied relentlessly until Jon puts a stop to it and, even though things improve somewhat for him after he meets Gilly, his beloved mentor dies and he goes back to being treated with contempt without Jon and Maester Aemon around.
  • Tyrion. He is certainly introduced as someone discriminated against and put upon, but seems to triumph over it with little emotional fallout. Then you meet Tywin. Then you learn some backstory. Then you want to hug him forever.
  • Jon never knew his mother, grew up with a stepmother who resented him and — despite having siblings and a father that love him, whom Jon loves — he felt like somewhat of an outsider in his own family. He then chooses a life of duty and joins the Night's Watch to live a life of celibacy and freezing cold. Then his uncle goes missing, his brother goes to war, his father is killed and his sisters are taken captive, and he can do nothing as everything goes to hell around him. And then, in Season 5, he tries to help the Wildlings against the White Walkers, only to suffer crushing losses and witness the casualties rise as wights. And then, he gets betrayed and murdered by his own Night's Watch brethren, all for trying to do the right thing, in true Stark fashion.
    • By the end of Season 6, things seem to be getting better for Jon. He has been resurrected; is reunited with a family member, his sister Sansa; gained back Winterfell, and is crowned king. But, unbeknownst to Jon, it's found out the saddest thing about him: his entire life was a lie, Ned Stark — the father he adores and the only parent he knew who raised and loved him — isn't his biological father (although Ned is still Jon's blood uncle) and both his biological parents have been dead for all his life. Jon's Missing Mom is Ned's deceased sister Lyanna, and Ned — out of love for Lyanna and Jon — spent the rest of his life protecting Jon with a cover story hiding his true parentage because any whisper of the truth could endanger Jon's life from the then-reigning dynasty. Ned died with this secret, Jon always yearned to know about his Missing Mom but Ned, in addition to working to keep Jon safe, was never able to tell Jon about his mother because Ned was executed by Joffrey. Thanks to Joffrey's interference, Jon never knew he once had a mother who loved him as her Dying Wish was for her son's safety.
  • Sansa Stark, first her Direwolf, Lady, is murdered because of something her sister's did, her fiancé murders her father and then forces her to look at his severed head. She then spends a full season being tormented by Joffrey, including being beaten in public. And even when things got better for her in the third season when Joffrey became engaged to Margaery, life still sucked for her and she is forced to marry Tyrion. She is repeatedly forced to denounce her family as traitors and use her courtly manners and political intrigue in order to stay alive. And that was all before her storyline got merged into her Adapted Out friend Jeyne Poole's in Season 5...
  • Arya Stark, forced to run without knowing what's going on, spending several days without food, watching how her father is dragged and booed and hear how he's beheaded. Then, forced to forsake her identity. And then, unlike her father, actually witnessing the desecration of her eldest brother's corpse.
  • Even though some may consider her The Scrappy, Ros has a Trauma Conga Line through Seasons 2 and 3, ultimately leading to being fatally pin-cushioned by Joffrey.
  • By Season 3, Catelyn Stark has lost her husband and her father, her youngest sons are missing and presumed dead, her daughters are presumed captive and in danger of dying at any moment and the only son that is with her is in the middle of a war and could die at any moment. And all throughout this she can do nothing but watch and blame herself in her impossible assumption that this may be divine retribution. And then she dies, right after watching Robb die. In one of the commentaries, Vanessa Taylor is a bit amused by how the end result of this is that she seems to spend the entire third season crying.
  • Lord Mace Tyrell may be a pompous, naive doofus, but he's disrespected and ignored all the time when he's characterized as little more than a lighthearted people pleaser. However he is still a greedy ambitious lord who supports two usurpers to increase his family's power and make his daughter Queen.
  • Tommen Baratheon spent most of his childhood bullied by his older brother. When Joffrey dies Tommen inherits his throne. Even though Tommen is a much better king, he's forced to deal with all the hatred and animosity towards his family despite having done nothing wrong himself. And then his mother kills his wife, who could have and most likely would have steered him in the right direction, along with the Small Council and hundreds of innocent people; after that, is it any wonder the poor kid couldn't take it anymore?
  • Hizdahr zo Loraq sees his father crucified without any proof of the latter's guilt, is despised by Daenerys's council despite his efforts to keep stability in Meereen, comes this close to being roasted and eaten by dragons, is forced by Daenerys to marry her (and she tells Daario that she will never share her bed with him). It could be undermined by the fact that he's suspected of being an ally of the Sons of the Harpy. "The Dance of Dragons" cements his Woobie status, since he gets killed by the Sons, and while trying to help Daenerys no less.
  • Myrcella has been called out as a bastard and a child of incest, taken away from her mother to be married to the prince of a foreign land, never to see her family again. Assassins then attempt to kill her for the sole reason that she's a Lannister and her family was indirectly responsible for the death of a man who volunteered for a trial by combat. The first time she sees a member of her family in years, it's when he's abducting her from her happy home and her beloved. And just when things start to look up for her and she's on her way back home to see her mother and brother again with the love of her life, she dies of poison from the assassins, staring up at her father in fear.
  • Shireen. The poor little kid has disfiguring facial scarring and is locked away in a tower for most of her life. Her mother treats her with naked contempt and she barely sees her father, who is rather awkward when he does see her. Her only friend seems to be Davos. And then, just when their relationship seems to be improving, Stannis chooses to sacrifice her to curry favour with the Lord of Light, while Shireen cries and begs her parents to save her.
  • Fat Walda. Although she doesn't spend much time onscreen to show it, living with the Boltons would be dreadful for anyone. Even with Roose's protection, she clearly feels threatened by Ramsay. Once Roose is dead, Ramsay has her and her newborn baby devoured by his hounds.
  • Despite not having much Character Development, Rickon Stark’s childhood really sucks when his family splits into different directions and everything went to hell when his parents and oldest brother died, his home is burned down and taken by the Boltons and he and the rest of his living siblings are separated. It’s even worse that his father’s bannermen sold Rickon to the Boltons and he became a hostage of Ramsay Bolton. Osha, who had become his mother/older sister replacement is killed. And then, when Rickon is finally about to be reunited with a member of his family, Jon, who rides desperately to save Rickon from Ramsay, Ramsay kills Rickon just when Jon and Rickon are about to reach each other — just to provoke a devastated Jon during the Battle of the Bastards.
  • Loras Tyrell, primarily during the fifth and sixth seasons. While he does lose the man he loves in Season 2, things start to improve for Loras once he arrives in King's Landing in the finale. However, come Season 5, he's arrested by a group of religious fanatics for the "crime" of being gay. He is locked in the cells under the High Sept for over a year as he is systemically abused physically, mentally, and emotionally. Starved. Psychologically beaten down in hopes he will confess. When Margaery next sees him, he's on the verge of a complete breakdown as she urges him to stay strong. Ultimately, Loras confesses to his "sins" in front of King's Landing as an attempt to save his life and escape the Sparrows, who proceed to carve their symbol into his forehead. Finally, just before he can escape and return to safety in High Garden, Cersei blows up the Sept along with most of King's Landing, killing him, his Sister, and his father.
  • Dickon Tarly can be added to the list, as he just wanted to be a good son and loyal soldiers and he ends up Burned Alive because of it.
  • Elia Martell, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's wife. She loved him deeply, had two children by him and he returned that love by publicly humiliating her at a tournament by giving a token of a frost rose crown to Lyanna Stark instead. He then ran off with Lyanna, which sparked a civil war! Meanwhile poor Elia was left alone with her children in King's Landing (a city she hated since it was so cold and unfeeling in contrast to her beloved Dorne), and was essentially held hostage by the Mad king to House Martell's fury; and she was eventually brutally raped and murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane (after he killed her children). Oh and the cherry and top is that Rhaegar anulled his marriage to her minutes before he married Lyanna — which made his children he had by Elia, bastards, unable to inherit the throne. Oh and he had the nerve to do this in Dorne.
  • Despite the bad things he's done, it's difficult not to feel this way about Theon Greyjoy. As a child he watched his father rebell against the crown and his brothers die because of it, then he is sent away to a faroff place to be raised by his father's enemy (essentially held as hostage to ensure Balon Greyjoy doesn't rebel again). And while he becomes close friends with Robb Stark and is treated reasonably well he never truly fits in at Winterfell and is never allowed to forget it. As a young adult he returns home to try and help Robb, and his father, but the father who gave him away treats him with nothing but contempt (and so does his sister). They make no secret of the fact that they are punishing him for having been raised by the Starks, even though Theon was never given a choice in the matter. All the while he realizes too late that his true father figure is the one who lost his head in King's Landing. The things he does in season two are deplorable, but they come from a desperation to prove himself to his biological family, knowing that in the end he will never be one of the Starks and while the Greyjoy's don't accept him anymore he still has a theoretical chance of becoming one of them again. And unlike many characters on the show he pays dearly for his ill deeds, spending an entire season being tortured - including being flayed and having body parts, primarily his penis, cut off. His mind is so utterly broken by the end of it that he is a shell of a person, has literally had his whole person stripped away and now only answers to the name Reek, and suffering from severe PTSD. And while many characters are forgiven for their crimes, or they simply aren't brought up all that often, Theon is constantly reminded of his and told he's the scum of the earth. And since he is one of the few characters who truly regrets his mistakes, and he truly believes he can never be forgiven for them, it comes off all the more harsh. The only two characters who seem to treat him like a person with any redeemable traits whatsoever are Sansa and Yara.
  • Osha. After Robb spared her life, she repaid him with absolute loyalty to the Starks, repeatedly protecting Brann and Rickon, but what is the result? Rickon is killed, Bran has effectively lost his humanity, and Osha herself dies pointless death. Perhaps saddest of all, she is likely to be forgotten, because almost everyone who knew about her is gone.

Alternative Title(s): Game Of Thrones


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