Many avid Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell fans ship Gethin Anthony and Finn Jones together. Both actors fuel the Ho Yay with public displays◊ of affection◊, by jokingly admitting that they're gay for each other in this interview clip, and Finn had some... interesting comments in the Feb. 2013 issue Gay Times magazine which make some people strongly suspect that he has a seriousman crush on his co-star.
GT: Did you have to go a few times for that scene [in Season 2]? Finn Jones: "Oh all the time, I remember," he howls with laughter. "One point in the scene we were really getting into it, and I just turned around to him and I went 'Gethin in the next take,' dead seriously,' really grab my dick this time, really go for it. ' And then just out of the corner of my eye, I saw the camera guys going..." he pulls a concerned face. "I realised, 'Oh shit, maybe we're going for it a bit too much.' " He cracks up laughing again. "But it's good, it's good to be on that level to be able to really get into the moment."
Shipping Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner is quite popular as well. Even Turner ships it, having made up her own version of Westeros where Margaery and Sansa are a couple.
Rumors of Lena Headey and Pedro Pascal dating circulated when they kept sharing pictures of themselves having fun together off set, and Headey interviewed Pascal for Hunger magazine and Hunger TV. While neither actor confirmed the rumors, Pascal speculated during a Reddit Q&A that everyone who meets his "good friend" Headey develops a crush on her.
Adaptation Displacement: Although the television series is more well-known than the book series that it is based upon, many people recognize that it is a book series. However, more people that watch the show refer to the books as "the Game Of Thrones series" instead of A Song Of Ice And Fire. Crossover promotion right on new books' covers helps this along.
In "The Climb", Ros gets tied up and used as target practice by Joffrey. Fan reaction to the character is still pretty negative, but many of the detractors were disgusted by the brutal manner of this death.
In "The Rains of Castamere", a pregnant Talisa is stabbed in her stomach... again, and again, and again. Even her many haters found the scene to be absolutely horrific.
In "The Winds of Winter", Tommen commits suicide. While some were irritated that he made for an ineffectual king and allowed himself to be manipulated, it's hard not to feel sorry for him when he silently jumps to his death upon witnessing his mother plunge King's Landing into ruin, including the murder of his wife, brother-in-law, father-in-law, great uncle and cousin.
In "Queen's Justice", Ellaria is forced to watch her daughter succumb to the same poison that she used to kill Myrcella. While poisoning Myrcella is indeed wrong for all the wrong reasons, watching her own daughter die slowly as she struggles in those chains is tragic. For all what's worth, Ellaria has to pay for the consequences that she did not only to her dead lover and family but to all of Dorne.
And You Thought It Would Fail: Apart from being an adaptation of a book series that was pretty obscure to most of the mainstream, early reviews were not kind to the show's first few episodes due to the Fantasy Ghetto, with some doomsayers even predicting this was the beginning of HBO's descent into Network Decay. Suffice it to say, Thrones would ultimately get the last laugh, going on to gather a massive fanbase (as well as creating a Newbie Boom in readers for the original novels), earned nigh-universal critical acclaim, won several awards, and brought back interest in the Dark Fantasy genre, along with inspiring other networks to make their own big-budget medieval fantasy shows.
Gilly came into the world as the result of one or two generations of incest in. Her world was effectively rape, snow, and incest until Sam shows up. When she starts following Sam along on his travels, shes shockingly well-adjusted, intelligent (despite not being educated), and thanks to the actress, pretty and charming. Other characters have endured less and came out far worse.
Myrcella reveals in Season 5 that she's known for years that her uncle Jaime is actually her father. However, she's completely fine with it, even saying she's happy that he's her father. This is in spite of the fact this means she knows she's a bastard born of an incestuous affair and thus her entire life and identity is based on a lie, not to mention she was raised in a culture that not only looks down on illegitimate children but also widely views incest as a sinful abomination. Then there's the fact that if anyone were to make this public, not only would Myrcella's whole life be uprooted including her betrothal to her beloved Trystane — but she and her family could well end up being killed. And even without all this, it also means that Myrcella knows her real father was around, but never acknowledged her, and has been just as emotionally absent and hands-off as her neglectful fake father. Hypothetically, Myrcella could have addressed and come to terms with all this offscreen when she first found out, but some viewers still found it baffling that she doesn't appear perturbed in the slightest.
The Sand Snakes don't seem remotely torn up or conflicted about killing their own uncle and cousin, whom they've known most of their lives and who have always treated them as part of the family even though they're bastards; in fact they're positively gleeful about it.
Rickon Stark is never even mentioned again after his death and the only person who shows any kind of grief over it afterwards is Arya (when Sansa mentions Bran returned safely, Arya is initially happy, but her face falls when she realizes Sansa omitted Rickon). Bran gets a bit of a pass due to his Death of Personality, but no one else close to Rickon, such as his siblings and his former protector Meera, seem to react much to the fact someone they loved and thought dead was still alive, only to be snatched away from them again. It's especially glaring in Jon's case given he watched Rickon die in front of him as he was trying to save him, and it would give him something to bond with Daenerys over as she has also lost most of her family, but he never brings it up.
The entirety of King's Landing get this in the last two seasons. At the end of Season 6, Cersei has blown up the Faith of the Seven's equivalent of the Vatican to seize power, killing dozens of innocent people and the Tyrells, including the beloved Queen Margaery which subsequently led to the suicide of King Tommen (who is the third king who's suddenly and tragically died in about five years).note excluding 'pretenders' like Stannis, Robb, Renly and Balon And yet when we see King's Landing following this huge tragedy, it just seems to be business as usual.
Daenerys isn't as devastated as one would expect by the death of Viserion when considering that she views her dragons as her children (and can't have biological children). She is certainly upset, but appears to get over it quite quickly and never mentions Viserion again after "The Wolf and the Dragon", which is especially jarring compared to the reactions of other chararacters whose children were killed or seriously harmed, such as Cersei and Catelyn. Even more jarring is her reaction to learning Viserion has become a wight; she only shows a bit of surprise to the fact her 'son' has not only been violently killed, but had his corpse reanimated by his killer and is now being used against her.
Yara never so much as mentions Theon's name after he's killed; in "The Iron Throne" she instead focuses on Jon killing Daenerys, even though Theon was her last living brother whom she'd fought for years to bring back home. One could possibly interpret her animosity towards Jon and the Starks as being partly fueled by grief that Theon died fighting for them. However, the script of the series finale also states that Yara voted Bran as king because she knew it would please Theon.
Khal Drogo, the fearsome leader of the Dothraki horde, is viewed as an upcoming Big Bad by the Westerosi. Dies without even touching the Narrow Sea, after complications from a wound he intentionally inflicted upon himself during an otherwise one-sided fight.
Locke is all set up to be a major problem for Jon and Bran, being in a perfect position to backstab the former at a crucial moment and kill the latter — and then Bran easily wargs into Hodor and kills him.
Tywin Lannister, unquestionably the Biggest Bad in Westeros, is unceremoniously shot dead by Tyrion while using the toliet. This example, unlike many others, is likely better than if he had gotten a more dramatic defeat, given his sheer reputation as well as the mundane and humiliating nature of said death.
Roose Bolton, one of the poster boys of Pragmatic Villainy, has been fully aware of his son's sociopathic tendencies and has threatened him multiple times as a Spare to the Throne should his new wife give him a son. When that finally happens, he has a huge leap of logic when Ramsay claims he's happy for his father, and tells him he'll always be his firstborn with a fatherly hug. Cue the knife to the chest; apparently not even the cunning Roose saw that coming. Ignominious doesn't begin to cover it.
Ramsay Bolton follows suit; although he's able to successfully command his army against the coalition that Jon Snow assembled, he gets his ass handed to him in under a minute in a one-on-one confrontation.
The wealthy Tyrell family, head of bountiful Reach, loses some key bannermen and is immediately knocked out of the game by the already exhausted Lannister family, in a single, quick and off-screen move.
The Night King himself becomes this to an extent in Season 8 when his forces only make it to Winterfell before he is killed and his army destroyed in a single episode halfway through the season. The Night King hardly even has a chance to even fight anybody, as he's taken out by a cheap shot surprise attack by Arya, who somehow managed to sneak past his multiple White Walker bodyguards and army of wights to reach him. And this is right after Arya tried and failed to sneak past just a couple of wights and was nearly killed if not for the assistance of the Hound and Beric. In addition, the other White Walkers don't join in the battle until the wights have already overrun all of the defenses, and even then, they don't actually fight anyone before being destroyed by the Night King's death. It doesn't help that he and his army are barely even mentioned in passing after that, with their invasion having almost zero consequences or impact on the rest of the world as a whole, with all the focus switching back to fighting over the Iron Throne... again.
While Viserion is given a badass death being speared by the Night King himself while swooping in to save Jon's expedition, his brother Rhaegal is not so lucky. Rhaegal basically gets a bridge dropped on him when he is shot to death by a volley of ballistae out of nowhere.
Both the Iron Fleet and Golden Company, played up as enormous threats to Daenerys' alliance, are both defeated in Season 8 episode 5 in a single attack by Daenerys and Drogon, despite them being armed with weapons specifically designed to kill dragons. This has the unfortunate side effect of making Rhaegal's death in the previous episode come across as even more embarrassing and pointless, with many fans wondering what was even the point of trying to even the odds between Daenerys and Cersei if her surviving dragon was still going to slaughter Cersei's forces without taking a scratch.
Daenerys herself once she turns evil. She has a dragon and two fanatically loyal armies. However, she's easily killed by Jon, Drogon flies away with her body without harming anyone, and the Dothraki and the Unsullied agree to leave peacefully in exchange for Jon getting exiled.
The show's depiction of religion with, what some see as, a one-dimensional Religion Is Wrong message comes across as this to the point of likely being an Author Tract. It has led many, including non-religious fans, to cry foul, especially as the books are where religion is dealt with fairly Warts and All, even if the author, GRRM, is an atheist/agnostic. For example, several characters' religious faith in the books is altered into a state of non-belief on the show, and the Faith Militant and High Sparrow are treated as Straw Characters, while the one attempt to avert it, Septon Ray, a Composite Character of the popular One-Scene Wonder characters (Septon Meribald/Elder Brother) from A Feast for Crows is of questionable piety and lacks the compelling characterization and speeches of his book counterpart and is even killed off, with the trajectory of the show reversing that of the booksFrom The Books In the novels, the Elder Brother builds a safe haven that provides comfort and genuine insight to Brienne and, it's implied, the Hound. With Brienne becoming a Secular Hero, and the Hound regressing from the path of peace towards becoming a violent anti-hero, the entire message and the efficacy and importance of faith to characters gets sidelined.
21st Century LGBT issues into the Sparrow plot, rather than portraying it as a peasants' rebellion by commoners turning to the Sept to bring the crown to task after suffering during the War of the Five Kings as it was in the books. Some commentators note that this issue far from criticizing homophobia ended up reducing Loras Tyrell to a "gay cartoon" as noted by Jane Johnson and likewise gave no context to the Sparrows outside of some fundamentalist crusade.
The depiction of Rhllorism has also led to this, especially since Melisandre (described by GRRM as his "most misunderstood character") is characterized inconsistently as a Hot WitchFemme Fatale or a Well-Intentioned Extremist, with a heavy-handed denouement note which showrunners justified by divulging Word of God Book 6 spoilers, but in an entirely different context tacked on at the end of Season 5 about religious fundamentalism that can read as a Space Whale Aesop, since R'hllor has demonstrated magic and prophetic powers — the key reason why an atheist-skeptic like Stannis even supports the religion; many note that the context of the plot, a Cold Equation, and the end-result of Melisandre's actionsnote with supplies burnt, Stannis, his family, and his army would have died anyway, and the cold weather did withdraw after the sacrifice allowing Jon and the Knights of the Vale to avoid Stannis' challenges make Davos's Season 6-ending aesop seem like it violates Show, Don't Tell.
On a general note, many note that the great majority of openly atheist characters on the show compromises the verisimilitude of the show's feudal setting, noting that it made little sense for religion to have a dominant part in this society, if characters can openly mock religion repeatedly with little consequence and social punishment. They also note that the showrunners have made characters who are religious in the books such as Davosnote Who has a religious experience after surviving Blackwater and the genuinely pious Sansa into non-believers.
The finale after Daenerys has burnt King's Landing to the ground has her forces in formations that evoke Triumph of the Will just to hammer home that she's become a tyrannical dictator. And this is preceded by a shot where Drogon's wings look like they're coming out of her shoulders - showing that she's more beast than human now. The corresponding scene in the script goes so far as to call her "Her Satanic Majesty".
The finale of Season 2 which has Doreah pull an abrupt FaceHeel Turn which appears to happen for little motivation in the final product. She willingly betrays Dany to Xaro, and in a deleted scene she kicks the dog by personally strangling Irri. Not helped by the fact that in another deleted scene, she doesn't go into detail about what her reasons for betraying Dany were.
Ironically in keeping with a plot point in the books, Tyrion's trial for Joffrey's murder resulted in this with regards to Shae. She testifies against Tyrion and is later found in Tywin's bed, where Tyrion murders her. This made sense in the books where Shae was only ever with Tyrion as a whore being paid but in the TV series, this was changed to Shae genuinely being in love with him, and developing a protective streak for Sansa while acting as her handmaiden. There is an attempt at building to this by making Shae look jealous of Tyrion's forced marriage to Sansa, and Tyrion having to Break Her Heart to Save Her before the Purple Wedding. But still, her testifying against him comes completely out of left field and is given no explanation, except in the book, in which she claims she was blackmailed by Tywin and Cersei. Tyrion's murder of her is meant to be a Start of Darkness for him as well, but Season 5 ignores this part of his book plot - resulting in a lot of weirdness and inconsistency with both characters that's never fully explained.
S6, Episode 5 "The Door." Climactic and exciting as the White Walkers converging on the cave, there was absolutely nothing to indicate that the White Walkers could somehow mark a person in a vision in a way that not only allows them to track them, but also breach their magical defenses.
From the very next episode, Daenerys all of a sudden knows exactly how to find and control Drogon, even though the last time Daenerys saw him made it very clear that she still had no clue how to do either.
Season 7, Daenerys arrives at the abandoned castle on Dragonstone, and decides to send a raven to The Wall. There wasn't anyone around to have maintained an aviary of homing birds, or any reason for her retainers to be in communication with The Wall, but somehow an Instant Messenger Pigeon was sent.
Season 7 when Daenerys unleashes dragon fire on the Lannister armies. There are repeated cuts to Tyrion making a sad face as he sees the Lannister soldiers burning up and the Dothraki slaughtering everyone. This is the same Tyrion that smothered his girlfriend in a fit of rage, shot his own father to death moments after that, threatened to kill Cersei personally and blew up the majority of Stannis's fleet with wildfire. It seems very odd that Tyrion should be so concerned with the cost of war - as well as his suggestion to have a long drawn out siege in King's Landing as opposed to Daenerys taking the city quickly.
Season 7, Episode 6 "Beyond the Wall." Traveling at the Speed of Plot is pushed to the max. Jon and his group are stranded North of the Wall, on a rock in the middle of a frozen lake, surrounded by an army of wights and White Walkers. Yet they survive long enough for A) Gendry to sprint back to Eastwatch in a night when it should be days away, B) send a raven from Eastwatch to Daenerys in Dragonstone, and C) Daenerys to fly her dragons all the way to where they're stranded to save them. Somehow all of this seems to happen over the course of a day and a half, this time making it impossible to the viewers to kid themselves than "ugh, there must have been weeks or months in-universe!"
Season 8, some fans are complaining that the writers did this to shoehorn Arya as the prophesied savior, with Melisandre openly claiming the show's previous events, including Beric's resurrections, were orchestrated by R'hllor to ensure Arya would be in the right place and time to assassinate the Night King. Given how there are no existing books for Season 8 to be adapted from, it's easy for fans to assume the show writers made up this development in order to capitalize on Arya's fan favorite status.
Season 8, Episode 4 had fans decrying how Rhaegal suddenly had a bridge dropped on him when he's suddenly shot down with perfect accuracy by Euron's fleet, despite being in the sky and in a position to spot Euron well ahead of time. Many fans believe this was just a way to eliminate yet another dragon to artificially inflate Cersei and Euron's threat as well as try to explain how Daenerys wouldn't just Curb-Stomp Battle the Lannisters with her dragons. This got worse when Drogon ended up slaughtering the Lannister army anyway, making many fans wonder what was even the point of killing Rhaegal off if the following battle wasn't going to be any more even-sided.
Season 8, Episode 5 introduces the plot point that King's Landing will ring the bells as a sign that they surrender, all to set up Daenerys's FaceHeel Turn. Except this had never been established in the series, and fans were quick to point out Season 2's "Blackwater" where Davos hears the bells ring and says "I've never known the bells to mean surrender..."
Award Snub: Inevitable, given the high caliber of talent involved.
The series' first four seasons, universally considered to be stronger than its second half, didn't win a single "Outstanding Drama Emmy". In addition to the technical awards, the only artistic Emmy Award went to Peter Dinklage for the first season. It wasn't until the controversial fifth season that it won, and it would continue to do so up through the even more divisive final seasons (although the general consensus is that Season 6 is considerably better than Seasons 5, 7, and 8).
Sean Bean had some people in his corner for Season 1 (likely due to those knowing it would be the only chance to recognize him).
A lot of fans wanted Lena Headey to get an Emmy nomination for Season 2. Headey was eventually nominated for seasons 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, but never won, even with critical and fan praise.
"Blackwater", due to some odd campaigning on HBO's part, failed to receive nominations for either Writing or Directing. That makes Season 2 the only one so far not to have a writing and directing nom to its credit.
More than a few fans believe that Alfie Allen should have received a nod for Season 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Many were shocked when they heard he wasn't even submitted by HBO for almost all the seasons, except Season 2. He finally got nominated in 2019 for the final season which is the show's last run at the Emmys. And he lost to Dinklage.
A lot of fans also preferred Nikolaj Coster-Waldau over Peter Dinklage in Season 3. Coster-Waldau finally got nominated at the Emmys 2018 and 2019, but lost both to Dinklage.
Many fans wanted Michelle Fairley over Emilia Clarke for Season 3, especially considering her powerful performance in the Red Wedding scene and the fact that this was her last chance.
Jack Gleeson wasn't nominated at all for his excellent performance as Joffrey, and Season 4 was his last chance.
Charles Dance wasn't nominated for Season 4, commonly agreed to feature the best of his always great work on the show. And this was the last time it could have happened for him.
Also, Pedro Pascal went un-nominated for his arresting work as Oberyn Martell. And like with Gleeson and Dance, this was the last time it could have happened for him
It took many years to Maisie Williams to receive any nods, despite having proven time and time again to be an excellent actress among a cast full of excellent actors and actresses. (This might be expected because, for some reason, the primetime Emmys snub minors; the last person under 18 to get a nomination was Claire Danes in 1995). She finally got nominated at the Emmys 2016 and 2018 though some felt that she should have been nominated in the previous seasons. And she lost both.
Ramin Djawadi didn't receive an Emmy nomination for his awesome music except in 2014 for the "The Mountain and The Viper" episode but lost to Cosmos. Many people were appalled that when the 2016 Emmys nominations came out, Djawadi is still snubbed despite his wonderful piece on "Light of the Seven". It's only in 2018 where he finally won an Emmy for the Season 7 finale, and then in 2019, for "The Long Night" episode.
Fans were rather shocked that "Hardhome", easily regarded as the high point of Season 5, was nominated for neither writing nor directing.
Many fans can't begin to imagine how Emilia Clarke or Peter Dinklage (who is universally agreed to be excellent, but didn't have much to do) received nominations for Season 5 while Stephen Dillane, Alfie Allen, and Kit Harrington received almost no attention. And like many before Dillane, this was his last chance to be nominated for Game of Thrones.
Conleth Hill's calm but relentless back-and-forth dynamic with other prominent actors and his ability to underscore any scene with body language alone have been largely ignored by the awards.
Lots of fans are upset that Sophie Turner didn't get a nomination for Season 5 and 6. It's only in the final season that she finally got nominated for Best Supporting Actress which is shared with her co-stars, Lena Headey, Gwendoline Christie and Maisie Williams. And she lost.
Liam Cunningham was not nominated for season 6, even though everyone praises the scene where he confronts Melisandre when he finds out how Shireen died.
Kit Harington was nominated for seasons 6 and 8, and lost both. His lack of a win for season 6 is considered particularly disappointing, as he was far and a way the biggest favorite of the nominees that year. Some believe that the Emmys adoration of his fellow nominee Peter Dinklage (detailed below) caused a vote split between them, even though Haringtons performance was much, much more popular that season, with most considering it to be both Haringtons strongest and Dinklages weakest year on the show respectively. Additionally, many point to seasons 5 and 7 as years when he shouldve made the lineup.
Gwendoline Christie has been praised for years for her performance as Brienne of Tarth, and has only been nominated for the final season. And lost it.
Carice van Houten was nominated only as a guest for the final season, although other fans think seasons 5 and 6 were her best. And she lost.
Theon, to such an extent that you would forget that he was ever a badass in the first place. He was skilled as an archer, skills he put to good use intercepting ravens. As adviser to Robb and essentially his deputy, he led men in several victories against the Lannister forces. Once he went to the Iron Islands... Thankfully for the long-suffering Greyjoy, Season 8 shows well and truly that He's Back and grants him a memorable Heroic Sacrifice and Redemption Equals Death.
Tyrion, after losing his position as Hand of the King. He's demoted, disgraced, and disfigured. Unlike Season 2, where he was almost always in control of the situation, he's now pushed around by his father and the Queen of Thorns. He's aware of this decay, and isn't happy about it, and by the time of Seasons 6 and 7, he has become more or less a sidekick to Dany's story. It's also when he joins Dany that he also started losing much of the political savvy that he was known for in Season 2, making blunder after blunder especially in Season 7. Tyrion regains some of his cred back after he outright quits being Daenerys's Hand after she murdered thousands of people knowing he'd be executed, and basically commanding Jon to murder her to stop her tyrannical regime before it begins. Then Tyrion basically changes Westeros's future by opting for an elective monarchy, essentially beginning democracy in Westeros, while being a prisoner brought for trial. Although regarded as one of Dinklage's best acting moments, fans agree it was too little, too late.
Jaime's return to King's Landing is so riddled with embarrassments that he essentially becomes a Failure Hero in Seasons 4, 5, 6 and 7 he also regresses in his Character Development and becomes a minion for Cersei, willingly enforcing her cruel regime and policies even after she unleashed wildfire on King's Landing, the very action Jaime was most proud of stopping in Season 3. The final season shows Jaime finally deciding to disobey Cersei and fighting alongside the heroes at the Battle of Winterfell... only for him to suffer a Redemption Rejection only three episodes before the series ends, and then dying ignominiously with Cersei.
Bronn goes from being a cynical but affable Social Climber who had a wonderful dynamic with Tyrion in Seasons 1-4, to becoming Jaime's Hypercompetent Sidekick forever grumbling about the better castle and wife Jaime promised him in Seasons 5-6, and who he is still stuck serving when logically he should sell his sword to someone else at this point.
Littlefinger. He used to be one of the greatest chessmasters in the show, duping Ned, Cersei and even Tywin Lannister, one of the stellar examples of The Chessmaster himself. He went from a no-name lord to one of the King's Small Council to the The Man Behind the Man in the Eyrie and the architect behind the War of the Five Kings. He also employed Chronic Backstabbing Disorder to ensure he was always at the top of his game. Then came Season 5, where Littlefinger gives away Sansa to Ramsay in order to consolidate his position in the North, despite Book!Littlefinger at this point teaching Sansa/Alayne about the politics, ruling and to maneuver people at her will. Predictably, this power grab failed as Ramsay proved to be too evil for his own good, leading Sansa to escape and lose all confidence in him, thereby making Littlefinger lose one of his greatest assets. As Littlefinger gained some of her goodwill back by sending the Vale army to defeat Ramsey, he begins manipulating both Arya and Sansa for no good reason other than For the Evulz, grabbing a big Idiot Ball for not making any contingency plans even as Bran has proven himself to see into the past, therefore can eradicate Littlefinger's entire influence in one go. The result is inevitable: Littlefinger has his crimes revealed to everyone in Winterfell. He begs pathetically for his life, and then is executed ignominiously by Arya for his betrayal.
Varys suffers a bad case of this in Season 8. He is often justifiably described as one of the smartest characters on the show and the best player of the game, rivalled only by Littlefinger. Through sheer cunning and manipulation, he's managed to survive the reigns of three different monarchs, two of which were highly tumultuous and had a...shall we say, 'high job turnover rate'. He rarely ever gives more than hints as to what his true motives and plans are, beyond 'the good of the realm'. However, in Season 8 he suddenly throws caution out the window and rather blatantly starts plotting against Daenerys and trying to put Jon Snow on the throne, after he suspects the former is going to go postal and finds out the latter has a stronger claim. He is very upfront about his plans to several characters even though he never usually does this, he knows some of them are loyal to Dany and that Dany herself is wary of him, nor did he appear to have a back-up plan in case things went south, which directly leads to him being executed when Tyrion sells him out.
Jon Snow as well. Early seasons established him as one of the most capable leaders of Westeros, successfully infiltrating the Wildlings to spy upon Mance Rayder, as well as gain information about the White Walker invasion. After that, he successfully rallies the Night's Watch to fight against the wildlings once they attack Castle Black, and becomes the Lord Commander by merit alone. After that, he falls for Ramsay's obvious trap and almost gets killed by the charging army, and gets saved only because of his own army. Then he spends a season trying to make Daenerys support them for the upcoming White Walker invasion, goes off on a Suicide Mission to get a wight for Cersei who then reneges anyway. When the Army of the Dead invades, Jon didn't get to fight a single White Walker, only watching as the Night's King raise his army and spends rest of the time screaming at an undead dragon, whereas the day was saved by Arya. Jon ignores Dany's Sanity Slippage and then helps it by pushing her away crudely, which leads to Daenerys torching King's Landing the next day. It goes to a limit as Jon refuses to kill Daenerys even when she has established herself as the Big Bad and planning a tyrannical regime to the known world. It takes Tyrion's coaxing to do it.
Most notable among the characters is Tyene Sand, who is remembered (while the other two Sand Snakes are not remembered at all) entirely for saying "bad pussy" and the scene of her flashing her breasts at Bronn.
Emilia Clarke tends to get mentioned as if she were naked in every single scene. While she did have some especially gratuitous bits of nudity in Season 1, most of them were toned down in subsequent seasons.
Mention Jon Snow and the casual fan will think of two things - his curly hair and frequent shirtlessness. Kit Harrington once politely said he'd like it if people stopped mentioning those in interviews.
Better Than Canon: In the wake of the contentious eighth season, there have been many fan rewrites of certain plotlines or even the season in its entirety, which are regarded by some fans as being more satisfying and/or plausible than what actually happened on the show. Of course, YMMV in this regard; some viewers prefer the canon story, or think the fan stories and theories aren't any better than the canonical ending. Common targets are rewriting the conclusion of the White Walker invasion, the context/execution of Daenerys going Ax-Crazy and various character deaths.
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Season 8, Episode 5 ends with a scene of Arya in the burnt out remains of King's Landing finding a single white mare that miraculously survived the destruction (and is perfectly clean too; Arya is covered in ash). Arya rides the horse out of the city, which is odd in the next episode, where she's among Jon's forces - with no explanation of where the horse came from, where it went or why the scene was shot so fantastically. If it was meant to be sent divinely from the gods, why did Arya need a horse to escape after the destruction was done? Especially when she does nothing of note in the finale.
Ramsay's rape of Sansa in Season 5. Some viewers were upset at its supposed normalization of rape and use of it for drama, others believe that the scene makes sense because Ramsay is a Hate SinkComplete Monster and his rapist tendencies are there to make him more despicable. On Sansa's side, some believe that her experience is an effective emotional depiction of how powerless rape victims feel and how horrifying the experience is for them, while others believe that the show just went too far in its shock value. Detractors also argued that it also undermines Sansa's Character Development by treating her as a helpless victim once more, especially after the season was seemingly building up Sansa to Take a Level in Badass as Littlefinger's protege in the game of thrones.
Made more complicated by the fact that in a Medieval world a husband had the right to have sex with his wife, which means that in-universe it does not qualify as rape.
Season 7 was fairly divisive among fans and critics alike. Some appreciated its faster pace and felt that it made sense for the story to pick up speed as it neared its end, and they liked the fact so many characters who were until then, Hero of Another Story, were finally interacting and meeting face-to-face. Others felt that the faster pace robbed the series of the more organic and coherent character development that characterized its early seasons, and opened up several plot holes along the way. Many were enthralled by the numerous character meet-ups and reunions, but others despite admitting that they expected it, felt that it was too rushed and that it felt underwhelming. The thrilling action scenes were a series highlight to many, even critics appreciated the impressive CGI work and execution of the dragon scenes but others found their enjoyment of these scenes was hampered by the various implausibilities that had to happen to set up these scenes, with one of the episode directors, Alan Taylor, openly admitting that the show was aiming for Emotional Torque over plot logistics.
The Battle of Winterfell is very controversial. The way it ended, with the Night King being killed by Arya, infuriated some fans who accused the writers of destroying all the years of foreshadowing involving Jon and Daenerys as the Prince That Was Promised and reducing the White Walkers to generic fantasy villains, just to subvert expectations. However, other fans praise this scene and consider it one of Arya Stark's greatest triumphant moments in the entire series (while others fans still considering that the Night King should have gotten a proper story). Meanwhile, some fans hated the cinematography and lighting of the episode, with many accusing furiously on social media during the viewing of the episode that they were unable to see what was happening. Although the biggest fault of this is for the compression of HBO (the image quality of this episode on Blu-Ray that came out months later is much better than the original release), some fans still argue that those responsible should already be aware that it would be impossible to transmit the episode with the required quality. The explanation from the cinematographer Fabian Wagner that millions of viewers were having trouble on their televisions also didn't help. Finally, some fans had problems with the fact that for such an expected battle, only supporting and secondary characters died, while all the protagonists remained alive. Other fans argue that the characters that survived have yet to close their arcs, while the deaths of the supporting characters have been emotional. The only general consensus seems to be that it's not the best battle of the series, while speculating on They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot for the White Walkers.
Relatedly the fact that Arya is the one to kill the Night King instead of Jon Snow or even Daenerys Targaryen. Some see it as a waste of a good plot given the seasons long set-up with the myth of the "Prince that was Promised" and the lineage of both Jon and Dany that fit into the myth (not to mention Jon was brought Back from the Dead explicitly because of this belief). Even focusing on just the TV show, much of Jon's storyline centered around his fight against the White Walkers as what he perceived to be the greater threat to humankind, whereas Arya had almost nothing to do with the White Walker storyline up until Season 8. Others argue that Arya killing the Night King is a welcome subversion of traditional fantasy tropes that focus on a fated encounter between destined foes and that given her skill-set as a trained assassin capable of slaughtering an entire family she was the best suited not Jon Snow character to fill that role. There is another camp who agree that Arya's skills do make her a suitable candidate to defeat the Night King, but felt that it could have been better executed by having it foreshadowed much earlier rather than in the episode itself, which made it feel that Arya was only chosen last-minute just to subert expectations for the sake of it. Not helping matters is that Arya does not make use of her face-changing skills to assassinate the Night King, meaning that anyone else with a Valyrian weapon like Jaime or Brienne could have dealt the finishing blow.
Cersei being the last human villain to be defeated even after the Night King divides fans. Some fans believe that this makes perfect sense, because the war for the throne and the human characters are more important than the one-dimensional White Walkers. In addition, Lena Headey being a great actress also helps. However, quite a few believe that Cersei overstayed her welcome. She has been seen by many fans over the last two seasons as a Creator's Pet for the showrunners. Plus her downfall was considered unsatisfying by many, including the actress Lena Headey herself. Theres also the fact that Cersei was barely even in the final season, with many finding it highly questionable why someone who had practically nothing to do that year should be built up as the shows final obstacle.
Dany's story arc is probably the biggest point of contention within the fandom, but fans seem to be unable to reach consensus on why. Some see her downfall as fitting, but it wasn't earned, because it happened in a very rushed way. Some just don't like at all her arc of Fallen Hero, regardless of the show's (or George R.R. Martin's) intentions, with many of these fans feeling betrayed for having followed the character's journey for eight years only to end in such an inglorious and cruel way. Then there's fans trying to convince everyone that her arc was decently executed, that makes perfect sense with the themes of the books and the TV series, and that the fans are angry because they wanted a happy ending for the character, despite the fact that this is rare in the series and all the clues that indicated her tragic fate. Some also note that Dany going mad is perfectly justifiable and perhaps this is what will happen in the books as well, but the writers poorly executed the setting by showing her as a merciful ruler, and turning her mad just 2 episodes before. Finally, some also see Dany as a victim of bad Moral Luck.
The overall ending is very contested. Many fans believe that it was a "bittersweet" ending, as George R R Martin himself has revealed the books will end as, but some actually see it as a "bittersour" ending, bordering on a Esoteric Happy Ending. And then there's some fans who believe that the ending was actually too sweet (especially for the trueborn Starks), which seems bizarrely out of tone for the show.
For one among awards fans, did Peter Dinklage deserve all those Emmys he earned over the course of the show? Very few will dispute the fact that Dinklage is an exceptional actor and he was perfectly cast as Tyrion Lannister. However, during his successful awards run, some started to wonder if he truly deserved so many, as he snubbed many other beloved performances, including his own costars. Of particular note is his season 5 win. As noted on this page, many said he was underutilized that year and Kit Harington, Alfie Allen, and Stephen Dillane were the more deserving GOT actors. Despite this he still took home the trophy, appearing shocked at his win, and even mentioning competitor Jonathan Banks by name, which many took as Dinklage saying he thought Banks was going to win for his work on Better Call Saul and wanted to apologize for stopping it. However, despite all this, Dinklage is still extremely beloved and many people have defended his wins, noting that even when he didnt have all that much to work with, he always delivered stellar work. Basically everyone agrees that Dinklage shouldve won at least once, the point of division is how many times was he deserving.
Can't Un-Hear It: There are enough divergences between A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones to prevent some of the actors from entirely fitting into the characters of the books (especially given that some of the actors are aged up, and some of the Character Tic and Catchphrase associated with their book counterparts are removed). But a few have more or less become the Platonic version of the character. It's hard for some readers, especially those coming into the series, to forget that Peter Dinklageis Tyrion Lannister, Charles Dance as Tywin (albeit some joke that Book!Tywin would cast Dance to play him) and even more so Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon, since despite the Adaptational Villainy, he perfectly captures Stannis' character dynamic.
Captain Obvious Reveal: R + L = J has been a widely-believed theory for over a decade, and while the books are arguably more vague about its credibility, the show has hints in bucketloads. One scene that fans felt was a little too on-the-nose was Maester Aemon saying, "A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing"... and then Jon immediately walks in. When the theory was confirmed, fans were not disappointed, but they also weren't surprised. This happened again in the Season 7 finale, which confirmed that Jon is not a Child by Rape, but that Lyanna and Rhaegar were secretly married, thus making him heir to the Iron Throne. When Gilly mentioned a record of a "Prince Rag-urr's" annulment and simultaneous marriage to someone else a few episodes prior, many had already put two and two together.
Cargo Ship: Thanks to the Season 4 premiere, Sandor Clegane is often paired with chickens.
In "Oathbreaker", seeing Ramsay Bolton openly disrespected and insulted by Smalljon Umber is deeply satisfying; someone is finally putting him in his place.
Two words: Purple. Wedding. No show in history has ever made so many people ecstatic over the horribly prolonged choking death of a child.
"Battle of the Bastards" is this for a lot of fans, seeing as Ramsay Boltonfinally gets his comeuppance in deservedlygruesome fashion. His army is defeated, Jon Snow beats the ever-loving shit out of him, then he's handed over to one of his past victim, Sansa, who not only shuts down his final attempts at mind games, but then unleashes his own starving dogs on him. To see a character who's been nothing but a smug, sadistic bastard for four seasons straight go from utterly confident, to absolutely terrified, to screaming in agony as his dogs eat him alive, complete with tearing his face off... Let's just say there are few Cruel And Unusual Deaths more satisfying or well-deserved.
Similarly, the Sand Snakes are the most universally-hated characters in the show, so hearing Olennatell them off in her gloriously brutal, accurate fashion was very satisfying. Then, Season 7's second episode has Euron Greyjoy killing Obara and Nymeria Sand by using their own signature weapons against them and capturing Ellaria and Tyene Sand so he can deliver to Cersei for their crimes of poisoning Myrcella.
The Season 7 premiere kicks off with this when Arya single-handedly engineers the destruction of House Frey in one fell swoop as retribution for the Red Wedding, giving the conspirators poisoned wine while impersonating Walder Frey. She caps it off with a Badass Boast: "The North remembers. Winter has come for House Frey."
It's immensely satisfying seeing Drogon melt the Iron Throne to a puddle of molten goo, knowing that centuries of atrocities in Westeros were performed by men and women, all with the desire to sit on that damn chair. Undoubtedly the future of all kingdoms is better off without it.
When the revelation of Jon Snow's parentage was revealed, it was regarded as an obvious reveal by some book and show fans alike, since these theories had been hotly discussed and publicized for years. Even some show fans recognized hints leading up to The Reveal that the books dropped. However, the twist wasn't really obvious or widespread at all, it was an obscure theory that only a few readers picked up on and it was only with the rise of the internet fandom that this theory became considered seriously plausible. It was not initially immediately picked up on by readers and surprised many who first came across it only to re-read the books and realize that it was cleverly placed Right Under Their Noses.
Some critical observers who largely review the show have seen the problems of the series in the later seasons as stemming from the showrunners "running out of material", and put some of the blame for the show's structure on the fact that George R. R. Martin left them an incomplete set of novels to work with. However, the fifth book came out the same year the show began, Martin has released several preview chapters from the work-in-progress The Winds of Winter, and Martin has given the showrunners foreknowledge of plot developments to happen in the last two books that he's still writing. While there are probably other concerns with keeping the show going (the logistics of filming around the world with a massive cast cannot be easy), there was never a problem with a "lack of material".
Some felt that the show winning for Best Drama Series in the Emmys for the last four seasons is more of a compensation for the previous seasons after losing to Mad Men, Homeland and Breaking Bad when considering that Season 5, 7 and 8 are very controversial seasons. The only notable exception is Season 6, which although considered weaker than the first four seasons, has also three of the most praised episodes of the series ( The Door , '' Battle of the Bastards' 'and' 'The Winds of Winter') and is considered the best season of the second half of the series.
Peter Dinklage's second Emmy win is likely this for not winning for his performance in the Season 4 episode, "The Laws of Gods and Men".
Continuity Lock-Out: Even with recaps at the start of every episode, this series is absolutely unforgiving to latecomers, with episodes in Series 8 (the final season) hinging on viewer memories of events from as far back as the first episode of Season 1. The Blu-ray releases of the series attempt to combat this by providing optional on-screen character and location concordances with every episode.
Jaime has a moment in Season 3; what else could you call jumping into a bear pit with one hand, no weapons, armour, or allies, and only the hope that the various enemy soldiers are sufficiently scared of Lord Bolton and Jaime's father to get them out in time?
Euron Greyjoy, the deadly, insane terror of the seas who brings an amused, slightly unsettling and highly enjoyable theatricality wherever he goes, making up for decades of embarrassing defeats for the Ironborn in the process.
After directing the three best-received episodes between Seasons 5 and 6, it seemed Miguel Sapochnik could do no wrong. The fact that he didn't come back for Season 7 (due to obligations with a Netflix series) was heartbreaking to many fans. And while his two episodes in the final season, The Long Night and The Bells, were received in a rather mixed way (to say the least), the general consensus is that the writers are to blame rather than his directing.
Despite the fact that he doesn't handle the show directly (he wrote the original books and a select few episodes), George R. R. Martin gets this from fans of the show, who tend to view him as the franchise's mastermind and rejoice whenever he writes a new episode or gets involved with the show's creative process.
Talisa was seen as this, with her being introduced essentially mouthing off to her king, and it being shown as a positive character trait. Fans of the books disliked her for being a replacement for Jeyne Westerling and Adaptation Expansion (her and Robb's marriage happened off screen in the books) drastically changing Robb's plot. In the books he marries her after a one-night stand to preserve her honor, knowingly breaking a marriage promise to a potential ally (said one-night stand happened when he heard his brothers may have just been murdered too). In the show, Talisa and Robb fall madly in love and he breaks the marriage promise to marry her because. Then at the end of Season 3 when she's given a shocking Death by Adaptation, her many haters were horrified.
Ramsay Bolton quickly became this, as well thanks to Adaptation Expansion. His extended torture of Theon happened offscreen in the books but was shown in the series to give Alfie Allen something to do. Soon after he started to dominate plotlines and the universe seemed to conspire to make him come out on top, despite his Stupid Evil tendencies. He ended up derailing Stannis's entire war effort with just one sneaky midnight raid on his camp with just twenty people, and proceeded to beat the rest in a Curb-Stomp Battle. And then next season he easily kills his father to become Lord of Winterfell, setting him up as the Big Bad of the Northern storyline. Sure enough, add Ramsay is the most despicable person in this Crapsack World and everything meant to make him unlikable works with precision, while also making his eventual and painful death cathartic to viewers.
Jaqen's idiosyncratic speech patterns, including his use of third person, contribute a lot to his memorable character.
The supposed Night's King of the White Walkers for his Darth Maul get up.
Varys is very unsettling with the way he talks and just how many spies he has, making you feel as though he could know everything at any time. But at the same time he just always seems to find a way to come out on top.
The White Walkers, considering they can resurrect any corpse and turn it into a soldier. They're terrifying but also quite badass.
The massacre of house Frey by the hands of Arya. Only Arya.
Critical Dissonance: Seasons 5 and 7 are considered lackluster by some viewers (the former slightly more so), but they've received unanimously positive reviews from critics similar to those of the other seasons, with a rating of 93% for both seasons on Rotten Tomatoes. Some fans argue that this makes sense, as those two seasons are still part of a very high-quality show (warts and all) and that they represent a relative decay in prestige rather than full-on derailment like with shows such as Heroes. That said, the Season 5 episode "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" was the first (and until season 8, only) episode that received a "rotten" rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Cersei gets several of these moments and it's a credit to Lena Headey's acting abilities that she can make Cersei both despicable and pitiable.
In Season 1 she actually has a civil conversation with Robert, confessing that she loved him once and hoped their marriage would work out. When she asks if there was ever a chance for them, he bluntly replies "No". Robert asks how that makes her feel, prompting Cersei to smile sadly and say "It doesn't make me feel anything."
In Season 2, Cersei breaks down crying in front of Tyrion and confesses that even she is appalled by Joffrey's heinous actions, but she doesn't know how to rein him in. She says she thinks this is a punishment from the gods for her incestuous relationship with Jaime (one of the few things that makes her genuinely happy). Even Tyrion feels bad for Cersei and tries to comfort her, assuring her that her other children are both good people.
In Season 5, it becomes increasingly difficult to take much pleasure in Cersei's fall from grace, as she is so utterly broken by her imprisonment and torment. She is alone and terrified, begging to be allowed to see her son and resorting to drinking water off the dirty floor. Cersei also rightly points out to the High Sparrow that while she may be an adulteress, her own husband frequently cheated on her, emotionally neglected her and hit her. Her walk of atonement is horribly humiliating and despite her efforts to remain composed, by the end she's sobbing helplessly and can barely walk.
Cersei finding out Myrcella is dead. For all her flaws, she does genuinely love her daughter and never got to see her alive again after Season 2. In a monotone, she tells Jaime she doesn't know how Myrcella got to be so good and kind. She mentions that she used to think about how their dead mother's corpse looked, before finally bursting into tears and saying she now thinks about their daughter decomposing. It's also hard not to feel for her when she's barred from attending the funeral and has to get details from Tommen; she asks him if they put her body in a gold dress and comments that always looked pretty in that one.
During her torture of Ellaria and Tyene, Cersei's smugness slips a bit when she's talking about Myrcella. She describes how she tried to be a good mother to her because she herself lost her mother young. She then furiously demands to know why Ellaria took her daughter away from her, before quietly saying it doesn't matter anymore.
Viserys when he attempts to steal Daenerys' dragon eggs. He rants to Jorah about how since he was five years old, he's had the weight of the Targaryen dynasty on his shoulders and has never received true respect or devotion from anyone. The viewer is reminded that while Viserys is indeed an entitled asshole who brings a lot of his problems on himself, he's also a troubled young man who lost his home and nearly his entire family as a child, was forced to go on the run and care for his little sister alone. He isn't loved or wanted by anyone save for Dany, but his cruel treatment of her has even pushed her away, leaving him with no one.
Jaime gets a huge moment of this in Season 3, when he tells Brienne exactly why he became the Kingslayer. For nearly two decades, he's been ridiculed and looked upon with disdain by almost everyone for killing the Mad King, even though he was a murderous tyrant and it turns out Jaime did it to save thousands of people from being burned alive, sacrificing his reputation and dreams of being a Knight in Shining Armor in the process. It paints a very different perspective of him, marking the point where Brienne and many audience members came to view him in much more sympathetic light.
The Lannister army, since several soldiers are seen shaking in fear of a massive Dothraki horde and Daenerys riding Drogon. It's more poignant in the scene where Tyrion watches from a distance in horror as panicked Lannisters are being butchered like animals and slowly burning to death.
Delusion Conclusion: Some fans left disappointed with the way the plot developed post-season 4 have been known to jokingly theorize that the increasingly illogical plot elements seen from this point onward are just delusions: in one case, the scene in which Tyrion is dragged underwater by the Stone Men and then rescued off-screen is the starting point for a theory claiming that the rest of the series was a Dying Dream Tyrion experienced as he slowly drowned.
Designated Hero: By the end of the series, the surviving members of House Stark have descended into committing deeds as murderous and treacherous as any other house, but the audience is still expected to side with them and be happy for them, simply because their name is Stark.
Sansa becomes a cold, scheming and manipulative person who will remorselessly screw over others to protect/gain power for herself and her family, thinks everyone but her immediate family is an enemy, uses passive aggressive tactics to undermine and humiliate people, antagonizes important allies and acts jealous and hostile towards other women with beauty and power even if they extend friendship towards her...making her eerily similar to Cersei Lannister. Some of the only major differences are that Sansa is more rational, lacks Cersei's narcissism, hasn't blown up any Septs lately note though she does play a role in Dany's Sanity Slippage, leading to the destruction of King's Landing; how much Sansa is to blame is up for debate and is presented as a heroic figure. While the unofficial Stark motto has always been "the lone wolf dies but the pack survives", Sansa has shown surprisingly little care for the wellbeing of various members of her immediate family. She immediately wrote off Rickon after he was captured by Ramsay, held back her cavalry until Jon was almost crushed to death during the Battle of the Bastards, was ready to have Arya killed before Bran told her about Littlefinger's scheme, and revealed Jon's parentage (the secret her father Ned had taken to the grave) with little thought to the consequences. The fact that she withheld vital information about the Knights of the Vale from Jon and publicly and repeatedly criticised him in front of the Northern lords (instead of discussing matters in private, which would not have made the Starks look as divided) gives the impression that Sansa values self-preservation and acquiring power for herself more than looking after her family.
Tyrion's statement seemingly supporting that Daenerys was Evil All Along - "Everywhere she goes, evil men die. And we cheer her for it" - could just as easily apply to Arya. While most of her victims are indeed huge assholes, it doesn't change the fact she's a murderer who unambiguously takes pleasure or satisfaction in torturing and killing her victims. By this logic, Arya is also arguably only 'one bad day' away from committing indiscriminate mass murder.
After removing Stannis from the show as the writers believed he would have connected less to the people of Westeros due to his stoic nature and Brutal Honesty, the decision to unanimously make Bran king at the end seems a lot egregious. After becoming the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran's net actions were to incite the tension between Daenerys, Sansa and Jon leading to the destruction of King's Landing, as well as removing the only obstacle in his path (The Night King). Bran has proven he doesn't believe in emotions as the Raven, contributed minimally in the Long Night, and didn't warn anyone that Daenerys is close to slipping. Clearly, the decision to make Bran king was intended as a happy ending to the Game of Thrones, but it seems more like the only person who can be king is a Magnificent Bastard, with zero emotions for the people, and able to sacrifice thousands in their goal.
Designated Love Interest: Tyrion is a one-sided example to Daenerys. While one could argue he was intentionally keeping his feelings subtle due to previous bad experiences, some viewers felt it was so subtle they appeared non-existent. Tyrion doesn't spend much one-on-one time with Dany and they mostly talk about war, politics or her feelings for Jon Snow; Tyrion comes off as admiring Dany as his queen but not necessarily having romantic feelings for her (especially in comparison to Jorah, who has to be reminded about being too familiar with Dany, gives her longing looks, has his love for her remarked upon by other characters etc). The only scene that really suggests romantic attraction is Tyrion overhearing Dany and Jon make love with a troubled expression, but his reaction is so vague it was interpreted in many different ways by viewers. As a result, Tyrion's confession in the final episode that he's in love with Dany seems to come out-of-left-field, or at the least feels underwritten; you have to rely on the scripts and an interview with Peter Dinklage to get the full picture.
Die for Our Ship: Brienne and Jaime shippers wish Cersei would kick the bucket already so that their OTP can get together. They actually got their wish in Season 8, but unfortunately Jaime ends up dying with Cersei after essentially dumping Brienne for her. Be Careful What You Wish For, eh?
Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In the penultimate episode of Season 8, the writers try to insert a message about how "revenge is bad and won't make you feel better" using Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark, with the former trying to dissuade the latter from her years' long goal of killing Cersei. It's certainly not a bad message, however it runs into similar problems to The Count of Monte Cristo (2002); for years Arya has been presented as a badass Action Girl for using violence to solve her problems and exact some form of justice against evildoers who would otherwise go unpunished, which she rarely experiences any negative consequences for. If it weren't for Arya's desire for vengeance, she would never have gone to train with the Faceless Men and thus gained the necessary skills to take down the Night King and stop the apocalypse. And then Sandor himself goes on to have an epic, revenge-fuelled showdown with the Mountain which had been hyped up for years.
While Cersei is indeed more sympathetic in the show than in the books, that still doesn't change the fact she is a paranoid, power-hungry alcoholic with delusions of grandeur who had an incestuous relationship with Jaime, her own twin brother, for several years. For all her talk about valuing family above all else, Cersei still abuses her younger brother Tyrion out of spite, she makes little attempt to curb Joffrey's psychotic behavior despite the shame she feels about it, and Cersei is not anywhere near as smart as she thinks she is. She fancies herself a schemer like her father Tywin despite being nowhere near his level.
Tywin Lannister, naturally, due to being portrayed by Charles Dance and coming off much better in comparison to Joffrey or Cersei. Fans tend to overlook that, despite all his collected and suave demeanor, he is still utterly ruthless in securing his family's position of power and his controlling, and often callous parenting (particularly towards Tyron) has given all of his children major character flaws that they resent him for.
Though Character Development has made him more of an Anti-Hero, fans of Jaime Lannister often downplay the fact that in the very first episode he pushed a child out a window to cover up his incestuous relationship, and his Character Development in Seasons 3-4 nonetheless some people believe that it gets rendered pointless by the fact that he ends up becoming Cersei's minion by Seasons 6 and 7 (despite the fact he cuts ties with her).
Khal Drogo is a bloodthirsty rapist and a slaver, but due to him being a badass and having some sweet moments with Daenerys (who he also raped) he has legions of fans who would have liked nothing more than see him wage war on Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne. Even on this very site his speech about raping Westeros's women and enslaving its children is on the Moment of Awesome page.
Unlike his book counterpart, Littlefinger being a little bit more villainous (and shown to be more actively in his sleazy businesses) has been slow to get this. But by Season 4, the revelations that he started the War of the Five Kings with cunning misinformation, the fact that he is just as much anti-Lannister as he is anti-Stark, that he killed Joffrey and the fact that he is a small-time noble who still faces racist rebukes for his Braavosi roots makes a lot of people openly root for him. That and his fairly sincere Anguished Declaration of Love to Sansa, the fact that he immediately gives her a Forceful Kiss is seen as part of his Byronic HeroYandere nature. This is actually an odd example of this trope: it's not that his evil actions are forgiven or ignored, it's that he's so good at being evil, unlike the Stupid Evil found in Joffrey and Ramsay, that it's hard to want him to lose.
Even after the controversial episode 9 of Season 5, Stannis Baratheon still has fans who root for him, though now it's driven by fans calling Death of the Author on the showrunners for giving Stannis Adaptational Villainy more than anything else. Additionally, in later seasons when it is increasingly more accepted that the Long Night has arrived and the Zombie Apocalypseis coming, Stannis's value as a leader is shown as he was the only southron leader who came to the aid of the Night's Watch, is one of the few leaders who believed the White Walkers were returning, and was also one of the few leaders who favoured letting the wildlings come south of the Wall. In Season 7, Stannis encouraging Sam's scholarly pursuits helped Sam go to the Citadel where he laments that he should have listened to Stannis when he mentioned having dragonglass on his island fortress. Tormund admits that Mance Rayder should have bent the knee to Stannis for the sake of his people.
While a popular heroine for most of the show, the sharp FaceHeel Turn undertaken by Daenerys in the final two episodes of the series which involves the show hinting that Daenerys was Evil All Along and the actual Final Boss after she snaps and razes King's Landing, killing thousands of innocents even though she'd already won the battle was intended to do a Character Check on her actions, but nonetheless, she still has fans who will defend her, with many of them pointing to the Trauma Conga Line she went through or blaming Cersei, Varys or other characters for everything. The fact that up until the fifth episode of the eighth season, Daenerys had largely been portrayed as an occasionally ruthless yet still heroic and compassionate character with noble intentions probably makes her sudden descent into villainy contrived, particularly since only two episodes before, she was risking everything, including her own life, to fight the army of the dead alongside the rest of those defending the living. As a result, Daenerys's sudden Sanity Slippage and drastic FaceHeel Turn and comes off as rather sudden. It is intended that the actions of some of the other characters definitely contributed to her Fallen Hero status but the show going further in the final episode and trying to frame her actions as a culmination to her descent into darkness fell flat for some viewers.
Ending Aversion: New viewers who were waiting for the show to conclude before watching are likely to hear about the controversies of the final season, and can easily be turned off from watching if they've heard about the ending.
Epileptic Trees: When Talisa first showed up, some book fans were confused since Oona Chaplin had previously been said to be playing Jeyne. As a result, there was a wild theory that she really was Jeyne Westerling and was just using Talisa as a fake name.
Escapist Character: Generally the series averts this. As fans joke, people may want to live in Middle-earth but no one would want to even visitWesteros, and even the few characters who are heroes (Jon, Tyrion, Bran, Davos, Ned) have very difficult lives full of emotional and psychological pain and violence. Having said that if people have to go they'd rather do so in the shoes of these characters:
Arya Stark is a feisty, beloved daughter of the only really good father in the series, is indulged by her elder brothers (Robb Stark, Jon Snow), becomes the Morality Pet to violent but cool Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain (Jaqen H'ghar, The Hound), becomes an Action Girl, survives in the wild entirely on her own, travels and lives in a City of Adventure (Braavos) and almost always comes out on top of whatever life throws her way, becoming one of the most intelligent, most deadly, and most accomplished characters, all at a very young age.
Daenerys Targaryen has a life of adversity starting out weak and abused but slowly and steadily, she changes and overturns her own life from pain to pleasure with Khal Drogo. After his death, she works to conquer her circumstances and goes from being one of the most powerless, vulnerable characters to becoming one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful. She's a beautiful, charismatic, capable, and confident character who attracts her own Badass Crew of accomplished men and women who willingly follow her. Through her accomplishments, Daenerys comes to be celebrated as a Young Conqueror, a liberator, and a Messianic Archetype, who at a very young age has secured a place in the history books of her world, before her return to Westeros. This remains the case even at the end of the series, as many of the character's fans still embrace Dany, even after her FaceHeel Turn, and believe she was trying to build a better world, regardless of her means for doing so.
Esoteric Happy Ending: The series ends with Westeros choosing a system of elective monarchy instead of a hereditary one because of all the problems they've had. However, the show's other case of an elective monarchy just became a rubber-stamp for Greyjoy after Greyjoy to be elected, resulting in awful leaders like Balon and Euron, and in the books, it ended with an Ironborn using the opportunity to slaughter his rivals. Add to that, as Sansa is granted independence for the North after Bran's election as King of the Six Kingdoms, it leaves some doubts that they'll be able to avoid either informal hereditary rule or instability.
Evil Is Cool: Several of the villains have committed fanbases.
The Lannister and Bolton patriarchs (Tywin and Roose) are widely considered to be among the best acted and coolest characters in the show.
Tywin served as Hand of the King for twenty years under King Aerys II. Given that this was the man named "the Mad King", and that Tywin was able to not only placate him, but also maintain the position for twenty years, this is pretty impressive.
In Season 3, he plans to have Tyrion marry Sansa Stark so that the Lannisters can have a portion of the North under control if Robb Stark falls and only have the Greyjoys to worry about, who no-one likes anyway.
He really shows his brilliance again in Season 3 with the orchestration of the Red Wedding, defeating Robb Stark and wiping out the majority of his forces in a single stroke. He spends the entire season sitting around waiting for everything to come together because he's already won and nobody else knows it.
Speaking of Lannisters, Tyrion Lannister may have been a Punch-Clock Villain for the first four seasons, but his charm, charisma, multiple Pet the Dog and Everyone Has Standards moments and his ability to bend almost anyone to his will made him a recurring fan favourite.
The Night's King has been getting this since his extremelymemorable appearance in Hardhome. In fact, the White Walkers as a whole made a jump to this after the awe-inspiring ending of that episode. Some regard that the Night King's anti-climactic end at Arya's hand contributed to triggering some of fan discontent felt with Season 8 with some viewers bemoaning that an important character became a set-piece to make Arya look cool, not even giving him a fight.
For all the atrocities that she devolves into, Cersei is cool, beautiful, charismatic, and one of the more iconic villains on the show.
Despite being the most evil monster in the show, Ramsay is considered one of the shows best villains thanks to Iwan Rheons amazing performance. Ramsay also shows that he is intelligent, cunning, fearless, and a deadly warrior. He is the villain Joffrey wishes he was.
Littlefinger, one of the foremost villains on the show until Season 7, is beloved for being a sharp-witted Chessmaster just like in the books.
The man manages to turn on Eddard Stark successfully and undermine him, then breaks up a marriage alliance between two powerful houses.
He tops all this off in Season 4 by helping Olenna Tyrell plot Joffrey's death, then revealing that he is the reason the War of the Five Kings started he had Jon Arryn poisoned.
Melisandre is a Hot Witch who practices powerful, fiery dark magic, whose Cold Ham facade oozes with charisma and who undergoes a good amount of character evolution.
There are fans rooting for Daenerys/Jorah and fans rooting for Daenerys/Jon. Fans who support Daenerys/Jon will point to the book series' name, A Song of Ice and Fire, to have meaning associated with each of their characters. note "Fire" representing Dany's dragons and "ice" representing the Wall where Jon has spent much of the series.
Following the two characters' (admittedly very charming) first interaction in "Battle of the Bastards", Daenerys/Yara rocketed immediately into popularity. Hell, them hitting on each other is practically canon, considering how Dany also displayed bisexual tendencies in the books.
Dany: I imagine your offer is free of any marriage demands. Yara:(flirtatiously) I never demand, but I'm up for anything, really.
Brienne/Jaime are popular as they spend a lot of screen time alone traveling Westeros together, and Brienne pushes Jaime to rediscover his honor and strive to be a better person.
However, coming out of nowhere in Season 6 and taking a surprising lead, Brienne/Tormund. Tormund's enthusiastic appreciation for the very traits others mock in Brienne made the ship a hit within a single episode.
Davos/Stannis has proven surprisingly, but undeniably, to be the most popular Ho Yay pairing so far.
Oddly enough, Robb/Theon is the most popular Robb ship, despite Theon betraying him and allegedly murdering his younger brothers, and Robb vowing to execute Theon for his betrayal.
Sansa is shipped with a few characters by fans. Sansa/Sandor gained a following of fans, especially in earlier seasons. Meanwhile, Sansa/Margaery has become a popular Les Yay pairing and even given near-canon teasing. It also goes well with the canon Renly/Loras. Sansa/Jon is another Sansa ship supported by some fans, particularly since their season 6 reunion. For some, it's made more palatable by the reveal that they're cousins by blood as opposed to half-siblings.
Arya/Gendry is the most popular Arya ship, given their close friendship during everything they went through together. Season 8 makes it happen.
Many fans and critics note that the only way that Jaime's characterization in the episode Oathbreaker makes sense is to disregard the infamous sept scene of "Breaker of Chains" as a failure on the part of the director to convey the proper intent.
The direction of Season 8spoilers More specifically, The Night King being defeated halfway through the season, Arya defeating the Night King rather than Jon or Daenerys, the Diabolus ex Machina involving the death of Rhaegal, Missandei's death being an example of Stuffed into the Fridge, the Redemption Rejection of Jaime, with the character returning to Cersei in The Last of the Starks because he still loves her, the FaceHeel Turn of Daenerys in The Bells, Daenerys becoming a ruthless tyrant hellbent to conquer the world, Jon murdering Daenerys, Bran becoming king and Jon's exile. has been an unwelcome one for numerous fans, believing that characterization was thrown out the window for the sake of forced drama and plot twists. This feeling is common enough that over a million fans have signed a petition to have it remade by different writers.
A number of fans prefer to treat either "Game of Thrones S8E2: "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"" or "Game of Thrones S8E3: "The Long Night"" as the true series finale, since the former is the last episode of the show to receive unanimous critical acclaim, ends on a note of uncertain yet hopeful solemnity, has almost all of the surviving (heroic) major characters still alive and gathered together for a final farewell, and sees a number of them (Arya, Jaime, the Hound, Theon and Brienne) bring their character arcs to a suitably satisfying conclusion. The latter on the other hand maintains everything the previous episode did and concludes the series with the defeat of the White Walkers. The way things later get resolved is considered non-canon in the eyes of those fans.
Some of the early reviews placed the series firmly in the ghetto, even so far as to claim HBO was heading right into the Network Decay. Not only did fantasy/SF blog io9 have a few things to say about that, both the fans and other professional critics also called them out on that outright bias. In the case of the first review from Slate, Troy Patterson (who made little effort to disguise his Bias Steamroller) recused himself from reviewing the series from that point forward.
Combine this with fetish fuel. The second review, by Gina Bellafante, claims that all fantasy is boy-oriented, and the sex was added to draw in a female audience (despite much of the sex also being in the source material). The same review claims that "we are in the universe of dwarfs, braids, wenches, loincloth," which seems to indicate that the reviewer didn't watch the show in the first place — or perhaps thinks Tyrion Lannister is supposed to be a Tolkien-style dwarf rather than a human with dwarfism, which goes well beyond research failure and really swings for the fences.
Jonathan Pryce originally turned down a role because he is not into the sword and fantasy thing and found it all too strange. He changed his mind once he realized the product had gravitas.
Ian McShane had no interest in the show for quite a while, and ultimately only joined for a chance to work with his old friends Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane. When he learned they'd both already been killed off, the only thing that kept him from walking was his only having to be in one episode. Then he casually spoiled what his role was, and replied to the fans that got upset, "Get a fucking life. It's only tits and dragons."
Even the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss admitted admitted that they toned down the fantasy elements due to this trope in an attempt to broaden their audience.
Tyene Sand is supposed to be a Femme Fatale type character, but many viewers felt her sexualized behavior and dialogue was so on-the-nose it had the opposite effect and came off as Narmy, especially her infamous "bad pussy" line.
Some viewers found Dany and Jon's love scene uncomfortable due to knowing they are aunt and nephew, although the characters themselves are unaware of this. It's difficult to tell if this was the intended audience reaction or not: it's framed in a romantic light with a love theme playing, yet its intercut with Bran and Sam reiterating that the pair are biologically related.
Arya's sex scene with Gendry made some audience members feel uncomfortable more than anything, due to the fact that for most of the show Arya had been a child (she's around 10 at the start) so it felt squicky for her to be sexualized; several viewers even said it was akin to watching their kid sister hooking up with someone. Some viewers found themselves hastily Googling whether Arya was even over the age of consent, due to it being unclear how much time had passed (for the record, Arya is supposed to be 18 in Season 8 and Maisie Williams was 22), especially given Gendry is clearly a young adult (Joe Dempsie was 31).
Fight Scene Failure: From the start to the end, most of the fight and battle scenes from the show have been praised by critics and fans... with the duel between the Sand Snakes vs. Jaime and Bronn in the Season 5 episode Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken being a notable exception. A fairly common complaint about is that the scene itself was shot and choreographed◊ like an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess as opposed to the show's usual quality. The editing is also seen as questionable. The short time allowed on the Dorne set and restrictive budget probably contributed.
Yoren's description of the man who killed his brother.
To say nothing of the interactions between Bronn and Tyene Sand.
There's a little of this when Myranda is assisting Sansa with her bath.
Before delivering his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jaime, Edmure remarks, "You're a fine-looking fellow, aren't you? Your square jaw, your golden armor..."
Fountain of Memes: Strangely, as time's gone past, Robert Baratheon has risen as an inexorable fountain of quotes to the point that "Bobby B" is now the most-quoted character in the series, peaking during Season 8 (especially in r/freefolk, which is basically the GoT's fandom shitpost central; there's even a bot made specifically to quote him when Bobby B. is brought up, which can get oddly clever at times).
If you're a fan of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, chances are you're also a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, particularly the show itself. A sizable portion of Skyrim's library of Game Mods is devoted to adding Game of Thrones-related content to the game; there is more than one mod that adds a fully-modeled Longclaw, for example.
There's also some overlap between Game of Thrones fans and players of Crusader Kings II, since the latter is essentially a medieval politics simulator. There's a Game of Thrones-themed Game Mod which is reasonably popular, which has, in turn, inspired a number of After-Action Report fanfictions. Now that there is also a mod for Crusader Kings II that allows you to play as one of the rulers in Tamriel, it seems the cycle is now complete.
Outlander fans and Game Of Thrones fans get along just fine since the authors of the books (Diana Gabaldon and George R.R. Martin respectively) are good friends regardless what online articles say about Gabaldon's opinion on Martin's Schedule Slip. Likewise, Tobias Menzies (who played Edmure Tully) appeared in the Outlander TV show and Martin is also appalled with the lack of Emmy nominations that the show received.
There is an overlap between fans of Game of Thrones and theworksofYasumi Matsuno. It does help that Matsuno is also a fan himself.
Hodor's repeated use of "Hodor" became a running joke, affectionately regarded by fans and other characters. Then "The Door" reveals that Hodor is forced to say it after being accidentally mind-raped as a young teen by Bran: the final order by Meera to "hold the door" and sacrifice his life was projected back in time and seared into his brain. Hodor has been saying over and over the circumstances of his death for two decades.
Ever since Gregor Clegane was brought back from the dead, he has been suffering severe decay on one half of his face. A fitting injury considering what he did to his brother Sandor. However, it becomes a bit disturbing when Hafthor Björnsson, Gregor's actor, would later suffer from facial paralysis on one half of his face.
In the third episode of the second season, Varys tells Tyrion a riddle. Anyone with a background in political science (especially in international relations) will recognize Varys' answer as a down-and-dirty explanation of the constructivist school of thought. Xaro Xhoan Daxos' empty vault is a second example of the illusory nature of power.
There's a funny one in a Get Thee to a Nunnery kind of way when Ygritte says "You know nothing, Jon Sno-oh-oh!" as he eats her out. Yes, he does know "nothing" — in the Shakespearean sense. "Nothing" was Elizabethan-era slang for female genitalia. And to "know" someone in the Biblical sense was to have sex with them.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is so popular in India that it was found that Indians are the most likely to interact with GOT related content on social media and were the number one viewers of pirated copies of Season 8. Priyanka Chopra's marriage to Nick Jonas, which in turn made her related to Sophie Turner only managed to make its popularity skyrocket even further. There were plans for a Foreign Remake of the series in Indian languages in 2015, and after the finale aired, Cadbury Chocolate made an advertisement directly referring to its reception among the Indian fanbase, as shown here.
In a similar vain, all the times Tyrion's called the half-man in the first two seasons become this when the soldiers at the Blackwater end up using that as a battle cry.
In Season 3, Loras talks about his boyhood dream of marrying a bride cloaked in beautiful green and gold brocade. Way back in Season 1, Renly attended the Tournament of the Hand wearing a green and gold brocade cloak. Loras is apparently visualizing Renly when he talks about his "bride."
The reveal that Lyanna was Jon's mother puts multiple moments from early seasons in this light: Ned telling Jon that he may not have his name but he "has his blood" and that Ned never cheated on Catelyn and was actually faithful to her his entire life. Jon and Arya's particularly close relationship among the Stark siblings gets even sweeter with the reveal, as Arya is implied to be a Generation Xerox of Lyanna — meaning Jon had a special attachment to his mother without even realizing it.
In Season 1, Ned tries to mediate between Arya and Sansa when Joffrey's actions lead to the Lannisters ordering Lady's and Micah's executions. Arya in particular takes issue with how Sansa took Joffrey's side over hers. Arya and Sansa both learn from the experience when they reunite in Season 7; they pretend to start feuding to fool Littlefinger, but in reality they've both learned not to doubt each other again. Arya even tells Sansa she's a strong person. Continues into Season 8, where Arya fully trusts that Sansa is acting to protect all the Starks, including Jon, and she is right; she also gives Sansa a dagger to protect herself from the wights before rejoining the battle.
Emilia Clarke's performance has been a bit of a base-breaking point amongst viewers and Daenerys' Season 8 story arc itself is contentious, but many viewers felt that Clarke still nailed it both when she breaks down over Jorah's death in "The Long Night" and when she begins spiralling into a mental breakdown and goes completely Ax-Crazy during "The Bells".
Kit Harington's work has always been well received, but he does have a few detractors. But even those viewers couldn't help but be impressed by his work in season six, widely regarded as his finest turn as Jon Snow, and seen by many as robbed of an Emmy.
He's Just Hiding!: If a character isn't killed on screen, then fans will believe this. Heck, occasionally even characters who are apparently killed on screen still get this treatment.
Syrio Forel. His scene gets a Bolivian Army Ending where he engages the fully armored Meryn Trant. Trant is later shown alive and well, and Arya later says that Syrio's dead, but since the audience never sees him die, they don't believe it. Seeing as Trant would likely be too proud to admit that Syrio might have escaped him and as of the Season 5 finale Arya's ensured that he'll never be able to admit it, the show doesn't seem like it will address the issue anytime soon. It doesn't help that when Joffrey shows her the heads of her father, Septa, and household staff, Syrio's head isn't there.
Benjen Stark. His riderless horse came back, but there's no word about him. He officially came back in Season 6 by aiding Bran and Meera against a pack of Wights. After revealing his identity, he tells them that he and his accompanying riders engaged the White Walkers, and was stabbed by one and left to turn. Luckily, the Children of the Forest found him before that could happen.
Sandor Clegane. Although the plot point suggesting he actually did survive was Adapted Out, many are still hoping he'll be back in order for a duel with his brother Gregor to occur. And lo and behold, the Hound returns in Season 6, saved by a traveling septon.
Regardless of the actor and the producers' statements, many fans (including the non-book viewers) are not buying for a second that Jon Snow is dead. Not only are there several possible workarounds for his death, but his fate in the last book is left ambiguous. On top of the In-Universe fuel, there's the behind-the-scenes evidence as well. Helping this is that the producers stated right at the start of the show that what got them the job was correctly guessing Jon's parents, which would be quite the odd decision if that fact doesn't actually matter to the story at all. Adding more fuel is that Kit Harrington and Carice van Houten just happened to be filming completely unrelated projects at the exact same place and time right around the time filming started on Season 6. He's brought back to life in the second episode, in a textbook case of It Was His Sled.
With the Season 6 finale, many fans are hoping this is the case with Margaery Tyrell despite the fact that she is shown moments before the Sept explodes and the blast radius of the Wildefire would render an escape moot. But her death isn't directly shown leading some people to still hope. A very popular fan theory that has emerged is that the Margaery Tyrell who died could be a faceless man hired to save Loras and kill the High Sparrow. Said faceless man would've been hired by Mace in Braavos back in S5's finale as things had begun to go to hell already. The real Margaery is chilling in Highgarden and plotting her revenge against Queen Cersei. Possibly Jossed, given that, as of Season 7, Episode 3, the Lannisters took Highgarden.
Viewers are skeptical of Blackfishs offscreen death in "No One" after some random Lannister mook informed Jaime about it. Considering that in the books he escaped by jumping off to the river and swam his way out when Riverrun was seized, some viewers believed that he faked his death and escaped the same way he did in the books.
In the Season 7 finale, fans are desperately hopeful that Tormund and Berric survived the destruction of the Wall overlooking Eastwatch since they are not seen perishing onscreen. It's not out of the question, assuming they made it far enough west to avoid the collapsing section. For what it's worth, the last shot of them is them watching the Wall collapse just short of where they're at. In the Season 8 premiere, they indeed survived the fall of Eastwatch and met Edd and the surviving Night's Watchmen.
Season 8 had the rare case of an entire army doing this. During the Battle of Winterfell during "The Long Night", the Dothraki and Unsullied appear as if they have been completely slaughtered to a man. However, in "The Bells", Daenerys is shown to still have a significant number of Dothraki and Unsullied under command, as if they had never suffered any losses during the Long Night at all.
As in the books, Arya Stark is mistaken for some characters as a boy from the beginning. This is undermined by the fact that Maisie Williams was a cute and adorable child, and also having become a beautiful woman over the years.
Brienne of Tarth is called Brienne the Beauty as an Ironic Nickname because she's supposed to be ugly. Gwendoline Christie isn't uglied up much beyond a short haircut, a few facial scratches and men's clothing/armor, and even some characters like Bronn admit to being attracted to her. In fact, when she was cast, there were complaints that Gwendoline was too pretty for the role (she had previously been a model). It's apparently a case of Adaptational Attractiveness, and the nickname has more to do with her being a woman.
Plenty of Walder Frey's (grand-)daughters, especially those who don't get put forward by his snarky comments, are mostly uglied up with unflattering clothing and greased hair. Even the "fat Frey daughter" Roose Bolton marries is a Big Beautiful Woman.
Hollywood Pudgy: Sophie Turner was attacked for gaining weight at some point in Season 3 — never mind that she was going through puberty. This led to her suffering from depression at the age of seventeen.
The book series upon which the show is based is called A Song of Ice and Fire. The title of the show is taken from the title of the first novel in the series, A Game of Thrones. New printings of the book series have "Game of Thrones, The Hit Original Series From HBO" stamped on them now, anyway.
A lot of show-only fans seem to be under the impression that "Khaleesi" is Daenerys Targaryen's actual name instead of one of her titles.
Jon and Sansa, as of Season 6. With both having gone through the Trauma Conga Line, and being the only family either has seen in ages, they become very close and prone to held gazes and affectionate gestures. With Sansa having been at the mercyof thebiggest monsters of the setting, and Jon's big brother protectiveness showing in full force, plenty have run away with it. The confirmation that they're cousins/adoptive siblings rather than half-siblings has only served to encourage them.
Jon is shipped with Daenerys, his biological aunt. This pairing becomes canon by the end of Season 7, though neither character knew the truth at the time until Season 8.
In Season 7, Daenerys is presented as wrong for wanting to attack the Red Keep with her dragons. However, this might have been a strategically-sound decision that would potentially result in fewer civilian and military casualties across Westeros as a whole. She isn't even talking about attacking the whole city, just the castle where Cersei is hiding out. It's even possible (though unlikely) she could take the Red Keep without violence; Visenya Targaryen took the Eyrie without bloodshed by flying on her dragon up to the castle, thus making it very clear that nowhere was safe when you can fly and that refusing to yield would be suicidal, which prompted Sharra Arryn to bend the knee (her son was technically king but he was only a kid at the time). If she had gone straight to the Red Keep/King's Landing, Dany could've won the Iron Throne in a day, if not less, and subsequently she and Jon wouldn't have to mess around getting a wight as proof for Cersei, they'd have many more troops for the Great War, Dany would still have three dragons, etc. It doesn't help that she won't attack King's Landing or the Red Keep based largely on Tyrion's advice, even though his advice has been repeatedly shown to be pretty terrible and puts her in a worse position.
Also in Season 7, Dany executing Randyll and Dickon Tarly is presented as wrong by the show; even though other characters, such as Stannis, have executed prisoners who have failed to bend the knee. Dany offered them a clear choice; accept her as queen and keep their lands and titles, or be executed; it's certainly harsh but not extraordinary in Westeros, yet some characters act like she's crossing a line.
Not helping is the fact that you could make the case for Randyll Tarly fully deserving it - after all, he turned on Olenna, his liege, for the sake of Cersei who, let's not forget, is responsible for blowing up the Sept Of Baelor and the deaths of hundreds of people, and only took the throne because there wasn't anyone to stop her. Being so faithful to someone like that is a truly Too Stupid To Live stance.
Her execution of Varys is similarly demonized by the narrative as a step towards her becoming the Mad Queen, despite him actually having done the thing he is accused of — and that thing being effectively high treason. Throughout the series, it was an accepted fact that high treason is punishable by death; see Jon executing the mutineers. But when Daenerys does it, it's wrong because...she used a dragon instead of a sword? And because later in the episode she is going to undergo a FaceHeel Turn, which is retroactively foreshadowed by her doing something cruel, but nonetheless completely normal and just considering the setting? Huh?
Tyrion, until the abuse and humiliation in "The Laws of Gods and Men" finally causes him to snap with Shae's betrayal, at which point he makes an enraged speech about how he wishes he let the ungrateful citizens of King's Landing be slaughtered by Stannis and how he wishes he could watch them all die.
Brienne. She's practically shit on by every character she meets (with the exception of Renly and Catelyn) and is still one of the deadliest fighters in Westeros.
Davos loses his son Mathos, his young friend Shireen and his king and friend Stannis, and his resolve doesn't diminish one bit.
Lady Olenna Tyrell becomes the last Tyrell after losing Mace, Loras and Margaery in Cersei's wildfire plot but the Queen of Thorns doesn't lose her resolve and stays in the game allied with Daenerys Targaryen.
Kevan Lannister. Two of his sons were murdered in cold blood by Rickard Karstark, the other has become a religious fanatic (which he is torn up about), and his brother was killed by his nephew. And yet he remains stone-faced enough to keep King's Landing running during the fiasco with the Faith Militant, at least until Cersei blows up the Sept with him in it.
It Was His Sled: Even if you don't read the books, several spoilers are already known once it's shown:
Season 1: Robert is killed, Ned is executed, and dragons are brought back into the world.
Season 2: The Lannisters win the War of the Five Kings and Winterfell is sacked.
Season 3: It is revealed Jaime killed the Mad King because he was about to burn King's Landing and Robb, Catelyn and the rest of Stark bannermen are massacred in the Red Wedding.
Season 4: Joffrey and Tywin died and Tyrion flees from Westeros.
Season 5: Cersei Lannister is forced to make her walk of atonement. Stannis was defeated by the Boltons and Jon Snow was condemned and stabbed by his Night's Watch brothers.
Season 6: Jon Snow is brought back from the dead and his parentage is finally revealed.
Season 7: Rhaegar and Lyanna really fell in love with each other and the White Walkers finally pass the Wall by destroying one section of with the use of the undead Viserion.
Season 8: The Night King is killed by Arya, Dany becomes the Mad Queen, Jon reluctantly assassinates her to save the world from destruction, and Bran is chosen as the King of the Seven Kingdoms.
Some feel Season 6's Northern plot is essentially a repeat of Season 5's, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits marches to topple the Boltons from Winterfell and meet them in battle despite being heavily outnumbered. The denouements of both sequences rely on respectively Diabolus ex Machina/Deus ex Machina.
To some viewers, Season 6's Arya plot also follows the same beats as Season 5. Arya claims she is 'No One' and is given a target. Then, Arya doesn't kill who she's supposed to and declares that really is Arya Stark. She is punished harshly for this, but then quickly forgiven.
Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: Joffrey Baratheon is easily the most hated character even when compared to the likes of his grandfather Tywin Lannister, Ramsay Bolton, or the Night King himself. Though he and Ramsay are incredibly cruel and sadistic, Ramsay has his fans for being entertaining, clever, and charismatic in an Evil Is Cool way, while Joffrey is a dumb and bratty Dirty Coward. Tywin, on the other hand, is a pragmatist that will only engage in any kind of acts of cruelty when it's in his best interests to do so and otherwise strives to maintain friendly relationships with the other allied Houses. And the Night King is more of a force of nature than anything else.
Some people became fans of Game of Thrones after hearing there would be dragons and/or tons of Fanservice in it.
While the storytelling has largely dropped in quality in the opinion of many critics and fans, Ramin Djawadi keeps outdoing himself. Many fans have declared that they're watching the controversial final few episodes mostly for his terrific score.
Brienne. She's been shipped primarily with Jaime and Tormund, but also with Podrick and Sandor. She was actually in love with Renly, is all but confirmed to be in love with Jaime and Tormund is completely besotted with her.
Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen in the first season.
Jack Gleeson's performance as Joffrey perfectly encapsulates every smug, stupid and cruel element of his book counterpart so well that the fandom often heaps praise on how well the character is portrayed... or, less desirably, conflates Jack Gleeson with his character. Even GRRM himself congratulated Jack for a job well done.
Tywin Lannister is an unforgiving piece of work but a remarkable nemesis all the same, oozing competence and contempt at every turn. Charles Dance gives life to a formidable character who is a dreadful force to be reckoned with.
Bronn is a lowborn sellsword and opportunistic cutthroat who proves one need not be of high birth to be a player in the game of thrones. Roguishly charming and surprisingly clever, Bronn first makes his mark by defeating a fully armed and armored knight in a duel through trickery and winning the freedom of Tyrion Lannister. In Tyrion's employ, Bronn is made the leader of the King's Landing guards and purges the city's thieves to ensure food supplies for the upcoming siege. Proving a competent military commander, Bronn aids in planning the defense and plays a vital role in the Battle of the Blackwater by igniting the wildfire that consumes Stannis' fleet. Becoming a knight, Bronn again rises in rank by abandoning Tyrion and becoming a noble in the Lannister employ. Despite leading the rescue of Princess Myrcella and being Jaime's only competent officer, Bronn turns on the Lannisters after being denied further reward yet gets the better of Jaime and Tyrion and coerces them into making him a lord when the wars are over. In the end, Bronn, coming from nothing, is made the new Lord of Highgarden and Master of Coin.
Olenna Tyrell is the acidic, witty matriarch of House Tyrell, far more formidable than her oafish son Mace. Olenna, upon her arrival in King's Landing, helps to secure her granddaughter Margaery's power base and soon learns what a monster King Joffrey Baratheon truly is. In an alliance with Petyr Baelish, Olenna poisons Joffrey at his own wedding, letting Tyrion Lannister take the blame while remaining entirely out of suspicion. Even upon her final defeat, Olenna simply downs a vial of painless poison before revealing to Joffrey's father Jaime that she was Joffrey's true killer, robbing him of any satisfaction at all before inviting him to tell Cersei as "I want her to know it was me", dying on her own terms in full satisfaction.
Memetic Bystander: A recurring background extra, easily distinguished by his massive beard, is first seen serving in Stannis' army in Season 5, before serving House Stark in Season 6, 7 and 8. Fans quickly took a liking to him, due to his appearance making him one of the most visually distinguishable extras. This character, now named Aberdolf Strongbeard, ended up so popular with the fans that the actor was among the few who got their own segment in The Last Watch, the official Behind the Scenes documentary.
Memetic Troll: Roose Bolton is considered this by much of the fandom. Between showing Catelyn his chainmail right before the massacre at the Red Wedding, serving Jaime a dinner he couldn't cut because his men cut off his right hand, and telling Ramsay how he raped his mother beside the corpse of her hanged husband he really comes off as one.
Based on the number of Tumblr pages and YouTube videos on the subject, there are lots of fans who ship Sansa and Littlefinger. This is not helped by the fact that Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa, ships them.
There are fans who genuinely believe that Cersei, of all people, would make a good queen based on some of her snappy retorts and her "power is power" boast to Littlefinger. Never mind that she was basically in power for a while and the kingdom didn't exactly benefit from it. Not to mention that Littlefinger had the last laugh, leaving her and the Lannisters in the worst position they've ever been in. This hasn't let up at all since Seasons 5 and 6, either. In the former, Cersei essentially has complete, unlimited control of King's Landing and runs the entire city into the ground and loses her control to a dangerous enemy through sheer incompetence. To rectify this error in Season 6, Cersei blows up an enormous amount of King's Landing, including everyone with political power in the Great Sept of Baelor. The sequence even vaguely resembles 9/11. Yes, a queen that blows up her own citizens is certainly ideal.
While Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are mostly loathed, there was a portion of viewers who thought that their decision to murder Doran and Trystane and seize control of Dorne was an empowering feminist moment for them, despite it clearly being portrayed as a Moral Event Horizon.
Mis-blamed: Many viewers often blame D&D or the show writers for coming up with the name "Harry Strickland", which they mock for sounding too modern to fit in Westeros. However, Harry Strickland is not a Canon Foreigner. He exists in the book and his name is exactly the same.
Euron Greyjoy in "Stormborn". His Ax-Crazy, Screaming Warrior act is so completely batshit insane and OTT it makes the gruesome carnage pretty fun to watch.
Littlefinger's trial is a textbook case of Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? that is hard to take completely seriously but Sophie Turner and Aiden Gillan sell the scene and the pure Catharsis Factor of watching all of Littlefinger's crimes blow up in his face is incredibly satisfying.
Jon's savage beatdown of Ramsay, while initially cathartic, crosses over into nauseating after it goes several seconds too long and the sounds of impact get progressively wetter whilst his victim's face slowly degrades into a bloody mush.
In the Season 7 premiere, asides from serving grub and arranging the books, Sam spends most of his time in the Citadel getting the bedpans filled with piss and shit, throwing the bedpans' disgusting content out and then, scrubbing them. We had an entire montage of him doing all the icky stuff and Sam nearly puked while doing it. John Bradley mentioned in his interview that the montage was shot for five days and he spent the whole week scrubbing the toilets while his castmates are at the Emmys 2016.
Jorah's greyscale and Sam's attempt to treat it by cutting the infected skin away, with copious amounts of blood and pus oozing from the wound. And it then it cuts from a Gross-Up Close-Up of Sam slicing through the skin to someone eating a pie.
Littlefinger will never live down being the guy who made and codified Sexposition in the famous scene in Season 1 where he gives a long monologue about how he's going to betray people while two prostitutes have sex in the background, occasionally interjecting to give instructions to them. He hasn't even been personally involved with managing the brothel he owns since Season 3.
Daenerys in Season 1 was a fan-favorite among the main cast, with many signature scenes (such as the horse-heart eating scene, and her sacrifice of Miri Maaz Duur to summon the three dragons). However since her Book 2 plotline was shorter and not very action-packed, her Season 2 plotline was filled with much Padding and likewise had the "dragon theft" original subplot to give more action to the plot. Most parodies of Dany as well as arguments about her character and personality stem from her Season 2 plotlines which had many episodes that had her travel in the desert to Qarth and then a prolonged extended sequence giving ridiculous speeches to the Qartheen to open their doors, followed by even more exchanges where she imperiously demands the Qartheen give her an army to take back her kingdoms, and after her dragons are stolen, going around and demanding "Where are my dragons". Her plotline in Season 3 brought her back on track and she became very respected throughout the show as she and her dragons continued to grow stronger, but until then, a number of videos referred to "Where are my dragons" so often as if it was some kind of catchphrase.
Bran being the cause of Hodor becoming Hodor in Season 6. Even though it was a complete accident that he was horrified by, many fans instantly turned on him for it. It didn't help that the scene was a bit ambiguous over whether he was still warging into Hodor to make him hold the door, which Kristian Nairn himself had to set the record straight on (Hodor sacrificed himself of his own free will).
Despite being a legitimate threat, the Night King and the Army of the Dead are only remembered now as an Anti-Climax due to the climatic battle lasting only one episode while being built up over the entire show.
The Dothraki are mainly remembered for their suicidal and idiotic charge in "The Long Night" despite their In-Universe depiction as The Horde. They just have the misfortune of having moronic leaders while going against the one force that aren't affected by their modus operandi. Said moronic leaders also aren't going get this black mark off their resumes anytime soon for all the tactical blunders they made in the battle of the living despite being competent leaders during the rest of the show.
Jon Snow will forever be remembered as the man who gave away his loyal Ghost without even stopping to pet him or say goodbye. Nor will he ever live down how the final season limited his dialogue choices to a select few lines that have reached memetic proportions.
With everything the finale is well known for, it'll never change the fact that Tyrion spent a full two and a half minutes fixing chairs.
Due to the wide cast of characters and explicit nature of the show, it's no stranger to potentially Squicky pairings. However, a few top the rest, such as unironically shipping sadistic psychopaths like Joffrey and Ramsay with Sansa. These are the same people who gleefully murdered members of her own family and have either already raped her or threatened to do so.
Older Than They Think: The character of the Night's King. The reveal caught book readers and non-readers alike off guard because in the novels there has been no hint of the Others having a singular leader and of the Night's King being anything more than a myth or historical character. However, the Green RoninSong of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game did feature a very similar character, called the King of Winter, in its Night's Watch supplement a full two years before Oathkeeper aired; the book does mention that at that point, Green Ronin was essentially making up new lore for the purposes of tabletop gameplay, so it's up for debate as to whether or not Green Ronin guessed right about the White Walkers having a monarch or if the showrunners just decided to steal their idea as they diverged from the novels.
Syrio Forel appeared in three scenes in the first season, and is still a fan favorite.
Walder Frey appears in three episodes during the first three seasons. It's safe to say his actions during his second appearance will be forever ingrained in the minds of the characters and of the viewers alike.
Salladhor Saan has also only appeared in three scenes, but his were spaced across three seasons. He still gets some of the show's funniest lines.
Balon and Yara Greyjoy both have one scene the third season, during which the former sinks to new levels of dog-kickery, and the latter calls out him out on it, openly defies him and pledges a Roaring Rampage of Rescue for her brother.
Karl Tanner, the Night's Watch renegade and self-proclaimed "fooking legend" of Gin Alley, appeared in all of four episodes across Seasons 3 and 4, and his performance is, well, fooking legendary.
"Bart the Bear", the real bear used in Episode 7 of Season 3 is one affectionately with the fans of the series.
Ser Pounce, the cat of Tommen Baratheon, who has a memorable appearance on Oathkeeper.
Tycho Nestoris, the Iron Bank representative who meets with Stannis and Davos in Season 4 and offers them a loan, memorably played by Mark Gatiss.
The nameless slave keeper in "The Gift" who frees Tyrion for no obvious reason beyond compassion. Despite his lack of lines, fans have become fond of him for his charity (rare on such a show) and resemblance to Strong Belwas, a beloved book only character.
Karsi, the female wildling chief in "Hardhome." A Mother to Her Men, a Reasonable Authority Figure, and a well-acted Action Girl, Karsi was beloved by fans, despite the fact that she was killed by the White Walkers in the same episode she debuted and will not be reappearing except as a mindless wight.
The Long Dead Badass Ser Arthur Dayne appeared in one episode, a flashback before he died, yet the sword fight was so epic that he went up the ranks as one of the greatest badasses on the show. Being a convincing and frighteningly effective One-Man ArmyMaster Swordsman.
Aerys II Targaryen, The Dreaded Mad King himself. He's only appeared for a few seconds, but he left one hell of an impression thanks to his bone-chilling line: "BURN THEM ALL!"
Septon Ray only appears in a few scenes in one episode, and is killed at the end of it. However, he makes great use of his screentime, being a Good Shepherd and Cool Old Guy who's trying to atone for his past by helping the smallfolk. Unlike the High Sparrow, Ray's down-to-earth, approachable, funny, and is an example of someone who uses their faith to help people redeem themselves instead of punishing them. He even manages to reach Sandor Clegane, whose life he saved. Being played by Ian McShane doesn't hurt.
Fans are immensely glad to finally see Lyanna Stark appear twice in flashbacks during Season 6; the first one by showing to be a Tomboy Princess just like her niece Arya, the other one by giving birth to Jon Snow, confirming the most popular theory about Jon Snow's parentage.
Only the Creator Does It Right: The general view at the end of the series is that the show was at its best when it was most faithful to the narrative, characters, and themes of George R. R. Martin and less so when it stopped being faithful to the books. Likewise, three episodes written for the screen by Martin himself ("The Pointy End", "Blackwater", and "The Lion and the Rose") are among the series' highest ranked episodes, all scoring 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The only exception is "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", which is considered good but not exceptional and incidentally includes lots of scenes imported from other scripts during editing, as explained by Martin himself in the DVD commentary.
Out of the Ghetto: The Fantasy Ghetto hit the series pretty hard initially. But as the massive fanbase the series gathered and overall acceptance into pop culture would attest, it's clear the series has shattered the barrier and a number of fantasy fans ima the series' reception as a sign of changing attitudes about the genre.
Padding: Used in the show across the series, especially when they had to adapt plotlines for major characters who otherwise were a little Out of Focus in the respective sections of their books:
Daenerys went from 10 chapters in Book 1 to 5 chapters in Book 2. Theoretically, she should appear in only 5 of the 10 episodes of Season 2. Not wanting to sideline their Breakout Character from Season 1, the series stretched out her arrival in Qarth and then introduced the "dragon heist" plot which led to Dany walking around rooms yelling out "Where are my dragons" for the latter half of the season.
Robb Stark appears in only one chapter of Book 2. Probably afraid that the almost complete absence of the character in Season 2 would upset fans who did not read the books, the showrunners created new scenes for Robb, including a subplot of him meeting and getting married with a woman, something that occurs only off-screen in the books and in a very different way. The big problem is that with the exception of the scenes of Robb reacting to the events in Winterfell, everything else slows down the pace of the seasons too much.
The entire plot of Theon being tortured by Ramsay Snow in Season 3 is only there to prevent the character from being absent from the series for a long time, as it adds nothing to most of the main plots and slows down the pace of the season. Although it is important for the character's arc in the following seasons and both actors are great, there is still a strong impression that the writers could have simply made it all happen off screen, just like in the books.
A Storm of Swords is a bit too long for one season, but not quite long enough for two, so Seasons 3 and 4 have a number of scenes and subplots created for the show to pad out the length, like everything concerning Podrick as a Sex God, Daenerys spending most of Season 4 lounging around in Meereen, Stannis, after deciding to go to the Wall at the end of Season 3, spending most of his time brooding in Season 4, while Arya and the Hound become a buddy cop duo trudging across the war-torn Riverlands. The writers also had to even bring several subplots from the next two books, like Brienne searching for the Sansa and Arya, and Theon and the Boltons trying to take Moat Caitlin.
Season 8's "The Iron Throne" has a lot of scenes of people walking slowly through King's Landing or standing in silence. Upon analysis, some viewers have found that if you cut out all the dialogue from the episode, there's still over fifty minutes of footage out of a total runtime of 79 minutes.
Relationship Writing Fumble: Several viewers thought that Tyrion had romantic feelings for Sansa in Season 8 and some felt Sansa may even have reciprocated them to a degree. Tyrion expresses admiration for Sansa and states they "should've stayed married", to which Sansa says it wouldn't work "because of the dragon queen" without giving any other explanation. However, Sansa also makes a point of telling him that of all the men she was betrothed/married to, he was the best. And then there's their emotionally charged moment while hiding in the crypts and could be killed at any moment. It doesn't help that Tyrion previously admitted to finding Sansa attractive but refused to act on it on moral principle. However, given Tyrion's later confession that he's in love with Daenerys, the writers apparently didn't intend for him to have romantic interest in Sansa.
Robb's wife Jeyne Westerling from the books was replaced with Talisa Maegyr in the show, who filled the exact same role yet was a completely different character. The fans of the books were generally a little less than pleased with this change. Fortunately for them, her lifespan was much shorter than Jeyne's.
Euron Greyjoy has clearly become the replacement for Joffrey and Ramsay as the psychopathic villain who should be detested by all the characters around him and fans. Unfortunately, considering the character's receptionin the final seasons, this seems to have worked out too well, but not in the way the writers planned.
Septa Mordane was a minor character in the first book and season, who changed subtly in the adaptation. In the book she was a Stern Nun who was especially mean to Arya, and was so incompetent that she got drunk and passed out after the tournament — leaving Sansa alone with Sandor Clegane. She is softened into a Cool Old Lady in the show, who keeps the Stark girls grounded. She's also given a Dying Moment of Awesome where she does her best to get Sansa to safety while facing the Lannister guards herself — something she did not do in the books.
Sansa was unpopular in early seasons because she had many intentionally unsympathetic character traits (quite simply: she's a well-meaning but a naive and pretty shallow teenager). When she becomes more compassionate and tolerant, and at the same time, more proactive and manipulative in the King's Landing court, she starts to garner more appreciation from the audience. Upon becoming a victim of torment and Domestic Abuse during her time in King's Landing, Sansa begins to receive viewer sympathy for her plight. Later, being tormented and abused by Ramsay Bolton; escaping to reunite with Jon; doing whatever she can to take back their home; her revenge on Ramsay; and receiving a non-emotional reaction from Bran (who is 'no longer' himself having become the three-eyed raven), and a No Sympathy reaction from Arya (who became very cynical in her six years away and is incredibly suspicious of Sansa for much of Season 7) garnered Sansa's character more sympathy from some viewers (while recognizing Arya and Bran have gone through a lot themselves). In her storyline with Arya, who is usually a fan favorite, even some viewers who are not big fans of Sansa's character found themselves siding with Sansa against Arya.
Ros's severe Break the Cutie in Season 2 got her more sympathy from viewers who were annoyed by her presence.
Some viewers disliked Shae in the beginning and considered her a Satellite Love Interest to Tyrion. After witnessing her newfound badassery in Season 2 and taking on a protective role for Sansa, many critics began to like her. Sadly, she begins to slide back into it with Season 4 by becoming a Clingy Jealous Girl once Tyrion is forced to marry Sansa and betraying both of them later on before dying at Tyrion's hand because she tries to kill him.
As bad as Ros had it in Season 2, Theon goes through far worse in Season 3, with a similar response. And by the time he died in Season 8, Theons whole redemption arc has made him one of the most popular Game of Thrones characters.
Many fans rejected Ed Skrein's characterization of Daario Naharis. When Michiel Huisman was recast in the role and gave Daario a completely different personality, critics of the character generally approved of the change.
Talisa managed to shake off some of her hate in Season 3. Her outspoken Not Like Other Girls persona was toned down, showing her as a much kinder and more supportive presence to Robb. Having Catelyn act cold towards her, therefore telling viewers that the show was not going to resort to Character Shilling to justify Robb's marriage to her helped win her some sympathy. In one of her final scenes, she announces that she plans to name her child after Ned - and is then killed horrifically in the Red Wedding.
Meta example with Ian Whyte. He was considered to be a Replacement Scrappy as the second Mountain, but Wun Wun is considered to be one of the best things about the Wall storyline.
Both Finn Jones (Ser Loras) and Jessica Henwick (Nymeria Sand) would become better known for their roles as Danny Rand and Colleen Wing in Iron Fist (2017) and The Defenders (2017). Both were killed off due to their actors' commitments to those series.
While Ser Barristan's actor Ian McElhinney also had some fame with The Tudors and The Fall, he'd reach new levels as part of the main cast of Derry Girls.
Smaller example (no pun intended), dwarf actor Leigh Gill of Joker fame played the theatre actor who puts on a grotesque reenacting of Tyrion's trial and murder of Tywin while Arya Stark is in Braavos.
Catelyn gets a lot of this. While she is cold to Ned's (supposedly) bastard son Jon and doesn't treat him like a family member, she does feel very bad about it, most of her children grow up with a close relationship with Jon, and Catelyn is also a loving mother to all her other children. This doesn't stop fans from hating the "evil bitch" and even comparing her to Lady Tremaine. Compare her to Tywin, who also hates his son for an unfair reason (being a dwarf and Maternal Death? Blame the Child!). Tywin treats Tyrion much worse that Catelyn treats Jon, feels no remorse over it at all, and is a terrible father to his other children as well... fans still love him and find a way to justify all his actions.
Olly tends to get this treatment. While it is true that his character arc probably wasn't put into scene in the best way, it's still baffling how many people outright ignore or downplay his family and village being wiped out by Wildlings and fail to see any reason why he wouldn't want to ally with them and why he would be angry and disappointed of Jon Snow.
Rhaegar Targaryen has gotten this treatment as well, with many detractors painting him as bad as his father and younger brother, especially after the revelation that he had eloped with Lyanna. While publicly snubbing his actual wife Elia Martell in favour of Lyanna was certainly a dick move, people like to paint him as a Domestic Abuser when no other evidence that showed that he treated her horribly beyond that aforementioned case and annulling the marriage. The fallout of Robert's Rebellion, including the brutal deaths of his wife and children, was certainly not what he intended and were beyond his control. In fact, had it not been for his untimely death, he planned on deposing his mad father through peaceful means. All in all, he's more of an idiot whose short-sightedness caused a lot of problems, but certainly not the monster that he's often made out to be.
In the wake of the series finale, this has become a popular interpretation for Bran Stark. Generally, this involves Bran knowing in advance about Daenerys's murder spree and doing nothing to stop it, but it's common to speculate that he manipulated Sam to drive Jon and Daenerys apart, triggering the slaughter of King's Landing. More out there theories even have him possessing Drogon or Daenerys, the victim of possession by the previous Three-Eyed Raven, or that the Night King was trying to save Westeros. Ultimately, though, it's not clear that he's anything more than creepy, and unfeeling.
Sansa and the Northern lords, in general, get called xenophobic ungrateful bastards for insisting on independence after dragging Daenerys into saving the North. Her mother and brother were unjustly and cowardly killed for the cause of Northern independence, and it wasn't even the first civil war the North was dragged into by the crimes of the Iron Throne, with Robert's Rebellion even having several Northern lords (including Sansa's own grandfather and uncle) murdered by Daenerys' father. While the North did need help fighting the dead, framing it as an act of Daenerys saving North and deserving a reward is ignoring the series-long theme of the need for cooperation rather than focusing on petty squabbles. There are also fans who call Sansa 'Cersei', 'Cerseifinger', or 'Littlefinger 2.0;', ignoring her many moments of benevolence and dedication towards keeping her people safe.
Some fans declare they now support the White Walkers, if only because seeing everyone die in a Zombie Apocalypse will hurt less than whatever Gut Punch the show has in store.
Due to the murky morality of the show this scenario commonly comes up when major forces clash against each other. The best example is the Battle of the Blackwater, where Stannis besieges King's Landing. Not only is Stannis the rightful king, he is also the first character who has the opportunity to kill Joffrey, avenge Ned Stark and rescue Sansa. But the episode is written and filmed to place a large amount of focus on the battle being an achievement for Tyrion, and it's clear that if the Lannisters lose he will be killed. So the trope ends up working in two ways: Stannis, who would normally be the hero, ends up playing the role of the empire while the actual empire invites sympathy.
Cersei Lannister orchestrating the deaths of her enemies: the High Sparrow and his followers, the Tyrells, Kevan Lannister, Pycelle and countless denizens of King's Landing, in the Season 6 finale is starting to get this treatment from certain fans.
Euron Greyjoy is a complete psycho who kills his own kin and is firmly in villain territory, in league with Cersei Lannister and all, but plenty of people root for him when he goes up against the kinslaying, child killing and much-maligned lot that go by the name of Sand Snakes, proving who is an actual badass in the process.
The final episodes attempt to paint Daenerys as Evil All Along. The questionable execution of Daenerys's sudden FaceHeel Turn from a well-meaning, if sometimes ruthless heroine, results in some fans being unable to accept the drastic changes in Daenerys's character. That it came after a series of traumatic events result in some fans feeling "Daenerys did nothing wrong".
Littlefinger is a creep, a murderer, and the orchestrator of one of the biggest wars Westeros has ever seen, but he's incredibly clever, his Freudian Excuse is just sympathetic enough, and the success of all his power grabs made people genuinely root for him to make it to the top of that ladder to the Iron Throne.
When director Alex Graves commented that including Lady Stoneheart in the fourth season's finale would have been a "waste" of Michelle Fairley's talent, fans blamed him for the decision in spite of the fact that he's an episode director, not a writer or showrunner, so the decision wasn't up to him, and he was just giving his personal opinion about the subject.
Following the show's Seasonal Rot and divisive finale, it seems to be accepted as standard among the fandom that everything good about the series was just the writers doing a copy-paste from George R. R. Martin's books, and that everything bad about the series was purely the fault of creators and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. While this is an over-simplification, since Benioff and Weiss made plenty of changes that fans and even Martin himself agreed were improvements, it's one that's difficult to rebut entirely, since the show's quality is widely agreed even among those who've never read the books to have gone downhill the more they deviated from them, and then totally disintegrated when they had to move beyond the books and come up with stories completely from scratch. On a similar note, some fans are fond of dragging up Benioff's being credited as co-writer on X-Men Origins: Wolverine as proof that he was a totally incompetent hack all along and should never have been allowed near the series. This ignores the massive amount of Executive Meddling that Origins: Wolverine had to put up with, as well as the fact that Benioff was only one of two credited writers on that film. This "argument" also ignores the fact that Benioff wrote two highly praised works, the film 25th Hour and the novel City of Thieves.
Seasonal Rot: The general critical consensus at the end of the series was that Game of Thrones began to decline in quality once the showrunners made the decision to stray away from faithfully adapting Books 4 and 5, and even further once they moved past the published material in Seasons 7 and 8. This began in Season 5 and continued until Season 8 (where the rot hit a peak), with the sixth season being the notable exception, generally regarded in better terms compared to the others on the last half of the series:
Season 5 was highly contested for the show's radical alteration and streamlining of books, which includes changes to Sansa's and Stannis's storylines, Shireen's death, characterization shifts, and general plot holes became more frequent. The entire Dorne subplot and the straw-stuffednegative portrayal of the show's religious characters. Scenes come across as cheap shocks rather than actual narrative twists, which also saw the introduction of unlikable new characters such as the Sand Snakes. "Hardhome" was generally considered one of the best episodes of the series, and a redeeming factor in an otherwise disappointing season. It doesn't help that the season came after Season 4, which was one of the most praised in the series and based on the second half of A Storm of Swords.
Season 7, while still praised for Visual Effects of Awesome, was criticized for careless pacing that exploits Offscreen Teleportation and Easy Logistics, more conventional TV-like plotting, characters making illogical decisionsnote Sansa allowing Littlefinger to hang around and scheme while it was obvious that he didn't have her family's best interests at heart and nobody supports him anymore, Littlefinger himself hanging around even though it's blatantly obvious that everyone is just biding their time until they can have him killed, Jon Snow insisting on doing everything by himself out of Honor Before Reason, and the loss of lives having little emotional impactnote Littlefinger's death is drowned out by the audience's Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? for Sansa, and Viserion was "one of the other two dragons that aren't Drogon". Overall, the season appears to be the reverse of the overarching theme from Season 1: No matter how much you believe in your ideals, if no one supports you, you die. A lot of the strategic situations, which had previously been handled fairly seriously, are now painfully contrived just to rush through itnote Euron destroys Dany's fleets with impossible ambushes on opposite sides of the continent in what's apparently a matter of days. The Rock is simply abandoned as worthless thanks to the mines running dry, even though it's such a strong defensive position that the token force left behind almost wins anyway despite infiltrators opening the gates. The Lannister army takes out Highgarden effortlessly in a frontal assault entirely off-screen, when they had previously been depicted as at about the same level of strength. The death of the Sand Snakes removes Dorne from the equation entirely, even though their armies never even took the field.
Season 8 has been lambasted by fans for making characters act Out of Character for the sake of plot advancement or drama (the way Jaime, Jon and Daenerys' arcs were handled has been particularly criticized), continuity errors and dreadful pacing. One of the worst received decisions was to not only resolve the threat of the Night King in a single episode, but to do it halfway through the season. The baffling Hollywood Tactics employed during the Battle of the Dawn in that episode and the approach seen in the episode that followed were also ridiculed when compared to high points of the series in that department such as the Battle of the Blackwater, the Battle of Castle Black and the Battle of the Bastards. Obvious bloopers such as a scene where a modern coffee cup was left in full view confirmed, for some viewers, the declining standards of the show. On Rotten Tomatoes, four of the five lowest-rated episodes are from Season 8, while on IMDb, the six lowest-rated episodes are the six episodes of Season 8. The final season as a whole currently hovers at 55% on Rotten Tomatoes based on twenty reviews, making it the lowest-rated season as a whole (this is particularly notable since all the previous seasons had aggregate scores in the 90s).
Critics' consensus:Game of Thrones' final season shortchanges the women of Westeros, sacrificing satisfying character arcs for spectacular set-pieces in its mad dash to the finish line.
Ship Mates: Fans of Renly/Loras and Margaery/Sansa exist quite harmoniously, especially since they have the perfect cover for each other.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Shireen/Rickon is a very popular ship despite them never appearing in scenes together. She also is shipped fairly often with Tommen, who, once again, never meets her.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: Jonsa (Jon/Sansa) and Jonerys (Jon/Daenerys) heated up especially after the latter became canon and was revealed to also be incestuous.
Shocking Swerve: Season 8 is viewed as having a few, possibly due to the reduced number of episodes leaving less time to set up the twists.
Arya Stark being the one who kills the Night King. Besides a prediction made by Melisandre in Season 3 - which was actually a Retcon as the writers didn't decide until a few years later who would kill the Night King - there was no indication at all Arya would be the one to do the deed.
Bran Stark becoming king of the Seven-I mean Six Kingdoms. He wasn't even playing the game of thrones...or was he?
Signature Scene: There are a lot of them, one can make multiple entries for episodes, but proverbially:
The title sequence is widely parodied, imitated, and used as a model to apply in fan videos for other franchise, i.e. showing different locales in a moving map. The Simpsons made two separate parodies of it in multiple seasons.
Ned's execution and Daenerys hatching her dragons in Season 1.
The Battle of Blackwater episode in its entirety, but specifically the shot of the Wildfire on the water, Melisandre's shadow baby being born and then sending it to kill Renly from Season 2.
Daenerys unleashing her dragons on Astapor, with "Dracarys". The big one is of course the Red Wedding, which became the TV event when it aired, followed by the shot of the wolf's head attached to Robb's body in the following episode's opening in Season 3.
Joffrey's wedding reception and his poisoning, Tyrion's trial, The Mountain versus the Viper in Season 4. Pedro Pascal reported that his fans often attempt to reenact the last one with him, by sticking their thumbs in his eyes.
The Sansa rape scene, Cersei's Walk of Shame, the battle against the white walkers in Hardhome, Stannis sacrificing Shireen, Jon being mutinied in Season 5.
Jon's resurrection, the flashback duel between Ned and Arthur Dayne, Jon's reunion with Sansa, the shot in the battle of bastards where Jon climbs out of a pile of corpses, Cersei's purge of her opponents scored to "Light of the Seven", the "Hold the Door" reveal in Season 6.
Daenerys arriving at Dragonstone, her meeting with Jon Snow, Jaime charging at Daenerys with a spear while she tends to her dragon, the Wight Hunt episode, especially the moment where the Night's King hurls his spear, and the Dragonpit meeting in Season 7.
Daenerys going full-on Mad Queen Targaryen and burning a surrendered King's Landing to the ground in Season 8.
The Hound and The Mountain's fight, aka Cleganebowl. In spite of Season 8's controversy, it's agreed by many that Cleganebowl did not disappoint.
The controversial scenes of the council naming Bran the King of Westeros, Sansa and the North seceding from the Seven Kingdoms as an independent state with Sansa being named its queen, Jon being exiled back to the Night's Watch and riding beyond the Wall with the free folk, and Arya sails west of Westeros.
Slow-Paced Beginning: Most of what goes on in Season 1 establishes the many protagonists and significant locales that will be heavily involved later in the plot. With the exception of some key moments, most of what unfolds is exposition layered on top of more exposition, with not much plot inertia going on (similar to how The Wire started). This all changes once the big Wham Episode hits in episode nine, which throws the semi-stable equilibrium of the previous episodes into outright chaos, which defines the following episodes, and never relents from that point onward.
The golden crown for some, due to the fact that real molten gold glows brightly, whereas Drogo's "crown" doesn't. The end result also looks more like wax than metal.
The full-grown direwolves look less real than the dragons. CGI dragons are easy. CGI fur isn't, so they filmed real wolves in front of green screens, and inserted (bigger versions of) them in the filmed shots. It shows.
When Ser Barristan is being relieved of his place on the Kingsguard, look closely and you can see his helmet bending as he holds it, almost like it's made out of rubber or plastic.
Difficult to see unless you're specifically looking for it (and hidden by the lighting) but when Tyrion chops off the Baratheon captain's leg in "Blackwater", the blood that splatters his armor is obviously being thrown at him from offscreen.
The Clean Cuts in "Blackwater" reach an interesting medium between this and Squick.
In the premiere of the second season, Shae looks out at King's Landing from the Tower of the Hand. It's glaringly obvious that the city is a green screen.
In "Oathkeeper", the White Walker's horse looks more decayed in close-up shots. In far shots, its decay appears limited to its skull head.
Viewers who complain about Robb's romance with Talisa and don't see it as a Romantic Plot Tumor will go the opposite route, saying that not enough time is spent showing how Robb could fall so deeply in love that he'd break his marriage pact.
We are told how obvious it is Dany and Jon have feelings for each other as early as one episode after they meet. Their on-screen chemistry is of divided opinion among the fanbase and some feel that their romance is more of this trope than an actual connection due to not enough time being spent on this plot as a result of Season 7 and 8's increased pace. Some fans think their relationship has been rushed from skeptical dislike to falling in love, wherein they get a Relationship Upgrade in Season 7's finale. In Season 8, some feel their relationship still lacks proper development and the fall-out after The Reveal of Jon's true parentage wasn't sufficiently explored beyond it contributing to Dany's Sanity Slippage. Because of this, the tragic nature when it comes to the culmination of their relationship in which Jon must kill Dany to save everyone else after she torches a surrendered King's Landing doesn't work for these viewers because it wasn't properly built up enough.
Despite being portrayed as Fundamentalists and receiving large amounts of Adaptational Villainy (in line with a possible Author Tract), the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow have a good point about how corrupt King's Landing is. The poverty, the manipulative governments caring about their family's reputation over the people they're trying to protect and particularly where the High Sparrow denounces the deceitfulness of Cersei's reign and implies that Pycelle is a lickspittle to their faces. To some, while the Faith Militant's more heavy-handed approach than in the books and their literal heteronormative crusade is problematic, it pales in comparison to the mistakes and deeds done by Tommen's predecessors such as Robert (who was bankrupting the kingdom with frequent tourneys) and Joffrey (known among other things for killing people because they irritate him and torturing others for Revenge by Proxy), and even with their controversial aspects they're a far better influence on Tommen (still inspiring him to care for the people even during their power trip) than Cersei "Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!" Lannister.
Despite his questionable rule, Robert Baratheon was eventually proved completely right about his fear of Daenerys in Season 8, when she becomes the tyrant all of her detractors feared she would be. Joffrey, of all people, also falls into this for the same reasons after his argument with Tywin in Season 3.
No one in the fanbase gave a damn about Ollybeing executed by the resurrected Jon Snow, which they see it more as, "Good riddance!"
It seems like the writers finally got the hint the show's versions of the Sand Snakes weren't well liked by the Season 6 finale. Olenna makes a journey to Dorne to form an alliance with the Martells against Cersei and quickly verbally shuts down each of them. Then in Season 7's "Stormborn", Euron Greyjoy kills two of the Sand Snakes, to the joy of many fans, and captures Ellaria Sand and her daughter, Tyene, so he can deliver them to Cersei as vengeance for Ellaria killing Cersei's daughter Myrcella. Then, Cersei herself poisons Tyene with the same poison used that killed her daughter and forces Ellaria to watch her own daughter die.
Ed Sheeran's cameo was so reviled that a line was added to Season 8 where Bronn casually mentions that he was burned alive and survived.
Testosterone Brigade: A large amount of male viewers tune in for the beautiful Emilia Clarke in either flattering costumes or fully nude. The likes of Ygritte (a sexy Action Girl who gets a couple of nude scenes), Osha (an Unkempt Beauty who likewise establishes her seductress credentials in Season 2), Margaery (a gorgeous princess who's also a Nice Girl), Talisa (a Hospital Hottie who also is nude more than once) and arguably Cersei (Lena Headey is very beautiful, and Seasons 1-5 pay lots of attention to her beauty) attract plenty of male admirers. Ellaria as well to a lesser extent, but she didn't show up until Season 4.
Inevitable when you're dealing with such a nerd-loved property. Though interestingly enough, George R.R. Martin himself denounces this view on the DVD commentary, saying that things like Syrio having hair and Ghost making noise just work better for the new medium.
The Sand Snakes, who are quite interesting side characters in the books, have suffered from bad writing and worse fight choreography, leading no one to be unhappy when they get killed off. The most egregious example, however, is Tyene — the show writers changed practically everything but her name and parentage, and in the process made her into a generic "sexy fighter" type with one of the most famously bad lines written for the show, taking away the cool things about her, namely her skills as a master poisoner and her pretense of being pure and harmless. There are eight Snakes, so if the writers wanted all Action Girls, there were other options.
Many fans have noted that the beginning of the Seasonal Rot which the show inevitably became quite infamous for, began when GRRM stepped down from the show, and the writers fielded their ideas and storylines, such as the Dorne storyline, Winterfell plot during Season 5 becoming some of the series' lowest points (pre-Season 8).
Lots of fans disliked the changes to Jaime's storylines from Season 4 onwards. In the books Jaime gradually becomes a more moral and thoughtful person, begins turning against Cersei (to the point of ignoring her plea for help when she's arrested) and reworks himself as a strategist and politician after losing his sword hand. While in the show Jaime does take several levels in kindness, he remains loyal to Cersei and spends most of his time serving her or running about in Dorne (which is a whole other entry by itself); he finally ditches Cersei at the end of Season 7, only to return to her side in Season 8. One moment that particularly incensed fans and reviewers was Jaime and Cersei's sex scene following Joffrey's death; in the book this encounter was consensual, while the TV show makes it a lot murkier to the point that Jaime can come off as a rapist, which viewers felt made him unsympathetic and was extremely out-of-character (in the books Jaime has always loathed rapists). It doesn't help that the scene was apparently not intended to be rape, but came off that way due to the writing and filming (Cersei does actually pull Jamie close and kisses him while still saying 'no'), leading some viewers to question why they changed the scene so much in the first place.
No one liked the changes to the Dorne arc. In the books the main Dornish viewpoint character is Arianne Martell, who is out to secure her place as Prince Doran's heir and avenge her family; this eventually leads into an elaborate conspiracy by the Martells to overthrow the Lannisters and restore the Targaryen dynasty. In the show, Arianne is Adapted Out and the only conspiracy is Ellaria and the Sand Snakes' poorly thought-through attempt to assassinate Myrcella, culminating in them murdering Doran and Trystane to "avenge" their family.
Speaking of Dorne, many fans didn't much care for the changes made to Ellaria Sand. She's made a Composite Character with Arianne, but seems to get all of Arianne's more negative traits (arrogance, vengefulness) and few of her more positive ones (compassion, willingness to learn from her mistakes), so not only is her personality far removed from book Ellaria's — who well understood the futility of revenge and didn't want her step or biological daughters to get caught up in a constant cycle of retribution—she doesn't come off as particularly likable either. In the books Arianne plots to crown Myrcella queen under Dornish inheritance laws to secure her own inheritance, later realizes it was a stupid idea, and is genuinely remorseful over the chaos it caused, including nearly getting Myrcella killed. Ellaria plots to kill Myrcella to avenge Oberyn and doesn't give a damn about the consequences.
In the books Euron Greyjoy is a terrifying yet charismatic sorcerer pirate, who is plotting to Take Over the World; in the show he's essentially a more Ax-Crazy version of Jack Sparrow, who exists only to be Cersei's lackey and causes plot holesashewalks. Many fans were unimpressed with the vast changes to Euron's character and role (to the point he's seen as The Scrappy) and even Euron's actor expressed disappointment over it.
Merging Sansa's story arc with Jeyne Poole's proved controversial. In the books Sansa remains in the Eyrie after escaping King's Landing, learning the art of manipulation from Littlefinger. In the show Littlefinger hands Sansa off to the Boltons to win their favor and she spends most of Season 5 being raped and abused by Ramsay, until Theon helps her escape; in the books this happened to Jeyne, who was being passed off as Arya. This change was criticized for adding little to Sansa's character development; many felt it came off as Gratuitous Rape, especially considering Sansa's been a victim of violence/sexual violence for four seasons, and that it was done more to advance Theon's character than Sansa's. In Season 8 Sansa states that if it weren't for Ramsay's abuse she wouldn't have become the powerful woman she is now, but this was criticized for the problematic implication that she had to be raped to be empowered. It was also criticized as being nonsensical and out-of-character for Littlefinger, which even George RR Martin noted upon:
"My Littlefinger would never have turned Sansa over to Ramsay. Never. He's obsessed with her. Half the time he thinks she's the daughter he never had - that he wishes he'd had, if he'd married Catelyn. And half the time he thinks she is Catelyn, and he wants her for himself. He's not going to give her to someone who would do bad things to her. That's going to be very different in the books."
Although critics didn't think too highly of the change from Jeyne Westerling to Talisa Maegyr, they still praised Oona Chaplin for doing a lot with the character — in spite of questionable writing. General reviews of her work often went, "Oona Chaplin is delightful as Talisa, but..."
The series' final episodes have garnered a very mixed reception from many fans and professional critics alike, but you can tell the actors are making the very best of the writing. Some actors have even earned He Really Can Act reactions from their critics for their efforts.
Although Conan Stevens barely appears in Season 1, the fandom in general seems to prefer him over his replacement Ian Whyte in the role of Gregor Clegane. However, Hafþór "Thor" Björnsson, the third Gregor, is widely considered to be just as good or even better than Stevens.
The Sand Snakes are clear attempts to recapture the exoticism, danger, and badassery of Oberyn Martell, but exhibit none of the charm, intelligence or fighting ability that made him such a popular character. The result is the opposite: they're the only characters that almost everyone in the fanbase dislikes.
Game of Thrones is this among HBO's lineup and set the bar for fantasy and sci-fi television to follow; not only has it been a critical and commercial darling, but its Multiple Demographic Appeal has gained it many fans in both the mainstream and in geekdom and given it some of the highest ratings in the history of the network. Any High Fantasy TV shows created in its wake, including the The Lord of the Rings spinoff series commissioned by Amazon, draw inevitable comparisons.
Unexpected Character: No one has any idea that the Night King is behind (or at least heavily involved with) the rising of the White Walkers. Not the Night's Watch, not Melisandre, no one. This is also a meta-example — in the books, he was just a part of the series backstory, and readers had no way of knowing he would appear in the show. Though interestingly enough, The King of Winter, a character very similar to him appeared two years earlier in the Night's Watch supplement for the Green RoninA Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game; the origin is different, being the monarch of the Others from before their fall, but his role as their Big Bad and king is essentially the same, and there's even a similar description regarding a deformity resembling a crown on his head.
There have been complaints about whitewashing the cast in Game of Thrones by either leaving out characters of color from the books (such as Strong Belwas, Xhondo (a One-Scene Wonder who saved Sam Tarly's life in the books) and Jalabar Xho), having them portrayed by lighter skinned actors, killing off characters of color in the show who are still alive in the books (such as Daenerys' handmaidens Irri and Jhiqui) and giving them race lifts (such as replacing the black characters Chayata and Alayaya with the Caucasian Ros). While the show does have some ethnic diversity and George Martin has defended it, some issues remain unaddressed and still rankle with fans.
The show has been accused of sexualizing violence or relying too heavily on Gratuitous Rape for cheap shock value by online critics. In particular, Jaime and Cersei's sex scene in "Breaker Of Chains" was changed from the source material to appear as rape to many viewers. The fact that the director has stated that it is a consensual sex scene in spite of Cersei's protests has added fuel to the fire. As has the scene in Season 5 where Ramsay rapes Sansa after their wedding.
The denouement of Game of Thrones final two episodes was, regardedbymany commentators as sexist in its implications. The execution of Dany "breaking bad", which is closely linked to Jon rejecting her, flimsy In the Blood justifications by Varys and others that she was always destined to be evil because of her father, as well as framing the conflict between Dany and Cersei as Evil vs. Evil, essentially amounts to saying that God Save Us from the Queen! is the only end result of any woman on the Iron Throne.
Time Magazine and Lindsay Ellis argues that the conflict between Daenerys and Sansa in Season 8 has sexist undertones due to coming off as rather petty and catfight-ish, especially as it's suggested by writer Dave Hill that Sansa is jealous of Dany because she's an 'interloper' and very pretty (rather than, say, having Sansa's dislike spring from the fact that she can sniff out a power-hungry potential threat).
Manyviewers have pointed out how often the show is guilty of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male. This is especially apparent with characters like Lancel and Gendry, who would be considered rape victims if they were women, but are instead ridiculed or called whiners. Gendry's example is probably the worst, since he was a teenager when Melisandre rapes him, but is never given any sympathy for this. Sandor even says that it doesn't sound so bad. Tommen is another creepy example, especially since he is 12 when Margaery has sex with him.
A numberofpeople took issue with Sansa's statement to Sandor in "The Last of the Starks" that "Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and all the rest, I would've stayed a little bird all my life", as it implies that she became strong and empowered because she was raped, manipulated and abused, rather than in spite of these things.
At the end of Season 4, Tyrion murders Shae in the same way he does in the books despite both Tyrion and Shae, as well their relationship, being very different in the show. In tandem with the alterations made to Tyrion's character and story arc afterwards, it results in the show trying to depict Tyrion as sympathetic for strangling his girlfriend to death. In part 2, Ellis states the denouement at the end of the final season, in which the narrative frames Jon Snow and Tyrion as morally correct for killing Daenerys after Daenerys razes a surrendered city, as mirroring the narrative of domestic abusers, "You made me do it... Don't you see, I had to do it." She explains this narrative is especially troublesome in regard to Daenerys as Daenerys's story started out as a girl trapped in two abusive relationships, after which she overcomes them both in season 1 and gains agency for herself.
The finale has the unfortunate side effect that the only living non-white characters are all for Daenerys's plan to unleash a reign of terror on the world. So the white characters have to stop an army of barbarian non-white characters from making the world even worse. She also noted that Tyrion's speech about Jon Snow which was intended to invoke You Monster! on the audience for cheering Daenerys' Pay Evil unto Evil, while also being a paraphrase of Martin Niemoller's famous poem about gentile indifference to Nazi anti-semitism. Aside from there being a big difference between killing child-killing slaveowners and killing innocent civilians, this attitude morally equates Daenerys' slaveowner victims with the victims of the Holocaust, which is even more tone-deaf as a comparison.
The later seasons turn Sansa into a Manipulative Bitch who is cold and hostile to anyone who isn't part of her family, and the show presents this as a sign of growth and maturity, and that the compassion and empathy she displayed for others in earlier seasons were her being weak and childish. Not to mention that Sansa specifically brings up her rape by Ramsay as part of the impetus for this transformation, and Sansa almost says outright that it's a good thing she got raped, because it helped spur her "character development".note (Ellis argues that Sansas true flaw that she must overcome isn't that she's 'too kind', but that she's too naive and needs to learn who is genuinely worthy of her compassion and who is just trying to manipulate her).
Surprisingly enough, a lot of fans express sympathy for Hizdahr zo Loraq, of all people, and his relationship with Dany. He is one of the native Meereenese in her council and is regarded largely with suspicion, but his backstory makes him a Woobie; after seeing his father unjustly killed, he tries to reason with the new ruler, Daenerys, who executed him and be the bigger man. When things for said ruler go south, he's one of the ones tortured and locked up as a scapegoat, and is told he must marry said ruler against his will. Some fans note how this sounds suspiciously like how Joffrey treated Sansa Stark. It even ended worse for Hizdahr, since he actually had to go through with the marriage, and despite suspicion that he was the leader of the Harpies, he actually wound up killed by them, meaning he was exactly what he appeared to be: someone who was trying to make the best of the conquest of his city and death of his father without selling out his morals. Yet because it was Daenerys who did the conquering, he was depicted as a whiner and went unmourned when he kicked the bucket.
Despite his Adaptational Villainy, Stannis Baratheon still has a lot of fans who appreciate his deadpan humour and conflicted nature. Even after the events of Season 5, most of his fanbase sees his TV!version as a capable, if tragically misguided, leader, and is of the opinion that his campaign, as unsuccessful as it was, paved the road for the defeat of the Boltons. It also helps that Stephen Dillane is considered one of the best actors of the show, and that ultimately he's fighting to defend the realm and came to the Night's Watch defense in their direst moment and prioritized research on the White Walkers and at the start of Season 7, Sam Tarly remembers Stannis mentioning Dragonglass which only further highlights that more things would have been accomplished had he received more support and help from the start, with a pointless Fetch Quest plot to find the Mineral MacGuffin added just to take his plot. Likewise, both Daenerys and Tyrion express skepticism about the White Walker threat even after Jon Snow risks everything to warn them in person, when Stannis openly accepted and came to the Night's Watch aid on their word alone.
Robert Baratheon, as well. Back Season 1, he's portrayed as a pathetic man who is stuck in the past, particularly for how he's unable to let go of Lyanna. The showrunners clearly intended Robert to be an unsympathetic ruler due to his hounding of glory days as well as his whoring attitude. However, The Reveal of the true nature of her and Rhaegar's relationship through this episode painted Robert in a more sympathetic light in the eyes of fans. To realize Robert literally destroyed his entire life pining after a cheating woman who never loved him, which ruined his marriage and caused his death. Also, for all misunderstandings of Rhaegar's motives, he still saved the realm from the Mad King. And Robert was further vindicated in Season 8, where his views regarding the last Targaryens were completely right, with Daenerys, the woman Robert wanted to execute, finishing the plot her father started.
Daenerys in Episodes 4 and 5 of Season 8, at least until she starts burning innocent people in the latter. Varys starts treating her like she's goingcrazy and will definitely be unfit to rule and the audience is apparently supposed to agree... only her behaviour actually seems to be a rather reasonable reaction to high amounts of stress and grief. She recently saw two of her dragons—whom she loves like children—and two of her closest friends die in front of her, her war against Cersei is going badly, she's lost a big chunk of her army fighting the dead, she's struggling to win over the Westerosi despite her personal sacrifices, she's just found out the first man she fell in love with after her late husband is A) her nephew and B) has a better claim to the throne she has worked for years to retake, and the people who are supposed to be her advisors and allies either keep making poor decisions that cost her greatly or start scheming behind her back. While it doesn't excuse her actions near the end of "The Bells" in any way, when one considers all this crap she's going through, it seems understandable, even normal, for her to be upset and on-edge.
Aside from being an abusive dreadful father, Randyll Tarly is characterized as a xenophobic bigot when he sides with the Lannisters, but his concerns about Daenerys being a foreign invader backed by savages who disregard the laws and customs of war turn out to be correct, and his execution is not unlike martyrdom in hindsight.
The number of people In-Universe who like Tyrion can be counted on one hand. The number of people in real life who don't like Tyrion can also be counted on one hand.
The Hound is reviled as a terrifying and brutal man (which he is), but fans love him for his brooding persona, badassery, and Pet the Dog moments.
Jaime is slowly working his way into this category as well. Known as the notorious Kingslayer, few know that Jaime killed Aerys to stop the king from burning King's Landing, and Jaime is scorned for it In-Universe by everyone but his own family. However, Jaime's Character Development has him emerging as a fan favorite. The rape of his sister in the Season 4's third episode has been a setback in the eyes of many fans, though, as did Jaime's return to Cersei in season 8.
Stannis Baratheon is unpopular In-Universe within Westeros but the character has a vocal fanbase drawn to his comically serious personality, no-nonsense Hates Small Talk attitude, and unintentional humor from the books. The showrunners have given the character Adaptational Villainy in the TV series while the character's book counterpart is a complicated and dutifully-minded man who believes firmly in law and justice. However, Stephen Dillane's performance and the sudden and poorly developed denouement of his arc in Season 5, which drastically diverges from the books, has led many of his fans to call Fanon Discontinuity. Among these differences in the character's book-to-show arc is that in the fifth book, Stannis does not burn his daughter, Shireen — as of the end of A Dance With Dragons, Shireen is alive with her mother Selyse at Castle Black while Stannis gathers an army to march on Bolton-occupied Winterfell. Additionally, despite Ramsay's claim in the Pink Letter, George R. R. Martin confirms Stannis is still alive in the books. Many of Stannis's fans have expressed great disappointment with the way Stannis's character and story arc have been adapted in the TV series, explaining how badly both have been mishandled.
Samwell Tarly is the runt of the Night's Watch, being fat, cowardly, and soft. Sam killing a White Walker, which would be an honor to the other Watchmen, is made into a joke at his expense. However, Sam is such an absolute sweetheart that it's nigh-impossible to find someone who does not like him.
The only people surprised by Jon Snow's resurrection were those who thought it was so obvious that the show runners were going to take it a different way to subvert expectations. Ultimately they brought him back in the most predictable way possible.
By the time of the Season 6 finale, R+L=J was practically canon already. You either were sure it was right, or you thought it was so obvious that clearly we were supposed to think so. Turned out to be exactly correct.
Some viewers feel this way about the show's version of Jon Snow. From the books While some book readers feel this way about the character's book counterpart too as Jon is one of the characters most befitting a classic hero on a hero's journey and is among the most fundamentally moral characters in the books, some book readers also feel the show's portrayal softens some of the character's more original traits and/or flaws by dialing down his intelligence, outwardly reserved nature, greater political awareness and strategic competence, some harsher decisions to save lives, and inability to stay politically or emotionally neutral per the Watch's requirements. Compared to many other characters in this series, Jon is more of a classic fantasy hero played straight with far less moral ambiguity in a Crapsack World and faces fewer instances of morally compromising choices and decisions.
Some viewers feel Tyrion Lannister fits this trope in Seasons 5-8 as a result of the character's Adaptational Heroism dialing down some of the original and tragic aspects of his book counterpart, making him a more conventional and morally relatable character. Where the Tyrion of Seasons 1-4 was driven by ambition, angst, resentment and a need to assert himself, Tyrion spends the later seasons with a more relatable morality when he serves as a reminder of Dany's conscience and is a calming influence on her more extreme tendencies.
Lancel. There is this gem in the Season 2 DVD commentary:
Carice Van Houten: Oh, listeners and viewers, you might think: why is he so cruel to this girl?note Referring to Liam's constant playful mockery of her Liam Cunningham: That's a boy.note Referring to Tyrion berating Lancel
The little assassin sent after Daenerys by the Warlocks of Qarth. Are they a boy? Are they a girl? Whatever they are, they're quite creepy.
Viewer Name Confusion: For the first few seasons, it was common for people to misinterpret Daenerys' name as Khaleesi, which is the Dothraki word for queen and the way that she is most often addressed by others. It was such a pronounced effect that there was a wave of babies named Khaleesi, not Daenerys. She was also frequently referred to as "Daenerys Stormborn", which viewers may interpret as her middle name, which is actually just a nickname as she was born during a storm.
Vindicated by History: Season 2 was considered the weakest season of the first half of the series, but the season has greatly improved in the opinion of many fans following the mixed reception of the second half of the series.
Vocal Minority: Viewers who have read the books are particularly vocal online, so that a large percentage of the online reactions, at least in certain circles, are regarding changes from the source material.
Wangst: Early on in the show, Jon Snow's angst about being a highborn bastard in the first season comes across as this to some viewers. Although he is somewhat of an outsider in his own home and has a Wicked Stepmother, Jon loves and is loved by his father and siblings, and receives the comfort and privileges of a noble upbringing. This is partially deliberate, as various characters point it out to him, and he eventually grows out of it.
Watch It for the Meme: Any meme would get people to watch this show but it's usually "Winter is Coming", any variation of Tyrion slapping Joffrey or anything related to the Red Wedding.
"Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me."
It's advised to watch Season 8 in many fan circles only due to the memes the Seasonal Rot generated.
Game of Thrones is often compared to the The Lord of the Rings films in terms of genre and aesthetic, as both are High Fantasy franchises with fantastical elements like swords, epic battles, undead, dragons and Costume Porn. While LOTR is epic, gritty and adult-oriented, it's considered generally safe for families to watch responsibly and has a Periphery Demographic of children. However, GoTactively excludes the younger demographic with its frequent use of strong language, intense violence, and sexual content expressed in many different forms. While other mature works such as South Park, Deadpool (2016) and Call of Duty attract kids by being fantastical, colorful and/or fast-paced (and even outright drawing them in with the adult content), GoT is generally considered too slow-paced and complex to keep the interest of kids who are allowed to watch it.
Evidently there were some parents who outright ignored the multiple "Adult Content" warnings before the show aired, or the fact that it was airing on freaking HBO, and let their kids watch with them, assuming it would be another LOTR or Harry Potter, likely due to how fantasy is generally perceived among the masses. HBO received a few angry letters and cancellations from these parents.
Win Back the Crowd: After Season 5 was nigh-universally declared the show's weakest season with several controversial story decisions (especially the plots of Dorne, Sansa and Stannis) and the same ratings of Season 4 (when the trend until then was the ratings to increase every season), with only "Hardhome" being universally praised, Season 6 got a ton of people interested in the show again by finding good ways to follow through on those stories, plus bringing back several characters and plotlines that had fallen by the wayside years ago as it prepares the story to be wrapped up. In comparison to the Sand Snakes, the Greyjoy plotline is considered far more interesting and well-acted, as well as much more faithful to the overall spirit of the books despite certain differences. This is taken Up to Eleven with the final two episodes of Season 6: Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter, both of which became the highest rated episodes in all of Thrones with solid 9.9 on IMDB, the same ratings of Hardhome or The Rains of Castamere.
The casting of Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger is divisive, because it's a complete departure from how he is in the books. There Littlefinger is genuinely convincing and charming, and people trust him because he's so good at putting on a nice facade. In the show he's so obviously evil that many fans wonder why Ned, Catelyn, Sansa etc trusted him at all. George RR Martin has said that this particular character is a different entity to how he is in the books.
Kit Harrington received lots of criticism early on in the show for seeming too wooden to play Jon Snow. Many agree that he grew into the role over time, although he does still have detractors.
Emilia Clarke got similar criticism for being too old for her role (forgetting that Daenerys is given an Age Lift to avoid uncomfortable scenes involving a teenage actress) and for the Narm in her many Rousing Speeches. Much of this has levelled off over time.
Although it was just a cameo, Ed Sheeran appearing on the show got such an avalanche of criticism that he deleted his Twitter account over it. Most fans claim that he was so well-known it took them out of the show.
Hats and other headgear are exceedingly rare on the show, so the Wildings and Night's Watch brave the environment bare headed instead of putting on a hat. Named characters almost never wear helmets, even though they provide crucial protection. According to Word of God, they did have headgear originally but it made the characters hard to identify on-screen - so they left them improbably without headgear.
In Season 2, Margaery Tyrell is inexplicably dressed in what looks like a giant brown burrito. Mercifully, the costuming department wised up and put her in more flattering dresses for the Season 2 finale and beyond.
The show usually uses top-notch and fairly convincing wigs. The one worn by Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis in Season 3 on the other hand looked like it was stolen from the stock of a cheesy '90s fantasy series, as if they were trying too hard to make him look like Legolas. When Michiel Huisman replaced Skrein in the role, his appearance was reworked just as much as his personality was, with Huisman using what appears to be his natural shorter hair and Badass Beard.
Ellaria's choice of hairstyle in Season 5. While it was probably to show that she wanted revenge now, the style looks more likes something a modern businesswoman would sport than someone in a medieval fantasy setting. Compare to Brienne's more appropriate Boyish Short Hair.
The costuming designer herself says that it wasn't her intention to put nipples on the Sand Snakes' breastplates, and whoever was responsible for them made a mistake (apparently the fabrication process left large nubs at the tips of the breasts that were meant to be sanded smooth).
Cersei has a few duds in Season 7. The outfit she wears to the Dragonpit meeting isn't bad, but some viewers felt its design and fabrics looked too modern, especially considering that the show's costumes usually reflect its medieval-like setting. The material on the skirt also puckers up near the hem rather than falling straight as intended. The dress she wears to meet Tycho Nestoris also has a rather odd and lumpy scale-like pattern that covers the entirety of the outfit, with some viewers comparing it to blisters or even greyscale. There's also her not growing her hair out after the Traumatic Haircut. Although Word of God is that the character chose to keep her hair short after the Walk of Shame (and a good part of the character's resentment is for the different way her twin brother Jaime is treated by everyone just for being a man), it's still out of character for some fans, as if the showrunners were Anviliciously saying "look, a woman with short hair must be evil!"
Euron's new clothes in Season 7 are, shall we say, interesting. The descriptions on Twitter immediately after the episode Dragonstone aired ran the gamut from comparisons to Eddie Murphy to Bam Margera.
The red and black leather outfit Daenerys wears in "The Bells" and "The Iron Throne" isn't as bad as some examples here, but some viewers felt it was trying a bit too hard to push the "Daenerys is evil now!" look, to point of being cartoonish.
Complete Monster: Valarr Hill, bastard brother to Alester Sarwyck of Riverspring, is the main villain of the game. A member of Queen Cersei's guard hunting for the pregnant mother of one of King Robert's bastards named Jeyne, Valarr frames his and Alester's younger brother for the death of their father and later tries to have him assassinated. Revealed as the man who killed hero Mors's family on Lord Tywin's orders, Valarr also raped Mors's daughter, a fact he taunts him about when they meet in trial by combat. Valarr intends to force his own half-sister into marriage and rape her, before cheating in the duel by using dark magic to kill Mors and having all the witnesses massacred before murdering his and Alester's sister; hunting down Jeyne, killing her; and having the lord defending her and his men massacred. Valarr breaks every taboo Westeros has, from kinslaying, rape, violating guest right and more, caring for nothing but his own ascent to further heights.
Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The gameplay is widely derided for its numerous graphics glitches, and a dull combat system where you can mostly get by just from spamming the same couple attacks. Luckily, the story is very good despite that, given that it was written by George R. R. Martin himself.
Moral Event Horizon: As per the source material, multiple. Including Alester, who crossed his before the game even began.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Was praised for its story (penned by Martin himself) but otherwise got bad reviews due to poor graphics, combat, and a number of other things.