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  • Actor Shipping:
    • Many avid Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell fans ship Gethin Anthony and Finn Jones together. Both actors fuel the Ho Yay with public displays of affection, by jokingly admitting that they're gay for each other in this interview clip, and Finn had some... interesting comments in the Feb. 2013 issue Gay Times magazine which make some people strongly suspect that he has a serious man crush on his co-star.
      GT: Did you have to go a few times for that scene [in Season 2]?
      Finn Jones: "Oh all the time, I remember," he howls with laughter. "One point in the scene we were really getting into it, and I just turned around to him and I went 'Gethin in the next take,' dead seriously,' really grab my dick this time, really go for it. ' And then just out of the corner of my eye, I saw the camera guys going..." he pulls a concerned face. "I realised, 'Oh shit, maybe we're going for it a bit too much.' " He cracks up laughing again. "But it's good, it's good to be on that level to be able to really get into the moment."
    • Shipping Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner is quite popular as well. Even Turner ships it, having made up her own version of Westeros where Margaery and Sansa are a couple.
    • Shipping Sophie Turner with Maisie Williams is also popular; they even have their Portmanteau Couple Name, "Mophie". Turner even once groped Williams' breast for a photo. They also exchange tweets like this. Further fueled by the fact that they are best friends in real life.
    • Pedro Pascal and Hafþór "Thor" Júlíus Björnsson (Oberyn Martell and the third Mountain) get some of this as well. This largely stems from this image from Pascal's Instagram.
    • Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke. Look here and read the comments about them.
    • 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.
    • Same with Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke, they've been shipped a lot together based on how close friends they were.
  • 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.
  • Adorkable:
    • Sam is a gentle bookworm, and one of the nicest guys in the Night's Watch.
    • Pod is nervous, bumbling, and nearly impossible to dislike.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • In "The Climb", Ros gets tied up and used as target practice by Joffrey. Fan reaction to the character is still pretty negative, but many of the detractors were disgusted by the brutal manner of this death.
    • In "The Rains of Castamere", a pregnant Talisa is stabbed in her stomach... again, and again, and again. Even her 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.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Enough to have its own page.
  • 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 (until the second half), 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.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • 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, she’s 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 is preternaturally resilient in the face of the events of 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  And yet when we see King's Landing following this huge tragedy, it just seems to be business as usual.
    • For some, 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 characters 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.
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Khal Drogo, the fearsome leader of the Dothraki horde, is viewed as an upcoming Big Bad by the Westerosi. Dies without even touching the Narrow Sea, after complications from a wound he intentionally inflicted upon himself during an otherwise one-sided fight.
    • Locke is all set up to be a major problem for Jon and Bran, being in a perfect position to backstab the former at a crucial moment and kill the latter — and then Bran easily wargs into Hodor and kills him.
    • Tywin Lannister, unquestionably the Biggest Bad in Westeros, is unceremoniously shot dead by Tyrion while using the toilet. 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.
    • After seven seasons of plotting, scheming and manipulating, accomplishing goals such as the murder of the Hand of the King, murder of the King, becoming Lord of one of the Seven Kingdoms, and starting the War of Five Kings in the first place, Littlefinger is killed by Arya on Sansa's orders when he tries to turn them against each other. The list of his known misdeeds is long enough that nobody, not even his bannermen, try to prevent his death. The public execution only happens because he, the series' most infamous Manipulative Bastard who infamously told Ned Stark "I did warn you not to trust me", somehow doesn't expect that Ned's two daughters might have reason to want him dead and walks right into an insanely obvious trap of the kind that he'd spent the last seven seasons setting up for others.
    • 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.
  • Anvilicious: Many have criticized:
    • 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.
    • 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 Witch Femme Fatale or a Well-Intentioned Extremist, with a heavy-handed denouement note  tacked on at the end of Season 5 about religious fundamentalism that can read as a Space Whale Aesop, since R'hllor has demonstrated magic and prophetic powers — the key reason why an atheist-skeptic like Stannis even supports the religion; many note that the context of the plot, a Cold Equation, and the end-result of Melisandre's actionsnote  make Davos's Season 6-ending aesop seem like it violates Show, Don't Tell.
    • On a general note, many note that the great majority of openly atheist characters on the show compromises the verisimilitude of the show's feudal setting, noting that it made little sense for religion to have a dominant part in this society, if characters can openly mock religion repeatedly with little consequence and social punishment. They also note that the showrunners have made characters who are religious in the books such as Davosnote  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".
  • Arc Fatigue: Has its own page.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The finale of Season 2 which has Doreah pull an abrupt Face–Heel 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.
    • Season 5, Episode 9, Ramsay Bolton and "twenty good men" are somehow able to infiltrate Stannis Baratheon's camp in the middle of the night, and burn and destroy all of his army's siege engines, most of their food supplies, and most of their horses, crippling Stannis' army. Stannis asks how this is possible and Davos says that the northerners know the region better than them and wouldn't have had trouble sneaking into the camp. But this weak explanation, coupled with the extent of the damage done to Stannis' army, makes it come off as a contrivance to let the Boltons defeat Stannis and get him out of the way for Season 6 to basically do the same plotline as Stannis', but with Jon Snow this time.
    • The Sand Snakes taking over Dorne in S6, Episode 1. Somehow, two of them manage to sneak onto Trystane’s ship, which last we saw was already on its way to King's Landing, and murder him. Meanwhile, Ellaria and her daughter manage to assassinate Doran AND Areo Hotah without any of the guards intervening, as they are conveniently angry enough at Doran to let him die. Not only does it not make any sense that Jaime wouldn't turn his ship around to warn Doran (since he literally just left Dorne when he found out about Myrcella's poisoning), but the fact that four people were able to take over the whole country with no resistance makes no sense.
    • Season 6, 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: the Sack of Highgarden and its circumstances don't jam well with some previously – and subsequently! – established facts.
      • The Tyrells being revealed as a Paper Tiger with no true military power is directly contradicted by the decisive role they played in Renly's Kingmaker Scenario, not to mention their assistance in the Battle of the Blackwater. While Mace himself was a bit of a Miles Gloriosus, as evidenced by Olenna, and not a great strategist, the House as a whole did have the money and the populace to maintain a strong army.
      • Even with the Tarlys deserting and taking their troops and vassals along, the Tyrells had many other powerful vassals with whom they had been smart enough to intermarry, and whose troops had barely been touched by the recent civil war. Such as the Hightowers, i.e. literally the family of Mace's late wife. If not out of loyalty for Lady Olenna, or to avenge their former Liege, it's unlikely every single House would desert their kin like that.
      • And even if the Tyrells, a decapitated and dying House as they were, suddenly lacked the numbers to face the Lannister-Tarly host in battle, the very next episode showed the extent of their provisions; Highgarden could have very well withstood a siege long enough for Dany to fly in and assist on dragon back, even without Travelling at the Speed of Plot.
    • 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, episodes 3-5 caused a fair amount of backlash from fans of Jaime Lannister. After several seasons of slow development for the character through Humiliation Conga, which finally culminated with Jaime turning his back on Cersei at the end of season 7, there was quite a bit of backlash at Jaime's sudden Redemption Failure due to the writers having Jaime abandon Brienne, break her heart, and travel all the way back to King's Landing just to die with Cersei (who he abandoned five episodes ago due to her treachery) under a pile of collapsing bricks.
    • 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:
      • Daenerys Targaryen's Face–Heel Turn ultimately came off as this to a lot of viewers; while it was foreshadowed as being a possibility throughout the series, up until "The Bells" they seemed pretty benevolent and sound-of-mind considering the kind of world they inhabits. As a result, she goes from a slave-liberating, zombie-slaying Pragmatic Hero to a mass-murderering nutcase who wants to Take Over the World in about a single episode.
      • The plot point that King's Landing will ring the bells as a sign that they surrender, all to set up Daenerys's Face–Heel 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..."
    • The final episode had Tyrion declare Bran as the king due to him having 'the best story'. Problem is, Bran had a lot of his story cut out, to the point he wasn't even in Season 5. And despite receiving the Three-Eyed Raven's power, he contributed very little to the later seasons, mostly just acting as a convenient way for characters to get exposition when they asked him for it; he rarely offered any new or helpful information on his own and mostly sat around staring creepily at people. This has also led to the observation that Bran did nothing, in-universe or meta-textually, to earn his power, and he's emotionally detached from everyone, so it makes little sense for Tyrion to nominate him as a king when Bran has done nothing to demonstrate he has any willingness or ability to rule.
  • Audience-Alienating Ending: The later seasons, and especially Seasons 7 and 8, quickly soured virtually all of the goodwill the show had built up in its preceding years. Most of the show's fans turned on it over time as the writing got worse and worse, and totally abandoned ship when the show finally ended. Many have opined that they can't even bring themselves to watch the earlier seasons anymore, lauded as they may have been in their time, because they know what it's leading up to and don't care anymore. On the other hand, for anyone who hadn't watched the show as it was airing, odds are that most of the talk they'll hear around it nowadays is how awful the final two seasons were and that the excellent build-up was not worth the disappointing pay-off. This baggage accompanied the prequel series House of the Dragon in the lead-up to its release, but it launched to successful acclaim; time will tell if it sticks the landing unlike the original show, and what it can do to redeem the brand.
  • 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 Harington 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 Harington’s performance was much, much more popular that season, with most considering it to be both Harington’s strongest and Dinklage’s weakest year on the show respectively. Additionally, many point to Seasons 5 and 7 as years when he should’ve 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.
  • Badass Decay:
    • 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.
    • Ramsay goes from a Blood Knight badass Master Swordsman in Season 4 to a Dirty Coward in Season 6 who goes down after a few hits to the face.
    • 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, rivaled 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.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Has its own page.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • Ask a casual viewer about the show and they'll likely mention "sex while people are talking about something important with people dying left and right, rape, dragons, naked women, Zombie Apocalypse, boobs, people fighting over who gets to be the king and some guy's dick". Not Helping Your Case is one of the directors admitting that executives insisted he insert nudity for "the pervert side of the audience".
    • 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 Harington once politely said he'd like it if people stopped mentioning those in interviews.
  • 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.
  • Bile Fascination: The most talked about aspect of Season 8 and to a lesser extent Season 7, is how much of a bad conclusion it is to the whole series and how it retroactively ruined the whole show. The massive hatedom is the only thing that keeps it in the general public's minds. People unfamiliar with the series wound up watching the show as a result to see what all the fuss is about.
  • Broken Base:
    • 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 Sink Complete 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.
    • 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 subvert 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, and Lena Headey being a great actress also helps. However, quite a few believe that Cersei overstayed her welcome as 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 Lena Headey herself. There’s 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 show’s 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. A significant number of Daenerys fans just don't like her arc of Fallen Hero at all, 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 or have her revealed as Evil All Along. Another group of fans see Dany's downfall as fitting, but not fully earned, because it happened in a very rushed way, feeling a previously merciful and compassionate ruler had suddenly turned into a ruthless villain over the course of five episodes. Another group is very much on board that Dany was Evil All Along and a ruthless tyrant, but that her actions in "The Bells" were borderline cartoonishly evil. Then there's fans who believe that her arc was decently executed (often arguing Dany had been a tyrannical ruler for years before the final season and that she rivaled Ramsay as the worst War Criminals in all of Westeros before the final season began) and makes perfect sense with the themes of the books and the TV series. Finally, some also see Dany as a victim of bad Moral Luck.
    • Bran becoming King in the end is also hotly debated in that whether he deserved it in the end or not. Many fans believe the basis by which Tyrion chose him King that he had the best story was weak, that Bran didn't get anything important to do (especially in the final seasons), and everyone else in the Council scene had a compelling reason to be King in that basis. Some fans argue that Bran having the best story meant that he has access and knowledge to all their stories as the Three-Eyed Raven, and therefore him being King was justified, so that Bran can learn from them and implement them in his rule. Some fans believe Bran manipulated everyone and purposefully did nothing so that things reach to the point Bran is chosen King. Others believe Bran is the worst choice to become King with the fear that he will turn Westeros into a Police State due to being emotionally detached with the subjects he's ruling now.
    • 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 didn’t have all that much to work with, he always delivered stellar work. Basically everyone agrees that Dinklage should’ve won at least once, the point of division is how many times was he deserving.
    • In the years since the final season aired, a major split has occurred among its detractors regarding the first four (or in some cases, six or even seven) seasons. Some who'd enjoyed the show for most of its runtime believe that the ending is so bad that they can no longer enjoy the rest of the seasons knowing that everything that is set up will have such a terrible payoff (e.g. the Night King being built up for seven seasons and defeated in a single episode). Others, however, have more appreciation than ever for the early seasons, and invoke Fanon Discontinuity on the parts of the show they dislike.
  • 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 Dinklage is 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.
  • Complete Monster: Enough for a page (that it shares with the source material).
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Two words: Purple. Wedding. No show in history has ever made so many people ecstatic over the horribly prolonged choking death of a child.
    • In "Oathbreaker", seeing Ramsay Bolton openly disrespected and insulted by Smalljon Umber is deeply satisfying; someone is finally putting him in his place.
    • Also from "Oathbreaker", Jon Snow hang the Night's Watch mutineers after they had murdered him. Special mention goes to Olly, of course, for betraying Jon after he had taken Olly under his wing, and to Ser Alliser Thorne, who had always been sadistic bully to Jon and Samwell and who made stupid decisions because let his hatred of both Jon and the Wildlings blind him.
    • "Battle of the Bastards" is this for a lot of fans, seeing as Ramsay Bolton finally gets his comeuppance in deservedly gruesome 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.
    • "The Winds of Winter" gives us a similar example with Arya feeding Walder Frey the remains of two of his children in a pie, then revealing who she really is, slitting his throat in the exact same way her mother's throat was slit, and making him bleed out as painfully as possible. For anyone else still alive on the show with the exception of Cersei this would have been a case of Kick the Dog, but it's Walder Frey, making it a clear case of Karmic Death.
    • Similarly, the Sand Snakes are the most universally-hated characters in the show, so hearing Olenna tell them off in her gloriously brutal, accurate fashion was very satisfying. Then, Season 7's second episode has Euron Greyjoy killing Obara and Nymeria Sand by using their own 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."
    • As criticized as "The Bells" was, most agree it was very satisfying to see The Mountain finally be killed by The Hound in a brutal one-on-one duel after all the evil he's done in the series.
    • 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.
  • Character Perception Evolution: During the early seasons of the show, Daenerys Targaryen was viewed as a powerful, badass feminist icon, as a highly capable young woman on a quest to liberate people across the world and claim the Iron Throne for the greater good. However, her sudden turn to villainy in Season 8 caught many people off guard, and was heavily criticized along with many other aspects of the season. This prompted some to re-evaluate their view of Daenerys, criticizing her as a "white savior" character who did little to upend the corrupt systems in Westeros and Essos, claiming Dany only wanted leadership for herself, and that she freed slaves on a personal whim. These views are the subject of controversy themselves, particularly with regard to some of the showrunners' earlier comments calling Daenerys the most empathetic character in the series; stating Dany is unlike her father and one of "the good Targaryens"; as well as the series' book author George R. R. Martin refuting Daenerys as a white savior, adding this was not the intention of the show.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • 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".
  • Consolation Award:
    • 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, 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 for Season 5 episode "Hardhome" is considered a consolation prize 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.
  • Crazy Is Cool:
    • Greatjon Umber, in a hilarious case of Defeat Means Friendship.
    • Jaime has a moment in Season 3; what else could you call jumping into a bear pit with one hand, no weapons, armour, or allies, and only the hope that the various enemy soldiers are sufficiently scared of Lord Bolton and Jaime's father to get them out in time?
    • Euron Greyjoy, the deadly, insane terror of the seas who brings an amused, slightly unsettling and highly enjoyable theatricality wherever he goes, making up for decades of embarrassing defeats for the Ironborn in the process.
    • Thoros of Myr has earned this as a result of his Noodle Incident that in equal measure made him a Memetic Badass throughout all of Westeros. During the Siege of Pyke, Thoros lit his sword on Wildfire and charged against the Greyjoys single-handedly in a mad fury, slaughtering an untold number. Jorah Mormont called him the bravest man he ever saw while even Jaime fondly remembers him as a total badass then. The best part? He doesn't even remember any of it. Turns out the real reason he charged in Leeroy Jenkins style was because he got drunk. As in, brain-meltingly, complete and utter loss of inhibitions, absolute black-out-mode smashed. Given how much he already drinks (and regularly), one really wonders if he guzzled down the Mormonts' entire supply of ale to pull that one off.
  • Creator Worship:
    • 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.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • 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.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Jaqen's idiosyncratic speech patterns, including his use of third person, contribute a lot to his memorable character.
    • The supposed Night's King of the White Walkers for his Darth Maul get up.
    • 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.
    • Pyat Pree, for his Me's a Crowd ability.
    • 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.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • Joffrey is an unbelievably hateable little shit in Season 1, and he gets much much worse in the later seasons - even so, it's hard not to feel some sympathy for him when he's crying at Robert's bedside. Whatever else you can say about Joffrey, his love and respect for his father was never in question.
    • 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 5-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.
    • Despite the horrible things he's done, the way Petyr starts collapsing and crying as he begs for his life recalls that he was once just an innocent little boy who wanted to win the hand of the girl he loved, only to be [humiliated, nearly killed, and then made a mockery of for years later. It's hard not to feel sympathy for the child he was, if not the man he became.
  • 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  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. Much of this behaviour could of course be the combined end result of her past abuse and Little finger’s influence.
    • 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.
    • Danaerys is widely seen as being at her least heroic in Season 5, despite the story still treating her as a Messiah Archetype. First, she foolishly has one of her advisors publicly executed for murder, which causes a riot. Then, in response to Barristan's death, she has all the masters imprisoned, and coldly pushes one into the jaws of her dragons (even acknowledging that he could be innocent). Then, she forces the imprisoned Loraq to marry her, while also making it clear she will never be faithful to him. Keep in mind that Loraq has done nothing wrong at this point, besides having a different cultural perspective, and Danaerys also had his father unjustly executed. Many fans pointed out that a lot of these actions made Danaerys scarily similar to Joffrey in this season, and arguably serves as foreshadowing for Dany's later Face–Heel Turn.
    • 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.
  • Don't Shoot the Message:
    • Many would agree with the final message of Daenerys' character arc, which amounts to, "people who do bad things to people who you both think deserve it will eventually disagree with you on who deserves it and start doing bad things to people who you consider innocents, so think carefully before you praise a Well-Intentioned Extremist." It's therefore especially annoying for them that that message, instead of emerging organically and over time, seemed in many viewers' opinions to have been crammed into two and a half episodes at the very tail end of the show by script writers who seemed to just want to get the whole thing over with. That said, other commentators have argued that the message was, in fact, there all along, but Dany's fanbase were engaging in Draco in Leather Pants and missed the subtler implications early in the series that she wasn't supposed to be the heroine. On the other hand said subtleties can be easy to miss, considering the majority of Daenerys's victims prior to the burning of King's Landing are shown to be terrible people, and many found it hard to argue that they didn't deserve their fates.
    • For that matter, apparently there was also supposed to be a Central Theme of "most people are neither wholly good nor wholly bad, but they get cast as heroes or villains by history based mostly on what makes for the most satisfying narrative." That would been a very timely message for our polarised, self-righteous age! So it's too bad that that one got lost sometime after the first couple of seasons, after which we got a whole bunch of seasons where good guys and bad guys were usually easy to tell apart, only for the message to get dutifully spelled out at the last minute.
    • Sandor's last words to Arya about Vengeance Feels Empty and how it will lead to her destruction is a good message overall. Too bad neither of them apply this message to Sandor, who pointlessly dies in a revenge mission against his brother. Arya doesn't even think to point out to Sandor that he doesn't have to die either, or that he has people who actually care about him.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • 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 (whom 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 Hero Yandere 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.
    • Ramsay Bolton has his fangirls too, some of whom think he's redeemable whilst others actually seem to want him to torture them, which presumably counts as either Too Kinky to Torture or Comically Missing the Point, especially considering he's a sadistic rapist. It's mostly as a result of him receiving Adaptational Attractiveness via casting and being an Adaptational Badass.
    • Even after the controversial episode 9 of Season 5, Stannis Baratheon still has fans who root for him, though now it's driven by fans calling Death of the Author on the 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 Apocalypse is 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 Face–Heel 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 Face–Heel 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.
    • Robert Baratheon, while he's no monster or even a villain for that matter, he is also a very flawed man. He is a raging alcoholic, a Domestic Abuser (not that Cersei doesn't deserve it), an absentee parent, and he's a massive bully to Jamie, Lancel, and even his own brother Renly (the latter of which he even admits to never loving). Furthermore, Robert is willing to wipe out every surviving Targaryen off the face of the world despite most of them having little to do with his vendetta and the surviving Targaryens being small children. Yet fans love to play up his Big Fun tendencies, depicting him as Westeros' version of Santa Claus (with a lot more ham). It doesn't help that in light of Seasons 7 and 8, Robert's fears of a Targaryen return aren't unwarranted.

    E-I 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a lot actually.
  • 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:
    • 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 Face–Heel Turn, and believe she was trying to build a better world, regardless of her means for doing so.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The series is intended to have a Bittersweet Ending, but actually analyzing the "sweet" parts reveals that it's this trope. The monarchy is abolished in favor of an oligarchy where the nobility of Westeros elect their king. But there's nothing to suggest that this will ensure Westeros has more virtuous leaders than a heredity monarchy offered, and the nobles may fall back on electing the same families over and over, making it a hereditary monarchy again in practice. If anything, an oligarchy like this will be more prone to corruption since anyone can become king, putting the throne within reach of anyone with enough ambition to reach for it and who is able to influence enough of the nobility to support them. There's also the matter that the loyalty of several of the Seven Kingdoms to the Iron Throne is still uncertain, the country has been through several wars that saw tens of thousands die and many long-standing noble houses exterminated, and King's Landing lies in ruin. All in all, while some of the individual characters get a good ending, Westeros as a whole is in terrible shape and it's dubious if any king could hold the country together as they begin to try and rebuild. And finally on a more personal level, the Stark children are all seperated from each other, albeit mostly by choice, leaving it very unlikely if any of them will ever see any of the others again.
  • 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 extremely memorable appearance in Hardhome. In fact, the White Walkers as a whole made a jump to this after the awe-inspiring ending of that episode. 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 show’s best villains thanks to Iwan Rheon’s 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.
    • Bronn, despite his complete disregard for human lives, is a highly amusing badass and proves several times to be a capable and cunning fighter with a Large Ham to boot.
    • Karl Tanner, despite being a fairly minor villain and an incredibly repugnant individual, is quite memorable for proving himself to be a capable fighter even able to gain the upper hand against Jon Snow in a fight and his tendency for absolutely chewing the scenery whenever he was on-screen.
    • Following her Face–Heel Turn late in Season 8, Daenerys still has many fans. Being the leader of a Badass Army, having a natty fashion sense and, of course, dragons, adds to the 'coolness' factor.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Asha Yar for Yara Greyjoy, on account of her originally being named Asha in the books.
    • Talisa gets Florence Bonesaw (Flo-Bo for short) for her role as a war nurse and her penchant for amputations.
    • Bobby B for King Robert Baratheon.
    • Stan(nis) the Man(nis) (unless it's the other Stan the Man, which actually works pretty well — that Stan is famous for being rule-abiding but driven.) He's also called "the King who cared" for being the only ruler who answered the Night's Watch plea for help.
    • Jorah Mormont is commonly dubbed "Ser Friendzone" or "King of the Friendzone" or "J-Bear".
    • Joffrey is sometimes called King Justin Bieber.
    • Tyrion "The Kingslapper", due to his habit of bitchslapping Joffrey. Also, Joffrey being slapped by Tyrion is called being "Imp-slapped".
    • Theon's mysterious torturer has been nicknamed Barry and "Little Bastard" (having been referred to that by a soldier he kills). Also goes by "Evil McFuckingcrazy" in some circles, before being revealed as Ramsay Snow.
    • Podrick is called "Tri-Pod," "Prodick," or "Pod the Rod" after managing to pleasure three whores so well they let him keep his money.
    • Ed Skrein's portrayal of Daario Naharis is nicknamed "Faabio" after the Mr. Fanservice model, Fabio, that appeared on hundreds of romantic novel covers in the '80s and '90s. He's also been referred to as "Zevran" by gamers, due to his strong resemblance and similar personality to the Dragon Age character.
    • And on the subject of the Boltons, the... thing between Theon and Ramsay has been referred to as "Fifty Shades of Greyjoy".
    • Fans have taken to calling Hodor "Brodor" or "Brandor" whenever Bran wargs into him.
    • In Season 5, Sansa has finally learned how to play the game and sports much darker look. Many fans refer to her as "Darth Sansa".
    • Hizdahr zo Loraq has become "Hizdahr zo Kravitz" for his odd resemblance to Lenny Kravitz.
    • In the wake of "Hardhome", the Night King (which is still an unofficial designation for the character) has been dubbed "Coldemort".
    • Jaqen H'gar is a "Sexy Jesus." Alternatively, he also goes by the name of Spoony.
    • Ser Robert Strong, the new Kingsguard, is named "Frankenmountain" due to being the undead Gregor Clegane who is fueled by Qyburn's experiments.
    • Septa Unella is "Shame Nun" after her most memorable scene.
    • People who watch the show with full knowledge of the books are called Bookwalkers, while those who watch it without having read the books (or at least don't go beyond where the show has currently reached) are Unsullied. Amusingly enough, the Unsullied themselves had no idea what this meant until Season 3.
    • Edmure Tully has become known as "Brutus Tully" after his actions in surrendering Riverrun to Jaime Lannister and getting his uncle Brynden killed and in reference to Tobias Menzies' role as Marcus Brutus on HBO's Rome.
    • House Bolton is called "House Trollton".
    • Tommen was frequently called King Butters due to being an Extreme Doormat.
    • Cersei's scheme to destroy her enemies in the Sept of Baelor has been called the "Green Trial" in reference to the Red Wedding and the Purple Wedding.
    • The series's depiction of Dorne has earned the name "Porne" from some fans.
    • Daenerys is called "Kelly C" (or alternatively, "Callie C") which is an easy pronunciation of her Dothraki title "Khaleesi".
      • She is also known to some as "Queen Stomach Flu", due to Khaleesi sounding similar to the Calici virus, which causes gastroenteritis — including the so-called "winter vomiting disease", a particularly nasty kind that lasts for up to 72 hours.
    • Fans like to call Lyanna Mormont "Lady Bear", "Lady Little Bear" or simply "The Little Bear".
    • As of Season 7, Gendry and Jon Snow are being referred to by some fans as Davos' adoptive sons. If Shireen is included, it becomes Davos' adoptive children.
      • And Davos, for his penchant of collecting adoptive children, is dubbed "Dadvos".
    • In Season 7's "Eastwatch," Jon recruits a small teamnote  to head far North in order to capture one of the Wights alive. It didn't take long for the fandom to start calling the team the Suicide Squad. A number of fans have also dubbed the team the Magnificent Seven, The Fellowship of the Wight, The Mighty Ducksnote , or the Justice League.
    • Missandei is often called "Miss Sunday" or "Me Sundae" by fans based on how Grey Worm pronounces it.
    • "Dollar Store Jack Sparrow" for Euron Greyjoy due to show not adapting the more mystical aspects of the character and amping up his playfulness.
    • "D&D" for showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, initially as a Shout-Out to Dungeons & Dragons. After the last few seasons were widely considered Seasonal Rot and most of the blame for it was placed on the two showrunners, this morphed into being called "Dumb and Dumber".
    • "Theneu, Prince of Dorne" for the unnamed Dornish prince in Season 8 Episode 6. The name is derived from "The new prince of Dorne".
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Despite Jamie’s main love interest being his sister Cersei, Brienne/Jaime are far more 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. The pairing is the only one from the franchise to enter the top 100 pairings on AO3.
    • Even though Stannis is married to Selyse, 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 being paired with Talisa and vowing to execute Theon for his betrayal.
    • While many fans ship the canonical Jon/Daenerys, Jon/Sansa ("Jonsa") has garnered the most fanfics on Archive of Our Own, ranking them the second from the franchise overall on the site. It has an active and devoted fanbase, even years after the show's finale.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Many fans and critics note that the only way that Jaime's characterization in the episode Oathbreaker makes sense is to disregard the infamous sept scene of "Breaker of Chains" as a failure on the part of the director to convey the proper intent.
    • The direction of Season 8 (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 Collateral Angst, the Redemption Rejection of Jaime, with the character returning to Cersei in The Last of the Starks because he still loves her, the Face–Heel 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.
    • Less commonly than mentioned above, there are viewers who disregard Seasons 7 and 8 entirely, and put Season 6 as the cut-off since that's when the show fully overtook the books and it was the last ten episode seasons. More importantly, it wraps up numerous long-running subplots while setting things up for the next great conflict — Cersei eliminates most of her rivals and is crowned Queen, seizing uncontested power; Winterfell is back under Stark control with Sansa as the Lady of Winterfell and Jon is declared the new King in the North; Daenerys sets sail to Westeros at last to take back the Iron Throne; Tyrion becomes Daenerys's Hand and returns to Westeros alongside her; Jon's parentage is revealed by confirming the fan theory that he's really the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen; and finally, the maesters announce that winter has arrived. The result is many satisfying resolutions are given while also leaving things open-ended and uncertain for the future.
  • Fantasy Ghetto:
    • 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.
    • According to Liam Cunningham, "I think it's wrong to call this a fantasy series [...] it's a proper, magnificent drama show". Because a fantasy can't be a "proper, magnificent drama," right?
    • Jonathan Pryce originally turned down a role because he is not into the sword and fantasy thing and found it all too strange. He changed his mind once he realized the product had gravitas.
    • Ian McShane had no interest in the show for quite a while, and ultimately only joined for a chance to work with his old friends Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane. When he learned they'd both already been killed off, the only thing that kept him from walking was his only having to be in one episode. Then he casually spoiled what his role was, and replied to the fans that got upset, "Get a fucking life. It's only tits and dragons."
    • 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.
  • Fetish Retardant
    • 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.
  • 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).
  • Franchise Original Sin: Has its own page.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • If you're a fan of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, chances are you're also a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, particularly the show itself. A sizable portion of Skyrim's library of Game Mods is devoted to adding Game of Thrones-related content to the game; there is more than one mod that adds a fully-modeled Longclaw, for example.
    • There's also some overlap between Game of Thrones fans and players of Crusader Kings II, since the latter is essentially a medieval politics simulator. There's a Game of Thrones-themed Game Mod which is reasonably popular, which has, in turn, inspired a number of After-Action Report fanfiction. Now that there is also a mod for Crusader Kings II that allows you to play as one of the rulers in Tamriel, it seems the cycle is now complete.
    • Outlander fans and Game Of Thrones fans get along just fine since the authors of the books (Diana Gabaldon and George R.R. Martin respectively) are good friends regardless what online articles say about Gabaldon's opinion on Martin's Schedule Slip. Likewise, Tobias Menzies (who played Edmure Tully) appeared in the Outlander TV show and Martin is also appalled with the lack of Emmy nominations that the show received.
    • There is an overlap between fans of Game of Thrones and the works of Yasumi Matsuno. It does help that Matsuno is also a fan himself.
    • There seems to be a good overlap with The Witcher fandom as well, especially given how Charles Dance portrayed both Tywin Lannister and Emhyr var Emreis. For CD Projekt RED's part, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains a number of Shout Outs to Game Of Thrones.
    • Some fans of Game of Thrones get along quite well with The Last of Us (2023) thanks to both works featuring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey playing beloved characters (who even team up in TLoU) and being produced by HBO.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In the third episode of the second season, Varys tells Tyrion a riddle. Anyone with a background in political science (especially in international relations) will recognize Varys' answer as a down-and-dirty explanation of the constructivist school of thought. Xaro Xhoan Daxos' empty vault is a second example of the illusory nature of power.
    • There's a funny one in a Get Thee to a Nunnery kind of way when Ygritte says "You know nothing, Jon Sno-oh-oh!" as he eats her out. Yes, he does know "nothing" — in the Shakespearean sense. "Nothing" was Elizabethan-era slang for female genitalia. And to "know" someone in the Biblical sense was to have sex with them.
    • The many repeating quotes of "come and see" in the Bastard Letter Ramsay sends to Castle Black demanding Sansa Stark's return. Along with adding a lyrical resonance, they are direct references to the Bible's Book of Revelationsnote quotes
  • Genre Turning Point: With their adult-only stories and themes, the massive critical and commercial success of Game of Thrones and its source material has forced many to reconsider their perceptions of Fantasy as primarily a family-friendly or youth-friendly affair, greatly contributing to the growing mainstream acceptance of the genre.
  • 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • 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.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • In his review of The Station Agent Roger Ebert wrote that there was no reason why Peter Dinklage couldn't play Braveheart. Flash forward to "Blackwater" — where he does.
      • In 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'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.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • 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 6, 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 Harington 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 Blackfish’s offscreen death in "No One" after some random Lannister mook informed Jaime about it. Considering that in the books he escaped by jumping off to the river and swam his way out when Riverrun was seized, some viewers believed that he faked his death and escaped the same way he did in the books.
    • In the Season 7 finale, fans are desperately hopeful that Tormund and Berric survived the destruction of the Wall overlooking Eastwatch since they are not seen perishing onscreen. It's not out of the question, assuming they made it far enough west to avoid the collapsing section. For what it's worth, the last shot of them is them watching the Wall collapse just short of where they're at. In the Season 8 premiere, they indeed survived the fall of Eastwatch and met Edd and the surviving Night's Watchmen.
    • Fans of Littlefinger also like to guess that he saw his fate coming to him, especially after Bran revealed to him that he knows Littlefinger plans to take over the Seven Kingdoms, and thus he paid a Faceless Man to take his place and noped out of Winterfell with Arya and Sansa none the wiser.
    • 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its own page.
  • Hollywood Homely:
    • 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.
    • They also tried giving Obara Sand a mannish-appearance, which is consistent with how she's described in the books, but Keisha Castle-Hughes is actually rather pretty. The biggest indicator is that she's Ms. Fanservice in many of her pre-Thrones roles.
  • 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.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • I Am Not Shazam:
    • The book series upon which the show is based is called A Song of Ice and Fire. The title of the show is taken from the title of the first novel in the series, A Game of Thrones. New printings of the book series have "Game of Thrones, The Hit Original Series From HBO" stamped on them now, anyway.
    • A lot of show-only fans seem to be under the impression that "Khaleesi" is Daenerys Targaryen's actual name instead of one of her titles.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" for the budding romance between Tormund and Brienne in Season 6.
  • I Knew It!:
    • An interesting case in that the show has confirmed several existing fan theories about the books, or ambiguous situations within them, that had yet to be resolved by the time the episodes aired:
    • Loras and Renly are gay lovers. This had already been repeatedly and heavily implied in the books, but never explicitly acknowledged.
    • Littlefinger hid a poison capsule on Sansa, which Olenna uses to kill Joffrey.
    • Valyrian steel (aka dragonsteel) kills the White Walkers (aka the Others). Jon and Sam discuss this in the books, but the show confirms it first.
    • Craster's sons get turned into White Walkers. While one of Craster's wives implied this happened, they're not a particularly reliable source.
    • For a show-specific spoiler, on-set photos depicting Meryn Trant and Mace Tyrell in Braavos tipped both book and show fans on a major Death by Adaptation, which did come true in the final Season 5 episode.
    • Melisandre uses her magic to hide her true age, as opposed to aging slowly.
    • Melisandre brings Jon Snow back to life.
    • Since A Feast for Crows, it was speculated that Sandor Clegane was still alive. He is.
    • In the second trailer for Season Six, many fans correctly guessed when Tormund said, "I thought he was the man to lead us through the Long Night. But I was wrong.", he was talking about Mance Rayder instead of Jon. This is proven right in "Battle of the Bastards."
    • Rickon's death in "Battle of the Bastards" was correctly predicted by most fans. Many also guessed that either Wun Wun or Tormund will die.
    • In the Season 6 finale "The Winds of Winter":
      • The biggest and the most known of all theories since the release of A Game of Thrones was confirmed, that Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother, and also that the promise Ned made was to take care of Jon. Rhaegar is strongly implied to be his father, but this is not explicitly mentioned. Note that knowledge of Jon's mother's identity was what got David Benioff and Dan Weiss the job adapting the series in the first place. Official supplemental material for the show confirms that Rhaegar is Jon's father.
      • Another Season 6 finale example — which was no doubt less welcome — is that Natalie Dormer made some comments that incited people to speculate that Margaery Tyrell would soon be killed off. This occurred in the Season 6 finale. And since Finn Jones had been cast as Danny Rand in Iron Fist, Loras would also be a goner for sure.
      • It has been a fairly popular fan theory that Cersei would use the wildfire caches that the Mad King left behind. This is finally made good on when she sets a cache of it to go off underneath the Great Sept of Baelor during the scheduled time for her trial, taking every one of her political adversaries with it.
    • Much like Finn Jones before her, Jessica Henwick's commitment and much more prominent role in Iron Fist (2017) as Colleen Wing allowed many fans to rightly predict Nymeria Sand's death, which happens in Season 7's "Stormborn."
    • The Season 7 episode "The Dragon and the Wolf" confirmed several fan theories and the leaked spoilers such as Sansa exposing Littlefinger and Arya executing him, the collapse of the Wall, Sam and Bran's reunion and their discussion of Jon's heritage, and that Rhaegar and Lyanna were really in love with one another.
      • Quite a few people felt vindicated in their complaints about the Wight Hunt being pointless; even if it succeeded and they brought a wight down to King's Landing and convinced Cersei of the threat the dead posed, she'd just go back on any truce agreed to anyway. Which is exactly what happens.
    • One theory on WMG.Game Of Thrones Final Season correctly predicted that the Night King would be a Disc-One Final Boss.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • Jon and Sansa, as of Season 6. With both having gone through the Trauma Conga Line, and being the only family either has seen in ages, they become very close and prone to held gazes and affectionate gestures. With Sansa having been at the mercyf the biggest monsters of the setting, and Jon's big brother protectiveness showing in full force, plenty have run away with it. The confirmation that they're cousins/adoptive siblings rather than half-siblings has only served to encourage them.
    • Jon 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.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • 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 Face–Heel Turn, which is retroactively foreshadowed by her doing something cruel, but nonetheless completely normal and just considering the setting? Huh?
    • Theon is apparently a coward for abandoning his sister during Euron's attack in Season 7, to the point of deserving a hard headbutt to the face from Yara when he does rescue her next season. Even without his PTSD considered, Theon was completed surrounded by enemies and Euron had a knife to Yara's throat, making it completely impossible for him to save her. Apparently, he was expected to just stay and die in a hopeless fight, even though Yara would have never been rescued if he did, and may have been killed right there. In comparison, Yara was not given any flak from Theon for leaving him in the Dreadfort for similar reasons, even though she logically had less justification for leaving, since she had others to back her up. Also, the Blackfish was never accused of cowardice for escaping the Red Wedding (where most of his family was killed), making this an even bigger case of Informed Wrongness.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Arya goes through the misfortune staring down some of the most terrifying characters of the kingdoms.
    • Tyrion, until the abuse and humiliation in "The Laws of Gods and Men" finally causes him to snap with Shae's betrayal, at which point he makes an enraged speech about how he wishes he let the ungrateful citizens of King's Landing be slaughtered by Stannis and how he wishes he could watch them all die.
    • Brienne. She's practically shit on by every character she meets (with the exception of Renly and Catelyn) and is still one of the deadliest fighters in Westeros.
    • Davos loses his son Mathos, his young friend Shireen and his king and friend Stannis, and his resolve doesn't diminish one bit.
    • Lady Olenna Tyrell becomes the last Tyrell after losing Mace, Loras and Margaery in Cersei's wildfire plot but the Queen of Thorns doesn't 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, Jaime dies with Cersei, Jon reluctantly assassinates her to save the world from destruction, and Bran is chosen as the King of the Seven Kingdoms.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: A Vocal Minority of fans of the books sneer at the thought of people learning of it from watching the TV show.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • 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.

    J-R 
  • Jerkass Woobie: Has its own page.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: Catelyn Stark is often hated by fans for being mean to Jon, her husband's (supposedly) bastard son. While she doesn't treat him like a son and is quite cold to him, 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. Compare her to Tywin, a much more antagonistic Archnemesis Dad who also hates his son Tyrion for an unfair reason (being a dwarf and Maternal Death? Blame the Child!), treats Tyrion much worse than Catelyn treats Jon, feels no remorse over it at all, and is a terrible father to his other children as well. Unlike Catelyn, Tywin is a fan favorite.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Some people became fans of Game of Thrones after hearing there would be dragons and/or tons of Fanservice in it.
    • 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.
  • Karmic Overkill:
    • Viserys Targaryen's final moments consist of him pleading and begging for his life as Khal Drogo melts some gold into a pot to pour on his head while Daenerys watches in quiet contempt for him. Now he did threaten both her and her unborn child right in front of Drogo and his tribe but to hear his screams as he dies in such an anti-climatic and pathetic way makes some feel sorry for him.
    • Talisa Maegr. Arguably one of the series scrappies. What happens to her? Well, she gets stabbed in the belly repeatedly by a Frey during The Red Wedding while she's pregnant.
    • Amazingly enough Joffery got this reaction from some fans. Though considering how he died it's not hard to see why.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Even in a show infamous for killing off its main characters, almost no one believed that Jon Snow was gone for good.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen in the first season.
    • Jack Gleeson's performance as Joffrey perfectly encapsulates every smug, stupid and cruel element of his book counterpart so well that the fandom often heaps praise on how well the character is portrayed... or, less desirably, conflates Jack Gleeson with his character. 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.
    • Despite being one of the most horrific characters on the show, Ramsay Snow has gained quite a following due to his frequent displays of Crosses the Line Twice Black Comedy and Iwan Rheon's chilling performance.
    • Petyr Baelish is getting this treatment as well, given the extent of his The Chessmaster status.
    • Cersei may be a petty, horrid, manipulative, murderous bitch, but she's played by the gorgeous Lena Headey and is considered an excellent villain.
  • Memetic Badass: Enough to have its own page.
  • 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 Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Memetic Troll: Roose Bolton is considered this by much of the fandom. Between showing Catelyn his chainmail right before the massacre at the Red Wedding, serving Jaime a dinner he couldn't cut because his men cut off his right hand, and telling Ramsay how he raped his mother beside the corpse of her hanged husband he really comes off as one.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Based on the number of Tumblr pages and YouTube videos on the subject, there are lots of fans who ship Sansa and Littlefinger. This is despite Littlefinger being portrayed as a sociopathic groomer who mostly cares about Sansa because she resembles her mother (the woman Littlefinger was obsessed with for decades) and helped destroy her family; Sansa herself becomes aware Littlefinger is manipulating her and clearly finds his attraction to her creepy, not to mention she's a teenager while he's old enough to pass as her father. 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.
    • Many Daenerys Targaryen fans see her as a flawed yet largely benevolent queen and liberator, as well as a feminist icon in some circles. Based on Daenerys' actions in the final two episodes and comments made both in-universe and out, Daenerys was actually intended to be Evil All Along and not someone to be admired. It's been speculated that the Misaimed Fandom for Dany was deliberately set up as an Intended Audience Reaction, only for it to work a little too well: for the majority of the show Daenerys is presented in a sympathetic manner, her more ruthless actions don't stick out much compared to some things other characters have done, and certain changes from the books made her come across even more favorably. note  As a consequence, many viewers (even including those that don't much care for the character) felt that the end of Dany's arc comes off more like abrupt Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, with hardcore fans of the character grumbling that she was done dirty. A few particularly extreme fans have gone so far as to downplay her deliberately burning down King's Landing or push the blame entirely on other characters for 'making' her do it.
  • 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.
    • 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 as they deviated from them more and more, and then totally disintegrated when they had to move beyond the books and come up with stories completely from scratch.
    • Robert Baratheon is a character who gets this treatment. The writers, casual fans, and even some people on this very wiki seem to believe that blame for Robert's Rebellion solely falls on Robert for starting a war to rescue a woman who never loved him back. This is inaccurate because not only did Robert genuinely believe Lyanna had been kidnapped and was being raped, but Robert wasn't the one who started the war. The war was started by The Mad King when he burnt Ned Stark's father and brother alive and called for Ned and Robert's execution despite the fact they committed no crimes. Robert only had two options, submit himself for unjust execution or lead the Baratheons, Starks, and their allies in rebellion against the crown, naturally he chose the latter. It doesn't help that Tyrion gets this wrong as well in "The Last of the Starks".
  • Moral Event Horizon: Has its own page.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The low cello lick that plays just before a dragon is about to roast someone.
  • Narm: Though the show usually does a good job at dramatic scenes, it does have its share of poorly-executed moments.
  • Narm Charm: Euron Greyjoy in "Stormborn". His Ax-Crazy, Screaming Warrior act is so completely batshit insane and OTT it makes the gruesome carnage pretty fun to watch.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The sight of Jaime's rotting stump is enough to turn anybody's stomach.
    • Talisa getting stabbed repeatedly in the stomach while pregnant. And then when Robb crawls over to her, he presses his hand on her mutilated womb.
    • Joffrey choking to death on his own blood and vomit after being poisoned, however fitting it was.
    • Oberyn's brutal, gruesome death.
    • The medical equipment in Pycelle's lab, including tubes presumably made from animal gut and huge rusty syringes.
    • Similarly, the sight of Gregor Clegane's flesh burning and rotting away before our eyes as a result of Oberyn's manticore venom is stomach-turning.
    • Roose's fond story of Ramsay's conception is some Berserk grade nightmare fuel.
    • Jon's savage beatdown of Ramsay, while initially cathartic, crosses over into nauseating after it goes several seconds too long and the sounds of impact get progressively wetter whilst his victim's face slowly degrades into a bloody mush.
    • In the Season 7 premiere, asides from serving grub and arranging the books, Sam spends most of his time in the Citadel getting the bedpans filled with piss and shit, throwing the bedpans' disgusting content out and then, scrubbing them. We had an entire montage of him doing all the icky stuff and Sam nearly puked while doing it. John Bradley mentioned in his interview that the montage was shot for five days and he spent the whole week scrubbing the toilets while his castmates are at the Emmys 2016.
    • 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.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Littlefinger will never live down being the guy who made and codified Sexposition in the famous scene in Season 1 where he gives a long monologue about how he's going to betray people while two prostitutes have sex in the background, occasionally interjecting to give instructions to them. He hasn't even been personally involved with managing the brothel he owns since Season 3.
    • Daenerys in Season 1 was 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.
    • Joffrey is often remembered as being solely responsible for starting the War of the Five Kings when he had Ned executed, thanks to Tyrion giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech over it in Season 2. However, Stannis and Renly found out that Joffrey was illegitimate well before Ned's death, meaning that they would have made their attempts to overthrow him regardless. Joffrey certainly made things much worse by needlessly dragging Robb (and, indirectly, Balon Greyjoy) into the mix, but some kind of conflict was always going to happen.
    • 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).
    • Many fans never forgave Yara for the one time she basically told Theon to either get over his PTSD or kill himself. More so because the writers portrayed this as working, and claiming that Yara was in the right for doing it.
    • 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 to 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 direwolf 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.
  • No Yay:
    • Due to the wide cast of characters and explicit nature of the show, it's no stranger to potentially Squicky pairings. However, a few top the rest, such as unironically shipping sadistic psychopaths like Joffrey and Ramsay with Sansa. These are the same people who gleefully murdered members of her own family and have either already raped her or threatened to do so.
    • Same goes for Ramsay/Reek, which has a few Ho Yay moments but is a Torture Technician and A Match Made in Stockholm type of thing.
  • Older Than They Think: The character of the Night's King. The reveal caught book readers and non-readers alike off guard because in the novels there has been no hint of the Others having a singular leader and of the Night's King being anything more than a myth or historical character. However, the Green Ronin Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game did feature a very similar character, called the King of Winter, in its Night's Watch supplement a full two years before Oathkeeper aired; the book does mention that at that point, Green Ronin was essentially making up new lore for the purposes of tabletop gameplay, so it's up for debate as to whether or not Green Ronin guessed right about the White Walkers having a monarch or if the showrunners just decided to steal their idea as they diverged from the novels.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Old Nan only had two appearances in Season 1 before Margaret John's passing but is still remembered to this day.
    • 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 Army Master 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.
    • Lyanna Mormont, already an Ensemble Dark Horse based on a one-sentence written letter in Season 5, appears in person in Season 6 and more than lives up to billing, played brilliantly by Bella Ramsey in her first credited acting role.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pandering to the Base: Has its own page.
  • Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading: 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. 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 they're 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.
  • Presumed Flop: The second half of the series suffered an infamous case of Seasonal Rot and Audience-Alienating Ending that largely killed off its vocal, devoted fanbase. It is sometimes assumed that interest in the show disappeared completely as a result, but the Season 8 DVD still sold well, and Thrones is still one of the most watched shows on HBO as of 2022.
  • Questionable Casting:
    • 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 Harington received some criticism early on in the show for seeming too wooden to play Jon Snow. Most agree that he grew into the role over time, although he does still have a few 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. Like Harington, this has mostly 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.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • 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.
    • After Joffrey Baratheon's death, Ramsay Snow gets an expanded role from the books to take his place as the most vile character in the series. Apparently missing that Joffrey was well-received because he constantly suffered due consequences for it, Ramsay was made into an Invincible Villain in a series where his wanton cruelty should have gotten him quickly eliminated. It's only at the end of "Battle Of The Bastards" that he gets karma which, satisfying as it was, had detractors for resulting from a straight good vs. evil fight as opposed to the logical consequence of his actions.
    • 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 reception in the final seasons, this seems to have worked out too well, but not in the way the writers planned.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • 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, Theon’s 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • 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.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Some fans declare they now support the White Walkers, if only because seeing everyone die in a Zombie Apocalypse will hurt less than whatever Gut Punch the show has in store.
    • Due to the murky morality of the show this scenario commonly comes up when major forces clash against each other. The best example is the Battle of the Blackwater, where Stannis besieges King's Landing. Not only is Stannis the rightful king, he is also the first character who has the opportunity to kill Joffrey, avenge Ned Stark and rescue Sansa. But the episode is written and filmed to place a large amount of focus on the battle being an achievement for Tyrion, and it's clear that if the Lannisters lose he will be killed. So the trope ends up working in two ways: Stannis, who would normally be the hero, ends up playing the role of the empire while the actual empire invites sympathy.
    • Cersei Lannister orchestrating the deaths of her enemies: the High Sparrow and his followers, the Tyrells, Kevan Lannister, Pycelle and countless denizens of King's Landing, in the Season 6 finale is starting to get this treatment from certain fans.
    • Euron Greyjoy is a complete psycho who kills his own kin and is firmly in villain territory, in league with Cersei Lannister and all, but plenty of people root for him when he goes up against the kinslaying, child killing and much-maligned lot that go by the name of Sand Snakes, proving who is an actual badass in the process.
    • The final episodes attempt to paint Daenerys as Evil All Along. The questionable execution of Daenerys's sudden Face–Heel 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.

    S-W 
  • Salvaged Story: The third season finale has a scene where Daenerys is lifted aloft by the jubilant army of slaves she has just freed. Since the slaves are mostly played by dark-skinned Moroccans and Daenerys by the very light-skinned Emilia Clarke, this comes across as rather questionable; Season 4 ameliorated this somewhat by repeating the scene with a much more diverse group of former slaves.
  • The Scrappy: Has its own page.
  • 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-stuffed negative 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 6 is largely regarded as better than what came before or after, but it still contained plenty of the elements that afflicted those seasons, such as the increasingly blatant Plot Armor for major characters,note  while minor characters get perfunctorily killed off, sometimes in ways that make little sense, coming Back for the Dead and having little emotional impact;note  Ramsay continuing his unrealistic effectiveness;note  and several plotlines being retreads of plots from the previous season.note  All that said, "The Door" was largely considered to be an effective Tear Jerker in the first half of the season, and "Battle of the Bastards" and especially "The Winds of Winter" are often considered season highlights, so most at least agree that the season ended strong, unlike the other three seasons mentioned here.
    • 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 decisions,note  and the loss of lives having little emotional impact,note  while several characters got Plot Armor.note  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 it.note 
    • Season 8 was widely considered one of the worst of the show, if not the worst, and a demoralizing conclusion to something so beloved at the start of its run. Fans and critics attacked nearly every aspect of the show: plot holes, pointless twists, idiotic battle strategies, unsatisfying conclusions, and irrational decisions all around. Only the costumes, sets, music and special effects maintained their quality, and the only people who had a good word to say about the final season were those primarily there for the spectacle rather than the plot or characters. Even then, the quality of filming seemed to suffer, such as the infamous incident when a modern coffee cup was left on a table during one of the scenes, and a plastic water bottle was left behind the leg of a chair in another. And while the early seasons' twists and betrayals made sense, the showrunners themselves admitted that for later seasons they chose to write merely what was shocking or unexpected, regardless of whether it made sense. 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.
  • Signature Scene: There are many of them. One could 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" and Jaime revealing to Brienne the story behind his killing of Aerys. 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, the confirmation of Jon Snow's parentage followed by him being crowned King in the North, and Daenerys setting sail for Westeros.
    • 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.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • 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 (comparatively) 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.
    • Lysa being shoved out of the Moon Door has 'green screen' written all over it.
    • In "The Dance of the Dragons", the green screen effects and lack of wind are clearly visible when Dany rides on Drogon.
    • The Disney Villain Death of Myranda in "Mother's Mercy" is an even bigger instance of blatant green screen than the example already mentioned.
    • In "Battle of the Bastards", Jon's "Valyrian steel" sword wobbles around when he rushes to mount his horse revealing that it's been replaced with a rubber stunt-sword.
    • In "The Last of the Starks", the editing team infamously forgot to edit out the modern-day coffee cup in front of Daenerys (and that's after the props department forgot to remove the blasted thing from the set in the first place).
    • "The Iron Throne" adds to the anachronism by giving Samwell Tarly a water bottle behind the ankle.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
  • Squick: Enough moments to have its own page.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Viewers who complain about Robb's romance with Talisa and don't see it as a Romantic Plot Tumor will go the opposite route, saying that not enough time is spent showing how Robb could fall so deeply in love that he'd break his marriage pact.
    • 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.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Despite being portrayed as Fundamentalists and receiving large amounts of Adaptational Villainy (in line with a possible Author Tract), the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow have a good point about how corrupt King's Landing is. The poverty, the manipulative governments caring about their family's reputation over the people they're trying to protect and particularly where the High Sparrow denounces the deceitfulness of Cersei's reign and implies that Pycelle is a lickspittle to their faces. To some, while the Faith Militant's more heavy-handed approach than in the books and their literal heteronormative crusade is problematic, it pales in comparison to the mistakes and deeds done by Tommen's predecessors such as Robert (who was bankrupting the kingdom with frequent tourneys) and Joffrey (known among other things for killing people because they irritate him and torturing others for Revenge by Proxy), and even with their controversial aspects they're a far better influence on Tommen (still inspiring him to care for the people even during their power trip) than Cersei "Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!" Lannister.
    • 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.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • No one in the fanbase gave a damn about Olly being executed by the resurrected Jon Snow, which they see it more as, "Good riddance!"
    • It seems like the writers finally got the hint the show's versions of the Sand Snakes weren't well liked by the Season 6 finale. Olenna makes a journey to Dorne to form an alliance with the Martells against Cersei and quickly verbally shuts down each of them. Then in Season 7's "Stormborn", Euron Greyjoy kills two of the Sand Snakes, to the joy of many fans, and captures Ellaria Sand and her daughter, Tyene, so he can deliver them to Cersei as vengeance for Ellaria killing Cersei's daughter Myrcella. Then, Cersei herself poisons Tyene with the same poison used that killed her daughter and forces Ellaria to watch her own daughter die.
    • 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.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Inevitable when you're dealing with such a nerd-loved property. Though interestingly enough, George R.R. Martin himself denounces this view on the DVD commentary, saying that things like Syrio having hair and Ghost making noise just work better for the new medium.
    • 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, and the 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
    • 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 holes as he walksnote . 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."
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Has its own page.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Has its own page.
  • Too Cool to Live: Has its own page.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • 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.
    • Despite the extremely negative response to Season 5, Alexander Siddig was widely praised for his work as Doran Martell, making him both a noble and just ruler while also making clear he wasn't to be messed with and Stephen Dillane, long considered one of the best actors on the show, did fantastic work even with the extremely unpopular conclusion of Stannis' arc and decision to sacrifice Shireen to win his war.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Although Conan Stevens barely appears in Season 1, the fandom in general seems to prefer him over his replacement Ian Whyte in the role of Gregor Clegane. However, Hafþór "Thor" Björnsson, the third Gregor, is widely considered to be just as good or even better than Stevens.
    • The Sand Snakes are clear attempts to recapture the exoticism, danger, and badassery of Oberyn Martell, but exhibit none of the charm, intelligence or fighting ability that made him such a popular character. The result is the opposite: they're the only characters 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.
  • Ugly Cute: Dany's dragons.
  • Unexpected Character: No one has any idea that the Night King is behind (or at least heavily involved with) the rising of the White Walkers. Not the Night's Watch, not Melisandre, no one. This is also a meta-example — in the books, he was just a part of the series backstory, and readers had no way of knowing he would appear in the show. Though interestingly enough, The King of Winter, a character very similar to him appeared two years earlier in the Night's Watch supplement for the Green Ronin A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game; the origin is different, being the monarch of the Others from before their fall, but his role as their Big Bad and king is essentially the same, and there's even a similar description regarding a deformity resembling a crown on his head.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Although the show presents Edmure Tully as an idiot whose incompetence played a role in making Robb lose the war, fans felt like the constant disrespect given to him is being taken too far. While Robb chews him out for unintentionally preventing the Mountain from falling into his trap by holding the Stone Mill, he's partly to blame for failing to communicate his orders to Edmure clearly, something that Edmure himself points out only to be browbeaten by Robb and the Blackfish. Robb also admonishes Edmure for losing 200 men in said engagement (despite Edmure inflicting heavier losses on the Lannisters) when they do not have enough men to spare like Tywin, yet Robb himself sacrificed ten times that number at the Battle on the Green Fork which makes him come off as hypocritical. Another instance is when Edmure gets pressured by Robb, Catelyn, and the Blackfish into marrying Walder Frey's daughter, with the three of them chastising Edmure as selfish for being reluctant to accept the marriage proposal. Yet this is coming from Robb, who broke his promise to the Freys by marrying Talisa in the first place, and the Blackfish, who famously had a falling out with his brother and Lord for refusing to marry. In short, Edmure is being blamed by people who have no moral ground to stand on.
    • 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.
    • 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 going crazy 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.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Has its own page.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • The number of people In-Universe who like Tyrion can be counted on one hand. The number of people in real life who don't like Tyrion can also be counted on one hand.
    • The Hound is reviled as a terrifying and brutal man (which he is), but fans love him for his brooding persona, badassery, and Pet the Dog moments.
    • Jaime is slowly working his way into this category as well. 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 Un-Twist:
    • The only people surprised by Jon Snow's resurrection were those who thought it was so obvious that the show runners were going to take it a different way to subvert expectations. Ultimately they brought him back in the most predictable way possible.
    • By the time of the Season 6 finale, R+L=J was practically canon already. You either were sure it was right, or you thought it was so obvious that clearly we were supposed to think so. Turned out to be exactly correct.
  • Vanilla Protagonist:
    • Some viewers feel this way about the show's version of Jon Snow. From the books 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.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Lancel. There is this gem in the Season 2 DVD commentary:
      Carice Van Houten: Oh, listeners and viewers, you might think: why is he so cruel to this girl?note 
      Liam Cunningham: That's a boy.note 
    • The little assassin sent after Daenerys by the Warlocks of Qarth. 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.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Has its own page.
  • Vocal Minority: Viewers who have read the books are particularly vocal online, so that a large percentage of the online reactions, at least in certain circles, are regarding changes from the source material.
  • Wangst: Early on in the show, Jon Snow's angst about being a highborn bastard in the first season comes across as this to some viewers. Although he is somewhat of an outsider in his own home and has a Wicked Stepmother, Jon loves and is loved by his father and siblings, and receives the comfort and privileges of a noble upbringing. This is partially deliberate, as various characters point it out to him, and he eventually grows out of it.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Any meme would get people to watch this show but it's usually "Winter is Coming", any variation of Tyrion slapping Joffrey or anything related to the Red Wedding.
    • "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.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?:
    • 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, GoT actively 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 (up to that point) 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 storylines 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. The redemption arc ended 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.

  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • 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 beard.
    • Ellaria's choice of hairstyle in Season 5. While it was probably to show that she wanted revenge now, the style looks more like 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).
    • The Tarly women's dresses have been cited as some of the worst costumes in Season 6, or even the entire show. While the dress Gilly borrows is supposed to look uncomfortable and unflattering, all the dresses just look bad compared the show's usual standards of costuming. The gowns look more like they're trying replicate Regency era fashion rather than the medieval-inspired looks of the other costumes, while the fabrics used have been compared to old curtains. Overall, they look more like cheap theatre costumes than actual clothes someone in-universe would wear.
    • 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.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page.

2012 Video Game

  • 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.


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