HBO’s smash hit of the 2010s, Game Of Thrones, features an astonishing litany of characters, which are exponentially expounded by the show’s source material, George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire. Featuring more than 500 accredited characters, it’s no wonder that Game Of Thrones quickly became known for its liberal use of brutally killing characters off.
Game Of Thrones ultimately suffered from a tumultuous ending with its eighth season. But one of the most endearing aspects was the thrill of watching the development of the characters that no one believed in, making many of their eventual triumphs and acts of revenge or redemption much more satisfying.
10 Viserys Targaryen Was Always An Outcast
There was good reason no one believed in Viserys Targaryen when he was first introduced in Game Of Thrones’ premiere episode Winter Is Coming. The “rightful” heir to the Iron Throne was vain, cruel, and cowardly, with his initial debut revealing that he was willing to sell his sister Daenerys as a bride in order to get what he wanted.
Fortunately for those who disliked the exiled Targaryen, he never amounted to anything more in the fantastical lands of Essos, and met a gruesome end early on at the hands of Daenerys’ future husband, Khal Drogo. Suffice to say, no one believed Viserys was ever going to be a good fit as a leader, let alone a ruler.The Evolution of Spider-Man Suits
9 Bastards Like Ramsay Are Underestimated
It’s well-known that bastards in the world of Game Of Thrones have it rough. Born as a result of adultery, most never get the chance to claim their royal heritage, and sometimes find themselves as targets of assassins due to their bloodline. While Jon Snow is Game Of Thrones’ most famous bastard, Ramsay is the most underestimated.
Son of the infamous Roose Bolton, Ramsay quickly makes a name for himself with the horrific torture and castration of Theon Greyjoy. Despite his gruesome ways, Ramsay is still legitimized by his father before seizing the North for himself. It’s only through sheer luck that Ramsay finally meets his end during the Battle of the Bastards.
8 Tommen Ascends To Kingship As A Child
Following the events of the Purple Wedding, the young Tommen Baratheon finds himself abruptly thrust onto the Iron Throne of Westeros as an unassuming nine-year-old boy. Given his inexperience, the Great Houses of Westeros see this as a prime opportunity to seize power for themselves indirectly through manipulating Tommen.
Though Tommen initially heeds the great Tywin Lannister’s counsel, he eventually becomes enthralled by the whims of Margaery Tyrell and entangled with the High Sparrow, much to his mother Cersei’s frustration. In fact, Cersei’s underestimations of her young son lead him to throw her under the bus when he winds up siding with Faith Militant to save Margaery.
7 Jaime Lannister Can’t Shake His Nickname
Jaime Lannister was first introduced as the golden-haired “Prince Charming” in Game Of Thrones. He quickly turned into the most dislikable character, after pushing a young Bran Stark out of a towering window for catching him in an incestuous relationship with his twin sister.
Within the world of Westeros, Jaime also has incurred the moniker of “Kingslayer” for killing the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. It’s not until Brienne of Tarth breaks through Jaime’s initial demeanor of arrogance and callousness that fans begin to see the hidden pain and humane soul of the Lannister’s golden child.
6 Sam Tarly Was A Joke To The Night’s Watch
In a world where bastards and dwarves are mocked for their appearance, it would make sense that individuals who struggle with their weight have no place in this harsh reality. Such is the unfortunate case of Samwell Tarly, who was thrown out of his home for his looks and forced into the Night’s Watch.
From his first steps into Castle Black, it was apparent that Sam was going to have difficulties acclaiming to his new world. Even after killing a White Walker during the third season, Sam’s efforts are largely gone unnoticed. Fortunately, Sam finds a valuable ally in Jon Snow, who not only believes what Sam did, but also values the Tarly’s incredible intellect.
5 Theon Greyjoy Struggled With Abandonment
While largely a background character in Game Of Thrones‘ first season, Theon Greyjoy plays a more prominent role from the second season onward, but not in the good way. In a desperate attempt to please his blood father, Theon betrays the family that raised him, sacking Winterfell and claiming to have “killed” Bran and Rickon Stark.
Though the Greyjoys already lacked faith in Theon, any semblance of his own self-confidence is effectively destroyed through Ramsay’s sadistic vices when he becomes a prisoner of the Boltons. However, Theon does find small acts of redemption in an attempt to repay the kindnesses the members of his blood and adopted families once showed him.
4 Arya Stark Was Seen As An Angry Little Girl
Arya Stark has undoubtedly a fan-favorite among Game Of Thrones viewers since her debut in the first season. In Westeros, however, the young girl’s dreams of being an adventurer traversing the dangerous world were seen as little more than fantasies that Ned Stark allowed her to indulge in by hiring Syrio Forel as her “dancing” instructor.
A chance run-in encounter with Jaqen H’ghar changed everything for Arya, teaching her how to become one of the world’s deadliest assassins as a Faceless Man. From ruffians like Polliver to nobles like Walder Frey, Arya is continually underestimated by the world around her, much to her advantage.
3 Daenerys Targaryen Rose From Nothing
The character with the everything to gain and everything to lose in Game Of Thrones is none other than the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen. From a slave bride to a horse lord to a multi-continental queen, Daenerys was faced with turmoil, betrayal, and resistance on every step of her journey back to Westeros.
While Daenerys rapidly grew a cohort of steadfast believers, these often came about from the miracles she enacted, from the birth of her three dragons to the sacking of Astapor. Daenerys’ enemies never took the Breaker of Chains to be a serious threat, however, which most assuredly didn’t work in their favor.
2 Tyrion Lannister Was Never Taken Seriously
One of the most underrated characters within the lands of Westeros would be the infamous Tyrion Lannister, nicknamed “the Imp.” Since his birth, Tyrion wasn’t considered a real member of his family due to a combination of his dwarfism, his father’s unabashed hatred of him, and his proclivity towards promiscuous activities.
Though Tyrion found himself to be quite successful as Hand of the King, playing a key role in stalling Stannis Baratheon’s siege of King’s Landing, the youngest Lannister never got any credit for his actions. Eventually, his father’s lack of faith led Tyrion to commit patricide after falsely being found guilty of murdering his nephew, Joffrey Baratheon.
1 Everyone Saw Sansa Stark As Just A Pawn
When Sansa Stark was first introduced on Game Of Thrones, she portrayed the typical naïve princess who quickly became infatuated with the despicable Joffrey Baratheon. However, Sansa quickly became disillusioned with her fantasy after Joffrey had her father executed in front of her, and suddenly found herself a political hostage in the War of Five Kings.
Though she was passed around as a pawn for some time, Sansa became adept in the art of politics by quietly observing the scheming and lethal tactics from masterminds at the Game of Thrones. She observed the likes of Cersei Lannister and Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, the latter of which she finally gained the upper hand on.