Sometimes, it is possible to be TOO cool. No spoilers for future seasons. Probably.
It’s been a week since the Game of Thrones season 4 finale left viewers broken-(stone)hearted, as several fan-favorites died and others set off on new, (debateably) exciting adventures.
The biggest shock for book readers though was less what we saw in the Game of Thrones finale than what we DIDN’T see, and the disappearance of the creepiest of cliffhangers served as another reminder that when it comes to book to screen adaptations, sometimes the best stuff has to inevitably be left on the cutting room floor. And on a logical level, we as fans of the books and the television show completely understand that. But on an emotional level, we just really miss Renly’s peaches.
So because we know we can’t have anyone upstaging Kit Ha(i)rrington’s
acting hair, we present a list of eight people from the Seven Kingdoms who are just too hot for the Game of Thrones tv show to handle:
“Men come and go. They lie, or die, or leave you. A mountain is not a man, though, and stone is a mountain’s daughter. I trust my father, and I trust my mules. I won’t fall.”
It’s hard to pick favorites from the many beloved Baratheon bastards, but like King Bob himself, we’ve always had a soft spot for his first: the scrappy little mule herder up at the Eyrie. In A Game of Thrones, we first meet Mya as she escorts Lady Cat up the dangerous Eyrie cliffs at night, and her easy, breezy attitude and feisty spunk easily won us over, even as we realized along with Cat that her aspirations in life were doomed to falter due to her bastard name.
A tall lass with coal-black hair and blue eyes with a spark of mischief, she’s the spitting image of her daddy, and her jolly nature masks a heart that like Robert’s, is both fearless and naive. She has fond memories of playing with her dad as a child, but though she might be the king’s blood, as a baseborn daughter she’s spent her life having the men she loves leave her for more noble-born ladies. Mya is a reminder that in this complicated game of thrones, even the one-true-king’s firstborn child can be dismissed to lead a life tending mules.
On Game of Thrones, the Eyrie’s been a little dreary lately, and so although Mya’s appearances are brief but memorably charming in the books, we hope that now that Darth Sansa’s basically running the Vale in her Maleficent costume, we’ll get the chance to glimpse Gendry’s spirited big sister skirting up the mountain.
Ser Cortnay Penrose
“May the Others bugger your Lord of Light, and wipe his arse with that rag you bear.”
Ser Cortnay is a BOSS, and he is not impressed by this so-called “Lord of Light” or the Florent’s flighty allegiances. A seasoned battle commander and the castellan of Storm’s End, he values honor in an inevitably-doomed-Stark kind of way. When Stannis besieges Storm’s End after Renly’s death, Ser Cortnay refuses to surrender and instead challenges Stannis to single-hand combat (which Stannis promptly refuses because… Stannis.)
Why all the fuss? Because Stannis doesn’t just want Storm’s End, he wants Robert’s little lordly bastard, the sassy and precocious Edric Storm. After Stannis banished the boy to Storm’s End, Ser Cortnay raised the kid who was blessed with his father’s good looks and his uncle Renly’s easy charm. Stannis has always had a complicated history with Edric (he was conceived in his wedding bed on his wedding night- eek!) and his hesitant claim on the throne coupled with that red witch he’s carting around don’t exactly ease Ser Cortnay’s worries that the boy will make it out of the exchange alive.
So, starving out a castle to save a child: unbelievably honorable, or ridiculously stupid? Either way, like Renly before him, his stubbornness earned Ser Cortnay a shadow-baby death.
“She would not give up the little crown the rebel gave her, and when I tried to take it from her head the willful child fought me.”
“It was mine. You had no right. Robb had it made for me. I loved him.”
No, she wasn’t shockingly bright, or brave, or even beautiful; what made Jeyne Westerling special was the fact that she was so very average- just an ordinary girl trying desperately to live up to extraordinary circumstances. And dammit, did she try. Jeyne took her role as queen SERIOUSLY. She took her mother-in-law’s advice to heart, and devoted herself to supporting her young husband who had the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Shy, polite and gracious, she was the First Lady dreams are made of. Her patience and kindness were the perfect match for Robb in this stressful time, and after a long hard year of war, Jeyne was the only person who could make sixteen-year-old Robb smile. Their love evolved out of kindness and misery and a sense of duty, and as young and naive as Jeyne was, she reminded us that King in the North he might be, but Robb was still just a kid who found himself thrust into unbelievable responsibility.
So yes, Jeyne is kind of small and kind of timid, and overall, kind of too kind, but she gets major props for actually giving a damn about her role as Queen in the North. Loyal till the end and defiant in the face of cruelty, we realize after Robb’s disastrous murder that our little Jeyne has her own rebellious streak. This girl will NOT go quietly into the night. Because she loved Robb Stark okay? Even if her family did probably help concoct his inevitable doom. And unlike other people on Game of Thrones, this Queen in the North actually knows where Winterfell is.
“Fool’s blood, king’s blood, blood on the maiden’s thing, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye aye aye.”
A brilliant child with astonishing wit, Steffon Baratheon (Robert, Stannis, and Renly’s daddy!) was so taken by the clever slave boy in Volantis that he bought his freedom and brought him back to Storm’s End. Tragedy struck the ship on it’s way back though, and in true Frozen fashion, Robert and Stannis had to watch their parents’ boat wreck amongst the treacherous Shipbreaker’s Bay. Everyone on board the ship died, but three days later the little jester with his face tattooed in red and green motley washed up on shore half dead and mad as a hatter. After his accident at sea, the boy’s wits never really returned, and his body was prone to twitches and trembles.
Now grown, this creepyass clown is Stannis’ court fool at Dragonstone. He kind of sucks as a real jester, but he fulfills Dragonstone’s creeper-quota by singing strange serial-killeresque songs that may or may not predict everyone’s grotesque doom. I mean, just looking at his deranged motley face sends people scurrying in the other direction. He spends his days hanging out with his homegirl Shireen who fondly refers to him as “Patches.” Precious. Puppies are obviously not conducive to the disastrous weather conditions at Storm’s End, so they just give little girls mad clowns to follow them around instead.
Additionally, Patchface is in likelihood the Prince That Was Promised. Just kidding, that’s not true at all. Probably.
“There’s a carving on our gate. A woman in a bearskin, with a child in one arm suckling at her breast. In the other hand she holds a battleaxe. She’s no proper lady, that one, but I always loved her.”
The eldest of Maege Mormont’s five daughters, and the Old Bear’s niece, Dacey fights like Arya and dances like Sansa, because up on Bear Island, they’re not afraid to let their daughters be the best of both worlds. They grow them graceful and strong, into ladies and warriors. And best of all, there’s never any of this “Snow” nonsense, because Momma Mormont claims all her babies as her own- even if their dad is a bear.
Heir to Bear Island after her mother inherited it from her tool of a nephew, Jorah (who left the place in near financial ruin,) at six feet tall, Dacey is like Westeros’ Next Top Supermodel-Warrior. A part of Robb’s personal guard, she’s incredibly proud to say she’s fought (and won!) in every battle with him.
Her dedication to her King in the North is what eventually did her in, though. While her mother went north on Robb’s orders, Dacey stayed with him as a part of his king’s guard at the Red Wedding. And because Book-Robb has more sense than to bring his Book-Wife to a Frey wedding, Dacey shares the King’s last dance with him, breaking all of our hearts as we remember just how young and beautiful and good these Northern kids are. And when all hell breaks loose, though unarmed and wearing a dress, she puts up a good fight before getting killed, smashing flagons of wine in the Frey boys’ faces. Get it girl!
“I let each man cut me once, before I kill him. Count the cuts and you will know how many Strong Belwas has slain.”
Strong Belwas defecates in the face of slavery. But actually. A born and bred slave sent by Illyrio to protect Dany, Belwas is a eunuch colossus from the fighting pits of Meereen- pits that literally encapsulate the Game of Thrones mantra of “You win, or you die.” Belwas has never lost a fight, but he lets his opponents cut him once before he kills them. He finds the Dothraki “horse boys” particularly amusing, because the bells in their braids jingle when they die. Such merry music!
He meets Dany in Qarth along with his squire, Arstan Whitebeard (surprise! Barristan Selmy in da house!), and brings her three ships from Illyrio. Belwas becomes one of Dany’s bodyguards and eventually a member of her queensguard, and after following her on her freedom quest through Slaver’s Bay, he really gets his chance to shine once they hit his hometown of Meereen.
As a former slave, he knows the Meereenese ways, and his blunt manner is both unexpectedly charming and useful. When Meereen sends out its slaver champion to battle, Belwas easily kills him… but then promptly defecates in the direction of Meereen and wipes himself with the slaver’s cloak. Burn. When Dany’s forces decide to take Meereen from the sewers and the other men are scared of the giantass rats, Belwas eases their fears by grabbing a rat and biting it in two, as one does. And when Dany’s forces take the city, as a former slave, he leads the troops to the fighting pits, where they lead the fighting slaves into a revolt. Freedom!
This four year-old has outrun Mountains and outlaws to outlast EVERYONE. Slow. Clap. Forget fight, because this girl doesn’t need it; her flight instincts are bar none, the best.
A little girl with no name and no voice to speak it, Yoren and the Night’s Watch recruits find her roaming around the ramsacked Riverlands. One of only a couple of survivors from a raided holdfast, she survived Ser Amory’s raids, and later ran away with Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie after Yoren’s death. And when the kids’ were caught by the Mountain’s men, Weasel was the only one who didn’t stop to think– GURL JUST RAN, and was the only one able to escape the Mountain’s clutches.
A terrible reminder of what this War of Five Kings has brought upon its own people, she is a child whose voice has literally been silenced by all of the horrors she’s already experienced. The only thing she knows is fear, and without an understanding of love or honor, Weasel’s only instinct left is to stay alive. And our girl is a SURVIVOR. Unlike so many adults before her, instead of breaking down into a pile of uselessness, Weasel learned to channel her fear into the energy to keep herself alive. Our money’s on her when the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes.
“They hate me because I’m better than they are.”
“No. They hate you because you act like you’re better than they are.”
A former smith and soldier for the Baratheons (he made Robert’s warhammer!,) Donal Noye is a smith, armorer and steward for the Night’s Watch. He lost an arm in the siege of Storm’s End, and as it works in Westeros, one-handed men instantly become more wise.
We first meet Donal Noye in A Game of Thrones when he dishes out some realtalk to Jon Snow about fighting fairly and making friends with the other recruits. He saves Jon from the bullies, but also helps Jon realize that he’s being a bully in his own pretentious, castle-bred way by humiliating the other common-born recruits in the training yard. Nobody likes a little lordly show off. You know nothing, Jon Snow.
And when the Wildlings attack the Wall in A Storm of Swords, it’s Donal Noye who steps it up to take command. Short on men, he uses his brains to defeat the wildling Thenns by drenching the stairs in oil and firing off burning arrows. And when Mag the Mighty comes a knockin on the tunnel door? Donal Noye leaves Jon in charge of the Wall and heads down for a kamikaze mission to take care of the giant and hold the tunnel. So let’s pause a moment. Donal Noye slew a GIANT. The KING of the giants. With ONE ARM. A ONE ARMED BLACKSMITH KILLED THE KING OF THE GIANTS. Badass.
Which of your favorite ASoIaF book characters didn’t make the cut to be on ‘Game of Thrones’?
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Polly. Annie. Elizabeth. Catherine. Mary Jane. Though these women have been unjustly forgotten by history, Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper gives them back their voices and reminds us all of their value.