3:00 pm EST, February 14, 2014

Ranking 15 ‘Game of Thrones’ relationships from least to most inappropriate

Which Game of Thrones relationship wins the golden crown for most ick-inducing? Hint: it’s not twincest!

It’s Valentine’s Day you beautiful bastards, which means it’s time to deliver those sweet-smelling Highgarden roses to your favorite sun-and-stars, and bring out the good stash of that Dornish wine. Today is a day to celebrate relationships, and no cast of characters quite gets our hearts thumping like the colorful Westeros crew.

So whether you’re betrothed this Valentine’s Day or choosing to man the Wall for the safety of the Realm, gather up as we rate the inappropriateness level of 15 of our favorite(?) Game of Thrones couplings! (Note: This scale is entirely based on a scientific rating system that involves long and complicated calculations, and definitely did not just come out of my head.)

Warning: while this post does not contain spoilers for anything beyond season 3 of ‘Game of Thrones’, it does assume that you have a basic knowledge of some key book 1, 2, and 3 differences, mainly regarding characters’ ages.

15) Ned/Catelyn

Ned and Catelyn

They’re totes fine. There’s nothing wrong with this couple, except for the fact that they give each other terrible advice and trust far too much in the good of humanity. As possibly the only happily married pair in the Seven Kingdoms, Ned and Catelyn are the Westerosi power couple that warms romantic Northern hearts. I mean, they do have that whole awkward bastard thing tearing them apart, and it is a little weird how she spent most of her adolescence pining after his hotter older brother Brandon, whom she was supposed to marry before he died a terrible, tragic, noble, manly death. But it’s not like Catelyn’s not over either of those things. It’s totally a coincidence that Bran(don) is the child she dotes on to the point of ignoring her sobbing four year-old. That’s obviously not reflective on anything.

Taboo: umm, none? They are perfect together and it is too bad they are dead.
Inappropriateness Scale: 1/10

14) Arya/Gendry

Arya and Gendry

She’s a lady. He’s a bastard. And while our favorite little she-wolf does have a special fondness for bastards, these two would definitely be pushing the boundaries of societal expectations to the extreme — even if he is Robert’s baseborn son, with the sparkly blue eyes, shiny black hair, and hefty warhammer arms to prove it. These two are totes adorbz with their snarky one-liners and wrestling romps, and considering Arya is pretty much losing her humanity piece by little piece as she trudges through the hellhole that is war-torn Westeros, Gendry’s one of the few people left in the world who knows how to bring out the best in our girl.

Taboo: social class problemz :’(
Inappropriateness Scale: 3 ½/10.

13) Sam/Gilly

Sam and Gilly

As a Man of the Night’s Watch, Sam is expressly forbidden to crush on the daughter-wife of Creepy Craster, but that doesn’t stop him from honoring his oath to protect her as an innocent person seeking refuge from the Night’s Watch. She teaches him about the facts of life, and he impresses her with his worldliness. She’s clever, and brave, and all of the things he wishes he could be, and he’s kind, and caring, and not feeding her child to the White Walkers. They’d make the sweetest couple in the Seven Kingdoms if he didn’t have that pesky black cloak to think of.

Taboo: oath-breaking
Inappropriateness Scale: 5/10

12) Jaime/Brienne

Jaime and Brienne

Setting everything else aside, obviously this duo is perfect. She’s kind of grumpy, he’s kind of a dick, but somehow they bring out the best in each other. Despite the jabs they make at each other’s expense, each has found in the other someone who understands both the painful character-assassination of unjustified dishonor, and the daily struggle to strive to emulate the true qualities of a knight. Unfortunately, because of their high regard for knighthood, it doesn’t seem like this ship is going to be sailing anytime soon. As a white cloak in the Kingsguard, trysts of any kind are deeply inappropriate for Jaime.

Taboo: oath-breaking
Inappropriateness Scale: 5/10

11) Stannis/Melisandre

Stannis and Melisandre

Ugh, this couple is so gross, but if the wife is totes okay with the infidelity, then does it even count as inappropriate? It seems like Selyse kind of likes having Melisandre as a sister-wife. So, they might get some wiggle-room with the infidelity thing, but considering they did still definitely conspire to kill his brother with a weird shadow creature that popped out of her uterus, I’m going to go ahead and say this relationship is somewhat inappropriate.

Taboo: infidelity, making gross shadow babies
Inappropriateness Scale: 6/10

10) Renly/Loras

Renly and Loras

They’re pretty much the two coolest guys in Westeros, so it’s a damn shame the entire relationship is based on a king falling in love with his brother-in-law, who happens to be a knight in his Rainbow Guard. Like her sister-in-law, Selyse, Margaery seems to be very aware of her husband’s extra-curricular activities, and doesn’t mind them as long as he gets his job done of putting a baby in her belly. But besides the infidelity that no one seems to care all that much about, Loras is also technically a member of Renly’s Kingsguard, which traditionally in Westeros has been comprised of “chaste” knights devoted to the protection of their king. Then again, it could be said that BECAUSE he’s taking care of his king’s needs, he’s fully living up to his oaths as Lord Commander of Renly’s Kingsguard. #perspective?

Taboo: oath-breaking, infidelity
Inappropriateness Scale: 6/10

9) Jon/Dany

Jon and Dany

Okay, so they’ve never actually interacted before… and they’re continents apart… and they don’t even know that the other exists. They aren’t technically a real canon relationship, but they are kind of my conspiracy theory dream couple, and since I’m the one writing this article, I can do whatever I want. Like his buddy Sam, our favorite bastard is a Man of the Night’s Watch, which means hot women are a big no-no. Then there is that whole thing where, if the conspiracy theorists ARE right, he’s probably her cousin anyway. Of course, if they are Targaryens, cousins isn’t even a close enough familial tie to be TRULY incest-legit. The blood of the dragon must be preserved! For a true Targaryen, incest can only be a bonus.

Taboo: oath-breaking and (probably) incest
Inappropriateness Scale: 6 ¼/10

8) Jon/Ygritte

Jon and Ygritte

He’s an honorable man of the Night’s Watch, and she’s just a girl, standing in front of a boy, hoping to kill all his friends. It’s like Romeo and Juliet if Romeo was a monk and Juliet was a clingy wildling. We’ve gone over the oath-breaking before, and how it’s totes inappropriate, but really the clincher here is that Ygritte is literally attempting to kill everyone that Jon’s sworn to protect. Nothing good can come from playing with (kissed-by) fire.

Taboo: oath-breaking, feuding families
Inappropriateness Scale: 7/10

Which Game of Thrones couple earned the coveted spot of ‘Most Inappropriate’? Turn to page 2 to find out!

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