4:30 pm EDT, June 24, 2016

‘Game of Thrones’ season 6 team-ups we didn’t see coming

We also thought a couple of the people were dead.

From enemies making friends, to dead people being not dead, Game of Thrones season 6 brings together many people we never expected.

Game of Thrones has given us many unexpected yet awesome team-ups over the seasons. We loved Arya and the Hound in season 3, as well as Jaime and Brienne, a pairing that’s still going strong. We got super excited for Tyrion and Daenerys to form an alliance, and when Sam and Bran met, we couldn’t help but squee since it was the closest thing to a Stark reunion we’d had.

Season 6 gives us even more surprising team-ups. Some we love, while others leave us scratching our heads. Here are the most surprising alliances of the season, from worst to best.

Ramsay and Smalljon

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Once we understood who Smalljon Umber was, it was definitely a surprise to see him want to align with Ramsay. The last we heard of the Umbers, they were staunchly supporting the Starks. Jon Umber merely laughed when Grey Wind bit his hand off, and Rickon went to the Umbers because of their Stark devotion. So what happened?

Truth is, we don’t really know why Smalljon switched allegiances. It seems as though he hated his father, but enough to want to betray the North? Why, and where did that come from?

The ambiguity of the allegiance change led fans to believe he was actually just pretending to align with Ramsay and would turn on him in the battle. But seeing as the battle has happened without a ‘psyche!’, it would seem Smalljon legitimately wanted to side with the Boltons. As surprising as an Umber/Bolton allegiance is, it’s nothing compared to the surprise Smalljon will feel at Ramsay’s defeat.

Margaery and the High Sparrow

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Unaware of her family’s new frenemies, Margaery made new frenemies herself. At least, that’s what we think. It’s not clear yet whether Margaery is faking her newfound divinity, but it’s probably safe to say she’s only siding with the High Sparrow so she can set herself free.

It would be more of a surprise to find out Margaery is truly a believer, since she hasn’t shown such beliefs before, and the turnaround seems too quick. If she is genuine, then I’m blue-eyed and made of ice.

Tyrion and the Masters

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Another frenemies alliance, though much more tenuous, and less friendly. In fact, it’s more of an agreement than an alliance, and it’s also one of the less exciting duos of the season.

Tyrion tries to make peace with the Masters, and while the conditions are fair and agreed upon, peace is short lived. As surprising as it is that a truce is made, it’s equally as unsurprising that it doesn’t last.

To be honest, the sooner the Masters and Harpy storyline is over the better. We definitely don’t want to wait seven years for a conclusion, so I say let them break the truce! That way Dany has a reason to annihilate them and get this over with.

The Lannisters and the Tyrells

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The two families that hate each other the most hit rock bottom. It’s the most desperate move either family has made: aligning with each other.

Cersei had all but lost control of her fate, and on the brink of losing Tommen she went to the Tyrells. Equally against a door without a Hodor, the Tyrells agreed.

It’s a tenuous alliance, yet it might be the most honest one we’ve seen. Both families admit to hating each other. Both admit they’re only using each other for their own gain. And both admit what that gain is. They both know it’s only temporary, and in a way, that makes it one of the strongest alliances. It’s juts unfortunate their common enemy is better than them.

Bran and Benjen

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It’s not such a surprise that Benjen would help his nephew. What is a surprise is that Benjen is alive to do so. Oh my gosh guys, Benjen is alive!

We waited six years for some kind of closure on Benjen’s fate, and we got it in the best way possible. First, Benjen saved the day. Second, he saved Bran, which means Stark reunion! Everyone loves a Stark reunion.

Tyrion and the dragons

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Tyrion was making friends all over the place this season! Not only did he try and make peace with the Masters, he also tried to make peace with Dany’s dragons. I’d wager the dragons are easier to befriend.

It’s a tense scene when Tyrion goes down to see Viserion and Rhaegal. We’ve seen Drogon’s temper, so we couldn’t be certain how the other two would react to a stranger. Evidently Tyrion is a dragon whisperer, because he leaves the dungeon unharmed and presumably having gained some of their trust.

This moment is particularly exciting because we know Tyrion has dreamed of riding a dragon, and as of yet, we don’t know who will have the honor of riding Viserion and Rhaegal. It’s possible this is setting up a future where Tyrion will finally live his dream. Can you imagine Cersei’s face if Tyrion flies over King’s Landing on a dragon? Now that’s something to dream of.

The Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners

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First it was (kind of) a surprise to see Sandor Clegane back and healthy, but even more surprising is who he ends up aligning with. The men who tried to kill him all the way back in season 3 are now asking him to join their group. Somehow it actually makes sense.

The Brotherhood Without Banners are a fairly open-minded, easy-going bunch. They recognize the Hound’s win means they lost and that’s that. But more importantly, they see the Hound for the changed man he is, and what value someone like him can give them. His past be damned, it’s his present that’s important, and I for one am all for this new and improved Brotherhood.

The Wildings and the Night’s Watch

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Maybe a Wildling and Night’s Watch alliance isn’t that surprising, or at least, it isn’t so surprising now. The Wildlings and the Night’s Watch have been enemies since long before Game of Thrones started, so any kind of truce between the two seemed as likely as dragons existing.

But dragons do exist, and an alliance has happened, and it’s happened naturally, largely because of Jon Snow. He understands they don’t have to be enemies, that they actually have a common enemy, and he’s established a relationship with them.

Yes we saw the peace between each group coming, but historically, this feud and hatred has run deep, so to finally see the fighting end in season 6 is something to take note of and celebrate.

Daenerys and Yara

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Unarguably the best duo that comes out of season 6 is Daenerys and Yara. It’s incredibly random and was thrown at us out of left field, and if you’d heard Dany and Yara would team up before seeing it, you probably would have squinted your eyes in confusion and shrugged in disinterest. Yet here we are, loving this new alliance, and I can already hear the keys typing as fanfic rolls out in droves.

You don’t have to ship them romantically to ship them. Even Dany ships them, though it’s probably much more literal for her. Yara says all the right things to get on Dany’s good side, appealing to her feminist nature, and dissing their daddies. And like everyone else who’s come across Daenerys, Yara is clearly taken by the beautiful dragon lady.

It’ll be interesting to see how long this alliance lasts and what they can accomplish together, especially with the impending arrival of Euron and his 1000 ships. Hopefully it’s just the start of an entire lady takeover of all of Westeros.

Which surprising new team-up were you most excited about?

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