Love and loathing are at the very heart of Game of Thrones. But there’s room for romance to blossom – if you can just survive long enough! Equally, there are awful relationships you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. From the gruff Jon Snow to power hungry Cersei, relationships play a huge part in the wars and scheming throughout Westeros. Dead, or alive and still struggling for the iron throne, these are the 10 best and worst relationships we’ve seen in Game of Thrones:
Spoilers below: Season 7 Episode 6
The 5 Best Relationships in Game of Thrones:
1) Jon Snow & Ygritte
Fiercely independent, defiant and brave, Ygritte shattered Jon Snow’s stoic and sullen worldview to become one of the most loved couples in the icy North. Culminating in that unforgettable mountain cave, the pair brought out the very best in each other, crushing the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of Wildling versus Crow.
As we well know by now, few good things last in Westeros, and the tragic death of Ygritte in Jon’s arms said farewell to one of the couples we were all rooting for. To slightly soften the blow, Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte) are actually dating in real life!
Dating takeaway: “You know nothing” – so don’t be afraid to try someone new.
2) Oberyn Martell & Ellaria Sand
Passionate, playful and loving, dashing Oberyn and seductive Ellaria champion forward thinking Dornish views in their polyamorous bisexual relationship. Crushingly ended in the most brutal fashion at the giant hand of the evil-incarnate Mountain, Ellaria’s scream of despair leaves no doubt of the strength of their relationship, and remains haunting years later.
Dating takeaway: “It’s a big and beautiful world…” – make the effort to be exciting and passionate on your dating journey.
3) Gilly & Sam Tarly
Escaping together from White Walkers and the horrendous circumstances of Craster’s Keep, Gilly and Sam Tarly have somehow stumbled all the way north of the wall to Old Town. Though slow to blossom, the illicit Gilly-Tarly romance has grown into the most tender and wholesome coupling of the series. Worlds apart in upbringing and station, the pair have slowly but surely developed a quietly solid and honest partnership, with their contrasting personalities complimenting one another in unexpected situations.
Dating takeaway: “Life is irregular” – but honesty and empathy can get you through any situation
4) Brienne of Tarth & Tormund Giantsbane
Okay, we’re probably just projecting our own Game of Thrones fantasy on to this one, but the tension between one of the most formidable fighters in the realm and the fearless Tormund is already worthy of a top 5 relationship! From Giantsbane’s seductive eyes over a chicken leg to Brienne’s cringe-worthy awkwardness at the attention of her suitor, lets pray to the Seven that they both make it through alive…
Dating takeaway: “Don’t you mock me!” – if something doesn’t sit right with you, let it be known, in no uncertain terms; its better for both of you
5) Jon Snow & Daenerys Targaryen…?
The ultimate power couple. Ice meets fire, dragon meets direwolf, Khaleesi meets King. They’ve only known each other for 5 minutes, but with all the dragon stroking and clashes of personality, their chemistry will surely reach boiling point in the future? There’s the issue that Daenerys is most-likely-almost-certainly Jon’s aunt, but that hasn’t stopped the Targaryens in the past (or their real life royal counterparts).
Dating takeaway: Seize the moment, because you never know what lies ahead…(please don’t die horribly J&D)
The 5 Worst Relationships in Game of Thrones:
1) Sansa Stark & Ramsey Bolton/Joffery Baratheon/Petyr Baelish
Sansa Stark is the definition of a survivor. Forced and coerced into the most unsavory relationships in the series, Sansa has been through the crucible after being assaulted, misused and underestimated by the men she’s been paired with. After witnessing a modicum of revenge and justice being serviced to her tormentors, things appear to be looking up for her, as she emerges battle scarred yet somehow stronger from her terrible relationships.
Dating takeaway: “My skin has turned to porcelain, to ivory, to steel” – history is important, but ensuring you’re heading in the right direction now is what matters more.
2) Tyrion Lannister & Shae
Beginning with a slow burning affection and ending in betrayal and murder, Tyrion and Shae’s relationship is one of the most tragic in the show. Boldy disobeying the family patriarch, Tywin, Tyrion and Shae start their secret relationship in King’s Landing, where Tyrion slowly falls in love. Ultimately Shae pleads for the couple to escape to Pentos, however Tyrion puts his self-imposed duty before love.
This leads to a jealously fuelled sequence of events including a snubbed Shae falsely testifying against Tyrion – where he is sentenced to death – and later a struggle where Tyrion, fuelled by rage at continuous betrayal, chokes Shae to death. There were no winners in this sad relationship.
Dating Takeaway: (Shae) “Let’s take a boat to Pentos and never come back…” (Tyrion) “I can’t, I do belong here.” – dealbreakers in relationships should be addressed seriously
3) Lysa Arryn & Petyr Baelish
This doomed relationship was equal parts pitiful and heinous, with Lysa’s infatuation playing right into Petyr malevolent hands. While Baelish acted callously, revealing to Lysa that he had “only ever loved one woman…your sister” before he pushed her to her death, Lysa’s arrogant, hostile and sour disposition to all others bar Baelish made her intrinsically unlikable – although this likely wouldn’t have swayed Petyr’s feelings.
Dating Takeaway: “She’s just like her mother. She’ll never love you. I lied for you. I killed for you…” – blind infatuation and jealousy wont lead anywhere pleasant.
4) Cersei Lannister & Jamie Lannister
Cersei and Jaime have an absolute trainwreck of a relationship. There’s no doubt that there is deep love of some sort between the pair, however their choices have created an infinite amount of problems which have affected all of Westeros disastrously.
Incest aside, from dangerously begetting multiple illegitimate children to attempting child murder in order to keep their secret safe to sleeping together on their recently deceased son’s grave, Cersei and Jamie’s relationship is on the highway to tragedy.
Dating Takeaway: Passion in a relationship is great, but don’t get swept away in a whirlwind of irrational decisions you might later regret.
5) Stannis & Selyse Baratheon
Blinded by religious fanaticism, the pair abandon all sense of morality and justice under the thrall of the misguided red priest, Melisande. The chilling scene of the sacrifice of their adorable daughter Shireen is the final nail in the coffin of their humanity, where Selyse’s last minute repentance is too little too late.
Dating Takeaway: Keep a close eye on where things are going, and don’t let problems go unaddressed until it might be too late.