Sunday, 19 October 2014

Game Of Thrones: 10 Characters That Must Not Bite The Dust in Season 5

Game of Thrones fans will be well aware that author George R.R. Martin has absolutely no qualms about killing off everyone’s favourite characters. Just as you're getting attached to someone; down comes a heavy handed sword, or out pops a random character to deliver an unexpected knife to the guts. After watching a few episodes of the first season, you'd have been forgiven for thinking that Game of Thrones was going to be the story of the heroic protagonist Ned Stark. Wrong – we should have known that Sean Bean, who played Ned, is notorious for dying in everything he appears in, regardless of how optimistic the audience might be about his chances.

Fans then witnessed the infamous events of the Red Wedding in season 3, and most recently had to suffer through the eye gouging fatality of another much beloved character in season 4. Now it’s time to start signing petitions, and doing whatever is necessary to stop George R.R. Martin and HBO from stabbing, slicing, hanging or decapitating any of these top 10 characters… before it’s too late! Game of Thrones fans may be suckers for punishment but, please, just leave these characters alone for a little while longer.

There will be no book spoilers here, but there is mention of many events that have occurred in season 4.This is just a simple but heartfelt plea that none of these characters, who are still currently alive in the TV show, are destined for destruction anytime soon.

10. Grey Worm

Formerly just another unnamed member of the Unsullied, Grey Worm is now a free man and leader of Daenerys' army. The Unsullied have lived terrible lives as slaves; they have been castrated, trained to kill without mercy and obey their masters unquestioningly. They are disciplined beyond any normal army and have been conditioned to see themselves as equal members in a terrifying mass of soldiers.

However, after Mother of Dragons Daenerys granted their freedom, Grey Worm rose up to become their leader. He, like his Unsullied brothers, is completely dedicated to the woman who freed him and prepared to die for her. Far more interestingly though, Grey Worm is also showing signs of getting a few sensations in the downstairs department. After catching a good eyeful of Daenerys' translator Missandei while she was bathing, it looks like there could potentially be a doomed love story about to catch fire. However, it will need time to simmer before Grey Worm (or Missandei) can be killed off.
Besides, it would be a great shame for Grey Worm to leave this mortal coil before we get to see him lead his army of Unsullied into a real battle alongside Daenerys' dragons. Bring on the war!

9. Jorah Mormont

Recently outed as a former traitor, Mormont was last seen being banished from Daenerys' side. He is now heading off on paths unknown and his destiny is uncertain. However, we all know how much he loves his Queen really, and how truly and deeply sorry he is for his former treachery. So, can we just give him another chance already? The fact Daenerys couldn't execute him for his past transgressions suggests she still has a soft spot for her closest adviser and confidante. Though there might be a pretty sizeable age gap between the pair, seeing them back together would be a romantic reunion to cherish.

Mormont has been there for his Khaleesi since the very first episodes. Their separation four seasons into the show comes as something of a blow to fans, especially those looking for a love story in amongst all the war, rape, murder and incest. Instead of killing off Mormont, wouldn't it be great to see him return to aid Daenarys when she most needs him? Perhaps he could ride in like a knight in shining armour and show her that he never stopped loving her. Or is that far too cheesy for Game of Thrones fans?

8. Stannis Baratheon

Stannis is always lurking in the background of the show, but he is about to become a far more prominent character as the story continues. Since losing his two brothers, Stannis has been the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. However, this claim has been consistently thwarted by the scheming Lannisters, most botably Tyrion and Tywin during the Battle Of Blackwater. Stannis must be burning with rage, so it's no surprise that he's hooked up with the Lord of Light, and R’hllor’s emissary Melisandre.

Stannis may have been responsible for the death of his seemingly far nicer brother Renly but in all fairness, Stannis is the older of the brothers and did have the most right to rule Westeros after Robert died. However, Stannis is not the most pleasant and charming character, and his dealings with the terrifying Lady Melisandre and her fiery sacrificial offerings are definitely dubious. On the other hand, Stannis could also be the best man for the job of uniting the Lannister’s enemies and seeing them run out of King's Landing. He was also pretty epic at the Blackwater and it would be good to see him donning armour and kicking ass once again.

7. Cersei Lannister

It can't all be good guys on this list and Cersei is neither good, nor a guy. However, she is one of the most watchable and fascinating characters left on the show. After the death of her son Joffrey at the Purple Wedding (and more recently her father Tywin), Cersei is now the really evil centre of King's Landing. With her constant scheming and her fierce protectiveness as a mother, Cersei is a force of nature to be reckoned with.

Cersei may be incestuous, insidious and morally repugnant but she is also played with relish by Lena Headey and a joy to watch. There was a worry that once Jaime, her lover and brother, returned to King's Landing that Cersei would soften and become boring in double-quick time. Hell no! Not this Lannister vixen. Finding Jaime a bit too armless, she is now the queen of put downs and comebacks, and the best villain Game of Thrones currently has to offer. Cersei is the meanest Lannister left in King's Landing and everybody knows it; a character we all love to loathe.

6. Syrio Forel

Bit of a cheat here perhaps. Syrio, Arya's sword/dance instructor from the first season, may already be dead as far as fans know. Last seen defending Arya at King’s Landing, if anyone could fight his way out of a corner when highly outnumbered, it would be Syrio. The man who taught Arya everything she knows about using that trusty Needle of hers, Syrio was a brilliant teacher and fighter. It would be a great shame if he did die at the hands of the Lannister men who came to take Arya away. His teachings still inspire Arya and she continues to benefit everyday.

More to the point, as much as it has been fun watching Arya wander around the countryside with The Hound episode after episode, it would be much more fun to see Arya hook up with Syrio. She could take some more sword fighting lessons and learn to take bloody vengeance on all those who have wronged her and her rapidly diminishing family. Please let Syrio still be alive and hiding out somewhere safe, just waiting to be brought back into action. After all, in the words of Syrio: ‘There is only one thing we say to death: not today!’

5. Petyr Baelish

As much as everyone hates this big pimping and manipulative scumbag, played with sly glee by Aidan Gillen, Littlefinger is emerging as one of the most volatile characters in the entire game of thrones. Nothing would surprise me less than Baelish winning the Iron Throne after everyone around him has killed each other off and he becomes the last man standing. He’ll be the one hiding in the shadows and orchestrating the entire massacre.

Let's not forget that this is also the man who engineered the murder of that little terror King Joffrey. He is now sheltering poor, innocent Sansa Stark while most of the rest of her family have been brutally dispatched. What is most exciting about Littlefinger though, is that he is so completely unreadable. He is capable of doing anything to save his own skin. He is deceitful, dangerous and one of the key players to watch out for going forward.

4. Brienne Of Tarth

Brittle, brave and ugly Brienne put up with endless taunts and quips from Jaime Lannister during their time together. However, she is the woman who slowly brought out the humanity in Jaime, a man who started the show by screwing his own sister and pushing a kid from a castle window. She may not be much to look at, and her loyalty may make her a little one-dimensional, but Brienne is the kind of character you cannot help but root for.

Whereas so many of the female characters in Game of Thrones are victims or evil villains (hello, Cersei), Brienne is loyal, noble and nobody's victim. Now she has a mission to find Sansa, but she seems to have been worryingly sidelined from the central action. Sansa does not seem to need rescuing so Brienne's journey with Pod doesn't have much urgency, which is bad news for all those who want to see Brienne back in the middle of the action. She is going to be a fascinating character in the future due to her divided loyalties, feeling bound to both the Starks and Jaime Lannister. Who will she choose to side with when the game of thrones turns into all out war? Will she survive long enough for us to find out?

3. Jon Snow

The bastard son of Winterfell and Ned Stark's flesh and blood. Jon Snow is the man who volunteered to take the black and become a man of the Night's Watch instead of sitting at cosy Winterfell. Now that Robb is dead and Bran is broken, Jon Snow is the real son of Stark to watch out for. He may be caught up in protecting the wall from wildlings but he is also the only brother of the Night's Watch to have lived with the free folk for any time. He is a man who belongs nowhere, but he is also a natural leader; brave and loyal to his friends and destined for greatness.

Jon Snow has recently lost his fiery red-haired wildling girlfriend Ygritte, but she has left him with a taste for the dark side of the wall and the fruits that the real North has to offer. More to the point, Jon still has Ghost, his snow white direwolf. Wouldn't it be great to see Ghost taking on white walkers on one side and Daenerys and her dragons on the other when it all comes to an eventual showdown? Yeah, thought so.

2. Arya Stark

It would have been easy to simply fill this list with the remaining Stark children. After all, who wants to see House Stark suffer any more after the deaths of Ned, Catelyn and Robb? However, Sansa is only just becoming interesting, Bran is nominally safe in the cave of the three-eyed raven, and Rickon seems to have utterly disappeared. Arya, on the other hand, has been an absolute gem since we first met her. A tomboy who cares more for fighting than pretty dresses, she knew Joffrey for what he was from the second she met him. She has also survived on her own against all the odds, since escaping King's Landing.

She is also one of the most dangerous and damaged individuals in the show. And no wonder – she witnessed her father's beheading and just keeps turning up too late to be reunited with her family members, as they all bite the dust one after the other. Poor Arya. All the while she is getting older, tougher and wiser and keeping that list of those she wants to take revenge on in her head. Please don't let Arya die before she can tick some more names off that hit list.

1. Tyrion Lannister

No surprise here, as everyone's favourite Lannister and Game of Thrones character was always destined for the top of this list. Tyrion is the most interesting, witty and wonderful character caught up in this whole messy game of thrones. He is also currently the character most at risk of losing his head. With a fantastic performance from Peter Dinklage and brilliant writing from author Martin and the HBO show's team, Tyrion has kept the wit and warmth from the books that makes him so special. He was a coward who showed his true bravery at the battle of Blackwater. He is the son of a father who never wanted him, and who everyone blames for the death of his mother. He is an underdog who is used to being kicked but is still smarter than all those around him.

Tyrion Lannister must not die. Not yet. Kill anyone else but not this little man with the big mouth. Now he has been saved from execution by his brother, he is going to be the most wanted man in all of Westeros (and beyond). Can Tyrion survive season five? You wouldn’t bet against him, but this is Game Of Thrones we’re talking about.

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