Two things before we begin. One – no, I am not going to do a Katy Perry joke at the end of this article. Two – if you are not up to date with your Game of Thrones, then do not read this, because I am going to have to stray into spoiler territory to truly sum up my love for these couples in Game of Thrones. The thing with this show is that it gets a little miserable at times. As in… oh shit, my favourite eight characters have just been bumped off for turning up to a wedding. However, in the darkest of places, we end up clinging to the light at the end of the tunnel, and these relationships definitely work as a place of hope for any viewers. Yes, sure some of them are horrifically pulled apart, but it is still impossible to not feel some form of love for them. Below are my five favourite couples, past and old. If you like this, stay tuned next week for the top five terrible couples in Game of Thrones.
5 – ROBB STARK AND TALISA
Bringing up the rear of this list has to be Robb Stark and Talisa. Yes, I think they are cute together, but they are a little bland compared to the other couples on this list. There are some moderate thrills when the pair of them first meet, trading barbs on a battlefield, and questioning their own morals. If they can find romance in a political debate surrounded by dead soldiers, then good on them! In truth, it is the wider story behind their love that gets you. In a sense, their romance killed off the Starks. If Robb and Talisa hadn’t fallen head over heels for each other, then Robb wouldn’t have backed out of his wedding to Walder Frey’s grand-daughter and provoked the wraith of Walder. Robb, a great leader on the battlefield, destroyed his House and army out of love. Sure, this might destroy the cuteness of this couple, but it does tug at the heartstrings that their happiness was so short-lived. And don’t tell me you didn’t let out a gasp of horror when the Red Wedding happened.
4 – SAMWELL TARLY AND GILLY
Samwell has been the butt of the joke of Game of Thrones for a while now. Even when he gets his own awesome moment, namely being the one person so far who has managed to take down a White Walker, he ends up being mocked for it, getting dubbed Sam the Slayer, rather than finding any kind of approval from his brothers-in-arms. Then Gilly came along. Gilly was the forbidden fruit right from the start, the daughter of Craster, and banned from cavorting with any other man than her incestuous father. Samwell felt dedicated to freeing her from the nightmarish life she was trapped in. He makes an unlikely hero, but his stubborn nature made him find a way to do what he wanted to do – protect Gilly and her doomed child.
But it’s not all over yet. There is something tragic in how Gilly is still in peril and Samwell isn’t quite strong enough to defend her. You can see his heart breaking whenever she gets sexually objectified by members of the Night’s Watch, yet he cannot quite stand up for her. Last episode, when he stepped in during a potential rape, solidified this. He had a chance to be her hero once again and he was beaten to a pulp. Despite taking on a White Walker, he is still the clumsy fool he was when he started. This is not enough to protect his love. Gilly’s protection feels a matter of luck, luck that is quickly running out, more than Samwell being the heroic figure. Soon this relationship is going to crumble and Samwell could be the next character who finds his chance at romance being crudely snuffed out from him.
3 – DAENARYS TARGARYEN AND KHAL DROGO
The strongest thing about this couple is that, despite Drogo being killed off in Season One, it is still one of the strongest pairings the show has to its name. It was an unlikely match, Daenarys, the timid heir sold to the brutish leader of a barbarian tribe. In fact, that first episode is an uncomfortable watch, as Daenarys was subjected to what only can be described as a rape scene. However, somehow, and this proves the great writing of the show, that initial starting point has developed into one of the cuter love stories in the world of Game of Thrones. Khal Drogo is actually a big softie inside and any scene that sees him try to learn the Common tongue, so he can communicate with his wife tugs at the heart-strings. Even now, a few seasons after Daenarys was forced to kill her own husband, any moment of the character brings you right back into the love story they briefly shared.
In fact, while there are some people who think that Daenarys should end up moving on and finding love elsewhere, I don’t think she ever could. Khal Drogo is an impossible act to top. As much as there is a part of you that wants Jorah Mormont to finally win his true love over, there is the sense that he is never going to top Daenarys love for her old partner. This is clear when we look at her other suitors. For every Daario Naharis, there is a Qarthian scumbag or a Meereen husband-to-be that looks pathetic in comparison. None of them are quite her Sun and Stars.
2 – CERSEI AND JAIME LANNISTER
This is where I am going to lose a lot of people. However, I love the love story between Jaime and his sister, Cersei. Admittedly it is done a lot better in the books. Jaime’s character is constantly thinking about Cersei and reminiscing about how he can never truly be with her. The show can’t quite constantly highlight how devoted they are to each other, but rest assured, they do truly love each other, even if it is hard to see through Cersei’s constant anger. However, you can still see their romance behind the steely poker faces. Think about how they have risked everything for just one more night together. The last two Kings have been unintentional frauds and in order for the Lannisters to keep their power and, more importantly, for the two siblings to continue with their incestuous love tryst, they need to keep this lie, which is spinning out of control more and more with every episode. This is apparently clear with the last episode, Cersei being thrown into a religious cell for committing this heinous crime – falling in love. There is something quite disturbing about how after all of the horrible things Cersei has done, she is punished for the one redeeming feature her character had.
Maybe that’s why I love them so much. Their characters, at least before they were expanded on, were rather nasty figures. The one thing they had going for them was each other. When Jaime was at his worst, he could make you forgive him with one reference of his ‘secret love’. Cersei’s anger is an extension of being trodden on for all of these years, forced into a horrible marriage, when all she wanted to do was abandon power (something that, otherwise, we could never see Cersei Lannister even considering), and run away to the far side of the world with her brother. Even now, this love is pretty much dead. Cersei sees Jaime as a long-lost ex, turning her hand to bullying and one-night stands, while Jaime crosses the world just to make his sister/lover smile one more time. They have lost the spark that made them whole and, as we spend time with this two half-empty characters, hollowed out by a world that couldn’t accept their pairing, it is hard not to feel some pity for them.
1 – JON SNOW AND YGRITTE
But I knew who my number one couple was from the very start. I am constantly struggling with who I have a bigger crush on: Kit Harrington or Rose Leslie. Who doesn’t love Jon Snow? He is so transparently honest, the one good person in the entire show, devoted to his brothers and honourable to the very end. And then there is Ygritte: wild, unpredictable, rough around the edges. They shouldn’t work, but that is what is so beautiful about their love. It was the briefest of relationships on this list, lasting surprisingly short, when you consider the timeline of the show. Jon Snow, undercover in the armies of Wildlings, fell for her. Their affair was short and wild, before it predictably erupted and Jon Snow found himself getting three arrows in the back. Puppy love, huh, folks!
In the books, whenever they are together, Jon Snow is constantly telling himself to stop. They will be your stereotypical cute couple and then Ygritte would say something so against his code that he painfully realised they could never be together. However, he couldn’t pull away. She was his love and he fooled himself into thinking that there could be a life for them beyond the wall. In truth, and this is why that scene is so iconic, their relationship is condensed into that one night in the cave. That is one of the few times they were truly happy. Perhaps the other time was when Jon Snow was crouched over her dying body and they shared just one moment of true love. Still not convinced that they are the best couple on the show? How about this clip?