It may be an amazing show, but it isn’t perfect. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Game of Thrones Fails.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the times “Game of Thrones” failed, made a mistake, or didn’t live up to the books. Because we’ll be dealing with specific moments, there will be plenty of spoilers ahead.
#10: Benjen Stark’s Death
A member of the Night’s Watch and uncle to the Stark children, Benjen Stark goes missing very early on in the series, only to reappear in a slightly undead form in Season 6, when he saves Bran from wights. He makes a similar last second entrance to save the life of Jon Snow a season later, even appearing to sacrifice his life to buy Jon time to escape. What’s the problem then? Benjen insists Jon take his horse, as there isn’t time to come with him. Really? No time? Looks like there is plenty. Besides, you’re telling us they couldn’t both fit on the horse?
#9: Melisandre & the Not-So-Magic Necklace
The Red Priestess Melisandre is a powerful magic user and fanatically devoted to the Lord of Light. As it turns out, that devotion has spanned several centuries. In the Season 6 premiere, she removes her necklace, revealing her true appearance to be that of a decrepit, ancient woman, instead of the fiery temptress she usually appears as. However, the Red Woman was actually previously shown without her necklace several seasons earlier while taking a bath. Of course, there are a number of ways to explain away the discrepancy, but the simplest and most likely is that the showrunners messed up.
#8: Bran's Direction
Bran's depiction in the books and the television series are vastly different. For instance, in the most recent book, he is still in the cave with the Three Eyed Raven (actually a crow in the books), where fans presume he'll stay forever. But that's not the fail. The fail is that Bran's characterization in the show more resembles a zombie than a man. Like, the first thing you say to your sister after years of separation, is how beautiful she looked on the night she was raped!? REALLY, BRO!?! While we do understand that this story arc may serve the purposes of the show better, we still don't get why he has to be so emotionless.
#7: Recasting Too Many Characters
Speaking of suspending our disbelief, few things force us to do it as often as recasting new actors in character roles. “Game of Thrones” seems to feature this more often than most shows. It can be very distracting while watching a scene to suddenly find a character address a completely unknown person by a name we recognize. Actor availability and bigger prominence in the story are bound to necessitate new roles occasionally, but “Game of Thrones” has featured over a dozen big roles with new actors, such as changing up Daario Naharis. Some have been changed more than once, such as the infamous Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane, who as a result keeps getting bigger.
#6: How Did Arya Survive Her Stabbing By the Waif?
During her training to become one of the Faceless Men assassins in Braavos, Arya Stark makes an enemy of a fellow trainee, only known as the Waif. When Arya abandons her training, the Waif volunteers to kill her, approaching Arya in disguise and stabbing her viciously in the stomach. However, not only does Arya manage to get away, but she also gets patched up in around a day, and manages to endure a brutal chase through the streets of the city and is able to kill her opponent in the dark. We all like seeing our heroes triumph, but not when we have to suspend our disbelief this much!
#5: Stannis Baratheon
Speaking of Stannis, there is so much wrong with this character. First, he has no swag. In the books he's a actually a good military tactician, unlike his depiction in the show, where he's constantly bested; he's also a lot smarter, more pragmatic, and his character arc is more interesting. In this show, he is literally a shadow of a man. Then, he kills his own daughter because of bad weather and a hungry crew, as if it’s no big deal. Even the actor, Stephen Dillane, felt "disheartened" by his performance on the show. Finally, in a cruel twist of fate for an already disappointing character, he's unceremoniously killed off-screen by Brienne of Tarth for the murder of Renly. Seriously?
#4: Making Consensual Love-making Look Nonconsensual
We’re getting into the really cringe-worthy stuff now. While next to their dead son Joffrey’s body, siblings Jaime and Cersei Lannister have intercourse. As if this wasn’t gross enough, it also appears that Jaime rapes Cersei. In the books, while still incestuous, the sex is completely consensual. According to statements made by the actors and director, the scene was not shot or portrayed that way on set, making it likely to be an editing mistake. It’s never referred to as rape afterwards, nor is it fixed on home media, and the fact that it occurs in the middle of a redemption arc for Jaime is especially jarring.
#3: Fast Travel
Westeros and the world it’s a part of are vast in scale, although the show doesn’t always make them feel that way. Many characters are seemingly able to travel vast distances or between a variety of locations in a very short amount of time. Littlefinger has been guilty of it so often that fans have joked that he must have a teleportation device. While some discrepancies in travel time can be explained by the fact that not all of the events take place simultaneously, others require us to jump through some logical hoops that we shouldn’t have to. Season 7 has especially accelerated the pacing, while shortening travel times.
#2: Littlefinger Trying to Turn Sansa & Arya Against Each Other
During Season 7, a large part of the storyline at Winterfell sees Littlefinger trying to drive a wedge between the two Stark sisters, Sansa and Arya. This does seem like a fitting thing for Lord Petyr Baelish to do, given his sneaky and underhanded behavior, even if the arc did seem like it’d be easily resolved by the sisters communicating better. There’s a bigger issue, though – the show never explains why he does it! The scene detailing his motives was apparently cut. We know Littlefinger likes to keep his enemies in the dark about why he does things, but that doesn’t mean the audience should be too.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable, or in this case, dishonorable, mentions:
Barristan Selmy Wouldn't Meet His Demise by Unskilled Goons
Why Doesn’t Tywin Pursue His Theory About Arya?
Daenerys Wouldn't Feed Her People to Dragons & Force Someone to Marry Her
Why Melisandre Only Used Her Smoke Baby Trick Once
Are Euron’s Shipwrights Magical?
#1: Dorne’s Storyline
“Game of Thrones” has made some controversial storyline changes, but arguably its most disastrous was the storyline of Dorne. Westeros’ southernmost kingdom, the desert-filled Dorne features an exciting and complex storyline in the books. The series not only loses much of that excitement in the translation, but it also dumbs it down – a lot. Instead of the memorable characters, great action, and political intrigue present in the books, the show substitutes it with illogical motivations, none of the best characters, and slapdash fight scenes; hardly a fair trade. Let’s not forget, the Sand Snakes have arguably some of the stupidest moments in the history of the series, which is far from their depiction in the novels. We’re just glad it’s finished at this point.