There is a reason that so many of us find Game of Thrones to be so addictive – it has an excellent ensemble cast. And by and large, the characters are all pursuing their own intriguing storylines (which, of course, overlap in some fairly intricate ways).
Given the detailed histories and story arcs that so many of the characters are given, the show seems rife with possibility when it comes to potential spinoffs. And given that the series is set to end in a couple years, a spinoff could actually happen sooner rather than later.
Here are 11 Game of Thrones Characters Who Deserve Their Own Shows.
11. Jaime Lannister
Ah, the Kingslayer. When we first see Jaime, he doesn’t come across as particularly likable. He pushes Bran Stark out a window because the kid catches him sleeping with his own sister. He’s known throughout the seven kingdoms for breaking his oath as a member of the Kingsguard and killing the Mad King Aerys Targaryen.
But as the seasons progress, we begin to understand that Jaime is more complex than that. He develops a friendship with his captor, Brienne of Tarth, and reveals to her that he turned on the Mad King was because Aerys was sacking King’s Landing and had ordered Jaime to kill his own father. Jaime sticks his neck out to save Brienne from assault and rape. He also expresses a desire to reunite Sansa Stark with what’s left of her family. And when his brother, Tyrion, is accused of poisoning King Joffrey, Jaime believes him, even though it’s not the popular opinion, and negotiates with his father to save his brother’s life.
Jaime is a complicated person – he’s done some pretty gross things in some instances, but at other times has shown more noble intentions, and that contradiction would make him an interesting protagonist.
10. Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys is one of the most compelling characters in the current television landscape. She begins her journey as basically a pawn of her brother Viserys, who trades her into marriage to Khal Drogo in exchange for the latter’s army, which Viserys needs to reclaim the Iron Throne for the Targaryens. But Daenerys refuses to be used, and quickly claims her own power.
After her brother’s death, she becomes determined to retake the Iron Throne herself, going from town to town and freeing slaves, most of whom join her cause. Daenerys is a formidable force to be reckoned with. She’s smart, confiden, and determined – not to mention the fact that she’s the Mother of Dragons. She also shows great compassion, and a desire to be a just leader who truly serves the best interest of her people.
9. Ned Stark
Yes, Ned is killed in the first season. But it would be great to have a prequel where we get to see the battle that took place before the events of the show, in which Ned fights for Robert Baratheon, Aerys Targaryen is ousted from the Iron Throne, and Robert takes over as king. It would be fun to get a glimpse of Ned in his younger days, as well as the Baratheons and the Targaryens (pre-Daenerys, of course). And it would be interesting to see how things went down with Ned and Wylla, Jon Snow’s mother.
8. Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion is an excellent character. He’s kind and non-violent, even when his father and sister pressure him to be otherwise. He’s smart and has a great sense of humor. He believes in love, having fallen in love with a prostitute before the events of the show, and then later falling in love with Shae. In fact, he loves Shae so much that he pretends to be uninterested in her, knowing the resentment and anger she’ll feel toward him, in hopes that she’ll leave King’s Landing and the dangers that surround her there. He also shows kindness to Sansa Stark and refuses to use her as a pawn to further the Lannister line, as his father wants him to do.
Tyrion is constantly mocked for his physical appearance, often called a “dwarf” and an “imp,” but he still understands his own true worth. And when he is accused of killing Joffrey, he tells his friends not to testify on his behalf, fearing that they’ll put themselves at risk if they do so. He’s born into a family that tends to value power over kindness, love, and friendship, yet he stays true to what he believes in.
7. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish
A spinoff about Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish would be a lot of fun, because Lord Baelish always seems to be involved in so many things at once. He’s a skilled manipulator, and knows just how to get the dirt on the people who could cause him trouble. He’s also not afraid to play the long game, patiently moving the pieces on the chessboard until everything is in place.
He’s a little sleazy and self-interested, but he’s not without depth. It even seems like he genuinely loved Catelyn Stark. While some of the other characters go about their pursuits of power either through overt violence or marriages of convenience, Baelish does so through skill and strategy.
6. Arya Stark
Arya Stark is awesome. At first glance, she should be one of the most powerless characters on the show. She’s young, living in a world where women and girls are not exactly respected, and she’s largely left to fend for herself for much of the show. Yet Arya shows more agency than many of the other characters. She’s determined to become skilled as sword fighting, and she uses her intelligence to get herself out of some tricky situations. She’s also not afraid to speak her mind, and her boldness causes many of the adults around her to take her more seriously than they would if she remained quiet.
Like Daenerys, Arya rises from a place of disempowerment and becomes a strong young woman, determined not to allow herself to be victimized. She’d make an excellent protagonist in her own series, possibly following her adventures after she’s learned all the lessons she needs to learn from the Jaqen H’ghar and the Faceless Men.
5. Brienne of Tarth
Brienne and Arya have a lot in common. They’re both unwilling to allow traditional gender roles to determine what they do with their lives. Brienne is frequently mocked for supposedly not being feminine enough, but she doesn’t really care what other people think of her. She lives her life as she sees fit. She’s also good at reading people.
Like everyone, she was told the stories about the Kingslayer, but she learns to see Jaime’s complexity. And, when Tyrion appoints his squire to accompany her, she sees the young man’s desire to do well and prove himself, and she allows him to help her with tasks she doesn’t actually need help with. Brienne isn’t tied down to any particular location, and she always seems to be going on an adventure – which would open up a lot of possibilities for a spinoff series.
Yet another great female character who doesn’t care about being a proper lady. Ygritte is snarky in all the best ways. She’s a skilled archer with a quick wit, who says exactly what’s on her mind. She values freedom and independence above all else. Yet she doesn’t jump to label Jon Snow a “crow” like the others wildlings. In fact, she falls in love with him – but she makes sure that their relationship, short-lived as it is, is on her terms. She’s open and honest about her sexuality, and is unapologetically herself.
Although she lives in a harsh world, and typically doesn’t project much vulnerability, she lets her guard down with Jon, showing her capacity for emotional depth. When Jon leaves to return to the Night’s Watch, she shoots him with three arrows, but doesn’t kill him. In all likelihood, given her skill, it’s a conscious decision to let him live, despite the fact that she feels betrayed and could easily have ended his life.
3. Jon Snow
Speaking of Jon… he really seems to have a heart of gold. He’s a skilled sword fighter and a strategic thinker, but still has an endearing innocence of spirit. Growing up, he was looked down upon for being the illegitimate son of Ned Stark. Although Ned treated him well and insisted that he live with the family at Winterfell, Jon was never really seen as having the same status as his siblings. But he doesn’t let the judgments of others make him cynical.
Time and time again, Jon is faced with tricky ethical questions, but when push comes to shove, he doesn’t allow others to draw him away from his own moral compass. He has a sword named Needle made especially for Arya and gives it to her as a gift, supporting her pursuit of sword fighting and demonstrating that he understands and empathizes with what it’s like to feel like an outsider. Jon is often faced with conflicting loyalties, and it would be fun to see him navigate more of these kinds of conflicts in a spinoff. Given his fate at the end of season 5, and the chance that he’ll be brought back in the upcoming season 6, it still seems possible that this could happen.
2. Lady Olenna Tyrell
Lady Olenna is a fun character because she calls it like she sees it. In a world where everyone else chooses their words carefully, in order to uphold at least the semblance of mutual respect (and thereby get whatever it is they want), Lady Olenna pulls no punches. She calls her deceased husband an “oaf,” refers to Joffrey as “that beast,” tells Tyrion he’s a “browbeaten bookkeeper,” and says that in her younger days, she didn’t want to marry a Targaryen in part because of his “ludicrous silver hair.” And on top of all that, she manages to pull off the murder of an evil king.
At one point, she tells her granddaughter Margaery the story of how she seduced her sister’s fiancé in order to get out of her engagement with the Targaryen. Clearly, Lady Olenna must have some excellent stories, and it would be fun to see a prequel where we get to watch the cunning shenanigans of her youth.
1. Catelyn Stark
Because Catelyn was among the people abruptly and violently killed at the infamous “red wedding,” any spinoff of hers would have to be a prequel. But that’s not a problem, because it sounds like Catelyn has had an interesting past. At one point, her sister Lysa tells Sansa about how Catelyn frequently indulged in sweets when she was young, and that her austerity only manifested after she married Ned.
By the time we see her, Catelyn has become a strong-willed, savvy character. We’d love to get a glimpse of what she was like as a young girl, and how she evolved into the more staid and formidable character we’re used to seeing.
Are there any other character who should get their own series? Let us know in the comments!