Game of Thrones is undoubtedly one of the best shows on TV to date. The acting is the best of the best, the mythology is mysteriously captivating, and the cinematography sets new precedents for TV shows with every new episode that airs. The writers do a magnificent job hooking fans to each character they introduce, and in doing so, they’ve created the single biggest small screen fandom on the planet.
Like all shows, it suffers from the occasional plot hole that leaves many of us fans confused. No doubt that some of the smaller details of the show are meant to be left to the imagination of the fans. However, there are still a few standouts that defy the events and logic behind the storytelling. The show itself still continues to surprise fans and holds true to that magical mystery it’s so famous for – even for the book readers, as the show surpassed the events of the source material back at the end of Season 5.
Whether you choose to chalk up these miscues to sloppy storytelling or the divine but flawed vision of the Lord of Light, here are the 16 Most Glaring Plot Holes In Game Of Thrones.
16. Robb and Talisa’s Wedding Vows
One of the more subtle plot holes in Game of Thrones involves two of our most beloved characters, Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr. The problem that plagues the hardcore fans who noticed this little tidbit is the fact that the two are married by a Septon of the Seven. They even recite vows of The Seven before they’re wed…but neither of these people subscribes to this religion in the first place.
Where we begin to question this odd move by the couple starts with the individual backgrounds of each character. Robb Stark was a believer of the Old Gods throughout the series, as are the rest of the Stark clan (save for maybe Bran). Talisa grew up in Volantis, where both of those religions were extremely rare and unfamiliar. Then, as if they were devout followers of the Seven, Talisa and Robb recited their vows like they had known them their whole lives. Something doesn’t quite add up there.
15. The Waif’s Contradictory Rationale
The biggest thing Jaqen H’ghar continuously had to remind Arya about through the course of her training was that to truly become ‘no one’, she had to purge herself of all ties to her pervious identity, including her emotions. This leads to one of our hang ups with House of Black and White storyline (we have another still to come on this list): it was clear as day that the Waif not only wanted to see Arya fail in her training, but that she also had some sort of personal vendetta against her. She’s cruel to her throughout her time in Braavos.
It eventually comes to a head when Arya fails at killing the actress, Lady Crane. The Waif reports back to Jaqen, and he responds with disappointment. As the Waif waits for permission to kill Arya, she says, “You promised me.”
That right there shows the viewers that not only was the personal hatred for Arya very real, but that the Waif was just chock full of other emotions that don’t align with the followers of the Faceless God.
14. The Iron Born Ship Conundrum
The crowning of Euron Greyjoy as King of The Iron Islands was a major moment, one that was cemented in our memories when he turned to his men and told them: “Build me a thousand ships and I will give you this world.”
Flash forward to the latest season premiere, and we see that Euron has acquired the fleet of ships and that they are truly the best ships we have ever seen on Game of Thrones. However, with the arrival of this new armada also comes its own series of questions.
According to Euron, the only thing the Iron Islands have to offer is “rocks and birdsh*t“, so how is it possible that the shipbuilders have enough wood and resources to build this massive amount of ships? A fleet of ships this size would take tens of thousands to build, especially in their time frame. If it was this easy to build so many ships, why hasn’t anyone else done it?
13. The Case of the Disappearing Hounds
Theon and Sansa escape from Winterfell was certainly a thrilling one. Ramsay’s men and hounds easily catch up with them, however, and we see the hounds surround the pair. Just when we think they’re totally screwed, in comes Brienne and Pod to save the day.
The problem with this scene that turns a small detail into another subtle plot hole is the fact that once Brienne and Pod arrive on the scene and finish cutting down their enemies, the hounds that Ramsay’s men brought with them suddenly disappear into thin air.
Many may have overlooked this small detail due to the high-stress factor of the escape. However, knowing how Ramsay’s hounds live for finishing the chase, it’s hard to imagine they would just tuck tail and run for it. The most likely real-world explanation is that the showrunners didn’t want to have Pod and Brienne cutting down dogs on screen (not a great look for a hero), but as far as in-show answers, they’re sorely lacking.
12. The Crown of Gold
This one boils down to a more scientific question of how fast it takes to melt down gold. In season 1, we witness the straight-up gnarly fate of Viserys Targaryen, as he was executed via a pot of melted gold being poured over his head – ironically, due to the fact that he wanted Khal Drogo to deliver him his crown.
But the science just doesn’t add up. In the show, Khal Drogo has his men hold Viserys as he empties a pot boiling…soup?…and puts a few pieces of gold inside. A few seconds pass, and then we see that the pile has melted into a sludge of gold, which Drogo then pours onto Viserys, encasing his head entirely, killing him.
11. The Sand Snakes’ Teleportation
The Sand Snakes are a dangerous group that are capable of some seriously impressive feats. Questions were definitely raised when the series led us to believe that they were capable of teleporting, however.
This particular conundrum reared its ugly head in the season 5 finale, when Jaime, Bronn, Trystan Martell, and Myrcella Baratheon are all leaving Dorne. In this scene, we see the Sand Snakes on the dock with Ellaria and Prince Doran as the ship sails away. Jump ahead to the season 6 premiere, and we see Trystan in his ship quarters when two of the Sand Snakes enter and proceed to kill him.
How did they go from being on the dock to getting inside the Prince’s ship so quickly? Where did they go afterward? Why wasn’t there some sort of alarm? It leaves a hole in the story that doesn’t quite make sense.
10. Sam not falling victim to ice zombies
The biggest mysteries of Game of Thrones revolve around the legendary White Walkers, so their appearance on our list shouldn’t make for much of a surprise.
In the season 2 finale, we see Sam at the Fist of The First Men separated from his group, taking refuge next to a rock. We suddenly see a dead horse with a terrifying looking White Walker approaching. The undead ally of the Night King looks down at Sam, and the creature then lets out a high pitched scream. To everyone’s surprise, he continues riding away with the rest of the zombified army, leaving Sam alive and well.
Honestly, there’s no reasonable explanation for this as far as we can tell – especially given the fact that every time we see White Walkers and their army, they do everything in their power to kill every living being. So why does Samwell Tarly get a pass?
9. Travel Throughout Westeros
With every season of Game of Thrones that passes, it almost seems that travel for characters becomes as easy as hopping on a plane and having a direct flight to wherever they wish to go. Whether it’s Arya’s speedy journey from Braavos to The Twins, Danny and her dragons getting to Jon and co. before they were killed by the undead, or Varys traveling from Meereen to Dorne…then back to Meereen to sail with them to Dragonstone, travel has certainly become much easier in Westeros in recent seasons.
All of this can be chalked up to resourcefulness or even magic, but compared to other people’s trips which have been dragged out, it doesn’t quite add up. Of course, the real reason behind it is the show’s need to speed the plot along in order to wrap things up with the little time they have left on the air, but plot convenience totally doesn’t count and you know it. It also doesn’t explain what’s taking the Night King and his army so damn long to get to Eastwatch-By-The-Sea.
8. Arya Surviving The Waif
This plot hole comes down to a simple question that we asked the moment we saw it happen: how did Arya not die from being stabbed multiple times in the gut by the Waif?
Undoubtedly, Arya has become one of the toughest characters in the show. But that doesn’t resolve the issue of being able to recover from multiple stab wounds without a hitch. It seems unlikely that resting at Lady Crane’s home (for what, a few hours?) was all she needed to heal stab wounds. Arya’s ability to pull off some crazy parkour moves to get away from the Waif certainly didn’t make much sense, either, but the fact that she was somehow able to best her rival in single combat after all that is awfully plot-holey.
7. Will escaping the White Walker and journeying South
The first ever plot hole on Game of Thrones concerns the very first survivor of the White Walkers, Will, a brother of the Night’s Watch.
It’s hard to blame the guy for deserting his post, especially in a time when the existence of White Walkers wasn’t known by anyone. Unfortunately for him, he was caught on his way down south. He’s plot relevant in the fact that he’s the first to report on the Walkers from the viewer’s perspective. Regardless, it doesn’t make much sense how he got away from the White Walkers or survive the journey.
A lot of questions are raised in this instance; why did the undead let him walk away? If they didn’t, how did he escape them? How did he get so far south without dying? How the hell did he get over the Wall? Why does that guy in the middle look so much like Matt Damon?
6. Sam’s sudden realization
The most recent plot hole on our list once again stars Samwell Tarly, who
is was a Maester in training at the Citadel. The confusion becomes apparent when he comes across a map showing a mountain of dragonglass underneath Dragonstone. He goes on to tell Gilly that Stannis had told him about it before, but he didn’t think it was important, and that he needed to inform Jon immediately. Sam’s acknowledgement that he didn’t think that revelation was important back is a definite head scratcher.
In a world where dragonglass is so scarce, why wouldn’t the reveal of such a rare resource peek Sam’s interest? With its ability to destroy White Walkers, why wouldn’t you at least send someone to Dragonstone to see how much they could acquire? Why is that resource important now and not then?
Sam better not pull another ‘didn’t think it was important’ with that Rhaegar Targaryen reveal from earlier in season 7, that’s for sure.
5. The Winterfell Weather Anomaly
At the end of season 5, we see Winterfell and the surrounding areas covered in a deep winter snow. It’s part of the reason why Stannis’ forces were weakened and why Melisandre felt it necessary to sacrifice Princess Shireen at the stake (shudder).
Jump to when Jon and his collective allies are preparing their siege of Winterfell. Not only has the winter weather seemingly dissipated, but we see that the snow has magically disappeared. To go from heavy blizzards to no snow on the ground whatsoever is quite the abrupt change – unless Westeros has its own global warming problem.
4. Cersei’s Prophecy
In the season 5 premiere episode “The Wars To Come”, we see a flashback of young Cersei going to find Maggy The Witch. When informed via a vision that she will be queen, Cersei asks, “Will the King and I have children?” The Witch then informs her that the king will have twenty and she will have three. This is where we find our plot hole.
By the time of the pilot episode, Cersei has three children, Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella, all with blonde hair like the witch foretold. However, we learn later on in the second episode (when Cersei is attempting to manipulate Catelyn) that she and Robert had, in fact, had another child – a “black haired beauty” that she lost to a fever.
This completely contradicts the witch’s prophecy, as that brings Cersei’s baby count to four in all. Couple that with her major reveal from this season, and it’s become clear that this witch can’t count at all.
3. The Wildling’s Wildly Up-To-Date Information System
Another plot hole comes from up north beyond the Wall in the season 2 episode, “The Prince of Winterfell”. Ygritte the Wildling takes Jon Snow prisoner and takes him to the Lord of Bones. She then explains to him that her captive is the bastard son of Ned Stark, to which he responds by referring to Jon as a ‘dead man’s bastard’.
The Wildling army seem to have already heard about Ned’s death despite being thousands of miles north of King’s Landing and having no apparent lines of communication south of the wall. It seems very unlikely that news of something like that would travel so quickly to such a remote part of the northern reaches.
This one may be left up to reasonable doubt – with the assumption that maybe some wildling spies found this out, or perhaps even that their wargs helped them retrieve this information. However it happened, it isn’t addressed at all in the show.
2. Jon Snow’s Desertion
Deserting the Night’s Watch is a crime punishable by death, a fact that was made clear in the pilot episode. This makes the case that the Northern houses just seemed to forget the fact that Jon did in fact abandon his duties at Castle Black. There are a few reasons it wouldn’t make sense for everyone just to sweep it under the rug, even if he is (known as) Ned Stark’s bastard.
For starters, Sansa wasn’t present until Jon had already decided to leave, making her word on the subject almost completely irrelevant. Jon abandons the Watch on the grounds that he’d died, and that his duties were fulfilled. But the Northern houses would have to take the word of a deserter who let the Wildlings through the Wall and now occupy their lands. Are they really buying that?
1. The Wildfire Underneath King’s Landing
Our final nitpick concerns the large caches of Wildfire that were stored beneath the city of King’s Landing. It’s almost impossible to believe that no one in the city knew about it, especially Jaime Lannister and hyper-knowledgable guys like Littlefinger or Varys. Jaime was the one that killed the Mad King and his pyromancers, specifically because they threatened to ignite all the caches. Varys, meanwhile, was the Master of Whispers for a while there; he and Littlefinger pride themselves on knowing the dirty little secrets of those in power, and this is a pretty big one to overlook.
After the existence of the enormous stash of existence-threatening liquid was made public at the Battle of the Blackwater, we’re led to believe that…well, we aren’t led to believe anything really. It’s just sort of forgotten about until Cersei used it to destroy her King’s Landing rivals at the Sept of Baelor several years later.
No one thought it’d be smart to clear the Wildfire out from underneath the city? It’s hard to believe that folks would be alright with the looming threat of a city wide explosion at the drop of a candle.
What other Game of Thrones plot holes have you picked up on over the years? Let us know in the comments.
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