In Season 7, Game of Thrones mined some real dramatic gold from unlikely character pairings. The season finale had Brienne meet up with the Hound for the first time since she nearly killed him, and surprisingly, they came to a kind of mutual respect for one another. On the flip side, Bran Stark met Littlefinger for the first time, and while the late Lord Baelish tried to ingratiate himself to the young greenseer, Bran saw right through him and knew exactly what kind of man he was. Their meeting was brief but thrilling.
Throughout its run, Game of Thrones‘ has thrived on unlikely pairings. It makes you wonder: which other characters should meet to yield awesome results? And is this a good predictor of what’s to come in Season 8?
It goes without saying that there are loads of reunions we’re hoping to see in Season 8, such as Arya and Gendry, or Jaime and Brienne. But with just six episodes left and an entire war to depict, Game of Thrones must consider very methodically which moments of dramatic interaction it wants to show. So how do you narrow it down when there are still so many among the show’s sprawling cast who’ve never met at all?
PREVIOUSLY: What You Missed In Season 7
We have some ideas on who should come face to face with who. And some of them are just too good not to come true.
15. Arya & Cersei
They’re two of the most powerful women in Westeros. Each would kill the other without a second thought. And one of them has been plotting to kill the other for years.
What would happen if Arya Stark met face-to-face with Cersei Lannister? There’s no need to guess what Arya would do: she’d whip out that fancy Valerian steel dagger and go straight for Cersei’s throat. But so many others have underestimated Cersei — the queen’s got more enemies than Taylor Swift — and it ended badly for all of them. At the very least, Arya would have to get past Ser Gregor, aka the (Zombie) Mountain. But fans know Arya can’t be the one to kill Cersei, despite how badly she wants to, because of that pesky prophecy that states Cersei will die at the (literal) hands of one of her brothers.
But what would these two would discuss before the fireworks begin? Arya might run down a list of Cersei’s many crimes. Cersei would go for the jugular by insulting Arya’s entire family. Whatever they talk about, it’ll be utterly delicious. Arya has just as sharp a tongue to go with that sharp sword of hers, and Cersei’s capacity for verbal sparring is known far and wide. In a word: a meeting between these two would be killer.
14. Melisandre & Qyburn
She’s magic. He’s science. Yet both of them have managed to reanimate the dead. How fascinating would it be to see them compare notes?
But as much as they might like to share ideas, there’s no way a meeting between them would go well. They both have too many psychoses for that. Melisandre would see Qyburn’s science as inferior to the power of her Lord of Light. Qyburn, on the other hand, would see her faith as unnecessary superstition, though he’d want to know all he can about whatever power she’s tapped into. He’d have no problem adding those skills to his twisted arsenal of pseudo-science and alchemy.
Melisandre’s resurrection of Jon Snow produced far superior results than Qyburn’s grotesque work on the Mountain. Jon was restored to actual life, while Ser Gregor became an undead abomination. One thing they’d have in common is a desire to learn how the Night King reanimates his army of wights.
13. Missandei, Podrick, & Gendry
The advisor/translator. The squire. The apprentice. They’re the people that assist and serve the stories of the main characters. They rarely get anything all that juicy to do (although Missandei did get a decent storyline and romance of her own in Season 7).
So what kinds of things might these “background players” talk about, if they ran into each other behind closed doors? A famous episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation focused on low-ranking officers and how their lives and careers were affected by — and sometimes how little they knew about — the daily decisions made by those in command.
Westeros is not the Enterprise, but you could see similar commiserating happening between these characters who don’t get to make any of the big, important decisions. Podrick might complain about Brienne’s impatience in teaching him to fight. Missandei seems very happy serving and being a friend to Daenerys. But doesn’t she dream of settling down with Grey Worm after the wars are over? Gendry would probably gripe about being left out of the loop and the action for a few years.
12. Jon Snow & Bronn
Is there anyone that Jon Snow hasn’t come face to face with yet? His bucket list of famous Westeros residents was pretty much ticked off in its entirety in Season 7. Even those he hadn’t met personally, he spent a short while in the company of at the Dragonpit meeting.
The only character we could think of that Jon hasn’t spent any real time around is Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. The self-serving but somehow still likable sellsword-turned-Commander of the City Watch has often served as an audience stand-in, saying most of the off-the-cuff things that viewers are thinking. Jon, on the other hand, is the show’s beacon of unwavering virtue, sincere almost to a fault.
Think of it this way: it would be a short-fused meeting between the ultra-cynical and the über-sincere. What could go wrong? (Secretly, we’d also like to see a meeting between Bran and Bronn, but only because it’s fun to say.)
11. Varys, Theon Greyjoy, & Grey Worm
Genital mutilation is an alarmingly common practice in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world. You’ve got Lord Varys, who lost his manly bits as a child when a sorcerer burned them in a dark magic ritual. There’s the legendary, highly disciplined army from Astapor called the Unsullied – they’re castrated at the age of 5 so that they’re not distracted by lust and therefore more efficient and disciplined soldiers. And then of course there’s poor Theon Greyjoy, who was tortured and emasculated at the sadistic hands of Ramsey Bolton.
Despite this, many of these individuals have proven that their lives still have plenty of value. Varys is largely to thank for Daenerys’ long-term survival. Theon is on the path to redemption by aiding his sister, and planning her inevitable rescue in Season 8. And Grey Worm managed to have a genuine romance with Missandei, in spite of everything.
10. Tyrion Lannister & Samwell Tarly
Member of a powerful House. Grew up under the thumb of a cold-hearted father’s hate. Lacks the skills most valued by society — namely, strength and courage on the battlefield. Cut off from family and unwanted.
These words could describe Tyrion Lannister or Samwell Tarly, but the biggest common space between them is easily their daddy issues. Tywin Lannister ruled his House with an iron will and a deep resentment for his dwarf son. Randall Tarly sent his son Sam, who he saw as cowardly, to join the Night’s Watch at Castle Black, despite being a rightful heir to House Tarly.
But both of these men outlived their fathers (Tyrion actually killed his), and have come to be important figures, with significant influence over Westerosi events. At the very least, they’d understand each other in a fundamental way. They might even have a shorthand that keeps them from having to go into detail.
9. Bran Stark & The Hound
Of course everyone wants to see the Hound reunite with Arya. Maybe they’ll even kill some wights together. But as long as he’s at Winterfell, Sandor might as well take a few minutes to walk out to the big tree and meet Arya’s brother, Bran.
It may seem like an odd pairing. But think about it: Sandor Clegane is a man with a destiny, and Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven, has a monopoly on advising people on things like destiny. Frankly, there are plenty of people we’d like to see Bran encounter and offer some supernatural insights to. But the Hound offers some tantalizing possibilities.
The Hound’s storyline will end in a fight to-the-death with his brother, Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane. They’ve hated each other since childhood, when Gregor viciously burned his brother’s face for playing with one of his toys. They’ve both been through a lot over the years; Gregor is an undead shadow of what he once was, while Sandor’s experiences after abandoning the King’s Guard have molded him into a much more sympathetic man who cares about doing the right thing. The Season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” went out of its way to give fans a reminder that the showdown between these two, lovingly dubbed “Cleganebowl” by fans, is definitely going to happen.
But what if Bran had some important information about Cleganebowl to give to the Hound ahead of time? Maybe Bran could take viewers back to that fateful day when Sandor’s face was burned by his brother. Or perhaps he could reveal exactly what Qyburn did to Gregor, providing a potential weakness for Sandor to exploit.
8. Varys & Sansa Stark
For years, Lord Varys served on the Small Council of the King, verbally dueling his counterpart, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, on a regular basis. Varys once confessed that he actually enjoyed his antagonistic relationship with Baelish, even though he knew what kind of man Baelish was and what he was capable of.
All that ended some time ago, when Varys defected to Essos to serve Daenerys Targaryen. Which was not far removed from when Littlefinger departed King’s Landing to seize power in the Vale. Needless to say, they haven’t seen each other in years.
And now they never will. Thanks to the machinations of the surviving Stark siblings, Littlefinger has been tried and executed for his numerous treasonous crimes. Sansa, Lady of Winterfell, oversaw this. While it seems unlikely that Varys will cry foul at the news of Baelish’s death, meeting the woman responsible for that death could be unsettling. And for her part, Sansa is unlikely to ever trust anyone that served alongside — and tolerated — Littlefinger. In many ways, she’s Baelish’s protege, a fact that should unnerve Varys to no end.
7. Samwell Tarly & Qyburn
Whatever you may think of Qyburn and his creepy interests, there’s no denying that he’s got a brilliant mind. Lord Commander Jorah Mormont once told Sam Tarly that “you may be a coward, but you’re not stupid.” He’s since proven that Mormont was wrong about that first part, and that he made a huge understatement on the second.
Both Qyburn and Sam have had very limited contact with other characters in the Game of Thrones saga, as their stories have been closely tied to that of others. Qyburn has been a loyal servant of Cersei’s for years, and Sam is Jon Snow’s best friend and most loyal compatriot. But if allowed to function on their own, they’d easily qualify as two of the smartest people in all of Westeros.
Yet aside from intellect, they have nothing in common. Sam wants to help Jon save the world, while Qyburn seems mostly interested in furthering his dark perversions of nature. Sam has a heart of gold; Qyburn’s is… dark gray, at best. Still, you can’t help wondering what would happen if they put their considerable intellects together, particularly in pondering the most efficient way to end the threat of the Night King.
6. Ser Davos Seaworth & Cersei Lannister
Here’s an odd couple if ever there was one. Technically, they were both present at the Dragonpit meeting, but they never interacted. So imagine a situation in which the two of them somehow find themselves staring one another down, without backup or help from anyone else.
Cersei is a highborn noblewoman who’s very capable of eloquently expressing her hateful personality and acid tongue. She took a backseat to men for most of her life until she seized the throne for herself, finally satiating her lifelong thirst for power. Davos, on the other hand, is one of the few virtuous characters on Game of Thrones, with no interest in power at all. He backed the wrong horse in Stannis Baratheon, but that was really no fault of his own. Davos has a good heart and deep sense of right and wrong. And he’s also quite capable of expressing himself, though he foregoes fancy political talk and lays out the facts in common sense language, cutting right to the chase.
Now imagine watching Davos and Cersei go at it with their strongest assets words. Her higher education and keen Lannister intellect would have a clear advantage over Davos… Or would it? Just think how gratifying it would be to watch Davos put Cersei in her place using nothing but a few simple but powerful words.
5. Daenerys Targaryen & Sansa Stark
Two powerful women, each strong-willed and not easily swayed. They’re fighting on the same side of history, against the White Walkers, so you’d think their respective strengths would be an asset to the cause.
What’s the one thing that could easily come between them? Jon. Daenerys is in love with the dashing young warrior king, while Sansa has been struggling with feeling marginalized by (the man she believes to be) her brother. Jon returning home to Winterfell with Daenerys on his arm, having already sworn loyalty to her, and without consulting his sister, no less… There’s just no way that’s going to sit well with Sansa.
Hopefully the White Walker invasion will arrive fast enough that the tensions between these two will cool quickly. They certainly have bigger problems to deal with. And you can kind of see them coming to respect and like each other in the end, the way Daenerys and Yara Greyjoy did. But don’t expect them to be best friends at first sight.
4. Ser Jorah Mormont & Lyanna Mormont
Honestly, watching young Lyanna Mormont encounter just about anyone she hasn’t met yet from the main cast would be must-see-TV. Her strong mind, stronger will, and fiery tongue can easily size up any newcomer, pegging them in a snap. She always speaks her mind and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
The one person we really want her to meet up with is Ser Jorah, a man who is her own blood kin. Had he not disgraced his family by selling slaves, Jorah would be ruling House Mormont now instead of Lyanna. But he fled from that responsibility (and Westeros) years before she was born.
Show of hands: who thinks the life of penance Jorah’s lived since his fall from honor would in any way keep Lyanna from giving him a piece of her mind? Family may be all-important, but nothing matters more to Lady Mormont than honor.
3. Bran Stark & Daenerys Targaryen
Dany is currently sailing north alongside her new lover, Jon. They’re headed for Winterfell, where most of the remaining characters seem to be converging in Season 8 — and likely the place where the Great War will be won or lost.
Unbeknownst to Daenerys, she’s in love with her own relative: he who must not be named Aegon Targaryen. Who does know this key piece of information? None other than the new Three-Eyed Raven, Brandon Stark. Bran is also Jon’s adoptive brother, and has lost any semblance of tact in the information he reveals. Do you see where this is going?
Bran and Jon may know each other very well, but Bran and Daenerys have never met. And boy howdy, what a way to meet for the first time. “Your new boyfriend is really my cousin instead of my brother, he’s heir to the Iron Throne, and oh yeah — he’s totally your nephew.”
2. Tormund Giantsbane & Jaime Lannister
Forget the Battle of the Bastards, we want the Battle for Brienne.
For Tormund, it was love at first sight when he beheld Brienne of Tarth. He never hid his affections, making eyes across the courtyard and grinning like a lovelorn idiot every time he saw her. She has yet to show him anything other than disgust, but Tormund has been undeterred.
Jaime’s relationship with Brienne is much more nuanced. The formerly cold-hearted knight showed a softer side when Brienne escorted him home to King’s Landing after his captivity in the north. At first the two of them couldn’t stand each other, but Brienne grew to respect him greatly and has even shown concern for him and his well-being. It’s pretty clear that Jaime sees her the same way.
Is it love — in either case? Probably too early to call it that (except for Tormund’s feels). But Brienne is going to be happy to see Jaime when he parks at Winterfell’s gates, especially since he finally grew a pair and ditched Cersei. Like both Tormund and Brienne, the Kingslayer is now single and available. The math is pretty clear here. But no one is going to have time for a love triangle thanks to the invasion of the dead.
Who would Brienne’s prospects be better with? Jaime understands her better, but he’s likely to play a bigger role in the Great War, which makes him more likely to die in the end. Jaime may be the emotional favorite, but logically, she should set aside her revulsion and go for it with Tormund. He may be uncivilized, but he’s a survivor.
1. Bran Stark & Jaime Lannister
These two have met once before. Just once, in a very important and infamous scene at the end of the series pilot. But that’s what makes this meeting – or reunion – one that we’re dying to see.
In the pilot, Bran was enjoying a favorite pastime by climbing Winterfell’s outer walls, when he stumbled upon a tower room where Cersei and Jaime were doing incesty sex. At the time, their affair was a deeply held secret, so at Cersei’s prompting Jaime shoved Bran out the window, causing him to fall several stories to the ground. The attack left Bran permanently paralyzed from the waist down, and painted Jaime as a very unlikable character.
The thing is, neither of these men are the same person they were when that fall occurred. The Jaime of Season 7 and 8 is a better man, someone who would never selfishly shove an innocent boy out of a window. Likewise, Bran has a newfound perspective on pretty much everything there is, having gained wisdom and knowledge as the Three-Eyed Raven, but lost much of his personality.
Game of Thrones won’t overlook this perfect opportunity to bring the show full circle by revisiting a key plot point. These two haven’t been together since the pilot, and time is running out. Will Jaime show remorse and ask for Bran’s forgiveness? Will an emotionless Bran give it? Will their encounter drip with unbearable tension?
Let’s hope so.
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