As we hoist the banners and unfurl the dragons once more for Game of Thrones season 7, it is time to look back at the past six seasons of slaughter and swordplay. With two seasons of HBO’s hit show left, the end is definitely nigh and winter is certainly coming.
Since premiering in 2011, we have been treated to a veritable TV spectacular and some of the best-written characters to ever grace the small screen. Pulled straight from the pages of George R.R. Martin’s “Ice and Fire” saga, we have marveled at the fantasy epic - laughed, cried, and cowered. Stars like Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, and Lena Headey have brought Jon, Daenerys, and Cersei to life, but it hasn't always been an easy ride.
For every Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Sophie Turner, there have been those lost in their roles. Gendry was sent out rowing for four seasons, the Greyjoy family was also lost at sea, and does anyone remember how many direwolves are actually left in Westeros? Sometimes it just doesn’t work and characters are abandoned, given an early demise, or simply just vanish into nothingness.
With this in mind, who are the 15 Characters Game Of Thrones Wants You To Forget?
Oh poor Ros, Littlefinger’s brothel worker who spent three seasons slowly working up to being slain by Joffrey. Pretty much existing solely for a memorable Thrones death, we remember Ros being caught by a crossbow more than we remember Esmé Bianco’s performance.
Ros gets the dubious honor of being the show’s first just-for-TV creation. However, back in the raunchier days of Thrones, she was definitely part of the show's racy appeal. Let’s be honest, Ros was never going to be sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of season 8.
Reportedly impressed with Bianco's acting, Martin himself was once keen on writing Ros into the Ice and Fire novels. However, with her gruesome demise at the hands of Joffrey, don’t count on Ros popping up in The Winds of Winter.
14 Septa Mordane
While everyone remembers the formidable Septa Unella for giving Cersei her walk of shame, who can recall Mordane? The stoic and sassy guardian of Sansa and Arya Stark, Mordane only made it to the ninth episode of aeason 1, then joined Ned Stark’s head on a pike at the capital. Given the current state of the Stark kids, does Mordane win the award for worst teacher in Westeros? Quite possibly, yes!
To be honest, she would’ve probably been safer staying at Winterfell - well, maybe not. However, after accompanying the Stark girls to King’s Landing, the brave Septa saved Sansa’s life and sacrificed her own during Ned Stark’s attempted rebellion. Mordane was usually the beat down chaperone of Sansa Stark and was constantly badgered by the fiery redhead's affections to Joffrey.
Not that Mordane was a fan favorite, but annoyingly, she did a full Syrio Forel and met her maker off-screen. Audiences weren't really that bothered about Mordane, but we felt a little cheated when we realize it is her dripping head swaying in the breeze thanks to Joffrey’s sadistic streak.
13 Matthos Seaworth
Wait, Ser Davos has a family? With our gruff Onion Knight outliving the entirety of the Baratheon clan and becoming one of the favorite characters on HBO’s show, it is easy to forget the early days of the Stannis supporter. Making up a tiny part of season 1 and 2 was Davos’ son Matthos.
Kerr Logan’s character became so insignificant, he probably should’ve just been named Baratheon Bannerman #256. Pretty much the only thing Matthos had to do in the entirety of his run was write down Stannis’ declaration to war and mock his father for not being able to read. Then, serving as a crewman on his father’s warship, Matthos sealed his fate as we headed to the Battle of the Blackwater.
The irony of Melisandre’s words: "Death by fire is the purest death" ring true when Matthos was blown up by Tyrion’s stash of Wildfire. However, as a whiny and grouchy offspring with none of the qualities of his noble father, did anyone really notice Matthos has been missing since?
Apart from being mentioned in passing by Salladhor Saan, it seems that even daddy dearest forgets he had a son.
Forget the sprawling locations of the Stark kids, who has been keeping track of where the direwolves are? Not only boosting the sales of Husky puppies worldwide since the show first aired in 2011, those cuddly direwolves have become as much a part of the show as the Stark clan themselves.
Out of the six pups given to the Starks, these days it seems that only Ghost has anything to do. However, let’s remember the forceful Nymeria.
While Summer, Shaggydog, Lady, and Grey Wind have all headed off to meet the old gods and the new, Nymeria is still out there somewhere. As Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria was shooed away after she took a chunk out of Joffrey’s arm before even we knew what a little jerk he was.
Named after a fierce warrior queen, there is no surprise that Nymeria takes after her owner, and we can’t see Benioff and Weiss just leaving her out there as a loose end. Having Arya ride up to King’s Landing and slay Cersei while wearing the face of Jaime could only be made only sweeter by her having Nymeria by her side - you heard it here first!
11 Gretjohn Umber
As one of the biggest characters in Martin’s books (size-wise), Greatjon Umber didn’t quite meet this stature on the show. Appearing in only season 1, Clive Mantle’s portrayal of the Lord of Last Hearth had all the promise to become as great as his book counterpart. However, with a scheduling clash, Mantle was unable to return for season 2 and the character faded into obscurity.
While most of Greatjon’s scenes then went to Brynden Tully, you feel a sense of injustice for House Umber given how prominent they are in the books. We do know that Greatjon escaped the great massacre of the Red Wedding, only to meet an equally lame fate. Season 6 saw his son, Smalljon Umber, turn tail to House Bolton and casually revealed his father had died (before he could kill him).
Ironically, the books also have Greatjon survive the Red Wedding and he is currently held captive at the Twins. With the show character dead, and with Martin still writing The Winds of Winter, we don’t know what Greatjon’s fate will be, but expect it to be equally bleak.
10 Rodrik Cassel
Being remembered more for your facial hair than your actual character is never a good sign, but enter Rodrick Cassel and his impressive “beard ponytail.” With braiding that even a schoolgirl's mother would be proud of, Cassel was a long-term Stark friend and loyal knight of the realm.
As the Master-at-Arms of Winterfell, Cassel does have the honor of training Robb Stark, Jon Snow, and Theon Greyjoy in combat, but that didn’t exactly help him stay alive. In fact, it was at the hands of Theon that Cassel lost his life, losing his head during the sacking of Winterfell and a botched execution.
The books actually have a much larger part to play for Cassel and he is influential in an early Battle at Winterfell. It is here that the Boltons first betray the Starks and Cassel is slain by a young Ramsay Bolton - talk about a plot twist.
Although season 2 is the last time we see Ron Donachie in the role, Bran’s Greensight trip to the past showed us a young (and clean-shaven) Cassel training Eddard and Benjen Stark. We aren’t quite sure whether we miss him, though - or just his mutton chops.
9 Howland Reed
It's a name we hear over and over again, but we still haven’t got a clue about him. As the only remaining survivor from the Tower of Joy, just where is Howland Reed? Perhaps most frustratingly, we know that Reed is alive out there somewhere in both the books and the show.
We met his children Meera and Jojen back in season 3, but it has taken six seasons for Thrones to finally introduce Howland, and even then it was only a fleeting glimpse behind Ned Stark in flashback. Robb Stark was meant to meet with Howland, but well, we all know how that ended for Robb. The Reed patriarch from the novels is reportedly still camping out at his homestead at the Neck, and we have a need for Reed!
Jojen Reed may have sadly passed, but with Meera still around, there is a slim chance we could meet Howland again. Sadly, the path of Bran Stark seems to be moving further away from Winterfell, while Meera is hardly main character material. Admittedly, it might be nice to have another Stark supporter, but is there really any need to introduce an aged Reed into the show at such a late stage?
8 Qhorin Halfhand
Oh, a gruff Northerner assigned to the Night’s Watch - talk about breaking the character mold. Qhorin Halfhand was a legendary swordsman who gathered his name from a fight with a Wildling. As well as being a master swordsman, “The Halfhand” also survived an entire winter on his own, so he certainly sounded like a fan favorite in the making. However, what we actually got was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in season 2.
Qhorin seems like an age ago, and his entire storyline was simply to set up meeting Mance Rayder. In planning to set the Snow bastard up as a spy within the Wildlings, Qhorin was just another noble man caught in the crossfire of a Jon Snow storyline.The duel between himself and Jon Snow was all too brief and probably only remembered for his last words of "We are the watchers on the Wall."
There was nothing wrong with Simon Armstrong’s performance, but it was easily overshadowed by the time Ciarán Hinds came along as Mance Rayder. Considering he was a living legend of the Watch and their greatest ever ranger, none of this came through in Qhorin’s four-episode stint.
7 Illyrio Mopatis
As the big man from Pentos, someone with credentials as large as Illyrio Mopatis should be a huge name is Westeros, but fans of the show will likely be saying who? If you can’t remember, Illyrio appeared in the first and fifth episodes of the show and has never been seen since. However, as the man responsible for giving Daenerys her dragons and her story arc, surely that counts for something?
We never quite trusted Illyrio, especially considering he was the one who brokered the deal to “sell” Dany to the Dothraki and give Viserys the army he needed. He was later seen at King’s Landing, plotting with Varys, just before everything went wrong for the Starks. Since then, there has been the odd whisper, but no sign of Roger Allam in the role.
That being said, we do know that Mopatis is out there still scheming. There is a slim chance that Illyrio could return when remembering that Varys and Tyrion stayed at his house in Pentos during season 5. However, you have to feel that Allam would’ve reprised his role by now. That being said, Mopatis is one of the most important characters we all forget.
As the loyal handmaiden to Daenerys Targaryen, naive Irri was never long for this world. Played by actress Amrita Acharia, Irri was murdered during the theft of Dany’s dragons in season 2. Given that Irri is still by Daenerys’ side in the fifth book, it is strange to see that Benioff and Weiss axed her so early on.
With the likes of Daenerys, Jorah, and Khal Drogo being such memorable characters, the rest of the Dothraki have always fallen by the wayside. Just like the Khals who Dany burned in season 6, her early handmaidens became a nameless mass of disposable characters.
Whereas Doreah got a better villain arc and her vault death, Irri felt like she was just there to make up the background. That being said, she was originally supposed to be given a more dramatic send-off, and a deleted scene from season 2 shows Irri being strangled by Doreah.
Although there were rumors that Acharia was no longer able to work in the UK due to visa issues, she corrected reports and revealed that the writers chose to write her out. Nowadays, it is Missandei who takes on the role of Dany’s right-hand woman.
5 Salladhor Saan
For all the snowy backdrops and fiery dragons, Game of Thrones has always struggled to get its water-faring storylines right. While pirates could be some of the coolest additions to the show, we have so far had a lackluster Euron Greyjoy and a forgotten Salladhor Saan.
We last saw Saan in season 4 as Davos Seaworth once again tried to recruit him to Stannis' cause. Seaworth promisingly said, “See you at sunrise,” but we never did meet the pirate again. With Stannis long-dead, and Davos only ever recruiting Saan for that cause, could he ever return? Davos is certainly Team Snow right now, so as long as the Onion Knight is hanging around, there is still hope for Salladhor.
As the remaining forces of Westeros seem to come together against Queen Cersei and her possible alliance with Euron Greyjoy's fleet, Saan’s nautical skills could certainly come in handy for the show’s final years.
Pilou Asbæk may be tipping Euron as the next big bad, but let’s be honest, Saan is the most badass pirate in the Seven Kingdoms.
4 Edmure Tully
Languishing in a cell for a full three seasons, why did no one question where Edmure Tully was? Not only that, even his own father was willing to let his offspring rot while he returned to claim back his family seat. As the forgotten nephew of the Blackfish, and a bad shot with an arrow, Edmure gets the honor of being totally immemorable... twice!
Season 6 promised big things for the show with a return to the Riverlands and the great siege of Riverrun; however, just like the previous season’s Dorne plot, this was a stinker. While Brynden’s return as the Blackfish was underwhelming enough, the lackluster appearance of Edmure turned him into a spineless drone of the Lannister and Frey sources.
We’re sure that most would’ve liked the Blackfish to escape his fate at the siege of Riverrun, but sadly, it was his pitiful nephew who made it out alive. Riverrun was returned to the Freys and Walder confirmed that Edmure is still chained in his cell at the Twins.
To be honest, there isn't really any need to bring back the Tully heir again, but with Arya nearby, could she rescue her uncle?
3 Aeron Greyjoy
Quite frankly, the entire Greyjoy family has been largely forgotten by Game of Thrones, while brother Victarion has been completely retconned from the show. However, for those Iron Islanders who made it into the show, none is less memorable than Aeron Grejoy.
Affectionately known as “Damphair,” Aeron is the Drowned Man who serves the Drowned God, and has some pretty notorious brothers. As the third brother of Balon and Euron Greyjoy (fourth if you count Victarion), Aeron flew under the radar to avoid most of the troubles on Pyke. That being said, he has been there from season 2, when we first met Theon’s family - we just only met him in season 6.
Appearing in only two episodes, Aeron served mainly as a background character alongside Asbæk’s Euron during the Kingsmoot. The Aeron from the books has a larger part and eventually finds himself chained to the decks of his brother’s ship The Silence, fed nightmarish visions of his abuse as a child.
With the Greyjoys getting stronger as the seasons go on, who knows if Aeron will have a continuing part to play.
You can only imagine the conversation between Benioff and Weiss when deciding what to do with Gendry. “I know, let’s stick him on a boat" and let him carry on rowing. Presumably with arms now like Popeye, Joe Dempsie finally returns to Game of Thrones for season 7 after some four seasons at sea.
The skilled blacksmith and bastard son of Robert Baratheon is the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne, so we have high hopes for Gendry’s return. However, we have been here before, so let’s hope this isn’t just another case of Blackfish Syndrome and a lame off-screen passing.
We have no idea where Gendry has been all this time, or how the show will bring him back, but expect it to be one hell of a tale. As one of the few good people still knocking around in Westeros, Gendry surely means big trouble for the likes of Cersei, as well as the vengeful Melisandre, who was last seen scheming against him.
More importantly, perhaps Gendry’s blacksmith skills will come back into play. With the fight against the White Walkers looming, the boy from Flea Bottom could use those handy hands to craft us some Valyrian steel.
1 Ser Pounce
Forget pirates and heirs to the throne, there is only one character missing in action that anyone really cares about. Alongside the direwolves, there is another animal companion who has been away from our screens for far too long. Oh, where in Westeros is Ser Pounce?
The furry feline that belonged to King Tommen and escaped Joffrey's clutches, Ser Pounce only ever appeared in one episode of season 4. Pounce interrupted Margaery Tyrell’s lustful advances and it was a rare occurrence that she was actually outmaneuvered by a cat. He immediately became a fan favorite of the show and we haven't looked back since.
However, with the Sept of Baelor destroyed and Tommen leaping to his death, does anyone other than the audience actually care about Ser Pounce? Perhaps his only savior could come from the most unlikely of sources. Could Queen Cersei go full Bond villain and sit on the Iron Throne while stroking a cat? Otherwise, if Pounce is dead, perhaps Qyburn could make his own Frankenstein Mountain out of the pussycat.
This one is probably just a pipedream and Ser Pounce is forgotten to the ages, but who knows - stranger things have happened on this show!
Who is your favorite Game of Thrones character that everyone forgot? Sound off in the comments below!