So much of the drama of Game of Thrones revolves around secrets and intrigue. The mysterious, motivations, abilities and backstories of many characters have driven the plot of this political fantasy epic. Some of the characters have remained mysterious over the course of the whole show while others have made a more recent enigmatic entrance.
Especially given the long theorized character return in “Blood of my Blood,” were taking a closer look at the characters who have the biggest question marks hanging over them. Some of them are more interesting curiosities, but some of them carry mysteries that could be the key to arc of the whole series! Here are 12 Game of Thrones Characters We Know Nothing About.
Be warned, this list is dark and full of SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season 6.
12 THE WAIF
This sour little priestess of the Many Faced God has had it in for Arya ever since she set foot in the House of Black and White. Though she doesn’t appear to be that much older than Arya, she seems to have mastered the neutral demeanor and ageless quality of the Faceless Men.
Who was she before she became a Faceless Man? In Season 5, she spun a tale of once being from a noble house in Westeros herself. Her father became a widower when she was young and remarried a very jealous woman who tried to poison her, so she sought the help of the Faceless Men and eventually joined them. We have no idea how much of that is true or how much the Waif was tricking Arya, though it might explain why she’s so critical of Arya.
Aren’t the Faceless Men supposed to be emotionless or is derision and competition permissible as long as it’s between “no one?" With Arya decidedly failing her assassination missions twice, it looks like the Waif will have her chance to be rid of Arya soon.
11 “MAESTER” QYBURN
We first encountered Qyburn in the ruins of Harrenhal, where he treated Jaime’s infected stump of a hand in the custody of Roose Bolton. He made his way back to King’s Landing with Jaime and has since been a resourceful and loyal servant to Cersei. He’s done quite well for himself considering the Archmaesters of the Citadel kicked him out because they thought his experiments were abhorrent and immoral.
He justifies his gruesome experiments on living people through the idea that the suffering of a few can be used to save the lives of many. But so far we haven’t seen him use that knowledge for much good. He reanimated Gregor Clegane after he was poisoned by Oberyn Martell, and he’s taken charge of the little birds of King’s Landing to help with Cersei’s schemes, but neither of those things will be for the good of anyone except the ruling Lannisters.
We know pretty much nothing about how Qyburn developed these curiosities. Working for Cersei has clearly provided him with free reign and opportunities, but we don’t know how his amoral practices will ultimately affect the course of the show. Ultimately, it will be interesting to see if he's more loyal to the Lannisters or to the people of Westeros.
10 THE HIGH SPARROW
When the High Sparrow first appeared in King’s Landing, he seemed a devout and humble leader of a herd of commoners, nothing more. Cersei saw his boldness in accosting the current, decadent High Septon and set Loras and Margaery Tyrell squarely in his sights. But Cersei's trust that the High Sparrow would be loyal to her after the Tyrells were imprisoned was sorely misplaced.
The thing about the High Sparrow that makes him fairly unique among the Game of Thrones players is that his agenda is as plain as day. He wants to advance the faith and serve the Gods. The other thing that makes him so dangerous is that, for all his piousness, he’s surprisingly keen on the weaknesses and insecurities of those he’s outmaneuvering, including Cersei, Tommen and Margaery.
How did he get the sense for this game that so far has only been the domain of the high-born? He’s told us the tale of being a well-to-do cobbler’s son, but there’s got to be more to his experiences than that.
9 HOWLAND REED
We first met Howland Reed’s son and daughter, Meera and Jojen, in season 3 when they sought out Bran and his companions in the North. Bran and Jojen discussed the fact that their fathers, Ned and Howland, fought together during Robert’s Rebellion, and we finally got to see them fight side by side when Bran and the Three Eyed Raven witnessed the battle at the Tower of Joy.
Howland saved Ned’s life by stabbing Arthur Dayne in the back after h'd disarmed Ned. He also presumably followed Ned up the tower and witnessed whatever mysterious event transpired there. The show is obviously keeping it ambiguous, but many book reading fans are convinced that we could learn about the true parentage of Jon Snow if we could revisit that fateful day in more of Bran’s visions.
Howland Reed may be the last currently living person who knows what happened at the Tower of Joy that day, tough his current whereabouts are unknown. We imagine he urged his children to find Bran himself, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up on the show this season or next.
8 THE THREE EYED RAVEN
Presumably, there was a time when this seer wasn’t rooted beneath a tree so far north of the Wall. But any knowledge about this being’s past life has faded into obscurity. His extraordinary vision does let him observe the goings on all over the world and across time, and he even communicated with another budding seer in Brandon Stark.
It’s not exactly been explained how Greensight works, but it does seem to have something to do with the weirwood trees. The Three Eyed Raven and Bran had their most stable and profound visions when connected to these trees. The biggest mystery surrounding the Three Eyed Raven is why exactly he reached out to Brandon Stark and brought him so far north. What knowledge will he gain and how will it be used to stop the White Walkers?
The Three Eyed Raven himself obviously couldn’t use whatever knowledge he gained to stop them. Was that because he was rendered immobile? It's not like Bran's much more so -- he's still paralyzed from the waist down. And what about that promise of flying? Was that meant to be literal or just a figurative way of talking about time hopping? So many questions!
Varys’ history and motives have been filled in somewhat as the show has progressed. When we first met him in King’s Landing, we had no idea what his real agenda was. We spotted him arranging various players for various schemes, claiming to “serve the realm” in slightly more candid moments.
Only recently did it seem like his ultimate goal had finally become clear. He thinks that Daenerys Targaryen is the world’s last best chance to find a just and noble ruler who can protect the realm and unite the people. The implication is that he’s been loyal to the Targaryens the whole time, even though he says that he’s earnestly tried to steer Robert Baratheon and Joffrey towards better reigns. Though often that meant going behind both of their backs.
The biggest mystery surrounding Varys is how exactly he built up such an effective network of spies and informants. How did he work his way up all the way to the Red Keep after being mauled by a sorcerer? Why is he convinced that Daenerys or the Targaryens in general will be the best rulers? If only we could see him when he first served the Mad King or actually conversing with his little birds.
6 JAQEN H’GHAR
When he was first introduced to Arya in Season 2, the man named Jaqen H’ghar seemed to be the most lethal man in the Seven Kingdoms. He was capable of assassinating high ranking officers in Tywin’s army without any one but Arya knowing.
The young Stark eventually sought out Jaqen’s training in Braavos, where the mystery surrounding his powers and identity only deepened. Jaqen isn’t even his true name, he only calls himself “a man.” And his face is probably not even his real face, but a recognizable visage he’s using to appear to Arya.
How do the Faceless Men attain such astounding powers of stealth and immortality? And with Arya, what is the mission of the Faceless Men? They apparently sell their services but do they have any long term goals or agendas? Does their dedication to being no one truly divorce them from any agency? Will Arya survive long enough to use what she’s learned for her own goals? Valar Morghulis is pretty much the only thing we know for sure here.
Much was revealed about Melisandre’s character in the early part of Season 6. She's evidently aged far beyond what her usual appearance suggests, and the return of Jon Snow has been a turning point for her faith in the Lord of Light.
But what about the First Priestess of R’hllor? Kinvara seemed all too eager to set her priests about Meereen glorifying Daenerys. We’ve seen other Red Priests exalting Daenerys in Essos before. But that doesn’t explain how Kinvara knows so much about both Varys and Tyrion. Does she have her own flame visions?
Varys brought up the interesting point about Melisandre and her interpretation of the Prince That Was Promised. Is there any kind of schism in the Red Priests or was Melisandre one rogue agent? And if Melisandre could bring Jon back and conjure demon assassins, how powerful is Kinvara as the highest priestess of R’hllor in the world? She may have only been recently introduced (hence why we know so little about her), but she could have a big impact in Meereen.
4 THE NIGHT KING
We had brief glimpses of this regal looking White Walker in recent seasons, but we got our first major demonstration of the Night King’s power when his wights swarmed the Wildling settlement Hardhome. When all the living left on the shore had succumbed to the undead onslaught, the Night King recruited them all from the grave just by raising his arms. We’ve seen him quell enchanted fire with his mere presence and mark Bran in the present -- even through his visions.
We’ve also recently learned that the Night King was created thousands of years ago by the Children of the Forest. The White Walkers were made to be a weapon of self-defense, a scourge on the world of Men. Does the Night King know of his own origins? Does it matter to him one way or another? Is there anything in the world to him other than to make more of his own kind?
Who can say? Dragonglass, the substance that created them, seems to be their only weakness, along with Valyrian steel blades. If the ratio of White Walkers to wights is any indication, you may only need a few to kill them. If you could get through their massive army.
This jumped up bean counter has caused more death and suffering for our heroes than any other character in the series. It was revealed in a disturbing little moment between him and Lysa Arryn in season 4 that he fabricated the letter that made the Starks suspicious of the Lannisters in the first place.
Since then he’s served up Ned to the Lannisters on a silver platter, tipped off the Lannisters to arrange Sansa’s Marriage to Tyrion, conspired with Lady Olenna to assassinate Joffrey, pushed Lysa through the moon door and married Sansa off to Ramsay. Not to mention becoming the effective Lord of the Vale. Has all this been an egomaniacal power grab because he was repeatedly spurred by Catelyn Stark? Is there any part of him that genuinely cares about Sansa’s wellbeing as more than just a moldable replacement for Catelyn?
The scariest thing about him is that we never know what play he’s going to make next. Every time he appears, we’re never certain who he’s playing and who he’s acting in earnest self-interest with for the time being.
2 BENJEN STARK
Benjen Stark sat out for nearly 5 entire seasons between the first half of season 1 and the latter half of season 6. Upon his return, he explained that he was about to be turned by the White Walkers but was saved by the Children, and he's now come to his nephew’s aid. With so many of Bran’s other companions and allies dead, Benjen couldn’t have come at a better time.
But we still have plenty of questions about his current state. How was he able to conjure flames on the end of his flail? What does his halted turn into a White Walker mean in terms of his relationship to them? Why didn’t the Three Eyed Raven mention Benjen to Bran before? How does Benjen know how Bran’s powers can be used to defeat the White Walkers? What else has he been doing north of the Wall this whole time? How does he feel about what’s happened to the rest of his family since the beginning of the show, if he knows about it at all?
Hopefully some of these questions will be answered as the season continues.
1 LYANNA STARK AND RHAEGAR TARGARYEN
The small screen is no stranger to the age-old "will they won't they?" trope, but this has to be the biggest “did they or didn’t they?” in television history. So much of the history of the show revolves around Lyanna’s and Rhaegar’s “relationship.” Those who backed Robert Baratheon during his rebellion widely believed that Prince Rhaegar abducted Lyanna and imprisoned her against her will. However, there are some characters (and many fans) who believe that there was genuine love between Lyanna and Rhaegar -- one that resulted in Jon Snow.
Season 6 has at last shown us the pivotal battle at the Tower of Joy where Ned tried to rescue his sister. It would seem that we’ll still have to wait for any revelation about the promise Lyanna begged of her brother and whether or not it was to protect her and Rhaegar’s newborn son.
So far, the show hasn’t included too much evidence of Jon’s true parentage from the books. It’s been more about teases and allusions. But with Jon back from the dead and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark on the line, we could be close to another game changing revelation courtesy of Bran!
Are there any other Game of Thrones characters that you’re just burning with questions about? Let us know in the comments!