There is a picture online that shows Gendry from Game of Thrones in a rowboat that is named the S.S. Abandoned Plotlines, which had the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Blackfish, Rickon Stark & Osha, Balon & Yara Greyjoy, and Bran Stark & Hodor photoshopped onto the boat. The picture was created by a Game of Thrones fan who was frustrated by all of the characters and storylines that had seemingly been forgotten.
It turned out that the writers of Game of Thrones had not forgotten those storylines and every one of the characters would return to the show in some form or another.
The producers of Game of Thrones never knew how many seasons would be greenlit by HBO, so it was impossible for them to create a long-term plan. There are still quite a few storylines from the show that were created, only to be abandoned along the way.
The final season of Game of Thrones is almost here, so the producers have one last shot of resolving these storylines before the credits roll during the final episode of the show.
We are here today to discover which Game of Thrones storylines still belong on the S.S. Abandoned Plotlines – from the residents to Qarth, to the armies that went missing.
Here are Twenty Game Of Thrones Storylines That Were Completely Abandoned!
20 The Characters In Qarth
Daenerys Targaryen's storyline in the second season of Game of Thrones involved her journey to the strange city of Qarth, where she became involved in the plots of the mysterious ruling factions within the city. Daenerys is responsible for slaying the leader of the Warlocks of Qarth before fleeing the city.
The Warlocks try to get revenge at the start of the third season of Game of Thrones with a half-hearted life-taking attempt, but this is quickly thwarted by Ser Barristan Selmy and they haven't been seen since.
The Qarth storyline introduced the masked sorceress known as Quaithe, who is a recurring character in the books but hasn't been seen since in the show.
19 The Love Of Heartsbane
House Tarly is one of the few noble families in Westeros to carry a Valyrian steel sword, which is known as Heartsbane. Randyll Tarly is more proud of the sword than he is his eldest son, Sam Tarly, to the point where he claimed that Sam would never wield the sword.
Sam stole Heartsbane from his family home and left with Gilly in a carriage to continue his journey to the Citadel.
It seems that Randyll Tarly quickly forgot his pride in the sword and disdain for his son, as he could easily have dispatched some men to go after Sam in order to retrieve Heartsbane, yet he seemingly forgets about it and is content to go to war on the side of the Lannisters without bringing the ancestral Tarly blade with him.
18 The Riverlands
The Riverlands suffered more than any other part of Westeros during the War of the Five Kings, with the Lannister and Stark forces ravaging the region during their conflict. The Sparrow movement was born in response to the atrocities that occurred in the Riverlands and the indifference of the nobility to the plight of their people.
House Frey was able to secure control of the Riverlands when they finally claimed Riverrun, which meant that they could bring peace to the region as its new ruler.
Arya Stark proceeded to slay every prominent member of House Frey, leaving no one in charge to bring the Riverlands back under control. Robb Stark took control over the Riverlands during his campaign, yet Jon Snow has shown no desire to do the same, which means that the region has seemingly been forgotten and may still be in a lawless state.
Daenerys Targaryen spent most of her time in Game of Thrones in exile on the continent of Essos, where she went from being given away to Khal Drogo as little more than a pawn, to becoming one of the most feared and powerful rulers in the realm.
It seems that all of the time that Daenerys spent taking cities in Essos was wasted, as there has been no mention of the entire eastern portion of her empire since she arrived in Westeros. The tumultuous state of affairs she left behind seems to have vanished.
Daenerys left Daario Naharis in charge and she could call on him for additional supplies and troops, yet this was never even considered as an option during her campaign in Westeros.
16 Shadow Babies
One of the most alarming moments in Game of Thrones happened in "Garden of Bones" when Melisandre gave birth to a shadow monster in front of Davos Seaworth. The next episode shows the shadow monster eliminating Renly Baratheon, which was instrumental in furthering Stannis' goals.
The ability to summon an unstoppable life-taker seems like it would be pretty useful, but Melisandre only ever does it once, despite having access to king's blood at various points in the series through her encounters with Gendry and Jon Snow.
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Melisandre uses this power a second time in order to help Stannis take Storm's End, but it is never used again after that point.
15 Robin Arryn
Robin Arryn is the ruler of the Vale, or at least he was, as he seemingly lost the support of his bannermen overnight.
Littlefinger convinces Robin to send the armies of the Vale to the North in order to help Sansa reclaim her birthright. The armies of the Vale are instrumental in defeating the Boltons and they could easily have taken the North in the name of House Arryn if they wanted to, but the assembled nobles of the Vale decided that Jon Snow should be their new king and they pledged fealty to him without mentioning their current ruler.
An entire season of Game of Thrones has passed without any mention of what Robin's reaction was to the Vale becoming part of the Kingdom of the North, nor whether he supports Jon Snow stealing away the support of his bannermen and his armies.
14 The Armies Of Dorne
Dorne is still one of the major players in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, as it is one of two kingdoms (along with the Vale) that has yet to field its army, which means that Prince Doran Martell has the power to seize control of the realm, so long as he chooses his time to strike carefully.
The armies of Dorne are similarly untouched in Game of Thrones and Yara Greyjoy was dispatched with her fleet to pick them up so that they could be used as part of Daenerys Targaryen's plan to take King's Landing.
Yara and her fleet were intercepted by Euron Greyjoy, so they were unable to complete their mission. What are the armies of Dorne doing right now? Are they still waiting to be picked up? Daenerys is in dire need of fighting men for the war to come, yet the untouched army of one of the Seven Kingdoms was seemingly forgotten after Yara was captured.
13 Cersei's Original Child
One of the defining moments in Cersei Lannister's life was an encounter with a witch, named Maggy the Frog, who made several accurate prophecies about her future. Maggy claimed that Cersei would have three children, who would wear golden crowns and golden shrouds.
Maggy's prophecy concerning Cersei's children is the same as from the novels, but the show threw a wrench into the works by establishing that Cersei had a fourth child.
Cersei tells Catelyn Stark that she had a child with Robert Baratheon who passed away shortly after birth. Robert and Cersei later talk about their child, confirming that she wasn't lying about the story. If Cersei had given birth to four children, then it invalidates Maggy's prophecy, yet Cersei never mentions this when the story of Maggy becomes part of the show.
12 Dany's Bloodriders
When Khal Drogo passed away, his bloodriders joined Daenerys and became her sworn protectors, or at least they did before they vanished.
Daenerys sent three of her bloodriders out into the Red Waste in search of a safe haven. Of the three bloodriders, one is slain by a rival Khal, one discovers Qarth, and the third is never heard from again.
The Dothraki who protect Daenerys fade out from the story and are replaced by the Unsullied. Daenerys gains a new Dothraki horde later on in the season, but her old khalasar seemingly vanished from the story during her time in Meereen. It's likely that they were written out as Daenerys already had several protectors who were around her most of the time and had actual roles in the story.
The writers of Game of Thrones don't always have confidence in the memory span of the audience, which is why the recap sections at the start of most episodes will often spoil surprise returns of old characters, as the audience needs to be reminded of who they are.
The story of Tyrion's wedding to a lowborn girl named Tysha was originally supposed to be linked to his elimination of Tywin, but the writers decided to downplay her significance in favor of Tyrion's relationship with Shae, which became the catalyst for the attack. Tysha's role in the story was pretty much forgotten, as Shae was more present in the mind of the audience, due to her being a character on the show and not someone who was only mentioned in the past tense.
10 Ilyn Payne
Ser Ilyn Payne is the silent knight who had his tongue removed by the Mad King and would later execute Ned Stark on the orders of King Joffrey.
Arya Stark puts Payne on her list, yet he vanishes from it without explanation. The last time Payne was seen was during the Battle of Blackwater Bay.
The reason Payne disappeared from Game of Thrones is due to actor Wilko Johnson being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which he has since recovered from. It was due to Johnson's illness that Payne was written out of the show, with no explanation given as to whether he is still alive or why he was removed from Arya's list. The fact that Payne has an unclear fate means that there is room for his return in the final season of the show.
9 The Sparrows
The atrocities caused during the War of the Five Kings led to the creation of a devout religious movement known as the Sparrows, which were given power by Cersei as part of the revival of the Faith Militant. The Sparrow movement is able to pose a legitimate threat to House Tyrell and the royal family through their force of arms and the fact that they opposed the corruption that was present in the highest reaches of the noble families of Westeros.
The High Sparrow and many members of the Faith Militant were slain when Cersei destroys the Great Sept of Baelor, but their numbers were many and they had the love and support of the people. The Sparrow movement was a major storyline in Game of Thrones, yet there is no retaliation from them when their leader is slain and one of their places of worship was destroyed.
8 The Mercy Of The White Walkers
The White Walkers are responsible for slaying thousands of people beyond the Wall in order to turn them into mindless undead monsters so that they can be formed into an army that can be used to cleanse all life from the surface of Westeros.
There are two notable exceptions to the omnicidal tendencies of the White Walkers – Will and Sam Tarly.
Will encountered a group of White Walkers beyond the Wall, yet they let him go and he was able to escape to the south.
Sam encountered a White Walker outside of the Fist of the First Men, yet it ignored him.
These two acts of mercy made it seem as if there is more to the White Walkers than being evil zombie creators, yet there has never been any explanation as to why they allowed Will and Sam to survive.
7 Thorne's Quest With The Wight's Hand
Alliser Thorne is not with the Night's Watch force that is dispatched beyond the Wall to deal with Mance Rayder, as he is sent on a separate mission to King's Landing. Thorne was sent with the hand of one of the wights that attacked Jeor Mormont to King's Landing, in order to present it to King Joffrey as evidence that the deceased were rising in the North.
The result of Thorne's quest is never discussed on the show, as he returns in the fourth season with no mention as to what happened. Did Thorne actually manage to win an audience with Joffrey? What became of the hand when he traveled to King's Landing?
The books explain that Tyrion kept Thorne waiting for so long that the hand rotted away before it could be presented, but this is not mentioned on the show.
6 The Framing Of Tyrion
One of the catalysts for the War of the Five Kings was Catelyn Stark arresting Tyrion Lannister for the attempted slaying of her son. Catelyn comes to suspect Tyrion based on the words of Littlefinger, who claims that the dagger the attacker used was originally his, but that he lost it to Tyrion in a bet.
Catelyn tells Tyrion that the dagger was linked to him, yet Tyrion never follows up on this lead when he returns to King's Landing, where he could easily have discovered that the blade belonged to Littlefinger.
The storyline is actually worse in the books, as Catelyn tells Tyrion about Littlefinger's accusation. Tyrion briefly confronts Littlefinger when he returns to King's Landing, but makes no attempt at getting revenge for the lie that almost cost him his life.
5 Talisa's Family
The woman who Robb Stark marries is a different character in the books and the show. In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Robb marries a girl named Jeyne Westerling, who belongs to a minor noble family, while in the show Robb marries Talisa Maegyr.
Talisa belongs to a noble family in Volantis and is still on good enough terms with them that she still keeps in touch with them through letters.
The Red Wedding would result in a pregnant Talisa being ended, along with Robb. There is never any mention of retaliation from Talisa's family, despite the horrific nature of her demise. The fact that Talisa was a creation of the writing staff of the show was likely the reason for Talisa's family being ignored, which raises the question of why she was given a prominent family in her backstory, to begin with.
4 The Vanishing Ships
Stannis Baratheon was able to quickly reach the Wall due to hiring ships, which he later loans to Jon Snow so that he can mount his mission to Hardhome. Jon and his men are only able to escape from the Night King with the aid of these ships.
The next time the audience sees Jon and the wildlings, they are on the wrong side of the gate of Castle Black, which is several hundred miles inland. It would have made a lot more sense for Jon to have been dropped off at Eastwatch-by-the-sea instead of walking through the dangerous countryside, yet they suddenly appeared outside of Castle Black.
What happened to Stannis' ships? Did they just randomly drop off Jon, his soldiers, and the wildlings and then vanish? It's possible that they fled to Bravos after seeing the army of the deceased, but this is never confirmed in the show.
3 The Fate Of Night's Watch Deserters
The first episode of Game of Thrones made it clear that any deserter from the Night's Watch would be executed. Ned Stark removes Will's head after he is discovered south of the Wall.
It seems that the treatment of Night's Watch deserters is looser under the Bolton regime, as the fact that Jon Snow left the Night's Watch is almost never mentioned by anyone on the show. Jon Snow was the commander of the Night's Watch, so it must have been common knowledge that he was a member of the order, yet the other Northern lords are fine with him abandoning his post, even though the penalty for doing so is execution.
Jon was able to abandon his vows due to passing away and being resurrected, but would anyone actually believe the story that he rose from the grave?
2 Trystane's Siblings
The Dorne storyline in Game of Thrones is almost totally different from the one in A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Prince Doran Martell has a daughter named Arianne, who is the focus of much of the Dorne storyline, but she was cut from the show. Doran also had another son, named Quentyn, who is dispatched to treat with Daenerys Targaryen, who was also cut from the show.
It seems that there was still a chance for Arianne and Quentyn to appear in the show, as Tyrion mentions that he plans to wed Princess Myrcella to House Martell's "youngest son" who turns out to be Trystane. The show later forgot Tyrion's statement and Trystane is treated as being an only child, who is the heir to Dorne and is never mentioned as having any older siblings who might have passed away.
1 The Missing Armies
The writers of Game of Thrones are fond of dialogue scenes where generals learn of half of their armies disappearing, yet they never answer where the men actually go.
When Stannis Baratheon sacrifices his daughter for some warm weather, he is told that nearly half of his men (including the sellswords) deserted with all of the horses. Stannis' army was near Winterfell, which is in the middle of the North, so where did those men go?
When Robb Stark executes Rickard Karstark, he claims that the Karstark force (which was almost half of his army) have gone home. The Ironborn have taken Moat Cailin at this point, so the Karstark's couldn't return to the North and they don't appear during the later conflicts in the North & the Riverlands, so where did they go?