Game of Thrones and romance aren't exactly synonymous. Mostly because anyone who's found a measure of happiness on the show usually meets some kind of horrible fate. Ned and Catelyn, Tyrion and Shae, Jon and Ygritte -- all ripped from us by HBO and George R.R. Martin. Watching the show is emotional enough without getting attached to a couple only to watch them lose their joy in the worst possible way.
There is not one single functional, long-term romantic relationship left on Game of Thrones. Ned and Cat had a great marriage by all accounts and so did Robb and Talisa - if it hadn't ruined everything in the end. That makes it difficult to be wistful about current canon couples, because the odds of a happy ending for them are so very low.
That's what makes Game of Thrones so ripe for unexpected and non-canon romance. If you support a pairing that you know will never happen on the show or in the book, it's low-key disappointing that it only happens in your imagination, but at least you make the rules there.
These couples are made up of characteres who, on the show, are just friends, just mortal enemies, or just have never met and probably never will. Some of these are bound to weird you out, but considering one of the major canon couples on the show is a set of twins, we're still way more conservative than the show has ever been.
Here are 25 Wild Fan Redesigns Of Unexpected Game Of Thrones Couples.
25 BRONN AND TYRION
Honestly, these two would’ve been so much better off if they’d just eloped to the Free Cities after their time at the Eyrie. Tyrion never would’ve met Shae, become Hand and stuck around King’s Landing long enough to be charged with Joffrey’s assassination.
If any two dudes could make each other happy living the simple life, it’s these two.
Bronn and Tyrion share pretty similar values systems, respect each other and communicate really well – all great foundations for a healthy, long-term relationship.
We’re hoping HBO comes to its senses and scraps the prequel in favor of a Bronn/Tyrion buddy-cop spinoff. This piece by Nekokonut totally captures their vibe.
24 SHAE AND SANSA
Shae’s character in the show contrasts wildly from her character in the books. In the A Song of Ice and Fire series, she’s a shallow 18-year-old with little care for anything but her own comfort. The show blessedly gave her some depth, which manifested both in her relationship with Tyrion and Sansa.
Shae provided a much-needed source of strength and support to Sansa - before and after the Red Wedding. And wouldn’t it have been a much, much happier ending for Shae if she and the future Lady Stark had decided to run off on their own?
We think so, and so does Shannon Chan Ziali who created this piece.
23 CATELYN AND CERSEI
One of the most frustrating aspects of Cersei’s character is how often she gets in her own way. She’s a shrewd woman who has a big enough heart to love her children, but her elitism and narcissism sabotage her.
This piece by lujus shows that if Cersei and Cat had been a couple, they’d have been good for each other.
They’re both politically savvy and understand the importance of taking care of their own.
While Cersei could’ve used a good dose of Cat’s rationality, Cat could’ve used some of Cersei’s manipulation. Lord knows Cersei Lannister wouldn’t have let her son marry Talisa and screw up the Northern alliance in the process.
22 DANY AND TYRION
Tyrion’s become one of Dany’s closest advisors, and the friendship between the two has been one of the bright spots of Game of Thrones the past three seasons. It’s partly because Tyrion’s one of the few men in Dany’s inner circle who isn’t harboring a not-so-secret crush on her (looking at you, Jorah Mormont). The only frustrating thing about that is that Tyrion and Dany would make a pretty decent couple.
They were both raised in abusive families, they’ve both had to fight every step of the way for any measure of political capital, and they keep each other balanced.
CeeCeeMV’s piece shows how good these two could be together.
21 DROGO AND VISERYS
In terms of unexpected couples, Drogo and Viserys are probably at the top of everyone’s WTF? list.
You could not ask for two characters who were less likely to find love, but that’s what we have fan art for.
RobicTheEscapist piece depicting Drogo bear hugging an uncertain-looking Viserys makes us wonder if the Beggar Prince would’ve been able to charm Drogo if there’d been no Danaerys to sell for an army.
By the looks of this picture, there are at least some people who think he’d have been able to make some headway.
20 SANSA AND THE HOUND
Despite Sandor’s rough treatment of Sansa early on, we saw his (slightly) softer side come out during season 2 while Sansa was a prisoner of the Lannisters. His protection of her inspired fans to envision a romantic future for these two, and to be honest, there’s still time.
Sandor and Sansa might finally meet again in season 8 if he keeps traveling with Jon and Dany. If the Hound and Lady Stark survive the war with the Night King, Sansa might need some extra help running Winterfell.
Many thanks to Marine-Petri for creating this gorgeous rendering.
19 DAVOS AND MELISANDRE
Any soap opera fan will tell you the best pairings are the one that begin with two people who can’t stand each other.
Where there’s intense dislike, there’s usually passion, and we all know where passion can lead.
In the case of Davos and Melisandre, there are a quadrillion reasons why the discord between the two will never grow to anything else, but that hasn’t stopped fans like Raygor from erring on the side of imagination and showing us what Davos and Melisandre would’ve looked like if perhaps they’d met under different circumstances. Or if Melisandre hadn’t sacrificed Princess Shireen!
18 JON AND SANSA
When Sansa finally made it to Castle Black and ended her long journey to a safe harbor, she reconnected with a sibling she’d shared not one single scene with in the entire series.
Sophie Turner and Kit Harrington created a beautiful relationship out of the history and experiences their characters shared, and the effect wasn’t lost on fans.
The "Jonsa" ship took sail the minute Sansa and Jon embraced at Castle Black, and while it probably won’t set sail on the actual show, they’ve gained a fervent fanbase that’s produced gorgeous pieces like this one by EcaJT.
17 JAIME AND CATELYN
Some of season 2’s best scenes were between Catelyn and the man who attempted to off her son. After getting captured by Robb after the Battle of the Whispering Wood, Jaime Lannister spent a considerable amount of time as a Stark prisoner.
Jaime eventually revealed to Catelyn that he had indeed tried to hurt Bran and even then, Catelyn Stark managed to keep her cool long enough to realize he’d be useful in securing the safety of her two daughters.
The chemistry between the two was palpable in their shared scenes.
There have been no shortage of homages like this one by MathiaAkoniel created in tribute to a romance between the two that would never be.
16 DANY AND MISSANDEI
On Game of Thrones, Dany’s busy with Jon Snow, and Missandei and Greyworm managed to approximate a similar situation. But those facts haven’t stopped fans from speculating about what kind of relationship Dany and Missandei would have if they decided men were canceled and decided to conquer Westeros for themselves.
ErinPtah’s piece paints the women’s friendship in a much different light. It makes us wish we’d gotten a chance to see what it would’ve been like if Viserion, Drogon, and Rhaegal had had two moms instead of one.
15 DAVOS AND STANNIS
Let’s not get it twisted, Stannis was way more married to Davos than he ever was to Selyse.
It’s really not that big a leap for fans to imagine the two in a more romantic position than they ever achieved in show or book canon.
That said, we’re not totally certain a relationship between the two would’ve changed the path of Stannis’ story. If Melisandre could convince Stannis Baratheon of all people that he was the second coming of Azor Ahai, she could probably have convinced him to leave his husband if it had come to that.
This piece by artist Sofie pictures them in a happier place.
14 JON AND MELISANDRE
Melisandre’s the kind of woman who likes to play with her food before she eats it. She’s also the kind of woman who enjoys making powerful men feel uncomfortable. This piece by Miss-Crane perfectly exemplifies that.
Her scenes with Jon Snow played into this dynamic tenfold and inspired many a fan to create accompanying art for what they imagined might have happened between the two, were it not for Jon’s extreme discomfort.
We have to admit, they make a cute couple in a weird sort of way.
One scene we hope we get before season 8 is out is Jon and Gendry comparing their experiences with the Red Witch. Comedy.
13 LITTLEFINGER AND VARYS
Call us crazy, but Varys and Littlefinger make kind of an adorable couple and they have all the hallmarks of a classic love/hate couple. They’re a lot alike, they’re competitive with each other, they bicker all the time, and underneath it all there’s a grudging respect. Well, that last part might not be canon, but it’s certainly in play in this sketch by MisstaArtissta.
Here the two are pictured enjoying a casual lunch, one they might have been able to enjoy more if they weren’t surrounded by the Machiavellian culture of Westeros and the court at King’s Landing.
12 MARGAERY AND DANY
We are still very, very bitter that Cersei stole a future from us in which Dany and Margaery would’ve met and become the most boss pair of queens in the entire fantasy genre.
If Margaery had been ruling Westeros when Dany arrived, they’d have had everything figured out over a very civil brunch that, fingers crossed, would’ve resulted in the only marriage pact for either woman that made any kind of sense.
Dany would’ve nabbed the world’s best grandmother-in-law in Olenna Tyrell.
Someone make this movie happen! Until then, we have works like the one above by sqbr to tide us over.
11 CERSEI AND BRIENNE
Jaime and Brienne is arguably Game of Thrones' most popular non-canon pairing. They've had a strong following since they spent most of season 2 traveling together, but they hit some rocky shoals when Jaime got back to King’s Landing and within range of his twin sister’s clutches.
The funny thing is, if Cersei and Brienne had become friends, no amount of Jaime’s pouting could’ve broken them apart. Putting aside the fact that it’s very hard to imagine these women having anything to talk about, this creation by Hatter shows what the two might have looked like if different circumstances would’ve prevailed.
10 DANY AND YARA
If Yara doesn’t get through season 8 and find a saltwife to settle down with on Pyke, we riot! She’s a great leader, a phenomenal sister, and an awesome wing-woman. She’s also unafraid to challenge Dany while still treating the her queen with respect.
Yara’s literally the best partner Dany could ever have, if we’re comparing her with Drogo, Daario and Jon Snow.
She listens better than Drogo, she’s smarter than Daario, and she’s way, way more fun than Jon Snow. Artist Jade’s piece depicting Yara as Dany’s loyal Princess Charming makes us wonder what it would’ve looked like if Dany had fallen in love with a Greyjoy instead of a Snow.
9 ROBB AND MARGAERY
It’s a darn shame that Robb Stark and Margaery Tyrell never got the chance to meet. They remind us a lot of what a young Catelyn Tully and Ned Stark would’ve been like.
Margaery might have been a little more of an operator than Cat ever was, but we still think Robb would’ve been charmed by the gorgeous Southron girl and we can’t imagine she wouldn’t have been enamored with Robb’s honor and kindness.
We can’t imagine a world in which these wouldn’t have been an exceptional coupl - if they hadn’t both been exterminated by the Lannisters, who literally ruin everything they touch. Thanks to Aaliyah for fueling our fantasies.
8 ROOSE BOLTON AND CATELYN
While the two interact far more in the novels than they ever did on the show, there were still enough scenes between Catelyn Stark and Roose Bolton to fan the flames of this very weird, but compelling pairing – hence this piece by Ilza-Kassel.
Despite being one of the worst people in Westeros, Roose Bolton respected Catelyn Stark.
That’s part of what made fans imagine what the two would’ve been like as a couple.
Catelyn certainly had a dark side, and if she’d married a different Northern lord instead of the incorruptible Ned Stark, it’s doubtful the Lannisters would’ve been able to wreak such havoc.
7 SAM TARLY AND JON SNOW
These two buddies could’ve easily been as popular a couple as Renly and Loras had the show decided to go in that direction. With a few tweaks to canon, these two would have been the most adorable high school sweethearts ever to hit the Night’s Watch.
This piece by tattiOsala really drives home how lucky Jon and Sam are to have each other in a place as dark as Westeros.
In a country where trust is so difficult to find, these two probably know each other better than anyone else. They’d have made an adorable couple in an alternate universe.
6 SANSA AND MARGAERY
For a brief moment in season 3, it looked like Sansa Stark would be safely wed to Loras Tyrell, and two people who couldn’t have hated King’s Landing more would be allowed to leave it and make a new life in Highgarden. Alas, that marriage was not to be, but we did get some great scenes with Sansa and Margaery before everything went to heck after the Purple Wedding.
Those scenes and Sansa and Margaery’s like-minded character have inspired many fans to imagine what might have been if Loras hadn’t been around and Sansa and Margaery had had more alone time.
This piece by artist Marina is the wedding Sansa should've had.
5 CATELYN AND BRIENNE
Brienne appeared on Game of Thrones in season 2, after winning the right to serve on Renly Baratheon’s Rainbow Guard. Catelyn Stark witnessed this event, just like she wound up witnessing Renly’s destruction at the hands of Melisandre’s shadow assassin. Luckily she was able to convince Brienne to leave with her and Brienne’s been in the Stark’s service in some form or another ever since.
This piece by Sir-Heartsalot imagines a happier ending for the two women – one in which they clearly threw off the shackles of patriarchal feudal society and went off together to start their own life.
4 THEON AND ROBB
Part of the reason Theon’s such a tragic character is that circumstances essentially forced him to choose between his birth family and his adopted family.
Struggling for identity, Theon chose to betray his best friend for the sake of his domineering father who’d held out paternal acceptance as cruel bait. This betrayal and Robb’s subsequent passing haunted Theon. Many fans speculated that was because the Greyjoy was harboring more than just brotherly feelings for the King in the North.
Venquian’s piece makes it seem almost believable.
3 LORAS AND MARGAERY
The idea of these two being a couple would turn stomachs on any other show, but had they actually been romantic partners, Margaery and Loras probably would’ve had the most functional romance on the entire show.
As it stands, they were certainly the best brother/sister team next to Jon and Arya, and nowhere was that more evident than in Margaery’s decision to play along with the High Sparrow so she could find a way out of her captivity in the Sept and get Loras out before he went totally bonkers. She also spent her final seconds comforting him before Cersei blew everyone sky high a season later. Savethequeen's art is simple, yet stirking.
2 TYWIN AND CATELYN
While Tywin Lannister was the worst person in Westeros and Catelyn Stark was the best, we’re still a little sad these two never met face-to-face on the show.
Catelyn would’ve been much better equipped to deal with Tywin’s machinations than her son or her husband.
We bet those scenes would’ve rivaled Tywin and Olenna’s from Seasons 3 and 4.
As a matter of fact, this piece by charlesdances reimagines Tywin and Catelyn as a spy duo reminiscent of The Avengers, Diana Rigg’s iconic '60s show. Can everyone in Game of Thrones reunite to make a spy movie already?
1 SANSA AND THEON
These two were another pair that didn’t have a lot of canon interaction before meeting again in season 6. Theon had been Ramsay Bolton’s servant Reek for years before Sansa arrived at Winterfell.
It was her presence that inspired him to break free of Bolton’s influence.
When the two jumped off the Winterfell battlements, it felt like a real Stark reunion, despite Theon’s Greyjoy heritage. Though the two parted ways shortly after their escape, the romance of Theon coming back to himself for Sansa’s sake wasn’t lost on fans like venquian, who created this lovely piece.
What unexpected Game of Thrones couple are you rooting for? Let us know in the comments!