Game Of Thrones has quite its share of characters. While the main characters are always appreciated when they appear on screen, it is at time the secondary characters that help the more prominent ones shine through on screen.
We look at 10 characters in the series that should have definitely appeared more often or for more time on screen. Luckily, some of those might actually make a return in Season 7, while the vast majority were gone too soon, yet shone enough to leave a solid timeless impression for the fans.
A Wildling woman warrior stranded at Hardhome following the Battle of Castle Black, this character left a lasting impression from the moment she was introduced during the parlay between the Wildlings and the Nights Watch.
The episode had Karsi on her way to becoming a new character to like and root for on the show, even more so with her saying “I fookin’ hate Thenns” to Tormund; Tormund had mentioned the exact same disdain for the cannibal Wildlings in the Season 4 opener.
Just as we thought something was to be built with her, she periled to fight the attacking army of the White Walker, eventually getting ripped apart by resurrected children wights.
A beloved member of the infamous “1 Episode Club”, we wonder how she would have fared in the Battle of the Bastards along with her Wildling counterparts.
9) Lyanna Mormont
That Death Stare says it all. She bears the same name as Jon Snow’s Mother and is a true hard headed Northerner. Her letter to Stannis in Season 5 gave a hint of how stern the head of House Mormont could be, faithful to the ancestral vows of her ancient House.
Davos was the first one to speak to her as a Lady with unbearable responsibilities suddenly falling over her head, rather than an 8 year old girl to be sweet talked, as did Jon and Sansa.
The result: 63 men from House Mormont, “Not a Large House, but a Proud One” were offered to Jon and Sansa’s quest to regain Winterfell from the Bolton. She went ahead and proclaimed Jon to be the new King in the North, choosing to overlook the fact that he is a bastard; Ned Stark’s blood still runs through his veins.
Let’s hope we get to see more of her in the North in Season 7. Judging by the sheer success the character’s (very short) screen time got, it would be an expected delight…
8) Karl Tanner
Karl Tanner, the Fookin’ Legend from Gin Alley. The leader of the Mutiny at Crasters Keep, this Brother of the Noghts Watch did NOT bite his tongue, nor did he back away from a confrontation.
Not content with the hospitality Craster was giving to the Nights Watch, and this right after many of them had died at the hands of the White Walkers at the Fist of the First Men, Tanner did not hesitate to let the “Daughter Fooking Wildling Bastard” know where he stood with him.
Stabbing Craster in the mouth was a satisfying moment, but the Lord Commander Jeor Mormont dying at the hands of Rast made us realize that these crows wede bad.
Tanner met his fate in Season 4 after Jon Snow leads a convoy to kill them before Mance Rayser’s army does and tortures them for intelligence on Castle Black before their attack. All the while, not knowing his Brother (Cousin) Bran and his group were also being held captive by him.
As awful as he was as a killer/sellsword/crow, he was nevertheless an interesting character, brilliantly portrayed by Burn Gorman. More screen time with him would have given us an even more extended arsenal of insults to throw at people such as “You look like a fookin’ Ballsack”, “Ugly stupid cunt face”, “I could piss in any gutter and soak out 5 of youze”.
7) Doran Martell
The Prince of Dorne’s entire character and storyline was butchered in the show, compared to his book portrayal. The final chapter of “A Feast For Crows” reveals Doran to be a cunning and patient strategist who uses his gout to appear weak, yet with a plan to avenge the wrongdoings the Lannisters did to his family at the end of Robert’s Rebellion.
His daughter Arianne, along with the Sand Snakes take it upon themselves to avenge his brother Oberyn’s death, until he has them jailed and explains to them what the bigger picture is: re-establishing a Targaryen on the throne and avenge his brother and sister.
Yet, the show decided to make him appear weak, feeble, and with no plan whatsoever. The negative reception of the Dorne Storyline in Season 5 had the producers cut that entire ark short by having Oberyn’s Paramour Nymeria (in lieu of Arianne) attempt a coup, and assassinate him in the Season 6 premiere. A sad case, as he would have made a good substitute to scratch that itch of powerful characters we’ve been having since Tywin Lannister died in Season 4.
6) Qhorin Halfhand
Quorin Halfhand is a legendary ranger in the Nights Watch. His name comes from having lost all his fingers but his thumb and index to a Wildling axe. He masters the art of Guerilla Warfare, moving in small groups in order to infiltrate camps and sabotage their units.
He is introduced in Season 2 as the ranging party led by Lord Commander Jeor Mormont has reached the Fist of the First Men. Noticing a trail of smoke, he deducts that a Wildling Party is camped there and lit a fire to keep warm. He leads a small cohort of Nights Watch rangers, to which Jon Snow volunteers, to investigate.
A larger group of Wildlings eventually breaks them apart and capture him and Jon, after the latter hesitates to kill captured Wildling Ygritte.
Knowing their fate is most likely to get tortured and kill by Mance Rayder once they reach his camp, he creates a ruse where he has Jon kill in combat, and make him pass as a deserter of the Watch that turned cloak. The Wildlings buy the ruse, and bring Jon to Mance so he can join them.
Qhorin didn’t appear too much, but yet he served his purpose as a character. Still, it would have been interesting to discover more of the character, more specifically, his friendship with Mance Rayder before he deserted the Watch and joined the Wildlings to eventually become their leader.
5) Brother Ray
Brother Ray, brilliantly portrayed by Ian McShane is another member of the “1 Episode Club”: characters that leave their mark on Game of Thrones, yet get killed in the same episode they are introduced in. Having saved Sandor “The Hound” Clegane from his injuries following his fight with Brienne of Tarth in Season 4, Ray has him join his group of peaceful monks building a Sept for the Seven Gods in the Riverlands.
Once a fierce and ruthless warrior, he found peace within himself and has decided to give back to the common man. His dialogues with “The Hound” emphasize on his internal conflict between his old and new life. As much as Clegane wants to accept Ray’s visions of peace, his knowledge of the World and the people in it makes him too reluctant to even consider having his guard down.
“Violence is a Disease. You don’t cure a disease by spreading it to other people”, one of Ray’s most insightful quotes, as honorable as it is, makes him fail to see the dangers of the 3 raiders from the Brotherhood without Banners that stumble upon his camp. This would prove to be his downfall.
4) Thoros Of Myr
Thoros Of Myr has been leading the Brotherhood Without Banners ever since the War of Five Kings broke out after Robert Baratheon’s death. The Red Priest of R’hllor’s faith was reborn after his friend Berric Danderrion, slain at the hands of Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, was resurrected after he recited the words to the Lord of Light. In Season 3, he and the Brotherhood foster Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie after they escape Harrenhall.
Arya loses respect for him and the Brotherhood after they sell Gendry to Melisandre for Gold to finance their rebellious activities. He isn’t seen until Season 6 where he and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane recross paths. This “reunion” of some sort confirmed once and for all that Lady Stoneheart was not going to be a part of the show, and that Thoros is still leading the Brotherhood. Their mission is now to head North to fight the Real Threat: The White Walkers.
We will most likely see more of him in Season 7, maybe even have his group cross path with Melisandre who’s been banished from the North, or maybe even Arya Stark, who is in the Riverlands completing her Kill List as of the Season 6 Finale.
3) Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully
Catelyn Stark’s uncle, Ser Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully was more of a background character in Season 3. It explains why many casual viewers were confused as to who Jaime Lannister and Walder Frey were referring to in Season 6 once he had taken his home of Riverrun from them. His parlay with the Kingslayer was a shining moment for him, leaving the viewers wondering for which side they should root for, since both parties had valid claims. Sadly, his off screen death cut his screen time shorter than expected, making us wish we could have had more of him.
If anything, he could have had more screen time by appearing in Season 1, as he does in the first book. In “A Game Of Thrones”, he is stationed at the Eerye, helping his niece Lysa Arryn. When her sister Catelyn brings a captured Tyrion Lannister through the Vale, he is the first one to greet her and help her reach the high castle to meet Lysa.
2) Ser Arthur Dayne
The Sword Of The Morning: What More Could We Say? Mentioned by Jaime Lannister, Barristan Selmy and the book of the Kingsguard to be the greatest swordsman to ever breathe in Westeros, which explains why Rhaegar Targaryen had him protect his new love and the child of his she was carrying in the Tower Of Joy.
His fight against Ned Stark, Howland Reed, and his Northern cohort at the very end of Robert’s Rebellion is the stuff of Legends, unless one witnessed it in full. The books only have this moment as a Flashback/Dream that Ned has while under the influence, but the HBO show gave us the entire battle as it happened, seen through the eyes of Bran Stark and the Three Eyed Raven.
We Can Only Hope that this battle in Season 6 was not the only time we get to witness Dayne in his prime. Hopefully more flashbacks involving Rhaegar will occur in Seasons 7 or 8, or better: Luke Robers could reprise the role in a Prequel Movie/Series on Robert’s Rebellion.
1) Randyll Tarly
Just when we thought Tywin Lannister and Stannis Baratheon were Terrible Fathers in Game of Thrones, we get introduced to the Lord of Horn Hill, the Head of House Tarly: Randyll Tarly.
His cruelty was previously mentioned by Sam in Season 1, and his prowess in battle by Stannis to Sam in Season 5. Belittling his first born for not being prone for battle as led to him forcing Sam to relinquish his seat as the Heir of Hornhill and join the Nights Watch in hopes of “becoming more of a man”.
To his shock, at dinner, he has his son heading to Oldtown to become a Maester, “drowning in books to read about other people’s accomplishments, instead of achieving his own”. The tension at the table rises even more once he finds out that Gilly is a Wildling. As stern and cruel as he can be of a father, he is still a character filled with insights on warfare and strategy.
Hopefully, that knowledge will be revealed in Season 7, and we will see more of him, most likely for him to recuperate Heartsbane, House Tarly’s Ancestral Valyrian Steel Sword that Sam stole in Season 6.