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7 Game Of Thrones Characters With More Meaning Than You Realized
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George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels have translated into a spiraling world of bloodshed and behind the scenes scheming on HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones. The escapades going on in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond are quite chaotic, including various forms of conspiracy, assassination, and warfare. The show focuses on the main plots surrounding Daenerys Targaryen and the descendants of Ned Stark, who are scattered all around the world, but there’s so much more to the series than that. Let’s look at some of the familiar faces we’ve seen throughout Game of Thrones who bear a lot more meaning to the plot than you may realize. As you’d expect, there are major spoilers ahead for both the TV series and the novels.

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Jaqen H’ghar – A Faceless Man

We’re not sure how Jaqen H’ghar was caught before we first see him in the series, but Arya Stark meets him as an imprisoned criminal who’s being transported north to the Night’s Watch. After their reunion, the duo faced a number of difficulties. Arya learned how to adopt the different masks (more like the faces of dead people) used by the Faceless Men of Bravo—the greatest assassins in the world. Unfortunately, she broke the rules of the Many-Faced God (Death) by assassinating Kingsguard Meryn Trant for killing her former fencing instructor, Syrio Forel. Arya had actually been sent to kill someone else at the docks for H’ghar that day. In punishment, Jaqen supposedly killed himself with poison, claiming a debt needed to be paid to the Many-Faced God, and Arya tearfully watched him die—or so it seemed. The other servant she was working with was then revealed to have Jaqen’s face, before Arya was rendered blind.

H’ghar’s supposed death and return suggests there’s a lot more to him than we realize. Likewise, Arya went blind in the temple without any apparent trigger. This suggests the powers of either H’ghar or the Many-Faced God at work. If H’ghar can transcend death and render Arya blind at his own will, then what is he? Could Jaqen H’ghar be a living embodiment of death itself? We’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, a man is no one.

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Lyanna Stark – The big Jon Snow theory

Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark’s successful revolt against the Targaryens (which led to Robert becoming king and the Targaryen family being nearly destroyed), was mainly inspired by Rhaegar Targaryen’s alleged kidnapping of Lyanna Stark. Betrothed to Robert, Lyanna was believed to be kidnapped and raped by Prince Rhaegar. In season five of the TV series, Kingsguard Ser Barristan Selmy described Rhaegar Targaryen to Daenerys, his younger sister. Selmy said that Rhaegar was a kind man and would go out to the streets of King’s Landing and sing. He would give the money he earned singing to orphanages and other minstrels. Likewise, Ser Jorah Mormont said he was an honorable man. Petyr Baelish once described a jousting competition between Barriston Selmy and Rhaegar, where Rhaegar won and placed a crown of roses in Lyanna Stark’s lap afterwards, shocking everyone at the event. Supposedly very beautiful and kind, some believe that Lyanna Stark fell in love with Rhaegar (despite his marriage to Elia Martell) and the two fled south together.

Nevertheless, Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark united the forces of the North, financially backed by the Lannisters, and successfully usurped King Aerys II Targaryen (aka “the Mad King”). This war took a long time, and Lyanna died towards the end of it. Ned Stark returned with his infant son, Jon Snow, who he had out of wedlock (making him a bastard). It is theorized that Jon Snow is actually the secret child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and Ned kept Jon’s origins a secret knowing the infant would’ve been killed, since he had a birthright to the Iron Throne as the last remaining child of King Aerys’ oldest son. For anyone hoping Jon Snow would hook up with Daenerys one day, this theory kinda makes him her nephew.

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Brynden Rivers – The three-eyed crow

If you thought the Lyanna/Rhaegar/Jon theory was confusing, it only gets crazier for the Targaryens’ extended family. Remember that old, weird dude stuck in the tree who Bran, Hodor, and Meera finally met in the north? That’s Brynden Rivers, the three-eyed crow who was guiding Bran to his frozen location. Rivers has a long history, having served as the Hand of the King and the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch long before the events of the TV series. He’s actually the legitimized bastard son of King Aegon Targaryen the Fourth. When Maester Aemon Targaryen traveled north to join the Night’s Watch, Brynden Rivers was with him.

While it was believed that Brynden Rivers died in an expedition north of the Wall, he has somehow survived death and lived to a very old age. Remember Bran’s Warg abilities? You’d best believe Rivers excels far beyond that. We have a feeling he’s going to play a major role in Bran’s training for future events. Never forget what Brynden Rivers said to Bran Stark upon meeting: “You will never walk again, Bran—but you will fly.”

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Thoros of Myr – Serving the Lord of Light

Here’s someone who made one heck of a debut in season three of Game of Thrones…and then disappeared for years. You might remember Thoros as the Lord of Light priest/warrior who was able to bring Beric Dondarrion back to life after being slain by Sandor “the Hound” Clegane. Later on, Thoros revealed to Melisandre that he’d resurrected Dondarrion six times (you would think he’d start using those spells on a better fighter by now). This Brotherhood Without Banners member was originally supposed to turn King Robert Baratheon into a follower of the Lord of Light, like his brother Stannis. While Thoros was unable to sway King Robert, he still displays a tremendous amount of power from his deity, as he is revered by warriors for fighting with a flaming sword during the last battle of the Greyjoy Rebellion.

Given the possible debut of Lady Stoneheart (more about her soon) and the expected resurrection of Jon Snow, it’s safe to say that Thoros is expected to return. If Jon Snow and/or Catelyn Stark return, we wouldn’t be surprised if Melisandre and Thoros played major roles in bringing them back.

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Catelyn Stark – Lady Stoneheart

Remember that spoiler warning? Don’t say we didn’t warn you. In a world where the dead are being brought back to life by the White Walkers and also by the powers of the Lord of Light, R’hillor, it should be no surprise that some characters (cough-Jon-Snow-cough) are going to be resurrected by some sort of supernatural power. We’ve already mentioned Thoros’ powers of bringing the dead back to life. In the novels, there is no bigger character brought back from death than Catelyn Stark. Ever wonder what happened to the Brotherhood Without Banners? Well, in the books, Catelyn Stark is partially resurrected by Beric Dondarrion (more like he trades his life for hers), and she takes command of the Brotherhood in order to exact revenge against the Lannisters and everyone else who betrayed the Stark family.

If Lady Stoneheart finally appears in the show, you’d better believe this spells doom for a lot of the baddies throughout Westeros. Unfortunately, there are a lot of potentially innocent casualties too, as Podrick Payne and Brienne of Tarth become targets of Catelyn Stark as well. Let’s just say Podrick is better equipped at getting out of the Meereenese Knot than he is the hangman’s.

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Melisandre – Looks good for her age

Melisandre might seem like just another schemer trying to pull the strings from behind the scenes, but she is definitely capable of wielding the powers of R’hillor. We’ve seen her get preggo with the shadow baby of Stannis Baratheon that was used to kill his brother, Renly. At the same time, we’ve seen her magic powers flop a couple times (please see the extra crispy remains of Shireen Baratheon for reference). While much of Melisandre’s Hocus Pocus revolves around praying near a bunch of people being burned to death, there’s still some legitimacy to her capabilities.

Don’t forget, Melisandre’s obscure words of prophecy have occasionally come true. She was able to foresee and hint at the mutiny of Castle Black that led to the murder of Jon Snow. Remember when Snow turned down Melisandre’s sexual advances due to his ongoing love for the departed Ygritte? She replied with the Wildling girl’s favorite phrase: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” If she was able to know all of that, her powers of foresight and other ominous warnings should be heeded as well, especially considering she’s a lot older than she looks.

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Petyr Baelish – The would-be Warden

We have to admit, Petyr Baelish’s rise to power is most impressive. Considering that life in the Seven Kingdoms is all about inheriting from your parents, building up your House even further, and passing everything you have to your oldest heir, Littlefinger has done quite well for himself. Baelish comes from a poor lineage: his great-grandfather was a sellsword, his granddad was a wandering knight with no land until his older days, and his father eventually became a lowly servant to House Tully. Littlefinger went from servitude to brothel owner to Master of Coin on the Small Council. While he didn’t have any chance of kingship when we first met him, he might be able to seize the Iron Throne if his luck continues.

Due to Baelish’s aptitude for Machiavellian-level scheming, he has manipulated himself into being the Lord of the Vale, which is already impressive considering he was originally from the area with nearly nothing to his name. Having set up Sansa Stark with Ramsay Bolton, Littlefinger predicts that the north will become his for the taking due to the war between Stannis Baratheon and the Boltons. He also put Sansa Stark in a unique position. He knows Sansa is a survivor. If Baelish uses the Vale’s forces to clean out the Boltons and ultimately marry Sansa Stark, he could muster up an army that could march on King’s Landing. Just remember, he played a part in the poisoning deaths of Jon Arryn and Joffrey Baratheon and betrayed Ned Stark in King’s Landing. Littlefinger also has a ton of people in King’s Landing on his payroll. He also had the hots for Catelyn Stark for a long time—and Sansa Stark as well, which is really gross.

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