Okay, so winter must be coming or something (too late!) because we are jonesin’ for some Thronesin’. As we eagerly await the premiere of the next season of HBO’s epic hair opera, let’s reminisce about some of the things that we miss the most about Game of Thrones right at this very moment. Some will be returning when the show returns in April, and some will not. But like the North, we remember.
18. The Hound’s Positive Attitude
One of the most unexpected delights of the last season was the road-trip buddy comedy that emerged between The Hound (Rory McCann) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). Like most travel-based friendships, it didn’t last – but while Hound was left bleeding from mortal wounds by the side of the road, we’re not putting money down that we’ve seen the last of him just yet.
17. Brienne in a Pink Dress
Actually, you could include pretty much anything starting with “Brienne…” (Gwendoline Christie) on this list, including “Brienne Fighting a Bear”, “Brienne Kicking Jaime’s Ass”, or “Brienne Just Bein’ Brienne”. But the short span when our favorite fearless warrior woman was forced to wear a pink dress was as close to comedy as the show ever gets.
16. Its Mercilessness
We love how this show will kill or maim literally anyone or anything at any time, with no apologies – only The Walking Dead can match it for its lack of sentimentality toward its characters or fanbase. Other shows could be vastly improved by not being so protective of their darlings.
15. The Theme Song and Clockwork Map Intro
Sometimes we hear the driving, looping strings of the theme music in our sleep. (We have emotional issues.) And fans of the show are so obsessed with the brilliant opening titles animation that they’ve come up with all sorts of tributes to it. Above, gay saxophonist Dave Koz gives the catchy tune the smooth jazz treatment, because dragons. (Related: we know nothing about jazz.)
14. Sam, Gilly, and the Baby
KIDDIIIIING! They are the absolute worst.
Baby in mortal danger = never not funny.
13. Lysa Arryn, Batshit Widow of the Vale
This lady was what my Mom would call “a real fart in a bottle”. Whether it was scheming against her own niece or offering her son Robin his thrice-daily “bitty”, you just never knew what Catelyn Stark’s wacky sister was going to get up to next. Until “next” was “plummeting to her death”. After which it was a pretty easy guess.
Sadly, Winterfell’s most celebrated catchphrase comic won’t be seen at all this season as he workshops some new single-word routines on the Catskills circuit. So if you want to get your Hodor fix, better catch out actor Kristian Nairn doing a DJ set at an EDM festival.
11. TV-MA LSNV
Nothing says Sunday Night like an itemized list of deliriously adult television promises. At this point the average parental guidance rating for Thrones is rivaled only by the acronym for the LGBTQIA community.
(Image above from BeeronSunday)
10. Arya Stark
Everything about this girl – from her medieval emo tomboy realness to her all-consuming vengeance to her habit of making friends with people with names like “Jaqen” and “Hot Pie” – is perfection. Heck, even the actress’s real name – Maisie Williams – sounds like a starry-eyed hoofer from a jazz-age musical. Friggin’ adorable. (And deadly.)
9. Lady Olenna Tyrell’s Color Commentary
The Rex Reed of Westeros can always be depended upon for a cutting comment or icy stare. Dowager who?
8. Tyrion Lannister’s Patchy Accent
Clearly Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is a well-traveled man of considerable means, and he likely picked up some speech affectations here and there. Which is why it’s so much fun to hear him unleash accents ranging from vaguely South African to vaguely Kiwi to vaguely Summer Stock whenever he loses his temper.
7. Oberyn Martell
Swashbuckling switch-hitter Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) burned short, but he burned bright. While he failed to complete his quest to avenge his sister personally, he sure had a hell of good time banging his way to the finish line. We’ll miss this rascal.
6. Ser Pounce
Speaking of rascals, someone shoo that puss out of the Throne Room – he’ll spray everything!! (Sadly, Ser Pounce’s contract was not renewed for another season.)
5. Cersei’s Side-Eye
We like our Cersei (Lena Headey) best when she’s either drunkenly goading on her family members or preparing to poison her own children. (Or, as is often the case, both.)
Everyone’s favorite member of the Night’s Watch (sorry, Jon Snow!) fell to the invading horde, but he went down fighting. Why must God insist on plucking the prettiest flowers?
3. Theon Greyjoy’s “Little Ironborn”
Rumor has it that after a few much-lauded appearances in the early seasons, Theon’s favorite scene partner was let go because the fame had given him a swelled head. [pause for laughs] Alfie Allen, your contributions to the cause have been duly noted, rewound, and screencapped.
Teenagers, amirite? Still badass after all these years.
1. Renly Baratheon
I MEAN COULD YOU JUST.
Our Otter King (Gethin Anthony) barely survived past Season 1, but his legacy lives on in the heart of the eternally badass Brienne of Tarth and in the facial hair of gay hipsters everywhere.
Those are just a few of the things that have us pining for the return of Thrones. What do you miss most about the show? Sound off in the comments!