When it comes to Game of Thrones, there are a lot of different reasons to watch, what with all the butts, drama, blood, butts, fire, boobs, and scheming — did I say butts? — but one thing I never figured I'd come away from the show with was any relationship goals. Because even with the best couples on Game of Thrones , I figured their relationships wouldn't actually have anything in common with reality or my own personal life, right? Wrong. Very wrong. I am jealous all the time. I'm not saying I want to sign up for the constant threat of death, political intrigue, or impending winter that the world of GoT provides, but it wouldn't be the worst thing if some of the relationships on the show rubbed off on my personal life just the teensiest tiniest bit.
And clearly I'm not talking about ice cold unions like the one between Stannis Baratheon and Lady Selyse, weird arrangements like Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, or literally anything involving Joffrey Baratheon. Game of Thrones can keep all those couples to itself. I'm talking about the couples who actually make sense together, who make each other better, and honestly give me some insight into what I personally am looking for in a partner. And yes, I'm fully aware that I've just taken the first step down a slippery slope that ends in me having a Westeros-themed wedding. BYOD. (Dragons, obv. I can't be expected to provide for everybody.)
But until that magical day, here are the 12 Game of Thrones couples who have been my #relationshipgoals of late.
1. Brienne Of Tarth And Jaime Lannister
Yo, who said it just had to be romantic couples on this list? I just love the energy between these two, and the grudging respect they've both earned for each other.
2. Oberyn Martell And Ellaria Sand
One of my favorite things about Westeros is that there are some places where men and women really are on equal footing, and Dorne seems to be one of them. These two worship — worshipped, RIP Viper — each other, and clearly didn't feel pressured to rush into marriage, because their arrangement was so mutually beneficial. That's how you do it.
3. Loras Tyrell And Renly Baratheon
We didn't see much of them, because their relationship was supposed to be a secret, but my dream is to end up with someone who can match wits with me and even challenge me in my strongest areas, like Loras and Renly did with sword-fighting. These two are proof that being at the top of your game is no excuse to settle; even if someone can't meet you in the exact field where you excel, you have to find someone else who knows what it's like to really care about something, and ideally be really great at it as well.
4. Jon Snow And Ygritte
God bless you, GoT, for giving us scenarios where the man has to be rescued by the woman every once in a while. Down with gender roles, up with this couple.
5. Daenerys Targaryen And Khal Drogo
Don't get me wrong, the way that their union started was super messed up. But what I like about this couple is the way that Dany rose to the occasion and refused to be written off as just a child bride. She more than held her own, learning a new language and a new way of life, and the respect and awe that that accorded her from Drogo was... well, it was super hot, what do you want me to say?
6. Catelyn And Ned Stark
I'm noticing a theme to all these couples, and it's that, in all of them, each partner is on the same level as the other. There's a mutual reliance and respect — that's a word I keep using — and Catelyn and Ned were no different. They made decisions jointly, and there was no lack of trust and understanding, even when they were separated.
7. Daenerys Targaryen And Daario Naharis
This might be because Michiel Huisman plays Daario, and I have a fairly enormous crush on him, but I think there's more to it than that. At the end of the day, sometimes you're an all-powerful queen and you just wanna bang it out, no matter what your royal subjects might say or think. No shame in that game.
8. Arya Stark And Needle
No offense to all you hot couples out there making it work, but this is genuinely the most committed relationship on the show. The sword means something to Arya, it's saved her life multiple times, and it's the thing she holds onto when she discards all the rest of her identity. So yeah, these two are making it for the long haul, I just know it.
9. Missandei And Grey Worm
These two are both firmly in the B-plot, so we don't get to see as much of their love as I'd like, but I'm a big fan of the little glances and gestures they send each other's way during normal interactions. They're not an ostentatious couple; they know how they feel and they don't have to involve other people, which is the ultimate #couplegoal.
10. Samwell Tarly And Gilly
What I love most about this one is that Sam definitely had a thing going for Gilly, but, out of respect for her and his vows, he never made a move. These two were friends first, and Sam was able to care for her as a person without letting it verge into the creepy. And then, when Gilly did finally make the first move, Sam let her take the reins and be the dominant partner, which is very progressive of you dude.
11. Tyrion Lannister And Varys
Once again, not a romantic couple, but the good-natured way these two rib each other without ever taking offense is something we could all learn from. You know what they say about building a good relationship: you have to know how to fight. Varys and Tyrion bicker without ever raising the temperature of the conversation, which is an indicator of their underlying affection and respect for each other.
12. Hot Pie And Baking
Truly, I wish anyone loved me as much as that boy loves pies.
Not ashamed to say I'd happily be the third element in any one of these relationships. Feel free to pass along my number if any of them are looking.
Images: HBO (12); Giphy