Winter is coming, y'all, and never was that more evident than in Sunday night's speechlessly shocking episode of Game of Thrones. Amid a sea of hyperventilation and completely rational freak-the-fuck-outing that has taken the Internet by storm — the television series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books — fans of the series (both book and televised) were left with the heartbreaking reality this fantasy epic plays so well: sometimes really bad things happen to good people. The winners don't always win, even if the whole world is pulling for them.
So, naturally, one question remains: Who in the seven hells are we supposed to root for now?
With the moral backbone of the show dead on the ground next to his political mistake/one true love Talisa, a large swath of Thrones fans were hoping that Eddard Stark's oldest boy Robb would come in and avenge his death and take Westeros in a more noble direction. Ha, yeah — about that. In the words of the nutter currently getting his masochistic rocks off at the expense of Theon Greyjoy — "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention."
But hey — there are still some folks out there to root for in this crazy-involved game of musical thrones. And we've decided to break it all down for you, below. So let's try to stay optimistic in HBO's little slaughterhouse, shall we?
The Other Starks
Look, they're not all gone. Arya's still out there, and we know that bloodthirsty little murderer-in-training is going to be fine for a bit. She's scrappy! No one with that much horrific happenstance could possibly let it all go and get on with her life, so she'll have to stay alive long enough to enact some sort of revenge. Bran's only just scratched the surface of his Warg-y ways, and Rickon, the littlest Stark, has speaketh at last! Surely, these kids with their big problems and unending strife will come out strong and on top. Gulp. We hope. At least they're a group worth rooting for, eh?
He knew enough to get the heck out of dodge after Orell warged himself into an eagle just before dying. He's a Stark, perhaps not by name, but certainly by heart. Get off of that Wall and into my Throne, Jon Snow. And yes you can interpret that as sexually as you like. We root for Snow, and all that he knows (even if that is nothing).
Duh. Dany is the Khaleesi of our hearts and the HBIC of the Realm. Still, I worry a little bit that her growing infatuation for Daario Naharis will do her more harm than good. That said, as long as Dany's alive, we're on her side.
Olenna Tyrell is not to be messed with, Margaery plays this game like a goddamn champion, and Loras is just fun to have around.
To boot, their selfish motives are often softened by their seemingly noble intentions. Sure, they may not be loyal to much beyond themselves and their family's stability, but a quick marriage here or a bunch of food there, and some help for the poor of King's Landing and well, you can forgive all that.
Tyrion rules. I don't need to explain this one to you. Tyrion forever.
The Other Lannisters
Get out of here with that nonsense! Nobody likes a Lannister!
Our favorite Baratheon is slowly becoming a bigger player in the series, whether he wants to or not. Bastardom be damned: We love Gendry. He's one of the good eggs. Actually, let's just get all the bastards together and have them run the realm. Throw Tyrion, Arya, and a well-behaved dragon in there, too — just for good measure.
So, see, fair friends? Not all hope is lost, but don't get too attached. Game of Thrones is not a show for those of you looking for anything other than constant upheaval. This is a story of folks doing all that they can just to stay alive in a politically and universally unstable time. No one knows what to do or if they'll even live to see another day. Book readers deserve an epic slow-clap for keeping that spoiler such a secret. And hey, cut them some slack for laughing maniacally at your pain: they've been dying on the inside for this for years. Remember: book three of this series came out in 2000! That is 13 years worth of secret-keeping. Daaaaaaaaamn that is some totally justified Schadenfreude right there.
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