The Best (and Worst) Couples on Game of Thrones

We're looking back at some of the most memorable duos on GoT—and some we'd rather forget.

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Game of Thrones isn't only about death and war; sometimes, some characters are lucky enough to find love. But since this is GoT, some romances come to a tragic end (RIP Robb and Talisa), or they're hardly romantic at all (cue Cersei and Robert). From forbidden loves to incestuous relationships (unfortunately there are more than one), these are the best and worst couples in Westeros and beyond.

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BEST: Jon Snow & Ygritte
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Jon and Ygritte went from captor and prisoner to forbidden lovers (he broke his Night's Watch vows to sleep with her) and, quite arguably, one of the most lovable pairs on the show so far. The fact that Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are married in real life makes it even better.

Witty Ygritte was such a perfect match for brooding Jon, which made her death scene (he held her in his arms as a battle carried on around him) even more emotional. In fact, they were such a good pair that it's nearly impossible to imagine Snow with another woman. Even Kit Harington agrees: "Ygritte is the only woman for Jon. Always. There will be no one else." Let's hope Daenerys Targaryen doesn't find out.

BEST: Grey Worm & Missandei
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When Missandei started giving Grey Worm lessons in the Common Tongue, we knew sparks were going to fly. Ironically, this teacher-and-pupil pair don't get to talk much on the show, but when they do, their affection and chemistry manifest through broken English, stolen glances, and intense stares. The Unsullied warrior may be a eunuch, but that didn't stop him and Missandei from sharing a surprisingly intimate sex scene in Season 7.

BEST: Robb & Talisa Stark
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Robb and Talisa were the show's equivalent to a Cinderella story—the King in the North falls for a meek war nurse. They were in love and expecting a child, but, in classic GoT fashion, they did not get a happy ending: they got the Red Wedding.

Unfortunately, it was their love that led to their downfall. By marrying Talisa, Robb broke a marriage pact between the Starks and the Freys, causing the latter to retaliate with a blood bath.

BEST: Ned & Catelyn Stark
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The Starks were Game of Thrones's O.G. "mom and dad" figures. Ned was a man of honor, and Catelyn was strong and protective of their five children together.

However, Lady Stark did have trust issues with her husband because of Jon Snow, whom everyone believes is Ned's bastard son. As his wife, how could she not be concerned? But she didn't know the truth—that Ned lied about having a child out of wedlock to protect the identity of his secret nephew (Jon), proving he was faithful to Catelyn (and his sister Lyanna) all along.

BEST: Loras Tyrell & Renly Baratheon
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GoT gave us incest before it showed a same-sex relationship between two major characters, but when it finally did, they gave us one between a King and Knight (who also happened to be the Queen's brother). Renly and Loras's love, though undercover, was adorable. They vented about their problems (Renly complained about his Baratheon brothers) and shaved each others' chests—their affection manifested in more ways than fooling around in bed.

BEST: Oberyn Martell & Ellaria Sand
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This Dorne-based duo was probably the sexiest pair on GoT (that is, before Oberyn's face was smushed to a pulp by The Mountain.) They also challenged traditional couple standards as bisexual characters in a polyamorous relationship.

Even after Oberyn was killed, Ellaria plotted revenge on House Lannister by poisoning Cersei's daughter Myrcella and—after killing off Prince Doran—pledges Dorne's army to Daenerys Targaryen in her quest to usurp the throne. #Dedication

BEST: Rhaegar Targaryen & Lyanna Stark
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The events of Game of Thrones would not have started without Lyanna and Rhaegar’s forbidden romance. He was married to Elia Martell and shared two children with her, and Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, but they fled together, kicking off a massive rebellion to get her back.

For years, it was presumed that Rhaegar had kidnapped her, but the TV interpretation of the story shows that they actually did love each other. Rhaegar annulled his marriage with Elia, wed Lyanna in a secret ceremony in the forest, and secretly had a child with her—Jon Snow (Aegon Targaryen)—who’d grow up to be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

BEST: Jaime Lannister & Brienne of Tarth

Although Jaime and Brienne didn’t get together until the final season—and their romance quickly fell apart after that—the true backbone of their bond was a strong, genuine friendship. They first struck up an unlikely rapport after Catelyn Stark set Jaime free from her son’s camp and ordered Brienne to return him to King’s Landing in order to get her daughters, Sansa and Arya, back from the Lannisters’ clutches. They share tender, vulnerable moments during their travels. When they return to the capitol, Jaime gives Brianne a Valyrian steel sword (which she names Oathkeeper) made from Ned Stark’s Ice, and he later wields its counterpart (Widow’s Wail) which first belonged to his son, Joffrey.

Seasons later, Jaime leaves Cersei to ride north and ultimately fight by Brienne’s side. He even knights her, making her lifelong dream come true. It’s a shame that their long-awaited hookup happened like a scene in a high school movie—after a drinking game where Brienne gets called out for being a virgin. In the end, Jaime leaves Brienne a sobbing mess at Winterfell and rides back to Cersei and dies with her at King’s Landing.

BEST: Arya Stark & Gendry Baratheon
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Here’s another fan-favorite duo that also started out as travel buddies. These two first met as recruits for the NIght’s Watch after Ned Stark’s beheading. Arya is disguised as a boy for her own safety, but she discloses her true identity to only Gendry. She even offers him to go back to Winterell with her (“I can be your family,” she tearfully says) before he gets taken by Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon’s men.

Years later (in both real life and, we can assume, the show), they reunite at Winterfell when the Northern armies gather to fight the Army of the Dead. They’ve grown up and have a newfound attraction for one another. They sleep together the night before the war thanks to Arya (who’s 18 at this point), who wants to know what sex is like before she possibly dies. Daenerys makes Gendry the lord of Storm’s End, the Baratheon ancestral seat; but when he proposes to Arya and asks her to be his "lady," she turns him down.

BEST: Gilly & Sam
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GoT hardly has cute moments, but when it does, they're often between Gilly and Sam. They're sweet, innocent, homely, and perfect for each other. Sometimes they're romantic, sometimes they bicker like an old married couple, and for that reason, they might be the most relatable pair on the show.

Their romance also brings out the best in Sam, who is often overshadowed in strength and valor by his brothers in the Night's Watch. He saved Gilly from Craster (and killed a White Walker), he teaches her how to read, and he cares for her infant son as if it was his own. When they say their goodbyes to Jon Snow (essentially their last scene on the show), it turns out they've also conceived a child of their own.

BEST: Tormund Giantsbane & Brienne of Tarth
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Are they a hypothetical couple? Yes. But are they entertaining as hell to watch? Absolutely.

BEST: Daenerys Targaryen & Daario Naharis
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Daario was pretty much smitten with Daenerys from the day he met her. He took control of the Second Sons, a sellsword army, so he could pledge them to her cause. He advised and supported her as she prepared to take the throne. He rode off (with Jorah Mormont) to find her after she fled and was captured by the Dothraki. He even stayed loyal as a sidepiece during Dany’s marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq. However, she kind of left him in the cold when she made him stay in Meereen rather than join her for her conquest of Westeros.

BEST: Trystane Martell & Myrcella Baratheon
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These two little lovebirds were the perfect romantic relief from the tensions and conflicts of GoT. They enjoyed young love in the beautiful gardens of Dorne, away from the terrors and dangers of the rest of Westeros. For Trystane and Myrcella, ignorance really was bliss—until they too were eventually murdered.

PROBLEMATIC: Khal Drogo & Daenerys Targaryen
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Although this Khal and Khaleesi pair went on to become one of GoT's most iconic couples, Drogo did rape Daenerys on their wedding night in a very difficult-to-watch scene—this shouldn't be forgotten just because they end up calling each other "My Sun and Stars" by the end of the season.

Dany first entered this marriage already wanting to escape. She was young, had just fled from home, was stuck with an abusive brother, and was sold and forced to marry someone she didn't know from a culture she knew nothing about. When she and Drogo eventually did fall in love, they conceived a son named Rhaego. But the family fell apart—Dany gave birth to a stillborn child and her husband died after failed attempts to save him.

Being with Drogo and earning the title of Khaleesi was a huge step in Daenerys's evolution toward becoming a strong leader—one who is now on her way to take the Iron Throne. It was also his funeral pyre that helped hatch her dragon eggs.

ALSO PROBLEMATIC: Cersei & Jaime Lannister
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Cersei and Jaime, the Lannister twins, are GoT's evil power couple. Though protective of their children and each other, they're behind a lot of the deaths we've seen on the show so far. It was their relationship that kicked off the drama in the series in the first place, when they pushed little Bran Stark out the window for finding them having sex back in Episode 1.

We’ve gone back and forth on the Lannisters’ relationship throughout the show. Although a lot of messed up stuff has gone on between these siblings, they’re extremely loyal to each other, and to their family. We also can’t forget the fact that Jaime at one point rapes his sister in front of their own son’s corpse in Season 4.

It seemed like Jaime was done with Cersei for good at the end of Season 7 when he goes North to fight amongst the living, reuniting with Brienne, and even making peace with Bran. But after the battle is over, he returns to her and dies with her in the Red Keep. As much as we wanted him to change for the better, he warned us: “[Cersei is] hateful. And so am I.”

WORST: Sansa Stark & Joffrey Baratheon
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Sansa has a history of being forced into awful marriages, and it all started off with this one. At the start of Season 1, she was a love-struck teenager who was head-over-heels for Joffrey; she even sided with him over her own sister, Arya. But after seeing him call for her father's execution, it all went downhill from there. Viewers, however, always knew Joffrey was the worst.

WORST: Stannis Baratheon & Melisandre
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Though they weren't specifically an item, Stannis and the Red Woman did sleep together and spend plenty of time together; but it was all for ulterior motives. He wanted to be King of the Seven Kingdoms, and she believed in him because she "saw it in the flames," which gave him an a boost of confidence. However, the results of their union were deadly—they conceived a demon shadow baby that killed his brother, Renly Baratheon. And when Stannis's army finally went to war, it turned out Melisandre's vision was wrong, and he was killed.

WORST: Jon Snow & Daenerys Targaryen
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As the King in the North and the Mother of Dragons, these two are a true power couple of Westeros. The only issue is that Jon is Dany’s nephew and, as the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, he actually supersedes her in line for the throne.

The lineage issue ultimately becomes the true downfall of their romance. Incest is common among Targaryens, but not among Northerners. Jon becomes more reluctant about his fling with Daenerys after finding out she’s his aunt. She also becomes paranoid about his claim to the throne even though he doesn’t want it. Things get worse when Dany realizes she doesn’t have the love of the people of Westeros like Jon does. And when others—like Sansa, Arya, and Varys—learn about Jon’s parentage and deem him a better ruler, she goes off.

WORST: Euron Greyjoy & Cersei Lannister
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Two of the worst people in Westeros forming a union? What could possibly go wrong? It’s bad enough that one is a conniving queen and the other is GoT’s biggest D-bag, but even elements of their relationship itself are cringey. Self-righteous Eureon expects sex after bringing Cersei the Golden Company. She refuses him with an epic line, but quickly changes her mind moments after. They have awful post-coital banter. And, to top it off, she tells him she’s pregnant with his child, even though it’s actually Jaime’s (and she had promised him that she would tell everyone that he’s the father).

WORST: Selyse & Stannis Baratheon
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The worst part about Stannis and Melisandre was that he cheated on his wife, Selyse, but that relationship wasn't on solid ground, either. Because she was blindly devout to the Lord of Light, she let her husband commit adultery with the priestess and, ultimately, sacrifice their own daughter, Shireen. There's a special place in hell for spouses who watch their child get burned alive together.

WORST: Myranda & Ramsay Bolton
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Myranda and Ramsay were truly horrible people, which made them perfect for each other. She assisted him in torturing his victims, including the time he castrated Reek (Theon Greyjoy). She was merely the kennel master’s daughter while he became the Lord of Winterfell, but they were genuinely crazy about each other.

As Ramsay mourned Myranda’s death (Reek pushed her off a balcony at Winterfell), he told her corpse, “Your pain will be paid for a thousand times over. I wish you could be here to watch.” How romantically sadistic. But then he later orders that her remains be fed to his hounds so they don’t waste “good meat.” Yikes.

WORST: Cersei Lannister & Robert Baratheon
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Cersei finally fulfilled one of her prophecies by marrying Robert, but they were unhappy together. He was still in love with the late Lyanna Stark, and she was sneaking off with Jaime. (You know a marriage is bad when someone's cheating on her husband with her own brother.) Ultimately, she was the reason behind his death.

Though they seemed miserable, a tender scene between the two gave insight into their relationship. Cersei admitted she used to "feel something" for Robert and that they lost a son together. In a rare vulnerable moment, she asked him, "Was it ever possible for us? Was there ever a time, ever a moment?" But he shut her down: "No."

WORST: Lysa Arryn & Petyr Baelish
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She was GoT's answer to the obsessed, jealous girlfriend. He was a conniving snake was still in love with her sister. Together, they were far from perfect.

Though Littlefinger and Lysa Arryn married during his trip to the Vale with Sansa, she caught him kissing Sansa and became overcome with envy. He ultimately shoved her out of the Moon Door to her death. What's worse, his parting words could easily be the most savage burn in Westeros history: "I have only loved one woman, only one, my whole life: your sister."

WORST: Sansa Stark & Petyr Baelish
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Like Lysa Arryn, Sansa provided Littlefinger with another outlet to express his love for Catelyn Stark, but his relationship with Sansa was a weird hybrid of obsession and a failed attempt at protection. He was the one who encouraged her to marry Ramsay, a decision that hurt her in myriad ways. After she returned home to Winterfell, he attempted to turn her against her sister, Arya, which ultimately led to his execution.

WORST: Cersei and Lancel Lannister
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Apparently for Cersei, one incestual relationship wasn't enough. She and her cousin Lancel had a few hookups after her husband Robert Baratheon’s death and after Jaime’s capture, but they didn’t last long. After converting to the religion of the Sparrows and becoming part of the Faith Militant, Lancel was unfortunately one of the first to die in Cersei’s wild plan to blow up the Great Sept with wildfire.

WORST: Tyrion Lannister & Shae
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Tyrion and Shae were adorable until they weren't. (Remember when she told him, "I am yours and you are mine," in that tear-jerking bedside scene?) Their passionate affair went downhill fast in Season 4 when she testified against him in trial. When he found out she slept with his dad, Tyrion strangled her to death.

WORST: Tommen Baratheon & Margaery Tyrell
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Though husband and wife, Margaery and Tommen's relationship was a cringeworthy union between a full-grown woman and an early teen. Though Margaery seemed sweet as ever on the outside, we know she only married into the Baratheon-Lannister line to be Queen.

ABSOLUTE WORST: Sansa Stark & Ramsay Bolton
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If you saw the episode of their wedding night—or if you know anything about Ramsay's character at all—you understand.

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