Every ‘Game of Thrones’ romantic relationship, ranked from worst to best

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Tormund makes an attempt to capture Brienne’s attention
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HBO

Warning: Spoilers if you have not seen the season finale of “Game of Thrones.”

The words “Game of Thrones” normally bring death, destruction, and political intrigue to mind – but that’s not all that “Game of Thrones” has to offer.

There’s a lot of romance on “Game of Thrones” that tends to get overlooked in the midst of the battles, and wars, between Houses.

The romantic relationships on “Game of Thrones” range from steamy and loving to tempestuous and insidious.

Keeping all of that in mind, we decided to take a look at all of the romantic relationships featured on “Game of Thrones,” and rank them from worst to best.

Here they are:


37. Craster and his daughters/wives

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HBO

Craster is a wildling, and former ally of the Night’s Watch known for marrying and sleeping with all of his daughters. Craster also would sacrifice any male children his daughters bore.

Incest, sacrifice, and nonconsensual relationships aren’t uncommon occurrences on “Game of Thrones,” but the combination of all three makes Craster and his unfortunate daughters/wives the worst relationship on “Game of Thrones.”


36. Walder Frey and his child brides

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HBO

It’s hard to consider Walder Frey’s relationships with his endless stream of disposable child brides relationships at all.

The nonconsensual nature of Walder Frey’s relationships with his young brides makes these so-called relationships some of the all time worst on “Game of Thrones.”


35. Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton

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HBO

Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish arranges for Sansa to marry Ramsay, after the Boltons have taken over Winterfell.

Unsurprisingly, the man who castrated Theon Greyjoy for fun turned out to be a less than stellar husband, physically and psychologically tormenting Sansa.

Sansa exacts revenge upon Ramsay and has him eaten alive by his own dogs, restoring House Stark as the rulers of the North.


34. Stannis and Selyse Baratheon

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HBO

Stannis and Selyse have a loveless marriage, and sacrifice their daughter Shireen to the Lord of Light, at Melisandre’s behest.


33. Sansa Stark and Joffrey Baratheon

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HBO

Before Joffrey brings Sansa to see her father’s severed head on a pike, and threatens to shoot her with his crossbow, there was talk of the two marrying one day.


32. Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish and Lysa Arryn

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HBO

Lysa reveals in season four that she poisoned her husband Jon Arryn, and wrote a letter to her sister Catelyn blaming it on the Lannisters, to prove her love for Littlefinger.

Lysa’s past actions led the Starks to the South, and to the untimely demise of Ned Stark. Lysa and Littlefinger are essentially responsible for all of the events that help catalyze the War of the Five Kings.

Littlefinger manipulates Lysa for his own political gain, and ultimately ends up killing her by pushing her out of her own moon door.


31. Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon

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HBO

The high priestess Melisandre acts as a guide and spiritual advisor to Stannis.

Melisandre seduces Stannis, and has him impregnate her with a magic shadow that assassinates Renly Baratheon.

The relationship between Melisandre and Stannis is more goal-oriented than romantic. After Stannis dies in battle, Melisandre realizes she bet on the wrong horse, and moves on to offer her advice to Daenerys Targaryen.


30. Cersei Lannister and Robert Baratheon

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HBO

Despite being married to Cersei, Robert continued to pine away for Lyanna Stark, who had died shortly after being abducted (or was she?) by Rhaegar Targaryen.

Cersei, once excited by the prospect of marrying Robert, grows resentful of him over the years.

Cersei contributes to Robert’s death by instructing her cousin Lancel Lannister to ply Robert with wine during a boar hunt. Robert, in his slow and drunken state, is stabbed by a boar charging at him, and ends up dying from his infected wound.


29. Lancel Lannister and Cersei Lannister

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HBO

Cersei uses sex to manipulate her cousin Lancel into doing her biding (as mentioned previously).

Lancel eventually goes on to repent for his sins when he becomes a militant follower of the High Sparrow.


28. Tyrion Lannister and Shae

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HBO

It seems like the two are a perfect pair before Shae becomes jealous of Tyrion’s arranged marriage with Sansa.

Shae begins sabotaging Tyrion and sleeping with his father, Tywin Lannister. Tyrion, upon learning of Shae’s deceit, strangles her and shoots his father with a crossbow.


27. Loras Tyrell and Cersei Lannister

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HBO

Tywin tries to force Loras and Cersei to wed, but Cersei defiantly objects. Cersei and Loras never marry.


26. Margaery Tyrell and Joffrey Baratheon

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HBO

When Renly Baratheon, Margaery’s first husband, is killed before he can fight to take over the Iron Throne, Margaery seeks out Joffrey Baratheon.

In an effort to rise to power, Margaery manages to seduce Joffrey Baratheon. Joffrey takes to Margaery, ignoring her previous marriage to his enemy Renly.

Joffrey and Margaery’s marriage doesn’t last long, as Margaery’s grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, has Joffrey poisoned on their wedding day.


25. Sansa Stark and Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish

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HBO

Littlefinger was known for loving Sansa’s mother Catelyn, but in the wake of Catelyn’s death, he became increasingly fond of Sansa – or so it seemed.

Littlefinger took advantage of Sansa, and made it seem as though he was romantically interested in her to gain power.

In the “Game of Thrones” season finale, Sansa finally recognizes that Littlefinger is not to be trusted and has him executed. Arya carries out the order, using his own dagger to slit his throat.


24. Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister

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HBO

Tyrion and Sansa are forced to wed, in an effort to create a makeshift union between the North and the South.

While the marriage is an unromantic and arranged one, the two share a mutual respect for one another, and become unlikely friends.


23. Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon

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HBO

After Joffrey’s death, Margaery moves on to the next Baratheon in line to sit on the Iron Throne, Tommen.

Tommen winds up truly loving Margaery, and when Cersei blows up the Sept of Baylor, killing Margaery among countless others, he takes his own life.


22. Margaery Tyrell and Renly Baratheon

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HBO

Renly is the first Baratheon that Margaery weds in an attempt to gain power. And despite the fact that Renly is sleeping with her brother Loras, the two seem to have a pretty good rapport with one another.

Their marriage meets an unfortunate end when Renly is murdered by the shadow that Melisandre gives birth to.


21. Bronn and Lady Lollys Stokeworth

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HBO

Cersei buys Bronn off to keep him from assisting Tyrion, by arranging for him to marry Lady Lollys Stokeworth.

The arrangement includes a castle and a bounty of riches, something the former sellsword just can’t say “no” to.

It’s unclear if Bronn and Lollys ever did end up getting married.

On Bronn and Jaime Lannister’s journey to retrieve Myrcella from Dorne, Jaime mentions that Cersei has arranged for someone else to marry Lollys. But Bronn is reassured by Jaime that he’ll end up with an even richer woman. Nice.


20. Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth

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HBO

Jaime, far too devoted to his sister, would never dream of being with Brienne.

But on Brienne and Jaime’s journey to King’s Landing, there is some undeniable chemistry, and quite an interesting bathing scene.

Nothing comes of their long journey together, but we still have hope for Brienne and Jaime.


19. Theon Greyjoy and Ros

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HBO

Ros is an affable prostitute who used to see Theon in Winterfell, before making her way to King’s Landing.

Ros meets an unfortunate end at King’s Landing, when she winds up being used by Joffrey for target practice.


18. Tormund Giantsbane and Brienne of Tarth

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HBO

While nothing has happened between Tormund and Brienne yet, Tormund’s clear attraction to Brienne, and the prospect of their potential budding romance alone is delightful.


17. Robert Baratheon and Lyanna Stark

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HBO

Robert continues to love Lyanna for years after her death. In the very first episode of “Game of Thrones,” Robert asks Ned to take him to her tomb.


16. Catelyn Stark and Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish

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HBO

Littlefinger’s devotion to Catelyn, even after her death, is a reflection of the deep love and devotion he has always had for her.

Even though Catelyn never reciprocated Littlefinger’s feelings in any measure, Littlefinger’s undying love of Catelyn makes theirs one of the great unrequited romances on “Game of Thrones.”


15. Daenerys Targaryen and Daario Naharis

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HBO

Daenerys has a brief and steamy affair with her advisor and enforcer Daario.

Daenerys and Daario part ways when she sets sail for Westeros, leaving him behind in Meereen to keep the peace in her absence.


14. Myrcella Baratheon and Trystane Martell

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HBO

Even though Tyrion arranged Myrcella and Trystane’s nuptials, Trystane and Myrcella end up falling in love.

Unfortunately the betrothed never make it to the alter. Myrcella is killed by Ellaria Sand with a poisonous kiss, and Trystane is stabbed by Ellaria’s daughter Nymeria.


13. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen

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HBO

Despite their less than friendly introduction in Dragonstone, things between Jon and Daenerys have heated up pretty quickly.

The two seemed to have bonded over the stresses of ruling, and have now banded together to fight one common enemy – the White Walker and wight army.

In the season finale of “Game of Thrones,” Daenerys and Jon took their relationship to the next level and made love while on their voyage North.

But some might argue that Jon and Daenerys’ relationship feels rushed and lacks a believable passion – also, Daenerys is Jon’s aunt. So, there’s that.


12. Ramsay Bolton and Myranda

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HBO

The couple that murders together stays together?

An evil couple to be sure, but Ramsay and Myranda’s shared love of human suffering and murder made theirs a surprisingly strong relationship on “Game of Thrones.”


11. Grey Worm and Missandei

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Grey Worm and Missandei share an intimate moment
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HBO

Grey Worm and Missandei have secretly loved each other for the past four seasons of “Game of Thrones” and have only just confessed their feelings to each other this season.


10. Loras Tyrell & Renly Baratheon

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HBO

Renly and Loras are lovers in private due to the stigma of being openly gay in Westeros, and Renly’s desire to rule.

Even though their love is forced into privacy due to societal stigmas, the two share a great affection for one another. And who could ever forget when Loras shaves Renly’s entire body?


9. Samwell Tarly and Gilly

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HBO

Gilly is one of the daughters/wives that Sam rescues from Craster’s Keep, along with her son whom Craster wants to sacrifice.

Sam has always loved Gilly, and has sought to protect her. Initially Gilly doesn’t seem to be interested in having a relationship with Sam, but his loyalty and protectiveness ultimately win her over.

The pair seem to be happy living together at the Citadel raising her son, little Sam.


8. Ser Jorah Mormont and Daenerys Targaryen

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HBO

Ser Jorah has loved Daenerys since the moment they met, and has proven countless times that he is willing to do anything for her.

It isn’t until season six that Ser Jorah finally tells Daenerys how he loves her, but his worsening greyscale forces him to leave her side and find a cure.

Miraculously Samwell Tarly is able to cure Ser Jorah of his greyscale, and Ser Jorah returns to Daenerys’ side once more in Dragonstone.

Ser Jorah remains by Daenerys’ side, but with things between Daenerys and Jon heating up, it looks like he’s got less than a chance with Daenerys than ever.


7. Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand

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HBO

Oberyn and Ellaria have an indulgent, and passion-heavy relationship.

After Oberyn is killed by Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in a duel, a distraught Ellaria goes on a revenge driven mission to kill all of the Lannisters whom she holds responsible for Oberyn’s death.

Ellaria kills Cersei’s daughter Myrcella, and rallies behind Daenerys to overthrow Cersei on the Iron Throne. Ellaria ultimately gets captured by Euron Greyjoy, and is delivered to Cersei to meet a dark and disturbing end.


6. Robb and Talisa Stark

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HBO

Robb and Talisa fall in love on the battlefield of the Westerlands. They get married even though Robb promises Walder Frey he will marry one of his daughters in exchange for his allyship.

Even though Robb apologizes profusely to Walder Frey for breaking his promise, Robb, Talisa, and Catelyn Stark are all executed viciously at what is known as the Red Wedding.


5. Jon Snow and Ygritte

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HBO

Ygritte and Jon fall in love when Jon goes north of The Wall with the Night’s Watch, and ends up getting separated with Ygritte who was originally his wildling captive.

Ygritte brings Jon to a wildling camp, and while he’s there the two form a bond and become intimately involved with one another. Jon pretends to back the wildlings’ cause to survive.

Eventually, Jon reveals to Ygritte that he was working undercover, and heads back to Castle Black, leaving on bad terms.

Ygritte and the wildlings make their way south and attack Castle Black. Ygritte seeks out Jon in an attempt to kill him but is shot and killed by a member of the Night’s Watch.


4. Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo

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HBO

Even though Daenerys is sold to Khal to be his bride by her brother, the pair end up falling in love.

Daenerys loves him so much that she even attempts to bring him back from the dead, and names one of her dragons after him.

R.I.P. Khal Drogo.


3. Cersei Lannister and Jaime Lannister

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HBO

Sure, they’re brother and sister (twins if you really want to be precise), but Jaime and Cersei have stuck it out together for literally their entire lives, and had three children (soon to be four) together.

As far as “Game of Thrones” couples go, they’ve been pretty loyal to one other. But, after Cersei’s recent threats against Jaime, it’s questionable whether or not this couple will make it.


2. Catelyn and Eddard “Ned” Stark

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HBO

Ned and Catelyn genuinely seem to love and care for one another. They share a mutual respect for one another, and had five children together.

While both characters die fairly early on in the series, they remain the most solid relationship ever to appear on “Game of Thrones.”


1. Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen

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HBO

For years rumors spread about Rhaegar Targaryen abducting Lyanna Stark and bringing her to Dorne, that Rhaegar ignored the fact that she was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, and that he was married to Elia Martell (with two children).

The alleged abduction of Lyanna is what catalyzed Robert’s Rebellion – a civil war which marked the collapse of the Targaryen dynasty.

Lyanna died due to birthing complications having Rhaegar’s son. Ned finds Lyanna hidden away in the (ironically named) Tower of Joy right before she dies. Lyanna makes Ned promise her he will look after her son – who happened to be Jon Snow.

Earlier this season Gilly found a note in an old maester’s records that says that Rhaegar annulled his first marriage, and remarried someone else at the same time. Although the note does not state who Rhaegar married, it was assumed that he married Lyanna.

In the season finale of “Game of Thrones” we finally know the truth about Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love story.

Samwell Tarly and Bran Stark discuss Jon Snow’s true parentage in the finale. Bran reveals that Lyanna and Rhaegar shared a mutual love for each other, and Sam reveals that Lyanna and Rhaegar had been married prior to conceiving Jon, which means that he isn’t a bastard after all.

Bran explains that this makes Jon the true heir to the Iron Throne, in addition to revealing his real name – Aegon Targaryen.

Neither Daenerys nor Jon is aware of his true heritage, so it doesn’t look as though they’ll be fighting over the Iron Throne any time soon – or ending their blossoming new relationship, which they may reconsider when they realize Daenerys is Jon’s aunt. Yikes.

Lyanna and Rhaegar disobyed all of the rules so they could be together, and were willing to risk their lives just to be together for a mere fraction of time, making them the best romantic relationship on “Game of Thrones.”