Anyone who has read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the source material for HBO’s Game of Thrones, knows just how many characters make up that universe. So many, in fact, that the books feature indexes to help keep readers from getting confused. For the television production, HBO removed many of these characters or compiled multiple ones into a single character to simplify things. There are a few important picks that have yet to be seen or have been omitted, but we’re sure readers would love to see. Here are six of our favorites.
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead, both for the books and the show.
Arianne Martell is the daughter of Doran Martell (who has appeared on the show as played by Alexander Siddig). Cousin to the Sand Snakes, she is a strong-willed, beautiful woman who has managed to resist getting married despite having been marriage material for years. (She’s only 23 but consider the world she lives in. Daenerys was married to Khal Drogo at 14 in the books.)
Arianne is technically the heir to Sunspear and Dorne, but her father has plans for his son to succeed instead. After the death of Oberyn Martell at the hands of the Lannisters, Arianne devises a scheme to make Myrcella Baratheon the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. It doesn’t go particularly well for anyone and Arianne is locked away in a tower until near the end of A Dance with Dragons.
Arianne is particularly important to the series because she has a tight connection to the Sand Snakes and is vital to the upcoming plots in Dorne. Arianne would be the counter to Ellaria Sand and provide a face in Dorne people can actually root for.
Young Griff is introduced in A Dance with Dragons as a young man aboard the Shy Maid traveling with Tyrion Lannister (in disguise) to Volantis. Young Griff reveals that he is actually Aegon Targaryen, son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. While Tyrion doesn’t initially believe this, the boy is the right age and has those distinctive Targaryen features. Griff claims that when the Mountain was supposed to kill the Targaryen children during the sack of King’s Landing, Varys replaced him with a low-born infant.
If Young Griff is actually Aegon Targaryen, that gives him some claim to the Iron Throne, though Daenerys’ claim is stronger as there’s no one doubt about her bloodline. His plan in A Dance with Dragons is to seek out Daenerys and marry her in the old Targaryen incestuous way. (Dany is technically his aunt.)
When Aegon was born, his father saw a red comet in the sky, symbolizing the coming of “The Prince that Was Promised”, a prophesied future ruler. Whether Griff is actually the promised prince or not has yet to be revealed in the novels.
Victarion Greyjoy is the uncle of Theon Greyjoy and is a scary old Viking pirate warrior from Pike. Leader of the Iron Fleet, Victarion is one of the most-feared men on the seas. When Balon Greyjoy dies, Victarion and his brother Euron both make claims for Pike, but the elder (and crazier) Euron is chosen in the Kingsmoot (which is part of this upcoming season).
Victarion is deeply loyal to the Greyjoy family and to Pike, so he continues to fight, even for if it’s under orders from his hated brother Euron. Their youngest brother, Aeron, is a priest of the Drowned God and drinks salt water to make him immortal. (The entire Greyjoy family is insane and badass, and honestly could probably have their own show.)
When he was last seen in the books, Victarion was sailing for Meereen to help Daenerys and earn her favor and hopefully an alliance between the Iron Islands and the Mother of Dragons. Euron claims that he will take over the Seven Kingdoms with dragons, and Victarion is the key to that victory.
Mya Stone is the bastard daughter of Robert Baratheon, though she was raised by Jon Arryn at the Eyrie. Mya’s birth is what caused Lyanna Stark to question her betrothal to Robert, as she feared he would father many bastards. (He did.) Lyanna’s hesitation to marry Robert and her kidnapping by Rhaegar Targaryen would eventually lead to Robert’s Rebellion and the end of the Targaryen reign.
Mya befriends Sansa Stark when she is at the Eyrie pretending to be Alayne. Mya is a strong and tough woman, as it is her job to lead the mules up the rocky cliffs to the Eyrie, where even one misstep could mean death. She knows of her heritage, and at one point King Robert had planned on bringing her to King’s Landing. The only reason he did not was because his wife Cersei Lannister threatened the girl, angering Robert enough that he slapped Cersei.
While including Rhaegar Targaryen in the HBO show would require flashbacks, he’s an incredibly compelling character. We know the show is planning to show the Tower of Joy battle, but we’re hoping it will also show Rhaegar’s “kidnapping” of Lyanna Stark, which was likely voluntary. That rumored romance is why many thing Rhaegar could also possibly be Jon Snow’s father, so it would be good for viewers to get an idea of the character.
Rhaegar is remembered in the books by Cersei as being “the most beautiful man” she had ever seen. Cersei was infatuated with Rhaegar and also said that if she had been married to him instead of Elia Martell, he never would have become interested in Lyanna Stark.
Rhaegar is depicted as honorable, chivalrous, and a just warrior. The smallfolk loved him despite his inability to stop his father King Aerys’ madness. He also prophesied the coming of three rulers — the “three-headed dragon”— of Aegon (Young Griff), Daenerys, and an unknown third (many think this is Jon Snow).
“He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany’s, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. “There must be one more,” he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. “The dragon has three heads.” – A Clash of Kings
Perhaps the most-wanted by fans of the novels, Lady Stoneheart is actually Catelyn Stark resurrected by Lord Beric Dondarrion. Beric gave his life for Catelyn’s when they found her corpse in the river near the Twins after the Red Wedding, and she became “Lady Stoneheart.” Catelyn’s throat was cut so deeply at the Red Wedding that she is forever unable to speak, and she was left mutilated with scratches covering her face.
Catelyn as Lady Stoneheart assumes command of the Brotherhood Without Banners, and proceeds to go after anyone who betrayed her family. She eventually encounters Brienne of Tarth and questions the knight’s loyalty, as Brienne is carrying the sword Jamie Lannister gave her. Catelyn threatens to hang Brienne if she doesn’t kill Jaime, and Brienne refuses. At the end of A Feast for Crows, Brienne’s fate is unknown and left in Catelyn’s hands.
Lady Stoneheart is a ruthless avenging mother come back from the dead, and she’s easily one of ASoIaF‘s most interesting characters. Here’s hoping HBO gets the memo and brings Michelle Fairley back for more.
(All art featured is from the Game of Thrones card game published by Fantasy Flight Games unless otherwise noted.)