To tide me over until author George R.R. Martin releases the next A Song of Ice and Fire book, the series which Game of Thrones is based on, I’ve been reflecting on the fictional series as a whole and why it’s so great.
With its inter-weaving plots, fascinating politics, subversion of popular tropes, and depth, Martin’s books are captivating. And what makes all these aspects even better are the rich and complex characters in the series.
There are a lot of them – and I mean a lot – but each one has their part to play. Some of these characters, unfortunately, never made the cut to appear on the HBO show, but they still deserve a bit of limelight.
So without further adieu, the five characters from A Song of Ice and Fire who should appear on Game of Thrones! This list will contain spoilers for both the book series and TV show.
5. Quentyn Martell
He might be dead in the books already, but it didn’t mean his role wasn’t important, or that his absence from the show wasn’t felt. He travels to Meereen to meet Daenerys Targaryen and bring her back to Dorne and, subsequently, marry her. This is proposed in due part because the proposition of a marriage between his older sister, Arianne, and Dany’s older brother, Viserys, became null and void after the latter’s death.
Quentyn’s role is small in the books – he’s sweet, but dumb, and goes to his death thanks to his hubris and Dany’s dragon, Rhaegal – but it’s important in a larger political scheme and revealing Dorne’s ambitions.
It’s widely accepted that the Dorne plot on the show is currently one of the worst, having distorted arguably one of the coolest and most fascinating storylines in the books, and I’ll discuss this further with another character on this list. But it’s telling that the only child of Prince Doran on the show is Trystane, who’s the least important and most boring in the books.
4. Victarion Greyjoy
Last night on Game of Thrones, Balon Greyjoy finally met his demise at the hands of his brother, Euron, a character who has never been seen on the show before. Another character who has never been seen before, but is more important than Euron, is another Greyjoy sibling: Victarion.
He’s a dullard and a brute, but a capable commander, according to Martin. He has an important political role and is currently on route to Meereen to, like everyone else it seems, find Daenerys and court her. The Greyjoys are an important House in Westeros and the larger plot of ASOIAF, who have unfortunately been reduced greatly on the show, despite the way they can change the tides – pardon the pun.
3. Lady Stoneheart
This character’s absence on the show is one of the deepest felt.
After Catelyn Stark’s death at the Red Wedding, Lord Beric Dondarrion revives Catelyn as Lady Stoneheart, a mutilated figure without the ability to speak, who assumes command of the brotherhood without banners and swears vengeance on the Lannisters and anyone associated with them.
Besides being a fan-favorite, Stoneheart is thrilling as a female character who is motivated by vengeance. She is still a major player in the books, specifically with another fan-favorite, Brienne of Tarth, and could wind up having major consequences on the larger plot.
While showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have not ruled her out entirely, it seems increasingly unlikely we’ll ever see this character on the show, and that’s a shame, both as a plot-driver, but also just as a totally badass character.
2. Jon Connington
Arguably, this character and the next’s absences are the most egregious for their massive and important plots in the books, which are still ongoing. While it is possible Jon Connington, once head of House Connington and friend to the Targaryens under King Aerys II’s reign before being exiled, could show up in the series, it doesn’t look likely right now.
However, as I mentioned, his plot is critical. After his exile, Varys approaches him with a scheme: Rhaegar Targaryen’s son, Aegon, apparently survived Robert’s Rebellion, and now needs to be protected and Jon is the one to do it. At some point, Tyrion Lannister joins them and figures out Aegon’s identity. This news has reached King’s Landing, and Dorne, and whatever the fallout will be, we need to wait for the next book, but it will undoubtedly be big.
It’s a shame the show isn’t exploring this plot, which is one of the most interesting, and perhaps one of the most impactful.
1. Arianne Martell
Last is the Princess of Dorne, and eldest daughter to Prince Doran. Like Jon Connington, she’s currently driving massive plots in the books that make Dorne, unlike in the show, one of the most exciting settings.
Dorne is a primogeniture society, which means right of succession goes to the firstborn child, regardless of gender. Given this fact, Arianne is set to inherit the seat of Sunspear. However, when this apparently goes awry, she fights for her birthright through Myrcella Baratheon, who Arianne believes should be Queen of Westeros, given she is older than her brother Tommen, who is currently on the throne.
It is a huge plot in the books, which has seen a lot of ups and downs and is still in the works. Even more, the last we saw of Arianne, she had heard of Jon and Aegon and was sent by her father to find them.
There are plenty of characters involved with Arianne who, understandably, also do not show up in the series, but are compelling characters in the books.
The show has already surpassed the books and are working with their own plots. It’s difficult to adapt any book to film or television, but I think some of these changes and deletions could have been avoided or handled better.
Which ASOIAF characters do you wish were in the show? Which ones do you hope might show up later on? Let us know in the comments!