Game of Thronesis full of unwelcome alliances and partnerships of convenience. This was especially true in Season 3, which saw reluctant duos begrudgingly thrown together across the Seven Kingdoms. Not only are these pairings often hilarious to watch (in a show that sometimes desperately needs a dose of levity), but they offer new insights into characters we thought we knew. Here are a few of our favorites reluctant duos of Season 3...
Sansa and Tyrion
How amazing was Sansa and Tyrion’s bonding scene in the Season 3 finale? You know, before she found out Tyrion’s family killed more members of her own. These two may have had the most awkward wedding in the history of Westeros (though, still decidedly more fun than the Red Wedding), but there is something about their interaction that rings true. These characters have almost nothing in common, but they test one another in interesting ways. For Sansa, their marriage is another lesson in the silliness of valuing beauty over kindness (i.e. Joffrey vs. Tyrion). For Tyrion, it pits his loyalty to his family against his good nature. His decision to wait until Sansa wants him before bedding her — against the express wishes of his father — demonstrates his merits as a man on a show where so few are consistently good.
Jaime and Brienne
We still consider The Bathtub Scene one of the best of the whole series, and it wouldn’t have happened with what is perhaps our favorite reluctant duo: Brienne and Jaime! Watching these two slowly grow from reluctant co-travelers to — dare we say it? — friends was one of the best storylines of the season. This pairing especially did a lot for Jaime as a character. We previously enjoyed him for his wit, but less-so for his humanity (the man did push Bran out of a window in Winterfell). Though it doesn’t erase his past wrongdoings, Jaime’s throwing off of his “Kingslayer” label and decision to save Brienne from death-by-bear gave him a few heroic moments. We’re deeply saddened that we didn’t get more interaction between these two in the last few episodes of the season.
Arya and The Hound
We didn’t appreciate this duo’s dynamic as much as Arya's interaction with Tywin in Season 2, but it still cast both characters in a new and interesting light, mostly, because they have so much in common. In The Hound, we can see the kind of person Arya could become if she continues down a path of bitterness. In Arya, we can understand how The Hound may have started: as a child forced to grow up too soon in a cruel and unjust world. The tragic thing about these two is that they don’t seem to see the commonality in each other — well, at least on Arya’s part. She refuses to acknowledge that kindness can also exist in the heart of this killer.
Jon and Ygritte
them on our list. Even when these two couldn’t stay away from one another this season, there was a resistance to their attraction. For Jon, it was because he knew where his allegiance truly lay. And, for Ygritte it was ... because she knew where Jon’s allegiance truly lay. Their story is tragic in that, in different circumstances, these two would probably never have fallen in love — or in other different circumstances, they could have stayed together (and Ygritte might not have shot Jon with quite so many arrows). Whatever happens with these two in the future, and just like the other duos on our list, they have learned something about themselves (and we viewers about them) in their reluctant pairing.
Which reluctant duo is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!