Game of Thrones may have had a hated final season, but it was still such a phenomenon that at least one spin-off is making it to the screen – House of the Dragon. And this time, with a completed book and history to draw from, fans are hopeful that it won’t go the way of the original series in the end.
Unfortunately, when the last season of Game of Thrones arrived, fans were mortified to watch the character arcs, and the story arc rushed over six episodes and then came to a screeching halt. It was clear that a character could easily be ruined by the time they left the show. Even before the last season, some well-loved characters were killed off or turned completely different than expected.
9 Renly Baratheon
Renly was a well-written character with wasted potential. He honestly seemed like he had a decent chance up against Stannis and perhaps even better potential as a good king. He, unfortunately, was killed off by Melisandre’s magical Shadow.
The scene when the Shadow enters the tent and kills Renly is ultimately when Renly’s character is ruined and, is a very anti-climatic death. The show writers proved how powerful Melisandre’s dark magic was, but wasted the chance for an epic battle between the Baratheon brothers as they fought for the throne. Brienne had just become his champion, and she didn’t even have the chance to protect him. At least it became the origin story for her revenge.
8 Stannis Baratheon
Stannis is one character, in particular, that was truly built up to be a great villain and dangerous threat for the other protagonists in the series but was immediately ruined in one scene.
When Stannis first enters the show, he obviously had a strategy brewing for a while. He had the makings of a true villain. In fact, he was so power hungry he was willing to sacrifice his own daughter. Viewers were expecting a great battle from him as he went to claim his throne. However, that wasn’t what they were given at all. Stannis was immediately ruined as a character as soon as Brienne found him already close to death on the ground from a battle that wasn’t even shown. One true ‘villain’ was destroyed instantly, making for yet another anticlimatic resolve.
7 Khal Drogo
Drogo was a fierce leader and known to be a great warrior to the Dothraki. Sadly, it only took one scene to lead to his undoing. Even though it was a crucial moment in the show that led to the rise of Daenerys, it was a sad way to kill off a character with such ferocity as him.
The story that led to Drogo’s death was when Mago challenged him after being upset with Daenerys insulting their customs. Drogo was enraged and pressed the blade into his own skin, resulting in a flesh wound. This would have been an epic show of Drogo’s character if it didn’t lead to him dying after it was poisoned by Mirri Maz Duur, who hated him. Ultimately, this works out for Daenerys’ story, but it was a sad way to exit for a well-written character like Drogo.
6 Sandor Clegane
Sandor Clegane, better known as The Hound, is one of the best redemption stories in Game of Thrones. The seemingly heartless, cold brute showed he had a soft side and empathy for those around him. He even saved Sansa and Arya several times. His character, even though redeemed, still managed to be ruined in the end.
Clegane showed throughout the show that he wasn’t the heartless, savage man everyone took him for. He proved he wasn’t by showing compassion to Sansa and Arya several times. He ended up fighting on the right side, seemingly putting the idea for revenge behind him. However, at the very last moment, as he and Arya approached the Red Keep, he told Arya to flee, gave up the search for Cersei, and once again went off to fight his brother. This ultimately led him to his death and made his redemption story pretty much worthless.
5 Bran Stark
At the beginning of the series, Bran was one of the show’s central characters. Viewers followed him as he deciphered his dreams and uncovered the past in his chase of the Three-Eyed Raven. However, Bran stopped being the character that the fans were devoted to at a certain point.
It was Bran’s fate to find out about the past and uncover the truth about the White Walkers and John Snow. However, when Bran becomes the Three-Eyed Raven, the character the fans had come to know through several seasons was completely gone. He was no longer a curious, adventurous boy but a somber and wise, all-knowing being. After this transformation, his story became a bit disconnected from the rest of the events happening within Westeros.
4 Jaime Lannister
Yet another redemption story that resulted in nothing was Jaime Lannister. After being notorious as one of the Lannisters and mostly because of being Cersei’s twin, Jaime began to finally turn around and actually seemed like he might be one of the good guys. Unfortunately, it was all for naught.
Jaime began as the typical Lannister character, ruthless and arrogant. After his hand was taken, Jaime slowly developed into someone more honorable and humble. He started to see how bad Cersei became and acknowledged the truth. Fans really did want to see him end up on the rest side with Brienne, but it all was ruined in the scene right before the end battle when Brienne begged him to stay. Instead, he turned her down and ran back to Cersei.
3 The Night King
The Night King was another hyped-up character who seemed more frightening and powerful than he turned out to be. That vision of a mighty enemy, built up across all eight seasons, was instantly destroyed in one scene.
The show makes the Night King and his White Walkers a mysterious, ominous threat for the show’s beginning. When the Night King appeared at the last battle, an impending doom loomed in the air. Even Daenerys couldn’t seem to harm him with her dragon. Finally, Arya came around and defeated him with a single stroke. Although it was an epic move and an unexpected twist, it was another almost anticlimactic moment, especially considering this is the most powerful threat in the world.
2 Jon Snow
John Snow was the most loved character throughout the show, and for a good reason, he was the hero, the outsider, and an empathic leader. His revolve in the end, however, had fans a bit disappointed.
After being pushed aside and looked down on all his life for being a ‘bastard’ son, fans watched as John Snow evolved into a brave leader and hero for the people of Westeros. Everyone expected John to take the throne after everything he had been through, including killing Daenerys, but not only did he turn down the throne, he decided to leave his family once again and take off as a wildling. Everything he overcame and developed throughout Game of Thrones seemed to be thrown out the window.
1 Daenerys Targaryan
Daenerys, out of everyone else, was one character that every fan seemed to agree was completely ruined by the show’s end. The fans came to love her and were devoted to seeing what would become of her week after week. She had the greatest character arc in Game of Thrones it was all ruined in the final season.
After being established as a compassionate leader who wished to set all the slaves free and protect those who couldn’t protect themselves, she goes against all those beliefs in one notorious scene that no fan will likely forget or forgive anytime soon. She rode through King’s Landing on Drogon and ignited the whole city, killing civilians and ruthlessly destroying everything. Undoubtedly, her character was ruined in that single scene alone, and it succeeded in disappointing all of the fans.