2023 Newsfeed

Looking for romance in Game of Thrones

Green door with "Kings Landing" gold plaque on it.


Game of Thrones is a wildly popular fantasy, drama television show derived from the book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Reviews of the show explain it as a geeky fantasy story with Kings, crowns, swords, and dragons. It’s not my usual type of story as a girl who loves romance. However, I loved Game of Thrones and there’s plenty of romance in disguise.

The significant romance storylines often gets missed amongst all the wars, battles, and beheadings. Even though there is no perfect relationship that lives past the first season, Game of Thrones does have the good qualities of a traditional love story.

There are common themes of taboo and forbidden love. This ranges from relationships between family members, people from enemy houses, love from north or south of the wall, and infidelity.

Jaime and Cersei Lannister

The most obvious taboo relationship is between siblings, Jaime and Cersei Lannister. We watch their love and passion for each other bloom as the seasons pass. Even though they do have quite a toxic relationship (and they are brother and sister), they live out the traditional tragic love story. Everyone they love dies and they die together in the final war *swoons*.

Photo of author sitting on throne of swords, as featured in Game of Thrones.
The author sitting on the classic ‘Iron Throne’ featured throughout the show
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen

We go from one bad couple to another with Jon and Daenerys. At first, they seem like a couple that could defy all odds and be successful. Their storylines parallel each other, forming a relationship built on mutual respect as they bond over the stresses of being a leader and defying their enemies.

That is until we find out Daenerys is actually Jon’s Aunt… Making things slightly awkward for the couple and the audience. The relationship really only got worse when Jon killed her to save the rest of the city. Thus ending their story rather abruptly.

The ultimate romance: Gilly and Samwell Tarly

One couple I really did love was Gilly and Sam. Sam saved Gilly and Gilly’s Son (little Sam) from her Wildling father Craster. From their first interaction, it was clear that Sam loved her, but Gilly did not feel the same. However, due to Sam’s loyalty and desire to protect her, the love between the two blossomed and they lived happily ever after. The only couple on the show to get this ending.

Overall, Sam and Gilly are really the only successful love story we see. However, just because the others do not have the traditional happily ever after does not mean they are not excellent love stories. The qualities of a good romance story are subjective, however, I believe the directors hit the nail on the head in quite a few of the couples they created.

Photo of author and family against a wall in Dubrovnik on a Game of Thrones tour. Post on wall with arms up, as if they are stuck there. There is big stone buildings in background, with dirt paths.
The author and her family in Dubrovnik, against the wall where Daenerys hung the crucified bodies of the ‘Masters’

Most couples have shown a true connection to one another, whether that bond be physical, emotional or respectful. The genre of romance shown is more of a historical romance. This makes it more hidden as the romantic aspects are not exactly modern or witnessed in societies today.