Game Of Thrones: Each Main Character’s Worst Decision


House Of The Dragon has been available to watch for two months now, giving fans more of this fictional world that they love. There’s no question that HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the most influential fantasy series to have ever appeared on television. Though a major focus of the series was on the conflict and competition for the Iron Throne, it is also a drama that focuses on the actions of individuals as they try to survive on a continent that grows ever more unsettled and dangerous with every year.

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While the characters undertake many important actions, it has to be said that they are also capable of making some very bad decisions.

UPDATE: 2022/11/26 By Ruby Brown

Game Of Thrones took audiences by storm in a unique fantasy world that remained believable throughout. The characters are captivating, with their own backstories and intriguing idiosyncrasies. But, while a lot of them were amiable, it didn’t prevent them from occasionally making bad decisions, some of which stand out from the rest.

Jon – Letting The Wildlings South Of The Wall

Jon Snow and The Wildlings in Game of Thrones

Jon Snow is one of the series’ most important characters, and he plays a pivotal role in the fight against the Night King. However, though he is a survivor, it has to be said that he is capable of making some bad decisions, most notably when he lets the wildlings come south of the Wall.

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As laudable as this decision is on a moral level, it sows the seeds for his eventual assassination at the hands of his fellow members of the Night’s Watch. Had he done it with more subtlety or attention to the desires of his brothers, he could have avoided his own death.

Ned – Taking Up The Position Of King’s Hand

Ned Stark and Littlefinger walk together in King's Landing in Game of Thrones

Ned Stark is one of the series’ most noble characters. However, he also makes some bad decisions during his time within the first season, and deciding to become Robert’s Hand is the worst.

It is the catalyst that sets all the future devastation in motion, and had Ned been honest with himself about his fundamental inability (and unwillingness) to play the game, he could have saved many lives (including his own).

Cersei – Killing Missandei

The Mountain Beheads Missandei on Game of Thrones

Cersei is a ruthless political operator, and she yearns for nothing more than power and to sit on the Iron Throne. Unfortunately, she too often mistakes ruthlessness for political skill, and nothing shows this more than her catastrophic decision to murder Missandei on the walls of King’s Landing.

It’s the event that seals her fate (and those of the city itself) because it drives Dany off the ledge and into the realm of madness. It’s one of the moments where she reveals that she doesn’t know nearly as much about politics as she thinks she does.

Jaime – Attempting To Kill Bran

Jaime and Cersei reunion in Game of Thrones

Jaime is many things as a character, and as one of the best characters in Game Of Thrones, he happens to be one of the bravest people in the series. However, he is also prone to making terrible decisions, and whilst one bad decision is when he leaves Brienne behind to go rushing back into Cersei’s arms, attempting to kill Bran Stark has got to be the worst.

The act itself is of course horrendous, but it was also partly the inciting act that started a continental war. The initial decision is arguably horrific, but the ripple effect it had only adds to the impact Jaime’s violent impulse had.

Sansa – Trusting Littlefinger

Littlefinger and Sansa in Winterfell

Sansa arguably undergoes the most significant change during the course of the show in one of the best character arcs in Game Of Thrones, and she learns many harsh lessons. Though she becomes quite a canny political operator, before she does so, she makes some less-than-ideal decisions, most notably when she decides to trust Littlefinger.

While some of this is desperation, it has to be said that she should have realized even quicker that he was only out for his best interests rather than her own. Her trust towards him perhaps was only truly there in the beginning, but it was a bad decision nonetheless.

Daenerys – Burning King’s Landing

Daenerys burns kings landing on Game of Thrones

There were many nonsensical moments in season 8 of Game of Thrones, but one of the worst was Dany’s decision to burn King’s Landing rather than accept their offer of surrender. It’s the most important moment for her development as a character, and it shows how completely she has fallen into the same viciousness as her father.

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Just as importantly for her, it also seals her doom in Jon Snow’s eyes, since he comes to realize that he has no choice but to assassinate her so that her tyranny over Westeros cannot continue.

Tyrion – Helping Daenerys Invade

Tyrion and Daenerys sitting together in Meereen in Game of Thrones

Played by one of the best TV actors of all time, Peter Dinklage, Tyrion remains one of the best characters in Game of Thrones, and his strategy and wily brain saved both himself and the kingdom on a number of occasions. At the same time, he’s also quite capable of making bad decisions.

There’s a strong argument to be said that helping Daenerys invade was his worst choice overall. Playing a part in an invasion that killed so many innocent people is pretty significant. Not only did it affect his life, but it ruined so many lives of others, even if that wasn’t his intention.

Catelyn – Not Doing More To Control Rob

Robb and Catelyn Stark sit together at a table in Game of Thrones

Catelyn Stark is another of the massively underestimated characters of this series, and while she is a canny strategist and knows how the courts of the powerful work, she does very little to actually control her son Robb.

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Her decision to let him do what he wanted with little pushback from her–or at least any that was meaningful–would come to have fatal consequences for all of them, leading to the butchery at the Red Wedding and the collapse of her son’s dreams of a kingdom.

Arya – Staying At The House Of Black And White

Arya at The House of Black and White Game of Thrones Season 5

Without a doubt the bravest of the Starks, Arya makes some of the best decisions during the show’s eight seasons. However, even she isn’t immune from making bad choices, and staying at the House of Black and White is her worst.

Though it gives her the skills she needs to kill the Freys–and arguably the Night King, though she could probably have done that without the training–it seems like a great deal of effort and trauma for almost no reward.

Bran – Climbing Up That Tower

Jaime right before pushing Bran off the tower in Game of Thrones

When the series begins, Bran is still a long way from becoming King of the Seven Kingdoms, and instead, he spends most of his days climbing the walls of Winterfell. Most importantly, he climbs the tower in which Cersei and Jaime are engaging in a forbidden tryst.

While his decision to do this can be forgiven in part because of his youth, he still should have known better than to spy on people and, if he was going to do it, he should have at least known to get away quickly rather than continuing to stare.

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