Season 7 of Game of Thrones will see worlds collide, as Daenerys Targaryen arrives in Westeros to stake a claim to the Iron Throne. She’ll have to wrest it from Cersei Lannister’s cold, scheming fingers, though. And then there are the Starks, who have finally returned to and regained their family seat in Winterfell. Of course, the greatest threat of all is waiting on the other side of the Wall — the Night King and his army of White Walkers.
As viewers count down the days until the HBO drama’s seventh-season premiere on July 16, Yahoo TV is launching our official countdown: #GoTIsComing. Check back here every day as we give updates on all of your favorite characters, details on an important new location, and a travel guide to the locations of Westeros. So pull on a thick coat and get ready for a long and brutal winter.
With winter coming, the characters of Game of Thrones should want to couple up and cuddle up — it’s the ultimate cuffing season. But with so many wars and betrayals and deaths, romance hasn’t been everyone’s first concern.
But Game of Thrones is a show about royal and noble houses, which means betrothals and arranged marriages. That in turn leads to forbidden love, longing glances, and straight-up crushing on a new bae (we’re looking at you, Tormund).
We rank the couples — and the term is used loosely for any sort-of romantic pairing — of Game of Thrones from awful to awesome.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Read more of our #GoTIsComing coverage:
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Preview: What’s Next for the Starks?
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Preview: What’s Next for the Greyjoys?
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7: Everything We Know So Far
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Peril-o-Meter: Who Dies Next?
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Spinoffs: What We Know (and Want)
* ‘Game of Thrones’: What’s the Deal With the Citadel?
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Map: A Catch-Up Guide to Where Everyone Is
* ‘Game of Thrones’: What’s Next For the Greyjoys?
* Every ‘Game of Thrones’ Funko Pop! Doll You Can Buy Right Now
* ‘Game of Thrones’: 14 Times Littlefinger Was. The. Worst.
* ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Preview: What’s Next For the Starks?
22. Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton
Any marriage in which the husband is a ruthless, murderous psychopath automatically is at the bottom of this list. Rest in hell, Ramsay.
21. Sansa Stark and Joffrey Baratheon
We’d just say “ditto,” but at least Sansa never married Joffrey. We hope he and Ramsay are roommates in a really terrible afterlife.
20. Margaery Tyrell and Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey was such an awful beast that Lady Olenna Tyrell plotted to have him murdered on his wedding day, just to protect her granddaughter. Best relationship intervention ever.
19. Cersei Lannister and Lancel Lannister
Pretty much all of Cersei’s relationships give us the willies, but preying on her younger, naive cousin is just a touch worse than…
18. Jaime Lannister and Cersei Lannister
Their twisted, incestuous relationship set into motion almost all of the events of Game of Thrones, from Bran’s fall (since he saw them together) to Ned’s death (since he realized Cersei’s children were fathered by Jaime).
17. Cersei Lannister and Robert Baratheon
Cersei started out in love with the king, but she had three illegitimate children fathered by her brother. Then, she all but encouraged Lancel to dose Robert with wine so his senses were dulled while hunting.
16. Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre
This couple’s story is pretty much the stereotypical “decent guy gets duped by a witch.” Stannis even burned his own daughter at the stake because Mel said so. Guess the sex was that good.
15. Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister
Two members of opposing families forced to marry — sounds like a recipe for disaster. But Tyrion was quite gentlemanly and gentle with Sansa, never forcing her to consummate their marriage. In the awful aftermath of Ned Stark’s death, he was the only decent person in her life.
14. Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon
Despite their age (and intellectual) difference, Margaery was actually quite good for her royal husband and almost — but not quite — got him away from Cersei’s influence.
13. Tyrion Lannister and Shae
Their relationship seemed like a true love story for a while, as Shae boosted Tyrion’s confidence and served as a sounding board. He, in turn, gave her a life beyond the whorehouse. Too bad she had to go sleep with his dad.
12. Myrcella Baratheon and Trystane Martell
These two kids were supposed to have an arranged marriage, but fell for each other anyway. But their families’ differences led them both to death. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
11. Ned and Catelyn Stark
We never actually got to see much of the OG couple of Game of Thrones, since Ned left for King’s Landing to serve as Hand of the King. But Papa and Mama Stark had the ultimate family… until, of course, they were torn apart from each other and most of them were murdered.
10. Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth
Oh, the bickering and the bantering — sparks were always flying between these two knights. And they had each other’s back when needed, like when Jaime saved Brienne from the bear. They even shared a steamy bath together. Alas, why can’t Jaime get away from his sociopathic sister?
9. Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand
This sexy, swinging couple were rock-solid, while also entertaining each other’s fantasies. He didn’t care that she was a bastard, and she didn’t care that he was a prince. They just got each other.
8. Daenerys and Daario Naharis
Daenerys knew she’d have to make a political marriage, but in the meantime, why not take a roll in the hay (er, sand?) with the hottie mercenary captain? He was loyal, a capable fighter… and did we mention hot?
7. Robb Stark and Talisa
As the King of the North, Robb had to make a politically advantageous marriage. Instead, he threw all of that to the wind to marry his true love, healer Talisa. It caused both of their deaths down the road, but it’s a romantic tragedy, nonetheless.
6. Brienne and Tormund
The knight and the wildling haven’t known each other for long, but Tormund has the world’s biggest crush on her. Did you see his jaw drop when he saw for the first time? Or how he keeps grinning at her every chance he gets? So far, this relationship is unrequited, but it’s only a matter of time before Brienne softens.
5. Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell
One of the few same-sex couples on Game of Thrones, Renly and Loras had a long-standing relationship — kept hidden with the help of Loras’s sister, Margaery. After Renly’s assassination, Loras joins the Kingsguard, knowing it means he can’t get married or have kids. As he puts it, “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” Awww!
4. Missandei and Grey Worm
Talk about a star-crossed romance! She’s a capable translator who’s become Daenerys’d right-hand woman; he’s a fierce soldier who is also a eunuch. They’ve shared a kiss, but how much further they can go, is up in the air. But they might just be the sweetest pairing on the show.
3. Jon Snow and Ygritte
The wildling was as cold as ice toward Jon when they first met, but soon, her animosity melted. They fought together, and they fought against each other, but there was always fire between them. In her last moment, she couldn’t shoot him with an arrow, and paid the ultimate price for her feelings. And he showed his love by burying her in her homeland, north of the Wall.
2. Samwell Tarly and Gilly
Sam never felt confident in himself, until Gilly came along. He rescued her and in turn, she pushed him to become a stronger, better man. He even stood up to his terrifying father for her and took his family sword. Their relationship may not be hot and heavy, but it’s a true partnership.
1. Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo
She was the moon of his life. He was her sun and stars. Their marriage may have started as a business transaction, but they fell in love. They supported each other, Drogo got rid of the odious Viserys, and Daenerys grew stronger in her role as Khaleesi. Until his death, they were the ultimate team. Dany wouldn’t be where she is — on her way to claim the Iron Throne — without him.