Game of Thrones is an incredibly popular TV series across the globe, which means that viewers spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing the HBO drama. Sometimes there are universally beloved theories and opinions about the show, while other times individuals have spouted unpopular theories and opinions about the fantasy drama. We've culled through all of those unpopular opinions this week and compiled a list of the nine big ones we feel don't get enough credit. You can check 'em out, below.
Please remember these are all controversial opinions, just ones we feel have good arguments and/or a grain of truth to them and we're bringing them up to create an interesting and open dialogue with you, the viewer. Also SPOILERS, obviously.
Killing Off Ramsay Was A Mistake
During Game of Thrones' recent episode "The Battle of The Bastards," Ramsay Bolton was killed off in an epic scene featuring Sansa Stark siccing his hungry dogs on the newly legitimate Bolton. Most people were fine with the violence and were happy to see Ramsay go in such a brutal manner, but there's a minority opinion that says killing off Ramsay Bolton was a mistake.
Sure, killing off Ramsay meant the hero won for once on the show and it was nice to see the Starks finally win back Winterfell. However, killing off Ramsay means there is no truly compelling villain on Game of Thrones anymore, except for maybe Euron Greyjoy, who hasn't really done much yet. Having someone to root against has always been an important part of Game of Thrones and the show will be sorely missing its lack of villains next season. The show should have kept him around.
Ned Stark Wasn't Really That Good Of A Guy
There are a lot of adjectives bandied about that describe Ned Stark in a really positive way. People talk about how Ned Stark is noble, kind-hearted and brave. They talk about his unflailing sense of morality and the way he owned up to his mistakes. Some people, however, actually think Ned Stark wasn't really all that great of a human being. Mostly, he had one huge flaw.
The fact is, Ned Stark was so honor bound that it was not only the crutch that killed him, but it also meant he totally rent apart his family. You want a father figure who is dutiful and honorable but not to the point that your daughters are forced to watch you executed and then befall fates the average father wouldn't wish on anyone. Ned Stark's decisions caused Robb Stark to go to war; extrapolating out, they led to the death of his wife, the death of several of his children and even the Red Wedding. Maybe he's not so great a character, after all.
Brienne Doesn't Actually Have A Purpose
Brienne is a character who seems driven by purpose. She first protected Renly and then protected the Starks. She then went on a mission to find the Starks and once she found them, Sansa sent her off to parlay with the Blackfish. She's brave and loyal and constantly doing something on the series, but really, she's kind of an example of a huge failure, despite her excellent fighting skills.
In a world where nothing is black and white, it's easy to see why George R.R. Martin and co. would want a character that is kind-of a loveable disaster. That character is Brienne. But in the context of the story, she's really sort-of useless. She didn't find Arya, Sansa escaped without her help, and a raven could have been sent to the Blackfish. Of all the extraneous characters on the HBO drama, Brienne may have the least purpose.
Jon Snow Is Unfit To Be In Charge
"The Battle of the Bastards" was a great---and sometimes chilling---episode of Game of Thrones. It proved that sometimes evil villains do get their comeuppance. It also featured great cinematography and proved once again that Jon Snow is an able and capable fighter. However, despite the fact that Jon Snow has given up his position of power in the Night's Watch and does not seem to want to rule, a lot of prominent Game of Thrones theories think he may eventually be the one on the Iron Throne. And that could be a disaster.
Last week's big battle only ended up playing out like it did because Jon Snow was a disaster. He may have been in charge of an army, but he totally ignored the plans he and his advisors made during the battle. He let his emotions take over when Ramsay dangled Rickon in front of him and he fell into the Bolton's trap. If Sansa hadn't been kind-of crappy and kept information from Jon Snow, the good guys would have lost. A great warrior is not always a great leader, and Jon Snow proved it over and over again in Season 6.
We Should All Be Rooting For Melisandre
Melisandre has done a lot of truly terrible stuff to people during the course of the series. She birthed a shadow baby that killed a would-be king. She burnt people alive---even people like Stannis' daughter. She's hiding the truth of her age. She's full of secrets, but the thing is, she isn't full of deceit.
Among all of the other characters on Game of Thrones, Melisandre may be among the most misunderstood. She has doubts about her role as a red priestess. She had concerns about whether or not she is making the right decision when tasked with doing things like bringing Jon Snow back. The only thing she really has going for her is trusting in the Lord of Light, and he's clearly steered her wrong numerous times. In a lot of ways, she's a truly sympathetic character, and maybe we should be rooting for her, after all.
Robb Stark Had It Coming
When we look back at the Red Wedding, Walder Frey looks like one of the worst human beings we've ever been forced to meet in Westeros. He brought Robb Stark's army into his home and slaughtered them after a wedding between Edmure and one of his daughters. It was supposed to be a night of celebration and he turned it into a night of death and destruction.
Overlooked on this night is the fact that Robb Stark kind-of had it coming. The young army leader reneged on a deal he had made with the Freys. The army would have gotten safe passage if---and apparently only if---Robb Stark had married the Frey girl. Instead, he took his pleasure where he wanted, falling in love and marrying Talisa. He then believed the elderly Frey would not retaliate. Hindsight is 20/20, but really, how did he not anticipate what lay ahead?
The Show Would Be Better Without Dany
While there have been some extraneous plotlines that Game of Thrones fans have been less excited about---here's looking at the Sand Snakes---generally, most fans seem on board with Dany, her dragons and her various takeovers. A lot of people think the Iron Throne will eventually see Daenerys Targaryen on it, and there's no doubt that her character is one of the major leads on the series.
The question remains, though: Would Game of Thrones be better without Dany? While it's cool that we got to see different sorts of societies thanks to her perspective, her storyline nearly always seems separate from the main plotlines. In addition, she's been stalled in Meereen for so long at this point, it seems she has bigger problems on her hands than trying to capture the Iron Throne. Moving Tyrion to Meereen has also severely cut down on his storyline. All in all, more action in Westeros would generally be a better thing.
Arya's Storyline Has Been A Big Disappointment
Two seasons ago, many of us were probably more interested in where Arya Stark's storyline. Her experiences with her enemies and her road tripping with The Hound led her on an incredible path. She headed to Braavos and trained with The House of Black and White. Her training and motives have been incredible on the series, but as it turns out, they weren't really the point.
While a lot of viewers are fine with where Arya's storyline has gone and seems to be going in the future, I posture that Arya's storyline has actually been a big disappointment. Never mind that in her weakened state we have trouble believing she would actually beat the waif, why send her to Braavos for training if she was just going to tell Jaqen to shove off? Why force us to watch her grow and change as a spy for several seasons and then simply turn the tables to push her back to Westeros? Why have that weird chase sequence with the waif? Arya's storyline has a big disappointment, and there's going to need to be a huge payoff in Season 7 to change our minds about that.