Anyone who has watched Game of Thrones knows that the decisions made in this world hold consequences that can literally end in either life or death. Whether or not the life that the decision affect is theirs, the stakes are always high; and unfortunately for quite a few, it seems that the characters are not the best decision-makers. We’ve seen so many great characters die. We’ve seen characters we hate, but who are extremely powerful, die as well. All of these deaths were due to the unfortunate results of a careless act that typically had no logical thought process involved. Why? The reasons vary from sheer stupidity and arrogance to allowing emotions to drive those resolves. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the way things work in the world of GoT.
When looking back at the very long list of mistakes that were made on the show, you’ll come to find that a mere five seconds of logical thinking would have probably saved the lives of so many individuals. While the thought process that led to the decision was sometimes understandable, it is very clear that the word “consequence” was not one that was ever taken into consideration. To further prove this point, we have compiled a list of 15 dumb decisions that were made by characters in the HBO show, Game of Thrones.
15. Oberyn Martell’s Desire For Vengeance
Revenge is something that drives about 98% of the decisions made in this show, so it really isn’t much of a surprise that Oberyn’s thirst for revenge lead to his demise. However, this particular moment was extremely bothersome because it didn’t have to happen. This scene saw Oberyn fighting against The Mountain for Tyrion’s trial by combat. Not only does Oberyn end up with the upper hand relatively quickly, but he actually floors The Mountain and ends up with the perfect opportunity to kill him. Is that what happens? Of course not! Instead, he tries to demand that The Mountain admit to raping and killing his sister, he ends up distracted, and The Mountain swipes his feet out from underneath him before crushing his head. Maybe if he would have realized death was enough vengeance, then he’d still be alive. Oh, and Tyrion wouldn’t have been sentenced to death and forced to flee.
14. King Robert’s Hunting Trip
As a ruler, if there is an insane amount of conflict that is brewing right in front of your face, it’s only natural that you leave and go hunting, right? Actually, that is probably the complete opposite of what you should do. But that’s exactly what King Robert did. He left King’s Landing at the one point where every bit of conflict could have been resolved by him taking a moment to do his job and went hunting. As if that wasn’t enough, Robert decides that getting drunk off wine during this hunting trip was a good idea and ends up getting attacked by a boar. While he did end up killing the boar, the wound left behind ultimately kills Robert. So not only did he abandon his duties in the midst of this huge conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks, but his passing ended up making things ten times worse than they already were by putting all the power in the wrong hands. Let this be a lesson to all that it’s probably best to just do your job instead of walking away from important issues.
13. Bran Breaks His Promise
We find out early on that Bran enjoys climbing, which wouldn’t be that big of a deal if he was just climbing a few trees. The problem was that he was climbing towers. We witnessed Bran’s mother fuss at him and state that she’s told him over and over again not to climb these towers. In that scene, he promises that he won’t climb anymore, but even she knows that he’s lying. It’s not a surprise that we see him climbing again soon after, but what Bran didn’t expect was that it would be the last tower he ever climbed. If he would have at least taken his mother’s warnings into consideration, things might be a little easier for Bran right now. Even if he would have just avoided climbing as high, things would be so different for him right now. He doesn’t pay any mind to risks though, and he ends up stumbling across something that led to him being pushed off the tower and crippled from the waist down. To be honest, he’s just luck that the fall didn’t kill him.
12. Arya Lets Her Guard Down
Out of everyone in the show who we would expect to let their guard down at the worst possible time, Arya Stark is not one of them. She knows that she is in danger because she retrieves her sword and makes a point to book passage out of Braavos. She also knows exactly what she’s up against and that if her enemy comes around, she probably won’t know it was them. Yet, we see Arya standing on a bridge as she looks towards the water, obviously looking forward to getting home. Then when an old woman approaches her, she doesn’t bother to take a moment to think about the fact that this might be the Waif and because of that lack of a thought process, she ends up stabbed in the stomach multiple times. She let her guard down and almost lost her life because of it. While we understand wanting to take a moment to escape the stress, that should have been saved for a time in which she knew that she would be safe to do so.
11. Ned Taking The Blame For Catelyn’s Actions
There were so many bad decisions made by Ned Stark that this list probably could have been called 15 mistakes made by Ned Stark. This is just the first of a few that we decided we had to include. After Ned’s wife Catelyn has Tyrion arrested (we’ll get to that later), Jamie Lannister confronts Ned about the arrest and insists that he answers for his wife’s actions. Typically this would be a good point where someone in Ned’s position would say something along the lines of “I have no idea what is going on or why this happened, but I will find out and get back to you with some answers.” He could have said anything that even remotely came close to that, but nope. Instead, he states that she was acting on his orders and this leads to a giant sword fight that results in several deaths (including Ned’s Captain of the Guard) as well as a spear through Ned’s leg. Yes, he was standing by his wife and trying to do the honorable thing, but sometimes the smart thing is the better option. This was one of those times.
10. Ned Stark Rejecting Renly’s Plan
While we’re on the topic of Ned, let’s go ahead and talk about the conversation that he had with Renly Baratheon. There is a point before King Robert passes away where Renly pulls Ned aside and offers an idea that would keep Joffrey from becoming king. He offers Ned 100 swords to storm the castle that night so they could take Joffrey from Cersei. This was a good plan. Actually, it was a great plan if you remember the fact that Joffrey was the one responsible for Ned’s death not too long after this conversation. But of course, he didn’t go for it. He seemed like he was considering it until Renly declared that he wants to be king. It’s at that point that Ned suddenly decides that it wouldn’t be the right thing to do and that it would dishonor Robert’s final hours. So maybe that was a mistake on Renly’s part, but Ned not taking Renly’s points into consideration is what proved to be the bigger mistake.
9. Mance Rayder Refusing To Bend The Knee
At first glance, the idea of Mance Rayder’s refusal to help Stannis defeat the Boltons only affected him because it ended with him being sentenced to burn at the stake. However, it actually had a much bigger impact that you might have realized. For one, if he would have agreed to bend the knee to Stannis then Stannis probably would have defeated the Boltons. This would mean that everyone who died at the hands of the Boltons (Roose Bolton, Rickon Stark, Osha, etc.) would probably still be alive. Stannis’ daughter would still be alive as well seeing as the only reason for her death was Stannis’ desperation for a victory. That’s not even to mention the fact that Jon Snow would not have felt the need to kill Rayder before he suffered being burned alive. That event was what brought on the murder of Jon Snow by members of the Night’s Watch. Therefore Jon Snow would not have been murdered and resurrected, so he would not have executed those involved in his murder. That’s a lot of death in exchange for one man’s dignity.
8. Catelyn Arrests Tyrion
This decision may be a product of trusting Littlefinger, but the decision was such a poor one that caused so much chaos that it deserved its own entry. After Littlefinger had told Catelyn that the dagger used in the attempted assassination of her son was his, which he lost in a bet to Tyrion Lannister, she took his word for fact and had Tyrion arrested. What good did this do? It did no good whatsoever; rather it was the entire reason that the war between the Starks and Lannisters officially broke out in the first place. This decision directly landed Ned with a spear through his leg when he took responsibility for this action. What’s worse is that the decision was made with absolutely no legitimate proof, just the word of one man who Catelyn’s husband outwardly stated he didn’t trust. We completely understand that Catelyn wanted revenge for whoever was responsible for the attempted assassination of Bran, but what good is revenge if you aren’t sure you’re getting it on the right person? She really needed to take a moment to think this one through, but she didn’t. Because of that, there was absolutely no hope of avoiding the full-on war that eventually exploded between these two families.
7. Jaime And Cersei’s Incestuous Secret Affair
This probably could afford to be a little higher on the list considering the fact that this affair is basically the root of every bad thing that we have seen happen in Westeros. If the two had not engaged each other in a romantic nature, Cersei never would have birthed illegitimate children so both Jon Arryn and Ned Stark wouldn’t have been killed. Bran never would have been pushed off the tower either, nor would he have been a target of an assassination. Therefore, Catelyn never would have ordered the arrest of Tyrion. It goes on and on. At the very least, these two should have been a little more discrete about their affair. Two separate people were able to find out about Cersei’s children not being Robert’s, but rather Jamie’s. Little Bran stumbled across their activities accidentally. If they would have at least tried to keep it in their pants when they really needed to and covered their tracks, then maybe things would have been a little less chaotic for them. They definitely would not have had to kill as many people as they did in order to keep their secret.
6. Everyone Trusting Littlefinger
If you take a look back at everyone who has trusted Littlefinger, it makes him seem like he’s the one guy that should be trusted. That’s not the case, though. In fact, he has done so much betraying that it’s hard to understand why so many people choose to trust him. Ned trusted him, and that ended with Littlefinger holding a knife to Ned’s throat while he says “I did warn you not to trust me.” Catelyn trusted Littlefinger when he admitted that the dagger used in the attempt to assassinate Bran was his, but he lost it in a bet to Tyrion. We all know how that turned out, but again, we’ll get to that later. Then we saw Sansa trust him which ended in him marrying her off to Ramsay Bolton. The bottom line is that if Littlefinger is not the biggest snake in the show, he’s at least one of the biggest snakes. People need to stop trusting him because it never ends well for those individuals. In fact, it leads to even more chaos and death. So if we see anyone choosing to trust him in the future, we can almost guarantee that the character won’t live long enough to regret it.
5. Bran Entering a Vision Alone
Bran Stark was not ready to enter a vision without the Three-Eyed Raven accompanying him. Every time we saw them enter a vision together, it was made very clear that Bran was not ready to do this without the guidance. However, when the Three-Eyed Raven was sleeping one night, Bran decided he wanted to go ahead and give it a shot anyway. He was curious. Maybe he wanted to see if he could handle it by himself. This turned into a deadly mistake because entering the vision ended up with the Night King marking Bran. That mark not only rid the cave of the magic that kept the White Walkers out, but it directed them directly to Bran’s location. Then, while trying to escape, Bran taps into a vision that somehow links the present day Hodor with himself as a child. As he’s holding the door to try and allow Bran and Meera to escape, Hodor is told to “hold the door” and we see young Hodor in Bran’s vision start to have some sort of seizure while he’s screaming “hold the door” then “hold door” and finally “hodor.” So basically, this one mistake costs many lives and the safety of Bran, but it also was the entire reason that our beloved Hodor ended up with a crazy form of brain damage that didn’t allow him to say anything but “hodor” only so that he could die saving the person who was personally responsible for it.
4. Robb Stark’s Betrayal
When you give your word that you’re going to marry someone in this world, you do it. Broken promises do not ever lead to good outcomes in this show, yet we saw Robb Stark break a promise to one of the most despicable and unforgiving men. Robb was to marry one of Walder Frey’s daughter, but he fell in love with someone else and married her instead. In today’s day and age, Robb’s actions would be completely understandable. In the world of Game of Thrones? Absolutely not. You break a promise of this caliber and bloodshed will follow. Robb knew this. Yet he did it anyway and then proceeded to go to Walder Frey for reinforcements when Robb executed Karstark and lost all the soldiers from House Karstark. Now why in the world would you go to someone with whom you’ve broken a promise to ask for help in a war? What would give you the slightest idea that you would get that help, let alone walk out of the place alive? This mistake ended with the deaths of Robb Stark, Robb’s wife, his unborn child, Catelyn Stark, and many more. On top of that, it completely crippled any power that the Starks had left and put the Lannisters at the very top.
3. Cersei Arming The Faith Militant
We all remember when Cersei Lannister rearmed the Faith Militant and tried to make some sort of alliance with the High Sparrow. It ended up with the arrest of Margaery and Loras Tyrell, but soon after that she found out that the Faith Militant was going to end up as a problem that she had no control over. Cersei ended up arrested and tortured for her sins, her own son was turned against her, and she ended up having to walk through the streets of King’s Landing completely naked while people threw things at her and screamed names and insults. Yes, she was able to wipe them out completely, but at what cost? Margaery was one of the victims in the mass slaughter, and since Tommen was so in love with his wife, he ended up committing suicide. So while she made this decision thinking that it would end up solidifying her power within the kingdom, all it did was cause misery in her life. The whole thing was just a mess and there is absolutely no logical way to look at the strategy and think that it would ever be a good idea in the first place.
2. Ignoring The Threat Of Daenerys
There are a few different times that we see characters talking about the fact that there was a Targaryen who is said to have dragons, but not once do we ever hear of someone actually taking the threat seriously. They simply dismiss it and move on. It hasn’t caused any repercussions just yet, but season seven promises to bring some considering we ended season six with Daenerys heading for Westeros with her army full of Dothraki, Unsullied, and three giant fire-breathing dragons. She has every intention of taking the Iron Throne for herself, and since no one has bothered to prepare themselves for the issue, they’re going to find themselves completely blind-sided, and it’ll be surprising if Daenerys has any issue at all taking over the throne. Again, we haven’t seen the consequences of this mistake play out just yet, but we will. Every single person who waved the thought of her off like a bothersome fly will come to regret not taking the time to consider the fact that this was a very real and very dangerous threat.
1. Ned Confronts Cersei Instead of Robert
When Ned finds out that what he thought were Robert’s children were actually Jamie’s kids and a product of incest, you would think that he would have gone to King Robert to inform him of the deception. He had proof, for crying out loud. Ned could have taken this information to the king and rid the throne (and the world) of the Lannister bloodline for good. However, he decided that he would rather take the information to Cersei and threaten her with it instead. You have to wonder what his thought process on this one was because he knew that Jon Arryn’s death was tied to finding this information. This was his biggest mistake because it gave Cersei the chance to turn things around on him and it ultimately cost him his life. This was the biggest mistake in the series because it was the biggest factor that wound up with Westeros being thrown into complete and utter chaos. Everyone who should be dead would be, and everyone who should still be alive would likely be right now had Ned Stark not made such a painfully stupid decision.