Blood, death, and tragedy are the first things that spring to mind when discussing Game of Thrones. While the show has certainly been consistent in wallowing audiences in near-constant misery, it has also been incredibly funny at times. Although these laughs are sprinkled over heavy bouts of extreme violence and utterly heart-wrenching twists, many brilliant sequences have relied on humor over drama. Comedic relief is extremely important in drama and especially when it is as thick as it is on Game of Thrones. From Tyrion’s wit through to Tormund’s crush, these are 10 moments which actually made as laugh instead of cry.
10. Lady Olenna’s Biting Wit
Unlike the majority of the characters on the show, Lady Olenna does not mince words. Her tendency to speak her mind is refreshing and she has proven to be one of the most popular characters on the show because of this (that, and Dame Diana Rigg’s brilliant performance). She has many great quotes which could make this list, but we have narrowed it down to her very frank conversation with Tywin when he comes to her to discuss the plan to wed Loras to Sansa. Tywin instead offers to marry Loras to Cersei, but Olenna declares her too old. Tywin counters this by referencing Loras’ homosexuality and asks if she denies, to which she replies, “Oh no, not at all. A sword swallower through and through.” She goes on to ask if Tywin had ever experimented in his youth, and then hints at the rumors of incest between his children, shutting the Lannister patriarch down right quick.
9. Renly Insults Stannis
Clearly, there was little love lost between Renly and his older brother Stannis. Whilst meeting to parlay on the coast of the Stormlands, Renly insults his brother and jokes about him finding religion late in life. Melisandre then states that he should kneel before his brother as he is the lord’s chosen and “born amongst salt and smoke”. Renly, without missing a beat, retorts, “Born amongst salt and smoke? Is he a ham?” Stannis clearly does not take this joke well, as Renly is later murdered by a shadow birthed by Melisandre. Brienne, who was serving Renly at the time, much later avenges his death after finding him wounded. She executes him after he acknowledges his role in the murder. Although Renly was killed off relatively early on in the show’s run, his presence is still felt and he was involved in many memorable moments – including this witty gem.
8. Walder Frey’s Family
Although he is a character that makes your skin crawl anytime that he appears on screen, Walder Frey can also be pretty funny. With a family large enough to create a new army, Walder understandably has trouble remembering the names of everyone in his brood. When introducing them to Robb Stark, he struggles but doesn’t seem to care too much about his poor memory and rudeness. “My granddaughter…Waltha? Walra? Waldina?” “I’m Mary” she replies. “Fine,” he answers. This occurs during the notorious “The Rains of Castemere” (or “The Red Wedding” as it is often called) episode, which is perhaps the least funny and most tragic episode to date. While Walder Frey was creepy yet funny before, his shocking betrayal turned him into one of the show’s most despicable characters, making it difficult to laugh at him now.
7. Arya Laughing
Sometimes, all you can do is laugh. The misfortune the Stark family has endured is almost like a bad joke at this point, and this sentiment appears to be on Arya’s mind after arriving at the Eyrie. Following the beheading of her father, Arya discovers that her home has been taken over, and that her mother and older brother have been murdered. The Hound then takes her to the Eyrie to sell her to her aunt, Lysa Arryn. Upon arrival at the Bloody Gate, Ser Donnel Waynwood informs them that Lysa passed away just three days earlier. Astounded by the death, tragedy and her general bad fortune, Arya hysterically starts laughing, much to the confusion of everyone around her. Things have not much improved for Arya or the other Starks since, but there is still some hope that Arya will be able to tick more names off of her list.
6. Margaery Burns Cersei
The thinly veiled war of words between Margaery and Cersei has been equally savage and hilarious over the past few seasons, but Margaery delivered a serious burn to the golden ice queen in Season 5. With Cersei hunting down Margaery to confront her about Tommen’s suggestion that she return home to Casterly Rock, Cersei finds Margaery recounting the details of consummating her marriage. “Mother! Welcome! I wish we had some wine for you, but it’s a bit early in the day for us.” She then goes on to ask Cersei if she would rather be called Dowager Queen or Queen Grandmother, leaving Cersei completely stumped (for once). Margaery certainly won this round, but the greatest passive-aggressive battle of all-time is likely to wage on, and we wouldn’t count the calculating Queen Grandmother out of it yet.
5. Tormund Has The Hots For Brienne
Aside from the reunion of John and Sansa, there hasn’t been much to smile about in this season so far. However, one element which has had the internet going wild for a is the brilliant revelation that fan favorite Tormund has the hots for Brienne. The bearded mountain of a man first gives Brienne the bedroom eyes during a meal shortly after Sansa arrives, a look which clearly worries Brienne. Tormund is at it again in the next episode, when he flashes an awkward grin at Brienne when Sansa, John, and co. are set to depart Castle Black to rally the troops. Again, Brienne is not impressed. In addition to being just generally awesome, Tormund has often been used for comic relief and he’s used brilliantly here. Whether or not this becomes anything more serious remains to be seen, but it seems most viewers are rooting for the two to get together.
4. Joffrey Needs A Nap
There are few things more satisfying than seeing Joffrey put in his place. During his reign in episode 10 of Season 3, the king gets extremely cranky and lashes out at Tywin after a thinly veiled threat by stating “I am the king!” Tywin then retorts “Any man who says ‘I am the king’ is no true king.” After another furious outburst at his grandfather, Tywin calmly states “The king is tired. Take him to his chambers.” Despite protesting he is not tired, Joffrey is whisked off to bed by his mother like a cranky toddler. In addition to the comical nature of the scene, it is also a clear demonstration of where the true power lies in King’s Landing, as Tywin calmly yet firmly asserts his dominance over Joffrey. This further exposes Joffrey as the immature child he is, which temporarily almost makes him pitiful.
3. Pod The Stud
Podrick has proven to be one of the more likable characters on the show, and one that has certainly become more of a man over time. Podrick’s ascension to manhood was ensured when he saved Tyrion’s life, seeing Tyrion take him to Littlefinger’s brothel and pay for three prostitutes to take his virginity. Podrick later returns and hands Tyrion back his money, stating that the prostitutes had such a great time that they did not charge him. Tyrion and Bronn are floored by this revelation, and immediately pour wine and insist that he tell them everything. Ros then later reveals to Varys that Podrick was the best customer the brothel ever had. He has since served as Brienne’s squire, assisting in her effort to rescue Arya and Sansa, and he has continued to impress, playing a key role in rescuing Sansa from the Boltons.
2. Edmure’s Arrow Fail
You wouldn’t think that a funeral would be the place for a good chuckle, but Game of Thrones is nothing if not wildly unpredictable (at least in its early seasons). One of the very few times there are multiple Starks in one place, Robb and Catelyn are at her father’s funeral at Riverun when, during the service, Cat’s brother, Edmure, is tasked with firing a flaming arrow onto their father’s funeral barge. There is an uncomfortable moment as his first arrow misses, but his second then falls short. With the barge drifting further and further away, everybody is shocked at what they are seeing. After the third misses, The Blackfish moves Edmure aside, grabs the bow and arrow, gauges the wind, fires and then immediately turns around and throws Edmure the bow before walking off without looking back. The equivalent to not looking back at an explosion (the arrow of course lands true), the Blackfish makes quite the introduction in the process.
1. The God Of T*ts And Wine
This entire list could be comprised of Tyrion’s quotes and drunken antics. Not only does he provide fantastic comic relief (which is much needed on the show), but he is also crucial to the plot, which makes him a fan favorite. While drinking King’s Landing dry on his wedding night, Tyrion is approached by his father, who tells him that he has had enough. “Drinking and lust. No man can match me in these things,” Tyrion slurs, before proclaiming himself the “God of T*ts and Wine” in a catchy tune, stating that he shall build a shrine to himself. Although he appears to have slowed down lately where these particular vices are concerned, it seems unlikely that anyone would challenge Tyrion for this title and it is just one of the reasons he is perhaps the most beloved character on the show.