The final season of Game of Thrones is coming, and we're all wondering what's in store for our favourite characters. It's important to remember the people who got them there however, the side-characters who helped them, fought for them, and carved their own niche as standout personalities.
A bastard son of Robert Baratheon, this skilled blacksmith is the last known living member of House Baratheon's bloodline. His fleeting appearances may be short, but they carry significance. He is a friend to Arya Stark, and also accompanies Jon and his crew beyond the Wall. His speed on foot allows him to get back to the Wall and send for help at a critical moment.
2. Podric Payne
Pod's character is the stereotypical loser with a good heart. He might be a bit of a mess, but he's loyal, honest, and apparently a beast in bed. He saved Tyrion’s life in the Battle of the Blackwater, and helped Brienne of Tarth get around Westeros.
3. Dolorous Edd Tollett
Thus named for his doleful personality, Edd is one of Jon's closest aides at the Night Watch. Jon's final command is naming Edd the acting Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Despite his grizzled persona, he cares for those around him, such as Samwell Tarly. He also provides safe passage for Meera Reed and Bran Stark on the northern side of the Wall.
4. Benjen Stark
Ned Stark's younger brother Benjen was the First Ranger of the Night's Watch. He's fair and resilient, and understands the needs of his people. After embarking on an expedition beyond the Wall, he is presumed missing or dead. He survives however, and helps Bran Stark and Meera Reed escape from wights. He also sacrifices himself to save his nephew Jon Snow from the army of the dead.
5. Beric Dondarrion
An eye-patch and a flaming sword? Sign us up! Beric Dondarrion is just plain cool. He's a Robin Hood-like figure who's died and been reincarnated 7 times by Thoros of Myr. The Brotherhood Without Banners is a resistance group led by Beric, which fights for people who are oppressed. He is also instrumental in helping Jon capture a wight beyond the Wall.
6. Jojen Reed
Jojen's unflinching belief in Bran is his greatest and most evident quality. Jojen has the ability to perceive the future, and he believes Bran has a massive part to play in the upcoming war. To that end, he gives his all to support Bran, even sacrificing himself by the end of it, despite knowing it would cost his life.
Witty, irreverent, and absolutely deadly - Bronn is basically Deadpool as a bodyguard. He was Tyrion's champion in the Vale, he taught Jaime how to fight with his left hand, and even Saved Jaime's life when he was about to get roasted by a dragon. What a legend.
8. Wun Wun
We all knew Wun Wun would be killed off sooner or later - he was just too powerful an ally to keep around. Part of us even hoped he'd take down The Mountain. He's helped the Free Folk from wight attacks countless times, and was indispensable in the Battle of the Bastards. He used his last remaining strength to breach the fortress and take down Ramsay Bolton.
9. Tormund Giantsbane
If you don't absolutely adore Tormund then we can't be friends. Initially introduced as a wildling enemy to Jon, they soon come to respect each other and eventually become good friends. He's a skilled warrior, and saves Jon's life during the Battle of the Bastards. He's also got a hilarious infatuation with Brienne.
10. Meera Reed
Meera and her brother Jojen are committed to protecting and helping Bran. She's an expert at multiple weapons, from knives to bows and arrows, and she uses these skills to keep Jojen and Bran safe.Meera pretty much goes through hell to get Bran to Winterfell, and it's a pretty thankless job.
11. Maester Luwin
The kind and good-hearted Luwin might not be handy with a sword, but he was a protector and parent to Bran and Rickon in the early years. He is extremely loyal to the Starks, and his wisdom and experience place him in high regard. Despite Theon's indiscretions, he still tries to help him.
12. Davos Seaworth
Also known as the Onion Knight, Davos is probably one of the most likeable characters on Game of Thrones. He is loyal to a fault, shrewd and realistic. He's one of the only few people who treat Shireen with any respect, he helps Gendry escape, and his advice to Jon in the later seasons is extremely useful.
13. Yara Greyjoy
Yara is a fierce warrior with an extremely strong personality. While she tries to hide it, she begrudgingly cares for her brother despite his many issues. She helps him recover from the abuse Ramsay inflicted on him, and she's always ready for a fight.
Osha the wildling who was captured by the Starks after trying to rob Bran's horse. Over time however, she comes to respect the integrity of her captors, and slowly becomes a protector to Bran and Rickon. She safely delivers Rickon to the Umbers for safety, and is a good friend to have on your side.
15. Syrio Forel
The master sword-fighter from Braavos was a mentor to Arya Stark, teaching her to use a sword and protect herself. He worships the Lord of Death, and never runs from a fight. When Meryn Trant comes to arrest Arya, he fights him off long with a wooden sword long enough for Arya to flee.
Yoren was a recruiter and highly respected member of the Night's Watch, and he looks out for Arya Stark after Ned is taken prisoner in King's Landing. He helps her flee the city, and also gives her the idea for the List. Yoren sacrifices himself so Arya, Gendry, and the rest can escape.
Damn you George, why you gotta kill off all our favourites? Summer the direwolf was Bran's consummate protector, always right by his side. Bran would warg into Summer for scouting and protection, and the brave wolf died in the line of duty during the attack on the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven.
They need to make spinoffs for these characters!