The Hunks and Hotties of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Cinematic Universe

Mirror, mirror, please expose… who is the hottest hottie in Westeros?

The “Game of Thrones” Cinematic Universe (GOTCU) is populated by some of the most iconic characters to grace our television screens. With the season finale of “House of the Dragon” airing on Oct. 23, it appears to be the perfect time to create a non-exhaustive list highlighting a few of said hunks and hotties.

Before we begin, let’s get our definition of “hot” straight. Every person on this list is gorgeous. However, a myriad of elements goes into their categorization as “hot.” A kind heart, a loyal sword, an exciting arch, or an epic dragon-riding sequence could result in one’s categorization as “hot.” I will spotlight some of the moments or traits that landed these ladies and gentlemen at the placements they received. So, without further ado, let’s begin with the fellas.

5. Bronn

Courtesy of HBO.

Coming in at number 5, from the original “Game of Thrones” series, let’s give it up for Bronn! Portrayed expertly by Jerome Flynn, not only is he a magnificent swordsman, lover, and comedic travel companion, but the man can also SING. Bronn puts up a front as a man with no loyalty or morals, but his soft heart is evident throughout journeys with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). He does notably seek money throughout his exploits. This is not necessarily a bad thing in the GOTCU; to quote my friend Jill, “Bronn is always in his bag.”

4. Eddard Stark

Courtesy of HBO.

Fourth place is awarded to Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, and Warden of Our Hearts. Ned is consistently the voice of reason. He is a compassionate father to his children, a mediator of conflict, a patient and moral-driven friend to the king, and a loving husband. Hotness to a T. Not to mention the fact that his death set ablaze the Seven Kingdoms and produced the basis for the majority of the plot of “Game of Thrones.” We only got one season of Neddy time, which made his story all the sweeter, and his end all the more fury-invoking.

3. Daemon Targaryen

Courtesy of HBO.

Daddy Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) slots in at Number 3. Sorry, make that Uncle Daemon. After groaning in discomfort throughout the icky twin Lannister love affair in “Thrones,” the fanbase was quick to root for an incestual pair upon witnessing the chemistry between Daemon and his niece Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy) in “House of the Dragon.” He put a ring on it and, somehow, we didn’t bat an eye. Upon said wife being referred to as a whore in the king’s court, Daemon swiftly decapitated the speaker, cleaned his blade with his cloak, and returned to his position at Rhaenyra’s side. What’s more romantic than murder on behalf of a loved one in the GOTCU?

2. Jon Snow

Courtesy of HBO.

Winter is coming, and we are all looking for one Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to keep us warm in a cave somewhere. This hunk is the only steadfast moral compass throughout all eight seasons of “Thrones.” That’s hot. Spoiler alert: he is also “the prince who was promised” and the rightful heir to the iron throne. On all accounts, he is royally attractive and admirable. It is known.

1. Podrick Payne

Courtesy of HBO.

Now, who would I put at Number One if Jon Snow has already been named? There is only one man who deserves this spot more than anyone else… and his name is PODRICK PAYNE (Daniel Portman). Pod is perfect. Not only was he a loyal squire to arguably two of the best “Game of Thrones” characters, Tyrion Lannister and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), but he subverts the hotness of the other men on this list with his truly awful swordsmanship. Pod is an example of the female gaze. He is kind, a good listener, a supportive friend, and is not inclined towards violence. I have given Pod first place for the good of the realm.

Now we have the pleasure of moving on to the majestic women of the GOTCU. Let’s jump right in.

5. Mysaria

Courtesy of HBO.

You may think you know the tea that goes on in King’s Landing, but I assure you that the powerful Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) of “House of the Dragon” knows more. Nicknamed “The White Worm” for her web of informants, this goddess radiates power. Beyond that, she was Daddy Daemon’s- again, sorry, Uncle Daemon’s- clandestine lover, or “sneaky link” if you wish to use the phraseology my friends and I tend to coin. Merely the name “Mysaria” is hot enough. She has earned her top 5 spot.

4. Rhaenyra Targaryen

Courtesy of HBO.

Pour yourself a cheeky Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it, because at Number Four we have Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). In the first few episodes of “House of the Dragon,” I was certain Rhaenyra was mostly a fan service homage to Daenerys (Emilia Clark), particularly given her ascension as heir and the disgust she had for the men that sought her. Even if this character remained static, such attributes are inarguably hot. However, her arch has amounted to a uniquely dynamic character. She is not perfect, but she stands firm in what she wants. Truthfully, Emma D’Arcy’s hotness could have landed them here even if Rhaenyra were a monster.

3. Ygritte

Courtesy of HBO.

Miss “You know nothing, Jon Snow” herself, Ygritte takes the third place cake. Played by Rose Leslie, Ygritte is a wildling and a badass. The words “swoon” and “faint” are foreign concepts to Ygritte. Beyond her battle skills and captivating, hilarious cadence of speech, this icon was the first to catch Jon Snow’s eye. To sweeten the deal, the pair of actors are married with a baby in real life.

2.  Brienne of Tarth

Courtesy of HBO.

Brienne of Tarth nobly deserves placement at Number 2. A wielder of a sword by the name of “Oathkeeper,” Brienne never fails to bring tears to my eyes with her persistent strength and honor. In keeping with her king’s guard role and loyalty pledge to folks even in their descent to the grave, she honors the Stark family and continually offers aid to heroines Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). “Game of Thrones” would have been infinitely better if the travels of Pod and Brienne were given exponentially more screen time.

1. Sansa Stark

Courtesy of HBO.

Queen in the North, winner of the most dramatically satisfying character growth, everyone bend a knee for her highness Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). After enduring unceasing trauma from the filthiest men “Thrones” has to offer, Sansa repeatedly epitomized resilience. My personal bias may be showing in my obsession with Sophie Turner and her marriage to short king Joe Jonas. Nevertheless, Sansa exercises poise, vigor, wisdom, and redemption across eight brilliant seasons.

“House of the Dragon” is available to stream on HBO Max.

By Risa Bolash

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