…Arya and the Hound, known conjointly as “Around.” But not really.
These two ran away with a respectable chunk of the vote, although the pragmatic partnership between Tyrion and Bronn put up a fight, as did the layered relationship between Jaime and Brienne. In the end, the unique rapport between Arya and the Hound, as sweet and funny as it was disturbing and violent, won the day.
The adventures of Arya and the Hound were more extensive on the show than they were in A Storm of Swords, but the two characters made such an intriguing pair that it was hard to mind. As any mismatched pair of characters are wont to do, these two inspired laughs (if you ask me, the Hound’s chicken monologue from “Two Swords” remains a darkly comic high point for the show), but it was their grudging respect for each other, mixed with wariness and even hatred on Arya’s part, that gave the relationship legs. Commenter DarkStark summed their off-beat appeal pretty perfectly.
Arya and the Hound, with Jamie and Brienne a distant second. The first pair are dependent co-dependents who keep each other sane and alive. Their lines are grounded in conversation, generally adversarial, rather than wit. Their motives are base–his greed and her vengeance–but they are both oddly innocent, loyal, and principled. Dialogue-wise, they don’t do repartee, firing off witticism after witticism–they just talk naturally and often violently from polar-opposite directions. They have the additional visual frisson of 5’1″ Maisie matching and often upstaging 6’5″ Rory. And during their weird, violent, roundabout journey, the Hound and the Wolf Pup come to understand and respect each other. Better yet, Arya gets vital life-lessons that will help keep her alive…I hope. By the way, Arya and Tywin weren’t a bad pairing either.
And yes, Arya and Tywin weren’t a bad pairing, and it should be noted that a fair number of people chose the “Other” option on the poll. Apologies to the fans of Stannis & Davos, Tyrion & Varys, and Sansa & Sandor out there.