8 Game of Thrones characters who overstayed their welcome

Credit: HBO
Credit: HBO /
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As one of the most ruthless shows of all time, Game of Thrones is full of characters with bad intentions who do horrible things to advance their competing interests. Because the show lasted eight seasons and produced more than 70 episodes, most of those Game of Thrones characters live way too long when better men, women, children, direwolves, and dragons die far too son.

For this list, we picked eight characters who overstayed their welcome in the Seven Kingdoms. Some of these characters were so terrible that they deserved death — or fewer important storylines — much sooner. Some of the characters featured are good characters, but with the things they did, it’s shocking they made it through seven or eight seasons. You’ll see who I mean shortly.

Let’s get the list started with one of the most disappointing characters in Game of Thrones, Stannis Baratheon.

Game of Thrones
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

8. Stannis Baratheon

Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) is one of my least favorite characters in Game of Thrones. There are few redeeming qualities about Stannis, and his pursuit of power with no viable strategy is frustrating to watch for many fans. Stannis is the first kinslayer of Westeros.

Viewers are introduced to Stannis in the show’s second season when the War of the Five Kings begins. By law, Stannis is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, given that Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) were not the biological children of King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). Still, he’s challenged by the Lannisters and his own brother, Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), whom Stannis disposes of with the help of Melisandre (Carice van Houten), the Red Priestess.

Luckily, Stannis doesn’t stick around too long in Game of Thrones. He’s killed in season 5 after foolishly attacking the Boltons and trying to take Winterfell. Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) kills Stannis for the murder of Renly, whom she was sworn to protect way back in season 2. Still, Stannis stuck around way too long for my liking.

It’s so interesting because I was and am not as bothered by the book version of Stannis, and none of this is any fault of Stephen Dillane. He does a great job with what he’s given, but the show’s treatment of this character is quite poor. In the show, he’s almost singularly focused on his own advancement, and he’s willing to sacrifice everything to rule. That’s not necessarily the case so far in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. Through A Dance with Dragons, Stannis remains alive!