Game of Thrones is known for its cliffhangers, sudden deaths, and an inability to resist trolling its own fans on the question of Jon Snow’s return. But aside from its buzzed-about shockers and large-scale set pieces, it’s also a show of conversations — and some of the best buddy-cop pairings on TV. Jaime and Brienne, Arya and The Hound, Tyrion and Bronn. Season 6 looks to be a continuation of this trend, with the dubious pairing of Jorah and Daario and the buddy-cop group of Sansa, Theon, Brienne, and Podrick. We’ve ranked the best and worst sidekicks you’d want to have in Westeros and Essos.
7. The Waif
The Waif is Arya’s fellow trainee at the House of Black and White. As far as sidekicks go, she’s pretty lousy. She’s abusive, insulting, hits you when you’re down or disabled, and plays constant mind-games. You’d be better off alone than with this girl by your side. She brings Resting Bitch Face to a whole new level.
6. Jorah Mormont
Jorah is a good fighter, and he’s smart. He’ll save you from assassin attempts, and he’ll stop and think before jumping into a fight. But in Season 6, there’s also the minor matter that he’s on the brink of turning into a rock zombie at any moment. It kind of puts a damper on the road trip.
5. Tormund Giantsbane
Tormund is a tough nut to crack, but once you win him over, he’s loyal and he’ll fight by your side fiercely. He’s also incredibly impulsive when he’s insulted. He’s a good ally to have in a fight, but he’ll randomly beat a guy to death when you’re trying to have a diplomatic discussion. He’ll give you lots of compliments though, as he’s always telling Jon how he’s prettier than his daughters. He’s a good sidekick as long as you don’t bring him along for sensitive matters.
4. Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound
The Hound is unquestionably a great fighter, and if you can put up with his vulgarity and constant insults, he’s a solid conversationalist and an unexpectedly caring friend — though he’ll never admit you’re friends. He’s an excellent sidekick so long as you’re okay with making scenes in roadside inns; and don’t plan to make any other friends along the way. If anyone subscribes to No New Friends, it’s The Hound.
3. Sam Tarly
Sam is smart and loyal and will look up anything he doesn’t know. Though he’s not a natural fighter, he’ll rise to the occasion when he needs to (like in Season 5’s “The Gift”). That being said, he’ll also nominate you for positions you haven’t discussed, and put you in the spotlight when you’re clearly uncomfortable. If you’re on the road with him, he’ll make a loyal sidekick, but he’ll also be that guy who tells the waiter it’s your birthday when you just want to have a nice quiet meal with no fuss.
Bronn will tell it like it is, giving you honesty when you need it, but he’s also considerate enough to take your weaknesses into account. He never looks down on Tyrion for being a dwarf or Jaime for his handicapped hand, but rather helps whip them into shape. He also abandons Tyrion in Season 4 instead of helping him with that trial by combat, though. Seeing how that ended for Oberyn, we can’t blame him, but he’s still only reliable for 90% of tough situations. When push comes to shove, he might ditch you — but at least he’ll say goodbye first.
1. Podrick Payne
Podrick is unflinchingly loyal, perhaps to his own detriment. He’ll stick by your side through thick and thin, take your shit without complaint, and politely prompt you when you forget the words to an oath. Though he wasn’t much of a fighter initially, the first episode of Season 6 showed that, thanks to Brienne’s training, he’s improved enough to hold his own. He’s also a great listener and an all around adorable human. Podrick is the ultimate sidekick.