Game of Thrones is dark. Like, really dark. We have had at least a vague understanding of this since the first episode ended in the defenestration of a small child. And things have only gotten darker since. The most recent examples of which has some fans deciding they’ve reached their misery limit. But despite all the ugliness, Game of Thrones can at times be a downright pleasant experience to watch.
This is in large part thanks to vibrant, charming, and often hilarious characters. The show knows that Westeros is bound to get pretty heavy, so it has this helpful habit of pairing up two charismatic characters and letting them interact until the chemistry onscreen helps to wash away the aftertaste of the most recent beheading. But what if showrunners and Partners-in-Cruelty D.B. Weiss and David Benioff took it a step further and got HBO to greenlight some actual buddy comedies based on characters they’ve already paired up?
We imagine it would look a little something like the following. The rules for inclusion of two Wester-bros is that each character in the pairing must: a) Have shared several conversations with each other with no other characters interrupting; b) Have traveled together for at least two episodes or more (there is one exception to the travel portion); and c) Tyrion, Bronn, Arya, and Brienne are only allowed to appear in no more than two separate pairings.
Call it the Bechdel Test for whether a Game of Thrones pairing is legit or not. Or the Bronndel Test, if you will.
Tyrion and Bronn – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Eyrie
Tyrion and Bronn were the first inspired pairing for Game of Thrones. Really, it was an obvious choice: pair up a character who is intellectually devastating with a character who is physically devastating, and make sure they both have a taste for dry wit and dry wine. Boom. Done. The fact that Peter Dinklage and Jerome Flynn have such apparent chemistry is just icing on the cake.
Tyrion and Bronn’s buddy comedy spin-off “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Eyrie” would start exactly like their first meeting: with Catelyn Stark hauling Tyrion off to Lysa Arryn at the Eyrie when their party is attacked by mountain clans. Bronn and Tyrion are separated from the group, and Bronn tries to make good on delivering Tyrion to the Eyrie to collect what he assumes will be a ransom.
But the two then keep getting sidetracked by wacky adventures. First negotiating with the mountain clans, then drinking in the Riverlands, then drinking in the Westerlands…basically just a lot of drinking and bro-ing out. If there are any two characters it would be best to experience the entirety of the world through, it would be Tyrion and Bronn.
Arya and Tywin Lannister – Daddy Issues
The pairing of Arya and Tywin represents one of the first big deviations from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series that confirmed Game of Thrones is in good hands. Arya’s time in Harrenhal places her directly in the service of Tywin Lannister, arguably the world’s most feared and impressive man, and also the head of the House directly responsible for her father’s death. At first glance, the pairing of a young girl with an older man complicit in her father’s murder doesn’t seem like fertile ground for a buddy comedy. Maisie Williams and Charles Dance’s interactions are so compelling, however, that it’s natural to want to see more.
So in the interest of laughs, Tywin discovers Arya’s true identity in “Daddy Issues” and instead of lashing out decides to adopt this now family-less little Stark, admiring her pluck. Arya is taken back to court at King’s Landing where a now changed and contrite Tywin Lannister tries to raise Arya as his own alongside his baffled other children Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion. Still, Tywin’s final act remains the same as he dies on the toilet, and Arya and Tyrion take off to Essos for a new adventure.
Brienne and Jaime – On the One Hand
Brienne is like a device to make other characters sympathetic. She is so good at heart and dedicated to her cause that anyone who respects her also in turn earns the audience’s respect. Back in season three, Brienne was Jaime’s path to redemption when they traveled the country together to get back to King’s Landing. Of course, in the process Jaime happened to lose his sword hand. “On the One Hand” will address this to an almost comically irresponsible extent.
When Jaime and Brienne make it back to King’s Landing, they use Jaime’s influence to stage a campaign to make the capital more handicap accessible. They form a dynamite comedic duo as they tour the city, inspecting local businesses for Westerosi with Disabilities Act infractions. The amount of “I’ve got to hand it to you” puns will be absolutely staggering. It will likely be a terrible movie that I would watch in a heartbeat.
Arya and The Hound – Arry and The Hound
Arya and The Hound is a pairing that even sounds good on paper. “Arya and The Hound” sounds like either a ‘70s cult classic or at the very least a Topeka shock jock radio duo. The Hound turned up when Arya needed physical protection the most but wanted it the least. Arya hated the Hound, or so she thought. Still, he was her traveling companion for an entire season, and she came to learn even more about combat and the general awfulness of the world from him.
“Arry and The Hound” would see Arya and The Hound exploiting their naturally hilarious size disparities as traveling mummers. Everyone is enchanted by their routine, which features lots of acrobatics and swearing. Unbeknownst to the audience, however, they’re also assassins using a portion of their act in which they “accidentally” cut someone’s head off like magicians.
Podrick and Brienne – Don’t Call Me ‘Lady’
Brienne and Podrick’s pairing works so well because Podrick’s obsession with being a proper squire forces Brienne to be as active a hero possible. Brienne tended to take a back seat to Jaime, because he was one of the most fearsome warriors alive. But Pod is so helpless that Brienne gets to be the warrior she truly is around him.
Pod and Brienne’s series “Don’t Call Me ‘Lady’” will be a direct sequel of Brienne and Jaime’s buddy comedy. After the success of their handicap accessibility campaign, Brienne sets up a sword-for-hire firm with Podrick as her secretary. It’s not long before it becomes apparent to Brienne that the citizens of Westeros just can’t accept the concept of a physically strong woman and everyone assumes that slight Podrick is the real muscle. So to preserve their business Podrick and Brienne must pretend Podrick is a fierce warrior while Brienne gets everything done behind the scenes.
Tyrion and Jorah – Fifty Shades of Greyscale
Tyrion has a habit of turning captors into friends. While he and Jorah aren’t quite there yet in their adventures in Meereen, it’s all but inevitable that Tyrion and Jorah Mormont become Tyrion and Bronn-level bros. If Jorah survives greyscale long enough to make a connection (and forgive the whole banishment thing).
In “Fifty Shades of Greyscale” Jorah succumbs to his greyscale and becomes a full-time, barely sentient stoneman. But Tyrion can’t help but love his new bestial companion. Tyrion and Jorah live in the ruins of Valyria and spend their days exploring and finding old, still intact books. Everything is going great until Jorah realizes he must leave Tyrion and live amongst his own people. They depart like the end of Harry and the Hendersons, and it’s heartbreaking.
Jaime and Bronn -Why Did We Go to Dorne?
In the buddy comedy “Why Did We Go to Dorne?” Jaime and Bronn embark on a journey to Dorne to save Princess Myrcella. Upon arrival, they realize this is a silly plan and dead-end of a plot, and go back to King’s Landing where they belong.