Sex, death, love, secrets and betrayal are the cornerstones of great TV drama. They are invariably the pillars on which the greatest - or at least most memorable - TV moments are built and it makes sense that they would continue to be the most valuable currency in TV writing.
Betrayal has a special place in that sort of thinking too, because the emotional exchange in a character not merely being hurt, but being hurt by someone they thought was an ally, a lover, a family member or a friend is even more poignant and even more pained. And while there's a searing shock factor attached to them, there's also something deliciously moreish about the most stunning of them, which is why we just keep coming back for more.
12. Shae Turns On Tyrion - Game Of Thrones
Real lasting romance in Game Of Thrones was hard to come by, to say the least. It felt like every time someone had a chance of a pure love, they either ended up dead (one or both of the lovers) or they were in some way related to the person they loved. Sometimes, they were related to them AND had to kill them.
The exception for a long time seemed to be Tyrion's love of Shae. Sure, she was a prostitute, but she was far from the most morally corrupt person in the Seven Kingdoms and Tyrion's love of her was authentic. Unfortunately, though, their relationship is discovered - and its threat to the "good" Lannister name and Shae's life is threatened by Tywin, forcing Tyrion to send her away. It's heartbreaking, but the alternative is worse.
But clearly not in Shae's eyes, because the next time we see her, she appears at Tyrion's trial and lies, twisting their romance to humiliate him. Inevitably, her scorned testimony breaks Tyrion and he unravels, confirming his turn against his family.