Game Of Thrones hast so many wonderful characters it’s hard to pick a favourite but in the tidal waves of iconic roles, it’s easy to miss a few that were only with us for a moment. In such a complex, layered series, there are some characters whose influence is felt long after they’ve left us.
Those featured here all have roles in the Game Of Thrones universe bigger than their screen time implies, either because of a lasting impact on a beloved core cast member, because they made us think differently about the world of Westeros as a whole, or just some damned good acting that demands to be appreciated. In the case of many here, it’s all three.
While a lot of one off appearances are random foot soldiers or victims of Westeros’ never ending violence, these five left an indelible mark...
Poor Will. Ned really should’ve listened to this boy. It’s easy to forget with everything that followed, but Will tried to save everyone from the Long Night right from the very beginning.
Mimicking George RR Martin’s seminal fantasy novels, the show kicked things off with a prologue. All the way back in 2011, before we met the Starks, the Lannisters, or the Targaryens, we met Will.
In a sequence both creepy and indicative of the violence to come, Will sees mutilated body parts scattered on the frozen ground. Then, as a terrifying cherry on this petrifying cake, a dead child walk around with bloodied lips and cold, piercing blue eyes.
He flees, knowing the penalty for desertion is death.
What makes Will such a fascinating character is how obviously the show paints him as a coward, yet on a rewatch makes him seem heroically brave to risk his life for the good of the realm.
In the end, it’s all for nought. Ned does not believe the boy, and his warning goes unheeded. While it’s very in character for the stoic Ned Stark not to believe such fantasies, his actions may very well have unknowingly doomed Westeros.
Goodnight, sweet Will. You deserved better.