A screenplay is solely driven by the decisions or choices the characters make. There is always that one ultimate need for every character which is facilitated by numerous small decisions.
The ultimate need of every major character in Game of Thrones could be summarized to one point, “Everybody needs to be on the Iron Throne”. But the whole plot of Game of Thrones moves forward in an unflinchingly interesting pace, by the numerous, impulsive, little yet highly dramatic decisions the characters take.
The decisions can be categorized as “dramatic” because if the characters, at that point made a different choice, the whole plot would have taken a different, less interesting path.
The entire show is comprised of many adrenaline pumping high points, some soul-stirring emotions and some high-intensity battle scenes, everything happening only because of a few, handful choices the characters took. So, here we present you the Six Dramatic Decisions in GoT.
LITTLEFINGER’S DECISION TO KILL JON ARRYN:
Oh! How often I have wondered this! If at all Lord Baelish restricted himself from manipulating Lysa into poisoning her husband Jon Arryn, the whole “Game of Thrones” wouldn’t have happened at all. But be it life or history, everything is triggered by that one single choice, one single incident.
The murder is what brought Ned Stark to King’s Landing and we all know what happened after that.
JAIME’S DECISION TO PUSH BRANDON STARK:
Everybody has that one dark secret, which when exposed makes us indescribably vulnerable, and human beings make the stupidest of decisions driven by pure impulse and adrenaline rush at times when they feel vulnerable. Brandon stark witnessing Jaime and Cersei making love exposes their dark secret and it makes them feel so vulnerable.
“He saw us” Cersei whispers, her eyes expressing nothing but pristine terror. A woman as strong as her fears like a kitten at that moment, such is the power vulnerability has on the human mind.
Jaime, shaken by all this, utters, “The things I do for love” and pushes little Brandon off the window. An incident that ignited the never-ending tug of war between the Starks and the Lannisters.
JOFFREY’S DECISION TO BEHEAD NED STARK:
The viciousness and ruthlessness with which one behaves are inversely proportional to the strength of one’s mind. The evident arrogance and his sadistic behaviour stand as a testimony to the weak-mindedness of Joffrey. He is a person who thrives in power, cherishes it, just like his mother. He is vicious and mad like Tyrion addresses him in a scene.
The sight of people bowing to him in fear pleases him so much that he becomes naturally sadistic. He is driven by just one urge, an urge to prove that he is a vicious ruler moment after moment.
This sadistic urge is what made him order the executioner to behead Ned Stark, even after he confessed and addressed Joffrey as the king.
This event sowed the seeds of vengeance in the young hearts of Sansa and Arya and apparently the whole character arc of Arya is driven by nothing but her conviction to avenge the people who murdered her father.
TYRION’S DECISION TO DEMAND A “TRIAL BY COMBAT”:
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister was inarguably brilliant in this scene, especially when he says, “I wish I was the monster you think I am”.
He accepting the punishment would have killed him or would have transferred him to the Night’s watch. The whole plot would have been overturned. But he, in a fit of rage and desperateness to survive demanding a “Trial by Combat” overturned everything. It was undoubtedly a turning point in the character arc of Tyrion Lannister.
This decision, like a pack of cards collapsing, set up an array of consequences. The choice murdered Prince Oberryn which in turn was responsible for the murder of Myrcella Lannister, the choice is what pushed Tyrion and Varys to abandon King’s Landing which in turn ended up in they partnering up with Daenerys Targareyan.
DAENERYS DECIDING TO RESCUE JON SNOW FROM THE WHITE WALKERS:
This again is one of the most important decisions in the plot. Her decision to fly beyond the wall to rescue Jon, against the wishes of Tyrion Lannister is what makes her lose Viserion, her dragon.
And the dragon, reanimated by the Night King is what destroys the wall singlehandedly allowing the Night King, Whitewalkers and the army of the dead en route to the seven kingdoms.
Littlefinger is one of the major masterminds in the whole plot of Game of Thrones. Most of the defining situations in the series are nothing but the consequence of those little things Littlefinger started initially. He is the sole creator of chaos. “Chaos is a ladder” as he himself says defines him perfectly. He feeds in chaos and uses it intelligently to reach the heights of power.
Everything worked according to his plan until the very end. But suddenly, he got a little bit carried away and in other words, got a little blinded by his subconscious underestimation of Sansa Stark.
He was all set to create havoc again, all set to make his final master move. But Sansa got the better of him and the high the scene gives when Sansa says, “How do you answer these charges, Lord Baelish?” is indescribable.
This is such an important decision as Baelish left alive would only create more and more chaos. This guy is so smart that he would even strike a deal with the “Night King”!