Abandoning This ‘Game of Thrones’ Character Was a Mistake

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The Big Picture

  • Meera Reed is an important and capable character in the early seasons of Game of Thrones, but she is forgotten and given no satisfying conclusion.
  • Meera’s role as a protector and fighter is crucial to Bran’s story, but she is sidelined and overlooked in the show’s later seasons.
  • Meera could have played a significant role in the war against the White Walkers and deserved better recognition for her sacrifices.


Game of Thrones introduces many memorable characters as it creates an expansive world. Both the heroes and villains are captivating as they compete for the Iron Throne and confront the forces threatening the world. Everyone from Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is impossible to forget. But this is not exclusive to the show’s leads. Even minor characters make an impact, like Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), who comes into the story later and dies prematurely. In the chaos, some promising characters don’t get many opportunities. This is the case for Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick). Though Meera is shown from her first scene to be a capable woman and spends most of the story accomplishing an integral task, she fades from importance before the show ends, with no good explanation. Most characters have an ending in the form of a dramatic death, a rise to power, or just their participation in the final victory. However, with the widespread dislike of the Game of Thrones finale, not all are satisfying. Yet the show loses track of Meera without revealing if she survives. Though she is set up to be a significant character, Meera is not given a satisfying conclusion.

First introduced in Season 3, Meera is a key player in Bran Stark’s (Isaac Hempstead Wright) journey from Ned Stark’s son to king of Westeros. She is one of the non-traditional but fierce Northern ladies along with Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey). Meera is the primary protector of Bran as they venture beyond the Wall. While her brother, Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), teaches Bran about their shared greenseer abilities and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) carries the future king, Meera keeps them all alive. Jojen, Hodor, and even the direwolf, Summer, sacrifice themselves, but Meera makes it out. When they reach Winterfell, Meera is Bran’s final companion but doesn’t stick around for the impending fight. As one of the few characters who had slain a White Walker before the battle, she would have been a valuable warrior, but instead, she is forgotten. Undoubtedly, the later seasons of Game of Thrones made many mistakes, and though not as obvious as some, ignoring Meera is certainly one.

Game Of Thrones

Nine noble families fight for control over the lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for a millennia.

Release Date
April 17, 2011

Creator
David Benioff, D.B. Weiss

Main Genre
Drama

Rating
TV-MA

Seasons
8

Studio
HBO


Meera Is Important in the Early Seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’

As the daughter of Howland Reed (Leo Woodruff), Meera is one of the many Northerns who remain loyal to the Starks during the war. But she and her brother do not go to war with Robb (Richard Madden) like many. Instead, they throw their lot in with Bran. After Bran, Rickon (Art Parkinson), Hodor, and Osha (Natalia Tena) narrowly escape Winterfell and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Meera and Jojen find them, offering their protection. Meera is strong-willed and determined, unashamed to take the role of protector to her brother despite Osha’s insults. And, because of her relationship with her brother, Meera displays a better understanding of Bran’s Greenseer magic than most. Being one of the few to know that the younger Stark boys survived puts Meera in a unique position. With the group around Bran being so small, each is an important character, but Meera distinguishes herself.

When the group divides, Meera becomes the leader of the journey beyond the Wall. Bran may outrank her as a Stark, but Meera is the only fighter of the group who communicates effectively. Without Meera, the others would not have made it far. She hunts for their food, knows how to help Bran and Jojen after their Greenseer episodes, and is the primary protector as they travel through the dangerous area. Meera has no role in the politics that play a large role in the show, yet she is one of the early characters to see the dangers of the White Walkers and is even one of only four characters to kill a White Walker with Valyrian Steel. Willingly walking into danger with Bran and no army to support them proves Meera to be brave, and her actions show her to be capable. Yet, she falls under the radar among the grander characters, and Game of Thrones allows it to happen by not giving her the opportunity others get.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Forgets About Meera Reed

Bran becoming the Three-eyed Raven is a turning point for Meera. After her brother’s death, Meera changes. She is no longer focused on getting Bran to the Three-Eyed Raven, but is anticipating war while stranded away from the conflict. Knowing the threat heading toward her home, Meera becomes restless and dissatisfied with her inaction. With the protection of the Children of the Forrest, Meera has little to do while Bran trains. However, there is a last chance for Meera to shine in Season 6 as they escape the White Walkers and Meera slays one. This occurs as Hodor dies, leaving Meera as Bran’s last remaining companion. Despite being the only one left to protect Bran, Meera’s role diminishes. Now officially the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is drastically different and does not require the same level of care as before.

Meera loyally stays by Bran, getting him home to Winterfell and reuniting him with his sister Sansa (Sophie Turner), but then chooses to leave in the face of war. Despite her complaints about inaction, Meera leaves the front lines, knowing the White Walkers are coming. She wants to be with her family and claims she isn’t needed at Winterfell. However, her home is further from the threat, and Winterfell is the obvious target. Bran may not need her anymore, but the impending battle does. Not only is her leaving contradictory to her previous statements, but it writes her off the show, never to be seen again. Did Meera make it home? Was she attacked on the road alone? Did she survive the conflict? Game of Thrones never bothers to explain. Her final scene is an argument with Bran as she says goodbye, highlighting everything she did for him and the sacrifices she made, yet she doesn’t get the proper recognition. And afterward, the show gave up on the character. In her earlier appearances, Meera proved that she deserved better than a quiet disappearance, yet she doesn’t do anything but travel with Bran.

What Could Meera Have Done in ‘Game of Thrones’?

Meera (Ellie Kendrick) with the Children of the Forrest in 'Game of Thrones'
Image via HBO

Meera leaves Winterfell, claiming she is no longer needed, but in many ways, she is. Yes, Meera completed her job of protecting Bran, who now has a fortress and has an army to guard him, but she could be useful in other ways. At this point, Jon is still trying to convince the world of the White Walker’s threat. Being another person to corroborate her story, Meera could have helped secure allies. Or she could have returned with a Crannogmen army to fight in the Long Night after Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), who has the allegiance of the North, calls all of Westeros for the battle. Meera’s drive and concern about the White Walkers make her disappearance odd, especially when the kingdom is in a state of emergency. They need all the forces they can gather to oppose the White Walkers, and as one of the few who has fought and killed the beings before, Meera would be a valuable asset, but she is nowhere to be seen.

By writing her off a season too early, Game of Thrones not only denies Meera the chance to demonstrate her abilities again but also prevents her from reaching a true conclusion. The threat of the White Walkers is not the only plot left open for Meera in the later seasons of Game of Thrones. Though Bran thanks her when she announces her intention to leave, he also claims he owes her nothing because he is no longer Bran. Meera watched her brother die, saw others sacrifice themselves for him, and willingly walked into danger, but Bran ignored all of that. Meera is horrified by Bran’s declaration that he is no longer himself, but does nothing about it. Instead of expressing her anger, she leaves, a contradictory act for the loyal character. Bran becomes the king, and Meera neither protests nor receives a reward for what she did for him. Her significance is tied to Bran, who becomes the most powerful person in Westeros. Therefore, Meera’s role of keeping him alive and assisting him in fulfilling his destiny should be recognized. Bran’s newfound detachment creates a barrier between them, but Meera deserves recognition for her actions in the series.

Meera’s end is needlessly ambiguous. Without her justifiable anger towards Bran resolved, she disappears. She deserved another chance to fight the White Walkers, a desire she expressed, and Meeta could have easily folded into the battle. Even becoming another casualty of the Long Night would have given Meera a better conclusion than her disappearance, which does nothing but waste the character. After accomplishing so much, Meera is forgotten by Bran and Westeros. In the series finale, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) claims that Bran has the best story, most of which wouldn’t have happened without Meera, yet the show never let her reach her full potential.

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