Given the precarious familial relationships between some of Game of Thrones's most powerful couples—think siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister, or Jon Snow and his aunt Daenerys Targaryen—questionable romances seem to be part of the cultural fabric of Westeros. But George R.R. Martin had some other ideas for character couplings which, in hindsight, seem almost as odd.
The first book in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, which inspired the HBO show, was published back in 1996, but the author's 1993 pitch for the book shows that there was a whole lot of revising done in those three years. The most surprising storyline featured Jon Snow and Arya Stark falling in love. While the reveal of Jon's true parentage last season proves the two aren't actually half-siblings, but rather cousins, it still doesn't change the fact that they were raised as brother and sister.
According to Business Insider, an excerpt from Martin's original outline read as follows:
"Arya will be more forgiving … until she realizes, with terror, that she has fallen in love with Jon, who is not only her half-brother but a man of the Night's Watch, sworn to celibacy. Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book."
As bad an idea as this relationship sounds, Martin's original pitch actually took it even further.
Tyrion Lannister was also supposed to fall in love with Arya, creating a very unlikely love triangle between the three. "Exiled, Tyrion will change sides, making common cause with the surviving Starks to bring his brother down, and falling helplessly in love with Arya Stark while he's at it," Martin's outline read. "His passion is, alas, unreciprocated, but no less intense for that, and it will lead to a deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Jon Snow."
Though a lot can change between seasons on Game of Thrones, this is one storyline that we fortunately don't see reemerging when the series returns for its final season on April 14, 2019.