The 10 best characters on Game of Thrones
With such an enormous cast amassed over seven seasons, Game of Thrones has given us an insane number of memorable faces. But who has truly stood out amongst the pack, and defined the show through their witty dialogue, genius schemes, and deep personalities, time and time again? That's what we're here to decide.
With no further ado, the ten best characters in the show, ranked.
10. Ned Stark
The strong-hearted 'good man' drawn into the blood and deceit of the southern capital, Ned Stark was a hero who was never afraid to give up his own life. He valued honor and truth above power, and though it led him to his death, it created a legacy so powerful that the entire North seceded from the Seven Kingdoms and followed his son into war over his untimely death. Other leaders may have been more effective, but Ned was the most authentic of them all. "The North Remembers".
9. The Hound
The scarred, ugly, curing monster of a man demonstrated his soft side with Sansa and Arya Stark. A man who admitted that he lived a miserable life, Sandor Clegane went on a four-season path to redemption, before dying against Brienne of Tarth in the series' best sword fight, and coming back to life to fight with the Lord of Light. Still, in the first four seasons alone, he established himself as a complex character who hated his brother, hated himself and his life, and still managed to save Sansa Stark and train Arya Stark to surpass him. He was a mentor and a hero despite his miserable beginnings as a tool of the crown.
8. Jamie Lannister
Going from an incestuous pretty boy who crippled children to a pitiful one-armed man in contemplation of a past he can't forgive himself for, Jamie Lannister has undergone a feat of storytelling to become sympathetic character. Defying his sister and setting his aim on saving Westeros from the White Walkers, this Lannister went from a one-dimensional scumbag to a front-line fighter in the war the Starks always saw coming.
7. Robb Stark
The story arc of the short-lived boy king was an exercise in Game of Thrones' most subtle and detailed writing. Making error after error due to his youth, lust and unwillingness to hear out his allies, a great strategist ends up slaughtered, the hero of the show following in his father's footsteps in the most tragic outcome possible. But he did it all to himself. And that makes his story one of the most well-written in all of Thrones.
6. Stannis Baratheon
Though his story was a bit butchered in the show, "the king who cared" was a severe example of a man who keeps his word at any cost. He had some of the most memorable lines, correcting Davos's grammar, declaring that "hard truths cut both ways" and declaring that he will only move forward, never backward. Stannis was sheer force of will, and his tragic background combined with his ruthless attitude make him a compelling stone-cold military leader, who still remembers the Starks and seeks to set Westeros right from the treachery of the Lannisters and the Boltons alike.
5. Cersei Lannister
She's been pure evil from start to finish, but she's outlived her father and surpassed all other characters to seize the Iron Throne. What can be said of Cersei? She is the villain Westeros deserves, a true sociopath, someone who cannot be reasoned with, and who always gets her way.
4. Joffrey Baratheon
As despicable as he was, for a span of time, Joffrey made the show what it was. His spats with his uncle Tyrion rank among the greatest moments of the show, and the miserable injustice of this evil inbred brat killing Ned Stark, then gleefully parading over the death of Robb and Catelyn Stark, makes him a symbol of the show's essence - that the world is not just, and that all men must die, even the monsters.
3. Tywin Lannister
Tywin Lannister was an incredibly compelling case study into the mind of a grandmaster, somebody who saw the whole world and its politics and made himself a master of it all. He was a manipulative, cruel monster, but he always felt believable. He was the modern statesmen in all his immorality, decisiveness, and chilling efficiency. Charles Dance was also one of the finest actors on the whole show.
2. Davos Seaworth
Oh, yes. I know what you're thinking - how could Davos rank so high? Well, Davos Seaworth, one of the only lowborn on the entire show, is an honest broker who gets along well with children, advises the best leaders in the world, can talk himself out of any situation, has a sense of humor, a sense of loyalty, the inner strength to always summon a brilliant speech, and is a ride-or-die badass who wants what's best for the Seven Kingdoms. The scene where Davos stands up for Stannis at the Iron Bank is one of the best in the series. The man is passionate, smart, and can make a damn good case. He's an honest genius in a world of connivers. Ned Stark would like him very, very well.
1. Tyrion Lannister
Who else could occupy the top spot on this list? Whether he's arguing with his sister, hanging out with Bronn, plotting in King's Landing, defending his life at his trial, being tortured by Joffrey or drinking and roasting the small council, when it came to Thrones' best character scenes, best witty dialogue, best humor and its most emotional plotlines, Tyrion Lannister was always to be found. He is an icon. "I drink and I know things." That, in essence, is the spirit of the schemer in the great Game of Thrones.
So there you have it, the ten best characters on Game of Thrones, according to this one writer, at least. For more Game of Thrones, check out this piece about some faulty writing in the last season of the show.