The title may be a little misleading, you could interpret it as me trying to say my top favorites to win the actual “Game of Thrones”. I think we all know at this point no one really wins, but along the way in the books I have a number of favorite characters that I wanted to talk a little about. I find that whenever I meet someone who has read the books, or perhaps just watches the show, I can tell a lot about them by having them answer the question, “Who are your favorite three characters?”. To add some flavor to this post I’m also going to list the characters I hate the most as well. A warning to everyone: I have read all the books and will be talking about the events of the books pretty liberally. If you do not like spoilers please do not continue.
3. Ser Jorah Mormont
Since his introduction in the first book I have really favored Jorah Mormont. His kindness to Daenerys, in contrast to Viserys and the Dothraki, probably had a lot to do with how my feelings shaped for Ser Jorah. He has a lot in him that I really value in a person, despite his multiple failings over the course of his life. Yes, he has dishonor in his past. That said, when he sold men into slavery it was not without reason, he loved his wife and wanted to provide her the opulent lifestyle she was used to. This was stupid, but he is not the first man who did something stupid for a woman. He paid dearly in the end for that, having to flee Westeros or die.
Jorah also worked as a spy for the Iron Throne for a time, but when the moment of truth came, and he received his pardon in return for aiding in the assassination of the Khaleesi, he showed loyalty to Daenerys and saved her life. That loyalty may have come from Jorah slowly falling in love with Daenerys, but I still credit him for doing the right thing in the end.
In addition, despite jealousy often clouding his advice to the Khaleesi, he tends to have the most sensible advice of anyone of her advisers. He has been around for sometime, and seen the way the world works. Also, even when she refuses his advice, and just does what she wants to do, he stands by her side. When Khal Drogo died he advised Daenerys to flee, lest she be cut down by the other Dothraki. She stays, and Jorah is forced to fight for his life and hers as a result.
After that. Mormont plays out the tragic story of the “nice guy” that falls for the girl, and while she likes him back, she will never have the same feelings for him. Despite Daenerys making it clear that they will never be romantically involved Ser Jorah remains loyal, even after it is revealed he was spying on Daenerys and he is banished by her.
“The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are” – Ser Jorah Mormont
2. Ser Jaime Lannister, “The Kingslayer”
From the moment Jaime was introduced I think I liked him. I always have a thing for fabled warriors, and being billed as one of the greatest swordsmen in Westeros intrigued me about Jaime. A lot of people that talk about Jaime say that they warmed up to him over time, especially after the loss of his hand. Looking back on my initial impression, I liked Jaime from the start, largely because I could look at myself put into his situation, and possibly doing the same things myself.
Of course when I say that I’m putting aside the incest…
That aside, pushing Bran out the window is sort of a no brainer for a man in his position. This is probably one of his worst crimes in the books, though, and one that probably pushes him into the “dislike” category for most people. When you get some more perspective on his backstory, and the love he and Cersei share, he becomes a little more humanized. Up until that point I would say Cersei and Jaime looked like they were being set up as the “villains” of the Game of Thrones series.
The chapters with Brienne and Jaime quickly became my favorites, that is to say the time they were travelling together. Getting to know Jaime, and getting to know what makes him tick really turns a lot of people from hating him to begrudgingly liking him. He was put in a large number of nearly impossible situations, and for the most part always tried to do the right thing.
“I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act.” – Ser Jaime Lannister
1. Ser Barristan Selmy, “Barristan the Bold”
Hands down my favorite character. Barristan can be faulted for much, considering he was one of the oldest members of the Kingsguard, and multiple kings managed to die violent deaths on his watch. That said, he secures his reputation as one of the biggest badasses in Westeros after he is dismissed from the Kingsguard by Joffrey. Barristan insults Joffrey, throws his sword down at the feet of the throne, and later when Joffrey sends the Gold Cloaks after him for a “muttered threat” he manages to kill the Gold Cloaks without his sword. Jaime Lannister later finds out that Barristan also took the time to go to the White Sword Tower, and record his own dismissal in the White Book of the Kingsguard. The man was dutiful to a fault.
It isn’t until later, when he serves Daenerys, and becomes a point of view character, that Barristan’s true character is revealed. Yes, you hear many stories over the course of the books of what an excellent knight he was, but you don’t get to see the true wisdom of Barristan Selmy until we get inside his head.
Barristan is the man who truly has seen everything, as he stood there silently by the Iron Throne as years of politics played out in front of him. This experience is invaluable to his role as an adviser and bodyguard for Daenerys. She doesn’t always listen to him, like she doesn’t always listen to Mormont, but she really should. Despite her bad decisions, however, Ser Barristan stands by her side faithfully.
I always imagine that if all the fabled warriors of Westeros were put in order by their skill in battle that Barristan would come second to Rhaegar Targaryen, and that Jaime Lannister would be right behind Barristan. I mean in their prime, of course. Barristan and Jaime are sort of past that point by the end of the last book, although they both are fairly skilled combatants still.
“She wants fire, and Dorne sent her mud. You could make a poultice out of mud to cool a fever. You could plant seeds in mud and grow a crop to feed your children. Mud would nourish you, where fire would only consume you, but fools and children and young girls would choose fire every time” – Ser Barristan Selmy
My Least Favorite Characters
3. Sansa Stark
I hold both Catelyn and Sansa Stark responsible for Eddard Stark’s death, but I hold Sansa particularly responsible because she sold her father out because she wanted so badly to be Queen. Sansa is beginning to get redeemed in my eyes, as I really like the relationship she has with Littlefinger. It really looks like she’s going to be an interesting player to watch in future events.
Oh, also, she could have single handedly killed Joffrey, and she chickened out. She would have saved a lot of people a lot of grief, including herself, if she had just had the balls to push him off that platform.
“The Hound is right…I am only a little bird, repeating the words they taught me.” – Sansa Stark
2. Brandon Stark
He is extremely boring. Extremely. I have had most anyone that I talk to about the books just outright say they could barely stand any Bran Stark chapters, and there are a ton of them. If this bullshit doesn’t go anywhere interesting I will be pissed. Had I known he would be this boring I would have been rooting for Jaime to stab him before pushing him out the window back in the first book, just to make sure he stays down.
“I don’t ever say anything interesting” – Brandon Stark
1. Daenerys Targaryen
I hold her solely responsible for not only the death of Khal Drogo, but also for the “Stallion Who Mounts the World”. This is unforgivable. I said that Sansa was sort of redeeming herself when I talked about her earlier, and that said, Daenerys Targaryen will never redeem herself in my eyes. I don’t care how many titles she tacks onto her name, I don’t care how many cultures she frees from slavery. I loved the romance with Khal Drogo, once you get past the whole rape thing, and I was supremely pissed about her essentially ruining him. She not only killed her husband, she ruined him, and in the process killed her baby as well.
Couple that with her arrogantly ignoring the advice of Mormont and Selmy, while falling for a dangerous sellsword because danger seems to be what turns her on, I just can’t bring myself to like her.
“I am the blood of the dragon” – Daenerys Targaryen
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