THE OLD AND THE NEW: The Top 10 Characters on Game of Thrones

In honor of the highly-anticipated, yet bittersweet final season (coming to a jailbroken Fire Stick or paid HBO subscription that’s probably not yours), I’ve taken it upon myself to re-enter the horribly grungy and beautifully naked medieval world that is, Game of Thrones.

When traveling back and forth between Westeros and Essos only to see your heroes be slain while your enemies are crowned and hanged throughout the seven kingdoms, you start to gain an attachment to certain characters and the history represented by their house sigils. With such a large cast each having their own intricately written subplots and story arcs, it’s fascinating to see how showrunners and writers, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss do such an amazing job portraying their adaptation of George R. R. Martin‘s novel, “A Song of Ice and Fire.” With such a large cast, that also makes it extremely hard to narrow a list of your favorites down to only 10 characters…

….But guess what I did?

Since I’m not a terrible human being, *cough cough Joffrey cough,* and I know some people are just now starting their tireless binge, not only did I try my hardest to explain each ranking as ambiguously as possible, but I also included a “Spoiler Threat Level” scale. I want everybody—even the newbie viewers—to be able to read this list safely without ruining their experience. So with this, you can at least use your better judgment and know if you want to spoil it for yourself, or just look at the rank. You’re welcome.

The night is dark and full of terrors; Winter is here, so let’s get this going before we’re all white walkers, shall we? Starting off with…


10. Sandor Clegane | The Hound

Spoiler Threat Level: Low

“F*ck the king!” Yeah, I said it. I said it every time I saw Joffrey on the screen and so did all of you. But would we say that to those who pledged their lives and swords to him? I think not, or we’d spend the rest of our days thinking on top of a spike somewhere in King’s Landing. The Hound earned his spot by simply never giving a f*ck and making “F*ck the king” my favorite three words in the whole series. He is as blunt as he is ugly and someway, somehow, he was able to leave from his post and roam around saying, “f*ck the king” to anybody who spoke his name without being beheaded for treason. Well, that’s not exactly true. They TRIED to behead him for treason, but he always reminded us of what happens to those that try.


9. Grey Worm

Spoiler Threat Level: Low

As one of the only black men in Game of Thrones (R.I.P Xaro Daxos), Grey Worm is the most skilled unsullied there is, but his way with a sword and other weapons isn’t as impressive as his way with words. He has the most poetic and AWWW- worthy moments when it comes to his #WCW, Missandei. Grey worm earned his spot by being an even bigger loverboy than the Loverboy himself. Watching him speak from his heart is like watching that long-awaited, tear-jerking, face-to-face profession of love in your favorite romantic film. The only thing that’s missing is Patrick Swayze. Through the unbelievable torture he’s endured at an early age, he doesn’t regret any of it for the simple fact that without it, he wouldn’t have met Missandei. No child should go through what Grey Worm did, but he thinks so differently about the darkness he was molded in. It’s unfathomable, but it seems so precious when he speaks about it. Big shoutout to Daenerys and Missandei for giving Grey Worm a deeper purpose. <3


8. BRONN

Spoiler Threat Level: Low

When a man’s primary goals in life are to live lavish, win a good fight, and freak a few freaky women, he can never be hated—only understood. Bronn showed promise when he nonchalantly volunteered as Tyrion’s champion when nobody else would. Though early on it seemed his loyalty could be bought with the right amount of money (and women), I believe he is a lot more genuine and caring than he likes to let on. He’s stood ten toes down for Tyrion and has been a trusted and valuable asset to the better causes of the Lannisters. I have nothing but love for him and his sarcastic and humorous nature.


7. Olenna Tyrell

Spoiler Threat Level: Moderate

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the realest—but not necessarily the youngest—of them all? Real recognize real and Grandma Tyrell is easily one of the realest of the batch. Her sass, unflustered composure, and her deviousness all make her somebody I loved every bit of screen time and added storyline from. She isn’t the type to take weak sh*t from anybody so “shut up, dear” and take notes. She’ll teach you how to take poison like a real ass b**ch, give a f*ck ’bout a n…. whoa, sorry. You can stop twerking now.


6. Daenerys Targaryen (But only with her dragons)

Spoiler Threat Level: Low

Though the mother of dragons is the poster child for Game of Thrones and she has the longest shakespearian introduction of all high-borns in the seven kingdoms, Daenerys herself isn’t all that great.

-Yeah, she’s The Unburnt and can rise out of flames bare-breasted (her nude scene in the first episode is top two and it ain’t two).

-Yeah, she’s undisputedly the fairest maiden in all of Westeros.

-Yeah, she’s the freer of slaves, breaker of chains, and puts Harriet Tubman to shame.

-Yeah, she is all that in a bag of chips, BUT…

Her best moments on the show rely on her supernatural powers and her big ass “burn sh*t up” dragons. As a character, she’s frankly pretty flat. She isn’t the worst though; after all, she could be Sansa Stark. There just aren’t many layers to Daenerys other than her being an overzealous, angry white girl ignorant to the harsh truths of the world carrying high hopes of getting the throne back. When she’s riding on the back of the black dragon yelling, “DRACARYS!” she’s definitely a sight to see. When she’s doing anything other than that…. Queen Margaery me pls!


Ut-oh… So that was the bottom half. Has your favorite already been stopped in their tracks? Or has your favorite found their way to the top-tier? Let’s see as we carry on with…


5. Cersei Lannister

Spoiler Threat Level: Moderate

“CERRRRSEEEEEIII?!?!?!?!”

“Cersei?! Over Daenerys?!” I know, I know bu- “How can Cersei be on amongst the top 5?!” I’m trying to tell yo- “She is the worst!” Yeah sh- “I hate her!” I get it, I g- “She screws her brother!” OKAY, DAMN! People always in Dorne talking ’bout “Cersei ain’t bout this, Cersei ain’t ’bout that. My boy a Martell on f*cking Oberyn nem, he say she don’t be putting in no work-” SHUT THE F*CK UP! Think about it. Would there even be a Game of Thrones without her? Cersei is probably everyone’s most despised, but only because she knows what to do to win and if she knows how to win, she usually does. She is the evil that keeps our blood boiling and the show going. But in her eyes, she’s really just a mother who loves and is willing to do anything for her family. You gotta love it. Well… you’re right, you don’t…but I kind of do. I actually didn’t know how much I truly cared for her until those High Septum prudes got to bullying her like she wasn’t who she was. When I found myself cheering and screaming when she finally bl- whoops, almost spoiled it. Let me start over. *Clears throat*

When I found myself cheering and screaming when she did what she did, I knew she was a top 5 pick.   


4. Jon Snow

Spoiler Alert: High...ASF

The walking dead or the undead? That is the question. Like Daenerys, Jon Snow is kind of a bore, but that’s mainly because he’s the only pure-hearted man in the whole show. He is refreshing in a world full of hidden agendas and snakes in the grass. We don’t get the privilege of watching him change much because he has always been filled with honor and valor, but we do get to see him rise from being just a Stark bastard to Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, the King of the North, and then we find out he’s the rightful heir to the iron throne— ironically in the same moment he beds his Aunt (which personally, is information I think Sam and Bran can keep to themselves since Jon doesn’t want to rule anyway). Every time Jon had a triumphant moment I got a little teary-eyed and for that, he is #4. What they SHOULD’VE did was name him Jon Smoke the way he was offing wildings, white walkers, and bannermen of House Bolton.


“Okay, so wait… Neither Daenerys nor Jon Snow made it to your top 3? Who could possibly be up there then?!”

-Basic N*ggas

3. Jaime Lannister

Spoiler Threat Level: Moderate

Trust me, when it started off I hated Jaime too. His Lannister privilege, nonchalant arrogance, and blatant asshole-ness would make my skin crawl. On top of all that, literally looks like Prince Charming…

I dare you to tell me I’m lying.

I hated his personality in the beginning, but over time, he’s become the most dynamic character in the Game of Thrones series. Thanks to his capture, Jaime has gone from a pretentious pretty boy that has sex with his sister (even next to their child’s dead body), to an actually sensible and caring individual. Now, of course, chopping off one of his hands and being manhandled by Brienne of Tarth for quite some time sure does humble a man, but in every light that’s not shining on the demons of incest that follow behind him, Jaime is one of the best characters to come out of Westeros.


2. Arya Stark

Spoiler Threat Level: High

The rawest Stark of them all, little Arya of Winterfell. She’s undergone a lot of changes since the start of the show, but what’s to be expected when you’ve watched your best friend slaughtered and slung over a horse, Joffrey deeming your father a committer of treason and beheading him in front of the whole city, and the head of a dire wolf pushed into the body of your eldest brother? Arya has been taken captive on more than one occasion. She’s been beaten, chased, stabbed, and somehow has found a way out of every bad situation she’s ever been— in mostly on her own. Arya grew up fast because she had no choice. She lost almost every man that she’s ever known, yet through it all, she kept her sanity, her name, and a couple faces she stole from the temple of the many faced god.


And while all that may seem amazing, the undisputed #1 spot goes to the very deserving…

1. Tyrion Lannister

Spoiler Threat Level: Low

The man.

The imp.

The legend.

The richest, and the most infamous drunken dwarf who has tasted women from all the seven kingdoms, Tyrion Lannister. He is by far my #1. Though the 7th season made me lose some faith in his keen sense of strategy and he basically SUCKS at being hand of the queen, everybody can’t be perfect; but everybody can find the good in themselves and others and that is what Tyrion does so well. His contagious humor, utter cleverness, and his upstanding “woke-ness” (which is very surprising considering his last name and his emotionally abusive upbringing) make him my favorite character of them all. Like Jon Snow, he’s a pure man. He just makes being one look a lot more fun.


So there you have it. My official list of the top 10 characters on Game of Thrones (7 out the 10 will probably be dead by the end of this next season, unfortunately). If your list looks anything like mine, you may actually survive a night in Westeros. If it doesn’t, you’ll probably be better off dying at the wall.

Now, I know I only said 10, but you didn’t really believe me, did you? Has Lord Baelish taught you nothing? I just can’t feel like I did this list justice without paying homage to some of the other essential folk that I will never forget. So here’s five honorable mentions…


HONORABLE MENTIONS


Lord Eddard Stark

This an admirable man that has had to make many tough decisions. The best thing about him is he’s always made them with the safety and happiness of his family coming first. Only a strong-willed person can take the secrets Lord Eddard did to the grave— Especially when they broke the trust in his marriage, tainted his honorable name, and kept a rightful heir away from the throne. It’s a shame how dirty Joffrey did him and though he only lasted a couple of episodes and didn’t make my list, he left an everlasting impact on the series that will never be forgotten.


Tormund Giantsbane | The Ginger Beard Man

No, nobody actually calls him the Ginger Beard Man on the show. It’s just me. Though he’s a fairly new addition to the cast, I’ve found him to be quite funny-or dumb (sometimes they can be synonymous). This ruthless savage has an odd taste for violence and an even odder taste in women. But hey, every man likes an amazon, right? Well in his case, a big, burly, short-haired, always failing her duty kind of knight…


The Mountain  | Qyburn’s Experiment

Any man that walks into a room and legitimately frightens even the most villainous of villains is one that demands respect and an honorable mention. The mountain wasn’t a favorite of mine until Qyburn turned him into Frankenstein. Whenever I saw him crush somebody’s head in, rip somebody’s head off, or even just look someone’s way, I was amazed by how powerful and pure evil he’s become.


Jaqen H’ghar | The Faceless Man

A man cannot judge another man’s place on a list. A man belongs to no list; only the many faced god. But…a man appreciate another man and his white strands of hair. Only because man is very stylish. 

I will admit Jaqen got a little weird in the sixth season, but I can’t ignore how wavy he was when he wasn’t in the white cloak.


Robert Stark | The Young Wolf 

The young wolf was definitely my favorite when he was in his prime. He risked it all for his wife and if you know, you know that I mean ALL. Was it worth it? Who knows, but what I do know he enjoyed the time he did have.


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