This Is a Blog: List of Thrones: Seven Queens for Seven Kingdoms

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

List of Thrones: Seven Queens for Seven Kingdoms

After finishing a Game of Thrones re-watch and starting a books re-read, I decided to rank the top 100 characters in the show and books. My opinions are based on an amorphous mix of show and book stuff, even when they contradict. I don’t have something interesting to say about all 100, so they’ll be listed without comment.
100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

20) Ned Stark
It would be easy to say the most interesting thing Ned did was die, but he looms over everything that comes after. He is the moral center of this universe, and however it wraps up, his code will find a way to prevail, even though he could not.
19) Cersei Lannister
It’s not until the fourth book that Cersei comes into her own. Her desperate grabs for power make her the scariest person to deal with once she grasps it. She’s such a layered villain, and I hope she gets a more fitting end in the books.
18) Catelyn Stark
Going back, I realized the tragedy of Catelyn is that she leaves Bran’s bedside and never sees him again. Her gullibility sparks the war that tears her family apart, but as Lady Stoneheart, she has the potential to right her wrongs. Maybe one day she’ll unlive long enough to see her house prevail.
17) Asha (Yara) Greyjoy
First and foremost, thank you to the show for not making us have to keep track of an Asha and an Osha. At this point in the books, women are slowly becoming the power in Westeros. Asha is the best example of a woman doing it better than a man. That brief moment in the Kingsmoot when you think she might win the crown, you think there might be hope for the Iron Born. Her continued quest to do right by her people, despite her uncle trying to kill her, makes the fact that she will never sit on the Iron Throne even more tragic.
16) Syrio Forel
What do we say to the angel of death? NOT SYRIO! Why did he have to die? I love him so much, and I can’t wait for Arya to kill Ser Meryn in the books.
15) Rhaegar Targaryen
More than any character we never actually meet, Rhaegar is the one we learn the most about. He was strong and passionate and soulful. He might have been the best Targaryen king of them all. The tragedy at the center of the story is the discovery that it wasn’t love that was his downfall, it was the jealousy of a lesser man. Despite what we’re told by characters we’re supposed to side with, Robert was the true villain. Rhaegar is the ideal everyone else in the story tries to live up to.
14) Oberyn Martell
Pedro Pascal is a star. I can’t tell if I love Oberyn because of how he was written or because anything Pedro Pascal does is gold. He’s the perfect foil to the Lannisters. He’s rich and powerful and does whatever the fuck he wants. It’s telling how much of the story after his death is the sheer number of people who loved him and want to avenge his death.
13) Sandor Clegane
GRRM loves giving us shit people and showing the good person beneath the surface. He is brutal and unkind, until suddenly he becomes the fiercest protector of the weakest among us. Saving Sansa was merely a glimpse of the protector he becomes to Arya, who wants him dead. The show did a good enough job of finishing his story, but I hope for more in the books to come.
12) Jaime Lannister
Speaking of grey characters, none is greyer than Jaime. Ostensibly the first thing we see him do is fuck his sister and try to murder a small child. Four books later, we’re like, wait, am I rooting for this guy? How the hell did that happen?
11) Daenerys Targaryen
The show makes it really hard to write about her. Before that finale, she’d be top 10. But now that we know the ultimate resolution of the story will be her breaking bad, it’s hard to judge how to feel about her. She’s the single most important person in this world, and the way the show orbits around her is incredible. We want to believe she’s a true savior, and tearing that myth don’t could be fascinating if done right. But we’ve only seen it done wrong, so it’s hard to tell. But also, Dany’s story in the book is somehow both less rapey and more creepy.

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