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Best Fighters of Westeros


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#1 Aunai

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:48 PM

I'm a first time poster but long lurker here, I love ASOIAF and I like the stuff here, especially the crackpot theories.

Anyways, I searchied this and didn't find anything, so I thought I'd take a shot.

The Very Best - Top Tier

Ser Arthur Dayne - obvious.

Ser Berristan Selmy - again, obvious.

Robert Baratheon (pre-series) - Ned comments in AGOT bout him being one of the more feared warriors around the time of his rebellion.

Eddard Stark - I'm expecting to catch flak for this one, but he did kill Dayne in single combat.

Sandor Clegane - he's repeatedly shown as very dangerous.

Ser Loras Tyrell - despite the lack of actual battle experience and his foolishness at Dragonstone, all the other knights respect his skill.

Oberyn Martell - he's just badass. A pity he screwed up on Gregor, he had that fight.

Jaime Lannister - pre stump, though.

I know that I'm missing some here.

Second Tier

Victarion Greyjoy - he seems fairly skilled from AFFC but relies too much on his armor.

Gregor Clegane - while he could probably go toe-to-toe with a lot of the above but relies to much on one factor (like Vicy): his strength.

Greatjon Umber - I remember him being remarked on as a large and powerful man in Robb's chapters; I got the opinion that he was kinda the big powerhouse of the North, alot like Gregor but not quite as big and not as stupid.

Rhaegar Targaryen - AGOT especially seemed to imply that he was also a skilled swordsman who simply lost to a better.

Areo Hotah - he took down Arys quite effectively (but Arys was wounded).

I'm sure a lot of the pre-Cersei Kingsguard belong up here but I don't remember any other than Selmy.

Thoughts?

#2 redcandle17

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 05:05 PM

Eddard Stark - I'm expecting to catch flak for this one, but he did kill Dayne in single combat.


No, Ned and six other people fought three Kingsguard knights(Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower, and Oswell Whent) and only Ned and Howland Reed survived. Ned's talent lay in leadership and strategy, not personal fighting skills. There is no indication that Ned was an exceptional fighter.

#3 Ser Romin

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 05:18 PM

No, Ned and six other people fought three Kingsguard knights(Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower, and Oswell Whent) and only Ned and Howland Reed survived. Ned's talent lay in leadership and strategy, not personal fighting skills. There is no indication that Ned was an exceptional fighter.


And there's none to suggest that he wasn't an exceptional fighter. 7 Northern Lords killed 3 of the best Knights in the realm, which to say the least, is a very impressive feat. If the fight came down to Ned and Howland vs Dayne, like many people believe, then Ned and Howland had to be pretty damn good to survive against the most dangerous of the Kingsguard.

If we're talking every fighter, past and present, then my rough top 10 goes something like this:

1) Arthur Dayne
2) Sandor Clegane
3) Barristan Selmy
4) Jaime Lannister
5) Robert Baratheon
6) Garlan Tyrell
7) Bronn
8) Loras Tyrell
9) Oberyn Martell
10) Gerold Hightower


I could list off a top 20 and still have many more to go that are complete badasses.

#4 Lightsnake

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 07:25 PM

GRRM said Ned was 'capable' I believe...he's certainly not a high tier and he killed Arthur because Howland interfered. Negative proof. Learn what it is. Logical fallacies. Stop committing them.

Bronn over Loras or Oberyn is just laughable, too. Nevermind him over Aemon the Dragonknight, Daemon Blackfyre, Rhaegar, Areo Hotah, Victarion, Andrik the Unsmiling...

As for Gregor, Martin has cited him along with Sandor and Loras as examples of skillfull fighters, so he's higher than second tier.

#5 Skyrazer

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:15 PM

The best Stark fighter was that one who fought the Dragonknight and lost, but Aemon said he was the toughest opponent he had fought. Forgot his name, but i suppose he would be the only Stark in or around the top-tier.

As for Edd, yeah i beleieve he was a good fighter, but he was renowned for his tactical skills, not his fighting prowess. As for fighting Arthur Dayne, i have no doubt that during the fight, Ned would have had an extra force driving him from his desperation to get to Lyanna. If you do something because you have to, you do it within your limits, however place a family member's life at stake and i bet you would drive yourself beyond your limit and do things you thought you couldnt do.

#6 Jagged

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:30 PM

The best Stark fighter was that one who fought the Dragonknight and lost, but Aemon said he was the toughest opponent he had fought. Forgot his name, but i suppose he would be the only Stark in or around the top-tier.

As for Edd, yeah i beleieve he was a good fighter, but he was renowned for his tactical skills, not his fighting prowess. As for fighting Arthur Dayne, i have no doubt that during the fight, Ned would have had an extra force driving him from his desperation to get to Lyanna. If you do something because you have to, you do it within your limits, however place a family member's life at stake and i bet you would drive yourself beyond your limit and do things you thought you couldnt do.


That was Cregan Stark. (spelling?) And that was the best fighter the DragonKnight had ever fought. Not necessarily the best Stark fighter ever. Remember the Starks have existed as a House for 8,000 years. Thats a shit load of fighters. And Brandon Stark was the true swordsman of that generation of Starks. Ned Says so and GRRM says the same thing. Ned is good but not great.

've seen too many of these threads so I don't really want to get involved again. We had some good debates about it in the Fighter Draft and tourny in Forum Games awhile back. It was good times but yeah, no one ever really fully agrees with anyone else.

Edited by Jagged, 06 April 2007 - 08:32 PM.


#7 Daralys

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 09:36 PM

There's not nearly enough information about fighters who lived prior to the books for you to make an all-time best list, so I think that maybe you should take out the people who died before aGoT, or at least before the Hedge Knight.

A Feast for Crows, Cersei to Jaime:

“You were better, before you lost your hand. Ser Barristan, when he was young. Arthur Dayne was better, and Prince Rhaegar was a match for even him."


Rhaegar wasn't second tier if you count Arthur Dayne as at the top. Of course this is about jousting, but you place Loras Tyrell based on his jousting, so you should do the same for Rhaegar.

Bran has his own list of the best knights:

Bran was going to be a knight himself someday, one of the Kingsguard. Old Nan said they were the finest swords in all the realm. There were only seven of them, and they wore white armor and had no wives or children, but lived only to serve the king. Bran knew all the stories. Their names were like music to him. Serwyn of the Mirror Shield. Ser Ryam Redwyne. Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. The twins Ser Erryk and Ser Arryk, who had died on one another's swords hundreds of years ago, when brother fought sister in the war the singers called the Dance of the Dragons. The White Bull, Gerold Hightower. Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Barristan the Bold.


Jaime and Loras in aFFC:

You would do well to know about the lives of those who went before.”

“I do. Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, Ser Ryam Redwyne, the Greatheart, Barristan the Bold . . .”

“. . . Gwayne Corbray, Alyn Connington, the Demon of Darry, aye. You will have heard of Lucamore Strong as well.”

“Ser Lucamore the Lusty?” Ser Loras seemed amused. “Three wives and thirty children, was it? They cut his cock off. Shall I sing the song for you, my lord?”

“And Ser Terrence Toyne?”

“Bedded the king’s mistress and died screaming. The lesson is, men who wear white breeches need to keep them tightly laced.”

“Gyles Greycloak? Orivel the Open-Handed?”

“Gyles was a traitor, Orivel a coward. Men who shamed the white cloak. What is my lord suggesting?”

“Little and less. Don’t take offense where none was meant, ser. How about Long Tom Costayne?”

Ser Loras shook his head.

“He was a Kingsguard knight for sixty years.”

“When was that? I’ve never—”

“Ser Donnel of Duskendale, then?”

“I may have heard the name, but—”

“Addison Hill? The White Owl, Michael Mertyns? Jeffory Norcross? They called him Neveryield. Red Robert Flowers? What can you tell me of them?”

“Flowers is a bastard name. So is Hill.”

“Yet both men rose to command the Kingsguard. Their tales are in the book. Rolland Darklyn is in here too. The youngest man ever to serve in the Kingsguard, until me. He was given his cloak on a battlefield and died within an hour of donning it.”

“He can’t have been very good.”

“Good enough. He died, but his king lived. A lot of brave men have worn the white cloak. Most have been forgotten.”

“Most deserve to be forgotten. The heroes will always be remembered. The best.”

“The best and the worst.” So one of us is like to live in song. “And a few who were a bit of both. Like him.” He tapped the page he had been reading.

“Who?” Ser Loras craned his head around to see. “Ten black pellets on a scarlet field. I do not know those arms.”

“They belonged to Criston Cole, who served the first Viserys and the second Aegon.” Jaime closed the White Book. “They called him Kingmaker.”


There's also the Knight of the Laughing Tree, whether it's Howland Reed, Lyana Stark or someone else entirely.

I also think it says somewhere that Howland Reed prevented Arthur Dayne from killing Ned, but either I can't find the quote or I imagined it.

#8 Angus Niven

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:17 PM

From ACoK, in the Bran chapter where Jojen and Meera Reed first appear:

Something his father had told him when he was little came back to him suddenly. He had asked Lord Eddard if the Kingsguard were truly the finest knights in the Seven Kingdoms. "No longer," he answered, "but once they were a marvel, a shining lesson to the world."

"Was there one who was best of all?"

"The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne, who fought with a sword called Dawn, forged from the heart of a fallen star. They called him the Sword of the Morning, and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed." Father had gotten sad then, and he would say no more. Bran wished he had asked him what he meant. [And so do we all.]


(UK paperback, pg. 243.)

#9 Brady

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:20 PM

Ned remembers that Arthur Dayne would have killed him if not for Howland Reed.

#10 doc awesome

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:44 PM

Adrik should get some credit if he sucked the Ironborn would have said so.

#11 Ski the Swift

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:58 PM

Brienne the Beauty! She has to be up there somewhere.

#12 Forge

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:58 PM

I believe ned to be a good, but not great fighter. he was known more for the strategy end of it. his father i believe was probably a better swordman than he was. there's no proof of this except my own theory that rickard had to be damn good to demand trial by combat for his son's life knowing he would have to face a member of the kingsguard.

in terms of fighters...for some reason i truly believe a sober sandor is the class of westeros. the mountain is freakishly strong, but his actual fighting ability is somewhat suspect from what i saw in his fight with oberyn, where he was pretty much beaten. jaime was great, but reckless. i would have loved to see sandor fight barristan or arthur dayne in their prime.

out of the living people, as they are now...i'd say...

1. sandor (if he's still alive)
2. barristan selmy - yeah, he's not young. but even still, his ability is unparalleled and i think he'd lull younger fighters into eventually making mistakes.
3. bronn- tremendously gifted fighter
4. lyn corbray- yes, this is based almost solely on reputation as the only person of note he has killed was lleweyn martell and we havent seen him fight.
5. garlan tyrell- even loras says he's better with the sword.
6. strong belwas- seems to have good fighting instincts (except for letting his opponent cut him) and we know that he is the winner of quite a few battles.
7. gregorstein- he was a freak when he was a normal person, but not the brightest person, and now with him being all frankensteined out, i wonder how many of those instincts are still in tact.
8. andrik- the ironborn aren't exactly wusses and with the kind of reputation he has...
9. balon swann- again, this is based on what's not said about him as much as anything. he wasn't a political choice of kingsguard, which means that he had to get picked due his ability and his honor. no one has ever accused him of being a slouch with a sword (except i think barristan when he claimed he could cut through all the members of the kingsguard), including jaime and tyrion. so i'm making a big assumption that he's pretty good.
10. loras tyrell- smart, and gifted. but a little reckless.
11. jon snow- he's the best at the wall from what we've seen, and although he's young, he seems to have the instincts and the ability. hes good now, he could be great eventually. his addition to this is probably largely based on potential.
12. grey worm- he was born for this.
13. special mention - anguay the archer - we know he's probably the best archer in the land. and while he may get crushed in a sword match, give him some space and he could take half these guys out before they could get 100 feet within him.

Edited by Forge, 06 April 2007 - 11:01 PM.


#13 Ser Romin

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 02:50 AM

GRRM said Ned was 'capable' I believe...he's certainly not a high tier and he killed Arthur because Howland interfered. Negative proof. Learn what it is. Logical fallacies. Stop committing them.


Wow, you even bring your logical fallacy comments into this thread. These seem to be the only comments you can make lately. You've been unable to argue your point in the Sandor vs Gregor thread and it seems you find yourself in the same boat in this thread. I am well aware of what they are. I was not saying Ned was one of the best fighters, only that the claim that he was average at best to be incorrect, because really we have no evidence to suggest that. He's survived wars, he killed Arthur Dayne, he scared Jaime and the Lannister men in the Throne room at the end of the rebellion, etc. I know he was more of a tactician than a fighter, but I would imagine he was pretty damn good when it came to sword play. Not Sandor Clegane good, but good nonetheless.

Bronn over Loras or Oberyn is just laughable, too. Nevermind him over Aemon the Dragonknight, Daemon Blackfyre, Rhaegar, Areo Hotah, Victarion, Andrik the Unsmiling...


Funny, you laughed at me when I said Victarion would beat Gregor and here on your list of people that should be placed higher than Bronn, you mention Victarion, but not Gregor. Odd. Loras is a good fighter, there is no doubt, but he is young and favours the lance over sword combat. He's still one of the better fighters mind you.

Bronn is better than Oberyn (and this has been discussed in another thread), although a fight between the two would be marvelous indeed. Don't bring your Bronn hatred into this thread please.

As for the others, like I mentioned there are numerous others I could mention to fill out the top 20, Blackfish and Hotah spring to mind for 11 and 12.

As for Gregor, Martin has cited him along with Sandor and Loras as examples of skillfull fighters, so he's higher than second tier.


You always bring up this quote but you never actually show it to anyone. The only thing I've heard George say in terms of Gregor was he was one of the better fighters in Westeros, not most skillful. All the fighters I listed are SKILLFUL, whereas Gregor relies on brute strength. Gregor would probably find himself in my top 20 fighters, most likely closer to 20 than to 10. He's top tier, but not close to the top 10 in Westeros.

#14 malek

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:18 AM

Don't confuse reputation with skill.

There are many in Westeroes who are believed to be much better than they are for one reason or another (Gregor, Loras, maby even Lyn Corbray?), yet there are those who are really good, but without such reputation (Bronn).

Robert Baratheon
Rhaegar Targaryen
Arthur Dayne
Jaime Lannister
Oberyn Martell
Bronn
Barristan Selmy
Gerold Hightower
Sandor Clegane
Garlan Tyrell

Btw. If I remember right GRRM when asked about it replied that Ned is "capable" swordsman, nothing more, and that Brendan was real fighter in the family.

#15 Forge

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:35 AM

Don't confuse reputation with skill.

There are many in Westeroes who are believed to be much better than they are for one reason or another (Gregor, Loras, maby even Lyn Corbray?), yet there are those who are really good, but without such reputation (Bronn).


I agree with this, but the problem is, is that we have seen so few people fight that its hard not to go based on some reputation. Lyn is a feared swordsman, and at least has one notable kill on his record in martell (even though we don't know how good of a fighter he was). he was around during robert's rebellion and built the reputation then, so there has to be some credible work that was done, meaning it wasn't simply tourney wins that built his legacy.

With loras, it's a little harder. his one stint in war, dragonstone, doesn't show a lot of brilliance despite them taking it. he did kill two notable swordsmen, robar and.....was it emmon? not sure. but it's not clear on how much those two actually expected a fight to take place. he unhorsed jaime in a tilt, but its well known that he's a good jouster, but that's not war, and in the melee, he was beaten by a more clever brienne. I did love his cleverness in his choice of horse against gregor. people could bitch all they want in the story, but that was simply brilliance.

And with gregor, i find it even tougher. we know he can fight, but honestly, i chalk up a lot of that to his freakish strength. i think he would kill a lot of people in single combat, but that doesn't always necessarily mean that he's a great fighter. he flat out got beat by oberyn, and having seen bronn fight the same way against egan, we can make an assumption that bronn would have given him a decent fight too since he would have employed a similar tactic. while gregor may be able to kill lyn corbray, loras tyrell, garlen tyrell, or barristan selmy with his size advantage, would he have been able to defeat a fighter as skilled as those but with less size advantage like his brother? or even greatjon umber?

#16 doc awesome

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:57 AM

What about Jason Mallister? He has killed a shit ton of people you think someone would notice.

#17 malek

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 04:09 AM

You made some great points there Forge.

I'm not sure what to think about Lyn, He is good swordsman, without doubt, and no one protested when he called himself "The Best Swordsman" at Vale. However he built himself reputation as dangerous man, but Martin still didn't let us know is it because his skill with sword, eagerness to kill, valeryan blade at his side or something fourth...

Loras is a tourney knight, and very skillful one to. He built his reputation by unhorsing knights in fair one on one fight, but like you said he was outsmarted by "not that smart" Brienne. When Gregor drew sword against him he froze, and would be cut in half if it wasn't for Sandor Clegane to stand between them. Just imagine how long he would last against someone shrewed and experienced like Bronn or Oberyn. Btw.

And for Gregor: Man was a beast, without doubt. Was it Bronn who said how Gregor never faced an opponent who wasn't dead scared of him ?! I guess that half of his battle where won as soon as he stood before his opponent.

#18 Lightsnake

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 12:35 PM

Wow, you even bring your logical fallacy comments into this thread. These seem to be the only comments you can make lately. You've been unable to argue your point in the Sandor vs Gregor thread and it seems you find yourself in the same boat in this thread. I am well aware of what they are. I was not saying Ned was one of the best fighters, only that the claim that he was average at best to be incorrect, because really we have no evidence to suggest that. He's survived wars, he killed Arthur Dayne, he scared Jaime and the Lannister men in the Throne room at the end of the rebellion, etc. I know he was more of a tactician than a fighter, but I would imagine he was pretty damn good when it came to sword play. Not Sandor Clegane good, but good nonetheless.

Oh, really now.I was answering the first guy in reference to Ned in case you're incapable of putting things in context. GRRM said Ned was capable, nothing more. Howland Reed saved, and Jaime was taken aback by the sheer anger in Ned.
Got it> 'capable.' Nothing more

Funny, you laughed at me when I said Victarion would beat Gregor and here on your list of people that should be placed higher than Bronn, you mention Victarion, but not Gregor. Odd. Loras is a good fighter, there is no doubt, but he is young and favours the lance over sword combat. He's still one of the better fighters mind you.

Yeah, because Victarion would rip Bronn like paper and be killed by Gregor.
And Loras is still an exceptional swordsman, even if he's better with lance.

Bronn is better than Oberyn (and this has been discussed in another thread), although a fight between the two would be marvelous indeed. Don't bring your Bronn hatred into this thread please.

No, he isn't. Oberyn showed more skill in one fight against a Westerosi elite than Bronn showed hin a fight against an old man. I don't give a damn what was discussed elsewhere.

As for the others, like I mentioned there are numerous others I could mention to fill out the top 20, Blackfish and Hotah spring to mind for 11 and 12.
You always bring up this quote but you never actually show it to anyone. The only thing I've heard George say in terms of Gregor was he was one of the better fighters in Westeros, not most skillful. All the fighters I listed are SKILLFUL, whereas Gregor relies on brute strength. Gregor would probably find himself in my top 20 fighters, most likely closer to 20 than to 10. He's top tier, but not close to the top 10 in Westeros.

You know who showed me the quote? RAN, take it up with him if you're going to whine so much. Now, I have an honest question: What would I possibly have to gain from lying about a quote, especially when the admin on this board showed me? I'd be called out faster than you could blink.

And Gregor was listed as skillful as well. Because his brute strength drives him more, it doesn't mean he isn't good with a sword. Even if Gregor isn't skillfull as Garlan, he'd still be able to kill Garlan because of nhis advantages. Meaning, he'd be better in the pure sense

#19 Jon Blackfyre

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 02:46 PM

Best fighter ever, based soley on my own bias and evidence that cannot be proven or disproven...Symeon Star Eyes.

The man (or other, as I have speculated in another thread) had mad bo-staff skills, probably nunchuck skills too. And he was blind...nuff said.

#20 Jaime Martell

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:14 PM

I think I remember a reference that Ned was an adequate fighter, nothing special; also he lost in single combat- tourney swords- to Jason Mallister, when he visited Winterfell ( Jon?/Arya? flashback)

Edited by Jaime Martell, 07 April 2007 - 03:15 PM.