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Top 10 Best Written Characters?


128 replies to this topic

#1 Pinkie Baelish

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 11:56 PM

What are the series' top ten best written characters in your opinion? NOTE: This is not a list of characters who are the best people in ASOIAF, this is a list for the best characters from a literary perspective.

My top 10:
  • Tyrion Lannister
  • Jaime Lannister
  • Catelyn Tully
  • Arya Stark
  • Theon Greyjoy
  • Stannis Baratheon
  • Eddard Stark
  • Varys
  • Cersei Lannister
  • Roose Bolton


#2 Leif

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:03 AM

1. Dolorous Edd
2. Varys
3. Littlefinger
4. Jorah Mormont
5. Davos Seaworth
6. Eddard Stark
7. Stannis Baratheon
8. Arya Stark
9. Theon Greyjoy
10. Jeor Mormont

#3 Nictarion

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:06 AM

Not 10, but for me the best written characters are Daenerys, Theon, Jaime, Sandor, Arya, Tyrion, and Catelyn.


Edited by Nictarion, 06 August 2014 - 06:17 AM.


#4 Alistair's Pantaloons

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:09 AM

1. Hodor

Ehh, they're all pretty good.

#5 Bridgeburners

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:10 AM

Well this is a rushed list, so I doubt it's actually reflective of how I feel but:

1. Jamie Lannister
2. Sandor Clegane
3. Brienne
4. Samwell Tarly
5. Davos Seaworth
6. Theon Greyjoy
7. Sansa Stark
8. Victarion Greyjoy
9. Arstan Whitebeard (can you believe I'm actually blanking on his real name?)
10. Robert Baratheon

#6 Ser Areo Mace

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:11 AM

Well this is a rushed list, so I doubt it's actually reflective of how I feel but:

1. Jamie Lannister
2. Sandor Clegane
3. Brienne
4. Samwell Tarly
5. Davos Seaworth
6. Theon Greyjoy
7. Sansa Stark
8. Victarion Greyjoy
9. Arstan Whitebeard (can you believe I'm actually blanking on his real name?)
10. Robert Baratheon


Ser Barristan Selmy

#7 Nictarion

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:11 AM

Well this is a rushed list, so I doubt it's actually reflective of how I feel but:


9. Arstan Whitebeard (can you believe I'm actually blanking on his real name?)

Barristan Selmy

#8 therealbando

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:13 AM

Id say the best written is Theon Greyjoy. After him, in no particular order: Tyrion, Jon, Dany, Jaime, Catelyn, Arya, Sansa, Jaime Davos, Stannis.

Edited by therealbando, 07 June 2013 - 07:14 AM.


#9 Yukle

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:16 AM

1. Davos, for his depth of character, constant internal struggles and emotional attachment to readers. Especially since it's easy to write an evil character everyone hates but not easy to write a good character people will like.
2. Cersei as she is pretty much a Godsend to any author for her frustrating personality and you cannot help but read on when she is about.
3. Jon as he is developing in a manner that people can relate to, which many other characters don't have. He's the most "real" character other than Davos.
4. Varys, for his brilliantly intriguing role as a subtle, behind-the-scenes character.
5. Littlefinger, for the same reasons as Varys.
6. Robert, as he was actually a brilliantly engaging character and a suitably tragic almost-hero who creates his own demise.
7. Jaime, whose monologue in the bath completely changed his character and how the audience views him within minutes.
8. Stannis, whose steady rise to power has been balanced by his internal torment, especially following Renly's death.
9. Ned, who manages to be the perfect & frustrating protagonist who does the opposite of what the audience would.
10. Ghost, who manages to have character without saying a word.

ETA: Tyrion would've made the list before A Dance with Dragons, but his annoyingly repetitive recollection about his father's death got irritating the second time it was mentioned and infuriating by the twentieth.

Edited by Yukle, 07 June 2013 - 12:21 AM.


#10 Bridgeburners

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:16 AM

Heh, thanks guys. But I got it a second after I hit post. All I have to do is think of "the bold", and then I get "Barristan the Bold". Then I immediately get "Barristan Selmy".

7. Jaime, whose monologue in the bath completely changed his character and how the audience views him within minutes.


For me, it happened during his dungeon conversation with Catelyn at the end of CoK, despite how vulgar he was. Although the tub scene was also a big leap for me.

Edited by Bridgeburners, 07 June 2013 - 12:18 AM.


#11 Pinkie Baelish

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:16 AM

Id say the best written is Theon Greyjoy. After him, in no particular order: Tyrion, Jon, Dany, Jaime, Catelyn, Arya, Sansa, Jaime, Stannis.


Theon pre-ADWD was well-written, but Theon in ADWD was fucking amazing. Quite possibly the most consistently well-written single-book arc in the entire series.

EDIT: Also, you listed Jaime twice.

Edited by Pinkie Baelish, 07 June 2013 - 12:32 AM.


#12 Apple Martini

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:18 AM

Theon's arc in ADWD alone puts him in the top spot for me.

I think Jaime, Davos, Arya, Jon, Tyrion and Catelyn are also written well.

I guess my loose top 10 would be:

1. Theon (solid #1, everything else is in no real order)
2. Jaime
3. Arya
4. Catelyn
5. Tyrion
6. Jon
7. Davos
8. Stannis
9. Sandor
10. Sansa

#13 redviper9

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:18 AM

1) Jaime Lannister
2) Theon Greyjoy
3) Catelyn Stark
4) Jon Snow
5) Ned Stark
6) Varys
7) Sansa Stark
8) Roose Bolton
9) Asha Greyjoy
10) Stannis Baratheon

Edited by redviper9, 07 June 2013 - 12:20 AM.


#14 DogLover

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:26 AM

This is tough, but I'll give it a go. In no particular order and absolutely not reflective of my favorites, my top ten are:

Catelyn
Arya
Sansa
Sandor
Theon as Reek
Joffrey
Jaime
Cersei
Roose
Tyrion

#15 Littlefingers In The Air

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:49 AM

This isn't easy but let's see:

1. Littlefinger/Theon Greyjoy
2. Barristan Selmy
3. Catelyn Stark
4. Arya Stark
5. Stannis Baratheon
6. Davos Seaworth
7. The Lannister Siblings
8. Sansa Stark
9. Samwell Tarly
10. Jon Snow/Targaryen

#16 BeWareOfMyHouse

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:56 AM

1. Tyrion Lannister
2. Petyr Baelish
3. Sandor Clegane
4. Arya Stark
5. Davos Seaworth
6. Sansa Stark
7. Catelyn Tully
8. Stannis Baratheon
9. Jon Targaryen
10. Theon Greyjoy

I'm really surprised most people have overlooked The Hound. In my mind, he's one of the only people in the series that reveals war for what it really is. His "Knights are for killing" speech to Sansa is probably one of my favorite monologues from the books.

#17 The Bastard of Summer

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:03 AM

1. Jaime
2. Theon
3. Littlefingef
4. Cersei
5. Ned
6. Tyrion
7. Jon
8. Arya
9. Bran
10Tywin

#18 Khal Pono

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:04 AM

I've been wanting to make this point for a long time, but I think the quality of the prologues (and book 3 epilogue), which all feature a doomed, usually unimportant or unimpressive character are of exceptional literary quality. Each of them is like a brilliant, pessimistic short story of a person struggling vainly against a bleak, hostile universe. They are full of pathos and dark comedy.

Whether GRRM is getting inside the mind of a character as repulsive as Chett and making him sympathetic, describing Merrit Frey's cursed luck and incurable migraines, or Varymyr's abusive childhood, GRRM is at his best when doing these wildly readable character studies.

The best one is probably the Pate prologue (which resonates strongly with me since I was an abject failure and college dropout the first time around!). I was bored the first time I read it (I wanted to hear about my favorite characters, not Pate and his classmates!), but I've read it many times since and am dazzled by how sad and quietly scary the whole thing is.

Edited by Khal Pono, 07 June 2013 - 01:06 AM.


#19 Bridgeburners

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:11 AM

I've been wanting to make this point for a long time, but I think the quality of the prologues (and book 3 epilogue), which all feature a doomed, usually unimportant or unimpressive character are of exceptional literary quality. Each of them is like a brilliant, pessimistic short story of a person struggling vainly against a bleak, hostile universe. They are full of pathos and dark comedy.

Whether GRRM is getting inside the mind of a character as repulsive as Chett and making him sympathetic, describing Merrit Frey's cursed luck and incurable migraines, or Varymyr's abusive childhood, GRRM is at his best when doing these wildly readable character studies.

The best one is probably the Pate prologue (which resonates strongly with me since I was an abject failure and college dropout the first time around!). I was bored the first time I read it (I wanted to hear about my favorite characters, not Pate and his classmates!), but I've read it many times since and am dazzled by how sad and quietly scary the whole thing is.


It is an interesting point, and you could have made your own thread about it, IMO.

Pate is probably my favorite prologue/epilogue guy. But I really love Maester Cressen. I love his struggle trying to sway Stannis towards peace with his brothers, thinking as a father figure (he practically raised the Baratheons). He also reflected Davos' maddest point against Melisandre before Davos got there himself. It's a shame such a major character had so little exposure.

#20 Lord Joker Of FunLand

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:19 AM

Oberyn is in the top 10 for me. Even if he didn't last long, all his scenes were captivating.