Aenarion

Who do you consider the "main characters"?

102 posts in this topic

Today I read something about how GRRM refers to some characters as part of a "Big Six" (a.k.a. the six main characters). 

 

Just curious: 
a) Who they are? 
b ) Do you agree? 
 

For me, Jon, Dany, Tyrion, and Arya are definitely main characters. Beyond that, I'm not quite sure. I know that some will be very important despite not being main characters (Aegon, Samwell, Littlefinger), but I'm not sure who else I'd call main characters. 

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GRRM originally said Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Bran and Arya were the 5 central characters. To me, the only main characters are Jon & Dany, as they're the only ones I see with plot armor enough to basically guarantee their survival to the end of the story.

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The original POV's from Game of Thrones who are still alive. Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa and Bran. Each one is given their own arcs from the beginning of the novels. They are going to be around till the end.

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  1. Daenerys Targaryen
  2. Tyrion Lannister
  3. Jon Snow
  4. Bran Stark
  5. Arya Stark

Secondary characters are Sansa, Cersei, Jaime, Samwell, Jorah, Barristan, Theon, and Brienne.

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3 hours ago, TWR said:

GRRM originally said Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Bran and Arya were the 5 central characters. To me, the only main characters are Jon & Dany, as they're the only ones I see with plot armor enough to basically guarantee their survival to the end of the story.

No character has plot armor. 

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1 hour ago, Heavy D said:

No character has plot armor. 

So Jon stays dead in the books?

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All characters live and die because of plot. The problem is when plot becomes ridiculous in that aspect but really I don't think this is the case in asoiaf.

In my opinion, main characters are the consistent POVs. There are degrees of importance, apparently.

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I agree, my point is that this idea that "no one is safe" is a false narrative that keeps being perpetuated. The story, as GRRM is telling it, dictates that certain characters are safe, at least until the climax of the story.

That's just how I define plot armor & main characters, but I'm sure I'm probably using those terms wrong

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As you said, George R. R. Martin has already revealed that his main characters are:

 

  1. Daenerys

  2. Tyrion

  3. Jon

  4. Sansa

  5. Arya

  6. Bran

 

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As was said, and as we spent many a word on this, there are 6 main characters... Given that this is "A song of ice and fire", the series in this concern has somewhat nice symmetry - three Starks: Bran, Sansa and Arya and three dragonriders - Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion. That said, I may be completely wrong :D 

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It is an interesting question. I would say the main characters are those wwho have POVs sins AGOT. So it would be Jon, Tyrion, Daenerys, Sansa, Bran, Arya.

If we consider characters from the point of their influence on the plot, it will be a little different. Cersei's actions affected Westeros plot a lot during all the 5 books. But f.e. Arya's adventures hasn't affected any events in Westeros and she's presumed dead, though we follow her story all the time. From this point of view Cersei is a main character too, but Arya not yet (she will be in the future apparently)

Edited by Ashes Of Westeros
typos

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Since it has already been stated who the characters are I’ll only answer whether I agree.
Kind of, because I’m really invested in Tyron’s, Jon’s and Arya’s story. I’m ok with Dany and Bran but I’d like to exchange Sansa for Theon.

This talk about the big 5/6 who'll make it to the end kind of makes the story feel like The Hunger Games though.

 

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In terms of plot the character that has the most impact in the story is Stannis by far. His discovery of the twincest is what set the entire storyline in King's Landing off. In Game the game was essentially fought in his name, the shadow baby turned the course of the war of five kings, much of Tyrion's arc in Clash revolved around defending the city from him and he transformes the situation in the North completely. He is also the only person in Westeros that Dany has personal issues with as he is both Robert's true heir and the one who chased her and Viserys from Dragonstone. He is also the one person besides her who is named Azor Ahai. A case could be made for LF, at least at the beginning of the novels. The Tyrells could be said in their way to have had quite a bit of impact. Surprise, they had the bigger army so they were the winning side.

The one character who was both a POV and had considerable influence in the overarching story arc was Cat.

There is also the question of whether significance is attributed to impact on the greater plot or to number of pages devoted? These are novels after all and Martin has stated times that his priority is characterization.

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11 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

In terms of plot the character that has the most impact in the story is Stannis by far.

Good point, I totally forgot about Stannis (just like almost everyone in Westeros :D). Personally, I'd like him to remain important but I'm afraid that's not how it will be...

Quote

There is also the question of whether significance is attributed to impact on the greater plot or to number of pages devoted? These are novels after all and Martin has stated times that his priority is characterization.

You're right about characterization being a major factor for who's important. The "big five" are the characters who change and develop the most even though they might not have had the biggest impact on the storyline yet. Except for Tyrion they are all very young, so it's kind of a coming out of age story.

I'm not quite sure what answer the thread creator was aiming for. Is this thread about who we'd like to be a major character? Who had the biggest impact on the storyline so far? Or who might become important in the end?

Edited by Land's End

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1 hour ago, The Sleeper said:

In terms of plot the character that has the most impact in the story is Stannis by far. His discovery of the twincest is what set the entire storyline in King's Landing off. In Game the game was essentially fought in his name, the shadow baby turned the course of the war of five kings, much of Tyrion's arc in Clash revolved around defending the city from him and he transformes the situation in the North completely. He is also the only person in Westeros that Dany has personal issues with as he is both Robert's true heir and the one who chased her and Viserys from Dragonstone. He is also the one person besides her who is named Azor Ahai. A case could be made for LF, at least at the beginning of the novels. The Tyrells could be said in their way to have had quite a bit of impact. Surprise, they had the bigger army so they were the winning side.

The one character who was both a POV and had considerable influence in the overarching story arc was Cat.

There is also the question of whether significance is attributed to impact on the greater plot or to number of pages devoted? These are novels after all and Martin has stated times that his priority is characterization.

Not at all. Ned and Tywin influenced much more than Stannis. Ned set the events in motion in AGOT. Tywin is the pivotal character in the War of the Five Kings arc that spanned three books. Then there is Littlefinger and Varys who are master puppeteers. In terms of impact in the story  in the first five books my order would be

Littlefinger>Varys>Ned>Tywin>Stannis=Cersei

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32 minutes ago, khal drogon said:

Not at all. Ned and Tywin influenced much more than Stannis. Ned set the events in motion in AGOT. Tywin is the pivotal character in the War of the Five Kings arc that spanned three books. Then there is Littlefinger and Varys who are master puppeteers. In terms of impact in the story  in the first five books my order would be

Littlefinger>Varys>Ned>Tywin>Stannis=Cersei

A character may influence the plot just by his or her presence or absence. In the end both Tywin and Ned's actions were over Stannis' claim over Jeoffrey's. Ned essentially was trying to get Stannis on the throne even if he didn't know it until the end and Tywin considered Stannis his main enemy. Besides he got his ass whooped around a bit fighting on the wrong front, rode the wave and claimed credit. And anything they did never approached the impact of the shadow baby.

Now if you want to argue about Ned and Tywin's legacies this is a different matter, but it doesn't affect the plot directly.

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