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The 3 Smartest Characters, In Order, Are...

58 posts in this topic

Don't think I've ever seen a topic on this, but I've done quite a bit of thinking about it.

In my opinion, The 3 Smartest Characters, In Order, Are:

(1)  Lyanna Mormont.  Intelligence is relative to age, and she is so young that she's even a kid compared to Bran.  Despite her very young age, though, she routinely out-thinks and manipulates people much older and more experienced than her.  Her vocabulary and speech indicate high intelligence, and we have been shown her wisdom many times already as well.  In sum, she is a very powerful intellectual package, in a very young body. 

(2)  Bran Stark.  Also extremely young, we are told and shown over and over that he is highly intelligent.  It is natural, it is believable, and it is consistent with the role he plays (and will play) in this epic story. (I believe when it's all said and done Bran will have been one of the three most important characters)

(3)  Tyrion Lannister.  He's a lot older than Lyanna Mormont and Bran Stark, but he's been smarter than nearly everyone he's ever met for just about his entire life.  He is very well informed about a great many things, and has had life experiences which make him well rounded intellectually, in addition to having a lot of natural intellectual horsepower.

Your thoughts???

Edited by Cron

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Actually, was Lyanna's decision to support Jon and Sansa against the Boltons really that smart?  It was pretty much a suicide mission without the aid of the Vale, and nobody knew the knights of the Vale would join the cause.  I think Lyanna made a child's emotional decision and got lucky.

Jon kind of had a death wish about the whole thing, and Sansa didn't really know what she was doing.

I don't think we saw much evidence of Bran's smarts.  He just has a lot of knowledge now.

Tyrion, yes.  Littlefinger, Olenna Tyrell, Varys, yes.  Jacquen H'ghar, too.

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54 minutes ago, A Bong of Ice and Fire said:

Actually, was Lyanna's decision to support Jon and Sansa against the Boltons really that smart?  It was pretty much a suicide mission without the aid of the Vale, and nobody knew the knights of the Vale would join the cause.  I think Lyanna made a child's emotional decision and got lucky.

Jon kind of had a death wish about the whole thing, and Sansa didn't really know what she was doing.

I don't think we saw much evidence of Bran's smarts.  He just has a lot of knowledge now.

Tyrion, yes.  Littlefinger, Olenna Tyrell, Varys, yes.  Jacquen H'ghar, too.

In my view, Lyanna chose to do what was right, and that was smart, and fortune favors the bold, so it was clearly seen when the smoke cleared and the dust settled that she HAD made the right call, and came out on top.  Now, I'm not saying that's the only thing that demonstrates her intelligence (in fact, I mentioned some other stuff above), but that's the issue you mentioned, so that's what I responded to.

Jon and Sansa: Sounds like we agree they are not especially bright, so I'll move on.

Bran:  Actually, in addition to being repeatedly told Bran is smart, we ARE shown Bran's intelligence.  See especially his scenes with Maester Luwin.  See also how he deftly handles and defuses friction between other people, especially Meera and Osha.   Also, he is very calm, cool and collected under pressure and very mature for his age, all of which I think are signs of higher intelligence.

Littlefinger: I actually considered him but I couldn't put him in the top 3.  He has actually committed multiple fairly major blunders, even though a lot of people seem to think he is the "Master Game Player."  Indeed, his blunders and miscalculations have already cost Cat her life, and SHE is one ofthe primary reasons he set all his schemes in motion in the first place.  OOPS!!!  Note also that despite all his scheming, Littlefinger is really NO closer to his goals now than he was before Book One begam, is he?  No, he's not.  In fact, he has lost ground that can never be recovered, as nis scheming has cost Cat her life and destroyed Sansa's trust in him.  HIs plots have backfired more often than not, and brought about highly undesirable unintended consquences (Remember when Sansa told Jon only a fool would trust Littlefinger?  Okay, that's evidence of a major blunder by Littlefinger, as that is the exact opposite of how he would want Sansa to feel).   Just watch, as time goes by the myth of Littlefinger as "Master Game Player" will be fully debunked, as his plots and schemes will end up costing him his own life, too.  Is that smart? I don't think so.

Olenna Tyrell is an interesting nominee.  She's smarter than average, that's for sure, but she has blundered too.  I'd definitely put her in the top 10, maybe even top 5, but she didn't make the cut for my top 3.

Jaqen H'ghar:  Another interesting suggestion.  Another easy top 10 character, maybe top 5.   Part of the problem with him though is that his motives and methods are so mysterious that it makes him hard to judge (in fact, I'm not even sure he's only one person.  Consder the scene where he drank the poison and died, and another Jaqen appeared.  Which was the "real" Jaqen?  The one who died?  The one who then appeared? Someone else?? Who knows??).  I also believe Jaqen's morals and methods are highly questionable as well.

Great food for thought, thanks for contributing.

 

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Bran, oleana and sam. littlefinger has rediculus plot armor. That does not count.

Edited by A Ghost of Someone

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It's a relative argument as who is smartest.......... in what way?

general acquired knowledge?

knowledge specific to one particular thing?

problem solving skills?

It's also a bit in flux, as several characters are in the process of acquiring knowledge at an accelerated pace. 

At any rate, Lady Mormont doesn't crack the top three any any of the above. 

 

Edited by Ice Spider

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I'd nominate Euron Greyjoy, too.  He dominated the Kingsmoot with his words and logic. Theon and Yara were out of their league matching wits with him. He made them look like fools. Book Euron is even better. 

About Bran, it wasn't too smart of him to go play in the astral realm alone when the three-eyed raven was sleeping. He ended getting most everyone in the cave killed and wiped out the Children of the Forest for good.  Climbing towers at Winterfell after his mother forbade him didn't work out too well, either.  His willfulness is a strike against his intelligence. He is probably the smartest Stark, though. 

Tywin was very smart, except when it came to his children. There he was a kind of an idiot. 

The High Sparrow was up there, too. He played everyone masterfully.  The way he put Lady Olenna in her place after she threatened to starve the city was great. I loved that character. In the end, though, his cunning couldn't match Cersei's ruthlessness.  

Who else is up there?  The Hound had a lot of "street smarts".  

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I did a list of the ten smartest characters at the end of season #3 and my top five were, in order: Varys, Littlefinger, Tyrion, Tywin and Olenna. The other five (cannot remember the exact order) included Arya, Dany, Roose, Jaime and I think Margaery.

My current top five would not be a lot different. Littlefinger is the main candidate for a slide down the ranks after a lot of his scheming (and his failure to do any background checking of Ramsay) does not make a whole lot of sense in the last couple of seasons. The High Sparrow - also my favourite new character from the last two seasons - would be the most likely candidate to be added to the top five. He was freakishly unlucky (in fact it seemed very contrived) that Cersei blew him up (why didn't anything happen after she said "I choose violence" and got Gregor to kill a Sparrow in episode 8?). He didn't know about the wildfire and wasn't to know that Cersei would be so willing to murder masses of innocents, family members, allies and her own son's wife.

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In the tv show it goes like this:
1. Tywin Lannister. Accomplished more in his lifetime than any other Lord of a great House.
2. Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. Came from basically nothing. His father was an insignificant Lord of an insignificant House. After his duel with Brandon Stark he realizes that in order to get what he wants he must use his intelligence and manipulate his way to the top. Basically started the War of the Five Kings ( though he got very lucky with some things. Lucky for him Catelyn was not too bright ).
3. The High Sparrow. Yes, that guy. He outsmarted Lady Ollena at every turn so please, stop saying that she is smarter than him.

Edited by LordMiddleFinger

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9 hours ago, Ice Spider said:

It's a relative argument as who is smartest.......... in what way?

general acquired knowledge?

knowledge specific to one particular thing?

problem solving skills?

It's also a bit in flux, as several characters are in the process of acquiring knowledge at an accelerated pace. 

At any rate, Lady Mormont doesn't crack the top three any any of the above. 

 

 

I agree with this...

I would say guys like Jon  and Sam  jorah and  dany and sansa as intelligent and smart ..but lots of people don't get that even smartest people will also make mistakes and name them as stupid

 

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Olenna Tyrell, Tyrion, Littlefinger(S1-4)

 

13 hours ago, A Bong of Ice and Fire said:

Actually, was Lyanna's decision to support Jon and Sansa against the Boltons really that smart?  It was pretty much a suicide mission without the aid of the Vale, and nobody knew the knights of the Vale would join the cause.  I think Lyanna made a child's emotional decision and got lucky.

I agree. her decision was not reasonable at all. she had 62 soldiers left and if it was not for Littlefinger all of them including herself would have died because of her decision. She is bold but not smart.

 

 

Edited by winter daughter

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12 hours ago, A Ghost of Someone said:

Bran, oleana and sam. littlefinger has rediculus plot armor. That does not count.

Sam is a good nominee too.   I'm not sure he'd crack my top 3, but he's a strong contender.  Very intellectually curious, a voractious reader, calm, rational, and wise.  He's really matured a lot over the course of the show, too. (I believe it's smart to be mature, and not smart to be immature)

His age is also a plus for him, too, as he's still quite young.  (IQ test results, for example, are based partly on age.  It's no accident that two of my top three, at the top of this page, are very young.)

Edited by Cron

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11 hours ago, Ice Spider said:

It's a relative argument as who is smartest.......... in what way?

general acquired knowledge?

knowledge specific to one particular thing?

problem solving skills?

It's also a bit in flux, as several characters are in the process of acquiring knowledge at an accelerated pace. 

At any rate, Lady Mormont doesn't crack the top three any any of the above. 

 

I strongly agree with everything you wrote except the last line.

Lyanna Mormont is very mentally advanced for her age.  I like the factors you list that should be considered (and we could probably both name quite a few more, as there are many ways a person can be "smart"), but I believe we've got to "weight" Lyanna's performance based on her age, which is supported by the fact that IQ tests actually DO take age into account.  On the surface, in a direct comparison with other characters, Lyanna Mormont might not crack the top three in those categories, but she is so young that it really boosts her final score (and ranking), taking her to the very top of the list

Review Lyanna Mormont's scenes.  She is always the smartest person in the room, even though she is way younger than almost everyone else on the show.  In fact, some people have commented (elsewhere) that she's so smart for her age that her behavior, speech and mannerisms seem unrealistic, but I don't agree.  This is "fantasy fiction," and other people have extraordinary abilities, too (not even counting magic).  The information we've been given so far is that Lyanna Mormont is incredibly smart, especially when her age is taken into account.

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11 hours ago, Nowy Tends said:

Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, aka Wun Wun

Hodor

Patchface

HAR!!

Good stuff.  Is that Wun Wun's full name?  If so, thanks for the reminder.  It's been so long since I read the books that I had forgotten.

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10 hours ago, A Bong of Ice and Fire said:

I'd nominate Euron Greyjoy, too.  He dominated the Kingsmoot with his words and logic. Theon and Yara were out of their league matching wits with him. He made them look like fools. Book Euron is even better. 

About Bran, it wasn't too smart of him to go play in the astral realm alone when the three-eyed raven was sleeping. He ended getting most everyone in the cave killed and wiped out the Children of the Forest for good.  Climbing towers at Winterfell after his mother forbade him didn't work out too well, either.  His willfulness is a strike against his intelligence. He is probably the smartest Stark, though. 

Tywin was very smart, except when it came to his children. There he was a kind of an idiot. 

The High Sparrow was up there, too. He played everyone masterfully.  The way he put Lady Olenna in her place after she threatened to starve the city was great. I loved that character. In the end, though, his cunning couldn't match Cersei's ruthlessness.  

Who else is up there?  The Hound had a lot of "street smarts".  

Lotta great food for thought there.

Yeah, Euron mopped the floor with everyone else at the Kingsmoot.   He's quite a bit older than Yara and Theon, but he dominated.  Still, I'm not sure he could have pulled it off if Yara had been a man instead of a woman, cuz I think the voters at the Kingsmoot clearly had some gender bias.

Tywin is a great mention, too.  As you basically say, though, he has a deep flaw, and that's his children.  It's pretty ironic that despite all his talk about .family he so totally botched so many things with his own family, thereby contributing a lot to the destruction of the family legacy he valued so highly.  Part of that might be explainable by the theory that Tyrion might actually be the Mad King's son,or at least that Tywin's view of Tryion was heavily warped by his belief and/or fear that might be true, though.  Also Tywin's age is a big mark against him, since IQ tests are weighted based on age.

High Sparrow, in certain ways, was very clever and manipulative, but some of the things he did were astonishingly foolish (such as radically underestimating Cersei, just like Ned Stark did), and once again his age is a big mark against him,cuz IQ tests are weighted based on age.

A VERY interesting comment about Sandor, too.  Yeah, his "street smarts" are very high, probably the highest in the show now that I think about it.  He learned at a very young age that the world is a hostile, brutal place (when Gregor burned his face), and he's never forgotten it.  In fact the more I think about him the more this shows.  He is no fool, he is a hard core realist, who often bluntly realizes and tells people they're basically living in a fantasy world (so to speak, HAR!), and he's always right (Sansa and Brother Ray are two outstanding examples of this).

Edited by Cron

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10 hours ago, CaptainTheo said:

I did a list of the ten smartest characters at the end of season #3 and my top five were, in order: Varys, Littlefinger, Tyrion, Tywin and Olenna. The other five (cannot remember the exact order) included Arya, Dany, Roose, Jaime and I think Margaery.

My current top five would not be a lot different. Littlefinger is the main candidate for a slide down the ranks after a lot of his scheming (and his failure to do any background checking of Ramsay) does not make a whole lot of sense in the last couple of seasons. The High Sparrow - also my favourite new character from the last two seasons - would be the most likely candidate to be added to the top five. He was freakishly unlucky (in fact it seemed very contrived) that Cersei blew him up (why didn't anything happen after she said "I choose violence" and got Gregor to kill a Sparrow in episode 8?). He didn't know about the wildfire and wasn't to know that Cersei would be so willing to murder masses of innocents, family members, allies and her own son's wife.

Lotta great food for thought here, too.

General point:  Your original top 5 are all quite a bit older than many of the characters.  I'm not saying they didn't distinguish themselves in some smart ways (even though they have their faults and flaws, too), but IQ tests are weighted based on age, so I really think that has to be taken into account in this analysis.

Varys:  A great mention, I'm surprised i didn't give him much consideration before.  In fact, the more I think about him now, the more I can see him climbing the list   This guy is a consummate survivor.  He knows his strengths and leverages them very well.  In fact, I'm kind of struggling to come up with weaknesses and/or blunders by him.  His plots don't always work, but he's got a lot of irons in the fire, and he knows how to push levers.  Some people think he's the real driving force behind nearly everything, and they might be right (I've read extensive theories that Varyis is actually THE master villain)   He's extremely mysterious, though, and it's hard for me to put him in the top 3 without knowing more about what kind of person he really is and what his goals and motivations really are.   Also, his age is something of a mark against him, since IQ tests are weighted based on age.

High Sparrow:  I was just discussing him above, but I'll add a little more to that.   High Sparrow had his strengths, but he was more than just freakishly unlucky.  What he did to Cersei was an OUTRAGEOUS humiliation that any fool should have realized was going to have a massive backlash (every action has an equal and opposite reaction, right?)  It's true that High Sparrow could not have known everything WE know about how dangerous Cersei really is, but to come into town the way he did pushing people of high power and authority around and publicly humiliating them was a very foolish thing to do, and it cost him his life.   Frankly, I think it was a miracle that Jaime didn't cross him off at Myrcella's wake, and I continue to believe book-Jaime probably would have.  Also, once again, the High Sparrow's advanced age is a mark against him in this conversation, since IQ tests are weighted based on age.

By the way, I liked your comment about Littlefinger's failiure to background check Ramsay.  HAR!!! Yeah, so true.  I mean, come on!  The guy lives in the "Dreadfort," and flies a banner with a flayed freaking man on it. Maybe it should have occurred to Littlefinger that Ramsay just might not have been all about rainbows and lollipops, and should have looked into it a little better. 

Edited by Cron

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9 hours ago, LordMiddleFinger said:

In the tv show it goes like this:
1. Tywin Lannister. Accomplished more in his lifetime than any other Lord of a great House.
2. Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. Came from basically nothing. His father was an insignificant Lord of an insignificant House. After his duel with Brandon Stark he realizes that in order to get what he wants he must use his intelligence and manipulate his way to the top. Basically started the War of the Five Kings ( though he got very lucky with some things. Lucky for him Catelyn was not too bright ).
3. The High Sparrow. Yes, that guy. He outsmarted Lady Ollena at every turn so please, stop saying that she is smarter than him.

Very interesting.

Yeah, they are candidates, but they also all have deep flaws, too (as I've discussed above for each one of them), and they also all have marks against them because of their advanced ages (since IQ is weighted based on age), especially Olenna and Tywiin.

But hey, I'm not saying you (or anyone else here) are "wrong."  I understand this is highly subjective and relative stuff, and I acknowledge that.

Edited by Cron

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1 hour ago, Cron said:

HAR!!

Good stuff.  Is that Wun Wun's full name? 

Yes it is.

btw I just realized Patchface is a book-only character, sorry about this!

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I think that the most intelligent person is Olenna Tyrrell. She has been consistently clever during the six seasons. I can't think of anyone more intelligent and clever than her. After her, I agree with the OP that Bran is one of the smartest characters in the show, along with Samwell Tarly. 

Other intelligent characters are Margaery, LF (until the 5th season when he becomes one of the most stupid ones), Tywin Lannister, Arya, Meera Reed as well.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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12 hours ago, Cron said:

I strongly agree with everything you wrote except the last line.

Lyanna Mormont is very mentally advanced for her age.  I like the factors you list that should be considered (and we could probably both name quite a few more, as there are many ways a person can be "smart"), but I believe we've got to "weight" Lyanna's performance based on her age, which is supported by the fact that IQ tests actually DO take age into account.  On the surface, in a direct comparison with other characters, Lyanna Mormont might not crack the top three in those categories, but she is so young that it really boosts her final score (and ranking), taking her to the very top of the list

Review Lyanna Mormont's scenes.  She is always the smartest person in the room, even though she is way younger than almost everyone else on the show.  In fact, some people have commented (elsewhere) that she's so smart for her age that her behavior, speech and mannerisms seem unrealistic, but I don't agree.  This is "fantasy fiction," and other people have extraordinary abilities, too (not even counting magic).  The information we've been given so far is that Lyanna Mormont is incredibly smart, especially when her age is taken into account.

Being articulate in and of itself is not quite the same as being smart. Case in point any politician. She has moxie, yes. Besides, your rephrasing the original question ( adding age as a consideration) just to suite your argument. I'm not saying she is stupid by any means, but she has lead a very sheltered life and is very naive of the world outside of hers. 

Dead people can't be smart. Olyenna is over rated and was routinely out maneuvered by both the high sparrow and Cersei. 

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