Mild Inconvenience

Truly good characters

64 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

How many characters in the books do you think can be counted as truly good people? Who always put others before themselves. I can only count 3.

Maester Luwin
Hodor
Sam Tarly

Who am I missing?

Edited by Mild Inconvenience

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Maester Aemon?

Jory Cassel as far as we knew him

I think Brienne counts as a good person as well

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Poor old Ned is a good character - he may not always make wise choices but he does make them for honourable motives. Since we do not know WHY he hid Jon's parentage from Catelyn we cannot assume he did it for wrong reasons. When he lied it was for good reasons.

Even Sam broke his vow of chastity (thank heavens) 

Jon other than breaking his vows with Ygritte has done nothing wrong (yet) - he may have planned to ride to Winterfell but has not yet.

I do not think Maester Luwin is a good man - or at least he was doing some wrong things albeit perhaps with what he thought were good motives.

We do not know why Hodor lost his speech. He is of course the REAL King of Winter and Bran King of Summer.

 

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4 minutes ago, Luddagain said:

Poor old Ned is a good character - he may not always make wise choices but he does make them for honourable motives. Since we do not know WHY he hid Jon's parentage from Catelyn we cannot assume he did it for wrong reasons. When he lied it was for good reasons.

Even Sam broke his vow of chastity (thank heavens) 

Jon other than breaking his vows with Ygritte has done nothing wrong (yet) - he may have planned to ride to Winterfell but has not yet.

I do not think Maester Luwin is a good man - or at least he was doing some wrong things albeit perhaps with what he thought were good motives.

We do not know why Hodor lost his speech. He is of course the REAL King of Winter and Bran King of Summer.

 

I don't count Ned as good, more neutral. He put his honour before the life and safety of his children. He could've kept his mouth shut about Joffrey and gone home. Instead thousands died, including his son and wife.

I don't think being dishonourable is a bad thing. Sam broke his vow for love, as did Jon. 

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Davos

Ned

Brienne

Jory, I suppose

Dany (though that may change in later books)

Jon, maybe

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Brienne definitely

Meera & Jojen to add to the existing names

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Posted (edited)

Only Septon Meribald. 

Seriously, there is no morally superior character in the series. Not one. Septon Meribald is basically Santa with badass stories. 

Edited by John Doe

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Hang on

Ned only wanted to save the lives of the three children. He did plan to leave but was betrayed by Sansa and LF. As I say unwise but not dishonourable.

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I don't think that there are any truly good characters in this story.

Maybe Brienne, but she has chosen the job of a knight. Yes she believes in the fairytales like protecting the weak and the innocent, but in the end she kills like everyone else.

I believe to be considered as truly good, not only are the objectives important, but also the methods to achieve them.

A person like Mahatma Gandhi, to bring an example from the real world

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Posted (edited)

32 minutes ago, Luddagain said:

Hang on

Ned only wanted to save the lives of the three children. He did plan to leave but was betrayed by Sansa and LF. As I say unwise but not dishonourable.


Because being honourable is not always being good. It's entirely subjective, the thing that was in question was whether calling out Joffrey on being a bastard with no right to the throne was really worth starting a huge war over and risking the lives of your family. 

If some peasant insulted a samurai the honourable thing might be to cut him down right there in the street, I wouldn't frame it as good though. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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In addition to a lot of the above...

Gilly. She's never done a thing to hurt anyone and just wants to live and have her child live.

Possibly Dolorous Edd as well. 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Trigger Warning said:


Because being honourable is not always being good. It's entirely subjective, the thing that was in question was whether calling out Joffrey on being a bastard with no right to the throne was really worth starting a huge war over and risking the lives of your family. 

If some peasant insulted a samurai the honourable thing might be to cut him down right there in the street, I wouldn't frame it as good though. 

What do you mean? The war had already started by then. Lannisters were fighting the Tullys and Robb was gathering forces to join them. Renly, Stannis and Balon were also preparing for war. Eddard calling Joffrey a bastard was irrelevant.

Edited by Cataldo

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Brienne is the only one who comes to my mind.

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29 minutes ago, Cataldo said:

What do you mean? The war had already started by then. Lannisters were fighting the Tullys and Robb was gathering forces to join them. Renly, Stannis and Balon were also preparing for war. Eddard calling Joffrey a bastard was irrelevant.


Ned would have done it regardless of there already being conflict, it's his intentions that are being discussed. The fighting in the Riverlands had nothing to do with an illegitimate king and and Renly only fled after Robert's death, nor does Eddard know that Stannis is preparing for war. 

Ultimately though it doesn't matter, Ned will tell the king that his son is illegitimate because it is honourable and to Ned the maintenance of that honour justifies the loss of life and limb that such a war would bring. The argument here is that to keep Joffrey's secret may be the lesser evil despite it being dishonourable. 

The idea that honour and oaths and such are synonymous with good is challenged often in the series. 

 

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Barristan Selmy, Shireen, and Missandei come the closest to purely good. 

  • Barristan
  • Shireen
  • Missandei

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Ned had no expectation that telling Robert the kids were not his would lead to war. What could Tywin have done after his family executed. Would the Westerlands rise for Tywin?  Perhaps jaime could escape and lead them too, but without an heir Tywin would have had a problem.

In Ned's opinion the war had already started - this action may well stop it.

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" Then Cersei would fall, and the Kingslayer with her, and if Lord Tywin dared to rouse the west, Robert would smash him as he had smashed Rhaegar Targaryen on the Trident. He could see it all so clearly."

Ned was prepared for war with the Lannisters as far back as the suspicion that they had a hand in Bran's attempted assassination. He isn't thinking of avoiding war, war is simply the bread and butter of a feudal lord embroiled in family politics. It's part of his culture and expected really but it's still pretty hard to frame the loss of hundreds if not thousands of lives for the sake of honour as a good thing. 

I don't think people are suggesting that Ned isn't good, if anything by the standards of his culture he's very good but what is being argued is that being honourable and being good are not always the same thing as Ned is perfectly willing to sacrifice lives in the name of honour. 

So saying that Ned is honourable isn't really an argument in support of him being good, it's an argument in support of him being honourable. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ser Bonnifer Hasty 

 

He is arguably the most pure and honorable person still alive in Westeros.

 

Brienne supported an usurper and has repeatedly threatened to kill her rightful king.

Edited by BericDondarrion

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Well, if your definition of good is blameless saint, then your list of good people will be very short indeed. But if the definition is more realistic, something akin to flawed human being with virtues and vices, who generally tries to do the right thing, then the list logically become much longer: Davos, Jon Snow, Sansa, Brienne, Arya, Ned, Samwell, Asha, Missandei, Grenn, Garlan, Pyp, Catelyn, Jaime (post-hand, obviously), Bran, Edmure, Meribald...

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