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Who is the dumbest POV character?

168 posts in this topic

There's just so many different types of intelligence. It's hard to say who the "dumbest" is. Vic is indeed a "simple guy" with narrow thoughts but he has great prowess as a naval commander. That in itself takes a great deal of a certain type of intelligence. Then you have Quentyn who, on one have, seems like a well educated young courtly guy, but on the other hand ,he hatched a plan to steal a dragon or two. Cersei has shown to be shrewd at times game but is so shortsighted and completely lacks judgement. She's actually a decent Checkers player but terrible at Chess (can not think any moves ahead.) 

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Nah, that's just dumb. Keep in mind this is soon after Tyrion tried to free Jaime by force via breaking guest right. She has absolutely no reason to trust him in that case.

Sansa is literally 11 years old; if anything she's very keen for her age.

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6 hours ago, Reekazoid said:

omg that made me laugh out loud for real.  I second the nomination.

Hare-brained scheme? Check.

Deadly dragons downstairs? Check.

ACME(tm) brand whip? Check.

 Let's do this...

 

Burnt to a crisp and holding a sign saying "Oh"? Check (at least in my imagination every time I read his dragon taming sequence)

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Cersei. I just re-read a few FFC chapters from her POV and she is actually infuriatingly stupid, not just stupid.

It is funny how she thinks she's so clever though.

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It's heartwarming to see threads like this where people simply state who they don't like.......

The author went out of his way to make Victarion come across as stupid (sailing the Dothraki Sea? Come on, man!) and off page has described Vic as dumb as a stump.  Ignorance and lack of education =/= stupidity so even if we are prepared to overlook his shocking ignorance of geography (really? in an admiral sailing his fleet half way round the world? I mean reeeaaaaally??) we are told that his brothers picked on him as a child for his slowness to understand and that his greatest naval victory, burning the Lannister fleet at anchor, was a plan made by Euron rather than his own idea.

Areo Hotah is utterly one-dimensional and Arys Oakheart is far too easily manipulated by Arianne but it's hard to look past Vic here.

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You guys are pretty harsh on some of these POV's. Vic isn't dumb, he's just willful and stubborn. There's a difference. You don't get to be the captain of the Iron Fleet by being dumb. 

Dumb-ness is more aligned with woeful ignorance and a lack of critical thinking.

My list for top dumbest POV is as follows.

1. Arianne

2. Barristan

3. Pate

4. Quentyn

5. Sansa

 

All of these characters are either gullible or show very shallow thinking. Sansa is pretty young so she gets a bit of a break, everyone else is quite inept. Arianne is borderline retarded and can't put 2 and 2 together to save her life. Guaranteed she buys into Aegon as a Targ and dooms her family. Barry seems to be intentionally simple minded. Pate is a bit cleverer but still trusts a stranger and gives away important info. Quent is really just a product of his upbringing and finds himself in a bad situation he isn't smart enough to manage well.

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Arys is an excellent choice! I forgot about him. 

I don't find Theon stupid just arrogant & self centered. I guess I don't find Cersei stupid either. 

I would add Selyse to the stupid list 

I don't actually find Theon stupid either, despite finding Cersei very much so. They are not really comparable in this case, imo.

Edited by Dofs

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I think Victarion is a great choice for stupidest. (Note: in American vernacular, "dumb" and "stupid" are pretty much equivalent. "Dumb" as "mute"  is almost an archaic usage these days. For that matter, so is "mute".) Vic is so stupid, he won't tolerate laughter, because he isn't smart enough to figure out whether it's at his expense or not, so it can't be allowed at all. Even by monkeys. He got his position of leading the Iron Fleet because his brother was Balon Greyjoy and he was the next oldest son, and because he's a huge brutal guy who's really good at killing. Not on account of being any kind of great strategic brain. The dope beat his pregnant wife to death, in spite of his "great love" for her, because Euron had had her.

I'd put Cersei right up there with him. She's constantly telling herself how brilliant she is, while jumping to unwarranted conclusions based on little to no information and what she WANTS to believe. I thought Sansa's chapters were irritating, but she's downright tolerable when compared with Cersei. Plus, I guess you have to give a 12 year old a break. It's easy to get down on Sansa, because she's so far behind little 10 year old Arya in cognitive skills.

There isn't anything stupid about Jon Snow, Catelyn Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Quentyn Martell, and definitely not Doran Martell. I worry some about Barristan Selmy; he's good at what he does, but he never paid attention at meetings under Aerys or Robert, doesn't grasp the politics, and is not a big picture sort of guy. Pate, of course, was an idiot. and now he's dead (quick, somebody tell Samwell Tarly!!)

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I also want to speak up for Eddard Stark. He was naive, not stupid. He came from a place where a man's word is better than a vow, into King's Landing, where "words are wind" and signed, witness, notarized documents are just kindling. He had no clue the depths of treachery to expect.

Aerys Oakheart was driven by his genitalia, which had been on the shelf unused since he put on the white cloak. He was no stupider than any other man, and apparently a lot more desperate.

Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister is intellectually lazy. He never had to think much when he had his sword to speak for him; now that it's gone, he's catching up. He even seems to have figured out his beloved, horrible sister.

Areo ("Speedwagon") Hotah, who thinks of himself as "a simple man with a simple job" is, at least, honest. You have to give him credit for that.

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Yeah, lots of people taking this opportunity just to bash on characters they don’t like.

My vote - with a disclosure that I don’t like her - is Cersei. She’s probably not the character with the lowest IQ, but she’s almost certainly the character with the biggest gap between her actual intelligence and her perception of her intelligence.

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1 hour ago, zandru said:

Aerys Oakheart was driven by his genitalia, which had been on the shelf unused since he put on the white cloak. He was no stupider than any other man, and apparently a lot more desperate.

I myself can understand Aerys Oakheart's situation.  In his role at court in King's Landing I think he was one of the higher quality kingsguard. But in Dorne he had way more responsibility than his training and education prepared him for.

And from Arriane's description in the text I'd imagine she laid out a pretty compelling  argument.

 

*bites knuckle*

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Toss up between Theon and Sansa.  They're numbers 1 and 2.  Jon would make the top five.  

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5 hours ago, ChuckPunch said:

You guys are pretty harsh on some of these POV's. Vic isn't dumb, he's just willful and stubborn. There's a difference. You don't get to be the captain of the Iron Fleet by being dumb.

The author tells us differently though both by the picture he draws on the page for the reader and through his responses to interview questions where he describes Vic as "dumb as a stump".  Surely you see the incongruity between being an admiral commanding a large fleet and yet thinking you can sail the Dothraki Sea?  Balon and Euron make the plans, Vic shouts at the monkeys: tell me GRRM wasn't sending us a message about Vic there.

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6 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

Balon and Euron make the plans, Vic shouts at the monkeys: tell me GRRM wasn't sending us a message about Vic there.

Exactly. As I noted earlier, Victarion is admiral of the Iron Fleet because he's the next oldest brother after Balon Greyjoy. Don't forget, Westeros isn't a meritocracy, it's a feudal society with hereditary titles. Nepotism is the way; the only way. Victarion isn't a total incompetent; he apparently fights like a berserker and seems an adequate enough captain.  So long as he gets the right "big picture" orders.

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17 minutes ago, zandru said:

Exactly. As I noted earlier, Victarion is admiral of the Iron Fleet because he's the next oldest brother after Balon Greyjoy. Don't forget, Westeros isn't a meritocracy, it's a feudal society with hereditary titles. Nepotism is the way; the only way. Victarion isn't a total incompetent; he apparently fights like a berserker and seems an adequate enough captain.  So long as he gets the right "big picture" orders.

Yes indeed..  When we see him in action agaisnt the Serry fleet off the Shield Islands he is basically a footsoldier as much as a commander.  He's a fully armoured one-man boarding party, in effect a wrecking ball like Gregor Clegane or a war-hammer swinging Robet Barratheon.  He's shown as large and deadly at fighting but he's not shown as a smart naval commander.  His greatest triumph was Euron's plan and when he was left to his own devices Stannis caught him out and trapped and ddestroyed his fleet off Fair Isle.  And then he sets off to sail the Dothraki Sea!  Perhaps it's a good job the monkey is running the show, the odds are better that way :P

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3 hours ago, zandru said:

I also want to speak up for Eddard Stark. He was naive, not stupid. He came from a place where a man's word is better than a vow, into King's Landing, where "words are wind" and signed, witness, notarized documents are just kindling. He had no clue the depths of treachery to expect.

I love Ned, he is my second favourite character and I agree with him being naive but sometimes his naivety became a full on stupidity. Like, I will call it naivety and overconfidence when he decided to tell Cersei that he knew about her and Jaime. But I will call it stupidity when Ned couldn't figure out why Cersei didn't listen to him and not run away.

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, zandru said:

I also want to speak up for Eddard Stark. He was naive, not stupid. He came from a place where a man's word is better than a vow, into King's Landing, where "words are wind" and signed, witness, notarized documents are just kindling. He had no clue the depths of treachery to expect.

Aerys Oakheart was driven by his genitalia, which had been on the shelf unused since he put on the white cloak. He was no stupider than any other man, and apparently a lot more desperate.

Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister is intellectually lazy. He never had to think much when he had his sword to speak for him; now that it's gone, he's catching up. He even seems to have figured out his beloved, horrible sister.

Areo ("Speedwagon") Hotah, who thinks of himself as "a simple man with a simple job" is, at least, honest. You have to give him credit for that.

Yeah I think you can separate characters who make mistakes based on either bad ideology and being overcome by emotions. Neither of which indicates stupidity. In our world you can have very intelligent people who do something stupid because of stress or being overcome emotionally or believe really dumb stuff like the world is flat or something. You can have people who have an ideology which is completely false to the way the world works, it doesn't mean they're stupid but maybe inexperienced. I measure intelligence in two ways emotional and theory/praxis (book smarts and experience). Characters who are good at both or at least strike a balance are those I would consider intelligent.

Ideology

Ned -believes the world should work one way but finds out it works the other

Sansa - Same 

Areo Hotah - He's been trained from a young age to be a bodyguard. So that's the way he thinks. When he starts to think about the whys and the hows he stops himself from thinking on it because it's not his place and may actually lead to him doing his job worse. This is sort of true of all kingsguard if not as extreme.

Barristan Selmy - He's a fairly smart guy but limits himself through his ideology. Rather than trying to find the most pragmatic solution he would rather stay true to his code.

Confused by emotions

Arys Oakheart - This dude is basically the 40 year old virgin who has denied himself passion and lust and suddenly finds himself in an affair with a beautiful woman. He's been repressed for so many years and Arianne opens the floodgates to all these emotions that he doesn't know how to deal with. 

Catelyn - Honestly I think Cat is probably one of the smartest characters. She's mainly being mentioned due to letting Jaime go. In her defense it's a highly emotionally clouded decision. She's right about most things including Robb's big mistake and to be very wary of the Frey's. In another defense before letting Jaime go she loses time as does Theon before deciding to take Winterfell. I wouldn't rule out a mind invasion or dream manipulation from one of the characters that can do that.

Just thinking about Catelyn some more, the way she councils Robb may be the same way she councils Ned. We see a bit of that in the early chapters. It may be that Ned relies on her a lot for advice and by separating them he makes himself much weaker and open to attack. Attacks that Catelyn may have seen coming and talked him out of some of the moves he makes later.

Cersei - There's no doubt that Cersei is stupid. But she's also an emotional wreck who makes most of her moves clouded by stress, even if most of it is self inflicted. She can figure things out and even out wit some people and get her own way. She outsmarts Tyrion a few times while he's hand. One of her problems as the books go on is also alcohol abuse and signs of overeating both coping mechanisms for high levels of stress.

Others or both

Theon - Theon is a bit of both. He's stuck between two bad ideologies which causes a cognitive dissonance. He gets a case of the Jaime dilemma obey thy father or honour my oath.He's also consumed with an emotional need for validation, to prove himself a man and a worthy heir to the father that 'abandoned' him. It's the latter that causes his biggest mistakes.

Quentyn - Poor Quent he's very average in almost any way. Like Theon he wants validation as a man. He wants the same adulation that's given to his father and uncle. The trouble is he's not, he's average. The only thing that makes him special is his position in society. He's got that very Teenage boy syndrome, wanting to find his first love having had almost no romantic experience with the opposite sex (a bit reminiscent of Arys). He's another one like Theon who is hampered by both ideology (he believes in knights doing heroic and bold deeds) and emotions (wanting to be seen as something that he's not). So he hatches a dumb plan to try to solve all his problems. I wouldn't say that makes him stupid, just desperate. As a distinctly average person I can relate to Quentyn dreaming of being more than he can be, for most of us time and experience teach us to accept what we are but at Quentyn's age I could see myself doing something stupid to try and make myself stand out. 

No excuses

Victarion - Victarion isn't stressed he's emotionally together. You can blame ideology for a lot but that's true of all Ironborn. Which obviously does not make Ironborn all stupid.Take Asha for example who can figure out the people around her very quickly. Who comes under a lot of emotional distress but handles it like a boss. Aeron is mad, literally, he has deep emotional problems regarding the death of Urri and from probably being molested by Euron as a boy. Yet he's still smart enough to be practically a cult leader, he shows he's also adept at manipulation meaning he has enough intelligence to figure out how others might be feeling or thinking

Arianne - She mirrors Cersei in a lot of ways. She relies on her physical attractiveness for her manipulation. Once that's gone or doesn't work she has no fallback position (no pun intended). As with the second kings guard (whose name escapes me) who is probably homosexual or at least not attracted to Arianne in the slightest. You used the term willfully ignorant for Jaime which I really liked it's the same for Arrianne she is willfully ignorant because she relies on her best attribute and feels she doesn't need anything else. Perhaps we will see Arrianne start to catch up and even Cersei who's had her sexual mystique completely taken away much like Jaime's sword hand.

 

Edited by Banner Without Brothers

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Victarion is pretty stupid, but still possesses considerable ability as a sailor.  Navigating 6,000 miles is no mean achievement.

Arianne is certainly not stupid, although her father has kept her ignorant. 

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