Jump to content
Ser Dips A lot

Ranking the best warriors at the start of asoiaf

Recommended Posts

Rank the top warriors at the beginning of The War of the Five Kings. Here’s mine:

1. Jaime Lannister

2. Sandor Clegane

3. Oberyn Martell

4. Gregor Clegane

5. Greatjon Umber

6. Bronze Yohn

7.  Lyn Corbray

8. Garlan Tyrell

9. Barristan Selmy

10. Victorian Greyjoy/Andrik Unsmiling

 

Jaime is undisputed here, proclaimed by Martin as one of the greatest warriors in Westeros history. In his prime. Sandor should be second. Might catch shit for Oberyn being 3 but I think he’s underrated and he proved it later on. Gregor is a freak, could easily kill anyone on the list with a single strike, near invincible in full plate. Greatjon and Bronze Yohn are tough to speculate on but I like them at 5 and 6. Lyn Corbray is reputable enough and has Valyrian steel. Garlan is known as a very good swordsman, in his prime, and humble about it. Barristan, in his prime, ranks higher than everyone on this list but he’s old now. Victarion/Andrik were tough for me, had to group them together because I only wanted a top 10, and I could’ve and almost did put them in the middle with Bronze Yohn and Greatjon.

I’m leaving out the fan favorites Bronn, Loras, Jon, and Brienne because I don’t see them killing anyone on this list under typical circumstances. Maybe I’m disrespecting Brienne but I don’t know. There’s just not enough info on everyone listed so this is my speculation.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ser Dips A lot said:

Rank the top warriors at the beginning of The War of the Five Kings. Here’s mine:

1. Jaime Lannister

2. Sandor Clegane

3. Oberyn Martell

4. Gregor Clegane

5. Greatjon Umber

6. Bronze Yohn

7.  Lyn Corbray

8. Garlan Tyrell

9. Barristan Selmy

10. Victorian Greyjoy/Andrik Unsmiling

 

Jaime is undisputed here, proclaimed by Martin as one of the greatest warriors in Westeros history. In his prime. Sandor should be second. Might catch shit for Oberyn being 3 but I think he’s underrated and he proved it later on. Gregor is a freak, could easily kill anyone on the list with a single strike, near invincible in full plate. Greatjon and Bronze Yohn are tough to speculate on but I like them at 5 and 6. Lyn Corbray is reputable enough and has Valyrian steel. Garlan is known as a very good swordsman, in his prime, and humble about it. Barristan, in his prime, ranks higher than everyone on this list but he’s old now. Victarion/Andrik were tough for me, had to group them together because I only wanted a top 10, and I could’ve and almost did put them in the middle with Bronze Yohn and Greatjon.

I’m leaving out the fan favorites Bronn, Loras, Jon, and Brienne because I don’t see them killing anyone on this list under typical circumstances. Maybe I’m disrespecting Brienne but I don’t know. There’s just not enough info on everyone listed so this is my speculation.

 

 

 

 

How can you say there’s is not enough info then include Yohn Royce, who we never see fight, and Lyn Corbray, who we only hear by reputation. And exclude Brienne who we see win the melee at Renly’s camp which is full of the finest chivalry of the Reach as we’ll as her triumphs over the bloody mummers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

How can you say there’s is not enough info then include Yohn Royce, who we never see fight, and Lyn Corbray, who we only hear by reputation. And exclude Brienne who we see win the melee at Renly’s camp which is full of the finest chivalry of the Reach as we’ll as her triumphs over the bloody mummers?

I ranked my top 10 fighters based off several factors. Just not having seen someone fight doesn’t mean I can’t speculate on their abilities, and that’s what this was, a speculation. And yes, we have seen Yohn Royce or atleast heard about him beating Thoros of Myr with a common mace, in a melee. And beating Eddard in spar, not that that says much. He’s the same height as the Hound. He has fathered and trained 2 possibly 3 sons ( don’t know much about Andar, the oldest) that have all been respectable. Robar was referred to as “very good”. You’re telling me you’re gonna put Brienne above Royce just because she’s beat a bunch of nobody knights at Renly’s camp and triumphed over a bunch of rag tag mercenaries who’s only talent is brutalizing peasants? And chivalrous means nothing in regards to prowess; it’s more of a moral code that knights can choose to live by. 

Lyn Corbray finished off a wounded Kingsguard and has one many duels. According to LF, who has no reason to lie about this, he’s not one to fuck with. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Khal Drogo, Manse Rayder/Quorin Halfhand would potentially be in there for me. The lives they lead seem more lethal, on a day to day basis, if that makes sense? That said, who do you leave out? I'd maybe scratch bronze Yohn and Corbry as said above.

Loras states Garlan is the better swordsman of the two Roses (though it may of course be false modesty) but judging from the whole training against three partners and being a demon at the battle of balckwater, he seems like a legitimate badass.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're underestimating Loras. 

GRRM himself puts him in the top 6 active swordsmen of Westeros. 

He also puts him at a level with the Cleganes.

Anyone who says Brienne is better him because she won at the melee just didn't read their fight very well. Loras was winning. He was mauling on her left and right with his axe and there was nothing she could do about it. It was only through pulling a Dunk-esque move, bullrushing him, pulling him from his horse and falling on top of him did she win, something which the spectators considered borderline cheating. 

He also killed two of Renly's Rainbow Guard, one of whom Hyle Hunt says Brienne wouldn't have had a chance with. This is mostly dismissed because "he just took them unawares!" but we know that's not true, because:

Quote

I will hold them,” Ser Robar said. “Get her away.” He turned and went out.

At least Ser Robar was fully prepared to face any opponents. 

He's clearly someone to be taken as his generation's Jaime Lannister. Garlan being better than him doesn't relegate Loras to some loser status, since Garlan is one of the finest warriors in Westeros, and also like 5 years older than Loras. In the Battle of Blackwater he fought "almost as well" as Garlan, according to Jaime, and "gloriously" according to GRRM. 

And if we're going off just reputation, Loras is still very good, considering Victarion Greyjoy considers him a worthy opponent. He's also praised highly by Robert Baratheon and Jaime Lannister, and is reputed to be better than the legendary Leo Longthorn. 

In my opinion Victarion Greyjoy is overrated. He's not even the best amongst the iron born. Andrik is said to be the best, and Black Lorren and Qarl the Maid are nearly as good as him. Victarion also doubts he could win against Harras Harlaw. I could even see Loras winning a fight against Victarion Greyjoy actually. No, seriously. The thing is, we only see Vic fighting armorless nobodies. And the one time he does fight someone who's armored, and a knight, he almost loses. Anyone who's faster than him, and is armored, could probably run circles around him, especially considering that Loras would be 10x as talented as Serry. 

I would strike Bronze Yohn off the list as well. He's never said anywhere to be excellent. And winning against Thoros or Eddard doesn't really make you a great warrior. 

I also think Oberyn shouldn't be so high on your list. Oberyn was planning on how to defeat the Mountain for years, and so he had years to perfect his technique. We don't know how he'll fare against someone else. 

That said, where would you guys place Bronn? I do consider him a little overrated myself, but he could be anywhere in the 11s-20s. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, S.D. Took the words out of my mouth on Loras. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also agreed on Loras, thanks for posting g that :)

Would like to say that yes Loras was beating Brienne until her Dunk-esque move but I dont think that necessarily means much. Just because she uses underhand/non-chivalrous tactics to win doesn't detract from her ability as a warrior. I would probably still give Loras the edge overall (beating someone once doesn't necessarily make them the better warrior) but a victory is a victory whether it's 'fair' or not.

And the melee was not just a bunch of nobody knights, not sure where you got that from. They are the sons of very well off noble lords who will have trained day in day out with a master at arms since they were young and benefitted from the finest arms, armour and training. I know many like to dismiss the South as lesser and weak but it's not really accurate to say that. You also seriously downplay the Bloody Mummers. Rorge and Biter are both vicious hardened brutes who grew up in the roughest parts of KL. The other Mummers are infamous for their brutality and didn't get their reputation for nothing. Not to mention she fights several at one time in Feast which is not an easy thing to do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top 6 at the start of the series, in no particular order:

Jaime Lannister

The Hound

Garlan Tyrell

Loras Tyrell

The Greatjon

Gregor Clegane

Regarding the Greatjon, Jaime’s comments about his “strength” cannot only refer to how much he can benchpress or deadlift, as Jaime uses it in the context of hand to hand fighting. He lists only a small number of extremely formiddable warriors as being above him in “strength”.

Clearly there are tens of thousands of men who have greater brute strength than Jaime, who is certainly not built like a powerlifter.

So he cannot be referring to brute strength only, but rather to strength in the context of hand to hand fighting. 

So the Greatjon to me is in the category of fighter that Jaime would need his exceptional skill and speed to beat, (at least, according to his own opinion).

In any case, I put the Greatjon at Robert’s prime skill level, but with greater size, reach and strength, so above prime Robert Baratheon, in other words.

That should get him into the top 5 at the start of the series, I reckon.

 

Edit

I will admit that after reading F&B, I am really disappointed that Martin picked the Starks as our protagonist family, but kept all of their supreme level characters in the distant past (Cregan and Theon Stark come to mind), and gave us a bunch of mediocre weaklings instead.

Cregan seems to have combined Tywin Lannister level willpower and presence, with Jaime Lannister level fighting skills, while Theon was the war leader you needed when the fate of humanity was at stake. Instead, we got Ned and Robb. 

Oh well.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thread title says best warrior, and not necessarily best swordsman or best duelist. Being a warrior implies more than that, otherwise Syrio Forel is #1 and there should be no argument against that. So a character being able to pull a Dunk-esque move at the right time should count, too, when deciding on this list. 

And is this just for Westerosi knights and lords? Because Khal Drogo should be counted among the best. He was never beaten in a fight or battle. Mance Rayder is another one, the best among NW, then united the clans through whatever means possible, which included killing any who opposed him.

A lot of people seems to ignore Jorah Mormont. I think he is a top 10 warrior. 2nd man through the breach at Pyke, survived that. The Dothraki respect him for his prowess. He's big and strong enough that he wouldn't be overwhelmed by most other fighters except the Mountain and maybe the Greatjon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Regarding the Greatjon, Jaime’s comments about his “strength” cannot only refer to how much he can benchpress or deadlift, as Jaime uses it in the context of hand to hand fighting. He lists only a small number of extremely formiddable warriors as being above him in “strength”.x

Jaime is very specifically talking about warriors who were known for their physical power, apparently, given how he ends:

 

Quote

Robert had been stronger than him, to be sure. The White Bull Gerold Hightower as well, in his heyday, and Ser Arthur Dayne. Amongst the living, Greatjon Umber was stronger, Strongboar of Crakehall most likely, both Cleganes for a certainty. The Mountain's strength was like nothing human.

That said, his list is surely a list of men who are notable warriors and whom are famous for their strength or that he knew from personal experience were physically stronger than him. The Greatjon seems to have a reputation as a fighter, though our lack of ever really seeing it on display makes it hard to judge.

As to the Starks, Brandon Stark was apparently a great swordsman, so that's a notable fighter of more recent vintage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

The thread title says best warrior, and not necessarily best swordsman or best duelist. Being a warrior implies more than that, otherwise Syrio Forel is #1 and there should be no argument against that. 

Syrio, at an undetermined number of years ago, was chosen to be the First Sword of the city of Braavos. He is no longer considered the best in Braavos and its possible his successor, Qarro Volentin, is either given he may have been surpassed in the years he has been in the role (his lord is described as old). 

Braavos is much smaller than Westeros, there is a bigger pool of talent so its no sure thing that the best in Braavos is the best in Westeros. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

The thread title says best warrior, and not necessarily best swordsman or best duelist. Being a warrior implies more than that, otherwise Syrio Forel is #1 and there should be no argument against that. So a character being able to pull a Dunk-esque move at the right time should count, too, when deciding on this list. 

And is this just for Westerosi knights and lords? Because Khal Drogo should be counted among the best. He was never beaten in a fight or battle. Mance Rayder is another one, the best among NW, then united the clans through whatever means possible, which included killing any who opposed him.

A lot of people seems to ignore Jorah Mormont. I think he is a top 10 warrior. 2nd man through the breach at Pyke, survived that. The Dothraki respect him for his prowess. He's big and strong enough that he wouldn't be overwhelmed by most other fighters except the Mountain and maybe the Greatjon. 

Yes I did specifically state “best warriors” because I don’t necessarily care about who can do what with a sword; being a good duelist in a fencing-like style of combat or specialist in tourneys is not what I wanted this thread to pertain to. I’m talking “warrior” because Victarion wields an axe, Oberyn wields an 8-foot spear, and some of these knights, including Royce, may prefer maces and morning stars. I didn’t want to narrow it down to just swordsmen. And Jorah, albeit a proven warrior and a likeable one at that, doesn’t belong in the top 10. Not in my opinion. If he ever did, it would be when he was in his prime. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Top 6 at the start of the series, in no particular order:

Jaime Lannister

The Hound

Garlan Tyrell

Loras Tyrell

The Greatjon

Gregor Clegane

Regarding the Greatjon, Jaime’s comments about his “strength” cannot only refer to how much he can benchpress or deadlift, as Jaime uses it in the context of hand to hand fighting. He lists only a small number of extremely formiddable warriors as being above him in “strength”.

Clearly there are tens of thousands of men who have greater brute strength than Jaime, who is certainly not built like a powerlifter.

So he cannot be referring to brute strength only, but rather to strength in the context of hand to hand fighting. 

So the Greatjon to me is in the category of fighter that Jaime would need his exceptional skill and speed to beat, (at least, according to his own opinion).

In any case, I put the Greatjon at Robert’s prime skill level, but with greater size, reach and strength, so above prime Robert Baratheon, in other words.

That should get him into the top 5 at the start of the series, I reckon.

 

Edit

I will admit that after reading F&B, I am really disappointed that Martin picked the Starks as our protagonist family, but kept all of their supreme level characters in the distant past (Cregan and Theon Stark come to mind), and gave us a bunch of mediocre weaklings instead.

Cregan seems to have combined Tywin Lannister level willpower and presence, with Jaime Lannister level fighting skills, while Theon was the war leader you needed when the fate of humanity was at stake. Instead, we got Ned and Robb. 

Oh well.

I agree with you on the your idea of strength and then the Greatjon. “Strength” to me isn’t just brute dumbass strength that hodor has; its more refined to fighting specifically, as you said. And Greatjon is a beast, definetly solidifies his place in the top 5. Imagine him wielding Ice, might be unstoppable. Seriously I think he’d be fucking nasty in battle with a Valyrian steel greatsword , especially in full plate or some good steel armor.

And im also dissappointed in the Starks we’ve gotten stuck with. We should’ve had a Cregan or Theon Stark as the protagonist. Well said

Edited by Ser Dips A lot
Added on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GRRM was never going to have someone like Cregan or Theon Stark as protagonist. What challenges would they have faced? We saw Cregan sweep into King's Landing and imprison and/or execute people with efficiency. Theon Stark would have won the War of the Five Kings in a day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2018 at 1:10 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

I know many like to dismiss the South as lesser and weak but it's not really accurate to say that.

I noticed that too and I always wondered where it came from: Barristan and Arthur Dayne are not exactly northerners, after all.

As for the topic, I don't think Bronze Yohn, Victarion and Lyn Corbray have any business being on that list; I also have my doubts about the Greatjon. Loras on the other hand should definitely be included, and maybe even Brienne (Jaime himself was impressed).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realise I really downplayed Brienne's skills in my post. She is very good, she got into the finals of the melee of King Renly after all, and I don't think these fighters can be dismissed as nobodies. Renly made himself a beacon of glory and power, and my personal theory is that these tourneys were a way to determine who got to be in the Rainbow Guard, and so therefore the cream and crop of the Reach would be participating. And has been said, other advantages like size and weight have to be taken into consideration. She did easily dispatch three Bloody Mummers. 

Greatjon Umber took out three men while blackout drunk with a hambone, so I have no issues with him being on the list, personally. 

Edited by S. D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swordfighter =/= Warrior.

Jaime is the best swordfighter. 

Top of the list would thus be Gregor who can break spearwalls by himself. Other big (wo)men would follow, Sandor especially since he is both big and fast. 

We don't know Oberyn as a warrior, he is the single person to have fought and defeated Gregor but it was a one on one fight in open space, not in battle. Many of the Bravos would beat the crap out of even the best knights, save the big guys of Westeros in a one on one fight but they would themselves die in an instant in real battle where knights are expected to perform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×