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Top 10 Fighters, 281 AC Edition

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

 Just because Robert managed to kill Rhaegar in a combat, doesn't mean, that Robert was a better fighter. I think, that we should take into consideration circumstances of that battle - they were highly unfavourable for Rhaegar. His wife and children were kept as hostages by Rhaegar's crazy father. He had to leave pregnant Lyanna back at Starfall. By the time of his return to King's Landing, Targaryen troops had suffered great losses, and were severely demoralized. Troops of The North, The Vale, Riverlands and Stormlands were fighting on Robert's side. Troops of Westerlands were staying away from battlefield. Troops of The Reach were stalling time at Storm's End (in my opinion Tyrells didn't went into battle to support Aerys' troops, because Tyrells and Redwynes were secretly supporting Blackfyres, and were working in tandem with Varys, who is an agent of Blackfyres). So on Targaryens' side there was only meager army of Crownlands, and 10.000 soldiers, that arrived all the way from Dorne, so they were not in a best condition, because they (same as Rhaegar) barely had any time to rest, after their arrival from south, and were immediately sent to fight at the Trident. Under all of those unfavourable conditions, it was nearly impossible for Rhaegar to win in that battle. So we shouldn't judge Rhaegar's fighting capabilities solely based on his death by Robert.

 

 

Yes it does. Robert was taller, stronger, more experient, had more kills, had more feats, and he won in the end. 

Rhaegar was not at disavantage, he was the one with higher numbers, with a fresh army, while Robert was fighting constantly over a year with his castle under siege in the break of falling.

Robert was never a jouster, he liked to fight at melee, even wounded he killed 6 men and beat Jon Connington without his war hammer.

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3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Yes it does. Robert was taller, stronger, more experient, had more kills, had more feats, and he won in the end. 

Rhaegar was not at disavantage, he was the one with higher numbers, with a fresh army, while Robert was fighting constantly over a year with his castle under siege in the break of falling.

Robert was never a jouster, he liked to fight at melee, even wounded he killed 6 men and beat Jon Connington without his war hammer.

This. We have heard a great many things about Rhaegar's jousting ability. However, with the information we have a one-on-one fight to the death is sufficient for determining who is a better fighter.

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On 4/4/2019 at 2:16 PM, Syl of Syl said:

I think Robert's got to be over Selmy. The age difference and the fact that Robert was apparently such a fierce and formidable warrior in his prime.

GRRM has said that Barristan in his prime was equal to Dayne so long as Dayne wasn't using Dawn. Looking at the White Book the Trident is Barristan's first "career injuries" as it were. We see Barristan (After these injuries, plus fifteen years.) Taking down three armed men while unarmed, take down the Titan's Bastard, and fight and kill Krahz unarmored (There's a reason forfeiting knights forfeit their helmets.) and leap down into the pit to try to distract Drogon. While Robert is definitely stronger than Barristan, we can't say he's a better fighter. 

On 4/4/2019 at 3:01 PM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

My thoughts exactly.

Should Randyll Tarly be on the list? Not sure about his warrior skills, although the man is a great tactician.

I agree Jaime should be on the list, but we can't say that Tarly is a great tactician. He's won ONE battle, that was a strategic loss, and that battle hasn't even happened yet. We can also tell from Samwell's training that he actually has no clue what he's doing. In order to actually be good at something you also have to be able to teach it. (I'm not saying you have to have a good epistemology, but Sam doesn't even know how to hold a sword. You can teach a three-year old that.)  

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7 hours ago, Megorova said:

Rhaegar was only once defeated by Barristan and once by Arthur, while he had defeated both of them twice. So Rhaegar is approximately as strong as Barristan, only significantly less experienced, and he's about as strong as Arthur Dayne without Dawn.

I don't see how you made that point. As far as I know neither Arthur nor Barristan fought Rhaegar with a sword in these tournaments.

7 hours ago, Megorova said:

In 278 or 279 at Storm's End Rhaegar defeated Jason Mallister, Oberyn Martell, Simon Toyne (leader of Kingswood Brotherwood), and Arthur Dayne (broke 12 lances in 13 tilts), and in the end was defeated by Barristan Selmy (who had defeated Robert Baratheon, Jon Connington, Oberyn Martell, Jason Mallister, and Kingsguard Leyton Hightower).

In 281 at Harrenhall Rhaegar defeated Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Brandon Stark, and Yohn Royce.

Barristan defeated Robert, and killed Simon Toyne, Maelys Blackfyre (who had killed Daemon Blackfyre's destrier, and then twisted Daemon's head until he tore it from his shoulders), Symon Hollard (master-at-arms at Duskendale, who had killed Kingsguard Gwayne Gaunt), and a pit-fighter Khrazz (who was much younger and heavier than Barristan). 

Is that part serious ? Did you really compare Rhaegar dismount alongside Barristan numerous kills in battle ? Did you really mix Barristan tourney victory (with a lance) with real battle victory...

7 hours ago, Megorova said:

Just because Robert managed to kill Rhaegar in a combat, doesn't mean, that Robert was a better fighter. I think, that we should take into consideration circumstances of that battle - they were highly unfavourable for Rhaegar. His wife and children were kept as hostages by Rhaegar's crazy father. He had to leave pregnant Lyanna back at Starfall. By the time of his return to King's Landing, Targaryen troops had suffered great losses, and were severely demoralized. Troops of The North, The Vale, Riverlands and Stormlands were fighting on Robert's side. Troops of Westerlands were staying away from battlefield. Troops of The Reach were stalling time at Storm's End (in my opinion Tyrells didn't went into battle to support Aerys' troops, because Tyrells and Redwynes were secretly supporting Blackfyres, and were working in tandem with Varys, who is an agent of Blackfyres). So on Targaryens' side there was only meager army of Crownlands, and 10.000 soldiers, that arrived all the way from Dorne, so they were not in a best condition, because they (same as Rhaegar) barely had any time to rest, after their arrival from south, and were immediately sent to fight at the Trident. Under all of those unfavourable conditions, it was nearly impossible for Rhaegar to win in that battle. So we shouldn't judge Rhaegar's fighting capabilities solely based on his death by Robert.

How were they unfavourable to Rhaegar ? His wife being kept at Kings' Landing has nothing to do with his performance at the Trident, the same goes for Lyanna being pregnant, actually in Elia's case it conveniently allowed him to outnumber the opposite side. Even though Robert had the North, the Vale and the Riverlands troops, they were outnumbered by Rhaegar's forces at the Trident something you conveniently omitted to point. You know nothing about Rhaegar's forces conditions before the battle, be careful not mixing things up with fanfictions you might have read. Actually the rebels had more battles to fight because they were still Royalist lords among their vassals.

At the end you didn't provide any good reasons for it to be an unfavourable match, even taking the mental aspect Robert was a more difficult situation, his castle had been under siege for a year and who know when his brother would break with him being starved..

7 hours ago, Megorova said:

Under more fair fighting conditions, Rhaegar would have definitely won. Robert was physically stronger, but Rhaegar was more skilled, more agile, faster, and smarter. If they both were armed with swords, Rhaegar would have won.

What is fair fighting ? Normal conditions ? Seriously, nowhere Rhaegar is ever said to surpass Robert, neither Barristan nor Jaime think of Rhaegar when they brought the greatest warrior they've met. Even with a sword Robert was able to kill 6 men and almost kill Jon Connington a notorious warrior, which is already more than whatever Rhaegar might have done in his knight life.

Robert smashed Rhaegar because he was the strongest warrior, just accept it.

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23 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

GRRM has said that Barristan in his prime was equal to Dayne so long as Dayne wasn't using Dawn.

Barristan Selmy was in his forties at the time of the rebellion, so I think it's safe to say that he was no longer in his prime. Robert on the other hand would have been nineteen in 281. I don't know exactly how knights age in Westeros, but it's pretty unusual for a modern athlete in his forties to compete with nineteen year olds. I imagine fighting at an elite level would have been the same.

I know we see sixty year old Selmy do some amazing things, but we have to consider the competition level. He killed a couple gold cloaks with his bare hands. But then Dayne (who is definitely in his prime) along with two of his sworn brothers have trouble with seven northerners (I know Howland Reed may have provided some extenuating circumstances there, but still it's what we've got to go on). If it was Janos Slynt and six stooges, I think Dayne, Hightower and Whent are still alive. Could past his prime Selmy have handled Robert Baratheon in the best shape of his life? Perhaps he really was that legendary, but I don't think we can say it's a sure thing one way or the other.

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24 minutes ago, Syl of Syl said:

Barristan Selmy was in his forties at the time of the rebellion, so I think it's safe to say that he was no longer in his prime. Robert on the other hand would have been nineteen in 281. I don't know exactly how knights age in Westeros, but it's pretty unusual for a modern athlete in his forties to compete with nineteen year olds. I imagine fighting at an elite level would have been the same.

We actually have a pretty good idea of his physical capabilities. One of the men he was based off of (William Marshal) was leading charges and killing men at 70. Modern day athletes are actually pretty reckless with their bodies (John Oliver's WWE episode from last week actually makes a pretty good point with this.) and plate armor is actually better at taking blows than modern football uniforms are. We could probably guess that assuming he kept his workout routine practical and didn't take too many L's in tourneys (which the White Book would suggest he didn't.) He was probably in closer shape to one of the better sergeants in US Special Forces.  The thing with the Tower of Joy (Besides Howland's weirdness.) Is that Gerold Hightower was certainly fighting with a handicap (arrow through the hand at most three years prior.) and that they were facing some of the best the North had to offer. 

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26 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

Modern day athletes are actually pretty reckless with their bodies (John Oliver's WWE episode from last week actually makes a pretty good point with this.) and plate armor is actually better at taking blows than modern football uniforms are.

That's an interesting point, but I don't think pro wrestling is a good analogy. Those guys do particularly reckless things on a pretty much nightly basis. I was thinking more of basketball when I made my comment simply because it is the sport I am most familiar with. But if we look at the ufc which I haven't watched in a while but I am somewhat familiar, I think we have a much better analogy. Those guys fight three to four times per year at most and aren't facing the kinds of high impact and frequent blows that pro wrestlers and american football players contend with. Yet, the two best fighters I remember watching (Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre) both retired in their mid-thirties. Likewise, it is very rare for a basketball player to be able to play in the nba past the age of forty (while most see a steep decline in ability in their early to mid-thirties) and these guys have access to training techniques and nutritional regimens that weren't available even twenty or thirty years ago let alone five or eight hundred years ago. I take your point about plate armor and surely neither of these sports are perfect analogies to the knightly arts and of course Barristan Selmy could be an outlier, but there are typically limits to what the human body is capable of that I think translate across the centuries and possibly even into a fantasy realm like the one GRRM has given us.

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16 minutes ago, Syl of Syl said:

That's an interesting point, but I don't think pro wrestling is a good analogy. Those guys do particularly reckless things on a pretty much nightly basis. I was thinking more of basketball when I made my comment simply because it is the sport I am most familiar with. But if we look at the ufc which I haven't watched in a while but I am somewhat familiar, I think we have a much better analogy. Those guys fight three to four times per year at most and aren't facing the kinds of high impact and frequent blows that pro wrestlers and american football players contend with. Yet, the two best fighters I remember watching (Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre) both retired in their mid-thirties. Likewise, it is very rare for a basketball player to be able to play in the nba past the age of forty (while most see a steep decline in ability in their early to mid-thirties) and these guys have access to training techniques and nutritional regimens that weren't available even twenty or thirty years ago let alone five or eight hundred years ago. I take your point about plate armor and surely neither of these sports are perfect analogies to the knightly arts and of course Barristan Selmy could be an outlier, but there are typically limits to what the human body is capable of that I think translate across the centuries and possibly even into a fantasy realm like the one GRRM has given us.

Of course, I only mentioned WWE because I just watched that episode. I would say the difference between many modern athletes and medieval fighters is the stakes involved. Ideally, if a player tears their ACL while playing, they're covered by health insurance and get the best reconstructive surgery money can buy. Whereas if it happens to a knight, they're dead or begging on their streets. So they typically would avoid those microtears and fractures that frequently build up.  I would definitely recommend the cancelled tv show Full Metal Jousting if you get a chance.

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14 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

Of course, I only mentioned WWE because I just watched that episode. I would say the difference between many modern athletes and medieval fighters is the stakes involved. Ideally, if a player tears their ACL while playing, they're covered by health insurance and get the best reconstructive surgery money can buy. Whereas if it happens to a knight, they're dead or begging on their streets. So they typically would avoid those microtears and fractures that frequently build up.  I would definitely recommend the cancelled tv show Full Metal Jousting if you get a chance.

Thanks for the recommendation. That looks like a fun show. I watched the John Oliver episode you mentioned. I never really got into pro wrestling so I was only vaguely aware of some of those problems. That Vince McMahon seems like a real shit.

I've got to imagine that in Westeros, the life of an injured knight depends on what kind of lord he is sworn to. We see one Ser Bartimus (the old one-legged knight who is the castellan of the Wolf's Den) given a decent retirement by Wyman Manderly. On the other hand, we've got Donal Noye who I assume if Robert had a better health insurance plan in place would still be living out his years in relative comfort at Storm's End rather than dying on the Wall.

Obviously the throne isn't backing any kind of Westeros-wide social security or healthcare programs, so it's going to be a crapshoot depending on the whims of the lord each knight serves.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

The realization chilled him. 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.

ASoS - Jaime III

A few candidates above that you may want to consider... I would add Mance Rayder,  Qhorin Halfhand (especially if he still had his two hands), Bronn, Areo Hotah, Strong Belwas, Syrio Forel and Victarion Greyjoy as food for thought...

Edited by Jô Maltese

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On 4/5/2019 at 8:03 PM, CAllDSmith said:

but we can't say that Tarly is a great tactician. He's won ONE battle, that was a strategic loss, and that battle hasn't even happened yet. We can also tell from Samwell's training that he actually has no clue what he's doing. In order to actually be good at something you also have to be able to teach it. (I'm not saying you have to have a good epistemology, but Sam doesn't even know how to hold a sword. You can teach a three-year old that.)  

What you on about mate?

One battle?

I count at least 3.

Battle of the Bells - I don't need to tell you what happened here.

Battle of the Blackwater (commanded the center) - you know how this one ended.

Battle at Duskendale (299AC) - captured Robett Glover & Harrion Karstark.

That is three victories by my count.

We are explicitly told he is a good soldier.

Quote

 "Randyll Tarly is the finest soldier in the realm. A poor Hand for peacetime, but with Tywin dead there's no better man to finish this war..."

AFFC Cersei II

Quote

"Randyll Tarly left the hall with his liege lord, their green-cloaked spearmen right behind them. Tarly is the real danger, Ser Kevan reflected as he watched their departure. A narrow man, but iron-willed and shrewd, and as good a soldier as the Reach could boast. But how do I win him to our side?"

ADWD - Epilogue

He seized Renlys stores - the guy clearly knows what he is doing.

Quote

"Perhaps he never reached Bitterbridge. Or perhaps he's died there. Lord Tarly has seized Renly's stores and put a great many to the sword; Florents, chiefly. Lord Caswell has shut himself up in his castle."

ACOK - Tyrion X

I think we can say he is not a bad tactician.

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2 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

What you on about mate?

One battle?

I count at least 3.

Battle of the Bells - I don't need to tell you what happened here.

Battle of the Blackwater (commanded the center) - you know how this one ended.

Battle at Duskendale (299AC) - captured Robett Glover & Harrion Karstark.

That is three victories by my count.

We are explicitly told he is a good soldier.

He seized Renlys stores - the guy clearly knows what he is doing.

I think we can say he is not a bad tactician.

We're talking about 281. In 281 he hadn't won a single battle, and he really didn't win one during the whole war. Tarly wasn't at the Battle of the Bells, he was at Ashford where Robert and the Tyrells fought and then went the ways they were going any way, which ended up being a strategic loss for the Loyalists. His reputation for being a great strategist is entirely from that battle as far as has been written. 

As for Blackwater, the credit for that has to go to Littlefinger and Tywin (as poor of a strategist as Tywin actually is.) We don't credit Parmenion for Alexander's victory at Gaugamela do we? Duskendale was a folly sent by Roose, but I will give Tarly the credit there. 

I never said he was a bad soldier, merely a bad strategist and grand strategist. He can win a fight, but he can't win a war or a battle on the scale that Robb, Robert, Jon Connington, Barristan, or Dany can. 

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3 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

We're talking about 281. In 281 he hadn't won a single battle, and he really didn't win one during the whole war. Tarly wasn't at the Battle of the Bells, he was at Ashford where Robert and the Tyrells fought and then went the ways they were going any way, which ended up being a strategic loss for the Loyalists. His reputation for being a great strategist is entirely from that battle as far as has been written. 

As for Blackwater, the credit for that has to go to Littlefinger and Tywin (as poor of a strategist as Tywin actually is.) We don't credit Parmenion for Alexander's victory at Gaugamela do we? Duskendale was a folly sent by Roose, but I will give Tarly the credit there. 

I never said he was a bad soldier, merely a bad strategist and grand strategist. He can win a fight, but he can't win a war or a battle on the scale that Robb, Robert, Jon Connington, Barristan, or Dany can. 

Fair enough - I forgot we were talking 281. (Helps to read the title I suppose)

My bad there.

My question was as to how good of an individual warrior he would have been. Regardless, not near in the top 10 it seems.

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1 minute ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Fair enough - I forgot we were talking 281. (Helps to read the title I suppose)

My bad there.

My question was as to how good of an individual warrior he would have been. Regardless, not near in the top 10 it seems.

It's a fair mistake. I only notice it because I've had the debate recently. As for his ability as a warrior, I would say he's second or third tier, particularly with his Valyrian greatsword. I personally have to say he is not a great fighter because of how he trained Samwell ( I mentioned it above but I wanted to expand on it.) . Compare Jon Snow's training to Allisser Thorne's. (And by extension Rodrik Cassel's to Thorne's.) Jon is probably one of the best fighters in 300 AC (Judging by his super strength, sparring matches, and the way Jaime talks about him during his non-canon fight with the cast of Wheel of Time. He doesn't make any of his fellow recruits amazing fighters, but he takes the time to make sure they know their basics and works with their strengths. (A comparable scene in another fantasy novel is Kaladin Stormblessed teaching Bridge 4 how to be spearmen.) Allisser merely teaches them how to swing and get their asses kicked. 

From what Sam describes of Tarly training methods, it would be the equivalent of beating a mule to try to get it to go faster. Counter productive. Randyll never took the time to get to know his son and how his son learned best. Honestly, from what we've seen with Sam, the royal method of having a whipping boy probably would have turned Sam into Arthur Dayne. My whole point is, if you're actually good at fighting, you also have to be good at showing the basics of it. At least when it comes to martial arts. 

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Somehow there are always a few voices wanting to shove Robert into the top 3 list.  He should not be there.

Arthur Dayne was George’s supreme fighter. His Lancelot. And his equal was Barristan, except for Dawn. Then comes Jaime - one of the greatest in the history of Westeros, according to George himself. Jaime himself says he could beat Robert.

After those three I agree it’s a toss up between a bunch including the Hound, the Mountain, Robert, the Greatjon, etc.

But the top three seem pretty clear.

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  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Robert Baratheon
  3. Barristan Selmy
  4. Yohn Royce
  5. Gerold Hightower
  6. Brynden Tully
  7. Oswell Whent
  8. Brandon Stark
  9. Rhaegar Targaryen
  10. Jaime Lannister

Honorable mentions: Lyn Corbray, Lewyn Martell, Jon Darry, The Smiling Knight, Jason Mallister

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15 minutes ago, Aurane said:
  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Robert Baratheon
  3. Barristan Selmy
  4. Yohn Royce
  5. Gerold Hightower
  6. Brynden Tully
  7. Oswell Whent
  8. Brandon Stark
  9. Rhaegar Targaryen
  10. Jaime Lannister

Honorable mentions: Lyn Corbray, Lewyn Martell, Jon Darry, The Smiling Knight, Jason Mallister

Lyn Corbray is kind of a paper tiger, he only slew Lewyn Martell because Martell was already mortally wounded. I don't see any evidence to put Rhaegar so low on the list though. I'm actually gonna finally put my list below. 

31 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Somehow there are always a few voices wanting to shove Robert into the top 3 list.  He should not be there.

Arthur Dayne was George’s supreme fighter. His Lancelot. And his equal was Barristan, except for Dawn. Then comes Jaime - one of the greatest in the history of Westeros, according to George himself. Jaime himself says he could beat Robert.

I agree with your sentiment, but the King Arthur nerd in me just wants to scream at comparing Arthur to Lancelot. I get what you mean, but I'm honestly begging for a well written series about Arthur in a similar vein to Cornwell's trilogy, that includes the Welsh characters and removes the later addition of Lancelot. (Merlin gets a pass for being actually Welsh.) He's Rhaegar's Bedwyr. 

 

Now for my top ten of 281 list. 

  1. Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning 
    1. Based on reputation, SotM qualifications and battle experience 
  2. Ser Barristan the Bold of House Selmy 
    1. GRRM ruling on skill, White Book record showing no losses or real wounds save the arrow at Duskendale 
  3. Ser Jaime Lannister 
    1. His level of ability at a young age gives him an advantage or most of the older ones. 
  4. Brandon Stark/Rickard Stark 
    1. Apparently did fairly well at Harrenhal. Joint mention because we don't know which was better, but they both thought they could take #'s 1-3 in a trial by combat 
  5. Rhaegar Targaryen, the Prince of Dragonstone 
    1. Squired with #1 and trained with the KG. Won multiple tourneys. Was trained by a brother of the KG who was possibly better than the man who trained Robert or Jaime. There's so many factors in a fight that his one loss doesn't mean he wasn't better. (ex. Ned killed #1)
  6. Ser Martyn Cassel. 
    1. This is probably gonna be my first really unpopular one, but Ned only took his best and closest with him to ToJ. No matter what happened, someone had to take down Hightower and Whent. Judging from Rodrik's ability as a trainer and Jory's ability as a fighter. I think we can make a pretty good statement that one of the five casualties at ToJ deserves to be on the list and I'm putting up Cassel. (Note, the Greatjon was NOT chosen to come.) 
  7. Lord Commander Gerold Hightower, the White Bull. 
    1. Made it into the KG in the days of Duncan the Tall, chosen as the LC, commanded respect from Jaime Lannister. Dropped so low due to old age and a wound in the hand he sustained in recent years. 
  8. Lord Robert Baratheon, the Demon of the Trident 
    1. Did decently well in the tourneys, strong and fast, killed #5 after having sustained at least two wounds. (Ashford and Trident.) So low because he hasn't shown any real versatility besides wear good armor and swing a big hammer. 
  9. Bronze Yohn Royce,
    1. Still kicking ass in his old age, we haven't really seen the best he could do, but I'll agree in 281 he was probably a beast. 
  10. Prince Oberyn of House Nymeros Martell, the Red Viper 
    1. Was approaching thirty at this point, meaning what we saw against the Mountain was probably not his peak. Guy is fast, strong and most importantly cunning. He shows versatility in his weapons and 100% could have ended #'s 8 & 9 spear v hammer or sword. But, not enough evidence to say. 

Honorable mentions: The other three KG, Jonothor Darry, Oswell Whent, and Prince Lewyn Martell. We honestly don't know enough about them to place them, so consider them interchangeable with the last four. Tygett Lannister, "You (Jaime) fight like Tyg." Mance, Qhorin, Areo Hotah, Strong Belwas, and maybe Khal Drogo or his dad also get honorable mentions. 

I want to defer to something that either Robert Jordan or his character Lan mentioned. The top tier blademasters all are so close as to almost make no difference. Small factors like who got the most sleep, what they ate for dinner the knight before, the weather, whether one is better armed than the other, whether one could potentially slip on the guts of a deceased foe etc. make a huge difference. 

Another point from author and martial artist Jim Butcher goes something like this "Really good fighters don't need to flaunt it, and they never show all of their tricks." Which is why we can't place Ned on this list, we've literally never seen him fight. (The ambush in KL counts as much as me hitting a drunk one handed Jaime with a big stick.) 

 

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5 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Somehow there are always a few voices wanting to shove Robert into the top 3 list.  He should not be there. 

Because you say so ?

5 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Arthur Dayne was George’s supreme fighter. His Lancelot. And his equal was Barristan, except for Dawn. Then comes Jaime - one of the greatest in the history of Westeros, according to George himself. Jaime himself says he could beat Robert.

After those three I agree it’s a toss up between a bunch including the Hound, the Mountain, Robert, the Greatjon, etc. 

Ah you and your usual bias, I'll add that in the same sentence Jaime said he would beat Robert, he said he would beat Arthur Dayne something you conveniently avoid to mention. Not that it would prove anything since Jaime is likely the most arrogant character out there and futhermore never fought Robert in his prime.

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7 hours ago, CAllDSmith said:
  •  Ser Martyn Cassel. 
    1. This is probably gonna be my first really unpopular one, but Ned only took his best and closest with him to ToJ. No matter what happened, someone had to take down Hightower and Whent. Judging from Rodrik's ability as a trainer and Jory's ability as a fighter. I think we can make a pretty good statement that one of the five casualties at ToJ deserves to be on the list and I'm putting up Cassel. (Note, the Greatjon was NOT chosen to come.) 

Interesting choice. I agree that the 5 dead Northmen deserve some consideration here. Considering what we saw of Syrio Forel in taking out 5 Lannister guardsmen before getting taken out by Meryn Trant, I think we can draw some conclusions about the gap between the elite fighters and run-of-the-mill stooges. I think it's certainly possible that Martyn Cassel was an excellent sword, but why not take Ned, the guy who survived despite the fact that I assume he would have been the main focus of the 3 Kingsguard knights attentions?

Also, as a side note, I think the Tower of Joy fight could also be used to question the abilities of the two non-Dayne Kingsguard. The mighty Arthur Dayne was supposed to be the greatest warrior to ever swing a sword in Westeros. With two others who are at least in the same ballpark, shouldn't they have been able to handle 7 inferior fighters?

Like you say, we don't know much about Whent, but all the Kingsguard should have been amongst the best of the best at least at the time they were chosen. Hightower on the other hand, has been Lord Commander for over twenty years, so we have got to assume he's at least in his sixties at this time. Of course, a sixty year old Barristan Selmy does some incredible things (although even he must have lost a few steps since his prime). Does that mean that the White Bull would have been equally formidable at that age? Hard to say, but it seems unlikely. I guess my question would be, if it was Dayne, Whent and Selmy rather than Hightower would the outcome have been different?

 

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The kingsguard plus Robert B. Rhaegar and John Connington throw in the smiling knight too.

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