Another season passed by way too soon… Unfortunately, Game of Thrones is slowly coming to an end and with the final season looming ahead, it’s not a bad idea to count down the fifty best characters of our favourite television series. A big bunch of Game of Thrones characters went through a thrilling ride this season. Daenerys and Jon finally met each other and fell in love while Jaime and Cersei broke up and part ways. Sansa and Arya were reunited but struggled to accept each other past choices. We’re totally heading toward the endgame of Game of Thrones and it’s interesting to find out how the characters evolve each season and what characters truly stand out by the end of this epic series. This is 2017’s top 50 Game of Thrones characters.
Before we count down the 50 best characters of 2017, you might want to have a look at last year’s top five characters.
5 (12) Davos Seaworth
4 (3) Arya Stark
3 (4) Jaime Lannister
2 (1) Tyrion Lannister
1 (2) Jon Snow
Special thanks to the awesome subreddits:
More than 18,000 votes were counted this year! That’s amazing. Thank you all.
For those who want to consult previous years’ results:
- Top 50 Best Game of Thrones Characters (2016 edition)
- Top 50 Game of Thrones Characters (2015 edition)
TOP 50 – 41 of 2017 (IT’S A MAN’S WORLD…)
We already start with a newcomer this year. It’s no one but Jeor (fookin) Mormont, ladies and gentlemen. The former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch wouldn’t want to return alive or dead to the Wall after the Night King had crossed it with his army of undead. On the other hand, he certainly didn’t deserve to be stabbed in the back by his own men. He was one of those few honourable characters that actually cared to save the people of Westeros from the doom that lied beyond the Wall. Leading his own expedition caused his downfall. Jeor Mormont has been brought up on several occasions in the seventh season and our voters haven’t forgotten him as well. The old bear opens our list at #50.
Jeor’s best moment: Jeor Mormont gives his Valyrian Sword, Longclaw, to Jon Snow in ‘Baelor’
Now we will begin the dance, the Braavos dance… Arya was introduced to Braavos way back in the very first season of Game of Thrones. Her interest in Braavos never ceased as she decided to travel to Braavos in season two. Arya’s no stranger to water dancing as she demonstrated to Brienne of Tarth last season what she’s capable of. She always hides a bit of Syrio Forel in her own character development. This First Sword of Braavos didn’t have a lot of screentime in Game of Thrones but managed to remain a fan favourite after many years. Some fans were even convinced that Syrio Forel was still alive one way or another as his death was never shown to the audience. His last words made an everlasting impression on us as viewers. ‘What do we say to death?’ ‘Not today.’ What a character he was… He may have been killed by a coward like Meryn Trant, he’ll always be a hero to us. Syrio Forel debuts this year at #49. Welcome in our list, coolest water dancer out there.
Syrio’s best moment: Syrio fights the kingsguard with a wooden sword and gives Arya time to escape in ‘The Pointy End’.
This list would be incomplete without the King Beyond-The-Wall so here he is. Mance Rayder does lose two spots this year, but still makes the fifty best characters yet. Ciarán Hinds did a remarkable job back in season three, four and five and brought Mance Rayder truly alive with his raw acting. Even though Mance made a lot of wrong choices throughout his life, we understand them and feel for this sympathetic character. He fought for freedom and safety for his people, even though he himself failed to provide those things to his people. He was a man of his word, promising us the biggest fire the North has ever seen. Funny is that Mance Rayder is a very honourable man, even when he’s about to die for his people and morals. Still, he broke his oath and got executed for it in the end. This tragic character well deserves a spot in our list and ends at #48 this year. We’ll end with one of my favourite quotes of him. ‘The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted.’
Mance’s best moment: Mance’s last conversation with Jon Snow before he’s executed by King Stannis Baratheon in ‘The Wars to Come’.
Look who’s back in our list… It’s Thoros of Myr! After last year’s absence, Thoros of Myr deservedly makes a return at #47. We all mourned our favourite Red Priest when he got killed off in the seventh season of Game of Thrones after being mortally wounded by an undead polar bear and freezing to death not much later. Ironic, isn’t it? A fire worshipper freezing to death. He was an inspiration to many people in the world of Game of Thrones, being a fearless fighter. The failed drunk priest didn’t fail to bring his friend Beric Dondarrion six times back to life. The Lord of Light believed that Thoros was there for a greater reason. Why wouldn’t he provide him with such powers otherwise? We wished to have seen more of him but that doesn’t take away that he did much with so little he got. He ain’t fooling anyone with that topknot. We happily welcome you back in our list, Thoros!
Thoros’s best moment: Thoros, the Hound and Beric Dondarrion seek shelter and look into the flames to find out that they’re there for a reason in ‘Dragonstone’.
One of Game of Thrones finest actors is Michael McElhatton. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me. Roose Bolton did appear as a sympathetic character in the second season, but after his monstrous betrayal during the Red Wedding we couldn’t help but hate his character. Roose Bolton came across as a cunning and excellent strategist, seeming to be loyal to House Starks. He truly was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He did make one big mistake in the end, though. He underestimated his greatest rival out there, his own bastard son, Ramsay. Roose fully deserved to suffer a tragic fate, mirroring the death of his own king he killed. Some may believe he was poisoned by his enemies, but we know better. Lord Bolton will always appear to us as one of those evil, mysterious character. A true player of the Game of Thrones. He loses six spots and ends at #46 this year.
Roose’s best moment: Roose trolling Jaime about the fate of his sister/lover in ‘Kissed by Fire’.
Podrick Payne finally (!) enters our list. How many years did we wait for this moment to happen? This gifted young man is one of the most kind-hearted and loyal characters in Game of Thrones. He has been the silent counterpart of Tyrion Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. Lately, he’s become no more than a background character who’s providing comic relief to the viewer but I do think they’re keeping him alive for a more important reason. Perhaps it’s for his magic c*ck? Who knows? His training with Brienne of Tarth will pay off in the final season as he’ll certainly face the Army of the Dead. It might not be very clear what’s in store for our Pod, but we do look forward to learn his endgame. As for now, he makes his long-awaited entry at #45. Thanks for voting for Pod.
Podrick’s best moment: Podrick’s saying goodbye to Tyrion as Tyrion calls Podrick the most loyal squire that ever lived in ‘Breaker of Chains’.
One of the most anticipated appearances in Game of Thrones’s seventh season certainly was Rhaegar Targaryen’s. Rhaegar might have had no more than 10 seconds of screentime, he’s one of the most influential characters in the series. The biological father of Jon Snow caused a lot of trouble by ‘abducting’ Lyanna Stark and marry her in secret. It wasn’t a horrifying story in the end, but a tragic love story between two people whose houses rivalled one another. Who else got ‘Romeo and Juliet’ vibes from this story? I must admit when I saw Rhaegar Targaryen’s marriage with Lyanna finally revealed in Game of Thrones tears were streaming down my face. What a bittersweet revelation it was. I do hope we’ll get some more Rhaegar scenes next season as he’s certainly one of the most interesting characters we know so little about. Rhaegar Targaryen enters the list at #44.
Rhaegar’s best (and only) moment: Rhaegar’s secret but sincere marriage to his greatest love, Lyanna Stark in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’
This terrifying character doesn’t climb one spot this year and he won’t be happy about it. The Night King finally got his screen time extended last season and showed even more of his evil nature. The moment he killed off poor Viserion, he truly became one of those villains we’re wishing a tragic death upon. The Night King might be a victim at the hands of the Children of the Forest, he’s certainly the biggest threat to any character in Game of Thrones alive. His arrival has been warned since the very first moment in Game of Thrones, so we do realize that he’ll be one of the main ‘evil’ players in the endgame. Since he’s breached the Wall, he can begin to invade Westeros with his huge army of undead men, giants and even dragon. To be honest, him flying on undead Viserion was somewhat epic to see. I’m really holding my breath until next season because I’m sure the ravage he’ll bring Westeros will devast us as viewers.
Night King’s best moment: The Night King shows off his epic powers to Jon Snow and resurrects a massive army of undead freefolk in ‘Hardhome’.
Another great character makes the top 50 and this makes me happy, even though he loses five places this year. Brynden Tully or famously nicknamed ‘Blackfish’ didn’t appear in many scenes, but he was a force to be reckoned with. He had lots of great and witty lines and the actor, Clive Russell, did an outstanding job with the little screen time he got. I’m certain most of you wished to see him survive in Game of Thrones and support the Starks during the Battle of the Bastards. I still believe he would have made a better ex-machina than the Knights of the Vale. Sadly, the Blackfish’ premature end didn’t stole that moment away from us. He was great in his final scene, though. It wasn’t out of character to have him fight for his family house but it was a wrong discussion to not show one of the most legendary fighters final fight. Brynden Tully ends at #42 this year.
Brynden’s best moment: The Blackfish confronts Edmure Tully about his ‘victory’ and puts his nephew in his place in ‘Walk of Punishment’.
Every year, Khal Drogo proves us that he hasn’t been forgotten among fans. This grey character certainly wasn’t a fan favourite during the first episodes of Game of Thrones but when he received Daenerys’s respect and vice versa, we started to care for Drogo. He was a strong fighter, perhaps even one of the strongest fighters the show has ever known. This Dothraki leader was Daenerys’s first lover and lasted an everlasting impression on her. The Dothraki are back with full force since season 6 and never ceased to impress us with their battle scenes. The best Dothraki character is Drogo and I’m certain that will never change. Unfortunately, Drogo loses quite some spots this year. He has been lower in this list in 2015 (46th place), so it’s definitely not his worth position. Let’s hope he’ll climb somewhat higher next season. When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east… We won’t forget you, Khal Drogo.
Drogo’s best moment: Khal Drogo promises that Daenerys shall sit on the Iron Throne before the Mother of Mountains and that their son will be the Stallion that Mounts the World in ‘You Win or You Die’
TOP 40 – 39 of 2017 (TO THE WALL AND BACK)
Exactly like Khal Drogo, Edd loses six spots this year. Edd’s role in the seventh season certainly was a bit of a letdown since he only appeared for like 30 seconds or so. This character definitely survived much longer than we anticipated and we don’t complain about it. He’s proven to be a kind and down-to-earth Jon loyalist and he gave us one of the best humoristic scenes throughout the series. Remember that gaze of him when he watched Tormund flirting with Brienne. That’s brilliant acting by Ben Crompton. We wish to see a bit more of Edd next season, although the current circumstances predict anything good. Jon’s prophetic words did come true, though. The Wall was knocked down when he was gone. Let’s hope poor Edd does survive the imminent Long Night. For now, he ends at #41.
Edd’s best moment: That epic moment when Edd commands men of the Night’s Watch to drop the scythe in ‘The Watchers on the Wall’.
A man is not pleased.. A man has lost four place this year. Jaqen H’ghar is slowly losing his popularity, but certainly isn’t forgotten among fans. He has got to be one of the most mysterious characters in Game of Thrones. We know so little about him that we even can’t say for sure if Jaqen H’ghar is one person or not. This faceless man trained Arya Stark to become faceless as well, even though she never finished her training course. Have we seen the last of the Faceless Men and more especially Jaqen H’ghar? I doubt so. His storyline was somewhat repetitive and disappointing in season six, but this man really keeps intriguing us in many ways. Jaqen H’ghar ends at #39 this year.
Jaqen’s best moment: Jaqen H’ghar meets up with Arya Stark, gives her an Iron Coin of the Faceless Men and tries to convince her to come to Braavos with him in ‘Valar Morghulis’.
The greatest swordsman the Game of Thrones universe has ever known absolutely deserves a spot among the fifty best characters, isn’t it? Arthur only appeared for four minutes in this show but look at the influence he got on fans. The sword fight against Ned Stark, Howland Reed and co. really was one of the best fight scenes we got to see in Thrones. His epic fighting style made the character even better. This honourable fighter didn’t receive the justice he deserved and got stabbed in the back by Howland Reed and later on finished by Ned Stark. Arthur Dayne will always be remembered as one of the most legendary fighters and we keep hoping to see more of him in future spin-offs. He loses two spots this year and ends at #38.
Arthur’s best (and only) moment: Arthur showed what he’s capable of during the epic sword fight against Ned, Howland and co and even wields two swords in ‘Oathbreaker’.
Last year, Bran Stark was the biggest climber of 2016 and climbed an impressive twenty-three spots higher. This year, it’s a bit of the other way around. He goes back thirteen spots and ends at #37, not belonging to the thirty best characters anymore. The reason is a bit obvious in my book. Just like Meera Reed told him in the seventh season, he died in that cave. Bran lost a lot of his human side after he became the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s basically a walking all-knowing source, having access to information from the past, present and even the future. He’s an extremely important character and he’ll have a big part to play in the endgame of Game of Thrones. Still, we miss the characteristics that made Bran, Bran. He’s merely becoming a source of information so his character doesn’t develop any further any more, which is quite sad. Nonetheless, I’m curious to find out what will happen to Bran in the final season. At least, Bran doesn’t have to wait to find out..
Bran’s best moment: Isaac Hempstead-Wright was outstandingly good during the beheading of Rodrik Cassel in ‘The Old Gods and the New’.
‘Hold the door’ will never have the same meaning anymore since Hodor’s tragic death back in season six. Unfortunately, this sweet giant loses four spots on our list this year. Even in death, Hodor chooses to stay close with his best friend Bran, even ending a spot ahead of him. Ever since last year, Hodor hasn’t left the list of fifty best characters and I think he never will since such he was given such an iconic death. The man didn’t have many words, but we were all emotionally so invested in him we’re still not over the man’s death. That alone does make Game of Thrones a remarkable show. Hodor or Wylis ends at #36 this year.
Hodor’s best moment: Hold the door… Hold the door… Ho-door… Hodor… in ‘The Door’
THE BIGGEST LOSER OF 2017
Finally, we meet the first woman in our list and who better than Lyanna Mormont, really? This little lady is as sharp as a razor and doesn’t mince her words, to anyone. She was one of the most acclaimed new characters of last year, even entering the list very highly at #22. Lyanna appeared in a few scenes this season, giving her opinion on the current issues of the North. We’re now awaiting a reunion between her and Jorah Mormont for next season. How would Lyanna react to the return of her uncle? I don’t think she’ll welcome him with open arms. Whatever the case, we’re in for more fun Lyanna Mormont, the youngest feminist Game of Thrones has known so far. Miss Mormont ends at #45 this year, losing 13(!) this year.
Lyanna’s best moment: Lyanna’s emotional and sincere speech when Jon was proclaimed King in the North in ‘The Winds of Winter’.
The first climber of this year is Euron Greyjoy and it’s no surprise. His character was somewhat dull and unauthentic in season 6, but did he return with a vengeance this season. His scenes with Queen Cersei and Jaime were providing some comic relief in King’s Landing and his moves were quite smart and unpredictable. Euron has a greater plan up his sleeve and he’s convinced that he shall be king of the Seven Kingdoms rather soon or late. We’ve seen how dangerous and bloodthirsty Euron can be when he killed the Sand Snakes and captured Ellaria, Tyene and Yara. Everyone knows Euron isn’t a reliable ally and Cersei might realize this as well. We hope she’ll stop him before it’s too late. Euron had a remarkable, interesting season and Pilou Asbaek really took the role for granted. He climbs seven places this year and ends at #34. What is dead may never die!
Euron’s best moment: Euron released the kraken, showed his strength at sea to Yara and Ellaria and turned Theon back into Reek for a glimpse in ‘Stormborn’.
One of the strongest actresses on the show was Michelle Fairley and I still miss her after many seasons. Her character may have made a lot of many decisions throughout her life, the love she shared for her children made her such a sympathetic character. In the end, all Catelyn wanted was to be reunited with her children. The Lannisters took everything away from her: her husband, her daughters, her oldest son. The most heartbreaking moment was when she realized she had lost everything and couldn’t care about living anymore. We’ll never forget the horrifying look on her face during the Red Wedding and of course that last scream of her. Catelyn still goes strong this year and remains a beloved character. She remains at #33 this year.
Catelyn’s best moment: Catelyn’s conversation with Talisa about Jon Snow was heartbreaking and so well-acted by Michelle Fairley in ‘Dark Wings, Dark Words’.
The night is dark and full of terrors, old and ancient Melisandre. We didn’t see her much in season 7, but her story isn’t over yet. Melisandre promised Varys last season that she’ll return to Westeros, one last time. We know that she’ll die next season but the circumstances are still a mystery to us. Will she be executed for her past mistakes? Or will she actually perish during the Great War? We don’t know that yet. Melisandre always remains, together with Jaqen H’ghar, the most mysterious duo in the show. We got to see a more human and fragile side from Melisandre since the last few seasons. She’s slowly becoming a good character, although we won’t ever forgive what she has done to Renly and poor Shireen. Melisandre loses one spot this year. Hopefully she’ll be back with full vengeance next year.
Melisandre’s best moment: Melisandre removes her necklace and shows a glimpse of her most fragile and vulnerable side to the viewers in ‘The Red Woman’.
No man was kinder, or gentler or kinder. True spoken words by Samwell Tarly. Maester Aemon really was one of the kindest Game of Thrones characters out there, always giving his wisest council to those who sought help from him. I am glad Aemon got a peaceful death, dying of old age. On the other had it’s so sad that he lived to see own family being brutally murdered and that he realized that the only living Targaryen lived miles and miles away from him. In reality, he never got so close to his family in Castle Black. Too bad, he won’t ever find out about Aegon Targaryen. He would be proud of him and his family. We will always remember Maester Aemon when we speak of the Night’s Watch. Peter Vaughan truly brought this character alive and lives on in Aemon’s character forever. Maester Aemon loses two spots this year and ends at #31.
Aemon’s best moment: Aemon reveals to Jon his true identity and tells how much the death of his family members affected him in ‘Baelor’.
TOP 30 – 21 of 2017 (WOLVES, SPIDERS AND OTHER BEASTS )
A year ago, she was the biggest loser in our list losing fourteen spots. Ygritte shows she hasn’t been forgotten among fans and gains back nine spots this year. Perhaps Jon’s recent relationship with Daenerys made us think back of this time that he got a relationship with Ygritte which was really one of the most intimate and tragic love stories in Game of Thrones yet. Ygritte has become a part of Jon Snow and just like Khal Drogo had a huge influence on Daenerys, Ygritte changed Jon for good. The wildling went down fighting for freedom and died in the arms of her lover. We couldn’t imagine a more bittersweet death for her. Ygritte ends at #30 this year.
Ygritte’s best moment: Ygritte doesn’t want to say goodbye to Jon and shoots him with arrows, having them missed on purpose in ‘Mhysa’.
He was one of the very first characters that we grow to hate from the first episodes on. There wasn’t anything good to tell about this boy, although Joffrey made some smart remarks like preventing Daenerys from gaining more power way back in season three when nobody cared about ‘curiosities beyond the Narrow Sea’. He was an unredeemable prick and nobody really cared for his death but his mother Cersei. Many were even relieved that he died. Jack Gleeson, the actor, on the other hand, did a terrific job bringing this evil Joffrey alive. Joffrey was certainly one of the best evil guys in Game of Thrones and he still isn’t forgotten among the fans. We loved to see Joffrey go, but we were saddened to have the actor leave the series. Joffrey remains one of Game of Thrones’s best characters, even climbing one spot at #29.
Joffrey’s best moment: Joffrey Baratheon showed his truly evil side and became one of the most hated character after he ordered Ned Stark to be executed in ‘Baelor’.
Another honourable and legendary fighter among this list is Barristan Selmy and he’s still going strong here. Barristan didn’t have the epic death scene everyone hoped for but his character brought us a handful of epic scenes we’ll never forget. Barristan Selmy lived his life to serve his king, but never got to serve a king or queen he actually believed in. That was until he met Queen Daenerys Targaryen, a person he actually cared for and believed in. He even told her some stories about her brother Rhaegar, whom he really appreciated. Just like Daenerys, we were very upset to see him go. This year, ser Barristan loses one spots and still maintains a strong position right at #28.
Barristan’s best moment: Barristan is dismissed by King Joffrey and Cersei but still manages to quit like a boss in ‘The Pointy End’.
Your House will disappear.. Your name will disappear.. All memories of you will disappear.. Sansa’s words didn’t really come true, though. He still is doing quite well in our top fifty best characters. Ramsay is, in my opinion at least, the worst Game of Thrones character to date. His death was thus the most satisfying one, alongside Joffrey and Walder Frey. He didn’t exit without leaving an everlasting mark on his victims like Sansa and Theon. Both became in their way stronger under his torture and are still alive and kicking, unlike Ramsay. Ramsay Bolton did kill a lot of characters himself, just think of Osha, Roose Bolton, Walda Frey and Rickon Stark. We couldn’t wish death sooner upon this monstrous character. Ramsay does lose two spots this year, still kicking this list at #27.
Ramsay’s best moment: Iwan Rheon brought us one of the best acted and most satisfying TV-deaths ever in ‘The Battle of the Bastards’.
Bow you shits, Bobby B is here (and how)! Robert Baratheon makes an impressive ‘comeback’ in our list after almost disappearing last year. Robert loved whoring and hunting in his last days and the last one caused his death, although his ‘loving’ wife played a part in it as well. Robert Baratheon definitely wasn’t the worst king Westeros has known but he wasn’t the most pleasant man to keep company with. His hatred toward the Targaryens was a bit too much if you ask me. Are the Baratheons all gone from the world? Perhaps Gendry might have a last part to play in the war to come, honouring his father’s house. Daddy B would be proud of his son. Sixteen spots higher this year and Robert Baratheon ends at #26.
Robert’s best moment: Robert’s honest and somewhat awkward conversation with Cersei Lannister in ‘The Wolf and the Lion’.
THE BIGGEST CLIMBER OF 2017
Last year, he made his long-awaited arrival in our list at #44 and look where he stands this year! Another huge climber next to Robert Baratheon is Beric Dondarrion and that’s no surprise to be honest. Beric had a larger role to play in the most recent season, fighting alongside Jon and co. against the Army of the Dead. Beric is here for a reason, as he stated himself. He has been brought back by Thoros of Myr, a character that’s no longer with us. I don’t see him surviving the series but I do think he’ll have an important role to play in bringing down the Night King. Why would the Lord of Light want to keep him alive for so long? Beric Dondarrion did have a questionable fate in his last scene this season. So we have to wait quite some time to find out whether he survived or not. Let’s hope for the best. I still want to see this epic character fight the dead with his flaming sword. Beric Dondarrion climbs eighteen (yes, nineteen!) spots and ends in the middle, at #25.
Beric’s best moment: Beric Dondarrion fights with Sandor Clegane during the latter’s trial by combat in ‘Kissed by Fire.
He makes a small step forward, but he goes forward at last. Ser Friendzone has been cured successfully, thank the gods and is still among the living after the seventh season of Game of Thrones. His wish may never come true, but he still doesn’t give up serving Daenerys Targaryen. We can easily forgive him for his mistakes in the past and could call him an honourable man, even though that’s not entirely true. There’s no better man in the world than Jorah the Andal to pronounce ‘Khaleesi’ so rough and yet so epic. And he was rocking his new armour this season! We hope Daenerys’s promise come true and Jorah will indeed by next to her side if she rules the Seven Kingdoms. Until that time, Jorah is taking a steady position right at #24.
Jorah’s best moment: That heart-breaking moment when Jorah decides to leave Daenerys Targaryen to not bother her with his disease but she commands him to find the cure in order to be back with her it is in ‘The Door’.
Ouch.. Not so good news for our favourite spider, Lord Varys. Unlike other seasons, Varys has a disappointing storyline this season and not much stuff to work with. His character was reduced to Tyrion’s sidekick, when he was so much more in previous seasons. Still, he remains one of my favourite characters thanks to Conleth Hill’s amazing portrayal. Varys may have been a less sympathetic character in the first seasons, that has entirely changed since he chose to side with Daenerys Targaryen, a Queen he truly believes in. His true motivations might lie with the common folk but we will certainly find out next season if that’s entirely true. Sadly, Lord Varys has lost some fans and votes and loses eleven spots, disappearing from the best 20 characters after having his position secured for this year. Perhaps next season will be a better one for Varys and we’ll see him back where he belongs. For now, he ends at #23 this year.
Varys’s best moment: Varys tells Tyrion about the reason why he lost his manhood and how exacted revenge after all those years in ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’.
The former King in the North does lose one spot this year, unfortunately. Ever since 2016, Robb Stark is slowly losing popularity but we can’t call the 22th position a bad spot. It’s quite the opposite. Robb Stark was a Stark by all means. He was honourable and loyal, but not so true to his word as his father was. That one mistake cost his head, literally. The Young Wolf might be young forever, he did have an emotional time on Game of Thrones and one of the worst character fates. He died in much pain and agony, together with his mother. The Red Wedding isn’t a celebration we’d like to think back at. Young Robb Stark ends this year quite well at #22 and he deserves it.
Robb’s best moment: Robb Stark is proclaimed King in the North in an epic scene in ‘Fire and Blood’.
This one makes me sad… Margaery Tyrell no longer belongs to the top 20 best characters of Game of Thrones this year. Margaery arguably was one of the best queens that ruled the Seven Kingdoms. Being groomed by one of the best, her grandmother Olenna Tyrell, Margaery also cared for the common folk and always found a way to make the best out of a situation. Trouble really started from season five on, right after Tywin Lannister died. Cersei Lannister no longer saw a reason to stop the Tyrells from increasing their power and started to bring them down eventually. Margaery got imprisoned, tricked the High Sparrow into believing that she converted herself and the king to the pious believers of the Faith. In fact, Margaery was pulling all the strings and was winning the Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, Cersei used an inhumane way to get rid of everyone that tried to put her in checkmate. Our golden rose ends gracefully at the 21th place.
Margaery’s best moment: Margaery played Joffrey like a fiddle and profiled both of them as capable and beloved leaders to the common folk during ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’.
THE 20 BEST CHARACTERS OF 2017
TOP 20 – 11 of 2017 (FIGHTERS AND MASTERMINDS)
Here are the twenty best characters of 2017… And I am glad she’s part of it. I could talk for hours about my love for this woman and I am very glad to see her gaining popularity this year. Olenna Tyrell started out as a funny, witty character and fully changed into a broken, but still sharp lady. Her story is quite tragic but she still managed to get the upper hand of almost everyone in any conversation. Olenna was a remarkable strong force in the show and stole every scene she was in thanks to Dame Diana Rigg’s terrific acting skills. I always wished that she was able to avenge her family herself, but unfortunately she never got the chance to. After all those great scenes, Olenna even won her own death scene. Only the Queen of Thorns could do that. She deservedly ends at #20 this year.
Olenna’s best moment: Olenna gets a painless death by Jaime Lannister but not before admitting that she killed his son in a gruesome way in ‘The Queen’s Justice’
Way back in 2015, he ended at #42 and look where he ends this year! He wasn’t a very popular character back then, but since season 6 we all grew to care for Samwell Tarly. He is the kind of person Westeros need in order to be saved from the doom that’s coming upon them. Samwell tried to learn more about defeating the White Walkers and to convince the Citadel to undertake action. He failed to convince them, but received a lot of important information. He discovered a mountain of dragonglass in Dragonstone, he cured ser Jorah from greyscale and he found out about the secret marriage between Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Samwell is, without a doubt, one of the most important and vital characters in Game of Thrones and his role will certainly get expanded in the final season. Could he ever make the top ten best characters? We’ll find out next year. For now, he ends very well at #19.
Sam’s best moment: Samwell and Bran put the pieces of the puzzle together and learn that Jon Snow is the true heir to the Iron Throne in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’.
The Lady of Winterfell stays right where she is, at #18. You don’t hear me complaining. Sansa Stark had one of the most interesting arcs in Game of Thrones, changing from a naïve girl to a strong-minded lady. Her view upon the world of Game of Thrones changed drastically throughout the years and she had no choice then to change it. She was forced to marry the sadistic Joffrey and Ramsay, she got manipulated by better players like Littlefinger and Tywin Lannister, but in the end she learnt a lot from her past. Sansa Stark is starting to receive the respect she deserves and I’m very happy about that. Her reunion with her sister Arya was one of her main plotlines last season and it was a struggle to accept how much they both changed. In the end, they realized that they need each other if they want to survive the coming winter. How beautiful… Sansa ends at #18.
Sansa’s best moment: Sansa becomes a vital player of the game and exacts revenge on the man who manipulated her since she was a child in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’
It’s been a few years that Stannis Baratheon is no longer with us, but he certainly isn’t forgotten yet. Stannis was one the best grey character the show has had. He definitely wasn’t a bad guy as he cared for the threat beyond the Wall and was the only person to save the Night’s Watch during their war against the wildlings. He did make many mistakes in the past that couldn’t be forgiven and he got rightfully punished for them. Stannis himself accepted his fate and realized he had lost everything thanks to his lust to power. Stannis Baratheon was a man with an iron will and went way too far to achieve his goals. I wonder what choices he would have made if Melisandre’s didn’t keep him company. I guess we never know. Stannis loses two spots this year and ends at a respectable 17th position, being the best Baratheon character the show had ever had.
Stannis’s best moment: Stannis Baratheon saves the day and comes to the rescue to help the Night’s Watch win the war against the King-Beyond-The-Wall in ‘The Children’.
He keeps climbing! It’s unbelievable. After a climb of seventeen steps last year, Tormund keeps going forward in our list ending at #16 this year. This ginger wildling wasn’t a fan favourite in his first season, but as the series progressed, we started to like this guy more and more and now we can imagine Game of Thrones without him anymore. Tormund provides, together with Sandor Clegane, the best kind of humour in the show. D&D should really think about a spin-off series where Tormund and The Hound decide to travel around Westeros. I never thought to see Tormund in season eight, the final season, but here we are. His last scene didn’t predict anything good but this character is way too epic to not get a memorable death on-screen. I doubt we have seen the last of Tormund Giantsbane. After all, he needs to make a lot of babies with Brienne of Tarth. Tormund ends at #16 this year.
Tormund’s best moment: Tormund’s funny conversation with the Hound during their mission in ‘Beyond the Wall’.
THE 15 BEST CHARACTERS OF 2017
Brienne’s certainly one of the strongest female character in Game of Thrones, literally and figuratively speaking. Brienne didn’t have a memorable storyline in season 7, so it surprises me to see her climbing on our list. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy to see this strong character popularity increasing still. It’s also funny to see her right above Tormund. Fate brought them together! Brienne’s endgame isn’t very obvious and it looks like she’s right in the middle of a love triangle. The most honourable woman in Westeros definitely deserves a high spot in the list of best characters and I’m glad to tell you she made the fifteen best characters of this year. She deserves so for keeping her oath to Catelyn Stark after all those years. Brienne of Tarth ends at #15.
Brienne’s best moment: Brienne of Tarth fights for Arya in an epic battle against the Hound in ‘The Children’.
Entering the fifteen best Game of Thrones character, at last. Here’s Theon Greyjoy. Theon Greyjoy had a remarkable ride throughout the series. He had the best character development in my opinion, although he was underused this season. Theon suffered immensely in Game of Thrones, even suffering the worst fate of any character now that his sister is abducted and maybe tortured as well. Theon is slowly finding his identity underneath the burden again and found the strength to motivate his men to rescue Yara from Euron. If Theon manages to free Yara and make it out alive is an open question. If this is Theon’s true endgame, then I doubt all three of them are going to survive the rescue attempt. Theon is undoubtedly a very well-written character and I am looking forward to the final conclusion of his arc. This year, he climbs three spots and ends at #14.
Theon’s best moment: Alfie Allen’s facial expressions when he turned into Reek again after Yara got captured by Euron in ‘Stormborn’.
Exactly like his protégée Sansa Stark, he stays right where he is at #13. Thirteen may be an unlucky number and so was Littlefinger’s fate this season. He tried to set up Sansa Stark against her sister but he got killed off in his own web of lies. Petyr Baelish was an exceptional character, gaining more and more influence each season. He kept using Sansa to gain more power but like he once stated himself, knowledge is power. Bran has become a source of knowledge, so it was a lose-lose situation for Petyr Baelish since he plotted so much in secret and behind everyone’s back. Was he really in love with Sansa or was that just another lie of him? Only Petyr knows. He ends at #13 this year.
Littlefinger’s best moment: Petyr Baelish gets trapped in his own web of lies and can’t find a way to escape justice anymore in ‘The Wolf and the Lion’.
The one and only Martell in this list is Oberyn Martell and what a character he was. Oberyn only survived one season of Game of Thrones but his character brought us so many unforgettable moments. The way Oberyn got introduced made him a remarkable character immediately. His death angered Dorne and in particular Ellaria Sand so the ball got rolling many seasons after his death. We may all conclude that Oberyn was the most important Martell to date as a lot of side plots are centered around his character and his tragic death. Unfortunately, the Martells will never be able to get revenge for Oberyn’s and Elia’s unfortunate deaths. Oberyn was an honest and inspiring character and every year I am happy to see him ending so high. He does lose one spot this year, though. Oberyn ends at #12.
Oberyn’s best moment: Oberyn’s emotional conversation with Tyrion Lannister in Tyrion’s dungeon in ‘Mockingbird’.
What a journey did he have last season! From fighting dragons to meeting Dragon Queens, Bronn was with a doubt one of the most badass characters of the seventh season. This man doesn’t just say whatever he thinks, but he owns everyone in conversation. Bronn is a bit of a selfish character and can’t you blame him for that. He doesn’t need to be honourable in his opinion and seizes every opportunity if there’s something to gain for him. He has been a friend of the Lannisters for a good time now, so I hope his debt get paid at some point. Bronn really deserves a beautiful castle and a hot, highborn lady. I’m curious to find out what’s in store for him now with Jaime Lannister out of King’s Landing. Will he join his comrade back to North or does he think of his own well-being and stay right where he is? We’ll certainly find out next season. Bronn almost made the top 10! He does climb three spots though and ends at an impressive 11th place.
Bronn’s best moment: Bronn wields Qyburn’s scorpion to kill off Drogon in the badass episode ‘The Spoils of War’.
THE 10 BEST GAME OF THRONES CHARACTERS OF 2017
TOP 10 – 1 of 2017 (THE BEST OF THE BEST)
We open the top 10 best characters with the first Lannister we come across, Cersei Lannister. Just like last year, she gets the honour to open the top ten. Queen Cersei had an impressive arc since season 5, becoming one of Game of Thrones’s most prominent characters. Although her path toward the endgame is becoming darker and darker. Cersei has lost all of her children at this point and the fact that there’s one more yet to come, eases Cersei’s mind for the time being. She has something to fight for. If she loses the child, Cersei’s madness will be unleashed and with Jaime gone, there’s no one left to reason with Cersei. King’s Landing would be a damned place. The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms keeps her strong position very well and ends at #10.
Cersei’s best moment: Cersei uses a wildcard to get rid of all those who tried to put her in checkmate in ‘The Winds of Winter’.
Papa Lannister loses one spot this year. Such a brilliant and well-acted character (thanks to Charles Dance) definitely deserves a place among the ten best Game of Thrones characters. He hasn’t been forgotten at all and I think he never will. One of the cleverest and pragmatic characters certainly is Tywin Lannister and his character always kept its value throughout all seasons so it was sad to see him leave the series. Tywin Lannister wasn’t a sympathetic character at all, making me disliking him from the moment he treated Tyrion like he means nothing to him. I do understand the choices he has made, as they were clever and did the Lannister name only justice. With him gone, House Lannister started to crumble and he would turn in his grave if he found out that Cersei was queen now. Tywin keeps his high position, deservedly at #9.
Tywin’s best moment: Tywin’s final confrontation with his son Tyrion in ‘The Children’.
Two years ago, Ned Stark would still be a top five character. Times have changed and Ned Stark slowly loses his top position, ending relatively high at #8. Ned Stark is an iconic Game of Thrones character and the list would definitely incomplete if he didn’t make the top ten. Ned Stark’s character was the catalyst of almost every important event in Game of Thrones and I wouldn’t mind if the series ended with a scene where Ned Stark is remembered, just like in ‘The Wolf and the Dragon’ where Sansa and Arya share memories of their father. Ned Stark would be so proud of his children. Too bad he isn’t around anymore to see where they stand now. He ends at #8 in 2017.
Ned’s best moment: Ned Stark iconic death scene in ‘Baelor’ laid bare the whole philosophy behind Game of Thrones.
Wow, I didn’t expect this to happen. Arya Stark doesn’t belong to the five best Game of Thrones characters anymore. I am bit gutted about this as she’s definitely one of my favourite TV-characters ever. Arya had an emotional season, reuniting with her brother and sister, hearing that Jon is still alive and has become King in the North and seeing Nymeria again after all those years. We were also confronted with Arya’s coldness last season. She truly has become a cold serial killer but for good purposes only. Her quarrelling with Sansa wasn’t the writers’ best choice, but her last conversation with Sansa makes up for that. Arya Stark is one of Game of Thrones’ strongest female character as she’s one of the few female characters that make it to the top ten. She ends at #7 this year.
Arya’s best moment: Arya poisons all of the male Freys to bring winter upon their House in ‘Dragonstone’.
No need to look sad anymore, Sandor Clegane. You’re going up! The Hound had a thrilling season, fighting the dead and bringing one into King’s Landing. Cleganebowl was even teased by the end of the seventh season. Sandor wasn’t a beloved character in the first season and many blamed him for the death of Mycah. As the seasons passed by, the Hound started to realize that you can use violence for good purposes as well and he began to change his view on the world. He started his path down redemption. The Hound really is the definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You would be terrified if you met this guy for the first time, but when you get to know him better you’d find out there’s a broken man inside, a good soul that can only be seen by those who want to. The Hound remains one of Game of Thrones’ best characters, ending at the sixth spot this year.
The Hound’s best moment: The Hound wants to eat all the fucking chickens and gets rid of everyone who stands between him and his chickens in ‘Two Swords’.
WE ARE ENTERING TOP FIVE
But before that, I first want to mention the characters who were thrown out of the top 50 this year:
- The Mountain (2016: 50th place)
- Yara Greyjoy (2016: 49th place)
- Gendry (2016: 48th place)
- Wun Wun (2016: 46th place)
- Meera Reed (2016: 45th place)
THE GREAT GAME: THE BIG FIVE
Ser Davos Seaworth opens our top five again this year, keeping his position at #5. Davos has always been a loyal advisor, once to Stannis Baratheon and now to Jon Snow. Even though the character gives wise council to those who need it, he also provides some comic relief at times. Davos is a funny and witty character and often these traits makes the best characters. Ser Davos is certainly one of the good guys and I hope he’ll survive the series, counselling whoever is king or queen then. The Onion Knight has also been quite fond of children, especially young girls like Lyanna or Shireen. It would be a fitting ending for his character that he’ll take care of Jonerys’s baby girl by the end of Game of Thrones. Maybe I’m just hoping for too much. We all grow to love Davos and that’s why he ends so high this year again.
Davos’s best moment: Davos confronts Melisandre with Shireen’s death and gets emotional in ‘The Winds of Winter’.
Tyrion Lannister was the best Game of Thrones character two years ago. Since then, he started losing his position and now disappears from the top three and I can see why. Tyrion had an amazing arc right up to season 4, which was in my opinion when his character’s popularity peaked. Tyrion didn’t have a very interesting storyline since season 5 and mainly became Daenerys’s sidekick. He didn’t have nearly as much well-written dialogues anymore and he started to become quite dull in season 6. Season 7 changed that somehow and Tyrion did get a handful of memorable moments in season 7, like his long-awaited confrontation with Cersei. Aside from all this, Tyrion remains a character we’re all very invested in and we wish to see him survive Game of Thrones, earning a position he deserves to have. Tyrion’s main strength has always been his intellect and it would be nice to see more of that witty side in the final season. Tyrion get kicked out of the top three and ends right at #4.
Tyrion’s best moment: Nothing can top Peter Dinklage’s performance during the trial scene in ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’.
It’s a real surprise to see him here! This means we have a different best Game of Thrones character this year! Wow, I am excited for this, but sad to see Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen losing his position. Jon Snow has become one of the central characters in later season, perhaps the most important character in the TV-series. He did have a remarkable season this year, meeting Daenerys Tagaryen, falling in love with her and of course the revelation that he’s Aegon Targaryen a.k.a. the true heir to the Iron Throne. Jon Snow grew out to become a very capable leader who actually cares for his people. He’s the right kind of king that should sit on the Iron Throne. After such a ‘Jon Snow’ driven season it’s a bit weird to see him lose his head position, but I’m up to surprises anyway. I’m looking forward to Jon Snow’s conclusion next season, although I fear it’s going to be a very emotional and impactful one. Jon Snow receives bronze this year. Well done, nonetheless!
Jon’s best moment: The Night King and Jon Snow staring at each other in a horrifying confrontation in ‘Hardhome’ will always stay with me.
THE BEST MALE CHARACTER OF 2017
He almost made it to the top position! Jaime Lannister keeps climbing and ends at a spectacular 2nd place this year. What a surprise. Jaime had a wonderful season and became one of my favourite characters this year. His confrontation with Olenna made up for one of the best scenes in the series, his fight scenes during the ‘Spoils of War’ were amazingly good and him leaving King’s Landing made me much more emotional than I would have thought. What a character development did he get throughout the years. From being the guy we all hated to the guts, to a character we started to care for and now cheer for. Only Game of Thrones could make us do that. Even though we all love Daenerys, wasn’t he just epic when he tried to kill her off on his own in order to save Westeros from the Mad King’s daughter. It wasn’t a wise decision, though. Jaime receives silver this year. Could he make it to the very first postion next year? We shall see.. For now, he’s the best Lannister character.
Jaime’s best moment: Jaime’s emotional confession to Brienne of Tarth in ‘Kissed By Fire’ changed our view upon his character for good.
THE BEST GAME OF THRONES CHARACTER OF 2017
THE BEST FEMALE CHARACTER OF 2017
The biggest surprise of 2017 is undoubtedly Daenerys Targaryen climbing to the first position. And it wasn’t even close! Daenerys had the best arc in season seven. She arrived in Dragonstone, met up with a lot of important characters like Jon Snow or the Lannister siblings/lovers, used fire and blood against team Cersei, rescued Jon and co. from the White Walker threat and lost a dragon in the process. Her biggest moment this season was her boat sex scene with Jon Snow. The moment Daenerys arrived with her dragons and took the risk to save Jon Snow and co. from the White Walkers, we all embraced her as our Queen. Daenerys Targaryen may have had more boring seasons. like season 4 and 5. Season 7 was Dany’s strongest season to date, making the viewers struggle to actually classify her as good ruler or a bad one. We came to the final conclusion that she really deserves the Iron Throne in the end and even if her character wasn’t 100% well received among fans, we all agree at this point that she is the best character in the entire season. We love you, Khaleesi. Congratulations!
Daenerys’s best moment: Daenerys flying on Drogon above her Dothraki army ready to attack the Lannister soldiers in ‘The Spoils of War’.
Thanks for those who took the time to vote for my poll or some who even upvoted my post so I could receive more votes. It was a pleasure to host this interesting poll and to see how character’s popularity evolves each season. I hope to see you back at some point in 2018. Take care!
For those who can’t get enough and want to know where the other characters stranded.
51. SHIREEN BARATHEON
52. YARA GREYJOY
54. THE MOUNTAIN
55. MEERA REED
56. VISERYS TARGARYEN
57. HOT PIE
58. BENJEN STARK
60. WUN WUN
62. ALLISER THORNE
63. GREY WORM
64. LYANNA STARK
65. DORAN MARTELL
67. RENLY BARATHEON
68. QHORIN HALFHAND
69. WALDER FREY
70. TOMMEN BARATHEON
71. KARL TANNER
73. EDMURE TULLY
76. TYENE SAND
77. JORY CASSEL
79. ELLARIA SAND
80. HIGH SPARROW
81. MAESTER LUWIN
82. AERON GREYJOY
83. DICKON TARLY
84. KEVAN LANNISTER
85. MACE TYRELL
86. DAARIO NAHARIS
88. BROTHER RAY
89. TALISA STARK
90. GREATJON UMBER
91. YOHN ROYCE
93. MYRCELLA BARATHEON
94. AREO HOTAH
95. JOJEN REED
96. BALON GREYJOY
97. LANCEL LANNISTER
100. ROBIN ARRYN