As the long wait continues for The Winds of Winter, the next book in A Song of Ice and Fire, I thought it would be fun to explore some of the lesser known characters of the saga. Arya and Jon are probably my favorite characters- I've said before that if at the end of the story, Arya and Jon are alive and more or less happy- I would be good with that. There are no shortage of great characters but I thought it would be fun to shine a light on some of the secondary characters. In some cases they play an important role, and in others they are fairly minor. But in no particular order, here are some of my favorites.
This post does have minor spoilers for A Dance with Dragons, so just a heads up. Let me know what you think, and who your favorite characters are (secondary or otherwise).
Davos Seaworth - I like Davos- he's a regular guy, loyal and decent and he tries to do the right thing. He risks his life to save Edric Storm and I really root for him to get back to his home and be reunited with his wife, who he obviously loves. I admire his loyalty even as part of me wishes he would ditch Stannis- but then where would he be? And I'm fond of his pirate friend Salladhoor Saan- I was intrigued when Saan invited him to leave Stannis and sail with the pirates- but again he would have lost everything he loved if he did that.
"Our maester chuckled at me and told us that Prince Rhaegar was certain to defeat this rebel. That was when Stark said, 'In this world only winter is certain. We may lose our heads, it's true... but what if we should prevail?' My father sent him on his way with his head still on his shoulders. 'If you lose,' he told Lord Eddard, 'you were never here'".
"No more than I was," said Davos Seaworth.
Melisandre- such an enigma. Ruthless and amoral perhaps, but I'm curious about her. We have hints of a tragic past (a slave child?) and it appears she has a flawed interpretation of her visions (and the big prophecy, for that matter), but she tried to help Jon Snow. I have a feeling she's going to play a BIG role in the next phase of Jon's life.
"All your questions shall be answered. Look to the skies, Lord Snow. And when you have your answers, send to me. Winter is almost upon us now. I am your only hope."
Val the wildling princess- she's an interesting character too, and I think there's more going on with her than is immediately obvious. Jon trust her to find Tormund, and she delivers- and after what happens at the end of A Dance with Dragons, it will be fascinating to see what she does next.
"Let me help."
"You have. You brought me Tormund.
I can do more."
Why not? thought Jon. They are all convinced she is a princess. Val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. A warrior princess, he decided, not some willowy creature who sits up in a tower, brushing her hair and waiting for some knight to rescue her.
Tormund Giantsbane on the show is nothing like the character from the books- he is much more charismatic in the books, and a hoot frankly. He has a bluff respect and affection for Jon Snow, and I really enjoy the scenes they share, especially in A Storm of Swords.
"Beside the brazier, a short but immensely broad man sat on a stool, eating a hen off a skewer. Hot grease was running down his chin into his snow- white beard, but he smiled happily all the same. Thick gold bands graven with runes bound his massive arms, and he wore a heavy shirt of black ringmail that could only have come from a dead ranger."
Jaqen H'ghar. An assassin who helps Arya after she saves his life, and who she tricks into helping her release the northmen. On the show she tricked Jaqen into helping her escape. In the books she and Jaqen use hot soup to release Robett Glover (who becomes important later). Jaqen is also one of the few characters who I think the show actually improved on.
"Speak the names, and a man will do the rest."
Mya Stone, a bastard of King Robert We don't know much about Mya, but I liked her and hope she plays a larger role at some point. She shows up in A Clash of Kings and is with Sansa at the Eyrie- I can see those two causing all KINDS of trouble.
The spearwives. A favorite chapter in A Dance With Dragons was when the spearwives helped rescue Jeyne Poole. They are tough as nails and I hope we see more of them. I loved it when Frenya held off half a dozen guardsmen in the snow to enable their escape. The most stirring chapter in the book to my mind.
Jeyne Poole let out a shrill, high scream.
"Oh, bloody shit," said Holly. "That will bring the kneelers down on us, and no mistake. Run!"
Lord Tytos Blackwood - I'm not sure why, but I liked this guy. His parley with Jaime was another highlight of A Dance with Dragons for me.
"We agree on that much." Blackwood's voice gave nothing away. "What have you done with Ser Brynden, if I may ask?"
"I offered to let him take the black. Instead he fled." Jaime smiled. "Do you have him here, perchance?"
"Would you tell me if you did?"
It was Tytos Blackwood's turn to smile.
And of course no discussion would be complete without Dolorous Edd.
"We will defend the Wall to the last man!" said Cotter Pyke.
"Probably me." said Dolorous Edd, in a resigned voice.