Friday, December 19, 2014

Discussion: Favorite Game of Thrones characters

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

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. 

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)

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.  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.

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!"

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

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.


  1. What a great post! I'm unsure about my favorite characters -- I fluctuate on that. Arya is definitely a contender.

    I agree about Tormund Giantsbane. He was hilarious in the books, and I was disappointed that he was written so differently in the show. I think it was a huge missed opportunity.

    1. I agree, Tormund is a lot of fun in the books. Glad you enjoyed the post- it was fun thinking about the different characters, especially some of the marginal ones.

  2. Oh, man, I think I'll have to re-read some of the older books before I start Dance with Dragons. It's been sitting on my shelf FOREVER and I can't make myself read it, though I'm afraid the TV series will have major spoilers for the book in the coming season. But I forgot so much I didn't even recognize any of these facts in your post as spoilers... Gah.

    I really like Dolorous Ed, he's hilarious. He reminds me somewhat of Blackadder, if you've watched the series?

    But I think my favourite might be Sansa Stark - while I really disliked her in the first book or two, she's grown so much later on in the story! I love character development :)
    Brienne is also great, but that one's kind of obvious.

    1. Dance with Dragons was a welcome return to form aftr a lackluster fourth book, and a lot of really cool stuff happens in it. Of course the plot is moving slowly, but it has been. :) And there are some HUGE cliffhangers at the end.. which can be frustrating. We don't get Sansa in that one, but I think something big is brewing with her in the next one. Mya is with her and that might be interesting.

      Dolorous Edd is great. :)

  3. I started to read through your list and realized I don't know who most of these people are! I have only read up to book three .. since I refuse to read more till the books are done. So... eventually I learn what happens through the show.

    1. The first three are the best... although I have to say book five is good. I know the plot os crawling, but it is good. I think we're all going to learn what happens next through the show! :) I think this show will move past the books this time.

  4. I've only been watching the show not reading the books but I agree with you as Ayra and Jon are my favourites too. I see lots of characters there that I don't know and I'm looking forward to meeting them. The Hound was my favourite secondary character and I'm still devastated that he is gone! I'm afraid to get too attached to anyone in this show now!

    1. Yes it's hard to get to attached to anyone as they may not make it! :) There are hints in the books that the Hound may still be alive, but I don't know fi the show will go that route or not...

  5. I do like Davos as well. He plays an interesting part so far in the series especially in relation to Stanis and Melisandre (she creeps me out!). I see Davos and Melisandre as the Angel and the Devil when it comes to giving Stanis advice. I really need to listen to book 4...maybe in 2015 if I can find the Roy Dotrice version.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

  6. So interesting for me, someone who's only watched the show. Melassande is a favorite of mine, I'm very curious about her. I do love Arya (and Massie) and I'm growing to love her sister (drawing a blank on her name right now).