So during these awful two weeks with no new Game of Thrones to entertain us, I decided to write this up to help pass the time until June 1st. Last year, I listed the lovely ladies of the series. Criteria for this list:
- I'm only going to use characters from the show, not the books (sorry, Starr. No Blackfyre). This is so that those who have not read the books can know what we're talking about. However, I may reference events that the characters took part in from the books in order to flesh out their entries.
- I'm ranking characters by their reputation and skill at their peak. Therefore, characters that are dead or disabled can still be included.
Alright, let's get to it.
Honorable mentions, in no particular order: Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Qhorin Halfhand, Beric Dondarrion, Robert Baratheon, Jon Snow, Daario Naharis, Jaqen H'ghar, Khal Drogo, Tormund Giantsbane, Ygritte, Jorah Mormont, Yara Greyjoy.
10. Ser Loras Tyrell, The Knight of Flowers
Now, a lot of people will disagree with Loras being ranked dead last, but hear me out. The man is mainly a tourney knight, and his main area of expertise in said tourneys is jousting (in which he resorts to trickery in order to win). In the only melee we've witnessed him take part in, he was defeated soundly by Brienne. His redeeming moment and the reason he is in the Top 10 at all is his role in the Battle of the Blackwater, when he saved King's Landing from imminent defeat.
9. Thoros of Myr
Thoros has quite the reputation in Westeros, highlighted by his feats during the Siege of Pyke. During the battle, the Red Priest was first through the breach, with his flaming sword leading the way. This moment made him quite the legend, evident when Jaime referenced it as a moment he'd never forget. In addition, his healing abilities make him an invaluable ally. He was also known as a frequent melee champion, and has defeated the Hound in three different melees.
Brienne is considered by most to be a freak of nature, a man in a woman's body. She definitely uses that size and strength to her advantage, however, as we have seen numerous times. Our first time seeing Brienne she scored an underdog victory over Loras. Additionally, she has killed many male counterparts, including Baratheon and Stark soldiers. Most notable may be her victory over an escaped, albeit bound, Jaime.
7. Oberyn Martell, The Red Viper
Oberyn has the potential to be ranked higher than he is, as he is a very experienced and feared fighter. There is a reason he didn't hesitate to help Tyrion and challenge Gregor Clegane. At 16, he fought and defeated Lord Edgar Yronwood. While both men were wounded, Lord Edgar's became infected while Oberyn's healed. He was accused of using poison, which led to his nickname. Oberyn also defeated Loras' brother Willas in a tourney. He no doubt plans to use his fighting experience to exact his revenge against the Lannisters.
6. Syrio Forel, The First Sword of Braavos
Syrio might be ranked a little too high here, but I have a soft spot for him. The Braavosi has a reputation in his home country for his skill with a blade. His fighting style is infinitely more fluid than that used by the Westerosi natives, leading to him being effective without the use of armor. His swan song came during the massacre of House Stark in King's Landing, when he defeated (killed in the book) five Lannister guardsmen that came for Arya using only a wooden training sword. It is believed that he was killed soon after this by Ser Meryn Trant, though there is some evidence that says otherwise.
5. Ser Bronn of the Blackwater
A fan favorite, this rogue sellsword is known for his dirty yet effective tactics. While sometimes frowned upon, Bronn truly couldn't care less. His style has helped him more times than he can (probably) count. Tyrion is no doubt thankful for his trickery, considering it saved his skin from Lysa Arryn's wrath at the Eyrie. Additionally, his feats during the Battle of the Blackwater earned him his title and he was Tyrion's second choice to stand for him against the Mountain.
4. Sandor Clegane, The Hound
The younger Clegane brother is one of the most feared men in the Seven Kingdoms, and for good reason. The man just loves killing. Outside of tourneys, the Hound has never tasted defeat, unless his face-to-the-fire incident is considered. Sandor has not only fought in countless bouts and killed even more men, but he was Joffrey Baratheon's first choice to replace the legendary Barristan Selmy. He does, however, have on weakness: fire. This weakness cost him his position and essentially his freedom, as he is currently being hunted for his desertion.
3. Ser Gregor Clegane, The Mountain That Rides
Ser Gregor Clegane is a freak of a man. Nearly eight feet tall and over 400 pounds of pure muscle, the Mountain is the most physically imposing man in the Seven Kingdoms. While he is not particularly known for his technique, that doesn't truly matter considering he can wield a greatsword with only one hand. Clegane is Tywin Lannister's first choice when he needs lands pillaged or a riot put down. Skilled in every knightly art, the Mountain is a tourney mainstay and a favorite more often than not. His fearsome reputation is enough to scare off enough that isn't a Dornish badass or his brother.
2. Ser Jaime Lannister, The Kingslayer
Jaime Lannister is a prodigy. At 13, he won his first melee. At 15, he helped put down the Kingswood Brotherhood and squared off against the Smiling Knight, and was knighted following the battle. A month later, he was inducted into the Kingsguard, the youngest knight to ever have the honor. An extremely skilled swordsman, Jaime relished battle and didn't fear death. Though his most notable kill came against a defenseless king, his perceived lack of honor doesn't stop men from fearing him. While he was defeated by Robb Stark in battle, he was able to cut down many men as he tried to make his way towards the Young Wolf. However, since the loss of his sword hand Jaime has become less intimidating to some.
1. Ser Barristan Selmy, The Bold
Jaime once said that there were three men in Westeros who might be able to best him, and Ser Barristan Selmy is most likely at the top of that short list. The man is a legend and one of the most respected people in the Seven Kingdoms. In the aforementioned fight against the Kingswood Brotherhood, Barristan killed their leader Simon Toyne in single combat. This is just one of his battlefield accomplishments. Barristan was also a perennial top finisher in tourney throughout his life, entering his first one at ten years old. During Robert's Rebellion, Barristan fought valiantly and was nearly killed during the Battle of the Trident. Despite his wounds, the gifted knight survived and Robert had so much respect for him that he pardoned him and welcomed him into his own Kingsguard. So great was his skill with a blade that he showed no hesitation when facing off against five of his fellow Kingsguard the day he was dismissed. Since that day, Barristan has re-devoted himself to the Targaryen cause and has become one of Daenerys' most trusted advisers.
So there it is, at least in my eyes. I'm looking forward to what everyone else thinks and how differently people rank these. To the comments!