Following on from my previous ranking of the 5 Worst Game of Thrones Characters, I decided to be a bit more positive.
Just to clarify, this list doesn’t necessarily mean the best as in good guy characters or even my favourites. I decided to set my criteria by four key points; depth of character, quality of acting, true to book character or expansion of source material and consistency across the show. So without further ado, let’s jump in! (Spoilers may follow)
5) Olenna Tyrell
Olenna Tyrell, played by the iconic Diana Rigg, is one of the few characters I prefer in the TV show than the books. However it is such a perfect casting as the same time. To me, show Olenna perfectly embodies the sass, wit and cunning of her book counterpart but this is even more expanded upon in the show. When combined with Diana Rigg’s convincing portrayal of the sharpness and sarcasm that Olenna Tyrell has, I cannot fault her. She was such an enjoyable character to watch right up to the end!
4) The Hound
With characters like The Hound/Sandor Clegane, the actor must be perfect and thankfully GOT nailed it with the casting of Rory McCann. In fact the only ‘flaw’ I can find is that the burns were flipped sides from those of the original book character’s. Rory McCann portrays Clegane to such perfection from the mannerisms and adapting pivotal book moments to the small screen. Unlike many characters on the show, The Hound has been a consistent character from the start from motivation and keeping in tone with the source material. In fact, McCann’s portrayal is almost exactly identical to what readers would have imagined the formidable Sandor Clegane to look and act like. But please, let the man have his chicken!
3) Joffrey Baratheon
This is what I meant by not necessarily a ‘good’ character. But in all seriousness, Jack Gleeson’s version of the universally despised Joffrey Baratheon is now iconic. To portray a despicable character cannot be an easy job, but Jack Gleeson did it so well that every scene featuring Joffrey made your skin crawl! We all remember how the vast cheers of joy cried out when his time on the show was up. Joffrey is another example of a character I preferred on the show to the books. To me, Joffrey had much more of a presence on the show and was arguably even worse. Jack Gleesons’ villainous portrayal ran consistently across his course on the show.
2) Tywin Lannister
Another classic case of the perfect actor for the role! With the casting of the brilliant Charles Dance, the show’s version of Tywin Lannister evoked a sense of dread and unease which could be felt when reading George R. R. Martin’s literary works. Dance’s effortless stern appearance was perfect for the seriousness of Tywin Lannister on the show whilst still maintaining a degree of likeability. Although some physical differences are present to the source material, I found the show’s version of Tywin Lannister to generally match the book’s version spotlessly. Tywin also maintained a sense of true to type across his course on the show.
1) Cersei Lannister
Could there be anyone else for the top spot? Lena Heady’s portrayal of Cersei has been captivating and entertaining from the very start and right up to the end. Unlike some of the other more villainous characters who perhaps are not so layered, we can understand Cersei’s motivations and why she does was she does. Lena Heady perfectly encapsulates the pure sass, bitch faces and cunning that book readers can vividly imagine Cersei having. Us as an audience can understand that Cersei isn’t pure evil, but is a woman who has struggled and ultimately lost everything to seek the power she craves. Across the show, it is obvious that Cersei has constantly fought the oppression from her father, Tywin Lannister and husband, Robert Baratheon. Lena Heady’s version of Cersei is fairly true to book but there have certainly been minor character changes across its time.
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See my previous blog on ‘5 Worst Game of Thrones Characters’ here: https://hollyghammond.com/2018/05/08/5-worst-game-of-thrones-characters/