ASoIaF Characters aren’t your typical epic fantasy material! The good and the evil, the wicked and the gallant, handsome lords, beautiful ladies and monsters beyond count. Oh, but you’ll get your monsters and your gallantry, it’s the source of it that will come as a surprise! Every A Song of Ice and Fire character is nothing if not grey, real, timeless and oh-so-very, very mortal. Some, we hate with all of our hearts, others, we love more than any fictional character deserves and it’s these latter I’m going to share with you today. Do we have something in common, fellow readers? Well, let’s take a look! These are my favorite A Song of Ice and Fire characters…what are yours?
1. Tyrion Lannister
Absolutely. Freaking. Brilliant. And I swear to you – if anything happens to the Imp, I’m going to use my books as kindling! Fan –related frustrations aside, this Lion of Lannister is, without a doubt, one of the most popular, most loved ASoIaF characters. He’s super-smart yet gets no credit for it, more honorable than half of the other characters, witty, cunning and brave. And yet, everyone love to hate poor Tyrion! His quips got me laughing out loud, his fate had me cursing the writer for not making Westeros a happier, fairer place and yes, I’m nursing quite a bit of my own theories while waiting for the Winds of Winter, as I’m sure you do, too.
2. Arya Stark
The little she-wolf of Winterfell is not only my favorite Stark but the only Stark I actually find likeable, not to mention capable of doing more than causing a great deal of trouble. She might be one of the younger Stark children but she handles the shock of war better than anyone else, proving that her father’s wisdom about the lone wolf might not be entirely true in her case!
3. Sandor Clegane
A knight who isn’t really a knight, a deeply troubled, both physically and emotionally scarred individual who, by all rules of epic fantasy, should be the biggest monster of all yet proves the opposite – Sandor Clegane a.k.a The Hound is one of very few A Song of Ice and Fire characters I came to root for despite the fact that he’s not one of the major characters. I loved his exchange with Arya, found it funny that, of all gallant knights in Westeros, his unknightly self turned out to be the one to save the lives of both Stark girls and can’t wait to see what happens next, hoping that, whatever it is, Clegane has a role to play.
4. Samwell Tarly
But no epic fantasy would be complete without a devoted sidekick named Sam! And there we have him, ladies and gents and I must say – As much as I love Tolkien, GRRM did a much better job! Sam’s story is not a happy one, his road is not the one fat, little, overprotected lordlings would like to find themselves on, yet he clambers on dutifully; a self proclaimed craven doing more than most braver men couldn’t or wouldn’t.
5. Cersei Lannister
Uh-oh! How can anyone like the evil queen, you wonder? Well, let me just say that Cersei might not be the first ASoIaF character I’ve grown to love over time but she certainly is the only character I came to understand and even pity to the point where I’m not sure I’d like her to have a horrible ending she probably deserved. A rough and calloused thing she may be, rotten to the core and then some but she is the product of her society, choices others made in her part and the choices she hadn’t been allowed to make.
6. Jaime Lannister
Yes, half of my fave A Song of Ice and Fire characters are Lannisters! And while I absolutely fell in love with Tyrion pretty much instantly, it wasn’t until the after-Riverrun events that made me realize the Lannister brothers share way more than a mother. Jaime may lack Imp’s book knowledge and that low cunning Tyrion had to make do with due to the lack of physical strength and fighting skill, but his mind is just as sharp and his quips just as funny. From his attachment issues to his struggle to embrace and both fight off new-found conscience and honor - everything about his character development is absolutely brilliant!
7. Brienne of Tarth
Super-emotional under all those layers of chainmail and boiled leather, smarter than most would give her credit for and more honorable than half the knights in Westeros – Brienne of Tarth really is too good to be true! Yes, ladies and gents, the only honorable, truly true knight in all Seven Kingdoms happens to be a woman. And pray excuse, I’m not talking about that annoying, holier-than-thou, we do our own beheadings and whatnot, Ned Stark type of honor – Brienne is genuinely sweet, a bit naïve for sure but a fast learner nevertheless.
Your turn, my fellow Westerosi! Which ASoIaF character do you love the most and why?