In preparation for tonight’s second season premiere of the HBO drama, information pills I spent this weekend watching the intriguingly-sophisticated first season of Game of Thrones .
Unlike many programs on television today, Thrones has shown an undeniable willingness to eliminate main characters. With that in mind, I’ve created a list of the five best characters on the show. Note: I only included characters that survived to make it to the program’s sophomore season. Many of them might not make it to the third but in the meantime, it will be fun to watch these characters battle for power in Westeros…
5.) Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
Cersei began the first season as the wife of the king and ended it as the mother of a new king. Throughout the first ten episodes, she has proven herself to be a manipulative, cold woman who is willing to kill to get what she wants. Her affair with her brother was discovered early by Eddard Stark’s son, Bran, and Cersei’s lover pushed him out of a tower because of it. Eddard Stark eventually realized the truth but things didn’t end well for him either after Cersei helped block his path to power. Cersei once said that “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground” and her actions in season one have proven that.
4.) Jon Snow (Kit Harrington)
Early on, Snow– Eddard Stark’s illegitimate son– was banished to keep watch over the wall, a barrier that protects the kingdom from many of the creatures and monsters that stand outside of it. A strong warrior, Snow has proven himself time and again. An outcast himself, he also befriended Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), a weak warrior with little inclination to fight or stand up for himself. Snow and Tarly’s alliance has helped protect both of them from death.
3.) Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
The winner of both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his performance, Dinklage has created a memorable character in his performance of Lannister. A wealthy man by blood, Lannister is treated like an outcast– even by some in his own family– because of his height. At times, this sexually-adventurous character can be cruel but at other times, he earns our sympathies. When he helped Bran get a horse that he could ride in his crippled state, it was hard to not feel gratitude for the charismatic charmer.
2.) Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley)
Catelyn Stark is one tough woman, arguably tougher than Cersei Lannister. While Cersei often lets others do her dirty work, Catelyn is all too willing to fight for her family’s honor. Believing that Tyrion pushed Bran out of a tower, she personally held him prisoner. Stark can be a warm mother– as established in her early scenes with Bran– but she can also be a tough adversary and I’m sure she will only become stronger as she seeks revenge for her husband’s murder.
1.) Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson)
King Joffrey is a character that you love to hate. A teenage J.R. Ewing, this tyrannical teen seized power at the end of season one. Yes, it’s often hard to hate youthful characters but Gleeson makes this character easy to loathe. Despite protestations from his mother and his future wife, he’s the one who ultimately decided to behead Eddard Stark. To make matters worse, he forced his future wife– Stark’s daughter– to look at her father’s head hanging from a stick within the castle walls. When she made a rude comment, the King said that he wasn’t going to hit her so he had his servant smack her instead.
I cannot wait for King Joffrey to be dethroned but in the meantime, his ruthless behavior will be fun to watch.
Let the Game of Thrones begin….