You've seen a lot of lists in your day, but this might take the cake: an absolutely and unquestionably 100% definitive ranking of the 10 best characters from HBO's Game of Thrones seasons one and two.
This list is based on months of scientific inquiry, taking into account factors such as a character's style, swagger, despicability, good-heartedness, and/or overall bad-assery.
With season three right around the corner (it premieres this Sunday, March 31), it's time to take your GOT knowledge to the next level. And there's no better place to start than right here:
1. Khal Drogo:
Photo Credit: Wallsave
Sure, he bit the dust awhile back. But in our short time with him, we learned three important things about Khal Drogo: 1. he's enormous and likes to growl a lot; 2. he has a glorious mane of hair; 3. don't f*ck with him: remember when he poured that bucket of molten gold on that guy's face? Doesn't get more badass than that. RIP, buddy.
2. Cersei Lannister:
Photo Credit: Fanpop
Few characters on TV are as ruthless as Cersei Lannister. It seems there's nothing she won't do to solidify power. Yet her cruelty hides an overlooked fact: she loves her family to death (maybe a little too much, now that I think about it — she's sleeping with her brother). This complex dynamic makes Cersei one of the show's most fascinating characters.
3. Robb Stark:
Photo Credit: Fashion Bookmark
This is the guy you root for: his dad gets beheaded by the king's asshole family, and what does he do? Rallies his homeboys, tools up, and goes to war. Not only that, he's actually kicking ass and taking names left and right. What's not to love about a kid this bold?
4. Lord Varys:
Photo Credit: Screened
Say anything, anywhere, to anyone, and within a few hours Varys will know about it. The term "a little bird told me" was basically invented by this guy. Yes, he is shady as hell. But his ability to survive various regimes and shifting loyalties speaks to how powerful he really is.
5. Tywin Lannister:
Photo Credit: Villains Wiki
This guy truly does not give a f*ck. He's old, tough, smart, and won't hesitate to stab you in the face if he you get in his way. In is spare time, he likes to dress and butcher deer carcasses with his bare hands. No wonder his family consists almost exclusively of sociopaths.
6. Joffrey Baratheon (Lannister):
Photo Credit: Banana Scoop
Speaking of sociopaths, what can I say about this piece of work that hasn't already been said? In my quarter century of life, I've never seen a character so passionately and unequivocally despised by viewers as Joffrey. His cruelty and sadism is unmatched, and he's just a kid. I'm looking forward to all the horrible things he'll get up to in season three.
7. Jon Snow:
Photo Credit: HBO
Misfit, outcast, hooker with a heart of gold (only he's not a hooker): these all describe Jon Snow to a tee. What's not to love about his courage, kindness, and dedication to protecting the Kingdom from all the crazy sh*t that goes on north of "the Wall?" Rarely has there been a more sympathetic character on TV, and we wish him only the best.
8. Daenerys Targaryen:
Photo Credit: Fondos de Juego de Tronos
In a way, Daenerys is the Tony Montana of the series. A true rags to riches story, she emerges from a troubled and abusive childhood to become a tough-as-nails desert queen with a gang of Road Warrior-style hooligans at her back. Also, she has dragons popping out of her orifices (literally). I, for one, look forward to the episode when Daenerys massacres everyone and takes over Westeros. Time will tell.
9. Arya Stark:
Photo Credit: HBO
Arya is absolutely impossible to dislike: she's quick, tough, brilliant, and completely adorable. Her ability to survive despite all odds is consistently applause-worthy. If anyone ultimately survives this bloody sh*tstorm that is Game of Thrones, I hope it's this kid.
10. Tyrion Lannister:
Photo Credit: Fanpop
You all knew this was coming. Tyrion, a.k.a. the "Half Man," is the GOT's little ray of sunshine (pun intended). His razor-sharp wit, peerless survivalism, and penchant for debauchery lend levity to what's otherwise a pretty grim state of affairs. Plus, he's by far the funniest and most endlessly quotable character. There's no reason not to root for this guy, even if his family is a bunch of deranged lunatics. And who puts that piece of sh*t Joffrey in his place better than Uncle Tyrion?