All 52 'Game of Thrones' Main Characters Ranked, Worst to Best

We judge all the characters who matter (or mattered)

“Game of Thrones” has a lot of characters. So many. If I had an unlimited amount of time, I’d rank every single person who ever had a speaking part. But even though I’m not supposed to leave my apartment for a while thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, there really just is not enough time in the day for that sort of madness. So, for now, we’ll have to settle for my extremely (not) serious rankings of all the folks that I consider the main characters across the HBO show’s eight seasons.

52. Viserys Targaryan

A total jackass, Viserys had maybe the best death in the whole series: having molten gold dumped on his head.

51. Rickon

Who? (I feel bad for this joke after season 6, but I’m going to leave it)

50. Robb Stark

The Red Wedding was a coming of age for viewers of the show. Rewatching those early seasons knowing that’s gonna happen exposes Robb for the lame dude he really is.

49. Stannis

Basically a stodgy, moralistic Southern Baptist minister. I’m from Alabama, so I was extremely not pulling for him.

48. Bran Stark

Failed to become pretty enough to be the new Jon Snow. And now he’s…..

47. Roose Bolton

He’s like the Count Dooku of this show, acting like he’s working for himself though he’s really just a pawn who probably will get his head cut off by young Darth Vader.

46. Daario

Was a hot blond dude, but now (after a casting change) is just a regularly attractive brown-haired dude who was banished from Dany’s bed because who cares about love anyway? If he shows up in season 8 I’ll bump him up much higher because he actually was pretty good.

45. Ned Stark

The Mark Twain of the show, giving his kids a bunch of advice that wasn’t actually useful before he got murdered. Wait, how did Mark Twain die? This analogy may not track all the way but whatever.

44. Joffrey

Oh man. Remember that time the cake was too dry and it made his eyes bug out and his face turn purple and he spit foamy red drool everywhere? Hilarious.

43. Shae

Did what she needed to survive, until it turned out doing what she needed to do to survive (hooking up with Tywin Lannister) got her killed.

42. Tommen

Not the most decisive king, either before or after he had sex. But he’s better than Joffrey, I guess.

41. Khal Drogo

Got fridged for the sake of Daenerys’ character arc. Beautiful.

40. Gendry

Melisandre put a leech on his penis one time. It feels like that’s all I should put here.

39. Theon

His post-castration redemption arc has been pretty good. Though he technically still hasn’t really actually done anything since escaping Winterfell with Sansa a million years ago.

38. Jorah Mormont

Really sad because he still can’t afford to buy Khaleesi’s love.

37. King Robert

Probably the most chill and carefree character on the show, drunk most of the time, yelling a lot even though he really didn’t have any problems. Well, until that time he drank too much and got killed by a boar.

36. Ramsey Bolton

Somehow the most horrific character on this whole horrifying show.

35. Catelyn Stark

Loses to the Lannisters both in the Game of Thrones and the Game of Angsty Overprotective Moms.

34. Talisa Stark

Every joke that comes to mind is far too reprehensible even for a “Game of Thrones” list, so I’m not going to put one here.

33. Sam

A huge nerd who predictably finds love in a house of somebody else’s daughter-wives.

31. Lord Commander Mormont

Died because Sam found love in a house of somebody else’s daughter-wives.

31. Ygritte

A marksman with a bow, loved Jon Snow, killed by a child. She was basically an audience surrogate.

30. Gilly

Doesn’t know anything except for all the stuff Sam doesn’t know how to do. Which is most things.

29. The High Sparrow

He tried pulling a huge awesome gambit, but ultimately he was not prepared for the Game as well as he thought, judging by how hard Cersei outplayed him.

28. Red Viper

His irascible lust distracted him from delivering the killing blow against the Mountain. He would be much, much higher on this list were it not for that glaring oversight.

27. The Hound

Killed the butcher’s boy, then spent several seasons saying lots of mean things before being left to die on a rock. And then he survived and taught me the word “whinging.”

26. Jaime Lannister

Can I make a joke about masturbating with your off hand? There’s nothing in our style guide about that. Anyway, where’s the scene where Jaime learned how to do that? It’s a skill he’ll need now that he has apparently broken up with his sister.

25. Jaqen H’ghar

Speaks in riddles, has many faces (and many bodies), and set Arya on the path to losing her eyesight even though he would have been burned alive if she hadn’t saved him. What a clown.

24. Tywin Lannister

Was killed by his hated dwarf son. Exactly what he deserved, though I had secretly hoped he would at some point just be nice to his kids.

23. Ellaria Sand

Committed one of the greatest and most upsetting murders on the whole show…with a kiss!

22. Tormund Giantsbane

Has a great name, murder in his heart and a huge beautiful red beard. Also he was in “The Fate of the Furious,” the latest movie in my favorite film franchise. What’s not to like?

21. Yara Greyjoy

Probably the character who is best at being a sibling. She hasn’t otherwise accomplished much (yet) but if Theon manages to save her this year it’ll be because Yara managed to pep talk him into being useful in season 6.

20. Jon Snow

Well, he’s dead. King of the dead ones. Definitely not coming back ever. No longer dead. Murdered a particularly irritating character. Won the Battle of the Bastards even though he tried as hard as he could to lose it. And now he’s banging his aunt. We have too many feelings about this guy.

19. Euron Greyjoy

We can’t help but appreciate the (no pun intended) joy with which Euron enacts his villainy. “I AM THE STORM!” Hahaha. The way he taunted Jaime about only having one hand in front of everyone was also pretty good.

18. Hodor

Shoulda been named “Meme.” (Another joke I feel about bad about after season 6. I moved him way up in compensation.)

17. Margaery Tyrell

Delightfully passive-aggressive toward Cersei all the time. Sure, she was killed horribly by Cersei because she made a classic “Game of Thrones” miscalculation — and I really should bump her down for that — but, nah, she was too much fun.

16. Brienne

Tall, kills a lot of men, is single and celibate, takes no crap from anyone and doesn’t play the game. A perfect counter to basically everything else on “Game of Thrones.”

15. Pycelle

Of all the dead people on “Game of Thrones,” Pycelle is the one I missed the most. His declaration that Joffrey was “the most noble child the gods ever put on this good Earth” at Tyrion’s trial is probably the funniest line in the whole series.

14. Tyrion Lannister

Thinks with his penis. Which is okay because his penis is so smart.

13. Varys

Slightly smarter than Tyrion because he doesn’t have a penis.

12. Melisandre

Lots of people think of Melisandre as the “sexy” main character, but she’s actually the “terrifying” main character. Remember that time she burned a child alive? That sucked. Now she suffers for it, finally, but she’ll probably be back to do something amazing. Still waiting, though.

11. Missandei

“All men must die. But we are not men.” Any questions?

10. Davos Seaworth

Easily the MVP of season 7.

9. Littlefinger

Probably the smartest character on the show, but uses all that brainpower for evil. And even though he was the smartest, he somehow managed to think he was even smarter than he actually was. Which is why he’s dead now lololol. But he was fun while he lasted.

8. Daenerys

Commits most of the best murders on the show, thanks to those dragons and her invulnerability to fire. And they’re usually justified. Big bonus points for that.

7. Arya Stark

Seemed extremely bad at the game in season 7 until it turned out she’s probably better than everyone else ever at it when she cut Littlefinger’s throat.

6. Olenna Tyrell

Makes a great joke about useless genitals, and constantly talks smack about everyone. And she got the absolute last word in her death sceneMy dream woman.

5. Qyburn

Qyburn is fascinating because we still really have no idea what his deal is. What does he want? What is he trying to accomplish? I have no idea! And I love it. Don’t mind Qyburn, he’s just over here doing insane and unethical scientific experiments that will surely have some kind of major impact.

4. Sansa Stark

It’s still crazy to me that people thought she was falling for Littlefinger’s bulls— in season 7. Sansa owns.

3. Bronn

Enters the show in the most “Game of Thrones” way possible: by stepping out of the background of a scene to kill a guy for Tyrion.

2. Grey Worm

Just the best. Sad because his life sucks. Badass who kills a lot of his problems. Communicates a lot without saying much. Grey Worm seems like the kind of tragic “Game of Thrones” character who is going to have a brief moment of triumph before getting slaughtered. I hope that triumph is really good.

1. Cersei

Yeah, she’s a terrible person, but she’s the product of a terrible father and terrible environment. And that shot of her sipping wine right after she blew up half the cast of “Game of Thrones” remains an all timer.

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