game of thrones has some of the most complex characters in television history. It’s hard to apply absolute labels like good and evil to most of its actors. There are too many shades of gray in game of thrones, but some characters are much more likable than others. They are noble, kind, competent and have many other positive traits.
That doesn’t make these characters perfect. Even the most benevolent and sympathetic game of thrones the characters have their flaws. There are plenty of times when otherwise wise, sane, and well-meaning characters do the wrong thing. They could cross a moral boundary, make the worst decision possible, or bring disaster to themselves and their allies.
10/10 Brienne abandoned Sansa to kill Stannis Baratheon
Season 5, Episode 10: “Mother’s Mercy”
Brienne of Tarth turns out to be one of the game of thrones‘ the most loyal and honorable characters time and time again. However, there is a moment when she forfeits her duty to follow a personal vendetta. In season 5, Brienne follows Sansa Stark to Winterfell and agrees to help her escape.
Brienne is distracted by Stannis Baratheon’s attack on the castle. She’s not there to answer when Sansa escapes. Brienne instead tracks down Stannis to kill him after the battle. Rather than help Catelyn Stark’s children, as she swore, she kills a wounded and beaten man during an old blood feud.
9/10 Jaime Lannister returned to Cersei
Season 8, Episode 4: “The Last of the Starks”
Jaime Lannister has some of game of thrones‘ most nuanced character development. He goes from one of the series’ most despicable – albeit charismatic – villains to a true hero. He becomes the voice of reason and compassion among the Lannisters. After years, following the Battle of Winterfell, he finally confesses his feelings for Brienne of Tarth
Later in this very episode, however, Jaime reverses all of his growth. He breaks Brienne’s heart while fleeing Winterfell. He heads to King’s Landing so he can save Cersei’s life, choosing her despite his rejection of her several episodes before. All this allows him to die by his side.
8/10 Theon Greyjoy betrayed the North
Season 2, Episode 3: “What’s Dead Can Never Die”
Theon Greyjoy begins the show as an ally of the Starks. He’s not the friendliest member of their faction, but his humor and brotherly relationship with Robb Stark endear him to some fans. In Season 2, her character takes a harsh turn toward villainy. He sides with his family in their plan to attack the North.
Theon goes one step further and leads a personal assault on Winterfell. This leads to immense conflict for the Starks, all of the North, and even himself. This is when he ceases to be a likeable character. It took seasons of horrific treatment for many fans to forgive “Reek.”
7/10 Renly Baratheon ditched Ned Stark
Season 1, Episode 7: “You Win or You Die”
Renly Baratheon is one of the most sympathetic suitors in the War of the Five Kings. Although he is ambitious and involved, he is also generous, charismatic and one of the most reasonable would-be kings. He displays many of these traits in Season 1, but has a moment that shows his less likable side.
After Robert Baratheon’s death, Renly appears to align himself with Ned Stark and Petyr Baelish to oppose Cersei. However, when Ned refuses to go through with his plan to seize the throne, Renly leaves King’s Landing. This leaves Ned with only his own men when the City Watch betrays him. The rest of game of thronesTragic events occur because of this single decision.
6/10 Daenerys Targaryen has decided to take over the world
Season 8, Episode 6: “The Iron Throne”
Daenerys Targaryen is one of game of thrones‘ main characters from its first episode to its last season. Its own story arc commands a huge amount of screen time. In eight seasons, she has established herself as one of the most sympathetic and emblematic characters of the series. In the final episodes of Season 8, however, she takes a difficult turn.
Daenerys massacres thousands of civilians in the fifth episode “The Bells”. She ignores a surrender to continue putting King’s Landing under the torch. In the next episode, Daenerys announces her intention to keep fighting until she frees the rest of the world. Her plans to start a global, indiscriminate war turn her into a villain in her own right in the eyes of many.
5/10 The dog and Brienne fought for Arya
Season 4, Episode 10: “The Children”
While Brienne de Tarth starts the friendly show, the Bloodhound must work to get there. Several seasons of his softer interactions with Sansa and Arya Stark have many viewers warming up. In the Season 4 finale, Arya and the Hound come face-to-face with Brienne and Podrick.
Although they don’t realize it, the Hound and Brienne have the same goal. They want to protect Arya. However, they fail to communicate and end up in a fight. While it’s a great fight, it’s far from either character’s proudest moment. The Hound almost dies and Arya walks away from Brienne.
4/10 The children of the forest created the white walkers
Season 6, Episode 5: “The Door”
As the children of the forest enter game of thrones‘ narrative, they are a waning force. Audiences encounter them as a dying race who are nonetheless dedicated to helping Bran and fighting the White Walkers. As such, they’re likable characters in Bran’s storyline, but they have dark pasts.
Bran sees a vision thousands of years in the past, during the war of the children against the first men. Outnumbered and threatened with extinction, the children of the forest unleash a horrific weapon. They turn the First Men into White Walkers. It is a desperate gesture, and one which threatens twice all life in the world.
3/10 Stannis Baratheon sacrificed his own daughter Shireen
Season 5, Episode 9: Dance of the Dragons
Stannis Baratheon is one of the most rigid and uncompromising contenders in the War of the Five Kings. That said, his determination, flat humor, and sheer skill endear him to many fans. It then has a stunning fall from grace in its final episodes. After encountering difficulties in his northern campaign, Stannis makes a terrible decision: he agrees to let Melisandre burn Shireen alive.
The Lord of Light rewards the sacrifice and the snow clears. Most of Stannis’ army abandons him for killing his own daughter. Many viewers agree with them. Shireen’s death is one of the most infamous moments in game of thrones. For many, it’s when Stannis loses all sympathy.
2/10 Tyrion Lannister thought Cersei would keep his word
Season 7, Episode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf
The last episode of season 7 deals with the negotiations between the two parties. Cersei Lannister wants to continue the war, but the North-Targaryen alliance wants to negotiate a truce. They manage to negotiate an outright alliance against the White Walkers when Tyrion speaks to Cersei personally.
Tyrion swears to his allies that Cersei will support them. However, she reveals to Jaime moments later that she is lying. Tyrion, usually a capable, smart, and likeable character, falls for the most obvious lie imaginable.
1/10 Tommen Baratheon on the sparrow side
Season 6, Episode 6: “Blood of My Blood”
Tommen Baratheon is one of the friendliest members of the Lannister faction of all game of thrones. He’s basically a good, kind boy who comes from a terrible family. However, he is a weak king, which leads him to make a particularly disastrous decision.
The political situation in King’s Landing spins out of control as the sparrows gain more and more power. Rather than oppose them, Tommen gives in. He sides with the sparrows and lets the religious fundamentalists take control of the city.
NEXT: 10 Game Of Thrones Characters Who Should Have Been Resurrected Instead Of Jon Snow