Here we are, week two of our quest to see who is the deadliest warrior in all of Game of Thrones, and we’re starting to see some actual warriors emerge. Like real in their prime soldiers and assassins…kinda. Admittedly we’re still in pretty low on this list, but many of these people have a considerable bodycount behind them. So, much like last week, join us on our journey to discover who is the baddest man, woman or child in all of Westeros:
Dishonorable Mention: Renly Baratheon
Like Ser Dontos, the man who would be king misses this list entirely because he never actually killed anyone. Oh his silly play at the throne got plenty of people killed, but there just isn’t enough data in the show to gather exactly how useful he would be in a fight. I would probably put him in the same ballpark as Edmure Tully – a guy who has been trained to fight but has no real talent for it. Alas, he wouldn’t stand a chance on a real battlefield, and he wasn’t a strong enough tactician to think he would have made it very far into the progression of history.
- Mance Rayder
The King Beyond the wall is another guy who gets by on reputation, as he doesn’t get a lot of in-battle screen time, but is a respected military leader of a group famed for their fearsome warriors. The Stories of Mance mostly revolve around his intellect and his guile, such as scaling the wall to woo noble women for fun, but he was the first person to unite the various warring tribes of the Wildlings. That’s got to be worth something. I’m sure that something is angry comments below this piece, but given his time with the Watch, his leadership of the Wildlings and the age that he has lived to, the dude had to be a fairly badass warrior at some point.
Another brother from the Night’s Watch with little in the way of battle experience, Grenn gets the edge over Rast in the strength and heart categories. He’s proven to be braver and stronger than many of his brothers, and nothing proves that better than his willing sacrifice to fell a literal giant during the battle of the wall. Inspiring the men who ventured into the tunnels with him to fend off the ravaging beast before them, Grenn led a company of Crows in the slaying of one of the final living giants at the cost of his life. He’s no great fighter, but his courage and resolve do prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
- Karl Tanner
Now we’re getting into the territory of fighter, although not ones with particularly impressive prowess. Karl is yet another scummy brother of the Night’s Watch, who led the mutiny at Craster’s Keep, killing both the head of the household and Lord Commander Jeor Mormont in the process. In the ensuing battles, Karl showed that he had a few tricks up his sleeve, and some skill with his daggers. That being said, he was fairly easily dispatched by Jon when it came down to one on one combat. Karl’s not the dude to mess with, but there are certainly others who would prove a greater threat.
Man, a lot of Night’s Watch guys are ending up in this section of the list. A sort of “recruiter for the Watch,” Yoren was one of the few “good” people who were willing to stand up for what’s right – a fact illuminated by both his tragic backstory and battle prowess against the Lannister scouts looking for Gendry on the road to the wall. Even with a crossbow bolt in his shoulder, the man wrecked several fully armored Lannister guards before being taken down by a group of well trained and well armed soldiers. Dude went out like he lived – a stalwart badass unafraid to do what he thought was right. I mean it got him killed, but that sort of comes with the territory in Westeros.
- Jory Cassell
As the captain of the Stark household guard, Jory was a fairly celebrated fighter without a formal title. While he does more in the books, the most we see of his battle prowess in the show is his quick defeat of several Lannister men when he and Ned were accosted by Jamie and crew on the streets of Kings Landing. He took out a number of Lannister guard and bravely stepped to the Kingslayer himself….who quickly parried his strike and drove a dagger into Jory’s eye. Not great, but he’s another brave, trained soldier – and one trusted by a strong man like Ned Stark, which will give him some leeway above those below him on the list.
- The Lord of Bones
AKA Rattleshirt. AKA the Skullmaster. AKA Big Colorado. AKA Lawrence Front. AKA Crappy Halloween Costume McGee. The Lord of Bones is a guy who’s on this list more for reputation than anything he did in the show. The Wildlings only respect strength, and dude was a mildly successful leader of the free folk, which means dude has seen some s--t. It’s slightly controversial to put him this high on the list, since his on-screen credits effectively boil down to captured Qhorin Halfhand and Jon, disappeared for a few seasons, then was beaten to death by Tormund Giantsbane. But I’m going to throw him a bone on this one, because he berserker among berserkers, and has gained their respect for it.
- Thoros of Myr
He may have a flaming sword and resurrect the dead, but Thoros of Myr has done little to engender confidence in his abilities in battle. Sure the Brotherhood without Banners has been a fairly successful bandit troop, but the sum total of his onscreen combat has been against random Wights. He lands ahead of Pod based on being an actual warrior, but he just hasn’t showed enough for us to place him ahead of anyone else on this list. He’s more style than substance, and that keeps him pretty low on this list.
Anguy the archer showed some pretty miraculous skills with a bow during his time with the Brotherhood without banners, and so it’s not hard to believe he’s got a pretty significant bodycount. That all being said, he deems like he’d probably get mowed down in close quarters, so he can’t make it much higher on this list.
- Tyene Sand
The youngest Sand Snake is the least skilled in battle, but she’s not really a pushover. See how she and her sisters handle the Dornish guards during their coup and you can gain a sense of what kind of warrior Tyene is. She’s a cunning fighter, something that hasn’t really paid off well in this list so far, but given the warrior culture of Dorne and her alluring beauty, I could easily see her sending a lot of the folks below her on this list to the silent sisters. Still, it’s not like she’s winning a sword fight with the Mountain or anything – something, sadly, that runs in the family.
- Dolores Edd Tollet
Perhaps the most useful member of the Night’s Watch not named Jon or Sam, Edd is a loyal brother in black, and a good man to have in a fight. Never one to cut and run, even going back into the fray in Hardhome at Jon’s request. Still, Edd’s a good hand, but not a trained warrior. He’s shined in fights with Wights and Wildlings, but never revealed himself to be a particularly fearsome warrior. Still, he’s clever, and quick – sort of a lesser Bronn in many ways. It’ll get him this far, but I think it would be hard to place him any higher.
And that’s all for this week. Be sure to check back next Friday for the next installment featuring the (mildly) more effective warriors of Westeros.