Game of Thrones: Who is the real villain?

gorfias

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I'm watching youtube videos about the details of this fascinating world/universe. The narrator tells us Joffrey and Lannisters are NOT the real villain. That is someone else.

I can't find another video that tells me who that is. As a guess, I'll write, whatever power is behind the whites. (The Stranger? I don't think so. Didn't the Stranger save Sam from the whites?)

Your opinions?
 

Eamar

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Quick question: have you read the books or just watched the TV show?

I'm more of a books fan and I'm pretty certain there's no "real" villain. GRRM has gone out of his way to make everyone at least partly sympathetic, and if not sympathetic then in some way understandable. I have a feeling that we might all end up with our own idea of who the "villain" is come series' end, but there'll be a lot of disagreement and it'll depend on which other characters you like/support.

Honestly, I'm not even convinced the White Walkers will turn out to be the evil they've been built up to be. GRRM has left me so paranoid and wary that I'm reluctant to call anyone/anything good or evil, no matter how "obvious" it seems right now.

For the TV show though, I guess there might be a bit of pressure to provide a clear villain. I don't really know how that stuff works.
 

Xeorm

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Well, I really wouldn't call Joffrey or the Lannisters the villains. They're jerks, and aside from Tywin and Tyrion they're pretty incompetent, but that doesn't make them villains.

The real villains I would think are either the white walkers or the sun god and his followers. My guess would be on the white walkers, but its' not like he's been terribly predictable so far, so I'd put the sun god being the villain as a longshot.
 

Silvanus

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(Note: Book-reader here)

By the Stranger, do you mean the deity? The aspect of the Westerosi "Seven Gods"? If so, there's no indication that The Stranger is the force behind the reanimated Wights.

I suppose who you see as the villain is fairly subjective. Seeing Joffrey, Tywin and the Lannisters as such wouldn't be unreasonable at all, IMO. The story of A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't really follow the traditional "Goodie-baddy" recipe, though. Almost everything is a shade of grey, and there are a huge number of factions, meaning that not everybody agrees on who the protagonists/good guys are. In fact, a significant number of readers consider a figure to be an antagonist who many others consider the protagonist.

I would be tempted to give Littlefinger the "biggest villain" award, or perhaps the Others (called 'White Walkers' in the show). Other, slightly smaller possibilities to me are Lord Bolton or Euron Greyjoy, but I'm still leaning towards Littlefinger or the Others.
 

Genocidicles

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Book spoilers:

The White Walkers seem to be the biggest threat for the world, but among the noble houses I would say it's Littlefinger.

He's almost singlehandedly responsible for everything that's gone down: The Murder of Jon Arryn, Catelyn's mistrust of the Lannisters, the betrayal of Ned Stark, the Tyrell/Lannister Alliance and while he isn't 100% responsible for the war of the five kings, he used it to maneuver himself to becoming one of the most powerful lords in the realm, and he's not stopping there. So I mean if it's anyone, It's probably him.

But of course, that's ignoring the much larger conspiracy afoot, barely even hinted at within the books. The secret identity of The Great Other, the opposite of the Lord of Light and ruler of the White Walkers:

Are you sure you want to know?
Seriously, I'm warning you. This is some deep stuff.
The Great Other is...
Hot-Pie.

 

Tom_green_day

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Let's be the devil's advocate and suggest that, as someone who has read multiple books and watched all the TV series, George R R Martin is the real villain.
 

Loonyyy

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Eamar said:
Quick question: have you read the books or just watched the TV show?

I'm more of a books fan and I'm pretty certain there's no "real" villain. GRRM has gone out of his way to make everyone at least partly sympathetic, and if not sympathetic then in some way understandable. I have a feeling that we might all end up with our own idea of who the "villain" is come series' end, but there'll be a lot of disagreement and it'll depend on which other characters you like/support.

Honestly, I'm not even convinced the White Walkers will turn out to be the evil they've been built up to be. GRRM has left me so paranoid and wary that I'm reluctant to call anyone/anything good or evil, no matter how "obvious" it seems right now.

For the TV show though, I guess there might be a bit of pressure to provide a clear villain. I don't really know how that stuff works.
I have a feeling the White Walkers will end up as more of a "Force of Nature" type thing. It's been running as a ticking time bomb for the entire series. I'm just hoping that the solution doesn't end up being something trite to do with Bran's adventures North.
 

Eamar

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Loonyyy said:
I have a feeling the White Walkers will end up as more of a "Force of Nature" type thing. It's been running as a ticking time bomb for the entire series.
Yeah, I can definitely see that. Whatever happens, I think there's definitely a lot more to them than just "terrifying villains," and I'm pretty much convinced there's not actually going to be a "good" and an "evil" side in the whole Walkers vs Red God, Ice vs Fire thing. If anything, I'm much less inclined to side with Melisandre/R'hollor than with whatever's beyond the Wall. I've had a bad feeling about R'hollor from the outset.

I'm just hoping that the solution doesn't end up being something trite to do with Bran's adventures North.
Oh god, don't get me started on Bran's story. I'm completely freaked out by that whole storyline. Not everyone agrees with me, but as soon as they got to that tree I just had this immediate sense of "something is horribly, horribly wrong here." So yeah, if it does turn out in any way trite I am going to be bitterly disappointed!
 

BloatedGuppy

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On a micro level? There's a veritable panoply of villains to choose from, both great and small, and a good selection of anti-heroes as well. Most prominent through the series are the likes of Tywin and Cersei Lannister, Roose and Ramsay Bolton, Gregor Clegane and Vargo Hoat, the Ironborn, or any of the various peoples of Essos that Daenerys steamrolls. If you're feeling a bit more next level, there's also room to read Daenerys herself as a budding villain.

On a macro level it's either The Other/The Stranger/The Dark or R'hollor/The Lord of Light. The obvious reading is that Goodie Dany will return triumphant on dragonback to beat back the encroaching horrors from beyond the wall. Less obvious readings might point to Dany being insane, the dragons going feral, and the Starks' warging abilities being crucial.

None of it will matter if the perverted old coot who writes the books doesn't stop ogling the cast of the television show and actually finish his story. If we have to rely on Benioff and Weiss to finish the narrative it's probably going to be cheesy crap and thus not really worth speculating about.
 

Artemis923

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There ARE no villains in Westeros...at least, not human ones.

The only villains in the books are the Others. -_-
 

WarpedLord

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As far as the point we're at in the books... I'd say Petyr. Not going to elaborate why, since I'm too lazy for spoiler tags.
 

RandV80

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Going only by information from the show, watch the Old Bear's speech to Jon Snow at the end of season of season 1, episode 10 again. Also note that in the vision Dany house in season 2 when she's in the house of the undying, she sees the iron throne room in ruins. Will that actually happen? I don't know, but because they called the show series A Game of Thrones after the name of the first book, when the book series is actually titled A Song of Ice and Fire, everyone seems to be overly caught up on 'who's going to win the Iron Throne?' in the end. Again, listen to Old Bear Mormont!
 

debtcollector

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As another book fan (albeit one who hasn't read them in a while), the Others are the obvious "over-threat"--as an elemental force that can only be killed by very specific means, that stands poised to take the Seven Kingdoms in the depths of winter, obviously all political dealings are moot before them.

Beyond them, Melisandre, the Red Woman, strikes me as an idealist who will cause a colossal mess because of her own mistakes--specifically, she's one of the few who wields true power, but is ultimately misguided in her goals. The hero she chose, Stannis Baratheon, is a false hero with no god's blessing, and either she knows this and is setting him up, or she doesn't and she will fuck everything up.

Euron Greyjoy also seems very sinister. I don't think he's done much yet, but he is connected in some way to fallen Valyria, and he was implicated by a red priest to be incredibly threatening to the peace of the world.

Littlefinger is like the Frank Underwood of ASOIAF, because every character constantly underestimates him while he schemes everyone's life away. That said, I don't think he will suddenly become the archvillain in the last few books.

Roose Bolton (and his bastard) is a massive dick and deserves to die, but that's all he is.

The Red God seems to be the only source of power in this world, but I don't think Georgie's gonna pull a Final Fantasy and send Arya, Jon, Bran, Tyrion, and Dany to go kill him. That would be silly.

TL;DR: My money's on Euron Greyjoy causing the most damage in the next few books, with Melisandre finally falling from grace and becoming a straight-up villainess.
 

Zac Jovanovic

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Why does that have to be a villain? And what defines a villain?

One man's villain is another man's hero.

Not every piece of fiction has to follow the typical hero vs villain cookie cutter set up.
 

GonzoGamer

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That's why I love this series.
They're all a little villainous and a little heroic in their own way.
 

Nimzabaat

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So no one else thinks that it's Hodor? Kind of a Keyser Söze deal? Anybody? The end of the series everyone is dead and he looks into the camera and smiles "Hodor". Fade to black.

Off-Topic: Does anybody else get the feeling that, in the book, Thoros of Myr and Melisandre would not be nearly as friendly as they appear in the TV show? In the books Thoros seems to be a "good guy" so to speak. While Melisandre only appears less "evil" than Joffre simply because his level of "evil" is to pedestrian for her. She appears to be perverting the idea of the Lord of Light in the same way the Catholic church perverted the idea of god to allow the crusades. While Thoros seems to be an actual believer (not to mention being able to bring back the dead). They both have great power but it appears to come from completely opposite sources. In the TV series they simplified those characters quite a bit in my opinion.
 

Radeonx

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There isn't one. Just like there isn't really a real hero, except for maybe John or Arya, and even then, I wouldn't consider them heroes.

That's kind of the point of the character set ups, where everyone is flawed enough and everyone's morals are either in a grey area to begin with or twisted that way by events.
 

psijac

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From a libertarian point of view the throne itself is the greatest enemy of the people.http://youtu.be/NLxly9h4ETQ
 

TheHeinousAnus

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There is no villain. I think that is the biggest mystery surrounding Game of Thrones. It casts such a wide range of characters that yes that character may have enemies and yes Starks may go against Lannisters but in the end, there is no one person that is a stereotypical villain in my opinion. There is just rivalry and plans to take the Iron Throne.