Game of Thrones: Who is the real villain?

BloatedGuppy

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Stryc9 said:
Pretty much this. I'm most of the way through Storm of Swords right now and the bit where she does the leeches in the fire thing are two totally different events in the book and the show.

In the show she acts all too willing to do it and in the book she warns Stannis that it won't have the desired effect. In the books she has her limits as to what she's willing to do and genuinely believes that what she is doing is right. When I'm reading the books I'm also more aware that she and Thoros are essentially trying to accomplish the same thing and Thoros isn't exactly that bad of a guy.
The show has bungled both Stannis and Melisandre quite badly. Both are coming off very odd compared to their book counterparts.

Stryc9 said:
Going strictly on the events in the show and what he does to Theon, he's kind of my hero. I've hated Theon since I started watching the show, the books don't improve him any either.
Yeahhhhhh wait for ADWD then revisit this position. =\

Ramsay Bolton is one of the more unsettling/upsetting characters in fantasy fiction.
 

Eamar

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Stryc9 said:
Pretty much this. I'm most of the way through Storm of Swords right now and the bit where she does the leeches in the fire thing are two totally different events in the book and the show.

In the show she acts all too willing to do it and in the book she warns Stannis that it won't have the desired effect. In the books she has her limits as to what she's willing to do and genuinely believes that what she is doing is right.
What limits? I've read all of the books and I have trouble remembering exactly what happens in each one, but the Melisandre I read was always pushing other people to go way beyond what they thought was acceptable in order to fuel her magic/appease her God. Things like:

Begging Stannis to sacrifice Edric Storm, an innocent child, to feed her spells. And that's not the only time children have to be protected from her either.

When I'm reading the books I'm also more aware that she and Thoros are essentially trying to accomplish the same thing and Thoros isn't exactly that bad of a guy.
See, I read it more as a compare and contrast type thing: Melisandre has always been devout (to the point of being a blind zealot in my eyes), but her faith is leading her down a dark path; Thoros, though initially insincere in his beliefs, has become more or less a force for good (probably). Thoros uses his magic to give life, Melisandre fuels hers by taking it.
 

DementedSheep

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Stryc9 said:
Exterminas said:
Eamar said:
Stryc9 said:
I think the show is trying to set Melisandre up to be some sort of evil witch that is totally up to no good and is manipulating Stannis to get what she wants which is control of Westeros for her own ends.
You didn't get that impression from the books? That's more or less what I assumed from the get-go, though I'm aware this sort of thing can vary depending on where you stand regarding Stannis (I'm not a fan).
Funny. In the books I got the expression that Melisandre genuinely believes that she is saving the world by enforcing the prophecy on Stannis.

There is even one view-point chapter about her (In the last book, I believe), that earned her a lot of sympathy points for me.

Sure, she is manipulative and has her own agenda, but in Westeros that is like a driver's license.
Pretty much this. I'm most of the way through Storm of Swords right now and the bit where she does the leeches in the fire thing are two totally different events in the book and the show.

In the show she acts all too willing to do it and in the book she warns Stannis that it won't have the desired effect. In the books she has her limits as to what she's willing to do and genuinely believes that what she is doing is right. When I'm reading the books I'm also more aware that she and Thoros are essentially trying to accomplish the same thing and Thoros isn't exactly that bad of a guy.

balladbird said:
Pretty certain Ramsay Bolton isn't anyone's hero. =P
Going strictly on the events in the show and what he does to Theon, he's kind of my hero. I've hated Theon since I started watching the show, the books don't improve him any either.
I hate Theon and he is the last character I expected to be sympathetic to but I wouldn't wish Ramsays treatment of him on any character in the books.
I can't remember how much detail was put on that in SoS (been while since I've read them so it kinda bleeds together for me) but Ramsay is just sick. It's not just Theon he's like this to either. Theon is just his latest toy.
 

Eamar

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BloatedGuppy said:
Stryc9 said:
Going strictly on the events in the show and what he does to Theon, he's kind of my hero. I've hated Theon since I started watching the show, the books don't improve him any either.
Yeahhhhhh wait for ADWD then revisit this position. =\

Ramsay Bolton is one of the more unsettling/upsetting characters in fantasy fiction.
Definitely going to have to echo this. Some of the stuff in ADWD genuinely made me feel sick. Stuff like:

the fact that it's heavily implied he forces "Arya" to fuck a dog

genuinely stunned me. Like, I had to re-read the section a few times to make sure I'd actually read what I thought I'd read.

Seeing as the books seem to be becoming progressively darker and more shocking, I dread to think what we've got heading our way with the next two...
 

Alarien

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Bloated Guppy:

Without going further into "let's make more spoilers." I agree with you on the Varamyr chapter. I do see where you are making the link and think it's certainly possible. I just think it's still up in the air, and could very well apply to one of the other possible wargs. We still have a few left, and it would be interesting to see what could happen with any of them. The only two I would rule out are Sansa (obvious reasons) and Bran, though... not so sure about Bran now that I think of it.

Also... has anyone possibly thought about the potential for warg relationship with a dragon? It hasn't ever come up before... so now I'm just thinking out loud, but we do have two major families that, as a feature, have an intimate relationship with animals.

I don't really think Caitlyn's gotten a bad rap. I think she's much deserved what she's gotten, though I would never say that she was stupid or dumb. In fact, I think she's quite intelligent and at times fully clever. I just think her emotions completely undermine that, and it's a bit unforgivable to me the way that that plays out.

Sansa, on the other hand, I think has a completely undeserved reputation. I think given her upbringing and situation, she's been pretty damned stoic and strong in the face of a lot of things that would make most girls wilt. I think (or hope) we'll be seeing a lot of interesting character growth from her.

People just tend to compare her unfairly to Arya. Arya's awesome, but she's also a pretty unrealistic character. She's a hero character for the sake of being a hero character (maybe she's intended to be a callback to Lyanna). Sansa, on the other hand, has to be a more realistic depiction of a real girl in the context. In that, I think she's pretty damned impressive.

Still, that said, I prefer Jon, Arya, Dany, Bran in that order, as characters. :p
 

ForumSafari

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Gorfias said:
The narrator tells us Joffrey and Lannisters are NOT the real villain.
To put them in perspective Jaime is derided and hated for killing the king. In medieval societies he'd have been killed for that, or severely hated in these circumstances and probably killed later, but if written today Jaime would be a hero. What he did is by today's standards, particularly post Nuremberg, would be considered a good thing.

In fact all told Jaime could well be framed as a slightly off-white hero, if you were to rewrite it he could be a protagonist in a game. Tywin and Tyrion are fine as well, Tywin is pretty straight down the line with his actions as is Tyrion. In terms of evil Lannisters you've basically got Cersei, who isn't evil but is trapped and dotes on her son, and Joffrey, who is a child given authority he shouldn't have and allowed free reign.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Alarien said:
Bloated Guppy:

Without going further into "let's make more spoilers." I agree with you on the Varamyr chapter. I do see where you are making the link and think it's certainly possible. I just think it's still up in the air, and could very well apply to one of the other possible wargs. We still have a few left, and it would be interesting to see what could happen with any of them. The only two I would rule out are Sansa (obvious reasons) and Bran, though... not so sure about Bran now that I think of it.

Also... has anyone possibly thought about the potential for warg relationship with a dragon? It hasn't ever come up before... so now I'm just thinking out loud, but we do have two major families that, as a feature, have an intimate relationship with animals.

I don't really think Caitlyn's gotten a bad rap. I think she's much deserved what she's gotten, though I would never say that she was stupid or dumb. In fact, I think she's quite intelligent and at times fully clever. I just think her emotions completely undermine that, and it's a bit unforgivable to me the way that that plays out.

Sansa, on the other hand, I think has a completely undeserved reputation. I think given her upbringing and situation, she's been pretty damned stoic and strong in the face of a lot of things that would make most girls wilt. I think (or hope) we'll be seeing a lot of interesting character growth from her.

People just tend to compare her unfairly to Arya. Arya's awesome, but she's also a pretty unrealistic character. She's a hero character for the sake of being a hero character (maybe she's intended to be a callback to Lyanna). Sansa, on the other hand, has to be a more realistic depiction of a real girl in the context. In that, I think she's pretty damned impressive.

Still, that said, I prefer Jon, Arya, Dany, Bran in that order, as characters. :p
I've heard it hypothesized that Bran might warg into one of the dragons. The dragons certainly aren't looking like they're going to be...uh...particularly cooperative, so it might become necessary at some point.

Catelyn was catty to Jon (understandable, given Ned's insistence on silence where he was concerned), jumped the gun with Tyrion, and a bit ineffectual while trying to coach Robb. I'm not sure any of it merited her having her (to the best of her knowledge) entire family kidnapped and/or murdered, with her firstborn dying right in front of her.

People seem ill disposed towards a female character demonstrating "female" virtues, or at least "female" in the context of Martin's world. Sansa doesn't grab a sword and "man it up" like Brienne or Arya so she's perceived as weak. She also politics poorly in the beginning, being ELEVEN YEARS OLD at the time of the series starting, so she's perceived as stupid. I think she goes on to demonstrate extraordinary grace under insane pressure. I'm still not sure where she ends up...Baelish is no one's idea of a strong moral center as role models go...but I find her chapters amongst the most enjoyable in the series.
 

Stryc9

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Eamar said:
Stryc9 said:
Pretty much this. I'm most of the way through Storm of Swords right now and the bit where she does the leeches in the fire thing are two totally different events in the book and the show.

In the show she acts all too willing to do it and in the book she warns Stannis that it won't have the desired effect. In the books she has her limits as to what she's willing to do and genuinely believes that what she is doing is right.
What limits? I've read all of the books and I have trouble remembering exactly what happens in each one, but the Melisandre I read was always pushing other people to go way beyond what they thought was acceptable in order to fuel her magic/appease her God. Things like:
I suppose there's something to that, though I still say she isn't evil, just more driven. She sees what's coming and is willing to do anything to stop it. Of course I'm still in the third book and things could change.

Eamar said:
Begging Stannis to sacrifice Edric Storm, an innocent child, to feed her spells. And that's not the only time children have to be protected from her either.
This happens fairly early in the book, in the show Edric is swapped out for Gendry.

Stryc9 said:
When I'm reading the books I'm also more aware that she and Thoros are essentially trying to accomplish the same thing and Thoros isn't exactly that bad of a guy.

Eamar said:
See, I read it more as a compare and contrast type thing: Melisandre has always been devout (to the point of being a blind zealot in my eyes), but her faith is leading her down a dark path; Thoros, though initially insincere in his beliefs, has become more or less a force for good (probably). Thoros uses his magic to give life, Melisandre fuels hers by taking it.
Well, they do have different ways of accomplishing things though the end goal is essentially the same for them. He's just not as into his religion as Melisandre is.
 

Eamar

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Stryc9 said:
I suppose there's something to that, though I still say she isn't evil, just more driven. She sees what's coming and is willing to do anything to stop it.
Ah, but she's the first to admit that she sometimes misinterprets things (this may not be until a later book). I don't doubt she believes what she says, but she's also aware that she gets things wrong (quite frequently, actually). Knowing that, do you still think it's admirable? There's no right answer, obviously, she's a particularly divisive character :p

in the show Edric is swapped out for Gendry.
I've only seen the first two series, but that's a real shame since I felt the heavily emphasised childhood innocence of Edric was really important for our understanding of Melisandre. I can kind of see why they did it as Gendry's a more established character, but still.

Well, they do have different ways of accomplishing things though the end goal is essentially the same for them. He's just not as into his religion as Melisandre is.
No no no, after everything that's happened Thoros is every bit as serious about his religion as Melisandre. My point was that (the way I see it) the fact that Melisandre has always been zealous means that she doesn't question anything and therefore is more easily persuaded to do unsavoury things, while the fact that Thoros is a reformed doubter means that he's got a different perspective and is perhaps less easily led astray by visions and such (which, as I already said, we know can be misinterpreted or wrong sometimes).

I really think there's something in the "Thoros gives life, Melisandre takes it" thing. I just have a really hard time believing such a blatant contrast wasn't written into the story for a reason.
 

Stryc9

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Eamar said:
Stryc9 said:
I suppose there's something to that, though I still say she isn't evil, just more driven. She sees what's coming and is willing to do anything to stop it.
Ah, but she's the first to admit that she sometimes misinterprets things (this may not be until a later book). I don't doubt she believes what she says, but she's also aware that she gets things wrong (quite frequently, actually). Knowing that, do you still think it's admirable? There's no right answer, obviously, she's a particularly divisive character :p
Oh it's totally possible that I'll reevaluate how I see her later as I get into the next two books, but I still don't think she's nearly as sinister as the show is setting her up to be. I would judge her alignment to be chaotic good.
 

gorfias

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I've watched the first 3 seasons of the show and am almost done listening to the book on audio (I commute 2.5 hours a day and do stepper at the gym). I am surprised how much longer the book goes on past where the series left off.

Eamar said:
I'm more of a books fan and I'm pretty certain there's no "real" villain.
It's going to be pretty hard to make the White Walkers sympathetic! The books, so far, have made them seem to be animated by a single power. And they are murderous.

Xeorm said:
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.
I don't know anything about the Sun g-d followers. I look forward to hearing more about them.

Tom_green_day said:
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.
LOL. I do hope it doesn't sink into formula. So far, it has been the opposite of forumla.

psijac said:
From a libertarian point of view the throne itself is the greatest enemy of the people.http://youtu.be/NLxly9h4ETQ
Fascinating video, thanks for sharing!

Sleekit said:
"Game of Thrones: Who is the real villain?"

the author obviously >;)
You got ninjad! Lots of concern about that out there!



XMark said:
I'd say Littlefinger is the most villanous since most of the chaos in the series was engineered by him, either directly or indirectly. It's all for his personal gain.
So far, I think that gets my vote too. I cannot think a single redeeming thing about him. His conversation with Varys tells you a lot. Varys obviously wants to server the realm. Not only does Littlefinger want to serve himself, he has actually engineered much of the chaos we're seeing.
 

TaboriHK

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BloatedGuppy said:
TaboriHK said:
The Starks are the villians of the series. With the exception of Ned and Arya, all of them act to destabilize the realm with their selfishness. Robb is by far the worst, especially when he meets his wife. Everything about their decisions work fine in a perfect fantasy world, which is not what they inhabit. How many people die as a direct result of the Stark family?
I'm aware you are being facetious, but Robb's motivations for marrying Talissa/Jeyne were very different in-book than on-screen. Blame the idiots at HBO for that particular swap.
I'm not being facetious. I never read the books but on the show, the Starks are the cause, either directly or indirectly, of many of the deaths in the universe. Including their own in pretty much every case.
 

Toejam

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Eamar said:
BloatedGuppy said:
Stryc9 said:
Going strictly on the events in the show and what he does to Theon, he's kind of my hero. I've hated Theon since I started watching the show, the books don't improve him any either.
Yeahhhhhh wait for ADWD then revisit this position. =\

Ramsay Bolton is one of the more unsettling/upsetting characters in fantasy fiction.
Definitely going to have to echo this. Some of the stuff in ADWD genuinely made me feel sick. Stuff like:

the fact that it's heavily implied he forces "Arya" to fuck a dog

genuinely stunned me. Like, I had to re-read the section a few times to make sure I'd actually read what I thought I'd read.

Seeing as the books seem to be becoming progressively darker and more shocking, I dread to think what we've got heading our way with the next two...
Could I just where that Arya spoiler is from? I've read the series several times and I really don't recall it.

I'm assuming it's not actually Arya but Sansa's friend Jayne?

I might have to have another go around if i've missed something that obvious. lol

I really want him to finish the books but I hope the TV series doesn't compromise the story just for the sake of finishing it. I suppose when the show gets to a certain point i'll just have to stop watching it.
 

Eamar

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Toejam said:
Could I just where that Arya spoiler is from? I've read the series several times and I really don't recall it.
I put her name in quotation marks.

Yes, I was referring to Jeyne. The fact that he thinks she's Arya makes it even more horrifying for some reason.
 

Toejam

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Eamar said:
Toejam said:
Could I just where that Arya spoiler is from? I've read the series several times and I really don't recall it.
I put her name in quotation marks.

Yes, I was referring to Jeyne. The fact that he thinks she's Arya makes it even more horrifying for some reason.
Ok, was just checking thats what you were implying.

I took that to more mean he was demeaning her akin to Theon, and that he was making her literally sleep with them, your version never occured to me

Yep looks like I will have dig them out and read them again. :)

Edited because I don't understand how to use spoiler thingys. lol Sorry if anybody saw that
 

Eamar

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Toejam said:
I think it's a pretty common conclusion...

"Tell him, you tell him. I?ll do what he wants ? whatever he wants ? with him or ? or with the dog or ?"

...doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation in my opinion.
 

Mid Boss

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The main villain, I'd have to say Cersei. Her ***** fueled incompetence and completely self absorbed nature created Joffrey. Both literally with her incest and figuratively with her parenting. Without her and her little prince monster the vast majority of the BS in the books wouldn't have happened.

I admit, it's been a year or two since I've read the books. But I can't think of a single remotely positive thing she's done.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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Show-watcher here (ie. I don't know a lot but my opinion is...)

There are sympathetic and unsympathetic characters almost everywhere, and there is not just a single conflict, and either of those makes it hard to point to a single villain. Joffrey is a sadistic psychopathic prick and whatever mitigating factors I've seen (mainly an inferiority complex) don't even nearly make up for it. Circei is also pretty unlikable and the driving force behind most of the horrible things I saw done early in the series and quite clearly stands on the villain end of the spectrum (once again, I've been presented with her backstory and find her completely unsympathetic). Now it seems Tywin is in charge of the war effort but his involvement wasn't of his ambition, he reacted to a lesser incident and is currently not evil, just brutally efficient. The red sun priestess lady, Bolton, his sadistic bastard son, Walder Frey, that prick at Bolton's camp who pitted Brianne against a bear, Craster, the Mountain, plenty of the Lannister troops, all solid assholes but not powerful enough to be called villains. Mainly Circei, I'd say, Joffrey not having enough influence to be a villain and Tywin just trying to win a war and not being that bad in person. The White Walkers seem pretty malevolent and I think they're controlled by something from the warg eye-whitening being similar so that thing is probably a villain.

I find the Hound quite interesting. Most of the time it's pretty easy to tell if you think someone is meant to be a sympathetic or unsympathetic character, but in his case, it goes back and forth. He's like an anti-hero, but not quite. Although I would like to know where his fucking helmet has gone that he is NAMED for and somehow decided not to wear in the main battle so far.
 

Toejam

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It's been a while since i've read them so i'm only going from my poor memory. I guess I just must be stupid because I don't recall ever coming to that "common conclusion" but the fact that I didn't proves that there is still a little room for interpretation ;)

All I can say from that quote is that it doesnt't mean it happened or implied that it had before, more she's so terrified of him she makes the offer, but it is literally from that 1 sentence that I say that, as you have a direct quote and are more familiar I will go with your account for now.

Anyway thanks for replying I was just a little surprised when I read your post, as I said I have a bad memory but something so shocking I know would of have remembered if I had thought that myself...