Game of Thrones: Who is the real villain?

NinjaDeathSlap

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Feb 20, 2011
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The thing with ASOIAF/GOT, is that not only is everything so many shades of grey morally, but there's a definite sense that truly great, world-changing individuals are to be considered 'above' petty notions of morality, as is a similar theme in a lot of fantasy. Ambition is to be lauded, even if it drives some abhorrent acts.

Take the original Aegon Targaryen for instance. Together with his sisters, he conquered the Seven Kingdoms, bringing peace and a new Golden Age of prosperity to an eternally in-fighting backwater. If not for him, there would be no Iron Throne to fight over; and, while he may also have employed lots of negotiation and careful diplomacy to accomplish unity in Westeros, at the end of the day, everyone gave up their crowns and bent the knee so that they wouldn't see every last man, woman, and child in their kingdom burned to ash in Dragon fire. Going further back, Brandon The Builder, who raised The Wall, the largest man-made structure in the known world, and founded the Night's Watch, in order to keep the rest of the world safe from annihilation at the hands of the Others. However, it's implied that he accomplished this by enslaving the Giants, and even if that isn't true, there's no denying that a lot of people, who back them would have been considered Northmen, Brandon's own kin, were simply abandoned on the wrong side of The Wall once he'd picked his spot to build. In case you needed another example, Azor Ahai, who's legend claims sacrificed his own lover, murdering her personally and tempering the sword Lightbringer in her blood, to become the hero the world needed him to be.

It's clear that these men are to be consider neither wholly good or wholly evil, but can you even place them on some kind of middle-ground in between, or do the enormity of their deeds make them transcend such a simplified scale? If there is 'evil' in Westeros, it is smaller, and pettier than that. Disgusting deeds done by disgusting individuals, not in the name of saving the world, or building a civilisation, or even just attaining power for its own sake, but rather just because it satisfies them in one way or another; and even in those few examples, you must ask yourself if they are only what they have become thanks to what they have been made by others.
 

NinjaDeathSlap

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Mid Boss said:
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.
I'd say even Cersei gets somewhat more complex thanks to A Feast For Crows. Not to say she gets any more likeable (in fact, she gets even less so). However, when we start getting chapters from her perspective, and we find out...

Most of her actions have been motivated by her toxic paranoia over a prophecy made about her as a child.

It gets a lot easier to understand her aggressive actions and the over-mothering of her children when we get to know just how afraid she is all the time.

Also, let's be fair, Robert Baratheon was a fucking horrible husband to her. If he'd had it in him to ever once try and make her happy, then perhaps a lot of her craziness could have been abated.
 

Qvar

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Aug 25, 2013
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Attention, book spoilers ahead

Villains, just as any other character, are too many in this series to say there a single one of them. But there have been several definitely villanous chars:

- Jeoffrey
- The Bloody Puppeters (are they called like that in english?)
- R'hllor. That god just doesn't seem right, burning people and all.
- Euron
- The crazy militant church of the seven.
- The Slaver League of Essos?
- Vyseris
- A good portion of the random soldier npcs that appear through the country.
- Littlefinger

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. I'm just hoping that the solution doesn't end up being something trite to do with Bran's adventures North.
Taking some inspiration from Dark Souls, I predict that the White Walkers are actually the good guys, just trying to recover their long lost land from the hands of the asshol-ish humans and their (real) lord, the lord of "light". Bran will take the position of the three-eyed crow and understand why does he have to be on the side of the white walkers, thanks to sudden Rush of Knowledge.

Gorfias said:
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.
HAHA. Yes. "The realm".

BloatedGuppy said:
In the fourth book she's portrayed as arrogant, out of control, willfully ignorant of history and politics, and prone to bad decisions of hilarious scope. It made for entertaining reading but was something of a retcon of the character we'd been following up to that point.
Retcon? Sometimes you people read too much tvtropes. She has lost a son in front of her own eyes. She has had another daughter taken away from her. She thinks she's going to be deposed and her last son taken away from her. She has lost her lover (not dead but given the current situation, he's as good as lost for her). She has lost her father to the hands of another brother whom she already hated. She has been married for decades to a man she didn't love for more than a month. And now she has also lost his uncle.

I would say she still is too sane.
 

klaynexas3

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The White Walkers seem to be it, but knowing GRRM even they might end up being misunderstood in some way making them out to be victims instead of villains. I mean, he has to, only then is he allowed to kill them. Hell, I even felt bad for Joffery as time went on, finding more and more that he was mostly the way he was because of Cersi, and even she I felt some sympathy for by the end of Book 5. Only Catelyn do I just actually hate, and even she isn't that villainous. She's just a *****.
 

gorfias

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Yes, Spoilers!

Qvar said:
Attention, book spoilers ahead
- Vyseris
- Littlefinger

Gorfias said:
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.
HAHA. Yes. "The realm".
I'm listening to the books on audio (2.5 hour round trip work commute) and I'm 1/4 into book 5. I've been doing watching marrathons of GOT on HBO. I'll get to season 4 ASAP.

From what I'm hearing, the books and the show are diverging more and more. Season 1 was about book 1. 2, 2. Season 3 was maybe 1/2 book 3. What I'm hearing for Season 4, things are changing up a lot. So far, I'm not sure in anyway that actually matters (The Hound being alive arguably changes nothing yet. But it is a substantial change).

But now we find (according to the Escapists most recent review) that Littlefinger was, at least, the origin of so much trouble for this show, particularly getting Lysa to poison her own husband and then blame the Lannisters.) I can't blame him for everything I think. He didn't make the Mother of Dragons of the White Walkers.

@Qvar: I can't wait to find out why you seem to disparage Vyseris (proper spelling of Vary's?)!

And BTW: Hard to know: you can get spanked for necro of thread, but also spanked for creating new thread on matter previously posted. Hope that there is something to update here (new news about Little Finger from the show) keeps me from spankage.
 

Qvar

OBJECTION!
Aug 25, 2013
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SPOILERS

Gorfias said:
From what I'm hearing, the books and the show are diverging more and more. Season 1 was about book 1. 2, 2. Season 3 was maybe 1/2 book 3. What I'm hearing for Season 4, things are changing up a lot. So far, I'm not sure in anyway that actually matters (The Hound being alive arguably changes nothing yet. But it is a substantial change).
Actually, I don't think he's actually dead in the books either. We haven't seen anybody with a pinch of trustworthiness confirm that he is dead. We just stopped seeing him. Anyway, IIRC he doesn't disappear from the books until later either, we are just seeing him more than we would when reading the books.The producerds thought that the Arya-Hound is cool and I don't disagree with them on that.

Gorfias said:
But now we find (according to the Escapists most recent review) that Littlefinger was, at least, the origin of so much trouble for this show, particularly getting Lysa to poison her own husband and then blame the Lannisters.)
Actually, acording to some (books-related) wikis I frequent, it's that way on the books too. It's just more concealed, like many other things.


Gorfias said:
@Qvar: I can't wait to find out why you seem to disparage Vyseris (proper spelling of Vary's?)!
I'm not sure what do you mean. I said that Vyseris was a villanous character (I doubt anybody questions that). I also say that Varys may not be doing all he does "for the good of the realm", but I haven't said that he is a villanous character because of that. I think I worded all the names correctly ^^'

Gorfias said:
And BTW: Hard to know: you can get spanked for necro of thread, but also spanked for creating new thread on matter previously posted. Hope that there is something to update here (new news about Little Finger from the show) keeps me from spankage.
According to the forum rules FAQ, necro is fine as long as you actually add anything. At least better than duplicating posts.
 

Anachronism

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WarpedLord said:
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.
If there can be said to be a real villain, it's definitely Littlefinger. He is personally responsible for the chain of events that like to Ned becoming Hand of the King, and helped set the War of Five Kings in motion by having Ned arrested for treason. He has, directly or indirectly, manipulated damn near everything that's happened in Westeros to make sure he becomes more and more powerful. He's currently Lord of Harrenhal and of the Vale, and is setting events in motion that will allow him to have a huge amount of power and influence in the North.

Varys once said Littlefinger would let the world burn if he could be king of the ashes. He was right.
 

gorfias

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Qvar said:
SPOILERS

Actually, I don't think he's [the hound] actually dead in the books either. We haven't seen anybody with a pinch of trustworthiness confirm that he is dead. We just stopped seeing him. Anyway, IIRC he doesn't disappear from the books until later either, we are just seeing him more than we would when reading the books.The producerds thought that the Arya-Hound is cool and I don't disagree with them on that.
Well, Lady Stark is "alive" so anything is possible, but the book sets up that he's gone. He has infections that are not to be remedied by the meds of the day (Hoate is dying (dead) simply because of an ear bite. They don't have penicilin there.)

Vyseris was a villanous character (I doubt anybody questions that). I also say that Varys may not be doing all he does "for the good of the realm", but I haven't said that he is a villanous character because of that. I think I worded all the names correctly ^^'
The show is very sympathetic to the character. He betrays Stark because, what else is he to do? But otherwise, he seems cool. In the books, less so. He appears to be dedicated to himself. The only consistent thing is, he seems to hate those that practice magic.

According to the forum rules FAQ, necro is fine as long as you actually add anything. At least better than duplicating posts.
Good to know, thanks!