Search This Blog

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Greatest Warriors of the Westeros- Those who didn't make the Top 10 List

I realize that any list put forth is going to be tough and not everyone will agree, but as I stated with my first post in this series about Brynden Tully: that's the fun! There are so many warriors here that I shuffled around my list a number of times before deciding on who I did. So without further delay: warriors #11-20.

#11- Victarion Greyjoy. I actually had him listed in the Top 10, but he didn't survive the final cut-down to 10. He is certainly the most deadly warrior of the Iron Islands. One can easily make the case of Victarion being somewhere between #6 and 10 in the Top Ten. Every time I've read the series I've gotten the feeling that there are not to many people that would want to cross swords with him. He is surprisingly a thinking warrior and not a hulking brute like The Mountain calm off the battlefield and deadly on it.

#12- Ser Garlan Tyrell- Unfortunately I can't place him higher. He is widely acknowledged as one of the finest swordsmen living in the Seven Kingdoms, but we have nothing more to go on. Even his brother, Loras (in talking to Sansa) admits that Garlan is the better swordsman.

#13- Prince Rhaegar Targaryen- Admittedly I had a hard time with him. Prince Rhaegar was apparently a splendid jouster, but when he took the field against Robert on the Trident it was Robert that prevailed; to me looking at this point there is nothing wrong in that combat: Robert in his prime was just that good. Rhaegar represents the unfulfilled promise of many characters in the book (least of all his own) from Cersei, to Lynna Stark to his younger brother Viserys. He is the sum of all of those characters "what might have beens."

#14- The Knight of Flowers-  Probably controversial being placed this low, but here's why: if the list was for best jouster and showman then he vaults to the top of the list bar none. But it's not. Loras plays at war and his Grandmother the Queen of Thorns says as much. Despite his bezerk fury at Renly's death Loras can't really be placed higher in my honest opinion. He has flashes of brilliance, but interestingly enough when it comes time to lead in battle he utterly fails a the Siege at Dragonstone.

#15- Qhorin Halfhand- he leads off the "bottle-neck" of northerns on my list. He is probably the best warrior living north of the Neck. Certainly he is the greatest warrior the Black Watch. GRRM loves to parallel characters and stories in the book so it will be interesting to see if Jaime's switch to his opposite hand parallels Qhorin's.

#16- Greatjon Umber- every time I think of Greatjon Umber I get the impression of bezerk fury! At the Red Wedding it takes 8 men to subdue him!

#17- Eddard Stark- Eddard never engages in combat in the series, but he somehow managed to walk out of the Tower of Joy alive one of only two men to do so out of 10 in that epic battle.  However, until the details of that fateful encounter are fully known then he's in limbo. He also falls further because GRRM has stated that his brother Brandon was the better warrior.

#18- Brienne of Tarth- well, the warrior maiden is massive and bigger then Jaime, but not quite as large as Ser Gregor. At over 6 feet tall she is worthy of a spot on this list as she has taken out a few bad guys in the series. She does fight Jaime, but then again Jaime wasn't really trying to hurt her either. She almost gets killed  by Biter of all characters... that actually hurts her standing in my opinion.

#19- Jon Snow. Like Robb we get the sense that he is good, but we are never sure just how good, at least not yet... Obviously he has outstanding leadership qualities and if this list were for that alone he would be in the top 10. He leads the Black Watch ably, but he is one of those characters that there is more to come namely in A Dance of Dragons.

#20- Robb Stark. We never get a sense of just how good of a warrior he is with a sword, but it's obvious that he is an outstanding leader on the battlefield, too bad his promise is cut short.


  1. How can you have Loras ahead of Brienne? She beat him in the melee at Bitterbridge! In fact, throughout the series, pretty much all we saw Loras do was lose, except when he was killing his "friends" outside Storm's End after Renly's death. He's a pretty-boy with some skill at arms, but Quorin Halfhand, Greatjon Umber, and Eddard Stark would have torn him apart. Brienne actually DID beat him, and I'd probably put my money on Jon Snow over Loras as well, especially if Ghost got to help.

    Thanks for putting this together - it looks like it was a lot of work! It's even mostly right. :D

  2. Heh just saw this Mike!

    It's tough to rank them for sure. The problem with Brienne is that her performance in battle is all over the place. This one really made me think: "If Jamie actually tried to kill her would he win?" I think we know the answer to that.

    Also as noted getting nearly killed by Biter?

    Lastly, Loras. No argument he's all show and no go.

  3. Greetings!
    I came here after liking Ser Arthur Dayne on Facebook and following the link on his site - completely agree with putting him first =)
    But since you give points for prowess as battle commander, I must insist (sorta) that you mention Rendyll Tarly, who crushed Roberts army at the battle of Ashford. AWOIAF also mentions him as "one of the best soldiers in Westeros"

    Other great commanders (imho) would be Robb Stark (won every single one of his battles) and Tywin Lannister himself

    Out of curiosity, how would the list change if you left Westeros? After all, the #4 in your list was a mere squire for Strong Belwass.. and Khal Drogo should make the list as well

    Just my two cents, hope you don't mind =)

    1. Comments always welcome but confused by this: After all, the #4 in your list was a mere squire for Strong Belwass..

      Also look at #20 on this list n regards to Robb ;)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This is great. My only problems are the lack of randyll tarly and mance raider and the halfhands position. Obviously we don't know enough about randyll except that he's a good commander so I can understand that but any guy with a sword named heartsbane has to be pretty badass. Mance raider on the other hand should probably be in the top ten. As king-beyond-the-wall it's understood that he's already challenged and beaten every wildling that's ever opposed him, including tormund giantsbane. In his battle with jon(disguised as rattleshirt) he makes jon look a fool and handles his greatsword better and faster than jon does with his lightweight valyrian bastard sword. He also unites the WILDLINGS, arguably the most impressive feat of leadership for any character in the series. Now the halfhand,

    1. He should be moved up a few, I think of him as on par with victarion or maybe better. I think in general both victarion and halfhand are underrated not just in this blog but everywhere. Halfhand uses the wrong hand and he's still better than everyone around him. I'm pretty sure he uses a greatsword too but I could certainly be wrong about that. If it is true one handing a greatsword is boss. Jaime can barely swing his sword with his left and he's number 3 so what does tha make halfhand, oh yeah the only person inthe realm who weilds a sword with his less trained hand and can still kill people. He also a leader of the shadow tower so thy should give him some points. The only reason jon defeats him is because 1 he wanted jon to kill him and 2 ghost is chewing on his leg during fight. Halfhand and Mance should probably be in 6-10 but that's just me. As much as I love Bronn how would he do against one of those two who both prefer the chainmail/light armor/speed technique that Bronn does. I think they'd put him in his place everytime.

  6. One thing that occured to me as I went through this list. I think Howland Reed should belong on this list. He was the other survivor of the Tower of Joy fight and he saved Ned from Arthur Dayne. Now we don't know what happened exactly, but chance is he either hurt or even killed the Sword of the Morning.

  7. While its possible we just don't have enough info on him to say. Howland literally is the only one who can shed light on what happened. I do t think its getting answered anytime soon. Here's the sobering part: the old man has around 1800ish pages to wrap it all up between the last two bookks. At his current glacial rate of writing that's about 10 years from now. Barto g that the TV series will be further along then the books.

    One has to wonder if A) he doesn't know how to end it, or B) he can't end it. After all he has referred to some of the characters as like "his children".

  8. Yeah it will take forever, imo he can't finish it in two books, if we take in account for how long Dany is taking to get to Westeros for example. And even GRRM himself said that there might be more than just two books. I'm hoping for TWoW to be released late in 2014. Then maybe we can get the last book till 2020.

    And I really hope there will be some Howland Reed chapters.

  9. Hi, what about Thoros?
    Actually in books it said he won all the meele combat torunaments.

  10. Thoros and the likes of Beric Dondarrion strike me in the same vein as Stannis. Probably good but would they do well against any of the top 5? Its possible but they probably aren't in the same league as the upper tiers of the list .

  11. And what about Ser Duncan The Tall??? It seems that nobody remembers him :/

  12. Madness, this entire ranking is a farse. Where is HODOR ???