'Game of Thrones': The 10 Greatest Heroes in Westeros

9:16 AM 1/15/2016

by Josh Wigler

From the Mother of Dragons in the east through the Lord Commander in the North, these are the best heroes in the Game.

Game of Thrones Heros 9 - H 2016
Courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones Heros 9 - H 2016

Between White Walkers and wicked politicians, the world of Westeros is packed with villains from the walls of King's Landing to the great Wall in the North. But for every monster, there's a hero in the making, even if those heroes are often very flawed themselves.

The following Game of Thrones heroes come from various walks of life, boasting an equally diverse lineup of loyalties and liabilities. But the one thing they have in common is a heart that's in the right place … which is why those hearts are often ripped right out of their chests, as well as ours.

  • Barristan Selmy

    The late legendary swordsman stands out as one of the greatest and noblest warriors in all of Westeros, having served under multiple royal regimes, and cleaving down an endless array of opponents. Barristan the Bold more than earned his moniker, between his skills with a blade and his loyalty to causes he believed in — and, ultimately, a cause he died for.

  • Tyrion Lannister

    Putting aside the Shae thing, if not quite forgiving it, the politically-minded man known to some as The Imp is one of the few true heroes in his bloodline. Look no further than his actions during the Battle of the Blackwater for proof; his quick-witted thinking and his willingness to hit the battlefield saved King's Landing from the incoming Baratheon forces. Now, as one of the main minds behind Meereen, he has a chance to prove his heroism again in season six.

  • Daenerys Targaryen

    What more needs to be said, beyond recounting her many titles? She is Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons … the list doesn't go on from there yet, but it's bound to grow, given her central role in the story.

  • Jorah Mormont

    Is he as noble as Barristan? No, but he's bold nonetheless, especially when it comes to defending his Khaleesi. Jorah comes with his fair share of drawbacks, the biggest one being his early conspiring against his Queen, but in the end, his devotion to Dany is matched by few others in this series.

  • Davos Seaworth

    Consider Davos one of the few heroes who can match Jorah in the unending fealty department. Despite some dubious decisions from his liege Stannis Baratheon, Davos remained honor bound to his king, putting his own life on the line time and time again for a cause and person he believes in. What does that all look like now without Stannis in the picture? That's one of the main curiosities of season six.

  • Brienne of Tarth

    As with the two aforementioned warriors, Brienne's loyalty is unwavering once she finds a cause she believes in. She's relentlessly searched the Stark sisters due to her fealty to their late mother Catelyn, all while never abandoning her pledge to seek vengeance against Stannis Baratheon for his role in the death of his brother and her liege Renly. Alongside her trusty sidekick Podrick Payne, Brienne is one of the last fighters you want to cross — just ask The Hound.

  • House Stark

    Just as it's hard to separate the individual villainy from the greater House Lannister, it's equally difficult to separate the individual heroes from House Stark. Ned lost his head due to his noble pursuits, as did his wife and eldest son. Sansa deserves all the accolades for how deftly she's navigated King's Landing and House Bolton. Bran willingly wandered beyond The Wall in an effort to gain a great power that can aid his people. Rickon heroically sacrificed his place on the show so others can have more screen time. As for Arya… well, we can forgive one homicidal black sheep in an otherwise pure-hearted flock, right?

  • Jon Snow

    Technically, Jon belongs to House Stark… but strong theories persist that another important bloodline flows through his veins as well. In any event, Jon deserves singular recognition for his dedication to the Night's Watch, and his willingness to play ball with others, if not the Others. Indeed, it's very likely that he died for his flexible stance on the Wildlings — but it's equally likely that he won't be dead for long.

  • Samwell Tarly

    The unsung hero of the Night's Watch, Sam's progression on Game of Thrones is matched by few. He began his journey as an overweight craven, afraid to even spar with his fellow Brothers in Black. These days, he's known as Sam the Slayer, a nickname he earned after killing a White Walker, and a reputation he solidified even further during Mance Rayder's assault on the Wall. Between his newfound bravery on the battlefield and his longstanding brilliance learned from books, Sam stands out as one of the show's greatest heroes.

  • Hodor

    We could spend hours talking about his selfless devotion to Bran Stark, his kindhearted humanity, his enormous strength while battling wildlings and wights — but at the end of the day, Hodor's heroism is best summarized with a single word: Hodor.