List of the best, most interesting characters from HBO's Game of Thrones series. Though the complicated study of power dynamics in the fantasy kingdom of Westeros may not have too many identifiable or even sympathetic lead characters, it has nonetheless produced a wide variety of compelling, entertaining and outsized personalities, from the brutal boy king Joffrey Baratheon to his diminutive but ingenious cousin Tyrion Lannister to their rivals, the Stark family of Winterfell and the "Mother of Dragons," Daenerys Targaryen. But which characters are the true fan favorites, providing the most memorable moments and unexpected plot twists?
HBO's Game of Thrones show is based on the Song of Ice and Fire cycle of novels by fantasy author George R. R. Martin. That series - like the TV version - takes place in a medieval fantasy world, on two continents known as Westeros and Essos. The first novel in the series, also called Game of Thrones, was published in August of 1996. This book introduced the basic narrative which would unfold over the course of the rest of the series, concerning which family would claim the Iron Throne of Westeros following the death of King Robert Baratheon. (Prior to Robert's rule, the Targaryen family had controlled the throne - and united the Kingdom of Westeros - for several generations.)
Martin has said that the series was partially based on the real "War of the Roses" that engulfed England in civil war in the 15th Century. Those conflicts concerned a rivalry between the houses of Lancaster and York, whose names clearly provided inspiration for the rival families of Lannister and Stark in the GoT universe.
For your fill of Game of Thrones discussion, check out more lists like the fittest females in Game of Thrones, the hated characters in Game of Thrones, or vote on which Game of Thrones death was the most satisfying. If you're ready for something new, we also have a great round up of other shows like Game of Thrones.