As the final players of Game of Thrones reached the end, some wound up more beloved by fans than others.
With such a large cast, Game of Thrones fans had a variety to choose from when it came to picking a favorite. Sides were chosen among fans as to which character should be rooted for from the first season, which sometimes proved to be a great challenge.
While some characters’ popularity dipped as the series progressed, others only grew in popularity. For these ever-popular characters, their rise in fans is either because of the actions they took throughout the series, how likable they are, or both. As the final players of the game reached the end, some wound up more beloved by fans than others.
10 Danaerys Targaryen Proved To Be An Inspirational Character Until She Lost Herself To Madness
Danaerys started out as a weak character, but grew into a survivor. She was inspiring. A huge part of the tension in the series was from her preparing to take the Iron Throne. Having started with no power, to leading an army of her own is why she became a fan favorite.
With every overwhelming challenge she climbed, more fans began to root for her. By the end of season 7, the fanbase had picked a side, with thousands in support of Danny. As popular as she was at the end of the series, she could’ve had more fans if it weren’t for her sudden and disappointing fall from grace throughout the final season.
9 Jaime Lannister’s Remarkable Growth And Depth Made Him More And More Likable As Seasons Progressed
When he was first introduced in season 1, there was nothing likable about Jaime. He was pompous, arrogant, and many of his choices were downright despicable — he nearly killed Bran to keep his incestuous relationship with Cersei a secret.
It wasn’t until his pride was finally taken down in season 3 after his sword hand was severed by Locke, a lesser Lord of House Bolton, that his humane side was revealed. In spite of what people have thought of him, Jaime proves to be an honorable knight as the seasons progress. His peak in popularity was surely when he knighted Brienne of Tarth, however, it immediately dipped when he abandoned her for Cersei a few episodes later.
8 Jon Snow Went From Zero To Hero Throughout The Series
Starting out as the illegitimate Stark child, Jon had a rough beginning. He soon grew in strength and support, the latter from both side characters and fans. Being at the bottom ranks of the Knight’s Watch, Jon had great promise as he was already strong in battle and in perseverance.
His survival arc among the Wildlings is where he began to come into his own. Returning to the Knight’s Watch, and leading his brothers of the Watch into battle against the Wildlings, are where he grew as a fan favorite. From that point on, Jon stood as a leader within the series, and more than that, after being brought back to life — a rare occurrence in the series, he was deemed the hero of the entire story. Granted after season 6 Jon takes a more passive role as he falls for Daenerys, but he’s still considered one of the most popular characters and one of the heroes.
7 Lord Varys Quietly Rose To Popularity As His Role Became More Prominent
Much of Game of Thrones is marked by power-hungry ambitions, which is why the passive and stoic Varys stands out. Acting as the Master of Whisperers, Varys used his skill of manipulation and his vast network of spies to serve the realm, even if it meant betraying his sworn King or Queen.
At first, Varys would fall to the background, which surely was part of his plan, making it difficult for fans to like him. However, as his appearances grew, so did the revelation of his unique character. While it is fun to watch the brawls in the series, fans gradually came to love Varys’ innate ability to conquer in his battles of debate. When his true ideals of peace and stability were revealed and he joined forces with Daenerys. Varys had remarkable popularity with fans as one of the smartest characters in the series.
6 Tyrion Lannister’s Growing Popularity Was All Thanks To His Respectable Choices
Since he was born a dwarf, which is looked at as a shameful disability in Westeros, Tyrion has had to live through endless strife making him one of the more relatable characters for most fans. More than his struggle, Tyrion’s character is marked by how honorable he is, so fans came to root for him not just because he’s an underdog, but also because he is deserving of success, even if it means a win for the rest of his family.
As his troubles mount in his unjust trial for his nephew Joffrey’s murder, he gives one of the most memorable speeches, proclaiming how he’s “been on trial” his entire life. His compelling and likable character is why his popularity rose with each passing season.
5 Fans Loved Sandor Clegane, The Hound, For His Humor And His Growth
As fans came to know Sandor, they quickly saw that there was more to him than meets the eye. While he feigned apathy, he showed immense care for both Sansa and Arya Stark during the short time they spent together. Hidden beneath his rough exterior, The Hound revealed a side that understood right from wrong in spite of mocking others’ morals.
His backstory is also a reason to be a fan as he’s one of the few characters who aren’t a part of a big noble family but still manage to shake up the plot. Sandor is also one of the few who want nothing to do with the political struggle and just helps where he can. It’s also a bonus that his end was one of the few aspects of season 8 that fans actually liked.
4 Tormund Giantsbane Arrived Late To Steal The Fans’ Hearts With Humor And Originality
Although he wasn’t a part of the series until season 3, Tormund swiftly became a fan favorite and his popularity only grew with each of his passing scenes. One of the major reasons why Tormund became so popular was how much he made the audience laugh.
Sometimes the laughs were from an intentional joke Tormund would make, other times it was how smart-mouthed he could be. When he wasn’t making fans wheeze from laughter, he was being brazen and wild, traits that were rare across characters from Westeros and much appreciated by fans. From the moment he was introduced, Tormund was nothing but a delight to watch which was reflected in his rising popularity.
3 Davos Seaworth’s Earnest Rise To Power Increased His Fanbase
Like many of the more docile characters in Game of Thrones, Davos fell to the background, but not without having a little recognition from viewers. As he became a more prominent character, his popularity rose thanks to his earnest personality.
Fans that fell in love with Sir Davos loved how wholesome his character was and remained throughout the series. His humble background helped in building a character worth rooting for and in the end seeing him being given his due was a delight for his fans.
2 Brienne of Tarth Is A Multi-Layered Heroine Who Grew In Strength And Character
Putting aside the great excitement viewers had at seeing a tall and tough female knight, Brienne is also an incredible character. Not too long after her introduction, she’s given so many layers to her personality: there’s her broken love for Renly and her desire to avenge him, her devotion to knighthood, a struggle to fit into society, and much more.
Even though she is sometimes left to the background acting as another character’s support, she has her own character arc and growth, which is riveting to watch. As she grew into her own, so did her popularity among the fans.
1 Arya Stark Was Introduced As A Child, But Grew Into Everyone’s Favorite Warrior
For as long as she could remember, Arya was always interested in fighting, unaware of the nightmares that come with a battlefield. As the youngest character who endured some of the greatest hardships, for her to come out on top and stronger than ever, it’s no wonder she’s considered to be the fan-favorite.
Out of all the characters in the series, Arya accomplished the most with the smallest amount of help, no small feat for someone her age. She hit her peak of popularity after singlehandedly destroying the Night King, making her the real hero of the series.