This Forum has been archived

Visit the new Forums
Forums: Index > Watercooler > Most Significant Characters (without series spoilers)

hey y'all, i havent read the books yet but im aware that the perspectives increase as well as the character base, but between the show and the series, i would like to know who are the most significant major characters in the story , im curious about characters such as Arya, Jon, and Rob. Its hard trying to read the books and watch the show, not being able to know which i should invest my time into. a list would just be acceptable. now i know the spider and little finger play their roles as puppet masters in the background in the show in some cases but i need foreground characters here.

thank you for taking the time.


The books use a third person point of view narrative. The point of view characters therefore seem the most significant because the reader sees the world through their eyes. The characters whose point of view appear in the first book are:

Of those characters all but Will and Eddard are still alive at the end of the first book and they all return as point of view characters for book 2 "A Clash of Kings". So you can guarantee these characters will have significant story arcs going forward. However the show is committed to providing enough material for its starring cast so non-point of view characters like Robb Stark will likely appear more in the show than they do in the book. I don't think you need any of this information to like the show though. The show is its own story and you should let the story guide you as to who you become invested in as a character. As a viewer the way your time is spent is determined by the writers and I think you are in safe hands with this project. --Opark 77 07:23, March 23, 2012 (UTC)

This question is inherently fraught with controversy because we can't say "who to be invested in" without giving away who dies: one of the major points of the story is its "anyone can die" nature. Case in point, Ned Stark is a major character, but he dies near the end of book 1.
What we *can* do is answer more specific questions about "should we care who this seemingly minor character is"? I.e. a lot of people didn't understand what the fuss about Theon Greyjoy was in Season 1, but that's because his plotline really comes to the fore in season 2. Another problem is that during the long book series, certain characters sometimes get sidelines for a full book - for entirely logical reasons. Daenerys Targaryen and Jaime Lannister simply don't do that much in the second book, but wow do they more than make up for that in the third book. Not particularly spoilers; logically, as the Stark's prisoner, Jaime Lannister doesn't really get a chance to do much for a while.
But with regard to "who are minor characters we should keep an eye on and care about"? As George R.R. Martin himself has pointed out, most of his major characters come together near the beginning, then spread apart, with the intention that they'll start coming back together near the final act -- just like in Tolkien, which inspired GRRM. So essentially most of the big characters introduced in the feast at Winterfell in Season One are major characters: Ned, Catelyn, the six Stark children (not so much Rickon due to being so young); Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, and Cersei's children. That kind of thing.
Generally speaking, all of the members of the Great Houses are important. All the Starks, and the Lannisters (there are actually multiple younger cousins of cadet branches of House Lannister in the books, but most aren't what I'd call "primary characters"). As for House Baratheon, you already met Robert and then Renly; Stannis is actually very important but logically couldn't be in the first instalment; yes he is as important as Renly or Jaime. Daenerys Targaryen is of course carrying her own storyline.
I must stress this: House Arryn isn't what I'd call primary characters; prominent secondaries who happened to appear in the first book. Don't worry about them.
In terms of "people we haven't met who will be important later", yes all of the Greyjoys are important but they introduce them as major characters in season 2. House Tully hasn't even been introduced yet but got truncated for time: Catelyn Tully-Stark's family, her uncle Brynden and brother Edmure, who are loyal followers of Robb Stark and essentially an extension of the Stark family. Many are annoyed they've been cut for time, for now. Yes, House Tyrell is very important but only as the book series progresses; Loras was barely in season 1 but in early season 2 they expand this more with Margaery and such (Margaery Tyrell is a huge character). They haven't even introduced House Martell of Dorne yet, they're important.
One of the thing I love about the book series is that as time passes, Cersei's younger children become characters in their own right, i.e. Myrcella Baratheon actually turns into an important character, but this would be around season 5 of the TV show.
I don't think it would be too spoilery to say that Brienne of Tarth is basically Game of Thrones' version of Eowyn in Lord of the Rings, in terms of her status as a primary cast member and how much of the narrative she carries. --The Dragon Demands 02:54, April 16, 2012 (UTC)