Top Ten Thursday: A Song of Ice and Fire Characters

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I’ve been sort of missing these past few days, but in my defense I had valid reasons. Got a new job and who knew that a job involved preparing and working? The other reason why I could not get to post this yesterday was because my internet was having a tantrum. So instead of torturing myself I decided to leave this for the next day, and to make up for it I’ll be posting a second TTT feature as well (sometime later today).

For this first one, we’re going with A Song of Ice and Fire Characters (I’m using the books and not the show because I’m not entirely happy with the direction the show’s taking and some of my favorite book characters aren’t as great on the screen). I will only be providing images and quotes without any commentaries so that I do not give away any spoilers to the character arcs. The reasons why they’re picked in the listed order is because of how well written the characters were or how enjoyable their chapters were.

10. Samwell Tarly

“Sam thought of all the trials that he and Gilly suffered, Craster’s Keep and the death of the Old Bear, snow and ice and freezing winds, days and days and days of walking, the wights at Whitetree, Coldhands and the tree of ravens, the Wall, the Wall, the Wall, the Black Gate beneath the earth. What had it all been for? No happy choices and no happy endings.” ~ Sam’s thoughts.

9. Ser Barristan Selmy (Barristan the Bold)

“Have no fear, sers, your king is safe… no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger cuts cheese. If you would serve under the Kingslayer, not a one of you is fit to wear the white. Here, boy. Melt it down and add it to the others, if you like. It will do you more good than the swords in the hands of these five. Perhaps Lord Stannis will chance to sit on it when he takes your throne.” ~ Barristan on his forced retirement as a Kingsguard.

8. Cersei Lannister

“I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.” ~ Cersei’s thoughts.

7. Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

“Spare me your empty little compliments, girl . . . and your ser’s. I am no knight. I spit on them and their vows. My brother is a knight.” ~ Sandor to Sansa Stark

6. Arya Stark

“A long time ago, she remembered her father saying that when the cold wind blows the lone wolf dies but the pack survives. He had it all backwards. Arya, the lone wolf, still lived, but the wolves of the pack had been taken and slain and skinned.” ~ Arya’s thoughts.

5. Theon Greyjoy (Reek)

“Only a fool humbles himself when the world is so full of men eager to do that job for him.” ~ Theon to Asha Greyjoy (disguised under an alias)

4. Brienne (Brienne the Beauty)

“All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.” ~ Brienne to Jaime Lannister.

3. Davos Seaworth

“I am a man. I am kind to my wife, but I have known other women. I have tried to be a father to my sons, to help make them a place in this world. Aye, I’ve broken laws, but I never felt evil until tonight. I would say my parts are mixed, m’lady. Good and bad.” ~ Davos to Melisandre

2. Tyrion Lannister (The Imp)

“My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.” ~ Tyrion to Jon Snow

1. Jaime Lannister (The Kingslayer)

“He felt a bone-deep ache in his phantom fingers. I’ve lost a hand, a father, a son, a sister, and a lover, and soon enough I will lose a brother. And yet they keep telling me House Lannister has won this war.” ~ Jaime’s thoughts.

Top Ten Thursday: Video Game Characters

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I may or may not have a slight obsession with video games. Depends on how much time I can leave for that at the end of the day. I had more time in the past so I was able to spend more hours crushing things with the help of many fictional characters. Here’s my top 10 list of best characters from video games, chosen mainly on their story and iconic value. But to be honest I started with almost 40 characters and it took me a long while to get them down to just 10.

 10. Arthas Menethil (Warcraft)

The Prince of Lordareon is the epitome of potential for greatness gone wrong. He was a trained Paladin, in a relationship with a fine sorceress, Jaine Proudmoore, and at some point he would have inherited the throne from his father, Terenas. Yet in his quest for greatness he made the grave error of picking up the cursed runeblade known as Frostmourne, which lead to him becoming a death knight and abandoning all he was. He led the Scourge in destroying his own kingdom, Lordareon, and eventually merged with the Lich King, becoming one of the greatest evils on Azeroth (fictional world) who ruled for years after. And that doesn’t even begin to describe his journey, as experienced by playing him as a character.

9. Kratos (God of War)

Born and raised in Sparta, he had hoped he and his brother would one day become part of the Spartan army. But the gods took his brother away and Kratos had to join the army without him. He got himself a great life, a wife, a daughter, a position as Captain of the army. But the gods were cruel, setting him in a fit of rage which pushed him to murder his family, subsequently stripping himself of his army position. Then he went on working for the gods, challenging the gods, and ultimately defeating the gods with the use of ‘Hope’ from Pandora’s Box. Talk about a damn character arc.

8. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem)

Does Duke Nukem really need any explanation? He’s Duke Nukem, the self-proclaimed hero who saves the Earth numerous times.

7. Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog)

A blue anthropomorphic hedgehog whose weapon is curling up in a ball and who has the ability to run at supersonic speeds. He impales things on his spikes, he collects rings and power-ups, but most of all he runs and survives.

6. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy)

Born as a result of experimentation by injecting him with extraterrestrial life-form cells while he was still a fetus. When he discovers the truth about his creation he sets on a mission he believes he is destined for — taking full control of Gaia. And thus one of the greatest villains in gaming is born.

 5. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

It’s always the darn archaeologists, isn’t it? A young, pretty, smart, and athletic rich and English adventurer wanders from a ruin to a tomb, raiding all the scary and dangerous places around the world. I don’t believe there’s another video games female character as popular as her.

4. Illidan Stormrage (Warcraft)

Deep down, Illidan was just a misunderstood being. Always taken for granted, things never went his way, it seemed like the whole world is conspiring against him, and eventually he just went with the flow. That flow led him to acquiring unimaginable powers, but in the process also committing horrid acts against the inhabitants of Azeroth and that includes his own people, the Night Elves. Eventually he had a bit of a redeeming act where he and his twin brother, Malfurion Stormrage, stopped their quarrel long enough to save the one they were both in love with, Tyrande Whisperwind.

3. Gordon Freeman (Half-Life)

If an experiment ever goes wrong and our land gets invaded by a plethora of alien races, can we please make sure Gordon Freeman is leading our defenses? Because despite him being a theoretical physicist, he does a damn good job in Half-Life leading the uprising against the enemy.

2. Mario (Super Mario)

In the Mushroom Kingdom lives a short and chubby Italian plumber by the name of Mario, who sets on a mission to save the Princess Peach from a Koopa villain called Bowser. Sometimes we also see his brother, Luigi (a tall and skinny Italian plumber). He cannot run fast, but he can jump high and that’s how he gets his enemies — feet on head (thank goodness he’s a bit chubby?). He also collects coin, because… Taxes? And he eats mushrooms, which make him larger or smaller, which can kill him or give him an extra life, which give him the ability to shoot, etc. Let’s just say, while any of the Mario games are fun when you’re a kid, they’re even funnier when you’re a grown up.

1. Link (The Legend of Zelda)

A boy gathers the courage, leaves his home and everyone he knows for the greater good. He decides to follow his dream of fighting the evil forces which are threatening their land. Despite him being young, he manages to master all sorts of weapons, skills, and items, which help him on his long journey. He’s also friends with the Princess Zelda, whom he likes dearly and attempts to win her affections. Eventually, in the end he manages to vanquish all foes and becomes a famous hero in his world. But that’s a very crappy summary of Link. Link is something extraordinary, something that can only be experienced and not explained. Link is legendary.