Game of thrones: Who the fuck am I supposed to be rooting for? [book spoilers for TV]

I just finished season 3, and realized that there is no one left that I can be rooting for. Basically, who is the protagonist?

In season 1, Ned Stark would have been the one to root for (he was noble, honorable, strong, etc), but he made several mistakes and was killed.

In seasons 2 & 3, it seemed that Robb Stark might have been one to root for, but he made so many huge and stupid mistakes (along with his mother) that, frankly, they both “deserved” to die.

Who is left that I, as a viewer, should be identifying with and rooting for? Almost everyone else (besides Arya and Tyrion) seem like total monsters for whom I don’t care if they live or die (and some, like Joffrey, I actively hope they die)

So, what’s your take on this? Is there anyone left to be rooting for? Does a story need to have a protagonist that you root for?

Tyrion Lannister is the one I like to root for. Also, the wildling girlfriend of the half-Stark … she seems like a decent sort. Which means they will both be dead by the end of Season 4. (I have not read the books and have no idea if it’s how that works out in the books or not. Sheer speculation.)

This is exactly why I dropped off after Ned Stark was killed. It was not only “no one to root for,” there was no one that I care whether they lived or died. Why waste my time watching people that I don’t like or care about?

I think the fact that pretty much everybody is doomed to die or is evil is the ultimate point of the series.

I made a thread like this, it wasn’t just that I didn’t like anyone I found them one dimensional(Joffrey is a cartoon).

I just didn’t give a shit anymore, most of these people good or bad will die and be replaced by random other people la la la.

People told me that was the point! Most characters are so deliciously nasty and evvvvvillll I should be watching for their inevitable nasty death.


I guess Bran and Dany are not overtly evil, Sansa too but Arya is well on her way to being a psycho killer. Dany I guess was handed nukes and decided to abolish slavery, thats something I suppose. Sure probably not a lasting change but eh.

I thought “boobs” was the ultimate point of the series.

Oh, forgot to add that the creators are sadists and the viewers are masochists, IMHO. Perfect for each other, but poor storytelling to me.

Two somewhat related questions:
[li]How big were the Game of Thrones books before the HBO series? (I hadn’t heard of them, but that’s likely because I’m not into this genre of books)[/li][li]How much of the books has the series covered so far? That is, if there are three books, are we done with two books so far?[/li][/ul]

FWIW, I fast-forward through a lot of the gory details (e.g. Theon Greyjoy’s torture), since it doesn’t really take away from the storyline to skip those scenes, and they do appear to be overly sadistic.

Daenerys watched as her husband murdered her brother in front of her and didn’t stop it, among other not-so-nice things she’s done.

[ul][li] They were big in fantasy circles. At the very least, I would say that if you were into fantasy, you’d probably at least have heard of them, though not necessarily read. Not a Tolkien or a Lewis. [/li] Slightly trickier there. There are currently five books released, out of a planned seven. The first two series fairly strictly followed the first two books, with a few things moved around. The third book was a very long one (where I live, in the UK, you could actually buy it split into two seperate books), with the result that the third TV series covers about half, but not necessarily just the first half, plus some bits from the fourth book entirely.[/ul]

Her brother sold her to someone who was “one of the finest killers alive,” told her that he would let the entire Dothraki horde AND their horses rape her if it meant he got what he wanted, and threatened to kill her unborn child just prior to her husband finally offing him. Murder? Yeah, technically, but I don’t think he was exactly a nice guy either.

Fair point

But see that is the problem, the series seems to go beyond “grey morality” into almost everyone is despicable territory.

I almost feel like the show was playing a trick, introduce traditional fantasy genre male protags and then kill them off. With the real characters taking center stage(Dany, Jon, Arya, Bran,Tyrion) who are in their own way pretty stereotypical and have obvious plot armor. For the sole reason that watching a character beyond season three die of some mundane reason would be annoying on a narrative level.

I also feel like we might be entering LOST territory here with a shaggy dog story with poorly defined “villains”. I’m suspicious it is going on so long with us the audience knowing:

What is the real story/conflict?

What are the motivations of the “villains”?

Even beyond the ice monsters we don’t know what Varis or Littlefinger are doing, or what motivates them. Hell the first episode? features a mysterious meeting that had still not been explained, but seems clear Varis set up the whole series including Dany, why? Who knows.


I wish I could understand the appeal.

Tyrion is probably the most sympathetic character at this point.

I enjoy “rooting” for a lot of the characters though, even if they’re not necessarily “good” people. Stannis (well, book Stannis at least), Tywin, Littlefinger, etc.

Also, it hasn’t really happened in the TV show yet, but Jaime really starts to get some character development that makes him sympathetic.

The characters are very interesting to me, even if they aren’t all typical protagonists I want to root for. I have trouble attaching myself to any of the various would-be kings on the Iron Islands, for example (this is more Book 4/5 stuff), but I still found it all pretty interesting to follow. The real problem was in Books 4/5 when a lot of the character plotlines became really slow and boring to follow (Bran, Sam, Arya, Brienne).

I certainly don’t need a story with a likable protagonist. I’ve known that since I fell in love with Lord Foul’s Bane in my teens.

I’m still keeping up with the Game of Thrones series on TV, but it is missing some elements that keep me from really engaging in it. Someone else already hit the nail on the head - so many characters are flat or cartoonish. I like characters who are a little flawed, or even a lot flawed, as long as I can still identify with them as people. Joffrey and Daenerys are particularly tiresome for me.

In part, I think we get these flat characters because the writers are trying to cover so much turf at once. There’s no room for introspection on thirty different characters who are all pursuing their own separate plot lines.

Frankly, if I was going to take the reigns on writing or directing the Game of Thrones series (based on what I’ve seen in the series), I would be very tempted to make the North and the Daenerys plot lines into separate seasons of their own rather than trying to work them in amongst the others. I expect the stories all tie together eventually, but I don’t see a reason why we can’t have Season 1 introduce all of the stories, seasons 2 and 3 following King’s Landing, 4 following Daenerys and 5 following the North. Then you can bring it all back together as needed in 6 or 7 to make sure any survivors all die together. Then I’d have something that felt like a real story and not like I was watching the dramatic re-enactment of Cliff’s Notes.

Yeah, I like Tyrion. Even early on, you can see he’s not as big a prick as he sometimes makes out to be. He’s been shat on his whole life by his family, and he sees how others are mistreated – but there’s only so much he can do.

Having read the first four books, I’m a little irritated with George R.R. Martin. I can see him writing, building up characters, and then killing them – and then going ‘Tee hee hee! Gotcha!’ The schtick is getting old. But it looks like that’s the way the series is.

I’m wondering how the rest of the series will play out. I’m thinking that this war will diminish most of the families, Daenerys will make it to Westeros with her dragons, and eventually everyone will figure out that the real enemy is the White Walkers – which, since they are vulnerable to ‘dragon glass’, will be defeated by dragon fire.

I think there are definitely some characters that seem more black or white than grey, at least in the way they’ve been portrayed so far. The Bolton clan seems particularly sadistic. Walder Frey seems selfish and evil, Joffrey is…well, maybe only Littlefinger might eventually challenge Joffrey for pure evil. (though Littlefinger, being a master of manipulation and subtlety, doesn’t kill with crossbows… at least, not crossbows that he wields.)

On the other hand, Jamie Lannister isn’t necessarily the evil child-killing remorseless asshole that he seemed to be…at least not completely. Ser Jorah loves Dany and is protective of her, and yet he was spying on her for King Robert and had once sold slaves. Stannis might not be charismatic, but it seems he has a conscience. Mellisandre seemed almost entirely evil at first, but she seems to have much more going on than simply trying to get Stannis in her pocket. The Hound has done terrible things, yet he seemed protective, maybe even loving towards Sansa and now Arya. Tywin Lannister is a horrible father and cold-blooded in his pursuit of his “legacy” but with Arya he seemed almost grandfatherly. I may not agree with his methods, but I can maybe see a more human side to him. The Wildlings seemed like nothing more than savages and assholes like Craster, but they may just have different motivations than those South of the Wall. Theon, I think, really wanted to recruit Balon Greyboy to fight for Robb, but his own daddy issues led him to not only betray Robb but to overreach and get himself in major trouble…but I don’t think he was as much evil as he was tortured (emotionally, I mean, before the whole Ramsay Snow thing).

Pretty much the only truly 100% good person in Westeros seems to be Hodor, and even he hodors too much sometimes. So I think there’s a lot of grey areas.

Littlefinger mostly wants power and was happy for the chance to get revenge against Ned Stark. Varis is less clear but I am Ok with that.