I think it should go without saying, but spoilers for all 8 eights seasons possible here and allowed in the comments.
The scope of our tournament continues to narrow, down to 8 claimants to the Best Game of Thrones character. We’ll see how competitive today’s matches are, but the last round at least gave us a little tension.
- It’s 4 women to 4 men, with also 2 standing Starks and 2 Standing Lannisters in the field still.
- Again, Brienne led the largest blow out and the most upvotes, coming up with a 81-16 win over her lady Catelyn Stark. Cat tied with her husband, Ned, for the least upvotes of the round
- The final 8 are the same characters who were the top 8 seeds at the start of the tournament, so no Cinderella runs in the Game of Thrones universe.
- The Battle of the Lions proved to be one of our closest matchups yet, with Tywin managing a narrow 51-47 victory over his son Jaime. And now his watch has ended\
The Realm Remembers
- I would say Margaery Tyrell is a good example of a character who was significantly elevated by the show- partly being the show had to flesh out her role in the palace intrigue, and because of the excellent choice to cast Natalie Dormer in the role. While the Cersei’s destruction of the Sept was a great dramatic moment, it was definitely at the same time a bummer to lose Margaery as a player so suddenly.
- Oberyn Martells enters into Season 4 like this awesome breath of fresh air. It’s really impressive in my opinion how they made that character so beloved within just a few scenes over the course of a season – and it is disappointing they couldn’t make the rest of Dorne live up to what Pedro Pascal established. Still, his battle with the Mountain is one of those scenes I watch and find myself desperately rooting it will somehow end differently on this rewatch.
- Jaime’s arch in Season 3 was really impressively handled- they pulled off making the turn around of what seemed before like a trope villain believable – and when you go back to Season 1, you see why you thought this guy was an asshole, but you can also pick up on signs of the deeper character that was there. From there it gets messy. I did love how the writers developed Tyrion and Jaime’s relationship much more than the books did throughout Season 4. But it also from Season 4 onward often looked like D&D didn’t “buy” the idea of a redemption arch for Jaime and seemed insistent on not having Jaime strictly follow that line. And I’m not exactly against making sure Jaime’s storyarch is more complicated than “bad guy turned into a good guy,” but in their hands it often seemed like he was just being very inconsistent and ill-defined as a character.
- I feel like Ned and Catelyn were a little under appreciated with their poor performance in this round. They were really crucial characters in grounding the world of this show – instead of just throwing us into a wild storm of grey characters, we had this morally firm set of characters to lead us. I would say “and they cast a large shadow over the rest of the show after their deaths,” but maybe one of my issues with the final season was it didn’t really feel like their legacy was important to the endgame. That is to say, I thought there would be a point where the Stark children would have to wrestle between what their parents wanted to be and what they had become- but that never really came.
- Varys is another character I though might be a bigger player in this tournament, but wasn’t. In my mind Varys in those first few seasons really felt like he represented the show at the best- showing the intrigue behind the scenes of power – with Conleth Hill making him into one of the most memorable characters on this show. I loved his scenes with Ned in the dungeons – in part because they set up what was really interesting about the character. The notion that the guy no one trusts is actually the guy who cares most about doing good by the people is compelling, and we’re inclined to believe it once it’s been thrown out there, but still have the mystery of what Varys believes is best “for the realm.” But in later seasons they really blow this one too, since they cut out the pay-off to what Varys really wants. So we’re left with this character who’s no longer very interesting, since he no longer has anything up his sleeve. He’s just straightforwardly saying out loud what he actually thinks and wants – to the point where he’s discussing treason with everyone out in the open.
The spirit of a tournament like this is the criteria for how you judge these characters is whatever you want it to be as determine who the “best” characters according to the Avocado are. Though since this is a TV show tournament, I would suggest looking at characters more through the lense of their TV versions.
Something that has struck me with how people justify their votes here is how often they say “well, I really liked this character, but then x and y that came later ruined it for me.” Which I don’t think is an invalid perspective, but I tend to look at it very differently. I’m less “how well written was this character during their entire time on show?” and more “how much did I like this character when they were being written at their best?” when deciding between match-ups.
The 4 matches will be posted below, and all typical Avocado Tournament Rules apply. Here’s a link to view the full bracket. You will have at least 24 hours to vote before matchups are closed.