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Game of Thrones meets March Madness: Vote for your favorite character in our first round bracket

March Madness is upon us. In that spirit, we present to you our Game of Thrones voting bracket. Who’s the best character on the show? This tournament will conclusively determine the answer, for now and always.

To coincide with the second round of the men’s NCAA tournament, we have chosen 32 of the most popular Game of Thrones characters and seeded them just like those brackets making their way around your office. Each round, you can pick your favorite character from the matchups we have chosen. As each round of the men’s NCAA tournament ends, so does our voting. The winning character from each matchup advances forward, until finally we have one champion.

What criteria should you use? Whatever you decide. “Favorite character” is a subject proposition. Do you prefer Tyrion’s wit and wisdom to Robert Baratheon’s drunken debauchery? Choose Tyrion. Likewise, if you think Petyr Baelish is a better dresser than Margaery Tyrell, pick Littlefinger. This is not a tournament based on fighting skills or importance to the story. It’s just who you prefer.

Typical seedings were suspended as we only used 32 characters. There are some juicy matchups, though. It’s the battle of the significant redheads as Catelyn Stark squares off with Melisandre. Cersei Lannister and Ramsay Bolton duke it out to see who’s eviler. And in a shocking twist, Joffrey Baratheon and his former dog, Sandor “the Hound” Glegane, go head to head. And that’s just a taste.

Who will be the first bracket buster? Will this all end up coming down to Tyrion, Jon, or Dany? Just like the actual March Madness tournament, we won’t know until the end.

You’re in the great game now. And the great game is terrifying. Choose wisely. (Voting for round 1 closes Monday, March 22.)

Tyrion Lannister vs Robert Baratheon

Jaime Lannister vs Yara Greyjoy

Cersei Lannister vs Ramsay Bolton

Tywin Lannister vs Jorah Mormont

Eddard Stark vs Bronn

Robb Stark vs Theon Greyjoy

Sansa Stark vs Tommen Baratheon

Arya Stark vs Stannis Baratheon

Jon Snow vs Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane

Bran Stark vs Davos Seaworth

Catelyn Stark vs Melisandre

Hodor vs Oberyn Martell

Sandor “The Hound” Clegane vs Joffrey Baratheon

Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish vs Margaery Tyrell

Varys vs Daenerys Targaryen

Brienne of Tarth vs Olenna Tyrell

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the tournament. A new post will go up on the first day of the span of voting.

  • Round of 32: March 18-22
  • Sweet 16: March 23-24
  • Elite 8: March 25-March 31
  • Final 4: April 1-2
  • Championship Round: April 3


  • I will be shocked if Tyrion doesn’t walk it. Nevertheless, very fun to see everyone’s opinions on some of these match ups :) good piece!

      • Actually, there are a lot of differing opinions among folks who have read the books. In fact, there’s a significant Stark-hater faction, particularly as regards Jon Snow. FWIW, I’m not among them…

      • Yes, I have read the books. I never said I was going to vote for Tyrion to win, I just think the majority of people here will do.

        Besides, I was under the impression this vote was for show characters, not book characters.

      • Actually, my favourite character is Tyrion precisely because I have read the books twice. In a world so well constructed, with so many distressed and complex characters, I feel more attached to various characters than Jon Snow. In the real world, every person has light and darkness within and, as a reader, for me it would be much more satisfactory to see Tyrion rising from the vacuum he is right now and become a hero in his own way than seeing the allegedly “chosen one”, the almost perfect character, saving the world.

  • Why weren’t they seeded??….and yeah, some tough match ups: ned v bronn, oberyn v hodor….not sure how sansa draws that cupcake matchup w/ tommen while danys gotta open up with varys…woulda been nice to see him v LF

  • I dunno, some of these are really unfair. Like Arya vs Stannis, because OBVIOUSLY Arya will win. Same goes for Jaime vs Yara(Asha) and Robert vs Tyrion. It would have been cooler to match lesser characters with lesser characters so that you see who stays in the match longer. Idk, just my two cents. Tyrion will win, he always does.

    • I would guess that most people on this website haven’t read the books, so Stannis would likely have lost against anyone because the showrunners just made him the worst character of all time.

      Stannis would have a decent shot against most character in a crowd of book readers I think…. but on the show I don’t see him winning against anyone but the monsters like Ramsay. They didn’t make him likeable at all (in fact the one scene they used to make him likeable – the stannis/shireen scene – was only to make him burning her alive more shocking and making him even more of a monster). Some would argue he’s not likeable in the books either (I disagree) but at least in the books he had redeeming qualities… On the show on top of being unlikable he’s an idiot and an incompetent. Every battle scene (post the wildling attack) or decision makes him look like a fool, this is so bad.

    • Yeah, I was wondering about that. I think they did a copy paste from the mountain’s entry and forgot to edit it.

    • Come on, this is a show character poll. There is absolutely nothing “The Mannis” over show Stannis. Nothing likable or respectable at all.

  • Quite clear the maker prefers some characters over others. Poorly thought out as these kind of polls are used to negatively create opinions which, DO have consequences.

  • Shouldn’t of done this in pairs. It totally skews the results. Just a list of all the characters with an open vote and top 64 go through to second round and whittle it down from there halving each round.

    • Totally agreed!

      Poll/s of such simply leads to an honest opinion rather then quietly force a vote. Each character has her or his own strengths and weaknesses. To cut things short: Game of Thrones the t.v series is a very complex world (I’ve not read the books and shall not until GoT the t.v series and possible spinoffs are complete).

      • (wp user and no edit function. Granted I should have picked it up BEFORE posting) I should have clarified properly because it’s what I meant) Is: Poll/s are MEANT to lead to an honest opinion however, depending on the wording, may not result in a truthful and honest opinion. Considering history, why stupidity continues to reign is beyond me. I won’t be participating in any more WiC polls in the future unless the matter is addressed.

        • I don’t understand why so many seems offended by the polls method …First, it’s juts for fun, no need to take it too seriously…Second, it doesn’t matter if Caytlin for example loses a tough match-up to Melisandre while Sansa got it easy against Tommen …The fact is, in the next round, if Sansa shouldn’t belong there, she’ll lose to another (maybe even Melisandre) …In the end, the last one standing would be the same one regardless of match-ups.

  • One really well matched pair is Katelyn vs The Red Witch. And it shows in the results. So unfair to Stannis and Varys…

    Would’ve been fun to pair Jon with Daenerys, Arya with Sansa, two of the Lannister siblings. So one of them must leave at the start ( oh, the drama ). And keep some of the lesser but fine characters in longer.

    Oh, and they missed to make the Clegane Bowl. Not that the result is not known :)

  • You all forget, personal feelings aside who made such an impact on the show, who put everything in motion? Littlefinger! If it wasn’t for him and all his sceems the story would be a totally different one. We all hate him so much because he has made the biggest impression on everyone needs everything! He should win!

    • I agree, he’s the evil genius of the story, but I just don’t like how he’s portrayed in the show. He looks to much like a lawyer and doesn’t seems to quite fit in the medieval setting …I know we’re supposed to not be able to read him, because of all the manipulation and all, but in the end we end up having an actor that doesn’t display any emotion and feels empty

  • This was awesome . Spent so what time on discussing every poll. Some of them where hard to agree on . Looking forward to the next gets out 🌹👏🏻🙏🏻WIC☝️😉🌷

  • Theon Greyjoy, the very much alive and much more fascinating character of the lot, needs to win (and certainly over this long dead character!)

  • How could you put Varys against Daenerys?! Dragon Queen vs Spy Master? They both deserve to go to the final rounds!

  • Yes, some of them were too close to call – like Robb Stark vs. Theon Greyjoy. Who could not love Robb Stark – but there’s an part of me that has sympathy for Theon, even though he’s done some terrible things. He’s not as confident as he tries to appear. I love the Iron Islands too. The names and the places are outstanding.

    Varys is a character that I love – and I’m cheering for Dany – beautiful and powerful. Yay! All of the characters on GoT are very well done.

  • Theon va Rob has over 7000 votes, but the majority are slightly over 4000. Daenerys vs Varys has 6470, so it’s easy to be suspect of multiple voting on the characters that are closely contested. Why not use the top 32 on ranker and match 1 vs 32, 2 vs 31, and so on? The seeding system seems more fair.

    • Checking Ranker that may not be the best idea. It seems created early in the series, an a lot of long gone dead characters are still ranked pretty high. Removing them would make a good list to start from.

  • Whoa upset city as 3 Starks go down. I definitely agree with Theon over Robb and Mel over Cat but shocked Bronn beat Ned. I suppose six years being dead people forget. Im glad people didn’t just vote because they’re a Stark. I really hope next round I don’t have to choose between Arya and Davos or two other characters I like a lot.

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