From Oberyn Martell to Brienne of Tarth, these are the greatest fighters in Game of Thrones.
There are plenty of things to love about Game of Thrones, including stellar worldbuilding and killer casting. But the one thing that kept us tuning in to HBO week after week was to see different characters fight in the brutal, medieval-style world, with each new season introducing us to new fighters and new epic battles.
Now that the series is over, we decided to create the definitive list of the best fighters in the show…and if you don’t see your favorite, rest assured that there was simply a skill issue on their part.
Ser Jorah Mormont
On the balance, it may be surprising to see Ser Jorah Mormon make it into any ranked list of Game of Thrones fighters, even if he did end up coming in dead last. But the truth is that Mormont proved simping can be a superpower, and he kept fighting–and kept winning–across a series of battles that took many other skilled fighters, all due to his fierce love for his Queen.
Plus, he died right after killing what appeared to be a small army of the Night King’s warrior wights, meaning that this once-disgraced fighter had the kind of badass final battle that most warriors in this world can only dream of.
Given that Pedro Pascal has only gotten more popular in recent years thanks to The Mandalorian and The Last of Us, we imagine some Game of Thrones fans will be dismayed that his character didn’t end up higher on this list. But as fun as it was to watch Oberyn Martell be a voracious, bisexual menace in King’s Landing, he is mostly remembered for his epic battle against Gregor Clegane.
And while his poisoned spear ultimately did its job, we just can’t rank a fighter any higher after we saw him get all his teeth knocked out during the title bout before getting his entire skull crushed in.
As a warrior beyond The Wall, you could say that Tormund Giantsbane is a character that proved his ferocity and strength long before we even saw him onscreen. Unlike most other Game of Thrones characters, he had to survive against both human opponents and the more supernatural evil beyond The Wall that keeps the Night’s Watch shaking in their beds at night.
And since he became a warrior advisor for major badasses like Mance Rayder and Jon Snow, we got to see plenty of Tormund’s skills in combat (though his skills at wooing Brienne “the big woman” of Tarth could still use a bit of work).
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
While the other Game of Thrones fighters are on this list due to their prowess in combat, The Hound is mostly here because he is like the cockroach of the franchise: no matter what fights he gets into or how stacked the odds are against him, he usually emerges with another victory and some kind of inexplicable one-liner.
Frankly, if not for the fact that Brienne eventually hands his ass to him (and the small fact that his personal Kryptonite is fire), then The Hound would likely be higher in our ranking. But no matter his rank, fans can agree he’s one of the best fighters in the franchise.
Early on in Game of Thrones, we get to see some of the Stark family training that helped transform Jon Snow into such a formidable warrior. And whether it’s due to training or just good genes, he proved himself a skilled and versatile fighter who is just as good at winning one-on-one duels with White Walkers as he is at surviving epic clashes like The Battle of the Bastards.
If nothing else, Snow seems to endure more combat than almost any other character in the show, and the fact that he survives most of them (plot-convenient resurrection for the win) helps showcase how skilled in combat he really is.
One of the reasons we love Grey Worm in Game of Thrones is that he ended up becoming a master tactician as well as an accomplished warrior. We weren’t that surprised that he’s a skilled fighter, either.
As a member of The Unsullied, kicking ass and taking names is just what Grey Worm and the rest of his crew have been training for years to do. But once he is in a position to help lead Dany’s growing army of warriors, we get to see that Grey Worm possesses the tactics of a master general, helping his Queen again and again in her quest for power and influence.
Brienne of Tarth
Obviously, nerd debates about topics such as the best fighters in Game of Thrones get vicious because they are so subjective…after all, how does one prove that one fighter is better than another? But it turns out that we have plenty of game tape to go by when declaring Brienne of Tarth as one of the most dangerous warriors in the realm.
She beats the so-called Knights of Summer, The Hound, and even Jaime Lannister (albeit after he has been maimed). Brienne ends up crossing swords with almost every threat this world has to offer, and this powerful fighter lives to tell the tale establishing her as being almost (but not quite) the best fighter in the show.
Ser Jaime Lannister
It’s part of this character’s tragic arc that he is the best fighter in the realm and ends up losing his good hand, forcing him to train enough to fight with his non-dominant hand and protect his sister (played so perfectly by Lena Headey).
And the fact that he’s still a half-decent fighter with his bad hand helps to prove what a holy terror on the battlefield Jaime must have been in his prime, creating legends about his skill that would forever precede him.