From chopped fingers to a cut hand laid bare, from mouths spewing torrents of blood to a slew of teeth accompanying the former, your favorite Game of Thrones has its jittering share of violence and gore, and thankfully equally delighting fighters.

Whether it is Bronn’s cheating guile to land a punch or Ned Stark’s honorable way to spar, there are countless fighters “who could cut through others like carving a cake”. From a giant sword that could cut a horse in half at the hands of a man just as big, The Mountain, to the Red Viper who wielded a spear like an extension of his arm, the fighting styles in Game of Thrones are galore and the choice of weapons just as diverse. So can we rank the 12 best fighters in Game of Thrones?

We, at Stuff Listings, will try our best!

12) Arya Stark

Arya Stark, the faceless fighter from Game of Thrones
The Faceless Needle

Surprise surprise! One wouldn’t expect this- a teenage girl, half the size of an average man would make it to this list. But that little “faceless” girl bested Brienne of Tarth in a “face-off” making a point that a sharp and quick “needle” can take on a giant sword if you play your cards right. The same Brienne of Tarth who brought the Hound to his knees in a sword fight and ruffled him with her knuckles, lunging aggressively to shove him off the cliff. She would rank higher, it is just that she cannot prove her mettle with just one fight. With Game of Thrones being a series where the writer launches death like a predator at its heels, survival and the intense experience that comes with it, lands Arya on the list.

11) Jon Snow 

Jon Snow
The Watcher of the Wall

We cannot complete the list on Game of Thrones characters without the King in the North now, can we? From multiple encounters with the white walkers to the raid he led at Craster’s Keep, the supposed bastard of Winterfell has seen enough adventure in his lifetime, so much so that any other shouldn’t be able to manage it even in two. But then he is currently living for the second time, isn’t he? From the naive boy who took the black and admitted his inferiority to his brother Rob, to the one who took upon himself to defeat the army of the dead, Jon has come a long way. When experienced fighters like Tormund found themselves in a fix and got overwhelmed by the sheer number of the white-walkers, Jon managed to slay his way out of the fray.

 

10) Jamie Lannister

Jamie Lannister
Kingslayer

The youngest member of the kings-guard (most probably), who was hailed as one of the greatest living swordsmen in all of Westeros, wielded his sword with such remarkable dexterity that his prowess was considered to be beyond match. Many would rank him much higher in the list but the fact remains that he met his match against Brienne of Tarth and was thoroughly vanquished. Not to mention that in his brief attack on Ned Stark, he couldn’t dominate him to the extent his glory would suggest, although his finesse with the sword was well renowned. He did land with a thud, it seems, not so much upon his enemy but on his sister.

9) Ned Stark

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Ned Stark, most honorable man in Game of Thrones
Lord Eddard Stark

Even after becoming a little rusty with the sword as the years caught up with him and the long summer of peace mellowed him down, he fought on par with Jamie Lannister and did very well at that, proving that he must have been a very fierce warrior in his youth. Although he was thoroughly defeated by Ser Arther Dayne, he managed to keep up with best for a while when his bannermen perished. His swordsmanship was second only to his honorable repute that he tried not to stain till the very end.

8) The Hound

Sandor Clegane, one of strongest fighters in Game of Thrones
The Hound

A name which is fairly reasonable to anticipate. Fairly conflicted on violence and ethics, he stood tall in every form of conflict. His giant stature mirrored his equally dangerous attitude, though it was somewhat redeemed by his inward compassion but was still largely exemplified by his monstrosities. He could hold a man by his neck without showing any sign of exertion and wasn’t averse to saying what others wished to say, “fuck the king”. Spar with Hound and you won’t spar again. With an attitude that befits his face and a stature that suits his brute swordsmanship, cutting through scores of men is like a leisurely walk in a park for the Hound.

7) Brienne of Tarth

Lady Brienne, the best woman fighter
Brienne of Tarth

Even the Hound has his match and he found it in Brienne of Tarth, the lady who has Tormund in splits and drooling over her “unladylike charms” in frenzied adulation. Whether it was “knocking Loras into the dirt like the silly little boy he is” or putting the Hound in his place, Lady Brienne truly is singular and can definitely see most Knights, if not all, far behind her and that includes the famed Jamie Lannister.

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Jamie’s infallible air of superiority wafted into the air with his equally pungent odor as Brienne overpowered and outclassed him beyond question.

6) Ser Gregor Clegane

Ser Gregor Clegane, one of the strongest fighters
The Mountain

The unmatched brawn of the Mountain! The man who could cut a horse in two and decapitate a man like open a jar of pickles is most likely the strongest man in all the seven kingdoms. His prowess was such that in spite of his disrepute, he was knighted by Rhaegar and none except Oberyn came to the fore when he was announced as Cersei’s champion. His herculean built, execrably violent tendencies coupled with a short temper made him battle weapon like no other, especially after Qyburn’s experimentation.

5) Oberyn Martell

Oberyn Martell, one of the best spear fighters
The Red Viper of Dorne

Leave it to the quick wit of the Red Viper of Dorne to shut down a Lannister with a quick, terse and caustic remark. His deep voice is only surpassed by the depth of his spear handling skills, which he wielded with such finesse and proficiency that even the Mountain found his back to the ground and a spear to his chest. Had it not been for the flurry of anger, revenge and the quick tease, the Mountain was done for. But the fact remains that Oberyn was far better.

4) Khal Drogo

Khal Drogo,one of the quickest fighters in Game of thrones
The Great Khal

Not a very popular opinion but certainly true. His widowed wife is off conquering the world and “incesting” Jon, well sorry, to bend the knee but he seems to be only one worthy of riding the mother of dragons, sorry Jon Snow. The sparring prowess of the great Khal was largely unmatched. The fact that Dothraki fighters plundered the Lannister army by the thousands, cutting through them with relative ease lends it all the more credence. While Ser Jorah had a very tough time with a Dothraki blood-rider, rather he is alive all thanks to his armor, Drogo was unbeaten. Not even once. Of the battle that we did get to see, he ended things barehanded and with no exertion. He was incredibly fast and just as strong.

3) Robert Baratheon

Robert Baratheon, one of the strongest fighters in Game of Thrones
Robert Baratheon, one of the strongest fighters

His belly might disagree but the facts do not. Do not fall for Mark Addy’s rather average size appearance, Robert Baratheon should be about 6’6 in height, almost as strong as the Hound and as quick as anyone else (as per the books) in Game of Thrones. While Ned had a problem lifting his hammer off the ground, Robert wielded it with just one hand and with remarkable dexterity, he was arguably one of the best fighters. While a great commander too, he was rather profligate and thoroughly debauched. With all that we do know, he seems a fit candidate.

2) Ser Barristan Selmy

Ser Barristan Selmy, one of the best fighters in GOT
Barristan Selmy

The man who was known to have participated in more combat than any other and was also hailed as one of the greatest fighters by Ned Stark and his father alike, Ser Barristan Selmy was a tough man to beat even in his old age. He matched Grey Worm much easily and was rather quick in cutting through scores of sons of the Harpy men. Handling five kings-guards at such an old age was like “carving a cake” for him and it was supposedly true. Ned openly said that he was lucky enough to not encounter him in the battlefield or it would have been the end of him.

1) Ser Arthur Dayne

Ser Arthur Dayne, one of the best fighters in GOT
Ser Arthur Dayne

While a rather old Ned Stark could hold his own against Jamie Lannister to a certain extent, the young and battle-ready Ned Stark along with five of his bannermen was completely outclassed and overwhelmed by one man alone, and that man was Ser Arthur Dayne. The one who defeated the Smiling Knight, a man who was his generation’s Gregor Clegane and also the one who defeated Jamie Lannister, in single combat. With two swords and an unrivaled celerity, he was definitely one of the greatest fighters in Game of Thrones that we have ever seen.

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Neelanchal is a staunch logophile. A little bit of devotion to the written word catapulted him to the beatific world of writing and he hasn't found his way out, and as it so happens he found a creative outlet in stufflistings.com. His writings mirror his interests as much as his interests do his writings; with literary creative writing being his forte, he doesn't just restrict himself and rather goes on to venture into politics and beyond and further beyond to anime! I know, what a weird guy!