Cersei Lannister knows what it’s like to be misunderstood.
Photo: HBO

We’re heading into the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, with the remaining players getting ready to duke it out for the future of Westeros. The series has been full of dreamers and schemers, some of them more generally nasty than others. But which one is just a little bit misunderstood?

For every Ned Stark or Jon Snow in the “honorable to a fault” bunch, you’ve got about two dozen more nebulous types—your Cersei Lannisters, Petyr Baelishes, and Euron Greyjoys. Game of Thrones is full of seemingly irredeemable bastards. But, sometimes there’s more than meets the eye. After all, Cersei just wanted to protect her children, and Petyr Baelish eventually kept his promise to get Sansa Stark out of King’s Landing—even if he did ultimately put her in a worse situation by arranging a marriage to Ramsay Bolton.

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My pick is Tywin Lannister. Monstrous, I know. I think he was genuinely a great leader...one we tended to automatically side against because of how he treated Tyrion Lannister, our favorite son. He was constantly two steps ahead of everyone else, and used his gifts successfully and wisely. And he wasn’t always a monster. For example, he instantly knew Arya was disguised as a boy, and quickly figured out she was noble-born, but he kept her secret anyway. There’s a reason the Lannister fortune thrived under his leadership, and why things quickly fell apart for the family after he died. I don’t think he was a good person, not by a long shot, but I do think he was a strong one.

I want to know which Game of Thrones characters you think are the most misunderstood—not just by the other characters on the series, but by the audience itself. They don’t have to be alive. Hell, make a case for the Night King if you want. This is Game of Thrones, baby, the Iron Throne doesn’t judge.

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Game of Thrones returns April 14.


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