Tywin Lannister looking disdainfully at someone offscreen in "Game of Thrones"

The Most Powerful Characters in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ Ranked

There are great and terrible powers all throughout the Known World of A Song of Ice and Fire. Conquering kings! Fierce warlords! Unkillable warriors! But which characters are the most powerful in history? Let’s count down.

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10. Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg

A giant stands in a torchlit tunnel in "Game of Thrones"

In terms of raw strength in one single body, Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, known to The Giants as Mag the Mighty is the most powerful sentient being in the Known World. Sure there might be even BIGGER giants in the Far East in Essos, but we don’t know for certain. Mag the Mighty makes the most powerful warrior in Westeros The Mountain look like a twig. He is king of the giants. Why? Because he’s the BIGGEST. He was able to rip through the iron gates at the foot of The Wall, and able to decimate an entire squadron of the Nights’ Watch before finally being brought down.

9. Harry Strickland (and all other Golden Company captains)

Harry Strickland on horseback in front of gold armored soldiers in "Game of Thrones"

Harry Strickland is the captain of the Golden Company, the most powerful group of sellswords in all of Essos. The Golden Company can trace its lineage back to Aegon “Bittersteel” Rivers, one of the Great Bastards legitimized by Aegon IV who fled Westeros after the destruction of House Blackfyre during the Blackfyre Rebellions. The Golden Company employs thousands of ex-knights and warriors the world over, all seeking their fortune through combat. Aside from fierce fighting men, The Golden Company also has elephants and uses them to devastating effect in battle. Harry Strickland controls them all.

8. Khal Drogo

Jason Momoa Khal Drogo the Dothraki

Deep in the Great Grass Sea of Essos ride nomadic bands of horsemen warriors known as The Dothraki. Each tribe is led by a central leader known as a Khal, and the various Khal compete for dominance in Dothraki culture. Who is Khal Drogo? The most powerful Khal to ever live. He commands an army of thousands, a horde of fierce Dothraki warriors capable of standing against the finest armies in Essos. How did he get the job? Through merit. Khal Drogo is one of the greatest warriors in Dothraki history. When a Dothraki warrior loses a battle, they cut off their long ponytails. Khal Drogo’s hair goes down past his waist. He’s never lost a fight.

7. Barristan Selmy

An old knight stands perplexed in a city street in "Game of Thrones"

Also known as “Barristan the Bold,” Ser Barristan Selmy is celebrated as the greatest fighter that Westeros has ever known. He won tourney after tourney in his youth and was made a member of the elite Kingsguard when he was only 23. He defeated Maelys Blackfyre in combat, singlehandedly ending the War of the Ninepenny Kings waged by House Blackfyre against the Iron Throne. He has served in countless conflicts and has lived to ripe old age due to his martial skills. In the Song of Ice and Fire book series, he currently serves as a commander and military advisor in the retinue of Daenerys Targaryen. The man is not to be trifled with.

6. Tywin Lannister

Tywin Lannister looking disdainfully at someone offscreen in "Game of Thrones"

While Tywin Lannister is nothing special when it comes to combat, he is easily the most powerful non-royal political figure in all of Westeros. Cunning, shrewd, and richer than the gods themselves, Tywin Lannister is the patriarch of House Lannister and was effectively the ruler of Westeros by proxy during his lifetime. It was his ruthless tenacity that pulled House Lannister out of the financial ruin it was left in by his late father, and restored as arguably the most powerful house in Westeros. The man has the most gold in all the kingdom, and more importantly, he knows how to spend it.

5. Daenerys Targaryen

Drogon beside Daenerys Targaryen at the last season of Game of Thrones.

As of A Dance With Dragons, the fifth novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Daenerys Targaryen has gone from exiled princess to the single most powerful military and political force in all of Essos. Her vast armies are made up of fierce Dothraki cavalry, powerful sellsword companies, and the world’s most elite infantry force: The Unsullied. She also has the famous Barristan the Bold commanding her armies, as well as three dragons. If it wasn’t for the ocean standing between her and Westeros, she would have conquered it already.

4. The Monarchs of Westeros


Historically, the Monarchs of Westeros have been some of the single most powerful people in the history of the Known World. After Aegon the Conqueror untied the Seven Kingdoms, the Westerosi Monarchs have complete control over the many powerful houses (and their many powerful armies) that populate the continent. Robert Baratheon, Viserys I Targaryen, and yes even that little shit Joffery Baratheon command more military and political power than any person in history … save for one. And his name is…

3. Aegon the Conqueror

Balerion the Black Dread in 'House of the Dragon'

King Aegon the Conqueror, First of His Name is arguably the most powerful person to ever live. Aegon I was the person who united the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros into one continent-spanning empire. How? Dragons. Aegon and his sisterwives were the riders of the three most powerful dragons ever known to exist. Aegon’s personal dragon Balerion, the Black Dread (posthumously pictured above), is easily the single most powerful organism to ever live. With a jaw large enough to swallow oxen and wings that could block out the sun, Balerion was the equivalent of bringing a nuclear bomb to a gunfight. No wonder Aegon was able to make the Westerosi kings bend the knee, they had no other choice.

2. The Great Other

The Great Other is the god of the Others, more famously known as the White Walkers. The Great Other is locked in an eternal battle against the Lord of Light R’hllor, God of Flame and Shadow. It is unknown if the Great Other is manifest in a physical body (i.e. Night King from the Game of Thrones show) or simply a spiritual presence, but it is without a doubt one of the strongest beings in the Known World. The Others serve the bidding of The Great Other, which desires nothing but to cover the world in eternal winter and night. Hundreds of years ago, it almost succeeded. And with legions of White Walkers and countless thousands of undead soldiers, it’s going to try again.

1. The Prince That Was Promised

Jon Snow with a red question mark over his face

The Prince That Was Promised is without a doubt the most powerful character in all of the Known World, and the subject of the mythical Song of Ice and Fire itself. This prince of prophecy is said to have existed long ago, and is reborn throughout the ages to bring about changes to the entire world. The Prince could be argued to be the physical manifestation of the Red God R’hllor, a god able to resurrect the dead and bend causality to its will.

While the identity of The Prince is unknown (but likely Jon Snow or possibly Daenerys), The Prince That Was Promised is easily the most influential figure in ASOIAF history, and will continue to change the course of the world for ages to come.

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.