One of the aspects of ‘Game of Thrones’ that set it apart from the rest of the shows and even movies is its grey characters. They are a mixture of good and bad in different proportions. No one is saintly good or demonically bad. And to say that there is at least one character in the show that hasn’t committed a mistake would be a wrong statement to make. With season eight yet to come, who knows, the viewers might even start sympathizing with the White Walkers at the end of the show.
Each of the characters has messed up in the show, either in his or her personal life or has messed up things for all the kingdoms.
This list is an endeavour to rank who messed up the most in the show.
1. The Children of the Forest
If there were a prize for the biggest mess that someone created in the entire series, it needs be awarded to the Children of the Forest. They were the creators of the White Walkers, the greatest villains of the entire story and who, at present, appears to be invincible.
The Children of the Forest created the White Walkers to fight against the First Men when they invaded Westeros about 12,000 years before the events of the series. They eventually agreed to co-exist, but the Children of the Forest couldn’t control the Walkers and thus Bran the Builder, the founder of House Stark, built a wall between men and the White Walkers.
We are yet to find out the precise circumstances that led the Children create the common enemy, but nothing can beat the mess the Children of the Forest created.
2. Rhaegar Targaryen
In a sexist era in which Game of Thrones is set, Rhaegar was totally at wrong to sideline his wife Elia Martell, the daughter of a high lord, to secretly getting married to Lyanna Stark, the daughter of another high lord who was already promised to Robert Baratheon, again, a high lord, fostered by Jon Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie. With his single move, he made enemies with four out of the seven kingdoms.
Then, without coming up with an explanation for others, he decided to spend his time in hiding with his new wife, letting situations go out of hand. Everything that followed after that was literally the direct consequence of Rhaegar’s actions.
3. Robert Baratheon
In the words of Bran ‘Robert’s rebellion was built on a lie’ because Lyanna was never kidnapped by Rhaegar but she eloped with him. He killed Rhaegar, who was going to be the successor of the Mad King and could have possibly brought peace in the Westeros.
He was compelled to become the king after the war ended but he never liked the job. His carelessness drove the crown in debt, giving Tywin Lannister and his house an advantage.
He married Cersei, a person he never loved. He kept Jamie near enough so that he could father Cersei’s children.
The other chaos he created included making Renly the Lord of Storm’s End instead of Stannis who was legally the heir.
He made plenty of wrong moves that contributed much to the mess Westeros is in now.
4. Aemon Targaryen
Maester Aemon should have become the king after the death of his elder brother Aerion Targaryen instead of letting his brother Aerys to rule the seven kingdoms. He was the legal heir to the throne. But he decided to not be the king and instead joined the Night’s watch.
Aerys turned out to be so unfit for the throne because of his paranoia that he earned for himself the title of the Mad King. His decisions created tensions among the houses.
The Mad King burning the Starks and Baratheons who were in King’s Landing looking for Rhaegar and Lyanna was the last straw that the houses could take and the rebel was thus obvious.
Seeing how sympathetic Aemon was towards Jon Snow and Sam, it would be safe to say that if he had become the king instead of his brother, there would not be so much of political crisis.
5. Cersei Lannister and Jamie Lannister
Cersei in particular has been able to make enemies out of most of the houses singlehandedly and for each of her three children’s death, she was directly or indirectly involved. If it wasn’t for her, the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow wouldn’t have become so strong that they would defy the royals and dare to keep Margaery Tyrell, queen of the seven kingdoms as a prisoner.
But the biggest of her mistakes should be her having sex with Jaime at Winterfell. Well, her having sex with Jaime anywhere should be a mistake, but that particular sex and being discovered by Bran Stark technically triggered the whole plot of the story.
6. Eddard Stark
Ned Stark had his share of enough mistakes that ultimately cost him his head. To begin with, he shouldn’t have brought his daughters into the King’s Landing.
It was very naive of him to tell Cersei that he knew about her relationship with Jaime instead of telling it to Robert in the first place. He actually believed that a letter written in the handwriting of his own, written and signed in the presence of no witness would be accepted by anyone. Then, he pressed on Stannis’ right to the throne, believed in dangerous Littlefinger blindly and went to his brothel when he should have left King’s Landing as soon as he could with his daughters and raise his banners for Stannis. He also refused Renly’s offer to storm and seize castle the night after Robert died.
His principles put the lives of his daughters in danger and caused the rise of the North and everything that followed.
7. Renly Baratheon and Stannis Baratheon
Comparing to Stannis, Renly did create much less mess, or, he didn’t live enough to create as much mess as Stannis did. But if they could just come to an agreement instead of trying to outrun each other, they had a very good shot to defeat the Lannisters and seize the kingdom.
Stannis at a personal level, made a chaos of his life by the choices he made. He had just way too much faith in prophesies and magic of Melisandre. He hit the rock bottom when he burnt down his only daughter Shireen as a sacrifice to the Lord of the Light for nothing.
8. Robb Stark
Honour and stupidity got Robb killed more than the Freys. He was winning all the battles and had a pretty good shot at winning the war, or at least bringing a new normalcy to the North. He was the King of the North after all and had great allies. All he had to do was marry one of the daughters of Walder Frey and he was good to go. But he ended up breaking the vow because he had a crush on a surgeon Talisa and had to marry her, making enemies out of the Freys. He beheaded Rickard Karstark personally, ending an alliance.
But one of the greatest goof-ups he made was not explaining his uncle Edmure about his plan to bottle up the Lannister army in the west so than Stannis could take the King’s Landing. Besides, it was also him who insisted on sending Theon to Iron Island despite of Catelyn advising him against it.
9. Bran Stark and Catelyn Stark
On a cursory look, it appears like the only mess he created was for himself, Meera and poor Hodor. But if seen critically, it was because of him the whole plot started. If he had just listened to the advice of his mother and not climbed that tower, he wouldn’t have seen Cersei and Jaime having sex in the first place, he wouldn’t have been pushed down, Tyrion wouldn’t have been captured by Catelyn and the unrest wouldn’t have started.
Also, it was a gross mistake on Catelyn’s part to arrest Tyrion on wild accusations, forcing Jaime to attack Ned outside Littlefinger’s brothel and everything happened after that. Her other mistakes include believing in Littlefinger and encouraging Ned to do the same.
10. Edmure Tully
The greatest mess that Lord Edmure Tully, Lord of the Riverrun made was not allowing the Lannister army of 20,000 men reach the Westerlands. King Robb’s plan was to take the Lannister army as far away from the King’s Landing as possible so that Stannis Baratheon who was marching towards the Landing had less resistance. If the Lannister army could be trapped in west, Stannis would have eliminated Joffrey, Cersei, Jamie and others.
Lord Edmure, clueless of Robb’s plan attacked Gregor Clegane’s men, forcing the Lannisters to escape and retreat to King’s Landing at the correct moment, defeating Stannis clearly.
11. Theon Greyjoy
Theon made a series of grey decisions to be sure that more than anything messed up his life.
He had a nice upbringing at Winterfell despite of being a war prisoner. He was like a brother to Robb and other Stark boys, but once he was sent to his father, who treated him wrongly and in order to prove him how good a son he was, he betrayed the family that treated him well. He seized Winterfell, paving the way for maniac Ramsay Bolton to take it later.
If he hadn’t had taken Winterfell, Robb wouldn’t have to make attempts to take Winterfell back and wouldn’t have to take the help of Walder Frey till the war was over.
Also, he lost his dick in the middle of all these somewhere.
12. Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey ordering the beheading of Ned Stark had what in the first place compelled Robb Stark to rise the North to fight. If he had just let him go, Robb wouldn’t be made the King in the North and many battles would not have been fought. But many events would happen anyway they had happened.
Even if he hadn’t had killed Ned, he would still be murdered by someone and the rebellion would still happen though there wouldn’t be five kings.
13. Oberyn Martell
Prince Oberyn was going great against the mountain and almost had killed him, but then he decided he needed to get some confession out of him in front of everyone before he could die so as to prove Tywin Lannister had been involved in the raping and killing of his sister and the murders of her children.
In his visible overconfidence he let the mountain trip him over and crush his head. His death set a series of events that led to the deaths of Myrcella Baratheon, Shae, Tywin Lannister, Trystane Martell, Doran Martell and Tyrion fleeing from the King’s Landing to Essos.