HBO’s Game of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead are two of the biggest shows on television right now. I can’t even scroll down my Facebook newsfeed without seeing a spoiler from either show.
Both boast hundreds of thousands of fans, the highest of ratings each week and millions of dollars in the creators’ pockets. But is one better than the other? Is it possible to compare a show about rotting corpses eating people and another about dragons set in medieval times? Everyone I ask about this is completely positive that one is DEFINITELY better than the other. Like, there’s no in between. It results in heated arguments over why such-and-such is a better character than that person, this event was cooler than that, blah, blah, blah.
So while there’s no exact right answer and it’s completely up to personal preference, I thought it’d be fun to pick out some of the best characters from both shows and pit them against each other to see who’s better. Let the best zombie/king slayer win.
Michonne vs Cersei Lannister: Fierce Warrior Queens
These women don’t mess around.
Both are strong, fierce, wildly protective mothers that would do anything for those they love, who have been through some tough shit in their lives which has turned them sort of cold. But can you blame them? I’d be curled up in the fetal position after seeing the things they’ve been through.
Michonne is probably the most bad ass character on The Walking Dead (cue Daryl Dixon fans gasping in horror) and will totally cut off your head with her sword if you cross her. Cersei will do the same, except she’ll get someone else to cut your head off, because she doesn’t like doing the dirty work. So who’s better?
Well, Cersei has some amazing one liners (to King Robert after she establishes he’s being soft: “I should wear the armor, and you the gown.” shots fired.) and her complete lack of fucks given is actually inspiring. The smug smile she wears when things are going her way makes everyone want to kill her, but it’s amazing and we should all bow down to her.
But, Michonne could probably take on the entire zombie apocalypse by herself, if needed. She’s independent, smart and beautiful, and she’s the reason why the Governor only has one eye. She doesn’t let anyone mess with her and the two armless, jawless zombies she carried around for a while were awesome.
Also, Cersei birthed the literal spawn of satan (fuck you, Joffrey), so she loses this one.
Jamie Lannister vs Shane Walsh: Love to Hate
Complicated characters are the best. Do I love you because you’re bad? Do I hate you because you’re bad? Why do I like you?
I’m pretty much always having to remind myself why I don’t like Jamie Lanniser (see: him having sex with his sister, raping his sister, pushing a kid out of a window, etc) because sometimes that good looking smile reels me in. But in all honesty, he’s a pretty horrible person. Also, he’s in love with Cersei, so that pretty much sums up his life choices.
Then we have Shane Walsh, driven to the brink of insanity when he fell in love with his best friend’s wife Lori, and in a desperate attempt to have sex with her, told her that Rick was dead. When Rick comes back, Shane’s all, “I dun fucked up.” Yeah, you did, but to be fair, it would suck having to see the woman you’re in love with be with someone else. Oh, wait, that’s not an excuse for murderous actions. Shane, what the fuck?
Both of these guys are cold killers, in love with someone they shouldn’t be. They’ve done some horrible things but their characters are interesting and fun to watch. Still, only one can win, and I’m gonna go with Jamie, because he only has one hand and that sucks. Also, Shane’s dead, so he’s weak by comparison.
WINNER: Jamie Lannister
Daryl Dixon vs Tyrion Lannister: Fan Favorites
Okay, this one’s a hard one, because either way I’ll probably get hate mail from hardcore fans of these guys. Daryl and Tyrion are the largely favored characters with a huge fanbase, and it’s easy to tell why. These guys are both funny, loving, brave and just awesome overall.
Though they have their differences. Tyrion has a way with words that are relevant even in today’s world: “never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used against you” and “when you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you are only telling the world that you fear what he might say” are just two of the epic quotes that come from him. Daryl, on the other hand, not so much. The subtitles for him would say “inaudible reply” or “mumbling”, and he mostly communicates with squinted side glances or nods.
Daryl’s the southern red neck every girl fawns over (though we don’t know why, he hasn’t showered in, like, months) and Tyrion’s the underdog we’re all rooting for, facing up against his incredibly powerful and evil family. I can’t even default these guys for flaws because they basically have none. I mean, I’m aware they do, but I look past/ignore them because my affection for these characters is alarmingly high.
Sansa Stark vs Lori Grimes: Underappreciated Women
Okay, so admittedly pitting these two against each other is a little random. But I’ve noticed in both the GoT and TWD fandoms, these two ladies don’t get a lot of love. Is it because Lori’s annoying? Sansa’s a naive child? Why are fans so quick to hate female characters but not the male murderous male ones (looking at you, Jamie Lannister)?
Sansa and Lori are just trying to survive in the worlds they’ve been put in. Firstly, Sansa is a child, so obviously, she’s going to act like one. In the beginning of season one, she’s twelve! She has a naive outlook on love and life but she should, because she’s A CHILD. She loves girly things and is a sharp contrast to the beloved Arya, but just because she’s ‘girly’ doesn’t mean we have to hate her. Why are we hating feminine characters? Anyway, her character arc is interesting and I hope she’s going to turn out to be a bad ass AND a girly figure. Take that, world.
Lori hasn’t made the best decisions in the apocalypse, but she’s at least trying. After all, Shane told her that Rick was dead! What’s she going to do, sit around and weep all day? It’s completely fine to move on and she shouldn’t be punished for that. She’s a great mother to Carl and gave her life to birth Judith, so cut her some slack. She’s strong and smart, and even nine months pregnant she’s shooting zomies in the face. Awesome. She is, however, annoying for constantly palming Carl off to everyone else (“can you look after Carl?? Have you seen Carl?”).
In the end, Sansa’s the one who had to deal with nearly marrying Joffrey, so she’s a complete trooper. Also, her mother, father and brother have all been brutally murdered and she’s still soldiering on.
WINNER: Sansa Stark
Rick Grimes vs Ned Stark: Father Showdown
Here we have two middle aged men trying to do right in the crazy, evil world they live in. All they want is to protect their family from the outside threats while still maintaining who they are. Getting deep.
There’s Rick Grimes, father of two who’s leadership abilities are constantly tested. He’s always going against his word (tells the group they don’t kill the living, has a body count of like twelve people) but he has the group’s best interests at heart. Besides, he has the best written line on television ever: “I’m doing stuff, Lori. Things.” Never forget.
The death of Ned Stark at the end of season one was the worst thing ever. Ned was keeping everyone together, he was an amazing father to his kids and just outright bad ass. He’s the only one smart enough to realize King Baratheon’s kids weren’t really his kids and the only one tough enough to go up against Cersei.
Both these guys are loyal and brave, but most importantly, have amazing hair and beards. But who wins? Well, I’m gonna go Rick Grimes, because he’s lasted three more seasons and he just ripped some guy’s neck open with his teeth in the last episode of season four, so he deserves some kind of win.
WINNER: Rick Grimes
Do you agree with who I’ve chosen to win? Any other characters you’d pit against each other? And what’s better in your opinion – Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead? Let me know!