25 ways Star Wars is better than Game of Thrones

Star Wars Rey and Game of Thrones Daenerys Targaryen. Composite photo: Dork Side of the Force.
Star Wars Rey and Game of Thrones Daenerys Targaryen. Composite photo: Dork Side of the Force. /
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18. The anti-heroes

There isn’t one hero or heroine of Game of Thrones. Not one person in the show whose motivations are “doing what’s right.” It’s all about vengeance, personal gain and power.

The three most notable antiheroes of the franchise include Theon Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister and Tyrion Lannister. At different points in the series, they were pure villainy. In other episodes, we rooted for them to achieve their goals because it protected other characters we loved or because their behavior was good and honorable.

The way they ended the series also contributed to their antiheroism — Theon dead by the Night King’s hand while trying to save the Starks, Jaime frustratingly being crushed to death alongside his sister/lover and Tyrion being pardoned by the new king of Westeros.

But there’s just something about the moral gray areas in Star Wars, especially when it comes to beloved antiheroes bouncing between the light and dark sides. Take Asajj Ventress from the Clone Wars era. On her face, she was a ruthless, cunning and strong acolyte of the dark side, trained by Count Dooku to be his assassin. She eventually sought vengeance against her former master and became a bounty hunter after being refused the accolades of a true Sith.

But when we learned about her past, we saw an entirely different, relatable side to Asajj. She carries the heavy trauma of losing her first master as a Jedi padawan as well as the images of watching her whole family and culture destroyed before her eyes.

Throughout her time in The Clone Wars series and in Christie Golden’s Dark Disciple, we finally saw Asajj regain parts of her humanity and help others.

Then there’s Ben Solo, formerly known as Kylo Ren, the former dark lord and Leia and Han’s son. His redemption arc in the sequel films echoes that of his grandfather Anakin Skywalker and is a quintessential Star Wars antihero story.

The reader’s digest version: Ben became Kylo Ren after being manipulated into the dark side by Snoke (failed clone of Emperor Palpatine) then tried to convince Rey to join forces and “kill the past” and rule the galaxy together. Kylo Ren killed his father and loads of other people while pushing his plans with the First Order. But by the end of The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren turned back to the light as Ben after dueling with Rey on the wreckage of the second Death Star on Endor’s moon. He then goes to Exegol, killing the infamous Knights of Ren and helping Rey destroy Palpatine once and for all.

Few can match the Star Wars brand of antiheroism because of its relatability while still being rooted in fantasy. Superheroes stories have a similar brand of antiheroism, which makes Star Wars stories ripe for comic book adaptation. And some of the best antiheroes in the franchise have roots in comics and other literature, like Doctor Aphra and Yrica Quell.