The popular HBO TV series based on George RR Martin’s best-selling book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has captured hearts and imaginations across the globe. A medieval fantasy epic, Game Of Thrones tells the story of two powerful families battling for control of the Iron Throne, which rules over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

With season 5 premiering this Sunday, April 12, we take a closer look at four of the most vivid characters to grace the sex-and-gore-filled series. From the platinum blonde dragon queen Daenerys, to the cruel child-king Joffrey, the faithful and virtuous Ned Stark to the dynamite, tiny yet complex package that is Tyrion: their personalities are just begging to be dissected. Let’s find out what makes them so alluring.

1. Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen
She’s known as the queen or Dothraki Khaleesi and Targaryen princess, who transforms right before viewers eyes from a timid, abused girl, to a fierce and confident queen. Ambitious and vengeful, she earns the respect of her husband’s tribe and her enemies alike. The mother of dragons, she is feared by many despite her fair hair and diminutive stature. A powerful woman, she embodies positive leadership qualities that would see her comfortable even in today’s competitive world.

2. Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark
He is a strong father figure who personifies loyalty as the ‘Hand’ of King Robert. Even when faced with the scheming and treachery that typically marks the life of a noble, he stays steadfast and calm. An inspiring leader, he nevertheless is rigid and too principled to cope with the injustices meted out by corrupt royals.

3. King Joffrey
His age belies his capacity for cruelty, which he doles out with every breath. Sparing no one, he targets women, children and even animals in his quest for power. From murder, infanticide and sadism to torture and desertion, this violent, arrogant, hormonal and tantrum-throwing teen is a poster child for Antisocial Personality Disorder. Small wonder then that he’s probably the most hated character on the show.

4. Tyrion Lannister
His appearance and attitude may fool you into thinking he’s not to be taken seriously. But this scarily smart (perhaps the most clever character in the entire series) and brutally honest man is best known for getting out of the stickiest situations, and being able to talk his way into any position he wants. He can see through people and has sharp bargaining skills, making him a worthy adversary and a remarkable ally at the same time.

While Ned and Joffrey do not feature in the latest season of the series, which is by now notorious for killing off even its most popular characters when you least expect it, you can continue to enjoy the antics of Daenerys and Tyrion as they go about their quest for control of the Iron Throne and Westeros.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.