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I really want to have been in on the conversation where they first gave Joffrey that 25 degree crown tilt.

No one can wear a crown like that and not be an enormous snot. They’ve managed to communicate everything you ever need to know about Joffrey in the angle of some headwear.

It’s one of those fantastic little details that really takes the show to another level.

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LarryBatman said on June 5th, 2012 at 10:05 am

I agree with everyone but Theon. Where would you say Tyrion falls? Chaotic good?

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kingderella said on June 5th, 2012 at 10:31 am

i think theon belongs firmly to the evil cathegories; especially in the tv series, where he was always shown to be kind of rotten underneath the surface, even back in season 1. the audience gets some insight into what drives him, which makes him a little sympathetic, but at the end of the day, he is really one evil bastard.

lawful neutral is perfect for stannis!

where would asha/yara fall? neutral good? true neutral?

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Christian said on June 5th, 2012 at 11:20 am

I don’t know if I agree with some of these, which is rare for me.

Jaqen isn’t really random, which Chaotic Neutral implies. He’s got a very strict code to follow, and as we learn more about the Faceless men we learn that rules are very, very, important.

I think I’d also switch Davos and Brienne. Davos while loyal, has certainly been known to bend a law a time or two, and isn’t above challenging Stannis… he just concedes all arguments. Brienne is clearly all about the knightly virtues, and while we could question the ‘Good’ part given her willingness to execute people, the lawful isn’t really in any doubt.

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Paul Wilson said on June 5th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

@Kingderella: In season one, Theon was a dick, but not really rotten, just desperate to prove himself as something more than a well-appointed prisoner. In the end his search for approval led from one bad decision to another, but I don’t think his heart was really ever in the brutal acts performed. Like Cassidy in Preacher, he isn’t truly malign, but he is incredibly weak.

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kingderella said on June 5th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

well, there was an almost-rape scene with osha. but in a more general way, i felt they subtly portrayed him in S1 as somebody who secretly enjoys violence a little too much. maybe thats just my subjective perception.

anyway, i dont really disagree with your read on theon. my point is, he may be motivated by insecurity and desperation rather than sadism or malice, but a man should be at least partly judged by his actions, and that puts him in the evil cathegory, for me. because, you know: burning kids to save face.

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TV!Theon (and this is just based on season one) seemed to lean toward the evil side of neutral, even from the get-go. Even in the first episode, he seemed genuinely disappointed that he wasn’t going to get to kill the direwolf pups.

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Paul Wilson said on June 5th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Yeah, I can get where you’d see that from his portrayal in S1, but I saw his treatment of Osha as an extension of his treatment of Jon. In both cases he’s dealing with his massive insecurities by lording it over people who he believes he’s “better” than. It’s not the violence per se, but the power.

As you point out however I believe we’re splitting hairs, and I do agree, his part in the murder of the farm boys damned him. Although my personal view, is that his men suggested it and he simply went along out of fear. I can’t remember if the book makes it explicit one way or the other.

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Mitchell Hundred said on June 5th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Man, Joffrey just can’t catch a break on these things.

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Pete Butler said on June 5th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Nice touch, keeping the emphasis on characters who came to prominence in Season 2.

Agree that Davos and Brienne probably ought to be switched. Stannis is the epitome of LN, and should appear there no matter what the ostensible theme of the chart. (Muppets, breakfast cereals, dog breeds, whatever. LN is Stannis’s by right, from this day until the last day.)

Also agree that Theon needs to be one row lower. When left to his own devices, he’s a bullying mildly evil fuck; and when he feels the need to impress his daddy, he becomes a TOTALLY evil fuck. Given his complete lack of moral compass, he’s a good candidate for CE. Not as good as Joff, perhaps, but none of the other eight slots have carry-overs from S1.

Agree that Jaqen has too much of a code to fit comfortably in CN; feels more like a true neutral to me. So who would be a better fit for CN? The Hound, for reveling in slaughter before leaving Joff’s employ at the worst possible moment? Zero Zone Ducksauce for being a lying bag of broke, dragon-stealing lies?

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Originally Jaime Lannister was going to be CN but I couldn’t find a good quote for him. The Hound also would’ve worked.

On Jaqen: call it a reaction to the impenetrability of the Faceless Men’s behaviour if you like, but I don’t see them as being lawful. People too often assume “has personal rules” makes one lawful and that doesn’t quite work.

On Theon: I’m in the “he’s too weak to be evil” camp. I can see the argument for maybe switching Theon and Jaqen, however.

On Davos and Brienne: Brienne is a lot more willing to shift her allegiances based on her perceptions of what she thinks is right. Davos – particularly book Davos – is the epitome of LG. He’ll follow Stannis to the death, even with his moral misgivings.

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Christian said on June 5th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

The only thing with Jaqen is we know he’s a Faceless man, and from what we see in the books there are significant rules to being one, and violation of those rules is a bad thing (quit playing with that sword kid, or you’ll go blind).

I think in arguing you’ve proved my point. Brienne is willing to do what she things is right, even if it means she has to shift her immediate loyalties (just look at how many times she sticks her head into a noose in her quest for Sansa).

For Davos, the fact that he’ll follow Stannis to the death, despite his misgivings, despite the shadow baby, and despite pretty much everything is more my impression of LN. Loyal to the death, and to hell with the niceties.

But I can see your argument.

For Jaime as CN I could see it with one of his ‘I’m no good at being a prisoner’ quotes. But I do like featuring all new characters too. Might have been able to make a case for Meli ‘For the night is dark and full of terrors’ somewhere in there too, but that depends on just whose side you think Rhyllor is on.

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Soooooo I’m assuming Joffrey is going to have to make way for Ramsay Snow come season 3?

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Brendan said on June 5th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Man, somebody’s got to replace Joffrey in the Chaotic Evil slot for some future season, but who? May it’ll just be a picture of a White Walker with the caption *Insert sound of crackling ice here*

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@MGK: I’d think Jaimes little speech about oaths would have provided a good quote or two.

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Kristopher A. said on June 5th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Yeah, I agree with Magnus.

“So many vows… they make you swear and swear… No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.”

You have to cut out some of the meat of it, but it’s a perfect justification of a chaotic alignment.

Good chart, though. I’d move Jacen over to True Neutral: I agree that he’s not Lawful, because Lawful implies less having a code and more acting within society’s laws. He’s certainly not that. However, he has shown the ability to work within society to achieve goals (With the Lannisters, obviously).

I might move Theon down to Neutral Evil, too, for reasons that have already been said. The others are pretty much dead on.

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kingderella said on June 5th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

“Stannis is the epitome of LN, and should appear there no matter what the ostensible theme of the chart. (Muppets, breakfast cereals, dog breeds, whatever. LN is Stannis’s by right, from this day until the last day.)”

now im imagening an ALIGNMENT CHART: ALL-STARS! stannis baratheon on lawful-neutral, futuramas scruffy on true neutral, leslie knope on lawful-good…

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I Love You.

Interesting choice to put Theon as true Neutral. It would be easy to put him as evil, but I think he’s so conflicted between what is right and what is expected that the neutral alignment makes sense.

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@Paul: In the books, it’s super explicit that Ramsay Snow (Who was pretending to be Reek at the time) bullied/cajoled him into it

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Pete Butler said on June 5th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

“On Theon: I’m in the “he’s too weak to be evil” camp.”

Nonsense. Weak men doing what they perceive to be most expedient gets you some of your most ghastly evil. The fact that his heart may not have been in it will not cause those two young boys he burned alive to spring back to life.

And I’m not convinced his heart wasn’t at least a little bit in it. Even when he isn’t being pushed, Theon has considerable capacity for cruelty.

If somebody at my table were making Theon’s choices and then trying to pass the character off as True Neutral, we’d have to have a little talk.

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I’ve only read the first book (and not seen the TV show) so I can’t tell who everyone is. Could someone please fill me in?

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Walter Kovacs said on June 6th, 2012 at 1:33 am

Jaquen, and by extension the Faceless Men, are very much True Neutral. While he had a code, it was explicitly “trading three lives for three lives”. Basically, he was balancing the scales that Arya had altered by saving the lives of those prisoners. So, very much a True Neutral philosophy there.

Theon fits into the Neutral Evil. He wishes he could be Lawful Evil, using his ‘legal’ position (the next in line to his ‘fathers’ throne, being nobility, military leader, ‘lord’ of Winterfell, etc) to his advantage, hoping to technicality his way to the top, but in returning home, the Iron Islands are a much more chaotic place, and so he has to (try) to adapt. He has to do more evil things since he can’t just get what he believes he’s owed, etc.

Not sure if Ygrette has shown enough in her brief time to be shown on the chart. She’s obviously Chaotic, and not full blown evil, but I don’t know if she could be seen as good, necessarily. She’s probably a solid Chaotic Neutral, at least for now.

I do agree on the swapping of Brienne and Davos. Davos is sort of the antithesis of Theon. Theon came from (and returned to) the Iron Islands who, are vikings to Davos’ piracy. Much like Theon has been influenced by the Starks (which made him think that bravery would inspire his people, or that things like oaths and promises and laws would actually matter), so too has Davos been influenced by Stanis. However, he is still pragmatic. Law is an ideal, not a natural state for him. In the case of Brienne, she still sees the oaths of knighthood as reality, not just an ideal that cannot really be lived up to. [As seen through much of her interaction with Jaime].

Dropping the warlocks (they work as pure evil as well, but of the people on the list, are probably the easiest to drop]. That leaves Chaotic Good open again … Not entirely sure who would fit there. The Night’s Watch are a mixed bag. Mormont would probably fit into Neutral Good, he’s proven pragmatic in terms of bending rules and looking the other way, but I wouldn’t say he’s fully into the Chaotic area. Maybe the Halfhand? His ‘plan’ with Jon is very much a breaking the rules is worth it to accomplish the goal idea, so that could fit.

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Walter Kovacs said on June 6th, 2012 at 1:39 am

On the subject of Stannis … TV Stannis a bit more than book Stannis, for a variety of reasons (we see more of TV Stannis since there are no POV restrictions, his wife and daughter are off screen) seems to be a bit less LN than his exterior would appears. He is unbending, and unwilling to compromise … when it comes to his position as king. However, he has been very willing to turn to a new god, break his marriage vows, and take part in the murder of his brother, etc. He’s willing to make a Faustian bargains, in the belief that, ultimately, he’s right. So he does have the “Lawful to a fault” trait that creates Knight Templars and Lawful Stupid Paladins, etc.

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Paul Wilson said on June 6th, 2012 at 2:18 am

@Quixim: thanks, I read the books in pretty rapid succession about eight or nine months ago, and some of the details escape me.

I’m sticking with MGK’s “he’s too weak to be evil” line, at least as far as the TV iteration goes. Whilst he was complicit in the boy’s murder, and he scrambled to take credit so as not to appear weak, it was undoubtedly at the cajoling of others. Sad thing is, I think he wants to be evil right now, but his heart isn’t in it.

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mygif

I’ve only read the first book (and not seen the TV show) so I can’t tell who everyone is. Could someone please fill me in?

I read the books a long time ago and I’ve only seen season one so far, so I have to guess and deduce some of these but I’ll give it a shot.

LG: Davos, a smuggler-turned-knight loyal to Stannis Baratheon. Davos doesn’t appear in the first book.

NG: Brienne, a female knight. Doesn’t appear in the first book.

CG: Ygritte, a wildling who is/was a lover of Jon Snow’s for a while. Doesn’t appear in the first book.

LN: Stannis Baratheon, brother of King Robert and one of several kings in the War of Five Kings. Probably mentioned in the first book but doesn’t appear in person.

TN: Theon Greyjoy. The son of the lord of the Iron Islands (rebels before the story begins) who was fostered by/hostage to the Starks. Appears in the first book.

CN: Jaqen something-or-other, a member of a mystical order of assassins who helps Arya out. Doesn’t appear in the first book.

LE: Tywin Lannister, father of Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion. I think he was only mentioned in the first book and didn’t appear, but he did appear in the first season.

NE: No idea. Some representative of some people that Daenerys has conquered, I guess. Anyone else want to help? Considering her storyline, though, I’m confident that person doesn’t appear in the first book.

CE: Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei’s son. Appears in the first book, and is a horrible, horrible person.

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Brendan said on June 6th, 2012 at 9:58 am

NE is Pyat Pree, one of the Warlocks of Qarth.

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Christian said on June 6th, 2012 at 10:22 am

Good chart, though. I’d move Jacen over to True Neutral: I agree that he’s not Lawful, because Lawful implies less having a code and more acting within society’s laws. He’s certainly not that.

Going back to the D&D core of the chart, Lawful doesn’t mean following society in general’s laws. It means holding a belief that everything should follow an order and that obeying the rules is the natural way of life… what those rules are specifically can make all the difference.

He does meticulously obey the rules of the Faceless Men and his deal with Arya (three lives saved, three lives taken) is an example of him sticking to that. They may not be Westeros’ rules, but they are rules. :)

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Davos and Brienne should totally be swapped! Davos isn’t above smuggling; whereas Brienne is a woman wholly dedicated to the code of knightly fealty.

Otherwise good stuff :)

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Kristopher A. said on June 6th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Going back to the D&D core of the chart, Lawful doesn’t mean following society in general’s laws. It means holding a belief that everything should follow an order and that obeying the rules is the natural way of life… what those rules are specifically can make all the difference.

He does meticulously obey the rules of the Faceless Men and his deal with Arya (three lives saved, three lives taken) is an example of him sticking to that. They may not be Westeros’ rules, but they are rules. :)

I’ll concede the definition, though I think that’s a bit too open about what’s what. A thief may well follow the rules of the Thieves’ Guild to the letter, but that does not mean he’s Lawful. Similarly, if I believe might is right and that those who are strongest should be on top, isn’t that a set of beliefs/rules?

I mean, to me that makes Khal Drogo a Lawful character. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t feel that way.

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Kristopher A. said on June 6th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Oh, and just to say I’m not trying to be contrary or a stick in the mud here. It doesn’t quite come across in the text, but I’m enjoying the conversation.

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Christian said on June 6th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I think you make a good point that there are limits… but I think it’s partly about what they do when no one is looking. A thief who respects the laws of the thieves’ guild and enforces them even when he’s out and about in the world, because he believes in honor amongst thieves etc? Might be ‘lawful’ in that sense. One who only does it because they don’t want to be punished because of failure to follow the rules, not so much.

That was one of the problems with the AD&D alignment system, it really requires a neutral telepathic observer.

For Drogo, he wouldn’t quite make the cut because Drogo was really a creature of his own impulses and his philosophy was ‘I’m the Khal, I’m the baddest motherfucker in the valley, and what I say goes’. That leads to a fairly fluid set of morals with only a few anchoring guideposts, and even those anchors changed thanks to Dany’s influence.

(I’m enjoying the conversation too :))

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Kristopher A. said on June 6th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Ah, but Drogo does follow the tenants of proper Dothraki lifestyle. I mean, the guy held back from just slaughtering the prick who had his unborn son at sword-point because tradition said so.

(He did still kill him, but the point stands. ;) )

Now I’d agree that Drogo wouldn’t fit my definition of “Lawful”: Dothraki culture is very much based around the idea of “might is right”, which is a Chaotic trait rather than Lawful.

I suppose what I would say is that Lawful needs to be something which can completely muddled by relativism. Whenever we played D&D, we based the idea of “Lawful” around a society built around laws and meant to function peacefully (i.e. no constant warlike state) and guarantee the relative safety of all its inhabitants. Obviously there are still ways to muddle that (Slavery?), but mostly meant that raider cultures fell under chaotic while more “ordered” societies were Lawful.

Along with this, adhering to rules outside of society generally meant you were chaotic or neutral, as you worked outside of the common law most of the time. Hence the Faceless may follow their own code, but they work outside the bounds of proper society.

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I get the feeling back in the beginning it could have been orderly rather lawful as an alignment term though you would still have interesting arguments over definition and orderly evil doesn’t sound as menacing.

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Regarding show Jaquen (book Jaquen is a slightly different matter), I’m finding it difficult to equate a chaotic alignment with being terrified upon learning that a promise he made to a young girl would require that he kill himself.

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Christian said on June 7th, 2012 at 10:45 am

My only issue with using lawful to relate to common law, is that it assumes there’s one objective standard that everyone is measured against, otherwise everything becomes muddled.

So, for instance, you have two kingdoms:

Kingdom A:
Has slavery and severe punishments for even the slightest variance from social contracts / the law, including a death penalty for slaves who look into the eyes of free men. There is no system of debt or credit, and anyone unable to meet their obligations can be immediately enslaved by their largest creditor. Similarly, those without work for longer than a month are immediately conscripted into civil public works, akin to slavery to the government, fatalities amongst workers on these public works projects are fairly common. They are not at war, are generally prosperous and life is generally good… for the people who aren’t criminals, slaves, or too terribly poor.

Kingdom B:
Has no slavery, has no death penalty, believes in rehabilitation / fines for almost all offenses. Those who are unable to support themselves are put on the public dole, trained, educated, and failing all else, given the option to work on government leased farms as share-croppers. Businesses are heavily taxed, but in return the kingdom offers a wide array of civil services, and there are a fair number of opportunities for merchants to invest (profitably) in ventures the king is undertaking. Life is generally good and profitable, and the quality of life for even the less fortunate is quite high.

If we were to take a judge from either kingdom they would, by the rules of their kingdom be seen as lawful. Taking one of them, and dropping them in the other kingdom doesn’t suddenly turn them chaotic, so it can’t be the local rules that determine whether they are lawful. It has to be whether they believe in the structured rule system, and working within constraints towards a larger purpose.

The alignment system is imperfect, but I think your definition of ‘Lawful’ is actually ‘Lawful Good’, as you’re putting too many elements into it that don’t really apply to the order / chaos portion.

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Kristopher A. said on June 7th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Fair enough. Again, it’s more that society has some sort of hard structure to it rather than a loose raiding/horde society. Evil people turn the law to improper means, while Good uphold the spirit of it. And remember I said “relative” safety: I didn’t mean a lame modern-westernized view of medieval life, but simply a society which had at least a somewhat orderly way of doing things. People may die or have their life taken in peacetime, but more the exception (Westeros) than the rule (Dothraki). It’s hard to say that without going into endless sub-clauses on what counts for what. ;)

But yes, I would agree both those societies are lawful. They have a series of laws which are made for public benefit (Even though they might not be beneficial to all) and it’s structure to keep the peace, even if it’s harsh.

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Christian said on June 7th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Evil people turn the law to improper means, while Good uphold the spirit of it.

I just defer on this part slightly, because I think both Evil and Good people can equally go for spirit and or impropriety… I tend to look at it more as a case of evil not really caring if there are thousands of bodies crushed down as grist for the mill of law.

I do think Spacesquid had a good point about Jaqen by the way. I don’t really think a Chaotic person would kill themselves because the rules required it. :)

Good discussion though, fun points of both sides. It’s exploring the interesting points of the alignment system that led to some of the more interesting parts of my campaign world, which is now sadly defunct.

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William Kendall said on June 8th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Having had never seen the show or read the books, I have no idea who these people are, of course….

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HonestObserver said on June 8th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I think if “lawful” was changed to “orderly” or pro-order, we wouldn’t have as many arguments. The Joker has a law; it just happens to oppose the laws of most orderly societies. Order, not law, is the opposite of chaos. Not to mention laws have moral ramifications that mess with good and evil comparisons.

anyone disagree?

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Christian Williams said on June 10th, 2012 at 11:59 am

@HonestObserver

I think you have an argument there. Though I’ve not hugely been bothered by the Law vs Order thing. It’s a clunky delineation to be sure… though I guess ‘Orderly Evil’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

I’d kind of disagree with the Joker having even internal laws, given that he’s about 10 pounds of crazy trying to fit into a thimble. :)

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ladypeyton said on June 12th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Going strictly by the show, since I have yet to read the books, Stannis is a big honking fratricidal evil dude, IMO. I’m going to have to take the Lawful Neutral thing on faith and assume it’s based on stuff from the books.

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Edmure Tully, Lawful Good. Ned Stark too. Probably the only ones. Danaerys Targaryen Good. Jaime Lannister is true neutral but changes to chaotic good.

Robert Baratheon true neutral. Jon Snow Chaotic Good. Littlefinger Neutral Evil. Varys Lawful Evil.

Tywin Lannister – Lawful Evil. Robb Stark Neutral Good. Cersei – Neutral Evil. Stannis Lawful Neutral. Bronn – Chaotic Neutral.

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[…] one for Game of Thrones season 2, here’s charts for The Big Lebowski and The Office, here’s one for The Big Bang […]

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