Is High Sparrow The Most Hated Game of Thrones Villain?

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Jonathan Pryce's character has proved to be the most polarising among fans of the HBO fantasy series.

George R. R. Martin's Westeros universe became world famous in the 1990s when the first book was published. But it wasn't until 2011, when HBO produced the cult TV show, that the world was treated to a glimpse of Martin's characters in the flesh.

Featuring noble knights, back-stabbing schemers and evil matriarchs, the world of the seven kingdoms has a well-deserved reputation as the land of villains, as almost every character Martin has ever created can be perceived as such.

Fans love to argue about who the greatest Game of Thrones villain is, with names like Littlefinger, Lord Varys, and Cersei Lannister constantly thrown around.

Surprisingly, the High Sparrow has threatened these characters' hegemony, becoming a contender for the title of the most hated villain in a recent Reddit thread.

The leader of the Sparrows, Jonathan Pryce's villain-in-a-robe character, first appeared in season five, quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with during the reign of Tommen Baratheon.

Despite looking like a frail silver-haired old man, the High Sparrow was ruthless, demonstrating an iron will and determination to get what he wanted. And even though his professed goal was to free the poor from the oppression of those in power, the High Sparrow is still regarded as a villain among the series' fans.

While some see the High Sparrow as a power-hungry hypocrite who uses religious beliefs to manipulate others and rise above them, others regard him as a saint with no interest in Cersei's machiavellian schemes.

Both sides agree on one thing: the High Sparrow is very annoying in how he always presents himself as a man of the people and always manages to get the support of the masses. Many fans see him as a nuisance of a man who has risen to the level of the most advanced schemers in Westeros history and even almost defeated them.

Of course, it's just a matter of preference, as quite a few fans were really sad to see the High Sparrow go in season six, arguing that his storyline had much more to offer and was cut short.

Many others, though, were more than happy with HBO's decision because they regarded the High Sparrow as one of the series's most unnecessary and uninteresting villains.