The Greatest HBO Character of All Time

A March Madness style tournament to find out who is the greatest HBO character of all time


March in America means a couple things. It means spring and the impending joy of summer. It means baseball and Sunday nights sans award shows. It means St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, lions, lambs and summer concert announcements. It means it’s time for March Madness- three to four weeks of people wildly supporting whatever college basketball team they’re throwing a dollar or two on in their office bracket pools.

In the spirit of March Madness and in salute of the general concept of competitive brackets, I’d like to introduce Giddy Up America’s March Madness Bracket. The goal of this bracket is to determine the best HBO character ever. Pretty simple. There are 32 characters in the bracket. Characters were picked based on my personal feelings, cultural significance, and popularity.

What are the rules and how will winners be determined?
Personal favoritism
– The character’s role on their show
– Their length of time on their show
– Cultural significance
– Memorable quotes and/or scenes

The #1 Seeds:
Tony Soprano (The Sopranos) – the bracket’s top seed
Jimmy McNulty (The Wire)
Stringer Bell (The Wire)
Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)

First Round Match Ups:
The Soprano Bracket
1. Tony Soprano (The Sopranos) vs. 8. Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood)
4. Bubbles (The Wire) vs. 5. Flight of the Conchords (Flight of the Conchords)
3. Nucky Thompson (Boardwalk Empire) vs. 6. Margaret Thompson (Boardwalk Empire)
2. Al Swearengen (Deadwood) vs. 7. Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down)

The McNulty Bracket
1. Jimmy McNulty (The Wire) vs. 8. Murray Hewitt (Flight of the Conchords)
4. Eric Northman (True Blood) vs. 5. Vern Schillinger (Oz)
3. Hannah Horvath (Girls) vs. 6. Ali G (Da Ali G Show)
2. Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) vs. 7. Paulie Walnuts (The Sopranos)

The Stringer Bracket
1. Stringer Bell (The Wire) vs. 8. Barb Henrickson (Big Love)
4. Carmela Soprano (The Sopranos) vs. Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City)
3. Christopher Moltisanti (The Sopranos) vs. Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
2. Ari Gold (Entourage) vs. Seth Bullock (Deadwood)

The Lannister Bracket
1. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones) vs. 8. Nate Fisher (Six Feet Under)
4. Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones) vs. 5. Johnny Drama (Entourage)
3. Jimmy Darmody (Boardwalk Empire) vs. 6. Adam Sackler (Girls)
2. Omar Little (The Wire) vs. 7. Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)

Notable Omissions:

Not everyone could make it. I didn’t have the desire to attempt a 64 character tournament, and as a result, these characters just missed the cut:
Jeff Greene (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Michael Lee (The Wire)
Marlo Stanfield (The Wire)
At least one other character from Six Feet Under
Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)
Maj. Richard Winters (Band of Brothers)
Someone from Rome
Maybe one more character from Big Love, Oz and Deadwood

Some initial thoughts…

I tried not to get carried away with characters from The Wire, which I feel is not only the best HBO show, but one of the best shows ever. It’s why both Michael and Marlo just missed the cut. Bunk, Lester, Greggs and Wee Bay also just missed the cut. If you want a bracket of just characters from The Wire then you should check out Grantland’s from last year, which was won by Omar.

Having never seen Six Feet Under, it was hard to add someone, but I felt I should. I apologize if I picked the wrong character.

Before this even gets started, I’m worried about all #1 seeds advancing. It will be hard for someone to knock them off. But in all honesty, it’s difficult to say which #1 is most likely to be upset. Tyrion has probably the toughest bracket, with Omar and Jimmy Darmody there. I wouldn’t rule out a surprise run by Johnny Drama either.

Brett and Jermaine of Flight of the Conchords were counted as one character, Flight of the Conchords. I did this because of their strength as a unit and counting them as individuals probably would have meant they wouldn’t have made the top 32, which is something I wasn’t comfortable with.

Some possibly epic potential match ups:
Tony Soprano vs. Nucky Thompson and/or Al Swearengen
Hannah Horvath vs. Larry David
Tyrion Lannister vs. Omar Little
Stringer Bell vs. Ari Gold

Every couple of days I will run through a bracket, with the goal of having this wrapped up by the end of March. Input on match ups is encouraged. Any input received will be factored into the decision on who should advance.

Here is the bracket, which can also be found here.

HBO Character Madness(1)

…which at one point looked like this:


Images from HBO

  1. […] get this started. I laid out the bracket, the rules and some initial thoughts yesterday. Today we’re going to get things cracking with round 1 of the Soprano […]


  2. […] to day 2 of Giddy Up America’s Greatest HBO Character Ever tournament. You can find the results from day one and the first round of the Tony Soprano bracket […]


  3. […] now I have the Elite Eight of the Giddy Up America Greatest HBO Character of All Time Tournament and this my friend, might be one of the worse self-inflicted jams I’ve ever gotten myself […]


  4. […] Giddy Up America are giving both the competitors and judges a few days off in the hotly contested Greatest HBO Character of All Time Tournament. During this down time, we* thought it’d be good to look at a few of the HBO characters who […]


  5. […] to avoid having a Final Four consisting of all number one seeds, something I was worried about back when this started. Of the four number one seeds, two have made it this far: Tony Soprano (the overall number 1 seed) […]


  6. […] Giddy Up America’s Greatest HBO Character of All Time Tournament we are down to the final two characters. It’s Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm versus Omar […]


  7. […] I started this tournament I thought Tony Soprano was the front runner. I didn’t think he could be beat. He meant so […]


  8. […] In March of 2013, amidst the hullabaloo of another NCAA March Madness, I embarked on a March Madness tournament of my own- The Greatest HBO Character of All Time. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: