The Greatest HBO Character of All Time: Day Four

Day Four of Giddy Up America’s Greatest HBO’s Greatest Character Ever Tournament- the first round of the Stringer Bell Bracket

All right, the last round of match ups of the first round here in the Stringer Bell bracket. I can say right away that Stringer is going to be a tough out. Although he might be up against Ari Gold from Entourage down the road and that could be a doozy. To check out the results from the other brackets, click on the bracket’s name below:
The Tony Soprano Bracket
The Jimmy McNulty Bracket
The Tyrion Lannister Bracket

After this round, we’ll do a recap of the first round and what things look like going forward.

But first, let’s finish up round 1.

1. Stringer Bell (The Wire) vs. 8. Barb Henrickson (Big Love)

Let me start with why Barb is even in this tournament. It’s really only because I felt Big Love needed at least one person in the tournament and I felt she would be a stronger representative than Roman Grant or Bill Henrickson. There was a time there when Big Love was a great show. It went from that creepy show about Mormon polygamists to a wildly entertaining and brutally intense drama. Unfortunately it kind of lost momentum and petered out in it’s final season. But throughout the entire run of the show, Barb was the rock and if anything, the moral center of the show. I feel she was the one character the audience sympathized  with the most. I personally just wanted her to leave Bill, but nope, she never would. She stuck by her man and the other ladies her man married. It was twisted and admirable- much like the show itself.

Unfortunately the best Barb is going to do in this tournament is the above paragraph because she stands literally no chance against Stringer. I’m not really sure who in this tournament does to be honest.

Think back to those first couple episodes of season 1 of The Wire and be honest, you didn’t see Stringer Bell becoming the absolute beast of a character he would eventually become coming. So many great scenes from the first three seasons of The Wire have Stringer in them, probably none better than the balcony scene in season 3, between him and Avon.

Barb was a delight, but Stringer was the man.

Winner: Stringer

4. Carmela Soprano (The Sopranos) vs. 5. Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City)

Ladies! Fierce ladies.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not totally sure who to go with here. I added Bradshaw to this tournament because I felt Sex in the City needed some love and Bradshaw was the logical choice. And I added Carmela because of her role on The Sopranos and how that can’t be ignored. You could totally make an argument that HBO tends to favor strong male characters when it comes to them building their shows and I wouldn’t argue against that one bit. These two ladies brought it, though.

But I’m just not sure how to stack one against the other.

My cousin Kristen had this to offer:

“Carmela will fight dirty but don’t put it past Carrie to use a pair of her Jimmie Choo’s in battle.”

I have no idea what Jimmy Choo’s are, but I’m assuming they’re shoes. That’s fine and all, but Carmela had no problem running around her house carrying a Bushmaster M 16 when she thought someone was breaking in (it was Meadow and she was sneaking out- damn teenagers.) I also think that you have to give Carmela points for kicking Tony out of the house and trying to live a life without him. That’s like kicking a grizzly bear out of his grizzly bear house.

The Sopranos was a boys’ club, but besides Tony, there really wasn’t a character stronger than Carmela.

Winner: Carmela

3. Christopher Moltisanti (The Sopranos) vs. 6. Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)

This a battle between two eager beaver youngsters who feel entitled to more than they might deserve. Christopher always thought he was getting the short end of the stick and deserved to be a bigger part of the Soprano family and Daenerys felt she should be queen of the Seven Kingdoms because  it was her birthright. They both did their fair share of whining and stupid things.

So how do we decide who comes out on top?

Well let’s be honest, Daenerys ate a human heart, tamed Khal Drogo and gave birth to some baby dragons.

Then this happened…

That little lady is going to be a force going forward. Christopher never could get his shit together and ended up getting killed by Tony after he relapsed with drugs and got lost in Van Morrison’s version of “Comfortably Numb.”

Winner: The Mother of Dragons

2. Ari Gold (Entourage) vs. 7. Seth Bullock (Deadwood)

This is a contest between an out of control hurricane (Gold) and a quiet thunderstorm (Bullock.) It’s a match up between a character who couldn’t talk enough (Gold) and a character who talked mainly through his actions (Bullock.) I could do one more comparison like that or we could just cut to the chase- these two dudes are incredibly different.

I want to reserve this space for Bullock, because frankly, homeboy doesn’t really stand a chance against Gold. Plus I want to save up some Gold quotes, clips, etc for his possible match up with Stringer (if Ari makes it past the Mother of Dragons of course.)

So our hats go off to Seth Bullock. Dude just wanted some peace and quiet and a fresh start, so naturally he went to Deadwood– a lawless town with no morals and a gigantic loose code of ethics. Oddly enough, he ended up becoming the sheriff and his peace and quiet went out the window. But on the plus side, he became besties with Wild Bill Hickock- so that’s something to hang his hat on.

Deadwood kind of gets lost in the shuffle whenever people are talking about great HBO shows, but the folks that love the show love the show. It’s fan base is small, but passionate. And it was an incredibly divisive show- at times, hard to sit through as you struggled to wonder what the hell the characters were saying. It was a gritty Western spoken in Shakespearean tongues. It looked awesome and it had some fantastic characters, but it was short-lived and I think that’s a knock against it when stacking it up against some of the other great HBO shows. Hell The Wire even managed to get to five seasons. Seth Bullock losing out to Ari Gold is by no means an indictment on Deadwood, just like Al Swearengen losing to Kenny Powers wasn’t. It’s just unfortunate seeding. Bullock would have probably fared better if he was up against Christopher Moltisanti or even someone like Ali G.

But not Ari Gold.

Winner: Ari Gold

Stay tuned for a recap of round 1 & then moving on to round 2.

  1. […] in this tournament. The show’s other representative was Seth Bullock, a 7 seed in the Stringer Bell Bracket, who lost to Ari Gold of Entourage. That one wasn’t even close as Gold is just to0 much of a […]


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