The Greatest HBO Character of All Time: Round One Recap

Recapping the first round of the Greatest HBO Character of All Time Tournament

The first round of Giddy Up America’s Greatest HBO Character of All Time Tournament is in the books. Before getting into round two, let’s take a quick moment to look back.


The biggest upset so far was in the Tony Soprano Bracket, where Kenny Powers of Eastbound and Down, a 7 seed, narrowly defeated Deadwood’s Al Swearengen, a 2 seed. In the end, it all came down to corn rows- specifically that Powers was able to rock them and Swearengen didn’t. It’s not science. But at no point did I ever say science was going to be involved. I never even said logic was going to be involved. If logic was involved, wouldn’t we have just skipped this whole thing and declared Omar the winner? Or Tony Soprano? No sir. This is a logic-free zone so yes, corn rows are a deciding factor.

I feel that Deadwood got short-changed 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 force to get knocked out in the first round. Even if Deadwood had someone else in the mix- and I’m not sure who that would even be, they wouldn’t have made it out the first round. And I like Deadwood. I think it’s a great show. Perhaps if I went back and re-watched the show I’d view Swearengen and maybe even Bullock differently. Perhaps.

But in the meantime, I’m completely comfortable with how things played out.

The other upset was Daenerys Targaryen, a 6 seed in Stringer’s bracket, beating The Sopranos’ Christopher Moltisanti, a 3 seed. Was this really an upset, though? I question the seeding with this one. I think the Mother of Dragons should probably have been ranked higher or if anything, Christopher should have been ranked lower. If only logic was involved. Logic loves dragons. Logic hates coke heads. Those are facts.

The Mother of Dragons (much easier to spell than Daenerys Targaryen- a name that I’m convinced was conceived by George R.R. Martin throwing darts at a dart board with letters on it) is going to be a force moving forward. I had thought we were destined for an eventual Ari Gold/Stringer Bell match up, but now I’m not so sure. I don’t think she’ll get past Stringer, but Ari is definitely a question mark now. I think that might say more about how I feel about Entourage, a show, as made apparent by  Johnny Drama losing to Cersei Lannister, that just hasn’t aged well. I’m worried Ari won’t hold up. I’m also worried that if a zombie apocalypse happened it’d be hard to get cereal- well not cereal, milk. Breakfast would be ruined! What if the chickens become zombies? Would that mean that there would be cute little zombie chick-lets running around? No cereal. No eggs. Zombie apocalypse sounds like the absolute worst!

A near upset almost happened until Elyse convinced me that Hannah Horvath from Girls, a solid 3 seed in the Jimmy McNulty Bracket, should totally beat Ali G. Ali G was hurt because of a ruling made by the committee that only Ali G was an eligible contender and the other characters Sasha Baron Cohen played on the show (Borat & Bruno) couldn’t count on his behalf. Ali G would have to stand on his own two legs. I think if he was up against someone else, he’d have a chance. But not when he’s up against Hannah. So now we have Hannah vs Larry David. Funny New Yorkers. Let’s do this!

Upcoming Match Ups…

The Tony Soprano Bracket

Our overall number 1 seed, Tony Soprano, takes on Bubbles from The Wire. I would think Tony would be a given to advance, but all it’s going to take is one great Bubbles’ YouTube clip to make me start to think other wise.

Nucky Thompson takes on Kenny Powers, in what will most likely be the last inning for Powers (get it? Cause he’s a baseball player.)

The Jimmy McNulty Bracket

Jimmy McNulty takes on True Blood’s Eric Northman, a character that beat Oz’s Vern Schillinger largely because of his immortality. My buddy Phil wasn’t totally cool with this decision and made some good points while defending Schillinger. Unfortunately they came in too late. All decisions are final, Phil! Get with the program! By the way, Vampire Weekend has released two new songs and they sound fantastic!

Then it’s the Battle of New Yorkers- Larry David versus Hannah Horvath. About a week ago, one or two articles popped up about the criticisms of Girls and wondering why it’s so different than when Seinfeld was on the air. I didn’t read those then, but I probably will before this match up. Cause you know, I want to be informed. I also want it to be summer.

The Tyrion Lannister Bracket

Ooooohhhh…Lannister versus Lannister. Tyrion versus his lovely older sister Cersei. When Cersei was up against Johnny Drama in round 1, my cousin Joe Nixon made some strong arguments on behalf of Cersei and it’s had me thinking about her a little differently. Will it be enough to beat her younger brother? Will it? WILL IT? (I’m trying to build suspense because no, I don’t think it will.)

Jimmy Darmody goes up against Omar Little. Here’s a question- how does Michael Pitt, the actor who played Jimmy Darmody, not have his own show or anything really by now? He was amazing on Boardwalk Empire and left the show too soon. I haven’t seen him in anything since. That’s a damn shame. Fun fact for you, though- dude’s from New Jersey. That’s pretty fun, huh?

The Stringer Bell Bracket

Stringer Bell laid waste to one matriarch (Barb Henrickson of Big Love) in round 1 and in round 2, he faces another one- Carmela Soprano. Did you know the actor who played Stringer is British? He is. That’s England, which is totally not Baltimore.

Daenerys Targaryen versus Ari Gold. Dragons, cell phones, swearing, magic, walk & talks, bartering for ships. Ari had Lloyd, Daenerys has Jorah. I’m not going to lie- this match up already has me at a loss. Going to have think about this one quite a bit.

Round 2 gets cracking on Thursday and remember, feedback is welcome.

You can view the updated bracket HERE.

It also looks like this…


Photos: HBO

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