Oh, Westeros. Where else can a man be poisoned at his own nuptials, get himself, his fiancee, and his mother killed at someone else's, or watch in horror as three fearsome young dragons burn his precious livestock to a crisp? If you want to burn a couple of those vacation days you worked three years for, may I suggest a trip to King's Landing? I hear the crime rate beats New York City's, and those Lannister spies will have you tortured and killed within days of your arrival! I know, I know, kinda depressing, right? Don't worry. There IS a silver lining: The only room and board you'll have to pay out of pocket will be your coffin when Cersei discreetly murders you for a crime you never committed.
Even more impressive than Westeros's stunning landscapes and bustling meccas for commerce is the off-putting hospitality of its bloodthirsty residents. They love senselessly slaughtering hapless tourists, but they love fighting each other even more. One of the most compelling reasons to revisit these unsavory characters lies in their thirst for all things grisly. Want to see one of them gut a farmer because he sneezed in the wrong direction? You're in luck! They'll happily oblige.
As one would expect, some possess a stronger bloodlust than others. Two of Westeros's finest warriors, Styr the Magnar of Thenn and Tormund Giantsbane, spring to mind whenever I find myself discussing the worst of the worst. These two battle-hardened, winter-worn warriors may both identify as Wildling leaders with appetites for crow, but that doesn't mean they are allies. Given the chance, these two scoundrels would cut into each other with twisted glee until one of them bleeds out and takes a dirt nap.
Who would win, though? Styr, the cannibalistic Thenn, certainly tops Tormund in the size department, and can wield an axe better than a crazed Jack Nicholson sticking his face through a splintered door and saying, “Heeeeere's Johnny!” As an added bonus, he's a hit at birthday parties, and can often be seen slaughtering parents by the punch bowl before telling their children he's going to eat them. What a winner, right?
On the other hand, though, Tormund sports several advantages and could come out on top if he stays on his toes. He's also got a rockin' red beard. But instead of resorting to guesswork, let's explore each fighter's advantages, disadvantages, and which one hates the other more.
Aside from his skills with a sword (which he displayed in combat with Ser Allister Thorne at the Battle of Castle Black), Tormund's ability to think quickly, especially under pressure, would prove to be a valuable asset if he ever found himself on Styr's bad side.
On top of all that, he's surprisingly agile for a man of his age and build. Watching him somersault under Thorne's desperate swing before slicing open his stomach will surely terrify.
Tormund definitely needs to overcompensate with speed and skill, because his sword really, really sucks. It's short, curved, and NOT forged from Valyrian steel, making it easy for Styr's axe to bite through the blade and his skull.
He'd need to do his signature somersault to avoid such a formidable weapon, but something tells me that Styr would never let him get that close.
Well, that's Tormund for ya! Now let's take a look at Styr and what he brings to the table.
If there's anything Styr isn't, it's puny. He's around six feet of muscle, mettle, and madness, but his size isn't his only edge. His true advantage lies in his unnatural speed and his skill with his war axe. He nearly beats the spry Jon Snow in single combat, smashing him to a bloody, near-dead pulp before getting clobbered with a hammer.
As stated before, Styr also displays an incredible knack for handling big, heavy weapons with terrifying capabilities. His two-handed weapon kills more than a few members of the Night's Watch at the Battle of Castle Black, taking out a sizable chunk of their meager forces before the real battle even begins.
He's one hell of a fighter; Tormund will have to bring his A game if he's to cross steel with this beast of a warrior.
Unfortunately for Styr, his size can often prove to be a double-edged sword. As noted in an earlier paragraph, he's slower and clumsier than Tormund, which takes away from his formidability just a bit.
To make matters worse for him, he tends to swing his axe wildly and with little control. While Tormund fancies himself as a more refined breed of killer, Styr just likes to swing his axe and cleave people in half. What can he say? He's a simple creature.
Being the smarter, faster fighter, Tormund could easily take advantage of this and run him through with his shorter but sharper blade.
Alright, now that we've got that out of the way......
Who would win??
Tormund Giantsbane is the Winner!
After much deliberation, I've concluded that Tormund would indeed come away from this fight victorious. It was a REALLY tough call, but Tormund definitely has this one in the bag. He's a smarter, faster fighter whose skills with a blade are unmatched among his Wildling brethren.
So, you've heard my opinion, but what do you think? Who would win? Sound off in the comments section below!