I have only read the first three, but I would probably choose Arya Stark. She's got everything a hero needs, including a dark side.
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I don't know. I think that I might go with Tyrion Lannister instead. He's sort of the opposite of Arya in a way. He starts out having more of a dark side than anything else but then we gradually come to see that there's more to him than that.
Tyrion Lannister has a really compelling storyline and is just generally likeable as a character. He has the whole 'unlikely hero' thing going for him (being vertically challenged), but like post #3 said, he's much more than he appears. He just really grows on you (no pun intended).
I love Arya because she is the most unique hero. She is young and tough and she defies the elements of a stereotypical wife/mother/weak female. I just always find myself rooting for her over anyone else.
I also really like Daenerys as just a really unique and interesting character. She is so complex and perplexing to me. It also fascinates me, again, that she is a powerful woman who needs no man. Her power comes despite the men in her life.
I also really like Ned Stark because he was admirable, stuck to his values and was fierce. I had a hard time picking up the book after he died.
Ned Stark of course, I want him back, please Mr Martin...
I definitely agree that both Arya and Daenerys are probably the strongest female characters in the series. However, we cannot discount both Cat Stark and even Cersei Lannister. Both are very strong women who risk everything to protect those they hold dear (even if Cersei is a bit of a nutjob). I would have to say Dany is my favorite, but I also really like Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister as well. And call me crazy, but I also really enjoyed reading about Theon Greyjoy and I also really like Ser Jorah as well.
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