1. Stannis Baratheon
Villains become antiheroes by being more charismatic and charming than the heroes themselves. So how do you explain the magnetism exerted by Stannis, the least charming man in Westeros? Despite being almost deliberately humorless and unlikeable, the man who would be king attracts followers and audience members alike through sheer stubborn relentlessness. When steely-eyed, jaw-clenching actor Stephen Dillane growls "The Iron Throne is mine by right," or when he gazes wild-eyed into the flames that allegedly foretell his victory, he leaves no doubt that his Stannis will fight until his dying breath, making him a worthy foil for all the Game's more sympathetic or scintillating players – and marking him as Season Two's rookie of the year.