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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones’ Ygritte vs. Downton Abbey’s Gwen: Which Rose Leslie Role Wins?

Game of Thronesfeisty wildling, Ygritte, and Downton Abbey’s respectful housemaid, Gwen, don’t have much in common except for the lovely actress (Rose Leslie) who plays both, of course. We’re fans of both these ambitious young women, but which Rose Leslie role is our favorite? We've weighed the pros and cons.

Best Friends

Housemaid Gwen is well-liked and well-supported at Downton. Not only is she “like sisters” with fellow housemaid Anna, but she develops a close bond with Lady Sybil, who supports her dream to become a secretary. Meanwhile, on GoT, friendship grows frail beyond the Wall. We mean, Orell didn’t think twice about cutting Ygritte and Jon loose from the Wall in Season 3, Episode 6: “The Climb.” We’re not saying it wasn’t understandable, but that’s harsh, man. North of the Wall is where friendship goes to die.

Winner: Gwen

Best Outfit

Both Gwen and Ygritte have very specific looks that could not be more different.While Ygritte is all about the heavy furs, Gwen has a more clean cut look in her housemaid's uniform. We doubt she would survive long past the Wall in that flimsy thing, but we’re not sure if Ygritte would be able to handle Carson’s wrath if she tracked the ever-present snow and grime stuck to her furs into the Downton sitting room.

Winner: Draw

Best Lines

We hate to say it, but in this category, there’s really no competition between the two. While Gwen largely has to hold her tongue as a servant at Downton, Ygritte pretty much gets to say whatever she wants. Plus, she has the best catchphrase ever: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

Winner: Ygritte

Best Romance

One of the best aspects of GoT Season 3 has been the burgeoning romance between straight-edged Jon Snow and free-spirited Ygritte.Their steamy cave sex scene? Hot. Their Wall-top makeout session? Pretty darn romantic. We’re guessing Rose Leslie must be enjoying herself because she didn’t get any handsome young men to kiss on Downton. The closest Gwen got to a romantic storyline was when everyone thought she had a letter-writing suitor...but it was really just mail from the correspondence course she was taking. Steamy.

Winner: Ygritte


Sorry, Gwen, but we’ve got to give this one to Ygritte. Her straightforward dialogue, general badassery, and compelling romance make her so much fun to watch. Meanwhile, we haven’t seen Gwen since she went off to be a secretary at the end of Season 1. Who knows? Maybe she’ll come back, the owner of her own phone-installation business, and we can reassess our findings. Until then, our heart belongs to Ygritte!

What do you love (or hate) about Ygritte and Gwen? Which Rose Leslie role is your favorite? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones on Sunday, June 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

05.30.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Kayti Burt
Related: Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, TV Stars, Ygritte, Rose Leslie

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