I think I like Tyrion simply because everybody loves an underdog haha. Here he is, a dwarf who's had nothing but the contempt and pity from everyone around him, but somehow he manages to use his mind to make it work for him. I particularly enjoyed the recognition his own father give him for being the most like himself - a true Lannister
. Also, Tyrion is funny as hell - he definitely has the best lines in the book.
I honestly don't blame you for getting side-tracked by LoTR. As the forefather of fantasy, its place cannot be contested. Its intricacy cannot be bettered by any series, including WoT. But for sheer reading pleasure... well, I have to say, I didn't really enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed other stories. The story is epic, and it contains everything a great fantasy series needs. It's just the style of writing is very heavy, and very prosaic. Betimes one feels like the script is more in keeping with a textbook than a novel. This is why I love authors like Jim Butcher - he somehow takes a complicated story and makes it extremely easy to read. I devoured all 13 books of the Dresden files in just over two weeks - that's how easy they are to read, but the pleasure I got from reading them was immense.
My favourite fantasy series... well, that's a tough question. I'll give you the best answer I can give, which is the top ten series' that I've loved since I began reading fantasy, but my love for them is equal and which one I prefer depends largely on my mood.
1. The Wheel of Time
2. The Dresden Files (Jim Butcher)
3. The Codex Alera (Jim Butcher)
4. The Farseer Trilogy (Robin Hobb)
5. The Tawny Man Trilogy (Robin Hobb)
6. The Serpentwar (Raymond E. Feist)
7. The Demon Cycle (Peter V. Brett)
8. The Kingkiller Chronicles (Patrick Rothfuss)
9. The Rigante (David Gemmel)
10. The Sword of Truth (Terry Goodkind)
That list was surprisingly easy to make, but I could've easily fitted in another 10 authors whose books I love reading over and over. If any of them, however, are unfamiliar to you... your life will only be improved by reading these books
. How about you? Top ten series' of all time?