Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Game of Thrones season six is over, so you know what that means: it’s time to talk about Game of Thrones for the next ten months or so. This most recent season was one for the books, the strongest batch of episodes since season four and a stirring climax for many of the show’s most important characters and storylines. The television adaptation may have outpaced George R.R. Martin‘s novels, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Free from having to strictly adapt the novels, Game of Thrones became leaner and meaner and more satisfying as a weekly television show.
Game of Thrones also killed a bunch of characters. A truly unprecedented number of characters, even for a series famous for killing off its cast. The fat has been trimmed from the ensemble in the most brutal fashion imaginable and the survivors have seen more than one status quo uprooted. And you know what means: it’s time to reassess the main players in this bloody game and see where they stand. It’s time for a power ranking. (SPOILERS ahead, of course.)
34. Jorah Mormont
Daenerys’ former right-hand man has been infected with a disease that is certainly going to kill him and has been essentially exiled again, this time more out of pity than anger. If we never see Jorah again, we can only assume that he died alone and powerless while the woman he loves conquers a nation across the world. Ouch.
In a season where so many female characters revealed their toughest and most ruthless selves and seized power after taking a hammer to the Westerosi patriarchy, poor Gilly ended the season standing in the Citadel’s lobby with a baby after being denied entrance to a library. The only silver lining here is that she got makeover, so at least she can feel a little prettier as she finds herself going absolutely nowhere.
The only surviving member of Bran’s entourage is lucky to be alive, but now she’s the sole caretaker of a boy wizard who can’t walk and can barely control his powers. Her role at this point in the series appears to be “girl who drags the paralyzed boy through the snow.”
Although she began the season broken and vulnerable, Melisandre began to find her old zealous self after resurrecting Jon Snow from the dead and dedicating her life to serving him. And then that turned around and bit her when the new King in the North learned that she, you know, burned a young child to death for good luck. He exiled her under threat of death. Maybe she can find Jorah and they can form a proper pity party.
30. Samwell Tarly
Sam is the kind of unlucky soul who takes what he can get. Sure, stealing his father’s sword and arriving at the biggest library in Westeros actually places the Night’s Watch’s new maester-to-be in a higher position than previous seasons, but that only means he’s near the bottom instead of in the very bottom slot. There is no one less ambitious than good ol’ Sam, who’s just happy to still be alive at this point.
29. Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
Over six seasons, Sandor has steadily fallen from “personal bodyguard to the king” to “vengeful construction worker” and you know that he really, really doesn’t care. Now that he’s signed up with the Brotherhood Without Banners, it’ll be interesting to see if he can start living up to his fearsome reputation again and emerge from the shadows as a major player in the game.
28. Jaqen H’ghar
Look, a powerful Faceless Man like Jaqen is always going going to wield some degree of influence on the world and he’ll certainly bounce back in a big way…but let’s just be honest: watching as your most promising assassin school trainee drops out and kills your second most promising assassin school trainee is a bad look, especially when they look like the only two trainees at the House of Black and White.
27. Lady Olenna Tyrell
The Queen of Thorns’ wicked wit and sharp tongue have allowed her to navigate a number of tricky situations and act as a powerful mouthpiece for the Tyrell family, but a mouthpiece is only valuable when there is an actual threat backing it up. With her son, granddaughter, and grandson all dead, Olenna is on the ropes. However, a potential new alliance with House Martell (and a certain conquering dragon queen) may change her fortunes in the near future.
26. Podrick Payne
Pod’s success is directly tied to that of Brienne and he will always be slightly worse off than Westeros’ most noble knight.
25. Brienne of Tarth
Despite being one of the most impressive characters on Game of Thrones and despite being a woman powered by conviction, bravery and sincerity, Brienne had one job this season (recruit the Blackfish and his forces) and she failed. This is the latest blunder for Brienne, who failed to protect Catelyn, failed to escort Jaime back home intact, failed to save Arya, and initially failed to save Sansa. Being a good person gets you nowhere. At the very least, she’s officially attached to rebounding House Stark, which keeps her away from the bottom of the barrel.
Jaime’s number one guy peaked a few seasons ago when he was elevated from a lowly sellsword into a proper knight and he’s been coasting since then, taking gigs from the Lannisters and coasting on his newfound power. Granted, it’s not much power, but he also doesn’t seem to be interested in obtaining more, which somehow makes him look more stable than many of those below him on this ranking.