'Game Of Thrones' Season 5 Predictions And Power Rankings: What's Next For Westeros?

We helped you brush up on your recent Westerosi history with our general recap of Season 4. Now it's time to consider where Game of Thrones is headed in Season 5. Season 4 ended with some major shakeups to the status quo, and knowing this show things will only continue to spin out of control for the next ten episodes.

Which means, really, that trying to predict this show is a fool's errand. Author George R.R. Martin and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss delight in pulling the rug out from under our feet, and we love them for it. But we are masochists, and so we've pieced together a few ideas about where we might be going next — including a power ranking of the major players going into the next season.

Click through for our Game of Thrones Season 5 predictions and power rankings.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane

NORTH OF THE WALL

Great things seem to be ahead for Bran Stark, but don't look for them to happen anytime soon. He and Hodor will be sitting out this season, as confirmed by the showrunners. The characters have already caught up with their book counterparts, and "if we pushed him forward this season, then he's way ahead of where the other characters are," explained David Benioff.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Jon, Davos, and Stannis

THE WALL

Gee, it was awfully nice of Stannis Baratheon to show up and save the Night's Watch brothers at the last minute. And awfully out of character — which suggests this move is part of some long game for Stannis to wrest control of the Iron Throne.

That probably isn't going to sit well with Jon Snow and the Night's Watch, who are steadfastly apolitical. And who have enough stuff to worry about already. The White Walkers and wildlings still present a problem for the brothers, and they aren't going to put their plans on hold just because the Westerosi are bickering over politics.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Roose Bolton, Ramsay Bolton, and Walda Frey

THE NORTH

Technically, Roose Bolton already has Ned Stark's old job as the Warden of the North. But the Boltons aren't much-loved in that region. Remember, they got the gig by betraying the Starks at the now-infamous Red Wedding. They'll probably want to do something to firm up their hold over the region... but what?

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Sansa and Littlefinger

THE VALE

Sansa Stark is still a captive, sort of, but now she's a captive who knows how the game is played. "She tries to take command and begins to manipulate the people who are keeping her prisoner — which is nice," revealed actress Sophie Turner in an interview. Based on her performance last season, it seems she's learned a thing or two from her time with Cersei and Margaery.

But can she out-maneuver Littlefinger? Because while their interests are aligned for now, her fake uncle isn't exactly famous for his loyalty. If he decides to turn on her, Sansa may discover she's escaped the firing pan only to land in the fire.

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Keep reading for our predictions for the Lannisters, the Martells, Daenerys, and more. Plus, our final Game of Thrones power rankings going into Season 5.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Margaery and Cersei

KING'S LANDING

With Tywin dead, Joffrey dead, Tyrion gone, and (at some point in the near future) Jaime in Dorne, Cersei Lannister finally gets to run the show. She probably doesn't even have to wed Loras Tyrell if she doesn't want to, though the ghost of Robb Stark might have a word or two of warning for people considering breaking their marriage contracts.

The more immediate threat to Cersei's power, though, is the Tyrells — specifically Margaery. The two women have been circling each other for seasons, and seem ready to battle for influence with poor King Tommen caught in the middle. At least he's got a really cute cat to cheer him up.

As if all that weren't chaotic enough, it seems we'll be getting another curveball in the form of the High Sparrow. He's a high-ranking religious figure whom actor Jonathan Pryce says "changes the situation." Could some sort of holy war be in store?

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Ellaria Sand and Areo Hotah

DORNE

Mentioned in past seasons but never before seen, Dorne looks to become a prominent location in Season 5. Several new characters hail from this warm Southern region, including:

  • Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig), Prince of Dorne and head of the House Martell. He is the older brother of Elia Martell and Oberyn Martell
  • The Sand Snakes, including Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes), Nymeria (Jessica Henwick), and Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers). They are the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, and are known for their skill in combat.
  • Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian), son of the Prince of Dorne. As arranged by Tyrion Lannister back in Season 2, he is betrothed to Myrcella Baratheon and will marry her when they are both of age.
  • Areo Hotah (DeObia Oparei), bodyguard of Doran Martell.
  • Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free), who has been living in Dorne under the care of the Martells since Tyrion arranged her marriage in Season 2. Myrcella isn't technically a new character, but she's been recast; she was played in earlier seasons by Aimee Richardson.

And while he's not from there originally, it appears Jaime Lannister will be mixing it up in Dorne this season as well. His visit is probably intended to smooth things over between the Martells and the Lannisters, but that may be more than Jaime or anyone else is capable of.

The Martells are surely none too happy about the recent death of Oberyn, who was only in King's Landing in the first place because he wanted to get revenge on Gregor Clegane (and the Lannisters by extension) for killing his sister Elia Martell.

Toss in the fact that Dorne is home to some very capable warriors, including the Sand Snakes, and, well... Jaime might want to get in a few extra practice rounds with Bronn just in case.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

BRAAVOS

First things first: Arya Stark finally gets to change her clothes this season! As shown in promotional pics, she has a new dress to replace the tattered breeches she's been wearing for the past three seasons. Which seems about right, because she's shed all personal ties to her old life as well.

Well — most of them, that is. It was Jaqen H'ghar's coin that got her to Braavos; could the two be headed for a reunion? Actor Tom Wlaschiha hopes so: "I think at some point in the season, [Jaqen and Arya] will meet," he teased.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Emilia Clarke as Daenerys

MEEREEN

Of all the long games being played right now, Daenerys Targaryen's might be the longest. It's so long, she hasn't even met most of the other players. Heck, half of them have probably forgotten she's playing at all, if they ever knew to begin with. But that might change this season.

The trailers suggest Tyrion Lannister and Varys may be on their way to the Mother of Dragons. Why not? There's nowhere left for Tyrion to go in the Seven Kingdoms, and he no longer has any interest in keeping the Lannisters in power. Whether the two actually make it there, though, is another question entirely.

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Let's finish up with our final power rankings for all the major players as we head into Season 5.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Cersei Lannister and Meryn Trant

And now that we've picked apart every angle, our final power rankings for the major characters as we head into Game of Thrones Season 5.

#1 Cersei Lannister

Trending: Down

With Tywin and Tyrion gone, Jaime on her side, and Tommen on the Iron Throne, Cersei is currently sitting pretty. All she has to do now is not screw it up — which may be easier said than done, now that there's no one to keep her in check or clean up her messes.

#2 Margaery Tyrell

Trending: Up

As savvy as Cersei but richer and better liked, Margaery is strong and getting stronger. But she's not yet a queen, let alone the queen. Until her relationship with Tommen becomes official, she's vulnerable to getting thrown out of the game altogether.

#3 Daenerys Targaryen

Trending: Up

Unstoppable army of eunuchs: check. Fire-breathing dragons: check. Loyal mass of followers: check. Actual governing experience: check. If the Seven Kingdoms chose monarchs based on their resumes, Dany would probably be the top candidate.

For now, though, she's still stuck across the Narrow Sea. While powerful in theory, in practice she barely even registers to the characters in Westeros.

#4 Tommen Baratheon

Trending: Down

He is technically still the king. He doesn't have to listen to everything Cersei and Margaery tells him, he's just too young and impressionable not to.

#5 Stannis Baratheon

Trending: Up

After his drubbing at Blackwater Bay, Stannis is getting back into fighting shape with a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos — and, possibly, the support of the Night's Watch. He may not be in a position to seize the Iron Throne just yet, but he's certainly the strongest we've seen him since mid-Season 2.

#6 Littlefinger

Trending: Down

Littlefinger's come a long way since Season 1, and he seems to be climbing still — now with the lords of the Vale on his side. But he didn't get up here without stepping on a few heads and burning a few bridges. Should he stumble, it's hard to imagine anyone will be there to help him back up.

#7 Arya Stark

Trending: Up

Arya's transformation from innocent child to cold-blooded killer seems close to complete, especially now that she's shed herself of all her personal ties. And if her career as a dealer of death fails to pan out, Arya always has her name to fall back on.

#8 Jon Snow

Trending: Up

Jon has emerged as a ferocious warrior, a loyal friend, and a capable leader. But the Night's Watch is weak, the wildlings are many, and the White Walkers are busy. It's unclear whether the arrival of Stannis and his forces will be a boon or a burden.

#9 Doran Martell

Trending: Up

Dorne hasn't been terribly involved in the War of the Five Kings, but with Oberyn's death and Trystane's impending marriage they may finally be spurred into action.

#10 Roose Bolton

Trending: Down

As we've seen time and time again on this show, gaining power and keeping power are two very different challenges. The ruthless Boltons are great at seizing control by any means necessary, but the North remembers what they did to the Starks and won't forgive easily.

#11 Sansa Stark

Trending: Up

Sansa's spent most of the past few seasons in the company of schemers like Cersei, Margaery, Tyrion, and Littlefinger, and she's clearly learned a thing or two from them. The question is whether she's learned enough.

#12 Balon Greyjoy

Trending: Down

The Greyjoys faced a major setback when the Boltons took control of Moat Cailin, a strategic location in the North. Otherwise, though, it seems like everyone's kind of forgotten about the Iron Islands' campaign for secession, which gives them plenty of time to devise a strategy.

#13 Tyrion Lannister

Trending: Up

Tyrion has lost everything — his family, his wife, his lover, his status, his home, his money. All he has left now are his wits. On the flip side, he has nothing left to lose, which in turn makes him a dangerous wild card.

#14 Jaime Lannister

Trending: Down / Even

Jaime has lost almost everything, which isn't the same thing at all. He doesn't have Cersei's power, nor Tyrion's freedom, nor Tywin's smarts. What he does have are good intentions, a lot of obligations, and a mostly useless gold hand. At this juncture, he's less a player than a pawn.

Not ranked: Bran Stark

Not only is Bran not playing the game, he's not even in the next ten episodes. Thus, he has no place on this list. Enjoy your tutelage under the Three-Eyed Raven, kid, and we'll see you in Season 6.