Who Is Currently 'Winning' The Game Of Thrones? A Definitive Ranking

Game of Thrones season 7, the sometimes spellbinding and sometimes frustrating penultimate season of the most popular show on television, is over. If the rumors are to be believed, we may not see the final season until 2019, which means we have a long wait ahead of us. And a lot of time to bicker over silly questions like "Which character is currently winning the game of thrones?" Yep, it's time for our annual Game of Thrones power ranking.

Jacob Hall and Ben Pearson, two of /Film's resident Game of Thrones aficionados, decided to take this question to heart. Below, we have assembled a list of the major surviving characters (or at least the ones who matter), ranked from "doing quite poorly at the game of thrones" to "probably going to be sitting on the Iron Throne when all is said and done." This list was devised via techniques mastered by the Maesters of the Citadel – it is completely and scientifically accurate.

Naturally, there are major spoilers throughout this article.

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32. Ellaria Sand

Chained up in a King's Landing prison and just out of reach of the rotting corpse of her dead daughter...yep, you know Ellaria really pissed off Cersei Lannister to receive such a horrible fate. Even if she could somehow pick her lock, she'd still probably have to contend with Cersei and The Mountain, who would be even madder than ever. Game over, Ellaria. (Ben Pearson)

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31. Jaime Lannister

To paraphrase a great poet: Jaime Lannister will do anything for love, but he won't do that. With that being "go back on his word to march north and assist Jon and Daenerys in battling the army of the dead to protect the Seven Kingdoms from the zombie apocalypse." Geez, Jaime. You're growing a conscience now? This late in the game? That's not how you win the game of thrones, sir. This how you Eddard Stark yourself into an early grave. (Jacob Hall)

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30. Meera Reed

Hey, Meera. Remember how you spent the past few years trudging through the snow with Bran Stark so he could locate a Swedish man who lives in a tree and learn how to be the most powerful psychic in the Seven Kingdoms? Yeah. Well...your services are longer required. Sorry. It's been fun. Sort of. Sometimes. Sorry about your brother. (Jacob Hall)

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29. Yara Greyjoy

The last we saw Yara, she was captured by her psychopathic uncle Euron. Her exact fate is unclear, but she's not dead – the show wouldn't have had Theon take a beating to convince his men to save her if she wasn't still a factor. Still, things are looking pretty rough for the would-be queen of the Iron Islands. Can Theon and company save her next season? Either way, getting sucked into a side plot doesn't sound like a strategy for winning the game of thrones. (Ben Pearson)

28. Melisandre

Rejected by Jon Snow, faced with the wrath of Davos, and all out of living kings willing to put up with her Lord of Light bullshit, Melisandre can only nudge from afar at this point. Granted, part of that nudging involves making sure Daenerys and Jon Snow end up in the same room, but her days of whispering in the ears of potential rulers are over. (Jacob Hall)

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27. Gendry

Gendry may be able to swing a warhammer like his father, but Robert Baratheon's bastard isn't exactly a threat to the throne these days. Maybe the blacksmith should enter Westeros' version of the Olympics, though – as he proved this season, he certainly has a knack for long-distance running, especially through harsh terrain. (Ben Pearson)

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26. Hot Pie

While everyone else is concerning themselves with battles, dragons, and other dangerous affairs, Hot Pie's biggest problem is burning himself as he pulls a new batch of food out of the oven. Comparatively speaking, that's a pretty good problem to have in Westeros. And there's a hint of something else lurking behind his kind eyes: this guy is as power-hungry as he is...well, regular hungry. The simplicity of his plan to wait out the war and ascend to the throne puts any of Littlefinger's elaborate schemes to shame. Seriously though: how hilarious would it be if everyone ends up dying except for Hot Pie? (Ben Pearson)

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25. Podrick Payne

We've watched Pod fight in the battle of the Blackwater, act as as personal squire to Tyrion Lannister, and learn how to fight courtesy of Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne has grown up before our very eyes! And yet, he still gets whisked away from the big armistice talk so all of the real grown-ups can chat. Sorry, Pod. You'll matter someday. (Jacob Hall)

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24. Theon Greyjoy

The most consistently humiliated character on Game of Thrones earns this placement strictly because of his ability to endure in the face of overwhelming odds. Theon's storylines may not be the most fun, and he may not be interested in playing the "game," but he has a high survivability ranking, and in a treacherous kingdom, sometimes that's all you need. (Ben Pearson)

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23. Beric Dondarrion

To some fans, Beric Dondarrion is the leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, a former knight, and a character ingrained into the increasingly weird texture of mythology of this world. To others, his name inspires comments like "You're making that name up. There is no one named Beric Dondarrion on Game of Thrones." Look, this is what happens when you vanish for seasons at a time. Anyway, Beric is the second most important person currently at Eastwatch, which just crumbled to the ground and let an undead zombie army through. Not a good look. (Jacob Hall)

Tormund Giantsbane

22. Tormund Giantsbane

Tormund nearly met a grisly end during the battle beyond the wall in season 7, and the last moments we saw of him in the finale weren't exactly beaming with hope. But if anyone can survive the destruction of the Wall, it's our friendly neighborhood Wildling. Think about what that means: if he survives that fall and the Night King's army walking right past him, he can face just about anything...even the heartbreak that's surely on the way when he realizes Brienne and Jaime are going to end up together. Sorry, Tormund/Brienne shippers. (Ben Pearson)

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21. Sandor "The Hound" Clegane

After taking a few seasons off to rest, recuperate, and not find religion, the Hound is back in the mess and he's stepped up a rung or two. Sure, his chief involvement at the big armistice involved lifting the zombie box while everyone else sat on their asses, but at least he was lifting a zombie box for a collection of kings and queens and not a bunch of smelly outlaws and brigands, his usual company for the past few seasons. Who knows who he'll be lifting zombie boxes for next year! The possibilities are endless! (Jacob Hall)

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20. Missandei

Being the translator for one of the most powerful women in the world has its advantages. Missandei came from nothing, but she's managed to work her way up to being one of Dany's most trusted advisors, and being on the right side of dragon fire is a good place to be heading into the eighth season. Now if only she and Grey Worm can get some more time to themselves before things start getting really bad. (Ben Pearson)

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19. Grey Worm

Look, leading your army into a mostly empty castle while the forces you intended to crush are across the continent killing your allies is not a good look. But you really can't blame Grey Worm, who was simply executing a plan put together by Tyrion. At the very least, he's still the toughest general in Westeros and he's still on a winning team...but he's always going to be corralled by the fact that he's not the one calling the shots. (Jacob Hall)

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18. Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane

The Hound is fearsome in his own way, but The Mountain is clearly the more brutal member of that twisted family. This is a guy who has lopped a horse's head off and squished Oberyn Martell's skull so hard it splattered like a piece of fruit. Oh, and being a resurrected zombie probably doesn't hurt his chances of making it through the Great War to Come. He's the only person who could convincingly switch sides as a last ditch survival effort and go unnoticed. Advantage: Mountain. (Ben Pearson)

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17. Varys

At the risk of being a little too literal when talking about a man who has no testicles, Varys found himself emasculated this season. Once the most powerful spymaster in Westeros, he's now been reduced to being chided by Daenerys and receiving vague threats from Melisandre. When his new queen burns the heads of House Tarly alive, the best he can do is tell Tyrion "Your problem now!" before shuffling off into his corner to presumably wonder if his evil counterpart, Petyr Baelish, is doing any better at the game they both once played so well. The answer to that question is a big "LOL no," but Varys doesn't know that yet. Someone should tell him. He could use some good news. (Jacob Hall)

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16. Samwell Tarly

Sam certainly put up with his fair of nonsense during his Citadel internship, but he managed to cure Ser Jorah and find out some game-changing information over the course of just a few episodes. Normally, the fact that he's one of two people in the world who possess important information would make me worried about him, but remember, he's one of the few people alive with the distinction of having killed a White Walker. That has to count for something, right? (Ben Pearson)

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15. Gilly

Hey, remember how Samwell Tarly showed up at Winterfell and met with Bran and was all like "OMG, here's some really important information I learned that clarifies your psychic vision that changes everything we know about our whole world!" Well, guess what, Sam? You didn't find that info. Fucking Gilly found that info. And you brushed her off and now you're taking credit for it. Typical. Someone put Gilly on the Iron Throne. Maybe something will get done. (Jacob Hall)

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14. Bran Stark

Bran still needs some practice with that whole "being the Three-Eyed Raven" thing, as evidenced by his leaning on Sam to clue him in to the big secret behind Jon's true parentage (ahem, thanks Gilly). Sam and Bran are currently the only two people alive who know the truth, but when it comes right down to it, I'd go with an untested Three-Eyed Raven any day – even a socially awkward one. Sorry, Sam. (Ben Pearson)

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13. Jorah Mormont

Cured of his greyscale. Forgiven for his transgressions. Inexplicable survivor of the mission beyond the Wall. Seated at the right hand of Daenerys despite offering no useful advice at any point this season. Everything's coming up Jorah! Daenerys' oldest ally is currently reaping the rewards of getting in on Team Fire and Blood early. He doesn't have to do much at all to somehow look really, really important. (Jacob Hall)

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12. Ser Davos

The Onion Knight, formerly little more than a tolerated thorn in Stannis Baratheon's side, is a valuable strategist and clear-headed advisor to Jon Snow. Granted, he didn't have very much to do this season, but sometimes it's best to just keep your head down and support the resurrected zombie king and the dragon-controlling fire queen. He did recruit Gendry for the mission beyond the Wall, and without Davos's recruiting skills, Jon and company would have died out there on the ice. He's proven his worth 10 times over. (Ben Pearson)

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11. Brienne of Tarth

Brienne got a promotion this season! She's no longer just the bodyguard for the Stark sisters – she's now a trusted representative for Winterfell, sent in Sansa's stead to negotiate with Queen Cersei. She's still being pushed around and shuffled about the continent on the whims of the people who call the shots, but at least she's being pushed in the direction of major meetings between all of the most important people in the Seven Kingdoms. As a bonus, she seems to actually have the full and complete trust of both Sansa and Arya, which further ties her into the Stark inner circle (a circle that is doing quite well for themselves). Good job, Brienne. (Jacob Hall)

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10. Tyrion Lannister

All things considered, Tyrion didn't exactly have a stellar season. Much of his advice to Dany was ill-informed (or at least unlucky), and he was almost single-handedly responsible for many of Team Targaryen's major military losses. Hey, I get it. It's hard work advising a hot-tempered queen who's so close to her long-held goal she can practically taste it. But Tyrion needs to step up his game if he wants to end up back on Dany's good side. And his weird look during Dany and Jon's boat sex scene has me wondering if there's even more to this already-complex character than we're seeing. (Ben Pearson)

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9. Qyburn

With Littlefinger dead and Varys sidelined and Tyrion not having as much sway with Daenerys as he used to, Qyburn may very well be the most powerful advisor in all of Westeros. The mad scientist who re-animated the Mountain seemed a little too fascinated with that undead wight and he's always been more than willing to carry out his Queen's most vicious schemes. The combination of more dead folks and an increasingly backstab-happy Cersei means that things will only look up for this weirdo in the near future. He will not be wanting for work. God help us all. (Jacob Hall)

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8. Arya Stark

Though her storyline with Sansa this year was severely muddled, I have to admit it was satisfying as hell to watch Arya carry out the execution of Littlefinger at Winterfell. There's something special about seeing the Stark girls finally working together after sparring so much in childhood, and thanks to her training with the Faceless Men, Arya's now a master assassin and master manipulator to boot. The Night King isn't on her list (yet), but may the seven help him if he does anything to cross Arya Stark. (Ben Pearson)

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7. Sansa Stark

Sansa Stark may refer to herself as a "slow learner," but she's not giving herself enough credit. Over the course of seven seasons, she's been carried out of the frying pan and into hell itself. She's absorbed punishment, withstood abuse, and learned a thing or a hundred about how the world is built to harm women...and how she can dish out her revenge. And while Arya may fight back with the pointy end of a sharp weapon, Sansa fights back with the intrigue she learned from her enemies and the raw power she earned from her father. After years of playing victim, Sansa represents a House Stark that will not be led by a dummy. After years of being separated by tragedy and circumstance, she represents a House Stark that is united. That's more than you can say for a lot of the families in Westeros. (Jacob Hall)

HBO hack Game of Thrones

6. Euron Greyjoy

The filthiest pirate of the seven kingdoms seemed to cower in the face of a wight in the season finale, but Cersei's revelation – that Euron is still working for her, and secretly bailed to Essos to retain the services of  a mercenary unit – means that we still have more to see from Theon and Yara's dastardly uncle. Considering his dramatic shift in characterization between season six and seven, though, I'm taking bets on whether or not he'll come back looking like a hair metal rocker in season eight. Can't you just picture him obnoxiously singing "Cherry Pie" right in Dany's face? (Ben Pearson)

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5. Daenerys Targaryen

The formerly unstoppable dream team has been shaken! A dragon has fallen. Conquest has been put on hold to deal with a little zombie problem. And perhaps most troubling, Daenerys is currently fucking her secret nephew. Whoops. Through sheer military might alone, Queen Dany slips into the top five, but what's she going to do when she learns the family member she's sleeping with has a better claim to the throne than her? Welcome to a rough patch, Mother of Dragons. (Jacob Hall)

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4. Jon Snow

As of right now? Jon is doing great. He's accomplished his mission of bringing a wight to Cersei to convince her to join the ultimate fight, and he's fallen head over heels for a gorgeous queen who has eyes for him, too. So Jon is on fire. But he has some harsh truths barreling toward him like a rocket – Cersei lied, and you're, um, boning your aunt – and how Jon...excuse me, Aegon...reacts to those truths is a whole other story. But in the meantime, Jon's just going to enjoy riding the dragon. (Ben Pearson)

3. Cersei Lannister

Look, we're not ranking people based on whether they're nice folks we'd like to spend time with. We're ranking people based on how well they're weathering the game of thrones. And Queen Cersei of House Lannister isn't weathering the game of thrones as much as she's smashing it with a sledgehammer and then forcing everyone to play on a board that cannot be predicted or examined. She's a wild card, a talented liar, and the only ruler in Westeros who sees an undead invasion as an opportunity to stab her enemies in the back rather than come together to sing "Kumbaya" and save civilization as they know it. She's playing a dangerous game in the most selfish way imaginable. She's a threat to all life in Westeros. And she's probably got this. (Jacob Hall)

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2. The Night King

Ol' Frosty has a target on his back now that the good guys have figured out that if they kill The Night King, they essentially destroy the entire army of the undead at the same time. But the dude's only had his own undead ice dragon for one episode and he's already taken down the freakin' Wall. Things are looking pretty good for him right about now, and as long as he keeps his distance and continues to survey every battle from the fringes, I don't see him losing any time soon. (Ben Pearson)

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1. Bronn

When the heroes die in battle, when the kings and queens stab each other in the back, when the dragons fall from the sky, when the scholars burn because they won't take off their blinders, when the psychics disconnect from reality, when the Cleganes finally get around to clashing, and when Westeros burns and freezes in a war that will unite both ice and fire, Bronn will be the last one standing. All hail Bronn: Westeros' ultimate survivor and friend to everyone and ally to no one. He'll win the day because he has absolutely zero interest in doing so. (Jacob Hall)