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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)

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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)

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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)

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