Last week, I’m sure nobody was surprised that House Targaryen pulled down the coveted No. 1 spot in our weekly Game of Thrones Power Rankings, almost as though it’s already a foregone conclusion that Daenerys will claim what is rightfully hers: The Iron Throne. But this show has a habit of cutting the head off foregone conclusions.
Still, if we're ranking the most powerful Great Houses, we have to go with what we see, and in Episode 1, that was clearly the case. But after all the action in Episode 2 last night, we’ve got some position jockeying in this week’s Power Rankings, with at least one Great House sinking faster than Yara’s ship into the murky depths of the Narrow Sea.
1. House Targaryen – Though Cersei certainly made some strides in the right direction, and Targaryen power took a major hit with the rebel Greyjoys getting routed at sea by the ruling Greyjoys, Daenerys may have made the most important decision of the week when she invited Jon Snow to come down and join her on the Dragonglass-rich isle of Dragonstone. Of course, that raven’s note didn’t mention anything to Jon about bending the knee, did it? So we’ll see what happens when the King in the North arrives, and if these two can play nice, or whether they realize how much they have in common. So Daenerys barely clings to her tentative grip on the top spot this week, on the strength of good counsel, and a “Dothraki Horde, a Legion of Unsullied, and three dragons,” as Ser Davos was quick to point out last night.
2. House Lannister – Episode 2 found Cersei and Jaime shoring up their power, and not just readying for war, but starting it. With Lord Randyll Tarly seemingly joining the ranks along with Sam’s much-more-strapping younger brother Dickon, and Qyburn constructing land-to-air dragon-slaying giant crossbows, that power-shoring appears to be going quite well. But the biggest surge in Lannister power came via a gift from a would-be suitor: Euron.
3. House Greyjoy – Remember last week when we said that Greyjoy only ranked fifth because they were a house divided? Well, Euron and the strength of the Iron Fleet sank that division, and did so in stunning, badass fashion, taking out three Sand Snakes in the process, one of whom brought a whip to an axe fight. And now he’s got a really great prize, perhaps a wedding gift, for Cersei: Elaria Sand, who killed Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella. So yeah, Cersei and Euron could make quite the power couple.
4. House Stark: What does House Stark really have going for it right now? Especially without Jon Snow, whose fate as the King in the North is very much in danger of melting should Daenerys take Olenna’s advice and become the dragon she was born to be. Think about it: Jon could easily be viewed as an impediment to what Daenerys has always dreamed of, especially if he’s got a valid claim to the Targaryen lordship. This all raises a lot of questions for House Stark. With Sansa helming Winterfell, where does that leave them, especially if she keeps pushing away creepy-but-powerful Littlefinger? Sure, she’s learned a thing or two from all the despicable people keeping her captive the last six seasons, but is it enough to keep at bay not just Cersei and Daenerys down south, but the Night King’s army to the north? Do Arya’s new assassin skills work on White Walkers? Will Nymeria stay in the woods and out of the fray? Will Hot Pie? And perhaps even more importantly from a power perspective, does Lady Mormont’s loyalty lie with King Jon Snow or House Stark?
5. House Arryn: Lord Baelish is plotting, that much is for sure. But if his House Arryn and House Stark should fall out of favor, as would seem to be the case, where can he go, besides back to the Vale to hide and hope that White Walkers don’t like hiking? He played his hand against Cersei by joining up with Sansa, so that bridge is burned. Perhaps he’ll find favor from the Queen of Dragons next?
6. House Tyrell – Is there even anything left of the Tyrell army after Euron set flame to all the ships ferrying them across the Narrow Sea? How much more of this can Olenna take? Though it looks like the chips are stacked well against her, I can’t count her fully out just yet. She’s got a powerful ally in Daenerys, and she’s just got too much damn gumption to be overlooked. Alas, we’re not talking about Gumption Rankings here.
7. Martell – With Elaria and the Sand Snakes still kicking around, House Martell could have still technically risen, as the bloodline was still barely alive in the bastards of Oberyn. Well, that’s all over now. Another Great House down. I’m aFreyd we never really knew you the way we should have Martell.
Sure, with the Night King’s army marching south, it may not matter who sits atop the Iron Throne anyway, but still, let us know if you think we’ve got our spokes in the right order, or if the great wheel needs to be adjusted slightly.
See you again next week!