SPOILER WARNING: Look away now to be shielded from the spoilers below for Game of Thrones Season 7: Episode 7, "The Dragon and The Wolf."
If tonight’s Game of Thrones finale is the professional football equivalent of the Super Bowl, then I have to say the commercials were lacking, but otherwise, wow, what a Game! As we’ve witnessed all season, Power Rankings can rise and fall in a heartbeat, and the fates of Great Houses certainly aren’t where we started the season, back when an actual Great House was on top. So who’s the champ this season, and who’s stacked up to compete again next year? Here’s a hint: it ain’t the Tullys, Baratheons, Boltons, Tyrells, Martells, or Freys.
1. The Army of the Dead – You thought Daenerys had a sweet ride? Check out the Night King’s wings. And, satisfyingly, my question from last week was answered about how a White Walking dragon would feel about fire, because the Night King’s ride apparently runs on lighting. If there was ever a power-upper in this Game, it’s a Skywalker-blue lightning spitting zombie dragon, as we clearly see by the destruction of the most formidable structure in the Seven Kingdoms, The Wall, which had stood for millennia by some mysterious combination of magic and ice, only to be melted to shreds in a ride-AND-die moment. And the Night King’s Army barely had to break their stride.
2. Lannister – Yes, this seems like a weird ranking, seeing how much power the Targaryens possess, and knowing that the strongest Stark is full-on bending the knee. And yeah, Cersei has seen the real enemy, and booted her brother/ex-lover out of Crazy Town. But think about it: as far as Great Houses are concerned, anyone you might think possesses more current fire power is heading North to test that power against the blue-eyed guy riding a systematic, hydromatic, automatic, winged killing machine and his not-quite-dead-yet followers. And Cersei ain’t. She’s going to let the rest of the Great Houses bond, while she buys more power from Essos, and clings to that she’s got. It’s a smart play, for now, if all you want to do is win the Game of Thrones. But let’s face it, the Iron Throne is not the Lombardi Trophy.
3. House Greyjoy – By the same reasoning as Lannister's surprise ranking, Greyjoy’s survival seems far more imminent than the rest of the Great Houses hellbent on fighting a hellacious army. And Euron’s crew of deplorables would rank even higher than Lannister if they were really just heading back to the Iron Islands and letting the Dead try to swim their way across Ironman’s Bay. That’s assuming The Dragon and The Wolf don’t make short work of the Dead and then come after them. And no, I’m not factoring Theon as a threat, because really, it’s just too hard to do that with a straight face.
4. House Targaryen – Wow, House Targaryen is really shoring up power, what with the greatest power couple in the history of Westeros now shacking up on the long cruise North. But, things are… complicated. Will they rule as King and Queen? Or is that going to be King and Aunt? Or some other combination, perhaps as White Walkers? Hey, it’s possible that no one gets out of here alive. Still, if any of the Great Houses has enough power to upset our No. 1 for the last three weeks running, it’s King Aegon and the Aunt Queen Dany, her kids Drogon and Rhaegal, a Dothraki horde, legions of Unsullied, a Hound, an even more loyal Jorah, and the best damn drinker in the land – all fighting together for the living.
5. Stark – The powerful Stark Ladies are back in step, working as a pack yet again, which is great for power, and even better for the North. And Littlefinger is a little shorter around the neck, which is just good for all of Westeros. So does that mean that Sansa commands the Knights of the Vale now? If so, that’s a healthy power boost, for sure. But with the King in the North bending the knee to the Mother of Dragons, is Lady Stark going to follow suit? Or will she rally the North against being ruled by a perceived usurper from the South, as her people would likely expect? I’m guessing Lady Sansa knows the threat from above is greater than that from below, and will continue to roll her dice with John. But what about Aegon?
6. House Arryn – What becomes of House Arryn now that Lord Baelish has finally been shown for the troublemaker he truly was? But though we’re glad to see him go, let’s not badmouth him too much, for without Littlefinger, none of the last seven seasons would have happened at all. He really did set all of it in motion. So much planning and conniving, just to end up on the wrong end of what could have remained his knife, had he not been such a pesky meddler. So now, over-nursed Robin’s in charge, presumably, and that’s why House Arryn is in dead last.
Thanks for playing along with the Game of Thrones Power Rankings this season. Will see you again next season, in Gods know how long. Please Lord of Light, make it come soon!