Game of Thrones Power Rankings S5E4 “The Sons of the Harpy”

(Disclaimer: This list is based off the last episode, and any future impact known to book readers is not taken into account. Nothing written here will contain spoilers for future episodes.)

1.) Stannis Baratheon (Last week: Not Ranked): For the first time we saw a glimpse of the softer side of Stannis, something thought to be non-existent before his emotional scene with his daughter. If only the people of Westeros could see him as more of a caring ruler instead of the calculated, impersonal warrior they’ve come to know him as, he might stand a chance in taking the Iron Throne, or at least the North from the cruelty of the Bolton’s.

2). Melisandre (NR): She delivered the most chill-inducing line of the episode, echoing the words of Jon Snow’s fallen lover, Ygritte, to him as she exited his chamber. Jon Snow now knows she has more insight then she’s letting on and that her powers are real (something the viewers learned when she birthed the shadow monster in season 2.

3.) Jon Snow (1): I feel I’m getting repetitive, but he’s really serious about his vows and holding steadfast to the Stark’s code of honor, first giving up a chance to become Jon Stark, then this week passing on the advance by Melisandre. He remains a powerful character more for what others said about him this week. The references to R+L=J only amplify the spotlight on someone who was already a fan favorite.

4.) Jaime Lannister (NR): In his first real fight since losing his hand, he struggled initially before discovering how to use his gold hand to his advantage. His sword skills with his left hand still don’t come close to what he could do with his right, but he’s no longer a liability in a fray. My guess is there’s a 45 percent chance he dies in Dorne.

5) Sansa Stark (4): Essentially was just dropped off by Littlefinger at Winterfell where she’s now captive/guest of the crazy Boltons with no friend in sight. She’s played the damsel in distress for too long, never acting on her own accord and letting fate happen to her. She now has to step up and take control of Ramsey because she’s all on her own, unless she can somehow rouse the ghosts of Winterfell from their slumber.

6.) Tinfoil theorists (NR): For the uninitiated, tinfoil refers to fan theories about what may happen. Sometimes these are well thought out and other times, well, they are asinine. The most prevalent theory currently circulating the fan base is R+L=J, or that Jon Snow is not the bastard of Ned Stark and instead his nephew as the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (Ned’s Sister). The theory goes that Ned raised him as his bastard to protect Jon from persecution, as Robert Baratheon wanted all those of Targaryen descent put to the sword to secure his right to the throne. The R+L=J theory received a major boost with two references, the first when Stannis tells his wife having a bastard with a tavern slut “wasn’t Ned Starks way.” This first reference only implies that perhaps Jon’s mother was higher born. The second reference was much stronger, when Petyr Baelish told Sansa about the Tourney at Harrenhal where Rhaegar chose Lyanna over his wife as the most beautiful woman of the tournament. Now Petyr didn’t say anything to refute Sansa’s claim about Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna, but how he spoke where he stopped it, and the look on his face implied what he believed. These scenes don’t confirm anything, but the placement so close together does raise suspicion. Either that or they are just setting the viewers up for more devastation.

7.) Cersei Lannister (3): She successfully delivered a counter-punch in her battle with Margaery with her indirect role in the arrest of Loras Tyrell. She also consolidated her power by sending Mace Tyrell on a diplomatic mission, removing another person who could possibly interfere with her power move to take over the small council. Did she do too much by promoting the High Sparrow and his followers to a position of power? The Sparrows have been a rogue unit thus far, and her encounter with her cousin Lancel, a prominent member of the Sparrows, earlier this season was anything but comfortable.

8.) Margaery Tyrell (2): She still holds more sway over King Tommen than her mother by law, but the imprisonment of Loras was a major blow. Leaving Tommen to be with her family was a strong move, as he instantly realized he needs to be firmer in order to act as a king. The return of the Queen of Thornes will likely make her corner stronger, after all Olena Tyrell played a critical role in the murder of King Joffrey.

9.) Daenarys Targaryn (NR): She’s losing control of the city and lost one (or two) of her trusted advisors in a skirmish with the insurgents. If only she had some super weapon like, I don’t know, dragons that she could use to help enforce her reign. It’s going to be hard to conquer and control and entire continent if she can’t handle a city.

10.) King Tommen Baratheon (8): The King of Westeros can’t get an audience with the High Sparrow to release his wife’s brother, can’t control his mother from meddling in his rule and really has no actual power. He has less control of his city right now than Daenarys, who is dealing with an insurgency. This week’s power rankings feel less like a battle for first and more like a struggle to not finish last. At least Tommen is free and not captive on the open sea in a small vessel like his uncle.

Dropped from the rankings: Brienne (DNA), Ayra (DNA), Ser Davos, Tyrion, Littlefinger.

Also receiving votes: Bronn, Samwell Tarly, Petyr Baelish, The Sparrows, Ser Barristan Selmy.

Death of the Week: Ser Barristan Selmy, Barristan the Bold. We needed a reminder that in the world of Game of Thrones, valar morghulis, all men must die. So of course we should’ve seen this coming after his stirring story to Dany about how he and Rhaegar would to go out to the streets of Kings Landing incognito while the prince sang to the his people disguised as a minstrel. Barriston showed his fighting acumen, charging into a skirmish between the Sons of the Harpy and the greatly outnumbered peacekeeping force of Unsullied. Barriston and Grey Worm teamed up to take down many of their opponents, but his wounds proved to be too much. Grey Worm’s fate is still unknown, as he was also severely wounded in the battle, but based on how they both fell, it doesn’t look good. If so, Barristan gets the nod for his brave actions and his final words with Daenarys.