The closer we get to Game of Thrones S6, the more necessary it is to get talking about what’s to come. This season I’ll be keeping a power ranking of the many characters with significance to the plot. Below is “Pre-Season” ranking of characters who either did or may have survived the past season, as well as their importance for what’s to come. Season 6 will premiere April 24th, 2016.
Obviously a number of spoilers will be mentioned here, so don’t read the descriptions if you haven’t caught up on the series yet.
1. Jon Snow
There was no character talked about or speculated over more than Jon Snow. I had initially written this list (with 10 more characters) before the S5 finale and Jon was on the top of my rankings then. Nobody did more right, especially when he executed Janos Slynt with his own sword, but was still betrayed for it. What’s next is still a mystery and that makes him more compelling than anyone else.
2. Daenerys Targeryian
Daenerys’s rule in Meereen was parallel to Jon’s reign as Lord Commander. It took her a little longer to get the hang of imposing her power and they may have been her downfall when the Sons of the Harpy made their move. She put together a solid council of trust with Tyrion and Daario, and continues to build her army in the least suspecting ways…Oh, and she still has the badass MF’n dragons.
3. Tyrion Lannister
Whatever the redeeming qualities of a Lannister are, Tyrion embodies them. It’s those qualities of honor and a little bit of diplomacy that helped him survive traveling a world away from Kings Landing, while also forming the Thrones version of D-Generation X with Daenerys. With the Khaleesi away, he’s the only one in Meereen with experience of managing/ruling a city.
4. Night’s King
You saw “Hardhome”, right?
5. Samwell Tarley
Sam went from being virtually unable to do a thing to “White Walker Slayer”. Standing by Jon for as long as he did and standing up for Gilly to his fellow “brothers of the watch” make him about as pure as any character on the show. Along with his growing bravery, you have to imagine Sam’s meister-esque skills are going to come in handy too.
6. Jaime Lannister
I’m not sure if there’s a character that has evolved quite like Jaime. The shorter his hair gets, the less douchebag’ish he becomes. Taking down Ned Stark long ago is going to come with consequences, but the loyalty and honor he showed Brienne and Tyrion made you almost forget that happened. He’s going to be looking for blood though after spending all S5 trying to bring home Myrcella, and then losing her. Should be some clashing with Cersei over that…and the Martells.
7. Petyr Baelish
Petyr Baelish reminds you why it’s called “Game of Thrones”, and in a way he’s winning at it. Two comparisons to the actor Aiden Gillen’s work: Little Finger is like Marlo Stanfield (The Wire) in the way he gains power with cunning and blood. And similar to Bane, he’s necessary evil.
8. Ser Jorah
After losing all favor from Daenerys, Ser Jorah is charging back like a man with nothing to lose (because of the grey scale) and in love (duh). Probably want to stay out of his way.
9. Daario Naharis
Daario’s intentions have always been a little suspicious to me. Obviously an expert assassin and has wooed Daenerys, but I feel like I’m waiting for the other mercenary show to drop…perhaps with the slave owner-sympathizing Sons of the Harpy. He comes off as a bit of a frontrunner that way.
Tormund is all firy ginger badass and now has the weight of his people on those super broad shoulders. With his “Crow” ally going down, he’s going to be left with handling the rest of the double-crossing crows.
11. Arya Stark
Arya’s body count is super impressing. Killing Ser Meryn may have been her most impressive move yet, but now she’s dealing with some weird Jedi training that has caused her to go blind. Does that make her more dangerous or calm her down? I assume the former.
12. High Sparrow
Impressively taking down 3 high ranking members of the royal family with the help of his extremist following makes the High Sparrow a very dangerous and powerful figure in Kings Landing. The King himself, Tommen, let him has his way with his mother and wife…We’ll see how that goes over in Season 6.
Being charming, funny, and driven (for the right price) have helped Bronn battle through some impossible odds. It’s probably that charm that saved him after being poisoned by the Sand Snakes. I would rank him 2nd most skilled among the higher “guns”, next to Daario.
Gilly’s been through some serious shit. So alongside Samwell Tarley, she’s done putting up with anyone’s shit, especially when she has to raise a baby too. That combination make her much more admirable than many of the characters on this list.
Brienne can clearly kick nearly anybody’s ass on the show (see the battle with The Hound). However, sitting and waiting on Sansa for as long as she did, only to bail when it mattered most was really disheartening. I do hope she FINALLY catches up with Sansa to properly protect her, because none of her promises to Catelyn Stark regarding her children have worked out yet.
16. Ser Davos
Ser Davos is going to have some Wyatt Erp type rage when he learns about both Shireen and Stannis. I don’t think he’ll be satisfied until he has Melisandre’s head on a pike. Davos is resourceful and can lead an army. He may have either the Wildlings or Night’s Watch to work with when he settles somewhere, along with his pirate connections.
17. Lord Varys
I have a feeling Varys will be much higher on this list before long. Like Baelish, he’s playing the game, albeit more honorably. He has spies everywhere too and I’m very certain he orchestrated getting Tyrion to Meereen, knowing full-well that Jorah could get him there.
Drogon is certainly the hot head of his dragon siblings, but he’s also far and away the most dangerous. Daenerys would have been Caesar’ed by the Harpy if it weren’t for Drogon, and he’s really the embodiment of her power.
19. Three-Eyed Raven
This crazy all-seeing character that will be played by the excellent Max Von Sydow is too mysterious to rank higher, but perhaps too powerful to rank lower. He tells Bran that he could eventually fly and that makes me want to ready the popcorn.
21. Bran Stark
Bran’s had a full year away from the screen to work on powers, while also likely getting old enough for us not to recognize him. You get the feeling he could be very high in these rankings by the end of Season 6…that is if the Three-Eyed Raven hype is real.
22. Queen of Thorns
I think we all know now that she had something to do with Joffrey’s death, and her demeanor certainly suggests there’s a power play in motion to spring her grandchildren out of the Sparrow’s keep…I would also tell the rest of the Lannister’s to look out as well.
23. Stannis Baratheon
This is my favorite GIF from all of last season. Stannis makes this list without real confirmation that Brienne finished him on the battlefield, but I wouldn’t be shocked if she had. So much to feel conflicted about regarding Stannis. He was obviously played by Melisandre. He ran his army like a true general and had every right to the throne, knowing what we do about the Lannisters. Burning your own daughter alive for selfish gain is still unforgivable though.
24. Jaqen H’ghar
I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHAT THIS GUY IS! And that’s what makes him so interesting.
25. Cersei Lannister
Through the first few seasons, Cersei would have been very low on this list. She gave you every reason to hate her. But then when she was finally getting hers, I sympathized with her. How did you do that, Game of Thrones? I especially loved every threat she made toward the Nurse Ratched Sparrow nun. She’s going to exact plenty of revenge with her new Zombie Mountain too.
26. Zombie Mountain
…as I was saying.
Don’t fuck with this Direwolf.
28. Sansa Stark
Every bad thing that has happened to the Starks, Sansa represents that. We saw her make some serious power moves, and some that just ended horrifically. She’s out of Ramsey’s grasp, for now, and we just need her to align with the right forces for once. Greyjoys? Stannis or Stark sympathizers? Resurrected Jon Snow?! Come on!
Podrick is the purest of characters on the show and ridiculously loyal. I don’t know if that will keep him alive, but hey…it’s pretty damn admirable. Helps that he’s alongside Brienne.
Setting up Stannis, burning Shireen, making demon babies…Not a lot redeeming about Melisandre…except for the part where she could potentially resurrect Jon Snow, and we’re all hoping for that. She’s had her eye on Jon for a while, so *gulp*.
31. Lady Margaery
Margaery is so charming and obviously playing the game herself, so you know she has another agenda altogether…But I’m excited to see what the Queen of Thorns has planned to set her free and how much longer she’ll need to have Tommen wrapped around her finger.
32. Tyene Sand
Tyene is the one Sand sister that stuck out. “The most beautiful woman in the world” dominated Bronn, in her own unique way, and i don’t think we’ve seen the last of those two crossing paths again.
The “He’s not Joffrey” point is loud and clear here. He is a bit of a wet blanket, but he’s king of the wet blankets.
34. Eddison Tollett
Eddison is the last of the notable Night’s Watch, besides Sam, to fight by Jon’s side. I don’t necessarily see that changing after their experiences fighting beyond the wall, on the wall and in Hardhome.
Missandei was Daenerys’s voice to her people and that goes a long way. Should continue as she works with Tyrion while Daenerys is away.
36. Grey Worm
When you see Grey Worm in the next season, and especially in scenes with Missandei, picture George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” playing in the background. Seriously. Do it.
37. Wildling Giant
I hope he does this to Olly.
38. Doran Martell
Doren treated Jamie Lannister pretty fairly, and certainly Ellaria too fairly. But there seems to be a grander scheme with him sending Trystain to Kings Landing. There may be a vendetta for Oberyn that’s being masked by his calm demeanor.
39. Areo Hotah
Big man can move, that’s for sure. Would love to see him get a crack at Zombie Mountain.
40. Trystain Martell
Trystain worked his way onto the King’s council, with some negotiating by Jaime and Doren. If he was in on Mycella’s murder though, that’s cold blooded.
41. Meera Reed
Also been away with Bran, Hodor and “The Children” for a year. Probably stewing over the death of her brother. I have no idea what to expect from her, but I imagine it will be violent.
42. Kevan Lannister
Currently, the new Hand with plenty of battle experience. He seems smart and savvy like Tywinn, but I’m not sure how much that will matter. It will be interesting to see if he keeps supporting the Boltons.
Waif is mean and mysterious. She’ll likely be helping Arya train more, super reluctantly.
44. Obara Sand
I don’t know, did she say or do much?
45. Nymeria Sand
…at least she did this. The Sand Snakes were less consequential than I had hoped. I’m expecting more with Trystain in Kings Landing.
Malko probably has no real plot significance going forward, but he does have a connection to Tyrion and possibly with Davos (pirate thing). Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is too good an actor, in my opinion, for that small a role.
47. Loras Tyrell
Loras got cocky (literally). I feel a lot better about Margaery’s future than his.
48. Reek/Theon Greyjoy
I have to admit, I rooted for EVERY bad thing Ramsay did to Theon. When he didn’t step up for Sansa, I wanted worse things to happen to him…until he finally did.
49. Ellaria Sand
Oberyn once said, “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.” Well, you broke his word, Ellaria. You’re going to have to pay for that.
50. Roose Bolton
There’s a reckoning coming for Roose and his old pal Walder Frey. How it comes will be fun to speculate.
51. Lancel Lannister
Lancel is just another empowered asshole with a bad forehead brand-tattoo. Don’t expect his Lannister kin to sympathize when things go sideways for him.
Selling out Loras gets you zero brownie points.
53. Mace Tyrell
Quite possibly the most useless character on the show so far. He has done nothing of consequence at all.
54. Ser Alliser
Ser Alliser was showing signs at different points of an admirable character, but plotting a mutiny against the Lord Commander that only tried to build your forces is pretty selfish and shortsighted.
Again, let the giant rip this kid in two.
56. Ramsay Snow/Bolton
The fucking worst. All expletives necessary.