Each week, we give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead.
The penultimate episode of each Game of Thrones season is always one worth circling on your calendar. Ned’s death, Blackwater, The Red Wedding and “Watchers on the Wall” laid down the track record of anxiety inducing, reactionary video filming, edge-of-your-seat watching television. “Battle of the Bastards” met the hype and was payoff for the longtime Game of Thrones fans who stayed loyal, after so many favorite characters were brutalized before their very eyes.
Two years ago, I went and saw “Watchers on The Wall” and “The Children” from Season 4 back-to-back in an IMAX movie theater. “Battle of The Bastards” should be getting similar treatment leading up to Season 7. How often did you catch yourself making involuntary noises from your couch? I cheered and screamed louder than I normally do watching my favorite football team play, it was that good.
Game of Thrones went Peter Jackson and maybe beyond with the quality of this battle.
…and we thank them for it.
This week’s Power Rankings are made in Loving Memory of Wun Wun.
1. Daenerys (Previously 1st)
“Dracarys” is the new Mortal Kombat-style “Fatality!”
I did not expect the resolution to the siege in Meereen to come so quickly, but I’m very glad it did. We’ve waited 6 years to see the damage that Dany’s dragons could inflict and there it was on full display. While she and her babies provided the death from above, her Khalasar took care of the ground game by cleaning the streets stained by the Sons of the Harpy.
I also did not expect her to be so civil with Tyrion after the Masters went back on his deal. A year ago, she likely would have given Tyrion the “Jorah Treatment” and shunned him. She’s obviously grown to the people around her and trusting Tyrion’s expertise helps way more than hurts. Oh, and she now has her ships…
2. Sansa Stark (Previously 6th)
Sansa’s “slow-walk and smile” while Ramsay’s dogs gave him a taste of his own medicine was even better than Beyonce’s “Lemonade” special.
After years of abuse and torture, Sansa is now the true Warden of the North. In a season full of big wins, Sansa’s was the biggest. And although Jon led the charge and fought like hell to reach Ramsay, it was Sansa’s raven to Littlefinger that made it all possible.
3. Jon Snow (Previously 5th)
Jon disregarded Sansa’s advice by chasing after Rickon. He went heart first into battle, clearly without the numbers, and almost fell into another Ramsay trap. Yet he still cut down everyone in his path, survived the most claustrophobic situations ever, and beat the living shit out of that bastard in his own home.
If Jon already had a reputation for being the best swordsman in the North, imagine what people think of him now. Where will he turn his attention to now? Uniting the North? The Freys in Riverrun? King’s Landing?…Most likely Winter.
4. Tyrion Lannister (Previously 20th)
Tyrion inherited a pretty awful situation when Daenerys left, and he pointed out to her what all he accomplished while she was gone…as the city was burning. The fact Daenerys still recognized it and took Tyrion’s advice before unleashing Hell on the Masters places him on a higher pedestal than either his siblings back at King’s Landing. Neither of them were second in command to a Dragon Queen.
Also appreciated the extra sass he threw Theon’s way. That stuff doesn’t get old.
5. Petyr Baelish (Previously 15th)
Twice now Petyr Baelish has bailed Sansa out and helped defeat her abusers. His plan seems to be back on track. It’s kinda scary to imagine what the endgame is and that might be Sansa’s next issue. For the time being though, he has the Starks’ strongest weapon.
6. Jaime Lannister (Previously 3rd)
Jaime being cast out from King’s Landing might be the best thing for him. He has his army, and alliance with the Freys (whatever that’s worth) and Riverrun. Walder’s toast in the teaser “The Freys and Lannisters send their regards” may prove to be a kiss of death though…for both houses.
7. Ser Davos (Previously 7th)
Davos held his own in the battle and survived. He even sent the cavalry after Jon as he charged the 6,000 man army by himself. After the win, Davos doesn’t appear to be in the celebrating mood. After finding Shireen’s toy that he made for her, he’s put together the pieces of what Melisandre did before reaching Castle Black. He’s been in the spot before, with Stannis. Will Jon and Sansa side with Davos or will history repeat itself.
8. The Night King (Previously 2nd)
There is a full understanding of how powerful the Night King is. Lack of action lets him slide a little after a big episode for the good guys. I doubt he’ll be on the down low for long…
9. Drogon (Previously 17th)
Even just seeing Drogon in the distance before he crashed the Masters’ insult party made me cheer like the Bears won the Super Bowl. His bond with Daenerys showed just how deadly they both can be…
10. Rhaegal & Viserion (Previously 25th)
…and even deadlier with these two.
11. Tormund Giantsbane (Previously 19th)
It was amazing how Tormund and his people looked ridiculously close to their end with the Bolton spears pointed at them, and then he’s beating Lord Umber’s ear off and stabbing him in the face an instant later.
12. Bran Stark (Previously 8th)
While it’s good to be a Stark (for once), Bran knows firsthand that there’s a lot of work to do. The sooner he fully understands his powers, the better…for everyone.
13. Yara Greyjoy (Previously 49th)
The next biggest power move to Sansa and Jon taking Winterfell back was Yara and Theon somehow getting to Meereen before Euron…and with 100 ships?! Where did they get 100 ships?
Yara went from being an outcast to the Iron Islands to being teamed up with the most powerful person in the Seven Kingdoms. She also was not shy about hitting on the Mother of Dragons either, which was charming.
14. Grey Worm (Previously 28th)
Sweet psych out, Grey Worm. Giving the Masters’ soldiers a choice to go home was a nice touch too.
15. The Hound (Previously Previously 10th)
I don’t know what Ser Beric has in store for The Hound, but it will likely involve lots and lots of violence. He also appears to be the only person the undead Beric fears too.
16. The Mountain (Previously 11th)
Cersei’s not going down without fight against The High Sparrow and her own son, the King. As far as we know, he’s her best shot and he’ll take anyone out who gets in her way.
17. Arya Stark (Previously 13th)
Arya’s going to be in for a pleasant surprise when she returns to Westeros. She’ll be able to use her family’s name too, at least in the North. 2 questions though:
- Where in Westeros is she heading?
- Are the Faceless Men following?
18. The High Sparrow (Previously 4th)
I’ve kept The High Sparrow pretty high for a while this season. With the Starks back in power, Jaime getting stronger/more defiant, Daenerys being on her way and Cersei putting the Targaryen Wildfire to use…his power looks less and less impressive.
19. Queen Margaery (Previously 9th)
Margaery is playing the long game with the High Sparrow and Tommen, and she’s still loyal to her brother. When shit hits the fan in the finale, will she get out of Cersei’s way or burn with the rest?
20. Benjen Stark (Previously 12th)
Benjen would proud of what Jon has accomplished, ya know…getting laid, coming back from the dead and ENDING the Boltons. But his attention and particular set of skills are being directed toward the impending White Walker invasion. Understandable.
21. Daario Naharis (Previously 24th)
You have to love Daario leading the khalasar into Meereen, chopping off Harpy heads right and left. His efforts have mostly eliminated all the doubt I had of his allegiance. Judging by the teaser for the finale, Daenerys is going to let us know her thoughts on the matter too.
22. Theon Greyjoy (Previously 50th)
Theon’s been a solid “campaign manager” for Yara, helping her team-up with Daenerys. He may have an even more important role though. When Daenerys makes her move on Westeros, Theon could help the cause because of her relationship with Sansa. Tyrion’s kindness to Sansa in the past would go a long way, but Theon endured Ramsay too.
23. Brienne (Previously 22nd)
Good for Brienne that the Blackfish situation didn’t make or break the Battle of the Bastards. The Starks need allies now though, so she might want to hurry back to Winterfell before things escalate again.
Wait, Tormund’s going to be waiting there…She can take her time.
24. Missandei (Previously 35th)
Loved how Missandei stood silent while the Masters discussed their “terms” and they planned to sell her again. She sat there knowing exactly how it was all going to go down and got to deliver the news to them that one (really two) of them were going to die. Then walking past the surviving Master, like he was nothing, was more than perfect.
25. Cersei Lannister (Previously 21st)
Hell is coming to breakfast in King’s Landing, and Cersei is cooking up a storm of Wildfire…I hope.
26. Varys (Previously 25th)
I would like to see where Varys intended to go to find help for Dany’s cause. I’m hoping it’s Winterfell, which would make for a funny reunion with Littlefinger.
27. Beric Dondarrion (Previously 30th)
I am really hoping Beric gives the Hound some work before the season is up. There are two people who get brought back to life (as far as we know) on this show. Beric is the one who seems to get that more than Jon.
28. Thoros of Myr (Previously 31st)
Of those capable of bringing people back to life, Thoros has the most practice…and he’s the least vague about his purpose too.
29. Ghost (Previously 33rd)
I know a lot of people are upset that Ghost didn’t get to participate in the battle, but shouldn’t we just be glad he’s okay? It’s been a rough go for Direwolves this season and I do not think he would’ve faired well in real medieval battle.
30. Lyanna Mormont (Previously 36th)
The “Lyanna’s Not Impressed” Meme definitely outdoes Obara Sand’s.
31. Qyburn (Previously 42nd)
Qyburn is just so excited to bring chaos to King’s Landing. Let’s just hope he’s there when Maester Pycelle goes down with it.
32. Bronn (Previously 32nd)
Bronn’s on a pretty nice track right now, aligned with Jaime. I don’t think everyone’s particularly safe hanging with the Freys, but I trust him and Jaime to get out of most situations.
33. Tommen (Previously 26th)
Tommen is king but he seems to have sealed his fate by turning on his mother. “The 7” can’t save you from a mother scorn.
34. Kevan Lannister (Previously 27th)
What’s the average tenure for the Hand of the King on this show? Not particularly long, I don’t think…
35. Lord Commander Edd (Previously 45th)
Edd has gotta be so glad that Jon won at Winterfell. Otherwise he would have a much tougher time defending the Wall and dealing with Ramsay.
36. Robin Arryn (Previously 37th)
He didn’t seem to be present at Winterfell, alongside Littlefinger and Sansa, but his army did save the Starks from their doom.
37. Yohn Royce (Previously 39th)
Also wasn’t seen on screen, but he is the Lord Commander of the Vale horsemen who came charging in like the Riders of Rohan.
38. Jaqen H’ghar (Previously 46th)
The more I think about how Arya left the temple of the Many-Faced God, I become more convinced that everything went according to plan for the STILL mysterious Jaqen. The Faceless Men want to influence Westeros and Arya appears to be their weapon for it.
39. Euron Greyjoy (Previously 23rd)
Seriously. You have the Iron Island fleet at your disposal and still couldn’t beat out your niece and nephew to Daenerys? Hard to believe that Euron will go down easily. Could be Big Bad in the next season.
40. Walder Frey (Previously 54th)
Everything’s coming up Walder Frey these days, right? I have a feeling someone else will be sending “their regards” when all is said and done in the Season 6 finale.
41. Edmure Tully (Previously 29th)
Edmure’s fortunes changed immensely after being let back into Riverrun. He is the Lord there, but how loyal are his men after he gave their castle up so easily?
42. Jorah Mormont (Previously 44th)
I will continue to beat on this drum until something else happens:
A Jorah – Samwell/Gilly team-up is coming. Hopefully sooner than later so Jorah can get cured.
43. Kinvara (Previously 43rd)
The High Priestess, who helped bring order back to Meereen, was MIA while it was being attacked. She believes in Daenerys and has seen visions of her rise to power. How much does Daenerys believe in her?
44. Melisandre (Previously 34th)
Melisandre is about to face serious Davos shit-storm. We’ll find out how Jon handles the situation. He doesn’t appear as sold on “The Lord of Light” and destiny as Stannis was…even if it brought him back to life.
45. Meera (Previously 47th)
Hope Meera learns a thing or two from Benjen. He should know her father very well, who fought alongside Ned.
46. Podrick Payne (Previously 48th)
After hearing Pod refer to his training from Brienne, and some sneaky pointers from Bronn, you wonder if he’ll be applying that training before the season is over.
47. Olenna Tyrell (Previously 55th)
Olenna knows that both Margaery and Cersei each have something planned when the trial happens. If she hasn’t left King’s Landing, it would be beneficial for her to play mediator to help them both. I don’t think she really cares what happens to Cersei though.
48. Samwell Tarly (Previously 51st)
Samwell sword action needs to happen this week.
49. Gilly (Previously 52nd)
I hope Gilly kept this dress.
50. Ellaria Sand (Previously 60th)
The Sand Snakes helped start the season…
51. Tyene Sand (Previously 61st)
…will they help close it?
52. Nymeria Sand (Previously 62nd)
Will I ever get to update this photo?
53. Obara Sand (Previously 63rd)
I’m never updating this one.
54. Aeron Greyjoy (Previously 56th)
Yara said she had some uncles to kill and Daenerys will happily oblige. That doesn’t bode well for Aeron.
55. Lothar Frey (Previously 58th)
If the Frey party gets crashed, Lothar is surely going to die.
56. Walder Rivers (Previously 59th)
Walder will die first though, and Jaime may be the one to end him…just because.
57. Robett Glover (Previously 53rd)
So Robett…the Starks you turned your back on just won the Bastard Bowl. They are also the Wardens of your territory now.
This must be awkward.
58. Melessa Tarly (Previously 65th)
We all know who wears the pants in the Tarly household…
59. Randyll Tarly (Previously 66th)
…but I’m pretty sure Randyll sent a search party for Samwell.
60. Talla Tarly (Previously 67th)
Your weekly reminder that Talla was hushed when mentioning the guy she is set to marry…and that might matter.
61. Dickon Tarly (Previously 68th)
#BroDickon is gonna #BroDickon.
62. Lancel Lannister (Previously 69th)
This might be my third time predicting that Lancel is about to die. Third time’s a charm, right?
63. Septa Unella (Previously 64th)
In a perfect world, both Margaery and Cersei get to beat the Septa down in the worst way possible.
64. Yezzan zo Qaggaz (Previously NR)
“Tell your people what happened here.”
The fact Yezzan didn’t sellout one of his fellow Masters like they did to him is probably why he isn’t dead.
65. Ser Loras (Previously 71st)
#ThoughtsAndPrayers for Lancel.
66. Harald Karstark (Previously 41st)
We didn’t see Harald die in battle, right? If he didn’t die, he shouldn’t be doing to well in Stark captivity.
67. Mace Tyrell (Previously 72nd)
Still supremely useless.
68. Maester Pycelle (Previously 73rd)
Hopefully he farts for the last time in the season finale.
Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget to checkout The Piffcast, where we regularly discuss the show. We’ll be doing a Season Recap the day after the finale!