My Personal Post Game (Of Thrones) Power Rankings
I hate saying spoilers, but SPOILERS, you snowflakes! I’m telling you, this is all the warning you’re getting.
It's been a week now that we've seen the last of Throne Games. Even after a year and a half, we’ll still be lingering in the Winterfell flurries as the Night King and his merry band of the undead shamble their way to potentially destroy our heroes and make them all kinds of blue-eyed evil.
To say this season was a bit rushed would be an understatement: I never knew people could travel by boat or horse so quickly, nor that mystical ravens could cut through Westeros with the speed of Superman, but a seven episode window of wiggle room holds more mysticism than Melisandre with a bag full of leeches, apparently.
In retrospect, the executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to pull a page out of Benny Hill to (pun not intended) get us up to speed on tying this story up. That ol' procrastinating prick G.R.R.M. didn’t help matters by not finishing his books so it was on these two make sense of character locations and their story arcs.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I was satisfied with most of the outcomes. Granted, the disturbing sadist that Game of Thrones trained me to be wanted to experience the shock and awe of a horrific gruesome death of a beloved major character. That’s signature GoT stuff right there, and we didn’t get it besides that one dragon I didn’t know the name of until after it was Wighted. They sure teased the crap out of us with several characters being put into sudden jeopardy, but practically all of the core GoT gang went unscathed in conventional recurring sitcom fashion (see you next week!). However, that leaves many of my favorites “still breathing” and me still itching for an Iron Throne fix, so I’m presenting to you my own personal power rankings of Westeros to hopefully alleviate some of the agony of this very long winter. Go, go power rankings!
10. Brienne of Tarth
Season 7 Highlights: Her Hound reunion, sparring with Arya, any of her reactions to the smittened Tormund.
Tormund’s “dream better half” kicks this party off and with damn good reason as she’s an absolute unexpected force to be reckoned with. From having the hots for Renly Baratheon, to serving Catlyn Stark, to tough loving Podrick into using a sword not connected to his body, she’s a Jill of all trades and many travels. Her character has been underused these past couple seasons, but her presence in the series is still pleasantly understated and just as impactful.
8. The Hound
Season 7 Highlights: His Brienne reunion, throwing that wight out at home plate in “Beyond The Wall”, speaking truth to his freak brother, anytime he told someone to “fuck off”
Remember when Brienne booted The Hound off a cliff? The still human Clegane brother sure does, but in “The Dragon & The Wolf”, these two had an interaction that was the coolest between anyone in that episode, which yeah, is saying something. They both share an appreciation for Arya and although they kicked each other’s ass once upon a time, they were able to bond over that. Beneath that scarred and bitter exterior, Sanger is kind of a sentimental sweetheart, but we're just dealing with some real thick exterior here. That and a fear of fire.
8. Arya Stark
Season 7 Highlights: Her brief meet up with Nymeria, keeping up to swords-womanship with Brienne, unceremoniously silencing Littlefinger
Right up there with Tyrion, Arya Stark is another reason why Game Of Thrones is so successful. She’s had a couple of long-winded storylines (Faceless Man season 6 in particular), but cream rises to the top and how they weaved her journey through season 7 was pretty damn rewarding all things considered. She can kill someone unceremoniously anytime.
7. Davos Seaworth
Season 7 Highlights: Sweet talking those soldiers with tales of fermented crab, consistency with on-point one-liners, “Still rowing”.
I present to you, the unsung hero of this season: Davos Seaworth. He played wise sage for the newest King of The North that enhanced both his and Jon Snow’s characters, he was a strong facilitator in getting shit done and getting all parties on the same page, and damn, was he just the right appropriation of cynical and self deprecating to make any scenes that he was apart of congeal in a rock solid block of high-quality entertainment. If Game of Thrones was like The Dude’s room, he’d be the rug no doubt. How about hand for the fingerless, eh?
Season 7 Highlights: His JAWS “smile, you son of a bitch” moment with Drogon, handling that dragon attack like a boss, his phallic discussion with Jaime
Ser Bronn of Blackwater has always been a personal favorite of mine. He was the total MVP of the “Spoils Of War” by saving Jaime not once, but twice (without armor, mind you) as Drogon charred the piss out of the Lannister troops. Money and authority hasn’t changed the smarmy sellsword’s constitution or sense of humor which made his brief reunion with Tyrion all the more enjoyable. We didn’t get much of him the first half of this season, but when we did he sure reminded me why he is one of my favorites.
5. Tyrion Lannister
Season 7 Highlights: His suspenseful solo session with Cersei, his reunion with Jon, his trials and tribs as Hand to Dany.
Tyrion has had his share of rough spots being The Hand to “The Dragon Lady”, but that doesn’t take away from him being catalyst to this series. Without him, there is no success to Game Of Thrones. Period. Peter Dinks put this show on the map with what he’s done with this character and it was nice to see him back to signature form in that (almost literally) killer scene with Cersei. I hope season 8 Tyrion rights these screwed up ships and is a major factor in this wheel that Dany always talks about breaking.
4. Jaime Lannister
Season 7 Highlights: Jousting with Drogon, literally killing Lady Olenna with class, realizing Cersei is bonkers AF
I tell ya, those writers sure made you feel Jaime was going to get Oberoned when Cersei had that soulless science experiment looming behind him, especially after Tyrion survived a similar type of looming in the same episode. Anyway you shake it, The Kingslayer sure has come a long way from kid pushing and sister banging. Yeah okay, he still got dirty with Cersei in season seven, but he’s arguably the GoT guy with the steepest story arc when you look at character development. Actually, I’d go as far to say that he might be the character with the broadest swing of “despicable asshole” to “pretty decent guy” I’ve ever seen, whether that’s a television screen or a silver screen. How his redemption story finishes will undoubtedly be one of the most intriguing of the series. I hope it includes him MDK’ing his crazy ass sister. Queenslayer, Jamie. Queenslayer.
Season 7 Highlights: Not being there, not dying
I’m partially disappointed and partially relieved that Ghost had ghosted us this year. Disappointed because, yeah, we didn’t see one iota of his badass self due to dragon flying and zombie bear CGI, but relieved because that means our pooch of the north is still kicking. In all honestly, I can’t take another direwolf death. This guy’s gotta survive the series or it the winds of winter will be very angry that day, my friend. America's a country full of dog lovers and Ghost is a champion of this cause.
2. Jon Snow
Season 7 Highlights: Forming “The Magnificent Snowven”, keeping all things noble all the time, surviving an ice bath many leagues under the sea, being a Targaryeon and unknowingly bumping uglies with his aunt.
While Tyrion is the catalyst for the success of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow, along with Dany, defines why we stick with it in the first place: rooting for the good guys to win and lemme tell ya, that now no longer bastard really set a benchmark for being a good guy. Dany, Tyrion, Jorah, even kooky ass Cersei, Jon was just firing nobility out to people like he was the T-shirt cannon guy at a baseball game. It will be extremely interesting to see how this whole “I’m your nephew and we just screwed” thing will shake things up, but one thing will keep happening, and that’s Jon getting a gold star for having a good ass (guys or gals be damned) and being a good ass dude.
1. Ser Jorah Mormont
Season 7 Highlights: Relinquishing his sword to Jon, surviving his gruesome game of greyscale Operation with Sam, surviving “The Magnificent Snowven” journey beyond the wall, surviving the friend zone, pretty much just surviving in general.
If you followed along with my weekly “Post Game (Of Thrones) Thoughts” you would have noticed a reoccurring theme in almost every post: the great sense of concern (and pessimism) I showed for Ser Jorah’s well being and the elation I expressed when he came out unharmed. Even up until the final episode, despite all the surviving that J-Bear did up until that point all I could picture was the Mountain randomly killing him in the dragon pit just for the sake of that aforementioned (and admittingly missed) “shock and awe” moment. Jorah’s cut from the same cloth of all those “past their prime” athletes that I cannot help but have affections for. Well guess what? My boy Jorah made it through seven solid seasons of death’s door - here’s to hoping that he can get through another and lead team Dragon Wolf to one last game-winning drive.