By D.G. McCabe
Three books down – four more to go in Game of Thrones. Although one big reveal was skipped in last night’s episode (which could work to the show’s advantage), overall it was great wrap-up to a fantastic season. Here are your final power rankings:
1. Tyrion Lannister (Week 8 – NR)
Until this past season, Tyrion was always on the short list of the most dangerous players in the Game of Thrones. His actions tonight have likely destabilized all of Westeros and he’s about to be effectively out of reach from any reprisals. He’s a wildcard with nothing to lose now, and potentially ten times more dangerous now that he’s playing a different game altogether.
2. House Baelish/Arryn (Week 8 – #2)
“Chaos is a ladder.” And no one climbs that ladder like Littlefinger.
3. House Baratheon (Week 8 – NR)
Just like that, Stannis has an actual base of power again. Simply by surviving, he’ll already be an attractive Lannister replacement. Now that he’s back in action though, he’s potentially even more interesting (since this is Stannis we’re talking about, interesting is pretty damn complementary).
4. House Stark (Week 8 – #6)
Bran, Sansa, and Arya have all made powerful allies. Here, at the end of Season 4, they are working to take advantage of those relationships. Things are looking up for the surviving Starks, although winter is coming.
5. The Night’s Watch (Week 8 – #9)
The only reason they’re not higher on this list is because there are only around 40-50 men at Castle Black fit for duty. For all their heroics last week they would have been toast this week if not for Stannis.
6. House Targaryen (Week 8 – #4)
Where is the dragon queen without her dragons? She’s already making contradictory decisions, but now she’s all but admitted that she can’t control the very symbol of her power. It’s going to be an uphill climb for Daenerys from here on out.
7. House Bolton (Week 8 – #3)
The Boltons’ main benefactor is now dead. With no love from their fellow northmen, the Boltons rule by fear alone. Without Tywin, there is much less reason to fear them.
8. House Tyrell (Week 8 – #6)
The Tyrells have been biding their time and waiting for an opportunity to grab more power. With Tywin Lannister now a corpse, that time is now.
9. The Meereenese (Week 8 – #9)
The Meereenese would be higher but they haven’t actually done anything to take advantage of Daenerys weaknesses yet. That, I suppose, if for next season.
10. House Lannister (Week 8 – #1)
While still nominally in charge, Cersei’s rule is going to be a ticking timebomb. They’ve angered everyone at this point, are hemorrhaging cash, and they just lost their source of fear and stability. All hell is going to break loose for them next season.
Also receiving votes: The Free People, the Yunkai’i, House Greyjoy, House Martell, House Frey, House Tully, the Braavosi, Bloodraven, Crossbows, Father’s Day, and the legendary Ray Harryhausen.
(c) 2014 D.G. McCabe