It’s clear to me that in order to make eight seasons of television satisfying, to say nothing of 8,000 pages of fantasy novels, Game of Thrones is going to have to become somewhat more predictable going forward. But if the show sacrifices its trademark unpredictability for satisfying conclusions like last night’s, I’m all for it. Anyway, Power Rankings:
1. House Targaryen (Last Week, #2)
Daenerys’ win this week is more decisive than the Stark win, so she gets to claim the top spot for the week. Her army is completely intact and her enemies have unconditionally surrendered. Additionally, her leadership team is united behind her. She’s working especially well with Tyrion, so I’ll be retiring the “House Lannister in Exile” banner from here on out (the Meereenese banner is done too, since they’ve been soundly defeated).
2. House Stark (Last Week, #6)
Victory for the Starks was the focus of this episode, but they paid a much heavier price than Daenerys. Jon and Sansa failed to communicate with each other, and between that and Jon being Jon (riding out front in a futile attempt to save Rickon meant a mis-timed assault from his troops), they almost lost the battle. Winterfell is back in Stark hands for the first time since Season 2, but Jon and Sansa’s partnership is still very much a work in progress.
3. House Arryn (Last Week, NR)
I’m tempted to merge the Knights of the Vale with the Starks, but I have good reason to be hesitant. A reasonable interpretation of events would be that Littlefinger and Sansa are even now – he left her with a monster, but then gave her an army when she needed it most. Littlefinger won’t see it that way.
4. House Greyjoy (Last Week, #4)
Sealing a new alliance with a powerful queen is good. Still having to deal with your crazy uncle? Not so much.
5. The Faith of the Seven (Last Week, #1)
Control of the actual Iron Throne is feeling less and less important these days. It will be completely irrelevant once the White Walkers invade.
6. The Free Folk (Last Week, NR)
I’m going to retire the Free Folk banner this week too, since there’s no reason to keep it separate from House Stark anymore. I thought I’d bring it out one more time as tribute to Wun Wun’s bravery and sacrifice during this week’s battle.
7. House Lannister (Last Week, #8)
What’s Jaime’s next move? Is he heading North in response to Jon/Sansa’s victory? Or is he heading back to King’s Landing? I guess we’ll find out next week.
8. House Bolton (Last Week, #5)
Finally, someone dies in horrific fashion who actually deserves it for a change.
Also receiving votes: The Meereenese, House Tyrell, House Martell, House Tully, The Faceless Men, The White Walkers, The Hound, Ser Pounce, LeBron James, and Ghost Hanging Out in His Kennel Apparently.
(c) 2016 D.G. McCabe