Game of Thrones Power Rankings, Season 8, Episode 1

A cold wind comes from the north. That’s a bit of an understatement, right? The revised opening credits emphasize that the doom of this world approaches. Anyway, let’s get right into the power rankings.

1. The White Walkers (Pre-Season, #1)

Yeah, these guys aren’t going anywhere for a while on the Rankings. This being Game of Thrones, there’s a decent chance that everyone dies, and the Others win. There might be actual riots in the street, but it could happen.

2. House Lannister (Pre-Season, #4)

CGI money doesn’t grow on trees, so no elephants. Pachyderms or no, there’s a lot of space between the Dead and Cersei, and for that reason, she’s in better shape than her enemies. Good on her for “celebrating” with “eccentric” sea captains.

3. House Stark (Pre-Season, #2)

Lyanna Mormont: We made you king!

Jon: Um, there’s an army coming…

Sansa: Also, your new girlfriend is lame.

Jon: Um, I really don’t think…

Arya: Also, I like Sansa now.

Jon: Um, guys…

Sam: Also, you’re the one, true king!


4. House Targaryen (Pre-Season, #3)

Daenerys is usually pretty observant, so she should realize that only Targaryens can typically ride dragons, right? Or maybe she figures her idiot brother was lying about that.

5. House Greyjoy (Pre- Season, #6)

Yara is thinking ahead, and that’s good for her. But with the Dead bearing down on Winterfell, does Theon have time to get there? That part didn’t make much sense.

6. House Arryn (Pre-Season #5)

I guess they’re loyal to…Sansa? I might be done ranking these guys. Despite having one of the largest extant armies, they’ve become inconsequential to the story. Unless someone ends up retreating to the Eyrie, that is.

7. The Night’s Watch (Pre-Season, #7)

The White Walkers looked at what’s left of the Watch, considered adding them to the army of the dead, and concluded, “Nah, we’re good.”

Also receiving votes: grandson of Ser Pounce, Hot Pie, Sam’s library fines, pirate swagger, the continued embrace of pointless nudity, and creepy dragons who like to watch.

(C) 2019 D.G. McCabe

Game of Thrones Season 8 Pre-Season Power Rankings

And we’re back! Seven more power rankings articles ever, well unless the Long Night series is any good. In the meantime, our list of houses and orders to power rank grows thin. Let’s get started!

1. The White Walkers

Oh yeah, everyone is good and screwed now. I doubt the series ends with the ultimate big bad winning, but I also wouldn’t be surprised. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they could be quickly dispensed with, with the last few episodes re-focusing on Cersei as the main antagonist. Most likely, it takes all season to beat them, and only a handful of our heroes make it out alive.

2. House Stark

The Starks have gathered an impressive list of allies to their cause: Brianne of Tarth, The Hound, The Brotherhood Without Banners, the Night’s Watch, Jaime Lannister, the Vale, the Targaryens, and of course a reunified House Stark itself. It won’t be enough to win right away, if at all, but it’s impressive.

3. House Targaryen

For now, Team Daenerys is one and the same with team Jon. This particular alliance has cracks in it, however. We’ll see how the Mother of Titles handles it when she finds out her new beau is actually her nephew, and ahead of her in the line of succession for the Iron Throne.

4. House Lannister

Underestimate Cersei Lannister at your peril. She’s chugging away (flasky, glug, glug motion), behind her high walls, waiting for her mercenaries, and chuckling while the world burns around her. That doesn’t seem threatening, but Cersei is at her most dangerous when she has nothing to lose.

5. House Arryn

For simplicity of narrative, I could see the Vale remaining in the Stark fold. However, the Starks just whacked Lord Robin’s beloved uncle. That may cause problems going forward.

6. House Greyjoy

Reminder: Theon is currently on a quest to rescue his sister. That is all.

7. The Night’s Watch


Also receiving votes: a whole bunch of vanquished houses (Martell, Tyrell, Baratheon, Frey, Tully); a whole bunch of people in Essos who don’t matter to the story anymore; son of Ser Pounce; and HBO’s own white walker threat, that is, people cancelling en masse six weeks from Monday.

(C) 2019 D.G. McCabe

Game of Thrones Power Rankings, Season 7, Episode 7

Well that’s a wrap on Season Seven! It’s had its share of criticism, much of it perfectly warranted. I still enjoyed watching it, so I’ve taken to ignoring the critics. The fact of the matter is that the show’s writers have never been as good as George R. R. Martin, so when they deviate from his books there’s a noticeable drop in quality. I’m okay with that because I still enjoy the show. It’s the only show on TV that produces such an adrenaline rush that I have trouble sleeping afterwards. Anyway, final Power Rankings:

1. The White Walkers (Last Week, #1)

Here we are. Since the very first scene of the show, it’s been inevitable that the Walkers would breach the Wall. We knew it, Jon Snow knew it. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

2. House Lannister (Last Week, #6)

This will surprise some people, but hear me out. Cersei wants to rule. Waiting back to see what emerges from the battle against the Walkers is her smartest play to achieve that end. She’s right in that either the Walkers win, and there’s no hope anyway, or they lose and she fights a weakened Stark/Targaryen alliance. It’s cynical at best, but it’s also her only shot.

3. House Targaryen (Last Week #2)

Can Daenerys and Jon make it to Winterfell before being set upon by the Army of the Dead? That’s the big question, the implications of their romance are entirely secondary.

4. House Stark (Last Week, #3)

In an alternate universe, Jon comes home to a giggling Bran, high on weirwood juice, telling him, “dude, you just hooked up with your aunt.” That being said, the Starks are sitting ducks right now unless their allies can get to Winterfell like yesterday.

5. House Greyjoy (Last Week, #7)

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Cersei was totally wrong and Euron really did peace out back to the Iron Islands? Sure it would make the Theon subplot even more pointless, but it would be funny.

6. The Hound (Last Week, #5)

No Clegane-Bowl yet. Aw man. But the Hound did let his brother know it was coming, I think.

7. House Arryn (Last Week, NR)

The true Lords of the Vale get back on the rankings this week for one reason. Littlefinger’s time had come, he was more of an annoyance at this point than a genuine threat. The Lords of the Vale should even have no problem convincing sickly Lord Robin of this fact, with the murdering of both his parents and all.

8. The Night’s Watch (Last Week, #8)

YOU HAD ONE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also receiving votes: the Dothraki, House Baratheon, House Reed, House Mormont, Ser Pounce, illicit love, Tyrion thinking, “Ugh, more incest,” Bron and Pod having a beer, and hoping GRRM finishes at least one book before next season.

(C) 2017 D.G. McCabe

Calm Down: The Timing in Sunday’s Game of Thrones (Season 7, Episode 6) Makes Some Sense

The internet is annoyed at this week’s Game of Thrones timeline. Actually, this week made some sense. Here’s why:

1) They weren’t far from the Wall. Easiest explanation for how quickly Gendry got back to Eastwatch. Let’s say it took him 2 hours to get there.

2) Real birds are fast. Ducks average 50mph and cover 800-1000 miles a day while migrating. Surely a magical messenger Raven in a fantasy series is at least as fast as a duck.

3) Westeros is smaller in the show than the books. Winterfell is 1,000 miles from King’s Landing on the show but more like 3,000 in the books. Let’s say, for sake of argument, Dragonstone is 1,000 miles from Eastwatch. Magic raven gets there in 24 hours. (26 hours total so far).

4) Dragons are magic, but also huge. A 747 (the size of a dragon according to the producers) has a minimum cruise speed of 140mph. A dragon needs to fly at least that fast just to stay airborne. Let’s say a dragon in haste can cruise at 200mph. That’s a 5 hour flight.

In total, they were stranded for 31 hours. Enough time for Thoros to freeze to death. Let’s save our complaints for the giant chains, shall we?

(C) 2017 D.G. McCabe

Game of Thrones Power Rankings Season 7, Episode 6

I don’t fault anyone who thinks this season is moving way too fast.  However, as Ned Stark once said, anything you say before the word “but” are garbage words.  I am enjoying this season, even if some of the plotlines and interactions are rushed.  I can understand that with the amount of dragons we have this season.  HBO may be rich, but it’s not so rich that it can provide us with hours of actor time AND exciting dragon scenes for several episodes in a row.  But I digress.  Time for power rankings:

1. The White Walkers (Last Week, #3)

Ice dragon?  Ice dragon!

2. House Targaryen (Last Week, #1)

Daenerys still has two fire dragons and a huge army, so that’s one thing.  Even so, I doubt that the wight they captured will be worth the price they paid.  Let’s see, there’s live evidence maybe, just maybe, convincing a murderous queen to stop a self-destructive war vs ice dragon.  Yikes.

3. House Stark (Last Week, #2)

While the Night King is acquiring ice dragons, the Starks are fighting each other.  I’m disappointed that the Stark sisters have backslid into their old, backbiting ways, but it’s not unrealistic or even unexpected.  Littlefinger is playing them sure, but old wounds from childhood run deep.  Also, where is Bran in all of this?

4. The Wildlings (Last Week, NR)

Ice dragon or no, Tormund gets the best lines this week.  For that, his sigil, or what might as well be his sigil, gets returned to the Power Rankings for the first time in a while.

5. The Hound (Last Week, #8)

The Hound gets some great lines too.  The Brotherhood without Banners is just Beric now, so technically they are all dead – like the ice dragon.  However, the Hound being alive means that we might, might get some Clegane Bowl next week!

6. House Lannister (Last Week, #6)

It looks like the final episode will once again make Cersei the center of attention.  Her machinations seem especially pointless now in the face of a bloody ice dragon, but it will be interesting to see how things play out I suppose.

7. House Greyjoy (Last Week, #7)

Speaking of pointless, anyone hear from Euron lately?  I mean, he has a lot of ships, but no ice dragon.

8. The Night’s Watch (Last Week, #4)

A big drop for the boys in black.  Sure they helped send a raven to Daenerys (apparently Fedex overnight raven service is a thing now).  But unless Sam has something in his books telling us how to kill an ice dragon or how to prevent the Night King from creating two more, they whole Night’s Watch endeavor is more useless than Euron Greyjoy’s navy.

Also receiving votes: House Arryn, House Baratheon (run Gendry run!), House Reed, House Mormont, whoever those dead people were in Arya’s bag, Ser Pounce, the Dothraki, synonyms for body parts, oh, and apparently there’s an ice dragon now!

(c) 2017 D.G. McCabe

Game of Thrones Power Rankings, Season 7, Episode 5

Only two episodes to go!  In most seasons, the penultimate episode has been a barnburner, so I’m pretty pumped for next week.  Although I have fantasy football drafts scheduled for an hour before the next two episodes. I’m probably going to autodraft if they take more than an hour.  But I digress.  You aren’t here to listen to my fantasy football related dilemma, you’re here for power rankings:

1. House Targaryen (Last Week, #1)

No question about it – Daenerys has won the war against Cersei before it even started.  I don’t fault her for executing the Tarleys either, since she gave Randyll a clear choice and then Dickon practically volunteered to be executed.  Randyll betrayed his prior liege-lord based on little more than xenophobia after all, and Daenerys still gave him a chance to live.  It seems he forgot that he served Daenerys’ father during Robert’s Rebellion.

2. House Stark (Last Week, #3)

While the episode focused in on Jon leading a ragtag group worthy of an old western or Kurosawa movie, we also learned that he is the true king of Westeros, his father having married his mother and all.  I’m a little concerned about Littlefinger’s treachery, but the show can only delay the Stark women for so long on a subplot with such an obvious solution.  Heads, spikes, walls.

3. The White Walkers (Last Week, #4)

Ice zombies?  These silly northmen.  They’re just like some dead idiot that only we know or care about here in our ivory tower.

4. The Night’s Watch (Last Week, #6)

I would get out of there too Sam.  I’m not thrilled with Sam’s whining, especially when his life-partner is revealing very important information to him, but it kind of fits his character.

5. House Baratheon (Last Week, NR)

Yay! Gendry’s back!  Yes I know that’s Stannis’ sigil but I’m not making another one.  After all, Gendry could become a wight next week.

6. House Lannister (Last Week, #8)

A little realpolitik goes a long way this week for House Lannister.  Outgunned and outmanned, and maybe having a future after all, Cersei is starting to think of a better strategy than going right into the dragon’s mouth.

7. House Greyjoy (Last Week, #5)

The utility of the crazy pirate storyline is fast coming to an end.  Next time we see Euron he might be getting his head chopped off.

8. The Brotherhood without Banners (Last Week, NR)

Out of Jon’s team of merry men, Thoros and Beric seem to be the obvious candidates for casualties.  Beric is dead already and Thoros really doesn’t add all that much to the story.  If the Hound bites it we’re denied Clegane-bowl, but I wouldn’t put that past the show’s writers either.

Also receiving votes: House Arryn, the Dothraki, the Wildlings, Ser Pounce, dragon-love, lion-love, fermented crab-love, and warhammers.

(c) 2017 D.G. McCabe





Game of Thrones Power Rankings, Season 7, Episode 4

In an effort to avoid spoilers in the first paragraph, I’d just like to point out that due to alliances and defeats, we’re really down to only down to about 11 or 12 rankable groups at the moment.  Here’s a new rule: if one of the subgroups (groups allied with someone else) does something important, they can make the rankings.  This opens up a return to the rankings for the Dothraki, Wildlings, and a few other random ones.  That will make things more interesting than ranking groups that haven’t done anything in a couple of weeks, every week. Anyway that’s enough preamble – power rankings time!

1. House Targaryen (Last Week, #7)

The destruction!  The carnage! Fire and Blood indeed!  I want to point out too, that the Targaryen plan no longer relies on naval superiority.  This kind of diminishes the threat posed by Euron Greyjoy’s fleet.2. The Dothraki (Last Week, NR)

Sure they are squarely in Daenerys’ camp, since they believe she’s a goddess and all.  But to leave them off the rankings this week would be a disservice to the effectiveness of their rampage.

3. House Stark (Last Week, #2)

In any other week, the Starks would be #1.  They didn’t burn any armies to the ground this week, but they’re in a great position.  Their leadership now consists of a king, a political savant, an assassin, and a wizard.  And Jon is getting close to getting the Mother of Dragons to understand that the real threat isn’t Cersei…

4. The White Walkers (Last Week, #3)

…it’s these guys.

5. House Greyjoy (Last Week, #4)

Euron could still  cause problems along the edges.  However, since Daenerys no longer needs naval superiority for her invasion, there’s only so much he can do against her.

6. The Night’s Watch (Last Week, #5)

Sam stays on the countdown, if only because he didn’t have to get pushed around by Slughorn, I mean the Archmaester, this week.

7.  House Arryn (Last Week, #6)

Littlefinger’s days look numbered.  His sole purpose right now appears to be keeping the Vale in the fold, but how much sway does he really have over Robin Arryn while he’s in Winterfell?

8. House Lannister (Last Week, #1)

Did anyone really think a big crossbow was going to take down a huge dragon?  The Lannisters have no army and control of one city, which is now under siege with no food.  Does the Iron Bank rescue them, or cut their losses now that they’ve gotten their gold?  If I were them, I’d choose the latter.

Also Receiving Votes: The Wildlings, The Brotherhood without Banners, Ser Pounce, House Reed (so long Meera!), cave paintings, the many lives of Theon Greyjoy (who should be dead about 5 times by now), and crossbows (which can only do so much).

(c) 2017 D.G. McCabe