Previously on Game of Thrones Power Rankings: Tyrion and Jorah sell their bodies, Bronn and Jamie go gardening, Littlefinger plays the game, Tyrell is the New Black, and Cersei the Tart Queen strikes again
1) The High Sparrow (Last Week, Unranked)
As one of my friends (and a future contributor to Tautonomy) put it this morning, “High Sparrow put the episode on his back”. Jonathan Pryce’s portrayal of the Chief Religious Fanatic in Kings Landing continues to impress, and should garner him an Emmy nomination. Barely a week after putting the highborn lad and lass of Highgarden in the Red Keep, he refuses to rest on his laurels, and instead, was the ‘Thrones’ equivalent of Lebron James last night, hooking another member of “the few” down to collection of sinners. And this time, it was the biggest fish possible. The show has been building to Cersei’s comeuppance for a few weeks now. As things begin to crumble around her, she, unlike her counterpart over in Essos(who we’ll get to in a bit), refuses to think through her decisions. Instead, she makes the quickest attack on House Tyrell she can find, which works out pretty conveniently for Mr. Sparrow, as it ends up leaving the only man who can stand in his way, Cersei’s beloved King Cries-A-Lot, on the Iron Throne without either of his strong female support systems. The poor boy has nothing left but Ser Pounce.
To add to that, Master H. Sparrow was the first person to leave Olenna Tyrell speechless, which is top 5 worthy in itself. It’s not easy to make a powerful religious fanatic (especially one that imprisoned Natalie Dormer) likeable, but Pryce manages to do just that for most of this week. He started the rally against Olenna with a little old age humor about his knees, and then hit a powerful forehand down the line around 2 minutes in. Did anyone else hate themselves a little bit for rooting for Sparrow when he went all 99% on our Queen of Thorns? “A lifetime of wealth and power has left you blind in one eye, Lady Olenna” is a rallying cry for Flea Bottom if I’ve ever heard one. Considering his performance in the Seven Kingdoms, as well as Pryce’s performance on screen, it’s hard not to give him the #1 spot. Consider me sold. If you need to find me, I’ll be piloting the HMS Sparrow into port at Blackwater Bay; Captain Sparrow isn’t going anywhere.
Also, please do yourself a favor and watch this extraordinary piece of dialogue one more time. For me, it’s moments like this that separate the greatness of the books from the irreplaceable mesmerizing quality of the show.
2) Olenna Tyrell (Last Week, Unranked)
Losing a verbal spar with the High Sparrow does not a complete loser make. Despite getting crunched at her own game by a man in a potato sack, The Lady of Highgarden managed to exact her revenge this week, just as I predicted she would. Though she hasn’t gotten her grandbabies out of prison just yet, she has managed to (thanks to Littlefingers help), secure the testimony of Lancel, Son of Kevan, formerly of House Incest and Murder, Currently of House Sparrow. This proves to be the next best thing, as we see with the foreboding(for Cersei) end of episode sequence. It’s still to be seen what the next few weeks hold for Olenna – it doesn’t seem like there’s an easy way to get Margaery and Loras off – but maybe she can negotiate a plea. Either way Cersei is about to be put to trial, presumably for incest, murder, and a myriad of other offenses worse than perjury. Olenna can sleep well knowing Cersei’s fate is in the hands of the seven now – and we can presume that much like the Faceless God, R’hllor, and the Old Gods, they aren’t the most forgiving.
3) Littlefinger (Last Week, 1)
“But Aditya!”, you might protest. “Our friend Petyr had maybe 5 minute of screen time this week. How can he be ranked in the top 3?!” The answer is simple, dear reader. Not only is there a dearth of good fortune in the 7 kingdoms and Essos right now, but Littlefinger also managed get the Queen’s di-fecta in just one week of living in Kings Landing. Through his confrontation with Olenna, we learned that it was Baelish who produced Loras’s lover for Cersei last week, which, though not thoroughly unsurprising, certainly reinforced my decision to make him last weeks #1. By giving Loras to Olenna, he dispatched of anyone that could be portrayed as an intimidating leader, leaving little Tommen Lannincest to fend for himself. No Margaery, no Cersei, no problem for Littlefinger – he continues to play the Game of Thrones so impeccably. With Stannis freezing in the North and Sansa on the precipice of desperation, the stage is set for his glorious heroic ride to save Sansa, Winterfell, and the people of the Seven Kingdoms. Littlefinger has visions of greatness, but as we’ve learned over and over, in GRRM’s world, you never get what you want. Enjoy it while you can Sir Baelish, we aren’t sure you’ve got much time left.
4) Samwell Tarly (Last Week, Unranked)
Sam the Slayer is right! A very tough start to the episode for Sammy boy; he loses his teacher, his best friend leaves on an ill advised mission, and he gets beaten up in front of the woman he loves. He even could’ve been killed, but luckily, a friendly Ghost was there to save him. However, all of that can be forgotten, because Sam the Slayer Tarly, Killer of a White Walker, Smartest Man in Castle Black, lost his maidenhead! Let’s ignore for a second that he broke his vows, and took probably the greatest moment of his adult life will all the masculinity of a 12 year old girl crying over Zayn’s exit from One Direction(best part of the episode’s whole first half was Gilly asking Sam if it hurt) – you don’t not rank a man on the night he loses his virginity. That’s the first rule of Power Rankings. Sam-doesit-well Tarly, as he shall henceforth be known, may soon have a lot to contend with at the wall. But until then, he riding high – or rather, Gilly is – in his perfect little Castle Black honeymoon.
5) Bronn (Last Week, Unranked)
The Dornishman’s Wife: A Children’s Story.
Once upon a time, there were several bastard daughters of a great and fearless warrior. These women were named “The Sand Snakes”. They were as reckless and thirsty for vengeance as they were beautiful. One day, after the death of their father, they decided to take their revenge. They wandered into the weirdly unprotected water gardens to kill the lovely straw-haird Princess-to-be, Myrcella, who for some reason was walking around with any bodyguards. In doing so they happened to arrive at the exact same time as two other men, Knights from Kings Landing, on a mission to save the princess. A boring and whip-filled fight ensued, and before the castle guards broke it up, one of the Snakes, Tyene, managed to slash the great warrior Bronn with her poisoned knife.
On the keep the next day, the Snakes were in an adjacent cell to Bronn. Suddenly, the knight began to sing. And oh what a beautiful voice he had. Tyene was entranced. She began to flirt with him. “Handsome rogue across the hall, who’s the most beautiful girl of all”. With his characteristic dickish charm, Bronn began to think out loud about the numerous beautiful women he’d seen. Suddenly, Tyene began to strip off her linens, one by one. Bronn immediately went silent, distracted by Tyene’s great … well.. you know. Suddenly, all began to go blurry. Tyene informed Bronn the knife was poisoned, and that he wasn’t getting out of Dorne any time soon. “However”, she said with glee, “I have the antidote right here! Just tell me, valiant knight writhing on the floor, who’s the prettiest girl in Dorne?” Bronn tried to speak but was unable. “I’ll ask again. Brave young warrior in the fetal position curled, who is the most beautiful woman in the world?” “You!” Bronn managed to croak. With a flick of her wrist, the antidote was his, and Bronn drank as fast he could. When he could breathe again, he thought to himself that it was only right that he should be in the top 5 of Tautonomy’s weekly power rankings, as his looks and wonderful singing voice saved him from death.. and may have even gotten him full frontal. “After all”, he mused, “I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife.”
VH1’s Where Are They Now?
This Week: Ghost and The Direwolves:
A quick run-down of Direwolf Locations:
Stark Child: Jon
Last Known Location: Apparently patrolling the random corners of Castle Black. Is it just me, or would he be better off with Jon North of the Wall? My guess is that Jon’s gonna need him.
Name: Grey Wind
Stark Child: Robb
Last Known Location: His head was sewn onto Robb’s at the end of the Red Wedding
Stark Child: Arya
Last Known Location: Somewhere south, leading a pack of vicious wolves around the countryside. Last on-screen appearance was being chased away by Arya when Joffrey threatened to kill her.
Stark Child: Sansa
Last Known Location: Beheaded by Eddard at Roberts behest, who ordered it at Cersei’s command.
Stark Child: Bran
Last Known Location: North of the wall, spending season 5 in isolation with Bran and Aemon Rivers, the 3 eyed crow.
Stark Child: Rickon
Last Known Location: Living with the wild savages on the island of Skagos with Rickon and Osha, the wildling.
Eulogy of the Week: Maester Aemon
Aemon Targaryen died this week on Thrones, rather unusually going quietly into the night. He was the 3rd son of King Maekar, and actually could’ve been King had he not taken his vows. He is also the first person we’ve ever seen die of natural causes on the show. For more on Aemon’s history, read here.
Anyway, let’s get back to it. This week’s bottom 5 are…
5) Daenerys Targaryen (Last Week, Unranked)
The Queen of Mereen left us at an interesting time, proposing to a cowardly traitor while he was begging for his life. She came back this week in high form, with a little post-coital interplay with Daario. After being jokingly proposed to, and then immediately being counseled to kill all the masters, her day wasn’t off to a great start. She sucked it up and went to the fighting pits, hoping that her “embrace” of tradition would win her points with the former Sons-of-Harpy.. but of course, because it’s Dany, nothing ever comes easy. Just as she was getting ready to leave in disgust, in strides a valiant knight, performing no murder but still taking every man out with ease. Who are you, o noble stranger? She was horrified to learn that the man in the mask was none other Ser Friend Zone himself,
4) Jorah Mormont (Last Week, Unranked)
Poor Señor Amigo. After having his ego stroked with tales of his glory, being sold for a hefty sum, and cakewalking his way to the next round of the fighting pits, all for love…. he does not receive the hero’s welcome he was hoping for. Instead, he had to resort to “I have a gift!”, which, as every man knows, is a desperate act indeed. There’s no way to know what implication the long-building climax (2+ books, 7 episodes) of Daenerys and Tyrion face to face has for Jorah, but we’re all excited to find out. I predict good things. In the interim, however, our last impression of Monsieur Ami is a rejected sap in the custody of guards, hoping for a dwarf’s charm to save his life. He’d better hope that Hizdhar’s not a cock merchant.
3) Stannis Baratheon (Last Week, Unranked)
The Hero Azor Azhai found himself stuck in a snowdrift. After laying the hammer down on his faithful smuggler sidekick, Davos King of Onions, with the immortal, stoic, and very kingly “We march to victory, or we march to defeat, but we march forward”, Stannis’s concubine and priestess(what a weird combo, still can’t get over that) Melissandre informs him that the only way to win the war is to sacrifice his adorable, if scaly daughter Shireen. After his emotionally stirring speech to his daughter 2 weeks ago, little surprise that Stannis kicked her out of the tent. Now he’s forced to choose between his daughter and his fate, or so Melissandre would have him believe. Maybe we’ll all get lucky and he’ll just sacrifice that horrible wife of his.
2) Sansa Stark (Last Week, Last Place) and Theon Greyjoy… no, Reek (Last Week, 2nd to Last)
Ugh. Just when you think they’ve got a chance…
Finding Sansa brutally bruised and in the fetal position was NOT the way I wanted to enter the north. The twinge of hope I felt at Theon’s promise was encouraging. Maybe they’ll make this work! Brienne to the rescue! Theon climbs the tower and… finds Ramsey. Old woman flayed, Theon returns to full Reek, (despite Sansa’s pep talk; “You are Theon Greyjoy, last surviving son of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands.”) and Sansa returns to her own personal prison. Next week’s previews again offer some hope for this odd-couple… but I’m not holding my breath.
1) Cersei Lannister (Last week, 3)
This will be the happiest bottom placement until Ramsey Bolton falls to the ground. Cersei has admirable qualities. The Queen Mother is ambitious, courageous, strong, and loves her family more than anything. But unlike my own mother, she’s a a massive b*@#$@. (Sorry for the language Mom). She’s objectively in the top 5 worst human beings in this show’s main cast, unlike the rest of our bottom section this week. This episode’s climax was the final step in her rash, manipulative reign as Queen Regent coming back to bite her in the ass. Living in Westeros isn’t easy, highborn or lowborn, and it’s especially hard as the mother of bastards produced out of incest that sit on the highest throne in the land. But you don’t make it easy for yourself by threatening your brother, alienating your uncle, and antagonizing every ally you have. And maybe you should’ve found a different type than “Brother or Cousin”. Giving power to religious fanatics given your spotty history with the law of the gods probably was the wrong move. Sorry Cers, can’t say we didn’t warn you. Excited to see you get the “full justice of the law”. I hope for your sake that they have wine in prison. Just remember, in the words of Reek, “It could always be worse.” And if it can’t? At least we’ll always have Chris Martin.
Tyrion, Hizdhar, Daario, Jaimie, Myrcella’s Teenage Angst, The Sand Snake’s Teenage Eyeroll, Bronn and the Bronnettes, Gilly, Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, Alliser Thorne, Ghost, Sam’s Maidenhead, Aemon, Egg, Ramsey Bolton, Roose Bolton, Davos, Melissandre, Shireen, the Cock Merchant, the Cock Pirate, 20 Gold, The Big Guy That Unchained Tyrion, Tommen Baratheon, Maergary Baratheon, and Ser Pounce