I really wish I could get my reviews and rankings to you sooner in the week. Unfortunately, life tends to get in the way of that and you have to wait a little bit longer. Look at it this way; you get all week to watch the most recent episode of Thrones more than once, absorb every scene and every little detail, and completely form all of your own thoughts and opinions of what went down. Then when you think you have it all figured out, here come my articles at the end of the week to shake everything up again. You’re welcome.
*Note, these rankings reflect who has the most momentum coming out of each episode rather than listing them by the amount of power they control. If I did it that way, then the Lannisters would be at the top every single week, and how boring would that be?
1. House Tyrell
I know what you’re thinking; how can the Tyrell’s be no. 1 when none of them even appeared in the last episode? The truth of the matter is everyone in the top five suffered a significant loss except for the Wildlings, who are still too far north to present a threat to anyone other than the Night’s Watch, and the Tully’s, who are comfortably snacking on cheese and plotting down in King’s Landing. Now I ask you, where would you rather be right now? I’ll take the Tully’s every single time, but that could just be because I’m addicted to cheese.
2. The Wildlings
If you were rooting for Mance Rayder and his band of merry savages to rise to the top this week, you can take solace in their ascent to second place. With each passing episode, the more unlikely it seems that the Watch will even be able to slow down the Wildling’s invasion of Westeros, and remember that the Starks won’t be there this time to bail them out either. Sure, there’s still the Wall to consider, but even the largest obstacles can be overcome with time.
3. House Stark
It was hard for me to drop the Starks any lower than third, mainly because we never met Lord Hoster Tully or any of the men that Edmure sacrificed in his battle against the Mountain. However, at this point it’s obvious that the war is beginning to slip through Robb’s fingers, and if he doesn’t turn things around you can be sure that the King in the North is going to fall a lot farther than this.
4. House Targaryen
I’ll admit, trading your largest dragon is a rather unorthodox method of improving your house’s standing. On the other hand, when you receive 8,000 fearless soldiers in return and still get to keep your remaining two dragons, overall you have to feel better about your chances to kick some ass in the future. This move isn’t official just yet, so hopefully the Khaleesi moves with more haste than Elvis Dumervil to get the deal finalized.
5. House Lannister
It’s always a bad week for your family when the prodigal son gets his hand chopped off. Possessing the Iron Throne will almost always keep you in the top half of these rankings, but considering how much stock Tywin places in Jaime, there needed to be a severe drop to reflect how monumental that event was. The real loser here is Sansa, as I can only imagine the horrors that Joffrey will inflict upon her after hearing about what happened to his uncle.
6. Brotherhood without Banners
Now that Thoros was informed by the Hound that he has a Stark in his possession, it seems that the Brotherhood is rather eager to get back to home base. They may not consider Arya to be their prisoner, but that’s a hell of a bargaining chip should they ever run into the rest of the Starks, and all it cost them was Hot Pie and his poorly shaped bread.
7. House Baratheon
If there was any question of just how tightly Melisandre has Stannis wrapped around her finger, I think you got your answer this week. He may be losing his only booty call, but the red woman says she was going after someone with “king’s blood”, which can only be horrible news for another group on this list. Still, it’s remarkable how big of an effect losing one battle had on Stannis’ conquest of Westeros.
8. House Tully
Being introduced in this show via a death in your family is never a good way to start off, and so the Tully’s have some work to do. How much work will depend on how long it takes them to get back into Robb’s good graces, and how quickly they can help their King regain his advantage in the war. If it comes down to Edmure’s capability as an archer, I don’t like their chances.
9. House Greyjoy
To be fair, the only Greyjoy who’s shown up this season is Theon, so having them ranked next-to-last doesn’t necessarily reflect the progress of the entire family. At the same time, the only Greyjoy we’ve seen so far is Theon, and he would still be locked in a dungeon having all sorts of inhumane things done to him if it wasn’t for his mystery ally.
10. The Night’s Watch
I don’t like Craster, but there’s no denying his keen powers of observation. The Night’s Watch don’t have nearly as many men as they did when they left the Wall, and they weren’t exactly strong in force to begin with.