In “Game of Thrones,” the power struggle is constantly in flux. One episode, a man could be on top of the world with a massive army behind him. The next week, he’s got a blade sticking out of his chest. With season 6 of “Game of Thrones” entering its second half, we are ranking the characters in Westeros and Essos based on their power, influence and potential to make a big splash later on down the road.
20.) Theon Greyjoy
Every attempt Theon makes to rally the ironborn will probably get him nothing but jokes about how he got castrated. Still, his speech at least proved to Yara that he is a devoted ally, and after all he’s been through, Theon needs someone to have his back.
19.) Olenna Tyrell
Westeros’ most fearless grandma has done a great job outwitting Cersei, but Margaery’s capture has left her vulnerable. She wants to save her granddaughter from a penance walk, but is she setting herself up for tragedy by agreeing to a ceasefire with the Lannisters?
18.) Brienne of Tarth
Brienne has become Sansa’s confidante, holding secrets about where Sansa got information concerning potential troops. When the Starks and Boltons do battle, you can bet that she will also become Jon and Sansa’s top lieutenant. Despite this, she’s low on our rankings right now because her major personal storyline at the moment is her playing hard-to-get with Tormund.
The eunuch has done a great job putting plans in motion and countering the moves by the Sons of the Harpy, but he’s finally met his match in Kinvara.
16.) Arya Stark
A girl may claim to have no name, but judging by her reaction to that mocking show that depicted her father and sister as buffoons, Arya may still have the attachment to her past that the Faceless Men wish for her to disown. Until she proves herself worthy of joining their ranks or forges a new path for herself, she remains at the whims of Jaqen and The Waif.
Say hello to the First Servant of the Lord of Light. She has the same confidence and grace that Melisandre once had, before everything went to hell for Stannis. And Varys’ attempts to undermine her were gracefully dodged. Is she right that Daenerys is Azor Ahai?
14.) Petyr Baelish
“If you didn’t know, you’re an idiot. If you did know, you’re my enemy.” With those words, Sansa broke through Littlefinger’s defenses in a way that no one ever has before. He was able to impart some last bit of information to Sansa before leaving her sight for good, but he will now have to manipulate the battle in the North from afar.
13.) Davos Seaworth
With Jon still gathering his wits about him, Davos has become Sansa’s right hand man in their quest to take back the North. It may not be long before he becomes the next Lord Commander.
12.) Tyrion Lannister
The language and cultural barriers have made Tyrion’s job as Steward of Meereen almost as much of a nightmare as being Joffrey’s Hand was. But his plan to make a truce with the slavers seems to be working, and that will at least buy them some more time to hold the door until Daenerys gets back.
11.) The Waif
The Waif has just been wrecking Arya left and right since the new series started. She thinks Arya’s not ready to join the Faceless Men, and she may be right, considering the unsure looks that were on her face in this episode. For having full control over the lives of Braavos’ unwitting populace, The Waif is put one spot above The Imp.
10.) Cersei Lannister
The Lioness wasn’t present in this episode, but she has put her plans to strike back at the Faith Militant in full motion. It’s impressive that in spite of everything that has happened she has managed to make an unholy alliance with the Tyrells, but how long will it last?
9.) Jorah Mormont
Jorah’s speech to his khalessi was truly moving. It seemed at first that we might be seeing the Andal for the last time as he gets the luxury of heading off to die offscreen. Instead, he’s been sent off on a race against time to find a cure for greyscale before it consumes him. He enters the top ten for finding a way to get back in Daenerys’ good graces.
8.) Jon Snow
Jon has taken a backseat to Sansa since they reunited, but you can’t blame him. Unlike the fans, Jon took no pleasure in executing Olly and just wanted to be done with killing. He remains high on this list because he still has the wildlings at his command, and all it takes is one big moment for Jon to snap out of his stupor and whip out Longclaw again.
7.) High Sparrow
For a man who supposedly rejected worldly pleasures, the Sparrow is enjoying a lot of power right now. He has the Tyrells and the Lannisters by the necks, though they are starting to realize who the biggest threat in King’s Landing is right now.
6.) Bran Stark
He’s not fully ready, and he just lost his closest buddy, but Bran is now in possession of an immeasurable power that could turn everything in Westeros on its head: the power to influence the past through whispers.
5.) Yara Greyjoy
Despite a rousing speech, Yara did not have Daenerys’ ability to bring men to follow the will of a queen. That didn’t faze her, though, as she promptly went out and took all of the Greyjoy ships for herself.
4.) Ramsay Bolton
He didn’t appear in episode 5, but the Lord of Winterfell’s evil presence hangs over every scene in the north. He holds all the cards right now, and the Starks will have to overcome the odds to defeat him.
3.) Euron Greyjoy
Say hello to the new Lord of the Iron Islands. Euron has paid the price for Balon’s throne and now seeks to do the same with Yara and Theon. Not even the loss of his entire fleet fazes him.
2.) Daenerys Targaryen
Dany did not do much on this episode, but remains high on the list for bringing the Dothraki back under her sway. But while we saw the queen’s wrath in episode 4, episode 5 showed her capacity for forgiveness as she commanded Jorah to find a way to live while on the verge of tears at the thought of losing him.
1.) Sansa Stark
It is breathtaking how much Sansa has changed. The naive princess is now taking charge of reclaiming Winterfell and letting Littlefinger know just how badly he screwed her over by by handing her over to Ramsay. Once the most powerless girl in the series, Sansa now seeks to be the Queen in the North.