Sunday, May 17, 2015

Game of Thrones Power Rankings (S5, E5)

Season 5, Episode 5: "Kill the Boy"

Last Week's Rankings: "Sons of the Harpy"

In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. In that spirit, here’s your weekly look at who’s winning and who’s (slowly, painfully) dying.


1. Hizdahr Zo Loraq, Future Mr. Mother of Dragons

He started the episode as an advisor, then almost got fed to a pair of dragons, then got imprisoned, and then was improbably informed he'll be marrying the most powerful woman in the world. All without his say. In a single episode, he basically lived the entirety of the Sansa Stark experience. As all of the "Bill Clinton as First Lady" jokes start ramping up, Hizdahr will provide a nice trial run for how that might go. 

2. Stannis Baratheon

When we first met Stannis in Season Two, he wasn't the most likable character. He was totally humorless, power-hungry, cheating on his wife and making smoke babies with a walking red flag, and plotting to kill his own brother, who, by the way, was one of the most fun characters in the show. As Stannis took a back seat in Seasons 3 and 4, nothing really happened to make him more engaging. He was just an important chess piece, nothing more. 

But this season has been different, and not only has Stannis' personality emerged, but also his depth and integrity. We first saw it a few weeks ago in his conversations about duty and honor with Jon, then it came to the forefront in the last two episodes, with his dramatic "You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter" speech, and his recognition of the value Sam Tarly brings to the protection of the realm. And now, suddenly, he's one of the most likable characters on the show. Which almost definitely means he'll die in the next few weeks. 

3. Greyworm

He kissed Missandei! For a guy with no guy parts, that's pretty much a home run. Or at least like getting to first base and then watching someone grab the rest of the bases and pack them up in a truck, then watching that truck drive off and never come back. 

4. Lord Commander Jon Snow

The 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch will either be the first to broker peace with the Wildlings, or the first to give them a fleet of ships with which to attack Westeros. It's definitely one or the other. 

5. The Wisdom of Maester Aemon

The Targaryen family is a strange one. Everyone we've met or heard about falls into one of two categories: Extremely wise, just, and beloved (Daenerys, Rhaegar, Maester Aemon), or one of the worst people ever (Viserys, The Mad King). Within Maester Aemon, you see what Ser Barristan spoke of with Rhaegar, you see the potential with Daenerys, and you see the greatness of his grand nephew Jon Snow. Kill the boy, Jon Snow!

Honorable Mention: Viserion and Rhaegal

They finally got to eat! It's unclear whether half of one person is enough to tide them over, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. 


1. Jorah Mormont

It's hard to pinpoint the worst development of the episode for the Lord Commander of the Friend Zone. Is it A) his unrequited love, Khaleesi, arranging to be wed, B) losing his boat and finding out he has several hundred miles of walking to do with a detoxing dwarf, or C) catching a disease that almost certainly turns you into a mindless rock person? You're right, it's definitely A. 

2. Family Dinners in Winterfell

Yikes! At this point, we're just running up the score on how awkward any scene with Ramsay and Theon can possibly be. Or any scene with a gentleman suitor trying to torment Sansa. Hey, speaking of...

3. The Battle for Sansa's Virginity

Has Vegas opened betting on when and with whom Sansa will first do the deed? Maybe the Iron Throne is just a MacGuffin, and Sansa's knickers are the real prize?  

4. Ramsay Bolton

Admittedly, karma hasn't tended to mean much in Thrones history, but if there's going to be an exception, it feels like Ramsay will be the victim. How many enemies can one man make? In a span of about 15 minutes, he provided reasons for his father, his betrothed, and his side squeeze to all actively plot against him. And it still feels like Theon will eventually matter again (because if not, why do we have to see him??).  

5. Elizabeth Webster (The Actress Playing Walda Bolton)

A few weeks ago, I joked about how Walda Bolton never had any lines, and her presence on the show really just amounted to an occasional fat joke to lighten the mood. But then she finally spoke, to announce she's pregnant, and now when Elizabeth Webster and her family watch the show to see her big star turn, they get to watch Ramsay asking his father how he found her vagina through her fat in order to have sex with her. Some paychecks just aren't worth earning. 

Confirmed Kills: 2 (1 Valyrian Stone Man impaled by Jorah Mormont, 1 unlucky head of a noble Meereen family, charbroiled and sloppily eaten by two hungry dragons)

Season Death Tally: 51

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