Game of Thrones: Winners & Losers – Week 1

We look at who's winning Westeros this week on HBO's Game of Thrones.

The Game of Thrones is a deadly one, and like all good games, it has winners and losers. Welcome to Game of Thrones: Winners & Losers, where we take in the latest episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones and determine the top MVP’s as well as those who were handed a healthy dose of defeat.

Below you’ll find the winners and losers for Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 1,  “The Red Woman.” If you find your favorite character listed as a loser, just remember that the tides on Game of Thrones are always shifting; I swear it by the Old Gods and the New.

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*Spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones below*


1. Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes

That sounds like an awesome punk band, right? Did anyone expect to see Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes leading off this list? I probably would have named at least eight other characters that I expected to see in the top spot before I would have thought of Oberyn’s main squeeze, the spiteful Ellaria Sand. Apparently the Lannisters aren’t the only people who must pay for Elia Martell’s, and more importantly Oberyn’s, death, as Ellaria brutally punished Prince Doran Martell, and by proxy, his son Trystane for failing to enact revenge on the Lions.

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Now, as shocking and ultimately powerful as this move is, I’m pretty much disregarding the fact that this is a terrible development for the show. By wiping out the only other Martells we know, it almost appears like the writers are confirming that last year’s widely panned Dornish experiment was a failure. On the other hand, these bad bitches wiped out the “weak men” who were controlling their lives. You tell them they’re not winning.

2. Sansa Stark and Reek

Free from the terror of toad-faced Ramsay Bolton, Sansa and Reek were one freezing dip in a lake away from the top spot this week. Ramsay is like a nightmare version of Joffrey with an even more punchable, sneering grin. Out of his sadistic hands and safely under the watch of Brienne of Tarth, Sansa and Reek have essentially regained their lives. 

Something tells me that this year is going to be coming up all Sansa and that she’ll be a fixture of this side of this list as she retakes her place in the North. After the bad times that both of these Winterfell kids have had, it’ll be a welcoming sight. Bonus points for Reek sacking up…uh I mean stepping up and saving Pod.

3. Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne

Once again, Brienne of Tarth just stumbles upon a Stark girl at the right place and right time! Convenient! And this time she actually protects her! And the Stark girl doesn’t tell her to get lost! Amazing!

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After killing Stannis, Brienne gets to cross another thing off of her list. Besides having to be saved by Reek, Pod seems to have developed into a bit of a fighter and Brienne’s undefeated streak continues. And let me state this again, I think they have aligned themselves with the future Big Red Force of the North.

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 4. Ser Alliser Thorne

The Donald Trump of Castle Black, the man who was so threatened by the outsiders behind his big, beautiful wall that he had to lead a mutiny against Lord Commander Jon Snow, Alliser Thorne continued his takeover of Castle Black this week, with that curly-headed fuck grandstanding amongst the Brothers, painting Jon Snow as the traitor and mostly succeeding.

Now, I wouldn’t expect old Alliser to win this little War at the Wall, actually, I’m holding out hope that his Adam’s Apple becomes a snack for Ghost, but there’s no denying that Thorne and the rest of the murdering bastards are sitting pretty right now.

5. The High Sparrow and Septa Unella

With Cersei still reeling from her walk of shame and the Tyrell siblings still locked up, the Faith Militant are assuredly running King’s Landing. Tommen is as soft as a mink blanket, so it’s going to take the Lannister twins to stand up to these fanatics. To me, it appears like the Sparrow and Unella’s good cop/bad cop routine may be wearing Queen Margaery down into submission. Recruiting Margaery to the Faith Militant’s cause would reverse the sides in the Cersei vs. Margaery battle and totally make this fearsome group even more powerful.


1. Jon Snow

Yep, still dead. Jonny with the good hair was laying there dead in his namesake, looking awfully blue, and nobody from Melissandre and the Lord of Light to his supposedly psychically linked dire wolf did a thing to change that.

Now, Melissandre did say that she still saw Jon in the flames battling at Winterfell, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say book that moment for episode nine, but until then Jon is Lord Commander of the Losers List.

2. Arya Stark

As if being a street urchin isn’t hard enough, now Arya is a blind street urchin. Oh, and the cruel girl that they call The Waif is back to slap her around with a big ass stick. Imagine losing your sight, then being smacked around with a big ass stick after thinking you were joining some hip cult that was going to give you superpowers. How bogus would that be?

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Someone get Arya a “I Joined A Cult and All I Got Was Cataracts and This T-Shirt I Can’t Read” t-shirt. If it doesn’t all fit on the front, throw some of the words on the back. What will Arya care, she’s blind.

3. Daenerys Targaryen 

Somehow Daeny’s story got rebooted and no one bothered to tell her, as she’s back to being objectified by Dothraki in the desert. This sort of setback is frustrating for Daeny and the viewers, but at least knowing Dothraki and being able to confirm her status as the late Khal Drogo’s Khaleesi will keep her safe from the savages around her. Daeny was able to assimilate and navigate her way to power once with Dothraki, so I’m thinking a more experienced Khaleesi will be leading the Khalasar back to Meereen in no time….just hurry up.

4. Cersei Lannister

I felt legitimately bad for Cersei during her teary-eyed monologue this week, going on about her sweet, departed Myrcella. Who am I?!? I guess losing a child is something so awful it can make any monster sympathetic.

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Honestly, this latest humanizing moment in a series of tragically humanizing moments is keeping Cersei down on the losers list, but rising her stock in my heart. The woman I love to hate may just become someone that I generally love, but something tells me that this vulnerability won’t last, and that FrankenMountain will help Cersei reclaim some of her wicked agency.

5. Melissandre

Stannis is dead, Jon Snow is dead, and Melissandre is getting too old for this shit. Seriously she is, did you see her?

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All joking aside, things are pretty grim for Melissandre. She’s friendless at Castle Black after putting all of her tickets in the Stannis Baratheon for King of the Seven Kingdoms basket and now with Jon dead, she feels like she’s been led astray without a dog in the race.

Plus she’s reaaaaalllllyyyy old. She looks like a White Walker, yikes.


Jamie Lannister – Still wearing that dope jacket from last season, but the whole dead kid thing…. – LOSER

Jorah Mormont – Which will kill him first, Greyscale or The Friend Zone? – LOSER

Tyrion Lannister – Ok, so the ships have all been burned, but that doesn’t erase the nasty dick joke that the Imp laid on Varys. – WINNER

Varys – Burned by nasty dick joke. – LOSER

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Ramsay Bolton – Not only did he lose Myranda, his twisted soul mate, but he also got passive aggressively told by Papa Roose that he’s really screwed things up. Daddy issues for days, this kid. – LOSER

Trystane Martell – It’s the illusion of choice that’s important. – LOSER

Margaery Tyrell – Had the Sparrow waited a minute longer and she’d have been listening to Septa Unella ringing the shame bell. – LOSER

Eddison Tollett – It pays to be Jon Snow’s final homie at Castle Black. He’s getting more screen time and review mentions than ever! I bet you even just Googled him! – WINNER