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 5, “The Door.” 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.
*Spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones below*
1. Euron Greyjoy
Over the course of the series, Game of Thrones has had a lot of baddies, but they’ve never quite had a bro. For those unfamiliar, let me define; a bro is an anti-intelligence touting, alpha-male douchebag with easily identifiable social privilege and an affinity for macho bullshit. They tend to hunt in packs, demean women and minorities, and did I mention that they were douchebags? Ok, good. The closest thing I think that we’ve had to a bro is Robert Baratheon, but he’s more of the “bought me beer when I was high school once, not unbearable in small doses” brand of bro (now I feel compelled to make a Biggest Bros of Westeros list….eventually). Euron Greyjoy is full tilt, probably loves pre-workout, the Hangover Franchise, and Chubbies levels of bro.
Fresh off of tossing his brother to his doom, Euron shows up at the Kingsmoot like a certain orange-skinned, political party-hijacking bro using much of the same rhetoric; he declares contempt for where the old politicians have led the Iron Islands, he uses insults to belittle his competition, he alludes to his outsider, self-made status, his abilities as a “man,” and through impossible to back-up plans, he claims that he will make Westeros Great Again. It goes from being an easy joke, to a pretty pitch-perfect comparison. I know I’ve made jokes about the Donald in a past installment, but George R.R. Martin could have created the monster himself. Because Yara is a woman, and the Iron Islands like Greyjoys who’ve never gotten captured, Euron wins the hearts and little minds of the Iron born people. Next up, he’s totally gonna tame that Dragon, bro.
2. Sansa Stark
If Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then Sansa Stark should be the scariest person in Westeros. Girl has been scorned A LOT. She let a little fury out on Littlefinger this week, condemning him for marrying her off to such a monster like Ramsay. Sansa goes in on Baelish so hard that he just appears shell-shocked; it’s like the first time that you haven’t been able to see the wheels turning behind Littlefinger’s eyes, plotting his next move. He was left speechless and totally at the mercy of Lady Stark, the first time in the series where he appears to have lost a battle of wits or intimidation. Sansa goes on to spend the episode cooking up war strategy, and she even tells a bit of a lie to Jon Snow about how she learned of the Blackfish’s resurgence and army. She may not have a reason to distrust Jon Snow, but Sansa’s done taking her chances. She’s playing her own game now, looking out for herself and only looking back to fuel the journey forward.
3. The Night King
Homeboy is done standing around all stoic and scary-like, he’s snatching Starks up! “I gottcha, bitch!” he could have screamed as he grabbed Bran’s arm and earned his entrance into the cave, in some weird magical way that wasn’t properly explained to me, but I rolled with anyway. In one fell swoop, the Three-Eyed Raven, the Children of the Forest, sweet Summer, and *holds back tears* *reads last sentence and thinks of “Hold the door”* *starts welling up* Hodor are all torn to pieces by the White Walkers. Hardhome was tough, but no one we truly cared about got offed there. This was different, the Night King and his wights blew up Bran’s spot and forced him out into the cold, and who’s going to pull the sled now?
4. Red Priestess Kinvara
There’s a new Red Woman in town, and her name is Kinvara. Real talk, I could not quit thinking about how old this chick might be and what she might really look like. I was fixated on her necklace pretty much the entire scene, daydreaming about how she probably resembles a decomposing Doris Roberts. I couldn’t focus when she was giving out her long winded title, but the internet told me it’s High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flametruth, the Light of Wisdom, and First Servant of the Lord of Light. Oh snap, that sounds powerful! Kinvara reappears on the scene as a Dany truther and totally blows Varys’ wise mind by horrifying him with details from his past. Varys getting schooled like this is just as uncommon as the Littlefinger scene was. Meeting with Tyrion in this episode seems to foreshadow that she’ll be sticking around, and we’ve probably only seen a smidge of Kinvara’s R’hllor-based powers.
5. Meera Reed
Hey, someone’s pretty good in a crisis! Look, Meera had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very undead day and some may chalk her up as a loser, but not I. When push came to shove, Meera Reed sprung into action and helped save Bran Stark’s life. It was Meera that was able to get through to a greenseeing Bran and convince him to warg into Hodor, who ended up sacrificing himself to save Meera and Bran’s lives. Yes, that sucks for Hodor, who we will get to momentarily, but it means Meera Reed rose up and got Bran, who may now be the most important player in the series, out of there alive, like a real winner.
A soul-crushing ending to a fan favorite character. Wylis’ transformation into Hodor was caused by him witnessing his own death in some confusing time loop. It’s some sort of Machiavellian high-concept tragedy. Bravo, G.R.R., you’ve done it again you magnificent, cruel bastard. This was some Interstellar-type shit. This was some Terminator-type shit. Well, I guess this was just some basic time travel-type shit, but it still has me feeling some type of way. I’ve just been starring at the “Hold Door” button in the elevator in my building trying not to start screaming like young Wylis and bash on that thing until it breaks. Goodbye, Hodor, or as you would say, Hodor, Hodor.
2. Bran Stark
Bran just had to wiggle himself over to that tree root. He just had to warg out without the 3ER’s permission. He just had to get himself touched by the Night King, huh? Well, I guess if you think about the way that the time loop works, or my understanding of the time loop, I suppose Bran did have to make all of these stupid mistakes. Bran had to turn Wylis into Hodor, and get him, 3ER, and the Children of the Forest all murdered, because everything is already predetermined, or whatever.
Now there are a bunch of wild theories circulating now that we’ve learned that Bran can influence events in the past, like that Bran is the source of “Burn them all,” or that Bran is actually named after himself, “Bran the Builder,” but we’re not here to postulate. We’re here to look at what has transpired and determine if Bran was a winner or a loser based on the episode, and I got to think getting everyone killed makes him a loser, no matter what cool shit his time traveling powers are setting him up for. Bran is having his Empire Strikes Back moment, leaving Dagobah before his training is complete just to go get his hand cut off. This is the dark part of the story, but I’m sure things will turn around.
3. Yara Greyjoy
Everything was lining up perfectly; years of training to become a skilled warrior, countless battles to prove her leadership skills, time spent planning strategy should the day ever come that the old dusty fart running Pyke into the ground be eliminated. Yara’s whole life was leading up to the Kingsmoot. She even got a dope speech assist from Theon. They were already cheering her name when Iron Bro Euron Greyjoy strutted into view and screwed everything up. All of the years spent awaiting this moment, all for nothing. Now Yara and Theon are fugitives on the run, being hunted by the very people Yara expected to lead. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next you’re rowing for your dear life. You win some, you lose some, and this is definitely the latter.
Everyone is a pawn on Littlefinger’s chess board, but in this episode, one of the pawns jumps up off the board, spits in his face, and demands that he beg for his life. Well, it maybe wasn’t that dramatic, but figuring in how easily Littlefinger has gotten out of trouble in the past using his silver tongue, his dumbstruck look while Sansa laid into him is awfully significant. Brienne of Tarth was ready to cut him in two like a Twin Pop and it’s really a wonder why Sansa let him off the hook at all. Sansa was a huge bargaining chip in Littlefinger’s pocket that he planned on using to gain influence in the North. Now that chip is pissed, no longer allowing itself to be used by anything. Littlefinger lost his strongest asset and he looked weak doing it.
5. Jorah Mormont
“Well, ok, this Greyscale thing is not going away. [Looks down at arm] Yep, definitely not clearing up. Damn, alright, well, I guess it’s time to confess my love to Dany. I mean, she wants me to get lost anyway, and she’s totally plowing that tool Daario anyway, so I’ll just get it off my chest, get out of eye sight, and just fall on my own sword. Yep, Ol’Jorah is finally checking out of this world! My suffering his over! I’ll finally be able to rest in peace and let this heartache subside as my heart beat stops. Yeah, I’ll just tell her that I love her, hopefully she’ll get real sad, that’ll be all the attention I’ll need and then I’ll just go die in the desert. Let’s get this thing over with! [Confesses love. Gets ordered to go on mission to find the cure for Greyscale, no matter how long it takes. Has the tiny bit of hope in heart reignited.] OH GODDAMN IT!”
Summer – Winter must have finally came. – LOSER
Theon – Ok, forced to leave his home once again, but damn, dude gives great rallying speeches! – WINNER
Arya – She was really enjoying that play up until the second act. – LOSER
Varys – Even the witch wants to roast you for being a eunuch. – LOSER
Edd – He’s as surprised as us. – WINNER
Tormund Giantsbane – As long as he keeps giving Brienne the eyes, I’ll keep calling him a… – WINNER
The Waif – Yeah, Arya aint blind no more. – LOSER