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 7, “The Broken Man.” 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. Lyanna Mormont
SHUT IT DOWN! SHUT THE WHOLE THING DOWN! Forget the five kings, Daenerys, Jon Snow, and everyone else you’ve been pulling for to win the Game of Thrones, because this is the ruler that Westeros needs. Lyanna Mormont gets it. This no nonsense, little girl worked Jon Snow more easily than a White Walker. She’s tough, rational, proud, and protective of her people. She doesn’t respond to flattery, formalities, or bullshit, and did I mention that she’s only 10? Only the similarly logical and frill-less Davos could convince Lyanna to lend Bear Island’s men to the Stark cause. I wish Lyanna Mormont was running for president because she’d get my vote in a heartbeat. How Lyanna and sadsack Jorah come from the same bloodline is beyond me, but wow, I think I have a new favorite character (sorry, Bronn).
2. Margaery Tyrell
Every rose has its thorns, and Margaery is just waiting to unleash hers. Our first concrete evidence that Margaery has in fact not been brainwashed by the High Sparrow came this week when the faux-reformed Queen slipped a secret note of the Tyrell sigil to her grandmother. We’ve known all along that Margaery is a political wunderkind, excellent at keeping a public face that hides her true motives and goals, but this proves that Margaery is more skilled at deception than previously thought. She’s like Littlefinger with better measurements. Not only is she seemingly fooling the High Sparrow with her big innocent eyes and moderate dresses, but we also learn that she’s withholding sex from the human sheep Tommen, stalling the Sparrow’s masterplan of indoctrinating a Baratheon heir. Margaery also makes the wise decision to get her grandmother the hell out of King’s Landing before something bad befalls the Queen of Thorns. We still don’t know what Margaery’s masterplan is, but now we at least know that she has one, and if past results are any indication, I have faith that things will work out in her favor.
3. The Blackfish
Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully is the last of a dying breed, and I’m not talking sea creatures. As one of the final remaining old timers from Robert’s Rebellion and a survivor of The Red Wedding, The Blackfish is still kicking ass and taking castles, and looking tough as nails in that scale armor doing it. After refusing to give even a semblance of a fuck about Dumb and Dumber Frey’s empty threats, The Blackfish chose to meet with Jaime Lannister, only to inform him that he could realistically hold Riverrun for two years, so the one-handed Lion better bring it on. The Blackfish is like the old war vet that lives on your block that you’re certain could still beat your ass faster than you could crack a joke about his age. I’m with Bronn, if it’s a battle between Jaime and The Blackfish, I might have to take the geezer.
4. Yara Greyjoy
So she may be on the run, but at least she’s having fun. Pulling babes in Volantis and swigging brews, Yara’s making the best of a bad situation, but further than that, she’s finally talking sense into her long lost brother, Theon. Maybe Yara doesn’t have the best bedside manor, and she sort of minimalizes Theon’s umm “bad couple years,” but she’s able to get through to him because she may be the only person to ever truly care for Theon. Plus, she has a smart plan to try and rally the mope; they’re going to head to Mereen before Euron can get there and join forces with Dany. So drink up, Theon, and enjoy the journey, take in the sights; they don’t make asses like they do in Volantis in the Iron Islands.
5. Ian McShane
Ok, so Ian McShane’s character Brother Ray may have met a quick, cruel demise, but damn, was McShane great in this episode. I know that I don’t usually give acting accolades, but come on now, did you expect me to not say anything about that soliloquy? Famous for playing the foul-mouthed rouge Al Swearengen, McShane was brilliant as the exposition fountain that announced the return of The Hound. Warm and engaging, while serving as a counterpoint to The High Sparrow’s religious extremism, McShane brought gravitas to the one-and-done part, and his role will propel The Hound going forward. Ian McShane should really be in everything. Remember when he played a murdering Santa on American Horror Story and somehow it worked? Remember when he was the best part of Andy Samberg’s first film vehicle, Hot Rod? McShane can take what could be unmemorable parts and make them magnetic.
1. Arya Stark
Talk about a gut-punch, or should I say, gut-shank? I think I speak for everyone when I say that I thought Arya ditching the House of Black and White was the best thing that the character had done in quite some time, but now it’s looking like it could be the last thing she ever does. Actually, let’s not kid ourselves; we know Arya is going to live. George R.R. Martin is cruel but he’d have to be Ramsay Bolton to be that heartless to the fans. Arya is probably wishing she didn’t tell that sailor to move up his departure time to dawn, cause something’s telling me that she’s going to need some time to recover. Arya ended the episode terrified, eyes darting at every face in the crowd, expecting The Waif to strike again. She had looked so incredibly paranoid, like a stoner on a street corner as a funeral procession for a cop goes by. A girl is in trouble.
2. The Hound
Let’s start off by acknowledging that we, the viewers, are not losers, cause The Hound is back! Presumed dead, everyone’s favorite cynic and brute has reemerged, and though he may not have come back from the dead like Jon Snow, he was as close to the brink as possible, and just like Jon, he doesn’t seem so happy to still be around. The only positive that The Hound had going for him was his savior, Brother Ray. The Hound was learning about forgiveness, about selflessness, about giving up a life of violence to do good, and just like every old war dog that’s found peace in every cliché revenge flick, one terrible act of brutality is enough to suck The Hound back into his violent existence. So, The Hound is a loser this week, because he lost his last chance at humanity, but when he picked up that ax, the rest of us became winners.
3. Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, and Ser Davos Seaworth
They barely were able to convince a 10 year-old girl to back them up, so maybe convincing a bunch of hardened houses, houses that lost men to Robb Stark’s cause, to join their army might be a harder sell than they anticipated. Robett Glover takes them to task, not warming to any of their protestations. If we are being honest, Jon and Sansa aren’t the greatest strategists. I mean, it was the mention of the White Walkers and the real war to come that convinced Lyanna Mormont to join the fray, so why didn’t they lay that on Glover? With so many houses either too scared or scarred to back up the Starks, retaking Winterfell seems impossible. If you think about it, Davos is in the same place that he was with Stannis this time last year. This crew is going to have to get a lot more persuasive and gather a lot more men if they’re going to reclaim the North and save Rickon Stark.
4. Jaime Lannister
Jaime Lannister has to drag his sorry ass to the Riverlands and deal with the Frey brothers’ mess over a castle that frankly looks pretty small. That’s not a great start to begin with, but then The Blackfish struts out of his stronghold, rejects Jaime’s plan for a peaceful surrender, and let’s Jaime know that to beat him, he’ll have to spend two years toiling away in the Riverlands. That’s just the pits, man. Oh, and The Blackfish even throws in a jab about Jaime not living up to his famous reputation, just to pour a little salt in the wound. Away from his love, about to fight a battle he couldn’t be bothered with, Jaime Lannister is not enjoying life back in a battle camp.
5. Cersei Lannister
The problem with alienating everyone around you is that someday, you might need somebody’s help. Cersei is in the same pickle as the Tyrells and could really use their help, and yet Cersei has been such an unholy bitch to the Tyrells, and frankly everyone else, that Olenna Tyrell tells the pixie-haired harpy to take a hike. Consistently, Cersei has tried to talk strategy with the people around her, and they’ve all viciously shut her down and have taken great pleasure in doing so. For two seasons now, Cersei Lannister has been a loser, a designation she’s not used to and unwilling to accept. How much longer will she have to take everyone else’s shit?
Bronn – He made that killer joke about measuring your dick against the Unsullied. – WINNER
The Frey Brothers – These fuckboys can’t do anything right and one of them got bitch slapped by Jaime’s gold hand. – LOSERS
The Waif – She didn’t finish the job, but she drew first blood. – WINNER
The High Sparrow – Somebody’s a little baby crazy! – LOSER
Tommen – As everyone suspected, not getting any. – LOSER
Olenna Tyrell – Should have been the Queen of Trees the way she throws shade. – WINNER