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'Game Of Thrones' Power Rankings: Dragonstone

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HBO

Last season on Game Of Thrones, Arya broke up with the Faceless Men, Cersei had her revenge, and Jon Snow and Darth Sansa dealt with Ramsay Bolton. This week on the season premiere, Sam did some research, The Hound looked into the fire, and Dany arrived at Dragonstone. GoT is all about how people jockey for power, so click through for our SPOILER-FILLED season seven Game of Thrones Power Rankings.

Game Of Thrones Season Seven Power Rankings, Week 1

1. Arya's Revenge Tour: Season premieres of GoT tend to be slow, relatively lowkey, piece-moving affairs. The show is generally happy just to check in with all our favorite traumatized Westerosi citizens while setting up the stakes for the season (think season five's Cersei flashback/prophecy, or the Melisandre reveal last season), while saving the big fireworks for the end of the season. This penultimate season started off with a big mass murder-y bang though: we pick up right where we left off with Arya in the Riverlands last season, wearing Walder Frey's face (does Arya have an official Faceless Men mobile embalming/de-facing unit?). She proceeds to wipe out his entire bloodline: "Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe," she says. "When people ask you what happened here, tell them, 'The North remembers.' Tell them, 'Winter came for House Frey.'" Arya is at a point now where it feels like she truly is the most dangerous human in the entire show. We salute her for this appropriately.

2. Zombie Giants Join The Cast Of "Thriller": After legendary giant Wun Wun died during last season's "Battle Of The Bastards," we should have known The Night's King wouldn't let such a formidable fighter go gently into that good night. Instead, it looks like we might find him re-animated (missing eye and all) with the rest of the background extras from the "Thriller" music video, making their slow-but-ominous trudge toward The Wall. And winter is literally coming with them.

3. "Shall We Begin?" It's taken six long seasons—filled with wayward detours to the likes of Meereen, Astapor and Qarth, Dothraki kidnappings, Daario sleepovers, lessons in dragon-rearing, and oh so many Big Speeches—but Dany and her closest advisors (Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm, Missandei) have arrived at Dragonstone. The wordless sequence at the very end of the episode is fitting for such a monumental occasion.

4. Write-In Campaign To Elect Lord Lyanna Mormont King Of The Seven Kingdoms: "I don't plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover, and I might be a girl, but I am every bit as much a northerner as you. And I don't need your permission to defend the north." If I had to live anywhere in Westeros, I feel increasingly like I'd want to live on Bear Island.

5. TORIENNE: THE LOVE STORY OF OUR TIME: "You're a lucky man," Tormund tells Pod, after Brienne tosses him face first into a snowbank. Tormund's eyebrows should be classified as weapons of sexual destruction.

Let's see that look again:

Where do you fall on this union, director Ava DuVernay?

6. Darth Sansa's Increasingly Difficult To Parse Motivations: We thought Jon learned his lesson last season when he refused to take her concerns about Ramsay Bolton seriously, only to be saved at the last minute thanks to her deal with Whisperfinger. Trauma and experience have hardened Sansa into a real player in the game, someone who now admires Cersei as much as she despises her. But then Jon pulls rank on her during their meeting with the Northern lords, and the siblings seem on the verge of a falling out. (RIP Jon/Sansa shippers?)

For now, Sansa is desperately trying to get her half-brother (or cousin?) to avoid the mistakes of Ned and Robb: "You are as far from Joffrey as anyone I've ever met." The x factor in all this, of course, is The Accent Formerly Known As Littlefinger, whose lusty whispers have earned him a new nickname: Creepyfinger.

7. Jon Snow's Reawakened Love For Mansplaining: The only thing more disturbing than Jon's relapse into dour mansplaining is his attempt at impersonating Dany.

8. Foreshadowing: Between Jon Snow's address to the Northern lords, Cersei and Jaime's mapmaking summary, and The Hound's vision in the fire, there were plenty of hints at where everyone is headed this season.

Most prominent among these is The Hound's vision: "Ice, a wall of ice. The Wall...It's where The Wall meets the sea. There's a castle there. There's a mountain, looks like an arrowhead. The dead are marching past, thousands of them." As Time points out, it sounds like a reference to "the same castle Tormund had earlier agreed to guard at Jon's prompting — Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, the closest castle to Hardhome." If you're wondering where our next big White Walker battle might take place, I'd put money down on there.

(OH and don't forget about Archmaester Ebrose telling Sam, "...The Wall has stood through it all," because that definitely isn't going to come back to haunt anybody.)

9. Bald Shaming: Pairing off the deeply cynical and world-weary The Hound with the fanatical Brotherhood Without Banners is paying off in spades so far. The Brotherhood members—most prominently Beric Dondarrion and Thoros Of Myr—challenge The Hound's rigid skepticism, while the "grouchy old bear" lobs them with hilarious insults and fashion insights: "I'll tell you what doesn't scare me: bald cocksuckers like you. You think you're fooling anyone with that top knot? Bald cunt."

10. Psychotic Pirate Joshua Jackson: He loves seeing his own brethren murdered, he has no interest in Kendrick Lamar's recent single "Humble," and he loves a strong handlebar mustache. Euron Greyjoy turned into psychotic Jack Sparrow so quickly, we hardly can remember that he wasn't half this charming last season. We're just worried about exactly what kind of "gift" he plans to give Cersei.

11. Bran, The Worst Teenager North Of The Wall: There are three things worth noting about Bran's brief scene near the start of the episode:

  • It features the return of Dolores Ed, one of the most honorable people left alive—he's the man Jon Snow left in charge of The Wall after he and Sansa went off to battle Ramsay last season.
  • It reminded me of how badly I feel for Bran's companion/protector Meera Reed, who really has had nothing but terrible times since she was introduced in season three (and hasn't even been given much backstory for her troubles). At least she doesn't have to drag Bran's ass around in the snow anymore!
  • Since Bran is now officially at The Wall, it's just a matter of time before he does something terrible and becomes The Worst Teenager South Of The Wall

12. Queen Cersei's Home Redecorating Project: Once upon a time, GoT mastered the delicate art of sexposition: the show was able to dump loads of dry, complicated narrative on the audience by peppering it with gratuitous nudity and scandalous sex scenes. Those controversial days are long gone now—who has time for sex when zombie monsters are knocking at the door?—so instead, they've created something new. Let's call it Refurbishposition, in which Cersei and Jaime gamely summarize the locations and basic motivations of every single major character in Westeros while showing off a newly-painted (and quite colorful) floor map.

The only other things to add here: after her revenge tour in season six, Cersei seems outnumbered and outmaneuvered by her enemies, regardless of her Ironborn gamble. Cersei, who seeks a dynasty without having any living children, creeps ever closer to complete madness. And she sure likes cursing up a storm.

13. Jaime "C+" Lannister: Oh Jaime. While he's still game with a funny one-liner here and there, the biggest problem with him is that since he and Brienne parted ways early in season four, he's been a wholly passive, reactionary character. Either he's doing his sister's bidding (traveling to Dorne, attempting to negotiate peace in the Riverlands) or standing there in fear/awe of his sister's actions. It's clear he's deeply freaked out about Cersei's lack of guilt or remorse over Tommen's death, but he's not ready to really do or say anything about it...yet.

14. Bedpans: Samwell Tarly remains one of a very few kind, intelligent, and well-meaning characters in Westeros to not have been killed in brutal fashion. If you thought that we'd get to see Sam prancing around a giant library, think again. We get a very graphic glimpse at the reality of his day-to-day in Oldtown thanks to a fantastic, if grotesque, montage, and let's just say that his intellectual pursuits have hit the shitter. If you ask me, he's still being punished for leaving that dragonglass dagger behind back in season four (This still infuriates me to this day).

But hey, Sam still has Gilly and Little Sam by his side, he's got a nice new mentor in Jim Broadbent's Archmaester Ebrose, and he's onto something with that whole dragonglass/Dragonstone thing.

15. Frey Family Reunions: Self-explanatory. But it'd still be better to be a Frey than this week's true loser...

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666. Superfluous Cameos By Despicable Pop Singers: This was like one of those old monster horror movie mash-ups, except scarier: Arya Meets The Ed Sheeran. There have been other musicians who have made cameos in GoT before, but none of them had major speaking parts, let alone as much camera time as this extraordinary dweeb. With such a recognizable, punchable face, his cameo was remarkably distracting, and almost made me miss Arya's first laugh since season four.

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on


For what it's worth, of all of Ed Sheeran's crimes against humanity, being jammed down our throats on the most popular show on television remains a distant second to the lyrics of "Shape Of You."

The Viserys Targaryen Memorial Least Powerful Person Of The Week Award In case you didn't recognize the voice behind that creepy arm that freaked out Sam in Oldtown, that was none other than our old friend Jorah Mormont, aka Ser Friendzone/Ser Friendstone/Ser Desperatestone/Ser SayAnything/Ser Stonehand. Greyscale is slowly consuming his body, turning him into The Thing: "It’s very advanced," actor Iain Glen told Vulture. "I’m in trouble. No doubt about it, I’m in trouble."

The Ser Pounce Memorial Most Powerful Pet Of The Week Award Thin pickings this week—literally so if you count that rabbit which Arya and her new friends passed around. The basic answer here would be Dany's dragons, who soared above Dragonstone looking bigger than ever. But the advanced answer, and the one we'll go with, is the direwolf glimpsed in the trailer for next week's episode—most likely Nymeria, Arya's long lost pup.

The Hodoriffic Honorary Minor Character Of The Week Award The Powers That Be here understand that the obvious and deserved answer to this should be Tormund Giantsbane, who stole both scenes he appeared in. But since we already gave tribute to his haughty gaze up above, we'll instead highlight Ser Davos. He may not have given any inspirational speeches this episodes—hell, he didn't have any dialogue at all—but the smile he flashes when Lyanna Mormont stands up to sexist old Lord Glover speaks volumes.

The Memorial Lord Oaf Of Highgarden Oafiest Glimpse Of The Night The only thing that could have made the already-infamous Poop Montage even better is if it were soundtracked by Pink Floyd's "Money."

Hey, Remember That Thing That Happened? Of The Week Bald-os Of Myr sussed out pretty quickly why The Hound was so uncomfortable at that house. You'd be forgiven for forgetting that the dead man was the farmer who gave Arya and The Hound shelter back in season four (episode three, "Breaker Of Chains," to be exact—you can watch the scene here). The Hound ended up stealing silver from him, summing up his ethos to Arya, "He's a good man, his daughter makes nice stew, and they'll both be dead by winter...dead men don't need silver." Technically, he was right.

The Honorary Olly Award For Person I'm Excited To See Die, Even If It Means I Am Passively Complacent With The Cycle Of Violence & Vengeance Who do you think?

The Most Horrifying Fan Theory In Westerosi History: If Bran ends up traveling back in time and warging into Tormund and something like this comes to pass, I will never forgive the writers.

Gendrywatch 2017: Will Gendry Ever Row Back Into This Story? No sign of the King in the Wharf this week, but considering the fact that he was spotted on set by some eagle-eyed paparazzo (with a hammer no less), it's just a matter of time.

Way Beyond The Wall: As is normal for GoT season premieres, we bounced around the Known World quite a bit, checking in with a majority of the main characters. But there wasn't time for everyone of course: the most noticeable absences were several of Dany's new allies, including Theon Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, the Queen of Thorns, Ellaria Sands and the Sand Snakes whose names I don't care about. No sign of Melisandre, Ser Bronn, Qyburn, Septa Unella (assuming she's still being tortured somewhere in King's Landing), Robyn Arryn (aka Prepubescent Julian Casablancas), and the mighty Ser Pounce.

Now to the group of characters I don't necessarily expect to see anytime soon: Salladhor Saan, Daario Naharis 2.0, Edmure Tully (assuming he's still alive), Zombie Benjen, The Children Of The Forest (I'm sure some of them are still kicking), The Faceless Men (I guess they count?), and of course, Hot Pie.

On next week's episode of GoT ("Stormborn"), Daenerys receives an unexpected visitor, Jon faces a revolt, and Tyrion plans the conquest of Westeros. Until then, enjoy a version of the theme song with some, um, revised lyrics.