Game of Thrones Power Rankings: The Bear and the Maiden Fair


Heading into the latest episode of Game of Thrones, we at TNW had hoped for an infusion of bears, an excess of dragon shots and the introduction of really, really ridiculously good-looking babies. And HBO came through in a big way! With the season past its midway point, the plot is really starting to thicken, proving plenty of fodder for the newest edition of our Power Rankings.

Our rankings are based on developments from each episode in particular, and take factors such as likeability, power and general character attractiveness into consideration. At the end of the day, these are wholly subjective, so if you disagree with any of our assessments — and you’d be wrong — state your case in the comments section below.

One last very important order of business: SPOILER ALERT: The following entries contain information from the most recent episode of Game of Thrones: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (Season 3, Episode 7).

Not in the episode: Stannis, Mance Rayder, Lorax, Littlefinger, Varys, Bolton, Cersei, Sam, Lady Olenna

jaime-lannister-season-31. Jaime Lannister (previously unranked): Jaime pulled a quick one on his new captors by going to rescue his lost love Brienne. He used the go-to Lannister move: “I’ll tell Daddy on you!” or “Do you know how much Daddy will pay you for this?” It worked, his transporter (man, Statham really let himself go) got scared and the crew hustled back to Harrenhal for a good ol’ fashioned bearfight. I guess George R.R. Martin is an Anchorman fan. I was waiting for Jaime to yell “I immediately regret this decision!” before the rest of the news team jumped into the pit. And where the hell was Baxter to rescue Jaime and Big Bri? Must have been immobilized after taking down another wheel of cheese. Regardless, Jaime hopped right in there and threw Big Bri behind him like any valiant hero would. A little help from Statham’s crossbow distracted the bear just long enough for Jaime to get her out of there. And he narrowly escaped himself, nearly at the price of one of his feet. Can’t imagine there’d be much use for a one-handed, one-footed Kingslayer. Then again, that’d give Locke a great chance to kick Jaime when he’s down. Put it on a string dangling from his belt and every time Jaime takes a step he kicks himself in the nuts! Genius! Most importantly, there’s still a chance these two will bang. Jaime was upset Locke only gave Bri a wooden stick to defend herself against the bear. Hopefully he’ll present her with a different wooden stick to swing around. — CW

dany-season-32. Daenerys Targaryen (previously unranked): Dany’s hubris grows in direct proportion to the number of monikers included in her description. At the beginning of Season 1, she was just Daenerys Targaryan. Now, she’s Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryan — Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Sir Lucious Left Foot, Son of Chico Dusty, Owner of Discolored Eyebrows, Target of Affection for Middle-Aged British Guys, Collector of Dickless Soldiers, AND the Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne? Good luck getting those business cards printed if you ever DO make it to King’s Landing.

As for that, Dany looks pretty unstoppable right now — so unstoppable that she even pulls the “Oh, are you talking? Hold on while I throw a steak to my dragons. No, keep going, this isn’t meant to scare the living shit out of you” maneuver while confronting the representative of Yunkai. Classic Stormborn! The Yunkainian lord doesn’t back down from Dany’s threat to destroy the city if their slaves aren’t released even as he tries to pay her off, and there’s mention of powerful friends that even Jorah and his lonely heart don’t know about. Whether or not Yunkai can pose a serious challenge to the Khaleesi remains to be seen, but it seems like Dany is too cocky not to hit a rough patch soon. Abraham Lincoln freed slaves, too, and we all know how his story ended. — EA

tywin-season-33. Tywin Lannister (previously 2): It’s well established that Tywin belongs on Millionaire Matchmaker. Thanks to “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” we now know the reality show on which Joffrey “Bitchking” Baratheon belongs: Toddlers in Tiaras. Gods, what a whiny little brat. Grandfather, why do you guys keep leaving me out? “You’re welcome to attend the meetings of your Small Council, Your Grace. Any and all of them.” Cool, collected, measured. But Grandfather, why do you guys keep meeting in your office? It’s so faaaaaar. “The Tower of the Hand is where I work. The walk from there to here would take time … time I could otherwise spend productively.” Ooooo, burn. But Grandfather, I’m laaaaazy. “We could arrange to have you carried.” SHOTS FIRED! Tywin isn’t simply countering Joffrey in this scene; he’s absolutely clowning him at every turn. The words are pretty fierce, but the ultimate indignity might be when Tywin climbs the steps, without invitation, to stand right in front of Joffrey’s throne. A bold move from a bold man. Tywin does make one mistake in this scene, however, and while Joffrey doesn’t press the point, the audience knows how foolish Tywin is being: When Joffrey asks Tywin to address the growing rumors about Dany and her dragons, Tywin dismisses his grandson by saying “Curiosities on the far side of the world are no threat to us.” We certainly know better, and it seems like Tywin should too. — MR

robb-stark4. Robb Stark (previously 7): Forget, for a moment, that we saw Talisa’s ass this week, perched gloriously atop a bed, an ass that rivals, and arguably tops, any other in the realm. And forget that Robb owns that ass, not metaphorically, but quite literally, because Westeros is misogynistic through and through and a feminist’s worst nightmare. Now understand that Robb Stark is having a baby. With Talisa. Who will be a son. And who will come out of the womb with hair that looks like this. The greatest hair that ever was or will be. Let that sink in. Really sink in. This is Simba, Blue Ivy and trick-shot basketball baby combined, one super child with an immaculate mane who is destined to rule us all, forever and ever amen. I’m not one for exaggeration, so know, dear reader, that I am being completely sensible when I write: This is the most monumental conception in the history of Game of Thrones, television, planet Earth and the galaxy. It’s arguably bigger than that. The notion that Robb sits at No. 4 on this list, as if he, and his wife, and his wife’s ass, and his future baby, and his future baby’s hair, and his future baby’s presumably great ass, were merely the fourth most significant development from Sunday’s episode is deeply shameful. — BG

mystery-dude-season-35. Mystery Dude (previously 6): Look, if I had the opportunity, I’d probably want to torture Theon Greyjoy, too. Everything else aside, he’s just that guy, the Westerosi equivalent of the college lacrosse player who thinks he’s the coolest guy alive, the one who wears tank tops and fist pumps to LMFAO while driving in the Saab convertible his lawyer father bought. And when you take into consideration the tiny matters of Theon betraying the same Stark family that raised him and murdering Rodrick, and yeah — he’s got some disfiguration coming his way.

But there’s a line that must be drawn in defense of any man, a fate so cruel that no amount of misdeed justifies it. Pulling a bait and switch that begins with the temptation of a hot threeway and ends in castration crosses that line (not to mention the return of the same horn that drove Theon crazy in Winterfell last season!). I respect Mystery Dude’s dedication and creativity — a mind so sick can’t be underestimated — but damn, dude, the guy’s had enough. Just put him out of his misery. — EA

jon-snow-season-3ygritte 756. Jon & Ygritte (previously 5): It’s so much easier to think of Jon and Ygritte as Westeros’ Jim and Pam when Gareth (Dwight from the British version of The Office) is right there driving them crazy. Gareth/Orell is really a Grade A cock-blocking douche bag. He seems equally motivated by his love for Ygritte and hatred for Jon, who Orell is convinced is still loyal to The Night’s Watch. But Orell’s creepy, lurking presence doesn’t seem to be dampening the “hey, let’s fuck!” spirit of our young lovebirds, who probably really wish they were further south so they had fewer layers of clothing to peel off of each other every five seconds. I really hope Jon knows how good he has it. Forget the epic moral dilemma he’s inevitably going to face when he’s forced to choose between the realm he’s sworn to protect and the woman he’s vowed to love: He’s with a chick who never wants to go to fancy dress parties, has no frame of reference for his skill at cunilingus and literally thinks windmills are castles. Put a ring on it, buddy. — MR

the-hound-757. The Hound (previously unranked): Sandor you drunken bastard! How dare you steal our favorite Stark! On the other hand, we definitely have a new TNW record  for the highest ranked character with the least amount of screen time. Three seconds, one line, top 10. Boom. But let’s get back to what matters. Clegane is doing much more than simply wandering through the woods; he’s snatching up little girls and giving them awesome nicknames. “Kick all you like wolf girl, it won’t do you no good.” He couldn’t get “little bird,” but “wolf girl” will have to do. Still, how did he know where to go to find her? My guess is the Hound went online and pretended to be in a boy band, lured Arya into the woods with chocolates and toys and flowers and then scooped her up for no good. SOMEBODY GET CHRIS HANSEN ON THIS CASE! — CW

powertits8. Powertits (previously unranked): At this point, we’re well aware of Powertits’ capacity for manipulation. She started off as Renly’s power-hungry bride, maneuvered her way into an arrangement to wed Joffrey and slowly transformed into a Miss America-waving, porridge plague-dispatching, low-cut dress-wearing Queen-to-be, the kind we not only look up to, but also want to bang before merking Joff with his own crossbow. And though she didn’t get much screen time this week, Powertits’ discussion with Sansa revealed that a) she has grandiose plans for her future, unborn son, even though he’ll be half a product of the Bitchking and therefore nowhere near the level of Robb Stark’s G.O.A.T. baby and b) she is equally savvy and resourceful in the sack — Sansa is not — which only makes her increasingly more desirable. Here’s hoping somehow, someway that Powertits and Sex God Pod hook up, if only because that’s how Kama Sutra came into existence, and, since Game of Thrones is based entirely on a true story, we know their raunchy sex is also responsible for the births of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Johnny Manziel. — BG

gendry9. Gendry (previously unranked): As far as upgrades go, going from low-born wanderer to finding a home with the Brotherhood to learning that you’re the last remaining seed of Robert Baratheon is a pretty enviable trajectory. It’s got to be pretty empowering to arrive at Dragonstone armed with the knowledge that you’re second in line to the Iron Throne. But Gendry is still in the dark about a lot of things, as are we, like what the hell does Melisandre have planned for him? If Gendry’s really smart, he’ll be wary of the Flaming MILF. She’s already cock-teased Stannis into a stupor (and defeat in battle), and her vagina is capable of producing monsters — anything that’ll get her in a position of power. I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ with no broke … Westerosians. — EA

theon-season-310. Theon Greyjoy (previously unranked): And things looked like they were finally starting to turn for ‘ol Theon. This week, for the first time in seemingly ages, our first glimpse of Theon didn’t show him strapped to an X, on the verge of death, begging for his limbs or playing the world’s most fucked-up game of Guess Who?. No, this time there were girls. Two girls. And they were naked and gushing about the size of his cock! If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Nothing spells redemption like a good old-fashioned threesome.

Sure, Theon was suspicious. Sure, he had an idea that this was a trap. But the dude desperately needed a slump buster. And one when the brunette of the pair mounted Theon and started bobbing up and down, I think the hopeless romantic in all of us felt a little twinge in our hearts — the same sentiment we felt when Beauty ended up with the Beast, or when Shrek ended up with Princess Fiona.

Then Mystery Dude came and had to come and chop Theon’s dick off. Literally. There are bad days, like when you spill coffee on your shirt, and then there are worse days, like when you get fired from your job. Then there are days like the one Theon just experienced, which, on a scale of 1-10, sits firmly at are ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS WHY WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYYYY DID YOU CUT MY DICK OFF NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Poor Theon. For all that you’ve schematically shit the bed in recent weeks, you didn’t deserve this. And I promise I will never, never, never complain about being cock-blocked ever again. — BG

On the King’s Road

Tormund Giantsbane: Based on our previous criteria, we really could have put Tormund up in the top 10. The dude gave a complete sex clinic, complete with thrusting demonstrations, dog noises, animal comparisons and more. It really was quite a spectacle. I do have to critique his lesson plan slightly. Who says there’s no room for dog-like thrusting? Sure, Giantsbane is correct that proper “patience” and foreplay is necessary to get her “slick as a baby seal,” but who doesn’t enjoy a trip to town from time to time? I also have to say I’m surprised by the wildling’s concerns for her-pleasure. Giantsbane definitely wouldn’t be timid asking for those ribbed condoms from behind the bodega counter. — CW

Tyrion Lannister: TNW’s favorite Lannister is not exactly Mr. Popular at the moment. His family hates him. His king tried to kill him. His betrothed is repulsed at the thought of him naked, and his mistress wants nothing to do with him anymore. Tyrion has about all the appeal of the guy with B.O. on a crowded subway who blasts the Black Eyed Peas out of his shitty cellphone speakers. Trust me, Tyrion. You don’t wanna be that guy. Time to make a stand. — BG

Shae: On the surface, it may seem like Shae is being a bit unfair. She’s a lowborn whore, while Tyrion is a highborn lord. They’re probably not going to get married. And really, nothing’s going to change about their arrangement after Tyrion marries Sansa: Tyrion and Shae will still have sex; Tyrion will still buy Shae nice things; Shae will still remain Tyrion’s dirty little secret. But Shae does have a gift for putting matters into perspective, and it’s hard to argue with her when she breaks it down like this: “I’m your whore, and when you’re tired of fucking me, I will be nothing.” Oh, and then there’s this: Shae can be Tyrion’s “lady” … “while I empty her chamber pot and lick your cock when you’re bored?” Yeah, good luck winning that argument, dude. It’s one thing to ask your mistress to ignore your wife. It’s quite another to ask her to literally clean up her shit. — MR

Joffrey Baratheon: That was cute, Joffrey, trying to put your foot down with grandpa. Except grandpa isn’t an overly-tanned retiree in Boca Raton, he’s only the richest and most powerful man in the seven kingdoms, one who’s already shown he’s not afraid to use his family as pawns to serve the greater good of the Lannister legacy. You can try to be the King, but you’ll always just be the Bitch King. If you don’t know, now you know. — EA

Sansa Stark: Remember when Sansa was chowing down on lemon cakes, dismissing convenient feather-bed escapes and planning to complete her dream wedding with Big Gay Lorax? Well, those times are no more. Now Sansa is set to marry Tyrion — and she just realized she’ll have to have sex with him. But it’s not all bad. Tyrion is “experienced.” Tyrion has been taking sex advice from Pod. And, if nothing else, Sansa still maintains a more positive outlook on life than her mother, who has adopted a mindset that can best be characterized as wet cat. — BG

Melisandre: You know what would make Melisandre’s boat ride with Gendry even better? T-PAIN. — BG

Talisa: So obviously, Talisa just became way more important. She was already the Queen in the North, but now she’s carrying the Heir to the North in her womb as well. She’s kind of a big deal. She also earns bonus points for knowing how to put her bare ass to good use. Robb can’t resist that thing! But I’ve got a bone to pick with Lady Stark. In Season 2, she kept going on and on about the little guys, justice, fairness, etc. Well, where’s her kind heart now? She clearly couldn’t care less about the poor washer woman who’s going to have to clean the fur throw Robb and Talisa are using as their sex blanket. It’s probably hard enough to clean kingly jizz out of bear fur. Does Talisa really need to camp out on that thing, dripping away post coitus, to write a letter to her mom? That’s just selfish. — MR

Brienne: Bearfight! Big Bri held her own against that grizzly. Sorta. She only had a wooden stick, but at least she was able to stay alive long enough to get rescued by her love to be. I’d really like to turn this into one of those cheesy holiday diamond commercials. “I’m right here, and I always will be.” Guys buy diamonds because, well, she’ll pretty much have to. Think of what Brienne will pretty much have to do after getting saved by a bear. — CW

Bran, Osha and the Reeds: Bran’s quest for the three-eyed raven is basically Monty Python’s quest for the Holy Grail. Except with less shrubbery. That is the only difference. Other extremely pertinent questions as we move forward: Is there a little path that leads beyond The Wall? Was Ned Stark’s beheading actually just a flesh wound??? — CW/BG

Locke: Locke, you got clowned. You had a bear on your side — a motherfucking angry bear — and you got pwned by some fool with one hand. His bad hand. The same fool who drank horse piss out of your canteen just a few short days ago. I mean, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude.

There are very few things that make me lose confidence in a person completely. One is pouring milk in the bowl before cereal. One is calling the cops over a few stolen loafs of fruitcake. And the last is losing a power struggle when you have a fucking bear on your side. Great Oden’s raven, Locke. Just terrible. — BG

Arya Stark: The badass little lady Stark is a TNW favorite, and her fearlessness while with the Brotherhood Without Banners saw her climb all the way up to the top of last week’s Power Rankings. This week, she even put a little fear into Beric’s eyes with her “Death is the one true god” bit. But then she threw a pretty textbook temper tantrum, yelling “You’re all liars! Liars! Liars!” and running out of the cave like, well, a little girl. Running away from home isn’t always a good idea, you never know what’s lurking in the woods. In this case, getting kidnapped by the Hound wasn’t all bad, at least she got a sweet nickname of “Wolf Girl” out of the deal. — CW

The Brotherhood Without Banners: Maybe the Brotherhood needs a banner, because they’re operating like a ragtag crew. I mean, The Hound is putting on an absolute clinic against them right now, first winning his trial by battle against Beric Dondarion and the Lord of Light, then scooping up Arya after the Brotherhood let that valuable negotiating piece go. At this point, The Hound vs. The Brotherhood is like Adrian Peterson running the ball alone against 11 versions of me. Amateur hour. I have a feeling their upcoming “lion hunt” against the Lannister troops doesn’t go very well, either. Just hold on to that last eye, Beric. — EA

Blackfish: We’re starting to see why Brynden Tully earned the nickname “Blackfish.” He’s the black sheep of the family, but when said family’s sigil is a trout, it’s only fitting to amend the animal suffix. How much of a rogue is this guy? He thinks it’s totally cool to compare Robb’s last great hope, Lord Frey, to a “wet shit” in front of polite company. And he’s right! It is cool! This wasn’t quite as hilarious as the Blackfish telling Edmure “the laws of my fist are about to compel your teeth,” but it was pretty close.  — MR

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