Game of Thrones Power Rankings: The Rains of Castamere

red-wedding-tnwSo … that happened. Thrones is now three-for-three with mind-blowing ninth episodes, following the stunning, gut-wrenching, did-they-really-just-do-that?!? events of the Red Wedding. We try to keep things spoiler-free above the page break, but let’s just say: We’ll have fewer characters to rank moving forward. *Sniff*

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 Rains of Castamere” (Season 3, Episode 9).

Not in the episode: Jaime/Brienne, Tyrion, Sansa, Tywin, Cersei, The Tyrells, Stannis, Melisandre, Theon, Mystery Dude, The Brotherhood


robb-starkRobb Stark: There’s something inherently dangerous about perfection. It’s unstable for the very fact that it is, that it exists, and that by attaining the seemingly unattainable, there is only one way to go, and those perched atop the highest peaks are poised to fall the hardest.

Then there’s something about human nature, about our insatiability, about the desire for more and more and more. As much as some say and pretend otherwise, this feeling is universal; once we have what we want, we want something else, forever and ever more.

Robb’s hair was perfect. His marriage was perfect. His wife’s ass was unmistakably perfect. And by plotting to have a perfect-haired child and stake his claim to the Iron Throne, Robb crossed an uncrossable threshold. He flew too close to the sun, and our fair-haired prince paid with his life.

Of course, the plot dictates otherwise. It clearly shows that Robb married for love, and that cunt-punting douchebag Walder Frey brutally betrayed him, at a wedding no less. After offering Robb his bread and salt, Lord Frey — with the help of Roose Bolton and a herd of ass-licking Lannister loyalists — conspired to trap Robb, Talisa and Catelyn before savagely murdering them, like unsuspecting drunk fish in a barrel, effectively squashing the power of the Starks of Winterfell.

As soon as “The Rains of Castamere” started playing, it was over. The hair, magnificent and auburn and perfectly coiffed, was about to wave nobly for its final time.

Perfection is impermanent, a fleeting meteor that we fail to appreciate until it’s too late. Robb’s hair, his marriage, his wife’s ass and the unborn Eddard Stark — it was all too much. Gone, but never forgotten. — BG

cat-stark-75Catelyn Stark: We at TNW have been pretty hard on Cat for being the biggest fucking bummer in the history of broadcast television, but now that she’s died a horrible death, we want to be fair: She had a pretty rough go of it. Her initial husband-to-be was burned alive by the Mad King. Her eventual husband went off to war and fathered a bastard. Then, many years later, that husband lost his head after confessing to a treason he didn’t actually commit. Her second youngest son was pushed out a window and crippled, then very nearly murdered in his bed. Her sworn enemies held her eldest daughter, and her youngest daughter was MIA. Her two youngest sons were alive and on the run, but she thought they were dead. The one child still alive, well and by her side? He put her in jail after she released his prize prisoner. Oh, and then that son died a brutal, shocking, treacherous death right in front of her eyes.

You’d have murdered the Frey girl, too — whether or not you’d taken your Westerosi-Zoloft with your first glass of wedding champagne. Let’s hope Cat finds peace in the afterlife, because it had been a long, hard time since she had any in this life. — MR

talisa-75Talisa Stark: What the fuck is with this show and slaughtering babies? Here I am, sitting in my living room getting all excited for Robb and his excellent head of hair teaching Lil Neddy (presumably with an equally excellent head of hair) how to ride a horse and swing a sword while Talisa and her seriously fine ass stands naked in a doorway ringing the dinner bell. They almost had it all, the perfect family with a white picket fence, giggling and the ketchup fights. And then out of nowhere a wedding of drinking and dancing turned into a fucking bloodbath. Lil Neddy, I’m sorry for you. You never had a chance, your mother was stabbed repeatedly in the stomach at your great uncle’s wedding. It was extremely painful to watch. But there is something you should know about your mother: She had a seriously great ass. And it will be missed. — CW

grey-wind-75Grey Wind: Let me say a few words about the late Grey Wind. From a pup, you were a good and loyal friend. You stood by Robb’s side through good times and bad. You bit off Greatjon’s fingers when he challenged Robb, and a hearty laugh was had by all. You took down countless foes in the field and made Jaime Lannister poop in his britches. You deserved better than to die in a cage. I only hope you roam the woods with the King in the North in the next life. And if you stumble across Roose Bolton or any of the Lannisters (after Arya kills them), rip their fucking throats out and send them to the seven hells. — CW

Orell: I’m not really going to miss Orell. He was creepy and probably smelly and rolled his eyes to the back of his head a whole lot, which is weird and would make me not want to hang out with him very much. I mean, can you imagine him at a bar? Orell would stand around awkwardly, rolling his eyes and channeling obscure animals and totally scaring the babes away. Not cool bro. But I will give him this: Orell had Jon Snow pegged the whole time. He knew from the start that Jon remained loyal to the Crows, and even though Jon stabbed him directly through the heart, Orell can go to his grave with a sense of justification and closure. I feel that, Orell. Real respect real. — BG

Top 10

power-threesome1. Power Threesome of Death — Roose Bolton, Walder Frey, Tywin Lannister: Before we get into the nitty gritty behind this treacherous three, can we first just acknowledge the utter professional-wrestling-ness behind that memorable final scene? It featured two staples of WWE betrayal. First, when a good guy is celebrating in the ring, only to hear his arch enemy’s music start playing to foreshadow something bad, as was the case when the wedding band switched to “The Rains of Castamere” (of course, stupid Robb Stark kept smiling, not noticing that the band had SUDDENLY STARTED PLAYING THE THEME SONG OF THE FAMILY HE’S AT WAR WITH YOU’RE JUST AS STUPID AS YOUR DAD ROBB). Second, Bolton showing off the sleeve of armor under his wedding garb to Catelyn is a claaaaaaasic pro wrestling stunt, perhaps best exemplified by Mike Tyson and Shawn Michaels here.

So, yeah, fantasy isn’t the only realm of nerddom Game of Thrones touches on. But on to the important matters. Uh, wow. It’s obvious why Tywin would orchestrate the Red Wedding, and Walder Frey is an evil, despicable old man with an axe to grind against Robb, so the motivation behind the throng of throat-cuts is clear for both of them. But Bolton! We thought you could be trusted!

There is obviously much we have to learn about Bolton and why he defected — if he was ever really a true Stark bannerman to begin with. The suspiciousness began last year, when he told Robb he’d send his son to protect Winterfell while Robb fought the war. (How’d that turn out, Maester Luwin?) Or maybe that was just an innocent screw-up, and Bolton didn’t defect until more recently, when he realized he was fighting for the losing side and saw an opportunity to latch on to the Lannisters, get rich and score himself a fat Frey bride in the process (more cushion for the pushin’, and all that). Either way, after Bolton freed him, Jaime told Bolton to send Robb Stark his regards. And that’s exactly what Bolton did, before uniting Robb, Ned Sr. and the unborn Ned Jr. in that great Winterfell in the sky.

Game of Thrones? More like Game of Throats, amirite?! — EA

bran-season-32. Bran Stark: All hail the Heir to Winterfell. Now if someone could just get the word out that he’s alive before Sansa and Tyrion claim the North, Bran can reunite the banners and take up his brother’s reign as King in the North. He’d surely win the war against the Lannisters now that he can control people and animals alike. Bran getting inside the direwolves’ minds and leading them on a ferocious rampage against the wildlings was a straight baller move. And he ended Hodor’s temper tantrum with a couple blinks of the eyes. There’s so much more potential if he can find the three-eyed raven north of the wall. There are more wargs up there, so maybe Bran can get in their minds while they’re in other animals’ minds, thus seeing through his eyes into the eyes of another and out the eyes of an eagle (#headexplodes). He just needs to harness the power, for now it’s like trying to figure out how to work the damn Google glasses. Can’t be walking around like an idiot taking accidental eyeball selfies forever. Eventually he gon’ learn. And when he does, Bran will surely take control over Tywin and orchestrate some sort of mass murder suicide. The war will be over before you can say Hodor Hodor Hodor! All we ask is that Bran please please please not die. I can’t take any more Stark deaths. — CW

dany-season-33. Daenerys Targaryen: Dany and Daario, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Did you see the look on Dany’s face when Jorah told her the slaves of Yunkai had surrendered? It wasn’t enough to have a new city under her control, or to have two of her top three soldiers return safely. Inside her head, you could see Dany’s thought process: “WHERE IS MY DRAGON DAARIO?!” Poor Jorah, that guy is as friend-zoned as can be. By the way, I’m starting a petition to rename Daario Daari-Lax-Bro. Cut that hair, dude. — EA

daario-season-34a. Daario Naharis: Sellsword Fabio is quite the cool customer, eh? He unseated his fellow leaders with ease to take over the Second Sons. He totally pulled off the “Oh are you naked? I hadn’t noticed…” thing when Dany gave him some full frontal. He masterminded the sack of Yunkai, won the city for Dany, then entered her tent fashionably late to present the spoils in a, “Ain’t no thang, I do this shit in my sleep,” kind of way. Daario? Try Waario — he used that back gate like a vintage Nintendo warp pipe. And of course, he made sure everyone knew he didn’t have to pay for sex. “A man cannot make love to property,” he told Jorah and Co. The subtext? “Maybe if you knew that, you’d have tapped that ass already instead of leaving it for me. But thanks, buddy! Sharing is caring!” — MR

jorah 754b. Jorah Mormont: Wow, Jorah. That was hard to watch. You helped capture a city for the woman you love — and all she wanted to do was see the other guy. The one WITHOUT the mesmerizing jaw law and utterly captivating inflection on the word “been.” Genuinely puzzling. Seeing Jorah’s expression after Dany asked after Daario was the Westerosi equivalent of playing the sliding hand look-how-quickly-I-can-make-a-happy-face-a-sad-face game in elementary school. But hey, at least Jorah survived the battle, helped further Dany’s cause and kept budding Queensguard rival Ser Barristan from sharing in the glory. That has to count for something. — MR

grey-worm-season-34c. Grey Worm: For a guy without a cock, Grey Worm sure knows how to handle a longspear. — MR


jon-snow-season-35. Jon Snow: It was only a few short weeks ago that Jon was losing his virginity, in a secluded cave, because secluded cave sex is super fun. That was followed up by steamy hot tub sex, which is even more fun, because oh have you felt those jets and Ygritte can’t stop, won’t stop. I bring this up for the following reason: Jon just ditched Ygritte despite the fact that she chose him over her people. She picked him over all the nasty, horny wargs and presumably well-endowed giants. And Jon was all, sorry Ygritte, these bitches be crazy I’mma GTFO? Unacceptable. Sure, Tormund Giantsbane wanted to kill Jon. And sure, Orell’s demon-possessed bird was trying to peck out Jon’s eyeballs. But when you find the one, you never give up. You truly do know nothing, Jon Snow. — BG

arya-season36. Arya Stark: So close, Arya. So tantalizingly close. It seemed, for a moment, as if our brave little warrior would finally reunite with her family, a most joyous occasion indeed, and one that would have surely resulted in tears and cake and hugs and more cake. But no. No no no. Walder Fucking Frey had to ruin EVERYTHING. Imagine, if at the end of Finding Nemo, Marlin and Nemo had not been reunited. Imagine, instead, that Nemo saw his father in the distance, but then Marlin was beaten senselessly, scooped up out of the water to suffocate and then tossed back in and promptly eaten by a shark. Doesn’t that sound awful? Well, that’s basically what happened here. Cool story, George R.R. Martin. You sick demented fuck.

But even worse, Arya made a Vine that made light of Robb and Catelyn’s deaths. This is no joking matter. I would have much preferred her make a Leeroy Jenkins-type video, because that guy’s badass and at least he’s got chicken. — BG

rickon-stark-season-37. Rickon Stark: You guys, Rickon says things! A lot of things! Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss got totally shitcanned one night (because the only way to write that Red Wedding episode was with more tequila) and decided three things: 1) yes, we should order a large pizza for each of us 2) yes, we should each get extra bacon and extra sausage and extra pepperoni and 3) yes, let’s give Rickon a huge speaking role in episode 9 because I think everyone’s forgotten about him and actor Art Parkinson feels really neglected. That’s his real name, and all this really happened. I’m sure of it.

Anyway, Rickon said some stuff, and acted emotional, and said some more stuff and you basically get the point. He shared what was supposed to a heart-wrenching goodbye scene with Bran, but I couldn’t particularly focus, because Rickon was saying things and that’s about the Game of Thrones equivalent to Marc Gasol making it rain from three; up is down and down is up and Hodor and Hodor and Hodor. It’s all very confusing.

I do remember, however, that Rickon is going with Osha to meet up with some Stark bannermen. And that he cried a lot. So many tears. — BG

the-hound-758. The Hound: The Hound isn’t a bad guy, he’s just misunderstood. I mean, he offered to get Sansa out of King’s Landing last season, and here he rescues Arya from the pain of having to see the murdered corpses of even more family members. And for what? He’s not going to get a big payday for Arya from the Starks anymore, because, well, they’re all dead and whatnot. And this is a girl who has already told him she planned on sticking a sword through his eye! But I’m oh so happy he decided to take Arya again, because all signs are pointing to an eventual Hound/Jaqen H’gher confrontation that a man would be very happy to see (that man is me). Plus, The Hound has killer one-liners. “You’re very kind. Some day it will get you killed,” joins “Any man who dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse,” and “Fuck the Kingsguard, fuck the city, fuck the King” in his pantheon. — EA

sam-gilly9. Silly/Gammy: Now that Jon and Ygritte have split, we at TNW are facing a crucial task: Coming up with a couple name for Sam and Gilly that’s on par with the excellent (if we may say so) “Snowgritte.” Sam and Gilly haven’t actually sealed the deal — gotta think Sam would be facing instant castration via frostbite if he unsheathed in the bitter frozen North — but they’re clearly smitten. Sam loves Gilly because she’s a girl and she talks to him, which has presumably never happened before; Gilly loves Sam because he seems brilliant and classy and interesting and it doesn’t matter that he’s fat and craven because he’s not her father/husband. So really, this is a match made in Weirwood heaven.

We’ve narrowed the moniker options to two finalists: “Silly,” which seems fitting for two would-be lovers as awkward and fumbling as these two, and “Gammy,” which also seems fitting because it sounds like “hammy” and would facilitate lots of fun fat jokes about Ser Piggy. We’d ask you to cast your votes, but as we heard from Gilly in this episode, only wizards can learn things from reading marks on pages. — MR

edmure-7510a. Edmure Tully: First, the newlywed. Edmure’s facial expressions throughout this episode were truly remarkable, starting with the tortured faces from seeing Walder’s hideous daughters and granddaughters. It was like a loyal but reluctant wingman going in blind on a double date. “Don’t worry, she says her friend looks like Beyonce!” Yeah right, Edmure knew he was going to have to take down a fatty so his friend could get some (aka Robb could get the Freys), and the looks were those of a defeated man. But Edmure’s face turned from pure fear to a “Holy shit, I can’t believe this babe I’m about to bang!” look when he saw his bride-to-be. The PDA during the wedding feast was a little over the top, but the way he handled himself during the bedding ceremony more than made up for it. “Ladies, if you unleash that monster there’s no going back.” And yes, I wanted to put Edmure higher on the list because he presumably tapped that fine-ass bride of his and I’m always in favor of rewarding characters for getting laid. But when you weigh his horizontal mambo session with the facts that a) We don’t have definitive proof that he did the deed (aka we saw no boobs), b) his wedding will be forever known as the Red Wedding and c) His King and sister and future nephew and most of his men and pretty much everything he fought for went to shit, well, yeah, Edmure needs to be in our bitch spot. — CW

ygritte 7510b. Ygritte: And now, for the newly-split. Like, ZOMG did you see her face when Jon Snow ran off with that horse? She was like totally jealous of that horse. And now we can’t even call them Snowgritte anymore? How could you do this to us Jon Snow. OK, enough with the gossip. It was a tough day for the hottest wildling ever. Her boyfriend with the second best hair in westeros and the magic tongue bailed because he was too much of a wuss to chop off some poor old man’s head. And just to further cockblock his ex, he killed the other guy that wanted to bang Ygritte. Sure, Orell was a major drop off from Sir Locks A Lot, but wildlings can’t be choosers, right? But hey, maybe it’s not all bad. Now Ygritte is stuck with student of the Kamasutra Tormund Giantsbane, so she may still be able to get some quality lovin’ after all. Until that proves true, Ygritte joins Edmure on our bitchspot after getting dumped like a chump. — CW

On The King’s Road

The Blackfish: The eldest Tully had a great exiting line when he left the wedding: “Excuse me while I go find a tree to piss on.” So Blackfish is alive, we think, but his niece went to the slaughter and his nephew is likely a prisoner. How will he respond? Here’s to hoping he shoots flaming arrows through every Frey and Bolton and Lannister in Westeros. — CW

Tormund Giantsbane: Tormund believed in Jon Snow, but promised to kill him if Snow was lying to the wildlings. On both fronts, he failed. Even worse, now he’s stuck with a spurned Ygritte, and NOTHING is worse than having to listen to a woman whine about her failed relationships. — EA

Osha: Osha does not want to go beyond The Wall. She will not have to go beyond The Wall. Remember that time she slept with Theon? That happened. What a world. — BG

The Reeds: Jojen and Meera just got promoted. The Reeds had already proven their worth as guides and the human equivalent of spirit animals, but now that Osha and Rickon are hitting the road, the Reeds will need to be protectors as well. Hodor gives excellent piggy-back rides, but aside from his brute strength, he can’t be counted on to truly care for Bran. That’s going to fall to Jojen and Meera, and it’s more important than ever now that Robb is gone. Let’s hope the little frog eaters are up for it. — MR

Hodor: Hodor? HODOR!

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