Game of Thrones Power Rankings: Season 6, Episode 1
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
May 1, 2016
2) Varys (The Spider)
If you’re looking for sage wisdom, Varys is your man. The show-runners have demonstrated this fact repeatedly throughout the years, revealing that the Spider knew the secret of the Lannister twins long before the rest of the Small Council. He also safeguarded the life of a different pair of siblings. One of them was too stupid and haughty to survive, while the other has not only lived but also prospered. Don’t mistake this as an indicator of Varys’s softness. Even in Westeros, not a lot of people keep their enemies hidden in crates at their homes. The only question is whether he has any interest in the Iron Throne itself, and the current answer is an emphatic no.
3) Roose Bolton
Sure, his bastard son has all the warmth of one of the brothers from Oasis, but here’s the thing about Roose Bolton. He was just a guy during his early appearances. There was no reason to believe he was going to be anything more. He’s the guy you think is lucky to get lines in the scene. In the early days, the only purpose of the character seems to be to demonstrate the leadership abilities of Ned and Robb Stark. Then, one day he RSVPs a wedding, and suddenly even Littlefinger gets a bit nervous around him.
As part of the deal he cuts then, you think he has to accept a… Fat Walda as his bride. Only later do we realize that this, too, was part of his plan. Fat Walda has needs, and Roose Bolton is a man who gets the job done. Even as he’s putting some eggs in Ramsay Bolton’s basket, he’s finding other uses for various eggs. Roose tested a smile once. He didn’t care for it, and he decided to never do it again. Rather than waste any time filling that canister, he’s all in on power. He’s the specific reason that there’s one less direwolf in the world. That’s cause enough to rank him in the top three.
4) Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion is one of two players on this list who we believe could feasibly wind up number one in the end. Littlefinger won’t get there. He’s a too-tall Napoleon Bonaparte, and if he ever bounces a single check, his men will cook him and eat him. If Westeros had Instagram, that picture would get all the likes.
The reason Tyrion isn’t any higher is because he’s had something holding him back – a loveless father. Unlike Roose Bolton, Tywin Lannister had actual affection for his wife, a radical concept in any story, and he never forgave his son for her death. Virtually all of the blunders Tyrion has suffered have involved his family in some way. The fact that he had a good read on everyone isn’t the point. They had the power and he had the animus. With a lighter touch, he could have achieved the same results without winding up shipped out on a crate across the Narrow Sea. Still, he fell upward and somehow woke up one day to discover that he was the temporary ruler of Meereen. Sure, he’s basically Julia Louis-Dreyfuss right now (aka Veep), but as his sister once stated, “Power is power.”
Also, the Imp’s new de facto Secretary of State is really damned good. The current leader left the place in disarray. Tyrion can earn a real chance at the Iron Throne if his Reconstruction is successful.