the game of thrones's power couples, ranked

    cersei vs. margaery = epic showdown

    by leila brillson · April 26, 2015

    Photos via HBO

    This season is about journeys—the journey to battle, the journey to Essos, the journey to retaking the north. Everyone has a destination, and with the land of GoT larger than it has ever been, characters are finding some pretty strange bedfellows. So instead of a traditional recap, we are going to do a ranking of power couples, those duos who are now traversing the realm in pairs. Since it's not just the staggering surprises, but the dynamic dialogue. Each week, we are rank each pair to see who will win—and what crazy depths they'll go to—for the game of thrones.
    Last recap: 5.2, The House Of Black And White

     Here we are, playing a bunch of dangerous games: Arya is desiring to be a Faceless Man, Cersei is aligning with religious fanatics, Margaery has started the Great Cersei Evacuation of King's Landing, Qyburn is messing around with some sort of zombie creature, and Littlefinger is asking Sansa to do something near-unthinkable. (As an aside, book readers, what do you think about this last one? Is Sansa taking over the role of Jeyne Poole?) After a slow start and a placement of pieces all of the Thrones kingdom, it seems like stakes are being raised. Let's see where our favorite characters land, this week. 

    Photo via HBO

    Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish

    Last Week: 3
    My tiny heart exploded when I saw Sansa and Littlefinger pull up to Moat Cailin, which is totally new, uncharted territory for us book readers. This cannot possibly end in anything other than bloodshed, and probably at a wedding. Hearing Ramsay Snow tell Baelish, "I'll never hurt her, you have my word" gives us the deepest, most undeniable heebie-jeebies. (Side note: How much does Roose SOUND like Charles Dance, the actor who portrayed Tywin Lannister.)
    + 0 The idea of Sansa marrying Ramsay Bolton is terrifying, but it might also be shrewd. I can't decide, but I do have a sick feeling in my stomach.
    + 1 "There is no justice in the world, unless we make it." Really do believe Littlefinger may think he is helping the eldest Stark girl.
    + 5 Sansa's calculated, thoughtful bow to Roose Bolton. You can actually see the chess pieces moving in her pretty little head. 
    + 2 "Welcome home Lady Stark. The North remembers." DO WE SMELL A CONSPIRACY AFOOT?
    Total: 8
    New total: 11

    Photo via HBO

    Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne

    Last week: 3
    The thing about Brienne and Pod, the true thing, is that they are both good, kind people who often get the short end of the stick. I promise this is not a spoiler and comes completely from gut instinct, but so far, strong underdogs seem to fare pretty well in Westeros (please see Arya, Tyrion, Varys, Jon), so if I had to bet on these two sticking it out, I might. But aside from their 
    + 3 "I'm proud to be your squire."  AWW. 
    + 1 Who wants to be in House Pod with us? We are starting House Pod, and our sigil will be a bunch of prostitutes swooning. 
    + 2 Brienne sees the gentle-souled nature of Pod, which has won other fellow stoneface-with-a-heart-of-gold characters like Tyrion. 
    Total: 6
    New total: 9

    Photo via HBO

    Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon

    Last week: 5
    Look, I'll be honest: I think I like Stannis more than the average person—and definitely more than Brienne does. He doesn't know all the wackiness that Melisandre does in his name, exactly. He is a stern leader who would be predictable if he didn't have a major streak of cunning. 
    + 1 "Honor got your father killed." Please see Jon's entry on how true this statement is. 
    + 3 Good to see Stannis has some sense: "I heard it was best to keep your enemies close." "Whoever said that didn't have many enemies."
    + 2 Why is everything Davos says so smart? Can we all listen to Davos forever? He is clearly the only person in Westeros with a lick of sense.
    Total: 5
    New total: 10

    Photo via HBO

    Sam Tarly and Jon Snow

    Last week: 17
    Ugh, Jon, we were doing SO well. Solidifying power, owning your capability as a leader, letting Sam finally become the stand-up comedian he so rightfully should be...But then, well: Let's discuss. The crucial defining trait of the Starks is loyalty and honor, which is great, but G.R.R. Martin takes great pains to show us that ascribing to a very strict code of honor doesn't exactly keep you safe from the fuckery of life; please see Stark, Ned. We get that you made a vow, but here is the freaking KING (well, kind of) offering you everything you not only have desired, but what might be right for the realm. (Having Jon Snow ensconced in Winterfell would be a rallying point for the North.)
    + 3 Winning over Alistair Thorne is not just smart, but it shows real leadership potential. 
    + 3 Heavy is the hand who swings the sword
    - 4 Jon didn't even think about Stannis' offer...
    - 1 How sad was that "Mercy" whimper? I suddenly felt for Ser Janos
    Total: 1
    New Total: 18

    Photo via HBO

    Tyrion Lannister and Varys The Spider 

    Last week: 3
    Well, Tyrion's restlessness seems to get the better of him, and the funniest duo in Westeros end up in a brothel, which clearly turns out to be a decision that Tyrion will regret later. Also, what does it mean that he doesn't want to sleep with whores anymore? Is it PTSD? A change of heart? A fear of paying for love?  But, so much for this power couple—it looks like we have a new duo in our midsts. Now, lets guess what queen Jorah is taking Tyrion to, hrm?
    + 1 "I have to get out of this wheelhouse." Is that where that business jargon term comes from? Good to know.
    + 1 Watch Varys' face when Tyrion smart-mouths the brothel bouncer. It's classic.
    + 2 "I need to speak to someone with hair."
    - 5 You had ONE JOB, Varys. ONE JOB.
    Total: 3
    New total: 6

    Photo via HBO

    Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon 

    Last week: -3
    *Puts on Angelina Jolie voice* Well, well well. What do we have here? This seems like a real showdown between two deliciously manipulative women—one who rules through her family name, and the other who flirts with charm. Delightful, though rife with worry for anyone who happens to stand in between these two powerhouses. 
    + 1 Tommen is a pretty normal teenager when it comes to sex, it appears: "This is all I want to do, every day, for the rest of my life."
    - 2 Way to lay it on pretty thick to Tommen, Marg.
    + 6 Kitten DOES have claws: How many times did you actually scream out loud at Margaery's subtweets? ("Would you like some wine? It's a bit too early for us." "Queen Mother or Dowager King?" "Queen GRANDmother, soon!")
    Total: 6
    New total: 3

    Photo via HBO

    Jaime Lannister and Bronn

    Last week: -4
    Absent this week.
    Total: -4
    New total: -4
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