tonight's game of thrones's power couples, ranked

    sansa stark, ftw

    by leila brillson · April 19, 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: 5.1,The Wars To Come

    Finally, Arya shows her young-but-world-weary face, which sadly doesn't factor into this recap because she seems to be spending this season as a lone wolf (metaphor is particularly apt). The youngest Stark girl attempts to get into a Braavos mausoleum—revealingly titled "The House Of Black And White" and finds that her magic coin requires actual, you know, magic to work. Or at least blood-thirst. Also, what sort of small girl would sit there quietly for 24 hours while it rains around her?

    Secondly, we get to see what is going on in Dorne—and it looks like, despite the threats presented to Cersei, Myrcella seems to be having a lovely time at the Water Gardens, much to the chagrin of Oberyn's widow Ellaria (who is standing in for the book's Arianne Martell, which actually works, since adding another character here would only be confusing). 

    photo via hbo

    Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish
    Last week: 2
    In case Petyr Baelish didn't point it out to you, Sansa is indeed becoming quite the observer, no doubt the benefit you get when you count Littlefinger as your patron. Seeing Sansa rely on Petyr is indeed painful, but also watching her deny help from Brienne was equally troubling—almost as troubling as the young girl having a very good reason for doing so. Everyone who has ever said she would help Sansa has betrayed her, aside from Tyrion (whose friendship hasn't helped her much, either), The Hound (whose help also came with a threat) and Littlefinger himself. Talk about uncomfortable bedfellows. However, it is inspiring to see Sansa, like Arya, become one of the most decisive and headstrong characters in the show.
    +2 for Sansa being absolutely unimpressed by ale
    -5 for Sansa turning down the help of one of the most honest fighters in Westeros
    +4 because she made the decision on her own
    Total: 1
    New total: 3

    photo via hbo

    Jaime Lannister and Bronn
    Last week: N/A
    So, us book readers are treading on unstable ground here, because Jaime heads to the Riverlands and Bronn gets married to Lollys. But the Bronn in the TV show has taken on his own, truth-to-power-damn-it-all-to-hell narrative and it is fun. Pairing the two cockiest characters of the show together is quite inspired, and though teaming up the two on a dangerous mission might not speak well for their long-term prospects, it sure is fun to watch. Bronn is finding himself betrothed to a sweet but absolutely insufferable gal, and Jaime may provide a welcome (albeit fatal, maybe?) distraction.
    - 3 for Jaime still being Cersei's bitch
    - 2 for making a deal with Cersei behind your benefactor Tyrion's back
    + 1 because Bronn knows nothing good can come from a visit from a Lannister
    Total: -4


    photo via hbo

    Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon 
    Last week: 3
    No Tommen, but instead a Cersei ruling in his stead, making some possibly questionable choices.
    - 5 for the Cersei takeover
    Total: -5
    New Total: -2

    photo via hbo

    Tyrion Lannister and Varys The Spider 
    Last week: 0
    Tyrion is still on his self-professed downward spiral, and the only reason Varys seems to tolerate it is because his self-hatred seems to align with The Spider's hatred of, well, everything but the realm. Yet, as the two make their way to Mereen, Tyrion decides—after spending months being cramped up—this pretty posh litter is where he will suddenly become sick of being kept out of the action. Maybe not so smart...?
    + 1 Perfect quote: "The best part of me for the best part of her"
    + 2 "They find us repulsive." "And we find them repulsive, which is why we surround ourselves with a large, comfortable box." #truth
    Total: 3
    New total: 3

    photo via hbo

    Sam Tarly and Jon Snow
    Last week: 4
    It is a real treat to watch Jon Snow handle Stannis with such aplomb, the same type of honor that he finds absolutely worthy in a leader. Remember, Jon might be bastard-born, but he is nobility-raised, and knows how to speak to a would-be king. However, Jon suffers from the same trait that killed his father—his decision to put honor above what is right. In fact, in the world of Westeros, G.R.R. Martin reminds us that what is best may not always be the most honorable. And we all know what happened to Ned Stark.
    + 3 for begrudging respect to Jon Snow, and not cutting off his fingers, a la Ser Davos
    + 5 for Jon finally getting the Stark love he deserves
    - 5 for Jon being just like his father in his stubborn concept of honor
    + 6 because, OMG, Jon is Lord Commander!
    + 3 for Sam's amazing new talent in public speaking
    + 1 because Maester Eamon casted his vote, too!
    Total: 13
    New total: 17
    Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon
    Last week: 2
    While Melisandre is absent this episode, Stannis behaves like a true king, making the executive decision to grant Jon the one thing he most desires: legitimacy. He also has seen in Jon a formidable leader, one who behaves much more like his father than Stannis could hope—and, if you recall, Stannis has nothing but respect for the bygone Stark. Kudos to the last standing Baratheon for not being too peeved that Jon took out Mance with a kind arrow in the heart last episode. 
    +3 for knowing when to dole justice, and when to sit back
    Total: 3
    New total: 5
    Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne
    Last week: 1
    Thanks to the fact that Westeros is a bit like New York City—so much space but yet, everyone keeps running into each other—Brienne and Pod run into Littlefinger and Sansa, and much like her reunion with Arya, it seems that Sansa isn't super keen on Brienne being her personal bodyguard. (Though, how amazing would the dynamic between Brienne and Sansa be? They would be a wonderful duo to see interact.) Though Sansa spurns Brienne, Brienne gets to show off that, once again, she won't be trifled with. Secondly, Brienne manages to have more compassion than all of Westeros put together—even for poor, hapless Pod.
    + 1 for showing up randomly at the same tavern as Sansa & Littlefinger
    + 2 "Ready the horses." "We only have one horse." "FIND MORE."
    - 4 because Brienne needs to keep that "shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon" stuff to herself
    - 1 because WHO THROWS A ROCK, POD? Who???
    + 4 for Brienne being a total bad-ass
    Total: 2
    New total: 3
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