#1 Sandor Clegane (Last week: 10)
“Looks like the Gods liked me more than your Butchers boy!”
Last week was an unconventional showing in old lady scoldings, lascivious letter writing and the blooming of long planned for vengeance machinations. This week, The Hound rips through a trial by combat that would make William Shatner piss him himself (for a reason other than incontinence), marking a welcome return to the conventional shield scorching, arse spraying mayhem we’re accustomed to.
Houndoom finds himself fighting for his life against an immortal, eyepatch wearing zealot whilst simultaneously battling his crippling fear of fire, a fear he picked up when his big brother burnt half his face off in a storyline originally written for the Undertaker-Kane saga in late 90’s WWE.
Fighting so hard you shatter the other guy’s shield, then cut THROUGH HIS FUCKING SWORD WITH YOUR SWORD, nearly Gregoring him in the process, all while facing your own most primal fear is a feat to be admired. Seriously, that’s like fighting a gang of clowns (a circus of clowns? A pratfall of clowns?) under threat of gang rape while in prison. Sandor Clegane is a braver man than I. Let slip the dogs of war.
Oh, and go ahead and write Bezza Dondarino into the “bleeders” column.
#2 Jon Snow (Last week: not ranked)
If big Clegane is winning the Game of Owns this week, Jon would certainly be top of the Game of Bones (if it existed, though it probably does somewhere). In true Witcher fashion, the Snowman wets his Longclaw in the serene hot tub cave fuck paradise with his fiery red head companion (which may well be a scene in the adult minded Harry Potter adventure Ron Weasly and the wet wands). To the surprise of no one, the natural swordsman displays some pretty natural swordsmanship; presumably GoT slash fiction writers everywhere are engineering his duel with Podrick as we speak.
Jon getting his unbesmirched crow ass thoroughly… smirched (and bathed for the first time in at least two seasons) is a good change of pace for everyone’s favourite black power ranger, since he’s spent most of his life being called a bastard while hanging out with rapers and convicts in the realms most thankless national service.
His tender moment of triumph was sullied somewhat by the hordes of ogres and hardened wildling tribesmen assembled into a turgid audience throughout the cave juuuuustr out of shot, eagerly observing Jon Snows patented “kiss of fire” technique. Watch out for stalagmites.
#3 Berric Dondarrion (Last week: not ranked)
Normally when someone dies on GoT, they get a spot on the rankings, a respectful send-off and we never see them again. Berric looks like he may be a regular ranker thanks to his magical, reanimating Penn & Teller double act with his drunk, hippie soldier priest boyfriend.
Bezza should be as dead as Alan Carr in a prison riot, but he keeps coming back like boybands or a bad case of hemerrhoids thanks to Jeremy Clarksons God of Hellfire. On the other hand, something tells me if he keeps picking fights with the Super Clegane Bros (Game of Thrones answer to the NBAs Gasol boys), he’s going to look a lot more like Mel Gibsons Jesus than Snake Plisskens grizzled uncle. Six deaths and we only saw him for 5 seconds in season one. At that rate by the time he gets his next big showdown with Sandor he’ll be fighting like the black knight from Monty Python. You may be able to make it in the band of brothers without an eye, but limbs are a crucial component of good sword form – just ask Jamie Lannister.
Now let’s not be too hard on the guy, coming back from the dead several times and putting up a fight worthy of a Clegane wedding is easily worth top billing. Despite Berric Dondarrion being the name of a fourteen year olds D&D character, Berric makes Highlander look like Wallander, so kudos to Dondan the man.
#4 Robb Stark (Last Week: not ranked)
After a week off (FROM BEING KING) with his feet up at Riverrun last week Robb returns with some inter ranks dissension to deal with.
Richard Karstark, minor plot hurdle from last season is seemingly still a threat and more importantly, still pissed that his doofus son got strangled by the BITCHSLAYER and is out for a kill in true Seagal style.
When the quisling Santa Claus finds the lil’ Lannisters (that’s a TV pilot Westeros will never see) on his naughty list, he gets all Moors murders on them, snuffing them out with a Glasgow tickle (a brutal stabbing). Right now between dead squires and chopped hands, Stark hostage etiquette is looking a little Fritzl. Really, this makes a stay with Joffrey look like a mildly unpleasant stay in Lancashire’s worst Premiere Inn.
Robb has legitimate issues with icing fourteen year old boys and so is left with a quandary. Does he listen to the Stark ladies and his mimsy, hairdresser of an uncle about holding on to the beardy traitor, or does he polish up the execution block and get chopping?
Robbie Savage deftly lives up to his dad’s beheading precedent, putting red headed Stark stepchild Theon Greyjoy to shame yet again. This leaves Robb in a tactical pickle, losing a substantial chunk of his forces (and child killers probably do make pretty reliable battlefield murderers) is not good for the war effort. We leave him as he decides to reunite with Walder Frey (younger brother of the Gatekeeper from the Atmosfear board games) in an attempt to snatch Pride Rock from the Lannisters wealthy paws.
All in all, a bad week for Richie Karstark, who I hope enjoys life in Game of Thrones hell. If you think it’s hard to keep up with things now, wait until you’re surrounded by characters who’ve been dead since before the series began.
Cheer up though Rich, at least you’ll get invited to the headless poker game, featuring: Ned Stark, that guy Ned Stark beheaded, old ponytail beard guy who used to be the weaponsmaster at Winterfell (which is over here by the way) and Gregor Cleganes dearly departed horse SHITEMARE.
#5 Jamie Lannister (Last week: 9)
Just like I said, Jambo is determined and steadily working his way back into the Walder fray. With some help from Maester Fight Club, he sorts his hand and battered body out, if not like a boss then at least like some kind of well paid middle manager.
He’s been wearing the “Kingslayer” and ”Oathbreaker” slurs people spit at him like badges of honour (sort of like an ASBO) since we first met him; but he finally gives us an idea of the worth those names really bear this week, and I think shanking a schizo, pyromaniac monarch and his Waylon Smithers esque pyromancer companion is something we can all get behind.
After experiencing Game of Thrones Betty Draper bathtub moment first hand, Jamie even finds the strength to work in a few Tyrion worthy zingers before very nearly becoming the first Lannister to die in a bathtub.
“You were supposed to get me to Kings Landing in one piece. Not going so well is it?”
#6 Barristan and the Bears comedy/sniping hour
Last week these two swapped eyebrow raises like The Rock and Roger Moore, and this week they alternate between anecdotes about mindless slaughter and slavery to taking barely concealed, let’s be honest, bitchy potshots at one another like they’re competing interns at OK magazine.
“Forgive me Ser Barristan but I was defending the Kaly-C from King Roberts’s assassins while you were still bowing to the man”
Jorah must be praying to the lord of light because that’s another sick burn.
Old man Ownage is still a little pissy about shitting away his best years at the side of the mad incest king and etiolated, crossbow wielding bendy straws boy king Joffre while JMor is kind of testy about his slave dabbling past. Really, you sell a person into a lifetime of misery one time and suddenly you’re some kind of big time people trafficker. What are the seven kingdoms coming to?
Burn them all.
#7 Tywin Lannister (Last Week: 4)
We find Tywin in the crèche this episode, hands smothering a power play ten years down the line before it breathes its first breath. Now you may find the idea of killing things in a crib about as wholesome as eating cereal in the bathroom, but Tywin Lannister is no stranger to cot death, literally (ask the six toed incest litter of the last Targaryians, OH WAIT YOU CANT) and in this case figuratively.
Tywin quashes more plots and schemes over breakfast than you’ve had bowls of cereal, and he sets about marrying off his children like some doting mother seeking grandchildren. It’s less impressive manoeuvring than we usually see from Charlie Ray Jespen, but you don’t become the Kings Hand by letting Tony Stark looking wimps like Petyr Baelish nick the key to the North out from under you.
“Wed her, bed her and put a child in her. Surely you’re capable of that.”
#8 Old lady Tyrell (Last Week: 3)
Another Downton Abbey worthy performance from our favourite maître d botherer and fig enthusiast, Olenna Tyrell. For a refined old regency bird, OT can’t seem to stop mentioning her pissing and shitting habits. I suppose she’s in a bad mood since her lovely daughter is being bartered off to Christopher Robbins psychotic step brother and the last man to smell her roses was Tywin Lannister, who’s currently too busy ruling over the pride lands to meet her in one of the kingdoms apparently many traditional sex baths.
Her scatological inclination continues as she cuts through the bullshit to split the cost of the increasingly extravagant royal crossbow wedding with befuddled purse tender Tyrion. Her fairly pragmatic reasoning of not getting torn to pieces by a hungry crowd is inarguable.
#9 Roose Bolton (Last week: not ranked)
“You haven’t heard? Stannis Baratheon laid siege to Kings Landing. Sailed into Blackwater bay. Stormed the gates with thousands of men.”
“And your sister…”
“How can I put this? Your sister…”
“Is alive and well. Your fathers forces prevailed”
This is Roose Boltons idea of a fucking joke.
# 10 Petyr Baelish (Last week: not ranked)
Petyr Baelish has proved himself a shrewd political player, sleuthing his way up the Westeros hierarchy like some kind of perverted well informed snake that…
PETYR BITCHLISH DOES NOT MAKE THE RANKINGS FOR WHORING BOYS OUT TO SIR LANCELOTS POOFY SQUIRE, NOT FUCKING RANKED.
Commiserations to Loras Tyrell, who seems to be rebounding from Renly harder than Dennis Rodman on… whatever drugs still have an effect on his body.
# 10 Blackfish (Last week: not ranked but probably deep in some badass shit)
“Tell your mother to look at them. She killed them as much as I.”
“My mother had nothing to do with this, this was your treason.”
“It’s treason to free your enemies. In war you kill your enemies, did your father not teach you that boy?”
Brynden Tully steps forward, throwing his considerable weight into a right hook which connects solidly with Richard Karstarks bearded head. Bryndens gauntlet slams into bone, the man before him crumbles like a human sandcastle.
The Blackfish looks up towards the King in the North, his stance asking for direction, should he strike him again?
No. Apparently one punch was enough.
Bonus- World’s shittiest dad and husband award: Stannis Baratheon
“You’re bigger than the last time I saw you.”
Yea Stan, that’ll happen when you don’t visit your daughter for three years while you’re off fucking your mad pyro mistress and crazy tower wife just stews, looking after her collection of Stillborn Stanni. Good job you absolute prick.
Not Ranked: Sterling archer, cot death, Longclaw, The Witcher, the shadow tower, Gray Worm, WHERE THE FUCK IS BRONN?, boiling wine, milk of the poppy, figs, wildfire, Sansa Stark, Daenerys Stormborn, William Shatner, Walder Frey, Oliver, sparring, flaming shields, the Gatekeeper, Pau Gasol.