Game of Thrones Season 4 really shook things up in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. Tywin Lannister is dead, King Joffrey is dead, the Wildling threat has been eliminated... who now stands as the most powerful in the land? Here’s our countdown of the major players heading into next season.

Bringing Up the Rear

15. Theon Greyjoy. It looks like Theon (Alfie Allen) comes in last for another season. Reek is certainly doing better physically now than he was in Season 3, when every week was torture (literally), but he’s worse off emotionally. He is devoted to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), and seems to have truly forgotten who he is. Maybe he makes a comeback in Season 5, but right now things don’t look so great.

14. Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has fallen a long way since his high water mark in Season 2’s Battle of Blackwater. Back then he was the Hand of the King saving the city, now he’s in exile after murdering his father and the love of his life, plus everyone thinks he killed the king, too. We’re guessing we'll see a different, darker Tyrion next season, and the fact that Reek is still by some miracle alive is the only thing keeping Tyrion from the bottom of this list.

13. Jorah Mormont. This guy sure is good at getting himself exiled. He gets exiled from Westeros, spies on Dany to try to get back to his homeland, stops spying because he falls in love with Dany, gets exiled by Dany for spying. Jorah (Iain Glen) has got to be at the lowest point in his life by Season 5, and we’re anxious to see where he turns up next.

12. Brienne of Tarth. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) has fancy armor and a nice sword, but other than that she doesn’t have much. She let Arya slip through her fingers, and we have a feeling she’s going to reach the Eyrie right after Sansa has already left. And though she may not know it yet, Jaime and Cersei are back on. While it’s possible Brienne finds some happiness next season, we wouldn’t be surprised if she falls even further in Season 5.

11. Jaime Lannister. Poor Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) still hasn’t figured out that he’s being manipulated by Cersei, but we’re guessing his bliss ends soon enough. Cersei’s probably going to learn that Jaime released Tyrion, which is the one thing she could never forgive, and then the honeymoon will be over. Plus there’s that whole issue with him doing nothing to fill his page in the Kingsguard book besides murdering his king, but we’re guessing he’d rather forget about that already.


Doing Pretty Well

10. Jon Snow. Jon (Kit Harington) just lost Ygritte and a couple of his best buds in Pyp and Grenn, but he also showed that he is a leader. Jon made some major strides in Season 4, and we’re hoping he can build on that to become a major player in Season 5. It seems like he’s destined for something big, or else he would have died like a hundred times by now.

9. Arya Stark. How can we rank a young girl on her own heading to a place she’s never been so high on our list? Because for the first time ever, Arya (Maisie Williams) is controlling her own destiny. She’s going to Braavos because she wants to, she’s excited about the idea, and as she’s showed us many times over, she can take care of herself.

8. Margaery Tyrell. Margaery (Natalie Dormer) was so close to being the queen, then Joff had to go and die on her. She recovered quickly with her betrothal to Tommen, and she does have a solid plan for trying to get the new king on her side, but as long as Cersei is still breathing, we feel like she’s going to come up short. Margaery is still engaged to Tommen, but without Tywin around to enforce the marriage, who knows if it will even happen. Season 5 could be the year where Margaery’s star starts to fall.

7. Bran Stark. Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has found a magical old man in a tree... now what? We don’t think he’s in that cave just to hang out, so we’re expecting huge things from Bran in Season 5. While it doesn’t look like the Iron Throne is in Bran’s future, the show has shown us many times that there are things more powerful than the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, and Bran may just end up being one of them.

6. Littlefinger. Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) became the effective Lord of the Vale in Season 4 when he murdered Lysa Arryn, but we’re starting to get the feeling he’s starting to get in over his head. His shoving Lysa seemed like a spontaneous act, one he didn’t have a backup plan to get out of until Sansa came to his rescue. In that fateful scene, the ultimate mastermind unveiled his one weakness...


The Heavy Hitters

5. Sansa Stark. Sansa (Sophie Turner). The aforementioned weakness of Littlefinger has just become fully aware of her power over him, and like her sister Arya, she’s calling her own shots for the first time in forever. The difference is that Sansa has actual power. She’s the presumptive heir to Winterfell, since everyone thinks all the other Starks are dead, and if she marries Robin Arryn she’ll have the Vale, too, giving her two of the Seven Kingdoms. Look for Sansa to learn to play the game even better in Season 5, and who knows? Maybe she’ll gain another kingdom along the way.

4. Roose Bolton. Sly old Roose (Michael McElhatton) has gone from a nobody to Warden of the North, commanding an area larger than the other six kingdoms of Westeros combined. He now has an official heir as well after his decision to legitimize Ramsay, and he’s riding a pretty hot winning streak. However, we’re hoping the Red Wedding will eventually have some repercussions for Roose, since a lot of Northerners died there, and their blood is on Roose’s hands. We don’t think the North will forget that.

3. Stannis Baratheon. In Season 4, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) got the gold and Stannis got the glory. Now all Stannis needs is the crown. Stannis proved that he’s the only king who actually cares for the safety of the Seven Kingdoms when he came to the Night’s Watch’s aid against Mance Rayder, and people are likely to notice that kind of thing. We expect the reinvigorated Stannis to gain more supporters in Season 5, and maybe once again make a play for the Iron Throne.

2. Cersei Lannister. With Tywin dead, Cersei (Lena Headey) has no one to stand in her way when it comes to controlling King Tommen, and thus, Westeros. Sure, Margaery will try, but without Tywin around to restrain her, Cersei is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Cersei is kind of crazy though, and impulsive, so without someone to keep her in line, will she implode in Season 5?

1. Daenerys Targaryen. Our number one gun is still Dany (Emilia Clarke). Though she suffered some major setbacks in Season 4, like having to exile Jorah and chain up her dragons, she’s still Queen of a major city with a large army and tons of devoted followers. And even though they’re chained, she still has dragons. None of our other major players can match Dany when it comes to firepower, and that’s why she sits alone atop our rankings for Season 5!

Agree with our rankings? Think they’re all wrong? Let us know in the comments!