The Freys have been quite quiet in the television series since Season 3, when patriarch Walder Frey slaughtered his enemies at the infamous Red Wedding. It looks like we’ll get some movements from the Frey family in the upcoming season, which promises to to adapt some plots from the books that have been on the backburner for a while. In the meantime, we’re not sure what they’ve been up to, although it’s reasonable to assume they’ve been shoring up their alliances with the Lannisters in King’s Landing. However, with the Lannisters in trouble, the Freys may be, too.
Since Lady Catelyn and Lady Lysa were both murdered, not much is left of the Tully household. Their brothers Edmure and Brynden are scheduled to appear in the upcoming season, and we will finally get a bit more information on the future of the broken family. Look for the Freys to continue to try and suppress the remaining members of House Tully.
The Greyjoys are a feisty and proud family. Since the second season, when Theon was sent back to Pyke to ask his father, Balon Greyjoy, to join Robb Stark against the Lannisters, we haven’t heard much them. Theon’s sister, Yara, tried to rescue her brother in Season 4, but he was in no condition to go with her. Now that he seems to be on the mend, there may be a reunion in his future.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. When the story started out, there was a Baratheon war hero, Robert, who ruled the Seven Kingdoms. Now he’s dead, as is almost everyone else bearing his name or his blood. Sure, Robert had plenty of bastard children, but the Lannisters have done their best to eradicate the ones still wandering around Westeros.
Robert’s brother Lord Renly Baratheon was murdered by the self-proclaimed King Stannis Baratheon back in Season 2. Last we saw of Stannis, he appeared to end up on the sharp end of a sword held by Brienne of Tarth, officially marking the end of his quest to sit the Iron Throne. Now, that has neither been denied nor confirmed, but the mighty Stannis is definitely not in a position of power any longer. Even if he did live, he burned his daughter Shireen to death in a vain attempt to help with his war effort, so he has no heir.
The only figure holding the family name up now is King Tommen. Sure, he’s actually the illegitimate child of Cersei and Jaime Lannister, but he keeps the name Baratheon. As long as the young king is on the Iron Throne, the family at least has a leg to stand on.
If these rankings were based on interest alone, the Starks would rank at the top. Unfortunately, the Starks have had their pitfalls, and even though there are a few stray members who appear to be gaining ‘power’, collectively the family has none at all.
The Red Wedding put an end to all attempts of vengeance against the Lannisters. Catelyn Stark, the family matriarch, Robb Stark, the King of the North, were both murdered that day, along with the hope that the family could again rise to prominence.
Since then, Bran Stark has been busy learning to harness a mysterious new set of powers. How will that work out? We can’t know until we watch the upcoming season, but hopefully it’ll change the Starks’ fortunes. Meanwhile, Arya is busy learning to be an assassin across the sea, while Sansa’s future since she jumped from the walls of Winterfall is very much up in the air. Also, the youngest son, Rickon, will reprise his role in Season 6.
Jon Snow should be included in this roundup, although his future is muddier than any of his half-siblings. Given the fan theories, trailers, and sightings on the set, it is safe to say that he will have a hand in the family’s future.
House Martell resides in Dorne, the southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s been known to keep itself separate from the affairs of the realm and only deal with the other families when necessary. The Martells have grievances against the Lannisters that span generations, and the family members were not too pleased with Cersei becoming Queen, and then Regent Queen, while young Tommen grows into his role as king.
The Martells began to make appearances in the fourth and fifth seasons. In Season 4, Oberyn Martell came to King Joffrey’s wedding and eventually died at the hands of The Mountain in a battle for Tyrion’s freedom. This was a problem, since Myrcella Baratheon was in Dorne, and promised to marry the young Prince Trystane Martell. Upon Myrcella’s trip back to King’s Landing, Arianne Martell poisoned Myrcella to avenge the death of Oberyn.
There are a lot of ways this story could go. With Mrycella’s death, the Martells might as well have declared war against the Lannisters. Prince Doran Martell, the family patriarch, didn’t want any part of the war that is coming his way, but it looks like he’s got it. Season 6 may put the family’s resourcefulness and abilities to the test.
#5. House Arryn
When the Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, was murdered near the beginning of the story, it was not a great start for the house. A lot has changed since then. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish assumed the role of Lord of the Vale after he murdered the Lady Lysa by pushing her off an incredible height to her death.
Robert Arryn, the young son of Lysa and Jon, is still just a boy. Until he gets older, Littlefinger has complete command of the Vale, which means he controls a sizeable army that has been untouched from war thus far. In the fifth season, Littlefinger gave Sansa Stark to the Boltons to marry Ramsay, then returned to King’s Landing and began plotting against the Boltons, whom he wishes to usurp so he can become the Warden of the North.
Like the house of Baratheon, the house of Arryn has a key player named Robert. Littlefinger will probably either overlook the boy or manipulate him to his side. Littlefinger’s new position also comes with a castle protected by mountain ranges and enough coin to get the Vale through the foreseeable future. Littlefinger could do just about anything with these resources.
They’re the Wardens of the North, no-class backstabbers, and are perfectly willing to torture and flay people they don’t agree with. It’s no wonder the Boltons have climbed so high in Westeros. When they teamed up with heartless families like the Freys and Lannisters, they were all but certain to rise in the world. Now, they have a claim to the North and they’ve taken care of Stannis Baratheon. They must be happy as clams.
The Bolton family currently possesses two integral resources: a near impenetrable fortress—Winterfell—and Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay is a soulless manipulator, and has shown that he can break any man or woman if he chooses to do so. Roose, the head of the Boltons, recognizes this and uses his talents to sabotage and exploit his enemies, all while perched safely inside Winterfell.
It will be difficult to remove the Boltons from their cold new throne, but as stated before, Littlefinger (the ultimate manipulator) has plans to take Winterfell for himself, and now that he has the trust of the Boltons, it should make matters easier. Also, the Lannisters seem to be backing Petyr these days, rather than the Boltons. But as long as the Boltons hold their castle, alliances, and titles, they will sit among the elite of Westeros.
House Targaryen is led by none othe than Daenerys Targaryen, believed to be the last member of the royal dragon bloodline. With the aid of her dragons, she has built a large following, most of whom are currently stationed in the city of Meereen. Unfortunately, at the moment, Daenerys herself is elsewhere. During a planned assassination attempt at Daznak’s Pit, her wild dragon Drogon rescued her and carried her into the Dothraki sea, where she is now kept by an unknown Dothraki tribe.
Even though the only Targaryen left in the world is missing, the show must go on, and Tyrion Lannister appears to be in control now. Meereen could be in worse hands, but while her subjects search for their missing Queen, it will be up to Tyrion to right the ship and devise future plans to take back her rightful throne.
The only thing holding Dany back from climbing the ranks further is her proximity to the action. Daenerys resides in Essos, and while she does have an army and dragons to be reckoned with, it will be some time before she can make the ultimate power play to take King’s Landing.
Hopefully she can bounce back and use Tyrion’s brainpower to figure out a sound plan for her future.
Since the beginning of Game of Thrones, the Tyrells have changed sides whenever it suited them. They started by supporting Renly Baratheon. When Renly was murdered by his brother Stannis, they arranged to help Tywin Lannister save King’s Landing from Stannis’ attempt to take the city and secure the crown for himself. They have access to a large army and bountiful natural resources, meaning that they have a lot of power.
By pledging allegiance to the Lannisters, the Tyrell were able to put Margaery Tyrell in a position where she could become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. It also opened the door for Lord Mace Tyrell to become Master of Ships and Master of Coin, and Ser Loris to marry into the Lannister family via Cersei.
Unfortunately, the Tyrells hands are tied at the moment. By the end of Season 5, Margaery was imprisoned for perjury, Ser Loras is serving time for his homosexuality, and Lord Mace is in Braavos striking deals with the Iron Bank on behalf of the Lannisters. The family’s only hope is Lady Olenna, the matriarch and puppet-master of the family. She currently holds the keys to its future, and so long as she is free to devise her plans, House Tyrell is in good hands.
Who else would be at the top of the food chain? The family is known to be the richest in all of the world and has enough leverage to take on incredible debts. On top of that, the Lannisters possess the power of King’s Landing, and currently rule of the Seven Kingdoms.
The family has seen unsightly highs but are beginning to falter at the top of the ladder. For starters, its wealth is dwindling. This has become a major problem, since now they are reliant on the Tyrells. So long as they are attached to the Tyrells, the Lannisters should be okay, but Olenna was unhappy with Cersei’s role in getting her grandchildren imprisoned, so that alliance could be in danger. Also, the murders of Tywin, Joffrey, and Myrcella have cracked the foundations of the once glamorous family. It finally looks like karma is coming back around to the Lannisters.
In previous seasons, the Lannisters have looked unstoppable. It seemed as though nothing could have forced them out of King’s Landing. For all their treachery and classless behavior, they remained the strongest family on Game of Thrones. The heartless Queen Cersei is still calling the shots on behalf of the Seven Kingdom, and until her status changes, the Lannisters will remain the strongest and most influential family around.