Game of Thrones is a phenomenon that sweeps the world with every new episode, and every unexpected death. But where does the power truly lie? Many houses grace the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, each desiring the Iron Throne or greener pastures. Some have insane levels of riches, others have army numbers so great that they could sack any city in Westeros, and some have leaders who rule with sharp minds and sharper swords.
This list isn't just a current look, a past look or a future look, it takes all that has happened and all that may happen into account and creates the most accurate power list you will see when discussing the show we all know and love. Some characters have single-handedly brought down a house (Joffrey, Ramsay), others have caused one to self-destruct (Tyrion) and some are preparing to give one greater reign than it ever had before (Daenerys). The Starks are a fan favourite, but do they make the list? A Baratheon who isn't even a Baratheon sits upon the Iron Throne, but do they make the list? Walder Frey instigated the Red Wedding, but does this strange old bastard's house have a place on this power list?
There's only one way to find out. As always, please leave some comments and let me know if you agree or disagree. I think we can all agree that winter is coming, that's for sure. Lucky, the White Walkers aren't a house.
10 Tully - Family. Duty. Honor.
Not as much is known about House Tully of Riverrun in comparison to the rest of the list, but linking with the Starks and housing the Lord Paramount of the Trident is enough to warrant a place over House Frey as the 10th spot. As children, they learn the words "Family. Honor. Duty" before they can even walk, and their leaders are always respected men; the Blackfish and Lord Edmure, relatives of Catelyn Stark, are prime examples of living hope. Decimated by the aforementioned Freys, they still hold power in the Vale (even though Lysa, sister of Catelyn who married an Arryn, is dead) and fought a rebellion led by the Blackfish. With an army behind them, the Tully house is still capable of playing a large role in recapturing the North from the bastard Bolton and avenging the Red Wedding caused by Walder Frey. They remain one of the few houses carrying respect and dignity through Westeros.
9 Martell - Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.
These sneaky desert people are always up to something, even if they have basically imploded from within. Ruling from the sand dunes of Dorne, the Martells remained powerful through their distancing from wars, in both a geographical and allegiance standpoint. But with Prince Doran and his only heir Trystane slain by the desert snakes (the Sands, to be more precise), they are currently extinct. Oberyn was killed by The Mountain in King's Landing in a battle for Tyrion's life, sparking the killing spree by the Sands, but it remains to be seen if they will fight in the name of Martell. If they do, the house could continue to be a power in Westeros, but as it stands the name has slipped to 9 in the power rankings because we aren't even sure if they still exist. Remember though, this is Game of Thrones, a house with such a history won't be so easily destroyed.
8 Arryn - As High as Honor
House Arryn lacks a strong leader, but its positioning on the map and the influence of Littlefinger means House Arryn remains a worthy powerhouse. There is a big chance that Littlefinger will use the Knights of the Vale to assist Sansa and Jon in the sacking of Ramsay's Winterfell. The current Lord of the Eyrie, Robin Arryn, is a weak boy incapable of battle, but with his Uncle Littlefinger (Lord Protector of the Vale) pulling the strings, he can still order men around like well-behaved puppies. Generally neutral in their stance on the Iron Throne, House Arryn opposes House Lannister and will soon rise to prominence as they grace the battlefield. Much of House Arryn remains unknown to the viewers of Game of Thrones, so the ranking may drastically improve from 8 once the dust from future battles settles.
7 Baratheon - Ours is the Fury
Brothers Renly, Stannis, and Robert all fought for the crown, giving reason to the prominence of this house. Joffrey ruled and Tommen currently rules, and even if it is widely known that they are in fact of Lannister-only blood, the house continues to sit upon the Iron Throne. In fact, they are the only house to do so since the Targaryens were usurped. Ruling from both Dragonstone and Storm's End, Game of Thrones began with the Baratheon House easily commanding a place in the top 2, but with the deaths of all bar Tommen (who isn't even Baratheon), their chances of retaining the Iron Throne are flimsy at best. Many of their problems stem from within, as the brothers chose to fight amongst themselves rather than defeat an array of thirsty enemies waiting for their demise. As it stands, there remain Robert's bastards in Westeros (Gendry, where are you?), so we'll see if they can climb again.
6 Bolton - Our Blades are Sharp
Roose may be dead, but his son Ramsay is pure evil, not to mention he is the Ruler of the North with a Stark prisoner in his dungeon. He alone has put this house back on the map, rising from Bastard to heir, and then killing his father to take charge (and his little newborn brother, for good measure). Before the events of the series, the Boltons would likely not have featured in this list as they were once underneath the Starks, but they usurped them much like the Baratheons did to the Targaryens not so long ago. The battle against Stannis proved the strength of the Boltons, while other Northern houses continue to flock to their cause. If a rightful heir to Winterfell steps forward, they are likely to ditch Ramsay and side with the Starks, but we should never discount Ramsay. Every time he seems out of his depth, he proves everyone wrong. If Game of Thrones has a current villain, it is House Bolton and their leader. Who can stop him?
5 Greyjoy - We Do Not Sow
With the sea on their side and dreams to unite with House Targaryen, the Greyjoys have risen to become a powerful house despite the death of their leader at the hands of their new leader (who is his brother; what a show). Ruling over the Iron Islands and with multiple leaders jostling for front position, Greyjoy has risen to prominence to feature on this list. The Greyjoys like to keep to themselves and side with nobody, as seen with their siege on House Baratheon, although this event left Theon under the wing of Ned Stark. Initially, Theon's destruction of Winterfell bumped the Greyjoys up the list, but now it is up to the efforts of his uncle-with-the-apparent-giant-cock Euron and his ambitious sister Yara. The Greyjoys boast access across the sea, and House Targaryen needs just that to conquer the Seven Kingdoms.
4 Stark - Winter is Coming
Right now, the Starks are struggling. But with head figures such as Ned and Rob destroyed, the likes of Jon, Sansa, Arya, Rickon, Bran and Benjen still live on to bring this house to glory once again. People with good hearts love the Starks, and are always willing to help them; this list includes Brienne, Sandor Clegane, Littlefinger and that's just scratching the surface. At the moment, the remaining Starks are plotting their revenge: Jon and Sansa will march on Winterfell to save Rickon (and take back their home), Bran has powers nobody else could possibly fathom and Arya is set to become a great assassin.
Their power exists in what has been, and what may come. They've commanded direwolves, they know more about the potential threats than anyone else and they're the protagonists of the series. Even George R.R. Martin must see the power in House Stark.
3 Lannister - Hear Me Roar!
They may shit gold and be hated throughout Westeros (and beyond), but they are a powerful bunch who seem to destroy their own name. Jaime lost a hand, Tyrion lost a nose and Cersei got a public shaming (and their powerful father was killed on a toilet), but this is a family that seeks and finds power. Tommen, despite being called a Baratheon, is a Lannister who sits upon the Iron Throne. His brother also sat the Iron Throne. The hand of the king is a Lannister. A councillor to Daenerys is a Lannister. They spread far and wide to inflict their influence on others, often bribing them with overflowing riches. With control of the Iron Throne and one of the largest armies in Westeros, they deserve a podium finish. The only knock on the Lannisters is their self-destruction.
Tommen is siding with the High Sparrow, Tyrion killed his parents, Jaime and Cersei continue their relationship, Lancel is part of the enemy...it's just not strong leadership.
2 Tyrell - Growing Strong
Their sheer amount of numbers in war, their current position in King's Landing and their depth of leadership push House Tyrell to second place. They rule a greater part of Westeros than most, they have the queen of the Iron Throne and dual influence on the King's Council. One only needed to see what they were willing to do against the High Sparrow when one of their own was threatened with a public shaming, and after all, the Lannisters didn't have the power to stop Cersei's march. Their lands are fertile, they have few enemies and Lady Olenna is always one step ahead of everybody else. Margaery has been married to multiple kings, demonstrating the worth other houses place on their power. When full-scale war hits the Seven Kingdoms, and dragons and white walkers clash with men, the allegiance of House Tyrell will help sway a victor.
1 Targaryen - Fire and Blood
They ruled with dragons, they were usurped, but with Daenerys ready to assault the Seven Kingdoms they are set for another rise. When discussing power, it is the Targaryens who rule the roost with fire and strength. When you have three dragons, a leader that can't be burned and another 'potential' leader in Jon Snow (if the rumours are true), you have the most powerful house in the Game of Thrones series, be it currently or previously. They've sat upon the Iron Throne for longer than any other house and currently have a Dothraki army preparing for another time of glory, so they remain to be the house all others compare themselves to when discussing power. There is even talk that Tyrion is a Targaryen, which would increase their power levels even further due to his slaying of the main Lannister. Time will tell all, but it cannot be denied that this house is the benchmark for power.