You get about ten minutes to celebrate in Westeros. Sure, maybe you defeated a seemingly unstoppable horde of undead ice zombies (and a blue-flame spouting dragon) but you aren’t going to get through dinner before more trouble starts brewing.

Everybody had a rough go of it this week. It was more like a Game of Owns, inasmuch as destiny (a very prevalent theme when one discusses Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s claims to the Iron Throne) owned all of our characters. Game of Owns, I say. Okay, let’s see who got hammered hardest.

5. Gendry

Fate served poor Gendry whiplash in Winterfell. Daenerys, feeling magnanimous, calls him out for being a secret bastard Baratheon. But there’s no harm in it; she dubs him Lord of Storm’s End. (A quick search of the ol’ Wiki of Ice and Fire states that the most recent Lord there was … Tommen, who last we saw, was a pile of hamburger on the cement beneath the Red Keep.)

This is awesome news for the young metalsmith. He can’t wait to race off and tell Arya, the gal who, you may recall, jumped his bones before last week’s battle. Barely putting down her bow and arrow, she offers up a polite smile. That’s great, Gendry, you’ll be a terrific Lord, now buzz off, she says, only a little more politely. She defeated the Night King, but had one more kill in her: Gendry’s heart!

4. Tormund

With victory all around him, Tormund Giantsbane is ready to get back to wooing “The Big Woman,” Ser Brienne of Tarth.

The first Female Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is playing some sort of truth or dare drinking game with Jaime, Podrick and Tyrion, and Tyrion brings up a question many of us have long wondered: Is she a virgin? Embarrassed, she calls the game off, but this ignites a passion inside of Jaime. We know he admires her, but does he like her in that way? (And does she feel the same?)

They pair off to go make love in front of a fireplace (one without a screen! be careful you two!) brushing past the mighty red-bearded wildling. Put Tormund’s heart on the pyre right there next to Gendry’s!

3. Brienne

Alas, Ser Brienne, unkillable on the battlefield, is completely unprepared for the world of love. She gets a roll in the hay with Jaime (“Huzzah!” shouted fans from both sides of the Narrow Sea) but it’s just a few days later that Jaime basically dumps her for ... ugh ... Cersei.

Yes, the woman he’s ostensibly pledged to dethrone and probably kill still has that creepy incestuous hold over him. Sure, sure, he mumbles something about trying to save the innocent civilians who will die if she and Daenerys really go head-to-head, but you know it and I know it – Jaime’s advancement on Brienne was a one night thing, and she’s left at the gates of Winterfell sobbing like I do when Halloween has ended and I can’t get Count Chocula at the supermarket for another 11 months. Tormund, Gendry, scoot over and make room for Brienne’s heart, too.

2. Daenerys

Khaleesi Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, Breaker of Chains, Haver of Major Headaches.

No one had a worse week than she did. First, it’s becoming clear that the people in the North only like her because Jon Snow says to like her. And only just barely. She’ll need a loyal North to maintain her reign over the Seven Kingdoms, but knowing that her lover-nephew (ew) Jon Snow has, let’s face it, as good if not a better claim to the Iron Throne than she does is giving her considerable pause.

Making matters worse, she is unable to convince him to keep his mouth totally shut about the newfound discovery of his parentage. (He needs to tell Arya and Sansa, he says, and when he does, there’s no telling what they’ll do.)

So this is in the back of her head when she decides to head down and breathe fire on Cersei Lannister. And guess what the conniving Queen has done while everyone else was drinking and fighting in the North? She’s built a whole mess of those giant dragon-killing crossbows. When Euron Greyjoy swings his ships around in a sneak attack – wham! - the bolts fly and hit Rhaegal. Right through the throat with blood everywhere! It’s terrible.

Even worse, when she finally goes to face Cersei (and Tyrion tries to talk sense to his sister) she has The Mountain slice off Missandei’s head. That was, like, her only friend. Bad week! The episode cut to black before we saw how she’ll respond.

1. Ghost

I take it back, though. There was one character who had an even worst time. (Well, other than Missandei, who, as I just mentioned, had her head sliced off.) Ghost, Jon Snow’s dire wolf, was treated worse than a dog.

As the would-be King in the North and current concubine to his Aunt-Queen heads down to King’s Landing he is all full of tumult. He’s told Arya and Sansa the truth (aha! I’m actually Aegon Targaryen – cue Bill Murray’s “that is one nutty fantasy realm”) and he suspects that Daenerys is not going to use restraint when it comes to taking the throne. He’s also getting grief from his sisters (and maybe a voice deep inside) that he ought to be the one in charge. He’d be the better leader, let’s be honest. But he doesn’t want to be the leader. He just wants the fighting to end and to be left alone.

The point is that his mind is going a hundred miles a minute and he basically abandons his faithful beast, Ghost, saying that Tormund should take him back to the land of the Free Folk. After all they’ve been through – from death to resurrection – Jon Snow walks away. And the look on the pooch’s face is the saddest thing in the entire series.


We’ve got two episodes left. I’d like to see some of our characters smile again. Or else it’ll be me looking hangdog and glum at the gate.

Gallery — The Best-Dressed Game of Thrones Characters:

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