Note: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. The third episode of the current season of Game of Thrones promised to be an action-packed one, and it delivered. One day after the long-awaited Battle of Winterfell, fans are still raving over the sheer force and epitome of badass-ness that is Arya Stark, Wielder of Needle, Girl without a Name, Slayer of the Night King. What did she do? That. Arya did that!
However, Arya wasn't the only one carrying her weight in the battle; she had a little help from some friends along the way. And by some, I really mean some—not everyone was able to stand their ground against the Night King's army. Here, a definitive ranking of the power players in the Battle of Winterfell.
This probably goes without saying, but Arya is the true MVP of the Battle of Winterfell. Not gonna lie, I was terrified for her towards the middle of the episode—the wights had Arya running for her life through the halls of her childhood home—but our girl came out on top! Nothing but respect for my true Warden of the North.
(special shoutout to Syrio Forel and Jaqan for their mentorship)
What were you doing at age 10? Probably being annoying and hiding your Lisa Frank diary from your little brother or something. Lyanna can't relate; she was too busy leading House Mormont and KILLING A ZOMBIE GIANT to play M.A.S.H. with her friends. Lil mama may have been tiniest soldier at Winterfell, but she also happened to have the most courage. Rest in peace, baby girl.
We may have been rooting for his downfall, but facts are facts: the Night King did that. His strategy for taking down Winterfell was almost flawless, from the particularly genius defensive tactic of letting the Dothraki charge at his army to his aggressive utilization of his ice dragon. However, the Night King got sloppy towards the end, and Arya was able to take him out in one swift motion. Even magic couldn't help him—valor morgulis, baby.
Have you ever put your well-being on the line for a job that has terrible hours and little to no employee benefits? Grey Worm has. The leader of the Unsullied really went through it, fighting off thousands of wights for a group of people who have been treating him and his girlfriend like crap since they arrived. If he makes it out of the Long War alive, Grey Worm should definitely make good on that vacation time. I'm thinking Aruba.
I personally have not been a fan of Theon since he betrayed House Stark back in season two, but even I can admit that the man played his role in this fight. Tasked with protecting Branin the Godswood, Theon fought a good fight, even making a last ditch attempt to slay the Night King before meeting his own end. Ya did well, kid.
Fun fact: If you look up "clutch" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Melisandre. The Red Priestess really did what she had to do in more ways than one. She set the swords of the Dothraki ablaze (yes, they were snuffed out instantly, but that's not the point), she lit the trenches of Winterfell (so what if the wights put the fire out?), and her last minute speech to Arya led to what was arguably the most spectacular scene in Game of Thrones history.
Brienne and Jaime valiantly fought side by side throughout the entire battle, and even as they faced off with the wights, they made sure to have each other's back. Could your relationship survive a zombie apocalypse? Didn't think so. #Braime forever.
After being resurrected six times, it looks like Beric's light has finally been snuffed out for the last time. The leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners saved Arya from certain death by doing his best to distract a throng of bloodthirsty wights, proving that the Lord of Light definitely had a plan for his life.
Let me tell you something: the brothers of the Night's Watch aren't afraid to get down and dirty on the battlefield. Eddison fought valiantly against the zombie army and even took a blade in the back for Samwell Tarly. His watch has officially ended.
Daenerys' self-appointed bodyguard fulfilled his duties to the very end when he was cut down by a mass of wights trying to protect his Queen. Ser Jorah's death marked the official end of House Mormont. *pours out a 40*
I love Jon as much as the next person, but WTF was my guy up to in the first half of this fight? He spent much of the battle in the air, struggling to ride Rhaegal through the clouds (lol at Viserion mollywhopping his brothers in the sky), but when he touched down on the ground, Jon got his groove back. He wiped out a group of wights and even ran up on ice Viserion towards the end. Gotta love that Stark bravery.
(points deducted for the terrible tactical strategy)
The Hound is known to be a killing machine, but his childhood trauma (his brother burned his face when he was a kid) almost got the best of him while facing the wights at Winterfell. He was able to mow down a number of ice zombies until he came across some flames, triggering his PTSD and causing him to be paralyzed with fear. When the Hound realized that Arya was in danger, he sprung back into action.
Bran didn't do much during the fight except warg into a murder of crows to spy on the Night King while people were getting KILLED , so I can't consciously rank him too high on this list. However, the Three-Eyed Raven did preemptively gift Arya with the Valyrian steel dagger that would take down the Night King and prevent the long night, so...there's that. Thanks, I guess?
Just in case you needed more proof that Daenerys probably isn't fit to sit on the Iron Throne, look no further than her poor performance in combat. When Daenerys wasn't squinting through the clouds with Jon, she was on the ground, allowing Drogon to get attacked by wights. She did manage to fight back a few of the undead, but for the most part, Dany does not have the range. Is this your Dragon Queen?
(+2 for bringing two dragons to the battle -1 for putting Drogon in danger)
For a person who was talking a lot of noise right before the bloodbath began ("I was the first to kill a White Walker!"), Sam was definitely one of the weaker links of the Battle of Winterfell. We didn't see much of him, but whenever we did spot Sam, he was busy screaming bloody murder. Not his finest moment.