Last week on Game Of Thrones, Stannis made a decision, Arya saw a familiar face, and Dany took flight. This week on the season finale, Sansa took a leap, Jaime had a talk, Brienne ran into a familiar face, and Jon investigated a lead. GOT is all about how people jockey for power, so click through for our SPOILER-FILLED season five Game Of Thrones Power Rankings.

Game Of Thrones Power Rankings, Week 10

1. Jon Snow Is Dead: Admit it. It's over. There was no ambiguity about what happened: the Night's Watch betrayed him, took turns stabbing him like Caesar. After weeks of giving the stink eye, that little shit Olly (ok ok, I know his parents and friends from Mole's Town were brutally killed by Thenns, but c'mon) went full-Brutus. It was powerful. The camera didn't avert its gaze. We watched the life drain from Jon Snow's eyes in the snow.

Actor Kit Harrington was posed the question by EW: Is Jon really dead? This doesn't sound very ambiguous:

This is my understanding of it. I had a sit-down with Dan and David, we did the Tony Soprano walk [letting an actor know they’re being whacked]. And they said, “Look, you’re gone, it’s done.” And as far as the salary thing goes, that angered me when that story came out. I don’t know where it came from, but it was inaccurate in many ways. It’s going to put questions into your head and into fans’ heads that things are not what they are. Quite honestly, I have never been told the future of things in this show, but this is the one time I have. They sat me down and said, “This is how it is.” If anything in the future is not like that, then I don’t know about it - it’s only in David and Dan and George’s heads. But I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really.

Harrington will talk to anyone with a microphone about how very dead Jon Snow is: "It's like I've been sitting on this big fucking secret," he told Vulture. "I've had to watch what I say, but it's a big moment, it's a beautiful ending, and it's how I wanted to go." Oh, but maybe he meant this is how he wanted to go to end the fifth season. That's possible, right?

Harington is less sentimental now: "Jon dies," he said with a grin. "It's final. He's dead."


"Yeah, they went that way," Harington laughed, grabbing a handful of M&Ms. "They're going to have to stick with the books to some extent, you know? And this is Game of Thrones. This is the most depressing TV show in history. I mean, it's kind of crushing that in episode eight, they build Jon up to be the hero. He finally gets this heroic moment, and the world watching Thrones goes, 'Ah! Hope!' And then... dashed. I know. It sucks," he laughed. "Right?"

LOLOL who wouldn't laugh at that right now. Okay, but maybe you won't believe it until he utters those words to a newspaper like the Daily News:

“I had wanted it to be a beautiful death, a release,” he says. “But they way it unfolded, it was a huge betrayal and a gruesome death. It was an abrupt and brutal finish with no absolutely no peace for Jon in the end.”


“I'm quite dead,” he says with a flourish of his black fur cape. “It's over for Jon Snow — at the very least, he gets to join his family and kin and leave this terrible world behind.”

WITH A FLOURISH OF HIS BLACK FUR CAPE, what more do you people want?? Do you need to hear it straight from the showrunner's mouth? Because here you go, also via EW:

When asked point-blank of Snow is firmly gone—as in, is actor Kit Harington released from his Thrones contract?—showrunner Dan Weiss told EW, “Dead is dead.”

“We would hope that after seeing the scene and the way it’s shot that the answer to that will be unambiguous in the minds of the people watching it,” Weiss explained. “It should be pretty clear what happens in by the time you’re done seeing that scene. It’s not an, ‘Oh what just happened scene?’”

There is no equivocating, there is no bargaining, there is no denial. Jon Snow is deader than the dodo. He's deader than the subway token. He's deader than Mel Gibson's career.

What more is there to say? Jon Snow is dead.

2. Jon Snow Is Not Dead: BUT WAIT! Because really, like Jon Snow himself, we know nothing. When the season finale ended, we were already guaranteeing that he would be back next year, even though it goes against the whole "dead is dead" statement. It's hard not to want to believe in magical do-overs when magic really exists in this world. Fans certainly are freaking out about this.

One could easily parse through that EW interview and notice little things like (emphasis mine), "But I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really." There's a lot of wiggle room in those phrases if one wants wiggle room.

Could Harrington and the showrunners be playing a very dangerous long con this offseason in the hopes of shocking the audience with his resurrection next year (or perhaps in season seven)? We don't want to go all King Of Limbs II on you...but yes, yes they could be. Harrington, for example, has been making a big deal in all these post-mortem interviews about cutting his hair, as some sort of physical emblem that Jon Snow is gone (his watch, and his locks, have ended). But there have also been rumors popping up that he has been seen filming in Belfast (in a full beard). HMM.

There are more compelling reasons fans might not believe this is the last we'll see of Snow: the show went out of its way to point out that Melisandre, who happens to follow a god who is very comfortable with resurrections, was back at Castle Black just in time for the stabbing. Pretty convenient timing, aye?

Vanity Fair has compiled a lot of the prevailing theories about why Jon has to live, HE HAS TO LIVE, like the fact that he might be the messiah Azor Ahai (Melisandre previously thought Stannis was Azor Ahai). You couldn't get a more dramatic comeback than Jon returning in the final season to lead the living against the dead: "When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone." In the books there are other signs, like when Melisandre says, "I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai and R’hllor shows me only snow."

There's the possibility he could be resurrected by the Night's King! There's the theory that he could have warged into Ghost before he died! There's the fact that the show has been hinting about his birth parents, and the very popular fan theory involved with that.

And then there's this quote, which George R.R. Martin said to EW in 2011 regarding Jon's fate in the book after the stabbing: “Oh, you think he’s dead, do you? My readers should know better than to take anything as gospel.” A few months ago, he was re-asked the question, and Martin responded, "If there’s one thing we know in A Song of Ice and Fire is that death is not necessarily permanent."

Then again, even with all this, the castmembers are all treating this (in public) like it's a done deal— for example, John Bradley (who plays Samwell Tarly) threw cold water on the four most popular Jon Snow theories with Vulture, in what feels like a very odd way of getting in front of any rumors.

At the end of the day, it feels completely off killing him now. Unlike with Robb Stark or Stannis, there is a lot more story to be told with Jon—especially since he has been built up as an intrinsic part of the ultimate battle against the White Walkers.

But if he really is gone, we'll truly miss his one face.

3. Duets: The giant set-pieces from recent weeks have been some of the most memorable in the history of the show—from Drogon swooping down into the fighting pits of Meereen to Shireen burning at the stake to the massive massacre at Hardhome. But at the end of the day, as fun and satisfying (and long-in-the-making) as these scenes are, they are the cherries on top.

Just like it was in the first season, the show is still its best when it gets two characters in a room and lets them talk shit out. Think of that amazing High Sparrow/Queen of Thorns confrontation or Tyrion bickering & bonding with Jorah earlier this season. Think of Robert Baratheon and Cersei talking about Lyanna Stark in King's Landing, Tyrion verbally sparring with his father at the Small Council, Varys and Littlefinger trading barbs by the Iron Throne. Think of Tyrion and Dany sizing each other up a few weeks ago. Good scenes always come in twos, whether it's Brienne standing over a defeated Stannis, Reek grabbing Sansa's hand, or Myrcella having a heart-to-heart with her uncle/dad.

So we're grateful that season six has plenty of strong pairings already in store for us: Reek and Sansa on the run in the North (assuming they survived that fall, which we are willing to assume for now), Daario 2.0 and Ser Friendstone, Cersi and Zombie Mountain. Who knows, maybe we'll even get Bran and Tree Wizard!

4. Adorably Lazy Dragons: Maybe lazy is the wrong word. Maybe Drogon is just tired from flying, maybe he needs to recover from being injured in the fighting pits, maybe he's cranky from having Dany riding him all day, maybe all those lambs gave him a food coma. Or maybe he's just a big old kitty cat and he just doesn't want to deal with your shit anymore, Mom.

5. Dany Dothraki: We're not entirely up-to-date on the latest Dothraki customs, but that Dothraki horde swraming is a friendly gesture, right? We know Dany dropped the ring to leave behind something to help her people find her, but something tells us the Dothraki aren't the most enlightened people when it comes to second marriages.

Also, do the fields of Essos look a lot like Ireland (...or New Zealand?) or what!

6. Here's To A Full Season Of Tyrion Bantering With Varys: "A grand old city, choking on violence, corruption and deceit. Who could possibly have any experience managing such a massive ungainly beast?" "I did miss you." "Oh, I know." Varys is the Han Solo of Westeros.

7. High Sparrow: Yeah, well, enjoy your power and your high ranking as long as you can, because guess what? Everyone in King's Landing is an asshole. Which means eventually, they're going to be assholes to you too, buddy.

8. Brienne Of Motherfucking Tarth: Automatic bump thanks to the 15 second Pod cameo (and [unconfirmed] Stannis slaying).

9. Cersei's Walk Of Shame: The Queen Regent started off season five at the top of the totem pole in King's Landing (and in the Power Rankings), the spiritual heir to her father, the most powerful woman in all of Westeros. But even that success couldn't ease her bitterness, paranoia and ruthlessness, which led to increasingly reckless political maneuvers, like empowering the High Sparrow and his merry band of religious fanatics.

She severely underestimated their zealotry (and overestimated her own abilities to control them), which is why she found herself begging for forgiveness at the feet of the High Sparrow. What came next was the definition of overkill—aka the High Sparrow attempting to send a message to all the royals who thought they were exempt from the laws of the gods. Actress Lena Headey summed up the ugliness of the situation to EW:

“I don’t think anyone deserves that treatment,” Headey says. “She’s been beaten and starved and humiliated. She thinks when she comes out and confesses that this is it—even when she’s on her knees [confessing to the High Sparrow], she’s partly lying. She thinks she’s good to go. She has no idea what’s coming when she walks out to the steps, or that they’re shave her hair off like Aslan.”

Who would have thought that out of everyone in King's Landing, Cersei finds that her closest ally is the necromancer (and all around creepy dude) Qyburn—and her best chance for revenge will likely be provided by the newly-zombiefied The Mountain.

10. Sam The Slayer: "I'm glad the end of the world is working out well for someone."

11. Vengeance: Generally speaking, it usually serves as a powerful, driving force for our main characters (and stories), but everyone who chose the path of vengeance pretty much fucked up well-and-good this week. Brienne chooses to go after Stannis rather than wait for Sansa's signal; Arya chooses to stab Meryn Trant's eyes out rather than poison the Thin Man as she was tasked; and the Night's Watchmen betray Jon Snow because they think they are avenging their dead brothers (and protecting the living ones) against the leader who opened the gates for the Wildings.

And the audience is implicated as well—first in the gruesome scene of Arya mutilating Trant, then in Cersei's literal walk of shame. For five seasons, we've watched the seemingly untouchable Cersei threaten and murder anyone who displeases her; her biggest adversary has never been the Tyrells or Tryion, it's always been her self-loathing, paranoia, and desire to please her father (which are, unsurprisingly, all intertwined). We saw the writing on the wall in the season premiere that Cersei was finally getting her comeuppance this season, but now that it's was so much worse than we could have imagined. We all wanted to see her to get some payback, but this was way worse than anyone (not named Ramsay Bolton) deserves.

12. Arya & The Face-Shifting Assassin Monks Who Speak In The Third Person: Faces are as good as poison to anyone who is not yet no one. Which is a very confusing way of saying HOLY SHIT Arya poked an evil pedophile's eyes out and now she is blind. The gods have a weird sense of justice.

But what we really want to talk about is this ode to Jaqen H'ghar, the man who sweeps the fl'r.

13. Jaime's Very Brief Brush With Fatherhood: The leather jacket embodiment of a C+ got to experience at most five minutes of paternal bliss before his daughter was murdered by poison from Ellaria Sand (delivered by one super awkward kiss). On the plus side, this gives the whole Sand Snakes/Bronn jailhouse confrontation a tiny bit more meaning; on the down side, it also means Dorne will continue to be involved next year.

14. Melisandre's Incredibly Misdirected Libido: Last week we noted that after she convinced Stannis to sacrifice Shireen, we wanted to see "her entire belief system exposed as a sham...[and for] her to regret her devotion to a fire god who expects human sacrifices." Abandoning Stannis while her eyes practically bulged out of her face was certainly a very good start, although we sure as shit are hoping she is channeling Thoros of Myr next time we see her.

15. R.I.P. The Season Of Stannis: After all that bloodmagic and brooding, at least he got to go out honorably (and stubbornly, considering the fact that he dragged his very outmatched men into a slaughter at the hands of the Boltons).

Then again, with what happened to Shireen (and Renly, and all the other competitors to the throne), maybe it was a more noble death than he deserved at this point. It is fitting that he was (apparently) slain by Brienne, someone who has never been tempted from her personal moral code. And certainly, "Go on, do your duty" is the perfect encapsulation of Stannis. But we never do see the fatal blow administered, leaving us with a significantly ambiguous moment, especially considering how Game of Thrones does not shy away from depicting graphic violence.

The Viserys Targaryen Memorial Least Powerful Person Of The Week Award: There were so many big deaths (and presumed deaths) this week, but pedophile Meryn Trant definitely goes out in the most intense, eye-popping manner. We have to give a very sad honorable mention to Ser Davos, who missed his one chance to save Shireen, and looked utterly devastated after seeing Melidandre's face.

The Ser Pounce Memorial Most Powerful Pet Of The Week Award: We spent a good amount of time quietly mumbling, "But where's Ghost???" during Jon's final scene. Considering his absence, Drogon seems like the next natural option, but he was a pretty benign flesh-munching dragon this week. Instead, we think LeDrogon James will have to do.

The Benjen Stark Award For Most Devious Use Of The Previously On GOT Teaser What were you thinking when you saw the long lost Benjen Stark—Ned's brother, Jon's uncle, first ranger of the Night's Watch, vaguely elfin-looking dude from season one who we vaguely remember, the one-and-only MacGuffin Stark—pop up during our beloved Previously On GOT teaser? Because we were convinced we were in for some pretty wild shit, possibly involving the White Walkers or magic of some sort. Alas, it was a complete psych-out, intended to trick the audience as much as it was meant to trick Jon Snow into walking into a deadly trap. We are really wondering now whether he'll ever show up again in the army of the dead.

Return To Cookie Mountain (In Honor Of The Return Of The Mountain) TV On The Radio performed a dub-tinged variation on the theme song in Australia last week.

Eyebrow Raise Of The Season: Make that eyebrow raise of the year. Actually, make that eyebrow raise of the century. God bless Grand Maester Pycelle. You aren't necessarily our favorite cockroach, but you are certainly the horny louse we deserve.

White Walker, Texas Ranger

The Season Six Teaser That Is Going To Drive Us Nuts For The Next 10 Months: In an interview with Yahoo, VFX supervisor Joe Bauer and prosthetics supervisor Barrie Gower talked about bringing Drogon and the battle of Hardhome to life this season. They also teased something that was cut from seasons four and five...

Gower was much more cryptic about a mind-blowing VFX challenge that fans will see in Season 6… probably. “Benioff and Weiss, when they write the outline each year, for last two years, we got to this one point and we read this one gag and thought 'Oh my God, how the hell are we going to do that? But this is going to be incredible!’ And then it got pulled and we didn’t do it in Season 4,” says Gower. “And then, lo and behold, in Season 5 there it was again. And it’s pulled again! But now, in Season 6, it looks like we’re going to do it. Fingers crossed they won’t chicken out.”

Episodic Power Rankings, Season Five Edition:

10. Unbowed Unbent Unbroken, 5.6: Wherein we had to endure Sansa getting raped by Ramsay Snow AND a completely lame battle with the Sand Snakes.
9. The House Of Black And White, 5.2: Wherein Arya starts training to be an assassin monk and we get our first glimpse of Dorne.
8. The Sons Of The Harpy, 5.4: Wherein Jon Snow resisted Melisandre and Ser Barristan made his last stand.
7. The Wars To Come, 5.1: Wherein Cersei got the first GOT flashback ever and Jon Snow put an arrow through Mance Rayder's heart before he burned to death.
6. High Sparrow, 5.3: Wherein King Tommen got laid (a lot) and we met the High Sparrow.
5. Kill The Boy, 5.5: Wherein Jorah and Tyrion traveled through Valyria and Khaleesi got engaged.
4. The Gift, 5.7: Wherein the High Septon arrested Cersei and Tyrion finally met Dany.
3. Mother's Mercy, 5.10: Wherein Stannis, Myrcella and Jon Snow all (seemingly) died.
2. The Dance Of Dragons, 5.9: Wherein Stannis sacrificed his daughter and Dany rode Drogon.
1. Hardhome, 5.8: Wherein we witnessed the White Walker massacre at Hardhome.

Rickon Watch 2015: Is Rickon Still On This Show? As a wise Baltimore city council member once put it, the game is rigged, but you cannot lose if you do not play. Rickon has been playing the long con this whole time—he might not be playing the game, but he's always there, in the background of every scene, hiding inside a tree trunk or kneeling behind a rotting carcass. He exists in every river and in every flayed body. He'll bide his time and watch the various royal families engage in mutually-assured destruction, and then he'll swoop in.

You think it's just a coincidence that Rickon disappeared right around when shit hit the fan at the Red Wedding? He is Toshiro Mifune. He is The Man With No Name. He is the Corn Moon.

Way Beyond The Wall: The notable absentees from the finale mostly come from King's Landing: Tommen, Queen of Thorns, Littlefinger, Margaery and Loras Tyrell. It's especially shocking that we barely saw Littlefinger or Margaery in the second half of the season.

Now to our regular absentees: no Previously On GOT Replay Of Joffrey Baratheon's Death, Previously On GOT Ghost Of Ned Stark's Manbun, or Pirate Of Stannis Salladhor Saan. There was obviously no Bran/Hodor/Tree Wizard (duh), no distant Tully relatives (Edmure, Blackfish), no random Iron Islands folks (Yara), and no Brotherhood Without Banners. We do remember who Hot Pie and Gendry are, but we only sorta remember what they look like.

Thanks again for reading and commenting all season. Until season six, practice humming the theme song with your friends.