Who run the world? Well, girls, obvi. That’s true both in the real world and in Westeros. While the men seemed to have the power in earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, the last few seasons have rightly course corrected and the power dynamics are now more female friendly, which is even more reason to cheer about the most epic series of TV ever. From Cersei Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen to Sansa and Arya Stark to Yara Greyjoy, it doesn’t matter who is wearing a crown or sitting on an Iron Throne or dragon: they’re all queens. Almost every Game of Thrones house is now led by a woman, which has been an amazing transformation to watch over the past eight years. But as Game of Thrones heads into the final season, premiering April 14, which house is the most powerful?
To answer that question, we have to rank the houses by their most powerful living members. Of course, this order (and the status of the living members!) will all change soon, when the Season 8 premiere begins as beloved and powerful characters lose their standings (or their lives). But while the rankings will be in constant flux until the very last scene of the series finale ends, let's consider what happened in season 7 and get our bearings now before the madness begins.
1. House Targaryen
Right now, the most powerful house in Westeros is House Targaryen. Daenerys Targaryen has two giant dragons who obey her every command. She has the alliances and loyalty of the Kingdom of the North. She has many powerful men and women ready to die for her. She also knows the real threat is that of the Night King and not some petty fight for the Iron Throne (that will come later once they’ve defeated the army of the undead, of course). She’s got her priorities in check and now she’s romantically linked to Jon Snow (although she doesn’t know he’s actually her nephew… ew). The odds are likely that not only will Dany make it out of Season 8 alive, but she’ll also probably end up on the Iron Throne. No guarantees of course, but House Targaryen is at least starting off the final season as the most powerful house in Westeros.
2. House Stark
The house with the most living members currently, House Stark has survived a lot to get to where they are today. Jon Snow (now a confirmed Targaryen as well as a Stark) is at Daenerys Targaryen’s side (and bed) in their fight against the Night King. His sister Sansa Stark is the Warden of the North, with Arya Stark at her side. Bran Stark is the Three-Eyed Raven, arguably with the most power of anyone as he can see the past, present and future and can warg into people and animals. He might even be the Night King, but that theory has yet to be proven. The only reason why House Stark isn’t the most powerful house is because they’ve sworn their fealty and bent the knee to House Targaryen. But things could change in Season 8.
3. House Lannister
Cersei believes she’s the most powerful being in Westeros. And why shouldn’t she? She’s sitting pretty on the Iron Throne, wearing the crown, pregnant with another heir and the head of the richest family left standing in Westeros. She’s got the Golden Company mercenaries on their way to fight for her. All she needs to do is kill Daenerys Targaryen and she’ll be fine. But she’s just lost her most trusted ally in her twin brother Jaime who has left her in disgust over her refusal to abandon her war against Daenerys even after the Night King’s threat was confirmed at the King’s Landing parley in the season 7 finale. Jaime is riding north to join Jon Snow and Dany in the fight against the Night King’s army of the undead, leaving Cersei all alone. Well, she’s not totally alone, since she has her Frankenstein-like bodyguard The Mountain at her side at all times. But Cersei’s grip on power is tenuous and slipping. Season 8 is going to be make-it-or-break-it for House Lannister.
4. House Greyjoy
The power that House Greyjoy holds at the moment is totally unstable. The house is currently divided in two. The first faction is led by Lord Reaper of Pyke aka Euron Greyjoy, who has sided with Cersei Lannister in the fight for the Iron Throne. He believes he will marry Cersei and rule Westeros, and thus isn’t all that concerned about the Night King’s invasion. He’s currently helping Cersei plot to attack Daenerys’ forces with the Golden Company mercenaries. However, the other faction is led by siblings Yara and Theon Greyjoy, who have allied themselves and their followers with House Targaryen. Euron seems to have decimated their forces, and Yara is currently held captive in King’s Landing by the Lannisters, but Theon has rallied what remains of their followers to rescue Yara. Both factions of the Greyjoys have power and their battle against each other will be brutal in the final season. However it’s unlikely that any Greyjoy will ultimately sit on the Iron Throne. Euron might try to take it but there’s no way he’ll outsmart Cersei.
5. House Arryn
Young Robyn Arryn is the current head of House Arryn and Lord of the Eyrie, but as we’ve seen in previous seasons, he’s not exactly the most stable or noble or knowledgable boy. He’s so young, and was still breastfeeding from his mother long past when it was appropriate to stop. He also blindly followed his stepfather Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, who served as his Lord Protector until Robyn became of age. Since Littlefinger was just executed by Arya Stark in the Season 7 finale, Robyn will be forced to step up into his leadership role. But at last check-in, the Arryns were in support of the Starks and became a part of the Kingdom of the North, so they’re not formidable. They’re just a great ally for the Starks and Targaryens… and also good fodder, if need be.
6. House Baratheon
As bad as the Tullys have it (more on that in a bit), the Baratheons have had it much, much worse. House Baratheon is actually considered “legally extinct” ever since Stannis Baratheon’s death, as his brothers Renly and Robert were killed before him. And former King Robert’s “children” were proven to be Lannisters, as Jaime was their real father thanks to his “twincest” with twin sister Cersei, thus ending the bloodline there … officially. But there is one living member of House Baratheon still standing: Gendry, one of Robert’s last living bastards. That makes Gendry the unofficial Lord of House Baratheon, and he has the ability to bring the lineage back from extinction if he makes it out of Season 8 alive and gets the ruler of Westeros to legitimize his claim to his family line. Seeing as how Gendry has survived so many impossible situations before, like rowing for his life and running all the way from north of The Wall to Castle Black, the odds are good that Gendry is going to save his house before the series ends for good. The Baratheons are down, but they’re not out!
7. House Tully
House Tully definitely isn’t doing so hot. The family has been destroyed by the war for the Iron Throne. The current head of House Tully is Lord Edmure Tully, who has been a captive of the Lannisters for multiple seasons ever since the Red Wedding (yes, really, it’s been that long!). He lost Riverrun to the Freys, and despite Arya Stark massacring the Freys in revenge, Edmure hasn’t been seen and is still presumably being held captive by the Lannisters. The Tullys have no power and hopefully will be avenged in the final season, but they don’t pose a threat to any other houses in higher standing.
8. House Tyrell
Unlike House Baratheon, which has the chance to come back from extinction, House Tyrell is officially dead with no chance for resuscitation. It’s really that bad. The last living Lady of House Tyrell was Olenna, who died in season 7 when Jaime Lannister gave her poison and she drank it knowingly, as there was no hope left for her survival. She was stubborn, but she wasn’t stupid and knew dying on her own terms was her only option. But at least she went out with the perfect mic drop, confessing to killing Joffrey at his own wedding. And with former Lord Mace, Loras, and Margaery Tyrell all dying in the wildfire explosion of the Great Sept of Baelor, there are no more living Tyrells to bring the House back to glory. Without debate, House Tyrell is the least powerful going into the final season, and no matter how much the other rankings shift in Season 8, they will always be at the bottom.
And we won't know where the others' permanent places are until Game of Thrones wraps in May. Godspeed, everyone.