Is there anything that can stand between Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and total victory?
That’s one of the biggest and fairest questions entering season seven of Game of Thrones, given the size of the army at the Mother of Dragons’ disposal. After spending the first several years of the show slowly amassing the loyalty of various different soldiers and cultures across Essos, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea (among other titles) is finally making her way across the Narrow Sea with the single most formidable army we’ve seen in Game of Thrones lore, the White Walkers notwithstanding.
Here’s an overview of the different people and parties who have thrown their lot in with Team Targaryen, ranked in order of their overall usefulness to the Breaker of Chains (who goes unranked, given that it’s her army. That being said, Daenerys is the best; it is known).
9. Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman)
The Second Sons commander and mercenary is hanging back in Meereen while Dany rides forth toward her destiny — an important role for sure, as his forces are largely responsible for maintaining peace in the area once known as Slaver’s Bay. But in terms of Dany’s conquest of Westeros? He’s not adding much to the equation.
8. Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
It wasn’t long ago that Daenerys cast out Jorah from her inner circle after finding out that he had sold secrets to the Robert Baratheon regime, but she experienced a change of heart after the Bear Islander risked life and limb to save her from Dothraki captivity. Shortly thereafter, Dany ordered Jorah to search for the cure for greyscale, the stony sickness currently ravaging his body. Jorah is confirmed to return this season, hopefully with a cure in tow; even if he remains ill, he’s a great candidate for a sacrifice play on his Khaleesi’s behalf.
7. Houses Martell and Tyrell
Both houses are at limited capacity right now, especially Highgarden, considering the wildfire assault that killed Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Loras (Finn Jones). In their wake, we’re left with the Queen of Thorns (Diana Rigg) without heirs but with lots of gold to spend, and she’s looking to spend it on fire and blood. Also in the vengeance game: Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), who along with the Sand Snakes wants nothing more than the Lannisters‘ heads on a silver platter. With their powers combined, they just might get their wish.
6. The Dothraki
Long ago, back when Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) was still alive, the Dothraki were set to sail across the Narrow Sea and bring the fight to the Seven Kingdoms. It took several seasons to fulfill that promise, but the time for these barbarians to set foot in Westeros is now at hand. It’s hard imagining how Dany (or anyone) will be able to rein in the worst of their violent tendencies, so it’s entirely possible the Dothraki will do more harm than necessary. But if pointed in the right direction …
5. The Unsullied
The highly trained soldiers first joined Dany’s cause after she freed them from slavery in Astapor. Ever since, they have been among the most loyal and talented warriors in her army — some botched battles with the Sons of the Harpy notwithstanding. With Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) as their commander, the Unsullied stand to do immense damage to the Westerosi who stand in their way.
4. The Iron Fleet
Without Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) and Theon showing up at Dany’s doorstep last season, we wouldn’t even be talking about the rightful Queen of Westeros sailing home to claim the throne. For that reason alone, the Iron Islanders deserve immense props for being the Game of Thrones equivalent of Uber, showing up just in the nick of time to ferry both Dany and viewers to the place we’ve wanted to go for going on seven seasons now.
3. Varys (Conleth Hill)
The so-called Spider is one of the best political operators in all of Thrones, moving through the shadows and making deals through information gathered by his “little birds.” He even forged the alliance between the Targaryens, Martells and Tyrells, a holy trinity of high-powered houses in the war against Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Varys‘ means justify his ends, and at Dany’s side, the man means business.
2. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
The only politician even more crucial to Dany’s cause is Tyrion. He’s already proven himself a highly successful Hand of the King, albeit one who had to work alongside a cruel and wicked boy king who never listened to anyone. Daenerys boasts a much more even-keeled temperament, and her natural leadership combined with Tyrion’s natural intelligence and wild imagination are among the most powerful combinations in all of Westeros. It doesn’t hurt that Tyrion knows Dany’s enemies intimately, considering they’re his family. Those trade secrets are destined to come in handy through season seven and beyond.
1. The Dragons
Without Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, Daenerys would not enter Westeros with the moniker “Mother of Dragons.” Intimidation is a huge part of her power, and the dragons provide it in spades. Also, they fly and breathe fire. No big deal. In both the war against the Lannisters and the greater war against the White Walkers, Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons just might be the single most valuable players on the board.
Learn even more about Daenerys Targaryen in the video below.
Game of Thrones returns July 16. Keep checking THR.com/GameOfThrones for news, interviews, theories and more.