What is power? (A Song of Ice and Fire)

Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”

“So power is a mummer’s trick?”

“A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”


As Season 8 ended in a blur of blood and disappointment, I started thinking about how great the show was and the question that plagued most of my years watching the show.

Who was the most powerful character and why?

Some can argue that people who control something have the power. Control countries, access to resources, access to travel means and ability to kill.

Euron Greyjoy can be argued to be powerful. He is the king of the Iron Islands, second in command to the queen of the Seven Kingdoms and the captain of the largest and most powerful fleet on all the seas. He controls the seas around the small island and his fleet, much like the viking fleet of old, can be used to drive fear in the souls of men.

wp1870516Tyrion Lannister has always been someone with a lot power derived from his family’s status and wealth but never been able to use it.

His main strength comes from cunning and wit and his insight into things – but at the end of the day, he was used as a tool and did not manage to rise to power  and be an absolute ruler.

He’s very similar in that aspect to Little Finger and Varys, who, through his vast network of spies in two continents and in every army in Westeros can control access to one very valuable asset: information.


Cersei: A Lannister pays his debts.
Pycelle: The Braavosi have a saying too. The Iron Bank will have its due, they say

One can also argue that the Bank of Braavos is the most powerful in A Game of Thrones. When Cersei refuses to pay her outstanding debts, the Iron Bank begins calling in outstanding debts from all over the Seven Kingdoms and refusing all new loans, causing economic chaos throughout Westeros.

Daenerys-Targaryen-daenerys-targaryen-34863365-2362-3543.jpgDaenerys Stormborn holds two of the most powerful and dangerous armies in Essos, has powerful allies in Westeros, two ginormous dragons, an immense fleet and the most powerful last name in the world. I may not like her, but damn you don’t mess with Daenerys, she’s scarily unstoppable.


Surprisingly, The Night King character exists in the books. The Night King is a creation of show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, probably designed to make the White Walkers a more imposing and frightening force. In the books, unlike on the show, the White Walkers have remained, for the most part, an off-page threat. That’s not to say that won’t change, or that a Night King will never exist in the books — as fans know, Martin has been working on the next book in the series for a long time, and the show has eclipsed the series for the past two seasons. There’s still a chance the Night King will appear in the next written instalment.

Still, up until season 8, he was one of the most powerful forces in the kingdom. His army of the undead and resurrected, his ability to scour a battlefield and gather more soldiers, his ice dragon and his lack of needs (no need for shelter, food, water or rest), would have made him the ruler of Westeros in no time.

But hey, he got jumped and he fell out of the final race.

He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night’s Watch, [Old Nan] said; a warrior who knew no fear. ‘And that was the fault in him,’ she would add, ‘for all men must know fear.’


There’s an increasingly popular fan theory out there that Bran Stark is really the Night King. And, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Both are super creepy and have no personality. But jokes aside, people really seem to think that it’s possible Bran got trapped warging into the Night King’s body when he tried to stop the Children of the Forest from making White Walkers in the first place. But we all know nothing happens in Game of Thrones without George R.R. Martin’s OK.

This kid despite being no heir to any power and a cripple holds more power than all of the high lords and ladies of Westeros. Why? Because he can see absolutely everything. He knows everything that is going on, present, past and future and with that knowledge he will prove himself to be one of the most powerful people in the wars to come.

We have a winner I think, even though it’s not one I agree with

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