…Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. It worked out just how he would have planned it!
It’s not terribly surprising that Littlefinger was the winner of this poll. Plenty of characters made missteps this seasons—Daenerys couldn’t pacify the locals, Cersei got herself thrown in jail, and Jon Snow dealt with some major dissension in his ranks—but Littlefinger achieved more or less all of his goals. He was already the Warden of the East when the season began, and by the end he was on his way to becoming the Warden of the North as well. In the meantime, he successfully manipulated Sansa, Roose Bolton, Cersei, and Lady Olenna into either giving him what he wanted or not doing something he didn’t want.
So no, I wasn’t surprised to see Littlefinger come out on top, or to see that the High Sparrow got quite a few votes for making the most of his newfound influence. I was a little surprised that Jon Snow was so close on Littlefinger’s heels.
Personally, I’m not sure anybody who ends the season stabbed to death by a group of his own underlings can rightly be said to have played the game of thrones well. However, WiC writer David Harris argued Jon’s case passionately, laying out how Jon secured the early support of both the Night’s Watchmen and the wildlings by training with the recruits in the yard, rejecting the title of Jon Stark, mercy-killing Mance Rayder, and brooking no arguments when Janos Slynt refused to follow an order. However, according to David, it was Jon’s Stark-like trustfulness that undid him.
While Jon started Season 5 somewhere board-adjacent, he slowly and surely strengthened his game. And just when things seemed to be coming up Jon, he allowed his blind trust in his fellow Night’s Watchmen to undue him. Had Jon properly managed his homecoming to the Wall, he would have been hailed as a hero and glasses would have been raised in his honor, instead of daggers in the dark.
Again, I feel like those daggers in the dark should have disqualified Jon from consideration, but David made his arguments cogently enough to win converts to his side. Or people were just going to vote for Jon anyway. Whichever.
This Friday, join us for our next discussion: Best Actor of Game of Thrones Season 5.