Which Houses Are Still Standing on Game of Thrones? Here's What to Remember
When Game of Thrones first began, there were plenty of noble houses, large and small, vying for power and rearranging alliances. After a protracted war that has cost the lives of several powerful leaders, the political landscape of Westeros has been totally changed. For the most part, there are only a few houses left standing with characters we know and care about. Some houses have managed to come back from the brink of disaster, while the luck of several others has run out as we head into the final season.
Keeping track of all the developments can be exhausting, but we've got you covered! You can check out the status of all the current GOT houses ahead. See who's in power, who's in play, and who's down and out at last.
After suffering through devastating losses and separations for the bulk of the series, the noble House Stark has finally returned and become one of the last remaining players in the ongoing power plays of Westeros. Not only have the surviving Stark children reunited at Winterfell, but one of them has been revealed to be a linchpin character in Westerosi history.
With her brother/cousin Jon Snow away negotiating with Daenerys, Sansa takes over as Lady of Winterfell, her rightful position as the eldest surviving child of Ned Stark (after her brother Bran declined leadership). Her younger siblings Arya and Bran return as well, much to her joy. Despite the attempts of Petyr Baelish to divide the sisters and rule through Sansa, Arya and Sansa team up to reveal his treachery and execute him for his crimes. Jon pledges loyalty to Daenerys and is rewarded with Ned's old title of Warden of the North.
House Stark's deceased members, however, have the biggest reveal. It is revealed that Jon is half-Stark, but not the way everyone thought: he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Thus, he is currently the unwitting true heir to the Iron Throne — and has fallen in love with his biological aunt, Rhaegar's much-younger sister Daenerys.
House Lannister has ruled Westeros with an iron fist since the death of Robert Baratheon, but their grip has begun to weaken. Currently ruled by Cersei, who took the throne as queen regnant following the death of her children and father, the house has lost some of its key members to death and betrayals. Cersei reigns, with the support of her twin brother and on-and-off lover, Jaime, and while their army strikes a victory by wiping out House Tyrell, they are almost immediately obliterated by a surprise attack by the Targaryen army.
The three Lannister siblings have long been divided, usually with Tyrion on one side and Jaime and Cersei on the other. Tyrion is currently the hand of the queen to Daenerys Targaryen, to whom he has sworn fealty. After witnessing the deaths of his children and Cersei's betrayal of the agreement to ally with the North against the White Walkers, Jaime is disillusioned and departs for the North, presumably to ally with House Stark.
The claims of the ancient House Targaryen have only strengthened over time. Daenerys, who claims the title of Queen of Westeros, launches an invasion of the mainland after years spent building up her faction's strength. She gains the support of Jon Snow, in exchange for allowing him to mine dragonglass for the war against the White Walkers. Her armies defeat the Lannisters and Tullys in battle and bring their soldiers into her faction, but she also suffers the loss of her key Greyjoy allies, and one of her dragons is killed (then reanimated) by the White Walkers.
House Targaryen's biggest challenge is still to come, with the reveal that there is a previously unknown Targaryen heir: Aegon Targaryen, known for the past several seasons as Jon Snow. Samwell and Gilly discover that Rhaegar, Dany's late brother, had annulled his marriage with the intent to marry someone else. This knowledge means Jon is actually the trueborn heir of Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark, making him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. House Targaryen's incestuous past is also returning, albeit unknown to the participants: Jon and Dany have fallen in love, unaware they are biologically nephew and aunt.
Once the most promising of the smaller houses in Westeros, House Tyrell has officially gone extinct. After losing its heirs, Queen Margaery, Lord Mace, and Ser Loras, only the matriarch, Olenna Tyrell, remains. Knowing her bloodline is nearly extinct, Olenna allies with the Martells and later with the Greyjoys to support the claim of Daenerys Targaryen against the Lannisters who killed her family.
When the Tarlys betray the remaining Tyrells, their seat at Highgarden is sacked by Lannister forces, led by Jaime Lannister. Before her death, however, Olenna gets one final revenge on the Lannisters: she reveals to Jaime that she was the one who poisoned his son Joffrey and requests that he tell Cersei as well. If there are any surviving Tyrells, they would be very distant cousins who have never been mentioned or seen in the series.
The rulers of the Iron Islands, House Greyjoy has toggled back and forth a lot over time. Its current leader, Euron Greyjoy, is allied with House Lannister in the war, but its rebellious faction, led by his niece Yara, is loyal to Daenerys Targaryen.
After the reveal that the wights are real, Euron Greyjoy feigns fear and flees but really goes ahead to prepare the way for Cersei's army. Yara's fleet is ambushed by those loyal to her uncle Euron, and she is taken captive, though her brother Theon escapes. While she is paraded around as a captive, Theon rallies the remaining Greyjoy loyalists for a mission to rescue her.
The Dornish great house is legally extinct in the male line but not down and out just yet. Ellaria Sand, the "widow" of the late Prince Oberyn, brings their older daughters along and allies with Daenerys. However, when the Greyjoy fleet attacks, her daughters Obara and Nymeria are killed in battle, and she and her surviving daughter Tyene are captured. They're brought to Cersei Lannister, who takes the opportunity to take revenge for Ellaria's murder of her own daughter Myrcella: Cersei poisons Tyene in front of Ellaria, then leaves her chained up in the dungeon to watch her daughter's corpse decay.
House Martell's key players are all dead, but the bloodline is not totally extinct. Ellaria and Oberyn had several daughters, and only the three eldest were killed. It's unclear whether the younger girls will attempt to rescue their mother and avenge their house, or if House Martell's days as power players are over.
Like other once-powerful houses, House Baratheon is all but out of the picture. All its legal heirs are dead (and some of those heirs, such as Joffrey and Tommen, weren't even biologically Baratheons). So why do they still matter?
One word: Gendry. The young blacksmith who befriended Arya Stark long ago is the last known descendant of Robert Baratheon, although he's illegitimate. After disappearing for quite some time, Gendry escapes from Lannister territory and joins the Targaryen/Stark cause, bonding with Jon Snow in a parallel to their (supposed) fathers' friendship. Gendry joins the fight against the wights and is last seen returning safely from battle and sending a plea for backup to Daenerys.