Contrary to popular belief, the winner of Game of Thrones' epic battle for the Iron Throne will not be decided on the battlefield, or by who has the most dragons, or who blows up whom with Wildfire. It will be decided by one thing and one thing only — perfect hair.
"What a weird way to determine who will rule over an entire fictional land full of attractive and flawed but equally fictional characters who probably should look into other forms of government," you might say! Well, that's incredibly close-minded, I say. Maybe you should try to think outside the box for once. After all, how one styles their hair says a lot about them. Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) man bun, for instance, says he's practical — it keeps the hair out of his eyes — but it also reveals he's probably not to be trusted with really important decisions and should maybe listen to Sansa (Sophie Turner) more, because you know she has thoughts on this horrible development.
So with only a few days until Game of Thrones returns for Season 7, we're breaking down whose locks have what it takes to take the crown. Each hairstyle is graded on style, practicality in Westeros and a special, personalized category. Let's get to it!
Daenerys Targaryen, Impossibly Curled Wig Warrior
All hail Daenerys Stormborn (Emilia Clarke) of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, and Keeper of the Braided, Flame-Retardant Coiffure
Style: 10 / Practicality: 7 / Ability to Withstand Fire: 10
Cersei Lannister, Lord of the Pageboys
Cersei's (Lena Headey) beautiful waves, complex braids and complicated twists that defied logic once ruled the Seven Kingdoms with commanding ease. They were a sign of her strength, beauty and power. However, the queen's long locks were shorn off to strip her down to her most vulnerable state in Season 5. Since then her hair has slowly grown out from the "My Toddler Found Some Scissors While I Was Sleeping" stage. The twist, of course, is that this shorter-haired version of Cersei is a more terrifying and determined ruler than her long-haired predecessor. And honestly, as long as the crown fits, we're not sure it matters what it's sitting atop.
Style: 2 / Practicality: 6 / Special Circumstance: 9
Jon Snow, Man Bun Enthusiast
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) may not put much effort into styling his longer locks, but he appears to be well aware of the importance of grooming his facial hair. His meticulously trimmed beard, while not the fullest in Westeros, effectively cancels out the questionable addition of a man bun in Season 6.
Style: 8 / Practicality: 8 / Facial Hair: 8
Littlefinger, Devoted Product Peddler
Littlefinger's (Aidan Gillen) look reveals a lot about the slippery wannabe king; he's willing to put in the time to make sure everything is in its place before leaving the house for the latest round of manipulations. All that's missing is a mustache with twirling capabilities.
Style: 5 / Practicality: 7 / Villainy Level: 8
Sansa Stark, The Bold and the Braided
Sophie Turner's decision to stop dying her naturally blonde hair this season in favor of a red wig could prove to be an unexpected roadblock that threatens Sansa's chances of taking the throne based on her beautiful tresses alone. However, this is a show full of intense wiggery, so there's still hope for the eldest Stark girl — whose locks have evolved as she's become a stronger, more self-sufficient heroine — to prove our worries are unfounded.
Style: 7 / Practicality: 7 / Ginger Game: 9
Missandei, The Natural
Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) maintains her beautiful hair under some intense weather conditions. Keeping in mind that conditioning a natural style like hers is not easy, it's quite obvious she's a natural in more ways than one.
Style: 8 / Practicality: 9 / Appearance of Being Effortless: 10
Tyrion Lannister, Freestyler
The changes in Tyrion Lannister's (Peter Dinklage) look represent the changes in his character over the course of time. Currently, his locks are longer and shaggier than they were prior to leaving King's Landing, which says he's freer than he's ever been (or perhaps there weren't any good barbers in Meereen). It's a good look — especially when paired with the beard — but probably not one that will ever land his butt atop the Iron Throne. Hmm, maybe he can be next to it?
Style: 5 / Practicality: 7 / Beard: 7
Yara Greyjoy, Captain of the S.S. Practical
Yara (Gemma Whelan) doesn't have the most sophisticated grooming habits, something that falls in line with her seafaring upbringing on the stormy Iron Islands — I mean, have you ever tried to maintain a perfectly done look on the open water? This lack of haircare won't put her on the Iron Throne, but that's more than OK — she wants to rule the Iron Islands, and her hair is perfect for that.
Style: 3 / Practicality: 8 / Better Than Theon's: 5
Arya Stark, Not a Boy, Not Yet a Woman
Like her sister, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) has come a long way since the days of the long and the braided. Her ability to grow, transform and blend in over the years — and not just because of her training with the Faceless Men — is one of her greatest strengths. Being able to change her hairstyle depending on the situation is a large part of this, and she's likely to go far before all is said and one.
Style: 6 / Practicality: 8 / Versatility: 10
Jaime Lannister, Master of the Mane
Over the course of the show's first six seasons, Jaime Lannister's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) look graduated from Poster Boy for Head and Shoulders to Dreamy and Stubbled Soccer Star. If we thought he actually wanted the throne, he'd be a serious contender.
Style: 7 / Practicality: 7 / Stubbled Jaw: 9
WINNER: TIE — Daenerys (27) and Missandei (27)
Yeah, no one is surprised these perfectly styled women are going to rule the world, when all is said and done.
Game of Thrones returns for Season 7 Sunday, July 16 at 9/8c on HBO.