Season 6 saw House Stark fairing far better than it has since probably the premiere episode of the series. Sansa escaped Ramsay, joined up with a resurrected Jon, and took back Winterfell. Bran became the Three Eyed Raven. Arya went from being the worst assassin in the world to the best in a dramatic and unexplained transformation. Rickon … well, we hardly knew ye.
Reclaiming Winterfell is one thing, but there’s a lot more to the Starks’ power position than that. At the end of “Winds of Winter,” the boss Lady Mormont declared Jon the King in the North. He has the allegiance of the Wildlings, whatever is left of Winterfell / the Bolton army, the rest of the houses of the North (the North remembers!) Winterfell is now also allied with House Arryn and the Knights of the Vale, via Littlefinger’s obsession with Catelyn which has transferred onto Sansa. Littlefinger revealed his endgame as being his intention to sit upon the Iron Throne, and we know that he’s been moving pieces into place for years and years to make that happen. He might have lost some edge once he admitted all of his plans to Sansa — if he was telling the truth — but he is still a formidable ally.
Finally, the reveal of Jon’s parentage to viewers — though not yet to him or Westeros at large — also means that Jon may be destined for more than just King in the North, but the Iron Throne himself. That would put the Starks in a position of ultimate power. Is he the Song of Ice and Fire? He’s like the key to this entire story, and is currently the only person in power taking the Night King seriously. With Winter upon them, this is the perfect time for the Starks to rise.
3. House Targaryen
As she heads to Westeros, Daenerys now has the Greyjoy fleet, the Dothraki horde, three sizable dragons, the Unsullied, and the element of surprise. She also likely has the support of Dorne and whatever grip the Tyrells still have on Highgarden. Her heading towards the Iron Throne has never seemed more certain, and even though she technically has not landed on Westerosi shores yet, she’s making her move (finally), and she has Tyrion at her side to help guide her wisely. But mostly: dragons.
2. House Lannister
Like the Mad King, Cersei blew up the Sept with wildfire and incinerated most of her enemies. Though her son threw himself out of the castle window, she’s not letting it slow her down. The Lannisters have had a pretty tight grip on power in King’s Landing since the beginning of the series, but even though the Tyrells made their play to take it from them, Cersei prevailed. Tyrion is no longer considered part of the Lannister power ranking since he’s thrown his lot in completely with Daenerys, leaving only Cersei and Jaime as the House’s standard bearers, especially now that all of their children are deceased. But Jamie looked betrayed when he saw Cersei on the Iron Throne, not only because he knew that it meant Tommen was dead, but because it goes against what Cersei had planned for their future together. It’s not a strong foundation to lay one’s power upon.
Though Cersei has gotten her power (and a fierce new wardrobe to complement it), it’s unlikely to last. She has underestimated the Mother of Dragons, and isn’t prepared for the coming onslaught. She’s also dismissed the warnings about Winter and the Night King. Her army is strong, but her position is precarious, and it’s certain she’ll fall. So enjoy your position for now, Cersei — it won’t last.
Buckle up, misogynists; the women are ruling! Though Jon Snow may end up being the uniting force that ties everything in this story together, let’s take stock of all of the current houses. Cersei has had herself crowned herself Queen in King’s (Queen’s?) Landing, the Sand Snakes have taken over Dorne, Olenna Tyrell is (as far as we’ve been shown) the only remaining member of her house, without Sansa the Starks would not have reclaimed Winterfell, Lady Mormont is kicking ass up North, the Frey men have been killed off leaving the women in charge, Yara Greyjoy has taken the fleet and allied with Daenerys who is, of course, the (as far as everyone thinks) last Targaryen, Mother of Dragons and headed for the Iron Throne.