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GAME OF THRONES Infographic Reveals the Show’s Most Dangerous Characters

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” – Cersei Lannister to Ned Stark

Cersei Lannister has always played to win, and she plays the only way she knows how–dirty. From the beginning of Game of Thrones she has schemed, plotted, and stabbed both enemies and friends alike in the back, until the Iron Throne was hers.

But is she really any worse than the other players in the game? Does her treachery and willingness to do whatever it takes exceed that of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, or Littlefinger? Just how dangerous are the people left standing as we near the series’ end?

This detailed graphic highlighting acts of betrayal, both big and small, by the show’s major characters gives us an idea of the threat each of Game of Thrones‘ main players poses to their allies going forward. Turns out not everyone has to play dirty to win, and that could make all the difference in the end.


This was put together by the team at Venngage, who recorded 77 instances of betrayal over the first six seasons. They defined betrayal “as an act of going against one’s word, or an act of breaking the trust of a family member or ally.” The graph (which you can see a larger version of in our gallery below), uses larger arrows for the biggest, most impactful transgressions, and marks anyone who died as a result with a red “X.”

Almost immediately, you’ll notice the tangled web around Cersei’s face, as well as all of the dead people it envelops. There is nothing she won’t do for power, which is a major part of why she now has it. Many have climbed the ladder of success in the same way, like Littlefinger, Euron Greyjoy, and Roose and Ramsay Bolton.


But that is also why she probably won’t have it long. Because as you go over the whole graph you realize that betrayal and death go hand in hand. Rarely do acts of betrayal take way without one party ending up dead. And even if you win out in a specific exchange, you might still be in danger because of what you’ve done.

Back in season three, Tyrion told his sister, “Every time we deal with an enemy we create two more.” That bit of wisdom obviously didn’t deter her, though, and that’s why she enters season seven as a queen, but one surrounded by enemies on all sides. Because while the victim of your betrayal might not survive, they often have family and friends who want vengeance for what you’ve done.

Which is why Petry Baelish, a man who in many ways has backstabbed his way to the top even more than Cersei, might not be long for this world either. The graph shows that no one’s misdeeds have had a greater impact than his, and that in turn has led to him gaining more and more power. His only advantage is that unlike Cersei he has done it in secret. Almost.

Sansa Stark knows the truth about Jon Arryn’s death, as well as Lysa Arryn’s “suicide.” She knows how Baelish constantly played one great house against another, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake, all for his own gain. The good news for him is Sansa’s web is small. The bad news is she has learned the truth about the game of thrones from arguably its best player, and she knows just how dangerous he is.

Fittingly, the biggest threat to each, Daenerys to Cersei and Jon to Baelish, have risen to be a queen and a king without being treacherous. Both Daenerys and Jon have only committed one act of betrayal each, yet both now lead armies. The sacred bond of their word instills trust and loyalty, and it also helps keep their number of enemies smaller. Unlike Cersei and Baelish, Jon and Daenerys haven’t been dealing with a hydra of foes thanks to their constant betrayal of allies (just the normal, every day foes that have tried to destroy them).


Although, woe is the (non-Jorah) man who crosses the Mother of Dragons, because death is certain retribution. Plus her new Hand of the Queen, Tyrion Lannister, understands all too well the dangers of both betraying someone and fully trusting your own allies. His counsel will surely include lessons about how to play the game so your friends stay your friends.

Of these four characters vying for power, which would you trust? Who would you follow? The two who have double-crossed their friends to climb higher, or the two who have kept their word to their friends while still rising?

That’s why when we ask which of the remaining players are most dangerous, the answer would appear to be Cersei and Baelish, but that’s wrong. Jon and Daenerys are far more dangerous, because they have far less enemies to fight and far more allies to fight with them.

And while they keep their word, they aren’t weak. They won’t back down from doing what must be done to those who stand against them. They are strong of both character and conviction.

That’s a much more dangerous combo.

But what do you think? Who poses the greatest risk going forward? Tell us in the comments below, and then head over to Vennage to play around with more of their betrayal graphics and charts.

Game of Thrones Images: HBO

Infographic: Venngage infographic maker


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