With Game of Thrones returning for its sixth season tonight, we finally get to revisit everyone's favourite revolving door of prospective kings and queens (and tits and dragons).
With Cersei getting the Samson treatment, Jon having to figure out how to not be dead, and Dany wasting valuable time back in the desert, it truly is anyone's game right now, and really, the only frontrunner for the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms that we can see right now is Sansa Stark doing impressions, because look how hard she kills it.
So why have all George R.R. Martin's 'top players' suddenly dropped the ball in their quest for sovereignty? As the latest episode of BrainCraft explains, there's one key personaity trait you need to get ahead in the Game of Thrones, but you have to know how to use it.
As Vanessa points out in the video above, in the fictional world of Westeros, the tussle for the throne is as much a mental game as it is a physical battle. So when it comes to intellectual prowess, which character truly has what it takes, and could you rank with the best of them?
When you consider the main players right now, they have a few things in common - some have money, many have power (in dragon form or otherwise), and all have exhibited certain degrees of self-control (or lack thereof). And that last point is key.
"Westeros and the known world is full of competing psychologies, and self-control might be the most important resource for any of the players," says Vanessa.
As a trait, self-control has a whole lot going for it - it helps you reign in your emotions, focus on the end-game, and it's necessary in social situations where we need to cooperate with others to acheive a goal. As Dany has demonstrated time and again (much to everyone's frustration), you can't win as a lone wolf.
If you look back at everything that's happened, you'll see the best decisions made by the biggest players were rooted in delayed gratification - something that only those with the most steadfast self-control can manage. This guy, for example, knows a little something about that:
As does this crafty little osyter peddler:
But here's the catch - you're gonna want to check that self-control, because just like a muscle, it can be overworked. As the video explains, if you exercise self-control in every aspect of your life, something's eventually going to give.
This means that self-control alone won't get you the crown - you also need to be incredibly adaptable, and be able to regulate your emotions depending on your situation, which is likely what won Tyrion the most amount of significant connections with other characters in the book.
So what's all this mean for us lowly plebs who have no throne to fight for? As Vanessa explains, a famous psychological experiment that spanned more than four decades found that people who displayed better self-control as infants grew to enjoy unique benefits as adults. The stakes might not be so high for you, but, then again, they are, because this is real life.
Watch the episode of BrainCraft above to find out how you can win the Iron Throne (of life), and if you can't get enough of Game of Thrones science, we've got you covered: