Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

Let's crunch the numbers and allegiances in Westeros.

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

This is tough because a lot of numbers are thrown around on Game of Thrones and thousands more on the internet, but I think I've got the armies down. Using three sources: the show, the books, and George R.R. Martin, I've recorded the might of all the armies in the Known World. With Daenerys Targaryen headed for Westeros, there's going to be a reckoning of biblical proportions. How biblical? Here's a breakdown of the opposing forces:

**Spoilers ahead. Only proceed if you're up to date with Game of Thrones.**

House Targaryen

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

Queen Daenerys I Targaryen

Dragons: 3 (Drogon, Viserion, Rhaegal)

Unsullied: 8000 infantry sword and spearmen

Dothraki: 140,000 riders

The Reach (House Tyrell): 80,000 + ships 

Dorne (House Martell): 20,000 + ships

Iron Fleet (Greyjoy rebels): 3000 men + 100 ships

Numbers explained: It is known Queen Daenerys has her three fully-grown dragons, her Unsullied army (8000 strong before the Meereen takeover so the numbers are lower), and her Second Sons (left behind to police Meereen). What isn't known is exactly how big her new Dothraki army is.

Despite rumors he led a force of 100,000 riders, both Viserys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont state Khal Drogo's army is 40,000 strong in season one. There were seven khals at the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen when Dany burned it down so conservative estimates place at least 20,000 riders in each khal's army. That's 140,000 total and that number is still conservative. It's also what Thrones guru Jason Concepcion came up with over at the Ringer so (sing it) CREDIBILITYYYY.

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

House Tyrell lords over the Reach. They managed to assemble an army of 100,000 for Renly Baratheon in season two so they should be able to do about the same for the Mother of Dragons (we'll say 80,000 to be safe). The Tyrells are rich and without any future thanks to the losses of Loras, Mace, and Margaery at the Sept. They'll be playing for keeps. Olenna wants her revenge. Martin has stated Highgarden also has the second or third greatest strength at sea.

Martin has also said the Dorne forces, despite rumors, are about the size of the North and the Vale each: 20,000 men. That's assuming the usurper Ellaria Sand and her Sand Snakes are firmly in control of House Martell. We'll assume they are considering the high stakes allegiance with the Tyrells shown in season six. Dorne has a strong presence at sea as well. 

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

In the books, Yara and Theon Greyjoy steal the best ships of the Iron Fleet after Yara loses the kingsmoot to Euron. They pledge them all to Daenerys in exchange for her support of Yara's claim to the Salt Throne. Tyrion notes "there are more than 100 ships in the Iron Fleet" meaning they've arrived with 100. But we don't know what kinds they have... Are they 20-oar raiding vessels, or 100-oar longships? And how many men are on each one? Assuming they're half and half let's estimate 30 men on average on each ship. That's 3000 fighting seamen of the Iron Fleet. 

Daenerys also has what's left of the former masters' fleet. Tyrion tells her, with the help of the Greyjoys, all these ships will "barely" be enough to get her army to Westeros. But the Iron Fleet and the masters' ships don't seem like enough to carry all those Dothraki. Perhaps Dany scored a fleet we don't yet know about

Total number of fighting men: 251,000

Total number of ships: Unknown (100 from Iron Fleet + Tyrell + Martell + Masters' fleet)

Total ships needed: 2500

The North

King in the North Jon Snow the White Wolf

Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark 

Direwolves: 1 (Ghost, but watch for a Nymeria return when Arya shows up)

House Stark and its banners: 15,000 infantry and riders

Knights of the Vale (House Arryn): 20,000 riders and infantry

Free Folk (Wildlings): 1500 infantry

Numbers explained: With Jon declared King in the North, he's rallied all the banners who denied him before the Bastard Bowl. When they aided Robb Stark, the total count was 20,000. That number should be smaller thanks to the Red Wedding and the Battle of Winterfell, which wiped out the Boltons and Umbers (5000 men). Save for some reinforcements, we'll conservatively say Jon has 15,000 under his direct command right now. 

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

Martin has said the Vale army is roughly the same size as all the Stark banners so rough estimates have Sansa's surrogate forces at 20,000 strong thanks to minimal losses after mop up duty at Winterfell. But those are book numbers. It's possible the Vale forces are much larger on the show.

The Wildlings also took some losses at Winterfell so Tormund's forces are down from the 2000 he had before the battle. I'm guessing 1500 fighters are left, but that may be generous.

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

As for the Stormlands, there aren't many warriors left. Renly Baratheon commanded 100,000 before he was murdered ("all the might of the Stormlands and the Reach"). After his death, the Tyrells returned to the Riverlands, taking most of that army. The rest of Renly's men flocked to Stannis, who promptly lost everyone at the Battle of Blackwater. In defeat, Stannis revealed he had 4000 men and 32 ships left during a visit to the Iron Bank. Those 4000 were lost on the way to and at Winterfell as Stannis tried to take on the Boltons without the help of the Night's Watch or the Wildlings. House Baratheon is wiped out until Gendry shows up. 

Total number of fighting men: 36,500

House Lannister 

Queen Cersei Lannister

House Lannister: 60,000 + ships

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?

They're alone now, but they still have a pretty huge army behind the walls of King's Landing (not to mention untold amounts of Wildfire). The "they" in that last sentence being Cersei and Jaime Lannister who now command the Lannister army, City Watch, and, not to be forgotten, the Mountain. Cersei controls them at least, for now. At the beginning of season two, Tywin Lannister tells Jaime he's giving him 30,000 men, or half their troops. So they had 60,000 at that time. Since then, the Lannisters have taken casualties at the hands of Robb Stark's army, fought off Stannis at Blackwater, and laid siege to Riverrun. With reinforcements and the City Watch (supposedly 6000 men), I'm betting they can gather 60,000 and probably more.

Total number of fighting men: 60,000

The White Walkers

The Night's King

Total number of fighting men: Untold thousands, everyone who has ever lived and died (and dead horses).

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?


House Greyjoy: King Euron wants to build the greatest fleet the world has ever seen. Can he do it?

The Hound: Roaming free again, whose side will he join?

Arya Stark: Last seen killing Walder Frey at the Twins, she's close to Jon and Sansa. Will she join them, finally... or remain free and alone? She wants to see the edge of the world. Don't put it past her to do just that.

Melisandre: Exiled from the North, the Red Woman still believes in Jon Snow. Will she find a way back to him, or perhaps to the Brotherhood Without Banners?

Who Has the Biggest Army on 'Game of Thrones'?
All images via HBO

Managing Editor, Zimbio — entertainment writer, critic, and reporter since 2011. Bay Area. Origin: Shark City.