Game of Thrones: Who will sit on the Iron Throne?
We’ve looked at the contenders to rule Westeros
**Spoiler Alert – This Article contains spoilers for the entire show, including season 7 and 8**
Game of Thrones finally returns this week, with the six-episode Season 8 set to be the final chapter.
Season 7 ended with the Night King breaching the Wall using an undead dragon. Now that the Army of the Dead is heading towards the remaining living characters, they’ll need to work out a way to stop them.
But if and when they do, there’s the matter of the Iron Throne. When all is said and done, who will rule Westeros? We’ve cast our eye over the leading contenders…
Bran sat out all of Season 5, but he’s now arguably the most powerful (living) person in Westeros. He’s taken on the mantle of the Three-Eyed Raven, having developed the ability to see everything that’s happened in the past and visions of what’s to come in the future.
As a warg, he can also enter the mind of animals. But it seems like he can do the same with humans too, as he heartbreakingly saw with Hodor.
He’ll have a major role to play in the battle against the White Walkers, but does he want the power that comes with ruling the Seven Kingdoms?
We know that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen – and arguably the rightful heir to the throne.
However, now that he knows this too, it could cause a huge rift in his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen, who also happens to be his aunt. Would she be happy to share the throne? Or even to step aside?
Jon is a good leader, a brave warrior and a man who always tries to do the right thing. But Game of Thrones has shocked audiences and defied convention throughout its long run.
You’d expect the handsome prince to come out on top in any other show. You can never predict what will happen in this one though.
Daenerys has long believed she is the only living heir of Aeyrs Targaryen, better known as the Mad King. And with two dragons to back her up, few would dare cross the Breaker of Chains.
Daenerys also commands the Unsullied and Dothraki armies and has some of the smartest advisers in Westeros, including Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys.
She believes she was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms. But how will she react when she finds out her lover has a stronger claim to the throne? Will the Mother of Dragons become the Mad Queen?
Any child of Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys was pregnant in Season 1 but she’s now convinced that she is unable to have children.
She asked a maegi (a woman in Essos who practices blood magic) to save Khal Drogo’s life in Season 1 and was told, “Only death can pay for life.” She later passes out from sharp pains. When she awakes, she learns that the baby was stillborn.
Since then, she’s claimed that her dragons are the only children she will ever have. But what if she’s wrong? Several other prophecies in the show haven’t come to pass.
If she were to have a baby with Jon, the child would be in line for the throne.
People have been underestimating Sansa Stark throughout the show’s run. But the Lady of Winterfell is no longer the naive girl of Season 1.
She doesn’t have magical powers or sword skills, but she has learned how to navigate the corridors of power. Smart and resilient, she could outlast the more obvious contenders and become ruler.
The Night King
Winter has finally come. And in a show that’s been incredibly bleak at times, it’s not out of the question that the villain wins at the end.
We don’t actually know what the Night King’s plan is. Does he want the throne or to wipe out civilisation entirely?
Whatever his intentions are, he does have an ever-expanding army of the dead. He’s aware of whenever Bran tries to figure out his intentions too. And now he also has a fearsome ice dragon, which could sway the upcoming battle in the dead’s favour.
In many ways, Tyrion is the heart of Game of Thrones. He’s intelligent and thoughtful, but he’s had to overcome many obstacles to make it this far.
He showed that he could be an inspiring leader in the Battle of Blackwater, but we don’t expect Tyrion to be on the frontlines in the upcoming wars. And if he outlives many of the big contenders, his political experience and shrewd judgement could see him thrust towards the throne.
He’s popular with many of the rival factions too. If anyone can unite the Seven Kingdoms, it would be Tyrion.
Arya may be one of the most popular characters, but she’s never seemed to have much interest in ruling from the throne.
She’s more occupied by avenging the fallen members of her family. Most of the targets on her kill list have already been killed off, but Cersei Lannister is among those still left.
Even if Arya does get a chance to rule, it’s hard to see her settle for life in King’s Landing. There are too many adventures to be had elsewhere.
Gendry is a blacksmith who is as handy at using weapons as he is at making them. Both skills could be very handy, as the living will need lots of dragonglass weapons to stop the White Walkers.
But he’s also the illegitimate son of Robert Baratheon and the last known member of the Baratheon bloodline.
Gendry rowed away from King’s Landing in Season 3 and wasn’t seen again until Season 7. The fact that he’s returned at this late stage suggests that he could be pivotal.
Cersei has schemed and scrapped her way to power and she’s proven that she’ll do whatever it takes to hang on to it.
But she’s very short of allies now, especially as Jaime left her to fight against the dead in the north.
The White Walkers might be the immediate threat, but any survivors will be gunning straight for Cersei. It’s hard to see her holding on to the throne, but you still wouldn’t put it past her at this stage.
What’s that? Petyr Baelish is dead? We all saw Sansa and Ayra team up to get rid of Littlefinger in Season 7. But a fan theory speculates that may not have been the real Littlefinger, but a Faceless Man disguised as Baelish instead.
We’re not entirely convinced, but if he is alive, he could be the most skilful manipulator in all of Westeros.
Baelish did once say, “Chaos is a ladder.” And things are going to get very chaotic in the near future.