Top 10 Contenders to the Iron ThroneBy Lisa Williams
Whether you’re a long-term fan of the books, or you’ve just started watching the TV series, you’ll know the story of the Seven Kingdoms is a complicated one with an uncertain future. Here’s who we consider to be the top contenders to the throne at this moment in time. (Warning: could contain spoilers!!)
We all knew he wasn’t dead… but there’s been a noticeable change in Jon since he magically came back to life and denounced his role of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon understands the need to fight, but he’s become much more wary of conflict since abandoning the Watch, brought on by his murder by people he was trying to protect, and the guilt of having to hang his steward. Although his association with the wildlings is complicating his relationships with the Stark’s allies, Jon Snow’s future as King seems more likely than ever now the Stark family is starting to reunite.
Bran is the oldest Stark boy remaining, and the rightful successor of King Robb. Believed to have been killed by Theon, he’s the only Stark — and one of the few characters in Game of Thrones — to possess magical powers. However, Bran did unofficially abdicate — telling his younger brother, Rickon, that if he didn’t return, Rickon would be the rightful heir to Winterfell.
After all she’s been through, it would be great for Sansa to catch a break and get to sit on the royal throne. The horrible things she’s experienced have turned her from a once petulant child into the strong-willed lady she is today, shown in her meeting with Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish— who wasn’t expecting to see how ruthless she is after her experience with Ramsay. After declaring war on the Boltons, it’s easy to see how powerful Sansa has become, and how crucial her role is in reuniting the North.
How could you forget about Gendry? He won over Arya Stark, and stole many of the viewers’ hearts too! Gendry may have disappeared in the third season, but now Stannis is dead he’s the only Baratheon left by blood who has a rightful claim to the throne — even if he is a bastard. If only he’d know it could have been him wearing the crown instead of Joffrey, maybe he wouldn’t have left us so soon!
Margaery is already Queen Consort, so if the prophecy of the death of all thee of Cersei’s children does come true, she could find herself becoming a Queen Regent — the first ever in the history of the monarchy. Unlike Cersei, Margaery is gifted with the traits any queen should possess — tact, politeness, loyalty, as well as the ability to manipulate. Margaery’s quest has already proven how determined she is to become royalty — she’s married three men and fought through her long imprisonment by The High Sparrow. Not to mention, the people of King’s Landing adore her. However, her strong bond with her grandmother and her imprisoned brother Loras, could be her downfall if The High Sparrow rises to power.
This mysterious eunuch appears to be the only character who has not yet taken sides. His network of spies and double agents is rivaled by only that of Petyr Baelish’s, making him a dangerous man to mess with. Varys’ ability to remain calm during adversity has helped him survive the Game of Thrones without any real enemies. His current loyalty lies with Daenerys, but it would be no surprise if he truly does seek to take the throne for himself.
As the only remaining child of the “Mad King”, the so-called Mother of Dragons is a strong claimant to the Iron Throne, although it’s clear she still has a lot to learn. She is well-loved by all and has gained many followers because she reciprocates their loyalty. Because Daenerys has never had a true home, she sympathises with those she sees as oppressed, but is still capable of being completely ruthless. She is yet to be affected by the well-known “Targaryen madness” that was the downfall of her father and brother, but who knows what the future may hold…
The Night King
Formerly one of the First Men to inhabit Westoros, Night King was turned into the original White Walker by the Children of the Forest as an attempt to create an army against the humans. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding Night King and his White Walkers, so we aren’t sure what his intentions are — though, perhaps coincidentally, he seems to be targeting the Starks. We don’t know whether his abilities are unique amongst White Walkers, though we know he can create them, shatter metal weapons and is probably the worst person to play hide and seek with.
The High Sparrow
Who would have guessed it would have taken just one old man wearing a sack to divide the royal family?! With the backing of the public — who are seemingly fed up of being ruled by a wealthy elite of corrupt individuals — The High Sparrow is causing a religious revolution, meaning there may not be a throne to compete for after all! One to watch out for, he may not be as harmless as he seems behind his humble façade, especially now that he has the support of King Tommen.
During Daenerys’ visit to the House of Undying in the second season, she experiences many visions which could tell us what might happen in the future — one of which she find herself in the burnt and snow-covered ruins of the Great Hall of the Red Keep where the Iron Throne sits. Although some say this could point to a future of Jon Snow as ruler of the Seven Kindoms, it could also foreshadow a darker meaning — that the long battle was all for nothing and in the end, the Game of Thrones has no victor.