Breaking Down Who Could End Up on the Iron Throne


This story includes spoilers from Game of Thrones season 8, episode 5 and the book series A Song of Ice and Fire.

The final episode of Game of Thrones is just days away. After nearly a decade of watching, fans around the world will gather together to learn the fate of the many characters they’ve grown to love and hate. One of the major questions heading into the finale is who will sit on the Iron Throne. So, let’s break it down.

There is no way they end with Daenerys becoming the only thing she has ever wanted to be. After last week’s malicious actions, this would leave fans as upset as they were after reading or watching the events that occurred at the Red Wedding. It’s never felt likely Dany would be the one to end up on the Throne, but now it feels impossible. Someone is going to have to find a way to kill her, her dragon, and those left in her army that will defend her.

The easiest way to get this done is to bring all those from around Westeros to her coronation and realize the monster she has become. Ordering Jon, Tyrion, or Sansa to death for betraying her could also mean the end for her run.

George R.R. Martin promised us the ending would be “bittersweet,” so what options exist? The theory that Jon Snow will be king is on life support. He has made it clear he doesn’t want this and they have built him up for eight seasons as someone who is on a mission to make words mean something. As happy of an ending as this would be, it would be surprising if this is the route they go. Nothing fits Jon less than hanging out at King’s Landing. As Tormund told him, the North is in him. Everything about Jon’s character arc says a return to the Wall – with Ghost – is what would make him happiest. My guess is there’s a 10 percent chance this series ends with rightful heir the Iron Throne.

Bran is also a candidate. This would hardly come as a surprise to book readers. Bran is the very first character the novels focus on and oftentimes is the main focus of the not-yet-finished series. Even on television, Bran has been teased for a while as someone who has something big in store. With just one episode left, it’s now or never. His conversation with Tyrion that we were purposely blind to still looms large. Tyrion’s character is owed one more brilliant moment and bringing up something Bran told him that he learned from thousands of years ago may be how they get to this point. Only Bran would know if a wantless three-eyed raven had ever ruled or ruled successfully.

Look, if Bran ends up on the Iron Throne it will be a major disappointment. But if it’s not going to be someone with a claim, it has to be the one person who isn’t really a person. He is seemingly the only character the others would agree should rule the Seven Kingdoms. He has no reason to break bad because it appears (more on this in a bit) he has no reason to do anything but what is needed. I’ll put this one at 30 percent.

This leads me to my prediction before the season began: Nobody. We’ve heard Tyrion talk about the dangers of any leader of a monarchy throughout the season. The turn of Dany has to have those who believed in her second-guessing if they can ever put their trust into someone again. And they don’t need to. A bittersweet ending would be killing off Dany, and dividing the Seven Kingdoms up in some way. Sansa doesn’t want to give the North up, Jon can go back to the Wall, Gendry was given the Stormlands, the new Prince of Dorne (We have to meet him, right?) can have his area, Yara can rule the Iron Islands, and whatever else they choose to cover can be appointed a ruler. As of now, what is left of King’s Landing is a mystery. If this idea requires someone some sort of council to oversee it, that is where Tyrion can come in.

Adding everything up, this is the direction that fits the current path of both this season and the entire series. Let’s put it on 55 percent.

The other five percent is left for them making a massive mistake. Not sure what else is left that would make even some sense. Maybe there is a new Night King? No, it’s not going to be Sansa.

Whatever decision they go in regarding the Iron Throne, the fans deserve some look into what the future holds for the characters they’ve invested so much time in. Clarification on what Bran can and cannot do is a necessity as well. We are basically trying to piece together very small bits of information regarding the power he has at his disposal. A look at what currently is north of the Wall can also be added into that. With the Wall broken open, it has to be wondered if another threat can and will emerge at some point.

This is a lot to cover in just 80 minutes. With the likelihood of Martin finishing his books fading by the minute, this could turn out to be the only ending ever told. One more small thing, naming this final episode “A Dream of Spring,” is a must.