We’re down to just a handful of characters who have managed to make it past George R. R. Martin’s (crossbow) trigger happy fingers. We’ve lost a lot in the last five seasons and it feels as though we can’t take losing any more of our beloved Game of Thrones characters – what is a world like where Cersei isn’t drinking wine and belittling everyone?
Alas, we are left with seven reasonable characters to consider for the Iron Throne, and with season six just seven weeks away, it begs the question: Who is fit to rule the Seven Kingdoms? Well, Sarah Moffatt, Joe Puccio, Oliver Ward and Sophie Vinograd do their best to make a case for each main character left standing.
No matter what, anyone who eats a raw horse heart is queen. Obviously, that’s not a good enough reason for her to rule the world, but it’s not a bad start. A woman who can storm into city after city and convince thousands of people to revolt to embrace a new, unknown way of life is clearly a woman fit to lead – especially in a time period where most women are seen as slaves of both chores and sex. If Dany was to have a walk-out song like they do in baseball, it would absolutely be one single line from Kayne West and Jay Z’s Ni**as In Paris: “You are now watching the throne, don’t let me get in my zone.” She’s clearly the most qualified and has a way with the people: she’s true to her word, shows mercy when she can, but has no problem shutting it down when necessary. (SM)
Tyrion Lannister has come a long way, literally and figuratively. He began as a drunk, twisted, whoring mongrel, who we pitied because his entire family continuously dumps on him. Over time, we grew to appreciate his political acumen, his sharp tongue, and his cleverness. We laughed when he insulted his douchebag nephew, cried when we found Shae in his father’s bed, and cheered when he put an arrow through Tywin’s tummy on the porcelain throne. He made Westeros’ greatest escape as a stowaway in search of the one person he believed could unite the kingdoms and take his sister’s place. Tyrion won a well-deserved spot at Dany’s side and we have no doubt he will continue to prove a trusted and capable advisor. But, it is hard to imagine Tyrion living out his days as nothing more than Dany’s right hand. George RR Martin’s tome tells us “the dragon has three heads.” We think Tyrion is one of those three, but what does that mean? Will Tyrion return to Westeros as history’s smallest dragon rider? Will he help lead Dany’s armies against his family and then turn his sights to the undead, spitting fire with his own tongue and his dragon’s throughout? Tyrion is the ultimate redemption story, and we’re rooting hard for him to continue to be the little engine that could. (JP)
Our little tomboy is all grown up. Winterfell’s most adorable archer has turned into the Bravosi version of Brian Mills. She was in ninja assassin training, closing in on total badass status and then she went blind. What the hell happens now? Without Nymeria to be her seeing eye wolf, what will Arya do? She’s on the complete opposite side of the world, blind, with no other canon characters nearby, no obvious path to Westeros, and seemingly no way to learn about or reach Dany. With her newfound skill set, we thought she would just start running down her hitlist, murking character after character who did her family wrong. But, seeing seems important for such a task. We believe she’ll regain her sight after eating some humble pie, and we’ll love every moment of sinister revenge.
She may be the dragon’s third head. Neither Dany nor Tyrion is much of a fighter. If Jon Snow is really dead, Arya just may be the next best option for a fighter in Dany’s court – if she can see. The face-changing game is going to be badass, no doubt: imagine Arya putting on a Cersei-face and killing Tommen, a Tyrion face and killing Cersei, or a Robb Stark (we miss you Rob!) face and killing that old dirty bastard Walder Frey. We’re pretty sure Arya will win the prize for coolest kills in the upcoming season. Arya Stark has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make her a nightmare for people that piss her off. She will find you. And, she will kill you. (JP)
If you had asked anyone in the beginning who would be fit to rule a kingdom, there’s no way anyone would’ve said Sansa. But now, people might be singing a different tune. The likelihood of her becoming Queen B – or S – is pretty small, but there’s still a case to be made as to why she would make an excellent ruler. For starters, she saw her father’s head get chopped off – if that doesn’t give you thick skin, nothing will. Secondly, she was engaged to an evil troll, who made her life hell, but girlfriend powered through. She’s living proof that “good” things come to those who wait. After escaping one #ByeFelipe, the poor girl finds herself betrayed by Little Finger – has to be the dumbest nickname ever – and in the arms of another, who ends up being much, much worse. Yet, our little girl stands tall and figures out a way to get herself out of a bad situation. Nothing can phase her at this point. Plus, thanks to Sophie Turner’s word vomit at the Oscars, we know Sansa lasts at least through season six. (SM)
Brandon Stark needs to choose a damn career already. Rock climber? Nope. Lord of Winterfell? No mas. Wolf boy? Human backpack? ManTree? Time traveler? Perhaps no character in the series has more mystery and uncertainty attached to him at this point than Brandon Stark. He may end up being the most pivotal character of all, or he may be a rarely-used afterthought who does little more than help tell the occasional backstory so that the real characters can take over. Bran has had a full season off and he’s done a ton of growing up in the interim. Bran’s actor, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, has gone from a cute little boy to a teenaged John Oliver impersonator. As Bran learns more about his three-eyed crow side, we can be sure he will help readers and watchers learn more about some important Westerosi history, including Jon Snow’s parentage and the most cryptic line in the series, Lyanna Stark’s “Promise Me, Ned.”
We could also envision Bran re-animating the dead on the good guy side, or perhaps even the trees and the beasts, to help fight the final epic battle with the White Walkers. Imagine un-dead Ned’s body with Bran swinging the sword! The possibilities for Bran are endless. We can’t wait to see the three-eyed crow come through; we just hope he doesn’t prove to be Third Eye Blind. (JP)
Sure, she’s totally evil and still sorta in love with her brother (we get it: Jaime is a bona fide BILF, but ewww…). Incest aside, that was the old Cersei. That was before last season’s shocking walk of shame proved Cersei can survive anything and still be Queen, “dowager” be damned. The new, pixie-cut Queen Cersei doesn’t have to spend all of her time at King’s Landing brushing her crazy long hair, so she’s basically unstoppable. Plus, Cersei now has her very own private Iron Hulk (see above) to do her bidding, which frees up even more time for vengeful plotting. Margaery should probably hurry back to Highgarden and leave Tommen to his mom; there’s only room for one queen in the Red Keep. (OW)
From book one, day one, rumors have been flying about Ned Stark’s bastard and his possible place in line for the Iron Throne. Let’s get to the meat of this: he’s an underdog. If we’ve learned anything from the most classic underdog story of all time, The Mighty Ducks, it’s that when you’re a high-powered attorney named after two different brands of gin, somehow you’ll get to serve time for a DUI by coaching a youth hockey team to victory.
But we digress. Underdogs are unexpectedly valiant, because no one’s looking to them as a possible savior. They get to rock their way to leadership with none of the mainstream pressures that come with an incestuous royal bloodline or a renowned battle legacy. Jon Snow is an indie king, if there ever was one. Sure, he’s not wearing the fancy armor or prancing around King’s Landing talking about his accomplishments — ‘cause he’s too busy humbly massacring white walkers and getting archery’d and stabbed by all his homies. Also, he has a pet wolf.
Supreme badass, undiscovered past, humble heart of gold, pet wolf. Enough said. (SV)