The Game of Thrones series finale is set to air on Sunday, May 19 and the show still has to answer the one question that’s been consuming us all for years: who deserves to win the Iron Throne and rule over the Seven Kingdoms? Countless theories about who could sit on the Iron Throne have kept us occupied over the course of eight seasons. Battles have played out amongst the high-profile characters who have all jockeyed for the ultimate form of power in Westeros. Sure, we’ve got some possible candidates as we enter into the finale — Daenerys, Jon Snow and Sansa are among the top options — but you know what I think? I don’t think any GoT character should take the Iron Throne at the end of the day.
That’s right: I’m here to ruin your life by telling you that nobody should or actually will end up on the Iron Throne. If there is one thing that has become wildly clear over the course of GoT, it’s that power and the pursuit of it corrupt even the strongest rulers. Past leaders like Cersei cared so much about power that she made decisions that did more harm than good. Robert Baratheon was too busy enjoying the fun perks of being a king, like sleeping around and hunting, that he didn’t care about actually ruling his people. Being too intellectual about wielding power only ends up getting you killed in Westeros, and if you don’t believe me, just look at how things turned out for Tywin Lannister. If you’re more of a gentle, pragmatic leader, you also end up dying as people target your weaknesses (see: Ned Stark, Tommen Lannister and Jon Snow during his time as the Commander of the Night’s Watch).
With those examples in our rearview mirror, what is left? In season eight, our strongest candidates to take over the Iron Throne have been Dany, Jon and Sansa. Dany and Jon have been considered the most logical choices because both have a legitimate claim to the throne as Targaryens. Dany is jonesin’ for the throne but right now there are serious concerns about whether she is fit to be queen. Jon is a better choice as a more even-keeled, morally-strong dude, but he has absolutely zero desire to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa is another strong option because of her experience as Lady of Winterfell and her similarly pragmatic, logical approach to being a leader but it’s unclear if she’d ever have the support or ability to rule a nation. Gendry is maybe the only other possible ruler since he is Robert’s bastard son now legitimized as Lord of Storm’s End, the Baratheon family seat. He could certainly cash in on his Baratheon name and claim he should rule since Robert was previously a king.
But you know what? None of these people should sit on the Iron Throne. Rarely has Westeros benefitted from Westeros having a king or queen ruling it. Any current Iron Throne candidate would either go further into the depths of megalomania or they’d be corrupted by the responsibilities of ruling — and neither is an appetizing option to me at this point. Who wants more of the same? What would be the point of this show if it ultimately chose a single person to sit on the throne, knowing the outcome of their rein would be more of the same?
Instead, Westeros should destroy any notion of an Iron Throne surviving the wars of season eight. Westeros should break up back into the Seven Kingdoms as city-states or even smaller fiefdoms with their own rulers creating their own laws which govern a smaller body of people. Different areas of Westeros have markedly different lifestyles and cultural practices (life on the Iron Islands is nothing like life at The Citadel, you know what I mean?), so why not allow rulers who know their people to rise up and lead?
I realize this may sound isolationist or a bit conservative to propose, but I certainly don’t envision a new Westeros where these city-states or fiefdoms don’t interact. I just think that the better way for Westeros to recover and thrive from the horrors of the past is to understand that imbuing one with the power to govern millions is perhaps too tricky to do and not worth the blood, sweat and tears. Westeros needs a new way of doing things, and this should be it.
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