It’s here. The last and final call of Game of Thrones. Nine years, eight seasons, 72 episodes, and the wait for who wins the Game of Thrones is finally over. The 73rd episode will be an 80-minute long saga, (hopefully) tying up loose ends, giving us the answers we’ve been looking for years, and have a rightful king or queen sit on the Iron Throne. The darkness of ‘The Long Night’, the coffee cup in ‘Last of the Starks’, Dany’s rage in ‘The Bells’, the finale season has been a mix of satisfactory turns, understated endings, and way too many surprises. As GoT fans across the world tune-in to savour the final taste of the saga, here’s some speculation on who finally wins the Game of Thrones.
The obvious choice for the ruler of the seven kingdoms until the penultimate episode, how Dany’s fate unfolds is one of the most eagerly awaited plot lines after last week. Daenerys had been built up as the ideal queen since season one, someone who is just, has a kind heart, has power, love of the people, and naturally commands respect and loyalty. However, Season 8 gradually gave way to hints of the trademark Targaryen madness is her eyes, culminating in the incineration of King’s Landing despite Cersei’s surrender. As Drogon breathed fire on lanes, structures, and innocents, Jon snow and Tyrion Lannister’s (and the viewers’) wavering trust in Daenerys was apparent.
While this act that directs us to believe that ‘the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons’ may not take the Iron Throne, the picture perfect ending won’t quite fit well with the essence of GoT. Could it just be more Game of Thrones-ish that Dany takes the throne, à la history repeats itself, and it all started with a mad king and ends with a mad queen? We’ll know in under three days.
The other strong contender. By birth, stronger than Daenerys, as he is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and direct in line for the crown. Yet, in signature Snow style, he does not want the power that is being pushed towards him. But after seeing the streak of madness in Dany, will he still consider her his queen? Or will the thought of Westeros and its people reluctantly push Jon Snow to claim his position as the rightful successor of Targaryens? And even if not, will he be persuaded by the advisors and councilmen who may have lost trust in Daenerys to take the throne regardless of his personal leanings? All are very likely outcomes of the seventh episode. What remains to be seen is which out of these courses does Jon tread (and we wouldn’t mind a fourth one that shocks the socks off us).
Not one to lust after ruling the kingdoms, Arya Stark would probably not have been included in a list of possible Game of Thrones winner until last season. After all, she told Gendry only two episodes back that, “I’m not a lady. I never have been. That’s not me.” But experiences change people, and suffering Dany’s carnage along with the commons in the previous episode, it may have stirred something in the youngest Stark girl. Better still, Arya gets to keep her privacy intact even if the rules Westeros, as the faceless assassin is capable of taking on the appearance of any dead person. Thus, she could pretend that Cersei, or any deceased person for that matter, is on the throne – while she stealthily goes about killing new additions to her list.
The last man standing in the Lannister clan. Could an ‘imp’ actually go on to rule the seven kingdoms? It would definitely be a win for Westerosi inclusivity. Other than that, Tyrion has been The Hand for many a kings, the depth and diversity of his life experiences adds to his wisdom, and he truly has a just heart that cares for the people. With the dwindling faith in Dany, Starks reluctant to take the throne, and no other strong contender from any other house, could Tyrion actually be the king is a question we’re looking at this weekend.
Legitimised by a decree ordered by Daenerys, Gendry now represents the House of Baratheon, and could pose as a rival to the Targaryens, Starks, and Lannisters who may be standing in line for the Iron Throne. While nullifying his bastard status is a favour he would typically be ever-grateful for to Dany, the series is known for its unthinkable twists, and it wouldn’t be too absurd if Gendry turns on the queen who made him the Baratheon heir in the first place.
As we wait for the Game of Thrones Season finale this weekend, don’t forget to increase the brightness of your screens and keep an eye for donuts (something’s gotta pair with that coffee, after all).
All images: Courtesy HBO