Game of Thrones: Who Will Own the Iron Throne?

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team

Place your bets—it’s the central question that we’ve been asking since Season 1. Who will reign victorious and rule over Westeros? If this was an election, the controversy would put 2016’s race to shame. After six glorious seasons, we’ve narrowed it down a bit through a brutal process of elimination, but the list of contenders is still long. Let’s take a look at the queue of candidates battling it out to the bloody end for what looks like the most uncomfortable chair ever made:

Cersei Lannister

Gods have mercy on the residents of the Seven Kingdoms if Cersei remains Queen of Westeros. Sure, she’s evil, but what makes her a compelling candidate is her drive to do absolutely whatever it takes to gain and remain in power (remind you of any modern-day politicians?). Blow up half the city? No problem. Imprison her daughter-in-law? Piece of cake. She’s complex, cunning and ruthless, which actually makes her a formidable politician and a captivating character to watch. Plus, with her whole brood already in the ground, she’s got nothing to live for, so we’re betting she’ll reach new heights of depravity in Season 7. While it’s highly unlikely that Cersei remains on the Iron Throne, she’s the Queen to beat at this point. It’s lonely at the top, and she’ll need to fight the battle of a lifetime to stamp out the competition. Bring on the sweet, sweet de-throning!

Jon Snow

Season 6 shook up Jon Snow’s world, when long-standing fan theories were confirmed and we discovered he’s not actually a nameless bastard but the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. And since he’s the love-child of Rhae-yanna, he has a major claim to the throne via Targaryen lineage. Is the Iron Throne even on his mind though? Let’s be honest, if Jon Snow wanted to be king, he could just kill everyone in the Seven Kingdoms with his looks alone. And we’re pretty sure he would run on a platform of moral fortitude and fairness, which is more than can be said for the others. But he might have bigger concerns in Season 7 with hordes of White Walkers trying to crimp his chill. But if Daenerys wins the throne, as her nephew, he’ll be the only living heir to Westeros. Will they meet, or team up, or even hook up? (Gross!) Either way, it’s not like we’re shocked by nepotism anymore. This could get interesting…

Daenerys Targaryen

Crowd favorite here! Daenerys is so easy to root for it hurts—she’s got dragons, literal boatloads of Dothraki warriors, and a vengeful Tyrion on her side just waiting to see his murderous sister again. While maintaining a platform of humanity and equal rights, she’s certainly taking the brute force approach to justice as a candidate. She has plenty of manpower at her disposal, but we think the dragons will be key here. They’ll surely play a massive role in the upcoming battles and potential defeat of Cersei’s army, and perhaps they’ll even vanquish the White Walkers (the ultimate fire and ice battle? Only time will tell). Think of them as weapons of mass destruction—and Dany is the only one in the world with “nukes.” Try that advantage on for size.

Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger

This guy is the master of trickery, and if he wins we’ll be pissed, but it wouldn’t be the first time Game of Thrones has shocked audiences. As a politician, he has all the “right” attributes—a do whatever it takes attitude, friends in high places, married into a good family and plenty of skeletons piling up in his closet. He’s been clever enough to stay alive up to this point, and he’s made some major plays in the show—remember when he gave Olenna Tyrell the poison to kill Joffrey? Plus, he’s got more ambition to make it to the Iron Throne than some characters have in their… little finger (sorry, couldn’t help ourselves). We wouldn’t bet on him, but we can’t rule him out either.

Euron Greyjoy

This guy burst onto the scene in a blaze of calculated cruelty—he killed his brother and snatched the Salt Throne out from under his niece and nephew’s behinds. The only good thing he’s done is drive Theon and Yara across the sea to Daenerys’ side. And he thinks he’s just going to waltz up to Dany and convince her to marry him. Sounds like a recipe for becoming dragon food if you ask me. Good luck with that, buddy. But let’s not discount Euron completely. He’s on the show for a reason, and he’s already become a contender for the Iron Throne within just a few episodes. It’s entirely possible that the show’s creators have big plans for him in Season 7. And if we’ve learned anything from real-word events, it’s to never assume you know who’s going to (or not going to) win.


Now here’s a sexy wildcard. Think of him as our Green Party candidate—a good guy overall but probably not making it to the televised debate. He’s been confirmed as the son of Robert Baratheon, which leaves him as the only remaining Baratheon left to claim the throne. Problem is, he was set adrift by Sir Davos in Season 3 and we haven’t seen him since. While it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he sat on the Iron Throne, it would be out of left field. What kind of king would he be? Probably a rad, help-the-poor, kill-all-the-bad-guys type, and we can seriously get behind that. Plus, maybe he and Arya could cash in on their crush and rule together.

The Night King

Well this is an ending we don’t even like to consider. In this scenario, nobody sits on the Iron Throne. The White Walkers just kill everyone and turn Westeros into a vast, weird zombie wasteland. What does the Night King truly have planned for Westeros? It’s hard to tell—it’s not like he’s said much about his platform. What we do know about him is that he’s got a wicked hairdo, he’d totally win at a zombie horse derby, and his AC bills are probably outrageous. And if there's ever a question of voter fraud, the Night King would be a prime suspect, considering his constituency is made up entirely of dead people. Personally, we’d prefer Cersei over him as the lesser of two evils—sometimes that’s just how the world works.

With two more installments left, we’re not likely to get a final answer in 2017. But we will be able to narrow it down further. Tune in to see who’s in and who’s out Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.