New episodes of HBO’s highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones are being released every Sunday until May 19. Speculation is rampant as to how the series, based on the books of George R.R. Martin, will end. Betting sites have sprung up for fans to wager on the winner of the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms. What will happen? Here are the smart money’s possibilities.
Jon Snow, born Aegon Targaryen, is the favorite to win and for good reason. If you accept that his family, the Targaryens are the rightful rulers, the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen has the strongest claim to the throne.
‘The Bastard of Winterfell’ joined the Nights Watch to escape the bastard status and quickly rose to the rank of the youngest Lord Commander in the history of the Nights Watch, earning his leadership chops.
Jon Snow differs from other characters in that he has no real desire for power. If news were to get out that he was brought back to life by the Lord of Light, there is no way of knowing how the kingdom would react.
Daenerys the Stormborn, aka The Breaker of Chains, The Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea and the Rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms has dedicated her life to taking the throne. Do you really think that someone who goes through the trouble of introducing themselves with so many titles would stand compliant and allow someone else take the Iron Throne?
How she will respond when she finds out that Jon Snow’s claim could be argued as more rightful than her own?
A debate exists as to whether or not the Targaryens have a legitimate claim to the throne. The last Targaryen to rule, the Mad King, was murdered because he was planning on burning alive the people of King’s Landing. Will people accept a Targaryen ruler after the severe breach of trust?
Money is power. The current ruler of the Seven Kingdoms has secured funding from the Iron Bank, allowing her to purchase the Golden Company, the most fearsome and skilled group of sellswords (mercenaries) in the free cities.
Cersei has also managed to secure the Iron fleet, granting her the strongest naval presence in Westeros. Since Cersei currently sits on the Iron Throne, she holds the defensive advantage – and can fight off challengers from behind the castle walls.
Mercenaries are notoriously fickle, and could easily switch sides with inducements or for their own advantage. While they were brought to Westeros by Euron Greyjoy, and paid for by the Iron Bank, Euron could easily be convinced to order the Golden Company to fight for Daenerys.
The Night King // Bran Stark
Will evil triumph?
The Night King has access to the formidable – and united – army of the dead. The lack of unity amongst the living could be exploited by the malevolent Night King as he marches south, adding more and more members to his army with each victory.
The Night King’s success depends on the divisiveness of the humans. If Cersei, Jon Snow, and Daenerys unite forces, his odds of succeeding diminish.
Gendry is the only living son of the last king, Robert Baratheon, but his mother was not a queen, and illegitimacy weakens conventional claims to the throne. Should his heritage be acknowledged and honored, people might rally and support him. Game of Thrones is known for unexpected twists and turns, so an apparently unlikely outcome for a minor character is definitely in contention as a possibility.
Although Gendry is the son of Robert Baratheon, he is unacknowledged and carries the last name “Waters.”
Game of Thrones keeps surprising fans at every turn. As much as we would like to think we know who will rule the kingdom, the truth is all we can do is wait and see what happens on May 19!