Wednesday 21 August 2019

Game of Thrones: who are the top five contenders to claim the Iron Throne?

'Game of Thrones' actress Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
'Game of Thrones' actress Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

After eight seasons of epic battles, unexpected deaths, alliances formed, and countless double-dealings, the final six episodes of Game of Thrones are looming. But who will finally claim the Iron Throne? Paul Whitington ranks the five top contenders for the throne...

Daenerys Targaryen

'Game of Thrones' actress Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

Game of Thrones is justly famous for its character arcs, and none more dramatic than that of Daenarys (Emilia Clarke), who started out as a timid little thing who shuffled off into an arranged marriage and wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

Once afraid of turning into her vicious father, she now has, and shares his penchant for burning people alive with her weapons of choice, those dragons. Feels the Iron Throne is rightfully hers, and is my favourite to get it.


Cersei Lannister

'As Cersei Lannister says: "When you play the game of thrones you win or you die. There is no middle ground."' Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO/PA

If GoT is packed with self-serving Machievaleans, old Cercei (Lena Headey) is the toughest and most ruthless of the lot.

In any other show, someone so villainous would stand no chance of triumphing, but she’s surely in with a strong shout here, and her tactics are brilliant. She’s hoping Jon and Dany’s armies will exhaust themselves battling the Walkers, leaving her to swoop in victoriously at the end.

Fiendish, and might just work. A strong contender. 


Jon Snow

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Jon (Kit Harrington) would surely be the popular choice, and is the least crazy of our list of contenders. Has a conscience, is not a sadist, but possibly lacks the ruthlessness to claim the throne.

He’s also being used as a battering ram by both Daenerys and Cersei, who hope he’ll be lost in the the battle with the Walkers. He’s come back from the dead once, so I wouldn’t bet against him. 

Read more: Final fantasy: everything you need to know ahead of Game of Thrones season 8 

Sansa Stark

Sophie Turner

Having spectacularly emerged from the lying influence of the late Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish, Sansa (Sophie Turner) might not be badly placed to inherit the Iron Throne, depending on what happens to her noble half-brother Jon, who is bound to be in the front line of the battle against the walkers.

By inheritance, she stands to become very powerful and she’s survived plenty. An outsider, but you never know. 


The Night King

Icy reception: The Night King in Game of Thrones threatens to wipe out humanity

With his ghastly habit of casually raising his arms, reviving the dead and turning fallen warriors into faithful zombies, the Night King is one of TV’s most compelling villains.

Would the show’s writers be nihilistic to end the series with him winning? Nothing would surprise me, and if your only aim is to kill everything that stands in your way and unleash perpetual winter, you’re definitely in with a chance. Now has a zombie dragon!

Read more: The 10 questions we want answered in the final series of Game of Thrones

Maisie Williams reveals who she wants to sit on the Iron Throne when Game of Thrones ends 

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