Game of Thrones season 8: Five unlikely Iron Throne candidates

Game of ThronesAs we get closer to the final season of Game of Thrones on HBO, we’re starting to get a little antsy — that’s what happens when you’ve been stuck waiting for over a year and a half to see six freakin’ episodes. Yet, here we are, days away from the first episode of season 1 coming on the network.


Odds are, you’ve probably seen numerous articles with the titles of The Most Likely Contenders to End Up on the Iron Throne and the like, mostly because they’re pervasive — you can’t go online without one or two of them and it’s easy to figure out precisely why publications covet them. People digest Game of Thrones content like no other, and there’s also so many different fun angles and theories that can you can dangle over people’s brains.

Yet, let’s face it — there are really just five or six different contenders that you could put at the center of every one of those articles — Jon Snow, Daenerys, Sansa, maybe Arya, maybe Jaime, and with Tyrion as a dark horse because he’s already had all of that Hand of the King experience. We don’t want to just bring you the SAME Game of Thrones list you’ve seen elsewhere. With that, today we’re handing down five unlikely Iron Throne candidates — people who would make a little bit of sense but also people you wouldn’t shout out during a party game. Maybe you’d whisper their names and be ridiculed for it, but all of these names still matter. They each have value and crazier things have happened than seeing any of them on the Throne at the end of the show.

Want to know who CarterMatt could see on the Throne? Then keep on reading…

1. Samwell Tarly – Maybe the message of Game of Thrones is that putting power-hungry people at the top of a kingdom is a terrible move. Maybe instead the best thing is to appoint someone wise, someone who can rule via their mind and their heart. He’s a scholar who does at least have some battlefield experience, and he’s certainly well liked by many other people in power. Also, who wouldn’t love the underdog arc of a guy who started out the subject of ridicule, and yet ended up on top at the end?

2. Lyanna Mormont – Technically, she is already a leader — a leader of House Mormont at Bear Island. In the absence of a lot of other leaders (i.e. if a lot of the major characters die defeating the Night King) don’t you want to put someone with political experience at the top of the pyramid? The thing about appointing Lyanna is that while she’s awesome and great with the one-liners, we’re not sure her appointment does anything to change the landscape in Westeros. She’ll rule until someone else who thinks they can do better challenges her, and her appointment wouldn’t really do anything other than please the part of the internet who loves this character.

3. Davos Seaworth – We love Davos, and there is something so appealing about the idea of an everyman and sweet guy eventually finding his way to rule the Seven Kingdoms. It’s not a job that he wants, but that’s actually what makes him so darn perfect for it in the first place. Whether it be with Sam or with Davos, we just love the message of “anyone can do anything” within this world. While he may have been loathsome, that was a message enforced by Littlefinger through much of his life. He just drifted too close to the sun (or, the moondoor) and suffered the consequences because of it. (If you want to see more Game of Thrones discussion of who we see on the throne at the end just check out our video below and be sure to subscribe to the CarterMatt YouTube channel for more)

4. Euron Greyjoy – Euron is a jerk, a scoundrel, and all sorts of other terrible things, but that may actually make him the right man for the Iron Throne at the end. Remember that “bittersweet” has long been an adjective used to describe the end of Game of Thrones, almost like the end of Lord of the Rings. Maybe the heroes of Westeros get together, take on the White Walker threat, but when the dust settles, we’re simply left with the same sort of terrible ruler that we had for some of the time beforehand. Maybe the cycle of lousy kings never ends, but the larger threat does for at least a significant stretch of time.

5. Gendry – Maybe he’s the most likely of the unlikely, given that he does have some royal blood and he’d be the sort of ruler that’d make some sense — there’s a justification for him and it would be nice to have a legitimate echo to King Robert at the end of all of this. Here’s the part that we just can’t get behind — the idea that the eventual leader of the Seven Kingdoms is a guy who seemed to spend at least three years of the show’s run rowing while we wondered where in the world he was.

Other honorable mentions – Brianne of Tarth (because Davos all over again), Melisandre (she’d probably light herself on fire first), Gilly (as shadow ruler behind Sam), and the Night King (the burn-it-with-fire ending nobody wants).

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Who do you want to see end up on the Iron Throne at the end of Game of Thrones? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: HBO.)

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