(From left) Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane, John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne. Photographs from HBO
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The GoT finale primer: Our informed list of alternative candidates for the Iron Throne

Who else could be in the running to rule all of the Seven Kingdoms—or what’s left of it
Karen Mae de Vera | May 19 2019

We understand tensions may run high among readers due to recent events that have sparked mixed reactions. Many have criticized those at the helm and their process of achieving the end results. Many are rallying for further evaluation to improve the outcome. All this talk about morally ambiguous motivations, villainous turns, and fan favorites not making it have exploded on social media feeds. But enough about the midterm elections.

[Warning: You must tread carefully beyond this point for this post is full of spoilers.]

Now that we’re leading up to the Game of Thrones series finale, there have been many hot takes circulating the web regarding who should be deemed worthy of the Iron Throne.

At the lead is Daenerys Targaryen, who gave in to her worst impulses by laying waste to King’s Landing using dragonfire and completely decimating the city. Whether this heel-face turn was warranted remains up for debate among the fans.

There’s also been speculation that the Stark family, Jon (technically their cousin), Sansa, Arya, and Bran, shall rule together, much like the Pevensie siblings did in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Fans have also placed bets on Tyrion Lannister, known to enjoy playing political mindgames, as a potential ruler.

Even Gendry Baratheon, who was legitimized by Dany herself, has a claim to the throne. But are these the only options?

Let’s look beyond the main contenders and search the Seven Kingdoms for other candidates.


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[1] Samwell Tarly

As a staunch supporter of Jon Snow since season 1, Sam shares similar values with the King of the North. Since our boy Jon A.K.A. knower of nothing, isn’t interested in the throne, he could always pass it on to his brainier pal. Sam is a well-read Maester with encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Westeros. He’ll be wise enough to learn from and avoid the mistakes of past leaders.


  • One of the first people in recent history to defeat a White Walker using dragonglass.
  • One of the first people in recent history to successfully perform a Greyscale surgery.


  • Provide free education, promoting literacy to the Seven Kingdoms. This includes added benefits for the Maesters of Westeros and beyond.
  • Improved healthcare plan, which includes the treatment of contagious diseases such as Greyscale.


[2] Tormund Giantsbane

The current reigning leader of the Free Folk has experience in wrangling bands of Wildlings together. The renowned warrior acclimated himself to Southern culture and may be able to continue Jon Snow’s advocacy of bridging the gap between the true north and the rest of Westeros resulting in a united front.


  • War veteran of the Battle of Castle Black, Battle of the Bastards, and the Battle of Winterfell. He was also present during the White Walker extraction special operations.
  • Drank milk directly from the breast of a Giantess and lived to tell the tale.


  • Giant’s milk feeding program to improve the immune system of the Westerosi youth. (Worked for Tormund, right?)
  • Implementation of heritage laws that will protect the Free Folk 


[3] Hot Pie

What if we’ve been looking at the wrong places for Azor Ahai? Arya’s baker friend is used to handling a lot of heat in his profession. Hot Pie may not have any military (we heard that he kicked a dude to death) or political background but he can surely take a seminar or consult with a colleague about the job designation. What is Hot may never Pie!


  • One of three survivors who successfully escaped Harrenhall
  • Creator of Direwolf bread


  • Vocational schools for trade professions
  • Proper licensing of Knight’s armor (Because according to Gendry, anyone could buy armor so Hot Pie feels the need for identification.)


[4] Podrick Payne

Pod “The Rod” Payne is the human tripod that exudes big dick energy in every sense of the term. This multi-talented man can sing, fight, and appease the ladies. We’re not surprised if he’s got a natural ability to hold a leadership role. Is there anything he can’t do?


  • Squire for celebrated knight, Ser Brienne of Tarth
  • Survivor of many battles, including the one in Blackwater, and has faced off against White Walkers.


  • A bigger budget for the performing arts program
  • Anti-discrimination law for knighthood


[5] Yara Greyjoy​

The salt bae has reclaimed her Salt Throne in the Iron Islands. She can cross the narrow sea and take over. Yara could probably rebuild King’s Landing from the ashes using the fraction of the price since their people are known for repurposing (and well, pillaging but that’s another story) materials.


  • Leader of the iron fleet and was victorious in many naval battles.
  • Queen of the Iron Islands


  • Legitimizing the iron price in the trade industry
  • LGBTQ rights


[6] Drogon

Humans have neglected the greater good time and time again for the sake of petty political squabbles. Perhaps it’s time for the beastly inhabitants of Westeros to take over. As the son of Daenerys Targaryen, this dragon learned from the best when it came to conquering and ruling over a vast land. Hopefully, citizens won’t take it personally and be able to move on from the King’s Landing incident. (He was just following orders, after all!) He needs to get Ghost as his running mate in order to improve his image.

With their powers combined, Drogon and Ghost are the true song of ice and fire.


  • Dany’s champion when it came to her many battles from Mereen, Winterfell, and King’s Landing.
  • Defeating Euron Greyjoy’s iron fleet including the Scorpion artillery weapons.


  • Animal rights and the protection of endangered species
  • Mythical beasts repopulation project