'GoT's Iron Throne Still Needs A Good Candidate

by Jennifer Still

With just one more episode left in Game of Thrones Season 5, we've got to prepare ourselves for some Big Things before we wrap up for another year. A lot of big things have happened this season, from Arya's joining the Faceless Men and Sansa's marriage to (and rape by) Ramsay Bolton, to Cersei's imprisonment and the battle with the White Walkers, led by the Night's King. You certainly could never say that Season 5 has been uneventful, but it has lacked in one major department: finding us a suitable candidate for the Iron Throne. Sure, that's what the show's been about for a while now, but if we're honest, are we actually any closer than we were this time last year to finding someone worthy of ruling the Seven Kingdoms? I don't think so.

Hear me out for a minute. At the moment, Stannis Baratheon and Daenerys Targaryen are the only ones with any semblance of a legal claim to the throne, but many have suggested the likes of Jon Snow or Petyr Baelish for the role should opportunity arise for either of them. Distantly, you could put Myrcella Baratheon in the race (that is, assuming Tommen's legitimacy is recognized by the people), or even the High Sparrow, who seems to be taking more and more control of King's Landing as the weeks go by, thanks to Cersei's short-sightedness. But if you really think about it, are any of these people deserving of the role of ruling a kingdom? Could any of them do a good job?

Before we talk about whether or not anyone deserves the highest role in Westeros, we should first discuss the lack of progress they've all made in getting anywhere close to the throne to begin with. Stannis has been camping out doing absolutely nothing (besides burning his daughter at the stake) after being abandoned by the sellswords he hired, the Stormcrows. Dany has been making enemies in Meereen to the point that she was forced to vacate the former slave city on the back of her dragon, no closer to crossing the Narrow Sea than she's ever been. Baelish is still sucking up to the Crown, and Jon is too preoccupied with the White Walkers and trying to keep the Night's Watch alive... do you see where I'm going with this?

While I'm not naive enough to expect a quick resolution to what is, at heart, the crux of the entire series — after all, the Iron Throne being conquered by the most powerful suitor of all would likely mean the end of the road — it would be nice to feel like we're not constantly being distracted from the matter at hand. And while it would be unrealistic to expect an army to walk the length of a continent and stage a mutiny spur of the moment, it's also unrealistic to imagine that those who believe they have the right to rule and are hungry for the power it would bring would be happy sitting around for months or years on end, just waiting for the right time. If not now, when?

Of course, not all those who want something are suited to get it. Out of all the potential kings and queens I've mentioned above, it's hard to choose someone that I think would actually be very good at the job. The closest would likely be Jon Snow, but he has even less claim to royalty (or so we think) than anyone else currently fighting for the job. He would be a just and a kind ruler, but he would be challenged continually, and there's not even any clear sign that he would want the position, even if it were handed to him on a silver platter.

The Game of Thrones is complicated, and it's a slow and winding road. I just hope we get to see some new scenery come Season 6.

Images: HBO (1); Giphy (2)