For six years, fantasy fans have been debating one crucial question: Game of Thrones character belongs on the Iron Throne? The War Of The Five Kings is already relegated to the history books of Westeros, and all five of those titular claimants are dead and buried. (RIP Renly Baratheon, Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Stannis Baratheon.)
But the game of thrones is far from over, and there are still plenty of people left jockeying for the chance to sit in the kingdom's fanciest chair: from foreign invaders to missing bastards and more. But which of them will be sitting on the Iron Throne when the credits role on the Thrones series finale? This story likely has many more twists in it before it ends, so it's nearly impossible to predict ahead of time; but there are still certain characters who certainly seem more likely than others to come out on top.
Remember: when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die; there is no middle ground. So chances are high that 10 of the 11 characters on this list will end up dead before the series is over, with only one left standing — or, more specifically, sitting. Who will it be?
11. Ser Pounce
Let's get this one out of the way first. Yes, there are fans out there who seem to genuinely believe that Tommen's adorable kitten Ser Pounce is actually Azor Ahai, the Prince That Was Promised, and that he will single-handedly (single-pawedly?) defeat the White Walkers and claim his rightful place as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. But, let's be real: there's a better chance of Lady Stoneheart finally making an appearance than a cat ending up on the Iron Throne.
10. Cersei Lannister
If Cersei made one fatal mistake in her pursuit for power it's this: she sat on the Iron Throne before the show was over. Viewers know there are going to be more changes to the power structure of Westeros before the series finale, so the newly-crowned monarch has pretty much a zero percent chance of maintaining her hold on the throne for 13 more episodes. Enjoy your reign while it lasts, Queen Cersei.
9. Euron Greyjoy
Although, in Season 6, the King of the Iron Islands declared his intention to marry Daenerys Targaryen, Euron may change his sights to a new bride once he learns that Theon and Yara beat him to the Mother of Dragons. If fan theories prove correct and Euron and Cersei marry in Season 7, Euron will be King of Westeros… but just like Cersei, he's unlikely to be able to hold onto that title for long.
8. Petyr Baelish
Littlefinger has been subtly scheming and manipulating his way to the Iron Throne since before the series even began, talking Lysa into poisoning Jon Arryn and blaming it on the Lannisters, kickstarting the conflict between the Starks and the royal family — and, by extension, the War Of The Five Kings itself. But there's one thing that will probably keep Lord Baelish from the throne: he simply wants it too much, which will prove his undoing.
7. Jaime Lannister
Questions of royal succession are always complicated and intriguing, but one thing is clear: if Cersei — whose children are all dead — is killed, then the throne would pass to her (younger-by-minutes) twin, Jaime. How ironic would it be if the the series ended with the infamous Kingslayer becoming the King?
6. Tyrion Lannister
If Jaime is killed in battle, or executed for killing Queen Cersei, or goes out with his sister-lover in a blaze of wildfire-fueled glory, then who's next in line for the throne? The last remaining Lannister sibling, of course. Tyrion proved himself an adept political player during his brief tenure as Hand of the King, and he has shown a curious bond with Dany's dragons — so he could potentially pick up where she leaves off if she's felled during her conquest.
Targaryens aside, who's the only person who could currently challenge Queen Cersei's claim to the Iron Throne? Robert Baratheon's son has more right to rule than the late king's wife, but there's just one problem: bastards can't hold titles unless they're legitimized by a monarch… and Cersei's certainly not going to recognize the only threat to her own rule. But wait — wasn't another king just crowned? If Jon "King In The North" Snow finds Gendry and legitimizes him, the handsome blacksmith could actually sit on his father's throne someday.
4. The Night King
He's already got the title and the crown to match. And viewers have seen multiple visions — given to both Dany and Bran — of the throne room covered in snow. Could these visions be prophecies that the White Walkers' invasion will push all the way south to King's Landing? Could the Night King claim the Iron Throne for himself after he wipes out all of Westeros? Talk about a dark ending…
3. Daenerys Targaryen
This is what the entire show has been leading up to, right? Since Episode 1, Game Of Thrones has been about Daenerys Targaryen's quest to reclaim the Iron Throne for her family. Is there any other way the show can end than with the Mother of Dragons taking her rightful seat as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms? Well, knowing George R.R. Martin, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Like Littlefinger, Dany almost wants the throne too much for that to be a satisfying ending.
2. Jon Snow
Ironically, of the show's two main protagonists, it almost seems more likely that Jon will take the throne than Daenerys, simply because he wants it less. Jon would probably be content to rule his half of the kingdom from Winterfell — but it would be just like Thrones to thrust the reluctant hero into a position of power he didn't ask for, and watch him grapple with the weight of responsibility it brings.
1. No One
Let's face it: this is by far the most likely outcome. By the end of the series, once the White Walkers have invaded and Dany's dragons have laid waste, will there even be an Iron Throne to sit on? Whether because there's no one left to rule or because Westeros has been turned into a democratic society (per Dany's promise to "break the wheel"), Game Of Thrones could very well end with nobody occupying the titular chair at all.
Whoever ultimately wins the game of thrones (if anyone), fans only have to wait 13 more episodes to find out.