Who will win the 'Game of Thrones'? We weigh up the contenders' chances
Jon and Daenerys aren't the only ones who could end up taking the Iron Throne in the final episode of 'Game of Thrones'
SPOILER ALERT! This article contains major spoilers for 'Game of Thrones'.
The last five episodes of the final season of Game of Thrones have been a roller-coaster of shock, disappointment and any other emotion you care to think of, and yet we still have no real clue of how the show will end.
Here's which major characters are still standing, after King's Landing was reduced to ashes, who might be in with a shot of claiming the Iron Throne.
It's safe to say Daenerys Targaryen sits on the Iron Throne right now - that's if the Red Keep's throne room survived her fiery destruction of King's Landing.
Either way, the Mother of Dragons' decent into madness and slaughter of thousands of innocents has surely made it improbable that she'll end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms.
Then again, perhaps her ultimate goal was never for Westeros to have a single ruler. Remember the conversation she had with Tyrion Lannister way back in episode 8 of season 5:
Daenerys: Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell, they're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top and on and on it spins crushing those on the ground.
Tyrion: It's a beautiful dream, stopping the wheel. You're not the first person who's ever dreamt it.
Daenerys: I'm not going to stop the wheel, I'm going to break the wheel.
After the last episode, it seems she not only broke the wheel, she burnt it to ashes. So, could her mission be accomplished?
JON SNOW AKA AEGON TARGARYEN
Jon Snow has been set up to be the hero of the series since day one: he saved the wildlings, he saved Westeros, he even saved a woman from being raped during last week's epic battle.
As the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys' older brother) and Lyanna Stark, he also has the strongest claim to the Iron Throne by birthright. He doesn't actually want the crown, but that's exactly why he deserves it, right?
That said, having the typical hero character coming out on top would quite frankly be disappointing. As the Washington Post points out, if Jon ends up as king "the series might as well go back in time and reattach Ned Stark's head" because it will have undone its commentary about the dirty nature of politics and its destruction of good people.
Ayra Stark has perhaps had the most interesting and unexpected story arc this season, so will the series' final surprise be her sitting on the Iron Throne?
It's unlikely when you consider that Arya, probably more so than Jon, does not want the crown — and all the boring obligations that'll come with it. As she told Gendry Baratheon when she turned down his marriage proposal, "I'm not a lady. I never have been. That's not me."
That said, don't forget Arya trained to be a faceless assassin. This means she can double as anyone who's dead by wearing their face like a mask. So, whichever face we see on the Iron Throne, Arya could be lurking beneath it.
Despite being a bit of a tattletale, Sansa Stark has proven to be a good ruler and, unlike her siblings, survived King's Landing and all of its vile characters. She has learnt from the best and worst of Westeros' politicians and seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Whether she will actually want to leave Winterfell for the south again is doubtful.
Tyrion Lannister is horrified by his mad queen's decision to incinerate the innocents of King's Landing, and so is likely to support Jon's claim to the throne — if he's alive to do so. Daenerys might roast him for freeing her prisoner, his brother Jaime Lannister.
If Daenerys is no longer a contender for the crown and Jon refuses it, Tyrion could become the unlikely hero. This wouldn't be a bad thing: he's a consummate politician and would likely make a good monarch.
Some fans are even hoping that he and Sansa will give their marriage another go, which would make her queen to his king.
Gendry is no longer a bastard. Thanks to a decree by Queen Daenerys, he's now lord of Storm Born, and has been acknowledged as legitimate child of Westeros' late king Robert Baratheon.
Perhaps there are those in the realm who fondly remember the peaceful days of Robert's rule and hope that, by placing his son on the throne, they could return to them.
This makes Gendry a big threat to Daenerys and, now that she's lost her wits, she's a big threat to him too.
The Three-Eyed Raven knows everything! Being able to foresee all the scheming and lying that has riddled many in King's Landing could make Bran the perfect king for Westeros — the creepiest, but definitely the most knowledgeable. But Bran doesn't even want to be warden of the north, so would he want to be king of the Seven Kingdoms?
Maybe while dealing with the aftermath of the burning of King's Landing, the various royal families, lords and ladies, and even the common people (if they'll be allowed a vote), will decide that they don't want a single monarch after all. Perhaps they'll opt to be governed by a council, or a leader chosen by the people rather than dictated by lineage.