While some fans of Game of Thrones will argue your head off about the point of the show not being about who is sitting atop the Iron Throne when it's all said and done, anyone who watches the show knows that it's something that goes through our heads every single week. And, you know, every day between the episodes. When the show ends, two seasons from now, who will win Game of Thrones? It's easy to toss out a few names from the major houses and assume that a huge battle will go down between them and that whoever is left standing will be the one to rule them, but it's unlikely that it will be that simple.
George R. R. Martin himself has said that his plans for the ending of Game of Thrones is going to be bittersweet. So no, we probably won't have a power couple sitting at the Iron Throne, ruling the Seven Kingdoms and living happily ever after. Now that we're past the midway point of Season 6 of Game of Thrones, we're also at the cusp of any wars to come this season. And also that much closer to the proposed endgame of just two more shortened seasons. So now is the time to start throwing your money in the hat as to who will win Game of Thrones and be left standing when it's all said and done. There are no shortage of contenders.
This is the obvious possibility since, as far as we currently know to be true, she is the only living Targaryen that has a legitimate claim over the Iron Throne. Of course the Mad King was overthrown, losing the throne and dying in the process, making House Baratheon the rightful family to lay any claim, but still. The Targaryens ruled the Seven Kingdoms for hundreds of years before the Mad King had to mess it all up by being crazy and little Robert Baratheon had to overthrow the crown. And now, with Daenerys having just given one of her most inspirational and rousing speeches to her khalasar about riding to Westeros to take what is hers, she's never been closer to fighting for that throne.
If R+L=J proves to be true (come on with those visions, Bran), then Jon, too, will have a claim to the iron throne as a Targaryen. Of course the fan theory also includes that it will still make him a bastard, but if another idea of Raegar and Lyanna secretly marrying proves to also be true, then the boy is golden. Right now, it seems like his main focus is on getting Winterfell and the North itself back, which is a start. He's already proven time and again how great of a leader he can be, though, and who can't imagine him ruling the Seven Kingdoms, ushering in a new, more peaceful era?
This option has become even more possible now that, in Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, both Tommen and Margaery pledged themselves to work alongside the Faith. While some fans rightfully think that Margaery has a longer con going on in her own mind, it still stands that the current king of Westeros is being guided and basically manipulated by the High Sparrow. And judging by the way the hundreds of citizens cheered when it was announced that the crown would merge with the Faith, they would definitely welcome the religious group leading them over the crooked and incestuous Lannisters any day. Agreed.
OK, hear me out on this one. It is plenty true that Petyr Baelish doesn't come from a main House, and is far from high born. In fact, he was the poor childhood friend of Catelyn Stark who was pretty much always wheeling and dealing his way through life. Think about where he's at now, as ruler of The Vale. Yes, Arynn is the rightful Lord of the Vale, but Uncle Petyr has that kid eating out of his hand. Petyr also has a strong alliance with the Lannisters and, by association, the Baratheons. Granted, there aren't many blood-related Baratheons left (is Gendry the only one?), but Petyr has support of the crown in pretty much whatever he does.
Petyr has gone on to manipulate Sansa into marrying into House Bolton so that he could get a hold on the North and become Warden of the North himself, which, as we all know, isn't going quite right. His way of worming in and out of situations may land him on the Iron Throne. Or, at the very least, being the controlling party. Not bad for a poor kid from Riverrun.
Right now, Yara is on her way with Theon to get to Daenerys before their uncle, Euron, does, in order to form an alliance with her. But Yara is probably one of the toughest women on Game of Thrones, and as one of the rightful heirs to the Iron Islands, whose to say that she won't find herself at the Iron Throne? It may be a bit of a stretch, but at the end of the show, it could very well be about who is left standing alive, rather than who has a legitimate, blood claim to the throne in King's Landing.
Cersei Lannister has been controlling the Seven Kingdoms since she married Robert Baratheon, if only behind the scenes. Then, he died and she was even more in control, as it was between the time before Joffrey would be the official king and the time when he was finally married. Of course, the Purple Wedding then happened, and while Margaery was quick to marry the new King Tommen, Cersei wasn't far away.
Every time there has been a shift of power at the throne, Cersei has been right there, ready to control things behind the scenes. Of course lately, she's done a lot more private scheming than controlling of Westeros, but this is also the lady who has lasted six seasons on Game of Thrones, walked through Flea Bottom, and still came out on top.
Euron has only just showed back up in the Iron Islands, after having never been seen by Game of Thrones viewers but only heard of. His first course of action was killing his brother and king of the Irons Islands to secure his own place as their ruler. Which he admitted to, like right away and with no shame. OK. And thanks to his crass language and gestures about how he plans to win over Daenerys, he won over the people of the Iron Islands very quickly.
After a fast ceremony, he was officially named their king and announced that they should leave quickly to find and kill both Yara and Theon. Again, this dude has no shame. But his ability to take whatever the Hell he wants might find him in the bed of Daenerys Targaryen (please God, no) and by the same tune, at her side to take the Iron Throne.
That's right, it is plenty possible that no one will win Game of Thrones at the end, since they could all very well just kill each other off or back away from the big wars to come. In this case — I'm not talking about the faceless men version of "no one" — no one could be ruling over the Seven Kingdoms. Remember when Daenerys had that dream vision in Season 2, Episode 10, of the throne room, empty, snow-covered, and without a freaking roof? While some fans theorize that it simply means Jon Snow will be the one to take over the Iron Throne, it could also mean that no one will because everyone will have destroyed each other in trying to claim it for themselves.
So, who will win Game of Thrones? At this point, it could still be anyone's win, since almost all of the current players of Game of Thrones have the ability to rule on the Iron Throne and soon, the armies, to fight in any of the wars to come. In the mean time, let's just try to get through Season 6 with enough of the "good" guys still intact.