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Why Game of Thrones Ended With [SPOILER] Ruling Westeros

Game of Thrones Finale Bran Iron Throne

Game of Thrones' season 8 finale ended in a way that few would have expected: with Bran "The Broken" Stark as the new King of the Six Kingdoms. Though he has no bloodline claim to the role of King, either through the Targaryen or Baratheon family name, Bran was elected by a new council as the best possible ruler for Westeros, and in turn he selected Tyrion to be his Hand of the King. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), Bran doesn't get to sit on the Iron Throne, since that was destroyed by Drogon before he left with Daenerys' body.

Bran's appointment as King followed a discussion about how rulers of Westeros should be chosen (with Sam at one point suggesting a full democracy - to much amusement). The deciding factor was a speech from Tyrion, who is still a talented wordsmith, even in chains. He explained that "Bran the Broken" had a story worthy of a king: crippled by a fall, and persevering despite the fact that he would never walk again. The assembled nobles and warriors agreed to the choice, with Sansa adding the caveat that the North would remain free (with herself as the Queen in the North), and Bran was appointed as king. He even revealed that he knew of his destiny in advance, saying, "Why do you think I came all this way?"

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Related: Game of Thrones: Who's On the New Small Council

We don't know what the future now holds for Westeros, but Game of Thrones series finale, "The Iron Throne," left the country in about as promising a place as it could be. Bran, like Jon, had no ambition to rule the Seven Kingdoms (or even Six Kingdoms), so he's unlikely to suddenly develop Daenerys' taste for conquest. He's about as wise and knowledgeable a ruler as Westeros could ask for, given that he's the Three-Eyed Raven and capable of exploring the country's past and learning from its mistakes. And he's aided by a Small Council made up of Game of Thrones' most unambiguously "good" characters: Tyrion, Brienne, Sam, and Davos. And also Bronn.

Game of Thrones Finale Starks at Council

Although Bran may not be the Stark that fans expected to see on the Iron Throne, his appointment as King is nonetheless a satisfying end to the eight-year story. A show whose first season saw the Stark family brought low and traumatized by the death of Ned Stark now ends with Starks ruling both the North and the six other kingdoms. Though she didn't bend the knee to her brother, Sansa expressed faith in him as a ruler and it's clear that there will be a strong alliance between North and South moving forward.

More importantly, Bran's appointment marks the end of a long and flawed tradition of crowning rulers based on their bloodline, rather than their ability to rule, as Bran himself can't father children. The destruction of the Iron Throne is symbolic of an end to this system of choosing Kings and Queens, and although Sam's suggestion of allowing everyone in Westeros a vote was widely mocked, it lays the groundwork for a possible future system of democracy in Westeros.

More: Game Of Thrones' A Song Of Ice & Fire Reference Explained

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