As Game of Thrones fans prepare for the final season, the anticipation has reached a fever pitch. We're finally ready to get the answer to a question 10 years in the making. Who will sit on the Iron Throne?
While there are several possibilities, the two front runners are Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. They're two of the genuinely good people among Westeros’ leaders, and are pretty evenly matched in most categories. With that in mind, here are five reasons why Daenerys should sit on the Iron Throne and five reasons it should be Jon.
Jon Snow is his father’s son (well, the man he thought was his father). Like Ned, he believes in right and wrong, and has a very black and white sense of justice. Though this has gotten him into trouble, it has also helped him navigate the shark-infested political waters of Westeros.
Since we joined this story, Westeros has never had an ethical leader. Yes, Tommen wasn’t bad, but he was a child being manipulated by everyone. As a person who understands the need for honesty and justice, Jon Snow would be a welcome change to the seven kingdoms.
While most of Westeros’ upper class looks down on the smallfolk, Daenerys believes everyone is equal. When she came into power, one of her first acts was to free the people of Slaver's Bay (now named Dragon's Bay). Her commitment to equality has made her followers very loyal.
Even in her first days as Khaleesi, she never looked down on those serving her. She has made it clear, her No. 1 mission as queen is to “break the wheel” that keeps people down and only benefits rich families. This attitude may help her win over the hearts of everyday Westeros residents.
It’s true that Jon Snow comes from an important family, but his birth status made him an outsider. Joining the Night’s Watch and travelling north of the wall gave him a perspective that very few in the south can understand.
When he reclaimed Winterfell and became King in the North, he didn’t change into some dictator. He listened to his advisors, while also considering other points of view. So far, Westeros’ queen and kings have been selfish, we’ve already seen that Jon would be different.
Throughout seven seasons, every character has had a defining moment. Daenerys’ came when she bought Missandei and the Unsullied, then freed them. From here, she vowed to put an end to slavery in the seven kingdoms. It has been her driving force to become queen.
In Westeros she sees the imbalance between the rich and poor as another form of slavery, and it’s hard to argue with that point of view with Cersei in charge. Every decision she makes comes with the question of whether this will help free the people. Westeros needs someone concerned with the regular people for once.
When Jon encountered his first white walker at Castle Black, despite all evidence to the contrary, he knew that wouldn’t be the last time. During his first trip north of the wall, he discovered things weren’t as cut and dry as he previously thought.
However, it was his fight at Hardhome and first sighting of the Night King, where he became obsessed with protecting everyone from the white walkers. Knowing what they’re up against has given him single minded focus on defending the north. While the other leaders were calling him crazy, he was preparing for the Great War.
When we first met Daenerys and her older brother Viserys, all we heard was how he was the dragon and the future of the Targaryen dynasty. It became clear to viewers that he was no great leader, however, it took the show a little longer to show us he wasn’t the dragon.
The more time we spent with Daenerys, her true character revealed itself. She was obviously the dragon. We’ve seen her defy the odds time and again, defeating men who underestimate her. Though Westeros is a male dominated society, her abilities as the dragon will surely gain the respect of many soldiers. Of course, fans now know that she isn't the only Targaryen in Westeros, but she's the only one who has grown up with the weight of her name.
All along Daenerys and Viserys’ claim to the throne has been that they are next in the Targaryen line. Their brother Rhaegar died without leaving an heir, so that leads to them. This initially sparked Dany’s quest for the throne.
Of course, now it turns out Rhaegar and Lyanna did have a son and that child is Jon. Only Bran and Sam know the truth of Jon’s parentage, but if it does come out, he would be the legitimate heir to the throne. His claim is stronger than Dany’s and Cersei’s.
From the moment she emerged from the fire holding her dragons, Daenerys has been consumed with finding a way back to Westeros to become queen. She worked her way to Mereen, where she fought slavers, Dothraki, and mercenaries to become the woman that she is now.
She spent time in Mereen learning how to lead before she consolidated her power and headed back to Westeros. She made powerful allies, figuring out the lay of the land before attacking. Since she lost Drogo, everything she has done has been about taking back her rightful crown, so you know she’s ready to finally sit on that uncomfortable throne.
Robb was known as the great strategist, but it’s Jon who is the great fighter. At the Night’s Watch, he trained other men and was often the one others turned to in the heat of battle. His skill and experience has made the difference in battles with the Wildlings and white walkers.
Prior to his battle with Ramsay Bolton, he challenged Ramsay to a one on one fight for the north. Obviously, Ramsay was a coward, but apparently Jon’s reputation throughout the north also preceded him. The men who follow him into battle never question his orders, knowing he’s never overconfident or incompetent.
Here’s the thing, Jon Snow is a good guy. In fact, he’s such a good guy that he reminds many of his father. Unfortunately, it’s this quality that makes him unsuited for the throne. We saw when he was Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch that he is unprepared to play the political game in Westeros.
On the other hand, Dany has been dealing with backstabbing rich men, disrespectful Khals and greedy slavers. If pushed she has no trouble making hard, unpopular decisions. She’s still a good person, but she also doesn’t mind burning someone alive if necessary. It’s not all black and white when you’re the queen.