If you're anything like us, we know that you've been anxiously counting down the days until the seventh seven premiere of Game of Thrones. But with only 13 episodes to go, there's still plenty of questions that need to be answered before this epic fantasy series wraps up for good. Will Bran ever learn how to fly? Will Arya cross all the names off of her death list? Will Dany's dragons defeat the White Walkers in the Great War? And, of course, we can't forget one of the biggest questions of them all: who will ultimately win the game of thrones?
Plenty of hopeful kings have met their demise throughout the series so far, not to mention that everyone who actually has sat the Iron Throne has met a tragic end as well. As we're looking ahead into the last couple of seasons, only a few characters look like they have any real shot of winning the eponymous game of thrones, including Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow. Though Cersei and Dany may have the biggest armies and the biggest desires to rule the Seven Kingdoms, we're putting our money on Jon Snow to be the last one standing.
Here are 15 Reasons Jon Snow Will Win The Game Of Thrones.
15 Rulers aren’t born, they’re made
Don’t get us wrong, Dany’s great and all, but if we had to pick one word to describe the Mother of Dragons, that word would have to be “entitled.” Since the beginning of season two, Dany has been talking about one thing, and one thing only: her right to the Seven Kingdoms. Even in the season seven trailer, she proclaims “I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms” simply because her father was a Targaryen. Is that her only argument?
On the other hand, Jon Snow was born and raised a bastard. Sure, he was raised by a Great House, but in a lot of ways that made his upbringing worse — having to constantly be reminded that he’s less important than his brothers and sisters.
Jon is far from entitled, and he’s had to struggle against all odds to change people perceptions of him. He’s gone from a steward, to Lord Commander, to King of the North not because of his heritage, but because he’s proven himself time and time again to be a competent leader.
14 He’s already died once
Game of Thrones is a show that rarely (if ever) repeats itself, and even though the series repeatedly kills its characters off, every new death still remains original and surprising in its own right. We’ve already gone through the utter shock and disbelief that Jon Snow might not make it out of the series alive. Though he was thankfully brought back to life with the help of Melisandre, that doesn’t change the fact that Jon was already killed.
With two short seasons to go, we have no doubt that Game of Thrones will continue to up its death toll. After all, Dany has an entire kingdom to conquer, Arya still has a number of names to cross off her death list, and Cleganebowl definitely needs to happen.
Jon’s death and resurrection storyline was such a massive turning point for the show, that we doubt the writers would turn around and knock him off again. At the very least, Jon will have to make it to the series finale.
13 He has wise counsel
Of course, we know that Dany has Tyrion Lannister serving as her Hand. While Tyrion may very well be one of the smartest men in the Seven Kingdoms -- not to mention one of the most likable characters on the show -- Dany has proven time and time again that she will ultimately do whatever she deems best, regardless of counsel. This has worked out for her for the most part, but she's in a whole new world come this season.
Jon, on the other hand, has two advisors in his corner who he has willingly turned to for counsel. Samwell may be a bit on the annoying side, but he’s extremely well read and currently has the entire knowledge of the world at his fingertips. Might Samwell uncover a secret to defeating the White Walkers hidden in the Citadel?
Meanwhile, Davos Seaworth may not be a learned man, but he’s as honest and practical as they come. Now that Stannis is dead and Melisandre is out of the picture, Davos will most likely become Jon Snow’s right-hand man, constantly there to punch holes in Jon’s plans until they’re impervious.
12 He knows how to unite mortal enemies
At this point, diplomacy is pretty much non-existent throughout the Seven Kingdoms, with rulers willing to fight their enemies to the death rather than try and hash out a compromise first. This is one quality that sets Jon Snow apart from Stannis, Cersei, and even Daenerys: he’s willing to put aside any past disagreements and look for a solution that’s beneficial for everyone.
Few grudges in the Seven Kingdoms run deeper than the one between the Free Folk and the brothers of the Night’s Watch. Though it may have cost Jon his life, the Lord Commander was miraculously able to unite the wildlings with the Watch, realizing that any other option would mean victory for the White Walkers.
With Cersei sitting the Iron Throne and Dany beginning her conquest of Westeros, we have no doubt that the Seven Kingdoms will continue to fracture amidst the oncoming power struggle. Currently, Jon Snow looks like the only one left who may be able to convince the Great Houses that if they don’t fight together, they'll never make it out of winter alive.
11 He’s tough, but fair
Jon's idea of justice was no doubt instilled in him by Lord Eddard Stark, who always preached that the man who passes the sentence should be the one who swings the sword. Eddard was undoubtedly one of the most honorable characters in all of Westeros, and his parenting made each one of his children (including Jon) into the principled adults they are today.
When Mance Rayder was being burned at the stake by King Stannis in season five, Jon took it upon himself to mercy kill the King-beyond-the-Wall, believing that the punishment was unjustly harsh. And when Jon is resurrected by Melisandre, he also took it upon himself to see that the traitors were rightfully executed-- including Olly, the young boy who once acted as Jon's steward.
Jon doesn't revel in his defiance or revenge, he simply does what needs to be done. This sets him apart from Dany and especially Cersei, who often take far too much pleasure in their form of "justice" and end up alienating their allies in the processes.
10 He’s humble
There's nothing that keeps you humble like constantly being reminded that you're an illegitimate child, or having the love of your life repeatedly tell you that "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Though Jon certainly knows a lot more than "nothing," he's never once imposed himself on someone else - except when people's lives are at stake. In fact, Jon may very well be the most humble and self-aware character in the series (though, admittedly, the bar is not set very high).
Humility is one quality that many rulers desperately lack, and is the very reason that great civilizations fall. It's no wonder that someone who's born into royalty and is waited on hand and foot for their entire life doesn't end up caring about the common folk once they've assumed their position of power. Jon Snow knows what it's like to be stepped on and pushed aside his entire life. Right now, he's the only ruler who will put other people's needs before his own.
9 He’s battle-hardened
Plain and simple, the citizens of the Seven Kingdoms want a warrior on the Iron Throne. People didn’t accept Robert Baratheon as their king because he had more political prowess than Areys II Targaryen; they accepted him because he slew Rhaegar Targaryen with his warhammer and seized the Iron Throne for himself. Since then, the Throne has sat an array of ineffectual leaders, including Joffrey, Tommen, and Cersei -- none of whom have any expertise on the battlefield.
From a young age, Jon was trained by Rodrick Cassel, Winterfell’s master-at-arms, before heading north to the Wall, where he practiced his archery and swordsmanship on a daily basis. Since then, Jon’s fought against wildlings, White Walkers, and the Bolton army — besting every enemy he’s come up against. Now with winter upon them, the kingdom needs a leader who knows not only how to fight, but how to inspire an army to follow him into battlefield no matter the odds of the outcome.
8 He knows how to defeat the White Walkers
Out of all the characters who call themselves rulers, Jon Snow is the only one who’s currently concerned with fighting against the White Walkers. While Cersei Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, and Daenerys Targaryen continue to play their game of thrones, Jon will be no doubt continue to mount his defense against the White Walkers and the impending war. And isn’t this what will ultimately matter to the citizens of the Seven Kingdoms?
As we’ve already heard Davos Seaworth say in the season seven trailer, “If we don’t put aside out enmities and band together we will die, and then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.” In a sense, we’ve already seen this happen during the War of the Five Kings. While the royal families fought for power the commoners suffered, with many of them rising up as Sparrows to revolt against the Lannisters and the Tyrells.
If Jon Snow remains the only one willing to protect the realm against the White Walkers, the people will no doubt want him sitting the Iron Throne once the war is over.
7 Dragons aren’t everything
Dany’s dragons will certainly play a large role as she begins her conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, and we have no doubt that they’ll be a valuable weapon when it comes fighting against the White Walkers as well. But owning dragons does not make you a leader by default.
It’s true that the Targaryens have long used dragons to control the Seven Kingdoms, but the fire-breathing beasts -- no matter how large they are -- are still far from invincible. After all, dragons have gone extinct before.
As we’ve already seen, Drogon sustained a number of injuries while rescuing Dany from the fighting pits in Meereen, and he just so happens to be the largest and strongest of the three dragons. Not to mention that Dany’s dragons are far from well-trained, meaning they could wreak just as much havoc across the Seven Kingdoms, uniting forces against Daenerys Targaryen and making Jon Snow look all the more suitable to sit the Iron Throne.
6 He worships the Old Gods of the Forest
Though Jon has never been a particularly pious man, he still decided to swear his vows in front of a weirwood tree -- the closest thing that followers of the Old Gods have to a sanctuary. Even though the Children of the Forest are seemingly extinct, we know through Bran that the weirwoods and the Old Gods still have a lot of power, especially in the North, where the trees are more plentiful. Luckily for Jon, the battle against the White Walkers will begin in the North, where his beliefs may grant him the extra strength needed to defeat the Others.
Ever since the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea six thousand years back, the Faith of the Seven has been the primary religion in Westeros. In that amount of time, the White Walkers, Children of the Forest, and Greenseers have been reduced to the stuff of legend. But the Seven Kingdoms are about to find out that those legends, along with the Old Gods, are very much real.
With the High Sparrow and the Great Sept recently destroyed, might the citizens want a ruler whose gods actually still have power once the Great War begins?
5 He doesn’t want to be king
If anybody takes the stance that Jon Snow will never sit the Iron Throne, their main argument is generally that Jon doesn’t care about being crowned king. While we certainly don’t disagree with that point, that’s what makes him all the more desirable to rule in the first place.
So far, everyone that’s wanted to sit the Iron Throne has been exceedingly power hungry. Stannis, Cersei, Littlefinger, and even Daenerys have been so consumed with wanting to crush their enemies that they’ve unwittingly put thousands of people to death in the process. But now, with winter upon them, this makes Jon an increasingly more desirable choice.
Unlike everyone else, who’s resorted to calling their banners or buying sellsword to help them stake their claim, people actually want Jon to rule them. He was elected Lord Commander without ever volunteering for the position, and after retaking Winterfell, he was crowned King of the North despite being a bastard and never asking for the title.
Whether Jon wants to admit it or not, he was made to rule, and it’s no mistake that those who make the best rulers are those who never wanted to rule at all.
4 He’s Azor Ahai reborn
In case you’re not caught up on your Game of Thrones lore, Azor Ahai is a legendary figure who lived some eight thousand years ago. During the Long Night, Azor Ahai forged a sword of fire known as Lightbringer, which he used to defeat the White Walkers and restore peace to the realm. Since then, worshippers of the Lord of Light have prophesied that Azor Ahai will be reborn, and, once again, he (or she) will be the only one capable of defeating the Walkers.
So far in the show, both Jon and Dany exhibit signs of being Azor Ahai reborn. Their heritage and the conditions surrounding their birth both fit the bill, but under closer examination, Jon may have a leg up on Dany.
There are a number of other legendary figures that parallel Azor Ahai, including the Prince that was Promised and the Last Hero. While some believe these are totally different figures, it’s more likely that they’re one and the same.
The Last Hero is specifically noted to be a member of the First Men, a group which Jon Snow is a descendant of, which could make him the ultimate savior of the Seven Kingdoms over Daenerys.
3 He’s the archetypal hero
In a lot of ways, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is an exercise in unconventional storytelling. He sets some of the most important events of the story before the books begin, goes thousands upon thousands of pages before many of the main characters ever meet, and kills off the supposed main character of the entire story (Eddard Stark) at the end of the first book. But what’s any great fantasy epic without an archetypal hero hiding in the center of it?
Whether it be Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, Rey from The Force Awakens, or Jon Snow in Game of Thrones; all of these characters display the same traits of a quintessential hero. They grew up without their parents, must leave home to go on an adventure, and are granted supernatural help on their journey. Jon Snow even gets bonus points for being killed and reborn — another heroic archetype.
So far, Game of Thrones has been wrought with gut-wrenching deaths and pointedly unhappy endings. At this point, wouldn’t a classic ending where the hero actually wins out be a rather unexpected turn of events?
2 He has a solid claim to the Iron Throne
After last season’s Tower of Joy flashback, audiences finally learned that Jon Snow is indeed the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, which gives Snow a solid claim to the Iron Throne. Of course, this means nothing if the citizens of the Seven Kingdoms still believe Jon to be Lord Eddard’s bastard. But with Bran, Howland Reed and (most likely) Littlefinger all knowing the truth, it seems only a matter of time before Jon true parentage is brought to light.
Of course, having a rightful claim to the Iron Throne doesn’t mean it’s automatically yours. As Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister have shown us, the throne can most definitely be taken by force. But as Varys has told us before, “Power lies where people think it is.”
We doubt Jon will ever take up arms to win himself the throne, but if people learn that he is the lost son of Rhaegar — the most beloved Targaryen in recent memory — then they may deem him ruler of the Seven Kingdoms nonetheless.
1 It’s all in the name of the novels
With a title like A Song of Ice and Fire, we’re beyond certain that the story is building up to an epic battle between the White Walkers and Dany’s dragons, and we’ve even seen a glimpse of an impressive amount of fire burning north of the Wall in the season seven trailer if you were watching closely. But might the title also hint at who the story’s ultimate hero is?
Jon Snow is no doubt the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Some fans have speculated that he may even be their legitimate child if the couple secretly eloped, since it’s quickly seeming more and more likely that the couple was madly in love, rather than Rhaeger kidnapping Lyanna and raping her as Robert Baratheon wanted the realm to believe.
Though Jon is very much a man of the North, we now know that he has the blood of the dragon coursing through his veins as well, meaning he could literally be the “song” the series title has been referring to all along.
So who do you think will win the Game of Thrones? Let us known in the comments!