Sitting on Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne can’t be easy. Instead of the sword of Damocles dangling above you, you’re literally sitting directly on 1,000 swords that could cut you at every breath. Still, everyone wants the damn thing, but who should have it?

We run down some of the contenders.

Tyrion. Tyrion has always seemed to us like the smartest guy on the show, and he already put his brains to good use in saving King’s Landing from invasion. He seems like he would be a great and just leader... or at least he did. Now that he’s murdered Shae and Tywin, it’s likely we’ll see a very different Tyrion next season, maybe one that isn’t fit to lead anything.


Daenerys. Dany’s whole purpose seems to be to return to the country of her birth and reclaim the throne her family built, so she has to do it, right? She’s getting a taste of ruling in Meereen, but she’s not exactly doing a bang-up job so far. Until now, she’s pretty much been able to balance out her idea of justice with mercy, but without Jorah’s council moving forward there’s a chance she could slide into that old Targaryen madness.

Jon Snow. Ned Stark’s “bastard” has a strong moral code which always leads him to do the right thing eventually, no matter the cost. This is admirable, but we’re not sure the throne would suit his personality; it would probably just end up getting him killed, just like dear old dad.

Sansa. Before you scoff, keep in mind that Sansa has learned “the game” from some of the best teachers around (Littlefinger, Cersei, Tyrion) and she looks poised to take that next step toward power. That said, while it looks like she’s on her way toward figuring out how to gain power, we don’t know if she has any idea of how to rule, and her long-buried need for Stark vengeance could get in the way.

Cersei. Cersei is cruel, ruthless, and vengeful, but she craves power. If she had the Iron Throne, she would certainly be better than Joffrey, though we still probably wouldn’t be a fan of her style of rule. She may get her chance next season because with Tywin out of the way, there won’t be anyone to stop her from manipulating Tommen. We’ll see how that goes.

Margaery. Speaking of manipulating Tommen, Margaery at least seems sincere in her reasons to want to rule, though they may still be fake. She desperately wants to be the queen and has made helping the common people part of her crusade. It might just be a ploy to win their favor, but if she’s helping the poor does it really matter what her motivations are?

Stannis. The rightful heir to the throne, Stannis proved he’s the only king who gives a damn about Westeros when he came to the Night’s Watch’s aid against Mance Rayder. He has the blood, he has the passion, but does he have the mind for it? Stannis is rigid to a fault and sticks to the rules no matter what, and a ruler has to be flexible.

Mance Rayder. As King Beyond the Wall, Mance was able to unite hundreds of warring clans, some of whom didn’t even speak the same language, into one unit united for a common goal. Might he be able to do the same for the warring factions of Westeros? Maybe, but he’d have to adapt to their customs first because there’s no way any of the noble lords would listen to someone who so unabashedly mocks their customs.

Who do you think should sit the Iron Throne?