'Why Daenerys Will Win the Iron Throne'
by Austin Bruns
SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven’t seen Episode 4 yet:
It seems that recent events have pinned Daenerys into a corner, and we may soon discover what happens when somebody “wakes the dragon.” First, one of her two remaining dragons, Rhaegal, was brutally shot down from the sky and killed by Euron’s fleet. At the end of the episode her best friend and aide, Missandei, is beheaded in front of her and all that’s left in Daenerys’ mind is her cryptic final word, “Dracarys.”
All of this is happening in a land foreign to Dany where she is struggling to recapture her identity as a leader and to gain the respect and approval she knows she deserves.
Jon Snow, meanwhile, seems the perfect fit for the job that Daenerys so desperately desires. He has lived in Westeros his entire life, has an equally impressive resume (returning from the dead, riding dragons, leading armies - that kind of stuff), and as we’ve recently discovered has an even stronger claim to the throne than Daenerys. The cherry on top is that Jon is so humble and modest that he doesn’t even want to be the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. This last point, according to Varys, is what would make him the perfect ruler.
Almost too perfect…
Whenever the table is set so nicely for something to happen, I tend to think that it definitely won’t. Especially on this show.
It seems to me like the show is laying two points on very thick.
1) Daenerys is losing it and she’s ready to unleash her wrath on Cersei but also on all the innocent civilians of King’s Landing.
2) Jon Snow is gaining traction as heir to the Iron Throne and is a few short steps away from replacing Daenerys in her leadership role altogether.
It certainly seems this is the direction the show is headed. However, my prediction is that these developments are a slight of hand and that the true nature of both of these main characters will shine brightly enough to overcome their circumstances in the last two episodes.
As Daenerys has gained power throughout the show she has tirelessly fought to protect the innocent, not harm them.
She ended slavery on the other side of the Narrow Sea and battled tyranny the whole way through. Even though her current situation is the ultimate test of her moral virtue and wisdom, as a leader, she has previously passed all of those tests and I believe she will again.
Jon seems like he’s over having to make tough decisions. He doesn’t “enjoy what he’s good at.” But he believes in Dany and even loves her. I could see Jon somehow sacrificing himself in order to save Daenerys because he knows she’d be a good ruler despite how anyone else feels. Dany will prove him right by finding another way to take King’s Landing and will win over the city and its people like she’s done time and again.
If anything, I think the characters who are playing the old political games that dominated the early episodes (looking at you Sansa & Varys) could end up paying the price for it. Daenerys wants to break the wheel. That means ending the cycle of political manipulation that has prevailed in Westeros since Littlefinger arranged the assassination of Jon Arryn, igniting the series of events that’s occurred on the show up until now.
Daenerys has shown that she can be kind and gentle, but also ruthless and cunning. Both are required if you want to rule a world as dark and complicated as A Game of Thrones. But there can only be one ruler.
Will it be Daenerys?
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