The Iron Throne: Who Has the Right to Rule in the Seven Kingdoms?

By Matt Weese on Apr 22, 2012 to Game of Thrones

The Iron Throne, seat to the king of the Seven Kingdoms and forged by Aegon Targaryen from the swords of his enemies. It is said the swords are so sharp that the throne has actually killed some who have tried to sit in it.

The throne of swords is the symbol of authority and justice in the Seven Kingdoms.  After nearly 300 years of rule by the Targaryens, King Aerys II , the Mad King, is over thrown in the War of the Usurper and House Baratheon takes the throne. It’s not a stable regime however, and King Robert Baratheon is challenged six years after his accession by Lord Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands. Greyjoy is defeated, with two sons dead in combat and one made hostage to Ned Stark, lord of Winterfell. King Robert himself is killed in a suspicious hunting accident and the Iron Throne is ripe for the taking. Who has the right to reign over the Seven Kingdoms?

For those of you who’ve read the novels you’ve probably a better idea of who still has a chance at it.  We still want your opinion, just don’t spoil it for the rest of us!  Here are the main players right now:

Joffrey Baratheon – He carries the name but not the blood. Bastard son of his uncle and a product of incest between Jaimie Lannister  and Queen Cersei Lannister. Joffrey is  currently sitting on the prickly hot seat, but does he belong there?

Stannis Baratheon – The middle Baratheon brother believes himself the rightful heir. He knows the truth of Joffrey’s parentage and is willing to sell his soul to the Red Priestess for rulership.

Is he right?

Renly Baratheon – The youngest Baratheon brother and Lord of Storm’s End. Charismatic and popular with the people, he is encouraged by his advisors to throw his hat into the ring but does he really stand a chance?

Daenerys Targaryen – Known as “The Storm Born”, daughter to King Aeyrs II, she too considers herself the rightful heir. Living in exile, she struggles to return to her own country and take the throne that is “rightfully hers”.  If it weren’t for Jaimie Lannister the Kingslayer of House Lannister we might not even be having this conversation.

But those are the more obvious answers to the question of who should sit the Iron Throne.  In this world, almost anyone could potentially make their way to power.  Here are a few other possibilities, would they be better choices?

Robb Stark – Lord of Winterfell after the death of his father, Ned Stark at the hands of King Joffrey Lannister. Robb is only concerned at this point about gaining independence for the people of the North.  Maybe he should aim higher.

Balon Greyjoy – Lord of the Iron Islands, once considered a King in his own right and willing to “pay the iron price” to regain his royal
status. Will he too try for all Seven Kingdoms?

Myrcella Baratheon – Sister to Joffrey, illegitimate child again of Jaime Lannister and  Queen Cersei. She is in line for the throne after her younger brother Tommen but being the older of the two, maybe she should inherit before her brother?

Tommen Baratheon – The youngest of the Baratheons, (incest… need I say it again?)

Not a drop of Baratheon blood. Does he deserve to inherit the Iron Throne?

Here’s your chance to voice your opinion. Vote for your next ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Who will rule on the iron throne?  Vote in our poll below:

Who should rule Westeros on the Iron Throne?

View Results

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  • Chloë

    Daenerys is going mad…and has three dragons…she will be worse than the Mad King, people do realise that? She will kill everyone we love such as Tyrion, Arya, etc. Yeah, nod a good choice.

  • elcid

    I am surprised by how many people pick Daenerys Targaryen, the most self entitled, annoying character with the weakest claim.

    • its because most of the people didn’t read the books and rely on the TV Show.

  • rachel

    since it is a tragaryen that found the Iron Throne by uniting the 7 kingdoms, it is a tragaryen who should sit on the throne. The baratheons only won the throne by force, so technically they are just ursupers. I think it is Dany and Viserys who are the legitimate heirs.

    • Chloë

      But the Targaryens all go mad and kill people for no reason, ad Dany is one of them and is already going mad.

    • Prometheus Aurelian

      not to mention… of all the houses in Westeros, Baratheon has the most “Tragaryen” blood, with the exception being the Targaryen’s.

      The Baratheon house is a splinter house from the Targaryen’s. Better too… no madness or incest.

  • micaella

    jon snow as king and danaerys as queen
    ice and fire makes sense

    • Chloë

      Oh dear. Jon is possibly dead and they would be the most unrealistic and stupid couple ever.

  • pixies91

    Reminds me again, why did Rely think he had the right to the throne? Does he know Jamie isn’t Robert’s true son?

    • Im assuming you meant Joffrey here. But in the books Renly knows he isn’t first in line to the throne. Obviously Stannis is next if anything or one of his sons. He just has a “strong claim” to the throne and hes more likable than most. He just decided to make his run at the throne while he could. Lots of chaos. This stuff happened a lot in medieval Europe.

  • Campos

    Someone who was Ice and Fire: Jon Snow!

    • Chloë

      Too bad he’s dead really.

  • Nagga’s Kin

    Prior to Robert Baratheon’s rebellion against the tyrannical Mad King, the Targaryen family ruled Westeros for several centuries. During their rule, the line of succession was based on semi-salic promogeniture: when a king (or ruling queen) died, the next in line was the oldest son, followed by his brothers in birth order, followed by his daughters in birth order. Beyond that, there is the king’s next oldest brother, then all of his children as described above, followed by the other brothers and their children, followed by the sisters and their children in birth order. Beyond that, the deceased king’s eldest uncle, his children and grandchildren etc etc.

    Caveat 1: bastards (illegitimate children) never have any claim to the throne at all.

    Caveat 2: a king can legitimize any of his bastards or make arbitrary changes to the promogeniture via a royal decree during his lifetime.

    Caveat 3: a king can also legitimize his bastards with a given mistress by marrying her after his wife passes away or that marriage is dissovled/annulled. Re-marrying does not invalidate pre-existing claims by the children of the prior marriage(s).

    Afaik, Robert Baratheon did not change these laws. Furthermore, the only child he and Cersei had together died during or soon after birth, early in their marriage. All other children are illegitimate results of Robert’s philandering and Cersei’s incest.

    Therefore, if you accept Robert’s kingship as legitimate (as all but Dany and her khalasar do), Robert’s lawful successors appear to be: Stannis, his daughter Shireen and Renly, in that order.

    Nevertheless, Robert was succeeded by Joffrey on the assumption that he is Robert’s biological son. Lord Arryn and Ned Stark were both killed because they figured out he actually isn’t. Joffrey ordered that Robert’s bastards be found and killed to assert that he would brook no bastards in the Baratheon family, not because they had any claim on the throne. Joffrey’s apparent objective was to convince the realm that he must be the legitimate heir – hair color be damned – because he didn’t purge himself. It’s a convoluted and weak argument the show did not make, instead Cersei simply asserted that “it had to be done”, presumably as a show of force to any other challenger(s).

    • Thanks for the awesome response! I learned something from reading this and I hope everyone else will too. Hope we get more flashbacks with Addy and Bean in Season 2 3 and 4!

    • Thanks for this great info! There is a difference between, who has the “right” and who we would like to see on the throne. I suppose if you go by the book, Stannis is the rightful heir, but I’d sure like to see Dany win it back. Who would make a GOOD ruler is a different question all together. I’m actually very impressed with Rob Stark. He has the makings but doesn’t have the “right” unless he decides to win it the way Robert did. I wonder who would be his “kingslayer”?

  • Carl

    The obvious answer to this question is Hodor.

    • Haha.. I was going to put that into the poll but I thought too many people would click it… HODOR!

    • Hodor…. Hodor,Hodor!

  • Hedge Knight

    Danaerys should rule by primitive monarchical rights. However during feudal battles were never determined by ‘right’; but by ‘might’. I think Danaerys as ruler and Tyrion as her advisor would be a formidable partnership.

  • OMG! I forgot to put Gendry in there!

    • haha.. we can’t name everyone! But yes, he’ll fit nicely into the “other” category. If you’ve read the novels you’ll know that there are even more options. What about Littlefinger, jeeze Heather!

      • Oh, I’m only in the middle of the third novel! Littlefinger?! Really?! No! Don’t say anything more!

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