The upcoming House of the Dragon is set to release on August 21st, and the series promises to explore a civil war between members of House Targaryen. The infamous family of royal dragons has proven to be a major piece of Westerosi history, having left more than its share of marks on the Seven Kingdoms.
Yet, by the end of Game Of Thrones, no dragons sat on the Iron Throne. In fact, no Iron Throne existed at all. Yet, many characters deserved a chance to sit on that throne but never could. Of the few who deserved it and had not already claimed the title of king or queen, not a single one truly carried the Targaryen name.
10 Sansa Stark
The Queen of the North really should have had the chance to rule in the South as well. At least, as more than Joffrey’s pet arranged marriage. Sansa had everything the realm could have wanted. “Has no distractions, smart enough to play the political game, has experienced and seen it all, cares for the ppl, have the right connections,” says Reddit user Various Peanuts.
From roots in the beautiful North to allies in the Eyrie, in the Lannisters, and in the Tyrells. With marriage to someone from Dorne, she could have been tied to every major area in Westeros, making her the perfect representative. Besides, she would have been kinder to the smallfolk than most.
9 Olenna Tyrell
A stubborn lady who knew how to play the political game, Olenna really could have ruled Westeros well. She managed to advise Margaery, commanded her foolish son, and to guide the Reach spectacularly. Besides, “That lady knew how to take revenge,” says Reddit user RB_59.
Though she didn’t have any particular caring for conversational subtlety, she was brilliant and even managed to take Joffrey off the board without much fanfare. Though her rule likely would have been short, it would certainly have been a good one.
8 Gendry Baratheon
One of the few season one characters who made it to the end, Gendry Baratheon rose from a bastard to the sole surviving Lord Baratheon. A fighter who knew his way around a forge, and a clever man of the commons, he also knew how to navigate Westeros without any support. He knew how to survive, much like most of Westeros must.
“Shares some characteristics with Ned while having the Baratheon name,” says Raiigunn on Reddit. “Would have an easier time communicating with the lower classes.” Given everything the smallfolk suffered over the course of the show, a king looking after their interests would certainly have been welcomed, especially with most of the nobles dead.
7 Stannis Baratheon
Honor, law, and snark. There were few who knew any of it better than Stannis Baratheon. The rightful King of the Seven Kingdoms, given the parentage of Joffrey and Tommen, he was the king who truly should have sat the throne when his brother, Robert, died. Unfortunately, he never did.
He would have been a fair ruler too. “He wants to be a good ruler and has some desire to rule,” says Underrated_Fish on Reddit. “He values rules and laws while seeing others for their worth above their birth.” Though his ties to the Red Priestess likely would have been a problem, he also could have aided in the fight against the Night King. Still, sacrificing Shireen made him a low key villain of Game Of Throneswhich likely took him out of the running as a good king.
6 Jon Snow
Ignoring the Baratheon right of conquest, there was only one rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms: the son of the greatest Targaryen character, Rhaegar: Jon Snow. “He’s very clever and great with politics and scheming when he has to be, while still maintaining his honor as much as possible,” says Reddit user Lebigmacca.
Raised by Ned Stark, Jon knew how to lead men and also knew what was important in life. Having dedicated his existence to stopping the Night King, he proved that he had his head on straight. Besides, with a legitimate claim to the throne, he deserved the chance to actually claim it for himself.
5 Lyanna Mormont
After Joffrey proved the problems with a self-serving king and Tommen proved that a weak king is as bad as a dead one, the realm deserved a queen determined to do right by her people. There were no better choices than Lyanna Mormont.
While she wasn’t well-connected, she managed to earn the respect of peers considerably older and more experienced than her. How? She was “Smart enough to listen to her advisors when she clearly didn’t know something,” says Redditor TheSyrupDrinker. She also knew the right things to fight for and against, proved fiercely loyal, and was a dedicated lady with a fearless stubborn streak that would serve her well on the throne.
The eunuch who tried to guide Daenerys Targaryen, and who did his best to cut ties once he saw the signs that Daenerys was a villain, Varys would have made a fair king. “He is smart, he cares about the people, he has a spy network that can make things happen,” says Vealzy on Reddit. “And most importantly he can’t have children so it’s the best chance Westeros has of implementing some form of democracy when he dies.”
While it isn’t likely the realm actually would have achieved democracy, Varys did believe in the people strongly. All he wanted was a ruler who would serve them, and he never got to see that in action. Had he only the luck, he could have been him.
3 Mance Rayder
There’s nothing more impressive on a king’s resume than: “Able to unite over 90 tribes,” says Redditor Kumomeme. “Including giants and cannibals. Able to lead this ‘wild’ people through extreme weather.” With winter coming and the Night King with it, Mance Rayder would have been an organized and effective ruler.
Mance was good at seeing the potential in people as well, taking in Jon Snow after realizing just how useful Ned Stark’s bastard could be. He also managed to get Tormund Giantsbane on his side, as well as wargs and skinchangers. If he could bring together the Free Folk, he could certainly bring together the Seven Kingdoms.
2 Tywin Lannister
There’s something to be said for effectiveness, even at a tyrant’s hands. The orchestrator of the Red Wedding and the deaths of the Targaryen children, “Tywin Lannister would be a ruthless king, but I think he’d keep peace and stability in Westeros,” says Reddit user Gilgamesh661.
Given that he held together the Westerlands, despite empty coffers and a rapidly dwindling army, Tywin could certainly have managed the kingdom well. After all, whenever he served as Hand of the King, stability followed, and rebellion was rapidly defeated. Under his command, Westeros could have easily handled anything that came its way, even if he had to face off against the many enemies he often created.
1 Margaery Tyrell
Rather different than Tywin, Margaery could have been the perfect queen, had she ruled without having to pacify Cersei, Tommen, or Joffrey. “Young, popular with the people, intelligent, not cruel, her family has money and resources, etc,” says DSFilm96 on Reddit. “She probably would’ve been a great queen without the craziness that was around her.”
Though it may have been largely an act, her love for the smallfolk would have won her many supporters, and her ability to satiate the nobles would have prevented war across the realm. Besides, with the resources of the reach, she could have fed all Seven Kingdoms. If anyone could have ruled the Seven Kingdoms without inciting a rebellion, Margaery Tyrell was it.
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