With Game Of Thrones in its penultimate season, there's one lingering question on everyone's mind— who will ultimately sit on the Iron Throne? Will it be Daenerys Targaryen, who has travelled for miles to reach Westeros with a formidable army on her side? Jon Snow, the brooding King in the North yet unaware of his royal parentage? Or will the conniving Cersei Lannister manage to keep her crown?
With so much at stake only one thing is certain; whoever emerges victorious will have obtained the throne at a colossal cost.
Call her what you like but you can't deny that Cersei has all that it takes to sit on the Iron Throne. After all, even Sansa Stark, who suffered so much at the hands of the reigning Queen of Westeros, had to admit that she learned a lot from her. So after six long seasons how has Cersei finally secured the Iron Throne? Like everything else in the world of Game of Thrones, it has not been without great hardship.
Robert Baratheon, who's first choice wife was Ned Stark's sister Lyanna, eventually married Cersei in order to warrant an alliance from House Lannister after his rebellion against the Targaryens. The loveless marriage finally ended with Robert being killed in an "accident" after being fatally injured by a boar on a hunting trip.
Following Robert's grisly death his first born and heir Joffrey ascended the Iron Throne. Viewers found out pretty early on that the vile Joffrey and his other siblings were actually Cersei and her twin brother Jaime's offspring from incest.
Unfortunately for ruthless Cersei, the predictions made by a fortune teller she visited as a child turned out to be true and all her children perished before her. Joffrey was poisoned at his own wedding to Margaery Tyrell, her daughter Myrcella was murdered by the Sand Snakes and Tommen committed suicide.
Cersei has unsparingly wiped out everyone who's ever stood in her way with such shrewdness that even her late father Tywin would be proud. Now that she's assumed the throne, she's even more determined to hold on to it.
"Shall we begin?" are the first words Daenerys utters after finally reaching Dragonstone and although it's a rhetorical question, fans couldn't help but cry out, "Yes!". After all, the wait for Daenerys to land in Westeros has been way too long and viewers are really excited to finally see how the Mother of Dragons is going to fight for the Iron Throne.
The only surviving descendant of King Aerys II Targaryen, who was overthrown by Robert Baratheon in Robert's rebellion, Daenerys' Targaryen has every right to claim the throne. If she were to defeat the Lannisters, she would not only become Queen of Westeros but also avenge her father's death at the hands of Jaime the Kingslayer.
After she was married off by her own brother Viserys to Khal Drogo, the leader of the nomadic warriors the Dothraki, , Daenerys really started coming into her own. While Viserys was hoping to gather the Dothraki army to conquer King's Landing back from Robert Baratheon, his sister and her new husband kill him by crowning him with molten gold.
With a natural political flair, she has conquered the major cities in Essos one by one, expanding her army along the way. She has the elite eunuch warriors called the Unsullied's undying loyalty. The fearsome Dothrakis have declared their devotion to her too. At the end of season 6, Dany was seen standing tall with her allies Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes of Dorne, Yara and Theon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, Olenna Tyrell of House Tyrell and the skilled manipulator Lord Varys. The three dragons are also beside their mother. But perhaps, it's Tyrion Lannister as the Hand of the Queen, who will prove to be pivotal in Daenerys' challenge for the Iron Throne.
Jon Snow was the likeable Game of Thrones character that everybody wanted on the Iron Throne but just couldn't can't provide a decisive reason why. Well, until now. In season 6, thanks to Bran Stark's vision that confirmed the long-running fan theory R+L=J was true.
For the uninitiated, R stands for Rhaegar Targaryen, the eldest son of Aerys II and Dany's brother, L stands for Lyanna Stark and J, of course, is Jon Snow. The theory states that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, the incident that gave rise to Robert's Rebellion in the first place, and impregnated her. But it was more of an elopement than kidnapping since the two were in love with each other. Whatever the truth, what matters is that the union gave birth to the current King in the North. This proves that Jon Snow, or shall we say Jon Targaryen, does have a rightful claim to the Iron Throne.
Going by the season 7 premiere, Jon is focused on finding lots and lots of dragon glass, the only weapon that can kill the White Walkers. Sansa reminds him that the enemies to the south, namely Cersei, is as much to be feared as the enemies beyond the Wall.
Then again, Jon still thinks he's Ned Stark's bastard son and not a Targaryen. Other than Bran, no one in all of Westeros knows he is a Targaryen. What happens when the truth is ultimately revealed? Since Rhaegar was Aerys' eldest son and if he married Lyanna before they both died, Jon has the best claim to the Iron Throne, even more so than Dany.
Once his parentage is revealed, he might be inspired to become King of not just the north but all of Westeros, making this three-way battle for the Iron Throne one brilliantly explosive contest.