With the Night King defeated and just two episodes till the endgame, Game of Thrones is firmly back to the question that once defined it – who will sit the Iron Throne? The major conflict is between the two queens, Daenerys and Cersei, with Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen coming up on a wild card. But there’s still a chance for something completely unexpected to happen. We are talking about Sansa and Tyrion.
Both of them are smart, capable leaders, with a sure grasp of King’s Landing politics. Also, there has always been a crop of theories that claimed this outcome. Let’s examine the reasons why this could happen.
The War of the Roses
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (on which Game of Thrones is based) is a loosely adapted version of a real intergenerational war that tore through Britain in the 12th century – the War of the Roses. Even the names of the Noble families involved that war – Lancasters and Yorks – are similar to the conflicts of Game of Thrones (Lannisters, Starks).
Now, that war was ultimately resolved with a marriage between one Lancaster and one York. We know the show follows Martin’s guidelines about crucial plot points. It is possible that Martin plans to end the Ice and Fire saga with the marriage of a Lannister and a Stark. Who better from either family than Sansa and Tyrion?
Sansa and Tyrion’s renewed chemistry
Sansa and Tyrion’s first marriage was totally against their wishes. But Tyrion was the only man who never hurt Sansa even when he had every opportunity. They even developed a respectful friendship before parting at Joffrey’s wedding. Sansa too has acknowledged Tyrion’s kindness many times.
Some sparks were evident between them in the crypts during the battle of Winterfell. Tyrion remarked maybe they should have stayed married, and kissed her hand when they feared certain death.
Also, he seems to be the only man Sansa trusts beyond political equations, and that is the lot coming from the super-cynical Lady of Winterfell. Here is a relationship based on mutual respect rather than physical desire or romantic love – just what you need in a good royal couple.
Growth-centric story arcs
Sansa has grown exponentially through the seasons. She survived exceptional adversity and cruelty that can turn people insane (as it did for Theon) and came out stronger. She has been making all the right decisions for a long time even in the face of Littlefinger’s manipulations. She has a brilliant grasp of people’s characters, understands deception from a mile, and is a competent ruler who always keeps the welfare and needs of her people in mind.
Tyrion has been proved to be a competent ruler in the early seasons as well. He may have failed one too many times in advising Dany, but that is mainly because his priority always has been to avoid bloodshed and all-out war. Both Tyrion and Sansa’s outlook is genuinely pro-people, not just saviour or hero complex.
Now compare this to the other possible rulers.
Daenerys started off with a dream to break the wheel and “free the world from tyrants” but is swiftly descending to megalomania and madness. Her obsession with the throne and her tendency to burn down her detractors are not signs of a good ruler.
Cersei may be a war mastermind but no one would call her a good ruler. She has made it repeatedly clear that she does not care about the people and would not think twice about using them as human shields as she is doing at the moment.
Jon Snow is the best claimant right now, as the lawful son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. He is a war hero and loved by all, also has prophecy-backings. But he has repeatedly proven himself to be politically naive and is disinterested in being King. Significantly, the animal connected to his Stark roots (direwolf Ghost) is gone, and the animal connected to his Targaryen roots (Rhaegal) is dead. This may foreshadow his death or injury in the coming episodes.
What are the odds?
Neither Sansa nor Tyrion has the necessary bloodline to ascend the throne. But Martin’s narrative has always been openly critical of the feudal structure of Westeros, so it makes sense for him to champion the unlikely but more suitable people for the throne. Sophie Turner, Joe Dempsie, Kit Harington all have promised a totally unexpected and divisive ending for Game of Thrones. But would having Jon, Cersei, or Daenerys on the thrones really be unexpected? Thought not.
So is the time for the Imp and the Ice Queen finally come? Only two weeks until we know!