It finally happened, the Game of Thrones ending has been set in stone. It’s been weeks since that day many a fan rued, but the opining (and whining, perhaps) has not ceased.
After eight seasons of emotional highs and lows, character deaths, and subverted expectations, our reward was King Bran the Broken. Bran Stark. Of all the people they could have chosen to be the ruler of Westeros, they picked the character with the personality of a tree stump.
He has less emotional range than a wight and the judgment skills of a piece of parchment. Oh but that makes him the perfect king, arguably; he’ll be more useless than Robert Baratheon and more uneventful than the Mad King. A puppet of his own small council even. Is that what kings are supposed to be now? We thought they were supposed to be inspiring, charismatic, and adamant. King Bran the Broken is… well, he’s Bran– and we’re not even sure if he’s allowed to be king being a Three-eyed Raven.
Before you can argue that his objectivity and lack of emotion can make him a balanced ruler, do note that he probably knew millions of people would die just so he could become a king; he’s a greenseer and that’s one of their abilities. Simply put, Bran doesn’t care about people. He didn’t even care about his friends when they sacrificed their lives just so he could become
a glorified voyeur the Three-eyed Raven.
So, here are the remaining living characters of Game of Thrones who really should have been chosen instead of King Bran the Broken. It won’t change anything, but it’s better than wallowing in cognitive dissonance.
That weird kid suckling on Lysa Arryn’s teat in the previous seasons of Game of Thrones? This is him now. He aged better than Bran Stark it appears. Also despite his mother being totally whack-a-doodle, it looks like young Lord Robin turned out pretty fine (as in alright). He’s the current Lord of the Vale and Jon Arryn’s rightful heir– an honorable man with honorable company.
Still, we’re not saying Robin Arryn is the best candidate here, but rather, even he would be better than King Bran the Broken. At least he is human and can learn things as he grows up. Additionally, a King is often a mere symbol and it’s usually his council that does the ruling. If you’re going to have a representative, why not have one who is at least more presentable or encouraging?
Westeros missed a big opportunity here. Sam was on to something when he suggested what eventually would be recognized as democracy. Sadly he was ahead of his time and the
primitive feudal minds of the lords and ladies of Westeros killed any hope they have for a modern society. You can’t blame Sam, really; anyone who would suggest that in a Medieval era will usually be branded a rebel.
There’s no doubt that Sam was intelligent (perhaps even more so than Tyrion). He was also brave when it mattered and was pure of heart. He would have made for a good president if only the people allowed him to be one. Oh, what’s that? You’re saying he can’t defend himself? Well actually, he can– he can even do it better than a passive king who can’t even shout.
Tyrion has no right being fed up with leadership. He made the wrong decision for everyone in Westeros and he should have taken the throne instead of handing it over to a CCTV camera. He was going to be made Hand of the King anyway and was going to do all the important work. Anyway, Tyrion has proven in the past seasons that he can tame even the unruliest of cities.
He even admits to Shae that it’s what he’s good at and he loves doing that. Whatever happened to that? Besides, a dwarf becoming a King is a subversion of a fantasy trope we can all get behind. At least he’s more interesting than a boy who just stares blankly into space. Moreover, he’s now the sole inheritor of Casterly Rock and the Lannisters are always rich, meaning the
seven six kingdoms would never go hungry with him as king.
Why stop at the North when you could have brought peace and a prosperous rule to the whole of Westeros? It seems Sansa was the only willing ruler who was also capable of ruling at the same time. She certainly learned a lot from her oppressors and from the countless political acrobatics she experienced at the courts of Westeros.
In fact, she appears to be even more welcome and attuned to the politics of King’s Landing than the North. If anything, she and Bran should have switched roles; the fallout for the Game of Thrones ending would have been less severe if that happened. Let’s not forget, Sansa also learned from the two best political schemers (Littlefinger and Cersei) without losing her moral compass, such wit shouldn’t stay hidden up in the North.
If there’s one thing Game of Thrones proved about lords, it’s that the commoners who rose up to nobility that make for decent ones. For that matter, Ser Davos Seaworth who only had a house of his own because of Stannis (the Mannis), is one of the few good remaining men in Westeros. He’s a smuggler, aye, but other than that, what exactly did he do wrong?
Meanwhile, the other lords of Westeros (those from the long-standing noble houses) have done atrocities that are only excused because of their status. Davos, despite being a commoner and criminal once, is a man of honor and knows the weight of his words and promises. Plus, he makes some mean introductions.
BRIENNE OF TARTH
Chivalry appeared to be dead even in Westeros, that is until Brienne of Tarth came along and single-handedly revived the knightly notion. Oddly enough, she was supposed to be a lady but chose to be a soldier (and eventually, a knight) instead. Good thing too, she had more virtue than all the knights in Westeros combined.
For that reason alone, she would have made for a better leader than Bran. Brienne has never betrayed anyone and has never failed to uphold justice and integrity. Sometimes her zeal for righteousness can even be borderline irritating. Regardless, in a continent where decency is cheap, Brienne wasn’t afraid to go against the flow, why can’t Westerosi kings be like that?
The last Baratheon. He was a bastard but unlike some of the uglier and meaner bastards in the show, Gendry is a just individual. Much of his life was spent being a commoner, meaning he knows humility and knows how to work hard for the things he wants or needs. Such a quality among lords or kings is rare, being the noble brats that they are.
Despite being inexperienced with lordship, however, Gendry should know it better than Bran. He cares for his friends and knows his loyalty. Oh, and he also has emotions and charisma to boot. That should be a no-brainer for the people of Westeros.
There’s no reason Jon/Aegon shouldn’t have been king in the first place. Jon is the last Targaryen and he was the rightful heir to the throne, anything or anyone else be damned. He has more claim to it than anyone, even a rogue eunuch army from across the sea or his own aunt (or lover?). Heck, Westeros even likes him better than anyone else alive during the final season.
In terms of kingly feats alone, Jon makes Bran look like the runt of the litter among the Starks. Alas, he gets sent to the Wall by King Bran the Broken instead of Dragonstone for some reason; even worse, Bran gets to stand and enjoy everything Jon built and worked hard to achieve for Westeros. Oh well, at least he got reunited with Ghost. Let’s hope the spinoffs are not as bad.
All images via: HBO
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