Which Game of Thrones Ruler Are You Backing?

game of thrones collage

The wait for Game of Thrones season 2 is almost over, but before you return to Westeros, you need to pick a side. When last we left our beloved Starks, they were facing a grim post-Ned reality and a foot long list of potential successors to the Iron Throne. Not all of those royal contenders are planning on playing nice. Our sweet summer children are about to get their first taste of war and us lucky viewers are going to be meeting some truly awesome new characters as a result (*cough*Brienne*cough*).

But while we patiently wait for our weekly dose of direwolves, dragons and medieval political intrigue to return to us, you might as well get acquainted with the kings (and queen) who are going to be causing a ruckus in the seven kingdoms this season.

Remember the Stark words: Winter is coming…and it’s time to choose a side.

(Your writer–that would be me–has read the books, but I’m not going to be dropping any major spoilers outside of mentioning a few of the new characters. If you’ve read the books too, please refrain from spoiling anything for the show fans in the comments.)

Joffrey Baratheon

'Game of Thrones' Season 2 (10)

Petulant, teenage Joffrey’s butt was warming the throne in the season finale, but since he beheaded Ned and plunged the seven kingdoms into chaos, I’m thinking he’s going to need to be reigned in by some of his savvier relatives. The kid hails from the Lannister family, a group of filthy rich, power-happy sorts who appear to have all majored in moral ambiguity at Westeros U.

I have a hard time imagining anyone besides Cersei is actually on Team Joffrey, given the kid is a sociopath in training who has no blood claim to the throne. Then again advertising the fact that the kid’s dad is also his uncle left Ned short a head, so it might be best to keep any murmurs of dissent to ourselves.

Renly Baratheon


Since his big brother (and king) got himself gored to death by a boar, Renly has decided to take his secret boyfriend Loras’s advice and make a claim for the throne. Think of Renly as the hipster king, he’s young, cool, knows how to throw a party and he makes that weird crown on his head look totally badass.

Everyone loves Renly, and if Westeros had cottoned on to the whole democracy thing by now, it would be no contest. Whether or not he can rule is almost beside the point, Renly has charisma to spare and nothing wins over the beleaguered masses quite like charm.

There’s just one little problem: Renly isn’t technically next in line for the throne…

Stannis Baratheon

Red Waste-Rakharo is ahead of the game

Stannis is. Like Jan Brady before him, Stannis suffers from forgotten middle child syndrome. His whole life it’s been “Robert this” and “Renly that.” We’ve yet to meet him on the show, but when we do, don’t expect him to be cuddly. He might be the heir apparent, but Stannis isn’t going to be crowned Mr. Congeniality anytime soon.

What he lacks in people skills he makes up for with that nice lady dressed all in red, Melisandre. Now she may not look scary, but it’s best to keep that old “looks can be deceiving” adage in mind where Melisandre is concerned. Not only does she have some very useful skills, she also inspires zealotry wherever she goes. Stannis’s right-hand woman makes him a serious contender.

Robb Stark

Robb Stark (Game of Thrones)

Aren’t we all on Team Stark deep down? If this were Hogwarts, the Stark family would be the Gryffindors. Robb is Ned’s oldest son and with his father dead, he went and named himself King of the North and captured a certain Kingslayer in the process. As you can see, he’s off to a good start, ruling wise.

While the other kings are mostly in the game for the power, Robb is in it for a much more compelling reason: vengeance. He wants the Lannisters to pay for what they did to his father and he wants his kid sisters back. He might be young, but he inspires loyalty in his countrymen and he even has a touch of his father’s gravitas.

More importantly, he always has an overprotective direwolf at his side. That should dissuade his enemies from plotting any surprise ambushes any time soon.

Daenerys Targaryen

Red Waste-Rakharo is ahead of the game

While the boys are fighting it out back home, they’re going to be too busy to pay attention to a certain young queen currently hanging out in the Free Cities, but if they’re smart, they’ll make time. Daenerys Targaryen, the last of her line and the only true heir to the Iron Throne, has something all the potential kings don’t: dragons. Three of them, in fact.

Sure, they’re just babies right now, but they won’t stay that way forever. Besides fire-breathing pets aren’t Daenerys’s only asset. She inspires loyalty in all those who follow her, perhaps because they’ve witnessed her walk through fire and come out on the other side completely unscathed, minus a few replaceable articles of clothing.

The kings had better watch out because Daenerys is the mother of dragons. It’s kind of hard to compete with that.


Personally, I’m Team Daenerys all the way. Unlike the majority of the kings, she seems to be in the game for the right reasons and she has dragons. That instantly makes her cooler than everyone else.

But enough about me, I want to know which side you’re on. When the dust settles in Westeros, who do you want to see sitting on the throne? One of these guys or someone else? I want to hear all about your pick in the comments.

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