The Children Are Our Future
While it seems that “Game of Thrones” is telegraphing Daenerys and Jon Snow as the ultimate leaders — both with journeys involving ice and fire — in the end, I don’t really think it matters which one person sits on the Iron Throne simply because no one has a legitimate claim to ruling no matter what their bloodline is. The reign has always passed from one conqueror to the next, and while the Targaryens were the first to sit on the Iron Throne having left Valyria back east, Westeros was chugging along fine until they had gotten there.
In fact, even the men who were in Westeros before the Targaryens weren’t even the original inhabitants. I’m talking about the Children of the Forest. Going back about 12,000 years, the Children of the Forest lived peacefully in Westeros until the First Men came there. That was an age of magic, weirwoods, old gods, and giants. But they were all thought to have become extinct or merely the stuff of legend until the events of this series proved otherwise. Now we see giants like Wun-Wun (RIP!), a Child of the Forest help Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven working his visions and more.
With the echoes back to the Long Night and the return of the White Walkers and wights to Westeros, it’s a reminder that the key to have defeated the White Walkers in the past was having men and the Children of the Forest band together. Maybe this is because, as we learned on the show, the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers to defend themselves from the men who had invaded, cut down their sacred trees and were killing the Children of the Forest. Apparently the White Walkers got a little out of hand, though.
As the new Three-Eyed Raven, Bran Stark is a human conduit to the ancient magical ways. He could be instrumental in rallying any remaining Children of the Forest or sacred forces to fight alongside humans. In order to get to the other side of this Great War, we can see them join Jon and his allies (the Northmen, the Vale, the wildings) and Daenerys and her allies (the Dothraki, the Ironborn, the Dornishmen, and the Martells so far).
So in the end, instead of just having one ruler, why not have a consortium where every one of the kingdoms — including the magical world that Bran represents — gets a say? That seems far more stable than just having one person or bloodline in charge that is just begging to be eliminated. This seems like an idealized scenario, but honestly, all the usual power grabs seems rather pointless.
…or maybe just let the dragons and dire wolves inherit Westeros: Ghost for Lord of the Seven Kingdoms!
– Hanh Nguyen, Senior Editor
Fate is the God of Us All
The concept of fortune-telling is a rich one within the world of “Game of Thrones.” This was perhaps most iconically seen in a flashback sequence when young Cersei visited a witch who (accurately) predicted that her children would all die, but it’s also heard in comments from the more magically inclined, like Melisandre’s remarks towards Arya: “I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.”
To understand a world so rich with such sorcery, and perhaps gain insight into its mysteries, I decided to pursue a modern-day approach to divining answers to our most burning questions from the mystical realm of “Game of Thrones.” Which is to say, I consulted the closest thing to an oracle I had handy.
My oracle, unfortunately, can only respond to yes or no questions. But I did my best.
“Is Jon Snow the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and thus the rightfully born heir to the Iron Throne?”
“Will the show end with Jon Snow taking the Iron Throne?”
“Will the message of this show be that the real ruler should be Daenerys, who has proven herself to be a pretty bad-ass queen, and also has dragons, which are rad?”
“Is ‘Game of Thrones’ totally fascist and/or undemocratic for portraying a world in which democracy is not a factor?”
“Will the most surprising thing about ‘Game of Thrones’ be that, thanks to obsessive fan attention and constant theorizing, it ultimately lacked in surprises?”
The oracle has spoken. We’ll loop back with y’all after the series finale.
– Liz Shannon Miller, TV Editor
“Game of Thrones” Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. on HBO.