(Welcome to Debate of Thrones, where a panel of Citadel-trained experts explain why someone deserves, or doesn’t deserve, to sit on the Iron Throne. In this edition: a kingdom ruled by Arya Stark and Gendry Baratheon would be just…and it would save lives.)
Many have died in the never-ending battle for the Iron Throne, and many more will be killed before this time of strife in the Seven Kingdoms is over. However, the killing of the Night King – the malevolent force who vowed to end all of humanity – has changed the game. What the Battle of Winterfell has taught us is that Westeros needs no one. No one, that is, except Arya Stark.
Forget dragons. Forget mercenary, elephant-less armies. Whoever’s left alive in Westeros after Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen destroy each other will be pining for how things were under the reign of Robert Baratheon and/or loyal to the person who saved the world from complete destruction. Arya Stark, the killer of the Night King, and her beau Gendry, newly appointed Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End, fulfill both of those needs and more.
Arya Isn’t a Lady: She’s a Killer Queen
Arya might have turned down Gendry’s recent offer of marriage, but that doesn’t mean she’ll turn him aside once she’s checked Cersei off her list. Arya is a killer, first and foremost, and a good one at that; she knows how to get vengeance against those who have wronged her. One need only look at the slit throat of Walder Frey and the poisoned corpses of the rest of that line to know that Arya knows how to cook up a vicious retribution.
And, oh yeah, SHE ALSO KILLED THE NIGHT KING, an act that singlehandedly saved all of humanity from turning into snow zombies. She’s the most effective murder machine in the Seven Kingdoms.
And Cersei is next on her list.
If Daenerys doesn’t kill Cersei first (along with half of King’s Landing), Arya will make sure the Lannister Queen gets her due. And if Daenerys is still around after Cersei’s gone, Arya can make smooth work of her as well or, if she’s feeling merciful, use Gendry’s claim to the Throne to take those currently sworn to Dragon Queen turn against her.
The People (And the Lords With Their Armies) Will Choose Stark-Baratheon Rulers Over the Tyrant Stormborn
Daenerys sees herself as a savior, a righteous Queen coming to claim a throne she sees as her birthright. She’s determined to rule, to break the wheel, as she once said. And her unbending desire to conquer the Seven Kingdoms knows no boundaries; she’ll kill thousands of innocents and incur the hatred of those who remain alive if that means she’ll fulfill what she sees as her destiny.
The people don’t want a tyrant Dragon Queen. They want stability, to go back to a less tumultuous time. That’s where Gendry comes in: he’s more than just a pretty face who knows how to handle an ax — he’s also a direct descendent of Robert Baratheon and the last of that bloodline known to be alive. Daenerys appointing him Lord of Storm’s End further solidifies his claim to the throne. And when the people and Lords turn against Daenerys after her brutality at King’s Landing, they’ll be looking for something familiar, a time before all the horrors of the recent years. What better way to move past all that bloodshed and calamity than to have a Baratheon back on the throne? Add a Stark to the mix — a Stark who killed the Night King, no less — and you’ve got an alliance that will be tough to beat.
Some might say that Jon Snow would be the better Stark to sit on the throne. And it’s true, he might make a just King, if he keeps his head on his shoulders (Daenerys would only hesitate a moment to remove it, if she truly thought Jon was a threat to her reign). Jon has also sworn allegiance to Daenerys, and is too honor-bound to go against her rule, no matter what those around him may hope. In short, Jon is good on paper but does not have the will or the duplicitousness to take the throne from his lover. The people of Westeros must look for someone besides Snow to save themselves from the vicious Dragon Queen.
The North Will Accept Arya’s Rule, and Arya Might Even Let Them Rule On Their Own
Talking about Jon’s hesitance to take the throne asks a big question: Would Arya, or Gendry for that matter, want the Iron Throne themselves? The answer is probably not, but they’re the best of bad options, and the two would accept the burden if it was what was best for the country.
And then there’s family — Arya will do anything for hers, including become the ruler of Westeros if that means Sansa (or Jon, if he doesn’t manage to get himself killed again) will be King or Queen of the North. The Starks and the families who support them will not accept Targaryen rule, and the only way there won’t be rebellion in the North is if there’s a Stark on the Iron Throne. Having a Stark on the Throne who is willing to let the North rule itself is even better, and Arya wouldn’t hesitate to rule six kingdoms instead of seven if that meant her homeland could be free.
Death Will Not Come Today to the People of Westeros With Arya and Gendry on the Throne
Arya and Gendry might not be the most obvious choice, but they are the most stable choice. And what Westeros needs after years of unprecedented slaughter is stability. Having a Baratheon on the throne works; there was peace under Robert, and the people – tired of being killed by dragons and the frozen undead – are ready to return to calmer days. Arya and Gendry will provide Westeros peace once again, something no ruler has been able to provide in far too long.
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