‘Game of Thrones’: Why Sansa May Sit on the Iron Throne

Helen Sloan/HBO

Now that the Battle of Winterfell is out of the way, let’s refocus on who will end up on the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones.

The strongest contenders appear to be Jon (Kit Harington) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), but what if something happens that leads to neither of them able to — or wanting to — take the throne? Is it possible that Sansa (Sophie Turner) could end up on it and make certain that the North is not taken once again?

'Game of Thrones': 5 of the Best Candidates to Kill CerseiSee Also

'Game of Thrones': 5 of the Best Candidates to Kill Cersei

Because, 'when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.'

In Episode 2, Sansa asked Daenerys about her plans after the dead and Cersei (Lena Headey) were defeated, specifically for the North. “It was taken from us,” she said. “We took it back and we said we’d never bow to anyone else again.” They didn’t have a chance to finish their conversation.

Though Jon has bent the knee to Daenerys, he is the true heir to the throne, and even those who don’t know that see him as someone who should be king. Daenerys is losing her grip on the claim, and even her advisors, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill), know it.

(Helen Sloan/HBO)

In Episode 4, Jon told Sansa and Arya (Maisie Williams) the truth about his identity, and though he swore them to secrecy, Sansa told Tyrion. Upon sharing it with Varys, the two men tried to come up with a solution, even suggesting that Jon and Daenerys marry and rule together. But they know that would never work. She’s too strong, and he’d just bend to her. Furthermore, she’d never agree to share the throne.

And what if that’s her downfall? The closer Daenerys gets to claiming what she sees as rightfully hers, the more she seems to be losing ground. She’s lost two of her dragons. She’s driven by rage to stop Cersei, especially after the other woman had Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) killed.

An Ode to Jaime Lannister, the Most Compelling Character on 'Game of Thrones'See Also

An Ode to Jaime Lannister, the Most Compelling Character on 'Game of Thrones'

In a series that's bustling with messiahs and ice zombies, Jamie's character arc has been the most satisfying.

And though Jon has the better claim, he doesn’t want the throne. Even if he’s the one left to lay claim to it — and everyone finds out who he is, because as Varys points out, that’s just a matter of time — who says he will?

There have been several moments that foreshadow the possibility of Sansa ending up as the ruler.

Sansa’s Chances of Survival

Tyrion suggested that upon reaching King’s Landing, Cersei could win and kill them all. What if the second part of that statement is true, and both Jon and Daenerys die in the upcoming fight? After all, this is Game of Thrones; it’s not guaranteed that anyone will have a happy ending. Sansa is one of the few who hasn’t made the journey to King’s Landing.

(Helen Sloan/HBO)

Sansa’s Grown

We are also reminded of how much Sansa has changed over the years, through her conversation with the Hound (Rory McCann). She is no longer “a little bird,” and the person she has become is someone who could rule, if she so chose or was put in a position to do so. She stood up to Daenerys and argued the soldiers needed time to rest rather than march on Cersei immediately. (Daenerys ignored her request.)

She Has One of the Best Fighters on Her Side

She also has Arya on her side, and we’ve seen in these first four episodes that the sisters are sticking together. Sansa may not be able to fight, but Arya can — and could maybe be used to “inspire a bit of fear” like “every good ruler needs to,” as Tyrion said.

Tyrion’s Mind Would Remain a Factor

“At a certain point, you choose a person you believe in and you fight for that person,” he said. He may be speaking about Daenerys at that moment, but there have been several key conversations exchanged between him and Sansa.

He could very well remain hand of the queen — just not to Daenerys — when it’s all over. After all, in the Season 8 premiere, Sansa did tell him that being hand of the queen had a nice ring to it, “depending on the queen,” in the same exchange in which he said many have underestimated her.

(Helen Sloan/HBO)

No one in the show is necessarily thinking of Sansa as a potential candidate to end up on the Iron Throne — which may be exactly why she does.

She Cares About the North

At the very least, Game of Thrones will likely end with Sansa in a position of power, even if it’s just in the North. In Episode 4, Tyrion also pointed out, “A good relationship between the Iron Throne and the North has been the core of every peaceful prosperous reign we’ve ever known.”

10 Interesting Facts About the 'Game of Thrones' Battle of Winterfell Episode (PHOTOS)See Also

10 Interesting Facts About the 'Game of Thrones' Battle of Winterfell Episode (PHOTOS)

Find out how they pulled of that Night King surprise and more.

With Jon in the capital, Sansa would “be the true power in the North,” he added. Having the North’s best interests at heart is important for whoever’s on the Throne, and that describes Sansa perfectly.

Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on Sansa potentially ending up on the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO