Game of Thrones: The Rulers Who Remain
Many Lords, Ladies, Kings and Queens have pursued power in Game of Thrones. However, to obtain that power, they were forced to play the game, and this is not a game anyone wants to lose. Losing this game means death, and death has come for many thus far.
Now, with season 6 over, a few players still remain, and the waiting is over. These players are on a collision course with one another, and every House in Westeros will be forced to pick a side if they haven't already. To which player should they each pledge their oath and their life though?
The last time we saw Euron Greyjoy he was crowned the King of the Iron Islands and was building a fleet of ships to offer to Daenerys in exchange for her hand in marriage. To Euron's detriment, Yara and Theon reached Dany first, but I don't see that deterring Euron from his goal of ruling Westeros. In fact, I see Euron teaming up with another player. Who might that player be? Well, she currently sits on the Iron Throne and has no husband to rule beside her. Her name is Cersei Lannister. If they can trust each other, Euron and Cersei will make quite the team, as they both possess a ruthless nature, but their unity is only speculation. Euron must be able to stand on his own if he wants to play the game.
As a ruler, Euron has plenty to offer those seeking a side in the coming war. First, according to the customs of the Iron Islands, he is the rightful King of the Iron Islands, whether Yara and Theon want to accept his authority or not. He also, supposedly, plans on building a large fleet of ships, which will make him a formable adversary at sea. Finally, Euron apparently has a horn that can control dragons. We'll have to see if that proves true or not, but it could be a game changer as events unravel.
Littlefinger set the events in Game of Thrones in motion with the murder of Jon Arryn. Since then, he has proven that he is a crafty and intelligent competitor. He has orchestrated the fall of the Stark family, the assassination of Joffrey Baratheon, and positioned himself as the lead counselor to Robin Arryn, who rules the Eyrie.
But, Baelish has much larger ambitions. He finally revealed to Sansa Stark that he plans to sit on the Iron Thrones and wants her by his side. Only time will tell if he can persuade Sansa, but Littlefinger should not be underestimated. He has successfully manipulated many important players in the game, always gaining an unexpected edge over everyone else. It only takes one mistake to lose though, and Baelish seems to have maneuvered himself into a corner for the time being.
Cersei has nothing left to lose, and that should put fear into everyone in Westeros. In seasons past, Cersei was restrained by her love for her children and her desire to protect them, but they are all gone now. Cersei's wrath will come full force in season 7. She already blew up all her adversaries in King's Landing with wildfire. Now, she has made enemies all across Westeros, with many of them teaming up with either Daenerys or Jon Snow.
Cersei will have to pull out every trick she has to maintain control of the Seven Kingdoms, but as stated before, if she can obtain the help of another ruler then perhaps she has a chance. Even if she doesn't get help from Euron, don't count Cersei out of the game yet. She is deadly as a foe and won't go down alone.
Having added the Dothraki forces and Yara's ships, Daenerys has the most formidable force behind her. Now, she is on a mission to avenge her family, a family she did not know, and retake the kingdom they once ruled.
When it comes to playing the game, Dany seems unbeatable at this point. She has three dragons, a massive army, the support of two powerful houses in Dorne and the Reach, and the smartest Hand of the Queen in all of Westeros, Tyrion Lannister. Dany will not be easy to defeat, as she has proven that she is a capable leader and conqueror. At this point, she is probably the safest player in the game.
Jon Snow, the King in the North, is now the ruler of Winterfell despite being an alleged bastard of Edward Stark. As a warrior, he probably has the most experience on this list. He has led men into battle many times, with his pinnacle victory coming against the sadistic Ramsey Bolton, but Jon has more than leadership going for him. He has now been accepted as a true Stark, and for that, he has the respect of the Lords in the North. He also has the Lord of Light on his side, bringing him back from death for whatever purpose awaits.
Therefore, Jon is a well-rounded player who has a legitimate stake in the game. His parents, supposedly Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, give him a rightful claim to the Iron Throne, and with knowledge of the White Walkers, Jon has a message that others must support if they want to survive the Long Night. For Lords and Ladies who wish to support a player who fights for a cause, Jon might be the most trusted player left on the board.