With only a few episodes left in the final season of Game of Thrones, the Internet is abuzz with rumors, theories, and predictions. Is Bran the Night King? Is The Night King the Mad King? Where’s Ghost been all this time?
Of course, one of the more pressing questions has been who, if anyone, will be sitting on Westeros’ Iron Throne at the end ofthe series. The most popular picks among fans have gone to heavy-hitters like Daenerys, Jon Snow, or Tyrion. A few wild cards have been proposed, such as Cersei remaining in control or Sansa becoming Queen. However, if you ask me, it’s all going to come down to the character most people have forgotten the name of.
Gendry will be crowned king.
Gendry, for those who have long forgotten his often overlooked history, is the supposed (we’ll come back to that) bastard of Robert Baratheon, the former king. As many love to say in the series, “Robert loved his whoring,” and little Gendry was born out of wedlock to a tavern wench.
Still, he’s got royal blood in him, and it’s not unheard of for bastards to be given their family surname. Stannis offered to make Jon Snow a Stark by royal decree if he helped him, and Ramsay Snow became Ramsay Bolton by a similar decree on behalf of his father, Roose Bolton. If Gendry were to be made a Baratheon, he’d be the true heir to the throne.
Outside of the lore, HBO’s marketing team have conspicuously left Gendry out of promotional materials, despite the showrunners retrieving him back to the story in Season 7. Why else would they spend time bringing back such a side character at the end of the show?
They didn't do a poster with Gendry on The Iron Throne because it's been his the entire time, kingsblood vs everybody.
— Colin. (@totescolin) February 28, 2019
Support: The only part of the opening sequence to never change is the Stag on the thrown and he is the last Stag.
— Crispy Gin (@CrispyGin_CGE13) February 28, 2019
Over in the Game of Thrones subreddit, the Gendry-as-King camp is currently debating the semantics of their favorite characters rise to the Iron Throne. Some believe that Cersei is actually his natural mother, and that he’s the “black haired beauty” she claims to have lost shortly after childbirth.
We know that Cersei hated Robert and she admits to Ned Stark that she had figured out ways to never conceive a child from Robert, but Cersei is famously reluctant to outright kill babies. Could it be that she did have one of Robert’s children, but gave it away? Could that child be Gendry?
There’s also the matter of Gendry and his father’s choice of weapon.
Robert Baratheon was renown for his use of a warhammer (pictured below). When it comes to forging his own weapon, Gendry fashions a similar warhammer. In a series filled with symbolism and metaphor, this is no mere coincidence.
This brings us back to Gendry being made a Baratheon by royal decree. Jon Snow has said many times he doesn’t want power. Daenerys, despite her entire arc being centered around reclaiming the throne for her family, is cursed to never bear children again and faces a potentially catastrophic power struggle for the Seven Kingdoms after she dies.
Both of those characters might not even survive the series.
So, what if they chose Gendry to rule?
Gendry, like Jon, doesn’t yearn for power, but of anyone with the potential of taking the Iron Throne, he is the only one not born into wealth. He’s spent his life among the common people, he knows their struggles, and as such could transform that empathy into a better Seven Kingdoms for the people. Add a marriage to Sansa (or even Arya) and you’ve got a satisfying ending that still defies audience expectations.
With Gendry introducing himself as Robert’s son to Jon Snow (against Ser Davos’s wishes), the showrunners clearly want us to remember that he has royal blood in his veins. It could be that this final season sees him wield his new hammer to seize his destiny and the Iron Throne.
Or, who knows, it could end up being that wormy little shit, Robin Arryn.
The next episode of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday.