'Game of Thrones' fans didn't see the final twist of who'd lead Westeros coming, and generally think it's a bad idea

HBOIsaac Hempstead Wright plays Bran Stark.
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for HBO’s ” Game of Thrones.”
  • Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” ended on a wild curve ball when it comes to who’s really running the show in Westeros.
  • We asked people before the season to weigh in on how good or bad a ruler several characters from the show would be, and also how likely or unlikely they were to actually sit on the throne.
  • Our new monarch is a little unexpected. The new leader of Westeros is also not particularly cut out for the job, according to people who weighed in.

King Brandon will lead Westeros, a totally unexpected ending on a show known for its twists.

Needless to say, fans didn’t see this curve ball coming. They also don’t really think Bran will make a particularly gifted monarch. Before the season, we set up a head-to-head matchup generator and asked fans of “Game of Thrones” to weigh in on two questions: Who is more likely to be ruler when all is said and done, and who would be a better ruler?

Here’s what we found:

The best potential ruler and the most likely to sit on the Iron ThroneYutong Yuan/Business InsiderA graphic showing the results of our ‘Game of Thrones’ matchup generator.

Bran is the 13th-best person to run the seven six kingdoms, beating out the likes of Grey Worm, Melisandre, The Hound, and Cersei Lannister. He was considered the eighth-most-likely to actually sit on the throne, after The Night King and Cersei and literally any other Stark.

So how did this happen?

Sunday on “Game of Thrones,” we saw the end of a years-long fight to the War of the Five Kings, the War for the Dawn, and the Sack of King’s Landing. Leaderless and without a hereditary heir who could appease all involved parties, the high lords of Westeros and also Davos Seaworth convened to discuss the future leadership of their continent.

A bid from Edmure Tully was promptly squashed by Sansa Stark when finally Tyrion Lannister proposed a compromise solution: Bran Stark would be king. His inability to father heirs to the throne was, rather than a traditional liability, a key feature of his reign. Sure, it won’t be a democracy per se, but whenever the king dies the lords of Westeros would convene again to select a new leader, thus breaking the wheel as Daenerys envisioned in more levelheaded times.

Still, despite fan’s pre-season reservations about the administration of King Bran, it’s worth noting two things.

First, maybe they didn’t have a great read on compassionate leadership potential given the high marks given to Daenerys Targaryen, who recently burned a city to the ground.

Second, Bran does seem like a delegator, and the people he’s surrounded himself with in his small council, like Tyrion, Davos, Brienne and Samwell, all get fairly good marks when it comes to ruling talent.

Still, this is certainly a surprising ending that fans didn’t assign a particularly high probability of happening, but it could work out.

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