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Who will claim the Iron Throne? Our weekly 'Game of Thrones' prediction

Chaos is a ladder, and our “Game of Thrones” favorites are nearing the top. 

Throughout the eighth and final season of the HBO epic, we’ll be tracking the progress of the key players in the Great War to answer the burning end-game question: Who will end up on the Iron Throne? 

Check back weekly as we chart their paths to see how our predictions align with your theories. Below, our ranking post Sunday night's episode, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," which saw Jon Snow tell Daenerys Targaryen of his true lineage. 

Scroll down for the previous week's ranking.  

1. Cersei Lannister

Photo Credit: HBO

By the end of season 8, episode 1, Cersei is still keeping the Iron Throne warm -- though her army of followers has dwindled by one golden-haired brother. The mother-to-be always has something up her sleeve, and while her secret weapon won’t be a pack of elephants, there’s always a chance for a Cersei wildfire, err, wildcard to help keep her standing strong. Both Cersei and the Night King were absent from episode 2, which may hint trouble for her reign. 

2. Daenerys Targaryen

Photo Credit: HBO

The Mother of Dragons has been on a mission since season 1 to restore Westeros to its rightful rule, and a little Jon Snow drama probably won’t stop her. In season 8, episode 2, a telling chat with Sansa reiterated Daenerys’ motive. "Men do stupid things for women. They're easily manipulated," Sansa tells her, without yet knowing how her cryptic foreshadowing ties in with Jon Snow. Daenerys doesn’t take the news of Jon’s claim to the Iron Throne lightly. Still, she’s the dragon queen herself and, to date, has proven to be unstoppable. 

2. Jon Snow

Photo Credit: HBO

He’s the one true heir to the Iron Throne and he finally knows it. But does that mean he wants it? The first episode of season 8 set Jon (actually named Aegon Targaryen) up for an epic journey to the King’s Landing hot seat, but his new romance with Daenerys might just get in the way. Plus, he’s stressed it enough: The army of the dead is his biggest concern. Episode 2, however, showed he cared enough about his lineage to drop the major bomb ahead of the Winterfell War. Now, he's on an equal playing field with Daenerys.

3. The Night King

Photo Credit: HBO

No one in Westeros has an army as powerful as the Night King. His protectors double by the minute and he’s the only one (so far) who’s been able to successfully take down a dragon. He probably isn’t dreaming of sitting on an iron chair, but if the Great War goes his way, he’ll be the lord of whatever it is he pleases.

4. No one

Game of Thrones  Season 5, Episode 3
Photo Credit: HBO

There's a big chance no one will sit on the Iron Throne when the Great War is through. And, no, we don't mean "No One," as in Arya or Jaqen H'ghar. Winter alone has the potential to clear out the Seven Kingdoms if the Night King doesn't. Even if cast favorites are left standing, we can't out rule the possibility that Westeros won't rebuild under one united rule. 

5. Sansa Stark

Photo Credit: HBO

The Lady of Winterfell has told us time and time again, she’s learned a lot from Cersei. Her subtle warnings shouldn’t be ignored. A Stark must always remain in Winterfell, but if the chance presents itself, Sansa just might seize the opportunity to slip back into the role of queen she once thought she was destined for. 

6. Arya Stark

Photo Credit: HBO

The girl with no name fights harder than her siblings and keeps her weapons under wraps ... from most. She cares more about protecting her family than claiming the throne, but that doesn’t mean it’ll stay completely out of her reach. With episode 2's "joining of the houses" (Stark and Baratheon), it's becoming more and more probable that Arya will be one of the few left standing at the end, and King Robert Baratheon's bastard son Gendry may be beside her.


6. Gendry

"game of thrones" Episode 65 (season 7, episode
Photo Credit: HBO/Helen Sloan

We haven't forgotten his claim to the Iron Throne. And with Arya and her epic weapon beside him, Gendry just may make it out of the Great War alive.

7. Tyrion Lannister

Photo Credit: HBO

The youngest Lannister sibling has been loyal to Daenerys, but we’ve seen his loyalties shift. Holes in his season 7 finale meeting with Cersei leave the possibility that Tyrion has another endgame in mind. He doesn't appear to be currently eyeing the throne, but we shouldn't put it past him.

Less probable:

8. Bran

9. Jaime

Week 1

Anthony Carrozzo
Photo Credit: Graphic by Anthony Carrozzo; Cartoons by Marish via depositphotos

Our ranking of who's on track for the Iron Throne, post season 8, episode 1. 


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