Warning: If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones till season 5, beware that this post contains spoilers!
It is no secret that I am a Stannis fan. Be it him being just (Hi there, Ser Davos!) or being saviour of the realm (he did save the wall from wildlings), he is a good character beyond any doubt.
And to top it up, he is the one with strongest claim to the iron throne.
His family overthrew Targaryens
Yes, Daenerys’s family ruled and she has the dragons. But having dragons won’t give her any claim to the throne. Targareyns ruled badly and were overthrown in a rebellion. Baratheons won the throne fair and square.
Robert Baratheon left no legitimate heirs
Robert was a good soldier but not a good king. He has (had?) a lot of bastards floating around but left no legitimate children. That means that Cersei’s children have no claim to the throne.
This means that someone from Baratheon family is the successor.
Renly was an idiot to declare his claim
Renly was younger than Stannis and had no claim to the throne. He foolishly declared himself the king and ended up in grave.
Considering the no successors situation and that Stannis is next in line one after Robert, he is the legitimate heir for the throne.
Gods support him
Stannis has Malissandre on his side. A priestess who has displayed magical abilities! She has clearly said that Stannis is the one true king and is meant to sit on the iron throne.
Till now, her history has been great. Whenever Stannis followed her advice, he succeeded. Clearly, Gods are helping him. And based on the magical powers that we have seen, he seems to have support of the Red God!
He is one of the few well equipped kings to face the undead
By now, it is clear that the biggest threat to the realm is the undead army lead by white walkers.
Not all of the kings/queens are prepared for the assault. Dorne is safe because it is a desert. And as far as I remember, it is not clear whether winter causes any snow/cold weather there. Basically, white walkers won’t be able to just march onto Dorne.
Daenerys is well prepared, with her dragons (if she can control them) and an unsullied army. However, white walkers seem to have a few magical tricks up their (cold) sleeves and they may have a counter for them! And if white walkers somehow manage to neutralise the dragons, Daenerys’s army will be slaughtered by the wights.
Now, let us come to Stannis, he has a priestess who is experienced with fire and can tell future. She will come in handy to handle the wights.
Apart from this, Stannis’s seat of Dragonstone is full of dragon glass, one of the two things that we know can kill white walkers. Give everyone a glass dagger and white walkers are gone!
No other ruler has this level of preparedness and resources. (Barring Daenerys! If she starts telling her long name with all the titles, winter would pass and white walkers will just melt!)
He has the resources (money)
We all know that Lanniesters are bankrupt now. House Tyrell supports them but they may switch sides as soon as they get a chance (thank you Cersei!). House Frey is again more towards knee bending side and definitely not rich.
We don’t know much about Daenerys’s financial resources. But the slaves she liberated don’t seem very rich!
Stannis has the richest institution on the planet, the Iron Bank, backing him! Safe to say that he has money to go through a war.
He has support of the Starks!
Starks have been the tragic family till now. But all of them are in better situation right now and will surely play the kingmakers.
Jon is Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and will surely support Stannis if required.
Sansa is the heir to Winterfell and if Stannis manages to save her, she may back him! If she backs her, Littlefinger may back (or at least help) him as well, considering that he loves her.
Bran is developing supernatural powers. If he comes back, he will most probably get in touch with Jon/Sansa. Or the three eyed raven itself may suggest siding with Stannis. This gets the north behind Stannis and another powerful character (Bran) on his side.
And just as a wild speculation, Arya will be a trained assassin soon. She has retained some of her identity. If she comes back to Westeros, she may support Stannis (who knows, maybe many faced God and the Red God are friends!), in part due to him helping her family!
All this(and blind devotion to the Red God) makes me think that Stannis will sit on the iron throne. Some people are speculating that he may die. Even if he does, we need to remember that red priests can revive the dead!
What do you think? Who has the best claim to the iron throne and why?