It wasn’t surprising that Game of Thrones didn’t spend much airtime on the death of Princess Myrcella Baratheon, a relatively minor character. But after doing a little digging, Chris Taylor over on Mashable says we may have overlooked the most significant thing about her death: that King Tommen Baratheon now has a new successor to the Iron Throne. (Technically, as bastards, neither Tommen nor Myrcella have legitimate claims to the throne, but if most of the people in Westeros can keep up the charade that they’re the legitimate children of King Robert Baratheon, so can we.)
Tommen is a sweet, naïve king, which probably means his chances for long-term survival are slim. Assuming he dies without an heir of his own, and with the current generation of Baratheons all but destroyed, the author puts forth some interesting and surprising speculation about who the next rightful claimant to the throne would be.
The most obvious candidate may be King Robert’s bastard son, Gendry. Even though we haven’t seen him since Season 3, he’s seemingly the only one left on the show with legitimate Baratheon blood, seeing as Stannis, Renly, and Shireen are all dead. But to have any shot at sitting the Iron Throne, he’d have to be legitimized by Tommen, which isn’t going to happen.
To find the next family related to King Robert, you have to go back a hundred and fifty years prior to his birth. According to a detailed Baratheon family tree*, nobleman Corwen Baratheon married a woman named Leyne and had six children. One was Robert Baratheon’s great-great-great grandfather, Arion. Corwen’s only other child whose lineage survived was his daughter Elyanna. She married Lord Mathin Lannister. By now, you can probably see where this is going: Mathin’s family line leads straight to our favorite deceased Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister.
This means that, if he had outlived Stannis and Shireen, Tywin would have technically been the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms by rights, instead of just by practice. Wild.
With Tywin dead, the Iron Throne would pass to his eldest son, Jaime. However, Jaime has made vows to the Kingsguard, and made it clear he has no interest in ruling, so he’s out. Next up is Tywin’s second son, Tyrion. Tyrion may not make such a bad king, but he was sentenced to death for regicide. Plus, he’s throwing his support behind Daenerys Targaryen, who wants to take the Iron Throne by force. He’s not going to sit the throne any time soon.
That means there’s one person left for the Iron Throne to pass to, and she’s wanted it for a while now: none other than the former Queen herself, Cersei Lannister.
You’re welcome, Westeros! The chances that the Lannisters will retain control of King’s Landing seem very slim, but this shows that her dream of having absolute power is possible. The only issue, apart from the fact that no one in Westeros may have made this connection, is that Cersei’s last son would have to die for the power to pass to her, and she doesn’t want that to happen. Still, with that prophecy kicking around, who knows what’ll happen?
*It seems that the legitimacy of that particular family tree is in serious doubt, so do take everything with a bucketful of salt. Still, it’s nice to dream…