This article accommodates spoilers for the sequence finale of “Game of Thrones.”
The Iron Throne, the literal seat of the Westeros monarchy, is lastly gone, melted down in the “Game of Thrones” sequence finale on Sunday by dragon hearth. No longer will it beckon to those that need to play the harmful recreation of thrones, even when it corrupts or kills them.
Perhaps it was an excellent decide of character. Or no less than an excellent decide of cruelty. A monstrosity of a chair, it was made from the twisted metal and jagged ends of swords of vanquished enemies. Historically, when a monarch sat on the throne and it sliced his or her flesh, that monarch was usually believed to be unfit to rule.
[Read the recap of the “Game of Thrones” sequence finale.]
We by no means noticed King Robert sitting on the Iron Throne. Ned did so solely as soon as, and appeared to squirm. Joffrey tried the throne a couple of occasions, and he appeared to take pleasure in it. Tommen, on the different hand, seemed very unwell comfy.
Cersei appeared proper at residence on the merciless chair. And Dany wished it sufficient to kill 1000’s of harmless individuals for it (and she nonetheless believed in the fairy story of Aegon’s Conquest and her household’s sordid historical past proper up till the very finish).
“There aren’t a thousand blades,” Littlefinger responded. “There aren’t even two hundred. I’ve counted.”
For Littlefinger, the oft-repeated lie about the throne’s origins represented the illegitimacy of the realm itself. “Do you know what the realm is?” he said. “It’s the thousand blades of Aegon’s enemies, a story we agreed to tell each other over and over till we forget that it’s a lie.”
Dany imagined that the throne would be a “mountain of swords,” more aligned with the vision George R.R. Martin describes in the books. Still, her belief in the fairy tale over the harsh reality of Aegon’s Conquest and the subsequent Targaryen rule only proves she wasn’t fit for the chair, either. Perhaps no one was.
With Maegor the Cruel, who earned his sobriquet with a bloody reign of terror, it was said that the throne killed him. One night, he stayed late in the council chamber, brooding; the next morning, he was found dead on the throne, his arms slashed open by its many swords, his robes soaked in blood.
Not everyone accepted this story. Some suspected that Maegor’s own guards killed him, while others speculated that a surviving builder of the Red Keep — all of whom were supposed to have been put to death to preserve the building’s secrets — might have been responsible. Some even thought the king had killed himself rather than suffer defeat.
Queen Rhaenyra, who tried to claim her father’s seat in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, was definitely bloodied by the throne: Even though she wore armor, the chair cut her legs and her left hand during a ceremony in which subjects had come to swear their loyalty to her. The drops of blood were seen as a judgment on the would-be queen.
“Wise men looked at one another,” according to the Targaryen history “Fire & Blood,” “though none dared speak the truth aloud: the Iron Throne had spurned her, and her days upon it would be few.”
It didn’t help that Rhaenyra bled every time she sat on the throne thereafter. Eventually, she was executed by her half brother, King Aegon.
The throne rendered its next judgment on King Aerys II, Dany’s father. He was cut so many times by the throne that he earned another moniker in addition to the Mad King — he was also called King Scab.
Toward the end of his reign, Aerys became extremely fearful of blades and stopped allowing anyone to cut his beard, his hair or even his fingernails. But there was no way he could avoid the blades of the Iron Throne, and his arms and legs were covered with half-healed cuts. Jaime Lannister, his Kingsguard, watched him pace in the throne room, picking at his scabbed and bleeding hands. That was before he killed him.
Given this grim history, it’s no wonder that Tyrion worries in the books about Dany taking the throne. “If Daenerys is no more than a sweet young girl,” he says, “the Iron Throne will cut her into sweet young pieces.”
He needn’t worry now. Dany did more damage to the throne room than it could ever have done to her, and Drogon gave the throne its final judgment.
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