GOT fans have always been haunted by one question for years. The question has been “What makes a good ruler?” So with just one episode being left, it appears like the writers of GOT are resolute to reach an answer. Or as Niccolò Machiavelli puts it, Game of Thrones want to understand whether it’s better for a ruler to be loved than feared or feared more than loved?
Well, Game of Thrones hasn’t been precise in arranging the chessboard for the final battle. On one hand, there’s Jon Snow, who time and again has been loved by the people who obey him, although he’s never made any smart decision. On the other hand, there’s Daenerys Targaryen, who has been told for years that she is the rightful heir, and she has fought her way to where she is at present.
In reconsideration, the dispute between the two types of rulers has been established since the start, but it was particularly underscored during Jon and Daenerys’ first meeting back in season 7, episode 3.
Daenerys is introduced to the audience as “Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, and many other titles. The title and achievements stresses her right to rule and all these facts give her power. It shows what makes her a good queen.
Davos Seaworth, introduces Jon Snow with the far more dull title “King in the North.” He highlights that Jon fought for his people, risked his life for them and even died for them. That viewpoint pops up again after the Battle of Winterfell, when Tormund drunkenly brags of Jon’s leadership expertise. The scene ends with the camera focusing on Daenerys, who isn’t being acknowledged at all for doing the same things.
Daenerys’ fall from favor has been recent. Her endeavors to get people accept her as Queen through love has failed. On the other hand, Jon is people’s favorite, but he doesn’t want power that only makes him more beloved. The more people want him to take the throne, the less he wants it.
However, writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have diminished it to a cartoonish caricature of the two sides of the debate. Daenerys needs to be so evil that it’s justifiable for power-reluctant Jon to dismiss her and fight her for the throne. There’s basically nothing left for Daenerys to do except burning everyone who comes in her way that would only make her more hated in the process. Only time and the final episode will tell the rightful heir to the throne.