COLUMN: Contenders for the Iron Throne in 'Game of Thrones'


The first episode of season seven of “Game of Thrones” airs on HBO tonight at 8 p.m. CST. 

In order to get prepared for the premiere, below are the main contenders for the Iron Throne and where we left them. Spoilers for those not caught up with "Game of Thrones" are below.

Jon Snow

On the season six finale, Jon Snow was declared the "King in the North" by all of the northern houses as well as by the Vale, which is held by Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. This means Jon currently has the support of two of the seven kingdoms in Westeros, though as Sansa Stark so obviously pointed out to Jon, "Only a fool would trust Littlefinger."

What makes Jon unique among the contenders for the Iron Throne is that he seems to be the only one who doesn't want it. With his experiences with the White Walkers and the long awaited reveal of his true parentage (R + L= J), his story will most likely be centered around efforts to fight the overwhelming threat from beyond the wall, trying to rally support in the North while dealing with the schemes of Littlefinger and learning about his legacy and potentially fulfilling the prophecy as being "the prince who was promised."

The most important characters who currently follow Jon include Davos Seaworth, Brienne of Tarth, Tormund Giantsbane, Lyanna Mormont, Sansa Stark, Littlefinger (somewhat) and Melisandre (even though she's been banished).

Cersei Lannister

After blowing up all of her immediate threats in King's Landing (most of the Tyrell family and the Faith Militant), Cersei Lannister now sits on the Iron Throne while controlling two of the seven kingdoms: the Westerlands and the Riverlands, though it is unclear who rules the Riverlands after Arya Stark assassinated Walder Frey.

Though the Lannisters are known to be the wealthiest of the great houses in Westeros, it has been hinted that their mines have run dry and that the crown is heavily indebted to the Iron Bank.  Coupled with the fact that the Lannister army just fought wars against Robb Stark and Stannis Baratheon and probably isn't at full strength, Cersei will have to rely on her own ruthlessness, the wavering support of her brother Jaime, the stores of wildfire she has under King's Landing and a potential alliance with Euron Greyjoy to keep her power.

The most important characters who currently follow Cersei include Jaime Lannister (who will have reservations about her sister having blown up the Sept of Baelor), Qyburn (the new Hand of the Queen), Gregor "the Mountian" Clegane (a giant zombie) and Euron Greyjoy (potentially).

Daenerys Targaryen

The moment Daenerys Targaryen has been waiting for since the first episode of "Game of Thrones" has finally arrived: she's sailing back to Westeros with a fleet and army by her side to retake the Iron Throne.

Daenerys is without a doubt in the best position out of the three main contenders for the Iron Throne. She has the full support of two of the seven kingdoms (Dorne and the Reach), is about to take the Stormlands previously held by Stannis Baratheon, has an army of Dothraki, Unsullied, Dornishmen, Reachmen, Iron Islanders and three dragons and has one of the best squads imaginable. Viewers can expect her story line this season to center around her war with the Lannisters and efforts to take back what is rightfully hers.

The most important characters who currently follow Daenerys include Varys, Tyrion Lannister, Olenna Tyrell, Ellaria Sand, Theon and Yara Greyjoy, Jorah Mormont, Greyworm, Missandei and her three enormous fire-breathing dragons.

Unlike previous seasons of "Game of Thrones," season seven will only feature seven episodes and finish airing on August 27.

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