Dany's Smartest Political Move May Backfire in 'Game of Thrones' Season 8

Joe Dempsie as Gendry in 'Game of Thrones' Season 7

Gendry might have missed a few key seasons of Game of Thrones while rowing back to King’s Landing, but he’s set to be a key player in Season 8. In Episode 4, Daenerys Targaryen legitimized Gendry as Robert Baratheon’s son and the Lord of Storm’s End. It was a clever political move to win over another ally, but could it end up backfiring by the end of Game of Thrones Season 8.

Here’s why Gendry Baratheon could end up on the Iron Throne by the time Game of Thrones is over.

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Theories about Gendry rightfully taking the Iron Throne aren’t new. Fans have long speculated that his survival means he has just as much of a right to the throne as Daenerys, if not more (some fans even predicted he’d be legitimized). Though he would have been considered a threat before, Daenerys’ decision to formally make him Lord of Storm’s End presumably secured Gendry’s loyalty.

Make no mistake, the Mother of Dragons’ decision to make Gendry lord was for her own benefit. Gendry came from nothing and lived most of his life not knowing he was Robert’s bastard son. His legitimization in the eyes of society would make him forever grateful to Daenerys and a loyal servant wouldn’t fight her for the right to the throne, right? After all, Dany is still making power moves that benefit her future rule. There’s no doubt in her mind he would bend the knee in return.

The Breaker of Chains is still a stranger to the people of Westeros, therefore, making allies is important if she wants to seize the throne. Like she mentioned to Gendry during Episode 4, “The Last of the Starks,” Storm’s End has been abandoned because Robert and his brothers, Renly and Stannis, are dead. A strategic location like Storm’s End would benefit Daenerys in the future, add men to her army, and finally form a peaceful alliance between houses Targaryen and Baratheon. Gendry is also skilled in making weaponry and armor. So it doesn’t hurt to have him on her side.

However, Daenerys’ plan to win Gendry’s loyalty could backfire in the future. No longer a bastard, he can rightfully lay claim to the throne. He might not have much of a shot at the moment, but it’s looking more and more likely that Cersei will be defeated and Daenerys will become the Mad Queen.

If that happens and Dany has to be taken down, Jon Snow would be next to rule. However, Jon has shown no interest in the Iron Throne and may prove himself Ned Stark’s son (not biologically, but emotionally) by allowing Gendry to rule Westeros as his father once did.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 Arya Gendry
Gendry made the weapon Arya used to kill the Night King.

The Lord of Storm’s End could also fulfill the prophecy of Azor Ahai/Prince That Was Promised. The prophecy speaks of a savior who was “born again amidst smoke and salt” and would forge a sword called Lightbringer before battling the darkness. Gendry definitely fits this description: He works in a forge making weapons and armor and is a prince of sorts. The darkness he’d have to defeat would probably be Daenerys or Cersei (or both).

This, of course, hinges upon the idea that Gendry even wants to rule. After all, he tried to propose to Arya immediately after being legitimized and becoming a leader was never high on his to-do list. Like Jon Snow, he has other priorities. That could all change now that he is Gendry Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End and there are two episodes left for him to choose between loyalty or royalty.

Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.