How Medieval History Could Lead Sansa and Tyrion to the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO / Helen Sloan, HBO

Based on the events of season 7, many Game of Thrones fans believe that Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow will end up either jointly or separately sitting on the Iron Throne come the series finale. But there is one theory that argues that Dany and Jon aren't the only couple who could end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms. If we look to real-life world history for guidance, perhaps we should be putting all of our faith in Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister taking the throne—together.

Digital Spy once posed the idea that the pair, who married in the season 3 episode "Second Sons," are perfect to sit on the throne. The proof is in real-life history books. Parts of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series—which inspired the HBO show—is famously based on the War of the Roses, a long-running feud between England's House of Lancaster and House of York, which resulted in the two families combining forces after decades of war.

Looking for historical equivalents between the Westerosi characters and the medieval Plantagenets, the line of succession seems to correlate to the 16th-century post-war years. Robert Baratheon would be the Thrones equivalent of King Henry VIII; Joffrey Baratheon would be Edward VI, the boy king who died at age 15 of a rumored poisoning; and Cersei Lannister embodies Bloody Mary, the queen who was known for her persecution of Protestants and tendency to burn heretics at the stake (Cersei did blow up the Sept of Baelor, after all).

The next Tudor ruler was Elizabeth I, and as Marie Claire points out, she was known to be "wise, fair, and just," while Digital Spy mentions that "she vowed to rule via wise counsel." Plus, she had red hair. This sounds a lot like Sansa Stark.

And though Elizabeth I famously refused to marry, Tyrion could come into play as he and Sansa are potentially still married (though, since she is now Ramsay Bolton's widow, her first marriage might be considered completely illegitimate, especially since Tyrion is always quick to point out that their marriage was never consummated—and it's unclear how Game of Thrones views this former union). Regardless, Tyrion certainly represents the idea of wise counsel, and if their bond is renewed, the warring houses of Stark and Lannister would be combined—the Thrones equivalent of when Henry VII of the House of Lancaster wed Elizabeth of York after a generation of war.

There's no mistaking the many similarities between the show and real history, but this is only a theory for now. If Sansa and Tyrion do end up on the Iron Throne it would be a great twist, and it would bring two cautious and thoughtful leaders together. But what fate would that mean awaits the Mother of Dragons and the King in the North? We'll have to see if there's any weight to this theory when the final season returns on April 14.

[h/t Glamour]