Why 1 woman can defeat Mad Queen

The mass slaughter of innocents at King’s Landing by Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) in the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones” Season 8 begs the question: who will kill Mad Queen Daenerys?

She’s so desperate to rule from the Iron Throne but her innate ruthlessness, intuited by Varys (Conleth Hill) — who was incinerated by Dany’s remaining dragon for speaking too candidly on the subject — make that reign an impossibility.

With only a handful of cast members left alive to polish her off, it’s no job for an ordinary mortal.

Who really has the courage and the cunning to pull it off in Sunday night’s series finale of HBO’s pop culture juggernaut?

Let us look at the remaining candidates:

Peter Dinklage in "Game of Thrones"
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion LannisterHelen Sloan/HBO

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is the least likely to get the job done. He defended Daenerys against Varys’ objections but the queen of carnage is unlikely to reward him for his fealty. Once she learns that Tyrion helped his brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) escape captivity at King’s Landing, she is likely to have him put to death.

Maisie Williams as Arya Star
Maisie Williams as Arya StarHBO/Helen Sloan

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). She missed out on her chance to kill Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), leaving that task to The Hound (Rory McCann), who also blew it. The bloodthirsty Ms. Stark, who has fought off The Waif, the Wights and drove a custom-made spear through The Night King to end the great war at Winterfell, is clearly afraid of no one and could easily add Dany to her “kill list.”

According to Westeros’ resident psychic, Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), Arya is destined to kill someone with “green eyes.” Daenerys has green-grey eyes. With Arya’s odds from US-Bookies.com at 2/1, you have to consider that outcome a strong possibility.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow

Jon Snow (Kit Harington). He has said a million times that he doesn’t want to sit on the Iron Throne, boring us to tears. At the rate things are going, he may have to: Someone has to rule the joint and Jon, as has been pointed out to him by about 50 people now, commands the respect of men from all different walks of life. He was clearly appalled by Dany’s actions in King’s Landing so a change of heart is clearly in order.

There’s still a huge leap between seeing a situation differently and killing the woman who is also your girlfriend and aunt. But if Jon needs to keep peace in the land, he may surprise himself — and the viewers — and finish her off. Fans would really go insane. Oddsmakers at US-Bookies.com place Jon’s odds at 1/5.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of TarthHBO

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). Having the brand-new knight finish off Daenerys would be a fitting course-correction for Brienne, who was reduced to a Joni Mitchell-esque mess when Jaime left her side after one night of intimacy. Like Arya, Brienne is fearless and has committed herself to defending the Starks at all costs.

Sophie Turner as Sansa StarkHBO/Helen Sloan

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Sansa has been suspicious of Daenerys since her arrival at Winterfell at the beginning of the season. She has refused to “bend the knee” and acknowledge the Targaryen woman as her queen. Watching her brother make an ass of himself in her presence has only deepened her disdain.

With the fallout at King’s Landing about to reach her ears, there is no way she won’t regard Dany as an enemy who must be eliminated. Sansa has endured more torture than any of the surviving characters so she will waste no time in dispatching Jon’s blonde distraction. And if you remember how Sansa turned Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) into dog food in Season 6, then you know how cold, clean and ruthless she can really be.

Sansa, then, should kill Daenerys and sit on the damn throne herself. Amen.

The “Game of Thrones” series finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO. 

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