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George R.R. Martin reveals the defining traits of a ruler fit to sit on the Iron Throne




The Iron Throne has become a pop culture icon and a symbol of power in the fictional world. It represents an absolute reign, that corrupted many who tried to claim it for themselves. The Iron Throne has seen the rise and fall of many kings (and queens). The desire to rule all of Westeros attracts a lot of seekers, who put forth a claim to sit on the Iron Throne. But what makes one fit to be able to rule the Seven Kingdoms?

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Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin recently answered the very same question in the SDCC 2022 House of The Dragon panel. He said that the ideal King (or Queen) of Westeros should not see their leadership as a privilege or a birthright but as a duty. According to Martin, a good ruler must be someone who is as comfortable with the mundane aspects of leadership, such as building roads, as they are with going to war.


“I do think if you lived in Westeros you might like a king who’s more concerned with building roads than fighting wars,” he quoted.

King Viserys I Targaryen, who will be the initial ruler of Westeros in House of The Dragon, has been described as a good man but not a good king. Paddy Considine described Viserys as “A kind man … who’s trying to keep the peacetime going within the kingdom … but he’s also carrying something else that’s a kind of secret that’s revealed in the show that kind of refers to the potential fall of man in the future. So there are a lot of different things going on.”

What do you think makes a good ruler of Westeros? Tell us in the comments below!


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