Drogon, in grief and fury on Daenerys’s death, melts the Iron Throne with his dragon fire before he flies away with her corpse, ending the symbol of absolute power in Westeros.

However, it’s not Jon who becomes King of the ashes; he’s imprisoned by the Unsullied for his crime. So instead at the urging of Tyrion Lannister, the lords and ladies of the great house of Westeros select Bran Stark, or Bran the Broken, as king and he, in turn, chooses Tyrion as his Hand.

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With all of human history living within him as the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran’s ascension to the throne is certainly an inspired choice and one which most fans didn’t see coming.

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Even with a Stark as Westeros’ new ruler, Sansa’s longstanding wish for North to become a sovereign kingdom is honored by her younger brother. Sansa and Arya had chafed under the assumption that the North would be forced to serve as vassals under Daenerys, especially once Jon pledged the kingdom’s fealty without their consent.

Now with Daenerys dead, Sansa and Arya’s fears have been laid to rest. Sansa is crowned Queen in the North, while Jon is sent to the Night’s Watch, never to marry or have children, as a concession to the Unsullied.

So Who Is The Final Winner?

With Westeros becoming a representative oligarchy rather than an absolute monarchy, and the North its own kingdom again, Bran and Sansa are the clear winners by the end of Game of Thrones. There was a lot of speculation that either Daenerys or Jon Snow would sit on the Iron Throne, but for better or for worse those expectations were subverted by the show.

Bran and Sansa won at the end
Bran and Sansa won at the end

So while it was a sad ending overall, the series did end on a hopeful note with the most unlikely candidate sitting on the throne while Sansa not only retained her freedom but also rose to a greater position of power herself. This is the happiest, these characters will ever get on Game of Thrones.