At the end of Game of Thrones S08E06, we see that

Bran Stark is elected King of the Six Kingdoms.

But why does anyone want to vote for him to be King? The world of Game of Thrones has always been a very pragmatic one: those in power take actions to further their own power, not for some idea of a "common good". They are certainly not likely to be swayed by an argument of "he has a good story"!

Why do the rulers of the major houses consider this candidate to be good for themselves?

Let's consider the electors:

  • Bronn always acts in his own self-interest, and has no loyalty or ties to the Starks.

  • Gendry has no family loyalty or ties to the Starks, apart from Arya.

  • The unnamed prince of Dorne has no ties to the Starks.

  • Tyrion may act out of "greater good" cause in supporting Bran.

  • Edmure Tully is distantly related to the Starks and may support one of them.

  • Yara Greyjoy has no ties to the Starks, and indeed has a history of enmity with them.

  • Robin Arryn is distantly related to the Starks, and the Starks have always been close to the Arryns, so his support may be a possibility.

  • Sansa Stark is the one who should support Bran, but doesn't.

Of the 8 electors, 4 have no reason to vote for


2 have only weak reasons, and 1 more doesn't vote for him. But somehow he gets elected.

Why did each of the electors vote the way they did?

  • Hey there! Welcome to SciFI Fantasy StackExchange! Be sure to check out the help center for more information. Great first question!
    – user112267
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 0:47
  • 1
    They are "breaking the wheel". You see: those in power take actions to further their own power = old world; for some idea of a "common good" = new world.
    – Möoz
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 4:51
  • 1
    @Möoz Sansa still living in that old world then I guess? :P
    – Aegon
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 5:46
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    It doesn't really change the thrust of your argument, but I'd hesitate to call uncle and first cousin distant relations. You couldn't get much closer without being a Stark
    – Nolimon
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 14:24
  • 1
    A Three-Eyed Raven can influence others' minds.
    – user931
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 15:09

3 Answers 3


Because it makes the nobility stronger

The reason that they're so in favor of this, even universally so, is that this is (seemingly) great for the nobility (i.e. those very same electors). What they are essentially doing is trading a system where the queen or king of the realm has total control over the power of succession for one where the nobility controls it. This dramatically increases their own powers: a king or queen cannot antagonize the nobility nearly as much without fear of losing the succession of their children or other favored successor, which gives the nobility a more flexible lever than the threat of rebellion to argue for their own interests. It also implicitly situates the ruler as ruling by the consent of their nobles, making it potentially easier for the nobles to remove a less favored ruler if the occasion arises. In other words: a weaker ruler means stronger nobles.

We can see this in what they say that the meeting:

Bran has no interest in ruling and he can't father children. Good. Sons of kings can be cruel and stupid, as you well know. His will never torment us

That he has no interest in ruling is presented as a positive because the nobility does not want him to have the traditional measure of control. If they were afraid that the lack of a determined monarch would bring chaos, they wouldn't see this as a good thing.

A system where the nobility is more powerful is also a system where kingdoms with pretensions to independence, such as the Iron Islands or Dorne, can more easily pursue it, and possibly even with an eventual legal argument on their side.

And what's more, Bran has no objection to this, whereas any other ruler, who would be able to have children or even be more invested in temporal rules and traditions than Bran, would naturally object to their heirs not being able to inherit.

If any of them don't yet understand the scope of Bran's powers and still see him as weak (mentally or otherwise), they also may well see him as likely to allow them to take more power for themselves.

Because he'll be a good ruler

If any of them do care somewhat about the quality of the person who's in charge of the realm, as even a self-interested noble should, since their people's success is to some extent their own, and they actually understand what Bran is capable of, then they should support him.

With his unique powers, he brings a lot of talents to the table. Militarily, he can foresee troop movements with a precision accessible to no other ruler, through greensight and warging. In terms of arbitration, he will be fair and honest, because of his personality and because of his ability to know what lies behind a dispute. In terms of his ability to keep the realm together, no one will dare speak of open rebellion once his abilities become known, for fear that he'll be aware of it. With his knowledge of what's happening throughout the realm, he will be an unparalleled administrator. He also seems quite intelligent, if aloof, and not unstable like, I don't know, the last three rulers?

  • 7
    +1 the whole arrangement is quite similar to the old republics, like Venice, where the noble elite would elect a "Doge" to rule for life (much power, so responsibility, wow), who would then need their support and approval to pass laws. They'd usually chose a compromise figure who wasn't too strongly allied to any one noble faction, and who they thought they could reason with. It worked extremely well - Venice became one of Europe's major military and trading powers, and the nobility prospered. Commented May 22, 2019 at 7:34

Because they are neutral. Regardless of blood relations, their path through the series has led them to the truth, and that has led him to a position of balance. And, as Tyrion explained, they cannot have children, so that will break the line of inheritors. "Rightful inheritance" has led to all kinds of issues, and so breaking that line is what is required to change that - to stop this from ever happening again. The position is to be earned, not given. It is a duty, not a right.

  • 1
    "Rightful inheritance" has led to all kinds of issues, and so breaking that line is what is required to change that - to stop this from ever happening again - Which is absurd when you look at it with the history of Seven Kingdoms that GRRM has provided us. First Men elected their chiefs, Ironmen elect their Kings, that does not stop wars or bad men getting elected. More interestingly, Ironborn Electors were attacked and killed by Urron Greyiron who took the driftwood crown and his house ruled for a 1000 years without elections.
    – Aegon
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 5:42
  • 2
    PS: This is not a critique on your perfectly valid answer, that is after all what the show says it is. It is just an observation on how naive it is to think that changing the hereditary monarchy to elective one somehow causes stability, peace and a summer that never ends.
    – Aegon
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 5:43
  • @Aegon - No, killing the Night King does that last bit.
    – Adamant
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 5:49

Adding to the very good answer by Adamant, I'd say that they do it because they do not really have any other solution to keep the fragile peace.

Bronn and Gendry are newly appointed Lords of their lands, and their grip on their respective realms is weak at best. Both are completely dependant on the goodwill of the Crown to keep their claims as Lords legal.

Bronn is Lord of Highgarden by virtue of a promise of Tyrion, something another ruler might not feel obligated to hold on, given how important Highgarden is to feed the whole kingdom.

Gendry is Lord of Storm's End by virtue of a decree by Daenerys, and, again, another ruler might prefer to put someone else, like a family member, to rule in his place.

The new Dornish Prince may not care much about who sits on the throne, but it's always better for Dorne if Westeros is in a state of relative peace.

Edmure Tully tried his luck and got told to sit by Sansa, not that he had much of a real claim to begin with.

Yara Greyjoy might be against it but she's powerless at the moment: she has no armies, no fleet, and little resources left after the successive rebellions and the infighting with Euron's fleet and supporters.

Sansa was going to declare independence no matter what, though she seems to briefly rethink her decision when Tyrion proposes Bran and everyone else agrees.

This, combined by Bran's abilities that the Council is aware of, makes him the only choice to avoid another series of succession wars, whether it is for the throne or the lordship over realms whose Houses have been more or less completely exterminated.

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