The Game of Thrones ending had caused several debates to spurn among viewers. One of them was Bran becoming King of Westeros. Now, with the show’s prequel drawing closer to its premiere, House of the Dragon will do a better job at portraying and examining what the moment should have looked like. Game of Thrones saw a long televised run with its eight seasons. Throughout the run, there was one question that continued to linger in all fan theories. The speculation regarding who would win the Iron Throne in the end. Would Daenerys Targaryen claim it, as she believed the throne to be rightfully hers? Or will it fall into the hands of Jon Snow, despite him not wanting it? It would be a left-field contender, someone like Gendry?
But Game of Thrones’ eighth season ended by giving a shocking answer to the question. In the finale, Bran Stark takes the (no-longer-Iron) Throne and becomes the new King of Westeros. The decision that led to this point was made by the Great Council. The Great Council is when all the important Lords and Ladies of Westeros are there to vote on the new ruler. In Game of Thrones Season 8, this instance allowed the possibility of some familiar faces returning to the screens. However, the way things played out never depicted the schematics of what happened.
The primary reason behind this was that so many of these characters were already dead. But another reason was so that the scene would not take much effort. The Great Council that elected Bran as King in Game of Thrones Season 8 was not as competent as we expected them to be. The said Great Council had less than 20 Lords and Ladies in attendance to pass the judgment. While the decision to elect the new King held enormous weight, to see the scenario play out was quite underwhelming. More so because in the history of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire, the Great Councils have seen a better turnout.
But House of the Dragon may rectify this by visualizing the actual scenario in a better way. It is true that the show’s basic storyline does not mention the Great Council anywhere. However, one is proposed during the Dance of the Dragons, which is the Civil War that will comprise the main essence of the show. at the core of the show. It could achieve this by using flashbacks of Viserys I Targaryen becoming King, which was decided through a Great Council that, back then, did not fall short to expectations.
As the story goes, following the death of King Jaehaerys, I’s heir, a lot of great Lords from across Westeros were summoned. This was done to ponder over the succession of the throne and conclude as to who would eventually replace Jaehaerys. The discussion was held at Harrenhal. And it was entirely different from how Game of Thrones Season 8 portrayed it.
There were almost a thousand lords who attended the council. Some of them even stuck around for months. Because the throne had numerous contenders fit to claim it, the actual deliberations lasted weeks. The occasion was truly monumental. Essentially because it saw a gathering of everyone important (and not important) in Westeros.
The entire expanse displayed just how the system is supposed to work, without failing to point out its weaknesses. The scenario did a fantastic job at highlighting the political workings of Westeros. As well as its methods of succession. If fleshed out in the right way, the controversies within the system would look truly incredible on screen.
The Great Council took place at 101 AC. Hence, the time is certainly before the main story of House of the Dragon takes place. With that said, the moment is very crucial for the events of the Dance of the Dragons. Because it not only places Viserys on the Iron Throne, but also establishes pacts, rivalries, and bitter feelings among the characters. Which will later be fleshed out in the show. The prequel House of the Dragon will shuffle between multiple timelines. The show will feature younger versions of characters being cast alongside older ones. Which means that a flashback early on, to 101 AC is likely a possibility.
In the same way, following the stark events of the Dance of the Dragons, there is another Great Council occurring. This time, it is held in 136 AC, and the agenda is to decide the regents before Aegon III came of age and assumed power. One more time, the turnout among the Westeros Lords became a massive one. This could also help display what a Great Council really looks like.
Game of Thrones’ Great Council scenario did serve as a plausible explanation. However, there still could have been a lot of Lords and Ladies in Westeros, important or not, at the time. And together, they all could have attended the Great Council, by even staying in the background. Because otherwise, the scene only appeared as unfinished and lacking. And it made Westeros feel smaller. In fact, this in no way supported the new method of choosing a ruler of the land. But House of the Dragon will rectify this and come out stronger.