SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
It could be said that Joffrey was the worst leader in Game of Thrones with his conceited attitude and disregard for the common people. But his younger brother, King Tommen, in comparison, was too soft with his love for his wife and his complete lack of problem solving skills. So who really was the worst leader in Westeros over six seasons of Game of Thrones?
The Mad King Aerys II Targaryen
While fans of the TV series never got to see the mad king in action, it was his behavior that got the ball rolling in Game of Thrones, so that’s why he gets a mention here. If he wasn’t crazy enough to think everyone a traitor, burning those he could catch with wildfire, then Game of Thrones would just be another show about how kings rule. It could be argued that if the mad king wasn’t quite so mad, then all of the terrible rulers who followed would never have happened. However, considering the Targaryen way of marrying siblings in order to keep the bloodline pure, it is a surprise this sort of insanity didn’t occur earlier in Game of Thrones.
Joffrey had no reasoning skills beyond his own wants and desires, much like Robert Baratheon. However, Robert was not mean like Joffrey was. At every turn of his reign, Joffrey was throwing his weight around merely because he was king. As a result of this, he caused significant unrest among the common folk and nobility alike. When Joffrey is poisoned at his own wedding, it is a relief to the majority of Westeros and proof that incest never works when it comes to ruling in Game of Thrones.
Even when Tommen was trying to rule, he was still being dominated by everyone around him. As Dean-Charles Chapman said in a recent interview with Vulture, Tommen was doomed from the start. “He was a little too gullible,” Chapman explains. “And I blame Cersei for that, because she always shielded him, but she was really shielding him from politics, and the world, and how cruel people really are. He didn’t get the life lessons he should have had. He just thought, ‘Okay, I’ll shut up and do as they say.'” And, it is because of this, Tommen is a terrible ruler. However, given some time and a less explosive situation, Tommen may have been the best ruler Westeros had ever seen.
Score: 6/10 (but that’s only for his potential to be a good ruler.)
So now, Cersei rules alone. Lena Headey has little faith in Cersei being on the Iron Throne for long though. When Entertainment Weekly asked how long Cersei’s rule would last, Headey revealed, “It’s a moment of punctuation in the madness.” Considering Daenerys has just set sail for Westeros, it seems Cersei may not rule for long before a Targaryen tries once more to claim the Iron Throne. However, this Targaryen might just be the very thing Westeros needs.
Who do think was the worst ruler so far in Game of Thrones? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
According to a recent interview with Deadline, Game of Thrones will return to HBO with a shortened Season 7 in 2017.
[Image via HBO]