How Medieval History Could Lead Sansa and Tyrion to the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Based on the events of season 7, many Game of Thrones fans believe that Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow will end up either jointly or separately sitting on the Iron Throne come the series finale. But there is one theory that argues that Dany and Jon aren't the only couple who could end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms. If we look to real-life world history for guidance, perhaps we should be putting all of our faith in Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister taking the throne—together.

Digital Spy once posed the idea that the pair, who married in the season 3 episode "Second Sons," are perfect to sit on the throne. The proof is in real-life history books. Parts of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series—which inspired the HBO show—is famously based on the War of the Roses, a long-running feud between England's House of Lancaster and House of York, which resulted in the two families combining forces after decades of war.

Looking for historical equivalents between the Westerosi characters and the medieval Plantagenets, the line of succession seems to correlate to the 16th-century post-war years. Robert Baratheon would be the Thrones equivalent of King Henry VIII; Joffrey Baratheon would be Edward VI, the boy king who died at age 15 of a rumored poisoning; and Cersei Lannister embodies Bloody Mary, the queen who was known for her persecution of Protestants and tendency to burn heretics at the stake (Cersei did blow up the Sept of Baelor, after all).

The next Tudor ruler was Elizabeth I, and as Marie Claire points out, she was known to be "wise, fair, and just," while Digital Spy mentions that "she vowed to rule via wise counsel." Plus, she had red hair. This sounds a lot like Sansa Stark.

And though Elizabeth I famously refused to marry, Tyrion could come into play as he and Sansa are potentially still married (though, since she is now Ramsay Bolton's widow, her first marriage might be considered completely illegitimate, especially since Tyrion is always quick to point out that their marriage was never consummated—and it's unclear how Game of Thrones views this former union). Regardless, Tyrion certainly represents the idea of wise counsel, and if their bond is renewed, the warring houses of Stark and Lannister would be combined—the Thrones equivalent of when Henry VII of the House of Lancaster wed Elizabeth of York after a generation of war.

There's no mistaking the many similarities between the show and real history, but this is only a theory for now. If Sansa and Tyrion do end up on the Iron Throne it would be a great twist, and it would bring two cautious and thoughtful leaders together. But what fate would that mean awaits the Mother of Dragons and the King in the North? We'll have to see if there's any weight to this theory when the final season returns on April 14.

[h/t Glamour]

7 of the Best Double Features You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now

Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire in Rocky (1976) and Liev Schreiber in Chuck (2016).
Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire in Rocky (1976) and Liev Schreiber in Chuck (2016).
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and IFC Films

For many of us, movie night can turn into a movie marathon. If you’re logged into Netflix and pondering what to watch, check out these double feature suggestions that each offer a perfect pairing of tone, topic, or an ideal double dose of Nicolas Cage.

1. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) // The Highwaymen (2019)

In Bonnie and Clyde, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway star as the famous outlaw couple who livened up Depression-era America with their string of bank robberies. More than 50 years later, The Highwaymen shifts the focus to the retired Texas Rangers (Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson) charged with bringing them down.

2. Rocky (1976) // Chuck (2016)

Sylvester Stallone's rousing story of underdog palooka Rocky Balboa pairs well with the biopic of the man who partially inspired Stallone's screenplay. Chuck details the boxing career of Chuck Wepner, a determined pugilist who was given virtually no chance against Muhammad Ali but wound up winning the respect of the crowd. Liev Schreiber stars.

3. Deliverance (1972) // The River Wild (1994)

Water-based getaways become cautionary tales: In Deliverance, Burt Reynolds delivers the performance that turned him into a movie star, a rough and rugged outdoorsman confronted by a group of sinister locals in the backwoods of Georgia. Things don’t get appreciably better in The River Wild, with Meryl Streep as a matriarch forced to navigate the rapids under the gun of criminal Kevin Bacon. Together, the two may have you rethinking your vacation plans.

4. All the President’s Men (1976) // Kill the Messenger (2014)

Newspaper reporting comes under fire in both of these films based on true stories. All the President's Men features Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Washington Post reporters tasked with uncovering the Watergate conspiracy. Kill the Messenger stars Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, the journalist who found a suspicious connection between drug smuggling and the CIA.

5. Carrie (1976) // Gerald’s Game (2017)

After a bad stretch of mediocre adaptations, Stephen King’s work has been seeing an onscreen renaissance. Check out two of the best: Carrie, which stars Sissy Spacek as a telekinetic teen with an overbearing mother and an awkward social life; and Gerald’s Game, which casts Carla Gugino as a woman trapped in handcuffs amid supernatural activity.

6. National Treasure (2004) // The Trust (2016)

Fitting in the very narrow genre of “Nicolas Cage heist movies,” both National Treasure and The Trust are terrific on their own: A double feature contrasts Cage at his blockbuster best with his indie film shades of grey. As Benjamin Franklin Gates in National Treasure, he tries to run off with the Declaration of Independence. In The Trust, he and Elijah Wood are cops targeting a drug money stash. Fans of a more subdued—but still excellent—Cage should find a lot to like here.

7. Inglourious Basterds (2009) // The Imitation Game (2014)

Two very different tales of World War II oscillate from the cerebral to the Nazi-smashing. In Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino offers a revisionist take on the men and women who resisted the Reich. In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch is real-life scientist Alan Turing, whose work with computers cracked a German code that helped end the war.

How Mister Rogers Used King Friday to Make Friday the 13th Less Scary for Kids

Getty Images
Getty Images

King Friday XIII, son of King Charming Thursday XII and Queen Cinderella Monday, is an avid arts lover, a talented whistler, and a former pole vaulter. He reigns over Calendarland with lots of pomp and poise, and he’s usually correct.

Fans of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood may also remember that the monarch was born on Friday the 13th, because his birthday was celebrated on the program every Friday the 13th. Though the math isn’t perfect—according to Timeanddate.com, Friday the 13th sometimes happens two or three times a year—the heartwarming reason behind the unconventionally-timed birthday celebrations absolutely is.

Fred Rogers explained that he wanted to give children a reason to look forward to Friday the 13th, instead of buying into the negative superstitions that surround the dreaded date. “We thought, ‘Let’s start children out thinking that Friday the 13th was a fun day,’” he said in a 1999 interview. “So we would celebrate his birthday every time a Friday the 13th came.”

Rogers added that the tradition worked out so well partially because the show was broadcast live, and viewers knew to anticipate an especially festive episode whenever they spotted a Friday the 13th on the calendar.

Speaking of calendars: There’s an equally charming story behind the name Calendarland. In the same interview, Rogers disclosed that King Friday once asked children to write in with suggestions for his then-nameless country. One boy posited that since King Friday was named after a calendar date, his realm should be named after the calendar. Then, the lucky youngster was invited to the set, where King Friday christened him a prince of Calendarland.

King Friday might be king of Calendarland, but Mister Rogers is definitely the king of understanding how to make kids feel safe, smart, and special.

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