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More towards the beginning of Game of Thrones S08E04 when the North is feasting, Daenerys singles out Robert's bastard son Gendry and awards him Lord of Storm's End for no apparent reason. While doing so Jon gives her an odd look, kind of questioning what she's doing.

Was this power play against Jon Snow to more establish herself as ruler for once they take over King's Landing, or am I reading too much into this? Is there any other reason/benefit why she would do this at this point in time?


Follow up question: Right after this happened Tyrion glanced over to Sansa and she looked really troubled by it all. Why?

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    Well out of all the people sitting on that table, she's the only one who's Queen and can do that. And she confirmed that she meant to do it for all the reasons that Tyrion later enumerated. Sansa seemed troubled because she also realised that she'd just lost Stormlands in whatever sick plan she's hatching to revolt against her rightful queen who lost thousands of men and two dragons protecting her worthless hide. – Aegon May 10 at 8:18
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    An alternate interpretation can simply be that after sharing some tender moments with her estranged husband in the last episode, she might have expected him to not be so loyal to the Queen she dislikes for some reason best known only to her. Tyrion disappointed her. – Aegon May 10 at 8:20
  • I maybe took her "you're not the only one that's clever" statement to Tyrion as a kind of double entendre, with her saying to herself that she's clever enough to get ahead of Jon Snow and demonstrate her ruling the Northern folk early on. – Charles May 10 at 8:20
  • Well no one ever doubted that, she was conquering and ruling before Tyrion ever made it to her court. It seemed more like a playful comment between two old colleagues, especially given how her advisors used to treat her like a child for most part. Jon Snow couldn't possibly beat her to the punch in rewarding Gendry like she'd done, Jon isn't a King and has no right to dispose of Storm's End. – Aegon May 10 at 8:23
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    BTW, this is 666th question in Game-of-Thrones tag :) – Marko Stanojevic May 10 at 9:13
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Since the house of Baratheon is extinct, the seat of Lord of Storms End is vacant. This land needs a ruler and by appointing Gendry, Dany can kill quite a few birds with one stone:

  1. Gendry is the son of Robert Baratheon and a hero in the battle of Winterfell, so it is harder to question his legitimacy.
  2. By appointing a new Lord of Storm's End she is asserting her position as queen by making it clear that she has the authority to make this decision.
  3. Gendry has no experience in politics, which makes him easily controllable.
  4. Since it was Daenerys putting him in this position, Gendry can be expected to be loyal to her, securing Storm's End as a part of her realm.
  5. She can raise the spirit of her people by showing that heroism and loyality will pay off.

As far as Sansa's look is concerned, she has her own interests and because of that she is not on the best terms with Dany. Sansa wants the North to be independent while Daenerys considers it a part of her realm. So such a display of strength does not sit well with Sansa.

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    Also, he is the son of Robert Baratheon the usurper. Same as when she spares Jaime, by returning Storm's end/Stormlands to his son, she shows that she is not that rancorous about the past – Kepotx May 10 at 10:10
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    Also remember why Cersei had the other Baratheon bastards killed: to prevent someone backing one of them as the rightful heir of the Iron Throne as a son of Robert Baratheon. Dany wanted to make sure she had Gendry's allegiance so a potential rebellion couldn't rally around his potential claim. She did that by being the one to legitimize him and giving him enough to keep him content so he's harder to bribe or radicalize. – Jared K May 10 at 16:21
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    As @JaredK points out, this puts Gendry in a bit of a Catch-22 should he ever consider pressing his claim for the throne - if he rejects Dany's authority, then he's just a bastard with a weak claim to the throne, but if he acknowledges Dany's authority to make him a lord, he has a stronger claim but also has to accept her right to rule. – Nuclear Wang May 10 at 16:45
  • Becoming a "Lord" does other things as well. It distracts Gendry (who never imagined in his wildest dreams that something like that could happen), so he becomes less likely to go after the Iron Throne. And at the same time, it recognizes Gendry as the Baratheon's son, which makes him a legitamate heir (thus giving him a stronger claim to the throne). For right now, he's so excited he doesn't know what to do.... – elbrant May 11 at 4:09
  • Good answer, which is pretty much explicitly spelled out within the same scene. Not sure why the question exists. – sirjonsnow May 20 at 15:14
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In addition to the great reasons given by Sefe, I believe that Sansa is troubled because Dany just legitimized a bastard and made him lord of his family's castle. Jon is a bastard, and Sansa has come to enjoy being Warden of the North. I think Sansa's reaction is due to her fear that Jon will be placed above her in the succession for ruler of Winterfell. IIRC, this was before Jon told her of his true parentage.

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    Firstly: Welcome to the site! Jon has already been placed above Sansa in the line of succession for Winterfell - it happened when he was proclaimed King in the North at the end of Season 6. – K. Morgan May 10 at 15:27
  • But didn't he abdicate that title when declaring for Daenarys? – Adam Specker May 10 at 15:51
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    Possibly, but he's clearly still in command of the Northern forces so he must at least still be considered Warden of the North. – K. Morgan May 10 at 16:26
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    @K.Morgan I'm almost positive we heard him referred to as the Warden of the North in S8E4 (I think by Daenerys herself). It would make sense. – only_pro May 10 at 17:37
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There is one more benefit to Daenerys worth mentioning, and it relates to the episode title Last of the Starks. This is pretty meta, and there is no evidence that Daenerys, Sansa, or any other character thought of it. Arya has no interest in moving to the Stormlands or becoming Lady of anything, but she might have been willing to stay in Winterfell as Lady Sansa's strange little sister who married the castle's blacksmith/armorer. If Gendry was still just an unrecognized common-born bastard, they could raise children named Stark. Legitimizing Gendry removes the best prospect for the Stark name to be passed on.

Whether intentional or not, this move by Daenerys brings house Stark one step closer to extinction. Long term, doing so removes a future rival to whatever legacy Daenerys intends to leave behind when she's gone.

  • There's no proof that Dany knew anything about Gendry and Arya. – Möoz May 15 at 5:36
  • @Möoz Thanks for your feedback. I already pointed that out in my answer. – gatkin May 16 at 12:20

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