This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.
Remember Gendry? He was that nice young blacksmith, saved Arya once or twice, bastard of the late King Robert Baratheon, and apparently still at sea according to what the showrunners have previously mentioned.
Despite teasing about how massive his lats must be after all that rowing in the small craft Ser Davos Seaworth launched him in, saving him from Melisandre and her thirst for a king’s blood for her dark magics, Weiss and Benioff might be hiding that Gendry still has a larger purpose in the Game of Thrones narrative.
Firstly Gendry appears to be the final Baratheon if we’re to believe that Stannis is actually dead. His being Robert Baratheon’s son has always made him a more legitimate heir to the Iron Throne than Cersei’s children who are purely Lannister. While I can’t see a campaign to vote some random but ripped Rower King, I could see some whisperings of a surviving son of Robert Baratheon shaking up houses who still are loyal to Cersei. For the most part, loyalty to the Lannisters is being kept up out of fear of the kingdom falling to dragonfire and Dothraki hordes.
Then there’s where we left off in the second episode of this season,“Stormborn.” After Euron Greyjoy attacked the fleet headed for Dorne, Theon is left treading water. This lead to theories about Gendry appearing to save him, complete with his ultra beefy arms.
There actually might be some validity to the idea of Gendry swooping in as a hero, just not in this instance. But soon enough.
Last year Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, was spotted by paparazzi in Belfast, where a significant portion of the show is filmed. He was also spotted in Spain, where the Dragonstone set is. Allegedly, paparazzi saw him swinging a war hammer, freeing a bound Tyrion and Ser Davos.
A war hammer is awfully fitting considering it was his father’s weapon of choice during Robert’s Rebellion. His saving Ser Davos also makes sense, Davos having saved Gendry from Melisandre and her leeches.
Were Gendry to reappear, it would favor him to put his lot in with Daenerys. His appearance—complete with war hammer and Robert Baratheon’s looks—might rally houses that favored the old rule and ridiculed the Lannisters. Cersei would likely worry about having another Baratheon usurper on her hands, just like Stannis before him. The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms (or three of them anyway) has proven her determination to crush anything that threatens her future dynasty, so Gendry would just be another problem to solve with a quick death.
Cersei’s current sway over Westeros is her being the lesser or two evils in the form of protection from foreign invasion: Daenerys has Dothraki and Unsullied, foreigners that the Westerosi believe to be barbaric pillagers. It might be a good PR move for the Mad King's daughter to attach herself to the familiar Baratheon name.
This is all assuming a lot, but the fact remains that the main title still features the stag—the sign of House Baratheon. For the sake of symmetry, shock factor, and supporting initial design choices, it would behoove the show to see the return of Gendry Baratheon, out of the water and into the fray.
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