Warning: Such articles contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
Before departing Westeros in “The Queen’s Justice, ” the red priestess Melisandre told Varys that she had done her part and “brought ice and fire together.” She may have only meant that she successfully coordinated a meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, but by the end of Game of Thrones season 7, it worked out better than she could’ve ever imagined.( Unless she saw it in the flames, of course .)
After several episodes of buildup–or several years for readers who’ve wanted or expected it despite the characters having yet to fulfilled in A Song of Ice and Fire –Jon and Dany hooked up, bringing one of Game of Thrones ’ few actual intrigues to fruition.
After get Cersei’s word that she would send soldiers to fight the Night King and his army, Jon and Dany boarded a ship to brain north to White Harbor before taking the Kingsroad to Winterfell.
The moment wasn’t the most important of the night–the destruction of the Wall by the Night King and Viserion claims that accolade. But fans will likely dissect it for months to come as they wait for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones , tentatively slated to arrive in 2018 or 2019.
Is it love, lust, the groundworks for a political wedding, or a combination of the three? And what will happen when the incestuous elephant in the room is ultimately addressed?
The show( and the books) were always going to go there
In the aftermath of Jon and Dany’s hookup, some devotees may argue that their pairing is too predictable or too cliche in a story known for subverting high fantasy tropes. But you can’t necessarily argue that it came out of nowhere.
“Beyond the Wall” director Alan Taylor revealed in interviews last week that George R.R. Martin told him back during the production of Game of Thrones ’ first season that “Jon and Dany were sort of the degree of the series.” Speaking to the Daily Beast, he pointed to their chemistry and the small instants used to build that relationship and added that “there’s no secret that this is where this is going.”
Although devotees certainly know that now, it would’ve been a big surprise to many fans who’ve become enamored with the rich and complex story involving hundreds of characters. Daenerys Targaryen has always been a queen and the Mother of Dragons with a endlessly expanding listing of titles. Jon Snow, on the other hand, started out as Ned Stark’s bastard son and rose up to become Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and King in the North who’s actually the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Long before they met, Jon and Dany’s travels have often run parallel, even though their circumstances and positions of power differed. They were both reborn from burn, they lost their first great adoration, and they rose as the choose sovereign of their people despite the many, many people who would rather recognize them dead. Some of these parallels are used to argue that Jon, Daenerys, or both of them are the Prince That Was Promised, the prophesied savior of Westeros. Melisandre clearly visualized both of them being important for the great war to come.
The clearest piece of indication for Jon and Dany coming together, nonetheless, comes from Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying in A Clash of Kings , which is also indicated( but not as extensively) in Game of Thrones ’ second season.
At one point, Dany–like she does in the show–sees the Wall while she is told of prophecies.
” A blue flower grew from a chink in a wall of ice, and filled the air with sweetness …. mother of dragons, bride of flame … ”
Throughout ASOIAF , blue blooms are often a including references to Jon’s mother, Lyanna Stark, who received a crown of blue rises from Rhaegar Targaryen at the Tourney at Harrenhal. We haven’t to be considered as many blue flowers on Game of Thrones , but Petyr Baelish does reference “the crown of winter roses in Lyanna’s lap” in his telling of the tourney to Sansa Stark in season 5.
But with the flower growing in the Wall, devotees interpreted it to reference Jon himself. And some took the other imagery from the passage–“filled the air with sweetness” shortly before she’s called a “bride of fire”–to allude to an eventual intrigue between the two.
Another passage from the House of the Undying stated that “ three burns must you light … one for life and one for death and one to enjoy … ” and suggested that Jon could be the fire Dany will light for love–a possible including references to his identity as the Prince That Was Promised. He may, as some believed, likewise be the mount Dany rides “for love”; the other two journeys listed were “to bed” and “to dread.”
The incest factor
“The Dragon and the Wolf” likewise cemented, as Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly threw the pieces together , strong> what many astute book and reveal fans have partially known for an entire season and learned in full just a few weeks ago. Jon Snow–whose true name is Aegon Targaryen–is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, who married in secret before Rhaegar’s death and Jon’s birth. Not simply does that attain Jon the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, but it also builds him Dany’s nephew.( Rhaegar was her older brother .)
In true-life Game of Thrones fashion, it ultimately devoted fans something they wanted, while building it uncomfortably complicated: Jon and Dany’s relationship is incest, uncovered with Bran’s vision and a voiceover cut with Jon and Daenerys in the throes of passion.
Neither Jon and Dany know this, so for now it was a one-time occurrence of accidental incest. Plus, any union between two political players can be a fragile one–although Jon and Dany’s bond is likely stronger than most after she winged out to rescue him beyond the Wall. But sex always complicates things, and what will happen when Jon and Dany arrive in Winterfell?
There’s a lot at stake. Will the Northern noblemen accept Dany, whether as Jon’s queen or his wife( or both )? How will Sansa react to Jon basically doing what Littlefinger had proposed? And who will tell Jon the triple whammy of his parentage, his legitimacy, and the issue with his new relationship? Fans have presumed for some time that the incest factor likely wouldn’t bother Dany all that much considering her family history, but a northerner like Jon could have a any more difficult day coming to terms with it.
And on top of all of those personal loads, the destiny of Westeros still rests on his and Dany’s shoulders.