What’s Next for Jon and Daenerys? Game of Thrones Fan Theory
A Targaryen marriage alliance? If you incest.
In the season seven finale of Game of Thrones included a powerful scene in which Bran officially reveals the true identity of Jon Snow as Aegon Targaryen, son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, heir to the iron throne, and nephew of his new dragon queen/girlfriend Daenerys.
Meanwhile on a Targaryens ship somewhere, we see Dany and Jon finally getting it on. Fans were pretty divided on this one, some were (literally) shipping it hardcore, while others were grossed out by the incestuous ties between the two characters.
One thing that most of the internet unanimously agrees on, however, is that this pairing cannot end well. Most reviews and commentaries seem to agree that once Dany and Jon discover that they are both related AND rivals to the iron throne, their relationship will inevitably fall apart.
The show’s actors seem to agree, in the HBO extra features, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington both report being grossed out by the truth about what their two characters are to each other. Peter Dinklage said, “It’s dangerous for everybody involved. I’m sure it’s good for both of them in the moment but you don’t even get the relief of how beautiful it could be or should be. It’s just not good, it should be, but it’s not.”
Even the show’s creators remarked that the information about Jon’s true parentage will complicate the relationship between him and Daenerys, although they did not elaborate on how or why.
It took me a while to jump on the Jonerys ship myself, partially because unlike Daenerys, I never got over Khal Drogo. If I were her I probably would have stayed in the house of the undying with the hallucinated Jason Mamoa and our baby son forever.
Once the show started to bring Daenerys and Jon together though, it was hard not to notice the obvious parallels between the two characters. Both were born at the end of Robert’s Rebellion and spent their childhoods in hiding, an outcast or foreigner in their own home. Both fell in love with someone they originally thought to be their adversary, who later ended up dying due to Jon and Dany’s own actions (Daenerys smothers Khal Vegetable in both the books and the show; in the show, Olly kills Ygritte, but in the books Jon is unclear whether it was his own arrow that kills her).
Both characters were not born into power but grew into leadership roles. Jon Snow lived his life as a bastard, but rose through the ranks of the Night’s Watch and was “elected” King of the North. Daenerys was originally second in line to the throne after her brother Viserys, and had only considered becoming Queen herself after his death. Both characters became a champion to the downtrodden, Dany by freeing the slaves and Jon by allying with the wildlings. There were even parallel scenes on the show that clearly were not just coincidence:
These similarities make it almost inevitable that Jon and Daenerys would end up together, and make it pretty clear that the other may be the closest thing to an equal that either of them will find on the continent of Westeros.
To have the reveal of Jon Snow’s true identity would be a huge blow to each character’s development — in the same way that it would have been a blow to the Stark ladies’ characters has Sansa tried to execute Arya in the finale instead of Littlefinger. Both are clearly meant for bigger things in this series than squabbling over lines of succession.
There is also the point that, although gross by our standards, marriages between nephews and aunts, uncles and nieces, and first cousins are not considered incest by Westerosi standards. Jaime and Cersei’s brother-sister love connection is taboo, but that is only because they are such a close relation. Tywin Lannister actually loved and married his first cousin, and Lysa Arryn suggested that Sansa wed her cousin Robin to become the Lady of the Vale.
Even more, Jon and Daenerys are actually Targaryens, who have been known to practice incest even by Westerosi standards in order to preserve their Old Valyrian bloodline which allows for all sorts of magical powers including their connection to dragons. Daenerys’s parents and Jon’s grandparents were actually brother and sister, and were wed purposely because prophecy foretold that the prince(ss) that was promised would come from their line. So even though the viewers and actors are understandably caught up in the ick-factor of a nephew-aunt marriage, it would be kind of silly for the characters themselves to be.
Jon has already sworn fealty to Daenerys, and he has been known to stand behind his word and his vows, even if they go against his best interests. Even though Jon wasn’t aware of his claim to the iron throne when he bent the metaphorical knee, he did hold status as a king in his own right, the King in the North.
The fact that the North had a king at all means that they considered themselves a separate, independent kingdom, and did not recognize the power of the iron throne. Jon could have remained a King and maintained his own Northern force in Westeros, but he made the conscious choice to serve Dany, even after she had already agreed to help him fight the army of the dead.
He did this because he believed that she would do a good job of ruling over and protecting his people. He made it clear in his first interaction with Dany that he does not care for lines of succession, and does not believe that a father’s name would qualify someone to rule.
It seems very unlikely, based on his character, that he would try to snatch the throne out from under Dany now, and even if he wanted to he would never go back on his word. It took literally dying for him to leave the Night’s Watch, so Jon Snow is not a character who takes an oath lightly.
Similarly, Daenerys has already accepted Jon as an equal. She agreed to help him fight the army of the death together, even after he’d infuriated her by repeatedly refusing to bend the knee. She decided that she would rather stand beside him as an ally, rather than fight him as an enemy.
Daenerys dumped Daario in the season 6 finale with the intention of sealing alliances by her own marriage. She always intended to have a king beside her on the iron throne. The fact that the only man in Westeros with a stronger claim to the throne than hers also happens to be in love with her doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.
Then there is the main issue, Daenerys is probably already pregnant with Jon Snow’s baby. A child from the two of them has been foreshadowed all season, with Jorah mentioning children to Jon, Tyrion addressing the issue of succession with Daenerys, and Jon and Daenerys’s chat at the dragon pit in which Jon suggests to Dany that perhaps Mirri Maz Durr’s prophecy about Daenerys’s inability to have children was false.
A baby between Jon and Dany is also foreshadowed in the books, during Dany’s visions in the house of the undying (which did not include the aforementioned Drogo scene in the books, but lots of other visions of the past, future, and days that never were.
Dany noticed a wall of ice (presumably THE Wall,) with a blue rose growing out of a chink in the wall, filling the air with sweetness. The blue rose is also present in the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna, as Lyanna was given a crown of blue roses by Rhaegar before she became pregnant with Jon Snow, and was holding it when she died in child bed (the room smelled of blood and roses).
Fans have decided that the blue rose is a symbol for both fertility and Jon Snow himself, so seeing this vision may have been foreshadowing that Daenerys can and will get pregnant with Jon Snow’s baby.
Considering that Jon is honorable AF, and wouldn’t go to brothels in Winterfell for fear of creating another bastard named Snow. If he discovered that Daenerys was pregnant, he would stand by her and raise their child as a true born Targaryen, rather than another Northern bastard (which he/she would be ironically, as they consummated their attraction on a ship to Winterfell so the baby would be born in the North).
Similarly, Daenerys has spent years believing that her dragons are the only children she will ever have, and would likely not give up an opportunity to have a true born human heir.
Considering all of this, it would only make sense that Daenerys and Jon would choose to marry and rule on the iron throne as partners and equals, with their unborn son or daughter as their heir. If you are still not convinced, this is literally how the Wars of the Roses, the conflict that inspired George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series ended.
Henry Tudor, sailed across the English Channel (Narrow Sea) after building an army in France to reclaim his right to the throne. To solidify his claim and to end the generations long conflict, he married Elizabeth of York, uniting the two claims to the throne.
But if you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention. I suspect their romance will still be ill-fated, but as a result of the conflict with the Night King, and one or both of their status as the prince(ss) that was promised, rather than their own political rivalry.
So who is the Princ(ess) That Was Promised? (Ae)Jon? Dany? Their unborn baby? All three? Stay tuned to Nerd Much? for our theories.