Daenerys is visited by the Red Priestess Melisandre, who speculates that Dany might be The Prince That Was Promised. Varys questions Melisandre about her previous service to the ill-fated King Stannis Baratheon. While Daenerys initially does not believe that she could be the Prince, Missandei reassures her that the High Valyrian word for "prince" or "princess" is gender neutral. When pressed, Melisandre tells Daenerys she believes her to be one potential candidate to be the Prince That Was Promised, before identifying the other; Jon Snow, the King in the North, who has united the North and the Wildlings. Tyrion vouches for Jon Snow and convinces Daenerys that he will make a good ally, particularly since the crimes committed by the Lannisters against his family-the wrongful execution of his father, the horrific murder of his brother- gives Jon more than enough reason to want Cersei overthrown. Dany accepts Tyrion's advice, and tells him to extend an invitation for Jon to attend her at Dragonstone – where Jon must "bend the knee."
Jon and Davos arrive at Dragonstone, and are immediately greeted by Tyrion and Missandei. Upon meeting, Tyrion address Jon as the bastard of Winterfell while Jon addressed him as the "dwarf" of Casterly Rock. Jon observes that Tyrion has picked up some scars. Jon also introduces Davos while Tyrion introduces Missandei, who requests that they surrender their weapons. Jon and his entourage hand over their weapons to Daenerys Targaryen's Dothraki guards.
On the walk to the castle, Missandei walks with Davos and tells him that she comes from the island of Naath. Davos remarks that it was a paradise full of palm trees. Jon and Tyrion talk about Sansa Stark's marriage to Tyrion. Tyrion assures Jon that it was a sham and remarks that she is a lot smarter than she lets on, which Jon agrees. Jon confides that his bannermen think he was a fool for coming to Dragonstone and Tyrion admits he would have advised against it, "Stark men don't fare well when they travel south." Jon acknowledges this, but tells Tyrion he is not a Stark. Jon and Davos are startled at the sight of Drogon and Viserion flying low over the causeway and dive to the ground, while an amused Missandei and Tyrion retain their composure. Offering Jon a hand up, Tyrion says he wishes he could tell Jon he'll get used to the dragons – but no one is quite used to them except their mother, who is waiting for Jon within.
On the cliffs overlooking the beach, Varys confronts Melisandre about her reluctance to see the King in the North. Melisandre responds to his prodding that she parted on bad terms with Jon Snow and Davos Seaworth because of terrible mistakes she made. She says that now that she has "brought ice and fire together", she will end her previous habit of "whispering in the ears of kings" and indicates her intention to travel to Volantis. When Varys suggests that she should not return to Westeros, Melisandre replies that she will return one last time, "as [she] is destined to die in Westeros... as [is Varys]."
In the throne room, Missandei introduces Queen Daenerys's many titles while Davos introduces Jon Snow simply as King in the North. Daenerys thanks Jon for traveling so far but insists that he is a mere Lord. Davos begs to differ but Daenerys responds there has been no King in the North ever since Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror, failing to acknowledge that Jon's "half-brother" Robb Stark was declared king after "their" father's execution, and adds that an oath lasts for perpetuity. Dany then reiterates her demand for Jon to bend the knee but he refuses. When Dany accuses him of breaking faith with House Targaryen, Jon (still unaware that the Mad King was his true paternal grandfather, not Rickard Stark) reminds Dany that any fealty House Stark owed House Targaryen ended when her father brutally executed Rickard and Brandon Stark, Jon's uncle.
Daenerys acknowledges her father was an evil man and apologizes for his actions on behalf of House Targaryen. She also stresses that children should not be judged for the crimes of their parents. She then urges Jon to renew the historic allegiance between their two great houses. Jon agrees with Daenerys's view that children should not be blamed for the crimes of their parents but argues that he is not beholden to his ancestors' oaths. When an irritated Daenerys questions why he came, Jon tells her that he has come for her help, and insists she will need his. Dany reminds him that she has three dragons and Dothraki who have pledged themselves to her.
Getting to the point of his trip, Jon likens the fighting between the Great Houses to children squabbling over a game. He points out that the Army of the Dead is their true enemy and that if they don't band together against this threat, every person in Westeros will die before winter's end. Daenerys is skeptical but Tyrion vouches for Jon. Jon insists from his own experiences that the White Walkers and the Night King are a serious threat; if they breach the Wall while the rest of Westeros battles it out for the Iron Throne, then they are all dead.. Daenerys asks if Jon knew that his alleged father's best friend had sent assassins to kill her as a baby, unaware that Lord Eddard Stark had opposed King Robert Baratheon's assassination plot. Dany recounts that she was targeted by assassins, enslaved, raped, and defiled but that her faith in herself rather than the gods kept her going. Daenerys talks about the miracle of her dragons' hatching and the Dothraki crossing the Narrow Sea. When Daenerys reiterates that she is destined to rule the Seven Kingdoms, Jon retorts that she will be ruling over a graveyard if the Night King, who Jon reiterates is their true enemy, is not defeated.
Tyrion says they cannot split their forces to fight the White Walkers when, from Daenerys's perspective, Cersei is the greater threat. Davos then speaks up for his liege lord and tells Dany that Jon won the support of both the Wildlings and the northerners and has fought the White Walkers. Davos also hints that Jon Snow came back from the dead, though Jon silences him before Davos can give away too much. Davos says that it doesn't matter who bends the knee, as if the Walkers and their undead legions are victorious, no one will be left alive to claim the Iron Throne. Tyrion doesn't see the point of Jon Snow's refusal to submit, urging Jon to bend the knee, assuring him that once Cersei is overthrown and Daenerys crowned Queen, the Targaryen forces can aid the northerners in fighting back the undead; Jon refuses as by the time Cersei is defeated, the Walkers may have already gotten past the Wall and begun their assault on the Seven Kingdoms. Jon also disputes Daenerys's claims to Queenship, citing her claim to the Iron Throne rests upon her descent from a man his Stark relatives helped overthrow. Dany responds that he is in open rebellion since he has declared himself King in the North. Daenerys then receives a message from Varys. Dany orders Missandei to give Jon and his followers' food and lodging. When Jon asks if he is a prisoner, she says not yet.
At the Chamber of the Painted Table, Varys tells her that the Targaryen fleet was ambushed by Euron Greyjoy's Iron Fleet in the Narrow Seas. He informs her that Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand, and her daughter Tyene Sand were captured. In response to this grim news, Daenerys allows Jon and Davos to stay until they can reach a proper agreement.
Later, Jon and Tyrion discuss his predicament. Jon is unhappy that he is being kept on the island, preventing him from going back home while the White Walkers and the Night King still pose a threat. Tyrion says he trusts the word of Jeor Mormont and Jon. Jon asks Tyrion how he can convince people about the existence of things which they don't believe exist. Jon wants to help his people and is frustrated with the deadlock. Tyrion encourages Jon not to give up. When Jon remarks that he is a fool for going south, Tyrion reassures him that Daenerys is not her father and has protected people from "monsters," just as Jon does, and this is why Daenerys has come to Westeros. Tyrion tells Jon that many of the people she has saved are on this island and suggests Jon speak with them. Tyrion asks if there is something he can do to help Jon.
After learning about the dragonglass beneath Dragonstone, Tyrion speaks with Dany about Jon's request to access the material. Dany is preoccupied with the loss of two allies. Tyrion convinces Dany to let Jon have the dragon glass in order to court his allegiance. He tells her to give him something so that they can focus on Casterly Rock. Dany accept's her Hand's advice.
While Dany is watching over her dragons, she is joined by Jon. Dany tells Jon that she named her dragons Rhaegal and Viserion after her late brothers Rhaegar and Viserys Targaryen and tells Jon that she understands he has lost two brothers himself. She explains that people had thought dragons were extinct but they exist again and perhaps they should be re-examining what they know. Jon realizes that Tyrion has been petitioning her. Dany tells Jon she is determined to remove Cersei Lannister and that she still considers the north beholden to her rule. After a tense moment, Daenerys relents and allows Jon to mine the dragon glass and agrees to provide men and equipment. When he asks if she believes in the Night King and White Walkers, she tells him to get to work.
In the next episode, while Dany is talking to Missandei, Jon calls to her and shows him the dragonglass cave. Inside the cave, Jon leads her to a small place where only the two go, which includes the paintings of the Children of the Forest about the Long Night which clearly seems to affect Daenerys in some way. She tells him that she will fight for him when he bends the knee. Jon protests that the northerners won't accept a southern ruler after all they've suffered, but Daenerys argues they will accept her if their king does, asking Jon if his desire to protect his people is more valuable than his pride.
After they exit the cave, Dany learns the news about what happened in Casterly Rock and Highgarden, which leads her to ask for counsel from the King in the North where they start cooperating. Later, Jon speaks with Davos Seaworth who notes that he's been developing an attraction to her in some way.
When Dany comes back from the Battle of the Goldroad, Drogon lands near Jon and approaches him. Despite being terrified of seeing Drogon up close, Jon manages to stand his ground and reaches out his hand to pet Drogon, to which the dragon allows. Dany becomes visibly amazed by this, considering Drogon's usually aggressive personality, especially towards complete strangers. She dismounts, at which point Drogon flies off, and claims that the "gorgeous beasts" Jon sees are her children. Daenerys informs Jon of her victory over the Lannisters, and then asks him what Ser Davos meant by "taking a knife in the heart for his people." Jon avoids discussing his resurrection, claiming that Davos gets carried away, but before Daenerys can press him further, they are interrupted by the arrival of Jorah Mormont, who has been cured of his greyscale.
Dany later has a small war council, which Jon attends. Jon learns that his younger siblings Arya and Bran Stark are alive and in Winterfell. Dany is happy for Jon. Jon wants to go home, concerned because this same message also informs him that the Night King is close. Dany notes that Jon says he doesn't have enough men to fight the Army of the Dead and Jon asks her again to join him. However, Dany is worried that Cersei will take advantage and march in if she turns her focus to the Army of the Dead. The council talks of capturing a wight beyond the Wall and bringing it to King's Landing to convince Cersei the Army of the Dead is real and come to a truce with her. When Jon volunteers to lead the raid, Dany is jolted and says she didn't allow him to leave, showing her affection for him. Jon insists he must lead the raid and asks her to trust in him as it's their best chance to protect all their people. When Jon leaves, Dany is present, and in their farewell conversation, she tells the King in the North that "she's grown used to him", which hints that she may have feelings for him.
On Dragonstone, Daenerys talks to Tyrion about the stupid things heroes can do, noting Drogo, Daario Naharis, Jorah Mormont and even Jon Snow as examples. When Tyrion notices that they all fell in love with her, Dany replies that Jon is not in love with her; Tyrion sarcastically says he supposes he isn't, and the way he stares at her is only to pursue a military alliance. Daenerys brushes it off, claiming that Jon is too "little" for her.
Meanwhile, Jon finds himself surrounded by the Army of the Dead and sends Gendry back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Daenerys asking for help. Daenerys doesn't hesitate and immediately flies her dragons beyond the Wall, ignoring Tyrion's objections, coming to his rescue. Mounting Drogon, Daenerys manages to shatter the Army of the Dead by setting some of them aflame and making way for Jon and his companions to escape on dragon's back. However, wights start approaching them and while all the others climb, Jon stays behind to fight the wights off.
At that point, the Night King hurls an ice spear at Viserion, killing him. A horrified Daenerys can only stare in horror as the dragon smashes into the surface of a frozen lake and sinks beneath the water, while an enraged Jon briefly contemplates charging at the Night King, but as the monster pulls out another spear to attack again, Jon urges Daenerys to flee. Before he can reach her, a pack of wights knock Jon into the waters of the lake, and she and the rest of Jon's party are forced to flee, Drogon narrowly evading a second spear hurled by the Night King. Jon narrowly manages to escape the wights only due to the sacrifice of his uncle, Benjen Stark.
On top of the Wall at Eastwatch, Daenerys awaits the possibility of Jon's return; he arrives at Eastwatch badly wounded. With Daenerys at the verge of tears of joy, he is immediately loaded to a ship heading towards King's Landing. While he is stripped, Daenerys sees his scars and is astonished, finally understanding what "taking a knife to his heart for his people" meant.
When she visits him again, a recuperating Jon apologizes to Daenerys for the death of Viserion in their recent battle with the Night King. Dany tells him that she isn't sorry, as you have to see the Night King and his army to know it is real - meaning that the stories sound too fantastical to be believed on their own. (Seeing is believing). She realizes the severity of the threat is not just to the North, but to the living itself. After revealing how important the dragons are to her - they are the only children she will ever have - she vows to destroy the Night King alongside Jon and his army, once and for all.
After agreeing to form a military alliance, in spite of the sacrifice she has already made losing Viserion, Jon thanks her and calls her "Dany". She doesn't like being called that, because it reminds her of her brother. Jon responds with "how about "my Queen"?" thus finally bending the knee. She expresses concern for those who swore allegiance to him, but he wagers that they will come to see her for what she is (without explicitly stating what that is). He recognises in her the great strength of character and devotion required to achieve what she has so far, and her willingness to sacrifice her only children for the cause of the living commands great respect in him.
With their hard won military alliance forged and, overcome with emotion, Daenerys reaches for Jon's hand. She expresses pleasure that Jon has such a high opinion of her, but also uncertainty: she hopes that she is fully deserving of the respect that he has for her. Clenching her hand more tightly in an affectionate way,* Jon assures her that she does. Experiencing a mixture of emotions - grief at the loss of a child, anger towards to Night King and relief that Jon believes in her - as well as a measure of self doubt - she is understandably uncertain at this point about her feelings towards Jon romantically. She gently pulls her hand from his grip as he looks longingly into her eyes. Looking away, she encourages him to get some rest.
During the parley in the Dragonpit, Daenerys and Jon discuss the dragons and how her ancestors caged them, and in turn become less impressive as the power of the dragons waned and that the Targaryens were like everyone else. Jon replies by saying she is "Not like everyone else." Jon then questions Daenerys's assertion of infertility, particularly when she admits that her information came from the witch who killed her husband and no one else, saying she was an "unreliable source of information". Daenerys admits to Jon that he was right from the beginning and she should have trusted him, saying that she can't forget what she saw in the North and that she also can't pretend that Cersei will take back the country when she marches North. Jon replies with Tyrion's assessment of the situation that they are fucked, which makes Dany smile leading to Jon smiling too. Their conversation is interrupted by the return of all three Lannisters.
At Dragonstone, Jon and Dany's council discuss their plans for traveling North. Jon suggests that the two of them sail together so that the Northerners see them together as allies. Ser Jorah suggests that Dany fly there instead rather than risk being assassinated by an angry Northerner. Jon argues that it is important for them to be seen as the allies that they are, and to arrive at White Harbor together would send a better message. As she is coming to save, not conquer, the North, she dismisses Jorah's concerns, instead choosing to follow Jon's advice saying, "We sail together."
- Sailing together creates the possibility of consummating their blossoming relationship, which would not have occurred had they arrived separately.
Meanwhile in Winterfell, Bran reveals to Samwell that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, after which Samwell tells Bran that he discovered Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia Martell annulled before marrying Lyanna. Bran goes into the past and learns from a vision that Jon is the true-born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and thus the true heir to the Iron Throne ahead of Daenerys.
On the ship sailing North for White Harbor, Jon knocks on the door of Daenerys's cabin. She answers and meets his gaze without words. After a moment, he enters, and, with their eyes still locked, shuts the door. Unaware of the truth of Jon's parentage (the fact that they are biologically aunt and nephew), they finally give in to the mutual attraction between them and make love.
As season 8 begins, a coin toss seems to separate Jon and Daenerys from coming closer together through a marriage alliance, thus deepening their political alliance or, owing to their very different upbringings and personal experiences, being driven apart due to their cultural and psychological differences.
Jon and Daenrys arrive in Winterfell, together, and with their armies. This sends the strong message of political alliance which Jon had suggested previously would be for the best. They are formerly received by Sansa and the Starks. Jon explains to those gathered at the Great Hall that he feels his political alliance with Daenerys - bending the knee to her - is more important than remaining King in the North. He says he had a choice: to keep his crown or protect the North. He chose the North. As Tyrion comes to Jon's defence Dany turns to look at Jon; she is pleased at their alliance forming "the greatest army the world has ever seen." She places her hand on his arm. Their blossoming romance is difficult to conceal.
As they walk outside the walls of Winterfell, Dany expresses her concern to Jon about Sansa: she tells him that as her Queen, Dany expects Sansa to respect her, or there will be unstated consequences. (Her chain of thought is broken when news arrives about her dragons). Dany sees herself as in command of the relationship and seeks to get Jon to insist that Sansa bends to her will.
After tending to the dragons, Jon and Dany go on a "dragon date": it is Jon's first time riding on the back of one - a rare opportunity for someone who is not a Targaryen. This demonstrates Dany's trust in him, as it is highly doubtful that she would let anyone ride on the back of one of her children. After they land in a secluded location, they embrace and kiss, while Drogon looks on.
In the crypt in Winterfell, Samwell reveals to Jon that Daenerys had Sam's father and brother executed. Jon is visibly shocked by this news as Dany hadn't told him. This is likely to have affected the way Jon felt towards her, since Sam is Jon's best friend. Jon expresses sympathy towards Sam, who asks him whether he would have done the same. Jon reminds Sam that he has executed people before; Sam reminds Jon that he has also shown mercy before. Jon replies that he wasn't king.
Sam cryptically tells Jon that he has always been a king;Jon confuses this for meaning that he is the King in the North, but Sam tells he he doesn't mean that: he means "the King of the Seven Bloody Kingdoms!" Jon is understandably and visibly shocked. He is literally taken aback. The news is difficult to take and all he can say is that Daenerys is the queen. Sam tells Jon she shouldn't be, but Jon calls that treason. Sam then poses Jon an important question: Jon gave up his crown for his people: would Daenerys?
In Winterfell, in the Great Hall, Daenerys takes the main chair at the great table, and plays a central in determining the fate of Jaime Lannister, her father's murderer. After listening to arguments in defence of keeping Jamie alive, including Brienne vouching for him, and Sansa ouching for Brienne, Dany turns to Jon (now the Warden of the North) for his opinion. Jon says they "need every man they can get." Dany is visibly displeased with this outcome, having long imagined what she would do to him, but agrees with the a curt "very well." After Dany proves she is capable of putting aside a life long vendetta and of mercy through persuasion, thanks to her relationship with Jon, she turns to Jon for a sign. Jon can barely look her in the eye (having received the kinship revelation), and leaves the Great Hall with great speed via the back. Dany is affronted, and their interaction is observed and noted by Varys, Tyrion, Missandei and Jorah. She storms out of the hall via the front entrance.
In the library at Winterfell, Dany confides with Sansa that she deferred her life long quest for the Iron Throne to join the fight against the Night King (which has cost her one of her dragons) because of her love for Jon. This illustrates how much Daenerys loves Jon, and how much Jon's love means to her.
Jon discuss with Sam the "perfect moment" to tell Dany the truth about his identity. Later on, he stands in the crypt before the memorial to his mother, Lyanna Stark, contemplating the revelation and no doubt the imminent war with the dead. Dany appears, seeking comfort - they haven't been visibly affectionate on screen for a while. She wraps both arms around his right arm and asks him how the memorial is of. Jon tells her it is of his mother; Dany recoils a little and recalls being told that her brother Rhaegar Targaryen, who was "decent and kind; liked to sing; gave money to poor children" and had raped Lyanna. Dany seems incredulous.
Jon tells Dany that Rhaegar didn't rape Lyanna; he loved her and they were married in secret. After Rhaegar fell at The Trident, Lyanna had a baby, whom Robert Baratheon would have murdered had he found out. Lyanna gave the baby to her brother, Eddard Stark to be raised as his own bastard. That is the truth of Jon's identity.
- Jon: "My name - my real name - is Aegon Targaryen."
- Daenerys: "That's impossible."
- Jon: "I wish it were."
- — Jon tells Dany of their kinship
Dany is understandably shocked at the news, and asks Jon who told him. He tells her it was Sam who found out, and Bran who confirmed it. Dany is incredulous; she asks Jon whether he thinks it strange that his only his brother and his best friend knew. Jon tells her he knows it to be true. Dany reacts by saying if it is true, then Jon would be the last male heir to House Targaryen: he would have a claim to the throne. Dany is unconcerned that this would mean make Jon her nephew; incest is common for Targaryens.; she is more concerned about the political ramifications.
Their conversation is broken up by the sounding of the war horns; the battle against the Night King and the army of the dead is about to commence. Jon gives Dany a nod as if to say, we'll settle this if we survive the war: the time now is for action.
An awkward moment is shared between Jon and Dany, but nothing is said about the new found knowledge of their kinship and it's potential effect on their romantic relationship; their political / military alliance takes precedence.
Jon tries to temper Dany's action by warning her that the Night King is coming; she replies, the dead are already here, at which point they ride the dragons together in the fight against the Night King.
After both crash land, Dany is protected by Jorah - who fights to the death - whilst Jon tries to take on the Night King and defend Bran. Their combined military efforts prove to be pivotal, and help pave the way for Arya's eventual elimination of the Night King.
Ramifications for the Realm
At Winterfell, whilst celebrating the victory of the living over the dead, Daenerys visits Jon in his chamber, whereupon he consoles her about Ser Jorah's death, saying if he could have chosen a way to die, it would have been protecting her. Dany reveals the true depth of her affections for Jon when she says that Jorah loved her, but she could not love him the same way - the way she loves Jon. That is to say - the greatest love there is. Dany asks Jon if that is alright; she seeks approval for her love. The couple engage and begin removing each others clothes when Jon hesitates and pulls back. At this point, Dany says she wishes he'd never told her; that she would be much happier not knowing. Commenting on the love and admiration the Northmen have for Jon makes her begin to question whether they would ever be loyal to her if they found his identity.
- It is as that point that Daenerys first expresses her feelings towards Jon as being a threat to her claim to the throne. She worries what will happen if the Northmen were to find out and demand that he presses his claim and takes what is hers. She points out that it doesn't matter if he wants the Iron Throne - he didn't want to be King in the North, but it was still expected of him. Crucially, Dany sees the throne as hers and, knowing Jon has the more legitimate claim but no desire for it, her solution is for Jon to say nothing to anyone about his parentage, and to swear Samwell and Bran to secrecy. She fears the truth will take on a life of it's own and he won't be able to control it or what it does to people. (Which turns out to be true). Dany wishes that things could go back to the way they were, before they both knew of his true parentage; she fears what Sansa will do if she finds out.
- Jon's divided loyalties become apparent at this point: he feels his family - the people he grew up with and cares about most in the world (Sansa, Arya and Bran) - deserve to know the truth. Dany asks: "Even if the truth destroys us?" Jon thinks this won't happen; she seems certain it will. Dany tells him she has never begged for anything before, and proceeds to beg him not to them the truth. Her desperation and vulnerability are at their most apparent. She makes it clear that he only has one choice, as far as she is concerned: the one she just outlined. This is an ultimatum: if he does tell his family the truth of his identity, then they can't live together.
- Jon: "You are my Queen, nothing can change that; and they are my family: we can live together."
- Daenerys: "We can. I've just told you how."
- — The Last of the Starks
Revelation (Arya and Sansa)
In the Godswood, Bran tells Jon it is his choice whether to tell Arya and Sansa the kinship revelation. Grappling with his divided loyalties, he goes against Daenerys's pleas to swear them to secrecy and decides to let Bran tell them.
Grappling with her mistrust of Daenerys and her misgivings about her being a good queen, Sansa decides to tell Tyrion the kinship revelation.
Onboard a ship to Dragonstone, Tyrion informs Varys of the kinship revelation. Varys (master of secrets) asks how many others know; Tryion replies "Including us: eight". Their exchange is revealing:
- Varys: "Well then, it's is not a secret anymore: it's information. If a handful of people know now, hundred will know soon - then what?"
- Tyrion: "She loses the North. She loses the Vales. Sansa will make sure of that."
- Varys: "It's worse than that - he has the better claim to the throne."
- Tyrion: "He doesn't want the throne."
- Varys: "I'm not sure it matters what he wants. The fact is, people are drawn to him: wildlings, Northmen; he's a war hero."
- Tyrion: "He loves our queen, and she loves him. If we marry them they could rule together."
- Varys: "She's his aunt."
- Tyrion: "That never stopped a Targaryen before..."
- Varys: "No. But Jon grew up in Winterfell. Is marrying your aunt common in the north? You know our queen better than I do; do you think she wants to share the throne?She does not like to have her authority questioned."
- Tyrion: "Something she has in common with ever monarch whose ever lived."
- Varys: "I worry about her state of mind."
- Tyrion: "We are advisors to the queen: worrying about her state of mind is our job. [Pause] We still have to take King's Landing. Maybe Cersei will win and kill us all. That would solve our problems."
At Dragonstone, Daenerys raises her concern about the love the people of Westeros have for him, whereas she has only their fear. In an effort to compensate, Jon tells Daenerys that he loves her and that she will always be his queen. She asks him if that is all she is to him - his queen, implying that she wants more from him than a lord to swear fealty to her; she wants him as her lover. (As noted above, she had previously confided to Sansa the importance of her love for him, and that she loves Jon in the same way Jorah loved her. Daenerys tries to re-engage their relationship but, though he gives in at first, Jon again disengages from their physical intimacy; their relationship is visibly strained due to his unease surrounding their close blood relation*. Daenerys resigns herself to letting the fear she has inspired in Westeros be her ruling principle. This seems to imply that she had hoped for their partnership (in whatever guise) to have inspired the love of the smallfolk.
- For Dany (a Targaryen born and bred), incest between lovers is not an issue. Whilst the proposal of marriage is not brought up by either character, a marital union between them could have resulted in a beneficial alliance between her powerful and feared army and his esteemed status as the King in the North. It is uncertain if the prospect occurs to Daenerys, although it likely crosses her mind. The line "let it be fear" indicates that she accepts the prospect of the Northmen not loving her as a consequence of Jon's inability to overcome the knowledge of their blood connection and return to their romantic relationship. This inability of Jon's - to be a romantic partner to Dany - is one of many triggers which adds to Daenerys's mental decline.
Following the destruction of King's Landing, Jon confronts Dany about the genocide she perpetrated. They have fundamental disagreements about the way to go about building the new world: Dany wants to destroy the old one entirely whereas Jon pleads with Daenerys that forgiveness and mercy are what is required. Daenerys is unwavering. They disagree on what is good: Dany is certain that her way is the only way to bring about a good world and that she knows what is good - and so does he; others don't get to choose. Jon sees her authoritarianism as immoveable. Full of hope, she pleads with a distressed Jon to be with her and rule this new world she plans to create, at which point Jon tells her she will always be his queen. They share a kiss before he plunges a dagger into her heart. Dany dies in Jon's arms as he weeps, thus bringing their relationship to its tragic conclusion.
- Director Alan Taylor has said George R.R. Martin told when filming Season 1, "That it really is all about Dany and Jon. I was surprised because at the time, you know, I thought, well Robb Stark's going to be king next, probably. And who knows where this story's going? But it was absolutely clear to him that within this sprawling scale the whole story was coming down to this partnership."
- The revelation that Jon and Dany are biologically related (kin) is revealed to the audience before being revealed to the characters. This is literary device known as "dramatic irony", and is a technique used in many of the tragedies of Shakespeare, for example.
Recalling Varys saying "They say, every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin and the world holds it’s breath;" as season 8 begins a coin toss seems to separate Jon and Daenerys from coming closer together through a marriage alliance, thus deepening their political alliance or, owing to their very different upbringings and personal experiences, being driven apart due to their cultural and psychological differences. It is clear that they love each other very much, but the tension between their romantic and political relationships could pose problems. To contextualise how much Daenerys loves Jon, and how much Jon's love means to her prior to Daenerys finding out about their kinship, she confides with Sansa that she deferred her life long quest for the Iron Throne because of her love for him.
- Although the prospect of marriage between Daenerys and Jon is never discussed by them, the "proposal of a proposal" is first raised by Davos Seaworth when he speaks with Tyrion and Varys at Winterfell. Focusing on the issue of loyalty and the need to forge alliances, Davos raises the possibility of a marriage-alliance between Jon and Dany being beneficial for the security of the realm. He refers to their potential union as that of a "just queen and an honourable man." All three are unaware of the kinship revelation at this time. As far as we are aware, neither Tyrion nor Varys ever discuss this possibility with Daenerys.
- The prospect of a potential marriage between Jon and Dany is further discussed by Tyrion and Varys (Davos is not present) as they travel to Dragonstone. This time they are both aware of the kinship revelation, which adds weight to debate about the ramifications for the realm. Tyrion seems to think a marriage would be a favourable compromise between the rival claimants to the throne, as Jon and Dany love do happen to love each other. Varys thinks once the secret / "information" is out, the Northmen would insist Jon press his claim at threat of rebelling; incest is not uncommon in the North and would not be accepted, and Dany is unlikely to want to share the power anyway. This exchange between Dany's two advisors articulates the conflicting - and potentially irreconcilable - differences between Jon and Dany.
- Later on, in Dragonstone, Tyrion and Varys continue to discuss Dany's mental health and the problem of Jon Snow. Varys sees Jon as a solution - backing him makes sense because he is temperate, measured and male. Tyrion responds by reminding Varys of his earlier proposal of marrying them, so that they could "rule together as king and queen." Varys replies that Dany is "too strong for him: she would bend him to her will, as she already has." Tyrion reasons that Jon could "temper her worse impulses." Varys sarcastically replies: "as you have?", meaning that Varys thinks no man can temper her impulses. This is not strictly true, as Jon helped Jamie Lannister walk away with his life, in spite of Dany's life long vendetta against him. At the end of their discussion, it is clear that Tyrion and Varys are in disagreement: Tyrion supports and believes in Dany; Varys supports and believes in Jon. Tellingly, Tyrion believes Dany will make the right choice with the help of her loyal advisors.
- Tyrion and Varys's discussion of a potential union is an attempt to reconcile Jon and Dany's differences for the good of the realm. As Dany's "loyal" advisors, the fact that they failed to reach an agreement, or, more importantly, to even discuss these possibilities with Dany means they ultimately failed to advise her on her most important relationship: the one with Jon. As such, Daenerys may well have made the wrong choice because of failure of council in her hour of need. This failure had, rather ironically, a detrimental effect on the realm itself but alas, whilst she must be held accountable for her actions, it is clear that in the end, she was broken and alone.
|Season Seven appearances|
|Dragonstone||Stormborn||The Queen's Justice||The Spoils of War|
|Eastwatch||Beyond the Wall||The Dragon and the Wolf|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Jon and Daenerys have not met yet. Neither of them has an idea about Jon's true identity.
Daenerys still hates the Starks, considering them and the Lannisters collectively as "the usurper's dogs". She has no idea about the atrocities her father committed, particularly those against the Starks.
- ↑ "Stormborn"
- ↑ "The Queen's Justice"
- ↑ "The Spoils of War"
- ↑ "Eastwatch"
- ↑ "Beyond The Wall"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Beyond the Wall"
- ↑ Emilia Clarke Interview ew.com
- ↑ Kit Harrington Interview ew.com
- ↑ The "kinship revelation" affects Jon and Daenerys's newfound alliance and personal relationship in crucial ways and has far-reaching implications for the realm; whilst the audience has been let on this truth, neither character knows nor suspects they are related.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "The Dragon and the Wolf"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Winterfell"
- ↑ This is noticeable in the back of the shot.
- ↑ It is left to the audience to interpret what she means here, as the consequences could be as extreme as execution.
- ↑ Since Dany wasn't to know about Jon and Sam's relationship, this information was relatively unimportant to her, and she had no grounds to share it.
- ↑ This shows that Jon feels such decisions are the discretion of the monarch. He later expresses this view about the actions of Daenerys at King's Landing.
- ↑ Though uncertain to them, the meaning of this apparent snub would be possible grounds for concern to her closet advisors.
- ↑ "The Long Night"
- ↑ "The Last of the Starks/Approaching Dragonstone"
- ↑ Bran, Samwell, Jon, Dany, Sansa, Arya, Tyrion and Varys.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 "The Bells"
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 "The Last of the Starks"
- ↑ ‘Game of Thrones’ Director on Jon and Dany's Romance, Dragons and Speedy Ravens
- ↑ 10 Dramatic Ironies in Shakespeare literarydevices.net