The second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones included what may be the culmination of one of its longest-running plot threads as Jon Snow revealed his true parentage to Daenerys Targaryen.
At the end of last season, Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly confirmed that Jon is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon’s true name is Aegon Targaryen and he has a claim to the Iron Throne. But that also means that his relationship with Dany is incestuous.
In the final season premiere, Sam revealed this truth to Jon. Jon put off revealing it to Dany for as long he could, but the truth came out while the two of them looked at Lyanna's statue in the crypts of Winterfell.
For Jon, the big reveal here was that the woman he’s been sleeping with, the woman he loves, is his aunt. But Dany seemed primarily concerned with Jon’s possible claim to the Iron Throne. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke defended her character’s reaction, noting that incest isn’t uncommon for Targaryens.
“The related thing, to her, is so normal,” Clarke says. “She could have easily married her brother. It’s not a thing. It’s a thing for Jon, but let’s just forget about that. The main thing is we’re up for the same promotion and I’ve been working for it for my entire existence.
“This is my whole existence,” Clarke continues. “Since birth! Dany literally was brought into this world going: RUN! These f—ers [in Westeros] have f—ed everything up. Now it’s, ‘You’re our only hope.’ There’s so much she’s taken on in her duty in life to rectify. There’s so much she’s seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt to get here … and Jon doesn’t even want it!”
Writer Bryan Cogman also broke down the scene from last night’s episode. “What really upsets Jon is that he’s a blood relative to the woman he’s in love with,” Cogman says. “Jon is taken aback when essentially the first thing she says is acknowledging that he has a claim to the Iron Throne. Kit and Emilia play it beautifully. It’s a very difficult scene to pull off; so much has to go on behind the eyes.”
What did you think of Dany’s reaction ot learning that Jon Snow is her nephew? Let us know in the comments. Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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