Warning: Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season eight, episode two.
Of all the characters in the Game of Thrones universe, Daenerys Targaryen has managed to curry fan favoritism from the onset. As others have died around her, fans have consistently rooted for the Mother of Dragons to live — until, that is, last night. During episode two of season eight, one moment made it clear to fans that Dany must die. And spoiler alert? That moment has everything to do with Jon Snow.
Coming into episode two, Jon and Dany had recently consummated their relationship. Fierce warrior and leader that she is, Dany softened her guard enough to admit she loved Jon Snow. She even put a pin momentarily in her own single-minded obsession to win the throne due to the war affecting the North, his people. But that all changed the minute Jon revealed his real identity to Dany. He is Aegon Targaryen — son of Lyanna Stark and Dany’s brother, Rhaegar Targaryen and, accordingly, Dany’s nephew. For most people, the fact that you’re the aunt of the man you just slept with and declared your love for would be a devastating-slash-disturbing revelation. It would take a minute to unpack.
But the incestuous nature of their relationship isn’t what appears to bother Dany. She doesn’t even seem saddened by the potential love lost. No, she’s far more concerned with the fact that Jon’s true lineage makes him the last male heir of the House of Targaryen. As she ponders aloud, this means that he has the rightful claim to the Iron Throne.
The sounds of battle begin, so this is a conversation Dany and Jon will have to circle back around to (if they both survive). But as brief as it was, it was enough for fans to decide that Dany must die. She’s so power hungry that she no longer deserves the throne; she’s just not noble enough anymore. It’s not as though this is a total surprise, either. Like, can you imagine seeing the Night King and the horrifying army of the dead and having one of your dragon babies die, yet still caring only about the Iron Throne? Because that’s Dany for ya.
However, she has always seemed driven toward the throne by the fact that she is the “rightful heir.” She even tells Sansa Stark in last night’s episode that the only goal she has ever known in her life was the throne. At least that’s how fans interpreted her single-minded determination — more that it was her destiny and her responsibility. Sadly, Dany’s response to Jon’s lineage revelation suggests that maybe it is about power for her.
We can’t entirely make that judgment just yet, considering she and Jon didn’t exactly get to parse out all the particulars. For now, they’ll ride into battle side by side. But at some point, a hard conversation has to happen, and there’s room for Dany to prove she isn’t becoming the Mad Queen. She could adhere to the principles of the code she has always lived by and let the rightful heir (i.e. Jon) take the throne. After all, the fact that Jon doesn’t want the throne kinda gives you the sense he’d be a more just and balanced ruler. For him, it isn’t about power. He doesn’t want to be king of the North. He doesn’t want to be a hero. He just wants everyone to live. He isn’t blinded by his aspirations for the throne.
Dany, on the other hand…. well, the fandom is starting to turn, because her blind ambition has been presenting lately in the form of ruthlessness. Would she go so far as to kill Jon for the throne? TBH, it wouldn’t shock us if she tried.
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