The second episode of Season 8 of Game of Thrones is like Christmas. Winter. Everyone is home. Family, friends… Even enemies from long ago are welcomed in varying degrees of warmth. The characters are shown in all their humanity so that, perhaps, that’s how we’ll remember them. Yes, I expect some major characters to die in episode three when the battle against the White Walkers are expected to begin.
There are many poignant moments in episode two of Season 8, but what I found most unforgettable happened toward the end. Jon who recently learned of his true parentage is in the Stark crypt before the statue of Lyanna.
Daenerys walks in. He had been avoiding her, and now he can’t. She cuddles up to him, looks at the statue and asks who “that” is. Jon tells her. Daenerys then speaks with irony of her brother Rhaegar.
“My brother Rhaegar… everyone told me he was decent and kind. He liked to sing. Gave money to poor children. And he raped her.”
“He didn’t,” Jon tells her. And he proceeds to repeat what Sam Tarly had revealed to him. That Rhaegar loved Lyanna, that they married (so we find out belatedly that Rob Stark and Talisa were not the only characters who married for love in the series), had a son and how, on her deathbed, she gave the baby boy to her brother Ned to raise as his bastard to keep Robert Baratheon from ever finding out who the child really was.
“My name… my real name… is Aegon Targaryen.”
And then gamut of emotions that ran on Daenerys’s face.
Disbelief. She had slept with her uncle.
“A secret no one in the world knew… except your brother and your best friend. Doesn’t that seem strange to you?”
And, finally, real horror.
“If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen. You’d have a claim to the Iron Throne.”
So, there’s this woman, a woman who had grown strong, wise and powerful, a woman who believed she was the true heir to the Iron Throne, finding out that the man she had fallen in love with, the man who would help her get the Iron Throne, more properly belongs on it that she ever will.
Who will take the throne? Some GOT nerds say either Jon or Daenerys will die.
Will Jon give up his claim to the Iron Throne? Probably. Titles meant nothing to him, as he has said repeatedly in the past. He had given up being King in the North, for love and for the greater good, why not the chance to sit on the Iron Throne?
Daenerys, on the other hand, has fought too many wars and has gone through too much pain to get to this point. Will she step down and allow Jon to be King of the Seven Kingdoms? She can’t be his queen. They can’t marry although they can continue their relationship considering that Targaryens in the past had not been exactly averse to incest.
A heart-wrenching dilemma.
But both Jon and Daenerys are willing to set aside the issue of the Iron Throne for the moment. As a horn blares, they go up and, as those below shout to prepare for battle, Jon and Daenerys wordlessly nod to each other and leave — apparently, to mount the dragons as planned.
I don’t expect the riddle of who gets to sit on the Iron Throne to be answered in the third episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. But it will be too sad to see either Jon or Daenerys die.