Search icon


23rd Apr 2019

Game of Thrones cast and writer discuss the tense relationship between Jon and Daenerys

Paul Moore

A very interesting look at that cliffhanger

You have to give it to Jon Snow because the man really knows how to time things to perfection.

If he waited another second at the Battle of the Bastards, he’d have been killed in no man’s land as he recklessly went to rescue Rickon from Ramsay’s arrows.

If Jon didn’t plan a timely intervention at Hardhome, the Night King would have a lot more people in his army.

Sadly, Jon’s timing couldn’t have been any worse in the latest episode of Game of Thrones because just as he told Daenerys the truth about his lineage, we heard those three short blasts of the horn and you know what that means.

The dead are here.

In the previous episode, Jon learned that his real name is Aegon Targaryen and that he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. There’s also the matter that he’s having sex with his aunt.

At the time, Kit Harington said that his character “has no ambition for the throne. He’s never wanted that”.

Well, after we got a few potential teases of Dany as The Mad Queen, the writer of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, Bryan Cogman, has been speaking about the relationship between Jon and his aunt.

In an interview with EW, Cogman said: “Jon is avoiding Dany the whole episode because this bombshell has been dropped on him and he can’t even process how to be in the same room with her. She senses a strange tension and can’t understand why. What really upsets Jon is that he’s a blood relative to the woman he’s in love with.

“In the crypt, Jon is taken aback when essentially the first thing she says is acknowledging that he has a claim to the Iron Throne. And Jon’s immediate concern is the fact that that’s her immediate concern. [Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke] play it beautifully. It’s a very difficult scene to pull off; so much has to go on behind the eyes. But then the horn blasts and the Army of the Dead are at the gates.”

As for Emilia Clarke’s take on things, she reckons that Daenerys is more worried about her claim to the Iron Throne than the incestual relationship that she’s having with her nephew.

“The related thing, to her, is so normal. 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” said Clarke to EW.

Ever since audiences were introduced to Daenerys, it was abundantly clear that she has one clear goal for House Targaryen, reclaiming the Iron Throne.

After this bombshell about Jon’s lineage was dropped on Daenerys, it appears that this goal hasn’t exactly changed.

“This is my whole existence. Since birth! Dany literally was brought into this world going: RUN! These f—ers 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!,” said Clarke.

Another telling scene which depicted Dany’s attitude to the Seven Kingdoms came when she was privately chatting with Sansa. As you may remember, The Lady of Winterfell asked about Daenerys’ plans for The North, in the event that the Jon-Dany alliance defeats the Night King.

“What about The North? It was taken from us and we took it back. We said we’d never bow to anyone else again. What about The North?,” said Sansa.

David Benioff, showrunner on Game of Thrones, has provided his own take on that tense scene.

“Dany comes to Sansa with a bit of an olive branch. A way to try and find a way inside that cool exterior that Sansa presents and one commonality between them is their love for Jon. It’s very much coming at it from the point of view of a monarch trying to make peace with her subject. Sansa is not quite yet willing to accept Dany as her monarch. She’s suspicious of people for a reason.

“She has had too many hard experiences not to be suspicious of people. She sees Dany as possibly a tyrant. Possibly as someone that has a lot of power and is seeking to get even more,” he said.

With regards to that scene, Emilia Clarke really enjoyed the verbal sparring with Sophie Turner.

“It was a lioness vs a lioness. Verbally, you’ve got this sparring contest happening and it’s like ‘Oh, I’m going to slap you’ and the other person is like ‘Oh, I’ll slap you back,” said Clarke.

Whatever happens next week during the Battle of Winterfell, the action on the field is set to be rivalled by the political manoeuvring between the main characters.

You can take a look at the interviews below.