As reported by Inquisitr, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones has completed filming and that footage is currently being massaged into its final form for the quickly approaching April, 2019, premiere date. With that premiere will come an avalanche of press featuring the stars of the show, and we’re starting to see a trickle of comments and interviews from the cast on various elements of the show’s final season.
Westeros already has to deal with the Night King and his army of the undead, who wrapped up Season 7 by knocking down the wall with the help of an ice breathing zombie dragon. But in addition to what Inquisitr reports will be some of the biggest battles ever filmed, there’s still going to be a ton of political machinations afoot as the living jockey to win control of the Iron Throne. Executive producer D.B. Weiss highlighted that element of the new season in an interview with TV Insider, specifically the relationship between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, played by Kit Harington and Emilia Clark respectively.
The two characters went from allies to lovers at the end of Season 7, blissfully unaware that Jon Snow isn’t the bastard child of Ned Stark, but rather the child of Dany’s older brother, Rhaegar Targaryen, and Ned’s sister, Lyanna. That doesn’t just make their relationship more complicated on account of the incest, but due to matters of succession as well.
“From a dramatic standpoint, it makes things interesting, because the story is no longer about who Jon’s parents are,” Weiss told TV Insider. “It’s about what happens when Jon finds out.”
“Jon is someone who plays by the book. He cannot lie,” said Harington. “Finding out about Dany would be very hard for him.”
“Daenerys’s lifelong dream has been to avenge her family and claim her rightful seat on the Iron Throne,” Clarke said. “She truly loves Jon. Were she to find out about his title, it would cut deep.”
It’s an interesting choice of words Clarke uses: claiming her rightful seat, and finding out about his title. That points to Daenerys having a big issue with the idea that Jon may have a better claim to the throne than her.
And Jon could indeed have a better claim. Across Westeros, the standard for succession sees the oldest male inherit land and titles. In this case, Rhaegar Targaryen was the elder son of the Mad King Aerys. As the oldest surviving child of Rhaegar, Jon Snow (true name Aegon Targaryen) seems to be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
But Daenerys still has her own argument for being the true heir. The Targaryens don’t subscribe to the same male-centric ideas as the rest of Westeros, making Daenerys third in line after Rhaegar and Viserys. Since Rhaegar Targaryen was killed by Robert Baratheon while the Mad King was still alive, his children technically shouldn’t even come into the succession discussion. By Valyrian standards, Viserys was the true king until Khal Drogo killed him with molten gold all the way back in Season 1, making Daenerys the rightful ruler of Westeros.
Of course, words are wind and we doubt there are many houses left willing to bend the knee to someone just because they have the better claim. And with that aforementioned army of the undead bearing down on the Seven Kingdoms, the whole debate could be a moot point as the Night King destroys all life on the continent. But we’re sure that’s not going to make the situation any easier for Daenerys and Jon when they find out they’re aunt and nephew.