Another important character learned the truth on Game of Thrones this week, and fans are reeling from the strange reveal.
Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 lie ahead!
Game of Thrones has drawn out one of its key secrets until the very end, and now characters are learning about it in the midst of a frozen war zone. As fans have predicted for years now, Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, who were wed in a secret ceremony. This makes him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Naturally, this complicates things for the various parties of Westeros. Jon's claim now outweighs that of Daenerys, with whom he has fallen in love with. However, there is no telling whether Jon will be interested in fighting for the throne, as he has only ever gone to war against the dead themselves.
In this week's episode, Jon unveiled the truth of his heritage to Daenerys. It was not clear how much he planned it, or if he just blurted it out in a moment of emotion. As expected, the Dragon Queen did not take kindly to the implications of Jon's claim, and he was frosty as he stood his ground. Jon said nothing when Daenerys pointed out his claim to the throne, and soon the two were distracted by the arrival of the White Walkers.
The whole scenario is undoubtedly complicated, and to many fans the reveal ignored one key aspect of it: Daenerys and Jon are aunt and nephew, yet they have been sleeping together since the end of Season 7. Obviously, Game of Thrones fans are no strangers to incest, but for two of the show's heroes to be engaging in it and not mention it is awkward, to say the least.
There are other issues with the reveal as well. Many fans are furious about how casually the show treated Jon Snow's dragon-back ride in the season premiere, as only Targaryens are supposed to be able to ride dragons. In addition, many are finding it hard to trace which characters are prioritizing which wars, as allegiances seem to be shifting from conversation to conversation.
Here is a look at what fans are saying about Jon's big reveal to Daenerys.
Some fans on Reddit argued that little will change between Jon and Dany anytime soon. The scene was framed by the war they have pledged to fight together, and neither will jeopardize all of mankind until the Night King is defeated, they argue. Besides, their blossoming romantic love may allow them to be more reasonable than other competing monarchs.
"She had almost the same reaction Jon had when Sam told him," user juji_mee wrote. "Semi-angry and semi-in denial but kinda realizing it makes sense and feeling like it might cause trouble in their sex paradise. That’s how it felt to me at least. They’ll be okay. She loves him way too much, she says it a few times in this episode."
"If it’s an apocalypse you need to take inventory of the important things," agreed user xavierjacks.
Of course, a popular take was that Daenerys and Jon were being entirely too casual about the incest aspect of this news. While the claims to the throne are a huge aspect of the show, some felt that they should have at least acknowledged the awkwardness by now.
Many fans were facepalming over Jon's seemingly snap decision to tell Daenerys the truth. Jon himself learned it at the end of the season premiere, and in an earlier scene, Sam advised him to wait for the perfect time as well.
"Sam: 'it's better if you wait for a proper moment to tell her,'" wrote Reddit user Krist794 in mock dialogue. "John, literally seconds before the battle for humanity's survival: 'Hey, wanna know something pretty f—ed up that will make you uneasy for a while? Cause you are kind of my aunt.'"
Many fans theorize that that either Jon and/or Daenerys will fulfill the prophecy of Azor Ahai, an ancient hero who forged an unbeatable sword by tempering it in the blood of his wife. They took Sunday's scene as further evidence of this, foreshadowing a showdown between them.
"Dany is so going to try and kill Jon, only for him to reluctantly end her," predicted Reddit user Paligor.
Many die-hard fans read deeply into the song Podrick Payne sang in this episode, which also played during the end credits. The song is titled "Jenny's Song," and it comes from the novels that the show is based on.
"Jenny's Song" tells the story of Jenny of Oldstone, who was the wife of the heir to the Iron Throne, Duncan Targaryen. Duncan gave up his throne to be with Jenny. Meanwhile, Jenny dabbled in the magical arts, and was friends with a witch who prophesied that Azor Ahai reborn, the Prince that was Promised, would be a descendant of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen.
To many fans, this foreshadowed the fate of Daenerys and Jon. They speculated that the song was a subtle hint, telling fans that one of them would give up their throne for the other, and that their union was steeped in magic and prophecy.
"What would this foreshadow?" wondered Reddit user Ceridwen59. "Love over throne? Meaning, maybe they will turn aside from it in the end? Or Dany giving up the throne for Jon maybe?"
"Foreshadowing that Jon will be the prince who was promised or Azor Ahai," guessed user PLOTKS.
Some fans speculated that the reveal could spell the end of Jon and Daenerys' romance, not because of incest but for the good of House Targaryen. Danerys still believes that she cannot have children because of the blood magic performed on her in Season 1, so she may well encourage Jon to marry someone else and carry on the family line.
"If she says he's the last male heir of House Targaryen that means she might tell him to marry someone else because she can't have kids (till they find out she's [pregnant])," guessed Reddit user existentialistbitch.
A few fans believe that Jon and Daenerys will keep the truth of his ancestry a secret for as long as possible. Both know that the squabble over the throne is far less important than the War for the Dawn, and Jon's family tree might just distract their forces from battle. Some fans even believe that Jon might keep his identity a secret altogether, leaving Daenerys to sit on the Iron Throne while he governs the north.
"I can see this. I can also see Jon not wanting anyone else to know the truth, so Dany can have the throne," wrote Reddit user mistyclear.
Jon Snow: My mother was Lyanna Stark and my father was Rheagar Targaryen. This means that I am the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Danaerys: pic.twitter.com/Fhj9Qkpvva— Kuzy's Bird Celly (@tjfloshie) April 22, 2019
Finally, in the spirit of the show many fans jumped straight to picking sides between Jon and Daenerys. Perhaps trained by the show to expect bloody wars of succession, some had a ready answer between the two prospective monarchs, and they were ready to watch the Game unfold.