While battling the Night King and his army is a major issue, and Cersei still remaining on the Throne hurts pretty much everyone in the Seven Kingdoms, one Reddit user believes that both of these foes are “red herrings” meant to distract GoT fans from the largest battle of all—the one between Jon Snow and Daenerys.
User u/nosefouratoo believes after watching the first episode of Season 8 that there is a lot more to look at besides the fact that Jon is truly Aegon Targaryen. In fact, he believes that there are going to be several characters who influence and shape the battle between Jon and Dany over the course of the season.
He outlines how each character will play a vital role in the iconic showdown.
Tyrion and Varys
Right now, these two are two of Dany’s top advisors, but they have expressed genuine concerns about her leadership before. Tyrion and Varys spoke in worried tones about her possibly becoming more like her father after what happened with the Tarlys. Tyrion also brought up his concern to Dany’s face while Jon and Co. were beyond the wall last season. He was received with vitriol and an implication from Dany that Tyrion was a traitor. In fact, almost every time Tyrion has questioned Dany in their entire time together, she has either implicitly or explicitly accused him of still being in cahoots with the Lannisters.
Tyrion is aware of what Dany’s worst impulses are; he even brought them up to his mortal enemyCersei. These events and worries from last season will come to a head with Dany’s treatment of Jaime when he stands before the council in Winterfell. In the “Next on GOT” segment for S8E2, we hear Dany bringing up Jaime killing her father. Dany also says, “He [Tyrion] should’ve never trusted Cersei” and we see a shot of Dany walking away angrily from Tyrion while he looks dejected.
If Dany decides to imprison Jaime, or intends to execute him but is talked out of it, this may very well be the last straw for Tyrion in being able to think Dany is a just ruler. He will undoubtedly learn of Jon’s heritage sooner than later, and possibly decide to switch to his side because of his better claim and temperament. Varys will surely follow suit.
Sam now has a vendetta against Dany for killing his brother. Think back to the episode in season 5 when the Night’s Watch held an election to see who would become the next Lord Commander. Sam was the one who nominated Jon. Spoke for him even though Jon didn’t want the job, because he knew that the Watch would suffer under Thorne and prosper under Jon. In the books, he set even more machinations into motion in order to ensure Jon’s victory. Sam’s story this season may be a very similar scenario to that scene only on a bigger, higher stakes scale.
He could reveal this information to Sansa, who already seems to despise Dany, and work with her to get the lords of the North behind Jon as the One True King. Sam has already planted the idea in Jon’s head that he is far more fit to rule than Dany, preciselybecause he was willing to give up his ability to rule at all for the safety of his people. Sam is Jon’s best friend and probably most trusted advisor. If Sam thinks Dany isn’t fit to rule, Jon will begin to have serious doubts about her as well, even if he does love her.
I think this one line and its importance flew over a lot of peoples’ heads on Sunday night. Right before the Dothraki Khal comes up to Dany to inform her about the dragons not eating properly, Dany laments Sansa not liking her to Jon. Paraphrasing here, but she says something to the effect of, “she doesn’t have to be my friend, but if she can’t respect me….” and trails off. This is obviously implying a threat on Sansa’s life if she doesn’t fall in line. It isn’t a fact, but there are few other things she could have possibly meant.
What does Dany do to those who don’t respect her? Ask Samwell Tarly. Jon looked concerned when she said this, but the subject was changed to more concrete matters too quickly to be pursued. When Sansa was talking to Jon alone in her room, she quipped that Dany was in fact much like her father, only “prettier”. Dany’s behavior, statements, and attitude since arriving at Winterfell could make Jon end up believing this more and more.
Arya seems to be firmly on Sansa’s side and they have decided to show us that right away for a reason. Arya, Sam, and Sansa all in alliance against Dany will be extremely powerful evidence to Jon that maybe he needs to rethink his love and allegiance to Dany.
Cersei and The Golden Company
What if Jaime or Arya kills Cersei before she ever gets the chance to attack Jon and Dany? In the books, theGolden Company support Young Griff, widely believed to be a fake Aegon Targaryen. What if in the show, after Cersei’s death, they decide to throw their support behind the real Aegon Targaryen? The Golden Company was started by Blackfyre (Targaryen bastard) loyalists.
Maybe the show will find a way to show Harry Strickland having hidden Targaryen loyalty that will be revealed when Jon’s true heritage spreads throughout the Seven Kingdoms. With the Golden Company behind Jon, and with Tyrion and Jaime supplying him with the remaining Lannister forces, and with Sansa providing him with the Knights of the Vale and Northmen, Jon will have an army that can rival and most likely overwhelm what will remain of the Dothraki and Unsullied.
I think there was more to the dragon riding scene in the premiere than meets the eye. Jon has now ridden Rhaegal while Dany never has. Could it be possible that now Rhaegal could be more partial to Jon than he is to Dany? Could he decide to bind himself to Jon? Has he already done so? It seems very possible to me. We had the Field of Fire Part II in season 7. What if we end with the Dance of Dragons Part II in season 8? Jon, Rhaegal and his army vs. Dany, Drogon, and her army.
Jon and Dany themselves
How Dany reacts to Jon’s true heritage could be the death knell of their love and alliance. If she reacts with anger and calls him a traitor or something to that effect, this will prove everything he has been hearing from all of his loved ones to be true. He will pull away from her, and make a claim on the throne in an effort to save the realm from another monarch who puts power lust in front of all else.
I think there may be some kind of inciting event during or right before the battle for Winterfell that will truly sour Jon against Dany enough to go to war or at least to redact his proclamation that she is his Queen. That piece I haven’t figured out yet, but I think it may be essential to the believability of Jon waging war against Dany. At that point, he will reluctantly become Aegon Targaryen in earnest, and a military conflict between the two Targaryens may be on the horizon.
Clearly, this theory is not only well thought out, but researched and analyzed thoroughly. Every character in the show does play a major part in shaping the major battle that can occur between Jon and Dany, and the more people who choose sides—the bigger the battle will be.
User u/nosefouratoo adds that George R.R. Martin, who penned the Game of Thrones book series, said:
“The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.”
He then divulges into a conversation about whose human heart could be in conflict with itself this season.
A battle against Cersei would be a conflict within the human heart… for Jaime. But not for Dany, not for Jon, and not for Tyrion. It is as cut and dry for our main characters as the conflict with the Night King is. Besides, they could get Jaime to kill Cersei one on one with no armies involved. It could still be a hugely important event without being the conclusion event that most people seem to think it will be.
Think about it this way: what encompasses George’s quote about writing fiction more than a bitter estrangement and eventual military conflict between two lovers that found out they were actually related, and were torn apart through their advisors choosing sides and their diametrically opposed views on power and what it should mean to wield it? I really don’t think the story could serve us an ending that would embody that mission statement more than that. What if they both die and Tyrion sets up Westeros’s first ever electoral system like he said he wanted in season 7?
So I’m sorry if this is scatterbrained a little. Would love to hear other ideas and criticisms of the theories. I know there are some holes (namely the battle of Winterfell) but I truly do think all signs are pointing to something like this. Maybe it won’t be an all out military engagement, but definitely a very bitter political upheaval that could easily leave one or both of them dead.
Clearly, this is a totally real and plausible ending that can go down—here’s to hoping.