[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Game of Thrones ahead.]
If you’re wondering why the big Jon/Dany scene from the Game of Thrones season 7 finale was shot “very simply”, you’ve come to the right place. In terms of blocking and framing, the sex scene shared by Kit Harington’s Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen was one of the least complicated sex sequences that Game of Thrones has served up so far.
Nonetheless, an important coalition was formed as Game of Thrones season 7 went out with a bang (pardon the phrasing). The pairing of the King in the North and the Mother of Dragons is hugely significant in terms of political alliances, allowing the good guys of the series to show Cersei's new army and the undead invaders a united front. However, the revelation of Jon’s true heritage is bound to throw a spanner in the works during in season 8. Perhaps Tyrion was right to look worried.
Whatever your stance on Game of Thrones’ latest incestuous union, it’s interesting to hear why the sequence was shot in such a no-frills manner. In an interview with Indiewire, the director of the episode, Jeremy Podeswa, has offered an explanation as to why this particular sex scene didn’t need any bells or whistles, or even dialogue:
“It was shot very, very simply. It’s basically just one steady push in shot to Jon and Dany and then that very important look between them at mid-level. And then a one-shot looking at Jon, then looking down at Dany. It wasn’t about shooting a big lovemaking scene. Once they’re making love, that’s the story. There’s no reason to kind of linger on that.”
Podeswa has a point there. Unlike the Grey Worm/Missandei oral extravaganza, which had to pay off multiple seasons of sexual tension and give those characters some romantic closure before the war kicked off, the Jon/Dany sex scene has just one simple task: establish that these two are getting it on. That was achieved easily with a few simple shots, and the more complicated stuff - about their secret nephew/aunt dynamic – was left for Bran to explain in a creepy voice-over.
However, although the scene was shot simply, there is also a lot going on beneath the surface. As Podeswa explains, it’s not been expressed in words, but there’s “an understanding between [Jon and Dany] that even though they know in some part of them that they shouldn’t really be doing this, they cannot not do it. There’s some element of destiny that’s brought them together, and they can’t fight it.”
Giving into that sense of destiny might seem like a good choice for these loving leaders in the moment, but the showrunners have already teased that things are going to get “complicated” between Jon and Dany - on political and personal levels - when Game of Thrones returns for its final season. Can this romantic relationship last, in the long run? Fans will have to wait and see.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres in either 2018 or 2019.