No, you weren’t imagining it. That was sexual tension between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “Spoils of War.” The long-awaited meeting between the King in the North and the Mother of Dragons finally took place in last week’s offering “The Queen’s Justice” and although the scene may have been strange for the actors involved, the union of these two pivotal figures was intense viewing, given a dash of brevity thanks to Davos Seaworth’s starkly brief introduction for his King.
Despite Jon’s refusal to bend the knee, he and Daenerys have quickly forged a functional relationship, allowing Jon access to the coveted Dragonglass capable of killing the approaching White Walkers. However, as the duo grew to know each other, there seemed to be some unspoken romantic tension at play in “Spoils of War.” Unfortunately for this budding young couple, the overriding issue here is that it was more or less confirmed in season six that Jon and Daenerys are, in fact, related by blood, with Jon’s father Rhaegar being Dany’s brother. Indeed, Daenerys Targaryen is Jon Snow’s Aunt.
Hints at a romantic relationship between Jon and Dany have been teased further by “Spoils of War” director Matt Shakman during an interview with IGN. Asked how he approached the relationship and possible attraction between Jon and Dany, Shakman replied:
“I think there is a lot of subtle chemistry happening there between the two of them, and even just Daenerys taking that tiny step forward to Jon before she asks him to bend the knee. There’s a lot of tension in that that I think comes from just two great actors in that darker, more intimate location… Daenerys, of course, as she loses allies, is trying to gain one in the King of the North, so there’s very much a political dialogue happening in the scene. But it’s also undeniable that there’s something happening between them personally, as well.”
Shakman’s comments do seem to suggest quite strongly that the intention in “Spoils of War” was to convey an emerging attraction between Jon and Daenerys that goes beyond respect or simple utility. Such a theory is compounded by Davos “Scene Stealer” Seaworth in the same episode, in which he implies that Jon has been casting a lustful eye over his new Dragon-riding friend.
Of course, this is not the first time that Game of Thrones has dabbled in incestuous relationships, as Cersei and her brother Jaime have been at it since episode one. Furthermore, the fact that Jon and Dany are blissfully unaware of their shared bloodline means that viewers are likely to be far more sympathetic to – if still somewhat repulsed by – any potential romantic developments between the duo.
With that said, it could be argued that introducing a love angle between two of Game of Thrones‘ leading protagonists when the viewers know them to be aunt and nephew does put a slightly grim slant on an otherwise exciting partnership between two forces for good. Tasteful execution will be required in order to pitch the angle in the right way and hopefully, Bran can inform Jon of his true parentage before any serious feelings begin to develop.
Game of Thrones season seven continues on August 13th with Eastwatch on HBO.
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