- Warning: Spoilers for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode one.
- On Sunday’s first episode of season eight of “Game of Thrones,” Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen shared a happy scene together and kissed.
- Some fans didn’t like the scene.
- Part of the reason some people didn’t enjoy the scene is because the two main characters are secretly related.
- Others disliked it because it seemed to mirror an earlier iconic scene between Jon and his Wildling love interest, Ygritte.
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“Game of Thrones” season 8 came back with a bang on Sunday night to HBO. And while fans welcomed seeing the beloved characters, dragons, and on-screen reunions, the romance between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen, sixth of his name) wasn’t exactly well received.
On the premiere, Daenerys and Jon have returned to Winterfell where his sisters Arya and Sansa — not to mention every ruling family in the North — aren’t thrilled to learn that he has bent the knee to the dragon queen and is no longer King in the North.
After being told her dragons are eating less than expected in this new winter climate, Daenerys takes Jon with her to check on them. While there, they decide to ride the dragons together and wind up at a picturesque waterfall.
“We could stay a thousand years. No one would find us,” Daenerys says to Jon.
“We’d be pretty old,” Jon says. “It’s cold up here for a southern girl.”
“Then keep your queen warm,” Daenerys replies, as the music swells and the two kiss with the waterfall and two dragons in the background.
It should have made for the ultimate high fantasy moment, but many fans were less than enthusiastic about the continued romance between Daenerys and Jon.
Some pointed out that because the audience knows Jon is really Daenerys’ nephew, it adds a squeamish undertone to the otherwise romantic scene
As fans learned at the end of season seven — and Jon himself will soon learn by the end of the episode — his real name is not Jon Snow, but Aegon Targaryen. He was the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, who was the older brother of Daenerys herself.
It’s the famous “R+L=J” theory that means Jon is actually Danerys’ nephew, as well as the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
And while the Targaryens were known for taking their siblings as their husbands and wives, it’s not a practice the North (or “Game of Thrones” fans, for that matter) necessarily accept.
Just Aunt Danny and her nephew Jon sharing a king awkward kiss pic.twitter.com/UiYJH2Kp4n
— Ser Davos (@Tony_Reed07) April 15, 2019
— Matt Fletcher (@mattmcfletch) April 15, 2019
— CL Nicholson (@CalvinNicholson) April 15, 2019
For what it’s worth, actors Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) have also admitted to feeling unsettled by their characters’ sex scene on season seven given their biological relationship (as well as the actors’ own close friendship).
“For us as actors, it’s just weird,” Clarke said in a behind-the-scenes video from HBO. “The reality of what they are to each other? I don’t know how that’s gonna … I mean [gagging noise] might be the reaction.”
Others fans thought the happy scene recalled another, arguably better, moment between Jon and his true love, Ygritte
While a member of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow fell in love with Ygritte (played by Harington’s now-wife, Rose Leslie), a fearsome fighter and Wildling. On season three, the two became lovers inside a cave filled with hot spring pools. It led to a memorable scene where Jon and Ygritte have sex for the first time and their burgeoning friendship becomes romantic.
“Let’s not go back. Let’s stay here a while longer,” Ygritte tells Jon. “I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow.”
Later on season four, when Ygritte is dying in Jon’s arms during the battle of Castle Black, she asks him if he remembers their time together in the cave. “We should’ve stayed in that cave,” she tells him.
The cave scene and the waterfall scene both share similar themes: Each one is a happy respite from the harsh realities of war, and both Daenerys and Ygritte share a dream of running away with Jon and hiding out in some remote corner of the world.
While there are times when tender moments are appreciated on “Game of Thrones,” this one seemed too close to Jon’s past relationship with Ygritte for many fans.
— KellieisComing (@KellieIllichman) April 15, 2019
Jon + Daenerys + Waterfall = Jon + Ygritte + Cave 🤔
— Martha Cantú 🐺 (@marthzcantu) April 15, 2019
FFS Dany is literally Ygritte V2.0 trying to get Jon to live in a cave with her 😭
— SB 🔴 (@JustNabyThings) April 15, 2019
A waterfall? We cOuLd sTAy hErE fOrEvEr?? Put some respekt on Ygritte’s name
— one little itty bitty nish (@onepoundnish) April 15, 2019
Ultimately, some ‘Game of Thrones’ characters and fans don’t believe Jon and Daenerys should be together
Despite what Tyrion, Davos Seaworth, and Varys said about Jon and Daenerys making a handsome and “just” ruling couple, many people in Westeros wouldn’t agree, including Jon’s sisters Arya and Sansa as well as the other Northern families.
Tyrion also seemed concerned on the finale of season seven, when he saw Jon go into Daenerys’ room while on board a ship on their way to Winterfell.
But the person who’s most concerned about their relationship on the premiere appears to be Jon’s best friend and right-hand man, Samwell Tarly. Sam learned from Daenerys herself that she executed both his father and brother for not supporting her quest for the Iron Throne. He asks Jon if he would’ve done the same thing, seemingly pitting Jon against Daenerys.
There’s even a theory that Daenerys could be going down a villainous path on “Game of Thrones.” Plus, given that Jon now knows his true parentage (as well as his biological connection to Daenerys) the waterfall scene may have been one of the last romantic moments between the two main characters.
And given many fans’ reactions, that may be a welcome turn of events.