When HBO said this season of Game of Thrones would pick up the pace, they were not kidding. The upcoming third episode — entitled ‘The Queen’s Justice’ — has Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow already meeting at Dragonstone to hash out how best to take down Cersei from the Iron Throne. There’s just one problem. Dany and Jon are going into this meeting with different expectations, and neither monarch is known for their level-headedness in the face of assaults on their honor.
As first noticed by io9, the letter sent to Jon Snow from Dragonstone forgot to mention that Dany doesn’t want an alliance with the King in the North; she wants him to bend the knee. This would be a hard “NO” from the Stark of Winterfell in the best of times, but Jon Snow has also been a man of the Night’s Watch and a wilding, neither of which put a lot of stock in authority stemming from blood instead of merit. So here we have Tyrion Lannister, Hand of the Queen, knowing they need King Jon to join them in order to soundly defeat Cersei but also knowing there’s no way in the Seven Kingdoms Jon will bend the knee to the daughter of the man that burned his grandfather alive. So he fudges the details and figures he’ll deal with the fallout later.
Only later is now.
So what happens when Jon Snow and his entourage land on Dragonstone thinking they are meeting with an equal but Dany assumes the Northmen are here to bend the knee? A comedy of errors where neither realizes what the other wants? Possibly. After all, Jon Snow could not care less about the Cersei Lannister’s power grab. The Night King is coming. Daenerys has dragons, and dragons breathe fire, and fire kills White Walkers. Meanwhile, Daenerys is simply trying to wrestle her birthright back from the bride of King Robert, and it remains to be seen whether or not she’ll care about the undead threat, or even believe it to be true. So you can probably expect at least a few lines of dialogue in which Dany attempts to tease out fealty from Jon Snow, who is only interested in securing an alliance to defeat the wights.
But once they both figure out what Tyrion has done? All bets are off (and Tyrion will have to talk fast to keep the ire of his queen from turning on him). There’s no way Jon is going to bend the knee, and there’s no way Dany is going to share power. Under normal circumstances, that would lead to a stand-off and each monarch would go their separate ways. Because, quite frankly, it would be lazy writing not to mention super boring were these two proud rulers to quickly become best friends and allies. If you’ll recall, a grieving Lady Olenna told Dany to “act like a dragon” and the Targaryens have never been afraid to use said dragons as an incentive to get nobility to tow the line. Should Jon get under Dany’s skin due to his frank nature, there’s a good chance the King of the North himself will get up close and personal with Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal. Which would, in turn, only solidify in Jon’s mind that Dany is a tyrant like her father. So how do we mend this rift, being that the North definitely needs those dragons?
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. He is literally ice and fire. So what happens if you try and burn a dragon? Nothing. Despite being at odds with the lore of the books (and undermining his injury by fire when saving Commander Mormont from the wight), having Jon be fireproof in the wake of his resurrection would be the easiest shorthand to prove his lineage. Not that Targaryens’ as a whole are fireproof, mind you. The Westeros history books are littered with the corpses of burnt Valyrian Dragonriders. In the novels not even Dany is fireproof, as shown during the end of A Dance With Dragons when Drogon burns her in the fighting pits before they fly away. But the show has long separated from that particular bit of source material. The HBO version of Dany can dance in fire without harm should she choose it. Hell, if Game of Thrones needed an explanation, perhaps they can make it so Jon is immune to dragon fire but not regular fire.
Or maybe, just maybe, Rhaegal will forge a bond with Jon Snow — the child of the dragon’s namesake — and protect him from the wrath of Daenerys. I mean, we’re getting down to the wire, the dragon still needs three heads, and Dany could use some allies that aren’t afraid of death by dragon flame.