Without Dany, Jon has no claim to the Throne
After answering too many asks ( x x x x ) on this subject, I decided to consolidate it all in a meta. Let’s get one thing out of the way, Jon has no ambition for the throne, as a character he will have a lot of trouble accepting his Targaryen heritage and Dany will be in it with him, as home, family & love have been her deepest desire her entire life. But without being legitimised by Queen Daenerys & marrying her, Jon has absolutely no claim to the throne!
Paper trail :
- If we talk about the records that Sam found at the Citadel, they only state that Rhaegar’s first marriage was annulled and he officially married Lyanna but there is no record of her ever being pregnant or having a child.
- Plus Cersei’s treatment of the paper trail Ned presented to disprove Jeoffery’s heritage and claim, was a good example of how easily these records can be challenged despite Bran’s Ned Stark like confidence. So without Dany’s support and firepower, it can be dumped in the trash.
Jon’s Identity : Jon has been known as Ned Stark’s bastard, fathered by a nameless woman for years, he even looks exactly like Ned as stated in the books. To prove that Rhaegar Targaryen had a child with Lyanna and that child is Jon is absolutely impossible. As not everyone in Westeros saw this cross cut!
Let’s breakdown the actual “evidence”
Now a lot of us expect everyone in Westeros to know and believe in things simply because we have seen them onscreen, which is why it’s frustrating when someone doesn’t believe in White Walkers even though it’s crazy to ask someone to believe in zombies without proof. The same way, we are dealing with a huge assumption that everyone will just believe the “visions” of a goth teenage boy who calls himself the three eyed raven. I’m sure not everyone in Westeros, outside the North, cares much for Bran and even if he starts disclosing creepy details of their sex lives, it will only prove that he has visions, it still doesn’t prove that he’s telling the truth about having visions of Jon’s parentage. Any sane person’s reaction to the claim that Jon is a Targaryen would be “Northen Propaganda”
Everyone who bared witness to Lyanna’s childbirth or pregnancy is dead, except for one person, Howland Reed, Meera & Jojen’s father, the kids who took Bran to Three Eyed Raven. He was the one who fought beside Ned outside the Tower of Joy before Ned found Lyanna. He was not present for the pregnancy or birth, though he must have witnessed Ned carrying out baby Jon & Lyanna’s bloody corpse being brought out soon after. I doubt Ned gave him any context other than asking him to keep it a secret. Again as Ned’s best friend, he alone is not reliable enough to prove anything with the circumstantial evidence he could claim to have witnessed.
Someone asked me, that if Jon mounts a dragon, it should surely prove that he is a Targaryen. But Jon’s own brother, Bran is a Warg and is very out & proud about it. So if Jon mounts Rhaegal there will always be doubt about him being able to do it because of Dragon blood or warging. This could be chalked down as theatrics as well.
I was asked if Jon could walk through fire to prove that he’s a Targaryen. In the show canon, Dany is fireproof but she is ‘The Last Dragon’, like Rhaegar before her. It’s a special mystical power not every Targaryen has. Just as Viserys died from burns, Jon too has been burnt by fire before. In season 1, Jon brought back a missing Night’s Watch member’s dead body from beyond the wall, when he takes his oath at the Weirwood tree beyond the wall & Ghost sniffs out the body. Lord Commander Jeor Mormomt wanted to examine it after Sam points out that there is no decay. That night Ghost gets anxious and leads Jon to Mormont’s chambers where the dead body wakes up and they see a wight for the first time. When Jon holds a lamp to fling it at the wight, he burns his hand, which is wounded & bandaged for the next few episodes.
This has been done before by someone in the books:
Which brings us to Young Griff in the books who was created for the purpose of displaying how hard it would actually be for someone to claim they are a Targaryen and how important Dany is, as the unchallenged head of her house.
- He claims to be Aegon Targaryen, Rhaegar’s eldest son. He was a good fake, aesthetically he looked like a Targaryen, which already puts him in a better position than Jon who looks like Ned, as described in books.
- He had the support of Dornish, who claimed to have rescued the prince in time, who is in fact Ellia Martell & Rhaegar Targaryen’s son. He also has Varys & Aerys’ former Hand of the King and Rhaegar’s best friend supporting his claim. These are people much more reliable and highly placed compared to Howland Reed & Bran for a Targaryen claimant.
- He has the Golden Company backing him, which is a force much stronger than the one Jon controls if we don’t count Dany’s forces, which he can absolutely never command without her support.
Despite all of this he was advised to pursue Dany for marriage because without Daenerys, the head of House Targaryen, validating him as a Targaryen, his claim to the throne will not be legitimate.
The good thing for Jon is that Jon & Dany are already in love and she would marry him in a heartbeat but unless she takes the throne after the Great War and legitimises Jon, he has no claim to the throne. As a Queen she can just declare that her totally Stark looking husband is actually a Targaryen in the light of all the circumstantial evidence present, but there will be many who’ll be sceptical and view it as a man taking his wife’s family name in a medieval way. Ruling is not even a part of his character goals, but not wanting the legitimacy of his unborn child challenged could be the only reason to sway him to take the Targaryen family name and his place as King beside Daenerys.
That is, if he survives the war, as his character goals end after the Walkers are defeated while Dany’s character goals are long term, to break the wheel and change the political structure. Lets hope the pregnancy gives him long term character goals, he survives & we get a Jonerys wedding, Targaryen restoration & them ruling together.
But let’s get one thing straight, he definitely neither wants nor would be able to stake a claim to the throne without her, just like he can’t win against the Walkers without her! I’ll just go back to sipping my truth tea brewed in hater tears now!