Even though I am extremely critical of D&D and consider myself an anti, I do have to admit that they don’t put scenes into the show just for the hell of it. Everything means something.
Daenerys has had antagonist undertones since season 1. It started with her being completely fine with the Dothraki crossing the narrow sea to kill and rape the people of Westeroes. It wasn’t until Drogo’s death that she took that as a motive to take back the iron throne that was supposedly taken from her. So as the story progresses, we have been fed the idea that Daenerys is the protagonist. We’ve been fed that freeing slaves makes you morally good, but no one takes notice of the socioeconomic collapse that Daenerys created. I think it’s Martins and D&D way of telling us that being morally good does not make you a hero, it does not make you a suitable candidate for the iron throne. Ruling isn’t about being a kind-hearted person. Politics come with it and Daenerys has stated that she isn’t a politician, she’s a queen. Someone who thinks like this isn’t a good leader. She wants her advisors to make all the political decisions but when a mission fails, she blames them and do the opposite of what they asked of her (Ex: Daenerys burning the Lannister army after Tyrion instructed her not to which led to the Westerosi men being exposed to her tyranny. Daenerys flying over the wall even though Tyrion warned her how dangerous it was which led to Viserion dying and the night king getting an ice dragon.) Is it possible that Daenerys bad decisions is the reason why the night king was able to tear the wall down? Could be but I rather not get into that; it’s just speculation.
So, who will be the ones to betray Daenerys?
Theon and Yara
I didn’t realize this until I read other GOT meta, but Daenerys hasn’t done anything to get Yara back nor do I think she really cares that she’s been captured. Yara is the reason why Daenerys had so many ships so surely, Dany should feel inclined to help her allies? During the meeting with Cersei, Daenerys didn’t even mention Yara with Euron right in her face. She had the power and the privilege to at least try to save Yara, but she did nothing. She had the power and the privilege to defend Yara when Euron threaten to murder her in front of her face, but she did nothing. Daenerys only cares about her allies when they are useful towards her. And we’ve seen many characters on the show think like this and guess what, they were all antagonists so keep that in mind.
Theon finally gathered the courage to save his sister because it’s obvious someone who he most likely thought highly of won’t do Yara any justice. You think he didn’t take notice of Daenerys completely disregarding his sister? I find it really hard to believe that he and Yara will continue to follow her after she has proven she could care less about their wellbeing. They will follow Jon.
I have stated this a numerous of times, but Tyrion is in so much denial. Tyrion wants to believe that Daenerys is the one who will change the system, the world, but deep down, we know, he knows, that is simply not true.
When Tyrion watched Daenerys burn the Lannister army, he was horrified. In that moment, he knew the dragon queen was no different than the other rulers before her, no different than the other game players now. D&D made Tyrion wear a face of fear during that scene for reason. D&D made Jon Snow tell Daenerys before the battle that if she burned those men, she would be no different from everyone else for reason, but she disregarded his statements and decides to be nodifferentfromeveryoneelse. (EDIT: Jon says that to her regarding kings landing, not the Spoils of War). But in that same light, even though she was the villain during the Spoils of War, she was portrayed as the hero when she saved Jon a few episodes. Her antagonist undertones are lowkey and are constantly swept under the rug for reason.
So, this is Tyrion during the blackwater battle.
Now let’s compare him during and after the Spoils of War.
This is a look of familiarity and disappointment. Tyrion has seen this before. Being that close to war actually made him even more antiwar than he was before. So, to see the woman he believes that will change the world doing the same thing that he’s against is probably terrifying to him.
So now let’s look at Tyrion’s face after he’s realized that Daenerys will take part in the death of a father and son.
This is his reaction to finding out that Daenerys doesn’t kill with honor. She’s going to burn the Tarly’s to death.
Also, can we talk about the lack of care that is written on Daenerys face? She is pissed that they won’t bend the knee to the foreign queen, the invader.
This is Tyrion’s reaction after she burned the Tarly men alive. This confirms his biggest fear. Daenerys isn’t different from any one else.
I will also like to point out the antagonist undertones this battle gave us. I have studied the Targaryen’s. I understand them better than their fans and I only say this because of the countless defending of the Targaryen’s I’ve seen from across the fandom. I can’t for the life of me understand how people can know their history and corruption and root for them which is why I say it’s a lack of study and preferred aesthetic. As we should know, Aegon invaded Westeroes, a foreigner. He gained all his power through fear that secured his family generations down. Daenerys is using the same fear that Aegon used to gain power. Some believe that Daenerys is the princess who was promised but in reality, I think she’s the reincarnation of Aegon.
This is FEAR. These men submitted to Daenerys because they were terrified of her. Not because they were amazed. This is exactly how the Targaryen’s got their privilege and power. This is corruption. This is demonstrating once again that Daenerys is no different from the other players of the game. This is NOT a hero.
I would also like to submit this quote because I think it fits Daenerys perfectly:
Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress. - Paulo Freire
The most successful form of a tyrant is the tyrant that puts in your head that he is not a tyrant. - anonymous
So, Tyrion’s reactions were forgotten in the next scene where he’s talking to Varys about Daenerys. It’s a way to make us think that he still believes that she is the chosen one. Varys shares his experiences with Aerys and he explains to Tyrion when the mad king committed his crimes, he convinced himself that he had nothing do with it, he wasn’t responsible. So, let’s take a look at Tyrion’s face while listening to Varys.
TYRIONKNOWS. He knows that he’s been living in a lie. He knows that Daenerys isn’t who he thought she was. And he might feel that he’s responsible for the Tarly’s death. A few episodes later, Tyrion tells Cersei that he thinks Daenerys will change the world which once again, pull the audience to believe his words. I truly believe D&D is manipulating us. They didn’t make Tyrion seem traumatized and disappointed by accident. They didn’t make Varys share his mad king stories with Tyrion by accident. They didn’t make Daenerys threaten to burn her advisor alive by accident. This is a set up. This is a set up for full blown antagonist Dany.
I stay by my words. Jon is the hero. Jon is ice and fire. Jon is the prince who was promised. There’s nothing D&D can do to change that. I think Tyrion and Varys will see that Jon is the chosen one. They will follow Jon.
One of the biggest theories circulating around Tumblr is that Jon is manipulating Daenerys to win the war that only matters. Now, I’m critical of this theory and I rather not discuss why but there’s a possibility that undercover! jon is real. We know that Jon has manipulated people in the past to get what he needs (ex. ygritte). So, this theory isn’t out of this world. Kit Harrington has even stated that in season 7, Jon manipulates people. Is there going to be this big finale where Jon reveals that he’s been playing her? Who knows but what I do know is that Jon will not be pleased to find out that Daenerys burned the Tarly men. Maybe Jon actually believes that Dany has a good heart but that will all change when he is told this information. Jon has always had a soft spot for Sam. He has defended him, motivated him, and has been a loving friend to him. So, if Jon were to find out that the woman he bent the knee to burn his friend’s brother and father alive, what do you think he would do?
I know people like to downplay the reasoning of Robert’s war but Lyanna was kidnapped before the Starks was murdered by Aerys. Their deaths were the last straw. Ned Stark’s father (burned) and brother (strangled) was murdered by a Targaryen. Robert used the murder of the Starks as another reason to destroy house Targaryen; he was impacted by their deaths. Ned Stark was his best friend. And guess what?
Samwell Tarly’s brother and father were burned alive by a Targaryen. His best friend is Jon Snow. Ned and Jon are both from the North. Robert and Samwell are both from the South. See the connection? Robert defended his friend in war. What do you think Jon would do? This could be a coincidence, unintentional but this is a connection I just noticed. And if you honest to god believe Jon would sweep this under the rug then you’re insane. The writers set this up on purpose. Jon will not be supportive of Daenerys behavior. Also, Jon doesn’t even know that she burned the Lannister army (correct me if I’m wrong). If you think Jon would let her actions slide or that Jon isn’t a manipulator, then you have completely misinterpreted his character. Now this isn’t me saying that Daenerys will go mad, this is just me saying that she’s the antagonist. This isn’t the last of us seeing Daenerys villain qualities. Jon will see it too. He won’t follow her.
The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who could intimidate the High Lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions, with a powerful army, and the right family name. - Varys.
Jon Snow is a better mixture of Tommen and Stannis. He’s not gentle but he is reasonable. Jon doesn’t wish to intimidate anyone, but he does if he needs to (ex. the beheading of Janos). Jon is a natural born ruler. He was able to make the wildlings, his enemy, follow him. He knows how to inspire people, unintentionally. People want to follow him. People want to support him. And the right family name? A stark. Many seem to forget that Jon’s mother was Lyanna Stark. The fandom needs to stop erasing his Starkness. He was born and raised in the North. He always wanted to be a Stark so for him to find that out should be relieving but it will also hurt him. Jon thinks highly of Ned, his role model, so to find out that Ned isn’t father will crush him. Jon has also been hopeful of finding his mother identity. He will take after his Starkness over the Targ side. There’s no Targaryen quality in his body. He’s a stark first. However, Jon Snow doesn’t want the throne. But I think Varys words fit him perfectly.
One last point, Daenerys has been deluded into believing that she inspires the people. She believes she’s special. So, when she sees that Jon has gained the people’s heart, she would feel envious. When she finds out that the Northerners won’t follow a Targaryen, she would be irritated. When she finds out that her throne is threatened even though Jon doesn’t want it, she wouldn’t trust him, nor would she be happy about him being a Targaryen. She’s going to have a Viserys moment. He thought he was the chosen one but then he saw it was actually his sister. Daenerys thinks she’s the chosen one but then she will see its actually Jon. I highly doubt the show can cover all of this in a few episodes unless they are movie lengths. However, the books can. Targbowl is coming.
Jon’s every encounter with men who have had some sort of relationship with Sansa has so far been confrontational. The extent of aggression in each confrontation varies. During the Battle of the Bastards, Jon saw red in his confrontation with Ramsay. Whether or not he meant to murder him or simply lost control in his rage, it is unclear. What Ramsay did to Winterfell, Rickon, and Sansa is unforgivable, and the rage is understandable.
There is a particular moment specifically about Sansa where Jon bristles.
“Fine woman, your sister,” Ramsay says. “I look forward to having her back in my bed.”
A cut to Jon’s face, and there is a quiet rage about him. We see his mouth part ever-so-slightly, and he shifts forward on his horse, as though he means to be closer to Ramsay for attack. Or perhaps the horse under Kit Harington’s bum moved just at the right moment. Still, I am grateful that that was the winning shot in the editing room.
Still, the rage at Ramsay could be explained by anything. He was a vile person with a track record of wrongdoings to most of the people in the North.
The confrontation with Littlefinger, however, was more Sansa-centric, and gives more meat to the bone that is “Is there something romantic in store for Jon and Sansa?”
Romance aside, though, Jon and Daenerys’ stories are tied together no matter what. You don’t set one of your main characters up against an army of ice zombies and give another one three fire-breathing dragons unless you’re planning on making them interact.
And let me say this, because it needs to be said: Jon and Daenerys don’t have to fall in love, but they do need to form a bond.
Jon’s been successful in forming relationships (up until ADWD, when he starts cutting them all off), but Dany only really has advisors. Her relationship with Jorah seems positive at first, but once she discovers his attraction to her, everything goes downhill. Barristan is her sworn knight and she has a sort of motherly bond with Missandei, but otherwise what do we get? GRRM hasn’t bothered to develop Irri and Jhiqui the way he did Pyp and Grenn (which upsets me to no end). The story’s been set up so that both Jon and Daenerys are alone, not sure who to trust, and even less sure about what they’re going to do.
I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to see these two characters meet, after five/six books of having completely separate but paralleled stories, and then not have any meaningful interactions. Romantic or otherwise, a relationship between them has so much potential, and it’s frustrating to see people narrowing it down or casting it aside.
I always say ‘there’s a reason I don’t write Jonsa metas’ and I don’t believe I’ve ever actually said what that reason is. Since this is going to be that one big post where I’ll just let loose all the thoughts I have, I thought it might be time to confess I don’t write about Jonsa because I feel that no matter what I say, people (outside of that shippers fandom) won’t take me seriously anyway. I am a book reader above all else, I’m so sick of hearing that I don’t root for Dany just cause ‘you like Sansa well that explains!’. I write about more than just Jon and Sansa, and I should hate for people to think I’m biased more than they already do. I’m biased of course, but I can take off my spectacles. I truly believe that. Though that doesn’t mean I don’t ship it, cause I do, and I love shipping it, but sometimes I hate shipping it. Love to hate it too, hate to love it from time to time as well.
I thought it was time to write down my sincerest of opinions/feelings/thoughts so here we go. This is what I think, in case someone is actually interested: