Of all the many memorable scenes scattered throughout Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” the one that has arguably sparked the biggest conversation online involves Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen – and young Bran Stark/The Three-Eyed Raven, to an extent, but more on that later.
In the interest of keeping spoilers at bay, we should warn you that this article and D.B. Weiss’ comments, in particular, are riddled with plot details, so unless you’ve finished Game of Thrones season 7, avert thy eyes.
Still with us? Following a tense standoff in the Dragon Pit of King’s Landing, Jon and Daenerys plot course for the north, where they are to join forces with the Lannister army (!) and confront the Night King. Despite Jorah Mormont’s counsel, who suggested that the Mother of Dragons ride one of her two remaining WMDs to Winterfell, Dany decides to hop aboard a boat and set sail for the northerly kingdoms. And it’s here where things get a little steamy.
Amid Jon and Dany’s long-anticipated love scene, Bran Stark drops the bomb on Samwell Tarly: Jon Snow isn’t a bastard; he’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
That’s a game-changing scene that was brought up as part of HBO’s “Inside the Episode” featurette (see below), in which co-showrunner D.B. Weiss discussed the far-reaching consequences of Daenerys Targaryen getting cosy with her nephew.
I would say the challenge with this sequence was finding a way to present information that at least a good portion of the audience already had in a way that was dramatic and exciting, and also add a new element to it. Part of the answer to how to go about doing that is the montage, inter-cut nature of it. It was about making it clear that this was almost like an information bomb that Jon was heading towards. The only way to really emphasize that was to tie those two worlds together cinematically and to have Bran actually narrating these facts over footage of Jon and Dany. Just as we’re seeing these two people come together we’re hearing the information that will inevitably, if not tear them apart at least cause real problems in their relationship. And she’s his aunt.
“He’s never been a bastard; he’s the heir to the Iron Throne.” Game of Thrones season 8 won’t be on our screens until 2019, if reports are to be believed, so we’d be wise settling in for the long winter. If it’s more coverage you’re after, Thrones showrunner David Benioff recently outlined the creative process involving in bringing the Wall down. Yes, that Wall.