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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Okay, maybe things won’t end up well between Jon Snow and Daenerys

Photo: Courtesy of HBO
Photo: Courtesy of HBO

Though fans of Game Of Thrones are all geared up to champion the greatest incestuous power couple since the show’s last incestuous power couple, a theory that pulls evidence from both the HBO series and George R.R. Martin’s books suggests that things may not end all that well for Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. As reported by Mashable, a new post from the A Song Of Ice And Fire subreddit outlines the reasons why Jon and Dany’s relationship will end in tragedy, with Jon ultimately killing his love in order to broker peace with the White Walkers.


How do we get to that heartbreaking conclusion? Here’s the post’s TL;DR with a quick breakdown (and if you’re unconvinced by a succinct set of bullet points, feel free to dive into the full post which goes into much greater detail):

1. Martin’s vision for the story took shape in the early ’90s. The journey may have meandered, but its destination is unchanged.

2. It is an unfortunate truth that a story told to millions over three decades cannot conceal its own ending—the surprising ultimately becomes the predictable.

3. Jon, Dany, and Tyrion are the story’s heroes and Jon and Dany will join in marriage, as is foreshadowed in the House of the Undying.

4. The first Long Night ended through diplomacy. The Wall was created by the Others. A pact was sealed and sacrifices were given at the Nightfort.

5. Azor Ahai engineered this peace by thrusting his dragonsteel blade Lightbringer into the chest of his wife, Nissa Nissa, transforming her into an Other.

6. Jon Snow will end the upcoming War for the Dawn by doing the same to his wife, Daenerys.

7. The two rule Westeros together as man and White Walker - our promised bittersweet ending.


First and foremost to understanding this theory is remembering the real-world context in which George R.R. Martin was writing the series back when it began in the mid-’90s. It was originally meant to only be three books and it definitely wasn’t meant to take this long to write, meaning the fact that Jon and Dany fall in love or that the fate of the realm hinges on their relationship would feel like a genuine narrative twist instead of an all-but-inevitable conclusion.

Once you admit that Jon and Dany are the titular “ice and fire,” destined to face down evil hand-in-hand, then you need a good dose of Westerosi lore to understand the rest of the theory. Basically everything that has happened in Game Of Thrones is an echo of things that happened in ancient times, specifically the last time the White Walkers came down south to ice some fools (a.k.a. “The Long Night”). Back then, a hero by the name of Azor Ahai ended the war by sacrificing his wife Nissa Nissa and thrusting a flaming sword into her heart. Most fans tend to believe that Jon Snow is the modern-day equivalent of Azor Ahai, The Prince That Was Promised, which would make Daenerys our Nissa Nissa and her untimely death all but certain. Of course, there are numerous other theories as to who the new Azor Ahai is, but, as the post’s author pointed out earlier, this series was never meant to be picked apart as much as it has been and the correct answer is probably more obvious than you think.

As predictable or unsatisfying as some superfans may find this theory to be, it’s perfectly in line with Martin’s penchant for subverting traditional fantasy tropes and is thus fitting for the world he’s painstakingly created. Now we just have to wait and see if the HBO showrunners reach the same conclusion.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.

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