Lyanna & Rhaegar Vs. Dany & Jon Snow On 'Game of Thrones' Makes It Even Weirder To Ship The Power Couple
Between all the fiery dragon battles and the Stark family reunions, fans have been captivated by the growing romantic relationship between Jon Snow and Daenerys. Right before Season 7, it was revealed that Jon Snow is probably a Targaryen on Game of Thrones — thus making Dany his aunt — but that has stopped absolutely no one from having a meltdown over things like their steamy handholding session in "Beyond The Wall." However, there's one complication on this incest train that might bring it screeching to a halt: the parallels between Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and Jon Snow and Daenerys.
Fans were forced to face this music on Tuesday when the season finale title, "The Dragon and the Wolf," was revealed. At first, many thought that the title referred to Dany and Jon — and was, perhaps, all the proof that we needed that the couple were finally going to get together. However, others soon brought up that, considering the 79 minute and 43 second runtime of the episode, it's quite possible that Dany and Jon won't be the only Starks and Targaryens focused on. In fact, "The Dragon and the Wolf" might be devoted to showing that Dany and Jon's romance is just repeating the path that Jon's parents previously walked — perhaps by showing the secret wedding Rhaegar and Lyanna are speculated to have had?
Listen, it's a very unique show indeed that can make you look at a woman and her nephew and go, "Hey, you two should kiss." It's an even more unique show that can make you feel that way after the two have only known each other for about three episodes. However, whatever complicated mental gymnastics we've been doing to make incest OK long enough to 'ship Dany and Jon might be immediately ruined by a 79 minute long reminder that Jon is the son of Dany's brother.
Imagine, if you will, a flashback in which Rhaegar is revealed to truly be Jon's father, and, from another fan theory (and Gilly reading some old scrolls), to truly have married Lyanna before they conceived Jon Snow. Now imagine, if you will, a flash forward in the same episode to Rhaegar rushing to his mother's side in time to see her die giving birth to his younger sister, Daenerys. And imagine, one more time, another flash forward to Lyanna dying giving birth to Rhaegar's son, Jon Snow, Dany's unknown nephew.
All fans want to know more about Lyanna and Rhaegar. All fans want is that persistent fan theory that Jon Snow is a secret Targaryen confirmed with some flashbacks. But do we really want that to happen so close to the Season 7 power couple acknowledging their feelings and possibly getting together?
Psychologically speaking, research has shown that humans tend to be attracted to people who remind them on some level of their parents (or, if they had bad parents, who really, really don't). But there's a difference between Jon being attracted to Dany because she's beautiful and brave and kind and Jon being attracted to his young aunt. A parallel drawn between Lyanna and Rhaegar and Jon and Dany would shatter our illusions, forcing us to confront the fact that we're 'shipping something that we've been condemning Jaime and Cersei Lannister for doing since the pilot.
Granted, the Targaryens have a long history of incest in the family (hence why they're still so blonde despite that being a recessive gene) and neither Jon nor Dany are the type to shove a small child out a window to protect their clandestine, incestuous love affair. But does that really make it OK? You might not be able to answer that question now, but "The Dragon and the Wolf" might force you to deal with it really soon. And, if it does, we're going to have to collectively, as a fandom, admit that, yes, it's weird to 'ship a nephew with his aunt and, yes, we're enough Game of Thrones trash to do it anyway.