Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and acclaimed TV shows of all time, based on the fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin. The show features a complex and sprawling world of characters, politics, magic, and dragons. One of the main attractions of the show is the romance between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons. But how are these two characters related? And what does it mean for their fate and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms?
The Targaryen family tree
To understand how Jon Snow and Khaleesi are related, we need to look at the Targaryen family tree. The Targaryens are an ancient and powerful dynasty that ruled Westeros for centuries, until they were overthrown by Robert Baratheon in a bloody rebellion. The Targaryens are known for their silver hair, purple eyes, and affinity for dragons. They also practiced incestuous marriages to keep their bloodline pure.
The last king of the Targaryens was Aerys II, also known as the Mad King, who was killed by Jaime Lannister during the rebellion. Aerys had three children: Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys. Rhaegar was the eldest and the heir to the throne, but he died in battle against Robert Baratheon. Viserys and Daenerys fled to Essos, where they lived in exile. Viserys was later killed by Khal Drogo, the husband of Daenerys.
Daenerys is the youngest and the only surviving child of Aerys II. She is the rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms, according to the Targaryen claim. She is also the mother of three dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, who were born from the funeral pyre of Khal Drogo. She is known as Khaleesi, which means queen in the Dothraki language, and has many other titles, such as the Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, and the Mhysa.
Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned Stark. He was born in secret at the Tower of Joy, where Lyanna died shortly after giving birth. Ned took Jon as his bastard son and raised him at Winterfell, to protect him from Robert Baratheon, who wanted to kill all the Targaryen heirs. Jon grew up believing that he was the son of Ned and an unknown woman, and joined the Night’s Watch, where he became the Lord Commander and later the King in the North.
Jon’s true identity was revealed by Bran Stark, who had visions of the past, and Samwell Tarly, who found records of Rhaegar’s annulment and marriage to Lyanna at the Citadel. Jon’s real name is Aegon Targaryen, and he is the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. This makes him the nephew of Daenerys, and also the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, according to the line of succession.
The Jon and Daenerys romance
Jon and Daenerys met for the first time in season 7, when Jon traveled to Dragonstone to ask for Daenerys’ help in fighting the White Walkers, the undead army that threatened to destroy the living. Daenerys initially refused to believe Jon’s claims, and demanded that he bend the knee and swear allegiance to her. Jon refused, and insisted that they needed to work together to face the common enemy.
The two gradually developed respect and trust for each other, as they witnessed each other’s courage and leadership. Jon proved his honesty by showing Daenerys the cave paintings of the Children of the Forest and the First Men, who united against the White Walkers in the past. Daenerys proved her compassion by flying to the rescue of Jon and his companions, who were surrounded by the White Walkers beyond the Wall. She lost one of her dragons, Viserion, who was killed and reanimated by the Night King, the leader of the White Walkers.
Jon and Daenerys finally consummated their relationship on a boat, as they sailed back to Winterfell. They were unaware of their true relation, and the implications of their union. Their romance was complicated by the revelation of Jon’s parentage, which he told Daenerys in the crypts of Winterfell. Daenerys was shocked and angry, and questioned the validity of the sources. She also realized that Jon had a stronger claim to the throne than her, and feared that he would challenge her.
Jon swore that he did not want the throne, and that he loved Daenerys and would always be loyal to her. He also told his sisters, Sansa and Arya, about his true identity, despite Daenerys’ request to keep it a secret. Sansa told Tyrion Lannister, who told Varys, who plotted to overthrow Daenerys and crown Jon instead. Daenerys felt betrayed and isolated, and became more paranoid and ruthless.
The final straw was the death of Missandei, Daenerys’ best friend and advisor, who was captured and executed by Cersei Lannister, the queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Daenerys decided to unleash her wrath on King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros, and burned the city and its inhabitants with her dragon, Drogon. She ignored the bells of surrender, and killed thousands of innocent people, including women and children.
Jon was horrified by Daenerys’ actions, and realized that she had become a tyrant, who would not stop until she conquered the world. He confronted her in the throne room, where she declared her intention to break the wheel of oppression and create a new world order. Jon pretended to agree with her, and kissed her. He then stabbed her in the heart, killing her. Drogon melted the Iron Throne with his fire, and carried Daenerys’ body away.
Jon was imprisoned by the Unsullied, Daenerys’ loyal army, who wanted to execute him for his crime. Tyrion, who was also a prisoner, convinced the lords and ladies of Westeros to choose a new king by voting. They elected Bran Stark, who had become the Three-Eyed Raven, a powerful seer who could see the past, present, and future. Bran pardoned Tyrion and made him his Hand, and agreed to send Jon to the Night’s Watch as a compromise with the Unsullied.
Jon said goodbye to his family and friends, and left for the Wall. There, he reunited with Ghost, his direwolf, and Tormund, his wildling friend. He also found a group of wildlings waiting for him. He led them beyond the Wall, to start a new life in the true North.
Jon Snow and Khaleesi are related by blood, as aunt and nephew. They are also the last of the Targaryens, the dragonlords who once ruled Westeros. Their relationship was doomed by fate, as they fell in love without knowing their true identities, and then faced a tragic conflict over the Iron Throne. Their story is one of the most dramatic and heartbreaking in the history of Game of Thrones.