'Game of Thrones' Creators Explain the Season 7 Finale's Royal Jon Snow Twist

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 - EPISODE 5 -Kit Harington - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of HBO

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season seven finale of HBO's Game of Thrones, called "The Dragon and the Wolf."]

At long last, Game of Thrones fans finally have confirmation on the biggest Jon Snow (Kit Harington) theory in the whole story — not that it wasn't already mostly confirmed.

After Gilly (Hannah Murray) casually dropped the news about Jon being a legitimate Targaryen just a couple of episodes ago, the season seven finale, called "The Dragon and the Wolf," made the news even more explicit: Jon is indeed both dragon and wolf, the product of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark's tragic love affair. What's more, he's not just the most important bastard in the Seven Kingdoms. He's not a bastard at all, nor is he even really Jon Snow: he's Aegon Targaryen, a name he shares with the dragon-rider who conquered Westeros almost three full centuries before the start of Game of Thrones.

The news comes out thanks to a conversation between Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), in which the Three-Eyed Raven and the would-be maester traded information about Jon's heritage. Meanwhile, as Bran narrates the gravity of the twist, viewers watch as Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) become intimate for the first time. It's certainly not the first time fans of this show have watched two relatives have sex with one another, but the scene comes cloaked in a sense of uneasiness all the same. Yes, we're rooting for Jon and Dany's happiness, but it's shrouded with the awkwardly timed info-bomb about their shared heritage. An odd sequence, to be sure.

In their latest Inside the Episode video on HBO, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss both acknowledge the complicated nature of the reveal, with Weiss explaining why it was so challenging to craft the scene. 

"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 had a new element to it," he says. "Part of the answer as to how to go about doing that was in 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 the 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, then at least cause real problems in their relationship."

"It complicates everything on a political level and on a personal level," adds Benioff, "and it just takes everything that could have been so neat and kind of perfect for Jon and Dany, and it really muddies the waters."

Indeed it does. And perhaps things are only going to get more complicated from here, if there's even more to the love scene between Jon and Daenerys than we're initially realizing. Earlier in the episode, the two have a conversation in which Dany brings up the fact that she can't have children — a theory she only hangs onto thanks to the words of the late witch who killed her first husband. Jon points out that there's no reason to fully believe the prophecy, and as he says it, you have to wonder why this scene is even on the show in the first place... especially when paired with a few other scenes from earlier in the season focusing on Daenerys' inability to have children, and questions about how she will keep her line alive. Based on what just happened between Jon and Daenerys, we may have our answer. In other words, it's not impossible that Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) isn't the only queen on Game of Thrones with a child on the way.

Watch the video below for more of Benioff and Weiss' thoughts on the episode, including the fall of the Wall, the death of Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), and more.

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