There is certainly a lot to unpack after last week's episode of Game of Thrones. Needless to say, "Battle of the Bastards" was everything that we had hoped it would be and so much more. We got dragon-rider Dany lighting an entire fleet of attacking ships on fire in Mereen; Lady Mormont giving a glare that could melt the moon in Winterfell; Sansa delivering some game-changing moments; the Starks taking back their home; and Ramsay meeting an end that was befitting of his repugnance. Each of these moment was so carefully crafted and satisfying that it made me wonder whether I would ever appreciate television again after reaching the absolute apex of perfection in this episode.
While I was in the midst of spinning into an existential crisis upon re-watching the most epic hour of television known to mankind, I happened to catch something that gave me an undeniable feeling of déjà vu. Let me set the stage for you here.
During that perfectly choreographed battle sequence, things appeared to start going downhill for Jon and his men pretty quickly. After Jon's bros were herded into a pile by Ramsay's men, the Bolton army started closing in using their shields as a wall and poking their spears inward to slowly corral the Stark army into a claustrophobic clump. Things were already looking grim, but then Jon ended up on the ground, being simultaneously suffocated and trampled by horse hooves, men, mud and pure awfulness. If you are like me, you grabbed you inhaler (nerd alert) and started wheezing right along with him because they gave you the treat of seeing everything from Jon's oxygen-deprived POV. That familiar devastatingly sad string music started playing over the scene, and I legitimately started saying goodbye to Jon Snow... again.
Then it happened.
Jon drew upon every reserve his body had and thrust himself upward through the tightly packed pile of dudes and started gulping oxygen like it was his job to do so (honestly, at this point in the game, I was willing to pay him simply to breathe). Now, this moment was beautiful and refreshing and gratifying in a way that can only be described as euphoric. This was exactly when I realized we had seen this shot before.
You may remember another epic sequence all the way back to the final episode of Season 3 involving Dany. The freed slaves of Yunkai surrounded her, raised her above them and chanted, "Mhysa" (meaning "mother"). The camera panned overhead, and we saw that shot of a blissful Dany on the left. Well, last week's episode panned out, giving us that same camera angle on a panicked Jon Snow, triumphantly emerging from certain death. Game of Thrones does not do throwaway scenes. This is not a coincidence. There was a reason that they made these two sequences so reminiscent of one another.
Most fans now are at the very least familiar with the rabid fan theory of R + L = J. This theory basically postulates that Jon is actually the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Ned claimed him as his own when he returned from battle because Lyanna made him promise to do so upon her death in the Tower of Joy, as all Targaryens were being slaughtered at the time.This would make Jon a Targaryen and would also make him Dany's nephew because Rhaegar was her brother. Obviously this would be a huge revelation if it is ever actually played out. Of course, we got a taste of the Tower of Joy in Bran's visions earlier in this season, but they cut us off right when young Ned was ascending the stairs to what we assume was his sister, Lyanna. #BuzzKill
I think this connection was being confirmed by these identical shots of Dany and Jon. There is no doubt that this was a wink and a nod to these two being connected in some profound way. Not to mention the fact that the colors are even more telling of the characters that they are focused on. Dany's shot is red and fiery (Targaryens, dragons, fire), while Jon's is decidedly blue-hued and icy (Starks, winter, ice). No big deal, just the visual exemplification of "A Song of Ice and Fire."
What could this mean? It could mean a lot of things, actually. First, I believe that our girl Dany may be following in the crazy-pants footsteps of her dad, Aerys (the Mad King). Suddenly, her only response to a question directed toward her is a regurgitated plan to burn places to the ground and tear down castles and cause general mayhem. It's like, girl, chill. My Mhysa certainly never answered me like that. Since Dany may be headed down a somewhat villainous road, we may see her and Jon come to blows and stand at opposite ends of the spectrum at some point before the series ends.
I think Jon's parentage is going to be revealed soon (PLEASE), and as a literal personification of Ice and Fire himself (and the perpetual good guy), I see him challenging Dany's claim to the throne. Some fan theories even speculate that there is a fully formed ice dragon just straight chillin' in The Wall. Maybe we will even see Jon release his own dragon to fight against Dany and her impending madness. Whatever way this goes, we are in for a seriously insane last couple of seasons here.
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