8

...in light of how the last episode unfolded, that is.

We were presented this information as though it was a huge game-changer for the whole plot and how it'd unfold. Characters start picking sides and all... and then:

  1. we're not sure whether or not Varys's ravens reached anyone or if anyone know about Jon's identity (see this other question).
  2. Jon's ancestry is not even brought up in the last episode's Great Council as a factor that'd make him a possible contender to take the throne, despite there being (at least?) five people there who knew about it.
  3. Jon's actions on the last episode are supposedly driven by "duty," which, plot-wise, should culminate in him sitting in the throne, regardless of his wishes.

So I'm wondering if there's an out-of-universe explanation for this even being relevant, given that it feels like a waste of a huge reveal, leading the viewers to a dead-end. Was it all just a move from the writers to appease the fans' long-standing theory that his identity would be that which it was revealed to be in the show?

What am I missing?

14

In terms of actually getting Jon power and ending with him sitting on the Iron Throne, it plays the role of making sure Dany doesn't win the Game of Thrones and also rules Jon out as a player. However, it did serve the purpose of turning people against each other.

Jon turns against Dany

Whilst Jon doesn't turn away from her as his queen he does turn away from her as his lover and partner. Before he found it out they had a romantic relationship going on but after Jon rejects her advances and this makes Dany lonelier than she already is. He's one of the last people Dany trusts and him rejecting her is signalling to her, in her mind, that he no longer wants her; even if he does still support her claim.

Varys turns against Dany

With Dany's ever growing "madness" Varys decided her in a leadership position was no longer in the best interest of the people of Westeros. As such he turns against her, plots for her assassination and conspires against her with other Lords. This ultimately leads to his execution which is a direct consequence of his finding out who Jon is.

Dany turns against Tyrion, Varys and Jon

Dany finds out that Varys knows what Jon's real identity is and knows who told him. As such she turns against Tyrion because he knew he told him, and Varys because of that and his actions once knowing that knowledge. She also turns against Jon because she asked him not to tell anyone and he told Sansa. To a certain extent she also turns against Sansa but they were at odds since they met and I think they were always against each other.

Jon turns against Sansa

To some extent again Jon turns against Sansa slightly because she betrayed his trust and told Tyrion about him even though he made her promise not to tell anyone.

Dany turns against everyone

Whilst apparently the final straw for Dany is seeing the Red Keep and it's an in the moment decision to "Burn them all!" it has been building up throughout the series. She's lost everyone that is close to her either physically or mentally and it has been pushing her to the edge. With the reveal of Jon's parentage it pushes more away from her which is a major factor in her turning against everyone.

Jon turns against Dany

As a direct consequence of Dany burning the city because of her "madness" which is in part due to what happened because of Jon's parentage he starts to doubt Dany as his queen. Whilst it is Tyrion who finally convinces him to kill her the doubt was already in his mind, he just did not have the will to act on it. This action then removes Dany as a player and also leads to Jon's arrest and subsequent exile to the Night's Watch which removes him from the game. Had they not found out who he is, he would have stayed loyal to Dany and in a romantic relationship with her. She then probably wouldn't have burned the city which meant he never would have turned on her and they would have ruled "side by side".

  • 2
    All good points. Still struggling with why Jon doesn't end up in the throne, and instead is arrested and needs to be exiled...? After the fight with the dead in Winterfell and then with the living in King's Landing, are we to believe the Unsullied still had a powerful enough force to make demands like we saw Grey Worm make in the Great Council, and effectively hold the whole kingdom hostage? – JNat May 20 at 16:22
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    oh! and, again, how come no one thought it was worth mentioning Jon was a Targaryen during the Great Council? He still had a better claim to the throne than Dany had... which basically just leads me back to the question I posed on the previous comment — were the Unsullied really in a position that allowed them to hold the whole kingdom hostage to their demands? – JNat May 20 at 16:24
  • @JNat There's more people than just the Unsullied who wouldn't want Jon as king, Yara for example. – TheLethalCarrot May 20 at 16:26
  • @JNat Doesn't Yara ask for Jon's execution or at least to give him to the Unsullied, which is effectively the same, and Arya threatens her back? – TheLethalCarrot May 20 at 16:28
  • 1
    I could obviously be missing why it wasn't in everyone's best interest to release that information, hence my asking :) – JNat May 20 at 16:37

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