Warning: This post contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “Beyond The Wall.” If you’re not caught up yet, now is the time to head on over to your nearest HBO streaming device and watch ASAP. We’ve got to talk about what just happened and why we’re talking about Dany and her children once again.
After their quest to go beyond the wall was billed a suicide mission, Jon Snow and the majority of his band of misfits inexplicably survived, though not entirely unscathed (RIP Thoros, non-book readers hardly knew ye). Quickly realizing that their plan was actually kind of terrible, Jon sends The Flash Gendry back to Eastwatch to get a raven to Daenerys because they’ll most certainly die without her coming to the rescue. Homegirl comes through, arriving with her three dragons just as Jon & Co. were being overpowered by the army of the dead. However, the Night King sees an opportunity, and Dany’s dragon, Viserion, is killed. In the ensuing aftermath, Jon “Savior Complex” Snow sacrifices himself for the rest of the group but still manages to survive, because he’s Jon Snow.
BUT this is all important because *things* are finally happening between Jon and Dany.
As a hypothermic Jon is lying bedridden on Dany’s ship, the two have the heart-to-heart to end all heart-to-hearts. While he’s unconscious and being tended to by Ser Davos, Dany sees exactly how carved up the King in the North is and that he *did* in fact, take a knife to the heart. Once awake, Jon and Dany lament about her loss and two important things happen:
1. Dany — having finally seen the army of the dead herself, lost one of her children to it, and seen Jon in action — decides to help him fight the army of the dead without forcing him to bend the knee, and 2. Jon bent the knee anyway, finally believing in Dany as a ruler. In solidifying their partnership, Dany says this to Jon,
“The dragons are my children. They’re the only children I’ll ever have. Do you understand?”
She adds hastily, “We’re going to destroy the Night King and his army, and we’re going to do it together.”
Jon nods, but if there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that Jon Snow, generally speaking, knows nothing. Sure, on the surface, it’s Dany swearing revenge on the Night King for killing one of her children but it also reaffirms — as did her conversation with Tyrion earlier in the episode — Dany’s belief that she can’t have any more children.
This has been a lot of context, but let’s take a rewind back to season one and remember why Dany can’t have any more children.
Let’s rewind to Season 1. Back then, Dany was with Khal Drogo, and the two were expecting their first child. Unfortunately, Drogo is fatally wounded in a fight. Looking to do whatever it takes to save her husband, Dany tasks a sorceress, Mirri Maz Duur, to perform magic on him to save him — which the Dothraki frown upon. Upset, one of Drogo’s blood riders, Qotho, tries to stop the magic from being performed, and in the ensuing chaos, Dany goes into early labor.
However, her son is stillborn, and allegedly deformed, with leathery, scale-like skin. Duur reveals that she had taken revenge on Drogo and Dany for sacking her village. Her dark magic caused the death of Dany and Drogo’s son, and while Drogo technically lives, he’s permanently in a vegetative state. Duur goes on to say this to Dany:
“When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child.”
Dany takes this to mean that she’s barren, and that her dragons will be the only living children she’ll ever have. It’s something she’s maintained for the last six seasons.
But “Beyond The Wall” wasn’t just about the battle — it was also about children, or lack thereof. Prior to her conversation with Jon, Dany and Tyrion talked about her not naming an heir; meanwhile, Jorah told Jon to give the Mormont sword Longclaw to his future children. This raises the question, could Dany have more children — and have children with Jon?
We’ll find out what happens when fire and ice join forces next week during the season finale.