Game of Thrones' S6 E02: Two new Targaryens in Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister?
Episode two of Game of Thrones’ season six did much more than settle the question of Jon Snow’s fate. It also finally set in motion a chain of events that may prove (or disprove) long-held fan theories about the paternity of two of the show’s heroes — Tyrion Lannister, and Snow himself.
Three dragons, three riders: that was how the Targaryens — Aegon and his sisters/wives Visenya and Rhaenys — came from Old Valyria to conquer Westeros.
It has therefore, long been a fan supposition that the Game of Thrones series would have Daenerys — and two other supporters — lay claim to the Iron Throne. The theory received a boost because Dany didn’t just have one dragon, she had three.
The rub, of course, was that only someone with Targaryen blood would be able to ride the dragons. How to get around that difficulty? By looking closely at the antecedents of Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister.
Tryion as a Targaryen
Jon’s origins have long been a subject of conjecture (R+L=J) and it is expected that the question will be answered to a certain extent in episode three (more on that later). That leaves us with Tyrion, who author GRR Martin has admitted is his favourite character.
While the late Lord Tywin’s rants about Tyrion not being his son were taken for the angry exclamations of a father who was ashamed of having a physically deformed offspring (especially when compared to the golden “perfection” of his older children, Jaime and Cersei) there may have been more to it than meets the eye.
Readers of the books have noted Martin’s mention of the mad king Aerys Targaryen’s desire for Joanna Lannister, Lord Tywin’s wife, and also calculated the time between Joanna ad Aerys being at the same place to Tyrion’s birth. The HBO show has been fairly silent on this theory — except for Lord Tyrion’s frequent and vehement protestations of course.
But in episode two, as Tyrion tamed the dragons, the show dropped perhaps the biggest clue ever that he had Targaryen blood.
First he blithely told Lord Varys and Melisande that he would be going down to feed the pining-for-Dany dragons their supper. He didn’t foresee a threat, as dragons were “intelligent creatures who understood who their friends were”.
“I’m their friend,” Tyrion told Varys.
To which Varys asked: “Do they know that?”
“They will. It’s time they had their supper,” said Tyrion, before trundling down the steps to the dungeon where the dragons were chained.
If Dany’s power over the dragons is that of a mother, then Tyrion showed that he was a dragon-whisperer par excellence. He calmed the feisty beasts with a story about how much he wanted a dragon as a child, and was heartbroken when told the last of them were gone from the world. He proceeded to unfasten their chains, and surprise, surprise — got away without so much as a hair being singed. Well, it wasn’t that much of a surprise, we always knew Tyrion had it in him to do anything he put his mind to.
And now back to Jon Snow, err Targaryen?
Now that he’s been brought back from the dead, we may also see Jon Snow’s paternity explored in the episode to come — although this may take the form of a flashback from Bran Stark. In episode two, we already saw him look back on his father, Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark, as a boy, with his siblings Benjen and Lyanna. From those days to the Tower of Joy showdown (from where fans theorise Ned Stark took newborn Jon from a dying Lyanna, with a promise to take raise him as his own) it is but a small leap. In fact, it may already have been teased in the preview of episode three, titled “Oathbreaker”.
We can but wait, and watch.
Dissect the preview of episode three of season six of Game of Thrones here, and don't forget to share your theories with us: