Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, for better or worse, got together in the Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones. Putting aside any feelings you might hold about aunt-nephew incest, take a moment to recall how Tyrion Lannister, Dany’s Hand and expert tactician, responded to Jon and Dany’s, uh, union.
Toward the end of “The Dragon and the Wolf,” Tyrion lurked in the shadows outside of Dany’s room, looking not only troubled but afraid, as well. And while some Game of Thrones fans have posited that Tyrion might be in love with the Mother of Dragons — as every straight male in her vicinity seems to be — there could be another reason for his reaction. The episode’s director, Jeremy Podeswa, told the Daily Beast in his view, Tyrion was just concerned at how complicated things were getting, but fans have a much larger conspiracy theory in mind.
Reddit user DarkGenex posted to r/gameofthrones on Monday to share a theory they’d gathered from r/ASOIAF, which says Tyrion might have made a deal with his sister, Cersei Lannister, in order to get her to fight against the White Walker army with Daenerys and Jon.
Of course, then Cersei went and broke her oath, resulting in Jaime riding north and leaving his twin sister/the love of his life/their unborn child behind. But Tyrion doesn’t know (yet) that Cersei plans on betraying them. If he did make a deal with Cersei, he still thinks it’s on. Hence his expression.
But what, exactly, was this deal?
Well, the past couple episodes of Game of Thrones have made a big deal of Daenerys’ infertility, something that hasn’t been brought up in earnest for a couple seasons now. It’s understandable that her supposed inability to produce an heir would come up as she nears the Iron Throne, but it’s been quite a big subject lately. Like, weirdly big. Big enough that the writers might be hinting at something.
While Jon, Jorah Mormont, and the rest of the motley crew were traveling north of the Wall to fetch a White Walker, Jorah told Jon to keep Longclaw, the Valyrian steel sword, when Jon tried to give it back.
“May it serve you well,” Jorah told Jon. “And your children after you.”
Tyrion brought up Dany’s successor — to which she replied, “We will discuss the succession after I wear the crown” — and even Jon told Dany in the finale that maybe, just maybe, the witch who killed Khal Drogo “might not have been a reliable source of information.”
So, if Dany’s really not as infertile as the witch suggested, and Jon (who just so happens to be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne) gets her pregnant, then Tyrion might have reason to worry.
Because a lot of fans think Tyrion promised Cersei that her unborn child would rule Westeros after Dany’s reign ends.
But why would Tyrion go behind Daenerys’ back and make that kind of deal?
Well, Tyrion thinks he’s going to have to help Dany get creative about her successor. He’s already mentioned other forms of succession to her.
“The Night’s Watch has one method,” he said. “The Ironborn, for all their many flaws, have another.” Both of these forms of succession involve voting on the next leader, something the Targaryens have never done and something Dany was hesitant to talk about when Tyrion brought it up.
And just think about how torn up Tyrion was about Cersei’s kids. All she wanted was for her children to grow up and be leaders. Despite her obvious unraveling, Tyrion can’t help but love his sister and be incredibly sad about his dead niece and nephew. Tyrion might think that, if he can give Cersei what she wants — a powerful, happy child — then she might help with the White Walkers.
After all, something got Cersei to agree to come back out to the Dragonpit and “agree” to help with the fight against the White Walkers. Clearly, Cersei had already decided to betray Tyrion, but being a master tactician and plotter, Tyrion would have offered her something that he thought she couldn’t resist. Tyrion’s shock at learning that Cersei was pregnant, coupled with the sudden cut to Cersei returning to the Dragonpit, really hints that this theory could be spot-on.
But we’ll have to wait a while to find out how true it might be.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones does not yet have a premiere date.