Last week’s episode of Game Of Thrones had us yelling at the top of our lungs thanks to the surprise attack by Euron, which led to the capture of Yara and Ellaria. But moments when swords are sheathed are when Game Of Thrones excels at building real tension, and this week's episode, "The Queen's Justice," was wound like a spring.
After several seasons of ever-increasing drama, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finally squared off face-to-face in a debate about the future of Westeros, creating enough political friction to burn the whole world down.
But a later scene, with Snow and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) brooding over their failures, really reveals the similarities between the two young royals, and also illuminates their potential path forward.
Fire And Ice Have Surprising Similarities
During this most anticipated meeting between any two characters on the show, the dialogue between Jon and Daenerys revealed interesting similarities between the two. As if they were each verbally battling each other in front of a mirror. They share similar backgrounds: they're children of royalty, have united unlikely groups, and have both emerged as leaders through the trials of life.
Yet their backgrounds, and their current concerns, have nearly ground them to a standstill before their relationship even starts. Daenerys wants Jon to pledge allegiance to House Targaryen, and to dethrone Cersei, whereas Jon needs dragonglass to fend off the White Walker army in the north.
After the meeting seems to end in stalemate, Snow and Lannister brood at the cliffs of Dragonstone. Tyrion (#PeterDinklage) shares wisdom with Snow: that trying to convince Dany that the walking dead are truly storming from the North is almost impossible. Similarly, it's difficult for Snow to believe that Daenerys could be the rightful ruler of Westeros. So how does Jon go about convincing Daenerys that the undead are near?
Another nugget of Tyrion's wisdom might help both sides: Jon and Daenerys have both saved people from monsters. When Daenerys was evolving into the queen we see now, she helped free slaves, and formed an army comprised slaves and Unsullied. Jon also united the Wildlings and forces in the North. Knowing that Jon is a vital part of Daenerys' plan, Tyrion offers to help by trying to push Daenerys in the right direction: Jon's arrival at Dragonstone proves that the White Walkers exist.
Daenerys And Jon Find Common Ground
So the relationship between Jon and Daenerys is based not just on backgrounds or goals, but on their natures.
As Daenerys and Jon understand that fending off monsters can save their people, the alliance begins. But their connection goes beyond Cersei's potential for mayhem or the threat of the White Walkers. What they both want is right under their feet: the dragonglass.
The black rock Daenerys allows Jon to mine symbolizes what both are trying to achieve. They want what's best for the Seven Kingdoms. To accomplish their goals, they had to understand each other. The dragonstone is a bridge to help unite their objectives. Jon gets materials for weapons to vanquish the White Walkers, and Daenerys sets in a motion a powerful alliance.
Jon and Daenerys both have their sights on what is right for Westeros. To accomplish both desires, Jon will have to battle the White Walkers and Daenerys will have to fight Cersei and her forces. In the end, both characters have more in common than they first think, and that recognition, and their similar natures, will create a greater bond between this pair.