ByRachael Kaines, writer at
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Rachael Kaines

It's only a few days until the finale of Game Of Thrones Season 7 and everyone's excited about the biggest will they/won't they in the show's history. Sexual tension you could cut with a knife (dragonglass or not), bending knees and glowering stares all point to a coupling in the finale. We're all fairly certain that Jon and Daenerys are going to join Jaime and Cersei in the incest club.

Jonerys seems pretty much guaranteed to happen, so it is now time to ask the question: Exactly how related are they? If we know the R+L=J (Dany's brother Rhaegar Targaryen is Jon Snow's biological father), then that technically makes Jon and Daenerys aunt and nephew. That's not too weird, right?

(Slightly out of date) Westerosian connections. [Credit: HBO]
(Slightly out of date) Westerosian connections. [Credit: HBO]

However, that doesn't take into account that being aunt and nephew in the world of Westeros — and particularly in the Targaryen family — means a hell of a lot more incest than your average family. The Targaryens have spent centuries marrying brother to sister and keeping "it in the family," meaning their DNA is much closer than the average aunt and nephew.

Of course, Dany and Jon still are aunt and nephew. But they are also first cousins once removed. And second cousins once removed… and first cousins once removed. Again.

Westerosian = Family Ladders Not Trees

Redditor amacaroon has done the disgusting math for us. While an aunt and nephew normally share 24 percent DNA, and a brother and sister normally share 50 percent, Jon and Daenerys fall somewhere in between:

Targaryen family trees are a special kind of special. They look more like ladders than trees. Dany’s father and mother, Aerys and Rhaella, were full siblings. So were her grandparents, Jaehaerys and Shaera. You have to go all the way to her great-grandparents, Aegon V (Egg) and Betha Blackwood to find a couple that wasn’t closely related. Genetically, this makes Dany half Blackwood, a fourth Dayne, and a fourth Targaryen.

So because of all this incest Rhaegar and Daenerys weren’t just siblings. They were super-siblings. Normal siblings share 50% of their DNA. Rhaegar and Daenerys shared 88%. That’s approaching identical twin level of incest.

Targaryen family tree showing insane levels of incest. [Credit: poly-m via Deviantart]
Targaryen family tree showing insane levels of incest. [Credit: poly-m via Deviantart]

This comes down to Jon and Daenerys sharing 44 percent of their DNA — yikes!

Genetically, they are closer to being full siblings than to being aunt/nephew. For comparison, Cersei and Jaime share 56.3% [DNA, while] Jon and the Stark kids share 13.3%.

Does This DNA Mean DNDon't?

Shacking up while sharing 44 percent DNA is definitely not recommended, but seeing as the only babies Daenerys will ever have are winged and scaly, does it even matter? They're still not as related as Jaime and Cersei, who are going to pop out another (potentially insane) kid soon.

Aunt/nephew, brother/sister — it's all good in Westeros, right?

'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

Still shipping Jonerys? Or, do you like your romantic interests a little less incestuous?


Is 44percent DNA too much DNA?

(Source: Reddit)


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