Emilia Clarke is defending her embattled Game of Thrones character and her questionable reaction to the best-kept secret in Westeros: Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen‘s lover, is also her nephew.
“The related thing, to her, is so normal,” Clarke told Entertainment Weekly. “She could have easily married her brother. It’s not a thing. It’s a thing for Jon, but let’s just forget about that. The main thing is we’re up for the same promotion and I’ve been working for it for my entire existence.”
In the final moments of Sunday’s episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” Jon finally told Dany the truth about his parentage. His real name is Aegon Targaryen, and his father was Rhaegar Targaryen, Dany’s older brother.
In addition to Jon’s ill-advised timing for revealing sensitive information, the bombshell spells serious trouble for the show’s two major characters and their star-crossed romance.
But the viewers’ main concern about their relationship — you know, the incest part — didn’t seem to occur to Dany at all.
“If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen,” she told Jon almost immediately. “You’d have a claim to the Iron Throne.”
According to Clarke, this reaction is perfectly understandable for the Mother of Dragons. As Game of Thrones fans well know, the Targaryen family tree is littered with incestuous relationships and marriages.
When Daenerys was introduced on season one, she was accompanied by her cruel older brother Viserys. The show featured several uncomfortable scenes with Viserys fondling his sister or hinting that he’d like to sleep with her.
Clarke explained that so much of Dany’s identity has been built upon her rightful claim to the Iron Throne and that she’s worked her entire life toward being queen.
“This is my whole existence,” Clarke said. “Since birth! Dany literally was brought into this world going: ‘Run! These fuckers [in Westeros] have fucked everything up. Now it’s ‘You’re our only hope.’ There’s so much she’s taken on in her duty in life to rectify. There’s so much she’s seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt to get here … and Jon doesn’t even want it!”
Kit Harington agreed that his character has no desire to rule the seven kingdoms.
“That’s the thing I love about Jon, his purity,” Harington told Entertainment Weekly, adding that Jon “doesn’t fucking want” the Iron Throne.
“He doesn’t want that fucking information. He doesn’t want to know. He has no ambition for the throne. He’s never wanted that.”
According to the “Game of Thrones” writer Bryan Cogman, Jon is mostly disturbed by the fact that he’s directly related to the woman he loves.
“What really upsets Jon is that he’s a blood relative to the woman he’s in love with,” Cogman told Entertainment Weekly. “In the crypt, Jon is taken aback when essentially the first thing she says is acknowledging that he has a claim to the Iron Throne. And Jon’s immediate concern is the fact that that’s her immediate concern.”
Of course, the scene was interrupted by the army of the dead’s arrival in Winterfell, so fans will have to see how the revelation affects Dany as the characters fend off hundreds of thousands of White Walkers and wights on the upcoming 80-minute episode.