One of the things that has made Game Of Thrones such a pop culture phenomenon is the
vastness of the universe in which the story is set. From the mythology of GOT to the incredible number of characters, there has been so much for viewers and readers to explore and enjoy. While GOT has its main characters – Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, and Arya are probably on everyone’s shortlist for characters that will likely survive until the very end – the story has not focused on one character the way that the Harry Potter franchise or The Lord of the Rings did to a large extent. However, Season 7 and its finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” have once and for all shown us that the central character of this great narrative is none other than Jon Snow, or Aegon Targaryen if we want to use his birth name.
Terms like “a song of ice and fire” and “the prince who was promised” are ambiguous enough that lengthy theories have been put forth as to who these guiding principles for the series could be referring to. Is the fire Daenerys and the ice Jon? Is the fire the humans and the ice the final boss White Walkers? Could Daenerys or even Jaime be the “prince who was promised” to save the world? The show has given us many clues along the way as to who the central and lead character is, but this became abundantly clear when GOT spent a season sprinkling in references to Jon’s true lineage. All those breadcrumbs led to a giant bakery when we got to see Rhaegar and Lyanna officially get married in one
of Bran’s visions. While “The Dragon and the Wolf” could easily refer to the uniting of the Stark and Targaryen houses in both the past and present, the fact is that “The Dragon and the Wolf” is one person, and that’s the presumed bastard son of Ned Stark.
Jon’s status as a central character is what made it unlikely that the show was really killing him off at the end of Season 5. The whole narrative of GOT simply did not make sense if Jon Snow was dispatched similar to his father and half-brother – sorry, uncle and cousin. Jon was the main ‘point-of-view’ character at and north of the Wall and was the show’s strongest link to the real threat in Westeros. Jon’s story arc would have made no sense for him to die, betrayed by those who should have been loyal to him because he couldn’t read the situation around him, much like Ned and Robb.
Instead, the show predictably brought him back in order to make him a messianic figure who could possibly bring all of humanity together to fight the real enemy. Since Jon was resurrected in Season 6, the show has continuously built on Jon’s importance to the story and placed him both at the center of Robert’s Rebellion and now the Great War. “The Dragon and the Wolf” had some incredible set pieces – albeit ones built upon shaky foundations – and chiefly amongst them was establishing Jon’s status as the true-born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and not a bastard as everyone thought. Even his tryst with Daenerys on the ship was shown in context of who Jon truly was, not merely the connection between Daenerys and Jon.
What all this means for the final season of GOT will be incredibly interesting. Is Jon destined to give his life again for the cause he believes in? Will he and Daenerys stop the White Walkers and eventually depose Cersei so they can sit together as King and Queen? One of the tenets of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire has been to eschew typical literature or fantasy tropes such as the “great hero” or “good guy.” The show and books are at their best when characters are given full range to show that they are not two-dimensional figures in black and white.
However, it seems likely that the end of GOT will involve Jon coming out on top and being the hero that saves the world as the embodiment of ice and fire. Some may reject this simple premise, but after seven seasons, it seems like a fitting end for someone mocked as “Lord Snow.” Especially if we get to see Jon ride the dragon Rhaegal into a final battle for good and evil. It should be fun to see if GOT gives the people (or maybe just me) what they want.
Quick Messages On Scenes from “The Dragon and the Wolf” and More
Contributed By: Scott Chandler