Why is it such a big deal that Daenerys doesn’t have a successor?

Everyone's hung up on who will take the Iron Throne after her

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

If you haven’t seen the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 7, leave this place. Immediately.

Otherwise, let’s talk about how the show went hard on the fact that Daenerys can’t have children in this week’s episode, Beyond the Wall. Back in season one, Khaleesi was cursed by a witch who told her that her husband, Khal Drogo, would never wake from his coma and that Daenerys would be infertile, so she resigned herself to the fact that she would never bear a child.

This was revisited this week when Tyrion decided to bring up her line of succession, or lack thereof. While we’ve not forgotten just how much the Mother of Dragons loves her scaly kids, we hadn’t really put much thought into what would happen after Dany got comfy on the Iron Throne. As much as we love Drogon, he’s not really equipped to rule the seven kingdoms when his mum eventually meets her maker.

‘How do we make sure your vision endures? After you break the wheel, how do we make sure it stays broken?’ Tyrion presses.

‘You say you can’t have children but there are other ways to choose a successor. The Night’s Watch has one method. The Ironborn, for all their many flaws, have another.’

game of thrones

Credit: HBO

He is, of course, referring to a method of selecting the best leader rather than automatically giving it to the next in line. However, Dany is reluctant to have the chat and warns him to zip it until she’s actually wearing the crown.

But this makes her decision to tell Jon Snow, a man she has known for four episodes, all the more interesting (although, considering the Game of Thrones timeline is currently speeding forward faster than a Benny Hill sketch we have no idea how much actual time that is).

As Jon wakes from his (ridiculous) mission to catch a wight to bring to Cersei, his first words are, ‘I’m sorry.’ Dany has raised and treated her dragons as her babies, and even this northern stranger knows how deeply affected she will be by the death of Viserion. We’re still sobbing about it, tbh.

She proceeds to tell him that her dragons are ‘the only children I’ll ever have,’ and it seems to be more of an admission to Jon, a possible future lover, and something that she feels he needs to know if their relationship is going to develop.

game of thrones

Credit: HBO

But if Daenerys and Jon Snow do end up together – and let’s be real, we’re all overlooking the incest at this point – then will Jon somehow break the old witch’s curse? Another scene in the episode appears to suggest that he might.

While on the wrong side of the wall on a quest to snatch a wight, Jon tells Jorah Mormont how much he admired his father during his time at The Wall. Jon inherited the Valerian steel Longclaw when Lord Commander Mormont died, and he tried to return it to Jorah – but the shamed slave seller refused to take it.

‘May it serve you well, and your children after you,’ he nobly proclaimed, and Jon looked wistfully (and deliciously) into the distance.

Is this a bit of characteristic Game of Thrones foreshadowing? Will Jon and Dany actually have children together? And will poor Jorah ever find love?

Fingers crossed one of these is answered during the season finale…

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