How exactly is Jon Snow related to Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones?

16 April 2019, 12:08

Emma Clarke

By Emma Clarke

Game of Thrones season 8 is upon us - hopefully bringing with it more epic battle scenes, deaths and scary AF white walkers.

The final season of Game of Thrones landed this week, and after 8 seasons of death, destruction, deception and dragons, the world will soon know how the series will end - and who ends up on the Iron Throne.

Following the finale of season 7, season 8 will focus on the big ol' threat arriving from beyond the wall - the White Walkers. But one of the main plot lines we're all desperate to learn more about is the budding relationship between the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow, the King in the North (Kit Harington).

WATCH: Kit Harington says the Game of Thrones finale is "disappointing"

At the end of season 7, we saw the two have sex on a boat which is hella awkward because - as any true Game of Thrones fan will know - they're technically related. Yes, Dany is actually Jon's aunt but how exactly are they related??

Here's everything you need to know about Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen's family tree:

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen: How are they related?
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen: How are they related? Picture: HBO

How are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen related in Game of Thrones?

In the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones, it was *finally* revealed that Jon and Dany were related.

Despite the fact we've always known Jon as Ned Stark's bastard child, Bran exposed the shocking truth behind the top-knotted hero's parents in one of his flashbacks as the Three-Eyed Raven.

Jon is, in fact, not Ned's child, but the son of Ned's sister, Lyanna, and Rhaegar Targaryen.

Rhaegar, the last Prince of Dragonstone, was the eldest son of the Mad King and heir to the Iron Throne - who also happens to be Daenerys' older brother.

Therefore, Dany is actually Jon Snow's aunt (yup, she got it on with her nephew).

Lyanna Stark married Rhaegar Targaryen in secret, meaning Jon isn't a bastard
Who is Jon Snow's father? Rhaegar Targaryen married Lyanna Stark in secret. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

What happened to Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen?

During Robert's rebellion, it was rumoured that Rhaegar had abducted Lyanna Stark, who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. That rumour was untrue, however, as we discover that the pair were in love and had married in secret after Rhaegar annulled his marriage to wife Elia Martell.

We learn about the annulment through Gilly, who is reading books in the Citadel with Samwell Tarly. In the penultimate episode of season 7, it first appeared as though Samwell had frustratingly missed this crucial snippet of information. But in turned out he did catch it, as he shares this detail with Bran in the next episode.

So... the marriage means Jon is also not a bastard, but the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. PLOT TWIST!

As we saw in Bran's vision, Lyanna Stark died shortly after giving birth to Jon. On her death bed, she whispered to her brother Ned to take care of her son. She also declared his real name would be Aegon Targaryen.

However, Ned made the executive decision to pretend Jon was his own, in order to safeguard the infant. Because of his bastard status, Jon was given the surname 'Snow', as is customary in the north.

Set on wiping out the House of Targaryen, Roebrt Baratheon killed Rhaegar in the Battle of the Trident (which took place before the show's timeframe). He also sent hitmen to kill baby Dany the night she was born, but was unsuccessful.

Catelyn Stark had beef with Jon because she believed he was Ned's bastard child
Catelyn Stark had beef with Jon because she believed he was Ned's bastard child. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

What is the impact of this revelation?

The revelation that Jon Snow is actually a Targaryen explains a lot, but is also bittersweet; throughout the early days, it was the lie that Jon was Ned's bastard that caused so much hurt and friction between them and Catelyn Stark.

Catelyn - and viewers alike - couldn't reconcile the fact that Ned was the nicest person ever, but still "cheated" with another woman. And now we know that's because IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

The news, if it manages to reach Jon, will also come as quite the shock, as at the same time we hear the truth from Bran and Sam, we cut to Jon and Dany's sex scene.

While incest isn't abnormal in Game of Thrones, we can only imagine the awkward conversations that will go down between the pair of them - and Jon doing the ultimate walk of shame.

Of course, it will also create friction between them, because Daenerys has believed herself to be the rightful heir of the Seven Kingdoms this entire time - and even convinced Jon to bend the knee to her last season.

When is Game of Thrones season 8 released in the UK?

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones kicked off in the US on Sunday 14th April, 2019. It was then available in the UK on Monday.

UK viewers can watch the show every Monday on Sky Atlantic from 9pm, or, you can catch the show for free online with NOW TV.