In the “Game of Thrones” Season 7 episode “Eastwatch,” Jon Snow (Kit Harington) became one of the very few people in the world to touch a dragon and not be burned to a crisp immediately afterward.
During a powerful, tense moment, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Drogon, the largest of her dragons, land on a cliff at Dragonstone after returning from wrecking the Lannister army in Episode 4, “The Spoils of War.” Jon is standing there, and Drogon rushes toward him in an extremely threatening “I may eat you right now” kind of way.
Jon stands his ground instead of running from the dragon, and after a few moments, Drogon seems to trust him — and Jon even reaches out and touches him. The dragon’s trust clearly means a lot to Daenerys, and it could have major implications in coming episodes.
One of the big prophecies of “Game of Thrones” is The Prince That Was Promised, in which certain people think a hero, the reincarnated legendary figure known as Azor Ahai, will arise to deal with the Long Night and the White Walker threat. That person is described as being the “blood of the dragon,” which, in Westeros, usually means a Targaryen — who traditionally call themselves dragons.
Thanks to the series finale of Season 6, we know that Jon Snow is actually not the bastard son of Ned Stark (Sean Bean). In the flashback at the Tower of Joy that Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) saw, Ned’s sister Lynna die after giving birth to Jon — who was apparently the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. That makes Jon a Targaryen, or blood of the dragon.
The moment with Drogon plays into a different element of prophecy fans have been trying to interpret: “The dragon has three heads.” That’s what Rhaegar told Daenerys in a vision in “A Clash of Kings,” the second book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series that “Game of Thrones” is based on, when she was at the House of the Undying. Rhaegar was talking about his son Aegon. He said, “He is the prince who is promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” When Rhaegar then saw Daenerys during the vision, he said, “The dragon has three heads.”
Fans have guessed that the “three heads” part of the vision might mean that the Prince That Was Promised isn’t one person, it’s three. And since Daenerys has three dragons, it further follows that the three heads remark could refer to who will ride the three in battle against the Night King. Dany is obviously the first dragonrider — she already rides Drogon, to great effect — and fans have speculated about who might ride Rhaegal and Viserion.
Jon having his moment with Drogon, plus his Targaryen heritage, is a pretty good argument that he’s the second dragon head.
There’s one other person who’s been able to get close to dragons and convince them to trust him: Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). Back in Season 6, when Daenerys was missing after Drogon saved her from the Sons of the Harpy in the fighting pit, Tyrion went down beneath the pyramid of Meereen to release her other two dragons. They could have eaten him, but they didn’t, and he seemed to gain their trust.
Among fans, there’s speculation that Tyrion, too, could be a Targaryen. The Mad King, Aerys Targaryen, was known to have taken a liking to Joanna Lannister, Tyrion’s mother — and he might have even raped her. If Tyrion is the result of that assault, it would explain a lot about why Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) hated Tyrion so much.
With so few people having gotten close to dragons and lived to tell the tale, we now have one more good reason to think Jon could wind up riding one of the dragons when the big battle with the Night King begins.