How That Explosive Game of Thrones Episode Could Set Up a Tragic Ending for Jon and Daenerys

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8.

As Daenerys set Drogon loose on King’s Landing and its civilians in “The Bells,” the fifth episode of Game of Thrones‘ eighth season, it became pretty clear that she has officially turned into the Mad Queen she long feared becoming. But amidst the bursts of dragonfire, there were also explosions of green flames that may hint at a tragic ending for both Dany and Jon in the finale.

Throughout the course of Game of Thrones, Daenerys has always been fearful of becoming the same type of ruler as her father, Aerys II “The Mad King” Targaryen. But When Jaime told Brienne the truth about the day he murdered the Mad King in season 3, he revealed that the reason he did it was to prevent the Mad King from burning down King’s Landing and all the city’s people with wildfire.

You’ve heard of wildfire…The Mad King was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn, the way their skin blackened and blistered and melted off their bones. He burned lords he didn’t like. He burned Hands who disobeyed him. He burned anyone who was against him. Before long, half the country was against him. Aerys saw traitors everywhere. So he had his pyromancer place caches of wildfire all over the city. beneath the Sept of Baelor and the slums of Flea Bottom. Under houses, stables, taverns. Even beneath the Red Keep itself. Finally, the day of reckoning came. Robert Baratheon marched on the capital after his victory at the Trident. But my father arrived first with the whole Lannister army at his back, promising to defend the city against the rebels. I knew my father better than that. He’s never been one to pick the losing side. I told the Mad King as much. I urged him to surrender peacefully. But the king didn’t listen to me. He didn’t listen to Varys who tried to warn him. But he did listen to Grand Maester Pycelle, that grey, sunken c—t. ‘You can trust the Lannisters,’ he said. ‘The Lannisters have always been true friends of the crown.’ So we opened the gates and my father sacked the city. Once again, I came to the king, begging him to surrender. He told me to… bring him my father’s head. Then he… turned to his pyromancer. ‘Burn them all,’ he said. ‘Burn them in their homes. Burn them in their beds’…First, I killed the pyromancer. And then when the king turned to flee, I drove my sword into his back.


Helen Sloan—HBO

If Daenerys is so far gone that the sight of her father’s wildfire stores exploding throughout King’s Landing didn’t get her to rein in her vengeful mission, then it’s possible that it’s time for a new monarch slayer to follow in Jaime’s footsteps. As for who that might be, there was no one who appeared more horrified by the dragon queen’s actions on Sunday than Jon — except for maybe Arya.

Helen Sloan—HBO

After seeing the carnage that Daenerys unleashed on the city, Jon may finally be convinced that, just as his sisters Sansa and Arya and not to mention Varys tried to warn him, Daenerys is not be the right person to rule the Seven Kingdoms. But at this point, it seems like the only way he will be able to remove her from the Iron Throne is to kill her.

A major aspect of the Azor Ahai legend that’s part of the Prince That Was Promised prophecy in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series was that Azor Ahai was forced to stab his wife with his sword, Lightbringer, in order to impart the blade with its full power. So Jon killing Dany may lend credence to the theory that Jon is, in fact, the Prince That Was Promised.

Game of Thrones' Daenerys takes a turn in season 8 episode 5
Helen Sloan/HBO

According to the prophecy, the Prince is destined to “lead the people against a darkness” with a flaming sword called Lightbringer. “There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world,” it reads. “In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”

It’s important to note that while some think Lightbringer is a physical sword, others believe it could be metaphorical. But if the “darkness” mentioned is actually a reference to Daenerys rather than the Night King, as many fans assumed, Jon being the one to kill Daenerys would also square with Melisandre’s prediction that both Daenerys and Jon would have a role to play in the prophecy.

Maybe Daenerys’ role just didn’t quite turn out to be what she thought it would.

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