Game of Thrones: The Significance of Jon Snow’s Dragon Ride in the Season 8 Premiere
Warning: this article contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere! Make sure to read our review.
One of several pivotal moments in the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere involves Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen taking a break from the hustle, bustle, and backstabbing in Winterfell and taking Dany’s dragons for a ride. Aside from being the most thrilling and CG-heavy sequence of the episode, the dragon riding also allowed the premiere to highlight the growing bond between Jon and Dany and tease Jon’s imminent discovery about his family heritage.
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discussed this sequence in the “Inside the Episode” followup segment. Benioff reminded viewers, “No one’s ever ridden a dragon except for Dany. Only Targaryens can ride dragons. That should be a sign for Jon. Jon’s not always the quickest on the uptake, but eventually he gets there.”
“We wanted to kind of re-anchor their relationship,” said Weiss. “It seemed important for it to involve the dragons since the dragons played such an important role.”
Benioff even suggests that Dany “falls even farther in love” with Jon thanks to this shared moment. That fact may make the impending rift between the two all the more tragic. Fun fact: That waterfall location is apparently a spot where Jon used to hunt as a kid, not just a random place that he decided to land.
One interesting detail the two don’t mention is that Jon is riding Rhaegal, the dragon specifically named for his father. Is that just a coincidence, or did Rhaegal sense a special kinship with Jon? Based on what Benioff and Weiss have said, the dragons seem to recognize Jon as a true Targaryen, even if Dany doesn’t.
For more on tonight’s new episode, check out our review of the Season 8 premiere and then join us in speculating on the mystery weapon Gendry is forging for Arya.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.
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