WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "The Rightful Queen," the second episode of Game of Thrones, Season 8, now streaming on HBO Now.
While the first and foremost priority in the final season of Game of Thrones is the Night King, the key players on the board do have one eye on the Iron Throne. After all, it's the endgame for most of these characters and why they've formed this alliance in the North to take out the Wights.
One of the people who's been eyeing the Iron Throne since Season 1 is Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and while she's been a benevolent warrior queen and overall liberator from oppression so far, she's become more ruthless and demanding as she's gotten closer to the Iron Throne. In the latest episode, the white-haired queen finally shows her true colors as major revelations come to light, and she confirmed several dangerous suspicions in the process.
EVERYONE MUST BOW
In the Season 8 premiere, "Winterfell," it was obvious that Dany and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) wouldn't be getting along. Sansa, like most people in the North, doesn't support the Targaryens because of the blood they spilled in the past to take the throne, and they reamain cynical of the queen's intentions, as the Starks let Jon Snow (Kit Harington) know.
Dany sets the tone early on in the episode, lashing out at Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) for Cersei's dishonesty, but when Sansa meets with her to vouch for the Lannister, it appears they're surprisingly on the path to reconciliation. It's a truly sisterly moment with both admitting how egos got in the way, even topping it off with a joke about Jon being shorter than Khal Drogo. But when Sansa inquires about the North's independence should they succeed in killing their common enemies and taking the throne, Dany gets pretty cold.
Sansa's adamant after the North freed itself from Cersei's jurisdiction, they'll never to bow again, no matter what deal Jon struck. As Sansa asks firmly for clarification, "What about the North?" Dany pulls her hand away and scowls at the Stark leader. It's clear she wants everyone to bow before her, but just before she can respond, they're interrupted by Theon's return to Winterfell. This subsequent reunion sums up Dany's intentions because while Sansa embraces Theon, Dany's only concerned about the Iron Islands' ships his sister, Yara, took back home. Clearly, the Mother of Dragons has no time for compassion, redemption, empathy or forgiveness, and in danger of being consumed by her lust for power.
MY PRECIOUS THRONE
As the episode wraps up, we finally see Jon in the crypt revealing the truth about his lineage to Dany. Just as they're chatting about Rheagar and Lyanna, and the misinterpretation of their romance, Jon spills the beans and confesses his real name as Aegon. "That's impossible!" a dumbstruck Dany gasps, stepping back from her nephew.
She's skeptical, even telling Jon the fact it came from the all-seeing Bran and Sam using the Citadel's manuscripts is awfully "strange." Basically, she's in disbelief, even insinuating Jon's inner-circle is conspiring to keep her off the throne. Jon remains calm amid her paranoia and tells her he feels the truth in his bones, trying to pacify her as she shoots the notion down at every turn.
"If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen. You'd have a claim to the Iron Throne," she solemnly replies. However, it's a mixed bag of emotions as you can tell there's disappointment, anger and frustration swelling within her. At this point, Jon looks at Dany, realizing the throne comes first for her as opposed to the greater good, but before he can reply, the horns of war sound signaling the arrival of the Night King. It's terrible timing all round, because now Jon has to head off into battle worrying about if he'll have to look over his back should he survive this attempt by the White Walkers to bring forth "an Endless Night."
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.