I have already read 3 different blog posts summarizing the events of ‘Stormborn”, the latest episode of the Game of Thrones. So I am not trying to do the same thing. Instead, let’s take a look at one of the central dilemmas being set up for the next episode – the long-anticipated meeting between Jon Snow and Daenerys.
The red witch , Melissandre appears at the court of Daenerys Targaryen at Dragonstone, and mentions yet again, her prophecy of ‘the prince that was promised’. Missanderi quickly clarifies that in Valyrian the phrase may mean prince or princess. But we remember that both Stannis and Jon Snow have heard this prophecy before. Third time lucky, perhaps?
Having done this magical piece of marketing for herself, Melissandre suggests that Daenerys summons Jon Snow to Dragonstone. Tyrion is pleased at the idea (book-readers will recall the bonding between Tyrion and Jon on the wall) and Daenerys agrees that Jon be invited to Dragonstone. Only her final sentence is somewhat more sinister: ‘to bend the knee.’
Why is this important? Well, first of all, this would make the King of the North another one of the houses of Westeros (Tyrell, Martell and the better half of house Greyjoy so far) to accept Daenerys as its Queen.
But is has a far more symbolic importance. Daenerys is aiming to echo the deeds of her ancestor, Aegon The Conqueror, (who united Westeros using three dragons). She is probably aware that Brandon Snow, a bastard son of the Starks, was sent to negotiate with Aegon during the time of his conquest. Subsequently his father, Torrhen Stark relinquished his royal title and did homage to Aegon Targaryen. He was known as “the King who knelt”, but his decision was lauded as a pragmatic one – his people did not get eaten by dragons, and “the swords Aegon collected from Lord Stark and his vassals were not twisted or melted or bent”(The World of Ice and Fire). Could it be that we will have a reprisal of that famous scene in the next episode?
The problem is, of course, that Jon Snow, having spent a lot of time among the Wildlings, might be quite averse to ‘bending the knee’. Not only that, he isn’t simply a Stark, not even a Snow, truth be told…. but half Stark, half-Targaryen. Which means he’s probably not genetically predisposed to pay homage to anyone… Though on the upside we can only hope that the dragons take a liking to him if Daenerys tries to burn him alive.
P.S. The scene between Arya and Nymeria was heartbreaking. If you haven’t seen the touching explanation of the scene from the scriptwriters yet, you can find it here
What did you think of this episode of the Game of Thrones ? Will Jon Snow bend the knee?
Image credit: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Aegon%27s_Conquest