Aug 21 2017 13618 1 Game Of Thrones

Dated: 08/21/2017

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Game of Thrones’ Jon and Daenerys romance is weak as hell

Wait, why are we rooting for these two again?

byMegan Farokhmanesh@Megan_Nicolett

Image: HBO

Spoilers for Game of Thrones follow.

Of all the pairings on Game of Thrones, none have been as anticipated — or as heavy-handed in the execution — as the relationship between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. Their significance to each other has been foreshadowed in the books through Dany’s visions of blue roses, which are often associated with Jon’s mother, Lyanna Stark. His recently confirmed Targaryen blood makes them family. Also, as the priestess Melisandre explained just a few episodes ago, they represent the ice and fire the series is named for.

In Game of Thrones lingo, this all equates to the very high probability that these two characters will bone. So why are the show’s creators doing such a bad job of building their relationship?

Jon and Dany have known each other for exactly four episodes. With the show’s current accelerated pace, it’s impossible to tell how much time that actually amounts to. It was a surprise in this week’s episode, “Beyond the Wall,” when we got a casual verbal reference to weeks going by, the first sense we’ve had in a while that time is actually passing. But the screen time Jon and Daenerys have spent together has largely been adversarial, with Daenerys insisting Jon swear fealty to her, and Jon responding with various forms of “I’m good, thanks.” Their common ground thus far has been one of mutual tactical advantage. Daenerys allows Jon to mine her island’s dragonglass, as a sign of good faith. Jon is determined to convince everybody and their mother that the White Walker army is real, so he spearheads the world’s dumbest expedition to catch one.

Between these major plot points, viewers have been treated to little scenes intended to stoke flames of anticipation. The two take a trip by torchlight to observe some ancient cave drawings. Jon gives Drogon a good ol’ pet, much to Dany’s surprise and awe. But these moments are undercut by how clearlyGame of Thrones’ creators are telegraphing their relationship. Their advisors, Davos and Tyrion, have teased the two leaders about how they look at each other, rather than allowing fans to notice the dynamic on their own. Hey everyone at home, are you following that these two attractive principal characters are falling in love? Well they are.

This momentum is especially jarring in “Beyond the Wall,” as Daenerys swoops in to rescue Jon and his foolhardy squad. It’s worth pointing out that Jorah — who’s been with Dany since the show’s first season, who has shown her love and devotion over and over, who’s saved her life — is not the person she looks for on a stone island surrounded by undead. When she reaches out to pull the first man of the expedition to safety, she’s reaching for Jon Snow.

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