The second episode of Game of Thrones‘ eighth season was chock full of revelations, including official word on what the Night King wants and several Tormund Giantsbane and Brienne of Tarth developments. In the episode’s closing moments, however, we finally saw Jon Snow inform Daenerys Targaryen of his true identity, Aegon Targaryen. This is, of course, the case because his parents were Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen (Dany’s brother), which means that an aunt and nephew have been getting it on.
Dany appears to be shocked by this news, but perhaps not for the most obvious reason? She insists that it’s “impossible,” and Jon explains that he found out the truth from Bran, via Samwell, who confirmed the paper trail. Jon did seem more disturbed last episode by learning that Ned Stark lied to him, but he appears to have now realized that this incest thing also isn’t so good. As for Dany, it’s not quite clear whether that part upsets her at all. “If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen,” she declared. “You’d have a claim to the Iron Throne.” A nearby chaotic scuffle indicates that the Night King’s forces may have begun arriving at Winterfell, and the episode closes.
What happened? Notably, Dany’s response shows that she views this newfound information in terms of strategy (and she doesn’t mention the incest part).
Is Dany upset at all by learning that she and Jon/Aegon are related after the slept together? Or is she more concerned that his claim to the Iron Throne is greater than hers? Notably, she didn’t refer to “the” claim — she said “a” claim. That choice of words sure makes her reaction seem like an adversarial one.
There’s also the question of whether, if it came down to it, she could defeat Jon Snow in a battle between their dragons, or will he end up being “unburnt”?
Dany could have also realized that her own position as queen of the Seven Kingdoms would be doubly solid if Jon was king, but she doesn’t seem to be throwing that vibe. Perhaps most importantly, neither of them reacted too strongly to the incest issue. This is Westeros we’re talking about. Dany and Jon are nothing compared to, say, Cersei and Jaime, etc. etc.
Given that the Night King seems due for arrival, we may never find out what Dany’s really thinking, but much earlier in the episode, she did explain to Sansa that came to Winterfell because she loves and trusts Jon, not to manipulate him. She even alluded to only ever loving one person like this before (“someone taller,” i.e., Drago).
In the end, though, Dany probably should have realized something was up already when Jon was able to ride a dang dragon. Live and learn!