There are five ways in which Jon Snow (Kit Harington) of Game of Thrones is similar to one of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s (Emma D’Arcy) children in House of the Dragon. In episode 7 of House of the Dragon, Aemond Targaryen (Leo Ashton), the half-brother of Queen Alicent Hightower, as well as Rhaenyra’s lads (the children of the late Laena Velaryon [Nanna Blondell] and Daemon Targaryen [Matt Smith]), fought to the death (Olivia Cooke). It was true, but Aemond lost an eye for saying both Jacaerys (Leo Hart) & Lucerys (Harvey Sadler) are still the bastard children of the deceased Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr).
After reading House of the Dragon, it should come as no surprise that Rhaenyra’s 3 children are portrayed negatively. All of Harwin Strong’s biological children share his dark hair. Neither Jace nor Luke have any blatantly Targaryen features, nor do they resemble their alleged father, the blond & shadowy Ser Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan). This is reminiscent of how Jon Snow in Game of Thrones looked exactly like the other black-haired Starks & displayed no outward signs of his Targaryen ancestry. As a result, nobody doubted that Jon was a jerk, not even “Lord Snow.” After being raised under the impression that he was the illegitimate offspring of Winterfell’s Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), Jon learned that his actual parents are Prince Rhaegar Targaryen & Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark. In reality, Jon Snow’s (Aegon Targaryen) aunt Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was the rightful successor to the Iron Throne.
At the conclusion of Game of Thrones, Jon was responsible for killing Daenerys after she became the Mad Queen, resulting in his being exiled to the North to dwell with the Wildlings. The bastard Velaryon princes are on deck to bring House of the Dragon its own terrible and unfortunate set of events, and Westeros’ fate will be even fewer kind to Jacaerys & Lucerys than it is to Jon Snow some two centuries later. In the meantime, House of the Dragon presents an intriguing take on several parts of Jon Snow’s saga.
A Major Jon Snow Theme Is Reiterated in Lucerys’ “I Don’t Want It”
House of the Dragon 707 features an appearance by Ser Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson), who confronts Lucerys following Laena’s burial to tell him he is the rightful successor of Driftmark. As the second son in the order of succession, Luke will take over as head of House Velaryon after Jacaerys succeeds Rhaenyra as Prince of Westeros. The grieving young man said, “I don’t want it,” after realizing that he would have to wait until the passing of his loved ones before he could collect his inheritance.
Similarly, during Game of Thrones, Jon Snow refused to accept the various offers of inheritance, etc and promotions that came his way. When no one else was willing to take charge of the Night’s Guard and lead them against the White Walkers, Snow reluctantly accepted the position of Lord Commander. Reluctantly, Jon accepted the position of King in the North, as he lost no time in submitting to Daenerys’ rule, therefore reducing the North to such a vassal state. To counter the Night King’s forces, Jon did this in exchange for her army and her dragons. When faced with the choice between claiming the Iron Throne as Aegon Targaryen or being banished for his role in Daenerys’s death, Jon chose the latter.
Jon Snow’s Path Is Reversed Due to Jacaerys Velaryon’s Narrative
The real father of Jacaerys & Lucerys has always been clear, unlike Jon Snow and ice for the whole of the series’ duration. But Jacaerys, as Rhaenyra’s firstborn child and hence the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, thus neatly flips the script on Jon Snow’s story. King Viserys willingly perpetuates Rhaenyra’s falsehood that Jace is a legitimate heir to the throne, making Jace a cretin with no business being in the line of succession (Paddy Considine). If anything, Jon Snow should’ve been next in line and also had the best claim in all of Westeros, but instead he was universally despised. Before Brandon Stark (Isaac Hemstead-Wright) & Sam Tarly (John Bradley) figured out the truth regarding Jon Snow, he never was considered a potential or rightful king.
DNA testing has shown that Rhaenyra’s offspring and Jon Snow share a common ancestor.
While the Targaryens and Velaryons get a long history of adultery in an effort to maintain their families’ pristine lineages, the offspring of Jon Snow & Rhaenyra Targaryen are interbred. On his father’s side, Jon is a Targaryen, and then on his mother’s, he is a Stark. All three of Joffrey’s children—Jacaerys, Lucerys, & Joffrey—have Targaryen ancestry from their mother & Strong ancestry from their father. As a result of Jon’s Stark ancestry and the Powerful portion of the Velaryon brothers’ bloodlines, Jace, Lucas, Joffrey, & Jon all have dragon blood plus First Men blood. Rhaenyra’s sons, meanwhile, are not Velaryons despite their surnames as well as the fact that they are often mistaken for such.
Rhaenyra’s Children and Jon Snow’s Tales Both Benefit from Their Characters’ Propensity to Be Bastards.
To a great extent, Jon Snow was defined as a person by his status as a bastard. One of the secrets of Game of Thrones which ultimately determined the show’s conclusion was this character’s true identity, which was foundational to his entire worldview & attitude. Although Rhaenyra’s boys are technically trueborn Targaryens/Velaryons, it is common knowledge—and even Jacaerys—that they are actually bastards. Like Jon Snow, the Velaryon brothers are treated differently by their cousin, Queen Alicent, as well as their relatives, who were also taught the truth by their mother, because they are Harwin Strong’s bastards.
Jon’s life was spent being mocked for being a bastard, as well as Ned’s wife, Caitlyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), hated him since she saw him as proof of her father’s abuse (even if it wasn’t true). Alicent’s Greens & her family have it out for Jacaerys & Lucerys (and later, Joffrey) since they are bastards. Alice fears that once she is crowned queen, Rhaenyra will have her trueborn Targaryen children executed to ensure that her bastard children’s rights to the Iron Throne are not threatened.