The Interesting "Game Of Thrones" Parallel You Might Have Missed
Ice and fire reborn. Contains spoilers!
"Battle of the Bastards" was a stunning, powerful episode on multiple levels. But one scene in particular really left its mark – when Jon Snow almost gets crushed by his own men.
The moment is drawn out and chaotic, evoking a suffocating sense of claustrophobia in the viewer. It's difficult to watch and yet impossible to look away. Considering it wasn't even in the original script (director Miguel Sapochnik told EW it was a last-minute addition due to time and budget constraints), it has an incredible resonance.
As Kit Harington notes in this HBO segment, the scene creates both a spiritual rebirth for Jon and a connection with Daenerys.
It's a powerful visual, and reinforces the parallel trajectory of Jon and Dany.
They are both Targaryens whose mothers died in childbirth (if the R+L=J theory is true), and they both start out as underdogs who are thrust into leadership positions. Many fans believe that one or both of them will fulfill the "prince that was promised" prophecy, and that together they are the song of ice and fire.
Beyond this specific scene, the entire episode strengthened the thematic connection between Dany and Jon.
They've both been reborn – literally and spiritually – on a number of occasions.
Daenerys entered the fire and was reborn as the Mother of Dragons way back in Season 1, and was reborn again earlier this season when she went back to where she'd started and emerged from fire once more.
In Episode 9, she fully embraced her Mother of Dragons identity after literally locking it away in Season 4, riding the now-massive Drogon into battle alongside the finally free Rhaegal and Viserion.
Jon, meanwhile, was reborn this season physically and emotionally. No longer tied to the Night's Watch, he began to embrace his Stark-ness (yes, his name is Snow and his father was probably a Targaryen, but he's still a Stark).
He also re-entered the "game", but it was reluctantly, as a much more timid and begrudging leader than he had previously been. He didn't seem entirely comfortable being alive, even – so it was important that in Episode 9, after returning to where he started, he nearly died once again and actively chose to fight for life. His gasp as he emerged from the crush echoed the one he made when Melisandre resurrected him, reinforcing the notion of rebirth. Significantly, it's at this moment that the battle turns in the Starks' favour. Sansa shows up with the Knights of the Vale, and Jon is galvanised into being the hero and finally taking back Winterfell – and fully embracing his identity.