Updated: 22nd February 2018

The fate of ‘Game of Thrones’ rests on a meeting thatll happen this Sunday

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Game of Thrones seventh season.

Weve already gotten two big (and long-awaited) reunions so far in Game of Thronesseason 7, but the preview for next weeks episode teases what might be the most important meeting in the showand in the Seven Kingdoms.

Viewers knew that Jon Snow planned to travel to Dragonstone after receiving ravens from Tyrion Lannister and Samwell Tarly, andwe saw him and Davos Seaworth leaving Winterfell in Stormborn. We wont have to wait long for him to arrive: The preview for episode 3, The Queens Justice, shows him stepping into Daenerys Targaryens throne room in Dragonstone to speak with the queen.

After seven seasons on the air, Jon and Daenerys will finally meet. Even as the shows end game makes these major character meetings more commonplace, this anticipatedmomentbetween Jon and Dany is particularly special.

Its also one that fans have wanted for a long time, after being teased outside the show for years on the covers of magazines. Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke appeared in-character on the covers of Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair ahead of previous seasons. After the Entertainment Weekly photo shootin 2013, BuzzFeed compared them to engagement photos.

But bringing Jon and Dany together isnt just a massive piece of fanservice for viewers whove waited years for thisthough it will probablyhead into that territory no matter how it plays out. Its massively important to the plot, the endgame, and their destinies.

What Jon wants

Screengrab via Game of Thrones/HBO

Jon may be King in the North, but so far hes shown little actual interest in the war for Westeros. Hes seen the true enemy, and hes spent the past two episodes trying to prepare the North for that fight if and when it comes to their doorsteps. Childrenboth boys and girlsas young as 10 are learning to fight. Jons attempting to find all of the dragonglass he can get his hands on, something that that ultimatelycompels him to head to Dragonstone.

True, he does receive a summons from Daenerys via Tyrion, who Jon met all the way back in season 1. It even includes a line Tyrion said the first night they met as a way to prove to Jon its really him: All dwarves are bastards in their fathers eyes.

The Seven Kingdoms will bleed as long as Cersei sits on the Iron Throne, Tyrion writes. Join us. Together we can end her tyranny.

Screengrab via Game of Thrones/HBO Remix by Michelle Jaworski

The letter makes no mention of the other reason Dany wants to speak to Jon. (More on that in a bit.) Jon, however, is still wary. Tyrions letter casually mentions the Dothraki horde and army of Unsullied under her command, her alliances with Dorne, the Reach, and an Ironborn fleet, and her three dragons. Even if Tyrion is being truthful (and both Jon and Sansa can vouch for his character) and even if Dany would be a useful ally to fight the threat beyond the Wall, its still risky. So Jon does nothing.

That changes when Jon receives a letter from Samwell Tarly telling him of the mountains of dragonglass located in Dragonstone. He could ignore the first letter, but Dany is between him and the weapon that could destroy the White Walkers. Jon Snow is finally going to have to get his hands dirty in Westerosi politics.

Despite objections from the Northern lords and Sansa, who calls Jon out for abandoning your people, Jon decides to accept and leaves Sansa in charge of Winterfell.

Daenerys is a queen, Jon explained. Only a king can convince her to help us. It has to be me.

What Daenerys wants

Screengrab via Game of Thrones/HBO Remix by Michelle Jaworski

Though Sams letter is the one that convinces Jon to ride south, its Danys meeting with Melisandre early in the episode that kicks it off.

On a dark and stormy nightmuch like the one on the day of Danys birthshe speaks to Melisandre, who came to Dragonstone after being exiled from Winterfell last season. Speaking in High Valyrian, Melisandre tells her that the Long Night is coming and that the Prince That Was Promised will bring the dawn.

A linguistics lesson from Missandei reveals what Maester Aemon figured out on his deathbed: the Valyrian word for prince is gender-neutral, so it would translate to mean prince or princess. So Dany could be the Prince, but so could another. While fans have debated whether Jon or Dany is the prophesied Prince for years, Game of Thronesfor nowis trying to have it both ways.

Melisandre asks Dany to summon Jon Snow. Shedoesnt mention the Jons death or her role in resurrecting him with aid from the Lord of Light, but she speaks to his knowledge of the true threat in the far north and his role in uniting wildlings and the Northern houses alike. Tyrion can vouch for Jon, noting that Jon has more reason to want Cersei dead than even Dany does.

Dany agrees to meet with Jon to hear what he knows and has experienced, but her motive is also one of power. She wants him to bend the knee. Danys sights are on Cerseiand may be even more so after the episode-ending sea assault that took out most of Yara Greyjoys fleet.

The secret Targaryen wildcard

Photo via Helen Sloan/HBO

Both Varys and Melisandre often know more than they let on, but as far as we can tell, they dont know about the biggest bombshell of all: Jon and Dany are related. Jons biological father is Rhaegar Targaryen, who is Danys oldest brother, which would make herJons aunt.

The sole person on Game of Thrones who knows about Jons true parentagethat we know of, at leastis Bran Stark, whos still at the Wall with Meera and the Nights Watch. If Bran is heading to Winterfell, hell have missed the chance to tell Jon about who he really is. So the meeting will outwardly be one between a queen and a kingone, the Mad Kings daughter, and the other Ned Starks bastard.

GIF via GameofThrones/YouTube

We dont know if marriage would be on the line as it is in other alliances, but Jon and Dany marrying could open a can of worms. The Targaryens often practiced incest, but its unclear how Jon would react if he were to marry his aunt and then find out about it.

Even without the incest factor, recent clashes between Starks and Targaryens could prove thorny in retrospect. Rhaegar ran away with (or kidnapped, depending on the storyteller) Lyanna Stark, Jons mother, who he believes is his aunt. That led Ned and Lyannas father and elder brother, Rickard and Brandon Stark, to head to Kings Landing. Danys father Aerys had them arrested, and after Rickard demanded a trial by combat, burned Rickard alive. That led to Roberts Rebellion, which resulted in the deaths of both Rhaegar and Aerys.

While these events deeply marred Ned Stark’s generation of (now mostly deceased) lords, it’s not clear if they’ll have the same potency for Dany and Jon, who were babies at the time.

The Red Woman in the room

Photo via Helen Sloan/HBO

Jon and Dany have every reason to align with each other, but Melisandres presence at Dragonstone could complicate things. She may have advised Dany to summon Jon, but she might not have anticipated Davos going with him.

Davos discovered that Melisandre had a role in Shireen Baratheons death and wanted to kill her outright, but Jon showed her mercy. He banished her, pledging that she would be hanged as a murderer if he saw her in the North again; Davos promised to execute her himself.

However, neither Jon or Davos are prepared for what theyll do if they see Melisandre again in Dragonstone. On one hand, she is a murderer. On the other, Melisandre would likely be a guest of Daenerys. Harming her would probably be seriouslyfrowned upon under guest right, andit could cause a lot of contention between Jon, Davos, and Dany.

Melisandre’s presence alone couldset their relationship off to a rocky start, but given the threat in the far north, they might have to persevere anyway. The fate of the Seven Kingdoms depends on it.

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