With Game of Thrones Season 7 in the books for the year, and the long wait for Season 8 setting in, fans have begun slowly working through theories of how the revelations of the finale will play out when our characters return. With only six episodes left, plot twists and turns will come thick and fast, starting with Jon and Dany's arrival at Winterfell, and ending with Bran's announcement of Jon's real identity. But as we play out different endgames, one Game of Thrones Season 8 Jon Snow theory has become impossible to ignore.
The problem for Jon, as we see it, is that he never wanted to rule. He never wanted to be Lord Commander, but Sam nominated him, and he won. He never wanted to be King In The North, but Lyanna Mormont nominated him and he won.
He's not going to want the Iron Throne. But there are going to be a lot of people lined up to nominate him the moment they learn his true identity -- Sansa Stark, who told him he's great at leadership. Sam, who already nominated him for Lord Commander. Varys, who we're betting always knew about Rhaegar's marriage but was convinced by Ned's act that the baby he brought back from war wasn't his sister's.
You know who's not going to want to see Jon Snow on the Iron Throne? The woman he just fell in love with who's entire life plan is about to get wrecked when she hears this news. We're assuming there's going to be a break up of dragon fire proportions, one that might even see Jon and Rhaegal go one way while Dany and Drogon fly off another way.
It's going to get in the way of fighting the Night King. (Because that's the last thing we need.) And while everyone assumes that when faced with the Army of the Dead, the two of them will put everything aside for the moment and get the war over with so they all can live, what is to be done when it's all over and they've won?
Jon could conveniently die, of course, or Dany could. But if they don't, how is this resolved?
Jon loves Dany. He doesn't want the Iron Throne. That means, in order to get people to stop nominating him and back her, he has to both declare for her and then remove himself from the board. It's not unlike the moment in history when Aegon the Unlikely (also known as Egg from the Dunk and Egg series) found himself about to become king. There were a lot of people who were against that and would have preferred his brother, Aemon, to take up the fight for the Iron Throne and rule Westeros.
But Aemon didn't want to do that. He didn't want to rule, and he thought Aegon would be better at it anyway. To solve this, he took the black and went to the Wall, so no one could ever use him to start a Targaryen civil war in his name. He told this story to Jon way back in the beginning of the series.
Will Jon remember Maester Aemon's choice? Will he look at the ruins of the Wall at Eastwatch, and the understaffed castles who must take up guarding Westeros again and choose to join them? After all, all this has happened before and all this will happen again.
Our guess is that Jon will choose to go where he is most needed: To be the 1000th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, to oversee the rebuilding of Westeros' defenses for the next Long Night, whenever it comes again.
By doing this, he'll leave Dany's path free to rule Westeros. But he'll also be ending their relationship for good. He can take no wife, have no children. He'll be giving up spending the rest of his life with Dany for good, but he'll do it because it's the right thing to ensure she rules Westeros.
Back in Season 1, when Jon first told Benjen he wanted to join the Night's Watch, Benjen said "Are you sure? You don't know what you're giving up." This time Jon will know exactly what he's giving up. But he'll do it, because it's the honorable and right thing to do.