Game of Thrones left plenty of mysteries about its characters after its finale, and House of the Dragon can finally answer a major question about Jon’s warging power with his Targaryen blood. Although Bran was one of the only characters in Game of Thrones openly shown to be a warg and powerful skinchanger as trained by the recast Three-Eyed Raven character, the series largely left out the warging ability of the remaining Stark siblings that were better explored in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series. While this wasn’t explicitly shown in Game of Thrones, Jon’s warg ability left many wondering if it translated to the connections of dragons through his Targaryen blood.
At the end of Game of Thrones season 7, Jon Snow was revealed to be the secret legitimate son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, with his real birth name being Aegon Targaryen. Although Jon didn’t discover his Targaryen birthright until the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, his connection to dragons through his bloodline was tested when Daenerys let him ride Rhaegal, the dragon whose namesake was his father. Jon was shown to have equal connections to the Stark direwolves and the Targaryen dragons, but the HBO series never showed how powerful his connection to the dragons could have been due to the deaths of all but Drogon. While Daenerys embraced her ability to tame dragons as is in her Targaryen blood, Jon never received the chance to make a family of such creatures, leaving many questions about the strength of his inherited bond.
Taking place at the height of the dragons’ powers and Targaryen rule in Westeros, House of the Dragon’s exciting feature has the opportunity to better explore the bloodline’s relationship with the species. In Game of Thrones, the only character who truly exhibited a natural bond with the dragons was Daenerys because she was believed to be the only living Targaryen. In House of the Dragon, the Targaryen presence is vast and commanding, with 17 dragons that will be featured in season 1. As the Targaryen and dragon relationship is explored in depth at the top of both of their reigns, House of the Dragon can answer one important question leftover from Game of Thrones: could Jon Snow have skinchanged into a dragon as he did with Ghost?
Jon Snow’s Warg Ability In The ASOIAF Books Explained
As with the rest of the direwolf-bonded Stark children, Jon Snow was revealed to be a warg in the A Song of Ice and Fire books. He would enter Ghost’s mind while he slept, and on many occasions, he would do so unconsciously. Jon was said to be extremely powerful in his warging ability, but since his only true bond was with Ghost, he was never seen attempting to skinchange into any other animal but a direwolf. While the Stark children all had a strong gift for warging, none of them could reach the power of Bran, who was also a greenseer like in Game of Thrones‘ show. While Bran could likely skinchange into any animal he liked, it seems the other Stark children could either only warg into direwolves or the animal that they formed a close bond with. The last A Song of Ice and Fire book, the long-delayed Winds of Winter, has yet to be released, so it’s unclear whether Jon Snow will be shown to have a much greater bond with one of the dragons in the novels than he did in the TV series.
GRRM Has Never Answered If People Can Skinchange Into Dragons
Although George R.R. Martin has written extensively on the history of House Targaryen and their relationship with dragons in House of the Dragon‘s source material, he has never answered whether it is possible to skinchange into a dragon. Considering House Stark has a relationship just as close to direwolves as Targaryens do to dragons, it seems that if many of the former could warg into their animal, it would be possible for the latter to skinchange into dragons. But, skinchanging is largely associated with those who have the blood of the First Men, which is primarily contained to Game of Thrones characters from the North, the Iron Islands, and Beyond the Wall. As such, skinchanging has mostly been explored with direwolves, birds like the eagle that Game of Thrones‘ Orell skinchanges into, and bears that House Mormont is alleged to turn into. Since dragons didn’t come to Westeros until long after the powerful Children of the Forest had nearly gone extinct, it’s possible that no skinchanger or greenseer openly tried to control one.
Targaryens’ History With Skinchanging Explained
Since skinchanging and the superior power of greensight are thought to be inherited by the blood of the First Men and the Children of the Forest, there isn’t any recorded lore of full-blooded Targaryen skinchangers who inherit Valyrian blood. But, it’s been revealed that the Three-Eyed Raven is actually the books’ character Bloodraven, AKA Brynden Rivers, the bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen and Melissa Blackwood. Bloodraven was considered one of the greatest greenseers and skinchangers in history, being the Three-Eyed Raven who trained Bran to take his place in Game of Thrones‘ timeline.
While Bloodraven is the only noted Targaryen-blooded skinchanger other than Jon in Game of Thrones’ history so far, his ability is thought to be derived from his Blackwood ancestry, who are descendants of the First Men. That said, Bloodraven still shares an inherited dragon connection through the blood of his Targaryen father – the same connection as Jon Snow. Both Bloodraven and Jon Snow have Targaryen heritage from their fathers and mothers who are descendants of the First Men, suggesting their skinchanging abilities could give them the best chance to control the minds of dragons. While Bloodraven would change into ravens, the sigil of his mother’s house, Jon would skinchange into a direwolf, the sigil of his own mother’s house.
It’s never been revealed if Bloodraven tried to skinchange into dragons, but he was alive when they were still present in the Targaryens’ reign shortly after House of the Dragon‘s timeline. Bloodraven even got his hand on a dragon egg, but it’s never been said that he successfully hatched it. Since Targaryens are typically given dragon eggs at birth that they bond with as they grow, it seems that this would be the best chance for one to skinchange into their bonded animal. Similar to how the Stark children, including Sansa, warged into direwolves they bonded with, a Targaryen with skinchanging abilities would likely need to bond with them first to gain their trust. While Bloodraven is also the only confirmed greenseer Targaryen, it’s also true that many Targaryens have similar prophetic dreams involving their dragons, which could hint at their ability to eventually skinchange if taught so.
House Of The Dragon Can Reveal Jon’s Full Skinchanging Ability
With much more knowledge and closer bonds between the dragons and Targaryens in House of the Dragon, HBO’s prequel series is the best chance to answer whether Jon truly could have skinchanged into a dragon. Had Rhaegal survived in Game of Thrones, he likely would have been the dragon that Jon could have tried this ability on, as the dragon had already trusted him enough to let him ride. The problem is that dragons, unlike Game of Thrones‘ direwolves, are said to have intelligence as great or greater than human beings, and those with higher intelligence are much harder to skinchange into. Skinchanging into a dragon would likely be a battle of intelligence, where the skinchanger would have to have much better wits than the dragon they are trying to control. House of the Dragon will largely be relying on dragons in the Targaryen civil war, so the series can finally show whether the characters can control their minds in battle.
Since Jon wasn’t trained as a skinchanger, he likely wouldn’t have been able to turn into a dragon, given Dany’s were highly intelligent. Had Jon been trained with this ability or given a greensight of power similar to Bran, he likely could have done so. It’s also never been answered if Bran could skinchange into a dragon, but since he was said to be so powerful to transform into any creature he wanted, it seems he could if he desperately needed to. While it wasn’t included in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood book, House of the Dragon‘s Civil War story can finally use its characters to answer whether dragons are susceptible to skinchanging by those with Targaryen blood.