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In John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire, John and Franny’s intimacy gives way to an incestuous encounter.

It’s been a tension complicated by the fact that while, as Harrington suggested, viewers didn’t know for sure whether the two were related …

we have also been preeeeetty sure that the two are related.

Incest, in , is a situation that is also a metaphor—for what happens when people get too insular, too myopic, too unwilling to see beyond themselves. It is a warning about what can befall the world when narcissism gets politically weaponized.

Dany and her nephew Jon come from a long line of people who, having “the blood of the dragon,” were reluctant to marry outside that line, thus diluting the blood in question.

As Alan Taylor, the director of several of the show’s episodes, including last week’s “Beyond the Wall,” told The Daily Beast: “There’s no secret that this is where this is going.

Readers of the book have known that things were heading towards this destination for a while. (So much so that The reactions have been as mixed as they are in part for the simple reason that Jon and Dany are not Jaime and Cersei. They grew up separately, in different places and different worlds.

Maeby and George-Michael in an on-screen coupling that poked fun at the very real fling between Maureen Mc Cormick (Marcia) and Barry Williams (Greg). They suggest, overall, a world that is much more complicated than it might initially seem to be.

The treatments of incest here range from the tragic to the taunting; what they have in common, though, is the same thing that makes the shipping of Dany and Jon so uniquely bizarre and, from a literary perspective, compelling: They blur lines. In ’s case, as the show moves into its final season, it has managed to set up conditions in which Dany and Jon are complicated in part by the fact that they are at once people and allegories: They are both lovers and rivals, both new acquaintances and lifelong relatives.

And also they very much do not understand their relationship to each other.

Some literary portrayals treat incest as a profound—perhaps , the members of the Buendía family live in constant fear that the results of their intermarriages will come to haunt them (in this case, via children born with the tails of pigs).

Whether Dany and Jon will have children—children who might in their own way fall victim to this sad irony—is an open question.