Jon Snow,

grandson of Aerys Targaryen,

or Daenerys Targaryen, daughter of Aerys Targaryen?

After "The Dragon and the Wolf" (Game of Thrones, S07E07), we learn that

Jon is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen.

So, how do the factors like:

  • Sex

  • One being first generation and other being second generation descendant of the their family's last king.

  • Second one's previous marriage

affect these 2 characters' claim to the Iron Throne?

  • Men inherit before a woman. This is established at the end of the episode when its said that Jon is the rightful heir. – user25738 Aug 31 '17 at 19:20

Bran told us exactly who the "legitimate heir" is...

Jon Snow, Aegon VII Targaryen

The line of succession always favors males and always favors children of the heir before siblings of the monarch.

Further reading: Comprehensive Rules for Game of Thrones Lines of Succession

The line of succession goes like this:

  1. Aerys "The Mad King" - "current" monarch, now deceased
  2. Rhaeghar - by rights as the first born son of Aerys, now deceased
  3. Aegon VI - by rights as the first born son Rhaeghar, now deceased
  4. Aegon VII (aka Jon Snow) - by right as the second born son of Rhaegar, alive!

The female line only comes into play once all male heirs are deceased, which is the crux of Danaerys' claim once her brother Viserys died. However, Viserys' claim was only considered valid because there were no other heirs (Rhaeghar and his line).

This was why Rhaegar's annulment was so important. If Rhaegar had still be married to Elia Martell, Jon Snow would still have been a bastard (assuming all other parties lived). This is why Bran initial says Jon is not a Snow but rather a Sand. The annulment make Jon a true-born heir and transforms him from Jon Snow to Aegon VII Targaryen.

  • "The female line only comes into play once all male heirs are deceased", Does this change anything here? Wouldn't Dany (as a female) still will be the heir if she was Rhaegar daughter and Jon is his brother? – madmada Aug 31 '17 at 21:17
  • @madmada Dany is Rhaegar's sister (Aerys II Targaryen is her father). Jon is Rhaegar's son (with Lyanna Stark). – DariM Aug 31 '17 at 21:28
  • @DariM I know, I'm saying it wouldn't have mattered if it was the other way around. Rhaegar's child is heir regardless of the gender. – madmada Aug 31 '17 at 22:43
  • I'd say Jon is Aegon VI, we don't even know whether Aerys II or the older Aegon was killed first, and even if it was Aerys, Aegon was never crowned. – NyaNya Sep 2 '17 at 19:48

Women are at the bottom of the line of succession. From the Game of Thrones wiki -

Women, even noble-born women, do not have the same legal standing as men. Inheritance only falls on a woman if there are no males in her family ahead of her in line of succession. However, women can rule in their own right if they have no surviving brothers (and their brothers left no surviving heirs).

Since Daenerys' brother was the heir, and he had a legitimate son (Jon), that son is ahead of her in the line of succession.

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