Season 7 of Game of Thrones has been full of plot twists, and the penultimate episode introduced a twist that was pretty heartbreaking. While Jon and his group were adventuring through the far North to capture a wight, Tyrion was trying to convince Dany that she needs to name a successor in case she dies. We learned that Dany doesn't believe that she can have children of her own, and "Mother of Dragons" is the only mother she'll ever be. As far as Dany knows, what's left of the Targaryen dynasty lives and will die with her. It's a thought that clearly upsets her, but it may also be unfounded. There are big reasons why Dany might still be able to have kids if she so desires.
Admittedly, there are some signs that point to Dany having lost the ability to bear children. She suffered a traumatic miscarriage at the end of Season 1 that was caused in some part by blood magic at the hands of Mirri Maz Duur, who was enacting her revenge for what the Dothraki did to her village. Mirri Maz Duur could very well have rendered Dany unable to conceive. Plus, Dany didn't find herself pregnant despite frequent hookups with Daario in Meereen. Besides, Dany in A Song of Ice and Fire has been convinced from the end of the first book that she'll never bear a child.
All of that said, we absolutely shouldn't rule out Dany having kids someday, mostly because we don't know how she came to that conclusion. In the A Game of Thrones book that kicked off George R.R. Martin's saga, Dany connected the dots due to a claim made by Mirri Maz Duur. When Dany asked when Drogo will be as he was, Mirri Maz Duur had this to say:
Now, even if you haven't read A Game of Thrones, that passage probably sounds familiar. The show's version of Mirri Maz Duur said almost the exact same thing in the Season 1 finale, but the episode notably omitted the line about Dany's womb. The show left out one line that could have established Dany's inability to have kids way back in Season 1, and it would have been so easy to include that it feels like a deliberate omission that the line was left out. The showrunners may have had plans for Dany to have a child, even way back then in the first season, and they didn't want to rule it out via Mirri Maz Duur.
Whatever the reason for the omission, the fact of the matter is that pregnancy for Dany was not on Mirri Maz Duur's list of impossible occurrences in the show, such as the seas going dry and the sun rising in the west. Dany doesn't have the prophetic words of a priestess to lead her to believe that children are out of the question for her. Something else must have led her to assume that she'll never have kids.
The show spared us the details of Dany's miscarriage, but it seemed to be pretty brutal on her. The miscarriage combined with any changes in her body could have led to Dany's conclusion, especially since she didn't conceive after any of her many hookups with Daario. It's not like she could have visited the local OB/GYN to have herself checked out. She may have just jumped to the most tragic conclusion in the wake of Drogo's death and the loss of her child.
The trauma of Dany's miscarriage in Season 1 could have made it difficult for her to conceive thereafter without necessarily rendering her physically incapable of ever giving birth to a living child. If she wasn't actively trying to get pregnant in her rendezvous with Daario, pregnancy might have been all but impossible. There may be steps for her to take to try and get pregnant that result in a baby, ranging from a certain diet to a certain time. Maybe she just needs to hook up with a blood relative. That certainly seems to work for Cersei's reproductive system.
On that note, the fact that Daario didn't get Dany pregnant shouldn't be taken as definitive proof that she's incapable. Maybe Daario is incapable. It takes two people to make a baby, and Daario could be responsible for Dany's continued belief that she can't bear children. Dany has had two regular lovers during the course of the show, and she nearly had a child with one of them. Yes, she suffered a terrible miscarriage due to blood magic, but there's no proof that she can't conceive again. She just hasn't.
A lot may depend on whether or not Dany hooks up with somebody else in what remains of the series. Given her belief that she's barren, she's not going to be too concerned with birth control. If she takes a new lover, she could very well end up pregnant. Sparks have been flying between her and Jon, and the latest episode may have even hinted that Dany will choose him as her successor due to her belief that she'll never produce an heir.
Who knows? Maybe Dany will be even more attracted to him once she discovers their blood relation. The Targaryens married amongst themselves for generations. Rhaegar was an exception to the rule when he married first Elia Martell and then later (presumably) Lyanna Stark, but that only happened because there wasn't a Targaryen princess for an age for him to marry. Jon might have a few more hangups on the incest front, what with being raised in the North by Ned Stark and all. Still, maybe he'll be on board with Dany since she's his aunt rather than his sister, and it's not like they were raised together. On the incest scale in the history of Game of Thrones, at least Dany/Jon is somewhat less gross than Cersei/Jaime.
We can only wait and see. Game of Thrones may be playing Dany's statement that she can't have kids perfectly straight, and she'll only ever be mother to her dragons. Still, there's a big chance that we may still see Dany conceive a child and carry on House Targaryen. The Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones airs on Sunday, August 27 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. We can only hope that the episode answers some of the big questions we still have about Season 7. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule for what you can watch once we head into yet another Game of Thrones hiatus.