With Game of Thrones’ seventh season coming to an end, we’ve learned a whole lot about our beloved Starks, particularly Jon Snow. Thanks to the finale, we now know for certain some key information that could change everything.
**Spoilers for ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ below**
Before moving on, though, let’s look at the two simplest questions: who are Jon Snow’s parents? And how is he related to Daenerys?
A couple of years ago, Daenerys’ father Aerys — better known as The Mad King — sat on the Iron Throne. During this time, the King’s son, Rhaegar Targaryen, married to Elia Martell, sister of Oberyn Martell, AKA The Viper.
Rhaegar was not a faithful man, though, and ended up running off with Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna, who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon.
Robert was, of course, angered by the affair and used the moment to begin a war that would overthrow the Mad King and put himself on the Iron Throne. The event was later known as Robert’s Rebellion.
Soon enough, Ned discovered the location of Lyanna, a place known as The Tower of Joy, located in Dorne. As we saw through Bran’s flashback (which confirmed the long running R + L = J theory) during the season six finale, Ned fought the Kingsguard looking after the tower, only to find Lyanna dying, having just given birth.
Ned, we assume to some degree, agreed to adopt the child — her and Rhaegar’s baby — telling her brother: “If Robert finds out he’ll kill him. You know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned.”
Being the son of Rhaegar makes Jon a Targaryen. It also makes him Daenerys’s nephew, the Queen of Dragons being the Mad King’s daughter. (Now they’ve been together, that brings up a whole batch of new questions.)
Incest, though, won’t be the only issue confounding the two come season eight. Thanks to Bran’s vision, spurred on by Sam, we know Jon actually holds the best claim to the Iron Throne.
Previously, it was believed Rhaegar was unfaithful to Elia Martell, capturing Lyanna and enslaving her at the Tower of Joy. Thanks to Gilly — of all people — we found out Rhaegar’s marriage was actually annulled and he likely married Lyanna.
“What does annulment mean?” the former Wildling asked during episode four, to Samwell’s slight annoyance. Gilly was referring to someone called ‘Prince Raggar’, who married someone else — the name is not given — during a secret Dornish ceremony. Now, with Bran having travelled back to the ceremony, we know for sure that Jon’s not a bastard, his proper name being Aegon Targaryen.
This idea of Jon being a legitimate child makes sense of Ned’s battle at the Tower of Joy; some fans questioned why the Kingsguard protected Lyanna when they knew all the Targaryens were dead minus the next heir, Viserys, Daenerys’ brother. Turns out, they were protecting the next true heir to the throne, Lyanna and Rhaegar’s child.
How exactly this will pan out over the next few season is anyone’s guess, although expect some difficult conversations between Jon and his aunt Dany. During the episode ‘Eastwatch’ we also saw Jon getting very close with a dragon. Thanks to his Targ blood, could we see the King in the North ride a dragon alongside Dany?
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