Game of Thrones: HBO Just Revealed the Identity of Jon Snow's Father
Warning: Spoilers ahead if you have not yet watched the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale.
On Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, one major fan theory was finally confirmed: Jon Snow's mother is, in fact, Ned Stark's late sister, Lyanna Stark. But the epic Season 6 finale left one thing unclear: the identity of Jon’s father.
While fans have long speculated that he is the child of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (making him Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen’s nephew), the show decided to leave out that bit of information in Episode 10, presumably for a big Season 7 reveal. After the finale aired, Isaac Hempstead Wright, the actor who plays Bran Stark, even hinted that Jon's father could potentially be Lyanna's brother Ned (à la the Lannisters).
Luckily, HBO decided we shouldn't have to wait another year to find out if there’s any truth to Wright’s proposition: The network just released a handy chart that shows the relationships between key players in GoT history and, yes, Jon Snow makes an appearance. In the infographic, color-coded arrows reveal that he is the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and Ned Stark is simply his guardian.
The HBO blog also provides a brief backstory of what brought young Ned Stark to the Tower of Joy in the first place. “The only daughter of Rickard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Lyanna Stark was engaged to marry Robert Baratheon. According to Littlefinger, eyebrows were raised at a tourney hosted at Harrenhal when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen rode past his own wife, Princess Elia Martel, and presented his winner's crown of winter roses to Lyanna instead,” it reads.
“Sometime after, news spread that Rhaegar had abducted Lyanna. When her brother Ned made his way to Dorne and found the Tower of Joy, he discovered his sister, Lyanna, drenched in blood and sweat on a bed. ‘Promise me, Ned,’ she whispered as a brown-eyed newborn was placed into her brother’s arms.”
So there you have it. Jon Snow, the newly appointed King of the North, is still half-Stark, but also half-Targaryen. With Daenerys finally sailing to Westeros, things are about to get interesting when Jon inevitably learns his true parentage.