Is ‘Game of Thrones’ Really Still Keeping Jon Snow’s Father Secret?
Moreso than ever, Game of Thrones Season 6 seemed to pay off years of fanservice and speculation, particularly the finale reveal of what appeared to be Jon Snow’s origin. Well, half of it anyway. Now that we know who Jon Snow’s mother is, cast and crew seem to confirm that the father will (somewhat) remain a mystery for Season 7.
You’re hereby warned of full spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6, as well the answered and unanswered questions of Jon Snow’s lineage, but this Sunday’s “Winds of Winter” flashback to the Tower of Joy seemed to make no bones about the fact that the baby birthed of Lyanna Stark would indeed grow into the man we know as Jon Snow. The episode never stated it outright, though much more obscure were Lyanna’s final words to her brother, Ned Stark, which HBO chose to make inaudible.
A vast majority of fandom will likely recognize the “R+L=J” theory, which states that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark ran away together, rather than Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna, after which the dying mother made Ned swear to claim the child as his own, thereby protecting another Targaryen from Robert Baratheon’s wrath. And yet, where Sunday’s finale appeared to confirm the “+L=J” portion of the theory, Isaac Hempstead-Wright claimed to IGN that the father remains an open question for Season 7:
There’s clearly going to be another revelation, and that revelation is going to have significance. I think, when we do find out that Jon Snow’s father is whomever, I think it will have more impact as a sole piece of information. I think whoever that individual is who is Jon Snow’s father will have such an important and integral role in the history of Westeros that it will have enough power to be a vision by itself. It raises some interesting theories as to who the father could be. [laughs] It’s clearly got to be someone pretty important.
In fact, director Miguel Sapochnik similarly stated as much during the episode’s accompanying Game of Thrones Revealed featurette, saying of Lyanna’s whisper:
The secret she whispers into his ear just before she dies - the best way to answer that question is not to answer it. You’re not going to know what she said.
That said, it seems an infographic artist at Making Game of Thrones might have jumped the gun, to release the below image explicitly connecting Rhaegar Targaryen as Jon Snow’s father:
Plenty of other fans have since set to work on decoding the scene, a popular Reddit theory even suggesting Lyanna might have whispered Jon Snow’s true Targaryen name, Jaehaerys.
It would still stand to reason that Game of Thrones Season 7 makes a plot point of reaffirming Rhaegar Targaryen as Jon’s father, but is the mystery officially otherwise solved?