Last Night’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Hinted at a Fan-Favorite Jon Snow Theory
HBO’s Game of Thrones has long stirred debate about spoiling the plot of George R.R. Martin’s unfinished novels, producers even claiming to know broad strokes of the author’s inevitable ending. One reveal in particular has been long-theorized by fans, and may have been confirmed by last night’s “Sons of the Harpy.”
You’re warned of every Game of Thrones spoiler imaginable from here on out, book or otherwise, but it seems “R+L=J” may no longer be just a coy joke on producer David Benioff’s shirt. The widely-envisioned theory poses that Jon Snow wasn’t actually Ned Stark’s bastard, but rather the child of Lyanna Stark and her “kidnapper” Rhaegar Targaryen, a secret Lyanna made Ned promise never to reveal.
We’ve heard everyone from producers to Sean Bean himself weighing in on the theory, but Sunday’s “Sons of the Harpy” seemed to heavily hint at Rhaegar Targaryen’s innocence in at least two scenes. The first saw Sansa Stark in Winterfell overlooking her aunt’s crypt, before Littlefinger arrived questioning how much she really knew about her aunt. Littlefinger then relayed the famous tale of Rhaegar at a tournament doting on Lyanna over his own wife with a crown of blue roses, but when Sansa implied he’d go on to kidnap and rape Lyanna, Littlefinger’s expression seemed less than convinced.
The second scene in question saw Ser Barristan Selmy relaying to Daenerys that her brother often sang to the common folks in the streets of Kings’ Landing, even charitably giving away his earnings, as a man who much preferred song to violence. Not direct confirmation mind you, but certainly not the demeanor of a man who’d inspire a bloody rebellion just to kidnap and terrorize a mistress.
Furthermore, an exchange up North between Stannis Baratheon and his wife over Jon Snow’s heritage saw Selyse denouncing Snow as “a bastard by some tavern slut,” to which Stannis replied “Perhaps, but that wasn’t Ned Stark’s way.” Jon Snow himself was present through the hour as well, as Melisandre offered herself and seemingly implied that Jon Snow had power within himself, perhaps even king’s blood
Granted, none of the above would explicitly confirm Jon Snow’s parentage, but their collective presence within a single hour would seem to suggest that there was more to Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark’s story than we’ve been told. Whether HBO’s Game of Thrones explicitly spells out “R+L=J” before George R.R. Martin remains to be seen, but could “Sons of the Harpy” have been suggesting anything else?