'Game of Thrones' season 6 finale confirms popular Jon Snow theory
MANILA, Philippines – Game of Thrones season 6 ended in an epic fashion as only expected of the HBO series, and this time, burning questions were actually answered, although there were – of course – understandable loose ends.
In the season 6 finale, titled "The Winds of Winter," which aired on June 27, Monday in Asia, the series finally addresses part of the enigmatic Jon Snow's origins. (READ: 'Game of Thrones' star Natalie Dormer on season 6 finale shocker)
Click on the button below to reveal this:
Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark = Jon Snow.
In the season 6 finale, "The Winds of Winter," at least half of the theory about Jon Snow's true parentage was confirmed, and this might have fans of both the TV series and George RR Martin's (GRRM) A Song of Ice and Fire books in an uproar.
Fans have long suspected – and even showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss themselves (a guess that gave them GRRM's approval) – that Jon Snow isn't really Ned Stark's bastard son or the product of the late Warden of the North's adultery. Instead, he is the scion of two noble bloodlines: Stark and Targaryen – ice and fire.
As the theory posits, Jon Snow is really the son of Ned's sister, Lyanna, and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys' older brother. The books explore this, scattering clues here and there, but the show did this as well, just hidden in plain sight with some clever editing and the like.
For example, in season 5, the late Aemon Targaryen, the maester of the Night's Watch, said, "A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing" – and then, the camera focuses on Jon in the background.
Here, a fan gathered clues scattered throughout the TV series – watch:
One key scene related to this the "R + L = J" theory is set in the Tower of Joy, towards the end of Robert Baratheon's rebellion against the ruling Targaryen king, Aerys, who was popularly called the "Mad King." In the season 6 finale, the tower is visited through Bran Stark's Greensight powers.
Robert Baratheon, who was succeeded as King by the cruel Joffrey Baratheon in season 1, was then bethrothed to Lyanna. It is said that Rhaegar, Aerys' son (married to Elia Martell, Oberyn's sister) kidnapped Lyanna, who was kept in the tower. Well, this is at least according the side of the victors.
But a core element of the theory suggests that Rhaegar and Lyanna were actually in love, and that they had eloped. It is also said that Lyanna was warrior-like as Arya Stark is now.
"The idea that Lyanna Stark would allow herself to be kidnapped without putting up a fight doesn’t make any sense," Michael Walsh writes for the Nerdist.
Furthermore, Rhaegar was incapable of such a cruel act because he was actually considered as a nice guy.
In the Tower of Joy, as first seen in episode 3, Ned and Howland Reed fight against Ser Arthur Dayne, a famed and highly skilled knight who was part of Aerys' Kingsguard. They survive that clash, and Ned heads up the tower, but the tower is only revisited in the finale.
This time, Ned arrives at the top to find his sister all bloodied and dying. But before this, Lyanna imparts something important.
Ned is handed a baby, and she whispers, “If Robert finds out, he’ll kill him, you know he will."
That suggests that the baby has Targaryen blood, and why would Robert leave any rival claimants to the Iron Throne alive?
"You have to protect him! Promise me, Ned! Promise me!" Lyanna tells Ned, as the camera zooms in to the baby's face – cut to: Jon Snow in Winterfell.
There is no explicit mention of Rhaegar, but it remains very likely that he is the father of Jon, the erstwhile Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and now – King in the North.
The Making of Game of Thrones website from HBO has an infographic that seems to explicitly identify Rhaegar as the father.
Vox argues that this has important consequences not only to his claim as King in the North, but this would also make Daenerys not the only Targaryen in the world.
One, although he was just declared King in the North by acclamation within the hallowed halls of Winterfell's castle, that would make his claim "garbage." Two: "The son of Aerys’ son Rhaegar should have a legally superior claim to Rhaegar’s little sister Daenerys."
Jon Snow: "secret Targaryen" – how will this play out next season as winter has arrived and the White Walkers threaten to break through the Wall?
Watch our recap of season 6 – in 2.5 minutes:
What did you think of the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, or the season as a whole? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com
Can't wait for season 7? In the meantime, take a look back with some highlights from Rappler's coverage of season 6:
- 'Game of Thrones' season 6 finale recap: Shocking revelations galore
- 'Game of Thrones' star Natalie Dormer on season 6 finale shocker
- [IN PHOTOS] 'Battle of the Bastards': Epic Jon Snow, Ramsay Bolton showdown on 'Game of Thrones'
- WATCH: Isaac Hempstead Wright talks Bran Stark's return, 'GoT' deaths
- WATCH: 'GoT' star Isaac Hempstead Wright shares dream Bran Stark love team, favorite character, and more
- 'Game of Thrones' star Kristian Nairn: 18 fun facts about the Hodor actor
- 'Hold the door': 'Game of Thrones' star Kristian Nairn on the latest shocker
- Kit Harington speaks up about Jon Snow's fate
- Recap: Huge 'Game of Thrones' shocker revealed in season 6, episode 2
- 'Game of Thrones' season 6 premiere recap: 'The Red Woman'
- 24 new photos: Scenes from 'Game of Thrones' season 6