Episode 5 of “Game of Thrones” Season 7, “Eastwatch,” featured some moments fans have been waiting for, and other surprises No One saw coming (yeah, we’re talking about Arya).
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) touched a dragon; Gendry (Joe Dempsie) finally returned; Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) reunited with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to talk about joining the fight against the White Walkers; Cersei (Lena Headey) revealed she’s pregnant; Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) fooled Arya (Maisie Williams) by planting a mysterious scroll written by Sansa (Sophie Turner) in his chambers; and Dany (Emilia Clarke) took a slightly evil turn, burning Randyll (James Faulkner) and Dickon Tarly (Tom Hopper) for not bending the knee. (But it is a war after all, what is she supposed to do?)
And with all that going on, the show quietly seemed to confirm the missing piece to the Jon Snow puzzle.
Remember those documents that Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) gave Sam (John Bradley) to preserve earlier in Season 7?
Well, while Sam is working on them, Gilly (Hannah Murray) comes across a passage from a High Septon Maynard saying someone named “Prince Ragger,” aka Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, had his marriage annulled and was remarried in a secret ceremony in Dorne.
This is finally some proof that Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark (Aisling Franciosi), the parents of Jon Snow, were married, making Jon a legitimate Targaryen heir.
Like the former mystery of Jon Snow’s real parents, the legitimacy of Jon is something that’s been theorized about for years. The fact that Rhaegar left some of his Kingsguard to protect Lyanna in the Tower of Joy raised fans’ suspicions, but proof has been lacking.
Up until now, we’ve been expected to believe Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, who was already betrothed to Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), and this led to the events that started Robert’s Rebellion and removed the Targaryens from the Iron Throne, thus setting up everything that’s happened on “Game of Thrones.”
With the reveal that Rhaegar had his marriage annulled, likely his marriage to wife Elia Martell, it seems more likely that the prince and Lyanna actually ran away together, got married and welcomed baby Jon Snow.
In George R.R. Martin’s novel A Clash of Kings, Dany seemingly sees Rhaegar talking about this in one of her visions in the House of the Undying (these events were changed in the on-screen version):
The man had her brother’s hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. “Aegon,” he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. “What better name for a king?”
“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked.
“He has a song,” the man replied. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany’s, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. “There must be one more,” he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. “The dragon has three heads.”
There is a lot of speculation about this prophecy and what it actually means, but many believe it’s because of this that Rhaegar wanted a third child. (The third head of the dragon.)
We know Lyanna was that third baby’s mama. Now, we can assume Rhaegar was her husband, too.
More evidence: after Gilly reads the passage about the annulment, an annoyed Sam complains that while he’s preserving Maynard’s documents, the secret to defeating the Night King could be sitting on some shelf somewhere.
Uh, hello, Sam. This could be a nod that Jon Snow is the secret.
Also, he likely isn’t actually named Jon Snow, since that’s a bastard name. A theory last year predicted Snow’s real name would be Jaehaerys, but it could also be something like Aegon, since that’s the name used in the vision Dany has about Rhaegar.
All praise Jon Snow, King in the North, possibly rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and the secret to defeating the White Walkers.
Long may he reign and long may he brood.