As fans gear up for the final season of Game of Thrones to kick off this April, many are rewatching previous seasons in anticipation. Season seven
As fans gear up for the final season of Game of Thrones to kick off this April, many are rewatching previous seasons in anticipation. Season seven received mixed reviews generally but it was the series that revealed the truth behind Jon Snow’s (played by Kit Harington) parentage, confirming years of fan theories from show watchers and book readers alike. But for those who aren’t familiar or who need a refresher, here’s what you need to know about Jon’s real parents.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7
Season seven of Game of Thrones revealed some long-running theories about Jon Snow’s true parentage.
As speculated by fans of both the show and books for many years, the so-called R+L=J theory was true – Jon’s parents did indeed turn out to be Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark and not Ned Stark(Sean Bean) and a mystery woman.
The earth-shattering revelation was made via flashback through one of Bran Stark’s (Isaac Hempstead Wright) visions.
The premonition into the past shows a secret wedding between Rhaegar and Lyanna which is incredibly significant because it proves that Jon is not a bastard and is actually the rightful Targaryen heir – not Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).
In the flashback, the two characters were played by Wilf Scolding and Aisling Franciosi.
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Who were Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen?
Lyanna Stark was the sister of Ned Stark who died before the events of Game of Thrones during an uprising called Robert’s Rebellion.
Rhaegar Targaryen was the Targaryen prince and son of the Mad King. He is Daenerys’ older brother.
Lyanna was engaged to be married to Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) who was leading the war against the Mad King Aerys Targaryen.
The rebellion itself was triggered when Lyanna was allegedly abducted by the Targaryen prince Rhaegar.
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Robert defeated Targaryen forces and dismantled the once powerful dynasty but by this stage Lyanna had died in mysterious circumstances, with Robert believing Rhaegar killed her.
However, in season seven, it is revealed that Lyanna was never abducted but had eloped with Rhaegar and married him.
She died during childbirth giving birth to who we now know is Jon Snow.
Lyanna begged her brother Ned to keep her son’s identity a secret as Robert had ordered all Targaryens killed.
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Rhaegar was killed by Robert himself at the Battle of the Trident.
The audience now know the truth about Jon Snow’s parents but he and Daenerys have no clue.
It remains to be seen how this revelation will impact on the events of season eight.
Game of Thrones season 8 starts on April 14 on HBO and Sky Atlantic