SPOILER WARNING: Whilst the majority of this article relates to theory, speculation and deduction, it contains a few potential spoilers relating to the events of all 5 currently available “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, and to Season 1 & Season 2 of the “Game of Thrones” TV Series. Where possible, I have omitted any spoiler-esque information unless I consider it essential to the article’s subject matter.

Introduction

Who is Jon Snow? Our initial introduction to the 14-year old Jon Snow is in the first chapter of A Game of Thrones as he accompanies the man that we the readers are led to believe is his father, Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark, to execute a deserter of the Night’s Watch. As the apparent bastard child of the Lord of Winterfelll, Jon might well have lived a better life than 90% of the population of Westeros, but he has been made to feel something of an outsider by Ned’s wife Cateyln Stark, since his presence has proved to be a constant reminder of Ned’s supposed infidelity.

The alienation that Jon feels arising from his bastard-born status ultimately compels him to leave his half-siblings in Winterfell and join his Uncle Benjen on The Wall as a man of the Night’s Watch. Before he leaves, Ned makes a promise to Jon that, due to the interference of the Lannisters, he is ultimately unable to keep: “The next time we see each other we’ll talk about your mother, I promise…”

What I’d like to discuss in this article are the hints to Jon Snow’s true parentage that are presented within the books (and to a lesser extent the TV series). I believe that it’s quite clear from the raft of clues that the text provides us with that Jon Snow is not in fact Ned’s son – he is actually the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark, and the previous Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (brother of Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen).

Not convinced? You will be…

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This article was first posted on November 16, 2012