Game of Thrones spent six seasons building on the mystery of Jon Snow's parentage. There were plenty of theories, and most fans seemed to think it likely that Ned Stark wasn't his father. The most popular theory had to be Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon, with the idea that Lyanna Stark willingly ran off with Rhaegar Targaryen and they made Jon together. The Season 6 finale seemingly -- although not quite definitively -- confirmed Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon. Now, a new spoiler may have come out that points to yet another mystery being solved in the finale that many of us might not have caught: Jon Snow's original name.
In the flashback in which Lyanna makes her brother Ned promise to look after her baby boy, she seems to whisper "His name is..." before dying. A new blurb from Empire magazine has claimed that Jon's birth name is Jaehaerys Targaryen. While we can't say for sure where the information came from, it's worth noting that the blurb was printed as part of a large feature all about Game of Thrones, and actor Isaac Hempstead Wright is quoted in the same paragraph, although he did not mention the name "Jaehaerys." It's possible that the claim of Jon Snow's birth name is a spoilerific scoop; it's also possible that it was written by a fan who had a theory and no new evidence.
Even if the "spoiler" is only a theory, it's actually a pretty solid theory. In the Season 6 finale, viewers didn't exactly need to be master lip readers to see that Lyanna was whispering "His name is..." to Ned. While the name itself is harder to discern, she does seem to be saying something along the lines of "Jaehaerys." Check it out:
Sure, Lyanna was moments away from death, but she certainly seems to have enough left in her to say her son's name. Assuming the father is Rhaegar Targaryen, Jaehaerys mostly makes sense as a name. The history of Westeros as we know it so far tells us that the Targaryens loved recycling names through their dynasty, and Jaehaerys I was an important figure in the Targaryen line. He was the fourth king of the dynasty, and he is responsible for making peace between the royal family and the Faith of the Seven.
The end of the conflict under the reign of Jaehaerys I meant that the Faith would drop its condemnation of House Targaryen's penchant for incest, which would actually make the name a slightly peculiar choice for the baby who would come to be known as Jon. After all, any union between Rhaegar and Lyanna would be one of the few between a Targaryen and a non-Targaryen. That said, Jon's real name being Jaehaerys could be a clue that the show really will pursue a relationship between Jon and Dany. The entire saga is based on a book series called A Song of Ice and Fire, and Jon and Dany represent ice and fire. If they were to marry, they could possibly unite the Seven Kingdoms, and the incest aspect might not matter so much. Jaehaerys I would be so proud.
Then again, I can totally see Jon wanting nothing to do with the six kingdoms that aren't the North once all is said and done after Season 8. If he survives to the end of the series, he might just want to stay up in the North. The Iron Throne has never been as important to the Northerners as the other regions, and he might not care about uniting the kingdom by marrying his aunt even if that was ever an option.
We'll have to wait and see. At this point, it's entirely possible that we're all just going stir crazy from the long hiatus between Seasons 6 and 7 and are imagining things when we watch Lyanna's final scene. Only time will tell. Drop by our breakdown of what we know so far about Game of Thrones Season 7 for a look at what has been confirmed so far about the next batch of episodes, and don't forget to take a look at our summer TV premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).