Warning: gigantic spoilers ahead for the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, called "The Dragon and the Wolf." If you haven't caught the episode yet, feel free to peruse some of our other Game of Thrones articles!
Game of Thrones has been spinning the mystery of Jon Snow from the very beginning. Fans have spent years theorizing about his real parents and how we might find out the truth. The Season 6 finale used Bran's abilities as the Three-Eyed Raven to reveal that Jon is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The episode didn't give away his original name, however, and Jon himself has remained in the dark about his parents. Fortunately for fans, the Season 7 finale gave us some big answers, even if Jon himself still doesn't know. His birth name is actually Aegon Targaryen.
Interestingly, "The Dragon and the Wolf" actually presented a different name for Jon before the Aegon bombshell. Bran was able to reveal to Sam that Jon had been born as Lyanna and Rhaegar's child in a tower in Dorne, which led Bran to declare that Jon Snow should actually be Jon Sand. Bastards of noble birth in Dorne are given the surname Sand, so Bran figured that Jon was simply a bastard of another father in another region. Obviously it would still be significant for Jon to be Rhaegar's bastard, but Bran still thought that Jon was illegitimate and therefore a Sand.
Well, Sam was on hand to correct Bran on that particular point. He returned from the Citadel just in time to tell Bran about the High Septon's diary entry that revealed Rhaegar's annulment of his marriage to Elia Martell and his subsequent marriage to another woman. Although the woman was not named in the High Septon's diary, Sam was clearly able to connect the dots once he heard Bran's side of the story. The marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna meant that Jon is neither a Snow nor a Sand; he's a legitimate Targaryen and technically the heir to the Iron Throne in the traditional line of Targaryen succession. He even has a king's name, as Aegon was the name of a number of Targaryen kings, including Aegon the Conqueror who first took the Seven Kingdoms for himself.
In many ways, Jon's birth name might not actually matter all that much unless he wants to claim the Iron Throne for himself. As the legitimate son of Rhaegar, he comes ahead of his aunt Dany in the line of succession, but he's been pretty clear all along that he has no interest in ruling the Seven Kingdoms. He even made it clear that he thinks Dany would be a good ruler for reasons beyond her blood and her dragons. Somehow I doubt Jon will challenge Dany's claim to the Iron Throne, if in fact they both manage to survive to the very end. His status as a Targaryen might be inconsequential; it's the "Aegon" part that may be much more significant for reasons that have nothing to do with the Iron Throne.
In the books that inspired Game of Thrones, Rhaegar named his eldest son Aegon because he believed his child would be the Prince that was Promised. In the show, Rhaegar's first son Aegon clearly isn't the Prince that was Promised, as he was killed back at the end of Robert's rebellion and the show did not try to kinda sorta maybe resurrect him the way the books did. It's possible that Jon's birth name may be our strongest clue yet that he is Azor Ahai. If the Prince that was Promised is going to be a son of Rhaegar named Aegon, all the pieces are falling into place for a big Azor Ahai reveal in Season 8. As the offspring of a Targaryen and a Stark, Jon himself could be the "song of ice and fire."
Of course, a popular theory has been that the song of ice and fire is actually the union of Jon and Dany, and "The Dragon and the Wolf" revealed that their union was happening even as Bran was experiencing his vision of the Wall falling courtesy of the Night King and undead Viserion. Given that Jon questioned Dany's claim that she can't have children based off of Mirri Maz Duur's words earlier in the episode, my money is on Jon and Dany making a baby together. The Targaryens were big fans of incest back in the day; who knows? Maybe Dany just needed another set of Targaryen genes in order to get pregnant.
We'll have to wait and see if Jon goes on as a Snow or seizes his birth name as Aegon Targaryen. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news. Hopefully we don't have to wait too terribly long for information about what's to come in Game of Thrones Season 8. If you need some ideas of what to watch now that Thrones has come to an end for the year, swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.