Why Game Of Thrones Took So Long To Confirm Jon Snow's Parents, According To One Star

game of thrones rhaegar lyanna wedding bran

Season 7 was a very big year for Game of Thrones as the finale finally and definitively revealed the answer to one of the biggest questions of the entire series: who are Jon Snow's parents? Season 6 did drop some big hints that Jon was at least the son from Lyanna rather than Ned Stark, but his father was not revealed, and Thrones waited until almost the very end of Season 7 to explicitly confirm via one of Bran's visions that Jon is the son of a married Rhaegar and Lyanna and therefore not actually a bastard. Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran, spoke with CinemaBlend about why the reveal happened when it did, saying this:

I think it wasn't quite fully explained how Bran's power works. It's not that he knows absolutely everything already, it's like he has a dictionary in front of him, or an encyclopedia with all of history, and he can look anything up. Like at the end when Samwell says 'Oh, is this something you can see?' Bran can go back and look at it and say 'Oh yeah, that happened.' He hasn't been the Three-Eyed Raven long enough to look through all of history in the way that Max von Sydow's Three-Eyed Raven had to be in that cave for thousands of years and had been able to spend every single day exploring different parts of history, whereas Bran Stark is still only kind of looking at the important bits. It was more the fact that he didn't know where to look, not that he was withholding. That's officially how Bran's power works.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright spoke with CinemaBlend in support of the Blu-ray and DVD release of Game of Thrones Season 7, which can be found in the HBO Shop and other retailers starting December 12. When Bran first went back in history to the Tower of Joy sequence in which Ned reunited with Lyanna, he returned to the present without getting all the answers about how the baby came to be. The Season 7 finale revealed that Bran simply believed Jon was a bastard born in Dorne, making him a Sand rather than a Snow and definitely not a legitimate Stark or Targaryen.

Bran discovered that Jon was Lyanna and Rhaegar's during his first visit into the Tower of Joy, but it never occurred to him to go back further into history until Sam dropped the bombshell that Rhaegar was documented by a septon as having annulled his marriage to Elia Martell and married Lyanna. Game of Thrones took such a long time to confirm Jon as the son (and rightful heir) of Rhaegar Targaryen because Bran hadn't thought to check that far into the past yet.

While fans probably would have liked to get confirmation that Rhaegar and Lyanna married and then made baby Jon/Jaehaerys, Isaac Hempstead Wright's explanation of why we had to wait makes sense. Bran had only begun to experience all that was possible as the Three-Eyed Raven before he and Meera were forced to flee (and Hodor died), and he's had a lot on his plate with the Great War ever since he returned south of the Wall. Bran had enough to worry about in his role as the new Three-Eyed Raven without taking trips to the past out of mere curiosity. After all, discovering that his illegitimate brother was seemingly his illegitimate cousin was big enough that Bran might not have expected to find another bombshell in Jon's past.

Now that Bran knows the truth about Jon, he has some big decisions in front of him. Sam does technically also know that Jon Snow is really a Targaryen, but Bran is the only one who has witnessed both Rhaegar and Lyanna's marriage and Jon's birth. He can confirm with absolute certainty what happened; the question is whether he should. The alliance between Dany and Jon is largely what is keeping the army to oppose the White Walkers together, and they were on the same page (and in the same bed) by the end of the finale. A reveal that Jon rather than Dany is technically the rightful heir to the Iron Throne in the Targaryen line could upset the balance tremendously. Even if Jon doesn't want the Iron Throne, the fact that he is ahead of Dany in the line of succession could present problems.

Then again, Jon has always wanted to know his mother's identity, and he deserves to learn who his parents were and what happened to them. He also deserves to know that hooking up with Dany means hooking up with his aunt. Incest may be totally cool for the Targaryens, but Jon was raised among the Starks. He might not be on board with the relationship if he finds out that they're blood relations.

We'll have to wait and see if and when Bran decides to tell Jon of his identity as a Targaryen. If he doesn't, Sam probably will. Game of Thrones Season 7 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD starting December 12 if you want to relive all the action. Only time will tell what's in store, although we may end up waiting all the way until 2019 to see the eighth and final season, which will also be the shortest season to date. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in Game of Thrones news, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide for your other viewing options.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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).