The Season 4 finale of ‘Game Of Thrones’ airs June 15, and in case you need a distraction from the inevitable horrors that are soon to follow, check out the top fan theories! (Some of which enter conspiracy territory more than others.)
With five books in the Song Of Ice And Fire series and nearly 20 years between them, fans have had a lot of time to discuss their best theories for who Jon Snow’s parents are, what Littlefinger’s deal is, and more. For fans of the Game Of Thrones series who either don’t know about the prevailing theories or who want to discuss prior to and post-finale, read on! However, be warned that SPOILERS ARE BELOW!
Jon Snow’s Parents: Was He Really Borne Of Ned Stark’s Affair?
The most polarizing subject for fans of the ASoIaF series is, without a doubt, Jon Snow’s parentage. While Ned Stark claimed that Jon is his bastard, conceived with a lowborn woman named Wylla, many believe that the truth behind Jon’s parentage goes far deeper than that.
Here are the prevailing theories for Jon Snow’s parentage:
1. Wylla; A lowborn woman from Dorne
Occam’s razor, right? If Jon Snow is indeed the son of Ned and Wylla, as Ned says, then it happened at Starfall, in Dorne. At the time, Ned was returning Ser Arthur Dayne’s sword, Dawn, to his sister, Ashara Dayne. Arthur was a member of King Aerys II Targaryen’s KIngsguard, and had died in combat; Ned was doing the honorable thing by returning the sword. Wylla was the wet nurse at Starfall.
2. Ashara Dayne; A Lady of Dorne with whom Ned was in love
At the Tourney of Harrenhal — when Jaime Lanister was admitted to the Kingsguard — it was rumored that Ashara had slept with either Ned or his brother, Brandon Stark, and that one of them had gotten her pregnant. Ashara jumped out of a tower to her death while Ned was at Starfall, and she had indeed been pregnant at the time. Ser Barristan Selmy believed the child to be stillborn, but Cersei, for one, thinks that Ashara was Jon’s mother. Also important to note, of course, is that Ned was said to be in love with Ashara.
3. The Fisherman’s Daughter; a ship in the night
This theory only came about after the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons, but in it, Lord Godric Borrell tells Ser Davos Seaworth about the time Ned Stark arrived at his shore, brought there by a fisherman in his daughter across the Bite to the North at the beginning of the Rebellion. According to Godric, Ned left the fisherman’s daughter with a bag of silver and a bun in the oven, whom she named Jon after Lord Jon Arryn. The Bite, after all, is a bay that lies between the north and the Vale of Arryn, where Petyr Baelish is currently causing mayhem.
Jon Snow’s Parents: Lyanna Stark & Rhaegar Targaryen?
4. Lyanna Stark/Rhaegar Targaryen
The most prevailing theory of them all is that Jon is not Ned’s son after all, but Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark’s. Rhaegar had been married to Elia Martell, and it was his abduction of Lyanna — who had been betrothed to Robert Baratheon — which triggered the Rebellion. Rhaegar loved Lyanna, and some say he raped her, leaving her with child.
Lyanna was killed in the Rebellion, and with her dying breath, implored Ned to promise her something. We don’t know the content of the promise, but while Ned contemplates Robert’s bastards, his mind drifts to Lyanna, the promise, and to Rhaegar — it’s a pretty logical sequence of events if you consider that Jon was Lyanna and Rhaegar’s bastard.
Furthermore, Arya has been said to resemble Lyanna, the only Stark with typically Stark features — dark hair, dark eyes — and Jon Snow has the same. Finally, while all of the Stark direwolves have dark fur, Ghost is white — so is the hair of every Targaryen who’s been described.
There are many, many other little hints that indicate that R + L = J, and it seems the most likely possibility — unless, of course, George R. R. Martin is messing with all of us again; let us not forget that highly probable scenario.
That said, check out the gallery above for other popular theories within the ASoIaF/GoT universe — from the logical to the clinically insane — vote for your favorite, and comment below!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner