Just when we thought we knew everything about Jon Snow and his intricate backstory, a new theory comes around to add extra detail.
You probably know the basics: born from a secret marriage between Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, the young hero was given to his uncle, Ned Stark, for protection. To prevent him from meeting the same violent fate as other Targaryens, Ned took the baby as his own, claiming he was the result of an affair, and changed his name to Jon, giving him the surname "Snow," as is customary for bastards in the North.
That's a twisty enough story, but there may more to the name than meets the eye. A theory has surfaced that suggests Jon's name could have been a masterful easter egg courtesy of Ned Stark.
Jon's real lineage has remained a mystery in #Westeros thanks to Ned's tight secrecy. The man never budged when keeping Jon's identity secret... or did he?
The Display Of A Unique Bond
#NedStark was a sentimental fella. He named his children after people he deeply cared about. Rickon was named after Ned's father, Bran (a.k.a. creepy Three-Eyed Raven) was named after Ned's older brother, Brandon, and Robb owes his name to Ned's best friend, Robert Baratheon. As mentioned, that dynamic was no different for #JonSnow. Ned named him after Jon Arryn, the man who raised him and his brother.
We've known that bit of trivia for quite a while, but a Reddit user by the name of duh_metrius may have discovered a deeper meaning behind it. The user proposes that, since Jon Arryn acted as Ned's surrogate father, Ned named our young hero "Jon" to parallel his peculiar relationship with Arryn:
"Jon Arryn wasn't Ned's father, but Jon Arryn raised Ned as though he was his own son. In turn, Ned decided that although he was not this child's father, he was going to raise him like his own son. Thus, he named him Jon. The parallel between those two relationships is the depth in the name."
Mind.Blown. You may be wondering whether this theory is accurate. Game of Thrones theories are often intricate and complex, but this particular explanation is pretty straightforward, and fits perfectly with the storyline. Granted, it could have been one enormous coincidence, but even if it was, the obvious parallels between Ned's relationship with Arryn and his relationship with Snow are there.
If this theory isn't just the result of a coincidence, good ol' Ned was one subtle and courageous genius. I mean, he hid the truth of his nephew's parentage – part of it, at least – in plain sight the whole time, knowing full well that everyone would have been all over his neck had they found out the truth. Granted, it was a fairly obscure detail, but all that was needed to bring down their peaceful family life was one eagle-eyed Westeros resident looking deeper into their situation, and putting two and two together.
Good going, Ned.
What do you make of this theory? Did Ned name Jon that way for his similarities with Jon Arryn? Let me know in the comments!