Warning! May contain spoilers!
If you haven’t caught up with Game of Thrones season 6 then A) What are you doing with your life? and B) You should stop reading right about…. Now.
Stopped reading yet? No?
You have been warned.
With Episode 2 ending with the highly inevitable and oh-so-not-surprising resurrection of Jon Snow there is no doubt that things are about get even more insane in Westeros. Now that the (former) Lord Commander has woken up from his little nap there is the unprecedented matter of his release from the vows he made when he joined the Night’s Watch, which of course only end with the death of the brother making them.
See where I’m going with this?
Well there is a highly popular theory running across the fandom that ol’ Jonny-boy is not actually the bastard son of Ned Stark, like everyone believes, but secretly has Targaryen blood.
This theory (imaginatively titled “R + L = J”) states that in the aftermath of Robert’s Rebellion, when Eddard Stark rocks up to the Tower of Joy to rescue his sister, Lyanna, from the clutches of Rhaegar Targaryen, the “bed of blood” he finds her in is in reality one of a rather messy and terminal childbirth.
Ned Stark, being a painfully honourable man, takes Lyanna’s dying “promise me, Ned” to heart and tells everyone that the child he finds there is his own son and eventually takes that secret with him to the grave.
For those of you paying attention, this would make Jon (“J”) the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (“R + L”) and thus a genuine contender for the throne, considering “I shall wear no crowns” part of the Night’s Watch oath doesn’t apply now he’s gone through the “It shall not end until my death” bit.
Now we’re all caught up, what’s so significant about Episode 3?
In order to get the fans sufficiently riled up (like they need it), HBO have taken to releasing teasers for the coming episodes and the latest one promises one hell of an episode.
In it we see (along with a bunch of other stuff) a few men approaching a tower and a bit of a fight breaks out. What’s significant about this is that it’s from the point of view of one of Bran and ol’ Three-Eyes’ visions about his family’s past.
This particular vision features a young man with a very Ned-like haircut and a faux-Yorkshire accent challenge three armoured Kingsguard who are blocking their path to the tower. The thing that really ties the scene to the period of Robert’s Rebellion is what we see on the breastplates of the Kingsguard.
Do you see that? It’s a fricking triple-headed fricking dragon, that’s what! Those gents there are most definitely Targaryen Kingsguard and they are most certainly the three Kingsguard (Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent, and the then-Lord Commander Gerold Hightower) we already know from the books as having been left behind to guard Lyanna.
This will be one of the most significant episodes in the history of Game of Thrones because there is a good chance that we will finally know the truth about Jon Snow’s parentage, if the theory is correct of course.
Either that or it’ll not reveal anything and George R. R. Martin will rub himself down with fistfuls of money and laugh maniacally for days.
Both are just as likely.