I know, I know. After Game of Thrones wrapped up Season 6 with the long-awaited, game-changing confirmation of R+L=J, there shouldn't be many Jon Snow theories left. And yet here we are, about to take yet another deep dive into the history of the Stark bastard-turned-Targaryen heir, because we're Game of Thrones fans and that's what we do.
This particular theory is rooted in the books, but could have a major impact on Season 7 of the show, so turn away now if potential spoilers of any kind are about as appealing to you as a gigantic cauldron of moon tea.
In A Clash of Kings, Jojen Reed tells Bran Stark of a dream he had. In the dream he sees a "winged wolf, bound to earth with grey stone chains." Next to the winged wolf, a three-eyed crow tries without luck to peck through the chains and free the winged wolf. Jojen believes Bran is the winged wolf, but warns him "You will never fly — unless you open your eye."
If that seems pretty cut and dry, consider that many of the visions and dreams that punctuate A Song of Ice and Fire are open to misinterpretation. Melisandre, for instance, saw Stannis' great victory in the flames, and we all know how that ended up. Jojen also dreamed of Bran and Rickon, dead at the foot of Reek, faces skinned with a "long red blade", but that too would never come to fruition.
Given that Jojen has a history of reading his dreams too literally - he also saw a drowned Winterfell, which turned out to be the attack of the Iron Islanders, the water in the dream thus symbolic rather than literal — could it be that the winged wolf is not Bran at all, but Jon Snow?
It makes perfect sense: The wolf represents the House Stark, the wings represent the dragon of the House Targaryen, and Jon, as we now know, has the DNA of both. A three-eyed "crow" was present in the dream; Bran has since become the three-eyed raven.
When Game of Thrones returns for Season 7, you would expect that Bran will either find a way back to Winterfell, or meet with Ser Howland Reed, potentially the only other living person who knows of Jon's Targaryen bloodline. Either way, a reunion is inevitable sooner or later if Jon is to be one of the three heads of the dragon when Daenerys takes back Winterfell (although Dany's claim to the throne is now under threat).
The crow in the dream wants to free the wolf from its chains. The belief that he is a Stark bastard chains Jon Snow to Winterfell; the knowledge that he is a Targaryen with a claim to the throne would effectively set him free. The crow's struggle to break the chains might represent Bran's inability to communicate the message to Jon, perhaps because of the intervention of a third party with an entirely different agenda (perhaps that's where Littlefinger enters the equation).
As theories go, this one is far from iron-cast and built largely on a subjective reading of the text, as well the assumption that Benioff and Weiss intend to run with something that happened a long time ago in the books. It's also not a game-changer, more a confirmation of something solid logic could already have predicted, but either way it's fun to throw a theory around — and we've got a long wait until Season 7.