Game of Thrones finished its super compelling seventh season by confirming what R + L = J theorists have long suspected to be true: that Jon is not the bastard son of beheaded King in the North Ned Stark but rather the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister, Lyanna.
The finale also confirmed Gilly’s Citadel discovery that Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia Martell and married Lyanna before Jon was born, making Jon – and not Daenerys – the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
While Jon and Dany don’t know that yet – too busy banging while sailing to the North, no doubt – one person who knew all along was Ned Stark.
And he just couldn’t resist hiding the secret in plain sight, via the medium of Jon’s bastard name.
As Reddit user duh_metrius points out, all of Ned’s sons were named after men he was close to: Robb was named after Robert Baratheon, Bran after Ned’s brother Brandon, and Rickon after his father.
The same courtesy was applied to his fake son’s fake name as well, with Jon named after Jon Arryn, ‘the man who wasn’t Ned’s father, but raised him like a son’.
This just so happens to be a major spoiler about the fact Jon is not Ned’s real son, and it was hidden in plain sight the whole time – but is there another clue to be derived from his namesake?
We think so.
As revisited in the season seven finale, Jon Arryn was killed by his wife Lysa under Littlefinger’s instruction, and his death practically kicked off the whole series, as this was what made Ned invite the Lannisters to King’s Landing in season one (so he could investigate Jon’s suspicious death) in the first place.
While we all know what happened there – Jaime pushed Bran, the War of the Five Kings began, etc – our main point is whether this was a secret indicator all along that the story would come full circle.
If Jon Arryn started the Game of Thrones, does this mean Jon Snow is the man who will finish it, by claiming his rightful place on the Iron Throne?
Only time will tell.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK.
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