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Did 'Game of Thrones' Reveal Jon Snow’s Secret Name?

On a show with dragons, ice zombies, and murderous wedding plots, someone having a different name maybe doesn't seem like the biggest reveal in the world. But what else are we going to talk about until 2017?

by Lincoln Michel
Jun 29 2016, 4:03pm

Photo via HBO

WARNING: Spoilers, yadda yadda.

Everyone knows Jon Snow's name is Jon Snow, but a crazy new fan theory presupposes that... maybe it isn't? The theory, originally from Reddit user sparkledavisjr, says that last Sunday's Game of Thrones finale didn't only reveal that his dad isn't Ned Stark, it also revealed that his name isn't even Jon. On a show that features giant dragons, evil ice elves, and murderous wedding plots, someone having a different name maybe doesn't seem like the biggest reveal in the world. Still, we have to talk about something for the next year.

First, let's take a step back and look at what happened (because if my Twitter and Facebook feeds are any indication, plenty of people were simply confused). For years, book readers have speculated that Ned Stark is not really Jon Snow's dad. This was confirmed in the season finale when Bran taps into the mystic weirwood tree internet and travels back in the past to watch his father, Ned Stark, enter the Tower of Joy. (Bran saw part of this scene early in the season, but the crotchety old Three-Eyed-Raven pulled him out before he could finish it.) This time, we see Ned Stark enter the tower to find a woman bleeding to death after giving birth. She makes Ned promise to take care of the baby, saying—if you turn up the volume loud enough to decipher—"If Robert finds out he'll kill him, you know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned. Promise me."

The woman is Lyanna Stark, Ned's sister, who, depending on who you ask, was either kidnapped by or absconded with a rival prince named Rhaegar Targaryen. This confirms the long-held fan theory that Rhaegar and Lyanna were Jon's real parents. If you are still confused, Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon and her kidnapping/ absconding was a major reason for the civil war that landed Robert on the throne. Rhaegar was the son of the Mad King Aerys, the one who was killed by Jaime Lannister because he wanted to blow up King's Landing with wildfire. (Did you notice Jaime's "whoops" face when he saw Cersei get crowned after, well, blowing up part of King's Landing with wildfire?). Rhaegar was also the older brother of a certain Mother of Dragons.

OK, now that we are caught up, what's Jon Snow née Targaryen's real first name? In the Tower of Joy scene, Lyanna also whispers something that sounds like "—erys." She could be referencing the Mad King, Aerys, but it also seems plausible that she was telling Ned the baby's name. Redditer sparkledavisjr argues she says, "His name is Jaehaerys":

"This makes a lot of sense as a name (instead of Jon), as both previous Jaehaerys to rule were considered good Kings.

Jaehaerys I was the 4th Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was known as "the Wise," "The Conciliator," and "the Old King." His long rule was prosperous and he was aided by his sister-wife Alysanne, who convinced Jaehaerys to expand the Night's Watch and granted them the land now known as the New Gift."

That all seems plausible, but what does this mean for the story? Well... probably nothing. Its kind of fun trivia, but it doesn't really matter if Jon Snow was really Chet Targaryen, Benedict Snow, or Jaden Stark. Right now he's the King in the North, baby! Long may he reign.

Follow Lincoln Michel on Twitter.

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