By now every man and his direwolf must know the shocking revelation from this year’s Game of Thrones, where it was finally confirmed that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) isn’t the bastard son of Sean Bean’s Ned Stark at all but is rather the offspring of deceased Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister Lyanna.
Within the series, though, it’s a different story – apart from Bran (who saw it in a vision) and Ned’s friend Howland Reed (who we still haven’t met in the series), no-one in the Seven Kingdoms is aware of Jon’s true parentage, not even the newly-minted King in the North himself.
However, that may not always have been the case during the series – because one fan has made a pretty convincing argument to suggest that Night’s Watch Maester Aemon (a secret-ish Targaryen himself and brother of a former King) knew about Jon’s origins all along.
Just look at this chat Aemon and Jon had back in season one when Jon was thinking of abandoning his oath to join Robb at war, juxtaposed with images from the Tower of Joy scene where we learned the truth Rhaegar and Lyanna (assembled by redditor sakhnini).
Yes, if Aemon really did know, this conversation could have been some kind of coded foreshadowing of Jon’s real identity and the cost to Ned’s honour that saving his life entailed.
And if we might add another detail, it’s not the only time Aemon could have alluded to Jon’s real heritage thanks to a particularly-worded line and suggestive piece of editing…
Of course this could be a coincidence, and it’s hard to work out exactly how Aemon (who never even left Castle Black around the time Jon was being born) would have picked up the knowledge, but we could always assume that the dialogue hints were meant more for us as the audience – so even if he didn’t know it, Maester Aemon was leaving us clues.
That, or this is all nonsense derived from fans picking apart old scenes while they while away the long months until the next season. Hopefully the first thing.
Game of Thrones will return next year