Looks like Westeros could use a Jerry Springer of its own. Despite leaving the show in a shocking, violent manner three years ago, Sean Bean revealed to Vulture that he wants to make another appearance on Game of Thrones… if only to settle a custody dispute. The former Ned Stark was delighted to find out that the show might be planning some flashbacks in the upcoming season that would allow him to drop by the Seven Kingdoms and clear up some “unfinished business”: “I’m obviously not Jon Snow’s dad. And you need that to be revealed at some point, don’t you? So Bran would kind of be the one having the flashback, and he would see Ned praying, right? And revealing those things?”
Before you get too excited, though, nothing about the flashbacks or Jon Snow’s true lineage has officially been confirmed, but it does seem as if Bean agrees with the popular fan theory that posits that Jon is actually the son of Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark, and Rhaegar Targaryen. The theory, which is based on several key pieces of evidence presented in the books that unfortunately didn’t make their way into the show, states that Lyanna and Rhaegar ran away together, and when Ned found her in the middle of the war, in a bed filled with blood, he made her a promise that he kept for the rest of his life. That promise was to raise her son as his own, and keep him safe from Robert Baratheon, her betrothed, who would kill the baby for being a Targaryen. As the series has grown in length and popularity over the years, this idea has become one of the most dominant points of speculation, and a video breaking down all of the evidence supporting it recently went viral.
While we still have to wait for George R.R. Martin himself to confirm or refute the theory, it would have a major effect on the series if it were true. Firstly, being the son of Rhaegar would not only mean that Jon is Ned’s nephew, but Daenerys’ as well, which gives him a claim to the Iron Throne. In fact, it would give him a better claim to becoming King of Westeros than the one Dany has, since he would be Rhaegar’s immediate heir. However, it seems unlikely that Jon would be able to actually rule the kingdom, since unless Rhaegar and Lyanna married in secret, he would still be a bastard. He could, of course, be legitimized in some way – much like Ramsay Bolton was at the end of Season 4 – but even then, as a member of Night’s Watch, he wouldn’t be allowed to own property or wear a crown. Depending on what happens in the sixth book, he might be able to find a loophole in those rules, but as of right now, Jon’s loyalty is to the Wall.
Therefore, it’s hard to really predict the exact repercussions that Jon’s true lineage would have on Westeros as a whole. Some fans have speculated that having both Stark and Targaryen blood would make Jon the “Song of Ice and Fire” that is mentioned in the title of the series. Since some Starks are wargs, and some Targaryens have the kind of powers normally associated with dragons, it could be possible that Jon has some kind of power as well, which Martin will likely reveal later in the series.
The “Ice and Fire” could also have something to do with Dany. Fans have been waiting for her and Jon to interact for years now, and if they are related, that could make a meeting between the two much more likely. Perhaps their shared lineage would allow them to form an alliance of some sort, as Dany’s army and Jon’s command of the Wall would be beneficial to both of them. Alternatively, it could create some kind of competition between them, especially since Dany has lived her whole life believing that she is the only person in Westeros who should rightfully inherit the Iron Throne.
There’s also been speculation that Jon being Lyanna’s son makes him the third part of the Three-Headed Dragon that is if often talked about, which prophecies the person meant to rule Westeros. Some fans believe that the three people who make up the dragon’s heads are the children whose mothers died in childbirth: Dany, Tyrion, and Jon. Martin noting that Ned made his promise to Lyanna while she was in a “blood-soaked” bed seems to imply that she died giving birth to Jon, which makes him a likely candidate to be one of the dragon’s heads. Others think that the Three-Headed Dragon is made up of three people with Targaryen blood, since Aemon I conquered Westeros with two other people, and so Jon, Dany and Maester Aemon would be the ones the prophecy refers to. Alternatively, being the embodiment of the “Song of Ice and Fire” thanks to his parents could mean that Jon is Azhor Ahai, the prince who has been promised by the Lord of the Light to lead the people out of darkness. If fans have correctly predicted what will happen in Book 6, then it seems like Jon might indeed be the savior of the Seven Kingdoms.
Regardless of whether any of this is true, Jon discovering who his parents really are would be important to him on a personal level, as it would finally give him a sense of self and belonging. He has spent his whole life feeling like an outsider, and he has never been able to fit in with any group. If he can learn where he truly comes from, he might be able to find some kind of inner peace, and then maybe he can stop moping around so much. Still, we’ll have to wait until Martin finishes the series in order to find out if any of these theories are correct, and get the answers we’ve been clamoring for. Although, at the rate he’s going, we’ll probably never get any answers at all.