Now that Game of Thrones has finally revealed in the season 6 finale Sunday, June 26, that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is actually the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark — and not, as previously suggested, the illegitimate product of a random road fling by Ned Stark — many a Westerosian family tree is being amended to reflect this exciting development. (And by amended, we mean that nerds all over the world are simply writing in permanent ink what they’d already penciled in decades ago.)
But if you don’t have time to remap Jon’s entire lineage right this minute, HBO released a useful and thorough infographic Wednesday, June 29, that shows how the truth about his parentage changes his relationships with basically everyone in Westeros.
If you need a refresher, here’s what we learned over the course of season 6: that Rhaegar Targaryen, son of crazy King Aerys and heir to the Iron Throne, kidnapped the lovely Lyanna Stark to be his mistress and/or bigamist bride — to the great distress of Robert Baratheon, Lyanna’s intended. Baratheon’s outraged response was to stage Robert’s Rebellion, toppling the Targaryen dynasty, taking the throne for himself and declaring a lifelong war against every last ding-dang dragon-riding descendant of House Targaryen.
Needless to say, it would have been pretty awkward if Robert knew his old pal and ally Ned Stark was secretly housing the boy that Rhaegar Targaryen had fathered with the woman Robert loved, hence all the Stark secrecy surrounding Jon Snow’s true parentage.
In other words, it’s complicated. But spend a little time staring at those wild lines, and you’ll begin to appreciate just how central Jon Snow (who knows nothing about any of this, of course) is to every last drama and intrigue that took place in six seasons of Game of Thrones — even before you consider the part where he’s probably the savior destined to defeat the White Walkers.
This tangled web tells you basically everything you need to know about not just who Jon Snow’s parents are, but how he fits into 100 years of alliances, grudges, power grabs and revolutions within the seven kingdoms … and maybe, just maybe, if he’s destined to rule someday.
Tell Us: How will the Jon Snow reveal change the show?
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