In a twist many fans saw coming (and dreaded), Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen acted on their flirtations and slept together in the Season 7 finale. The writers and directors intercut their sex scene with flashes to Bran and Sam, as they pieced together undeniable proof that they are related.
Jon is the son of Dany’s brother, Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned Stark’s sister Lyanna. They ran away together and eloped, which Bran confirmed by visiting in the past. Bran also revealed that Jon’s name was never meant to be “Jon Snow,” and not just because he’s not a bastard. Lyanna whispered to her brother Ned that her baby was named “Aegon Targaryen.” And it’s a loaded moniker.
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Aegon was the name of the very original Targaryen who came to Westeros, Aegon the Conqueror. He and his two sisters rode dragons and took the continent 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones began.
Because Rhaegar and Lyanna were in a consensual, loving and married relationship, Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie, but no one knew it. Before the series began Robert Baratheon rebelled against the Targaryens, in part because it was believed that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna, who he was betrothed to. Either Robert believed the lie or perpetuated it, either way he used it to usurp the Iron Throne. It would make sense that the parents, in the midst of this war, wanted to give their son a name that screamed legitimacy if they wanted him to one day sit on the Iron Throne. Unfortunately for them, Ned gave him the exact opposite: The bastard name “Snow.”
Oh, how Jon Snow has grown. Over seven seasons on ‘Game of Thrones,’ Kit Harington’s bastard from the North rose through the ranks of the Night’s Watch, was assassinated, then resurrected and crowned king. That’s a lot of change for one character, and you can see how much Jon has evolved through his costuming. We look back at his style evolution, starting at the beginning when the naive Winterfell boy wore shorter hair, less facial hair and Stark furs when arriving to Castle Black.
As a Targaryen, Jon will likely be able to ride a dragon (handy that there’s just one left for him, Rhaegal, named after his father) and be able to walk through fire like Dany has done time and again. His Stark side might mean he is able to warg, like Bran. As Rhaegar’s legitimate son, he is the rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms, superseding Dany. This amount of power in his lineage, plus his resurrection, suggest that Jon is the Prince Who Was Promised, the prophesied hero who will save the world from darkness, which is just what he wants to do.
The name Aegon Targaryen is even more significant in the books (mild spoilers follow). By the end of A Dance With Dragons, the fifth and last published book so far, it’s revealed that one of Rhaegar’s children with Elia Martell survived, his son, Aegon. Or at least a young man named Young Griff who claims to be that Aegon. He was hidden away in Essos, and eventually Tyrion joins with him, since he was the one Varys and Illyrio supported reinstating on the Iron Throne from the beginning.
Because he was cut from the show, some book fans think that Griff/Aegon is a pretender, and so wasn’t important enough to keep in the show. But this new reveal may mean that Jon’s story will encompass part of what that Aegon will do in the books. Or it might mean that Griff isn’t the real Aegon, and Rhaegar and Lyanna passed the name on to baby Jon.
Regardless of what his name is, Jon is still going to have to come to terms with the fact that he just got romantically involved with his aunt, since Sam and Bran are so intent on telling him who his family really is.
We’ll see how they deal with the fallout in Season 8.