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All the Times Game of Thrones Hinted at Jon Snow's Real Parents

Some of these are too funny

Sadie Gennis

Game of Thrones has all but confirmed the R+L=J theory, but they still haven't said the magic words that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.

Even if you haven't spent hours scouring Reddit and reading fan theories online, the fact that Jon is actually Rhaegar and Lyanna's son shouldn't come as a huge surprise. If you've been paying close attention, the show has actually been teasing this reveal all along.

Check out all the times Game of Thrones hinted at who Jon Snow's real parents are below:

1. Ned's (Sean Bean) refusal to call Jon his son, but confirming he has Stark blood

In Game of Thrones' second episode, Ned gives Jon a pep talk before he joins the Night's Watch. However, rather than refer to Jon as his son, Ned merely says that Jon had his "blood," which is true since Jon is his nephew.


2. Ned's refusal to even describe what Jon's mother looked like

Ned and Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) are BFF's, and yet Ned won't even give his buddy a vague description of what Jon's mother looked like when the King asks in the second episode of the first season. Not that we blame Ned. Seeing as Jon's mother is Robert's former fiancée, we bet Robert would have picked up on the similarities quite quickly.


3. This ridiculous Easter Egg

In the fourth episode of Season 1, you can spot the letters "RL" carved into a wooden beam in a scene where Jon discusses the mystery of his mother's identity. "I don't know if she's a noblewoman, or a fisherman's wife or a whore," Jon says, while the cinematography literally spells out R+L=J.


4. When Aemon spells out why Ned chose to protect Jon

In the ninth episode of the first season, Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughn) reveals his true identity to Jon in a speech that takes on a whole new meaning once you know what Ned did to protect Jon. "If the day should ever come when your lord father was forced to choose between honor, on the one hand, and those he loves, on the other, what would he do?" Aemon wonders. The Maester then poses this very revealing hypothetical.


5. Jorah unwittingly explains the parallels between Jon and Rhaegar

Long before Jon was killed by his own men for simply trying to do the right thing, Jorah (Iain Glen) foreshadowed his death by unknowingly drawing parallels between Jon and his father, Rhaegar, when discussing the prince's death in the third episode of Season 3.


6. Melisandre's attraction to Jon

Game of Thrones started seriously hinting at Jon's parentage in the fifth season, kicking off with a premiere that included this memorable exchange between Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and Jon. As we've seen with Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) in the past, Melisandre has the serious hots for king's blood. And as the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Jon would definitely have some, which could explain Melisandre's instant attraction to him.


7. The look on Littlefinger's face when Sansa tells her version of Lyanna's story

In Season 5's fifth episode, Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) visit the crypt in Winterfell, where the pair discuss Sansa's aunt Lyanna. When Littlefinger wonders how many people lost their lives because Rhaegar chose Lyanna over his wife Elia, Sansa retorts, "Yes, he chose her. And then he kidnapped her and raped her." This prompts Littlefinger to give Sansa the most smug, knowing look of all time, clearly hinting that he knows there's more to the story.


8. Stannis basically telling everyone Ned's story was B.S.

In the same episode that Littlefinger gave that "I know secrets" look, we also got this very telling exchange between Stannis and his wife Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald). When the queen asks Stannis why he thinks highly of Jon since he's "the bastard of a tavern slut," Stannis slyly remarks, "Perhaps, but that wasn't Ned Stark's way." It really seems as though everyone is onto Jon not being Ned Stark's son except Ned Stark's alleged son.


9. This hilariously timed entrance

Season 5's fifth episode has yet another hilariously obvious foreshadowing of Jon Snow's parents in this amazing scene with Maester Aemon, who is the Mad King Aerys Targaryen's uncle. While chatting at Castle Black, Aemon laments how hard it is to be a lone Targaryen when in walks... Jon Snow! We get it guys. He's a Targaryen. Thanks for the heads up.


10. Every time someone says, "You know nothing, Jon Snow"

There's a lot Jon Snow doesn't know, but the identity of his parents is definitely the biggest bombshell. Fortunately for his psyche, being constantly reminded of his ignorance over the years has likely taught him how to take shocking information in stride.


11. The Tower of Joy

Season 6 ended with the Tower of Joy flashback, in which Ned Stark goes to rescue his sister Lyanna after she was "abducted" by Rhaegar Targaryen. But it seems Ned was too late to save his sister's life, because when he enters the tower all he finds is his sister bleeding out. With her final breaths, Lyanna begs Ned to protect her newborn son, aka Jon Snow.



12. The absurdly obvious dragon hints

Season 7 was ripe with two things: dragons and hints about Jon's secret Targaryen blood. When arriving at Dragonstone, Jon reminded Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) that he's not a Stark, which was immediately followed by the screech of a dragon as it swooped over his head. Subtle, guys. Not to mention, Jon had an instant connection with Drogon, where Jon reached out and stroked the dragon like he was a pet -- something we've only ever seen Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) do.



13. Jon doesn't like killing

Back in Season 4, Ser Barristan Selmy told Daenerys that Rhaegar was good at killing, but he never enjoyed it. When Jon tells Daenerys that Tyrion enjoys talking, she responds, "We all enjoy what we're good at." Jon replies, "I don't." He's one of the best swordsman alive and has proven time and again that he's an expert killer, but like his father, Jon takes no pleasure in killing.



14. Gilly's (Hannah Murray) reading lesson

When Gilly was reading up on Westerosi history at the Citadel, she found a record of a maester who annulled Prince Rhaegar's first marriage and secretly married him to "another." Given his history with Lyanna, this isn't a surprise, but it does mean that Jon is a legitimate heir instead of a bastard. That means he could possibly have a better claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys.



What do you think of Jon Snow's true parentage? And when will he find out?