In an interview with Vulture yesterday, Sean Bean dropped a Game of Thrones spoiler that has the Internet in a tizzy this morning, only IT’S NOT ACTUALLY A SPOILER. It’s an opinion. Based on a fan theory. Granted, it’s a fan theory that happens to have a lot of support, and there is evidence in the book that supports that theory. It would also be a very cool theory. But, it’s JUST A THEORY.
What is that theory? It’s the R+J=L theory, and if you really want to know, then watch the video. The long-and-short of it is this (SPECULATIVE SPOILERS HERE ON OUT): Ned Stark is not Jon Snow’s father. Someone else is Jon Snow’s father, and that someone else makes Jon Snow a much more interesting character than he is at the moment (and it potentially gives him a claim to the Iron Throne). In the interview with Vulture, Sean Bean — discussing how it might be cool if he could be brought back — seemed to confirm the theory, only IT’S JUST A THEORY.
Here’s the relevant exchange from Vulture:
Since you’re almost done shooting Legends, that might mean you have a window in your schedule if Game of Thrones needs you back. There are flashbacks that they could be doing for season five …
[Excited] Are they? Really?
I could be wrong, but I think they might show flashbacks via Bran’s connection to the heart trees.
Oh, yeah, yeah! And I’m his father, so that would be great fun! Just to go back to that for a while, it would be such fun to do. It would be great! It would be bizarre, but it would be great! So I guess if they’re going to do flashbacks, then yeah!
Well, it’s just my theory …
But it’s a good theory! And that should happen, shouldn’t it? I’ve definitely got some unfinished business that needs to be resolved there. 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? You never know what those guys are going to do with that. It’s got to be something special. But I’m into that. I certainly would be into that. Print that! Give them a nudge. [Laughs.] Hopefully I’ll get a call soon.
Well, “obvious” is a strong word there, Sean Bean. More like, “there is a very strong possibility that Ned Stark is not the father.”
Interestingly, it’s not the first time that Sean Bean has thrown his support behind this theory. In fact, it’s not even the first time he’s thrown it behind this theory on Vulture. Back in 2011, he said something similar:
Ned really knows who [Jon’s parents are], but he can’t let on. That’s why it’s such a moving moment, those poignant scenes I have with Kit Harington [who plays Jon], because I couldn’t say what I really thought. There are so many things I could have said, because there is a love there between the two of them, but I can’t express it as overtly as I can with the other children, who I can hold and kiss. Even if I were his true father, I can’t talk about it for fear of offending my wife, who’s really bitter about this. So it’s really a cruel situation. Through no fault of his own, Ned took on a lot by taking Jon in.
Or hell, maybe Sean Bean DOES know. Even though it hasn’t been explicitly stated in the books, maybe George R.R. Martin told him. Or else Sean Bean just really, really believes it. It’s a good theory. It’s probably true. But it’s not fact. Yet.