Showhole: a depressive state brought on by the ending of a beloved TV show or season.
For Game of Thrones fans, the term “showhole” isn’t just a cutesy word that Amazon made up to sell their Fire Sitcks. It is a chronic medical condition, one whose symptoms seem to flare up with the ending of each new season. Right now, we’re in the worst stage of the disease. Season six of Game of Thrones has just ended. We were given BastardBowl 2016, epic dragon sequences, Cersei setting fire to King’s Landing and Lyanna freaking Mormont. Then, just as things were getting good – characters were meeting and making alliances for the first time, Sansa Stark was taking back the North, and Arya was heading back home to bake pies and serve up fresh hot revenge – it was all taken away.
We’ve only got one thing to fill that dark, soul-sucking void left by the absence of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series: theories. Loads and loads of theories. There are theories about a certain spider being the best player in the game; theories about pregnancies and future character deaths; and even one theory which has Bran’s time travelling abilities at the center of every major event that’s taken place on the show. But by and large, most of the fan theories circling the great wide web up until this point have been about a certain bastard’s true parentage.
This season, we all breathed a sigh of relief and had a very fulfilling “I told you so” moment when it was revealed that Jon Snow wasn’t Ned Stark’s son by another woman, but the child of his sister, Lyanna and (possibly) Rhaegar Targaryen. It’s something both fans of the show and of the books have suspected for a long time, but there may be one character (besides obviously Ned, Lyanna and possibly Ned’s close friend Howland Reed) who knew about R+L=J from the beginning.
That’s right. It’s Aemon Targaryen ya’ll.
The aging maester, who we first met in season one, was instrumental in convincing Jon Snow to stay true to his vows to the Night’s Watch, even when his father was being beheaded down in King’s Landing. During their talk, Aemon reveals to Jon his family’s name and the choice he made to honor his own vows even when his great-nephew, the Mad King, was slain and his family hunted down and killed.
At the time, their conversation seemed centered on events happening in King’s Landing, with Ned being tried for treason and Rob starting a rebellion in the North. However, a clever Reddit user has used the gift of hindsight to closely examine Aemon’s words of advice and how the maester may have been referring to a certain Tower of Joy scene that took place this past season.
In the scene, Aemon began by asking Jon a question: “If the day should ever come when your lord father was forced to choose between honour on the one hand and those he loves on the other, what would he do?” Jon responds that Ned would “do whatever was right. No matter what.” Now this is where things getting interesting. Reddit user sakhini juxtaposed images from the Tower of Joy scene with Aemon’s words and they make a compelling case for the theory that Aemon knew Jon was Lyanna’s son all along.
It would make sense if Aemon did know Jon Snow’s true parentage. As maester, it’s kind of his job to know things happening in the realm, and we can’t imagine that he broke all family ties and access to gossip just because he left for the Wall. Or maybe he just sensed Jon was family? Either way, it would explain why Aemon took such a liking to the future Lord Commander, defended him against his brothers in black, and even helped him take control of the Night’s Watch. Maybe Varys wasn’t the only one trying to make sure a Targaryen succeeded in the game of thrones after all.