If you didn’t make it through the credits of last night’s eye-opening episode of Game of Thrones (you really wanted to watch that horse sex scene on Silicon Valley), you missed something very important: the preview for next week’s episode. HBO’s plot synopsis for “Oathbreaker” (a sequel to season four’s “Oathkeeper”?) reads, “Daenerys meets her future, Bran meets the past, Tommen confronts the High Sparrow, Arya trains to be No One, Varys finds an answer, Ramsay gets a gift,” which is positively Mad Men-esque. That “past” Bran is about to meet? It only set the events of the entire series in motion.
First, let’s watch the preview.
Forget the first 21 seconds, and focus on everything that happens after. “Now it begins,” a man says. “Now it ends,” another responds. The two warriors are Arthur Dayne, a member of Aerys II Targaryen’s Kingsguard, and our brave hero from season one, Ned Stark. They’re fighting at the Tower of Joy, where Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys’ brother) took Ned’s kidnapped sister Lyanna, who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon (although some book readers think she was a willing accomplice in the kidnapping). Thus began Robert’s Rebellion. The darkly named Tower of Joy is also where Ned found Lyanna dying, and where he agreed to raise her son with Rhaegar, Jon, as his own.
Hence, R(haegar) + L(yanna) = J(on). It’s the most popular Game of Thrones theory, and judging by this preview, it will finally be confirmed (or denied!) in next Sunday’s episode. Why does this matter? Because it means Jon Snow, who doesn’t have to worry about his oath to the Night’s Watch anymore because he, um, died, is both a Stark and Targaryen, and it gives him a legitimate claim to the throne. It’s Jon’s actual birth, and re-birth.