The year was 2002. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was cleaning up at the box office, Survivor: Thailand was one of the most popular shows on TV, and A Song of Ice and Fire fans were anxiously waiting for author George R.R. Martin to release the next book in the series. The year is 2016. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is going to clean up at the box office, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng is one of the most popular shows on TV, and A Song of Ice and Fire fans are anxiously waiting for author George R.R. Martin to release the next book in the series. Not much has changed over the last 14 years, except now Martin is a household name, thanks to Game of Thrones being adapted into a hugely popular HBO series. The number of impatient book readers has doubled, even tripled; his days of dropping undetected online hints are over.
A Redditor recently discovered that in 2002, during a question and answer session with fans, Martin made a sneaky reference to Jon Snow’s lineage. We now officially know that, thanks to the season six finale, Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark = Jon Snow, but it was a still mystery back then. When someone asked, “Since all of their mothers died, who gave Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister their names?” Martin replied, “Mothers can name a child before birth, or during, or after, even while they are dying. Dany was most like [sic] named by her mother, Tyrion by his father, Jon by Ned.”
I see what you did there. Martin wrote that Tyrion and Dany were named by their father and mother, respectively; for Jon, “by Ned.” If Ned had been his father, as Catelyn Stark (and everyone else) believed, he would have said Tyrion and Jon were named by their fathers, and Dany by her mother. It’s a tiny, but clever detail. No wonder it takes him so f*cking long to write.