No matter what Bran Stark says, it’s pretty obvious that “The Winds of Winter,” the final episode of Game of Thrones season six, confirmed a long-held fan theory: that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. The evidence came in the form of Lyanna whispering her child’s name to brother Ned, who agrees to raise him as his own. In case that wasn’t clear enough, the scene then seamlessly transitions from baby Jon to adult Jon.
HBO intentionally didn’t provide closed captioning for whatever Lyanna whispers to Ned, but according to Redditor “sparkledavisjr,” who has watched the Tower of Joy scene “about fifty times,” she didn’t say Jon. “I’m not a great lip-reader,” he wrote, “but I’m fairly certain what she says is Jaehaerys.”
It’s a name that probably isn’t familiar to non-book readers, because it’s only been mentioned once on the show, when Samwell is talking to Gilly during a forgettable scene in season three. Jaehaerys I Targaryen was the king of the Seven Kingdoms — the fourth Targaryen to hold such a title — approximately 200 years before the start of the series. He was dubbed “The Conciliator” or “The Wise.” A century and a half later, Jaehaerys II Targaryen became the 16th Targaryen to sit on the Iron Throne, and almost the last. That dishonor went to his son, Aerys II, better known as the Mad King, or Daenerys’ father.