One of the most interesting parts of Game of Thrones has been the speculation about the central theme of the story and who is its main protagonist. After killing off Ned Stark and Robb Stark, fans have been holding on to a handful of heroes (Daenerys, Jon Snow, Tyrion, Arya) and just hoping they survive. But the show is almost over, and the final battle between what we think is good (human beings) and what we think is bad (White Walkers) has to be decided.
Somebody has to fulfill the prophecy of Prince (princess) That Was Promised in order to save the world from the long night. In the appendix, I offer a quick recap for why I think it’s Jon Snow, but here’s the real problem.
Even if the audience knows that Jon Snow is the child of Lyanna and Rhaegar, how will Daenerys, Tyrion, and the people of Westeros learn about his lineage as first in line among the Targaryens?
Here are the ten worst ways it will happen:
- Howland Reed arrives with a letter signed and sealed by Ned Stark to be delivered upon his death to “My beloved nephew and future rightful heir of the Iron Throne, Jon Snow.” (Apparently news travels really slowly among Crannogmen.)
- A janitor in Winterfell unearths an ancient broken condom while sweeping up around Lyanna’s tomb bearing the inscription “property of Rhaegar Targaryen.”
- Daenerys tries to pressure Jon to bend the knee by threatening him with one of her dragons, but it walks up to him, flips onto its back and asks for a belly scratch.
- Dany gets pissed off at Jon’s refusal to bend the knee and orders her guards to take him prisoner. In the ensuing scuffle, Jon loses a contact, revealing a purple eye, while the in-castle quartet begins to play “Purple Reign.”
- Love Scene I: Dany gets Jon in the sack, and finds that the scars on his body spell out “PTWP.”
- Love Scene II: Jon’s one-eyed trouser snake looks more like a three-headed dragon.
- Love Scene III: Jon passes out after their gratuitious sex scene, and Dany checks out his scr-I-be-Pod® to find it contains only Rhaegar’s play lists.
- Varys finally spills the beans, because he knows everything that has ever happened in the Seven Kingdoms.
- Everyone in Daenerys’ council receives a chirp on their raven apps in which Zack Lowe reveals Jon’s historical WAR numbers (an advanced stat used by Westerosi wisemen to determine the value of a prospective king).
- A strange hooded figure arrives at Dragonstone claiming to be Jon’s sword coach. It’s Levar Ball, who loudly proclaims that Jon is the only one who can save the realm and that he will be the greatest king ever, even better than Aegon the Conquerer.
- Book fans have been debating about R + L = J for two decades, and part of that secret was revealed in season six. How could GRRM build this thing up so much and not have Jon Snow’s lineage as a son of ice (Starks) and fire (Targaryeans) not pan out?
- Jon is Christ-like symbol. He tried to save the most downtrodden and hated parts of society (wildlings). He was betrayed by his own brothers. And he was brought back from the dead.
- Jon is always ready to sacrifice himself, but is magically protected regardless of how many stupid things he does. In a show that kills off the innocent, the virtuous, and the skilled, how is it possible that Jon has escaped death so many times? He rushes in to save Jeor Mormont without any knowledge of how to beat a wight, and somehow survives. He goes on his first ranger mission with Quorin Halfhand and is the only person to survive. He goes off on a suicide mission to stop Mance Rayder from leading the Wildlings attack on the wall. And survives. He meets up with the duty bound, impossibly harsh Stannis, somehow wins his favor, refuses the wannabe king’s offer, and then obstructs Stannis’ execution of Mance Rayder by killing him with an arrow before he get burned alive. And still survives. Finally, he falls into Ramsey Bolton’s trap, facing a hail of ten thousand arrows, a cavalry charge, a double envelopment, a tomb of bodies crushing the life out of his, and then standing with his thumb up his bum looking at the dying giant Wun Wun inside Winterfell while Ramsey chooses to shoot an arrow through the giant’s eye instead of targeting the bastard he’s been trying to kill for the entire episode. And survives. Now he’s on his way to meet Daenerys, ignoring all those warnings about a Stark dying every time he goes to the south, and willing to sacrifice himself if there’s a chance to get dragon glass and save the people.
- Jon is a reluctant leader. He never asks to be the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. He never asks to be the King of the North. If he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, he won’t ask for that, either.
- Jon, in spite of his inexperience, uses the Lord’s Kiss when he has his first sexual experience with Ygritte. Why else would we get an overly long sexposition with Missy and the Worm (© Jason Concepcion) if not to remind the audience of Jon’s prowess and foreshadow what he will eventually do with his aunt Daenerys (and also provide the inspiration for the title of this story)?