SPOILER alert for the May 8 episode of “Game of Thrones.” On Sunday night, we got two new big d...
‘Game of Thrones': That Ned Stark Flashback, Jon Snow and the Prince That Was Promised
On Sunday night, we got two new big discussion points, one from a flashback and another from a single line. If you just watch the show and know nothing about lore from the novels, you may not realize they have a connection — or at least a lot of fans think so. So we’re going to connect those dots for you real quick.
The most obvious revelatory hint came when Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven took another trip to the past, this time to a huge moment in the backstory of the series.
We saw a young adult Ned Stark, at the end of Robert’s Rebellion to take the crown of the Seven Kingdoms from the Mad King, confronting Ser Arthur Dayne outside a tower. “Where’s my sister?” Ned demands to know before the confrontation devolves into violence.
This tower, readers of the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels on which the show is based know this tower as the Tower of Joy, where Ned’s sister Lyanna was kept by Rhaegar Targeryen during the war. The flashback ends when Ned enters the tower, which drove both Bran and viewers alike crazy. We all want to know what’s in the tower.
There’s another old story that wasn’t referenced on Sunday, but which fans have long suspected to be directly related to that of Lyanna and the Tower of Joy. That story is that of Jon Snow, who has always been known as Ned Stark’s bastard son. When Ned returned to Winterfell after the war, he brought with him a baby, Jon Snow, who he claimed as his own bastard son.
Nobody knows who Jon Snow’s mother is — in season 1 in their last conversation, Ned promised to tell Jon about her the next time they met, but of course Ned was killed before that ever happened, taking the secret to his grave.
Meanwhile, some characters have cast doubts on the idea that Ned would be the sort of man who would have a bastard in the first place — Stannis said in season 5 that Ned was too honorable to have done something like that.