What Gilly’s Reveal About Rhaegar Targaryen on ‘Game of Thrones’ Really Means
Many times, Game of Thrones spoilers and reveals come with epic announcements and huge fanfare. But in Season 7, Episode 5, Gilly dropped huge news about Jon Snow — though, if you blinked, you could have missed it.
In fact, Samwell Tarly wasn't even paying attention to her when she dropped this bombshell.
Luckily, we’re here to help break down what Gilly’s news about Rhaegar Targaryen means for the show and our favorite bastard, Jon Snow.
As it turns out, Jon Snow is not a bastard after all. We’ll explain.
As Sam is working (and complaining), Gilly is entertaining herself reading the diary of High Septon Maynard. It’s there she comes across a word she doesn’t know and asks Sam what it means: “annulment.”
Then, Gilly explains further why she’s asking what “annulment” means. Turns out, Maynard issued an annulment to Prince “Ragger” (as she pronounces it), and then married him to another woman in a secret ceremony in Dorne.
If you’re following the secret of Jon Snow’s parentage, this is a massive, massive bombshell.
We can definitely assume “Ragger” is Rhaegar Targaryen, Dany’s older brother and the man Westerosi history has always said kidnapped and raped Lyanna Stark.
Remember: Lyanna is Ned Stark’s sister, who was promised to Robert Baratheon. More importantly, she is Jon Snow’s true birth mother. Bran revealed this during his flashback to the Tower of Joy.
At the time, Rhaegar was married to Elia Martell. But Gilly just revealed what many fans already believed: Rhaegar didn’t kidnap Lyanna. Lyanna and Rhaegar were in love, and more than that, they were married.
What does that mean for the King of the North, Jon? Everything he’s always thought about himself is wrong. He’s not a bastard. He is the true Targaryen heir, born of married parents.
This news makes it even more clear why Lyanna asked Ned to protect Jon from Robert: He’s the rightful ruler of Westeros. He should be sitting on the Iron Throne.
This is game-changing for Game of Thrones.
When this news is revealed to the characters in Westeros, it’s probably going to be a tough pill to swallow for Aunt Dany, who has based her whole journey on being the last living Targaryen and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Now, with Jon being Rhaegar’s true-born son, he would have a more legitimate claim to the throne.
Not that he wants it, though. Jon has always shied away from being a leader, even when everyone chooses him. Plus, he’s far more focused on the Night’s King than any wannabe king or queen of Westeros.
Jon has been giving off more and more Targaryen vibes lately — even taming a raging Drogon with a pat on the face — so it seems like this major Jon Snow R+L=J reveal will be coming to the Seven Kingdoms soon.
Prepare for the game to change.
Game of Thrones Season 7 airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.