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What is Jon Snow's real name?

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One more fan theory to add to the pile

Spoiler alert!

This article is intended for folks who've already seen every episode of Game of Thrones and will include a description of the series' events! Check out all of Polygon's Game of Thrones coverage.

Game of Thrones season 6 finally answered one of the series' longest-running questions: Who is Jon Snow's mother? But as one question wraps up, fans find themselves scrambling to answer yet another.

What the heck did Lyanna Stark whisper to Ned before she died?

The season finale, "The Winds of Winter," sees Bran revisiting his vision of Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy. This scene confirms that Lyanna died due to childbirth complications, and that Jon Snow is not Ned's bastard, but rather the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen.

The full scene is currently on YouTube, but it's clear that Lyanna leans in to whisper "His name is ... " before the audio drops out.

"If Robert finds out, he'll kill him," she continues. "You know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned."

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Sure, we could wait until season 7 to find out Jon Snow's real name, but Reddit might have an answer right now. User sparkledavisjr says she watched the scene "about fifty times at least now," captioned and not, to suss out the details of the seemingly three-syllable name. Her best guess? That Jon's real name is actually Jaehaerys.

This makes a lot of sense as a name (instead of Jon), as both previous Jaehaerys to rule were considered good Kings. Jaehaerys I was the 4th Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was known as "the Wise", "The Conciliator", and "the Old King". His long rule was prosperous and he was aided by his sister-wife Alysanne, who convinced Jaehaerys to expand the Night's Watch and granted them the land now known as the New Gift.

Jaehaerys II was Jon's great-grandfather. His reign was short due to his ill-health (only 3 years), but still a good one. Jaehaerys restored stability to the realm, ended the Blackfyre threat during the war of the Ninepenny kings, and improved relations with the major houses who were unhappy during his father's rule (Aegon V - Egg, the brother of Maester Aemon).

As for why Ned landed on the name Jon, she concludes that there are several possible inspirations: Jon Stark, Jonnel Stark or Jon Arryn. It's worth reading her full theory, which includes more on the Targaryens and why Rhaegar took Lyanna.

For more on the confirmed R + L = J theory and why it matters, you can read our own explainer.


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