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Game of Thrones’ ‘Eastwatch’ basically confirmed one of its longest running theories

Well, just about

Sam and Gilly sitting in the Citadel in Game of Thrones season 7 episode 5 Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are masters of teasing.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 5.]

Even though HBO has been teasing the truth behind Jon Snow’s true parentage for the past year, the show has never confirmed any specific details. A family tree released by the network last year seemed to affirm that Jon Snow was the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, making him a contender for the Iron Throne.

This season, Jon ventured out to Dragonstone to meet Daenerys Targaryen for the first time. Benioff and Weiss wasted no time throwing in as many winks and nods to the two characters’ relation to one another, but never outright addressed it. In the newest episode, “Eastwatch,” Benioff and Weiss just about confirmed their familial connection using a nonchalant avenue to do so.

While studying at the Citadel, Sam’s partner Gilly begins reading random details from a book she’s discovered. This includes some inconsequential facts, like how many steps are in the Citadel and how many windows adorn the building, alongside some more vital information. At one point, Gilly notes that an annulment was issued for Prince Rhaegar, adding that he was then married to someone else at the same time during a secret ceremony in Dorne.

The implication here is that Rhaegar appears to have married Lyanna Stark, which would make Jon Snow the legitimate heir to the Targaryen throne and rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Jon wouldn’t just be the bastard child as we’ve assumed him to be for many seasons. This would give Jon a new hand in the war against Cersei Lannister and, most importantly, a reason for Daenerys to possibly want him dead.

Again, because Benioff and Weiss are kings of teasing viewers, there was another moment earlier in the episode that seemed to affirm Jon’s parentage. When Daenerys and Drogon return to Dragonstone, the dragon planted himself right in front of Jon, allowing the King in the North to touch his face. A moment is shared between the two strangers; something that doesn’t go unnoticed by Daenerys.

One of the most important characters in this situation is Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven holed up in Winterfell. He’s the only person who saw Rhaegar and Lyanna together in a vision at the Tower of Joy, but we don’t know how much information he’s privy to. Is Bran aware that Jon is the legitimate child of Rhaegar and Lyanna, or does he believe his brother to be a bastard?

Jon is currently marching beyond the wall with a band of soldiers seeking out the army of White Walkers. He doesn’t appear to be returning to Winterfell anytime soon, making it unlikely that Bran will get a chance to tell him about what he saw before the end of the seventh season.

Still, it’s nice to finally get some traction on the one plot arc we’ve been obsessing over for years ... even if all we have is a series of clues and an abundance of circumstantial evidence.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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