Rhaegar Targaryen — Daenerys’s mysterious older brother and Jon Snow’s newly revealed father who died many years before the events of the show — is long past due for an onscreen appearance on Game of Thrones. Good news, it looks like not only will this happen in Season 7, but a real rock star might portray the Jim Morrison of Westeros, as is only fitting.
A brief Rhaegar refresher: Rhaegar was the surprisingly sensitive son of the Mad King. He was musical and dreamy, with mad harp skills and the typical Targayen flowing locks and violet eyes. He’s basically a Manic Pixie Dream Prince, and thus casting him is a unique challenge.
Unfortunately, Rhaegar fell in love with the wrong girl: Lyanna Stark, even though she was already betrothed to Robert Baratheon, and Rhaegar himself was already married to Elia Martell. Recall that in Season 4, Oberyn fights the Mountain for his sister’s honor (and for Tyrion’s trial by combat), shouting, “You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!” Elia is the very sister he is referring to, and those children were also Rhaegar’s. Never let it be said that Game of Thrones doesn’t weave a tangled web.
As Daenerys learns, her deceased brother used to walk among the people and sing to them. It’s admittedly difficult to picture Jon Snow carrying the genes of a serene singer, but genetics are a funny thing.
Now, depending on the version of the story you hear, Rhaegar either abducted Lyanna and raped her or she willingly ran away with him. We saw part of the end result in the Season 6 finale — Lyanna Stark giving birth to Jon Snow in the Tower of Joy — but we never saw Rhaegar’s side of things (Rhaegar gets killed in battle by Robert Baratheon).
If Bran Stark has another vision that shows what happened at the Battle of the Trident when Rhaegar was killed, we need to see Rhaegar onscreen. And it looks like it could potentially be the frontman of the band I See Stars, Devin Oliver. That might be the case, or at least the internet is abuzz thanks to a recent post on his Instagram.
Whether or not that photo is just a joke that got wildly out of hand, there’s no denying that he’d make a perfect Rhaegar. He’s got the sensitive-poet look going on, and a Jon-Snow esque expression.
He crowd surfs just like his little sister did at the end of Season 3:
And here he is looking like a pensive Prince-warrior-poet-harp track dropper.
Some sites have pointed out that the very fact he posted on Instagram means he probably isn’t playing Rhaegar as HBO would rain down on him with fire and blood for violating the Game of Thrones secrecy. It’s entirely possible, but he should use this internet momentum to campaign for the role if he isn’t already cast. It’s high time we met Rhaegar, and there is nobody more perfect to play an improbably perfect, dreamy, harp-playing prince than a real-life rocker.
Game of Thrones is no stranger to casting musicians, though, as the Icelandic band Sigur Ros has appeared in “The Lion and The Rose” to get heckled by Joffrey. Coldplay drummer Will Champion had a brief cameo at the Red Wedding, and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody played a random soldier in a brief scene from Season 3.
Many people in the world have wondered when Rhaegar’s harp track might finally drop, and the answer might come sooner than we might think. Winter is coming, but so is Rhaegar’s harp track.