Sam Tarly’s time at the Citadel in Game of Thrones Season 7 has been filled with important plot discoveries. A new photo from the fifth episode, “Eastwatch,” suggests he still has more to learn. And, what could be bigger than the revelation of who Jon Snow’s father really is?
Game of Thrones has yet to officially confirm that Jon’s real father is Daenerys’s deceased older brother Rhaegar Targaryen. HBO has confirmed it in the form of a post-Season 6 infographic, though that’s outside of the world of the show. Within the fictional world of Westeros, though, we’ve only been privy to increasingly heavy-handed hints. After all, ever since Season 1 it’s been known that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark had some kind of sexual encounter that triggered a war, leading to Robert Baratheon taking the Iron Throne and a lot of dead Starks and Targaryens.
Some think Rhaegar abducted and raped Lyanna, while some think they ran away together. Regardless, they had sex, and their circumstances are shrouded in mystery.
In Season 6, Bran Stark learned that Lyanna Stark gave birth to Jon Snow in the Tower of Joy while Rhaegar Targaryen’s personal guards stood outside. In the Tower of Joy flashback, even young Ned Stark noted how weird it was that Arthur Dayne wasn’t with Rhaegar on the battlefield. Rhaegar didn’t have his guard ditch him to watch over Lyanna Stark just to be nice. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that he is Jon’s dad.
Still, nobody on Game of Thrones has actually said that aloud yet.
So far in Season 7, Sam Tarly has discovered the two other biggest pieces of information that can be found in library books: the cure to Greyscale and the location of tools needed to defeat the White Walkers.
Rhaegar Targaryen as Jon’s father is the last piece of important information that could best be discovered in the Citadel, unless Thrones brings something brand-new into the picture, with just a handful of episodes left in the series.
And in this photo from Season 5’s “Eastwatch,” Sam and Gilly are hitting the books.
Since Jon’s birth is a secret, it’s possible there are no written records. However, it’s currently unknown if he’s Rhaegar’s bastard or if Rhaegar somehow married Lyanna. (At the time, Rhaegar was already married to Oberyn Martell’s sister). If he somehow got his marital status to change, that’s something there could be a record of in the Citadel.
Granted, the books are too far away to be certain what Sam and Gilly are reading about. But with just nine episodes left in the entire series, it’s unlikely that it will be something innocuous — and Rhaegar Targaryen is the last and biggest puzzle piece that needs to be directly acknowledged. What else is there for Sam to learn at the Citadel, at this point, other than something that might clue everyone in on Jon’s royal heritage?
Game of Thrones is currently airing Sunday nights on HBO.