We all know who Jon Snow’s real parents are by now. All of us except Jon Snow of course, because Jon Snow knows not… Nah, nah, I’m not going to do it, but you know what I mean.
Jon is not Ned Stark’s bastard, but the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark. Ned raised him as his own after Lyanna’s death because of a promise he made to her to protect him from King Robert, who would have had the child killed if he’d known he was of Targaryen blood.
Surely, surely, Jon will find out about this himself this season – Bran told Sansa that he needed to speak to Jon when he’s back, and we can be pretty sure it’s about his parentage – but until then we’re having to make to with sly little references the show slips in to show us that Jon might be a lot like his real dad.
Jon spent a lot of this episode worrying that he might be repeating Ned’s mistakes, riding south when everyone advised against it, but there were two moments in ‘The Queen’s Justice’ that suggest that actually, it’s Rhaegar that he takes after.
First, there’s a moment where Jon and Davos are adressing Daenerys and her entourage in the Throne Room.
Davos tells Dany: “All those hard sons of bitches chose him as their leader because they believe in him,” referring to the northmen and Wildlings who have chosen Jon to be their King in the North.
This echoes something Ser Barristan Selmy (remember him?) said to Daenerys about Rhaegar back in Season 3. “When your brother Rhaegar led his army into battle at the Trident, men died for him because they believed in him, because they loved him,” he tells her.
We don’t know if Dany remembered Ser Barristan’s words when Davos told her this, but there’s a good chance this next moment might have jogged her memory a little – a conversation she has alone with Jon on the steps outside Dragonstone.
The unknowing aunt and nephew are talking about Tyrion, and how he loves to talk. “We all enjoy what we’re good at,” Dany tells Jon, who replies, “I don’t”.
We all know Jon is very good at killing, but it’s not something he takes any joy in – he does it out of necessity. He’s no Joffrey or Euron.
These words echo something else that Ser Barristan (alright you’ve overstayed your welcome now mate) once said to her. Daenerys mentions that her brother Viserys told her that Rhaegar was excellent at killing people, and Ser Barristan replies: “Rhaegar never liked killing.”
So there we go, Jon and Rhaegar are/were both great leaders who people can find faith in, but who resent that they have to kill, despite having a talent for it. Two clearly noble men who long for peace rather than conflict.
Now, come on, its time we finally got to see Jon find out about his real parents. That scene is going to be a real tearjerker.