Who Is Jon Snow

Josh H
5 min readAug 30, 2017

Answering the Most Common Questions About Jon After Season Seven

King Aegon the Emo (aka Jon Snow)(HBO)

I get it, not everyone had the time or energy to invest in learning every little detail about Game of Thrones (much less about A Song of Ice and Fire). So, I am going to try to answer the most common questions about the main remaining characters. I am starting with Jon Snow.

If you have not yet watched Season 7 Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf” beware *Spoiler Alert*

Who Is Jon Snow?

Beware, You Are Fighting a King Twice Over (HBO)

Technically, Jon Snow’s name is really ‘Aegon Targaryren.’ He is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne by birth.

There are currently only two people in the world who know that Jon is Aegon (Samwell Tarly and Bran Stark). Jon currently has no idea he is anything other than Jon Snow. For all he, and the rest of Westeros know, he is the bastard son of Ned Stark and one of Ned’s long-forgotten wartime booty call (her name was Wylla, we know this because Robert and Ned talked about her once).

He was raised by Ned Stark and Catelyn Stark (who is now deceased). We found out during Season 6 that Ned knew that Jon was really the offspring of his sister Lyanna and Rhaegar, but he may not have known that they were married at the time (I need to re-watch the wedding flashback, I don’t think Ned was pictured but I could be wrong). Lyanna asked Ned to protect Aegon on her deathbed.

After Jaime Lannister assassinated King Aerys II Targaryen (which ushered in the rule of Robert Baratheon), anyone who had known that Jon was really Aegon would likely have used that information to turn him in and he likely would have been executed (as he would have been the legitimate heir to the line deposed by the Baratheon’s). So, Ned never let anyone, even his wife, know the truth about Jon’s lineage (which was pretty sad since Catelyn Stark was a pretty awful step-mom to Jon).

So, Jon, as Aegon, would be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne because his father Rhaegar was the older brother of Daenerys (and Viserys) which makes his claim superior to Daenerys’ claim.

For many years, fans believed Jon was the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, but recent events have finally verified those suspicions. This theory, probably the most well known Game of Thrones theory ever, was known as R + L = J.

Did Jon Snow Die?

Am I Alive? Am I Dead? (HBO)

Yes, Jon Snow died.

Jon met his (not so eternal) end during his time as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch when he was assaulted by a rogue element of his command who believed that he had betrayed his oath to the Night’s Watch.

He was resurrected by the Red Priestess Melisandre because she believed it was his destiny to become Azor Ahai “The Prince Who Was Promised.” The resurrection was particularly fortuitous because it created a loophole in the Night’s Watch oath which states:

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory.”

Since his rebirth, he has been pretty lucky, he was elected King of the North despite having an inferior claim to his sister Sansa (who was present at the time he was elected), his brother Bran (who was alive and is now present at Winterfell), and his sister Arya (who was also alive and is also now present at Winterfell). In addition, he is now in a relationship with his Aunt Daenerys who is arguably the most powerful person in the world (she controls two dragons and a gigantic army).

How did Jon Get His Cool Sword?

This Is Going Nowhere Good (HBO)

Jon’s sword is called Longclaw and is the ancestral sword of the Mormont’s of Bear Island (Lyanna Mormont and Jorah Mormont are members of that family).

How did Jon get his sword? Well, before he was voted Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch he was the aide to Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Jeor gave Jon the sword as a reward for saving him from death by White Walker (and also because he looked at Jon as a fill-on for his exiled son Jorah).

When Jeor was killed on an away mission by some treasonous Night’s Watch members, Jon was eventually elected by his brothers on the Night’s Watch as the new Lord Commander (after several adventures and misadventures including pretending to join the wildlings sworn enemies of the Night’s Watch).

Longclaw is important because it is one of the only remaining Valyrian steel swords in all of Westeros. Valyrian steel is one of only two known methods that can reliably kill White Walkers (dragonglass is the other, and fire can kill Wight’s). Oddly enough, Jorah has given up Longclaw twice (once when he was exiled and again when Jon offered it to him on their recent mission North of the Wall…RIP Wall).

If you haven’t read it yet, here is my recap of Season 7 Episode 7:

And here is a link to everything I have written about Season 7:

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Josh H

Author, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Co-Host of the "Decarceration Nation" Podcast, Television critic and Movie Reviewer, OnPirateSatellite.com