‘Game of Thrones’: Rhaegar Targaryen Makes His Long-Awaited Debut

Lawrence Yee
TV Game of Thrones
TV Game of Thrones

SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from the Season 7, Episode 7 of Game of Thrones, entitled “The Dragon and The Wolf.” Proceed at your own risk.

It’s a reveal that fans have been waiting for since Season 6, and certainly teased heavily throughout Season 7.

Rhaegar Targaryen, the eldest brother of Daenerys Targaryen and father of Jon Snow, finally made his debut via flashback in the Season 7 finale.

Viewers found out that last season Rhaegar, not Eddard Stark, was the father of Jon Snow. Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister, was his mother. This season, Gilly (of all people) discovered that Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia Martell annulled. Rhaegar wed Lyanna and she gave birth to Jon — whose real name was revealed to be Aegon Targareyn.

“Jon isn’t really my father’s son,” the omniscient Bran Stark told Samwell Tarly. “He’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and my aunt, Lyanna Stark. He was born in a tower in Dorne. His last name isn’t really Snow, it’s Sand. Dornish bastards are named Sand.”

“It’s not,” Sawmell corrected him, revealing Gilly’s research. “[The High Septon] wed Rhaegar and Lyanna in a secret ceremony,” an event that Bran then witnessed using his powers as the Three-Eyed Raven.

rhaegar targaryen lyanna stark game of thrones
Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia Martell and secretly wed Lyanna.

In the vision, Rhaegar (who looks a lot like Dany’s other brother Viserys) and Lyanna exchanged vows.

Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie. Rhaegar didn’t kidnap my aunt or rape her,” he said, recounting Robert Baratheon’s motivation for overthrowing the Targaryen rulers. “He loved her … and she loved him,” he explained of the secret lovers.

rhaegar targaryen lyanna stark game of thrones
Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark sealed their secret vows with a kiss.

In another vision, Bran sees Lyanna telling Ned Jon’s true identity, asking him to “protect him” as she lays dying.

So this means Jon aka Aegon is not a bastard — he is the true heir to the Iron Throne.

It also just means he slept with his aunt, but the Targaryens are known for incest.

Lawrence Yee
Lawrence is Editor in Chief of FANDOM. He grew up loving X-Men, Transformers, and Japanese-style role playing games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. First-person shooters make him incredibly nauseous.
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