A Marriage Annulment is This Week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Hidden Moment

Ryan James
TV Game of Thrones
TV Game of Thrones

SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from the Season 7, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones, entitled Eastwatch. Proceed at your own risk.

Well, they can’t all be winners. After a series of stunning episodes, Game of Thrones Season 7 delivered its first clunker with Eastwatch. Of course, it had its moments; even at its worst, Game of Thrones tends to be more interesting and propulsive than most other TV series. Also, without this episode, we may never have known that fermented crab was the Westerosi version of Viagra! So there’s that.

But there was one moment in the episode that could have huge ramifications for the future of the series and it was so fleeting you may have missed it. Samwell Tarly himself didn’t even seem all that concerned by its implications and he was in the room when Gilly mentioned it.

“Maynard says here that he issued an annulment for a Prince ‘Ragger'”

This bit of tossed-off dialogue from Gilly is shocking and seems to confirm something fans have long suspected; specifically that Jon Snow is not actually a bastard. He is the legitimate offspring of the married couple Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

What Does This Mean?

In the Tower of Joy sequence from the Season 6 episode The Winds of Winter, we learn that Ned Stark agreed to care for his sister Lyanna’s baby. While it has yet to be definitively confirmed in the show, an infographic released by HBO shortly after the episode aired verified that Lyanna was the mother of Jon Snow.

It’s long been accepted lore in Westeros that Rhaegar, who was married to Elia Martell, abducted Lyanna against her will and took her to Dorne. This was, after all, one crucial event that led to Robert’s Rebellion which resulted in the overthrow of the ‘Mad King’ Aerys II Targaryen.

But thanks to Gilly, we now know that Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia annulled by this Maester Maynard and, presumably, married Lyanna in secret.

What this means is that now Jon Snow is not, in any way, shape or form a bastard. He’s the result of legitimate birth and thus the most rightful heir to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Guess who can no longer make that claim? That’s right. Daenerys Targaryen.

Jon is, therefore, the male heir to the Targaryen line and due to the patriarchal rules of royal lineage in Westeros, the throne should be his.

Also, after his bonding session with Drogon, was there any doubt left that he is a Targaryen?

How this will affect Jon should — or rather when — he finds out remains to be seen. How it will affect his burgeoning relationship with Dany is another matter altogether.

But what did you think? Do you think this revelation will cause tension in Dany and Jon’s alliance? Let us know on Game of Thrones Fan Community!

Ryan James
Film geek with (often) questionable taste, recovering (but not really) goth, gamer, horror movie fan, podcast enthusiast, alarmingly clumsy
Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.