Jon Snow. Now that I've gotten your attention...
That ended, of course, with the last book. I'm left, just like everybody else, with Jon Snow lying dead on the ground in the snow. Foreshadowing? The end of his identity as Jon Snow (Snow. Get it?)? I'm probably committing the common English teacher error of seeing all kinds of literary devices and symbolism and stuff everywhere when all the time a cigar is merely a cigar, to use Freud's phrase. But I wonder because I've heard a couple of theories which would fit in with the snow pun being intended, or at least relevant
The first- and I have no idea how this would happen since Tommen and the Lannisters are still in charge at King's Landing and the King isn't likely to do this- is that Jon will somehow be legitimized, become "Jon Stark," and end up being lord of Winterfell. Could Jon perhaps somehow be Benjen's son, whom Eddard claimed as his own for some unrevealed reason? Or that of Eddard's sister? Neither of those would work. He'd still be a bastard.
The second fits in with the events (or non-events) of which I've heard second-hand concerning tonight's premiere of Season 6. It suggests that Eddard is not Jon's father at all- and provides not just one, but two interesting and very logical explanations for Eddard to pretended that he was.
Second-hand spoilers below.
It seems that despite all the anticipation, Jon Snow, as Chevy Chase used to say every week during the first season of "SNL" of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, is still critically dead. His body has been locked away somewhere and there's a lot of plotting and conspiring by different people to get ahold of it for different reasons. And Kit Harrington, the actor who portrays Snow, warned us a while back, "Jon Snow is dead. Get used to it." It shouldn't be surprising that Jon wasn't resurrected in the first episode. In fact, there is no reason why this has to happen in the next few episodes. That doesn't mean that Jon won't be back later in the season. And as you've been hearing ad nauseam for weeks, there are a lot of reasons to think that he might be. There seems to be a lot of apparent foreshadowing that is hard to explain otherwise. I won't get into that here; there's been plenty written about it elsewhere.
Actually, I've been leaning to one of the more common theories: that if Jon returns it will be as a warg, inside the body of Ghost. There was at least one hint Kit Harrington and producer Dan Weiss that such might be the case.
On the other hand, I came across another interesting theory this past week which led me to reconsider my allegiance to the warg theory and possibly foreshadows the ending of the entire series. This would involve what seems to me to be a plausible explanation for Jon Snow's actual parentage, as well as a surprise about the parentage of another major character who might not be what he seems- or thinks he is.
Is Jon actually the son of Eddard's his sister Lyanna by Rhegar Targaryen? Could it be that Eddard lied about his heritage to protect his nephew from being killed by Robert Baratheon, who went all Herod on the surviving Targaryen kids? Could it be that the pretense protecting Jon was the request Lyanna made of Eddard as she lay dying in his arms?
It's possible that Jon might be Lyanna's illegitimate son by someone else. Eddard may simply have been protecting his sister's reputation as well as his own nephew by pretending- at some cost, apparently, to his marriage- that Jon was his own. But why not tell his wife, if he were merely protecting his dead sister's reputation?
But given the relationship between Targaryens, dragons, and fire, if Jon is a Targaryen, what would be the implications of his being burned in a funeral pyre? Remember what happened to Dany's dragon eggs? Could that be the means of his eventual resurrection?
Could Claw be "Lightbringer," of the prophecy?
There is one flaw in this theory. Targaryens are fire-resistant, but not necessarily fireproof. Despite the special relationship between the Targaryans and dragons and fire, we don't really know that burning the body of one would bring him back to life, as burning a petrified dragon egg quickens it. Nevertheless, it's an interesting theory- and ties into the idea that there could yet be another unknown Targaryen among the characters we're familiar with.
Could Tyrion be a bastard son of the Mad King? Sure, his mother, Joanna Lannister, died giving birth to him. But remember the dying words of Tywin Lannister- "You were never my son?" Could there be another reason why Tywin was unwilling that Tyrion should ever be lord of Casterly Rock, besides his misshapen body and the fact that Joanna died giving birth to him? How much might Tywin's bitterness be increased by the knowledge- or at least the suspicion- that the child his wife died giving birth to was actually another man's son?
I'll let the video below make the case (embedding for the video I linked to above concerning Jon Snow has been disabled).
Interesting, nicht wahr? I've expected all along that Dany would wind up on the Iron Throne at the end of the story. But could it be that when she rides into the final battle with the Whitewalkers on one of her dragons, Jon and Tyrion will be riding on the other two? Could it be that Dornish precedent might prevail, and Dany become queen of Westeros, with Tyrion as her Hand and Jon (released from his obligation to the Night Watch by his own prior death) as be her commander? Remember that the Song of Ice and Fire is based, however loosely, on the Wars of the Roses, which ended with the Tudors (whose sigil was the dragon) on the throne and produced England's first two queens, Mary, and Elizabeth.
The counter-argument rest heavily on the fact that Jamie and Cersei are older than Tyrion, and that Tyrion would have had to be the oldest if he was fathered by King Aerys having supposedly raped Joanna on her wedding night (I hardly see Joffrey's insanity as conclusive proof that Jamie and Cersei were conceived on that occasion, passing the Mad King's blood to their son, though the thought is interesting). But who says that Tyrion has to have been conceived on Joanna's wedding night?
We know as an absolute fact that there were rumors that Joanna had slept with Prince Aerys on the night of the coronation of his father, King Jaehaeyrs II Targaryen, and had an affair with Aerys while serving as lady-in-waiting to the king's future wife. Grand Maester Pycelle denied them on the ground that Tywin was too proud to have married her if they had been true. But Joanna was dismissed from Queen Rhaella's service shortly after her the night when Aerys took "unwonted liberties" with Joanna. She seldom returned to King's Landing thereafter.
But she did in the year before Tyrion's birth. She attended a tournament where, in Tywin's presence, Aerys "insulted" her by a crude remark about her breasts. Tywin was so outraged that he tried to resign as the King's Hand the next day but was not allowed to.
Was Tywin really more outraged by a crude joke about his wife than he had been by his wife being raped? Could it be that he had more substantial reasons for his anger- that perhaps the wedding night incident (which would have neatly covered up Joanna's lack of virginity, by the way, eliminating Pycelle's objection) had not been a matter of rape at all, but one last assignation between one-time lovers? Could Aerys and Joanna have renewed their relationship at the tournament, and the joke have been a pretense to cover up the real reason for Tywin's rage?
In any case, we know of nobody else besides Tywin and Aerys whom Joanna might have slept with. Several times- the last while dying on the commode after Tyrion shot him- Tywin hinted that while he couldn't prove it, he doubted that he was Tyrion's father. It follows that he suspected that someone else was.
If not Aerys, who?
We shall see what we shall see. But all-in-all, as this article points out, there could be no more satisfying ending to the saga than Dany, Jon, and Tyrion jointly winning the Game of Thrones. And there seems to be good reason to suspect that such might be the case.