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Did the 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Leak Confirm Rhaegar Targaryen Casting?

14 August 2017

Eastwatch was another excellent instalment of Game of Thrones Season 7, packed with character reunions and plot development, but one of the biggest details came in a throwaway line. It seems that Shireen Baratheon (RIP) changed the political landcape of Westeros when she taught Gilly how to read. But many suspect that dragons will know those who can ride them without having to undergo these "cradle bonding" fads that were hyped in What To Expect When You're Expecting A Child Who Is The Blood Of The Dragon. Sam isn't interested in the tidbit, but that's probably because he doesn't know that Rhaegar is Jon's dad, and who he might have wanted an annulment to marry. That gives Jon a mighty impressive claim to the Iron Throne, if he's interested.

Rhaegar died before the events of the show, and has only ever been mentioned in passing. So now what? Should Dany and Jon just get married? Although the show hasn't spelled it out yet in plain language, it's there in the subtext.

Fans know though: Lyanna Stark, Jon's mom. When everyone thought he abducted her, the two were eloping. His parents are Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and he's their trueborn son. As Sansa tells Littlefinger in Season 5: Rhaegar "kidnapped and raped" Lyanna.

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Rhaegar might have survived if he brought his best friend Arthur Dayne with him to battle, as he was a legendary swordsman.

In Bran Stark's Season 6 peek into the past, young Ned Stark fights Dayne and kills him in a dishonorable manner.

Further, the show has woven parallels between Jon and Rhaegar into Season 7. How's Jon Targaryen sound to y'all?

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Okay, so what's the deal with his marriage annulment? After attending a jousting tournament, Rhaegar fell for Lyanna and the impact of that is still being felt in Westeros because at the time, Rhaegar was married to Elia Martell, and had two children with her: Aegon and Rhaeneys.

Jon Snow would go on to become the King of the North, but has always been regarded as Ned Stark's bastard son. She is a Targaryen, but she has no more right to rule the Seven Kingdoms than Cersei, at least not in the eyes of the law. How will our heroes learn Jon's true parentage?

Oh, Sam. A better man would have listened to his girlfriend instead of whining at her, and learned something crucially important in the process.

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The sixth episode of Game of Thrones' seventh season airs August 20 at 9 p.m. on HBO.