10 Facts About Jon Snow’s Father, Rhaegar Targaryen

After that magnificent Game of Thrones , the longstanding theory finally came to fruition. Despite some bonkers theories that Jon Snow’s father was Mad King (or even !), HBO have confirmed that . Here’s the vital scene again, as viewed by Bran in a green vision — or as call it, his ”TreeVo.”

We may not know for sure exactly what is due to , but we do know that Rhaegar is the daddy: .

How Much Do We Know About Rhaegar Targaryen, Jon Snow’s Father?

Who's a widdle song of ice and fire? Yes you are! Yes you are!
Who’s a widdle song of ice and fire? Yes you are! Yes you are!

1. Born Under a Bad Sign

Prince Rhaegar was the eldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella. Some say he was born with a melancholy in him, born as he was on the day of the great fire at Summerhall (259AC) that claimed the lives of his great-grandfather, Aegon V.

2. A Dearth of Sister Wives

Rhaegar had a whole bunch of siblings that only lived for less than a year: Daeron, Aegon and Jaehaerys, and Shaena who was stillborn. Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, is his only surviving sibling since mad Viserys killed by Khal Drogo.

Artist's impression of Rhaegar. Image: Cheto See

Artist’s impression of Rhaegar. Image: Cheto See

3. A Great Beauty

Rhaegar was the very image of the Targaryen genes, and very beautiful despite generations of compound . He is said to have been a tall, pale man with long silver hair and purple eyes.

4. A Lover and a Fighter

Rhaegar supposedly loved Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna Stark, but was ”fond of” his wife, Elia Martell of Dorne. Perhaps because of his stunning Targaryen good looks, many others loved him during his lifetime. His fellow knight Jon Connington was in love with him, and Cersei Lannister was, at least, infatuated with him. Tywin planned to betroth Cersei to Rhaegar, and little Cersei secretly did a drawing of her Rhaegar riding a dragon because she was so crushed out. The Lannisters were gravely offended when Rhaegar’s father, King Aerys II Targaryen, turned Tywin’s offer of this betrothal down. Cersei always thought she was meant for Prince Rhaegar, which is why she asks Maggy the Frog ”Will I marry the prince?” on .

A young Lyanna Stark, blissfully unaware of the utter shitshow she'd be at the center of.
A young Lyanna Stark, blissfully unaware of the utter shitshow she’d be at the center of.

5. Fire and Blood

The entire war of Robert’s Rebellion was pretty much started by Rhaegar Targaryen. At the Tourney at Harrenhal (ca. 280AC) Rhaegar publicly gave his prize to Lyanna Stark rather than his wife, Elia Martell, an incident described by Ned Stark as the moment “when all the smiles died.” The year after the Tourney, Rhaegar either eloped with or kidnapped and raped Lyanna Stark, depending on whose version of the story you believe.

6. The Kingslayer

It was Rhaegar who left Jaime Lannister to look after his family while he went to fight Robert Baratheon’s forces. Whether this was an oversight or a deliberate move to eradicate Mad King Aerys, this led to Jaime killing Aerys, earning him the title ‘Kingslayer’.

Robert and Rhaegar fight at Ruby Ford. Image: Justin Sweet, 'The World of Ice and Fire'
Robert and Rhaegar fight at Ruby Ford. Image: Justin Sweet, ‘The World of Ice and Fire’

7. Rhaegar’s Rubies

During the Battle of Trident, Rhaegar took on Robert Baratheon in an epic duel. Robert eventually won, smashing Rhaegar so hard that the rubies popped out of his Targaryen armor and scattered into the river. That spot became known as Ruby Ford.

8. A Vision of Rhaegar

Dany has a vision of Rhaegar in Qarth’s House of the Undying. She sees him hold his son, Aegon, and say of him:

”He has a song. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire. There must be one more. .”

Of course, Aegon’s little brains were smashed out by Ser Armory Lorch during the Sack of King’s Landing, so Rhaegar was wrong about that one!

Rhaegal is the little green fella on the right.
Rhaegal is the little green fella on the right.

9. Dance of Dragons

Daenerys’s dragon, Rhaegal, is named after her brother, Rhaegar Targaryen. She had previously named her unborn human child Rhaego after her brother, but the boy was killed while still in the womb by Lhazareen maegi Mirri Maz Duur.

10. What did Rhaegar see?

If you wana pop on your tinfoil hat and get deep, deep into Game of Thrones fan theory for a moment, there’s one interesting point in Rhaegar’s childhood that kick started a lot of speculation. Rhaegar was reportedly a bookish child who preferred the harp to the sword, until one day he read something in an unspecified scroll and suddenly decided to become a warrior. Did he see something that told him the future? There are theories that Rhaegar saw the White Walkers in a vision, saw that he had to bring the Starks and the Targaryens together — which he did, in the form of Jon Snow…

Know any awesome facts about Rhaegar Targaryen?

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