What's in a name?
Well, when it comes to Jon Snow (Kit Harington), a lot.
After Game of Thrones' sixth season finally confirmed one popular fan theory about Jon Snow's parentage — that he's actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark — fans immediately starting buzzing about a new theory about Jon's background.
In her final moments with her brother Ned (Sean Bean), Lyanna whispered something in his ear that was inaudible to viewers, but which some lip-readers have claimed can be interpreted as his true name.
According to some, the name Lyanna shares with Ned is Jaehaerys, which would have been chosen to honor Rhaegar's esteemed Targaryen ancestor of the same name, if true. This theory began to gain major traction again earlier this week after an excerpt from Empire Magazine appeared to confirm Jon's real name is Jaehaerys Targaryen.
However, this apparent confirmation is nothing more than a mummer's face. Since the excerpt was shared on Reddit, Empire contributor Dan Jolin clarified that Jon's name is in no way confirmed and this report was simply based on the lip-reading of dedicated fan Claire Williams, who is credited as first popularizing the Jaehaerys theory last year.
Hi Claire, it's /2 - based on your lip-reading of what Lyanna said at the end of last season.— Dan Jolin (@DanJolin) June 18, 2017
As Game of Thrones' seventh season approaches, the resurgence of this moniker matter is a stark (ha!) reminder that this is one loose thread that still has yet to be sewn up by the series. With only 13 episodes left in the series, the reveal of Jon Snow's name will likely play a major part in his arc during the remaining, abbreviated seasons.
With Ned, Lyanna and Rhaegar all dead, there likely aren't many people alive who know Jon's real name. But luckily for us all, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) got the chance to observe the pivotal conversation between his father and aunt thanks to his Three-Eyed Raven time-traipsing ability, so there's a good chance he'll be the one to share the news with Jon when (and if) they are reunited.
And if Jon Snow is named Jaehaerys, this lends credence to the theory that he will help fulfill the "dragon has three heads" prophecy. Jaehaerys was the most beloved Targaryen leader who, in addition to quelling the divide between the monarchy and Faith Militant, was a dragonrider. If Jon were named after Jaehaerys, it would be even more evidence that he will be one of the dragonriders alongside his aunt Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).
Game of Thrones returns to HBO for its seventh season on July 16, 2017.