For the first six seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones, many fans believed that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) was actually the bastard son of the honorable Ned Stark, while others clung to a long-held fan theory, that ultimately proved to be true. The Season 6 finale revealed that Jon Snow was actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister Lyanna Stark, while the Season 7 finale confirmed that Rhaegar and Lyanna were actually married in secret, proving that Jon wasn't a bastard after all, and that he is the one true heir to the Iron Throne, whose real name is Aegon Targaryen. Today we have a new fan theory that posits why Ned Stark named his secret nephew Jon Snow in the first place.
Like many fan theories, this one first surfaced on Reddit from a user named "duh_metrius," who recently came to a realization about why Ned Stark likely chose the name Jon Snow for the infant who he claimed was his bastard son, but was really his own nephew. After Robert Baratheon's (Mark Addy) rebellion, practically everyone in the Seven Kingdoms sided with Robert, who wanted to completely eliminate the entire Targaryen family line, after the ruthless reign of "The Mad King," Aerys Targaryen, which is why Lyanna's dying wish to Ned was to keep Jon Snow's true name, Aegon Targaryen, a secret, so he wouldn't be killed. This Reddit user claims that Ned may have named Jon Snow after his own father figure, Jon Arryn. Here's what this Reddit user had to say below.
"I know this has probably already occurred to everybody, but I was thinking about how Ned named his three sons after people who were close to him. Robb is named after Robert Baratheon, Bran is named after Ned's brother Brandon, and Rickon is named after Ned's father. But then I remembered that Jon is named after Jon Arryn, the man who wasn't Ned's father, but raised him like a son. That's a really beautiful detail. Edit: Glad so many people enjoyed this! Just want to clarify: I've always known Jon was named after Jon Arryn; it's the parallel in the relationships that dawned on me today."
Another Reddit user went on to praise Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin for finding deeper meaning within the names he selects. While Ned named Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) after his brother Brandon, this Redditor pointed out that the word Bran also means "raven" in the Welsh language, hinting all along that Bran Stark would eventually become the Three-Eyed Raven. Still, the exact naming of Jon Snow and Brand Stark has never been officially confirmed by George R.R. Martin or anyone on the Game of Thrones series. Regardless, it certainly seems likely that the rationale behind these names are in fact valid.
As of now, though, only two characters in Westeros know of Jon Snow's true identity as Aegon Targaryen, Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), who, during his time at the Citadel in Oldtown, learned that a maester issued an annulment for Rhaegar Targaryen, so he would be free to marry Lyanna Stark during a secret ceremony held in Dorne. It seems likely that Jon Snow will finally learn his true name of Aegon Targaryen at some point during the final season of Game of Thrones, which is expected to debut either in late 2018 or possibly in early 2019.