Warning: Minor spoilers for “Game of Thrones” season seven ahead.
HBO released the first “Game of Thrones” season seven set photos, and some of them provide just enough context clues that people began piecing together predictions about what’s in store. One photo in particular has been the root of speculation — the portrait of Jon Snow.
As Inverse’s Lauren Sarner pointed out, the background of Jon’s photo looks to be the crypts of Winterfell. This is significant for one major reason: Jon might finally learn the truth about his parents, and this could mean we’re getting a big Stark reunion.
Take a closer look at the background of the full photo:
See those arches in the background? This looks similar to other scenes that took place in Winterfell’s crypts. Here’s Sansa and Littlefinger in the crypts back in season five:
We believe that Jon’s photo shows him looking at the same tomb and statue that Sansa and Littlefinger were checking out in season five — Lyanna Stark’s.
The finale of season six revealed that Jon Snow was the son of Lyanna Stark, Ned Stark’s sister. She died giving birth to Jon, and begged Ned to promise her he’d protect her son. After the finale, HBO released a new infographic that identified Rhaegar Targaryen — brother of Daenerys Targaryen — as Jon’s father. This confirmed a longstanding fan theory known as R + L = J.
So fans now know who Jon’s parents are, and Bran is close to knowing the whole truth (since he’s the one who saw Lyanna giving birth in a vision flashback). But Jon has no idea. He still believes Ned was his father and has no idea who his mother was.
This might all change in season seven.
As far as we can tell, the only way Jon could know about Rhaegar and Lyanna is if Bran makes it past the Wall and to Winterfell. The other option would be if Howland Reed (Jojen and Meera’s father) appears in season seven and spills the beans, since he was at the Tower of Joy with Lyanna and Ned when baby Jon was born.
Either way, this will be a major moment for the fandom.
Jon was declared King in the North at the end of season six, and he’s going to be the leader Westeros needs when it comes to defeating the imminent threat of the Night King and his White Walker army. Daenerys has finally sailed west, and (based on the new trailer) will be stationing her new seat of power at Dragonstone. Can you imagine the conversation they might have if Jon knows that he’s related to Daenerys?
Plus Bran arriving at Winterfell and seeing Jon and Sansa again would be a huge moment. Bran has undergone a massive change since season one when he last saw a majority of his siblings. We’re crossing our fingers that Arya heads north, too, because her and Jon have been apart for far too long.
Another crypt-related theory that contains less hype is that Jon is simply burying Rickon and Ned. Both of these Stark men still need their own statues built for the crypts, so maybe Jon is just carrying out a family tradition. We’ll have to wait until season seven to know for certain.
“Game of Thrones” returns on Sunday, July 16.