Kit Harington has heard all your Game of Thrones fan theories, but he doesn’t have the answers. Not for lack of trying, though. “I’ve never even asked George [R.R. Martin] who Jon’s mother is,” the actor told Vulture earlier this month at the Cinema Society premiere of his latest film, How to Train Your Dragon 2. “But I’ve tried to trick [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] into telling me.”
Martin famously asked Benioff and Weiss what they thought Jon’s parentage might be as a test to determine whether he’d give them the rights to his A Song of Ice and Fire book series, and since their answer was presumably satisfactory enough to do the show on HBO, one might assume they have the answer to this long-debated mystery. Harington tried his luck when he learned about his bosses’ chat with Martin, to pretend he knew as well, “but they didn’t fall for it,” he laughed.
The prevalent fan theory is that Rhaeger Targaryen and Lyanna Stark are Snow’s parents, which is why Ned doesn’t claim Jon as his son but his “blood,” since that would make him his nephew. As the theory goes, Ned promised his sister to give the baby his protection because King Robert was on a Targaryen killing spree, but was sworn to secrecy. Honorable to the end, he never told a soul.
“I genuinely don’t want to know, whoever it is,” Harington conceded. He figures Jon Snow not knowing as well is probably something that helps keep the character alive just a while longer, even as fans debate the meaning of Jon’s fate in A Dance With Dragons. “One reason I don’t think he dies is that he hasn’t found out who his mother is,” Harington said. “I don’t want to predict this, because George could just kill him, but I just think Jon’s got to find out who his mother is. He’s got to. It would be unfair if he didn’t. And he doesn’t think he ever will. But we just need to see him find out. That’s my feeling, anyway.” Ours too, Kit.
Even if Jon Snow knows nothing, others around him may know a lot more — including Melisandre, who gave him a telling long look in the season finale.Could her interest be that she suspects Jon is linked to her Azor Ahai prophecy? “That’s going to be a really intriguing part of next season,” Harington teased. “It’s going to be fascinating.” Melisandre had interpreted Stannis Baratheon to be the second coming of the Prince That Was Promised, but her visions in the flames were a bit unclear. Seeing Snow, she seems to have a moment of recognition — or maybe just a sense that king’s blood is again within her grasp.
Some fans also theorize that Jon Snow is the fulfillment of yet another prophecy — that “the dragon has three heads” applies to him becoming a dragon rider. “That opens up a whole can of worms!” Harington laughed. “Maybe Jon can imprint on one of Dany’s other two dragons? Wouldn’t that be brilliant? I love that idea!” Then the only question remains: Who would be the third?
"Every season that comes, I love finding out more," Harington said. "It's fascinating what George has done, and how people love to speculate. And only he knows. Whatever he knows, I'm sure he's masterminded it in his head and he knows how it's going to end. And I'd love it if Jon was important for the end, I really would."