Theories of Ice and Fire: Why is Jon Snow so special anyway?


So what’s the big deal with Jon Snow anyway? I know, technically the answer is, “he’s the hero.” The hero is the one who survives, who stands up to the Big Bad and “saves the world,’ even if they give their own lives to do it. Standard fantasy trope and all that.

But leaving behind the meta, what’s the big deal with Jon Snow in Westeros? Yes, R+L=J, sekret Targ, eleventy one. But WHY is that so special? So Jon Snow isn’t Ned’s bastard, he’s half Targaryen, part of a family that was driven out of Westeros a while back—you may have heard about it. If he meets up with Daenerys, the last official surviving Targaryen, will this family relation really make a difference? But more importantly, why does this particular joining of a Targaryen and a Stark create such an important character? Why does *that* make him the hero?

Oh, but that’s just it. You see, if you go back through the years and roll your way up the Targaryen Family tree all the way back to the conquering, or up the Stark Family Tree back to when the Targaryens arrived, you’ll notice that there’s something that has never happened. Starks and Targaryens have never, ever joined their families together.

The Starks bent the knee to the Dragon conquers when they arrived in Westeros 300 years before the events of the series proper, same as everyone else. And there was that one time the Starks sat on the Iron Throne, known as the Hour of the Wolf. (It was only for a couple of days, at the very end of the Civil War known as “The Dance of Dragons.” Shireen had a book you might borrow on the subject.) But even though Aegon III Targaryen named Cregan Stark Hand of the King for his support, he soon tendered his resignation and went right back up North, thank you kindly. (If only Ned had been so wise.) Interestingly, the Targaryens of the time promised Cregan that a Targaryen princess would marry into House Stark in exchange for his help in the war effort, but it never happened.

The Starks have bound themselves through marriage to many Northern houses, and even a few more far-flung families like the Tullys. But never in the entire history of Westeros has there lived a child of a Stark and a Targaryen.

Ice and Fire don’t meet often. From the sounds of it, Lyanna and Rhaegar’s utter infatuation with each other, so strong that one forsook their honor and the other their marriage vows in order to get together and have a baby, was more than just two highborns throwing caution to the winds and starting a war. Fate had finally forced a pairing of two families that had miraculously managed to avoid any sort of intermarriage for emotional or political reasons.

Does that make the difference between Dany and Jon’s fates to come? After all, although Dany is true-born, she’s no different than her ancestors. Jon Snow is something altogether new, something that hasn’t existed before. Ice and Fire meeting and made flesh.