Game of Thrones dropped some major bombshells during season seven, episode five, “Eastwatch,” but one of the biggest moments was shut down early thanks to an interrupting man.
As Sam Tarly pores over documents in his room at the Citadel, Gilly — who basically just learned to read — is reading some facts aloud to Sam from the diary of one High Septon Maynard. Sam becomes visibly annoyed with Gilly for asking him if he knew how many steps were in the Citadel or if he knew how many windows were at the Sept of Baelor.
And while our eyes may have been glazing over while Gilly talked about steps and windows, she also revealed a huge historical secret.
“What does annulment mean?” Gilly asked Sam.
A frustrated Sam explains that it means that a man leaves his wife. Gilly then casually drops that the annulment was for a Prince “Ragger” — aka Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the older brother of Daenerys Targaryen — who was then married to someone else in a secret ceremony in Dorne.
Sam and Gilly don’t understand the huge implications that could have for Jon Snow’s lineage because Sam doesn’t take the time to listen to Gilly’s questions. He interrupts her and mansplains to her all of his frustrations with the way the maesters work.
Gilly casually listens to his rant and then corrects him when he says “s—” instead of “steps.” They move on.
But many fans couldn’t move on, and were annoyed that Sam interrupted Gilly, keeping us from hearing the full game-changing revelation. As my colleague Kim Renfro explained:
While reading old texts with Gilly, Sam Tarly learned that Rhaegar Targaryen — Jon’s father— had his marriage to Elia Martell annulled.
The sixth season finale showed Bran’s flashback to the Tower of Joy, where Lyanna Stark lay dying in a bed of blood after giving birth to Jon. We didn’t see Rhaegar there, nor was there any mention of him, but book readers have long assumed Rhaegar was Jon’s father. HBO even confirmed the theory when they released an infographic in the week after the Tower of Joy scene aired.
And now we know that Jon isn’t just a bastard born from a secret love affair between Lyanna and Rhaegar — he’s likely their legitimate child and could now surpass Daenerys when it comes to the Iron Throne’s Targaryen successor.
While it was obviously the writers’ intent to bury this huge news, people couldn’t help poking fun at Sam for losing out on the big plot twist.
Fans will have to wait a little longer to see more of the R+L=J theory. But just like Winter, we know it’s coming.
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