It took until the season seven finale for Game of Thrones to finally confirm what we all knew to be true anyway: Jon Snow isn’t the bastard son of Ned Stark, but Aegon Targaryen, the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. We’ll get to see the fallout of this revelation whenever the final season rolls around in late 2018 or 2019, but the fact of the matter is that the reveal was years in the making, to the point where there’s actually a small, subtle reference way back in season three that fans are only picking up on now.
In the season three episode “Kissed By Fire,” Davos Seaworth is being taught how to read by Shireen Baratheon and the first word he learns is “Aegon.” “This word is Aegon,” Shireen said. “When you see ‘A,’ ‘E,’ and ‘G’ together like that, it sounds like ‘egg.’ And the title of the whole book is A History of Aegon the Conqueror.” (Insert jokes about this being an “Easter Aeg” here) In a brutal bit of irony, Shireen would later be burned at the stake because Melisandre thought Shireen’s father Stannis was the Lord of Light, when it’s most likely actually Jon Snow/Aegon.
Liam Cunningham, the actor who plays Davos, was recently asked about the scene by The Huffington Post and confirmed that it was a deliberate piece of foreshadowing.
“Yeah, they’re very good at that sort of thing. David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] plant little Easter eggs there if you want to see them.” When asked whether he had any idea at the time that the scene would end up carrying so much significance, Cunningham replied, “No, are you kidding me? I don’t know what the hell’s gonna happen from one episode to the next. That’s testament to how good the writing is on that, too.”
Cunningham also touched on what attracted him to getting involved with Game of Thrones in the first place. “It was a ridiculously wonderful story and beautiful storytelling. Nobody knew it was gonna turn into a cultural phenomenon. But we try and improve, keep the quality as high as it possibly can [go] without patronizing an audience or [being] condescending to them, thinking we know more about it than they do. Nobody knows more about it than they do. And we just try to deliver it with a bit of honor and a bit of respect.”
Yeah, but we still can’t forgive what happened to poor Shireen. She was too good for that world.