Spoilers, of a strange sort, for the show.
Life is fun when you’re a successful actor out from an under an NDA — you can say basically whatever you want. That’s the case with Sean Bean, who was initially billed as the biggest star in HBO’s Game of Thrones as Ned Stark, but was found himself (character, not actor) beheaded at the hands of Joffrey Baratheon at the end of Season 1. He’s clearly kept up with Game of Thrones, however, and he’s got some thoughts as to what Paul Tassi calls Game of Thrones’ biggest mystery: the mother of his bastard son, Jon Snow. He comes to the a similar conclusion as Paul: that Jon Snow is not even Ned Stark’s bastard son at all. Things are pretty nasty in Westeros but still, Ned never did seem like the cheating type.
Bean has talked about this fan theory before, in an interview with Vulture, saying “I’m obviously not Jon Snow’s dad.” When Vulture confronted him about it again with more show to work with, he seemed excited about the prospect of Snow’s status.
“Probably a bit psychologically confused, I would imagine! I think that’s probably an interesting journey for Jon Snow as a character and for [Kit Harington] as the actor,” he continued. “He’s been very fortunate in being one of the characters that had a very meaty, substantial, very complex story to be able to discover for himself. He’s been lucky to survive!”
Bean, of course, doesn’t know anything more than us, though one likes to think he knows a little bit more about Ned Stark’s psychology than the rest of us. The dominant theory is that Jon Snow is the child of Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and that Ned took care of him rather than deal with the fallout of such a relationship. The show definitely went out of its way to describe their affair in a recent episode, insinuating that the entire rebellion was fought over their illicit love. Snow’s true parentage would definitely throw a big wrinkle into the questions of the “rightful king” that some characters love to talk about.
This is the kind of stuff I’d love to see more of in Game of Thrones — the show is way too weighted down with extraneous and boring characters, especially considering what good stuff we have to work with in the central characters. Snow gets a little tiresome from time to time, but he’s more likable than most, and he’s been one of the central characters since the beginning. Check Paul’s post for a couple of book spoilers about what he does next.