This Sunday, May 8, families across the country will celebrate a very special occasion: the newest episode of Game of Thrones. Oh, and Mother's Day. But mostly Game of Thrones because let's be real, moms DO NOT want to miss what happens to Jon Snow and his newly resurrected, incredibly fine ass.
But as the gods would have it, it's no coincidence that Season 6, Episode 3, titled "Oathbreaker," is airing on Mother's Day. In fact, there's a much deeper, and probably more emotionally manipulative, meaning behind this season's programming schedule. Remember: This is a show that aired Tywin Lannister's death at the hands of his son Tyrion on Father's Day.
Before we break down why Sunday's episode "Oathbreaker" is the perfect Mother's Day surprise, our pet bear would like to have a word:
OK, so the preview for "Oathbreaker" clearly showed Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) having a vision of his father, Ned Stark, fighting at the fabled Tower of Joy in Dorne. "No, now it ends," young Ned says at the end of the promo. It is known.
Now, if that name means nothing to you, don't worry. The Tower of Joy has yet to be mentioned in the HBO drama, but it's the setting of a rather imperative scene in the books. In George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, Ned Stark recounts the brutal events in a dream sequence. A year after his sister Lyanna's abduction at the hands of Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys's older brother), Ned and six of his companions stormed Rhaegar's Tower of Joy, a Dornish stronghold where Lyanna was being kept, and defeated three sworn members of the Targaryen Kingsguard, including the legendary warrior Ser Arthur Dayne.
By the time he reached her room, it was too late to save Lyanna. There, on her death bed, which smelled of "blood and roses," Lyanna made her brother promise something -- the content of which has remained a mystery since that very first book. But the tragic scene sparked a very popular fan theory: R+L=J, which hints that Jon Snow is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
The theory suggests that Rhaegar did not abduct Lyanna at all; instead, the two were in love. Though never confirmed in the books, Lyanna allegedly dies in childbirth during the assault on the Tower of Joy, but only after demanding a "promise" from Ned to raise Jon as his own son, and keep his true heritage a secret from the Baratheons, who nearly decimated the entire Targaryen line for the Iron Throne.
Jon Snow's parentage has always been central to the mythology of the show, so if Game of Thrones does finally confirm R+L=J, then this is a very big deal. As the son of the dragon prince, Jon Snow not only has a real claim to the Iron Throne, but he also has a special connection with dragons. DRAGONS. We wonder how the White Walkers feel about dragons...
But I digress. Is there any better day to answer the series's most vital question -- who are Jon Snow's parents? -- and put so many fans out of their years-long agony than on Mother's Day?
After all, the show finally introduced Lyanna Stark in last week's episode, "Home," and we can't imagine that it was by coincidence.