Some 'Game of Thrones' Fans Are Overthinking the Tower of Joy With Elaborate Theories
If it wasn't strongly implied in Game of Thrones' season six finale (which it really was), HBO made sure not to leave any doubts about who Jon Snow's parents were, thanks to a confusing but reaffirming graphic: He is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. However, while Jon's true parentage is now indisputable, some fans believe there was more to the first half of the Tower of Joy sequence.
The first part of the flashback, of course, being the confrontation between members of the Targaryen kingsguard — including legendary knight Ser Arthur Dayne — and the small convoy Ned Stark brought rescue his sister. It's a gruesome fight that Dayne dominates, despite the numbers, and he nearly kills Ned before Howland Reed stabs Dayne from behind.
However, one redditor, Therapy, believes Ned wouldn't have been killed by Dayne if Reed didn't intervene. The user posits that Rhaegar ordered Dayne to make sure Ned's lackeys were killed, but not Ned, so that he'd be the only one to learn the truth about Lyanna's child.
"The reason is simple: Rhaegar knew that Ned could be trusted with Lyanna and her baby, but also that the identity of the baby must be kept a secret," the user wrote. "Ned can keep a secret, but if 5 other men see Ned come down out of the tower with a baby, the secret is much more likely to get out eventually. The best course of action is for Ned to return North alone, with no one else seeing where the baby came from."
While it's an interesting theory that adds a layer of complexity to Rhaegar, and Dayne, it doesn't add up. It assumes too much knowledge on Rhaegar's behalf — someone who died at the Battle of the Trident (where Ned also was) before this event, and would've had few, if any, interactions with Ned. Therefore, Rhaegar likely wouldn't know whether or not he can trust Ned anyway. Ned's known as an honorable man throughout Westeros in the show, to be sure, but that's when he's Lord of Winterfell, not a young fighter.
While the user also notes it takes a while for Dayne to best Ned — despite the Three-Eyed Raven emphasizing how much more skilled of a fighter he is — it's difficult to assume he would've stopped attacking Ned after taking away his sword (Dayne looked ready to deliver to final blow before he was stabbed, so it would've been a really, really odd tonal shift).
Though, in fairness, since we'll have to wait until 2017 for season seven — and even then, we're looking at a shortened season — rewatching the Tower of Joy sequence isn't a bad way to pass the time.