Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
Jon Snow, one of the central characters in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, and its television adaptation “Game of Thrones,” is initially introduced as the illegitimate son of Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell. However, as the series progresses, his true parentage is revealed to be a pivotal part of the story.
In the climactic episodes of “Game of Thrones,” it is revealed that Jon Snow is not, in fact, Eddard Stark’s illegitimate son. Instead, he is the child of Eddard’s younger sister, Lyanna Stark, and Rhaegar Targaryen, the eldest son of Mad King Aerys II. This parentage makes Jon the nephew of Eddard Stark and Daenerys Targaryen, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, according to Targaryen succession laws.
Rhaegar and Lyanna’s union was a controversial one. Rhaegar was already married to Elia Martell and had two children, and Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. Their elopement ignited Robert’s Rebellion, a war that ended the Targaryen dynasty. Lyanna died shortly after giving birth to Jon, and on her deathbed, she made her brother Eddard promise to protect her son. Eddard upheld this promise by bringing Jon home to Winterfell and raising him as his own illegitimate son, shielding him from those who might want to harm the last male Targaryen heir.
This truth about Jon Snow’s parentage becomes a significant plot point, affecting Jon’s identity, his relationships with others, and his claim to the Iron Throne.