Jon Snow is a bastard no more. At least that seems to be the takeaway from Gilly’s exploration of High Septon Maynard’s diary. In between counting the number of steps in the Citadel and keeping a record of all of his bowel movements, the High Septon also slips in a tiny but important detail about Prince Rhaegar. According to the diary, Daenerys’s brother had his first marriage annulled in Dorne so that he would be free to marry another woman. Unfortunately, Sam has an outburst before Gilly can officially read off the name of Rhaegar’s second wife, but it’s safe to say that he legally weds Lyanna Stark before she gives birth to their son, who grows up to be Jon Snow. This is a major moment for Game of Thrones, and it positions Jon to be a true threat to Daenerys’s claim to the Iron Throne before the series ends.
Neither Gilly nor Sam grasps the importance of this passage. The information is offered up for the audience alone, although there is a small chance one of them will remember Rhaegar’s story once the truth of Jon’s parentage comes out. And, hey, Sam takes quite a few books from the Citadel before he packs up with Gilly and Little Sam to head back to Jon’s side . . . High Septon Maynard’s diary of exposition might be among them.
Gilly’s innocent question — “What does ‘annulment’ mean?” — changes everything for the show’s key players. Let’s take a closer look at what Jon’s legitimacy means for Game of Thrones moving forward.