For several seasons Rhaegar Targaryen has been talked about during episodes of “Game of Thrones,” but never shown — that may finally change in Season 7.
An Instagram post from musician Devin Oliver has fans of the HBO series on the edge of their seats. The “I See Stars” singer shared a photo of himself holding a bow and arrow with his platinum blond locks in a bun. He is standing across from a mystery woman in the picture. While the photo has raised some questions, it’s the caption people of the internet really can’t stop buzzing about.
Oliver wrote that he “may or may not” have scored a role in “Game of Thrones” Season 7. Reddit user E-Nezzer snagged the photo, adding it to a thread speculating about the singer having been cast as Rhaegar Targaryen — Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) father. In a post on the site, he began a conversation about Oliver having potentially been cast in the show. Many agreed that he would be a good fit, noting that his hair is the appropriate color. Additionally, in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels Rhaegar is said to be quite a singer. One user noted that the character once famously sang “a song at Harrenhall [SIC] that brought tears to Lyanna’s eyes.”
The most shocking revelation regarding Rhaegar’s ties to the “Game of Thrones” cast was made during Season 6, episode 10. Fans finally received the confirmation they’d been awaiting for a number of seasons when Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), acting as the three-eyed raven, traveled back in time to a crucial moment. Standing outside the Tower of Joy — a structure named by Rhaegar — Bran sees three members of the King’s Guard battling with a younger version of his father, Ned Stark (Sean Bean). While the sword fight ensues, a woman — identified as Lyanna Stark (Cordelia Hill) for the first time during the episode — can be heard screaming in pain. Unlike the last time Bran visited the tower, there is no one to stop him from venturing inside to see the cause of her shrieks. Once inside it is revealed to him that everything he was told about his half-brother Jon growing up was untrue. In that moment Bran confirms the R + L = J fan theory, which suggests that Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon’s parents. As such, he is half Targaryen and half Stark and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne — unfortunately he has no idea.
While Rhaegar has never been featured in an episode of “Game of Thrones,” there is plenty fans can infer about him from the show and author George R.R. Martin’s novels. As was previously reported, it is known that Rhaegar was the Mad King’s heir. Before the Targaryen’s — sans Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) — died out, dragon’s blood flowed freely throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaegar was one of three children of Aerys Targaryen and Rhaella Targaryen. He also had a brother/cousin, Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd), and a sister/cousin — the Mother of Dragons. Rhaegar was also related to Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan) of the Night’s Watch, who died in Season 5, episode 7. He is thought to have been Rhaegar’s uncle. In addition to his many siblings/cousins and uncles, Rhaegar was known to have had two children of his own named Rhaenys and Aegon Targaryen.
Other things we know about Rhaegar are that he was once set to marry Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) arranged the relationship prior to his death. Its failure — which reportedly stems from the Mad King’s suggestion that Cersei was an unfit match for Rhaegar — created tension between the two families. The controversial ruler instead chose Elia Martell to marry Rhaegar. As Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) reminds the Lannister family in Season 4, Elia’s two young children were killed before her eyes by Ser Gregor Clegane (Conan Stevens) before he raped and killed her. There are conflicting reports about how Rhaegar and Lyanna ended up together — some believe that she was kidnapped by him, while others theorize that they were in love and ran away together.
Showrunners have yet to confirm or deny Oliver’s participation in the series. Fans will have to tune in to “Game of Thrones” in 2017 to find out.