Come on. You didn't expect the much-awaited "Tower of Joy" scene to give away everything, did you? We met her properly on her death bed, but Jon Snow's mother still has a few secrets to reveal. Why did Lyanna give Jon to Ned on Game of Thrones ? The Stark promise had some pretty high stakes.
One of the few things that Lyanna whispered to Ned was that "if Robert finds out he'll — you know he will. You have to protect him." It sounded like she said Robert would kill Jon, which is why Ned Stark had to live a sad lie and pretend Jon was his bastard son and that he had cheated on Cat. Why would Robert Baratheon want to kill a bastard baby? Oh, I can think of a few reasons.
First of all, this whole rebellion started because Rhaegar "kidnapped" Lyanna. The Stark girl was promised to Robert Baratheon, who was deeply in love with her. Whether the Targaryen prince really kidnapped and raped his fiancé or the two of them ran away together and conceived the child in love, Robert was going to be angry about Jon's existence — and the fact that Lyanna died in childbirth certainly doesn't help. It was much safer to let Robert believe that Rhaegar had killed Lyanna. That kept Jon out of the spotlight and out of harm's way.
If you remember back in Season 1, Robert (who had tons of bastards himself) was pretty OK with sending assassins to kill Daenerys Targaryen — who at the time was a fairly innocent teenager. He killed Rhaegar himself and didn't seem to mind that the Mountain raped Elia Martell and murdered the rest of the royal family, which included some babies. Robert Baratheon may seem like a faraway dream on Game of Thrones now, but in his youth he was very jealous and very dangerous. He wanted all Targaryens dead, which now very likely includes Jon Snow.
Is Jon's father definitely Rhaegar? Was Lyanna definitely kidnapped? Who was that handmaiden with her? What happened to her? Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for this reveal for ages, and I am glad that there is still more to learn.
Image: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO