This Jon Snow Attribute Shouldn't Be Ignored In Light Of The 'Game Of Thrones' Season 6 Finale Twist

After years of speculation, the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale confirmed what fans had long expected: Jon Snow is the biological son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The news sent fans into a frenzy of speculation about what Jon's Targaryen connection could mean in regards to his future and the Azor Ahai prophecy. The fact that Lyanna had a name picked out for Jon that would likely highlight his Targaryen heritage has also caused quite the clamor, and some fans are even hoping Jon and Sansa will get together now that Jon's not really Sansa's brother — and yes, I just used italics to illustrate me cringing. Here's the thing, I'm happy R + L = J has been confirmed, but as exciting as it is to know Rhaegar is Jon's biological father, it is important to ensure we don't erase Jon Snow's Stark identity when discussing the character.

Jon is and always will be a Stark. Being a Stark if not in name, then in practice has guided Jon his entire life. Look at his actions in Season 6, his stoicism, and his deep and unwavering belief in honor. Jon is more like Ned than any of the other Stark children. Ned is and always will be Jon's father. It is Ned who raised Jon, who instilled in him a sense of loyalty to his family, and the value of being a soldier who lives by a code. Without Ned's influence, Jon would be a completely different person.

More than that, Jon grew up alongside Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. They are now and will always be his siblings, not his cousins. The truth of Jon's parentage does not and should not change his past. To suddenly define him by his Targaryen blood disregarding both his mother and the promise Ned made and kept does a huge disservice to Jon's journey.

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When Jon finds out who his biological parents were, it will hopefully give him a sense of peace. Not knowing who his mother was has tormented Jon for years. It marked him a bastard and robbed him of carrying the Stark name, a name he always wanted. Knowing his mother was Lyanna, a woman whose spirit Ned sees in Arya within the pages of the book series, will be a beautiful gift. Jon has Lyanna's spirit too, that much is plain to see, and it is a beautiful tribute to Lyanna that so much of her shines through in Jon.

Jon was always meant to be a child of the north. His Stark heritage will inform his decisions moving forward even if it his Targaryen blood that shapes his destiny. Rhaegar ties him to Dany and a royal line, and possibly the prophecy of Azor Ahai. However, if Jon is the prince who was promised, it will be his family that motivates him to fulfill his destiny, just as his family has always motivated him.

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Like any child who is raised by someone other than their biological parents, Jon's history and being is informed by the family he was raised in, even if it was not the one he was born into. If Lyanna and Rhaegar had raised Jon, his dynamic with Ned and Ned's children would have been very different. His entire life would have been different. Jon's biological parents ultimately never had the chance to shape Jon, but Ned did. So did Robb, Arya, Sansa, Rickon, Bran, and Winterfell. They are his home, and bonds that strong are not broken or made by biology.

Jon's identity is so tied to the Starks and to the North, the fire in his blood is just a bonus. Remember, there was a direwolf pup for him too, and Ghost has been his most constant ally. Discovering he is a Targaryen will shape Jon's journey moving forward, but it will not change the amazing man he is thanks to his family and the adversity he has faced. Exploring the ramifications of his Targaryen heritage is the natural next step for the show and for fans, but Jon's identity should not be erased in the process.

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He is Jon Snow, The White Wolf, The King in the North — a Stark child to his very core. He may be the literal son of ice and fire, but it will always be the ice that defines him.

Images: HBO; Giphy (3)