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Hero Overview

Bastards can rise high in the world, like your half-brother Jon Snow. Born the bastard of Winterfell, now the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. You didn't know? Yes, he's done very well for himself.
~ Ramsay Bolton about Jon Snow.
He's never been a bastard. He's the heir to the Iron Throne.
~ Bran Stark about Jon Snow's true origins (TV-series only).

Jon Snow is one of the main protagonists of the A Song of Ice and Fire franchise, in both the book series and its television adaption Game of Thrones. He is introduced as Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark's illegitimate son. From infancy, Jon is raised by Eddard as his own alongside Eddard's lawful children at Winterfell and the identity of Jon’s mother is unknown to all but Eddard. Jon has five half-siblings: an older brother Robb Stark, two younger sisters Sansa and Arya Stark, and two younger brothers Bran and Rickon Stark. He is 14 years old in the first novel, and 16 years old by the end of the fifth novel.

Later, after the television series continues where the novels leave off, it is revealed Jon is the son of Lyanna Stark, Eddard's younger sister, and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, making Jon not only the nephew of Eddard and cousin of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon but also the true heir of the Iron Throne. This also makes him the nephew of Daenerys Targaryen and Stannis Baratheon's second cousin once removed. Jon did not know his real parentage with only Eddard knowing the truth. However, Eddard claimed Jon as his illegitimate son to protect him from the Baratheon regime. Unaware of their blood connection, Jon and Daenerys fall in love and become lovers. However, as of the fifth book A Dance With Dragons, this revelation of Jon's parentage is not yet confirmed. Jon is Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, a thousands of years old organization that guards the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros against any threat that comes from north of the Great Wall protecting them.

In the sixth season of the television series, Jon is resurrected and later elected the new King in the North after his late brother (revealed to be a biological cousin) Robb Stark. In the seventh season, Jon Snow's real name is revealed to be Aegon Targaryen and the heir to the Iron Throne, ahead of Daenerys. In the eighth season, he relinquishes his royal status in the North in favor of vassalage under Daenerys, until he finally returns to the Wall as a black brother of the Night's Watch. He is then seen leaving the Wall through Castle Black's gate, riding with Ghost and the wildlings for lands beyond the Wall.

He was portrayed by Kit Harington, who also played Milo in Pompeii, Black Knight in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and voiced Eret in the How to Train your Dragon franchise.


Due to being raised by Ned Stark in Winterfell, Jon Snow has a strong sense of honor, duty, and morality, striving to do the right thing when faced with difficult choices. Like his father, Jon is solemn, somber, with a drive to protect. He has a deep love for his family and is close with his father, his uncle, and his half-siblings, particularly Robb and Arya. Jon is also mature and perceptive beyond his age. However, despite being more mature than the other Stark children, he initially possesses a childish arrogance when he first arrives at the Night's Watch due to his privileged upbringing, resulting in him being a more skilled swordsman than the other recruits. This attitude attracted him the nickname "Lord Snow". However, after he is scolded by Donal Noye and made to realize his advantages, Jon reaches out to the other recruits, teaches them how to fight, and becomes more open towards people. Despite a solemn nature, Jon is empathetic and possesses a protective streak, particularly showing his compassionate side to other outsiders, such as his little sister Arya, Samwell Tarly, Grenn and Pyp.

Though Jon grows up with loving relationships with most of his family, the societal stigma of his illegitimate status and the cold treatment by his father's wife results in Jon feeling like an outsider among his family. His illegitimate status also results in a strong desire to prove himself, believing that a good way for a bastard child in his position to gain honour and respect is to join the Night's Watch as status means less among the Watch's ranks. Jon dreams of emulating his uncle Benjen, First Ranger in the Night's Watch, and initially aspires to become a ranger like his uncle. Jon's sense of duty is shown as strong when he grows remorseful of breaking his celibacy vows with Ygritte, as seen in Jon's thoughts in the novels.

Jon is also fairly shy around women, as shown during his first encounter with Ygritte, and as revealed to Sam, he was a virgin at the time he joined the Night's Watch. Snow did not try to have sex with women of wary that he could father an illegitimate child himself: having lived his life as a bastard, he felt that it wasn't a life another child should have to go through. When he is ordered to learn of Mance Rayder's plans to attack the Wall, Jon meets the spearwife Ygritte, who becomes his first love and Jon breaks his vow of celibacy with her. However, though their love conflicts Jon, he ultimately does his duty to the Night's Watch as he leaves Ygritte to return to Castle Black and warn his sworn brothers of Mance Rayder's planned invasion of the Seven Kingdoms.

Having grown up with a preconceived idea about the wildings as enemies in the past, Jon's time with the Free Folk changes his mind. He grows more fond of the wildings and develops compassion for them to the point that in both novels and series, he makes peace with the Free Folk after the Battle of Castle Black. In the novels, Jon allows the wildings to join the Night's Watch or take shelter at Castle Black, while in the TV series, he fights among them against the White Walkers at Hardhome.

Telltale's Game of Thrones[]


Jon as he appears in the game

Jon Snow is a recurring character in Telltale Game of Thrones video game.

He debuts in Episode 3: The Lost Words, after Gared gets into a fight with Finn. He tells Frostfinger he needs another man atop the wall and Gared accompanies him to the top of the wall. While in the elevator, Jon reveals that his brother was Robb Stark and tells him that there were 3,000 men at the Red Wedding and not one could save his brother from being butchered by Lord Walder Frey's men.

Powers and abilities[]


  • Skinchanging: The ability to inhabit the body of an animal and control its actions by opening the "third eye". Much like his half-brother, Bran, Jon Snow is a strong skinchanger, but unlike Bran, he is untrained and unaware of his true potential. Jon's ability manifested itself few times, most notably during his ranging with Qhorin, when he slips into his direwolf, Ghost, and spies on a wildling horde nearby and wakes up screaming when Ghost is attacked by an eagle. Jon acknowledges his skinchanging abilities during his time with the wildlings, but remains ignorant and refuses Melisandre when she offers her assistance.
  • Dragonriding: In the TV series, thanks to the blood of Old Valyria flowing through his veins, Jon Snow had the capability to form bonds with dragons and ride them. Thus, he rode Daenerys' dragon, Rhaegal, on many occasions.


  • Expert swordsman: Jon is a talented swordsman, having been trained by Ser Rodrik Cassel, Winterfell's Maester-at-arms, and excelling in the use of the blade. His skills are seen in both novels and TV series alike. In the TV series, Jon demonstrates his prowess by overpowering and killing many Thenns in the Battle of Castle Black. Later during the Massacre at Hardhome, Jon, uses his Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, to hold his own against a White Walker and ultimately kill him. Additionally, in the TV series, Jon has developed a reputation as a great swordsman among the people in the North according to Ramsay Bolton.
  • Skilled Hand-To-Hand Combatant: In the TV series, Jon is skilled in unarmed combat. This is shown during the Battle of Castle Black, as he is able to kill Styr despite being overpowered by him, using his fists.
  • Archery skills: Jon has middling archery skills, shown mainly during the wildling attack of Castle Black, when he looses arrows against the attack. In TV series, when Mance Rayder is sentenced to death by burning alive, Jon shoots him with an arrow, killing Mance before the flames can consume him.




  • In the television series, it was revealed that Jon's real name is Aegon Targaryen. His father Rhaegar named him the same as his other son from Elia. In the books, in Westeros there is no such thing as a "divorce/marriage annulment": no man or woman can make a marriage annulment, unless it is for specific reasons to convince the High Septon, and still only these: if the marriage was never consumed or if one of the couple is already married to a living individual. The only thing Rhaegar would be able to do would be legitimization, nothing more (however only kings have such power). If such thing happened, Rhaegar could have still named Jon with another name and not the same as his first son, Prince Aegon. If that's the case, it is speculated that Jon's birth name in the novels might be Jaehaerys Targaryen, or possibly just Jon Targaryen.
    • Furthemore, Rhaegar wouldn't have wanted to risk angering the Dornish like that. Even if Rhaegar hypothetically pressured the High Septon into granting him an annulment on some false pretext or another this would greatly anger the Martells and possibly make them rise in open revolt against the Targaryens, especially since her children were heirs to the Iron Throne.
    • It is generally suspected that Rhaegar wanted a second marriage because he believed he needed to have three children to fulfill part of the prophecy about The Prince That Was Promised - that the "Prince" would actually be three people acting together. Elia Martell had very frail health, however, and her first two pregnancies nearly killed her, and the maesters said she would not survive another.
    • It is speculated on why the TV showrunners would make such an oversimplification from a polygamous marriage to an annulment, and believed that Benioff and Weiss wanted to make Jon Snow unquestionably the rightful heir to the Iron Throne - when in reality, even in the books, there is no scenario under which his inheritance would not be challenged by his enemies. Rebel armies don't care about the legality of words on paper, all they need is a pretext. Rhaegar may have taken Lyanna as a second wife in the books, but Jon's enemies may counter with arguments against the lawfulness of this marriage within the rules the Faith, and rebel movements would use that argument against them. A marriage annulment would simply be considered unlawful, no matter what. Also, bastard or not, compared to Jon's, Aegon Targaryen's claim, if confirmed authentic, would still be superior.
    • Also there's still the fact that the Baratheons deposed the Targaryens and were accepted as the new rulers. The Targaryens lost every castle and rights in Westeros and as long as Stannis Baratheon lives in the books, he is the actual rightful monarch of the Iron Throne. Even if every Baratheon dies, the Targaryens remain exiled by the Westerosi and Robert's bastards and House Florent would still hold valid claims. Edric Storm, being the only male bastard acknowledged by Robert as highborn would have the best chance to be legitimized before any other bastard.
  • In both novels and TV show, Jon is ordered by Qhorin Halfhand to kill him in order to complete an infiltration mission, since Qhorin was already doomed to be tortured to death by the wildlings anyway. However, in the novels Jon is ultimately unable to stab Qhorin, as he cannot bear to commit the deed. It is his direwolf, Ghost, who ends up killing Qhorin, in defense of Jon and thinking that Qhorin was seriously assaulting Jon. In the TV show, this was changed by having Jon being able to mortally stab Qhorin with his sword Longclaw.
  • While in the TV series, Jon died in the finale of Season 5 and was resurrected by Melisandre in the second episode of Season 6, his fate is uncertain in the novels, as George R.R. Martin has neither confirmed nor denied Jon's presence in the upcoming novel, The Winds of Winter. He has implied that he's not done with Jon yet.
    • It is speculated that his mind is on his wargs, Ghost, and Jon's mind will return to his body when this will be resurected, but more animal than before.
  • In Game of Thrones, Jon Snow is the second of three characters to kill a White Walker, the others being Samwell Tarly and Meera Reed.
  • Jon's plot before his stabbing varies depending on version. While in the novels, Snow receives a letter from Ramsay Bolton threatening him to storm Castle Black and enlists the help of the wildings in going to Winterfell to kill Ramsay himself, in the TV series, Jon dies after he rescues the wildlings from Hardhome and grants them safe passage into the Seven Kingdoms.
    • However, in Game of Thrones, Jon receives the letter from Ramsay after his resurrection and after reuniting with his half-sister Sansa, Ramsay's TV show bride. Just like in the books, Jon decides to fight back against the Boltons and succeeds leaving Castle Black to fight against Ramsay.
  • While in the novels, Jon possesses the strong supernatural power of skinchaging, common among the wildlings and Starks, in the TV series, these abilities are rarely if ever mentioned. In the books, Jon is able to inhabit his direwolf, Ghost, and has wolf dreams, but he is untrained and unaware of his true potential. He is one of the three wargs in the novels, the other two being his half-siblings Bran and Arya Stark, while in the TV show, only Bran's warging abilities are shown. George R. R. Martin confirmed that all the Starks children of this generation are wargs.


           A Song of Ice and Fire Logo Heroes

Beyond the Wall
Group of the Last Greenseer
Three-Eyed Crow | Coldhands | Leaf | Bran Stark | Meera Reed | Jojen Reed | Hodor

Free Folk and Giants
Mance Rayder | Val | Mother Mole | Sigorn | Loboda | Tormund Giantsbane | Dim Dalba | Gilly | Jax | Karsi | Kullback | Leathers | Osha | Sissy | Wun Wun | Ygritte

The Wall
Night's Watch
Jon Snow | Jeor Mormont | Samwell Tarly | Benjen Stark | Bowen Marsh | Othell Yarwyck | Pypar | Eddison Tollett | Qhorin Halfhand | Denys Mallister | Cotter Pyke | Donal Noye | Alliser Thorne | Jaremy Rykker | Waymar Royce | Jarman Buckwell | Grenn | Satin | Dywen | Todder | Halder | Bedwyck | Jafer Flowers | Othor | Small Paul | Ulmer | Donnel Hill | Bannen | Cooper | Aemon | Yoren | Gared | Will | Endrew Tarth | Leathers | Jax

The North
House Stark
Family: Torrhen Stark | Rickard Stark | Brandon Stark | Eddard Stark | Benjen Stark | Catelyn Stark | Robb Stark | Sansa Stark | Arya Stark | Bran Stark | Rickon Stark | Jeyne Westerling | Talisa Stark
Household: Harwin | Hodor | Luwin | Farlen | Mikken | Tomard | Mordane | Varly | Jeyne Poole | Jory Cassel | Martyn Cassel | Rodrik Cassel | Hallis Mollen | Aberdolf Strongbeard

House Manderly
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House Glover
Ethan Glover | Galbart Glover | Sybelle Glover | Robett Glover

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Cley Cerwyn | Medger Cerwyn | Hugo Wull | Howland Reed | Jojen Reed | Meera Reed | Helman Tallhart | Benfred Tallhart | Leobald Tallhart | Mallador Locke | House Forrester

The Vale of Arryn
House Arryn
Family: Sharra Arryn | Aemma Arryn | Jon Arryn | Denys Arryn | Elbert Arryn | Robert Arryn
Household: Brynden Tully | Vardis Egen

House Royce
Family: Gerold Royce | Rhea Royce | Yohn Royce | Nestor Royce | Robar Royce | Waymar Royce
Household: Mya Stone

Anya Waynwood | Eon Hunter | Jon Lynderly | Donnel Waynwood | Vance Corbray | Knights of the Vale

House Tully
Edmyn Tully | Hoster Tully | Brynden Tully | Edmure Tully | Catelyn Tully

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Forrest Frey | Sabitha Frey | Stevron Frey | Perwyn Frey | Arwood Frey | Olyvar Frey

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Beric Dondarrion | Thoros of Myr | Lem Lemoncloak | Edric Dayne | Gendry | Sandor Clegane (TV series) | Harwin | Mad Huntsman | Anguy | Jack-Be-Lucky | Greenbeard

Elder Brother | Jonos Bracken | Ghost of High Heart | Jonothor Darry | Raymun Darry | Karyl Vance | Willem Darry | Marq Piper | Septon Meribald | Oswell Whent | Septon Ray | Tytos Blackwood | Denys Mallister | Jason Mallister | Jaremy Mallister | Theomar Smallwood | Thoren Smallwood | Lyonel Strong | Harwin Strong | Willis Wode | Knight of the Laughing Tree

Iron Islands
House Greyjoy
Quellon Greyjoy | Victarion Greyjoy | Aeron Greyjoy | Asha Greyjoy | Theon Greyjoy | Yara Greyjoy

Tristifer Botley | Cotter Pyke | Qarl the Maid | Rodrik Harlaw | Baelor Blacktyde | Sawane Botley

House Lannister
Tyland Lannister | Tytos Lannister | Kevan Lannister | Tygett Lannister | Daven Lannister | Jaime Lannister | Tyrion Lannister

Addam Marbrand | Aubrey Crakehall | Harrold Westerling | Raynald Westerling | Jeyne Westerling | Lyle Crakehall | Podrick Payne | Sandor Clegane

House Targaryen
Family: Aegon V Targaryen | Aemon Targaryen | Alysanne Targaryen | Baelor Targaryen | Baela Targaryen | Daenerys Targaryen | Daeron II Targaryen | Jaehaerys I Targaryen | Jaehaerys II Targaryen | Viserys I Targaryen | Rhaena Targaryen | Rhaegar Targaryen | Aegon Targaryen
Household: Sandoq the Shadow

House Baratheon of Dragonstone
Family: Stannis Baratheon | Shireen Baratheon
Household: Melisandre | Davos Seaworth | Axell Florent | Cressen | Pylos | Bryen Farring | Matthos Seaworth | Devan Seaworth
Vassals and allies: Bryce Caron | Monford Velaryon | Guyard Morrigen | Richard Horpe | Rolland Storm | Godry Farring | Andrew Estermont | Justin Massey | Bonifer Hasty | Sigorn | Alys Karstark | Salladhor Saan | Mors Umber | Hugo Wull | Alysane Mormont | Sybelle Glover | Aberdolf Strongbeard

House Velaryon
Corlys Velaryon | Laena Velaryon | Vaemond Velaryon | Addam Velaryon | Jacaerys Velaryon | Monford Velaryon

Rhaenys Targaryen | Daemon Targaryen | Corlys Velaryon | Jacaerys Velaryon | Laena Velaryon

Davos Seaworth | Duncan the Tall | Bryen Farring | Godry Farring | Gendry | Hot Pie | Brynden Rivers | Erryk Cargyll | Jarman Buckwell | Justin Massey

House Baratheon
Family: Davos Baratheon | Raymont Baratheon | Rogar Baratheon | Ormund Baratheon | Lyonel Baratheon | Steffon Baratheon | Robert I Baratheon | Stannis Baratheon | Renly Baratheon | Shireen Baratheon | Gendry Baratheon (TV series)
Household: Cressen | Donal Noye

Andrew Estermont | Anguy | Balon Swann | Barristan Selmy | Beric Dondarrion | Bonifer Hasty | Bryce Caron | Guyard Morrigen | Lady Fell | Endrew Tarth | Brienne of Tarth | Davos Seaworth | Matthos Seaworth | Devan Seaworth | Jon Connington | Rolland Storm

The Reach
House Tyrell
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House Martell
Nymeria | Doran Martell | Oberyn Martell | Lewyn Martell | Arianne Martell | Quentyn Martell | Trystane Martell

Arthur Dayne | Edric Dayne | Ellaria Sand | Sand Snakes | Nymeria

Faith of the Seven
High Septon (Aegon's Conquest) | High Sparrow | The Shepherd | Theodan Wells | Elder Brother | Septon Meribald | Mordane | Septon Ray | Pious Dwarf | Faith Militant | Holy Brothers | Begging Brothers | Sparrows

Free Cities
Areo Hotah | Benerro | Aegon Targaryen | Daenerys Targaryen | Greenbeard | Thoros of Myr | Ternesio Terys | Moqorro | Kinvara | Daario Naharis | Groleo | Zanrush | Lady Crane | Syrio Forel | Salladhor Saan | Talisa Maegyr | Varys
House Rogare
Household: Sandoq the Shadow

Garin the Great | Nymeria

Slaver's Bay
Sandoq the Shadow

Kingdom of Meereen
Daenerys Targaryen | Hizdahr zo Loraq | Barristan Selmy | Galazza Galare | Daario Naharis | Belwas | Tumco Lho | Grey Worm | Missandei (TV series) | Groleo | Rakharo | Aggo | Jhogo | Unsullied

Grey Worm | Hero | Marselen | Stalwart Shield | White Rat

Dothraki Sea
Aggo | Jhogo | Quaro | Malakho | Rakharo | Kovarro | Irri

Melisandre | Quaithe

Summer Sea
Summer Isles
Quhuru Mo | Xhondo Dhoru | Kojja Mo

Basilisk Isles
Tumco Lho

Missandei (TV series)

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Azor Ahai

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Ghost | Grey Wind | Lady | Nymeria | Summer | Shaggydog

Video Games
House Forrester
Asher Forrester | Ethan Forrester | Mira Forrester | Rodrik Forrester | Talia Forrester | Gared Tuttle