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How Did Jon Snow Come Back To Life? & 9 Other Game Of Thrones Mysteries, Explained

Jon Snow’s resurrection was one of the most famous moments on Game of Thrones, but many fans don’t even understand how it happened. The moment seemed to come out of nowhere and was an event with a lot of mystery surrounding it.

RELATED: 10 Books For Game Of Thrones Fans (That Aren’t George R.R. Martin’s)

With the complex history and lore of this world, there are many aspects of Game of Thrones that are hard to understand. Instead of just dismissing them as magic, fans can look to the information in George R.R. Martin’s books to better understand Game of Thrones‘ biggest mysteries, including Jon Snow’s resurrection.

Updated on October 18, 2021 by Colin McCormick: Though Game of Thrones may have ended with a divisive final season, there is still much more to be explored in the world of Westeros. The first trailer for House of Dragon signals the first of many spinoffs set in this universe. And with all the unanswered questions about this world, the many mystical elements, and the mysteries that remain, fans may want to look deeper before returning for its next adventure.


15 The Night King’s Backstory

The Night King in HBO's Game of Thrones

Though The Night King was set up to be the biggest threat in the entire series, there was little known about the character. He led the Army of the Dead, was the first White Walker, and seemed hellbent on conquering Westeros.

Though the books have yet to confirm that there is a singular leader of the White Walkers, there are some clues that the Night King exists and has a backstory. There is a legend of a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch known as the Night’s King. He fell in love with a white-skinned creature and declared themselves king and queen before being defeated by the Night’s Watch.

14 Joffrey Poisoned At His Wedding

The Purple Wedding

Given how hated Joffrey Baratheon was, seeing him killed at his own wedding in Game of Thrones was a crowd-pleasing moment. Though Tyrion Lannister was tried for the murder, it was eventually revealed Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell were behind it. Still, many were unsure of how it was carried out.

It is explained in the books that the necklace Littlefinger provided Sansa for the wedding contained a poison tablet disguised as a gem. When rewatching the episode, Olenna can be seen admiring Sansa’s necklace, suggesting she removed the gem and put it in Joffrey’s wine.

13 The Power Of Valyrian Steel

The White Walkers seem to be a force of power the armies of Westeros do not stand a chance against. However, it is revealed that they can be killed with Valyrian steel, which is very rare in the world.

The Valyrian steel was invented in the ancient kingdom of Valyria, a land where dragonlords ruled. The steel was said to have been forged with dragonfire, which gives it certain powers and makes it an ideal weapon against the White Walkers.

12 Tyrion’s First Wife

Game of Thrones Tyrion Crossbow

In season 1, Tyrion tells a story of how he fell in love and married a woman at a young age. But when Tywin found out about it, he informed Tyrion that the girl was hired by Jaime to pretend to fall in love with Tyrion. It is a devastating story that shows Tywin’s cruelty towards his son.

However, in the novels, there is more revealed to this story. Jaime reveals to Tyrion that Tywin forced him to create that story and that the girl was not hired. She had legitimately loved Tyrion and it is that revelation that leads Tyrion to kill Tywin.

11 The Doom Of Valyria

In season 5 of the show, Tyrion and Jorah sail through the ruins of Valyria, mentioning an event that led to the great kingdom being wiped out almost completely. However, few details are given about it.

RELATED: The 10 Most Beautiful Locations In Game of Thrones, Ranked

In the books, it is noted that it is still unclear exactly what caused the Doom of Valyria. Some suggest it was sorcery gone wrong while others think it was a volcanic eruption. Whatever it was, it resulted in a loss of all the mysteries of this land and its magic, leaving only Dragonstone, the home of the Targaryens, left standing.

10 The Resurrection Of Jon Snow

Jon Snow met a shocking end at the knives of his Night’s Watch brothers during season 5’s “Mother’s Mercy.” All hope seemed lost for a short period, though thankfully, Jon Snow was resurrected by Melisandre in time for a showdown with Ramsay Bolton.

The Lord of Light’s magic is shrouded in mystery. Theories suggest that Melisandre sacrificing Shireen ensured Jon’s resurrection, as only death can pay for life. In the books, Jon will likely warg into Ghost before his revival by the Red Priestess.

9 Who Sent The Assassin To Kill Bran?

Bran Stark Assassination Game of Thrones

One of the earliest mysteries in Game of Thrones pertained to Bran Stark’s would-be assassin. Ned and Catelyn’s son teetered between life and death after he was thrown from a tower by Jaime Lannister. While Catelyn sits with her son in “The Kingsroad,” they are attacked by a stranger wielding a Valyrian steel dagger.

The books reveal that the stranger was sent by Joffrey to kill Bran. After overhearing Robert proclaim that death would be a mercy, the young prince sends the assassin in a twisted attempt to impress the king.

8 How Magister Illyrio Obtained The Dragon Eggs

Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen is given three fossilized dragon eggs by Magister Illyrio at the feast for her wedding to Khal Drogo. Illyrio states that they are from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, but George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood suggests a different origin.

The Targaryen history book chronicles the theft of three eggs from Dragonstone by Elissa Farman, the lover of Rhaena Targaryen. Elissa sold the eggs to the Sealord of Braavos, who unsuccessfully tried to hatch dragons of his own.

7 The Origins Of The Faceless Men

Game of Thrones

The Faceless Men proved instrumental in Arya’s journey to becoming a skilled killer, though they remain another enigmatic Game of Thrones faction. Arya first encounters the Faceless Assassins when she meets Jaqen H’ghar. Later, she puts Westeros behind her to train in Braavos at the House of Black and White.

In the books, Arya learns the Faceless Men originated with enslaved people forced to work in volcanic caves by the Valyrian dragonlords. Speculations within A Song of Ice and Fire suggest that they could have been responsible for the Doom of Valyria.

6 How Bran’s Visions Work

Game of Thrones Jaime Bran weirwood

Like Melisandre, the precise nature of Bran’s powers remains unknown throughout the series. The reigning King of Westeros learns to warg into animals and other people before his abilities are upgraded by the Three-Eyed Raven.

RELATED: 10 Things Fans Would Change About The Final Season Of Game Of Thrones, According To Reddit

The source material explains that Bran’s ability to warg stems from his Stark blood, similar to the Targaryens’ affinity with dragons. Bran sees visions from the past and present by looking through the faces carved into each weirwood tree.

5 What Killed The Dragons?

The death of the dragons was a heavy blow to House Targaryen that signaled the slow decline of their dynasty. The Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons was responsible for many dragon deaths, including Vhagar, Caraxes, Syrax, Vermithor, Sunfyre, Dreamfyre, and Meleys the Red Queen.

Though the Dance killed many dragons, Archmaester Marwyn suggests that the magic-hating maesters played a role in their extinction. The Targaryen dragons began to suffer as soon as Daenerys’ ancestors started confining them in the Dragonpit.

4 How The Mad King Lost His Mind

Game of Thrones The Mad King

Although the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, never features directly in the series, his shadow looms over the show’s narrative. The Mad King committed countless awful acts, such as calling for the deaths of Rickard and Brandon Stark, assaulting Queen Rhaella, and plotting to destroy King’s Landing with wildfire.

Strangely, Aerys was a handsome and promising king in his youth, showing few signs of the tyrannical monarch he became. Multiple stillbirths caused his sanity to unravel, but it was his six-month captivity during the Defiance of Duskendale that really was the Targaryen king’s undoing.

3 Why Robert And Ned Rebelled Against The Targaryens

Rhaegar and Lyanna secretely getting married in front of a sept in Game of Thrones

Other characters who greatly influenced the events throughout the series are Aerys’ son, Rhaegar Targaryen, and Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark. Their relationship stood at the center of Robert’s Rebellion; Lyanna was betrothed to Robert, who was enraged by her supposed kidnapping by Rhaegar.

Other factors contributed to House Targaryen’s downfall, however. The Mad King brutally killed Ned’s father, Rickard, and older brother, Brandon, before demanding Ned and Robert’s heads from Jon Arryn. Protecting his wards, Jon instead called his banners and took his soldiers to war.

2 The Three Heads Of The Dragon

Game of Thrones Targaryen Sigil

The Targaryen sigil bears a dragon with three heads. This could be more than a stylistic choice. During her Qarth visit in the books, Dany sees a vision of Rhaegar with Elia Martell and their son. Aegon. Rhaegar tells Elia — and Daenerys — that “there must be one more,” as “the dragon has three heads.”

Many fans believe that Daenerys and Jon Snow represent two heads destined to be dragonriders, while other characters like Tyrion and Bran could be the third contender.

1 Maggy The Frog’s Prophecy

Young Cersei hears the prophecy in Game of Thrones

Another important prophecy in the series centers around a young Cersei and a mysterious woods witch known as Maggy the Frog. A flashback in season 5’s “The Wars to Come,” shows Cersei visiting the witch, only to hear a series of damning prophecies about her future.

Maggy tells her that she will be queen before she is cast down by a younger, more beautiful figure. She forewarns the future queen about her children’s deaths, though her show counterpart omits Cersei’s prophesied death at the hands of the valonqar. Maggy’s prophecy retained the shadow of mystery surrounding the other magical elements in the series.

NEXT: 5 Times Cersei Lannister Proved She Was The Villain On Game Of Thrones (& 5 Times She Was Actually The Hero)

Split image of Villanelle from Killing Even and Kai Jin from Wu Assassins.


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