The latest season of HBO’s Game of Thrones may have only just ended (and left us all in mass panic over Jon Snow’s maybe-death), but the show is already getting ready to start filming the sixth season. Although they are still casting and finalizing new locations, a few tidbits of information coming down the pipe are looking very, very interesting. And if suspicions are correct, we could be getting a definitive answer to Jon Snow’s parentage in the near future.
Let’s start with a totally new location being used in the upcoming season, courtesy of Buzzfeed. Castillo de Zafra is a 12-century Spanish castle. It’s isolated on a rocky hill, making many fans wonder if it could be used as the Tower of Joy. What’s the Tower of Joy, you ask? Well, it’s only one of the most significant clues in the mystery of Jon Snow’s identity.
In the books, we only see the Tower of Joy in flashbacks and stories, primarily those of Ned Stark back in the first book. During Robert’s Rebellion (which overthrew the Targaryens), Ned found his sister Lyanna in the isolated tower, being guarded by three knights of the King’s Guard. She died in the tower, in what sounds a lot like a birthing bed, but not before she makes her brother promise her something. We don’t know what, but many speculate that she had just given birth to Jon Snow, and Ned was promising to keep her son (fathered by Rhaegar Targaryen) safe.
The theory that Jon is a Targaryen is not only widely held—the show has been pointing us in that direction, most notably last season. Take, for example, the way Littlefinger questioned whether or not Lyanna was actually kidnapped by Rhaegar, and the not-so-subtle moment when Maester Aemon made mention of a Targaryen alone in the world followed quickly by a cut to Jon Snow.
The last season also featured the show’s first flashback, with the scene in which Cersei has her fortune told by Maggie the Frog. This means they could be working in a few key moments from the books. But there’s only one person who was at the Tower of Joy who is still alive: Howland Reed, the father of Jojen and Meera who went north of the Wall with Bran. We haven’t met Howland in the books yet, but Bran will be appearing in the coming season, according to Den of Geek (and everyone).
Slight spoiler: he can see into the past through Weirwood trees as part of his training with the Three Eyed Raven. So it stands to reason that we could see the scene at the Tower of Joy through Bran’s eyes. Either way, Sean Bean would be coming back to play Ned, which would be awesome!
But there’s one other nugget of information about the upcoming season that points to the Tower of Joy making an appearance. There are a few new roles being cast, and although none of them are named, one is called “Legendary Fighter,” according to International Business Times. If we’re assuming the Tower of Joy will be included as a scene, that fighter could be Ser Arthur Dayne, The Sword of the Morning. He was one of the three King’s Guards at the Tower of Joy when Ned and his men arrived. He was killed in the fight that ensued, but was known as one of the greatest Westerosi fighters of all time.
OK, so at this point this is all speculation. Given how far the show has deviated from the books, it’s almost impossible to know where they are taking the story. It could be that the castle will serve as an as-yet-unknown scene that isn’t even in the books. But personally, I’m ready to find out if R+L=J, and to get a glimpse of Howland Reed.
Oh, and HBO, if you are doing flashbacks, what’s a girl gotta do to get the Tourney at Harrenhal featured in the near future?
(Images via HBO)