So, after watching the second episode of the Game of Thrones Miniseries (can it really possibly be just a miniseries...where the hell are they going to end it when there's no end in sight for the actual book series?), I'm mostly just happy to be reassured that most of the actors they've cast are capable of a full range of motion with their facial features. Jon Snow is still a little stuck on "brooding," and for that matter Sean Bean isn't exactly tearing it up...but still, I have hope. I'm especially happy that Jaime & Cersei both seem to have some promise as interesting actors, since it's gonna be their scenes with Tyrion that either make the thing worth while or not.
But that's not the epiphany. There seemed to be a lot of hints in this last episode that we're supposed to care who Jon Snow's mother is....something I don't really remember being so prominent in the books. And if we're supposed to care who she is, she can't be "random farm girl #3" or something similarly insignificant. And the problem with long lost mothers as opposed to long lost fathers as surprise story twists is that in general, pregnancy is hard to hide. It'd be pretty implausible for say, Cersei to be Jon's mother (and kind of pointless to the plot, unless the plot is going to go in a really weird direction.) So I think, in order for Jon's parentage to be in any way significant we have to consider the possibility that Ned Stark isn't actually his father...not just because an important woman would have a hell of a time hiding a pregnancy, but because it simplifies the timeline considerably if Ned doesn't have to be around for both the conception & then also show up after the birth to bring the baby back to Winterfell with him. Once you decide that Ned may not actually be the father, then it just makes sense to guess that Jon has the most significant parentage that he could possibly have...he must be a Targaryen. Either, Ned rescued a known baby from the carnage (Didn't Daenerys have a baby sibling that was supposedly killed? What if he wasn't), or there's an unknown baby. Which takes this theory full circle...Ned clearly states in the last episode that Jon "has Stark blood in him," and Ned's sister was held captive and tortured by the Targaryens....presumably enough out of sight that she maybe could have been pregnant without it being generally known. Ned rescues the baby, which everyone else would have tried to kill, and raises it as his own bastard. Eventually Jon finds out his true destiny and then probably marries Daenerys because if George R.R. Martin has taught us nothing, it's that incest is completely normal. They rule the kingdom together, there's peace throughout the land, and there...I've finished the book since the author was taking way too long. Go me! Now he just needs to write in lots of cool scenes with Tyrion and/or Arya to flesh it out. None with Catelyn though, I kind of hate her.