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Rumor of the Day: Is [spoiler] returning for the final season of Game of Thrones?

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Apr 30, 2018, 10:52 PM EDT (Updated)

SPOILER WARNING: While we can't say this rumor is anything but that, there's a chance we could be spoiling something juicy from Game of Thrones' final season.

Will we see Rhaegar Targaryen in the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones? It is looking quite possible.

Rhaegar is one of the most important characters in Game of Thrones -- yet he was dead before the series even began. Son of "The Mad King," Rhaegar was the rightful heir to Aerys II's throne. He was killed by Robert Baratheon during "Robert's Rebellion," the war during which Baratheon seized the Iron Throne.

And yet, the actor Wilf Scolding, who played Rhaegar during a flashback in Season 7 (the first time we actually see Rhaegar) recently posted a photo of himself outside the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

According to Winter Is Coming, the Europa Hotel is the "nerve center of filming on Season 8" of Game of Thrones. This could mean a lot of things. Scolding could have been in Belfast on unrelated business. He could have just been visiting friends in the cast. The photo could have been an old photo, perhaps something he took while shooting Season 7. However, it gets very suspicious that, within a few hours, the photo was removed from Instagram. That seems to suggest that Scolding wasn't supposed to have posted it at all.

Game of Thrones season 7 - Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen

Photo courtesy of HBO

Rhaegar is so important to the plot because he is Jon Snow's biological father, which makes the former bastard a direct heir to the Iron Throne. In Season 6, we found out that Jon's biological mother was actually Lyanna Stark, Ned's sister. It was discovered that Rhaegar was Jon's biological father, but it was assumed that he impregnated Lyanna by force, out of wedlock, making Jon ineligible for the Throne.

However, in Season 7, Samwell discovered a historical document that showed Rhaegar had actually annulled his previous marriage in order to wed Lyanna. That means Jon was born out of a legal union, which not only makes him not a bastard, it also makes him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. We finally got our first glimpse of Rhaegar when Bram Stark went back in time to watch his aunt's wedding.

If Scolding is, in fact, coming back for the final season of Game of Thrones, that could mean we are going to get more flashbacks. Or it could mean Rhaegar returns as one of the white walkers. He could even just play another character, perhaps someone else in the Targaryen bloodline. Unfortunately, the answer will have to wait until 2019, which is when the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is finally scheduled to air.

What do you think of this Rhaegar rumor? Could there be something to it?

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