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Game of Thrones: What Jon Snow was thinking during that intense season 8 premiere scene

Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 1

One of the most quotable lines in Game of Thrones history is no longer true. 

During the first episode of Thrones season 8, Jon Snow learned it all: everything about who is parents really are, and who he truly is. Not actually the bastard son of the late Ned Stark (Sean Bean) but the true-born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, the woman he had always believed to be his aunt, Jon was given the name Aegon Targaryen at birth, and was "adopted" by Lyanna's brother Ned after she died following childbirth. Jon's parentage makes him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, as he is the eldest living male offspring of the last "true" king, Aerys II "the Mad King" Targaryen, whom Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) killed and Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) overthrew during Robert's Rebellion. Countless in the Seven Kingdoms believed Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) had the strongest claim to the throne since she's the daughter the Mad King and the last living member of her portion of the Targaryen family tree (and because all of Robert's children were either bastards by Jaime Lannister or bastards by random women), but Jon is the true heir by the rule of succession. 

Jon had no idea he was a Targaryen until shortly after he returned home to Winterfell — having already bent the knee to Daenerys, with whom he's also engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship. Following the revelation of Jon's parentage that came at the end of season 7, Jon's closest friend Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) tells him the truth while in the crypts of Winterfell: Jon is the heir to the Iron Throne, not Dany, and she's actually his aunt. 

The look on Jon's face upon hearing the news spoke a thousand words, but actor Kit Harington has shared with Entertainment Weekly what was really going on inside his head. 

Harington told the outlet that learning he is a Targaryen and not a Stark is "the most upsetting thing in the world" for Jon, as he feels it means the man he trusted his entire life, Ned Stark, is nothing but a liar. Obviously, Jon's also pretty repulsed that he shares DNA with the woman he loves and recently pledged fealty to.

"If Jon could go back in time and say: 'Whatever you're about to say, don't tell me,' he would. He'd happily be in ignorance," said Harington. "He's not hard to predict, Jon, he doesn't do many unexpected things. You mark the particularly tricky scenes that you're going have to concentrate on and this was one. He finds out such a massive piece of information. Not only does he find out who his mother is but also that he's related to the person he's in love with. It's hard for any actor to play. It's not a two-hour movie but eight seasons of playing a character who's finding out."

The actor also said that Jon, who isn't exactly a hot-headed kind of guy, is enraged after Sam breaks the news — and briefly considers turning on Sam because he suspects he could be lying.

"The key to it is the audience already knows. So it's not a shock to them. With Jon, it's about what he says, 'You're telling me my father lied to me? My father, the most honorable man I've known my entire life, you're saying that?' For that moment, Samwell is nothing to him. Jon would disown this friend and beat him up if he was trying to lie to him about this," Harington explained. "He's quite threatening: 'You're telling me this, you better be f****** right, and if you're trying to play me –' that was the way to play that scene, I think."

Samwell actor John Bradley offered his perspective of the impactful scene: "Jon feels Sam is muddying the name of one to the most noble people he's ever known and that his entire life is built on a lie. You know The Beatles' White Album? Just toward the end is 'Revolution 9,' which is a very sinister soundscape. The inclusion of that on the album makes you doubt what you've heard before it, makes the rest sound darker and more dire. You thought you had an angle on the album but that track means nothing you've heard before can be trusted. With Jon, he can review his entire life backwards and see everything completely different and in sinister terms even if [withholding his parentage] was done for the right reasons. Everything he's done seems to have been compromised He didn't take it well. But coming from anybody other than Sam, he would have taken it worse."

If it wasn't obvious based on Jon's reaction alone, Harington said in no uncertain terms that Jon is not interested in becoming king. (That may change, but, as always, Thrones actors have to keep spoilers at bay, even if it means telling white lies.)

"That's the thing I love about Jon, his purity. He doesn't f****** want it. He doesn't want that f****** information. He doesn't want to know. He has no ambition for the throne. He's never wanted that," said Harington. "The end of the world might be coming soon but at least he's in love with somebody and knows who he is, and then comes this sledgehammer."

Now that Jon knows the truth, one can surmise that the rest of Westeros will soon learn who he really is. Will they rally behind the former King in the North and proclaim him the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm — even if he doesn't want to take the throne? Only time will tell. 

Game of Thrones will return for season 8, episode 2 on Sunday, April 21 at 9 PM ET on HBO.