George RR Martin certainly wouldn't get away with dropping hints like this today. 

In 2016, every comment that Martin makes in relation to his book series, A Song of Ice and Fire as well as the TV show adaptation, Game of Thrones, is analysed countless times over in order to gleam any sort of clues that fans can use to fuel speculation about the story's plot points. 

Back in 2002 however, before Game of Thrones made George RR Martin a household name, he probably thought he could get away with dropping subtle hints to fans. And to be fair, he did get away with it. Until now. 

A redditor recently discovered that Martin did a Q&A with fans back in 2002 and when the subject of Jon Snow's parentage was brought up, Martin decided to have a little fun with his answer. We now know of course that Rhaegar Targareyen and Lyanna Stark are Jon Snow's real parents but back then fans were still led to believe that Jon was Ned Stark's bastard son and the identity of his mother was still a mystery. 

One fan asked Martin, “Since all of their mothers died, who gave Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister their names?”

To which the author replied: "Mothers can name a child before birth, or during, or after, even while they are dying. Dany was most like [sic] named by her mother, Tyrion by his father, Jon by Ned.”

See what he did there? If Ned was really Jon's father then Martin would have just said 'Tyrion and Jon's fathers'. Instead he decided to have a bit of fun with fans and it worked beautifully. 

Bravo, George, bravo. 

Via Uproxx