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Angalin

R+L=J v.82

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Reference guide

The Tower of the Hand has an excellent analysis of this theory:
Jon Snow's Parents

And Westeros' Citadel also provides a summary:
Jon Snow's Parents

A Wiki of Ice and Fire:
Jon Snow Theories


Frequently Asked Questions:

How can Jon be a Targaryen if he has a burned hand?
Targaryens are not immune to fire. Aerion Brightflame died drinking wildfire. Aegon V and his son Duncan are thought to have died in a fire-related event at Summerhall. Rhaenyra was eaten by Aegon II's dragon, presumably roasted by fire before the dragon took a bite. Viserys died when he was crowned with molten gold. Dany suffered burns from the fire pit incident at the end of A Dance with Dragons. Finally, the author has stated outright that Targaryens are not immune to fire. Jon's burned hand does not mean he is ineligible to be part Targaryen. For more information about the myth of Targaryen fire immunity, see this thread.

How can Jon be a Targ if he doesn't have silver hair and purple eyes?
Not all Targaryens had the typical Valyrian look. Alysanne had blue eyes. Baelor Breakspear and his son(s) had the Dornish look. Some of the Great Bastards did not have typical Valyrian features. Jon's own half-sister Rhaenys had her mother's Dornish look.

If Jon isn't Ned's son, then why does he look so much like him?
Much is made over the fact that Arya looks like Lyanna, and Jon looks like Arya. Ned and Lyanna shared similar looks.

How can Jon be half-Targ if he has a direwolf?
Ned's trueborn children are half Stark and half Tully. Being half Tully didn't prevent them from having a direwolf so there is no reason to think being half Targaryen would prevent Jon from having a direwolf. If Lyanna is his mother, then he's still half Stark. Furthermore, there is already a character who is half Targaryen and half blood of the First Men and was a skinchanger: Bloodraven.

Since Rhaegar was already married, wouldn't Jon still be a bastard?
The evidence that Jon is legitimate is that Targaryens have a history of polygamous marriages which makes it a possibility that Rhaegar had two wives. Three Kingsguards were present at the Tower of Joy when Ned arrived. Even after Ned said that Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon were dead and Viserys had fled to Dragonstone, the Kingsguard opted to stay at the Tower of Joy stating they were obeying their Kingsguard vow. The heart of a Kingsguard's vow is to protect the king. With Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon dead, the new king would have been Viserys, unless Lyanna's child was legitimate making him the new king of the Targaryen dynasty.
For a comprehensive analysis of Jon's legitimacy, see the detailed explanations in the two linked articles.

But polygamy hadn't been practiced in centuries, is it still even legal?
The practice was never made illegal and there may have been some less prominent examples after Maegor, as stated in this SSM. Furthermore, Jorah suggests it to Dany as a viable option.

Weren't the Kingsguard at Tower of Joy on the basis of an order from Aerys, to guard Lyanna as a hostage?
Aerys was sane enough to realize how taking someone hostage works even at the end of the Rebellion, and he would hardly miss the opportunity to bring Ned and Robert in line any time after the situation started to look really serious.
Furthermore, regardless of on whose order the Kingsguard might have stayed at Tower of Joy, they would still be in dereliction of their duty to guard the new king.

This theory is too obvious and too many people believe it to be fact. How can it be true?
The theory is not obvious to the majority of readers. Some will get it on first read, most will not. Keep in mind that readers who go to online fan forums, such as this one, represent a very small minority of the A Song of Ice and Fire readership. Also, A Game of Thrones has been out since 1996. That's more than 17 years of readers being able to piece together this mystery.

Why doesn't Ned ever think about Lyanna being Jon's mother?
Ned doesn't think about anyone as being his mother. He says the name 'Wylla' to Robert, but does not actively think that Wylla is the mother. He also doesn't think of Jon as his son. There are numerous mysteries in the series, and Jon's parentage is one of those. If Ned thought about Jon being Lyanna's son, it would not be a mystery.

Why should we care who Jon's parents are? Will Jon care? Who cares if he's legitimate?
Once one accepts that the evidence is conclusive and that Jon's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna and that he is most probably legitimate, these become the important questions.

Previous editions:

Please click on the spoiler below to reveal links to all previous editions of this thread.

Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread” (thread one)

Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread” (thread two)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon thread (Part III)” (thread three)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon thread (Part IV)” (thread four)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread (Part V)” (thread five)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread (Part VI)” (thread six)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon Thread Part VII” (thread seven)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon thread, Part VIII” (thread eight)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon thread, Part IX” (thread nine)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna =Jon Thread, Part X”(thread ten)

The R+L=J thread, part XI” (thread eleven)

The R+L=J thread, part XII” (thread twelve)

R+L=J Part XXIII” (thread thirteen)

R+L=J Part XXIV” (thread fourteen)

R+L=J XXV” (thread fifteen)

R+L=J v.16” (thread sixteen)

R+L=J v.17” (thread seventeen)

R+L=J v.18” (thread eighteen)

R+L=J v.19” (thread nineteen)

R+L=J v.20” (thread twenty)

R+L=J v.21” (thread twenty-one)

R+L=J v.22” (thread twenty-two)

R+L=J v.22a” (thread twenty-two (a))

R+L=J v.23” (thread twenty-three)

R+L=J v.24” (thread twenty-four)

R+L=J v.25” (thread twenty-five)

R+L=J v.26” (thread twenty-six)

R+L=J v.27” (thread twenty-seven)

R+L=J v.28” (thread twenty-eight)

R+L=J v.29” (thread twenty-nine)

R+L=J v.30” (thread thirty)

R+L=J v.31” (thread thirty-one)

R+L=J v.32” (thread thirty-two)

R+L=J #33” (thread thirty-three)

R+L=J v.34” (thread thirty-four)

R+L=J v.35” (thread thirty-five)

R+L=J v.36” (thread thirty-six)

R+L=J v.37” (thread thirty-seven)

R+L=J v.38” (thread thirty-eight)

R+L=J v.39” (thread thirty-nine)

"R+L=J v.40" (thread forty)

"R+L=J v. 41" (thread forty-one)

"R+L=J v.42" (thread forty-two)

"R+L=J v.43" (thread forty-three)

"R+L=J v.44" (thread forty-four)

"R+L=J v.45" (thread forty-five)

"R+L=J v.46" (thread forty-six)

"R+L=J v.47" (thread forty-seven)

"R+L=J v.48" (thread forty-eight)

"R+L=J v.49" (thread forty-nine)

"R+L=J v.50" (thread fifty)

"R+L=J v.51" (thread fifty-one)

"R+L=J v.52" (thread fifty-two)

"R+L=J v.53" (thread fifty-three)

"R+L=J v.54" (thread fifty=four)

"R+L=J v.55" (thread fifty-five)

"R+L=J v.56" (thread fifty-six)

"R+L=J v.57" (thread fifty-seven)

"R+L=J v 58" (thread fifty-eight)

"R+L=J v 59" (thread fifty-nine)

"R+L=J v 60" (thread sixty)

"R+L=J v 61" (thread sixty-one)

"R+L=J v 62" (thread sixty-two)

"R+L=J v 63" (thread sixty-three)

"R+L=J v 64" (thread sixty four)

"R+L=J v 65" (thread sixty five)

R+L=J v 66 (thread sixty-six)

"R+L=J v 67" (thread sixty-seven)

"R+L=J v 68" (thread sixty-eight)

"R+L=J v 69" (thread sixty-nine)

"R+L=J v 70" (thread seventy)
"R+L=J v 71" (thread seventy-one)

"R+L=J v 72" (thread seventy-two)

"R+L=J v 73" (thread seventy-three)

"R+L=J v 74" (thread seventy-four)

"R+L=J v 75" (thread seventy-five)

"R+L=J v 76" (thread seventy-six)

"R+L=J v.77" (thread seventy-seven)

"R+L=J v. 78" (thread seventy-eight)

"R+L=J v. 79" (thread seventy-nine)

"R+L=J v. 80" (thread eighty)

"R+L=J v.81" (thread eighty-one)

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Susanna Stormborn said :



"Or maybe that was a hint to Mance being descendant from the Stark baby that Bael left behind at Winterfell.."



I totally agree with this. It almost parallels the Targaryens in terms of the Stark daughter and Bael vs. Daena the Defiant and Aegon.



The "sins of the fathers" with the offspring causing turmoil for the families.


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“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

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I see. His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. My brother does not seem very festive tonight.

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Good grief, that's a great catch, because that is spot on.

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“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Most certainly. A good catch!

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whoaaa!!! good catch, ser leftwich!


of course Ned was nervous, that moment was when he realized Jon is only a few feet away from certain death, if the truth were to come out.


I'm just imagining seeing/reading Ned's POV during that nervous moment.


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And it is not as if Ned is a party animal to begin with. For Ned's mood/nervousness to be that noticeable, to a drunk teenager!


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Could be.



Also, I've always wondered if, besides the Stark features, there is something about Jon that simply says "Targaryen" at first sight. Yeah, I always joke is the ears (heh), but I'm sure there must be something else. People never notice what they don't care, and no one would actually look at Jon to even find out.


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“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Wow. Excellent observation! I wouldn't have thought of that! Very plausible!

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“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Nice. I like this.

This reminds me, I noticed a bunch of parallels between Jon and Viserys in AGoT, Jon I and AGoT, Daenerys V last month. The number and consistency of the parallels is startling. – Link

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“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Nice.

Has it been discussed what, if anything, Benjen knew of the whole R+ L=J? He must have been very young when it all went down. I do remember there was speculation about his role in the KotLT business.

Re-reading AGOT, Ned was thinking about how some secrets were too dangerous to be shared with those who we most love and trust. This was when he was thinking about what Stannis knew. In light of this, would Benjen be aware of the whole truth?

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Could be.

Also, I've always wondered if, besides the Stark features, there is something about Jon that simply says "Targaryen" at first sight. Yeah, I always joke is the ears (heh), but I'm sure there must be something else. People never notice what they don't care, and no one would actually look at Jon to even find out.

I had always thought he'd have something of Rhaegar as well as Lyanna's coloring. He was described to have the Stark coloring and look generally like a Stark, but I don't think he was ever described to have all of Ned's (=Lyanna's) features. He'd have something, maybe the shape of his features, anything similar... and maybe Robert had never seen Rhaegar's face (pretty sure he'd worn a helmet at The Trident, but not entirely sure they'd never met, however I don't think they did) so he wouldn't recognize a resemblance, but other people have, take Cersei. She'd seen Rhaegar AND she'd liked him, so I reckon she'd recognize strong similarities. Same about his other contemporaries, like Barristan. Someone at that feast would have recognized an uncanny resemblance to Rhae's face, one feature or the other.

Very good find.

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Nice. I like this.

This reminds me, I noticed a bunch of parallels between Jon and Viserys in AGoT, Jon I and AGoT, Daenerys V last month. The number and consistency of the parallels is startling. – Link

Those are pretty cool parallels that point towards Jon's possible Targaryen parentage.

Its very interesting also that both the Stark looks and Rhaegar's disposition have a similar grim/solemn/melancholy cast.

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I think my mind sometimes chooses to forget Jon is related (quite directly, actually) to Viserys...


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Disputatious said:

"So "Jon" is over determined, being as well the name of the Lord to whom Eddard owed his life after Aerys called for Eddard's head. Just what the mad King thought would happen after he burned Lord Robert and the next Stark heir is a mystery. It is conceivable that he intended to hold them as hostages. Probably not, but like Macbeth believed he had waded too far in blood to go back.

I still would like to know what Rhaegar, after he returned to Kings Landing, had to say to his father. "

Aerys had asked for the heads of Ned and Robert, not for the two men to be send to him. Most likely Aerys and his paranoia had caused a panick attack, and not Aerys was trying to finish it all, to make a statement. There were still heirs left for both seats (Winterfell for Benjen, Storm's End for Stannis). Whether Aerys truly believed that no one would complain if he killed four of such highborns, I don't know. Perhaps he simply wanted to believe it very badly..

“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Nice. I like this.

This reminds me, I noticed a bunch of parallels between Jon and Viserys in AGoT, Jon I and AGoT, Daenerys V last month. The number and consistency of the parallels is startling. – Link

Both of you, nicely found :)

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I still would like to know what Rhaegar, after he returned to Kings Landing, had to say to his father.

"Man... you fuck up my fucking..."

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“I see.” His uncle glanced over his shoulder at the raised table at the far end of the hall. “My brother does not seem very festive tonight.”

Jon had noticed that too. A bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes. His father was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Jon had seldom seen before. He said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Two seats away, the king had been drinking heavily all night. His broad face was flushed behind his great black beard. - AGoT p. 53

Why is Ned so "tight," why the "hooded eyes"?

Maybe Robert and Jon are in the same room for the first time and Ned is nervous.

Good catch indeed. Time for a third re-reading :)

Nice. I like this.

This reminds me, I noticed a bunch of parallels between Jon and Viserys in AGoT, Jon I and AGoT, Daenerys V last month. The number and consistency of the parallels is startling. – Link

As usual fantastic analysis, J.S. This is to be added to the list of Egg-Jon parallels...

Those are pretty cool parallels that point towards Jon's possible Targaryen parentage.

Its very interesting also that both the Stark looks and Rhaegar's disposition have a similar grim/solemn/melancholy cast.

Or sullen ;)

Could be.

Also, I've always wondered if, besides the Stark features, there is something about Jon that simply says "Targaryen" at first sight. Yeah, I always joke is the ears (heh), but I'm sure there must be something else. People never notice what they don't care, and no one would actually look at Jon to even find out.

I think Areo Hotah gives us quite a hint:

Her hair was gold as well, and her eyes were deep blue pools... and yet somehow they reminded the captain of her father's eyes, though Oberyn's had been as black as night. All of Prince Oberyn's daughters have his viper eyes, Hotah realized suddenly. The color does not matter.

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Susanna Stormborn said :

"Or maybe that was a hint to Mance being descendant from the Stark baby that Bael left behind at Winterfell.."

I totally agree with this. It almost parallels the Targaryens in terms of the Stark daughter and Bael vs. Daena the Defiant and Aegon.

The "sins of the fathers" with the offspring causing turmoil for the families.

Yes I was thinking something like this as well. GRRM must have meant something by putting Starks and Bael in the same sentence with relation to Mance. Glad you agree :)

I love this quote from Roberts first night at Winterfell. It does make perfect sense. The first time I read it I was thinking that NEd was mad at Robert for some reason, that just his being there was pissing Ned off slightly, but then at the same time it is during the first few chapters that we find out NEd and Robert are best friends. I was confused by it, but now it is all clear :)

Edit: also what is up with the quotes on posts? is everyone else just blending together with no quote boxes?

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Wow. Excellent observation! I wouldn't have thought of that! Very plausible!




I always though Ned's nervousness was due to the presence of Lannisters as well as that he expected nothing good out of the visit. Yet, in that prospect it makes even more sense... and even more that both POV's (that one and the one to decide Jon's fate -wall) were not Ned's.





Susanna Stormborn said :



"Or maybe that was a hint to Mance being descendant from the Stark baby that Bael left behind at Winterfell.."



I totally agree with this. It almost parallels the Targaryens in terms of the Stark daughter and Bael vs. Daena the Defiant and Aegon.



The "sins of the fathers" with the offspring causing turmoil for the families.





I wouldn't mind if Mance has some Stark genes... yet... I think I'd prefer to know that the freefolk are out of the nepotism that floods westeros... the free folk are supposed to be free and independent. their own value the one to define them. If mance has king's blood (in the term of genes) then that means that even there only the highborn prevail... and I don't quite like that...

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