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yolkboy

R+L=J v.95

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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 v.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)

"R+L=J v.82" (thread eighty-two)

"R+L=J v.83" (thread eighty-three)

"R+L=J v.84" (thread eighty-four)

"R+L=J v.85" (thread eighty-five)

"R+L=J v.86" (thread eighty-six)

"R+L=J v.87" (thread eighty-seven)

"R+L=J v.88" (thread eighty-eight)

"R+L=J v.89" (thread eighty-nine)

"R+L=J v.90" (thread ninety)

"R+L=J v.91" (thread ninety-one)

"R+L=J v.92" (thread ninety-two)

"R+L=J v.93" (thread ninety-three)

"R+L=J v.94" (thread ninety-four

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Oh thank goodness. We were threadless there for a moment. And now we're unpinned....eek!

anyway, my last response before we got locked

Ser Creighton, on 09 Aug 2014 - 6:41 PM, said:snapback.png

I was talking about him not being R+L=J just the legitimacy thing, I hate the idea that in order to be who he is he has to be legitimate. I would rather just see him take Longclaw stick in Ramsey' belly and say "I may be a Bastard but you clearly just became my bitch." Either way with his parents you get the identity crises, but the legitimacy thing just bugs me. He was doing pretty good as a bastard, at least I thought. But also you suddenly a famous quote becomes meaningless "Cripples, Bastards and Broken things." Love that quote, it's so about the underdogs.

If Mel had a clue she would know he had Royal blood already, he is a Stark, and the Starks were kings in the North. Mel is the person you want to keep the matchsticks away from at all times.

I don't thinking learning Jon is legit is going to change or undermine that idea of cripples, bastards and broken things. First, who is going to believe Jon? Howland knows, I suspect Bran and Sam will know. It'll matter to Dany. But for the most part, no one is going to care or even believe him. Second, Jon will know who he comes from but that doesn't erase the fact that for 16 years he thought he was a bastard. And I think that's the underdog story: a boy who thought he was a bastard, raised as a bastard, lived as a bastard is, in fact, not a bastard but it doesn't matter because the Ice Zombies are coming to eat you.

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I was recently looking at tKotLT..... to my recollection, and I havent been through every one - the Winterfell heart tree is the only weirwood that's described as 'laughing' (the one Lyanna played swords in front of presumably). Heart Trees are usually sad.



This same tree is also described as grim through Cat's POV, but the smiling description comes up in a Theon DwD chapter. Thought maybe it was a hint. Lyanna might have thought it laughed too.


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Ser Creighton, on 09 Aug 2014 - 6:41 PM, said:snapback.png

I don't thinking learning Jon is legit is going to change or undermine that idea of cripples, bastards and broken things. First, who is going to believe Jon? Howland knows, I suspect Bran and Sam will know. It'll matter to Dany. But for the most part, no one is going to care or even believe him. Second, Jon will know who he comes from but that doesn't erase the fact that for 16 years he thought he was a bastard. And I think that's the underdog story: a boy who thought he was a bastard, raised as a bastard, lived as a bastard is, in fact, not a bastard but it doesn't matter because the Ice Zombies are coming to eat you.

I couldn't quote Ser Creighton from 94 but
The Cripples, Bastards, And Broken Things line was about Bran, had nothing to do with Jon other than Jon is a bastard(presumably). If Bran woke up and started walking it would throw that line out the window. Following the line of logic that just cause he's of Winterfell he has royal blood then a good chunk of Westeros is worth a burn. Given the amount of Highborn fathers and their bastards, both high and low, the Seven kingdoms could have hundreds of people descended from the kings of old. Jon's blood would be of a conquering kings. Much more power there. Maybe she does try to burn him in a very Dany-esque way but he rises from the ashes, in a very Dany-esque way. Now we have 2 magical people wandering about, if Jon could just get that Dragon or marry Khal Drogo and have the Stallion who will Mount the World

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The Cripples, Bastards, And Broken Things line was about Bran, had nothing to do with Jon other than Jon is a bastard(presumably). If Bran woke up and started walking it would throw that line out the window.

*snip

I'm sorry, I just couldn't get beyond this statement. The line has everything to do with Jon. It's directed at him, and he's the "bastard". It is, exactly as Ser Creighton said, all about Tyrion rooting for the underdog, in which category he places himself, Jon and Bran.

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I was recently looking at tKotLT..... to my recollection, and I havent been through every one - the Winterfell heart tree is the only weirwood that's described as 'laughing' (the one Lyanna played swords in front of presumably). Heart Trees are usually sad.

This same tree is also described as grim through Cat's POV, but the smiling description comes up in a Theon DwD chapter. Thought maybe it was a hint. Lyanna might have thought it laughed too.

I love that imagery.

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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.

Aerys sent Hightower to bring Rhaegar home, not hold Lyanna. Also, if she was a hostage, why wasn't she and the KG not in KL? Why didn't Aerys threaten Robert or Ned with her life? Unless you know they were married as a fact, you don't know that.

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Aerys sent Hightower to bring Rhaegar home, not hold Lyanna. Also, if she was a hostage, why wasn't she and the KG not in KL? Why didn't Aerys threaten Robert or Ned with her life? Unless you know they were married as a fact, you don't know that.

No. Aerys sent Hightower to tell Rhaegar to come to KL. Nothing in the orders said "and come back with him." It's a technical loophole.

They weren't in KL, cause why in God's name would they be??? Rhaegar is trying to dethrone his father. He obviously has an issue with Aerys. We don't know the full extent of the plan yet

Aerys didn't threaten Robert and Ned because...he doesn't have Lyanna. How can he threaten her life if she's not in KL?

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I'm sorry, I just couldn't get beyond this statement. The line has everything to do with Jon. It's directed at him, and he's the "bastard". It is, exactly as Ser Creighton said, all about Tyrion rooting for the underdog, in which category he places himself, Jon and Bran.

Just because Jon is a bastard doesn't mean its about him. Tyrion is stating he has a general soft spot for all manors of abnormalities. To say he is speaking specifically about Jon is not so far-fetched given that he was just leaving the wall, but the question is presented to him by Robb about Bran and why would he help him. I understand where you're coming from totally, but to think that Jon being a legitimate son and not a bastard would make the line pointless is odd. Which is what I got from Ser Creightons post. I could have misread it but that's what I grabbed.

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No. Aerys sent Hightower to tell Rhaegar to come to KL. Nothing in the orders said "and come back with him." It's a technical loophole.

They weren't in KL, cause why in God's name would they be??? Rhaegar is trying to dethrone his father. He obviously has an issue with Aerys. We don't know the full extent of the plan yet

Aerys didn't threaten Robert and Ned because...he doesn't have Lyanna. How can he threaten her life if she's not in KL?

No where in the orders did it include " stay and guard the girl." There is no loophole, KG only protect those the king ordered to protect.

Thus they were not obeying their vows, and the idea that they being their only for their vows is hollow.

I was arguing the general answer of R+L=J team provided.

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No where in the orders did it include " stay and guard the girl." There is no loophole, KG only protect those the king ordered to protect.

Thus they were not obeying their vows, and the idea that they being their only for their vows is hollow.

I was arguing the general answer of R+L=J team provided.

The KG obey as well. Rhaegar could assign KG to watch over a dry patch of grass somewhere, and that's what they'd be expected to do.

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No where in the orders did it include " stay and guard the girl." There is no loophole, KG only protect those the king ordered to protect.

Thus they were not obeying their vows, and the idea that they being their only for their vows is hollow.

I was arguing the general answer of R+L=J team provided.

Well that's just arguing for the sake of arguing. No where in the orders did it say "Die at the hands of Ned Stark and Co." but they did anyways. That argument is hollow. They were there more than likely on orders. We can not speak to those orders because we have not heard them, but nor have we heard they were not given. The closest thing we get to it is the exchange between Ned when he goes through the list of possible scenarios of a million places they should be rather than guarding a Tower with a supposed prisoner while the dynasty they swore to protect crumbles around them.

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The KG obey as well. Rhaegar could assign KG to watch over a dry patch of grass somewhere, and that's what they'd be expected to do.

No they can't, Barristan stated as such, only the monarch has such power.

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Well that's just arguing for the sake of arguing. No where in the orders did it say "Die at the hands of Ned Stark and Co." but they did anyways. That argument is hollow. They were there more than likely on orders. We can not speak to those orders because we have not heard them, but nor have we heard they were not given. The closest thing we get to it is the exchange between Ned when he goes through the list of possible scenarios of a million places they should be rather than guarding a Tower with a supposed prisoner while the dynasty they swore to protect crumbles around them.

By who? Only Aerys can give them such orders. And Aerys has no reason to leave her in ToJ.

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The KG obey as well. Rhaegar could assign KG to watch over a dry patch of grass somewhere, and that's what they'd be expected to do.

The KG are only supposed to obey the King so if Aerys knew Lyanna was with Rhaegar you would think he would have ordered them to bring her to KL.Considering pretty much the entire Kingdom knew Rhaegar had taken Lyanna the fact that she was not brought to KL means that the KG clearly either omitted or lied about knowing her location.

If the King tells you to do something you must obey him so the fact that Lyanna was not in KL means that several members of the KG had defected to Rhaegar and only followed his orders

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snip

Thank you so much, yolkboy for stepping in and opening this thread. I was wondering when someone will do it, and I was so happy to see this iteration was opened by you.

OK, now first regarding Jon's legitimacy. I believe he is legit, I doubt we can say he is not, but the one question is whether he is or not, but completely another how it will influence the plot. Certainly Jon being legitimate has some influence otherwise that entire thing would be a whole new set of issues. Given that he is, we have to look at both narrative and literary wise. On narrative level, we could all discuss about Howland, Ashara etc proving Jon is legitimate, Daenerys seeing the truth of it and accepting him as the King. Second is the literary level, where I think Martin will use Jon's legitimacy to play with the moral of the story. As much as we can claims and rights, with entitlement that comes along do matter, thing is that these things, in practical world (such as world of Invasion of Ice zombies) these things are set aside. Tyrells didn't care whether Stannis is right, and Robb did change the rules to cut Sansa. We even had Jorah learning Dany that valuable lesson. So, if we all can agree that in-universe, claim does have some meaning, we also should look at meta-level and see what the author's message is.

Now, regarding KG, I thought this is rather clear. According to Jaime, Hightower was sent to find Rhaegar so he could take the place as Commander of Royal army. I doubt that Hightower had any more specific orders other than that, which is why Rhaegar could have ordered him to stay. But, after Trident and Sack period shows us significantly more why they stayed where they stayed.

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Now, regarding KG, I thought this is rather clear. According to Jaime, Hightower was sent to find Rhaegar so he could take the place as Commander of Royal army. I doubt that Hightower had any more specific orders other than that, which is why Rhaegar could have ordered him to stay. But, after Trident and Sack period shows us significantly more why they stayed where they stayed.

" Strictly speaking, it was purely the king's choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood."- Ser Barristan Selmy, The Queensguard.

Rhaegar had no such power.

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" Strictly speaking, it was purely the king's choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood."- Ser Barristan Selmy, The Queensguard.

Rhaegar had no such power.

Strictly speaking? OK, now do you think, of Hightower was told that Lyanna was bearing a child that will become Prince or Princess of Kingdom. that she was married to Rhaegar thus she is no longer mistress but a wife, would squabble about what are strict rules? I mean, Hightower would certainly extent the protection to the King's family, without having something that would convince him that Aerys believed or wanted otherwise. Hightower was by the book guy, yes, but this was a reasonable assumption to have been made.

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" Strictly speaking, it was purely the king's choice whether or not to extend Kingsguard protection to others, even those of royal blood."- Ser Barristan Selmy, The Queensguard.

Rhaegar had no such power.

Which is exactly what I was saying, just because we have not heard the entire order doesn't mean they didn't happen. He was more than likely sent to retrieve Rhaegar, not Lyanna, and from there to do as Rhaegar commands. Or possibly not given any additional orders other than to tell Rhaegar to come lead this army. Given what we know of Hightower and how he operated it is not like him to defy any rules. It is not far fetched to think Aerys either told them to do as Rhaegar bid or Rhaegar had convinced them that they had no other orders and could dispense some himself, on a technicality that KG protection had been extended to him before. It is also in the KG duties to protect the Royal family

The Kingsguard was founded by Aegon the Conqueror of House Targaryen as an elite bodyguard for those of royal blood.(From the wiki about the KG)

when Rhaegar dies and King Aerys is slain, The KG would have an obligation to seek Viserys as he would be next in line. Ned goes over these scenarios where it doesn't make sense for them to be at the ToJ. Unless of course the true heir was there with them

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Strictly speaking? OK, now do you think, of Hightower was told that Lyanna was bearing a child that will become Prince or Princess of Kingdom. that she was married to Rhaegar thus she is no longer mistress but a wife, would squabble about what are strict rules? I mean, Hightower would certainly extent the protection to the King's family, without having something that would convince him that Aerys believed or wanted otherwise. Hightower was by the book guy, yes, but this was a reasonable assumption to have been made.

Thus he was breaking his vows, Rhaegar had no power of such, nor Hightower, the queen is not even promised such protection.

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