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Jon Weirgaryen

R+L =J v.105

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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 18 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.

Since this theory has been refined so well, will Martin change the outcome of the story to surprise his fans?
No, he said he won't change the outcome of the story only because some people have put together all the clues and solved the puzzle.


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)

"R+L=J v.95" (thread ninety-five)

"R+L=J v.96" (thread ninety-six)

"R+L=J v. 97" (thread ninety-seven)

"R+L=J v. 98" (thread ninety-eight)

"R+L=J v. 99" (thread ninety-nine)

"R+L =J v.100" (thread one hundred)

"R+L =J v.101" (thread one hundred one)

"R+L =J v.102" (thread one hundred two)

"R+L =J v.103" (thread one hundred three)

"R+L =J v.104" (thread one hundred four)

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Ned's recurring dream, so don't presume to argue against it because it is a fever dream. It is recurring, and it holds deep meaning for Ned. It makes sense to Ned. It is a source of grief for Ned. He killed three of the finest knights he had ever known, one of them Ned says was the best of all, Ser Arthur Dayne.

Ned and his friends arrive at the tower, as they had in life. Again, this dream is based upon real events. This actually occurred, and the dialog is likely paraphrased in Ned's memory. He vividly remembers the three Kingsguard, though. The conversation must have a deep meaning for Ned.

The only vow that we can be sure that Ned knows is the vow that Kingsguard take before receiving their white cloak. Jaime and others tell us that it is to protect and defend the king, dying for him, if need be. There are also some ancillary promises, but the first priority is given as protection and defense of the crown, all other promises descend from that.

"I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.
Ned knew about Prince Lewyn Martell and Ser Jonothor Darry dying at the Trident. He knew about Ser Barristan Selmy slaying twelve of his and Robert’s friends before being wounded so severely that he may have died without Robert sending his own maester to tend to Selmy’s wounds. He knew that Ser Jaime Lannister had been in the Red Keep during the battle. He expected to see these three at the Trident, too.

“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.
From the app we know that Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent are with Prince Rhaegar when Lyanna enters the company of the prince. There is no surprise about events on the Trident expressed by any of these three. Evidently they are aware of the battle, and the outcome.

“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.
This states that Robert is considered an usurper by these Kingsguard, or at least by Ser Oswell Whent. He does use the term "we" and implies that Robert could not have won the battle at the Trident if these three had been present at the battle. They know that Robert has been crowned and taken the throne as an usurper. This also tells us that they know of an heir that is still living that has a better claim than Robert.

“When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”
Ned relays that King's Landing has fallen and King Aerys is dead by Jaime’s hand. Ned knows that the primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king. He wonders why it is that these three Kingsguard were not with King Aerys when King’s Landing fell.

“Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.”
Ser Gerold Hightower condemns Jaime as a Oathbreaker, and implies that he or one of these others would certainly kill Jaime rather than let him slay the king if they had been present. Ser Gerold is expressing his support for King Aerys. He also relays that when Jaime slew Aerys that none of the three had been in a position to react, they were too far away.

“I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”
Ned tells them that all remaining forces surrendered to him, and pledged fealty to Robert and Ned. He expected to find the last of the Kingsguard with these forces, but again was surprised to note that they were not. This is an invitation for these Kingsguard to surrender to him.

“Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.
Ser Arthur Dayne speaks for the group, and says that they will not surrender. Of note, when Ned approaches the tower Ser Oswell Whent is on his knee. That fact and this line can amount to a subtle clue that the Kingsguard have already bent their knees at the tower, before Ned arrives.

“Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.”
Ned has offered the Kingsguard the option of surrendering to him, which they rejected. This line is disjointed in the timeline because Ned is changing his tactic. He holds the Kingsguard, especially these three in high regard, even years later. He called them a shining example to the rest of the world. In an attempt to find some talking point that would lead to a peaceful solution, Ned tells them that their queen and prince have fled to Dragonstone without Kingsguard protection. This is an opening for the Kingsguard to discuss a tactical withdrawal. It is within Ned’s capabilities, as second in command, to provide safe passage. It would be in his, his friend’s and the Kingsguard’s best interests to allow them to go to Dragontsone to carry out their duties there.

“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.
Ser Willem Darry is a brother to Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard, and known well to these members of the Kingsguard. They are admitting that they know that "Prince" Viserys is without a Kingsguard. They have ignored the insult of labeling Viserys as a prince, when he should be considered the king.

“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”
On the night that news of the Trident arrived at King's Landing Aerys ordered that Rhaella and Viserys be taken to Dragonstone for their safety, as it appeared that King's Landing would shortly be under siege. Jaime was the only Kingsguard in King's Landing so Ser Willem Darry was drafted to protect the royal family members, while Jaime remained with King Aerys, Elia, and her children.

The Lord Commander recognizes that Ser Willem Darry is not Kingsguard, thus the queen and prince Viserys are not currently under Kingsguard protection. Taken together with Ned’s statement, it is easy to see that Ser Gerold Hightower sees leaving King Aerys' side at King’s Landing as fleeing from his duty, even if it was to protect Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys.

If the Red Keep falls, and Aerys dies then Viserys was safe as long as he could stay alive on Dragonstone. The majority of the fighting men had gone with Rhaegar, and mustering enough men to defend the city or just the Red Keep may be difficult. Without a Kingsguard to protect them Darry, Viserys and Daenerys are nearly captured and turned over to Robert. They manage to escape just before Dragonstone surrenders.

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.
Arthur reiterates that the Kingsguard would have chosen to stay in King's Landing over fleeing with Rhaella and Viserys. The primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king, they would choose to stay with King Aerys (then) as Rhaella and Viserys flee King's Landing. It appears that these three Kingsguard have decided that they have an obligation, by their vow, to stay to protect and defend someone at the tower (now).

“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.
The Lord Commander is citing the Kingsguard’s vow as the reason that they must stay. He has decided that all three would remain, and we must presume that the reason is to protect the king. Several things contribute to this conclusion:

  • The White Bull, as Ser Gerold is known, is quite the stickler when it comes to the comport of Kingsguard duties.
  • Ser Gerold does not have a friendship with Rhaegar that would favor this decision.
  • Ser Gerold has already stated that he would slay Jaime to protect Aerys.
  • Ser Gerold’s decision to keep Arthur and Oswell with him only protects the king (the primary purpose of the Kingsguard) if the king is present at the tower.
  • Ned knows that these men were honoring their Kingsguard vow. There is no other vow that Ned is ever aware of. He thinks of these three as the epitome of honor and skill. A shining example for the world.

We have Ned's interpretation of the Kingsguard's vow: His sword helped taint the throne you sit on, Ned thought, but did not permit the words to pass his lips. "He swore a vow to protect his king's life with his own. Then he opened that king's throat with a sword." Reading these three statements, with Ned's understanding we have: The Kingsguard does not flee (from its duty to protect King Aerys) then or (from its duty to protect Jon) now, because (explained) we swore a vow to protect our king's life with our own; puts things in a very clear light.

Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.
GRRM has confirmed that with equal equipment Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Arthur Dayne are a close match, with Dawn in hand Ser Arthur is superior. Ser Barristan single-handedly rescued King Aerys from captivity at Duskendale. Ser Jaime Lannister expresses his awe at the defeat of the Kingswood Brotherhood and the Smiling Knight, who was slain by Ser Arthur. In the screenplay Jaime slays a dozen men before being subdued at the battle of the Whispering Woods. Kingsguard practice daily among themselves.

One of the seven is a crannogman, not known for fighting skill. Another is Ethan Glover, recently released from the Black Cells, and likely weak as well as just being Brandon's squire. It seems that even facing the odds that they do, the Kingsguard should prevail. Something odd happened, and I really look forward to GRRM telling us about it.

“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
The most important (first) battle of the Jon Targaryen dynasty. The mindset of the Kingsguard is that they will win the battle, and keep the secret at the tower safe until they can move to safety. There is nothing here that would indicate any fatalism on the part of Arthur. It suggests that Arthur expects to win, though we know with hindsight that they did not, and that at least Ned and Howland are aware of the secret.

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.”
Ned knows the outcome, and he regrets that he had to kill the three finest knights in the kingdom, even years later. If Lyanna had been kidnapped or mistreated while they were present Ned would not have that favorable view of these men. These three Kingsguard are undoubtedly living up to their "vow to guard the king", in Hightower's own words, to gain Ned's greatest respect. As fate has it, because these men were so honorable, on both sides of this meeting, they were fated to fight to the bitter end, for honor’s sake.


We also have the text of the white book about Ser Gerold Hightower from the screenplay. Dispatched by King Areys to locate the crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen in the wake of Robert Baratheon's rebellion. Died in the Red Mountains of Dorne alongside his sworn brothers, Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent. After refusing to bow to the new King, Robert Baratheon, all three were defeated by a small force led by Eddard Stark of Winterfell.

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I didn't read the books thinking Jon would be king, or even WANTING Jon to be king. Being king sucks in this story by everything we've seen. But I can't simply ignore the clues such as a raven squawking "King!" when we have a very powerful, almost god-like being who uses ravens to watch things. It's also hard to ignore the other evidence scattered throughout the text.

Time to reread the books.

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Oh new shiny.

From the last thread: what screenplay, MtnLion?

When we see where Craster's boy is taken, and the creature that does the changing is labeled, or was labeled as the "Night's King" by HBO. ;)

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Time to reread the books.

I have. Quite a few times, actually. I listen to them on audiobook when I'm busy doing something else.

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When we see where Craster's boy is taken, and the creature that does the changing is labeled, or was labeled as the "Night's King" by HBO. ;)

Ahhhhh. That. Okay.

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Oh new shiny.

From the last thread: what screenplay, MtnLion?

I assume its a reference to the walk on appearance by the Nights King [?] in the show - aaargh, ninja'd

I on the other hand was speaking of the King of Winter :cool4:

While we're on the subject its worth bearing in mind that the dead man in the tree is really Bryn Blackwood

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When we see where Craster's boy is taken, and the creature that does the changing is labeled, or was labeled as the "Night's King" by HBO. ;)

Yup, in the HBO Viewer's Guide for the episode, it said "Night's King" until viewers started making a fuss about it, then they changed it to "White Walker".

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I assume its a reference to the walk on appearance by the Nights King [?] in the show - aaargh, ninja'd

But while we're on the subject its worth bearing in mind that the dead man in the tree is really Bryn Blackwood

I was speaking of the King of Winter :cool4:

...what is the King of Winter?

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Its what the Starks used to be.

If Jon is the King in the North, then he will be called the King in the North instead of the King of Winter. They mean the same thing, as far as I can tell.

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I assume its a reference to the walk on appearance by the Nights King [?] in the show - aaargh, ninja'd

I on the other hand was speaking of the King of Winter :cool4:

While we're on the subject its worth bearing in mind that the dead man in the tree is really Bryn Blackwood

1) Ok, yes the Kings in the North prior to Aegon. Well, I tend to think that Jon will be King of Westeros, all of it. So that would include the North.

2) You mean Bloodraven? In the tree? Brynden Rivers? (feel like something is get lost here)...

ETA: we were talking about the raven, right? Mormont's raven? And how it's really Bloodraven and how BR can see visions of the past..? (I feel lost right now)

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2) You mean Bloodraven? In the tree? Brynden Rivers? (feel like something is get lost here)...

I think it is Black Crow's wishful thinking that it is Blackwood. :P

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1) Ok, yes the Kings in the North prior to Aegon. Well, I tend to think that Jon will be King of Westeros, all of it. So that would include the North.

2) You mean Bloodraven? In the tree? Brynden Rivers? (feel like something is get lost here)...

1) Jon was made king of the north with Robb died, his will named Jon as heir. Jon is as much king of the north as Tommen is Jamie's son,

2) Brynden Rivers had a Blackwood mother and a Targaryen father.

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,

2) Brynden Rivers had a Blackwood mother and a Targaryen father.

I'm aware. But his name is Bynden RIVERS. (bastard) (and his first name is Brynden not Byrn unless that's a nickname that I'm not aware of. Though it's seems excessive for one man to have both Bryn and Bloodraven as nicknames)

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I'm aware. But his name is Bynden RIVERS. (bastard) (and his first name is Brynden not Byrn unless that's a nickname that I'm not aware of. Though it's seems excessive for one man to have both Bryn and Bloodraven as nicknames)

Right the idea of calling him a Blackwood is to point out that Blackwood married into Stark... making Bloodraven kin to Jon and Bran.

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Like the changes? (see post)

I do!

Right the idea of calling him a Blackwood is to point out that Blackwood married into Stark... making Bloodraven kin to Jon and Bran.

...I'm just going to call him Bloodraven. It's a far more awesome name.

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