TL;DR version: Jon Snow is a Targaryen, the true-born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

‘Never ask me about Jon,’ [Ned Stark] said, cold as ice. ‘He is my blood, and that is all you need to know.’

-AGOT, Catelyn II.

This is the most popular theory of them all. Known simply as R+L=J, the theory maintains that Jon Snow is indeed Ned Stark’s blood, as he claims in the above quote, but not all is as it seems.

How Jon Snow is Ned Stark’s blood:

In R+L=J, Jon Snow (“J”) is the son of Lyanna Stark (“L”) and Rhaegar Targaryen (“R”). Lyanna Stark is Ned Stark’s sister.

Support for R+L=J:

  • Ned’s honor is drilled down our throats. His honor literally kills him in the end. Yet we are to believe he lost his honor and fathered Jon Snow?
  • It is said that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna. But who says that? Robert Baratheon. It’s simply his point of view, and not an indisputable fact. It is just as likely that Lyanna willingly ran off with Rhaegar.
  • Ned finds his sister dying in the Tower of Joy in a “bed of blood” — a term used for birth.
  • Three members of the Kingsguard are guarding the Tower of Joy. Kingsguard would presumably be guarding someone in line to be king (a true born son).
  • Lyanna makes Ned promise her something before she dies. Could it be she promised he could pretend Jon Snow was his, thus ensuring his safety (because Robert Baratheon was killing anything and anyone Targaryen-related.)
  • Daenerys Targaryen has a vision in the House of the Undying involving a blue winter rose growing in a wall of ice. Lyanna Stark was fond of blue winter roses, and Jon Snow is currently on the Wall (a wall of ice).
  • Arya Stark is said to be the only Stark child to resemble Lyanna, while the rest resemble the Tullys. Jon Snow is said to look most like Arya Stark. Transitive property suggests he has some resemblance to Lyanna as well.

What do you think? R+L=J?


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