I think ‘mind-blowing’ is an overused phrase, but it is 100% applicable to this Game Of Thrones theory that’s making the rounds right now. Seriously.
Before you start reading, I should let you know that it’s full of spoilers. Even if you’re all the way caught up on the books and the HBO series, if this theory is right, it potentially spoils things about the series that haven’t even been written yet. So really, seriously, read at your own risk.
This is the last time I’m going to warn you.
Okay. So it’s called the R+L=J theory, and it attempts to explain who Jon Snow‘s parents are. That’s right — parents. Plural. We all think that Jon is the bastard son of Eddard Stark, fathered out of wedlock during his marriage to Catelyn, but this theory calls that into question. It instead asks us to consider that Eddard’s sister Lyanna Stark is his mother, while Rhaegar Targaryen is his father, and it brings up several excellent points as evidence:
- When alive, Ned Stark was the definition of steadfast and dutiful, so it’s always been hard to imagine him being unfaithful to his wife, Catelyn.
- Perhaps instead, Ned found Jon when he came upon his sister Lyanna dying in her ‘bed of blood’ in the Tower of Joy. The wording is particular in that it leaves it open to the possibility that it could have been blood from childbirth that surrounded her. The theory posits that the theory that Lyanna extracted from Ned on her death bed was to raise her and Rhaegar’s son as his own, to keep him safe.
- It would have been painful to him to lie to Catelyn about the provenance of the child, but harder still to break his promise to his dying sister without putting Jon in grave danger.
- Along those same lines, during a chapter from Ned’s point of view, he mentions that he’s lived a lie for fourteen years, which happens to be Jon’s age at the time.
- At one point Ned mentally lists his own children and includes only the names of Robb, Arya, Bran, and Rickon.
- It’s often been said that Jon looks like Arya, and separately that Arya looks like Lyanna.
- Daenerys has a vision in Qarth of blue roses growing in a wall of ice…and since blue roses have often been used as a symbol for Lyanna, it suggests that something to do with Lyanna is atop a wall of ice — Jon on The Wall.
There are a ton more facets and pieces of evidence, but it all comes down to the fact that Jon is very important, and may even be the reason behind the name of the series: fire from Targaryen + ice from Stark = a song of Ice and Fire.
GAHHHHHH so much excitement and potential, I’m obsessed. Write faster, George R. R. Martin!