There is a popular theory among Game of Throne enthusiasts that’s known as the R+L=J theory. It has to do with the true parentage of Jon Snow and the recently released Game of Thrones trailer hints that we may see the theory play out in Season 6. If it does, then Jon will live again without a doubt. Here’s how the theory goes, as explained by Tech Insider.
From the first episodes of Game of Thrones, we have been led to believe that Snow is the bastard son of Ned Stark. We don’t know the identity of the woman with whom Ned had an affair. He wouldn’t even disclose her identification to Robert Baratheon in the Game of Thrones episode in which Robert asked about her. Stark was an honorable man who treasured his family, and the idea that he would cheat on Catelyn has always been difficult to accept. Even Stannis and Jaime have voiced disbelief that this would happen.
The knowledge that Jon is a bastard is widespread in the Game of Thrones world and has kept him from living the life he would like to live. But if R+L=J is true, and there are hints in the newest trailer that many see as spoilers, then everyone has incorrectly assumed that Ned’s explanation for Snow’s existence is true. So what does this theory say?
The Game of Thrones R+L=J theory states that Jon is not the result of Stark’s adulterous relationship, but rather that he is the son of Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark, who passed away before the events of the first season of Game of Thrones. His father is Rhaegar Targayen, the son of the Mad King of whom we hear off and on throughout the seasons. Thus, R (Rhaegar) + L (Lyanna) = J (Jon).
In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, we learn that Lyanna Stark was betrothed to Eddard’s good friend, Robert Baratheon. Robert believes that Rhaegar abducted her, but there are some who don’t believe this was the case. There are some who believe Lyanna and Rhaegar were in love. When she was “abducted” by Rhaegar, a war began, a war that left the Mad King (Aerys), Lyanna, and Rhaegar all dead. R+L=J says that before Lyanna died, she gave birth to Snow and gave him to her brother, Ned, to protect and care for. In the Game of Thrones books, Ned has a flashback to this moment which took place at the Tower of Joy. If true, then Jon is part Stark and part Targaryen and is heir to the Iron Throne.
Spoilers begin now. Stop reading now if you don’t wish to see spoilers.
Fans believe that previous episodes of Game of Thrones have provided spoilers about Snow’s true parentage. One of those spoilers is in the Season 5 clip below, in which Aemon Targaryen talks about a Targaryen being alone in the world just before Jon enters the scene. The camera rests on him a moment.
Then there’s Daenerys Targaryen’s vision in Game of Thrones Season 2. She walks through the castle with the Iron Throne and it is snowing.
Note also that Daenerys walks out of the Throne Room, and out from underneath the Wall, which is where Snow lives at Castle Black. A spoiler that tells us that fate is drawing her to him?
So what spoilers did the Game of Thrones trailer provide? At about a minute in, there is a shot of five men drawing their swords, one looking like a younger Ned Stark. This could be in one of Bran’s visions we hear are going to be so comment and important in the new episodes of Game of Thrones. Then soon after is another Game of Thrones spoiler in which we see these same men in a battle that, based on the insignias on their armor, appears to be between Starks and Targaryens. In the books, Eddard hears Lyanna calling to him from the Tower of Joy during the battle and afterwards he makes her a promise that readers believe is a promise to care for her child.
So how does this fit into the thought that these Game of Thrones’ facts and scenes are spoilers indicating that Jon Snow will live? If Jon dies, which he certainly appeared to do at the end of Game of Thrones Season 5, his pledge to the nightwatch is broken. If he is resurrected, say by Melisandre as has been suggested and is also supported by the trailer, then he could claim the Iron Throne.
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