A favorite theory about Jon Snow was finally confirmed in the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones. Fans are excited at the implications as HBO places all the pieces on the board in preparation for Game of Thrones Season 7.
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about the Season 6 finale, Episode 10 of HBO’s Game of Thrones as well as the book series the show is based on. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
When the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones aired, many fans were convinced Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) wasn’t actually dead. The reason being an extremely popular theory involving Jon Snow’s parentage. In fact, considering just how much HBO had alluded to Jon’s parentage and the mystery surrounding it, it seemed highly unlikely Jon Snow was going to stay dead, otherwise what would be the point of all the intrigue? When Game of Thrones returned with Season 6, Jon was resurrected by Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and went on to help Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) reclaim Winterfell.
And that is why when HBO revealed a massive plot twist in the Season 6 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones about Jon Snow, many fans were not completely surprised. For most of the show’s history, fans have been pondering a very well thought out theory on Jon Snow’s parentage. The L + R = J theory is based on the theory that Jon Snow is not even Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) biological child. In this theory, the L stands for Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark and the R stands for Rhaegar Targaryen. J being, obviously, Jon Snow.
In the books, Game of Thrones is based on, Lyanna Stark was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. TV fans will remember Robert as Cersei’s husband before he was killed in Season 1. The official story is that Rhaegar Targaryen left his Dornish wife, Princess Elia Martell, and abducted Lyanna (for unknown reasons), holding her captive in the Tower of Joy in Dorne. This event lead to Robert’s Rebellion as Robert tried in vain to rescue his betrothed. In the process, Lyanna was killed. Fans have long speculated that Lyanna died due to complications in childbirth while delivering Jon Snow and that Jon was the product of her abduction by Rhaegar.
In Episode 10, fans finally got to see the culmination of the Tower of Joy flashback that started back in Episode 3 of Game of Thrones’ sixth season. And what a treat it was. While HBO did not confirm directly that Lyanna and Rhaegar were Jon’s parents, it was fairly obvious that, at least, Ned Stark was not Jon’s father, but his uncle. And, considering Lyanna’s insistence that Ned promises to keep her secret, it is likely Jon Snow is not the product of Lyanna and her fiance, Robert Baratheon. Sure bearing children out of wedlock is not the done thing, but it is far more acceptable if the child is borne of your betrothed rather than of rape. So if Jon were actually Robert’s child, it would not need to be concealed.
While a lot of what Lyanna whispers in the scene between herself and her brother, Ned, is hard to hear, there is one phrase that stands out, “They’ll kill him.” And, as Esquire points out, if the Robert Baratheon were to know the true identity of Jon Snow, he would indeed kill him. After all, Robert was not the sort of king who would want a legitimate heir to the throne survive in case they challenged his position. In fact, Robert had said in Season 1 that he wanted Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) killed because she was a Targaryen, so his prejudice is well known to fans.
There is another part of the L + R = J theory. Many fans believe that if Jon is the product of Lyanna and Rhaegar, that makes him a Stark and a Targaryen, or, as Vanity Fair points out, “fire and ice.” Considering the book series Game of Thrones is based on is called A Song Of Fire And Ice, this would mean Jon is the perfect candidate to rule Westeros.
But the plot thickens as Daenerys sets sail for Westeros at the close of the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones. What will these two Targaryens do once they know of each other’s existence? Considering Targaryens are known for marrying their siblings in order to keep the bloodline pure, could a marriage between Daenerys and Jon Snow be on the cards in Season 7 of Game of Thrones? Only time will tell.
Now all we need is for Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to make it back to Castle Black in Season 7 and let Jon know about his true parentage in Game of Thrones. What did you think about the reveal? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
[Image via HBO]