ByTom Burton, writer at
Pure Cumberbitch!
Tom Burton

**Spoilers Ahead**

With the wheels of Season 6 beginning to turn, it looks like a possibility that will we discover some secrets about Jon Snow, including his true parentage, and one of the most plausible theories out there is the R+L=J theory.

What is R+L=J?

For those of you who don't know what this is, the theory is that Jon Snows actual parents are Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. This would give Jon Snow the biggest claim to the Iron Throne, as he would be the only male Targaryen left in the world.

What is the story behind it?

In the books, Rhaegar Targaryen was with Elia Martell and Robert Baratheon was with Lyanna Stark, and during a tournament, with all the high borns attending, Rhaegar participated in this tournament, and won his fight. Then the victorious Rhaegar urged his horse past Elia Martell, laying a rose on Lyanna's lap.

Then after, Rhaegar supposedly 'kidnaps' Lyanna and takes her to the Tower of Joy where Ned Stark later finds her, bloodied and dying. Lyanna asks Ned to promise her something, which is not revealed anywhere in the books or the TV show. The theory goes that she died of childbirth, giving birth to Jon Snow.

How is it valid?

R+L=J is compelling because it explains Ned Stark's strange behavior towards Jon and Catlyn, when talking about Jon's mother. The one thing we really know about Ned Stark is that he puts honor first. Yet we are supposed to believe that this extremely honorable man fathered a bastard son, then brought him home to Winterfell, where the child's presence is a constant humiliation to a wife Ned genuinely loves, and that he then, for no clear reason, refuses to tell Jon who his mother is.

R+L=J transforms this from a dishonorable sequence of events into an honorable one. Ned took possession of his sister's son, and claimed him as his own instead of admitting the truth. The promise Ned made to Lyanna could be a promise of not to tell anyone of Jon's true parentage, because if Robert Baratheon finds out about Jon being a Targaryen, Robert will then go and attempt to kill him.

Also, Jon is said to closely resemble his "half-sister" Arya, who in turn is said to look very much like Lyanna. By contrast, the other Stark siblings are said to look more like their mother, Catelyn Stark.

How can they prove it in the TV Show?

Now this part is steep but bear with me. Brandon Stark is learning to be one with nature with the three-eyed raven, and according to the books, this includes looking into people's pasts using a Weirwood tree. At the start of Season 6, I believe that Melisandre will bring Jon Snow back to life, and Brandon Stark will see that Jon Snow's parents are Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and manage to give that message to Jon Snow before he comes back, therefore he, and more importantly the audience, will know his true parentage.

Another way they could prove this in the show, is by introducing Howland Reed, a character who was with Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy, and is also aware of Jon Snows true parentage. And he could be forced to tell some of the high lords, should King's Landing continue to spiral down.

So that is the basic description of the R+L=J theory. Are you are supporter of it? Comment below and let me know!


Do you believe in the R+L=J theory?


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