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Jon Snow is Robert Baratheon’s Son, and Rightful King of Westeros

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Jon Snow Banner Jon Snow is Robert Baratheons Son, and Rightful King of Westeros

Jon Snow is Robert Baratheon’s son, the oldest of his bastards, and rival heir to the Iron Throne.  King Jon Snow.

At least, that’s what we think. Last night, after a few rounds of delicious bourbon cup-shots, and a few unsuccessful goes at Halo 4′s CTF (I hate playing neutral flag on Exile!), we thirteen fanboys at UTF’s Parisian headquarters found ourselves discussing Jon Snow’s lineage, a favorite topic in our hallowed geeky halls. We usually vacillate between a handful of opinions: sometimes we’re convinced he’s Targaryen, at other times a regular old Stark, our office dimwit is certain Snow is member to the Children of the Forest. But last night, our good friend Nate Dao, a visiting web scribe, suggested a different geneology, that Jon Snow is actually Robert Baratheon’s son.

Suggesting Jon Snow isn’t actually Ned Stark’s bastard kiddo isn’t really such a big deal. A large faction of fandom already believes that Snow is the offspring of Rhaegar Targaryen, oldest son of the Mad King, and Lyanna Stark, Ned Stark’s sister. If you remember, Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, taking her to parts unknown and prompting Robert’s Rebellion. During that time, before Rhaegar’s defeat and death at the hands of Robert Baratheon, a few fanboys believe that Rhaegar knocked up Lyanna. The child gestated throughout the rebellion, and when Ned Stark finally discovered his sister’s whereabouts, he found her in a pool of blood, smack dab in the middle of child birth… at least, that’s what some folks believe.

 Jon Snow is Robert Baratheons Son, and Rightful King of Westeros

In the books, author George R. R. Martin remains deliberately cryptic about Lyanna’s death. He simply describes her in bed, surrounded by blood, demanding that her brother “Promise me, Ned”. That certainly sounds like death during childbirth, and perhaps Lyanna forced her brother to raise her baby as one of his own, so that the revenge-hungry hordes of Westeros didn’t murder him for his Targaryen heritage. But is that really the parentage of Jon Snow?

That’s a bit too much of a cliche for Martin, isn’t it? After all, the gray bearded writer values his ability to shock readers above all else, and allowing Jon Snow to be the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna is a little lame. Predictable, even.

You know what would be a real shocker? If Robert Baratheon was Jon Snow’s father. The deceased king has a prolific list of bastard sons and we’ve already established that his facial features dominate the phenotypes of his offspring. Also, George R. R. Martin’s made a habit of illustrating both Lyanna and Ned’s disapproval of Robert’s whoring ways. Neither Stark values the Baratheon as a dutiful suitor, and in that way he’s the ideal candidate for Jon Snow’s pappy, since Martin loves to surprise us. A habit which lends itself to this next point… Robert and Lyanna boned before marriage. While the Stark lady prided herself on chastity, it’s very likely that she and Robert bumped uglies before their planned wedding date. Lyanna undoubtedly favored high morals, but I’m sure she yielded to Robert, because certain aspects of his character reconciled her discontent with his worse habits. As well, during Robert Baratheon’s eventually wedding night with Cerise Lannister, he whispered ”Lyanna” into Cerise’s ear. Saying the wrong name during sex is usually a habit built on repetition, not out of unfulfilled lust. At least, that’s what my 7th grade best friend’s chain smoking aunt told me.

The only problem with this theory is timing. Robert’s Rebellion supposedly lasted for a bit more than a year, and if Lyanna remained in Rhaegar’s custody throughout this entire time, then she would’ve conceived Jon Snow with Robert 13 months before the child’s birth. A bit long of a development cycle, but I’m willing to suspend my disbelief.  Hell, the seasons on Westeros are so absolutely misshapen, that we’ve no reliable way to determine ‘our version’ of 9 mos.

 Jon Snow is Robert Baratheons Son, and Rightful King of Westeros

S#!T Talking Central

  • Sergio Taylor

    Whatever, man! Just don’t tell anyone that Jon is elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and later betrayed and murdered by his brethren…

    • Gregory Walker Levitsky

      The red priestess can resurrect him, I’d wager. And then he “died,” so his watch is ended. But the article is still wrong.

      • LeeMcD

        There is another way his watch would end that would not require death….what if the wall is gone? Destroyed?

        • Gregory Walker Levitsky

          Then everyone dies?

      • Wulfe Burgoyne

        Not necessary since Jon “Snow” took his oath under false pretenses, invalidating his oath. Look up medieval laws regarding this which George RR Martin prides himself on replicating.

        • Gregory Walker Levitsky

          This is the first I’m hearing of this – how do you figure it was under false pretenses? He said the words like everyone else, alongside Sam. I’m not arguing, I’m quite curious.

  • Wendy Jo Parish

    Why would Lyanna want to keep the baby a secret if it was Roberts son, and why would Ned continue to keep the secret once Robert was firmly planted on the throne? Discuss!

    • Wulfe Burgoyne

      Because she believed the child to be Rhaegar’s son, hence the reason for the kingsguard as both Lyanna and Rhaegar thought it was THEIR son.

      • Westros

        Or maybe Lyanna being held against her will by Rhaegar told Rhaegar jon was his son so that Rhaegar would not kill him. Then made Ned promise to keep his identity a secret.

    • Astar

      GRRM is reliably practical and down to earth, so look to a practical answer. Since he’s a real stickler for historical accuracy, chances are that Lyanna was raped by Robert Baratheon. She was a very beautiful woman and he probably got pissed one night and couldn’t stop himself, as normal, and then felt deep regret afterwards, thus causing him to worship her out of guilt forever after. In the meantime, Lyanna – not wanting Robert or anyone else to know of her pregnancy (because, as was already established at this point, Robert has a tendency to abandon his bastards), and possibly hoping to get out of a betrothal she wasn’t happy about anyway, conspires to get Rheagar Targaryon to ‘abduct’ her and keep her hidden for the duration of her pregnancy and subsequent birth. She then begs her brother on her deathbed to keep the child’s identity secret from everyone, since danger could come from both Baratheons as well as Targaryons. But Ned knows the truth of Jon Snow’s parentage, and even though it’s unlikely that he knows that his sister was raped, he does know that she never loved Robert, so spares his friend this sad truth.

  • Silver

    I like theories, they show just how insane GRRM drives us :-P
    I like this theory, There’s a possible solution to the 13 months problem, but it raises more questions.
    Jon was born four months before Eddard found Lyanna, which raises the question why didn’t Rhaegar kill him, by his own hands or having Lyanna’s guards kill him. Maybe love – Lyanna begging for her child, promising to raise him as a Targaryen. It’s far-fetched, I know, but kinda possible.
    It also makes sense, when Eddard changes Robert’s will from Jofferey to rightful heir, although it wouldnt make sense that he will let the rightful heir to the Wall in the first place… Mmm this is requires more thought.

  • This has been beaten to death.

    No. You took the commonly analyzed bits (and left out a hell of a lot more) that have been beaten to death over the last dozen years, and you took them in the complete wrong direction. Lyanna didn’t love Robert. She loved Rhaegar. Jon Snow is Rhaegar’s son. That’s the reason there were Kingsguard at the tower where Lyanna died – the only reason Kingsguard go anywhere is with the King, the Queen, or the heirs. Lyanna was not being guarded. His son was.

    • Noob

      The only issue I find with the Lyanna + Rhaegar theory is that Jon Snow is to old to be their child. Dany would already be alive at the time of Jon’s birth based on this theory but that is not possible because in the books Dany is 13 and Jon is 15.

  • Agrippa Alexander

    Obviously, Jon is the child of Robert B and Lyanna S. This way the books can end with Jon as King marrying Dani as Queen – thus uniting Starks, Baratheons and Targereans. They can hardly marry if they are half-brother and sister (well, they could in Westeros, but it might be too much for us Earthly readers). Ned has kept him at Winterfell to keep him safe from all the plots at King’s Landing. The timing of the 13 month pregnancy is just there to confuse and deter readers from making the obvious conclusion and can be easily explained later on in the books. Who says pregnancies last 9 months in Westeros?

  • LeeMcD

    This was my theory as well. I even thought maybe that Lyanna and Robert married at the beginning of the rebellion…and she was impregnated by Robert…unbeknownst to him or Ned Stark. She made Ned promise on her deathbed… to care for the boy and not tell anyone who he was … perhaps the boy was already three or four months old by then.. so that might explain the 9 month vs the 13 month gestation… and what’s more…Milesandre KNOWS!!

  • P.J. Lowry

    Here’s a better idea… Jon is the son of Robert Baratheon and Cerise Lannister. Cerise told Ned’s wife that her and Robert’s first son had died. What if that child didn’t die and was taken away by Ned to protect from future assassination attempts? That would mean Jon Snow is the ONLY legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. I can’t help but think of Ned’s search through the books, all the Baratheons with Black hair… just like Jon’s. Why even have Cerise mention the child at all if it wasn’t going to come back later? If this is true… it would also mean Stannis is Jon’s Uncle.

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