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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.

      • dfs

        I am almost one hundred percent sure that Jon will be resurrected by Melissandre. Melissandre might abandon Stannis or Stannis might get mad for loosing her to Jon, maybe he might even kill her in the process conflicting himself with jon even further. Thoros will keep reviving Gendry and people will know he is the son of robert and just like beric “can’t be killed”.

  • 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.

    • ana arias

      theres actually nothing that says that lyanna disliked robert or didnt love him. only that she didnt think he would be faithful in fact that seems to be her only problem with the matching. she didnt say “but he drinks too much, ned” or “he knows nothing about poetry ned” or “all he does is fight, ned”. robert has been described as so charming he could turn an enemy into a friend with zero effort. and we know robert was a stud back in his day all the girls wanted a piece of that even cersei seems mad that he wasnt satisfied with her. i wouldnt find it too hard to believe that robert charmed lyanna into bed a few times. in fact robert and lyanna are not too different. they love riding they both seemlike outdoorsy adventurous people whereas rhaegar was a bookish private guy who only became a knight because he thought it was part of his destiny. and robert sounds like he was high on life 97% of the time, drinking, parties, riding, fighting. im actually kinda sad he and lyanna couldnt work if out if R+L is really true. its actually quite out of character and doesnt make sense on lyanna’s part to love rhaegar. rhaegar on the other hand was crazy obsessed with a prophesy, ran away with lyanna and put her in a tower in a secluded area for about a year with limited freedom and resources to avoid being found. he didnt even have a maester there to help her give birth which led to her death. not only that but rhaegar was married so for her to cry about robert being unfaithful and then running away with a married man is sooooo stupid. she’s often compared to arya who i cannot for the life of me see her being okay with a guy like that its literally everything arya is against. i CAN however see arya being with a guy whos like “fuck the kingdom, lets go to essos and get drunk and become sellswords and ride horses!” which robert admits he often contemplates doing and arya’s own mentality is kinda like”fuck “lady-like” i wanna fight with swords and ride horses”. i mean yeah sure she’d probably murder him if he cheated on her but the point is that robert sounds more like the kind of guy arya would go for if we believe that arya and lyanna are as similar as ned says they are. the timeline for robert being jons father doesnt fit but to say that lyanna is the kind of girl who would willingly have a baby at 16 and allow a prophesy obsessed guy to put her in a tower for over a year with no maester to watch over her health and the health of her child is even more farfetched. my bet? lyanna was promised freedom by rhaegar, she left willingly they had sex, because why not she’s almost a free woman, until he started to get more controlling over her and forced her to stay with him after finding out she was pregnant. THAT sounds more like GRRM to me. nothing is black and white in this story only grey. so noit wasnt true love in which he dies birthing the child of her deceased one true love but it wasnt exactly rape either, not at first anyway. so whether or not they had sex after the conception of jon (or whatever baby they had) is not known. but if there was my bet is that that it was rape. The kingsguard are under oath supposed to do as they are commanded by the king and his family including rhaegar. if rhaegar told them to sit there and wait for him to return with their dick in their hands while the kingdom falls apart then that was their “vow” and they HAVE to obey.

      that being said Jon snow will not be the king of westeros. even if his vows are technically over, even if robert baratheon himself was his father, even if cersei smoked crack and adopted jon and took her own son off the throne to give it to jon . i really dont believe jon is so fickle as to leave the nights watch and that the fate of westeros is decided on a technicality is utter bullshit. until jon is dead his vows still stand. and i mean really really really dead. not undead. not kinda dead. not technically dead. not dead via an existential change of identity or perpective of himself. i mean six feet in the ground dead. jon snow is going to stay in the nights watch and will renounce all titles now and forever until he truly is buried in the ground and completely utterly dead. he’s not going to be the messiah/chosen one who saves the world from snow zombies AND be the king of westeros AND marry the most beautiful girl in the whole of creation, daenerys, AND their aunt/nephew incest trueborn child will be the lord of Winterfell AND theyre gonna live happily ever after, The end. NOPE. its gonna be more like jon snow turns out to be a bastard after all and he realizes thats not such a bad thing and accepts that. jon will save the world from the white walkers. daenerys goes crazy just like her father and brothers kills herself doing a favor to everyone because the only good targaryen is a dead one. and someone who actually KNOWS how to run westeros will become king. daenerys has never even seen the place how could she possibly grasp the difference in culture and economy and all the other crap that comes with running thatgods forsaken kingdom. she already in over her head with Mereen. Jon is even less capable of running a kingdom since hes exactly like ned stark and honorable and good =/= a good king. we know this because GRRM himself said that aragorn would have realistically made a terrible king in LOTR because he knows next to nothing about ruling.

    • dfs

      Nothing in the books says that Lyanna didnt love robert or even anything negative about their relationship. On a contrary to Rheagar- it is mentioned that Rheagar KIDNAPPED lyanna and probably on aerys command killer her in the process. Ned would be easily committed to hide the kid of lyanna and robert from the lannisters (that would mean no marriage between robert and cersei and very angry tywin lannister- MENTIONED IN THE BOOKS!) rather than lyanna and rheagar’s. Another thing is that there are no targaryens without white hair and if you cant understand that then you probably dont get the song of fire and ice series of novels.

  • 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.

  • Tiffany Kosa

    Could he be the son of Robert and Cersei? Cersei said she lost a black haired beauty.

  • Junior Campos

    I agree that Jon is Robert’s son. When Rhaegar took Lyanna, she was already pregnant. Jon was born months before Ned find Lyanna. She was murdered in the day he arrived.

  • dfs

    It for sure is not Stannis kid because Ned would not be obligated to help Stannis at all. He indeed could hide Lyanna’s kid to hide it from Cersei and the Lannister alliance that would make ALOT of sense that it was a kid of Robert but for sure not in the show, might be in the books. Because we already know that Cersei didnt love robert at any point in her life, in retrospections she brings memories about not forgiving Robert killing her Rheagar and sabotaging roberts efforts to impregnate her. So that opens the door for possibility that ned at earlier days could do the same thing as cersei conceailing her offspring results.

  • dfs

    If George RR Martin would want to open up the Baratheon road to victory plot then he would probably start by killing off his wife by the night watch rebellion and thus leave Stannis single and open up the possibilities of him finding another wife that will give him the legacy. BUT I think that Martin will further put the pressure on Stannis so that rebellion of the night watch led by the lannisters might take his wife and kid captive Stannis might sacrifice her to win fight for the south. But he also can return to the wall because leaving his wife would make him look really bad as the next king so he might return north to win back the wall and take back his wife (but probably either her or their kid will die in the process) and help the “swiss cheese” jon. It might be a Jon chapter with jon being resurrected secretly by melissandre and then thrown into the cell and hearing that Stannis forces took back the wall something like the king’s landing battle pov story.

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