Jon Snow's true parentage...

Discussion in 'George R R Martin' started by BlueJimmie, Jan 29, 2007.

  1.  
    BlueJimmie

    BlueJimmie Ser Jayson of Kingswood

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    Apologies. I'm new here.

    Maybe this has been discussed before but who are Jon Snow's real parents? I know they have alluded to him being the son of Eddard Stark and Ashara Dayne, or the child of the Dayne's nursemaid, Wylla, and Eddard Stark. Edric Dayne told Arya that he and Jon were milk brothers. But are there other possibilites?

    It is known that Jon bears a Stark likeness, so I think it's safe to say that Eddard is his father, if not his older brother Brandon's, eh? Who is the mother? Brandon was to wed Catelyn before he died so Eddard took his place. What if he also took up the care of his bastard as well?

    What if Jon is actually Aegon (emphasis on the g-o-n or jon at the end, depending on how you pronounce it), the son of Rhaegar and Elia of Dorne, supposedly killed during the Sack of Kings Landing? Perhaps Eddard arrived in time to save the babe and brought him back to Winterfell to foster/save from certain doom? Perhaps Rhaegar was not his father and it was Brandon Stark who bed Elia of Dorne.

    Thoughts? Directives to other threads?
  2.  
    TomServo

    TomServo Rowesdower saves us

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    Disscussion about this has been a mainstay here for quite a while. I just looked around and here a two threads you can look at to see whats been said.

    SPOILERS: Theory on Jon
    Who knows about Jon if R+L=J
  3.  
    BlueJimmie

    BlueJimmie Ser Jayson of Kingswood

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    Thanks, I was able to find the other combination that my friends and I were thinking of - I'd forgotten about Lyanna and Rhaegar. It's a good thing there were so many brothers and sisters running around, it leaves some wiggle room, eh?
  4.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    It's been over three years since I went looking in cyberspace for theories on Jon's conception. Ahhhh, the shock, the horror, and the fun of reading those theories for the first time. Enjoy!

    Let me see if I can remember all the theories I've read. Please note, some of these are gross, some are stupid, but I don't claim to have originated them... just passing them on.

    Eddard and Ashara.
    Eddard and Wylla.
    Eddard and unknown.
    Eddard and Lyanna.
    Rhaegar and Lyanna.
    Rhaegar and Elia.
    Rhaegar and Ashara.
    Robert and Lyanna.
    Brandon and Ashara.
    Brandon and unknown.
    Benjen and Wylla.
    Benjen and unknown.
    Rickard and unknown.
    Aerys and Lyanna.
    Unknown and Lyanna.

    This is about the one act that the Lannisters cannot be blamed for!

    Also, you can look at the FAQ on The Tower Of The Hand. Frequently Asked Questions ~ Tower of the Hand

    Or you can look at the forums at A Song Of Ice And Fire. Here is their thread on Jon's parents. The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread, Part II - A Song of Ice and Fire Please note that it is a new thread, you can find a link to their original thread in the first post.

    Pay special attention to Raven's posts here in the Chronicles thread and to Werthead's posts in the ASOIAF threads. They present the most lucid, factual, and in-depth arguments for and against the various theories. Most people, like me!, just post half-baked ideas.
  5.  
    Koopa

    Koopa Old KiwiBird

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    The thing about jon is that i think he is getting too much of attention, at least for what is to happen to him in the next book.
    I think that in aDwD he and Danaerys gonna have a similar experience, that is learning to rule and flush out and deal with traitors, perhaps even invaders.
    I think in aDwD they will continue to grow up, Dany more then Jon nd Dany will probably have to face more and different challenges.

    Somehow i do not feel Jon's storyline progressing much in the next book, i mean besides continueing to help Stannis with worded advice there is not that much for him to do.
    1) deal with traitors
    2) get complete command of his troops
    3) becoming an ownage sword
    4) Fill up his castles
    5) Aid stannis in worded advice (his oath does not allow for much else)

    I do not think we will see a lot of action, more like a learning fase.
    book 3 was the time of action
    book 4 and thus book 5 (they are supposed to be one whole) seems more a part of learning, taking up the pieces and forging new weapons.

    Granted Dany and Bran might get some more action, but then Dany is forced to turn to war, action as she must conquer pretty much the whole world to get what she wants and thus her chapters from the moment she got in charge are mostly actionpacked, and Bran, well, we have been waiting for him to do something truly big for quite some time now, though he will probably also as well just start his 'education'
  6.  
    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    There plans afoot elsewhere to collect all of the popular theories and speculations into a more structured form, including not just the sane ones ("R+L=J is the most famous example of this") but the middling ones ("Tyrion is a Targaryen!") and even the utterly ludicrous ("Jon is Lyanna's son by Ned!"), probably in a more Wiki-style format. The idea is to lucidly lay out the arguments and encourage debate (here and on other forums) without having to spend large amounts of time restating the known facts. Similar to the rec.arts.jordanfaq thing for Wheel of Time or the BattlestarWiki.
  7.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    Wert just commented in another thread that Jon Connington and Barristan Selmy probably have suspicions about Jon Snow's parentage, due to their close relationships with Rhaegar Targaryen. This got me thinking... I've guessed that if anyone besides Howland Reed and Wylla the nursemaid know anything, then those people would be Varys and Barristan (perhaps Jon Arryn, but he's dead). We know that Varys works for or is allied to Illyrio Mopatis and Barristan was secretly aided by Illyio and Jon Connington seems to have had a successful career as a mercenary captain in the Free Cities (where Illyrio is one of the most powerful men and that Illyrio is especially interested in the politics of Westeros) while perhaps hiding Aegon Targaryen whom Illyrio would no doubt take an interest in. All that leads me to think that Magister Illyrio has inklings of Jon Snow's origins.

    Illyrio harbored Viserys Targaryen and Danaerys Targaryen for twelve years. Perhaps he's sheltered Aegon Targaryen also. He might now be protecting Tyrion Targaryen. If so, what's to stop him from trying to send a protector or two to safeguard Jon Targaryen? While Jon was under Eddard's direct protection in Winterfell, Illyrio would not need to protect him, but once Jon went to the Wall, Illyrio would have needed to have a guardian for Jon... the Lannisters and their minions have hatched at least two plots to kill Jon.

    Possible guardians for Jon seem to be Qhorin, Donal Noye, Jorah Mormont and Dolorous Edd. Dolorous Edd survived many encounters and he's always around. He never seems overtly fond of anyone, but he protects Sam from Chett's derision and he seems subtley competent in all things. Donal Noye seemed to be gruff with Jon, but he really championed him when they were under attack. He kept Jon from entering the gate where he knew all defenders were doomed. The Old Bear selected Jon to groom for leadership. Of all the Night's Watch men Jon was chosen over Knights, veterans, Rangers, and proven fighters. Was he under instructions to get Jon as much leadership experience as quickly as possible? Qhorin does not seem to be a Westerosi name to me. Is is a name from the Free Cities or the East? Qhorin died to save Jon. Hmmmmm. Could Qhorin have had direct connection to Illyrio? If not, who could Illyrio's connection to the Wall be?

    Aemon Targaryen. Aemon pushed Jon on Jorah. Aemon selected Jon's best friend to be his own aide. Aemon spoke to Donal on Jon's behalf. Aemon defended Jon against Janos Slynt's (i.e. the Lannister's) plot. Samwell schemed to get Jon the command of the Wall at Aemon's suggestion. It could be that Aemon convinced Jon to send him to Oldtown via Braavos for the express purpose of relating his progress directly to Illyrio before he died. Who would suspect an ancient blind magister of being the guardian of Jon Snow?
  8.  
    Koopa

    Koopa Old KiwiBird

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    The problem with your guardian theory so far is that all he guys you named where already part of the Night Watch before Jon came along. Thus making it hard for them to be sent as guardians.
  9.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    A spy can be sent in before the circumstances arise that even require a spy. The advantage is that the spy is viewed by insiders as a fellow insider before danger arises. This was the case with Ser Jorah. Oh no, I just realized I wrote Jorah in my previous post when I meant Jeor! Doh!

    Anyway, Dany viewed Jorah as loyal to her even before Viserys died. Because Jorah was there before Drogo's fall, Dany's flight, the awakening of the Dragons, and her successes Jorah was seen as an intimate confidante of Dany. He was viewed as an insider because he was with Dany before the **** hit the fan.

    Also, remember Hugh, Jon Arryn's squire? Lysa and/or Littlefinger got to him after he'd been Jon's squire for a while. She/He/They bribed Hugh into murdering Jon. Enter Ser Hugh of the Vale with brand new armor! People can be bought.

    The masters of intelligence and deception in ASOIAF include Baelish, Illyrio, Varys, and Tywin... Doran might be on the short list also. I think these players are shrewd enough to have "little birds" from all corners of the Seven Kingdoms on their payrolls. Spymasters don't know when important information might come from Dorne or when action might be needed at the Wall... they need agents already in the field to get the information or to take action.

    Let me give two other possible examples of possible spies. The first is an insertion of an agent into an unsuspecting man's entourage before he gains power. The second example is of bribery.

    How did Shae wiggle her way into Tyrion's heart so quickly? Bronn told Tyrion he took her from some hedge knight. Shae had no qualms about Tyrion's appearance even though she was probably only approached by Bronn minutes before. Then Tywin forbade Tyrion to take her to KL.

    So what if Shae was actually a spy? I know I've posted on this subject before, but bear with me. Tywin or one of his men pays Bronn to bring Shae to Tyrion. She would have been prepared for his grotesqueness, his vices, and his specific tastes by Twyin's spies. The best way for Twyin to get Tyrion to do something is to forbid him to do it... ala Cersei trying to get Robert into the melee. Then Tyrion keeps Shae (Tywin's spy) with him just to spite his father. Tywin got updates and reports from Pycelle, Cersei, and maybe Littlefinger, but according to this theory he got the best inside information from Shae.

    What was Tywin's biggest problem during the War of the Five Kings? Leading the army to victory while running the government. He could not be in two places at once. Over the first three books we see how much Tywin distrusted and despised Tyrion. There is no way he'd have sent Tyrion to rule without a reliable spy or two or three to tell him what Tyrion was doing. Shae seemed to turn fairly easy and betrayed Tyrions's intimate secrets... surely "my Giant of Lannister" was not evidence of regicide... no, that was just being mean.

    Why was Shae in Tywin's bed? Perhaps this is how she made Tywin's acquaintance in the first place.

    I think Tywin had another spy in Tyrion's midst... Bronn. Sure, Bronn was chance met on the road. But he changed allegiances for a better paycheck quickly. I think Bronn was bought off when Tyrion returned from the Mountains of the Moon. Shae was never privy to the planning of operations, but Bronn was. Why did Bronn suggest killing Joffrey? He would not benefit from it. If Bronn was Tywin's agent, Tywin could have told Bronn to suggest it to Tyrion. Killing a wild and unstable king was "unthinkable, but obvious", if I may quote from Shogun. It seems that after Tywin returned to be Hand he might have killed Joffrey and replaced him with Tommen. Tommen would assure a time of peace for the Lannisters to consolidate their hold on the Iron Throne. Killing a king is a messy job and Tywin had done it once already. If he could manipulate Tyrion into doing it for him, then he'd have a major problem solved and a ready scapegoat if need be.

    Bronn did not even testify against Tyrion... he just walked away. And for this he was made Ser Bronn of the Blackwater and potentially Lord Stokeworth? Come on... he had to have been doing more for Tywin than just walking away from Tyrion after Tyrion was hung out to dry.

    In conclusion, I have two small evidences (and two larger speculations) of planting an agent before an enemy knows it needs to protect against one and of bribing someone to become a spy. I think Illyrio could have bought Qhorin, Donal, Edd, or Jeor. I also think that Illyrio could have turned Aemon into his agent years ago and that Aemon could have influenced, persuaded, or bribed Qhorin, Edd, Donal, or Jeor into doing his pro-Targaryen work.

    I admit that the Aemon as Jon's guardian is pure conjecture, but it is possible. Well, it's possible until you guys poke some real holes in this theory.
  10.  
    Koopa

    Koopa Old KiwiBird

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    Jorah was sent after they found put about Dany's marriage and introduced during that ceremonial feast. He was already in exile, but only put in that place (close to the targaryens) when the book started. Thus not the same thing.

    Hugh is a good simple, still he is a young man, in a completely different setting. Bribing him is easy compared to bribing the old men of the wall.

    Compared to Hugh and Jorah, a 'true' incentive is missing to take the bribery.
    Especially since they are men of the Nights Watch, with their oats and all. And the lot you mentioned seem the real thing to me, unlike someone like Chett.
  11.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    Yes, I admit that I've no proof for this Guardian Angel theory. I accept that on the surface Edd, Jeor, Qhorin, and Donal all appear to have purer and nobler reasons for serving in the Night's Watch than Chett. I don't know that age is a reason for being more or less susceptible to bribery. Young men can be full of zeal like Lancel or frustrated like Pate. Old men can be faithful like Ser Cortney Penrose or weak willed like Pycelle.

    As for my proposed guardians...

    I questioned Qhorin's origins earlier. His name sounds like he could be from the Free Cities and not from the Seven Kingdoms. He could have been planted years ago. In the movie No Way Out, this was the situation for the main character. Patriotism is a powerful motivation.

    Aemon, Donal, Edd, and Jeor have no need for money, titles, or women since they are on the Wall. But payment can come in other forms.

    What was eating the Old Bear? His son's future and livelihood... he confessed this at his death. Illyrio was in a position to help Jorah... and he did help Jorah by introducing him to Viserys and Dany. Jorah had the option of serving Robert through Varys or the Targaryens through Illyrio. Either way would have been proof from Illyrio to Jeor that Illyrio was faithful in paying for Jeor's services.

    Donal Noye was a smith in service to House Baratheon. It appears he was the master smith either at Storm's End or Dragonstone where he personally knew Robert, Stannis, Renly and their parents. He seemed, like every one else, to have preferred Robert over Stannis. He went to the Wall when he could no longer perform personal tasks to his own high standards, iirc. What if Aemon or Illyrio whispered that Jon was not Eddard's son, but in fact one of Robert's many bastards? He might have been persuaded to help protect and groom Robert's son to carry on the proud Baratheon tradition.

    Also, spies may not even know who their real master is. Durin the Cold War, the following scenario took place more than once. A French information analyst with Arab sympathies is approached by an Arab. The Arab says that Egypt is not privy to NATO plans while the US shares plans with Israel thus putting Egypt at a severe disadvantage. Money does not trade hands because the Frenchman has altruistic motives for passing on secret NATO information. The problem is that the Arab is not working for Egypt, rather he works for the Soviet Union. The Soviets have gained a free spy inside NATO. I'm not picking on France because this happened to the US, Great Britain, and many others.

    Eddison Tollet, aka Dolorous Edd, hails from the Vale. House Tollet's loyalty is to House Arryn. Jon Arryn was the Kingmaker twenty years ago. He stood up to House Targaryen and unseated a 300+ year dynasty. He married Lysa Tully, a woman known to be fertile, so he could father a son in his later years. He made Robert marry Cersei to cement the Lannisters into his coalition. He personally went to Dorne to bring them under the Iron Throne. He was a planner. He did not leave things to chance. He could easily have sent a man as an agent to report from the Wall. He could have planted Edd as long as twenty years ago. But with Jon Arryn dead, who would Edd have reported to? Perhaps Ned stumbled across part of Arryn's old spy network and told Edd to protect Jon Snow. I'd say that Varys was at least aware of Arryn's spies... I think it might be likely that Varys co-opted or took over Arryn's network when Arryn died. Since Illyrio pulls Varys' strings... Illyrio is now Edd's boss... and since Arryn died before Jon went to the Wall Edd and would not be suspected as being a protector for a Targaryen. Edd could have gotten a message from Illyrio saying, "Arryn is dead. Protect Jon Snow. I am now running the spy network. Sincerely, Lysa Arryn." How is Edd gonna know the difference? He's stuck on the Wall. He's just staying faithful to House Arryn.

    Perhaps Aemon thinks saving Jon is saving the Seven Kingdoms. Perhaps he is trying to make up for eighty years of not supporting his family. Perhaps he could not deny his Targaryen heritage any more.
  12.  
    Wiggum

    Wiggum S.M.R.T.

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    I think a little bit of my brain just leaked out of my right ear.
  13.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    It's that Orange Blossom Special running down that auditory line.
  14.  
    Aegon the Unworthy

    Aegon the Unworthy Opinionated Procastinator

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    Boaz--Shae was not a spy. I remember someone posted this before so I went searching. Thats where Ive been the last week, it turns out the servers for this site are on a small plateau deep in the Himalayas....I nicknamed my sherpas Boaz and TK. Anyhow I went digging and it turns out you posted the Shae was a spy idea earlier in a thread of my very own.

    Everyone needs a conspiracy theory

    The most telling piece of evidence is Sansas chapter where Shae (impersonating a handmaiden) is insolent with Sansa. Now Sansa assumes Shae is not a very good maid but the reader assumes its because Shae would like to be Sansa (maybe not neccessarily jealous of her husband but her position). With Sansa married to Tyrion Shae has no chance of being installed as a lady which is consistent with her expressed desires to Tyrion when she speaks of Joffreys wedding (and oddly his funeral) feast.

    Im going to cut this short, I need to feed my llamas
  15.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    Egg, Egg, Egg,

    That thin air has limited the flow of oxgen to your brain. Hey, snap out of it!

    Look, Shae must act jealous of Sansa. What does the de facto ruler of a country expect from his mistress? Should Tyrion expect her to be even slightly grateful for every scrap that he tosses her way? No. Every mistress must show jealousy... the minute she stops being obviously jealous is the day that her man starts to suspect her. Shae acted jealous to allay Tyrion's suspicions that she was more than his slut... in fact she was his father's slut. Tywin was the Hand, Tyrion was only the Hand of the Hand... maybe we could say he was the little finger... but he acted like the middle finger.

    From now on my nickname for Tyrion will be Middlefinger.

    I need to reread your thread "Everyone needs a conspiracy theory." But I ask you what good is only one conspiracy theory? Everyone needs at least half a dozen to properly be a functioning manic schizophrenic.

    Edit:

    Okay, I went and reread the enitre "Everyone needs a conspiracy theory" thread and all I have to say is... I'm a bigger flip-flopper than John Kerry. Whoever posted last will probably convince me to jump one way or another on the latest theory.

    But all this reading and thinking makes me wonder if there is something that we've missed regarding Jon's background. We've postulated ridiculous theories for Hodor, Darkstar, Middlefinger, Margaery, Samwell, and others... What are we missing with Jon? It's so hard for me not to believe R+L=J.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  16.  
    Fourth Hunter

    Fourth Hunter Searching for Sanity

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    This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but don't you think that it's odd that Benjen took the black after Lyanna died. I think that he would have been around 15 at the time. Definitely an age by which one would be capable of fathering a child. In the beginning of AGOT Jon yells "I'm not your son", but Benjen doesn't say that Jon's right, he cryptically says, "more's the pity".

    I don't even believe this, it just passed through my head.
  17.  
    Aegon the Unworthy

    Aegon the Unworthy Opinionated Procastinator

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    Boaz, you can spin yerself into the ground following the wheels within wheels thinking. Im going to state clearly that thats a little much obfuscation on Martins part for Shae to be playing a role within a role within a role and leave it at that.

    4thHunter- I think its very reasonable for Benjen to take the black as the youngest son of a House (Or more specifically as the youngest son of House Stark). I always assumed he did before the rebellion. The only way I would assume theres something fishy going on is if you can tell me he joined before Robb was born but after Brandons death. Thats the only point in time that having Benjen around would be neccessary to ensure the Stark line. Im not saying Ben + Lyanna equals Jon, but if you think something is odd about the timing you should connect the dots and see if it leads somewhere else.
  18.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    Now that's the spirit! I love posts that begin this way!

    Now I get the impression that Lyanna was wild, but not that wild.

    On the other hand, incest is a theme of ASOIAF. Rhaegar, Viserys, Dany, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are all confirmed products of incest. Does this make the child mentally unbalanced? We know that Viserys and Joffrey were not the most rational people in the series. Myrcella and Tommen are still very young. Barristan and Jaime can remember Rhaegar as genteel and sincere, but the bottom line is that he still took Lyanna without her family's permission thus bringing about the destruction of his own House. Dany has been through a lot and done pretty well, but I feel she's a time bomb.

    I'm not what this says about Jon if he's inbred.

    Benjen says "More's the pity." But what if he also knows that Ned is not Jon's father? Then "more's the pity" is indeed pity that Jon has never met nor known his real father. If Jon was not related to Ned nor any Stark, would Ben really show concern? In that conversation Benjen is sincere with Jon, his words come out of a desire for Jon to show strength, courage, and dignity... like Lyanna. The conversation could be intrepreted a number of ways, but the R+L=J fits.

    Aegon, don't let it go so fast. We know that Varys was on the Small Council, but was in reality an agent for Illyrio. Varys was also Rugen the jailer. He also appeared in disguise at least once to Tyrion. Wheels within wheels.

    Jaqen appeared to be a prisoner headed for the Wall, but in reality he was a Faceless Man.

    Barristan played the part of Squire Arstan.

    Jon appeared to Mance and Ygritte as a crow who'd flown the Wall, but in reality he was still working for the Night's Watch.

    Tom O'Sevens seems to have thrown in his lot with the Brotherhood, but he's also infiltrated the Freys and the Lannisters.

    There's more than one person in Oldtown who are not who they appear to be.

    Back to the incest, Cersei was Robert's Queen and Jaime was one of his Kingsguard, but they were sleeping together behind his back for fifteen years.

    I think people can be other than they appear. They can put on masks and work on ulterior motives. It seems that Jon Connington and Aegon Targaryen have been doing this for fifteen years.
  19.  
    Aegon the Unworthy

    Aegon the Unworthy Opinionated Procastinator

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    Ah Boaz, poor unsuspecting Boaz. Im gonna quote you I believe when I say, "I absolutely disagree with you for exactly the reasons you mentioned".

    Realizing that there is absolutely no indication that Shae is anything other than a whore with a little girls dreams of a noble husband.....in all the situations you mentioned above Martin tells the reader early and often that something about them is not right.

    Arya overhears Varys, Jaqen hints at mysticism, Barristan dissembles a little bit when meeting Dany (obvious in hindsight), anyhow my point is clearly people can be other than what they appear to be. However they shouldnt be to the reader, at least without some obtuse reference that is made as an off-hand comment. (Like Tywin did right before he called Olenna on the Thorn-phone and asked her to help him commit Regicide, or Braticide). There has not been any character that has come completely out of left field and said "Ha Ha! Im the son of the Fisher King" or somesuch. For Shae to be revealed as a spy now would be a blemish on an otherwise fine work.

    I can accept your theory on face value that Tywin is not Tyrions father because there is some gaps in the relationship between the Hand and the King that have been hinted at, but with Shae there has been no meaningful looks, or off-hand comments, or cryptic history to intimate otherwise

    Back to the Llamas....
  20.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    I seriously doubt I ever uttered or typed those words in my entire life. You of all people should know that I'm not given to outspoken opinions, hyperbole, or trying to convince another person of the rightness of my view. I'm probably the most humble person on the planet. I'd never openly disagree with you... unless you were wrong.

    As for Shae Undercover theory, I acknowledge there is not one shred of evidence nor are there any real decent hints by Martin nor is it a particularly logical theory, it's something I like to dream about... I mean Shae undercover not Shae under the covers.

    On the other hand, the best theories such as R+L=J and Baby Aegon is alive and Benjen is Coldhands and Bran is one of the Three Heads don't have any absolute concrete evidence either. Of course if there was evidence, they would not still be theories.

    I just need a new book to read so I don't continue to harrass you guys with same old junk. And I don't mean any book, I mean ADWD. I just reread Dan Simmon's Ilium and Olympus... in my experience they are the most ambitious political intrigue, historical, mythological, fantastic, philosophical sci-fi I've ever come across.

    Now before I hijack this thread into my own personal blog, let me ask Werthead a question.

    Wert has any progresss been made concerning a compilation thread of Who exactly is Jon Snow?

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