George R.R. Martin might just have confirmed the famous R+L=J theory from the “Game of Thrones”.
At the Edinburgh international book festival in Scotland on Monday, the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novelist answered fans’ questions about his work, and might just have given a little bit too much information than he intended to.
Possible spoilers from “A Song of Ice and Fire” books and the TV series “Game of Thrones” ahead. Proceed with caution.
In the books, Jon Snow is known as the bastard son of Ned Stark. His mother has not been named, and the fans have formed their theories on who that is. The most popular one is called R+L=J, which basically explains who his real parents are and why they are kept secret from him.
According to it, Jon’s mother is Ned’s sister Lyanna, who demanded a promise from her brother to keep her identity a secret from Jon. The father isn’t Ned as well, but Rhaegar Targaryen, who either kidnapped Lyanna or ran away with her.
With Robert Baratheon ordering the slaughter of all Targaryens, Jon, being a half Targaryen, would be in danger. That’s why the dying Lyanna asked her brother to claim Jon as his own.
YouTube user Alt Shift X has put into video the R+L=J theory:
Again, this is still a theory because Martin hasn’t told anyone about Jon’s parentage, not even “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and DB Weiss.
Weiss even claimed at one point that Martin tested them first before allowing them to film the series by asking them who Jon Snow’s mother is.
Nevertheless, Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark, has confirmed part of the R+L=J theory in an interview with Vulture in July, saying “I’m obviously not Jon Snow’s dad.”
It’s unclear if Bean truly knew about the identity of Jon Snow’s parents, but it appeared that he was just talking about his own opinion.
After all, there’s only one person who knows the answer for sure.
And that person just sort of confirmed the validity of the most famous theory.
“I struggle with this because I do want to surprise my readers, delight them and take them in directions they didn’t see coming. I hate predictable fiction as a reader. I want to surprise and delight my reader and take the story in directions they didn’t see coming. Some readers in Internet boards got the clues. Do I change it? No, I can’t, as I had planted them and it would be a mess,” he said at the Edinburgh book festival, as quoted by Gizmodo.
“I’ve been planting all these clues that the butler did it, then you’re halfway through a series and suddenly thousands of people have figured out that the butler did it, and then you say the chambermaid did it? No, you can’t do that.”
Granted that he did not mention specifically the R+L=J theory, but not only is it the most popular theory, it’s also the most intriguing mystery in the book that fans have their own answer to.