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  1. #1
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    Jon a Targaryen?

    I've heard this theory often lately. Some people are very adamant about it. I'm curious as to why people believe it. Not their basis for doing so, but why they want it to be true - because to me, it would be completely pointless. I don't think we even need to discover Jon's parentage, but if we did it would be much more interesting if Jon's mother proved to be a Lannister.

  2. #2
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palfrey View Post
    I've heard this theory often lately. ... I don't think we even need to discover Jon's parentage, but if we did it would be much more interesting if Jon's mother proved to be a Lannister.
    Yup, Jon's lineage is a very hot topic indeed:

    Jon Snow - the key figure in the series?
    ASOIAF - Jon's Parents?
    Jon Snow!? [SPOILERS!]
    Of John Snow!
    The Truth about Jon Snow

  3. #3
    I think its pretty much confirmed as being Martins intent, though I'd not put it past him to throw a curve. I am not going to do a lot of digging to prove my "facts" here, because I am a lazy lazy man, but the story as I understand it goes like this...

    Lyanna Stark rode as a mystery knight at a tourney at Harranhal. Prince Rhaegar fought her and won (bit unsure about some of this, but I think basically accurate) somehow found out who she was and fell in love with her. Prince Rhaegar was already married to some Dornish chick of course, who was also at the tourney so when upon winning he declared Lyanna Stark as the Queen of Love and Beauty (or sommat) there was a big scandal.

    Rhaegar then "kidnapped" Lyanna, not sure if this occurred at the tourney and spirited her away. Lyanna bore Rhaegar a child, but died in childbirth and Ned gave the babe, Jon, to a wetnurse called Willa and later brought him to Winterfell as his bastard to protect him from the certain death that being a Targaryen in Westeros under Robert's reign would have been.

    I'm convinced it was Martin's intent, and we know he has locked in Jon's parentage at least with the producers of the series. I do not rule out Martin having changed it because people figured it out, but I hope he hasn't as I think its a wonderful story that provides a perfect underpinning for the books and explains so much.

    Oh and to more properly answer Palfrey's actual question, I want to believe it because I think its a great story. Also because I genuinely like Jon and I want him to be the big hero and face the others as one of Danerys dragon riders - though I think it possible he might do so in a warg sense rather than a saddle sense. I don't really want Jon and Dany getting together, because you know, ewww.

    I would also love Tyrion as a dragon rider so am routing for that new Targaryen guy to go to a wedding .
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; June 7th, 2012 at 12:21 PM.

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    Duh, I should have looked for other threads first. Nevertheless...

    **Spoilers ahead**




    Still, those theories were only valid before ADWD. If it's Targaryen inbreeding you want, Egg (Aegon) would make a better mate for Dany than a half-Targaryen like Jon supposedly is. Aegon is young, but not so young that he and Dany couldn't breed someday. Also, if it's true that Dany can't have children anymore, it's irrelevant whether she marries a Targaryen or not.

    My theory is that since she can't have children, once Dany becomes queen she will adopt Aegon as her heir. It would be cool if Jon and Dany got together, but Jon doesn't have to be a Targaryen for that to happen (though I don't think that will happen either). Personally I would find it disappointing if the story circled back to the same problem that started it in the first place (royal inbreeding).
    Last edited by Palfrey; June 7th, 2012 at 12:38 PM.

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    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palfrey View Post
    Duh, I should have looked for other threads first. Nevertheless...
    No problem, those threads are a bit dated but should give at least some older theories.

  6. #6
    Jon could end up in one of Danys dragons given his current status, that has potential to be very interesting - though I doubt it'll happen. Incidently do we know the sexes of the dragons? I'm sure we do, but can't recall.

    I'm not sure what theories you are talking about that are invalidated by ADWD, I really cannot see any that are. Dany getting together with Jon is still possible, and imo still unlikely given the eww factor if Jon is a Targaryen. Targaryens took two wives in the past so its also possible Dany could take two husbands, likely through political motivations.

    I think my eww reaction is probably a bit silly intellectually btw. The only thing that makes incest, assuming its consensual, etc., truly wrong, when you disguard social norms and entrenched, often baseless, morality, is that the offspring are generally flawed - Dany cannot have children so there is no problem there.

  7. #7
    A quick foray off topic if you will forgive me .

    Ned and Lord Arryn's theory that Joffrey and his siblings are children of incest rather than of Robert Baratheon is really pretty weak. I believe, and I could be wrong, that we have yet to encounter a Lannister without their trademark golden hair. It seems unlikely that the Lannisters have avoided marrying anyone with dark hair. Given these two things wouldn't Lannister gold need to be a dominant trait, and thus potentially be capable of producing three golden haired kiddiwinks?

    I admit that the book and bastards are convincing, but did Lord Arryn really have the gentics knowledge to make such a call? I suppose it was confirmed by the death of Lord Arryn... And perhaps he did have more reason, maybe he caught the Cersei and Jaime show at some point...

  8. #8
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palfrey View Post
    I've heard this theory often lately. Some people are very adamant about it. I'm curious as to why people believe it. Not their basis for doing so, but why they want it to be true - because to me, it would be completely pointless. I don't think we even need to discover Jon's parentage, but if we did it would be much more interesting if Jon's mother proved to be a Lannister.
    I don't particularly want it to be true or not true. It's simply what Martin has set up, unless he's having a grand joke. The issue of Jon's parentage is important for a number of reasons:

    1) If he's Lyanna's or Ned's child, (or less possibly Brandon's,) it gives him a claim to Winterfell and to being King of the North. This issue is a key one in the story and one of the main reasons Stannis goes to Jon's aid in the North. Jon rejected his claim, holding to his promise to the Night's Watch, but he did not entirely abandon his loyalties to Winterfell and this became an important plot point in Dragons.

    2) If his mother or father was a Targaryen, then he can ride one of Danys' dragons in the fight against the Others. He can command the Targaryen's magic, which becomes a critical point, because the entire series is about fighting the Others. Jon also has the Stark magic -- being a warg -- (because one of his parents was likely Ned or his brother or sister,) which is tied into the Children and the magic of the land, so how that may all mesh with things that have happened to Jon in the story is another big plot issue.

    3) If his father was Rhaegar, then he has a major claim to the Iron Throne. I don't think Jon would particularly want the throne, but it will be an issue if his parentage is ascertained. I don't think that Jon will end up being any sort of consort for Danys. For all we know, Jon's going to end up being like Coldhands, who is probably his uncle Benjen, or Catelyn. Even if he were something like that, his being a Targaryen would be politically an issue.

    4) Jon is the protagonist of the series, the character around whom the whole winter is coming story is built. (And also the protagonist of A Storm of Swords.) So the issue of his parentage becomes critical for how the story will play out and what journey his character will take. Martin has a definite theme for the series of identity, and in particular, identity from secret parentage. Jon's parentage issue is one of several in the series.

    There are a number of other candidates for the dragons. Robert was a direct descendent of the Targaryens, and this helped his claim to the throne. As such, Gendry, his bastard son, could ride. Aegon, if he really is Aegon -- and the magic working against him seemed to indicate this is possible -- is another. It will be interesting to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern
    Ned and Lord Arryn's theory that Joffrey and his siblings are children of incest rather than of Robert Baratheon is really pretty weak. I believe, and I could be wrong, that we have yet to encounter a Lannister without their trademark golden hair. It seems unlikely that the Lannisters have avoided marrying anyone with dark hair. Given these two things wouldn't Lannister gold need to be a dominant trait, and thus potentially be capable of producing three golden haired kiddiwinks?

    I admit that the book and bastards are convincing, but did Lord Arryn really have the gentics knowledge to make such a call? I suppose it was confirmed by the death of Lord Arryn... And perhaps he did have more reason, maybe he caught the Cersei and Jaime show at some point...
    It's important to remember that the main issue wasn't that Cersei slept with her brother, though according to the religion of the Seven, that would have been very bad. It's that Cersei cuckholded the king and was passing off children as Robert's heirs who weren't Robert's. The belief that Arryn and then Ned develops is from the fact that every child that Robert has had had his black hair -- all his bastards that Arryn tracked down and Ned sought after that, no matter what the color of the mother's hair. This is an adequate understanding of genetics for the two men coming from farm husbandry. A horse "throws true" -- produces babies that have the same coloring. You don't have to know about DNA to follow that. (Early genetics was done by farmers and monks in plant propagation and breeding of animals.) Robert "threw true" on black haired kids, even if the mother was blonde. This is not genetically accurate for black pigment in our real world, but Westeros has magic and it is established that Robert had only black hair genes and that these were dominant in his children, and that this was a recurring trait of his family's line -- they all threw true black hair. Therefore blonde hair, which is rarer, would have given way to the black hair if the kids were Robert's. (And not all the Lannisters are blonde.) There were suspicions and rumors about Cersei and Jaime, but it's the establishment of biological precedent and Robert's bastards all being black haired that counts as proof, there being no DNA tests in Westeros.
    Last edited by KatG; June 8th, 2012 at 02:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    If Jon was a dragon-rider, he wouldn't have been burnt by the fire he used to kill the wight in the first book. So I'm still not convinced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern View Post
    Ned and Lord Arryn's theory that Joffrey and his siblings are children of incest rather than of Robert Baratheon is really pretty weak. I believe, and I could be wrong, that we have yet to encounter a Lannister without their trademark golden hair. It seems unlikely that the Lannisters have avoided marrying anyone with dark hair. Given these two things wouldn't Lannister gold need to be a dominant trait, and thus potentially be capable of producing three golden haired kiddiwinks?
    You've got it backward. Dominant traits "hide" recessive traits. No matter how long you breed for a dominant trait, its recessive trait will still appear occasionally. Recessive traits appear less of often but they hide nothing. Blonde is recessive, so in theory it would be possible to have a family of all-blonde people. But, obviously ASOIAF characters can't be expected to know genetics.

  10. #10
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palfrey View Post
    If Jon was a dragon-rider, he wouldn't have been burnt by the fire he used to kill the wight in the first book. So I'm still not convinced.
    Not necessarily. The main reason that Targaryens married their sisters was to keep the magic of the bloodline strong through purity, as signaled by the silvery blonde hair. Jon, however, clearly does have Stark blood in him, coming from one of three Starks of the previous generation, because he has the warg magic in him. He's not pure Targaryen, so it would be highly unlikely that he's fully fire proof (though possibly he might have some sort of magic related to fire that hasn't come out yet.) He doesn't need, though, to be necessarily fire proof to ride the dragon. And his warg magic would allow him to control the dragon.

    We don't know that Jon is from the Targaryens, though. He might be from someone else. He might be Ned's actual son. There's a faint possibility that he might be Brandon Stark's son, but since Brandon was killed very early on in the war, that might not be possible in terms of timelines. The mysteries surrounding Lyanna's kidnapping, which was done due to a prophecy Rhaegar believed about their future children, and their relationship and Lyanna dying from what may have been post-labor complications, and Ned's vagaries about Jon's mother, all raise a question, though, that Jon might be Lyanna and Rhaegar's son. Martin has set that question in place and reinforced it with the prophetic visions Danys sees in the House of the Undying -- the blue rose in the Wall, and the vision of a possible Rhaegar and Lyanna and baby, with the dragon has three heads info. We know that Ashara Dayne, who is theorized by some as possibly Jon's mother, who was not a Targaryen, possibly instead had a stillborn daughter from sleeping with either Ned or Brandon Stark, according to Belmy, and that this may be why she killed herself. What we don't know, though, is whether this is true and why it's important.

    The reality is, though, that who Jon's mother and father really are has significant plot implications for the story, and therefore this is a question that greatly interests readers, even if Jon is not a Targaryen and is only a Stark.


    You've got it backward. Dominant traits "hide" recessive traits. No matter how long you breed for a dominant trait, its recessive trait will still appear occasionally. Recessive traits appear less of often but they hide nothing. Blonde is recessive, so in theory it would be possible to have a family of all-blonde people. But, obviously ASOIAF characters can't be expected to know genetics.
    Right, but on Earth, black hair is neither recessive or dominant, despite being the most common hair color. Two black haired people are certainly likely to produce a black haired child, especially in certain ethnic groups, such as East Asian, but there is the possibility of the combo of another hair color, depending on their genes. A person who is black haired who has a baby with someone of another hair color may or may not produce a black haired child. In Westeros, however, there are a lot of types of magic. And so what is established is that the Baratheons all only produce black haired children, according to the genealogical records that Arryn and Ned research, and all of Robert's bastards are black haired. The Lannisters have blonde hair running through their family, but not all of them are blonde. There are no records produced that say Lannisters only produce blonde haired children. Therefore, when blonde Cersei and black haired always producing black haired Robert had kids, they should have been black haired. Instead, all three are blonde. The key info that Arryn and Ned discover is that the Baratheons always have black haired children. So it's an effective paternity test.

  11. #11
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    Jon is Rhaegar and Lyanna's kid. If it turns out to be false, Martin changed Jon's parentage after the fact. "After the fact" being somehwere after the first 3 books.

    This is all in my humble opinion, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Right, but on Earth, black hair is neither recessive or dominant,
    Source please? I've heard of incomplete dominance in horses but not humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Two black haired people are certainly likely to produce a black haired child, especially in certain ethnic groups, such as East Asian, but there is the possibility of the combo of another hair color, depending on their genes.
    Which would mean that black is a dominant gene. That's certainly what I learned in high school. My assumption from studying color in animals would be that hair colors other than black or blonde are caused by other genes modifying the effect of one of those two "base" genes. Similar to how the agouti gene changes a black horse to a bay one.

  13. #13
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Jon a Targaryen?
    Nooooooo...

    I do like the idea of him becoming a D R A G O N.

  14. #14
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    It's complicated when it comes to hair. It's not simple pairs. There are two chemical pigments (proteins) that make up the melanin coloration in hair -- one can be brown or black (two subtypes) and the other is red. And there is more than one gene set that determines hair color (plus hair color can change over time, due to age, environment, etc.) Everybody has some of the red pigment in their hair. The more of it you have, the redder your hair is tinged. (Women tend to have more than men.) Those with very little of it, the red doesn't show at all. The other pigment, the black/brown one, if you have very little of it, you get the various shades of blonde. As you have more of it, you get darker hair, black or brown depending on the sub-type, and this is more common (dominant.) So black and brown hair are more dominant and common (both are B if you do pairs,) but black and brown aren't dominant over each other -- you don't have double BB. They are two subtypes of the same pigment.

    So for instance, my husband has black hair and I have brown. Our daughter has brown hair but it's darker than mine, about the color of dark chocolate. His parents, one had black hair and the other dark brown. Two of his siblings also have black hair and his other sister is blonde and blue eyed, because a blonde recessive (genes mutated producing less black/brown pigment,) was in both parents. My mother had brown hair and my father dark blond hair. My sister had blondish brown hair and I had brown hair about the same color as my mother. Both my parents had red in their hair. I have red and blond and very dark brown colorants in my hair. My sister did not have a lot of red visible -- till she tried dying her hair blonde and turned it orange temporarily. My daughter with the dark brown hair has dark red highlights in her hair. My husband has no visible red (the red pigment is low.) My parents were both blue eyed (double recessive) and my sister and I are blue eyed. Because there is a blue eye recessive in my husband's family, as shown by his sister, my daughter ended up with blue eyes. (Eyes are less complicated apparently.)

    So if you have a brown haired parent and a black haired parent, the child's hair is not automatically black. It may be either black or brown since the child may end up with several genetic pairs that give pigment of one sub-type or another and the amount of the pigment contributing to the melanin effected as well, as well as the second, red pigment.

    In the case of the Lannisters and Robert, if we were just doing real world genetics, then Robert with the black hair (big B) would dominate over the Lannisters' double little bb, forming Bb, leading to black or nearly black hair (it's possible the blonde could effect it as the brown sub-type.) The only way that a child of Robert's could be blonde is if Robert had a blonde recessive (Bb) and passed on the recessive three times. But again, there was no evidence of any blonde recessive in Robert's family (despite marrying into the Targaryens,) as all his family had black haired children and all Robert's bastard children have black hair (which is why Cersei has them slaughtered.) So logically, even if you're doing real world genetics, the three kids are clearly not Robert's.

    Additionally, though, the book takes place in Westeros in a world where magic effects people, including their appearance. And in that place, Robert and his family magically always produce black haired children -- the black hair always dominates. (Whereas in the real world, if Robert slept with brunettes, some of his children might be brunettes.) Because that genealogical evidence is there for Arryn and Ned to read and investigate in the bastard children, it is clear to them that if any child supposedly Robert's doesn't have black hair, then it can't be Robert's. This is established as fact, therefore it is fact in that world, therefore the kids aren't his. It's just that they didn't realize, till they did the research, that Robert only produced black haired children. Once they do, then it's damming evidence.

    Possible info of use to those interested: http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000889.html

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Additionally, though, the book takes place in Westeros in a world where magic effects people, including their appearance. And in that place, Robert and his family magically always produce black haired children
    Really? I'd be very interested to see any reference from the book that hints this is a magical phenomena - I think you're drawing a long bow here.

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