A + J = C & J

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Fan Theory
Fan Theory: A + J = C & J
Synonyms: Aerys + Joanna = Cersei & Jaime
Fandom(s): A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones
Dates: 2000s -
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A + J = C & J is a fan theory in the A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones fandoms. It posits that twins Cersei and Jaime Lannister were not fathered by Tywin Lannister, but rather are secretly the bastard children of Aerys Targaryen and Tywin's wife, Joanna Lannister.[1][2]

The theory was being discussed on Usenet as early as 2006, albeit as an unlikely, tinhat-type scenario.[3] It gained more traction after the release of the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, in 2011, due to a scene in which Barristan Selmy tells Daenerys Targaryen that Aerys was "taken" with Joanna in his youth, and lamented the abolishment of the lord's right to the first night during her and Tywin's wedding feast.[4]

Fans have also pointed to Jaime and Cersei's incestuous relationship as evidence supporting the theory, since sibling incest was a frequent, accepted practice within the Targaryen family.[1][2] Others have drawn parallels between Aerys and Cersei, including paranoia, ruthlessness, and an obsession with wildfire. Some fans have also highlighted a passage in A Feast for Crows in which their aunt, Genna Lannister, tells Jaime that "Tyrion is Twyin's son, not you."[1][2] However, it is possible to interpret Genna's statement as figurative rather than literal, i.e. Tyrion inherited Twyin's defining trait (a brilliant strategic mind) while Jaime did not.

A corollary theory holds that Cersei and Jaime's younger brother Tyrion is instead the one secretly fathered by Aerys.