R + L = J

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Fan Theory
Fan Theory: R + L = J
Synonyms: Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon
Origin: Usenet, Westeros forums
Fandom(s): A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones
Dates: Late 1990s - 2017
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R + L = J was a fan theory in the A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones fandoms. It was confirmed as canon in seasons 6 and 7 of the television series. The theory holds that Jon Snow is not the bastard son of Ned Stark, but rather the son of Ned's sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen, and that Ned hid Jon's true parentage to protect him from Robert Baratheon.[1]

The first mention of the fan theory online seems to have occurred in 1997, when fan Rodrick Su posted a series of questions about A Game of Thrones on a usenet group.[2][3]

By the time the first season of Game of Thrones premiered, it was a widely known fan theory,[4] with many fans accepting it as canon.