SPOILERS in the Tower of Joy! But you can’t see them just yet because the Three-Eyed Raven says, "Not today!"
Who is Lyanna on Game of Thrones? Is she Jon Snow’s mama? For years (YEARS!) fans have waited to learn if R+L=J is true and in the Season 6 episode "Oathbreaker" fans nearly got the answers. Nearly. But that's not the only theory fans have about Lyanna Stark, oh no.
The most popular of the Lyanna Stark theories is that Ned’s sister is Jon Snow’s mom. And that either she was into Rhaegar Targaryen or he kidnapped her, but the end result is that she gave birth to Jon and Ned covered it up so that his buddy and liege, Robert Baratheon, who was obsessed with Lyanna, wouldn’t kill the child. Ned took Jon back to Winterfell to raise him as his bastard much to the hatred of his wife, Catelyn.
If Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon’s parents, the resurrected Jon is not only legitimate, he’s got some regal blood running through his reanimated veins. As he kicks rocks on the Night’s Watch, one can only hope he’ll make his way to Dany and Tyrion (who are probably his relatives) and ride Rhaegal, the dragon named after his possible pops.Which of these Lyanna Stark theories makes the most sense? Ponder some popular Lyanna Stark-y fan theories - perhaps they'll inspire a theory of your own!
Lyanna Was Much More Than a Love Interest for Robert or Rhaegar
There’s been a debate over whether Lyanna was really into Rhaegar or was truly kidnapped and raped. She cried at the tourney when he sang a song for her and dumped wine on Benjen’s head when he made fun of her for shedding tears. Lyanna has been described as being a lot like Arya, tomboyish, a warrior, and very much the embodiment of the North. She certainly seemed onto Robert’s penchant for bedding whomever and wasn’t convinced he’d ever be faithful.
Fans think there was way more substance to Lyanna and that she wasn’t in love with Rhaegar, or anyone for that matter. She had a future as a leader and circumstances beyond her control - or fate - killed that future.
Lyanna’s Story Mirrors the Celtic Goddess Rhiannon
Redditor gbinasia made an excellent point about several aspects regarding Lyanna. When we see Lyanna in Bran’s warg dream, she rides into Winterfell atop a white horse. This sparked some correlations. “In Celtic mythology, Rhiannon is the goddess riding a white horse. Interestingly enough, a big part of her myth is fleeing a marriage her father had arranged. She's eventually caught by a handsome admirer, who marries her and promptly they make a child together. That child ends up immediately kidnapped, and his lineage is only revealed much later in an event that finally allows his mother Rhiannon to be absolved of the accusations of infanticide she had faced.
That's probably where the parallels end. Fun coincidence, though: in the Rhiannon legend, the kid disappears while in the care of his six sleepy maids, while in GoT Ned rides with six companions to the Tower of Joy. Rhiannon also wakes up in a pool of blood (from a slain puppy), while Lyanna lies in a pool of her own blood (presumably). Rhiannon is also often associated with Epona, which, you guessed it, is a Roman divinity associated with horses and/or a horse in Ocarina of Time. It would then completely make sense for the show to emphasize Lyanna's abilities on a horse ('stop showing off!’).”
L+R = J: A Fan's Take
Until Bran wargs up those steps and into the Tower of Joy, ccmrose put together this video depicting what may have happened between Lyanna and Rhaegar, and Ned's promise to his sister.
If the Starks Are the Seven, Is Lyanna the Mother of the True God?
A popular fan theory is that the seven primary Starks reflect the aspects of the Faith of the Seven. Calluna makes this point in her video (above) and she does a bang-up job, too. She explains why Ned is the Father, Catelyn is the Mother, Robb is the Warrior, Sansa is the Maiden, Arya is the Stranger, Bran is the Crone, and Rickon is the Smith.
She also explains that fate has splintered and twisted back on the Starks. We see Ned caught in the snare surrounding the Iron Throne and ultimately beheaded. But was the fate of the Starks set off by Lyanna’s willing or unwilling coupling with Rhaegar? Is there something to the mixing of those bloodlines? Or does her presumed son, Jon Snow, embody ALL of the aspects of the Seven and is the true god/savior of this world? Maybe. Or maybe not. Tormund may disagree that Jon is a god, but just maybe he is, no matter the size of his package. Only time and George R.R. Martin will tell.