I asked a question about R+L=J in A Song of Ice and Fire, and someone spoilered it, which makes sense. But thinking about it, I don't know what it spoils. It's thus far not explicitly mentioned in any of the books, but a popular theory cobbled from evidence scattered throughout all the books. If I were to mention R+L=J, should I just write "(Spoilers All)"?

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    It's important to note that this specific "spoiler" is so far just a theory. That's why it's such a special circumstance. Any talk of this issue is not going to spoil anything from the books, per se, but it will (maybe?) spoil things for future books. I just like to "err on the side of caution" – Möoz Aug 14 '14 at 21:41
  • @Mooz Speculation can't spoil the future revelation, it's just an educated guess. Posts made before the revelation happen wouldn't need spoiler tags. Posts made after the revelation should, since they're actually spoiling things, as opposed to guessing future events. – user1027 Aug 15 '14 at 15:36
  • In my opinion though, even if it is a theory, people may not want to get spoiled of it. There's a reason why GRRM didn't write "promise me Ned... That you won't tell anyone Jon is mine and Rhaegar's son...". There's supposed to be a certain intrigue and surprise leading up to finding out the facts! – Möoz Aug 22 '14 at 2:15

Show-watcher (and non-book-reader) here. I could see that as a spoiler for the start of the story, but after a few episodes, it seems pretty obvious that a person like Ned would never have an affair. I'm not sure how much of the first book that covers, I'm sure a book reader can pipe up with details there.

For the show, that's a spoiler, but not a huge one. Again, after the first 3 episodes, it should be clear that Jon's parentage isn't exactly what's being presented as true. However, that's part of the issue. The other part is who his actual parents are. In the show, there aren't many candidates (I spent much of season 1 wondering if he was another one of Robert's bastards). The character Rhaegar is mentioned a few times in the TV show, but I don't recall it being fleshed out enough for me to recognize him as a potential parent of Jon, same for Lyanna. So I could see it as a spoiler for the show.

In the books, there is a more fleshed-out history, so I don't know at what point in the books the 'R+L' part of the theory are revealed as potential parents of Jon. If it's several books in, I can see it being a spoiler, but if it is, the spoiler should be marked with some context. A spoiler that doesn't have a label indicating what it spoils is kinda useless.

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  • The evidence is circumstantial: Ned - as you say - would not father a bastard; Rhaegar loved Lyanna, having named her the queen of love and beauty (AGOT); theorists suggest that Lyanna died in childbirth, and that the "promise" Lyanna made Ned keep was to foster and raise Jon Snow, etc. Some book specifics, but not all. There's a lot more, of course. – Lou Aug 14 '14 at 17:57
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    @LeoKing The specific information doesn't matter as much as when it's revealed. When in the books were those details introduced? – user1027 Aug 14 '14 at 18:02
  • Well that's the point, not all of it was revealed in the books. A lot of it is extrapolation and guesswork. Eddard mentions Rhaegar naming Lyanna the QOLAB in A Game of Thrones, that's the first explicitly mentioned point I've found. If you like, I can dig up the other arguments. – Lou Aug 14 '14 at 18:04

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