the seed is strong

What is the meaning of “The seed is strong”?

In ASOIAF, Jon Arryn repeated several times while dying, “The seed is strong”:

Eddard: “Was there nothing else? No final word?

Pycelle: “When I saw that all hope had fled, I gave the Hand milk of the poppy [. ] He whispered something to the king and his lady wife, a blessing for his son. The seed is strong, he said. At the end the speech was too slurred to comprehend. Death did not come until the next morning, but Lord Jon was at peace after that. He never spoke again.”

A Game of Thrones, Eddard V

But so far (I have read all the books), it doesn’t seem to me that he was talking about sickly Robert. But who else? What is the evidence that he was/wasn’t talking about his son?

5 Answers 5

The clear implication made in the books is that when Jon Arryn, Hand of the King, said “The seed is strong” he was referring to the indications – based on documented bloodlines and inherited genetic characteristics – that Robert Baratheon did not father Joffrey, Tommen, or Myrcella on Cersei Lannister.

(Of course, in Westeros, no one would think of them as “genetic characteristics”. But the inherited traits which we know to be genetics have long been recognized as having a bloodline relationship – more so, frankly, in systems where nobility intermarries and documents their births and marriages better than is the average. And seed is slang for sperm, which leads to births, or so I’m led to believe. )

As for evidence:

Lysa Arryn remembering:

Jon knew. The seed is strong, he told me. His last words. He kept saying Robert’s name, and he grabbed my arm so hard he left marks. Tell them, the seed is strong

A Game of Thrones, Catelyn VI

She goes on to interpret it as “[Jon’s] seed. He wanted everyone to know what a good strong boy my baby was going to be.” But she’s an idiot (that’s clearly established in the books). Robert is the name of both her son and the King. He was trying to get a message out, she was hearing what she wanted to.

Ned confronted Cersei when he figured it out:

“All three are Jaime’s,” he said. It was not a question.

“Thank the gods.”

The seed is strong, Jon Arryn had cried on his deathbed, and so it was. All those bastards, all with hair as black as night. Grand Maester Malleon recorded the last mating between stag and lion, some ninety years ago. Their only issue, an unnamed boy described in Malleon’s tome as a large and lusty lad boar with a full head of black hair. . No matter how far back Ned searched in the brittle yellowed pages, always he found the gold yielding before the coal.

A Game of Thrones, Eddard XII

What is the meaning of “The seed is strong”? In ASOIAF, Jon Arryn repeated several times while dying, “The seed is strong”: Eddard : “Was there nothing else? No final word? Pycelle :

The Seed Is Strong

Today I present to you not exactly a theory but a sort of revelation.

Remember that book “A Game of Thrones”? Pretty old but it’s nice to go back to it and discuss things we haven’t discussed before. Or maybe we have just haven’t seen it on here. In the end it’ll rap into a very known theory

So in AGOT when Hand of the King Jon Arryn passes, his last words were “The seed is strong.”

Throughout the books we are led to believe that this has to do with Cersei and Jamie’s incest babies not being Roberts. This is true. Jon was investigating and did come to the conclusion that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen should not be blond because the dark Baratheon haired seed should be stronger then the gold haired Lannister seed.

Jon Arryn goes through all the Baratheon line and sees that they are all black of hair and then suddenly when it gets to Joffrey they suddenly get golden of hair. We see Roberts seed is strong when we meet Gendry and he is a spitting image of young Robert.

Soooo why am I telling you this?

George was trying to tell us that the dark seed is stronger then the light seed in book one. What this means is, it confirms that if indeed Jon was a Targaryen his moms (Lyanna) Stark seed would be stronger then the Targaryen seed. This could also mean many possibilities with Jon’s parentage because I believe every combination has someone with dark hair. But I believe George only put this detail in for on the surface to reveal the Lannister incest but deeper wise to tell us how Jon doesn’t have Targaryen features.


If we know the dark seeds are strong what does this mean? Is Sansa Ned’s child? I know in real world genetics there is always that chance that the weak seed can prevail but if we use Jon Arryns logic in which he considered the Lannister kids as bastards we can use it for Sansa to. George did say all the Stark children are wargs and we’ve seen decent examples for all of them except Sansa. maybe Sansa isn’t a Stark maybe she is Tully and something else. But to debunk that I don’t see what it would add to the story and I don’t really know who her real dad might even be. I don’t really believe she isn’t a Stark but I like to get wild with my theories.

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Thanks for reading.

. argue down below in the comments I’ll try my best to respond to everything I can.

Sup throners, Today I present to you not exactly a theory but a sort of revelation. Remember that