Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:14 AM
The most likely switching would have occured between Ashara's babe and Elia's babe. It's been stated before, they probably got pregnant at about the same time, and were most likely at the same place. I'm not so sure about the timeline, but if the babes were born shortly before the sacking, Elia could have exchanged her live son, with Ashara's still born daughter.
This way baby 'Aegon' would actually have been dead already and Elia a good actress. The reason for the switch could be as simple as Aerys forbidding Elia to leave Kingslanding with Rhaegar's heir. Aerys might not have cared about Ashara and her bastard at all.
Two mothers and two babe's would have been accounted for, and only a few might have known about Ashara's girl being still born, thus, few might have blinked twice at seeing her leave with a babe in arm.
However, I think this unlikely, because Ashara has dark hair, and if her daughter was half a Stark, she'd have had dark hair too... Aegon does have silver hair as a babe, no? The hair could have been died.... though that pauses the problem of finding a proper hair-dye, whilst on a possibly tight schedule.
Also, the still born babe couldn't have been kept very long before it started to smell, or before people started to ask questions... So, it probably could only have happened if the births occured like... right when Robert was at the gates, a day or two before, at the most. And Aegon being described as 'still a babe at the breast' seems to indicate he was a bit older than a few days...and rather a few weeks if not months, old.
Of course, it could be that Elia was pregnant before the tournament, in which case Aegon might have been older than Ashara's daughter, and the daughter could have been born in the chaos of the sack (depending on how much time passes between Harrenhall and the sack, or whether it was at the Tournament Ashara got pregnant, I suppose) With the chaos, few people would have paid close attention to 'baby Aegon', and I'd imagine Elia would keep 'him' in her rooms, wrapped in blankets.
Its possible, no one would notice the different in size, once the baby's skull was smashed against the wall. Who would look at that picture for more than a few seconds?
I don't see how any other switching could be possible, or what purpose they'd serve. Nor do I see why Ashara would switch her baby with Elia, if it was Elia having a still born.