The Twinslayer

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  1. R+L=J v.163

    Martin is clearly giving a specific response to the question whether Jon could get out of his NW oath on the grounds that he was too young when he made it. GRRM is saying that (1) Jon said the words, so he is stuck in the NW, but (2) if he had been as young as 12, he would not have been permitted to take the oath. Meaning that a 12 year old Stark bastard would be too young to take the oath. That in no way implies that being related to the King in the North would create an exception to that rule. Clearly, GRRM changed his mind about this. Which is understandable given that the SSMs are mostly just off the cuff responses to fan questions while the books themselves are carefully crafted, heavily edited, and very complex. He probably did not even remember that old 1999 SSM when he published ADWD, 12 years later. Because (like all of the other SSMs) it was nowhere close to canon and therefore did not matter.
  2. R+L=J v.163

    I thought perhaps the sneeze referred to the Spring Sickness killing off a large portion of House Targaryen, brought Aerys I to the throne, and raised Bloodraven to become Hand. Probably a significant number. Maybe all of them. My point, of course, was just that the SSMs have, shall we say, varying degrees of reliability.
  3. R+L=J v.163

    Here is an SSM from November 1999: "the Watch would not give the oath to a boy that was seriously minor, like a 12 year old." Here is a quote from Sam in AFFC: "Osric Stark was ten when he was chosen [to be Lord Commander], but he served for sixty years. That's four, my lord. You're not even close to being the youngest chosen." Back OT, do you think the love-struck price is Rhaegar? Or Duncan the Small?
  4. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Thanks. I think it is very possible that R+L=J (although I think the polygamous marriage theory is ridiculous). But I also think there are other possible candidates for Jon's mother (and for Lyanna's child) and more importantly I think GRRM has done a good job ensuring that there are several plausible candidates for both Jon's mother and Lyanna's child. That said, if I had the time it would be fun to go through the R+L=J "reference guide" and point out all the fan fiction it contains. There are good arguments for R+L=J but there is also a lot of information that is either very tenuous or outright wrong.
  5. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    I don't have time to get into everything you are being told here, but I would encourage you to take it all with a grain of salt. For example, I don't think anyone knows "the exact timeline for Jon's birth." Many people think they do because of a statement GRRM made in July 1999, after he published ACOK and before he published ASOS. You can find it in the link at the bottom of this post. I would encourage you to read the whole statement with its context in mind and consider a few things. First, one thing GRRM says is that he is giving "a little tidbit from SOS." In other words, he has written a chapter of ASOS and he is going to tell us what that chapter will reveal: that Ashara was a lady companion to Princess Elia in King's Landing in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar. Why is that important? For two reasons. That "tidbit" does not appear anywhere in ASOS. So GRRM changed his mind. He revised the chapter to say something different from what it said when he made the statement. And second, he changed his mind about the pertinent fact. We know Ashara was not a lady companion to Elia in KL in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar because the world book (published more than 15 years after the SSM) tells us that at that time Elia and Rhaegar lived on Dragonstone. So we know that the "SSM" from 1999 reflected something GRRM was thinking about including in ASOS but then decided (1) not to include in that book, and (2) to alter completely in a later book. In other words, the SSM that supposedly pinpoints Jon's birth on a timeline reflected nothing more than a rough draft that was soon discarded. And this is not just nit-picking. The question GRRM was asked and which prompted him to reveal this information was a question designed to prove that N+A=J is impossible because Ned and Ashara weren't together at the right time. The whole point of GRRM's answer was to say that the timeline does work for N+A=J because Ashara could move around the 7 kingdoms before and during Robert's Rebellion as easily as Catelyn went from Riverrun to the Reach to Storm's End during the War of the Five Kings. In other words, if GRRM wants there to be a Ned/Ashara meeting 9 months before Jon's birth, he can very easily write about it and it will be believable in light of all of the other information we already have. That gives us a clue about what we would find in the rough draft GRRM had on hand when he gave the 1999 SSM and which he later scrapped. In all likelihood, that draft chapter recounted information about a meeting Ned and Ashara had 9 months before Jon's birth. Meaning that GRRM had to figure out both when the meeting occurred and when Jon's birth occurred. And because he said Jon was born 8-9 months before Dany, we know that that meeting would have happened 8 or 9 months before the Sack of King's Landing. But you won't find any explicit reference to that meeting in ASOS. GRRM scrapped it. Which means there is no need for him to fix Jon's birth at a point in time 9 months after that meeting. In all likelihood, what he thought about the timing of Jon's birth when he made the SSM statement went out the window when he decided to scrap the explicit reference to the Ned/Ashara meeting. Which makes sense, because we know he was playing with the timeline for Robert's Rebellion when he wrote ASOS and it appears that he changed some of the things we learned in earlier books. In AGOT and ASOS, it is implied that Ned married Catelyn before the fighting started (the war lasted a year and they were apart for a year after their marriage). Catelyn also says that Ned married her in Brandon's place because that is what tradition dictated. In ASOS, we are told the marriage happened well into the rebellion (after the Battle of the Bells) and it was the price for Hoster Tully's entry into the war. So the timeline for Ned's marriage to Catelyn shifted between the publication of AGOT and the publication of ASOS. And in AGOT, Ned says the war started to stop the murder of children after Aerys had killed some unnamed hostages. In ASOS we are told it started when Aerys demanded to kill Ned and Robert, both of whom were men grown. So even the reason for the rebellion was changed between book 1 and book 3. So I think it is safe to say that any comments GRRM made about the timing of Jon's birth when he was writing ASOS are not to be relied upon. The only thing I we learn from this SSM is that GRRM thinks that N+A=J is not ruled out by anything related to the timeline. One final thought here: what replaced the draft chapter about Ashara in ASOS? I think it is the discussion between Ned Dayne, Arya and Harwin. Ned Dayne says that Ned Stark and Ashara were in love based on what his aunt Allyria (Ashara's sister) has told him. Harwin sees how much that upsets Arya, confirms that he heard the same story in Winterfell, but tries to comfort Arya by saying it might not be true. I noticed that you were encouraged by another poster to believe that Harwin's statement (that it might not be true) and to disbelieve Ned Dayne. You should take that with a grain of salt, too, for a few reasons. First, we know that there are at least four sources for the stories about Ned and Ashara: Cersei, Catelyn, Allyria Dayne, and whoever told Harwin. Cersei and Catelyn at least were mature women during the war. If they think it is possible, then that means it is possible. Second, we know Harwin was very young when Ned Stark shut down all talk of Ashara in Winterfell. So his only knowledge comes from rumors he heard as a child. He may (or may not) really think that N+A is unlikely, but that is based purely on rumors he heard as a young child. Third, there is no good reason to doubt that Allyria knows exactly what she is talking about. There is a theory that she must be very young (like Harwin) because during AGOT she is betrothed to Beric Dondarrion. The theory is that the reason they are betrothed and not married is that she must be too young. If she is too young to be married in AGOT, then she may not even have been born at the time of Robert's Rebellion, meaning she could be as young as Ned Dayne himself (12 in ASOS). But that is nonsense. For one thing, Beric is "espoused" to Ned Dayne's aunt. It does not say that the aunt in question is Allyria. But if it is her, the way that word is used elsewhere in the books suggests that "espoused" means married, not just betrothed. So if it is Allyria, she and Beric have been married -- not just betrothed -- for five years when ASOS happens. For yet another, even if she is just betrothed to Beric, we don't know that she is a young maid. Plenty of women are betrothed or married late in life. Lady Hornwood is past childbearing years when she approaches Bran about making a match for her. Cersei is in her mid to late 30's when Tywin discusses betrothing her to Willas Tyrell. And, we know that Allyria has at least two siblings who were adults during Robert's Rebellion. It is unlikely (in Westeros) that their mother had children as much as 20 or 25 years apart in age. It is, however, entirely possible that Allyria is an older woman who had to wait until Beric was old enough to marry her, meaning she could be very close to the same age as Ashara, or even a twin sister or an older sister, who knows exactly what went on between her sister and Ned Stark.
  6. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    It comes straight from Ned's dream. "In his dream, his friends rode with him, as they had in life." So, they ride up to the toj. We even get a description of one of the horses. "Lord Dustin on his great red stallion." And they stay on the horses. "In the dream they were only shadows, grey wraiths on horses made of mist." Ned remembers that he had the numerical advantage. "They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life." This is one of the things that makes the memory bitter for Ned. The KG were on foot. "Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, had a sad smile on his lips. The hilt of the greatsword Dawn poked up over his right shoulder. Ser Oswell Whent was on one knee, sharpening his blade on a whetstone." And: "Between them stood fierce old Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, Lord Commander of the Kinsguard." There is no mention of Ned and his men dismounting and no mention of the KGs mounting up. They just talk, and Arthur Dayne "donned his helm" and then "unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands." The next thing that happens is that "they came together in a rush ...". If the KG had mounted horses before the fight, it would have said that Arthur donned his helm, mounted his horse, and unsheathed Dawn. The last thing Ned says is this: "No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." If Ned dismounted, it would have been easy for GRRM to write: "No," Ned said sadly as he dismounted. "Now it ends." But that isn't what happened. Ned's seven used their warhorses to ride down the three unmounted KG and the KG still managed to kill five of them. That is quite impressive.
  7. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    One of the reasons Ned and his friends were able to overcome the 3KG is that Ned and his friends were mounted while Hightower, Dayne and Whent were on foot. One or two of the KG probably died or at least were seriously injured from being trampled in the initial charge.
  8. Bloodraven during Robert's Rebellion

    It is possible Bloodraven is in league with the Others. Melisandre has a vision of the the "Other" that has a thousand eyes. He also may have been working against the interests of the 7 Kingdoms all along. He supported a weak king against Daemon Blackfyre, who may have been a stronger king. Then, what if he influenced the events that led to the death of Baelor Breakspear and paved the way for Baelor's weaker brothers to succeed? And at the Great Council, was he the one who offered the throne to Maester Aemon, who probably would not have been a great king? What if he then influenced the events that led up to Robert's Rebellion to further weaken the kingdoms and to eliminate the line of Aerys and Rhaella (which was supposed to produce the Prince that was Promised)? That led to the ascension of a king, Joffrey, who had no Targaryen blood and could not be the PtwP. And, we know he influenced Bran to prevent him from revealing the Jaime/Cersei incest and that Jaime pushed him to his fall. ("Not that, it shrieked at him. Forget that, you do not need it now, put it aside, put it away."). If Bran had spoken up then about the incest, Robert and the Iron Throne could have crushed the Lannisters and avoided the War of Five Kings. The united 7 Kingdoms would have been strong and there would have been a Stark in Winterfell when the Others eventually arrived. He also seems to be able to control wights (look at Coldhands). Bloodraven may not be a benevolent force at all.
  9. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    Thank you. Sansa's betrothal gown caught my attention because it was described in so many places, making me think it was important. It was also interesting that it went through transformations that reflected what was going on around her. At first it was pure white, reflecting her innocence and naivety. Later, it was blemished as we started to see that her engagement to Joffrey was not the pleasant thing she thought it would be. Then she dyes it black to mourn her father. It has gone from something pure and happy to something that is spoiled and sad. The only other white gown that is described in the books is Lyanna's. Like Sansa, Lyanna was betrothed to a Baratheon, so it is easy to see why she would have the only other white gown. Lyanna got her white gown the same way Sansa got hers -- as a gift from her fiance's family (the same family). And, like Sansa's, Lyanna's gown was transformed in a way that reflected what was going on around her. Her engagement to Robert was spoiled by blood and gore (the war that broke out after she disappeared). Lyanna might have died in childbirth, but if she did there is no reason to think she was wearing a nightgown when it happened. When Dany goes into labor, it happens during the day and she is wearing clothes. There is no reason to think that she would have changed into a nightgown after starting labor and prior to the delivery. Especially if, like most Westerosi ladies, she did not usually wear a nightgown to bed. In AGOT, Maester Luwin comes into Ned's and Cat's chamber while they are in bed. Catelyn is wrapped in furs, but when she gets up, she is naked. Ned protests that Luwin is there and Cat replies "Maester Luwin has delivered all my children. This is no time for false modesty." It does not sound like Catelyn put on a nightgown to deliver her children, either. And it would not make sense for a woman in labor to put on a white gown and to wear it in a way that it would be spattered with gore during the birth process. That would ruin the gown. I disagree that the dream is a literal depiction of how each character died. When Robb walks in bleeding from his stab wounds, Grey Wind is walking beside him. But we know that Robb died in Lord Frey's dining hall while Grey Wind died in the kennel. So that is not a literal depiction of how Robb died at all. And Lyanna is depicted wearing a crown of blue roses on her head in Theon's dream, but Ned's tells us that she died holding dead black flowers in her hand. Again, it is not a literal depiction of Lyanna's death. So Lyanna may or may not have died literally wearing the white gown Theon sees in his dream. I think it is symbolic, reflecting the fact that, when she died, she was betrothed to Robert Baratheon and that her bloody death is what ended the betrothal. This is confirmed by Robert, who says: "If Lyanna had lived, we should have been brothers, bound by blood as well as affection." And note that I did not say it was a Baratheon wedding gown. Stark women wear Stark colors to their weddings. Sansa wore gray and white to her wedding. Jeyne Poole (as fake Arya) wore the same when she wed Ramsay. The white gown is a Baratheon betrothal gown. Sansa received hers as a gift from Joffrey's family upon her betrothal -- years before the wedding would happen. Robert says Sansa is "Old enough for betrothal. The marriage can wait a few years." So Lyanna likely received the same gift when she was betrothed to Robert. Ned may even have brought it with him when he approached Lord Rickard on Robert's behalf. And whether she was with Rhaegar willingly or not, she likely continued to sleep naked. If they were lovers, she would have slept naked with him. If she was a captive, why would Rhaegar give her a night shift? Sansa doesn't wear a gown to bed even after she becomes Cersei's prisoner.
  10. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    Just to add, in ASOS, Tyrion IV, Tyrion decides to stop sleeping naked and commands Sansa to start wearing a "sleeping shift" as well. Which strongly suggests that Lyanna would not have worn a nightgown (unless she was married to someone she was not having relations with, like Sansa and Tyrion). So the white gown Lyanna is wearing in Theon's dream is not a sleeping shift, it is not a wedding gown, it matches the description of a Baratheon betrothal gown, and it does not match the description of any other gown. It is a Baratheon betrothal gown.
  11. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    Because highborn ladies don't wear nightgowns to bed. When Sansa goes to bed, she just unlaces the gown she wore during the day and slips into bed. Lady Merryweather sleeps naked (Cersei does not have to remove a nightgown to commence intimacy). And because even if they did wear nightgowns to sleep there is no reason to think they wear them to give birth. And because the symbolism in Theron's dream is pretty powerful, so GRRM makes us work to find the solution to the puzzle. Sansa's betrothal gown is described in several different places (when she gets it, when it is stained, when it is dyed), so it is designed to catch the careful reader's attention. Then we get Theron's dream of Lyanna in a white gown, realize that that is the only white gown other than Sansa's Baratheon betrothal gown, and we put two and two together.
  12. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    Jaime saw Rhaella "the morning of the day she left for Dragonstone." She was getting into a wagon that took her "to the waiting ship." It seems unlikely that she would go to the ship in the morning and then wait there to sail until late enough in the day for a "midnight flight." The clues that Lyanna was wearing a Baratheon betrothal gown come from Sansa. When Sansa is betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei gives her a white gown. We get a good description of it after Arya stains it and Sansa dyes it black and uses it as a mourning gown (mourning for her dead father). The parallels here to Lyanna are obvious. We know Lyanna is not wearing a wedding gown in Theron's vision (as some have suggested) because it does not match the description of the wedding gown Sansa wears when she weds Tyrion or the gown Jayne wears for her wedding to Ramsay.
  13. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    Are you suggesting that he would have kept trying until Lyanna had a daughter and then stop sleeping with her? In that case, it would be awkward to be one of Lyanna's sons, growing up being told that your older half-siblings from Elia plus your little sister are the three dragon heads and you are just extras. More likely, the birth of a son would lead Rhaegar to believe that the Rhaenys, Aegon and the new boy were the three dragon heads and it was time to stop sleeping with Lyanna lest they end up with a four or five headed dragon.
  14. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    It is very unlikely that Rickard would have broken the Robert/Lyanna betrothal just because Lyanna said she preferred Rhaegar. For one thing, Robert (and Ned) would object. For another, a betrothal is a solemn, binding vow. When Joffrey broke off his betrothal to Sansa, he had to get the High Septon's permission. It is also unlikely that Aerys would agree. He selected Elia for Rhaegar. And it is unlikely that Rhaegar wanted anything long-term with Lyanna. If he was chasing the prophecy, he was trying to create the third head of the dragon. Once he had that third head, the relationship with Lyanna would end because he would want to avoid having more children. The dragon has three heads. Not four, or five, or more than that. So the most Rhaegar was planning with Lyanna was something short.
  15. Just Rhaegar and Lyanna things

    There are a number of clues that Lyanna and Rhaegar were not in love. For example, what is interesting about the passage you quoted is that we have confirmation that much of what Viserys told Dany in that quote is false. Viserys told her about a "midnight flight to Dragonstone." But later, Jaime tells us he saw Rhaella departing for Dragonstone in the morning. Viserys told her that the "Usurper's dogs, the Lords Lannister and Stark" sacked King's Landing. But we learn later from Ned that he did not take part in the sack. So we should keep that in mind when reading that Viserys told her that Rhaegar died for the woman he loved. Because Ned tells us later that Robert "avenged Lyanna at the Trident." It is also worth remembering Theon's dream, where he sees Lyanna wearing her white Baratheon betrothal gown "spattered with gore." That does not sound like love. And Ned's memory of the moment all the smiles died. He says Rhaegar named Lyanna the "queen of beauty." Only one other person uses that term (rather than "queen of love and beauty"): Littlefinger. It is how he describes his weird and unwelcome obsession with Catelyn. And one of the few quotes we get from Lyanna is that she does not want to be with a man who won't keep to one bed, suggesting that tells you something bad about his character. Why would she then run off with a married man? And the comparisons between Arya and Lyanna are interesting. Consider this: Ned tells Arya that she will "marry a king and rule his castle, and your sons will be knights and princes and lords and, yes, perhaps even a High Septon." Arya's response is: "No... that's Sansa." Arya (Lyanna) is not a romantic who would run off with a handsome prince.