The Twinslayer

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  1. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    We don't know whether the prophecy said anything about whether the three heads of the dragon had to have parents who were married. We don't even know if the concept of bastardy was recognized in Valyria or Ashai (or wherever the prophecy comes from) in the same way it is recognized in the 7 kingdoms. What we do know is that polygamy was either illegal or, at the least, highly controversial, in the 7 kingdoms. So Rhaegar would have to know that an attempt to get away with it would cause enormous problems, potentially pitting Dorne against the North and the Iron Throne against the Faith. Rhaegar would have to know that Maegor brought on tremendous trouble by attempting polygamy and that Aegon IV did the same when he legitimized his bastards. So Rhaegar would need to have a very good reason to try polygamy and invite all of that difficulty. What could that reason be? If your answer lies in the prophecy, that is an assumption that is not supported by any hints we get about what the prophecy says. The only thing you have pointed to is Rhaegar's statement that the dragon must have three heads and the suggestion that Aerion Targaryen (or his wife, Valaena) had four children but only three were dragonriders. But we don't actually know that Orys was a bastard brother of Aegon's -- that is just a rumor. And, we do know that trueborn Targaryens may not be "dragons" (Viserys is described as no dragon) while Targaryen bastards can be "dragons" (Daemon Blackfyre, for example). And you don't have to be a trueborn Targaryen to bond with a dragon (Nettles, for example). Rhaegar would know all of this. Why risk losing the support of Dorne and the Faith if what you are trying to do is to unite the 7 Kingdoms in preparation for the War for the Dawn? It seems to me that, once he took Lyanna -- and offended the Starks and Barratheons -- he would want to do everything he could to minimize the offense to everyone else (the Faith, Dorne, etc.). I am just pointing out that in these books, "usurper" refers to anyone who is trying to take a throne, not only to someone who has succeeded. It is a small point, and just demonstrates (I think) that the KGs' reference to the "usurper" does not mean they knew that Robert sat the throne already. I think the difference between Selmy's statement about guarding mistresses and bastards and Jorah's comment that Dany can take two husbands is that there is really only one reason why GRRM would have Selmy make that statement in what is really the fullest explanation provided in the books for what the KG vow requires and because it has obvious potential relevance for Jon. But the statement about polygamy is quite likely to come up in the future for Dany. There is an alternative that perfectly explains all of this. Lyanna is a valuable hostage. That is shown by the fact that the Lannisters grabbed Sansa and tried to grab Arya, and why Tywin wanted Catelyn taken hostage rather than killed at the Red Wedding. And why Aerys seized Elia, to keep Dorne on side. So consider this: Suppose the KGs found out that Rhaegar and Aerys were dead and that Viserys and Rhaella had fled. And suppose they believed that Aegon and Rhaenys were either dead or hostage in King's Landing. What is the best way to defend Viserys, Rhaella, Aegon and Rhaenys? Is it for three knights to attempt to rescue Aegon and Rhaenys? Is it for one (or two or three) knights to go to Dragonstone today? Or is it to seize Lyanna as a hostage, take her to Dragonstone as soon as she is able to travel, and hold her hostage against the lives of Aegon and Rhaenys (if they are alive) or to prevent an invasion of Dragonstone? That would be a normal thing to do in Westeros, and Ned would respect that -- he took Theon hostage as a small boy. And it makes sense: Ned has no respect for Jaime, who killed the king Ned was planning to kill. Ned has respect for the toj KGs because they did exactly what their duty required: they protected the royal family from harm or threat by taking a valuable hostage. And it makes the relationship between Rhaegar and Lyanna irrelevant to understanding the KGs' actions. Sansa went from fiance to hostage in an instant, and the transformation was triggered by the death of the king. Elia went from Prince's wife to King's hostage just as quickly, triggered by the Battle of the Bells. Why would Lyanna's status be any different after Rhaegar died at the Trident? And it would explain why the KGs fought Ned. There is no good reason to keep him away from his sister unless they are holding her hostage.
  2. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    There is nothing to indicate that the KG believed Aegon to be dead. Aegon is never mentioned. But if they do know that Aegon is dead, it seems impossible that they don't also know that Viserys is the "new heir." Indeed. Again, it is likely they did not know that Aegon was (supposedly) dead and they also chose not to try to go protect him in KL. Jaime says in his third POV chapter (ASOS) that when Rhaegar could not be found, Aerys turned to the next best thing and raised Connington to the Handship. I don't have the world book handy but it lists Rhaegar's closest companions, including Connington, and then gives the number of companions that went with Rhaegar when he left on the journey that ultimately led him to Lyanna. It matches up with the list of his closest companions. The use of the term "usurper" to describe Robert does not imply that they knew that he sat the Iron Throne. In AGOT, Varys calls Stannis a "usurper." In ACOK, Tyrion calls Stannis a "usurper." Stannis calls Renly a usurper. Melisandre calls Balon Greyjoy a usurper. And so on. People were looking at Robert as a replacement for Aerys since the Battle of Gulltown. As long as the KGs knew that a rebellion was underway, they would refer to Robert as a usurper even if they did not know about the Trident or the Sack. That works both ways. There is absolutely no plot-relevant reason for Barristan to say that the KGs guard mistresses and bastards if we aren't going to see them guarding a mistress and bastard. In all the books -- main series, world book, TRP, TPATQ, and Dunk & Egg -- the only candidates so far are Lyanna for the mistress and Jon for the bastard. Perhaps for the same reason men of the Night's Watch visit the brothels in Mole's Town but don't marry the prostitutes. And the same reason Aegon IV did not marry any of his mistresses. The swore a vow that prevented it. There is no need for Jon to be born legitimate in order to be a dragon. Daemon Blackfyre (black dragon) and Bloodraven (white dragon) are both bastard-dragons. And Jon, with his white (instead of gray) dire wolf can be a dire wolf without being a legitimate Stark.
  3. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    I agree and would add that if there was a "decisive moment" it would have to be not only after the Sack but after the KG learned from a reliable source that Aegon was dead. We have zero reason to think the KG believed Aegon to be dead because his name is not mentioned in Ned's dream. Ned's dream accounts for Rhaegar, Aerys, Rhaella and Visersys. But no mention of Aegon, so we should assume that they believed he was alive and held prisoner in King's Landing. It is also said that vows given at sword point are invalid. Which means that vows are only valid if you are competent to make them. Once Rhaegar made his vow, in a sept, to be in a monogamous marriage with Elia, he lost his ability to enter into a new marriage for so long as Elia was alive. I will take that as confirmation that you concede the point.
  4. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Yes, good analysis. The Act of Settlement dealt with marriage, too. If you were a protestant and you married a catholic, you lost your claim to the throne. That is why, when Peter Phillips (Queen Elizabeth's oldest grandson) proposed to Autumn Kelly, she converted away from the catholic church before the wedding. Otherwise, Peter and all of his descendants would have been excluded from the succession. But that did not stop Queen Elizabeth from taking the throne, even though she is descended from Henry VII and Henry's catholic wife, Elizabeth of York. So the point is that it is easy to pass a law that addresses succession to the throne that will prohibit in the future something that was permitted in the past. The fact that Queen Elizabeth's ancestors married catholics but her descendants could not in no way calls into question her right to sit the throne. Just like the fact that Aegon I was allowed to take two wives but Jaehaerys I and everyone after him was not in no way calls into question the right of Jaehaerys or any of his descendants to sit the Iron Throne. There is precedent in the USA for slavery but that does not make it legal there.
  5. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    It would be pretty easy to pass a law saying: (1) the marriages of Aegon I are ratified and the offspring of those marriages recognized as legimate, but (2) any future polygamous "marriage" will be a nullity. The English Act of Settlement of 1701 said that no Roman Catholic could inherit the English throne. That did not stop George I, and every single subsequent king or queen of England, from claiming the English throne -- even though they all trace their lineage back to a line of Catholic kings.
  6. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    I agree with basically all of this and will just add a few thoughts. There is one more big differences between Aegon/Rhaenys/Visenya (who got away with polygamy) and Maegor (who did not). Aegon/Rhaenys/Visenya ALL had dragons, while none of Maegor's wives did. Who is going to say to a dragonrider who claims to be a queen that in reality she is just a royal mistress? This is reinforced by the way polygamy is introduced in the novels. The first mention is by Jorah, who tells Dany that she can take two husbands when the context is the same as Aegon's: the marriages will take place outside of Westeros and all three of the marriage partners are going to be dragonriders. And there is an important difference between Aegon I and Rhaegar. Rhaegar's marriage to Elia was performed in the Faith, which requires a vow of monogamy. The Faith might recognize the validity of a first marriage conducted in the Valyrian custom or before a tree. But after conducting Rhaegar's marriage to Elia in a sept, the Faith would never recognize the validity of a second marriage that violated the vows taken in the sept, or the legitimacy of a child born of that "marriage." And Rhaegar was a scholar. He would have known about the problems caused by Maegor's polygamy and by Targaryen kings having legitmate (or legitimized) children from two different noble houses. But he also would have known that virtually every other Prince of Dragonstone before him freely took mistresses with no negative consequences. Why would he invite the kind of trouble caused by Maegor's polygamy and Aegon IV's decision to legitimize Daemon Blackfyre? That makes no sense. On your #1-3, I agree that TWOIAF confirms that the line of succession between the king's grandson and his son is not fixed. But we already knew that when we learned in ACOK that a Great Council chose Egg over Prince Maegor. That told us that there was precedent for the king's younger son to inherit, and that the kingship does not pass automatically by primogeniture upon the death of the prior king -- when there is doubt, the Iron Throne remains vacant until the new king is chosen. I don't agree with this. The person who told Dany the fairy-tale version of Rhaegar and Lyanna was Viserys. "Yet sometimes Dany would picture the way it had been, so often had her brother told her the stories. The midnight flight to Dragonstone, moonlight shimmering on the ship's black sails. Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. The sack of King's Landing by the ones Viserys called the Usurper's dogs, the lords Lannister and Stark." It is only later that we learn that Viserys is wrong: that is, when Ned tells us that Robert "avenged" Lyanna at the Trident and that he (Ned) did not participate in the Sack, and when Jaime tells us that Rhaella and Viserys fled during the day time rather than at night. And we know that Connington was probably with Rhaegar when Rhaegar took Lyanna but we also know that Connington not only did not witness a Rhaegar-Lyanna wedding, he believes that it did not happen. We know this from his POV in ADWD when he remembers Rhaegar's wedding (only one) and points out that Aegon/Young Griff that it would be impossible for Aegon/Young Griff to take more than one wife. There is no way GRRM would have included that in Connington's POV if it had ever remotely occured to Connington that Rhaegar would have tried to do such a thing. And I don't believe there is any way Hightower would have "crowned" Lyanna's baby. Jaime and Barristan tell us that the worst KG are the ones who play the game of thrones, and Jaime says that Criston Cole (the "Kingmaker") was one of the worst KG ever. I don't think Hightower would want to go down in history as a new Criston Cole any more than Rhaegar would want to be seen as a new Maegor the Cruel.
  7. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Thanks. I don't think there is anything unusual about the way Connington introduces Aegon to the Golden Company. The reason he says "firstborn son" is because Aegon is not Rhaegar's firstborn. Rhaenys was. If Aegon was older than Rhaenys, Connington would just have said "firstborn," which is the way Cersei describes Joffrey and the way Catelyn thinks of Robb. I also don't think there is anything unusual about the fact that Connington mentions Elia. If you look at Jaime Lannister's entry in the White Book, it says he is the firstborn son of Tywin and Joanna. So that is a common way of describing a man who has an older sister. Also, in order for the interpretation you are suggesting to be correct, Connington would have to know that Rhaegar had another son by another woman. But Connington left Rhaegar before Jon was born (that is, prior to the Battle of the Bells). Unless one of Connington's companions was at the tower of joy after Jon's birth, that seems impossible. Thanks. I also think Jon is not a very capable leader. Ned taught his sons that a leader needs to eat with his men -- never ask a man to die for a leader he does not know. But one of the first things Jon does after becoming Lord Commander is to stop eating with his men. "Those days are gone. The realization twisted in his belly like a knife. They had chosen him to rule." One of the next things he does is to send all his allies away. Then, after isolating himself, he starts giving orders his men can't understand. It's not surprising he was stabbed. It is true that Connington left Rhaegar before Rhaegar left Lyanna, so Connington would not have seen everything. But if Rhaegar went through a ceremony while Connington was there, or if he even discussed the possibility, Connington would have known. Regarding the comments about Dany, I would agree with you if Connington had said that Dany would be less likely to marry Aegon if he already had a wife. But that is not what Connington said. He said that if Aegon took a wife, he would not be "free" to marry Dany. That means that Aegon can't take a second wife even if Dany was willing to do it. Anyway, the point is that Connington is the only POV character who was with Rhaegar and Lyanna after the abduction. I think GRRM deliberately included these musings in Connington's chapter (and Barristan's musing about KG guarding mistresses and bastards, and the KG obeying the order to leave the king without KG protection in TPATQ, and a number of other clues) to dispel the theory that Jon was born "legitimate."
  8. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    One of the reasons I think this never happened is that Jon Connington -- described as "the next best thing to Rhaegar" -- is only aware of Rhaegar having one wedding. We get this from Connington himself: "Jon Connington remembered Prince Rhaegar's wedding all too well. Elia was never worthy of him." I think that if Rhaegar had gone through a second wedding ceremony with Lyanna Stark, Connington would have known about it, since he was one of Rhaegar's best friends and the world book strongly suggests that Connington was with Rhaegar when he set out on the journey that led to Lyanna's abduction. I also think that if this is something Rhaegar thought possible, Connington would at least entertain the idea that it was possible. After all, not only was he one of Rhaegar's best friends, he also was a high lord who served for a time as Hand under the last Targaryen king. Yet, when it is suggested to him that Aegon marry a Westerosi noblewoman, Connington says: "Daenerys Targaryen may yet come home one day. Aegon must be free to marry her." Now, if polygamy is allowed for Targaryens, why would a marriage now prevent a marriage to Dany in the future? Note that Connington says that if Aegon has a wife, he won't be "free" to marry Dany -- not that it would make Dany less willing to marry him. So Connington thinks that taking two wives is something Aegon is prohibited from doing -- even though he also knows that there is nothing to stop Aegon from engaging in incest with his aunt.
  9. I like this theory. On the annulment, it is true that only the High Septon can annul a marriage. But you only need that if you want to marry someone new. Many couples in Westeros live apart while remaining married. For example, take Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce. They hated each other and lived apart. But they were still married, which prevented Daemon from taking a new wife. So Bloodraven could easily have taken Ambrose's wife away from him. That would be a real punishment, because the wife would be a hostage held by the crown and Ambrose would be prevented from taking a new wife. And young Nan could easily have run away as the OP suggests. That is what Lynesse Hightower did to Jorah Mormont, and there was nothing Jorah could do about it.
  10. How did Cersei get Jamie in the KG

    I'll admit to a little hyperbole. But to me it seems obvious that that is what happened. In terms of "evidence," as I said before, it is circumstantial. If someone has a established a pattern of behaving in a certain way, that is evidence of their behavior. The first time we see Balon Greyjoy, he establishes that he pays the "iron price" and not the gold. So if you see him wielding Heartsbane, it is a pretty good bet that he killed Randyll Tarly and took it from him. We would not assume that Balon bought it. As another example, Ramsay Snow is in the habit of torturing women by hunting them with his dogs. If you find a woman fleeing for her life in the vicinity of the Dreadfort, and you hear a pack of baying dogs who seem to be pursuing her, it is a pretty good bet that Ramsay is responsible -- even though you have no direct evidence of his involvement this time.
  11. How did Cersei get Jamie in the KG

    I think it quite possible you are right that it was not Cersei's idea for Jaime to join the KG. But she thinks it was. And she claims to have arranged it. I doubt she believes that at 15 she convinced Aerys to do it just because it was a good idea. She thinks she arranged it because she thinks she manipulated Aerys into doing what she wanted him to do -- by sleeping with him. And Aerys got to humiliate Tywin not just by taking away his heir, but by sleeping with Cersei. Sure, one or other reason may have been sufficient to cause Tywin to resign and return to CR, but that does not mean that both did not happen. It is no leap of logic to suggest that Cersei and Aerys behaved in this matter precisely the way they behaved many other times in the books. Finally, if you are right that Cersei believed that by getting Jaime to join the KG she was stealing Jaime's birthright for herself, she would need to be sure that Tyrion would not become Tywin's heir. We know she did not discuss it with Tywin -- he was surprised at Jaime joined the KG. The only other person who could give her that guarantee was Aerys. Perhaps as pillow talk.
  12. How did Cersei get Jamie in the KG

    Funny. And she tried to seduce Ned, too. The implication is that she had only one method for getting people to do what she wanted them to do. Yandel is also a propagandist for Tywin. The support for Cersei having sex with Tywin is circumstantial: Cersei uses sex (or tries to use sex) to get men to do what she wants them to do (join the KG for me; kill the king for me; support my bastard's ascension to the throne for me! and so on); she tells Jaime she has the power to get him into the KG; Jaime gets into the KG; and she believes she was the one who achieved this. Add the fact that Aerys was promiscuous, he supposededly slept with Joanna, he liked to humiliate Tywin, and Tywin resigned as Hand and got Cersei away from KL immediately after whatever caused Aerys to name Jaime to the KG, and I think the conclusion is unescapable-- Cersei slept with Aerys to get Jaime in the KG. Even if someone else was really pulling the strings. Because Cersei did not know there was a puppet master. She just played her part by manipulating Aerys the only way she knew.
  13. How did Cersei get Jamie in the KG

    She slept with Lancel to get him to kill Robert. That was after Jaime but before the Kettleblacks.
  14. How did Cersei get Jamie in the KG

    Cersei clearly believes that she orchestrated Jaime's entry in to the Kingsguard. And she also clearly explains to Sansa in ASOS the ways in which she influences men: "Tears are not a woman's only weapon. You've got another between your legs." It is unlikely that Cersei used tears to convince Aerys to bring Jaime into the Kingsguard. And we almost never see her use that "weapon" in the books. The way she encourages men in the books to do her bidding is by sleeping with them. Why would her m.o. for getting Jaime into the Kingsguard be any different? And, if Tywin suspected, that would be a convincing motivation for him to resign as Hand and move Cersei back to the Rock. As for Aerys, he seems to have been a rake. The World Book suggests that he stopped after a time, but if the author was a propagandist for Tywin, that would explain the suggestion that Aerys stopped before Cersei came along.
  15. How did Cersei get Jamie in the KG

    I think she slept with Aerys.