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  1. It's all good. I don't have time to say much right now either. Thanks for your answer. I've seen that motto around the boards a lot, and know that she's the queen when it comes to figuring out the timelines, and I know not to expect much from Martin when it comes to timelines and travel times. I don't really sweat that stuff, myself, even in other literary works, but I was asking because this theory hinges on that sort of thing, which Martin told us not to worry about. Nor do I sweat minor detail errors, because I write myself (and you may have noted how verbose I am in some of my comments), and know how hard it is to keep everything straight, even with your notes right beside you or a fresh review in mind, so I'm always in favor of cutting the author some slack with stuff like this (that doesn't really change or mean anything, but actually enhances the characterization and narrative--a fuller look into Aerys II's "legendary, lauded" Kingsguard, with the "finest knights" of the kingdom, who stand outside a door while a woman--any woman, but especially the queen they're foresworn to protect--is raped and have the audacity to claim that because Aerys II is king he can break any law he pleases with impunity (how'd that work out for House Targaryen in the end? House Lannister?), and thereby support the disillusionment of young knights who actually wish to uphold their vows, all of their vows, and believe in the system and all the lies they've been told about it... as well as giving a clearer look at Jaime's youthful idealism and his subsequent brutal disillusionment with knighthood and lifetime organizations, helping the reader to understand better why he's so lost and aimless and willing to sully himself further, etc. As far as "mistakes" go, this is a good one, if ever there was such a thing, because no one would understand Jaime's actions if he were alone on the door, or if he were alone on the door alongside household guards, who he should outrank, even in his youth and inexperience.).
  2. Really? Lord Rossart served Aerys II as Hand for a fortnight, following Chelsted's burning (ETA: for "insulting" Aerys by quitting as Hand when he learned of the wildfire plot. It's clear this plot began in secret whilst Rhaegar was still in residence, but it makes more sense that Chelsted doesn't find out about until after Rhaegar's departure, else he should have approached the crown prince who was sort of "acting" as king, intending to set aside his father, instead of crazy Aerys who'd burn him alive for it--I mean, out of survival instinct alone, if not because it would be more efficient to have Rhaegar act, seize the throne, take control of his father and the wildfire cache, and negotiate with the rebels from his place as king, which might have ended the rebellion if he was willing to make peace. I guess I see this as sort of a "missed opportunity" event; had Jaime simply told Rhaegar what Aerys was planning before he left the city, I don't think Rhaegar would have left the city so long as his father had the authority to raze it to the ground on a whim, with all/half of their family and all of their subjects within.). This is a nice find, indicating a huge timeline conflict that I never really noticed before. ETA: This sequence gives us: Tywin Lannister--Hand until Harrenhal Tourney/Jaime's investiture, whereupon he resigns upon a pretext and returns to Casterly Rock, returning only upon the Sack of King's Landing Orton Merryweather--Hand from Harrenhal to Pre-Battle of the Bells (possibly Battle of Ashford and Robert's retreat northward) Jon Connington---Hand from Pre-Battle of the Bells to Battle of the Bells, thereafter exiled *Rhaegar returns from south, urges father to appoint Tywin to Handship; Tywin does not answer; Kevan apparently does not know that Aerys applied to Tywin for aid during this period* (This also means, Rhaegar returned from the south in the early months of the war, sometime following the Battle of the Bells and Connington's exile, and spent the remainder of the war marshalling his army until the Battle of the Trident, with the long lull in between. It was Lyanna who was missing for a year, not Rhaegar; they spent only a few months together, it appears, from the "new year" following the False Spring to the Battle of the Bells, whereupon Hightower locates Rhaegar and gives him his father's command/request to return to King's Landing and put down the rebellion.) Chelsted--Hand from Battle of the Bells (aftermath) to His Burning by Wildfire upon Resignation Rossart--Hand from Chelsted's Burning/Resignation to Sack of King's Landing Yet we also have this from Jaime about Rhaella's rape the night Chelsted was burned, also from Jaime II: The only way to reconcile these two events is if Rhaegar and Darry left that night, which would be ludicrous, or early the next morning following Rhaella's rape... However, this does not jive with the date of Rhaegar and Darry's deaths, on the Trident, the event being two weeks after their departure from King's Landing. Of their departure we get only this (edited to expand quote, suggestive of "daytime" as their departure--also suggestive of Rhaegar as "acting" king during this period: Jaime calls Rhaegar "Your Grace!" but Joffrey/Tommen, also who are also "crown prince" for a time are never called "Your Grace" during the period of another king's reign...): And we know Dany was born a full nine months after the Sack of King's Landing (which itself was a fortnight after Rhaegar's death on the Trident, with Rhaella fleeing with Viserys to Dragonstone a week after Rhaegar was killed as his army fled south to King's Landing for protection/to regroup). As I said in my post above, a pregnancy going overdue two weeks or a conception delayed a few days is in no way abnormal, but trying to weasel at least a full month into this timespan is extremely difficult. This information is corroborated by Stannis, who claims to have sailed in the next day, only to find that Willem Darry had taken Viserys and Dany across the Narrow Sea, "stealing" them from the soldiers who'd hoped to sell them to Robert to their deaths. It's been corroborated by others as well. This is an iconic storm with monumental political significance, so messing with or mussing up the date of this event would be very strange. I can only conclude there was some sort of mistake made by the author, because Jaime should have been guarding Rhaella's door alone that night, not alongside any of his sworn brothers, who should have been elsewhere... but that isn't possible, given that Jaime would have barged into the room, if it were solely him. The other option I can think of is that Jaime's confused Willem Darry, the master-at-arms, with his sworn brother, Jon Darry, in this memory... but that's also ludicrous crackpot, I admit. ETA: the very last crackpot reconciliation I can make is that they waited two weeks, in wartime, with Crown Prince Rhaegar off to battle the Usurper, to name Rossart as Hand of the King, but I really don't see any evidence of a gap between Chelsted and Rossart. Do you guys have any evidence of one? Hmm... This is a cool catch, whatever it means (mistaken timeline by author or mistaken memory by Jaime). Do you have any quotes or insight that might reconcile this information and make sense of the timeline? Thanks!
  3. Ah, okay. If you'd finished the paragraph you would've seen the context I was asking those questions in (you appear to be addressing differing motives at different times, to me, so although I understand what you're saying Rhaegar's overall motive is--make the promised prince trio with the right woman/women with "magical" dna or family history to address certain prophecies and requirements for each promised person of that trio--but I don't understand what you think Rhaegar's thought processes are at Harrenhal. I debated the inclusion of Ashara at all, because I feared it might be confusing, but added her in because you say he already had a willing and eager partner to make prophecy babies with, so I don't understand why they haven't been actively trying to achieve their goal or why Lyanna became more important to attend to than Ashara at this time. I noticed on other threads you have a tendency to edit your OPs often, and I first read this post days before my initial response, so maybe I've missed or forgotten something crucial about your argument. I'm going back to give your OP another read, in all fairness. I really appreciate and accept your apology. I also apologize if I've frustrated you with my questions or if it seems I'm too focused on minutiae instead of your overall argument. The reason I've been trying to address Aegon's birth in relation to Harrenhal is because I think it's integral to supporting your theory, but I've never seen anyone argue that Aegon was born prior to Harrenhal (he was also still considered a babe at breast upon his death, but with my understanding of the nature of the False Spring, your argument means he could be up to six months older than I think he was when he died, which is pretty startling; six months, I say, to give Elia enough time to recuperate from her deathbed, because that's the only way I see her traveling to Harrenhal for a tourney after Aegon's birth...). I will try to address the broader strokes of your theory. I had refrained, from thinking Aegon's birth was a significant point, as well as not wanting to repeat other posters' responses. Sometimes it's difficult to determine exactly what you're arguing because of the off-the-cuff way you make your arguments, adding in different options as new ideas come to you, and the lack of structured evidence, which is what I'm more accustomed to. Anyway, I will try to engage further, and offer a cyber toast to buried hatchets. So.... I've given your OP a second read, now, and I'll try to address the broader strokes of it. Rhaella and Child Mortality: Rhaella successfully carried a lot of children to term. They suffered high infant mortality rate, which was normal, or might have been targeted by others (say, the "maester conspiracy") who did not want the Targaryens to recover (the accusations of poisoning). Rhaella had few stillbirths or miscarriages, so I think you've really skewed her "success rate" in live births and therefore underestimate the likelihood she could give birth to a healthy Dany (note that Dany, like Viserys, was hidden away from contact with any others who might have been party to murdering Targaryen children, like the maesters, which is the reason Aerys, at least, thinks Viserys survived his infancy, so a repeat with Dany could be possible). Aerys's Rape of X after Chelsted's Death: Text evidence tells us that it was definitely Rhaella that Aerys raped that night, no one else, so you have to find another rape by Aerys at that time whose victim might have been "obfuscated" in some way to prove your theory. I'm also not certain why you are arguing that Aerys raped Ashara Dayne at all. Do you mean to argue that Aerys is Dany's father or that Rhaegar is? This argument seems to go against what your main claims (Rhaegar is Dany's father, Ashara is her mother). ETA: As the thread moved ahead, I see you're trying to add this in as a "back-up plan" to have Ashara as Dany's mother and Aerys as her father. It still doesn't make much sense to me. Especially with this random new detail that Rhaegar is a bastard born of Bonnifer Hasty which means your primary argument that Rhaegar is Dany's father doesn't hold any water whatsoever, because Rhaegar would not himself be born of Aerys and Rhaella's line (singular "line" meaning of a union between them) that could father the Prince that Was Promised by any woman (Elia, Lyanna, and Ashara are not descended of Aerys II to make this work. Nor is Serra, who is Young Griff's mother), so this is a huge problem that can only be rectified in part by Aerys raping Ashara Dayne instead of Rhaella on the night Dany was conceived (which doesn't in itself hold any water, because of reasons I've stated or stated by other posters, such as @Ygrain above.). Neither Aerys nor Rhaegar (who was dead the night Dany was conceived, and therefore never knew he'd have a little sister) had access to Ashara Dayne at this conception. Aerys clearly rapes Rhaella (in her own bedchamber, with his Kingsguard standing guard outside the door to hear her cries so clearly Jaime identified her voice--he had to, in order to argue that he was foresworn to protect Queen Rhaella as well, and for Darry to answer "Not from him."--and Rhaella's handmaids were surprised afterward to mark how Rhaella had been savaged; why would Ashara Dayne be in Rhaella's chambers? Why would Aerys rape her in his wife and queen's bedchamber? Where was Rhaella during this event? How did the Kingsguard mistake Ashara for Rhaella? Why would Rhaella's servants attend to Ashara's bath, who is herself a handmaiden to Elia Martell? Do you have any evidence that Aerys broke his vow of fidelity following Viserys's birth, especially since in his madness he linked the deaths of his children to his infidelity to his royal wife, the foremother of the promised prince? Aerys was very torn up about the deaths of his children in their infancy, and became obsessed with keeping Viserys alive, so there should be some evidence that he was willing to take the risk of angering the gods if he thought it would result in the death of his children.) Rhaella and Viserys's Flight to Dragonstone: Just because Rhaella wore a hooded cloak on the morning she left the Red Keep does not mean that Jaime could not see her face to identify her. She was also traveling in a royal wheelhouse, I think. Furthermore, her handmaidens had been gossiping about the results of Aerys's rape the night before (bruises, bite marks, etc.) giving further evidence that this was indeed Dany's conception. Also, just because they left the Red Keep in the morning does not mean they boarded a ship or left harbor in the morning, or if they did, that the journey did not last into the night. Winter had returned with a vengeance by this time, so stormy seas could have been a nuisance on their journey, just as the winds harried Stannis's journey from Dragonstone to King's Landing for the Battle of the Blackwater, delaying his arrival for days, and giving Garlan Tyrell's van time to march up the rose road and cross the river to attack his forces during the battle. I don't see any true conflict in the "morning departure" from the Red Keep and the "midnight flight" to Dragonstone. Was there something else in the text that made you think this conflicted description of the flight was significant? Rhaegar's Access to Ashara Dayne: I don't understand your claim that Rhaegar had a willing and eager partner to make prophecy babies with Ashara Dayne, refrained from trying to conceive whilst he had ample access to her (at Dragonstone, at the tourney, at Dragonstone again) as your claim requires that there was quite some time between Aegon's birth (prior to the tourney) and Rhaegar's separation from Ashara at the new year (to abduct Lyanna). What are you saying he was thinking? Why would he spurn and "dishonor" her at all, when that means she might not be willing to "fulfill her obligation" to make prophecy babies with him at a later date? I don't understand what you think Rhaegar was thinking at Harrenhal (hence my questions in my last post). Furthermore, I disagree with your assessment that Ashara Dayne remained with or traveled alongside or to Elia Martell. We have some text evidence that they were separated following Harrenhal, possibly due to a pregnancy (I have doubts Ashara was pregnant at all, but think it's possible she conceived a child with Brandon or Ned at Harrenhal, and that child, if she survives, could be Allyria Dayne, if she were of the right age, but nowhere do I see evidence that she is Dany's mother, and not Rhaella Targaryen--you seem to think Ashara is more important than Rhaella, for prophecy's sake, about whom the prophecy was made, requiring she marry her brother despite disliking/hating him and "loving" Bonnifer Hasty, but I think it's just the opposite: the promised prince was to be born of Aerys II and Rhaella's line, and as Dany and Rhaegar's mother, with Rhaegar being father to Jon Snow and "father" to Aegon "Young Griff," she is forebear to them all, both directly and indirectly; if she was only incidentally important as Rhaegar's mother, the Ghost should have been clearer that their son would father the promised prince, all three parties to the prophecy. Why do you think Ashara is more significant than she is--as a "cloak and shield" for Jon Snow, one candidate for his mother?). So, while Rhaegar might have had some access to Ashara Dayne during his sojourn in Dorne, he could not have fathered either of her prospective children according to your argument (the child thought conceived at Harrenhal is both too soon and unimportant to the narrative, with confusion as to whether that child was male or female, who sired it, and even lacking a name for that baby, which serves only to shield Jon Snow's parents; if Ashara gave birth closer to Ned's arrival and her suicide, however, whilst Rhaegar could have fathered that child, that child cannot be Dany, who was born nine months after the Sack and conceived after Rhaegar's--her supposed father--death at the Trident; furthermore, all evidence suggest Ashara had committed suicide by the time Dany was actually born. What evidence do you have that she "faked" her death?). Rhaegar's Death, Ashara's Suicide, and Relation of Jon and Dany's Births: I'm not going to belabor the point, but Ashara's suicide near the time Ned arrived from the Tower of Joy, was eight or nine months prior to Dany's birth. The relationship between Jon and Dany's birth dates doesn't alter Dany's birth timing in any way, but Jon Snow's, meaning he was born during the Sack of King's Landing or up to a month afterward. Dany is always born nine months after the Sack in this relationship (a conception is not immediate upon ejaculation and can happen days later, and pregnancy can go overdue, lasting up to nine and a half months, so Dany being conceived a week prior to Rhaella's flight and after Rhaegar's death and born nine months after the Sack is well within the time frame for Rhaella and Aerys to be her parents; there's no evidence suggesting it was Ashara in that room, so you'd need to find evidence of Aerys raping her near the same time as he raped Rhaella, because all text evidence supports that Aerys raped his wife, Rhaella conceived, Rhaella brought a child to term, and that she died in childbed nine months after the Sack). This also means that Rhaegar can't be Dany's father, nor that Ashara can be her mother, even according to your own argument that Ashara (somehow, because it cannot be with the aid of the men who died at the Tower of Joy) traveled from Starfall (where Ned returned Dawn to her) to Dragonstone (where she gave birth at approximately the same time as Rhaella--the only way I see that happening is if the stress of the storm and the destruction of the Targaryen fleet induced labor, as both children were already due around that time anyway). Rhaegar would have been dead two weeks before the Sack (a week prior to Dany's conception), and departed King's Landing a month before the Sack (a pregnancy going overdue a full month, at least, is quite a stretch). It also requires Ashara Dayne to think that "faking" her death (how?) and fleeing to Dragonstone was a good idea, when the Daynes are known to display the same features as the Targaryens, and she could merely lie about who the father of her child was and keep the baby safe at Starfall (same as Ned merely lied about Jon Snow rather than associate him with Targaryens). Because there is no evidence that she ever had sex with either Rhaegar or Aerys, it seems strange for her to willingly associate her baby with the Targaryen bloodline, thereby endangering a child that could simply "pass" as a Dayne (which she was, at least on one side) for the rest of her life. Dany as Rhaegar/Ashara: I won't belabor the point of why Dany might view herself as or look up to Rhaegar, because I think I made a strong case that it is in no way out of the ordinary... but I'm not certain why you have determined that Dany is seeing from Ashara Dayne's perspective in the House of the Undying. Dany is standing where Rhaegar is staring off, thinking, which permits the author to point her out as the other head of the dragon alongside "Aegon"/"Young Griff" so that when Rhaegar (and Martin) tells us that "There must be one more. The dragon has three heads." we know to look for one more character who might fulfill the requirements (Jon Snow) as the promised prince. Was Dany placed in the perspective of anyone else in the HotU when viewing these visions? If so, why would Ashara Dayne be unique in this capacity as a "window" to these visions? If not, why do you single this vision/Ashara Dayne out as having so internal significance as to who Rhaegar was talking to or what that means? Also, if Dany were to be standing outside the window when Viserys stares off to fight the battle of the Trident in his mind in the quote I gave before, would she not mistake him as possibly looking at her, just the same as she mistakes Rhaegar as looking at or speaking to her in the HotU vision of Aegon's birth? This is the same sort of scenario you read into the vision, for example. As he lays dying, Aemon explicitly concludes "I should be with her, showing her the way. The dragon has three heads, but I am too old and frail to be one of them!" Anyway, while I'm not buying the broader strokes of your argument, as it requires too many convoluted stretches, to many "if, thens" and "maybes" to work, and requires re-writing a well established timeline for very little payoff, I'm curious about some of your ideas about the Others and what evidence you have to support your claims, so that's what interested me in your topic in the first place. I was not clear about that upfront, so maybe it felt to you that I was just picking on you or pushing my own theories, but I would not do that, and respect that this is your topic and appreciate you sharing and discussing your ideas and interpretations of the text. ETA: I see you've edited your original post again, changing a great deal of your argument. I haven't read it yet, so I'm just responding to your previous arguments here. Just to be clear so there's no confusion. I started this comment a couple days ago, prior to your edits, and do not have the time to go back and check on them yet.
  4. I did read your posts. They aren't making any sense to me and you aren't providing sufficient (or any) evidence to back your claims, nor answering criticism of your theory, especially when text evidence is provided that counters your claims. I'm not positing any theory here, I'm debating your claims, which is supposed to be the point of forum discussion, or why bother to put forth your theory at all, if you will not stand for it to be questioned or challenged? I made a mistake here, a minor one. As I was editing before posting, I confused Brandon's arrival in King's Landing with the day he died. Brandon died days before his wedding to Cat. You are correct about that. You are wrong about most else, and you failed to refute with textual evidence any of the points made against your theory, nor do you seem interested in maintaining meaningful discussion. You seem to think that by disagreeing with you or debating with you that I am picking on you. I'm not. I enjoy literary discussion and criticism, entertaining new ideas and theories, and challenging my own conclusions, so as to deepen my understanding of the text. This is the spirit I engaged you in discussion, not to upset you. Taking together your loss of interest to politely engage me, and your unwillingness or inability to refute any point I've made that stands against your theory, by engaging with the text, and your apparent unwillingness to even consider any point contrary to your own interpretations of the text, I'm going to bow out gracefully now. I had enjoyed our discussion, but your last comments have really soured this conversation for me. Your assumptions and mockery that I failed to read or am lacking in reading comprehension of the text or your commentary on it was rude and unnecessary. It is out-of-hand to comment on the person you are speaking to rather than respond to the points they have made in debate, and it is furthermore a logical fallacy that disqualifies an argument of a debate. I did not insult you, but I feel you have insulted me. That is no way to engage with anyone anywhere, let alone on a forum discussion. I don't know why you are so dismissive and defensive, but I'm not sticking around to be subjected to that attitude.
  5. It's not necessarily true that the year doesn't have a seasonal bent, what with a singular harvest every year and "late summer snows" in the North (it's not clear what Martin means by any of this, but if the summer lasted X years straight with no variation in weather, that should equate to X years straight of harvesting, and thus the ability to store up as much grain as needed to last Y years straight of autumn and Z years straight of winter... but that isn't what Martin wrote, so it's impossible to tell exactly what he means by "Summer" and "Winter" aside from a general trend in the weather that can encompass variation within, including more "minor" seasonal variations). Anyway, that's not what I wrote. The Year of the False Spring had a warm weather trend resulting in an "Indian Summer" during which the tourney was held. The official "Indian Summer" lasted two months. The tourney lasted ten days. It could have been earlier in this time span than you implied it was (if it's at the beginning of those two months, they have one and a half months to travel a distance that takes one-two weeks at most). We also do not know when the "Indian Summer" actually ended. Winter returned to Westeros at large with a vengeance, yes, but it was only on the new year itself that winter came to King's Landing, which is both around the time that Aegon was born (after the tourney, you do have your dates mixed up; the events go tourney--Aegon--abduction) and Rhaegar heads north. Keep in mind, the weather had been growing warmer, which is what gave the "False Spring" its name. We don't know how long the weather had been growing warmer (long enough to plan and arrange a tourney of this caliber, surely, because tourneys are not "depths of winter" events, and the tourney of Harrenhal would have been delayed if not for "spring's" arrival) for people to decide that "Spring" had arrived. It was the "False Spring" itself (not the warmer weather, which must have lasted longer) that lasted two moon turns before the winter set back in. We're given two conflicting dates for the announcement of the tourney, 280 and 281 (indicating it was not announced within the False Spring itself, at the least), which, despite the confusion, is also suggestive of an overall "warmer weather trend" leading up to the official dates of the False Spring (that two month period). Furthermore, people don't just decide that the season has changed. The Citadel tells them by sending out the white ravens to announce the new season. I think this is what happened, which is where the official "False Spring" moniker comes from. The Citadel does not announce a new season after a few mere weeks of variance in the weather (also indicating there might be "minor" seasonal variations in the official seasonal label), but takes weeks or months of trending data--from every location in Westeros--to determine that the season has shifted and to urge people to plan for the coming weather shift (planting, harvesting, storing in greater quantity). If it is a "true" False Spring instead of people's wishful thinking (like we get after a groundhog's shadow pronounces "Spring's here!" when it isn't), then this means the Citadel made a mistake after accounting for a general upward trend in temperature, sent out their ravens, and then had to (collect them and) send them back out with a note saying, sorry, no, it's still winter, sad-smiley, I hope you haven't prepared to plant your crops yet... The tourney lasted only ten days including seven days of competition and five days of jousting. I already explained that travel times are not as long as you make them out to be (From Winterfell itself, it takes a month for Ned to travel to King's Landing, half that time to get to the Ruby Ford of the Trident; for Robert, traveling at a sedate pace for his queen and children in their ponderous wheelhouse with forty horses and untold broken axels, it takes a month and a half to travel from King's Landing to Winterfell and little more than a month to travel back, apparently at a somewhat faster pace; for Ned's army, exhausted after the battle of the Trident, it takes a fortnight to travel from the Trident at the Ruby Ford to King's Landing, less that, if by hours, for Tywin to travel from Casterly Rock to King's Landing in order to Sack it, because Aerys II orders the gates opened... The travels times are consistent.). There is ample time for the tourney, and then Aegon's birth, and then Lyanna's abduction, and thus know Brandon's arrival in King's Landing was likely within a fortnight as well, but perhaps three weeks if he took time to gather his companions or meet them, were they not with him already, which means he could have seen the pyromancer's flames on the towers of the Red Keep. We don't know how much time Rhaegar spent with Elia and Aegon, but it wasn't much. Aegon is also never mentioned in the context of the tourney of Harrenhal. All other parties are accounted for. (Aerys II, Rhaegar, Elia, at the tourney; Rhaella and Viserys at King's Landing, per Jaime's account). Even if you want to argue that Rhaegar and Elia left Rhaenys behind at Dragonstone and could have left Aegon behind as well, you run up against a huge problem. Elia was bedridden for six months after the birth of Rhaenys; the birth of Aegon almost killed her, after which she could have no more children. She was forced to travel from Dragonstone to King's Landing on the order of King Aerys II, but please explain to me why she would willingly travel from Dragonstone to Harrenhal for a mere tourney after a birth that nearly killed her, leaving behind her infant son, when even Queen Rhaella herself did not attend, and therefore there was no requirement that Elia do so as well. It only makes any sense if Elia was pregnant but healthy at Harrenhal, and afterward suffered complications in her pregnancy, and then was forced to travel to King's Landing to answer a royal command or warrant. Aerys II may not have cared about Elia's health and welfare, but Rhaegar did, so why would he allow it? He has the power to command her as well. Also, nowhere does it say how pregnant Elia was at Harrenhal, which might have been noted if she were as cumbersomely pregnant as you presume. Anyway, women can travel (except by flight barring doctor's permission or horseback) well into their pregnancy with the comfort of a wheelhouse/car/train. Pregnant women walk as well. Unless a woman is bedridden, she's moving around, and the only pregnancy Elia was bedridden during was with Rhaenys. Please show me where Elia is ever described as heavy with child, too pregnant to travel, too sickly to travel during Aegon's gestation, or anything to back up your claim that she was. Please show me where any character expresses a similar sentiment that sickly Elia had no business traveling during pregnancies, or where they are surprised she attends the tourney after she nearly died birthing Aegon due to complications, or where they are disgusted since she clearly wasn't caring for herself properly or her infant son either, to attend tourneys in that condition. I'm sorry, what "motives" are you presuming drove Rhaegar upon meeting with Lyanna? If all he wants is a child, plenty of other women can give him one. Why Lyanna? Why not Cersei? Why not Cat or Lysa? Why not Ashara? Why not some other random hot noblewoman? Why not some random ugly noblewoman, whose papa might be relieved any man noticed her at all, let alone the crown prince himself (his best bet, find a noblewoman ugly as sin, with no suitors or prospects to speak of, but a fertile family history and a "good enough" personality, and boom, happy mistress, happy "good-father" too...)? Rhaegar is uniquely a man with options; there were guys he could get with if he were so inclined, so I'm not certain why you've zeroed in on Lyanna (a woman he'd never met until Harrenhal's tourney itself; a woman he might not have met, even, if the tourney went smoothly--no Knight of the Laughing Tree, no father with crazy voices in his head thinking a shield was laughing at him, no suspicion that Jaime Lannister was the Mystery Knight, no demand to find the Mystery Knight, no Lyanna Stark, no Jon Snow...) as uniquely able to provide him with an heir? Just because he chose Lyanna doesn't mean it was for children. Is that the only reason you think they got together? Then why Ashara at all? Either Rhaegar wanted a woman or he wanted a woman who could give him children or he wanted a specific woman to give him children, but mixing all three motives together with three different women doesn't really make sense. Are you arguing Rhaegar would have been happy with Elia alone if she could give him ten heirs instead of two? And what about poor Rhaenys? Does she not matter, even to her own father? Everyone forgets about her, but Rhaegar didn't. There must be one more he said (after Aegon's birth), not two. The dragon has three heads, not four. It was Aerys II dissatisfied with Rhaenys's "Dornish" characteristics, not Rhaegar. As far as we know, he loved all his children and foresaw great things for them, too. What does Brandon's death have to do with determining Aegon's birth date? He was alive, present, and defeated (by Rhaegar) during the Tourney of Harrenhal, he was at the Inn at the Crossroads when Lyanna was abducted, and raced immediately to King's Landing. His wedding date to Cat (we don't know when they were supposed to wed, so you cannot say he died days before his wedding. This is baseless speculation, unless you have substantive quotes to back it up. I'd like to see them, if so.) does not matter either in determining if Aegon was born before or after Harrenhal. Do you have any textual evidence to base your argument upon that he was born before Harrenhal? I'd like to see that too. Robb's birth date is also irrelevant in determining Aegon's. Robb's birth date gives a vague nine-month time marker for the Battle of the Bells and JonCon's later exile (Tully forces join the battle two weeks' after Ned and Jon Arryn's double wedding to Cat and Lysa Tully; Hoster would not give his aid without wedding his daughters to Lords Paramount first) in the early stages of the war (most battles took place up front, with a long lull before the Trident), but do nothing to place Aegon's birth before or after Harrenhal. Aegon was born near the new year. We do not know exactly how old he was on the new year 282, hence we use the estimates, which indicate only after Harrenhal. You're wrong in your calculations about Tywin also: It is explicit in the text that you are incorrect in your calculations that Eddard should have beat Tywin to the capital. He didn't. His host was exhausted from battle in its pursuit. Tywin had fresh levies, and a desperation to prove himself to the new regime. These factors urged him to drive his men harder. The text makes this explicit again and again, but here are two quotes that show the order of the events. Or are you suggesting that the Lannisters themselves do not know when Tywin left Casterly Rock to proclaim his support for Robert or do not understand why he did it?
  6. Have you considered that Dany might visualize herself as Rhaegar because he's the only positive role model within her family that she can look up to? She can't idolize Viserys, Aerys II, or even Rhaella (who was a browbeaten, heartbroken victim for all of Viserys's life, and he is who tells her tales of her family), and even Viserys himself chose Rhaegar as his only positive role model from the family (for similar reasons, despite his evident love for his mother "I sold our mother's crown to keep you fed." and "Her mother had died birthing her, and for that her brother Viserys had never forgiven her."). If either of them hope to be a ruler or conqueror, also, Aerys II is a poor role model, as is Rhaella (whose goal was probably just to survive the misery and agony of her daily life). There's also Elia, I suppose, who's a Martell, not a Targaryen by birth (despite a few drops of dragon blood), who even Rhaegar did not love (despite respecting her and being fond of her, another kind of love) but chose instead Lyanna Stark (the "wolf girl" or "Stark girl" in Viserys's telling--and also, a hated Stark, one of the Usurper's Dogs, so...). Rhaegar is the only one in that family (excluding children, Rhaenys and Aegon, who are children, of course) who could be a positive role model for anyone (with ambition or no, and both Targlings had ambition, with varying degrees of success). Aside from that, it's Rhaegar's failures that they hope to correct and Rhaegar's wars they hope to re-wage and win, and it's Rhaegar's losses they hope to avenge ("(Viserys) pushed back a curtain and stared off into the night, and Dany knew he was fighting the battle of the Trident once again." and "'I shall kill the Usurper myself,' he promised, who had never killed anyone, 'as he killed my brother Rhaegar. And Lannister too, the Kingslayer, for what he did to my father.'" and "Perhaps the dragon did remember, but she (Dany) did not," which indicates remembered wrongs done to their family, and how Viserys hoped to avenge them.). This is the basis of their ambitions. The Targs lost everything on the back of Rhaegar's loss and losses, not Aerys II or Rhaella's in particular. The way the war went, Rhaegar was the last hope for their family, and it's safe to say that they know it and have lamented it ever since. Rhaegar was quite capable of winning, having (severely) wounded Robert on the Trident, he just met his match (it's another question entirely why Martin made the narrative choice to have Rhaegar lead from the front at all--just so he could have this "heroic" archetypal battle between Robert and Rhaegar "for the woman they both claimed to love," etc.--when he sounds like the kind of (smart) guy who'd know enough to lead from the rear, even if he was a competent swordsman, his post as commander was of the greater import). You've got your dates mixed up. Aegon was born after the Tourney of Harrenhal, either in late 281 or in the new year, after the False Spring had ended, early 282. Rhaegar left Dragonstone soon after Aegon's birth to fall upon Lyanna in the Riverlands ("Aegon. What better name for a king?" in the HotU, Dany's vision, happens close to the new year 282, right before Rhaegar leaves to meet up with Lyanna). Keep in mind, upon Aegon's birth, Rhaegar still believed Aegon was the PtwP ("He has a song. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire."), and we don't know if/when he ever changed his mind about that. Rhaegar's belief hinged upon "the dragon had three heads." ("There must be one more. The dragon has three heads.") That meant (to Rhaegar) Rhaenys, Aegon VI, and Lyanna's child (Jon Snow) compose the Three-Headed Dragon, and he was wrong about that (Dany, Aegon VI "Young Griff," and Jon Snow compose the Three-Headed Dragon with Tyrion as the threat amongst them, the Stinky Steward/Perfumed Seneschal. All of them are identified for us in the HotU--"A white lion ran through grass taller than a man."--and Tyrion is given a name by Quaithe "Beware the perfumed seneschal." and identified by Moqorro in another iteration of the prophecy: Dragons. Dragons old and young (Dany), true and false (Jon Snow), light and dark (Aegon VI "Young Griff"), and you, a small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of all." whilst sailing on the Selaesori Qhoran (Fragrant Steward/Seneschal/King's Hand), which Tyrion himself dubs, "the Stinky Steward" because of the rank smell, again highlighting how something meant to be positive can quickly turn sour-- "Snarling? An amiable fellow like me?"). Also keep in mind, the Tourney of Harrenhal lasted merely a fortnight, which was normal, even for the tourney of the age, and travel to and from KL to Harrenhal would take about 1-2 weeks on the Kingsroad with sufficient mounts, even for the royal party traveling home (we're given two weeks for armies to travel from the Trident to King's Landing, which is the time between Rhaegar's death on the Trident and the Sack of King's Landing--and even Tywin beat Ned to the capital, albeit possibly within hours, coming from Casterly Rock upon learning of Rhaegar's death--so this is the source I'm basing my estimate on). Rhaegar left Dragonstone with a sufficiently small and efficient party after that, with only six noble companions (companions of note, that is, which does not include any servants traveling with them, of course), so there's no reason he should not have made excellent time in his travels (prior to the war breaking out, which Ned gives us the "true" start of the war: Jon Arryn sending Aerys II back "defiance" upon Aerys II calling for Ned and Robert's heads, and calling his banners instead; Rhaegar might have been in Dorne by then.). The Tourney of Harrenhal was held during the "springish" part of the Year of the False Spring (so earlier than you've implied), lasting less than "two turns" (two months of "springish" weather, during which the tourney is held) and then winter returns with a vengeance before the year is out. Aegon is born sometime during this "wintry" part of the False Spring or during the new year. So it's possibly within a month of his birth that Rhaegar takes off from Dragonstone. (Snow falling on the last day of the year in King's Landing, lasting two weeks, with Aerys's pyromancers attempting to "drive the winter off" for "a moon's turn"--Aegon born in Dragonstone, and with the coming of the new year, slightly after Aegon's birth, Rhaegar takes off, so it was likely sometime within that two-week window of snow on King's Landing he was making his way north. This, oddly, leaves wiggle room for Aegon to be born either on the first day of the new year or within the first week or two of it, as Rhaegar witnessed Aegon's birth but did not take the time to present him to his royal sire, as befitting a royal heir; granted, after the way Aerys treated Rhaenys, "She smells Dornish," and the state Elia was in, let alone the failed tourney, I don't blame either of them for that.) A note about Coldhands: IMO, he is himself a skinchanger who was killed and reanimated by the Others, but no one is controlling him. He controls himself. On your next re-read, check out what happens when the wights are attacked either in their eyes (the skinchanging connection--see the Sam the Slayer chapter again, with Small Paul and the ravens, which peck at his eyes) or their bones ("the bones remember" because the bones house the soul/consciousness; this is how Craster and Summer deal with them, breaking the bones to the marrow, in addition to fire itself, the surest way to kill wights, which are highly combustible, see Jon burning Othor again when he attacks the Old Bear.). Also see what happens to Varamyr when he fails to "steal" Thistle's body. Note the only body that is not reanimated is Varamyr's own, because his consciousness has already joined with One-Eye, his wolf, before the bodies were raised by the Others; he can probably skinchange back if he wants, but simply doesn't realize it--he might have, however, if his wolves were killed at that time, leaving him nowhere to go but back to his body or into the weirnet. This is why it's important that wights have memories. This is why it's important that Thistle sees and remembers Varamyr (recognizing him in his wolf) and holds a grudge (causing him to flee in terror, whereupon he eventually becomes part of Summer's makeshift "pack." "We have a pack. Remember Ghost?" Bran tells Summer, as if saying "Remember our alpha?" so Summer will cut that out.). So, when Coldhands says that "he" is "Your monster, Brandon Stark," he's not suggesting that someone is controlling him, he's still talking about Bloodraven, who Bran called "a monster" in response to Coldhands expounding upon what it meant to be the three-eyed crow ("A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer.") when Meera demanded to know who sent him and who was the three-eyed crow. Finally, when you want a quote, try: It's a life-saver!
  7. An interesting read, some curious things to consider... Honestly, I always thought weirwoods were natural plants and they were transplanting shoots into their godswoods. I noticed the mention of seeds, as well, but thought of it in terms of "gave his seed and his soul" rather than literal seeds. Never considered the idea that the red comet affected the weirwoods as much as humans, sometime in the ancient past, allowing human/CotF/other races to transplant their souls/consciousness into the weirnet after death, and that's something to chew on. I always thought that "magical" aspect to them, as they (weirwoods, undying ebony/black yronwood trees) are the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life (respectively) in the garden of edenos, was a natural part of their development. This is something to think about. Maybe the weirwood/undying tree "jump" (reaching for the heavens) is what initially turned the comet "red" and set the trees "afire" (with the fire of the gods). As to their being called "heart trees," I think of them as simultaneously "the bones of the earth" (the bones remember because they contain the soul or consciousness of creatures, which is why the trees turn to stone, like fossilizing bones) and as the "heart" of the moon goddess (icy heart--undying ebony--and fiery heart--weirwood) representing the "change of heart" the moon goddess undergoes, which takes her from Goddess of Summer/Life to Goddess of Winter/Death, revealing the two aspects of the female/lunar deity (like the swords, white swords and black swords, in the same theme).
  8. I was just teasing! Martin can't keep track of everything, nor should he try, but he does manage to keep track of the most important things, I think. And it's fun to find those little details on rereads, too. I like this connection! Great find! Taking an ear teaches respect because it reminds the person maimed to listen. Jorah, especially, needs to learn respect of others, especially where Dany, Tyrion, and slaves are concerned. He informed on Dany and tried to force his affections upon her, kissing his queen without her consent, trying to weasel his way into her bed by suggesting he could be her husband and a "dragonrider" like "Aegon and his sisters," etc. Tyrion he takes as a slave, even after going through the motions of freeing slaves and learning their misery at Dany's side in Slaver's Bay. That's especially horrifying, because it's not that he didn't learn anything, it's just that he doesn't care about other people's suffering. He wasn't horrified by the Dothraki raiding, raping, and enslaving the Lhazareen, and counseled Dany that it was how wars were won and she should let it go ("There's a beast inside of every man," he said, or something like that, "and when their blood is up..." etc.), nor was he outraged by Astapori Masters' cruelty, and the suffering of the Unsullied and the slave women whose children are murdered and whose lives are paid for (to the slaver, of course, the coin is not for her suffering), and the lives of the slain children it took to become Unsullied (or the puppies, as well), and counseled Dany that she shouldn't "buy" them with her dragon because they weren't worth it, a dragon having more value (Barry counseled the same, but he's hardly known for his compassion, either; and Dany didn't "buy" them anyway, but went back on her deal and butchered the Astapori in an event that was a confusing muddle of liberation of slaves and flat-out war crime). He had no reaction to the crucified children on the road to Meereen, that I recall, nor to Dany's crucifixion of the Masters of Meereen (Barry counseled her against that monstrosity and war crime, and even she regretted it and felt sick at their suffering). He's also a slaver from back in the day, too, and would have been executed for it had he not fled righteous Stark justice on that case, and he has the audacity to hold a grudge against Ned Stark because of it, so he didn't learn anything from that escapade either. It's only when he becomes a slave and experiences this mistreatment and indignity first hand that he learns to care about it, and that's pretty much just for himself and his own benefit, which is sort of okay--he's supposed to care about his own welfare and suffering, of course--but it's also disgusting, because he still shows little-to-no concern for anyone else's suffering. Tyrion manages to save his life--getting Yezzan and Nurse to buy him--but instead of making a contribution to their (Tyrion, Penny, and Jorah's) welfare and success at surviving and escaping this misery, he instead fights until he's beaten and broken (and branded; again, there's that refusal to listen and understand, coming into his storyline) until he simply shuts down, wallowing in his own misery (I understand he's depressed, but so are Tyrion, who at least starts making an effort to become functional, which is a step down the road to recovery and/or managing one's depression, and Penny, I don't know where her tale's headed, so I cannot comment). It isn't until Tyrion saves his life again (getting him to the free company, the Second Sons with Brown Ben Plumm, and then convincing them to switch sides to Dany once more) that he even makes any attempt to contribute to his--or anyone's--welfare and survival (and just surviving such a situation is A-Okay, there's no one who can demand more of anyone) and that's only because he hopes he can weasel his way back into Dany's camp, and favor (or heart and bed--still refusing to listen to what she wants or even acknowledge how he hurt her; he essentially "sold" her to Robert Baratheon for his own benefit, like he sold those slaves, like he enslaved Tyrion to sell him to Dany in exchange for a pardon/her favor/entry back to her court...). Jorah has a major problem listening to, understanding, and respecting others. So, in that respect, he needed that reminder--and it's especially significant that he was maimed by a Dothraki, who will become Dany's khalasar en masse, who remained loyal to his khal and obeyed his wishes and commands (that particular Dorthraki, Qotho, was loyal to Drogo, and his wishes--Drogo absolutely did not want Mirri Maz Durr to perform any more healing on him, let alone verboten magic rituals, which resulted in the death of his son, no less, and he'd have wanted Dany to honor her obligation to become a "crone" of Vaes Dothrak as part of the Dosh Khaleen; Dany did not care what he wanted, and overrode him as he tried to tell her "no" with his last breath. Qotho, remaining loyal to Drogo, tried to honor his wishes to die naturally even if it meant turning on Dany, who'd aligned herself with a witch and turned to verboten magic to attain her goals). Also, aren't one of the Mountain Men clans called the Black Ears (or something to that effect)? Chella was their leader, I think. They're the ones who take ears as trophies, because they wear them around their necks on a gruesome necklace.
  9. Just want to add, remember that Bran opens Jon's third eye (gently) in the "dream"/skinchanging sequence when Jon was in the Frostfangs with Qhorin Halfhand. He dreams that he is ghost and meets his brother Bran as a weirwood tree, who reaches down to open his third eye, this as he is skinchanged in Ghost, spying on Mance's army in the Milkwater River, when Orell's eagle first swoops upon and claws him (as Ghost) in the side. Qhorin sacrifices his men to reunite Ghost and Jon Snow, so Ghost might be healed, and they might infiltrate the Wildling band. Jon kills Orell and steals Ygritte, then, and Orell (in his eagle) later has his revenge during this scene, a "secondary" opening of the third eye sequence. However, Jon Snow appears unique in that he did not suffer a (blinding) trauma in order to have his third eye opened. This is because of Bran, who spares his brother the agony of loss to ascend to that height of enlightenment. I think this is important because it will come up again, once Jon dies and is reborn, possibly having something to do with his descent into the crypts (death) whereupon he meets his mother (queen of the underworld/queen of winter) and ascends into heaven (being a Messianic Christ figure) to work his magic as the Corn King (the creator aspect of the triune deity). At this point, I'm starting to wonder if I have derailed the thread from discussing Jorah's ear, so I'm going to shut it, now. I do like your analysis of how trauma is important in determining the character's path (Jaime's loss of hand directs him to become a "hand of the king" figure and "kingmaker" archetype; Brienne's injury to her face/loss of her "beauty" equates to the stain on her honor when Lady Stoneheart requires her to kill Jaime with Oathkeeper; Bran's loss of legs and opening of the third eye drive him to become a "rider"/skinchanger rather than a "mount"/knight according to the "knights as beasts/mounts" for lords/kings to direct theme, etc.).
  10. I think it's most likely, too. But Martin doesn't keep track of everything, nor should he. Keeping track of everything, whether it's significant or not is absurd. He should (and does) keep a hierarchy of events and symbols and themes in mind/on hand, though, and keep track of the primary and secondary ones with all due diligence, and juggle the tertiary ones as necessary, but we can let him slide on everything lesser than that! We do want those books, after all!
  11. Jon as Mithras and Jon as Odin work equally well, actually, so the imagery is all jumbled up together. He's also Jon Barleycorn/the Corn King, Arthur Pendragon, and some other folks. Lol. Mithra (Iranian)/Mithras (Roman) are the same/similar god(s) with two different sets of iconography, scripture, and means of worship. There are some aspects of blinding/enlightenment in his worship, as well as the Iranian Mithra being the god of "Wide Pastures, of the Thousand Ears, of the Myriad Eyes" and "Who has Ten Thousand Eyes" (star eyes, I think) and being undeceivable, sleepless, and ever-vigilant etc. In both versions, he is a sun-god, a judge, all-seeing, enlightening Apollonian figure. The Roman worshippers believed he started/ended/saved the world (literally or metaphysically, it isn't certain) and is associated with the heavens, the constellations, the spiritual journey... They worshipped him in "temple caves" with little iconography and whitewashed walls. Anyway, @LML talks about it a bunch in his essay series. Not all injuries result in scars, no, but Orell's eagle was trying to blind/kill him in revenge (for slaying Orell), and really ripped into his face (clawing more than once, I should imagine). Keep in mind that when you're on your back, your blood flows everywhere (path of least resistance to the ground) so it's entirely possible for blood from the cheeks to end up in your eyes. And you're right, even the most minor head wound bleeds a lot. We don't know where Jon was clawed or how severe it was, actually. The textual evidence you provided makes that clear. "He missed the eye" (You're not blind, your eye is fine--he probably couldn't see out of it because of all the blood) and "just ripped your skin up some" (not your forehead, cheeks, face, etc. "Skin" is torn... but that was a given). Scar tissue does not have to be especially thick or ugly to be noticeable (from someone else's perspective or from your own), and healing takes time and should be felt (even a paper cut can be bothersome for a few days, so getting clawed in the face by an eagle should be something the author mentions; he remembers Jon's burned hand because it's so significant but forgets Jon's face because it's a secondary or tertiary symbol, like the throw-away "Pegasus" mentions of "winged horse" or "horse had wings" that Dany and Jon both get, as well as someone else I'm forgetting... hmm. And that's okay. Martin doesn't have to keep track of everything. Sometimes an author just forgets because he has more important things on his mind. Sometimes something appears in one chapter and vanishes after the next.). And even if the scar is on his forehead (which I think it's above and below his eye, because of the way an eagle's talons clutch) as you suggest, a wound is painful, a healing wound is itchy or might burn/tingle, a scar is itchy as hell, and scar tissue is smooth and tight (and people move their foreheads/eyebrows a lot more than you imply). If he didn't scar, that's one thing (and doubtful), but being clawed in the face is a bigger deal than Martin would lead the reader to believe (with his forgetfulness, lol).
  12. The problem is that we don't really know how minor or severe Jon's scars are. He thought he lost an eye when he was first clawed, but afterward we don't hear about them hurting, healing, itching, or scarring over (like the way he dwells on his burned hand), let alone affecting his smile (just the tightness of the keloids should be noticeable to him) or other facial expression. Facial scarring can also affect a person's self-esteem or self-image, making them more self-conscious and timid about their perception or reception by others. Jon isn't a very self-absorbed person obsessed with his looks (even though I'm convinced he must be fairly handsome), but it's hard to believe it wouldn't impact the way he relates to women at all, especially when they flirt with or come on to him, because Jon is already self-conscious about sex and women (because of his bastardy). After he gets these scars, however, they more-or-less just disappear from the narrative. Ygritte laments them immediately after it happens, and Mance sees him at the Fist of the First Men and asks what happened to his face... I don't remember much of anything else, though... Maybe Varamyr mentions it in passing, when talking about how he hates Jon after stealing Orell's eagle? But I thought that had more to do with Jon killing Orell than Orell clawing Jon's face in revenge... Anyway, I'm willing to accept that they're probably minor enough (though still should be noticeable, even from Jon's own POV) but also that Martin likely just forgot he gave him facial scars as part of his Mithraic imagery.
  13. Honestly, I think Martin simply forgot he wrote about it, the same way he seems to forget that he gave Jon Snow facial scars from Orell's eagle. That demon brand, though! Tyrion thought half a nose was ghastly. Mormont has half an ear, a demon brand (on a battered face that might have broken his nose a few times or done other damage to important facial structures), and shaggy, bristly hair out the wazoo. He's one scary looking guy since Dance!
  14. All cool. Cheers!
  15. Ah, no, sorry. Maybe I wasn't too clear? I was arguing the cloak represented "freedom" to Mance, but that it was a corrupted and twisted conception of "freedom" that really equated to "anarchy." By arguing that Mance could have kept the cloak as a keepsake treasure, I was simply saying that there were other options if it were about the cloak itself, which would have permitted him to keep his vows and keep his prized possession, too (so long as he did not wear it; maybe he could have kept it as a blanket/throw, even, as I don't think their bedding has to be black too--what an expensive waste that would be! Black dye was the hardest to make and most expensive to come by and hardest just to dye properly! It's one of the notions why the "black brothers" in themselves are just silly, especially since the institution has become little more than a penal exile and labor colony. Only the nobility should be able to afford their uniform, and even some of they would be hard-pressed and angry about getting "everything" in black).