Anath

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  1. Right. That, of course, gives us another can of worms. Why did Ned respect them at all if all they did was doing the madman's bidding, guarding him as he did as he pleased with Ned's own family? It could be that Ned thought their duty to Aerys should surpass everything else and his thoughts about Jaime being the one who killed Aerys seemed to confirm it. But again, Ned himself has a terrible record of doing his duty to the king whose friend and Hand he was when his own values were at the stake. And there are hints that Arthur and Oswell were Rhaegar's people. Could Aerys have regained a touch of sanity (and trust in Rhaegar) enough to say "Ah well, keep them wherever you like"? I doubt it but who knows. Could it be that they were charged by Aerys to keep Ashara's hypothetical dragon kid safe and under Aerys' control which for the moment didn't clash with Rhaegar's objectives? Doesn't ring plausible to me but who knows. Yes but I don't think it actually speaks this much about their loyalties for one over another. After all, the rebellion and murder of a king is unheard for since the Targs made the IT. They would be shaken to the core no matter their personal loyalties. At the moment, Aerys is the Targaryen face. The king. The one they swore to protect. Their own intentions to him might not look this meaningful in the face of a catastrophe like the one they faced. And they weren't exactly having a friendly chat with Ned. He was an enemy who supposedly wasn't going to be allowed entrance. They would hardly start pouring their hearts out to him. It's a good thing that it's a dream and not something we're meant to take literally because their boasting - all that there was - seems out of place in any scenario. I don't think Shae can be taken as anything else than an example of the life women like her lead. She was severely disadvantaged in comparison to both Ashara and Lysa. What was there for her if she didn't become Tyrion's mistress? In comparison, Lysa's life would have hardly been worse in the very basic meaning of the world if she hadn't sneaked into Baelish's bed. Unless we're talking about a rape here (Aerys being the culprit) or Rhaegar being a very intimidating man, Ashara's life wouldn't have been a bad one if she hadn't hooked up with a man. And Sansa and Elia's situations cannot be compared at all, IMO. Sansa didn't want Tyrion and wouldn't have cared whom she bedded. Elia, presumably, didn't mind marrying Rhaegar and if he was indeed intent on fathering a third head of the dragon, she would have been very interested in who the mother was. In some ways yes. But she hadn't had the time to turn into a madwoman, Lysa-style. Again, yes. But it's all illusion. When the wedding was over, Lysa was the same insecure madwoman that she was before. Not like her young self. Unless they had some Targaryen blood themselves which might have given Ashara some hopes. Perhaps one of Dyanna's daughters married a Dayne cousin like Aerion married a Targaryen one? But I think in this case it would have been noted, like it was for the Tarts. Interesting indeed, and ironic. The dragon kings seek to keep their Valyrian blood pure but they were second-class citizens in Valyria and in Westeros, their House is barely a toddler compared to great-grandfathers that some of the other Houses are. They're so focused on their dragon blood and prophecies that they seem to neglect the past and prophecies that have been in Westeros longer than them. They were only interested when that wood witch told them that they had a part to play. Perhaps. And yet we know that Arthur, at least, was generally considered Aerys' man. Could a part of Aerys' reasoning be his reluctance to have them near so they could not betray him? Crackpot alert: Ashara Dayne never existed. There was only Shaena Targaryen, born when Aerys was conveniently absent, his relationship with Rhaella steadily worsening along with his mental state - well, I'm being too diplomatic here, he was going decidedly cray-cray - and Rhaella wanted her baby safely away from him and his deterioration. Shaena Targaryen was sent to the Dayne kin where she was renamed in a way that honoured her grandmother queen Shaera. At the time, Rhaella had no way to know that Aerys would insist on a Valyrian bride for Rhaegar and when it happened, she could hardly say, well, we have the perfect match! And when it all came into the light, Rhaegar realized that Shaena was the perfect solution of all his problems. The mother of the third head. His dream, in fact! That would further explain why the three KG stayed where they were. They now had two royals to take care of. It even fits with my hunch that initially, Barristan had a thing for Rhaella before it got old and transferred to the younger woman - her daughter. It'll also be an ironic twist of Baelish who gives hints that Sansa has taken, in a way, her mother's place in what passes for his affections. What? You don't believe me? With all the secret Targs running around, what's one more? Oh never mind, it was a good crackpot.
  2. Yeah, there is that. A good part of Joffrey's shine in Sansa's eyes was thanks to him being the crown prince, after all. Yes but age is all that they have in common (that we know of). For all we know, Cersei and Ashara never met. And Cersei and Elia only had one visit to get to know each other (that we know of). We're talking about a sister role here, not someone who is just the right age, like a good deal of the population of Planetos. That demands some closeness.
  3. Now, this is something that I missed! Yeah, there is that. But perhaps they had come up with a way to reconcile their oaths to Aerys with their presumed (by us readers) loyalty to Rhaegar. They might have seen removing Aerys from power as a necessary move to protect him from himself. And we don't know what Rhaegar's plan was. It might have not included actually doing away with Aerys but removing him from his power - not his title. This way, he'd be still sitting the Iron Throne but he'd be a king in all but name. Safer for people, safer for Aerys himself. Win-win. Perhaps. Could be. But there is a marked difference in one important respect: Drogo's bloodriders are his. KG is the king's. We've seen KGs choosing different rulers when being put in the position to choose. It's just that normally, the king they swear allegiance to is the same man who keeps the IT to the day of his death. But no one thinks less of Barristan for choosing Robert over Viserys (save for Dany, initially, that's it.) Or it could be a combination of both, who knows. Nothing for me as well. Even Lysa didn't truly realize what she was getting into by getting into Bael-ish's bed, IMO. In this case, Jane Poole hits home closer to me than Lysa at the end of her life. Jane is young, just like Lysa was young when it all began. When it ended, she'd already had a lifetime of disappointments to turn her into the violent madwoman we see. It wasn't just because of her lost love and lost child. Young Lysa is a better parallel for me. Of course, if Ashara turns out to be Septa Lemore, the game might change. Even the changes in her appearance (Tyrion doesn't find her this stunning, just attractive) might be echoed in Lysa's loss of looks. But in the beginning when they were all young as Jane Poole is now? I can't really draw a parallel. Ashara presumably died before life hit her as harshly as it did Lysa. I agree. Could be. And trying to stop someone from doing something, physically, could turn into a real fight in moments. That's a less likely version, I think, but a possible one. A head full of romantic dreams? Interesting. IMO, Ashara wasn't highborn enough for Rhaegar and she didn't have any dragon blood (that we know of) but she might have seen the situation differently. After all, Dyanna Dayne was deemed suitable for Maekar and it was her blood that eventually kept the Targaryens alive and kicking. She might have thought there could be a rinse and repeat. And she was presumably in good health, so she had no reason to think she wouldn't be as fecund as Dyanna which was quite needed at the moment. On the other hand, she likely had some experience with the pressure put on Elia to give Rhaegar heirs no matter what. Such a thing could be off-putting or making herself think that she could have done better in Elia's place.
  4. It would make sense indeed. Plus, the circumstances in which Barristan and Jaime make their assessment about Ashara and Lysa respectively are quite specific. Union-related. Barristan is infatuated with Ashara, aka he wants to be with her but those inconvenient oaths are in the way; Jaime isn't infatuated with Lysa but when he meets her and Cat, his father wants him to be with Lysa. Not a parallel but not this different anyway. If Ashara was the one supposed to provide the child, the whole Tower of Joy scene takes another meaning. The tower is located in the Prince's Pass. In this case, the three KG would not be providing a last stand before a place where the attackers could just step over their dead bodies, enter the tower and take the people hidden there anyway. They would be guards indeed, choosing a decent (strategy-wise) place from where they could mount their defence, in the absence of an army of their own. They might have even seen from the pass that the stupid Stark was coming not with an army but six men and decided that they could take them down right there, choosing not to, say, shoot them from afar but engage them directly. Who knows, they might have drunk their own koolaid, constantly being showered with praise and whatnot. But in this case, they would be the first line of defence for Ashara and her child who were in a place where they could leave easily by sea, just like Viserys and Dany did. In fact, if Dany is Ashara's, that's likely what she did. All of which isn't to say that there was a great romance at all. It might have been all business. Or business to Rhaegar and "in love with Prince Charming" for Ashara which could have driven her mad after his death. But she fits the Lysa theme even without love. Certainly enough reasons to push her into madness, even if ambition or loyalty were the thing that initially moved her. People change their mind about situations when actually in them every day. They bite more than they could chew. Ashara's case might be that. Or she might echo Lysa in the love part as well. Perhaps she thought Rhaegar came to love her after they were together, in a Lysa-like fashion, only to be confronted with a crown of blue roses going to another, an insult ironically different from the one Barristan thinks she received? Perhaps she thought herself lovelier than Elia, again young Lysa-like (and also quite realistic, per all the characters), and was baffled when/if Rhaegar's feelings for his wife didn't change? I don't think Edric was told the ugly truth, whatever the details were. He looks like a decent and sensitive kid. I think it's more like the grief Ashara's fate caused his family, rather than pitying someone who went mad. But again, Howland Reed has nothing but admiration and perhaps a little infatuation with Ashara (he did memorized the men she danced with, after all) and I have a trouble seeing the man who took Arthur Dayne down without hesitation not giving a hint about something "off" with Ashara. Usually, when someone goes mad and commits a terrible act as a result, people tend to overthink their prior interactions and find signs of madness (existing or imagined ones) because they expect to. Ashara might have been not mad but indeed "mad with grief", aka depressed. Not violent but dangerous anyway. Could she have decided to take her own life away and Lyanna tried to stop her, again without thinking because wolf-blood? And Hoster was a man with experience. What experience did Ashara have? She was just a young girl, not long at court, as Barristan had. She had likely led a life where things had usually gone her way.
  5. That really gives another angle to the whole thing with Jon's birth date, doesn't it? As well as Dany's. The direwolf we saw in the first chapter had pups but she didn't die in this kind of "bed of blood". I think that if we're looking for the echo angles, we're somewhat hindered by the fact that George shows people who repeat the past of other people from their own Houses but he also echoes situations and characters without running parallels straight. In this instance, he wouldn't need Cat to fit her own role. He'll need "a" Cat. Elia might just fit the bill, although the situation is, once again, a little changed. For one, looks like Lysa was hard to notice with Cat around while Ashara was quite noticeable. Still, we don't know how she felt about the situation. She might have perceived herself as being "wronged" and Elia getting the lion share of attention, who knows. I think Cersei doesn't fit because despite Lysa being warped and all now, I think she once loved Cat even if she felt inferior and jealous and I have a hard time seeing Cersei loving anyone. Feeling inferior and jealous - yes but not feeling love.
  6. Sorry, I wasn't clear - I meant the legend created around her. Her beautiful romantic death jumping romantically into the bright blue sea washing the shores of her castle of stars. If we have a Lysa connection in Ashara and a man, it would be either Cat or Elia, depending on the man in question. If we're talking echoes, I don't think Cat would be Cat. Elia, though... In Arianne's good relations with the highborn Dornish people from her own generation, could we see an echo of Elia's own youth? Is it possible that the Water Gardens turned Elia and Ashara into sisters, kind of, with Arthur being "brother" to both? Later, he entered the part of "her" champion by punishing the Brotherhood that had taken her jewels and perhaps a kiss. And if Rhaegar and Ashara did have a thing later, it'll be Rhaegar in Baelish' role but to Ashara this time. Who knows, perhaps she made a go at him, suggesting that she could be the mother of the third head? It's hard to tell. But Ashara is younger than Elia, just like Lysa is younger than Cat. She's also considered more beautiful than Elia, just like Lysa was considered more beautiful than Cat. Barristan thinks Elia was interesting, just like Jaime thinks Cat was (compared to Lysa). Could Elia have taken the "Petyr" in this case, leaving Ashara with nothing but other means to get him in any way she could? Yes, to all of this. And perhaps she was forced not to miscarry her baby but simply have it brought up like her own sibling? Perhaps she was delusional that she could pull it off somehow? He saw his father trying to force Lyanna into who he wanted her to be. Looks like it didn't work out all this great. Better do some damage control. It's interesting that he finds Arya a teacher who is all about making her think and obey first - making her want to think and obey, even if that meant getting a constellation of scratches, courtesy of the palace cats. As weird as it sounds, in this scenario Rhaegar would be Lyanna's Tyrion. Everyone thought they were together (with the important exception of JonCon who doesn't think about Lyanna at all and perhaps the equally important exception of Howland Reed who implies that Lyanna wasn't as much into Rhaegar as people suggested), just like everyone thinks Sansa and Tyrion are truly "together", husband and wife. Robb and Cat even take measures to prevent the possible dire consequences of this union, just like Brandon tried to do with Lyanna. Tyrion protects her, just like we theorize Rhaegar did Lyanna. Indeed.
  7. Oh yes. Her beauty, her tragedy... Can't get rid of that hunch that her tradegy would be a terrible one indeed but in another way, not the one legend paints. A toga and a chiton. Zeus didn't manage to get rid of that annoying Jupiter, so it might be wise to be in good standing with both of them. It might. As I've said before, I believe Ashara was someone's mother and it was so bad that the Daynes preferred to play neglectful about her reputation and by extension, theirs, than take the risk of someone actually digging deeper. If they said there was no love story, those who suspected that Ashara had been pregnant might get suspicious. Better control the rumour and attach a name to it. Preferably the name of someone who's deep to the neck in the aftermath of the entire thing and has things to hide. Just like them. I am inclined to think that the wolf blood Ned was talking about wasn't just breaking the rules. When he talks about wolf blood being the death of Brandon, he was talking about him being rash in a very specific manner - trying to attack without thinking because that's what wolves do. And he's saying this to his young daughter who's just surprised him by arming herself just in case she might need to attack. Makes me think that Lyanna launched an attack in some sense - provoking Ashara? Getting pissed at her rescuers and deciding to rescue herself from them which might not be the best idea for a heavily pregnant lady on an island nestled in mountains, at which point Ashara tried to stop her, not realizing that telling an angry wolf what to do was not a good idea but a very bad and very deadly one? In this case, it would have happened even before they knew of Arthur's death but from the little we know about her, Lyanna Stark didn't need a great additional incentive to get pissed with benign influences that tried to boss her around for her own good. Ned might have arrived in the aftermath of Ashara's fall - and with Howland being the only one of his men who came with him through the Prince's Pass and live to NOT tell the tale, it wouldn't be hard to concoct the story of Ashara's romantic death. Thank you, kind lady. It actually also fits with Sansa's echo in another way, I think. Sansa lost a good deal of family members to her husband's family and she longs to be able to pay them back. Lyanna lost her father and brother to the loyalty Arthur had chosen once - Aerys. And she does manage to get her revenge on a member of Arthur's family, although I doubt she ever had that in mind. Perhaps as Arthur and possibly Rhaegar were busy saving her, she happened upon a weirwood and asked the old gods to avenge her? It was a joke, of course, but the echo was not. Definitely. Heightened indeed - and explainable. In this scenario, she might have been afraid for her son's life right now, not when a week or month later Robert and the rest of the world would get to know. In her mind, that might have been the difference between life and death now, like it was for Sansa and Lady. The wrong wolf who might end up paying for her mistake. Fortunately, he didn't. Perhaps the current crop of Daynes - including the ones around at the time of Robert's Rebellion - aren't this big on vengeance if Ned is something to go by. He stayed with his undead lord and left the undead lady. Beric was all for justice and protection, as much as his altered state would allow. UnCat was all for vengeance. Could that be a factor in young Ned's decision to leave? If it was and if the theory I suggest here has something to do with the truth of the matter, perhaps Ned's grandparents and father weren't after vengeance for a crime no one committed but were relieved to have the child away and cared for anyway. It'll make a nice inversion with the Stark man and the Dayne woman, BTW. The Night King and Queen certainly included breaking a vow - the one to protect Westeros and not make sacrifice to the Others. The result of their union was a monstrous one. A Stark maiden and a Dayne man union (in which the man has abandoned all claims over any station coming from his family and the maiden is one of the most high-ranking ladies in Westeros, second only to the Queen and Princess Elia) which also included breaking a vow - multiple vows, in fact, might have just lead to the birth of a hero.
  8. With Jorah's self-pitying whine and Catelyn's recollections, I'd say Lynesse might have been an older Sansa, the pampered daughter of a wealthy house taking a shine to someone noteworthy - in her case, a romantic lord who won a tourney for her and crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty. It might have even been a marriage of love/infatuation. Lynesse's older sisters were already used/would be used to forge good relations with Houses who were more important for the Hightowers or given to some lesser families just to be married to someone not entirely beneath them. Jorah might have been the answer to the Hightowers' prayers, a real lord with a real island who'd take care of Lynesse. Of course, it's equally possible that she didn't take a shine to him but he was the answer to her family's prayers and she wasn't consulted at all. Either way, she doesn't come across as a gold digger to me. Rather someone who thought presents and jewels were her right because that was what she knew. Especially if the jewels had already been given to her. She might have felt personally insulted by any hint of pawning them. At any rate, the Bear Island was likely a rude awakening to her. She might have been inventive enough to actually encourage Jorah to sell people to meet her demands but he doesn't mention any such thing despite his desire to lay the blame for all his trials at her feet. Even if she kept making demands, which isn't mentioned anywhere, it doesn't mean that she married Jorah expecting to have him strain beyond his financial station to satisfy her. She likely expected that he could afford her. He was a lord, after all. In her second relationship? Perhaps she was a gold-digger. Really, with him fighting here and there and she not faring well with the means she had at her disposal, what choice did she have? A common prostitute? A cult member? A pickpocket? She was likely never taught anything that could come useful in her new circumstances. And her family at Oldtown might not be so willing to embrace her and have her back, with the dishonour attacher to her husband's name, her reputation of the evil seductress who made the good boy fall and no chance to even make a second match for her because she was still tied to said good/bad boy.
  9. Yes but it also depends on what Ashara knew. There are no hints that she was in Rhaegar's confidences. I doubt Arthur would go and spill Rhaegar's plans to her. The only one she could know it from was Elia. That means that 1) Ashara was Elia's close friend and confidant, something that we still don't know; 2) Elia herself had to be aware of Rhaegar's plans which is still disputed; 3) Ashara needed to have a daily touch with Rhaegar's party since he didn't leave for Harrenhall. He just underwent a journey which ended about there. There was almost no way for her to know where he'd be at any given day; 4) Ashara needed to have a daily touch with Brandon since, like Rhaegar, he was also on the way and not stationed in any given place; 5) Brandon totally believed Ashara, he was convinced that they were still on good terms and she had only his best interests in mind and didn't see even one of Lyanna's own companions who might have told him the truth. OR: 1) still stands; 2) the first thing Rhaegar did after the abduction/elopement was notify Elia; 3) Ashara had the means in Dragonstone to circumvent Elia's commands; 4) and 5) still stand. If those 5 premises are fulfilled, she might have been in position to fill Bradon in with a lie. But it sounds quite implausible to me. I'd rather think it was Elia's spite that started the whole sorry mess. At least she had more chances to be actually told what Rhaegar was up to by Rhaegar himself.
  10. The image is a priceless one! But I'll tell you a secret: after the world book, I am inclined to think that the Swords of the Morning might have been quite overrated. We aren't told anything this great that those guys ever did, are we? Even Arthur who might have been the best of them but sounds quite unremarkable, just praised. I think there must be more to it because they do look overrated. I doubt this either. But I do think the difference is a marked one because if any Dayne did tell Ned, it was likely hoping that he'd be able to negotiate peace between himself and the KGs. Making his return in person a particularly painful blow. I can see why you don't share this opinion, though.
  11. At least send one of his men who weren't this far from the Prince's Pass. Everything else would be more compassionate than arriving in all his glory, Dawn in hand. Even keeping Dawn and sending it back after a while.
  12. I agree. As to Ashara being the one to inform Ned about the Tower of Joy thing, I could never accept it as a viable theory. It sounds good and tragic and all that but there's one important detail: what Ned did after the fight would be completely out of character, in this case. Sure, returning Dawn in person immediately after the fight might be the height of honour but if any Dayne, Ashara included, was the one to fill him in, it would also read plainly as "Thanks for helping me kill your Arthur. Here, now let me hand you this lovely white sword." Salt in the wound. A mockery, even. Rubbing their faces into the final, painful result. I have trouble believing that Ned wouldn't know it.
  13. Lyanna was taken from the Riverlands. Brandon was at the Riverlands. Starfall is far away. Unless Ashara was travelling with the party, there's no way that she got to know before Brandon. Or unless Rhaegar and the rest of them were actually stupid enough to explain it all in a long letter to Starfall, at which point we get to the predicament of Ashara being able to send a raven to find Brandon who was actually travelling and not staying in a castle. Or a man who'd have to go all the way from Starfall to the Riverlands. Besides, why would Ashara have either the task to write the letter (it must be an important one, given the identity of everyone concerned) or the chance to alter it? Was she a part of Rhaegar's inner circle? We have no hints to that. Again, that's if they even got together before Brandon got to know which I find highly improbable.
  14. Ah, I see. I didn't think of it like that because Alyssa is - well, half-legendary. Like the North's Night King. Ashara is very much real, like, documented. I was looking more for shared stories and legends that could be established for the North, the Vale, and Dorne. One of the 999999 reasons I love Davos. He exists. In my language, Z comes before K. No Paris, though. Poor Helen is doomed to stay alone forever. No Hera either - Zeus would likely throw a party that I'd like to see over this one. After all, Rick Riordan claims that Olympian parties rock. It'll be darkly ironic because Ashara wouldn't be dishonoured the way Barristan thought but she might feel it like a dishonour anyway. In fact, the more I think of it, the more I hesitate to claim it would only be her vanity. If Rhaegar had already bedded her at the time, what with frail wife getting pregnant almost immediately and likely not up for any bedsport for an additional half a year later, he had practically used Ashara and threw her away without warning - at least, that would be how she'd likely perceive it. I'll have a look. Thanks! Yes, Lyanna might be the "rival" here. But I think it's more complex than this. I think that if the Sansa echo holds true, Lyanna and Ashara alternate roles to both fit Lysa. I'd have no trouble with casting Ashara in Lysa's role but there are three facts that point me at this not being the case. First, Ned truly looks like he wants to protect Ashara as well as Jon to me. If she had tried to harm Lyanna, I guess he'd have much less scruples to cast her as Jon's supposed mother or at least, a viable possibility, especially with the Daynes not likely to contradict him. Second, Howland Reed. By all accounts, he seems to be the person who's currenly most knowledgeable about Lyanna's death - and he gives us some interesting hints, like Lyanna NOT crying at Rhaegar's song and pouring wine over Benjen's head and Ashara being so beautiful and romantic. There's no hint of evil about her in his words, just admiration. Third, Ned directly claims Lyanna's wolf blood led her to an early grave. In the Arthur-Lyanna scenario there's no way it had anything to do with the KotLT. This was long gone and forgotten. But I take Ned's words to mean that Lyanna actually played a part in her own death. She was a victim, yes, but also a perpetrator. We're given an example of how she acts: she "attacks" without thinking, re: Benjen. My guess would be that with Ashara and Lyanna both being kept away from the eyes of the majority of the people in Starfall, they might have been forced into uncomfortable closeness. Even if the Rhaegar matter had already been settled and Lyanna was no rival on this front, they might have been simply too different to live close to each other. Sometimes, it's hard even for sisters. (Sansa and Arya, Ishtar and Ereshkigal.) Perhaps Ashara truly thought that Lyanna's return to her brothers could end the war and despised her for staying at Starfall, as irrational as it was? And Lyanna, who disliked the fact that Robert had fathered a child on someone in the Vale thought the presumably pregnant or recently given birth unwed Ashara a married prince's whore? (With Lyanna, it might have been different in her own eyes. Arthur had no other woman, just his oaths to a mad and dangerous king who had murdered Lyanna's own father and brother,) Perhaps the news of Rhaegar's death followed by Elia's end, her children's deaths and finally Arthur's, proven by the return of Dawn, finally made the tensions escalate? It might have been Lyanna who reacted to an insult by a shove, flinging a glass of water in Ashara's face or something else (something that let out her inability to control her temper, aka wolf blood) that , in both women's agitated state, escalated in a fight causing Ashara's death and the birth of Lyanna's child in the immediate aftermath. (If that was indeed what killed her. There's the tiniest possibility that her bed of blood was caused by an actual wound. The direwolf in the beginning of the series died with her newborn cubs close by but it wasn't their birth that killed her.) If Ned tried to prevent the fight and/or tried to save Ashara, that might be a reason for the Dayne's respect. BTW, I am not sure that Ned Dayne was named after Ned Stark, no matter how deep the gratitude was. Gratitude is different from warm feelings. I suspect that Edric Dayne might be a reference to Eldric Shadowchaser. What chases shadows away better than light? And the Daynes conveniently have a blade aligt with light. Perhaps that was another reason for Lyanna's fear? Perhaps she feared that not only Robert and those who'd use Jon as Rhaegar's would be a threat but the boy's very own family if they were angry with her over the part she might have played in Ashara's death, no matter that she never meant for the other woman to die? (Like Sansa never meant for her father to die.) That might have been the best compromise for the Daynes as well: Arthur's son would be cared for and they woudn't have to deal with raising the child of the girl who was involved in Ashara's death.
  15. Agree about the family sigil - and she would have reenacted it even minus the jump in the sea fact. In everyone's mind, at least, she was a "fallen" woman. But that has nothing to do with my point. I see Alyssa Arryn as a woman who showed a stunning lack of emotions and no matter the true details of Ashara's story, she seems to be suffering no deficits in that department. In fact, her problem seemingly was that she was too emotional. It might even be a darker reflection of the Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa's story. The sword might have been literally "tempered" in the Night Queen/Fallen Star's blood. I am not going into speculations if it really killed her. But then, I've always thought that Nissa Nissa might not have been as willing to sacrifice herself as Azor Ahai was to sacrifice her. (I know, I know, I am no romantic and all.) Yes, I have forgotten about Mel's purpose. Another brick in that construction? Sounds plausible. One of the things that get me all thoughtful about human biases is how Ned despises Jaime for killing Aerys, breaking his vow, but doesn't bat an eyelid about Arthur betraying Aerys, breaking his vow, which Arthur does in every scenario I can come up with, including the Rhaegar and Lyanna love story. I mean, I can't think of a reason why Ned would think highly of a man who spent the war polishing his nice milky-white sword in front of Rhaegar and Lyanna's chamber. He must have known that they were planning to get rid of Aerys - and there was by no means any guarantee that the conflict wouldn't end up with Aerys' very death, the lesser betrayal of the KG aside. The same holds true in the Arthur-Lyanna scenario. I can't think of any reasonable way to explain it except that Ned simply liked Arthur better than Jaime. In the Arthur/Lyanna scenario, perhaps Arthur did something to merit such a distinction? It isn't ignorant of you, it's me going Anat on the thickest volumes of mythologies we have here. Horrible translation, zero editing, half the names gotten wrong... and to top it all, they didn't even finish the series. They left it at K. So I didn't reach for it to make sure that Ishtar was venerated as the evening star, like her cognate Astarte. The evening star. Quite obvious. Ashara is certainly described to have the lustre. Makes me think that besides the love/fertility aspect, she also acted in the war goddess capacity, using the weapons women have in Martinlandia - looks, station, and the head for politics. She just failed at the end. BTW, Harrenhall and Barristan's recollections of "the man who dishonoured her" might fit into the myth of another cognate, Inanna. I can't remember the husband's name right now but when she returned from the underworld, she discovered that he had not missed her at all. Upon this discovery, he was promptly sent to take her place in the underworld. Perhaps the Rhaegar-crowning-Lyanna-at-a-certain-tourney-despite-having-plans-with-our-fallen-star thing? She might have taken it as a dishonour, especially if she was only used to being adored. Your mentioning of Lysa attacking Sansa might be quite relevant. And I never actually got the feeling that Barristan knew who the man was (or that there was a man and dishonour but for the sake of the argument, let's presume there was.) In fact, I never believed Barristan knew for sure that Ashara had a child at all, he only operated on rumours. In this case, Ashara would be both Inanna and her sister in-law (now, that's a name I could never memorize, let alone remember), who offered herself to go to the underworld for a good part of the year so her brother could go back. A devoted sister, right? Of course, this IS making a mountain out of nothing. But I won't be surprised if Martin has such a twist in mind without even needing that particular myth. Ashara/Ishtar/Astarte is obvious and neither Ishtar nor Astarte were known to have sewing and picking flowers as their favourite pastime. They're both ladies with a certain cruel streak.
  16. Easily, yes. In GRRM's world, I can't remember a single good guy - or hero, if you'd rather - who singlehandedly succeeded some good and lasting change. With his villains, it's another matter altogether. Their mischief is more easily achieved. Good guys have it harder. It's just too straighforward to pull the sword from the stone, wield it in defense of good and right and achieve the erasion of a shame that's thousand years old. Old grudges last long, old friendships are forgotten at the tip of a hat, aka the Laughing Storm. Bad reputation remains. The sword is most definitely not reserved for a Stark and we have no idea what the Swords of the Mornings did but we don't know what promise the Prince is supposed to fulfull either. Doesn't stop the fandom - and the characters - from thinking that he's extremely important. IMO, there must be a reason to have a Sword of the Morning at all. We just haven't been given it yet. Else, it makes little sense to me - the title, the fact that someone must be worthy... Who knows, perhaps the test is to be able to make a kill with Dawn while holding it with one hand and that's why no one bothers to mention it (Arthur wouldn't qualify here but Robert Baratheon ) But there must be something, else the whole Sword of the Morning thing reeks of mock if we take the OP's theory to be true I believe the sword is related to the Others as I believe the legend of the the fallen star is a legend about someone fallen into "otherness" and killed (my connection is with the night's queen but still) and I don't think any House would make a mockery out of their own ancestral blade. I don't necessarily believe in the OP's idea but it's an interesting one. Jon cannot redeem the Starks because he isn't a Stark if he's Lyanna's son. It doesn't even matter who his father is. Boys take the name of their father's House and we know that name means a lot. He's just someone with a Stark blood. Not a Stark of Winterfell. He may prove himself worthy to carry Ice-Dawn but not redeem House Stark. He doesn't belong to it. And his only claim for "legitimacy" in this scenario might come from having recent Dayne blood.
  17. With the importance GRRM gives to legends/history and the parallels you draw here, I am reminded of Alyssa's Tears. In a way, Alyssa comes across as a soulless creature as well, unable to shed a tear for those she loves. The North has the Night's King. Does Dorne have someone lacking a soul as well? Once again, I'm thinking of the corpse queen with eyes like blue stars but that's pure conjecture on my part. Still, could she be the fallen star legend links to Starfall and Dawn? In a Lucifer-like fashion, I mean. The question might be unanswerable but it's a very interesting one. Unlike Mel, Thoros wasn't aiming to create an unlife, a shadow of life, as she aimed for her shadowbabies' creation. IMO, it was his intent to do right by someone he had good, human feelings for that led to this accidental result. Perhaps that was why Beric stayed himself, to some extent. Changing couldn't really be avoided but Thoros' intention was never to change him in the first place, so Beric didn't end up your average mallicious zombie. And with Cat, perhaps he died not only because she'd been dead for too long but because his intention was never to take something from her like the Night's King wanted to take his corpse woman? A good, human impulse to give that let him find peace at the end? Maybe that's it. Still, I get the feeling that whatever Howland did, he didn't aim to "sacrifice", aka kill Arthur. He wanted to protect Ned and the road to this went through Arthur's heart, head or whatever part Howland took him in. It might have been a sacrifice but it wasn't an intentional one. Just like with Dany - only blood can pay for life but she wasn't actually buying her dragons' lives with Mirri's. That was what she achieved but she was after vengeance, not dragons. The ideal of a KG is, in fact, a startingly bland one. The perfect KG should be sex-less, heart-less (not saving the king's victims from the king himself), moral-less (not judging the king no matter what)... did I miss a -less? But duty-ful to no end. Somehow, I am not surprised that it was Visenya's ideal. In fact, it's almost impossible for a good person to fulfill all the demands. Even if all Arthur did was conspire with Rhaegar, he still didn't manage to stay true to all his white and shiny oaths. No reason to think that he couldn't break a second one after breaking a first. Right, we never get to see what the intent behind the blue crown was. But we know what Dany considered it to be. Given how literally everything she knows about her close family is coloured by Viserys' extremely biased recollection, I'd be surprised if the Rhaegar/Lyanna thing was the only occurence he managed to get straight. Funny how honour came up last in your reply. I think that's the thing with Ned. He's known to be extremely honourable - and often disparaged for that. But while honour is extremely important to him, it's actually a distant second to protection where he feels one is owed. With him feeling bad for dishonouring Catelyn all those years after the fact, his reaction to her question about Ashara might have comeout not only out of fear for Jon. He might have been truly uncomfortable with helping destroy the reputation of a dead woman who didn't give birth to Jon. He didn't stop people at Winterfell talk about Jon being brought over from Dorne - and if protecting him was Ned's only motivation, he should have. The Tower of Joy is actually located far away from Starfall. The very mention of Dorne, south and so on could be a giveaway but Ned didn't try to prevent it. It was just a particular woman's name he didn't want repeated. Makes sense if he feels uncomfortable with the part he unwittingly played in her death already. Besmirching her reputation - and it would be mightily besmirched indeed since Ashara was far better known in the realm than Wylla who? the fisherman's daughter whose name was what? - might have been too much for him. BTW, I don't know about Ishtar but Astarte who she's likened to was worshipped like a personification of the evening star. Somehow, I don't think that's a coincidence. (Just like I don't think it's a coincidence that Arthur with his white sword bears the name of a king with a famous sword who, in some versions of the legend, was guilty of a sexual sin and even committed a massacre of children, somethig that's decidedly not fine-knightly in my book, no matter how great he'd later become.) With the goddess of love and fertility angle, I am not surprised she was so sought. I'll be very surprised, though, if she had a child who was stillborn. No baby sounds more credible to me. Or a live baby that she might have lost in another way. But not a stillbirth. Of course, those are only my own hunches with no textual evidence.
  18. And also following gender equality. Such a monumental difference can do a lot to obscure some similarities. There was this mentioning in the world book that although separated by the broadth of the rest of realm, there were actually more similarities between the North and Dorne than there were differences. Or something like that. The similarities part is something I remember. So, why not a similar, like shared, past? I wonder if the Faith and the priests of all other gods fail to use the full potential of their own powers because, out of desire to be above human deeds and hearts, they never come around to find the human aspects in the practices of their own faith? I don't think Thoros of Myr was the most powerful of R'hllor's servants, yet I can't think of another one mentioned to bring a dead person back to life. And Beric wasn't even a priest but he brought Cat back. Beric - the fire wight who strove not to leave his humanity and his bright Day-ne queen behind. (Perhaps that's why he died for real when he chose his dark queen at the end? He fought against giving his soul to the otherness even after he stopped being human. In this scenario, he might give up his very unlife but not his soul.) If Melisandre hadn't left Melony behind, might she have been even more powerful? There might be something to this idea. I don't believe in Dany's innocence in the whole tent affair. She knew that there would be a human sacrifice but she refused to think about it, IMO. She wasn't just ready to sacrifice her own life - she was ready to sacrifice someone else's, although she didn't think it would be her son's. Still makes her an accomplice in practicing dark magic. But Mirri didn't lie to her. She was clear that the means would be cruel and the result might not be what Dany wanted. Still, she didn't tell her the price. She gave a hint but she never told. Another darkness, veil, shadow, in contrast to the light illuminating the tower fight and particularly Arthur's sword. Perhaps that's why the result was different? Visenya was a queen of great rationality and no heart. Just what a KG is expected to be, IMO. Jaime "failed" in that. I won't be surprised if his ideal. Arthur, was "guilty" of such a failure as well. Changed them in her own mind. I think she was shown the days that never were that she expected to see - and she was powerful enough to force those expectations into being shown to her. Come to think of it, the blue rose in the chunk of ice might be a day that never was in another way. Rhaegar gave Lyanna a crown of blue roses that looked so romantic and they were later known to have disappeared together - an event that, if the Sansa and Arya echoes hold, didn't fill Lyanna with brimming happiness. Perhaps she never came around to feeling the great joy of being stolen by a sad romantic prince, the wilding style. Perhaps the blue rose of the union between ice and fire never bloomed in that ice of politics, madness, and good intentions that might have been in strong disagreement with her own wishes. No matter what the Targaryen loyalists, Viserys and Dany thought. (Or JonCon doesn't even bother to think.) Especially if he ended up doing the same with Jon.
  19. While normally, it would be enough for a worthy Stark to reclaim a Stark sword, I see a problem with it because if the OP's theory is true, Ice-Dawn wasn't a sword touched by a betrayal and waiting for the redeemed Stark to reclaim it. It's a sword that's actually used by those Daynes who were worthy. It doesn't look like it's "reserved" for a Stark. It might have been this way, but it's definitely a Dayne sword now. The Stark betrayal was just too great to be overcome so easily. As far as I know, none of the mythical heroes with waiting sword came from a line so stained by betrayal. (BTW, I am not sure that Vorian Dayne, the Sword of the Evening, was indeed a dark warrior. I am more inclined to think his moniker reflected the fact that he was the last Dayne king but I might be mistaken. He might have been called that while still king. I don't have the world book with me right now.) And while Jon starts definitely like a son of Winterfell and identifies himself so, in the very start of his journey he's disappointed with Ned, realizing that Ned had sent him to the Wall without disabusing him of his idealistic notions and in fact, closing him any way back. Without Ned in the North, which bannerman would be eager to take his bastard son in? He might be attached to his former home and his family but as his new life changes him, his insistence that he wouldn't forget his father comes across as having some desperate wish to not let things change because he can feel them changing. Kill the boy and let the man be born - well, the boy is literally killed. Perhaps the son of Winterfell (in his heart) will "die" in a way and what will rise will be neither a son of Winterfell nor Starfall (if he is such by blood) and at the same time, both? I doubt we'll see an unJon but I don't think we'll see an unchanged Jon either.
  20. I like this. And Arianne is fearless, in a way. She doesn't even think that she can fail and doesn't act too smart. Then again, no one ever said the Night's King was smart, I think. I am reminded of Aemond One-Eye. He put a sapphire in his empty eye socket but he didn't come down like Aemond Sapphire-Eye, although he was, physically. You might be up to something. And Beric is particularly interesting. He's more human than the Others and he's more compassionate than your average R'hllor's follower, although he's no longer human and he's closer to R'hllor than any of the priests serving him. Yet, as you say, he was resurrected by both R'hllor's power and his human relationship to his friend Thoros. And he did manage to resurrect Cat who was Ned's lady. Perhaps that's where the priests get it all wrong - they neglect the human aspect. In a way, it's the same with the KG. They take an oath to leave behind the most important thing that defines them as human - relationships and families. And it was Visenya, the ruthless queen, who came up with this idea. Darkly fitting, eh? Another example of how Targaryens took something normal and human and distorted it to serve their agenda. Hmm, perhaps they won't be those great saviors after all? To this moment, the only ones they have saved is themselves. And we never get to know what the Prince Who Ws Promised is supposed to do, supposed to being the key word. As we know, prophecies are a fickle thing and they break. Somehow, I tend to think Rhaegar might not have prized his prophecy so much if he knew it'd end up with his son's head being smashed against the wall. More than most characters, Dany changes the world and events about her quite directly without trying to. She's just a great influence. And she has quite the magical pets. I think it's quite possible she changed the visions in the House as well. You might well turn out to be right. The matter is, I'm quite sure there were more days that never were than most common theories allow. GRRM is quite consistent that prophecy is a fickle thing and Dany's experiences there are quite focused on Rhaegar who, as we know, changed his mind about the promised prince at least once. And with GRRM's echoing symmetry, I think the vision of the lord was, in some way, a real one. I'm quite sure that the first visions between her definitions are real pasts and the last seconds are future which leaves the last ones to be the days that never were, including Lyanna's name. And yet we know Rhaegar took her. Records don't mention that people said... some said... there were claims... They simply say he took her. What happened then is the bit that is unclear. Ned is indeed honourable and I think that leads us into concluding that he values all oaths the same. But in fact, he values protection most of all. He isn't angry with Jaime for breaking just an oath, I think. Jaime was sworn to protect Aerys and he broke that oath. Ned is a protector in his heart. I think he wouldn't care nearly as much as an oath of chastity being broken as he would for an oath of protection being ignored. We see a shade of this even with Jorah - he was dishonourable, he hurt innocents and Ned's impulse is to protect innocence, so he hates Jorah. I think he wouldn't be nearly as disturbed by a KG breaking his oath for chastity as he would by a knight hurting innocents.
  21. Quite an intriguing theory, OP! One question: does Bran the Builder become "himself" again after the Night's King has been brought down? You only mention that the Night's King retreated with the Others. I can't see how Bran would have been allowed to keep his life after that. How does your theory of this Bran's heirs gaining a hereditory sword and even Winterfell itself fit with Old Nan's story claiming that it was the Stark of Winterfell who brought the Night's King down, along with others? In this case, I can't see how Bran's heirs can get Winterfell since there was a Stark there and he supposedly had a line of his own. How did Bran's heirs become the Kings of Winter? I doubt they'd be allowed to keep any possessions left from their father in this scenario. Or do you think Old Nan got some details wrong and Winterfell indeed didn't exist then? As to Dawn and Ashara, Ned Dayne says his father was Ser Arthur's elder brother. Thus, Ashara, being described as a young girl not long at court, was younger than both of them. I'd rather say that Ned bringing the sword to her has something to do with the literary tradition of a lady deciding who is worthy to wield a certain sword, like the Lady of the Lake, or even with the lady as being worthy to physically carry a sacred object, like the maidens who carried the Holy Grail. A lady, traditionally pure of heart and a maiden. Of course, we have a good reason to think Ashara was no maiden and we don't know anything about the purity of her heart or lackthereof. GRRM's little laugh over the romantization of the idea? He certainly doesn't shy from denouncing the romantics of war and brave and brilliant knights.
  22. Indeed, it's only mentioned that he was brought down. It doesn't make any difference for my idea but it might do so for yours. BTW, I was also mistaken that the Night King makes an appearance, kind of, in the first book. In fact, it's Storm when we first learn about him. Anyway, the idea of a reversal of the Stark/Dayne dark union into a Stark/Dayne union resulting in something good is an interesting one, IMO.
  23. I'm currently reading the theory. It's a very intriguing one. Perhaps Darkstar does fulfill a part beyond his actual deeds. He's directly influencing the events in the "realms of men", and not in a good way, and not through good means. I never thought of Ned leaving Cat. But you're right, he did and in Cat, we might be seeing another echo. Beric starts out in a way similar to a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, sent to serve the king's justice and protect the people of the Seven Kingdoms, something that he keeps doing, in a way, even after his death. And Allyria and Cat are both his "queens" in different capacities. Allyria is the queen he's chosen, a thing that helps him stay tied to his life as a lighting lord and his humanity - he remembers her and he's focused on wanting to remember as mundane and human a thing as the colour of her hair. She's unknowingly his bride of death since in the lack of evidence pointing otherwise, I accept she didn't know about his resurrection. But at the end, Cat becomes his chosen night's queen when he gives his life for hers through the last kiss - an echo of the Lord Commander who gave his seed and soul to the dead woman who'd become his queen. If this template holds true, Allyria Day-ne, although a bride of death (the dead man) and fire, is, in fact, the bright queen, the queen of day and humanity, while Catelyn is the dark queen, a "bride" of death (bringing death) and night (although there isn't anything sexual in the last kiss, it IS a kiss which brings a certain level of "intimacy".) And she's, accidentally, a Stark. The man who killed the Night's King was supposed to be a Stark. Coincidence? With Ashara being introduced so early and veiled in so much romance, even in Cat's description, I was a little surprised that I didn't see her in Feast - until the song about the stupid lady came along. I agree. In fact, with GRRM's propensity for prophecies shooting themselves in the foot, I think there might be even more "days that never were" than we realize. I think those "days that never were" weren't something pulled out of a hat on a random basis. I think they were meant to be, expected to be but never were. Perhaps days shown by false interpretations of prophecies or Dany's own biases? But even if the Rhaegar vision was a real one with the wrong name, it's still a fake one, a day that never was since it simply reinforced Dany's idea of Rhaegar as this brave, gallant prince who fought for his love Lyanna. I don't know what to make of it either. But I do think it's possible that it shows some kind of future. Young Griff allying himself with those of the Dothraki who are hostile to Dany? A son of Dany and another Dothraki khal? Perhaps the old women were right that the stallion who would mount the world would come from Dany's womb but it wasn't Rhaego, in a Rhaegar (Aegon-wise)-like fashion? With the splitting of roles I made in this post, I am not the one to think your idea lacking of merits. Actually, it's a ver convincing one. I also don't think that Arthur loving someone and fathering a child on her would be a stain on his honour in Ned's eyes. Perhaps he saw someone who defended innocents and helped smallfolk as the finest knight ever despite breaking an oath which, BTW, was not the knightly one but merely the KG one? For all his respect for Aerys' KG, I never got the vibe he thought the institution so awesome. He was awed by the men fulfilling the duties at a particular time and out of all of them, he merely thought Arthur was the finest.
  24. I haven't read LmL's posts with the attention they deserve but I am intrigued by a description we get very early on in the first book, the looks of the woman with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. She looks like what I imagine a Dayne would look like, in the description of the eyes particularly (Edric's eyes are actually blue, close to violet, so we know Dayne's eye colour come in more than one variery of violet.) Why stars? And she's, of course, the corpse who was the Night King's queen. We know that the Daynes, just like the Starks, have been around (documented, at least) far longer than the Targs. And we know how much GRRM focuses on his characters defining themselves through their choices. Could it be that an ancient Dayne once made a choice that turned them away from the magic of death and left them guard the south and Dawn instead? And for a long time, Allyria was literally a bride of death. Could she be someone's dowfall in some way and would it necessarily be a bad thing? Perhaps it'll be about choice with the Daynes as well. Ned who chose to follow his undead lord (Beric does read a little like an inverted echo of the night's king and he's looking for his "queen", placing her immediately after his very castle), Darkstar choosing to be of the night and Allyria (another teller of a bard's truth, in a way)... what is she going to choose? If so (the night's queen part), Jon's origin from both the Daynes and the Starks (the subject of this thread, after all) might turn out to be quite meaningful, symbolically, even if he isn't the third head of the dragon. I think Ashara, in particular, had been given too much attention, even by Howland who had no reason to notice her save for her beauty, let alone memorize the men she danced with) to be a red herring or a part of a failed plot. If Allyria is her daughter, no matter who the father is, it only makes sense to tell her about Ashara's doomed love story attaching a name to the lover if the truth is a bad one indeed. Even in Dorne, we don't hear of highborn ladies acknowledging bastards. If Allyria was Ashara's daughter by a random man, no matter if he was Ned, Brandon, or Moonboy, it would only be logical to not mention a love story of hers to Allyria at all. But it might have just been an additional layer of protection for a child of Rhaegar's or perhaps Aerys'. Still, the master of the court Ashara lived in (who could turn her into his whore, per Rhaella) wasn't Aerys. ETA: It's universally accepted that Dany's vision in tHotU confirms Rhaegar and Lyanna's love story. I wonder, though. Dany is warned that she'd see days that were, days yet to come and days that never were. Her visions start coming in three and I think another interpretation is possible. She sees Viserys with his crown of gold, Rhaego who never was and Rhaegar's death. But that doesn't make real past, future and fake past. If we take the Rhaegar did indeed die saying Lyanna's name, that makes 2 real pasts and 1 fake. No future. And I think the visions between her definitions - daughter of death, slayer of lies, bride of fire - might be meant to mirror the warning. If so, we have: 1) real past, future (Young Griff who'd make contract with the Dothraki and/or Dany before the second Dance of Dragons erupts? I think we're never actually told if he was tanned. Living in hot Essos might make one tan and we know Egg, who was as fair-skinned as Young Griff, turned as brown as a Dornishman while in Dorne), fake past (Dany's own expectations shaped by the romance of Rhaegar and Lyanna that she grew up hearing about?) 2) real past (I think Stannis got fake Lightbringer before Dany entered the house), future, fake past (like Melisande's faulty interpretations of the prophecy, perhaps? The dragon that wasn't meant to come?); 3) real past, future (JonCon or the ironborn?), fake past (Jon's attributions to the Wall were most definitely not sweet to the vast majority of his new brothers). If I am right about this symmetry, Rhaegar and Lyanna aren't a confirmed thing but the blue rose looks like it is, unless it turns out to be something else. The rose must have come from somewhere - and Rhaegar's part is nowhere near confirmed. At the moment, I can't see the symbols leading to anyone else but Arthur. Other clues, yes. As I said, I'm still in camp Rhaegar. But not the symbolical clues.
  25. Double post.