You know I was going to let this pass, but I do have a valid point and I'm not sure why it is so hard to grasp. The order of events according to Edric's story is this: 1. Eddard and Ashara meet and fall in love at Harrenhall. 2. Ashara gives birth to Eddard's still born child. 3. Eddard, the man that Ashara loves, marries Catelyn, giving her a child. 4. Eddard meets Wylla and also has a living child with her. 5. Eddard kills Ashara's brother. 6. Eddard returns Arthur's sword and leaves the mother of his "love child" at Starfall. 7. Ashara kills herself with grief. This story makes some sense in that Ashara would have received several severe emotional blows, except for the fact that Ashara's family was unlikely to take in the mother of Eddard's "love child". When a member of your family is already weathering a series of emotional blows you don't intentionally bring in an element that can only cause more pain. This is why I say that it is unlikely that Wylla entered into the service of the Daynes after arriving with Ned and Jon, unless the Daynes fully understood that she was nothing more than Jon's wetnurse. This brings us back to the original objection that I had to point in the essay that it made some difference if Wylla entered into the Dayne household before or after Jon's birth. Either way the Daynes would have provided a place for her only if they understood her to be nothing more than Jon's wetnurse.
Because from the point where Melisandre goes to get Gendry in the show, Gendry's story line is completely different from the books. You literally can't determine anything in the books from what happened in the show.
Pain. Even if the Daynes don't hold a grudge against Ned, it is a whole lot easier to forgive and forget when you don't have a reminder of what you lost and how right in front of you. So if the Daynes helped Ned find a placement for Jon's mother, that would be believable. Taking her into their own home, not so much. Also, how did the Daynes get roped into helping Eddard in this fashion? How did that conversation go? Did he ask before or after he told them he killed Arthur? I may have a lack of imagination, but I can't see how Eddard would be in a position to ask a favor of the Daynes at that point. Even if they didn't hold a grudge. I agree that Edric's story doesn't hold water. It is one of the advantages of having a child give information in a story. That way the author can signal that something about this story isn't right without having the person telling the story look like a total idiot. Out of the mouths of babes and all that. I don't believe Ashara committed suicide. I am convinced that she is Septa Lemore. However, if I am wrong (which has been rumored to happen on occasion ), then bringing the woman who pushed Ashara over the edge into suicide into their home is something I can't believe the Daynes would do.
The problem with knowing how adept Robb had become with warging before he died is that we don't have a POV for Robb. Therefore, the only thing we can go on is other people's observations. The quote provided in the OP shows that Robb was having some sort of feelings about the direwolves rather early. We also have "Gray Wind" as Robb's last words. This indicates a strong connection between them. How strong is this connection? The thing that convinces me the most that connection between Robb and Gray Wind was incredibly strong (and in Robb's conscious control) was the story the Freys were telling about the red wedding. The Freys' excuse for why they had to kill the people at the wedding was that Robb was a werewolf and he had infected his top officers so that they were also werewolves and they had changed into wolves during the wedding feast and had to be killed. Of course this is pure bullshit. However, the connection between Robb and Gray Wind must have been extremely strong and obvious for the Freys to have chosen this way of justifying their actions.
I think Robb was one of the first of the Stark kids to realize (accept?) what was going on with direwolves. I also think Rickon was quick to catch on (he had a little smile after Shaggydog had misbehaved in some fashion). This doesn't necessarily mean that they were the strongest wargs, just that they were two of the first to realize the potential. I think Lady died too early for Sansa to truly realize what was going on there, but she still feels the loss. With the other three, Bran, Arya and Jon, we get to see how they grow into their warging abilities. Anyway, I do think Robb was consciously warging Gray Wind well before he died and he was reaching out for his second life when he died.
The thing to remember here is that both Jaime and Barristan admired Arthur Dayne and knew that Ned defeated him. This would affect both Jaime and Barristan's estimation of Ned's abilities. We, however, know that Arthur would have defeated Ned if Howland hadn't intervened in some manner.
For me the scene with Ned Dayne completely kills Wylla as Jon's mother. It is correct to say that we don't know when Wylla went to work for the Daynes, but it doesn't really matter. Either way the elder Daynes had to know it was a lie about Wylla being Jon's mother. The reason for this is because there was literally only two ways the Daynes could have become aware of Wylla's participation in the matter. The first is Ned had Wylla and Jon with him when he arrived at Starfall to return the sword. The second is that Ned arrived at Starfall with only Jon and the Daynes provided Wylla as a wetnurse for Jon at that time. In the second scenario, I don't think there is anyone who would argue that if the Daynes provided Wylla as a wetnurse for Jon when Ned arrived with him sans wetnurse, then the Daynes were fully aware Wylla was not Jon's mother. However, in the first scenario it is equally unlikely to me that Wylla is Jon's mother. In the story Ned tells Ashara commits suicide after Ned arrives with Jon and his "mother" Wylla. Even if the Daynes are the nicest people in the world, I can't see them taking Wylla into their household after the suicide. If they were really nice they could have helped Ned find a place for Wylla, but it stretches credibility to the breaking point for me that they took Wylla into their own household after Ashara committed suicide. Therefore, I don't believe Wylla is Jon's mother and I don't think the Daynes thought Wylla was Jon's mother either. My variation on why the Daynes would willingly lie about Wylla being Jon's mother goes like this: Aegon had been born on Dragonstone, but not yet presented to Aerys. When Aerys ordered Elia and the children to KL to serve as hostages, Elia had to bring Rhaenys with her since she had already been presented to Aerys. However, between the time Elia was ordered to present herself with her children before Aerys and the time she actually did so, Aegon had been exchanged for the Pisswater Prince. Ashara Dayne took Aegon with her to Starfall and had Aegon there at the time that Ned returned the sword. The reason the Daynes lied about Wylla was because the only way that all parties involved could be kept safe was to tell the lie. This also explains why the Daynes have kept Wylla in their household for all these years. Wylla needed to be kept close because she of necessity knew far too much. Of course, I am well aware many people are absolutely convinced Aegon is fake, so this answer will seem foolish to them. That's okay, because I think being convinced Aegon is fake is foolish.
First, Mel is alive. She is probably really old and glamoured, but she is NOT dead. We know from her single chapter that she has a "fire" inside. (I am of the opinion that all the red priests have a "fire" inside, but I digress.) This "fire" appears to be a separate entity from Mel. It is my opinion that at some point Jon will run Mel through with Longclaw and the living fire within Mel will be transferred to Longclaw. In other words, Mel is the fire that AA will pull the sword from making Longclaw the new Lightbringer.
The problem here is that they didn't know why Ned had been killed. Nor did they know that Ned had intended to support Stannis. It wasn't until my third re-read that I realized that the Northerner and Riverlanders had absolutely no idea what was going on in KL. All they knew was that Ned had been arrested and then executed for trying to take the throne for himself. This was a lie and they knew it, but they didn't have any idea what was behind the lie. It is this fundamental lack of knowledge that made proclaiming Robb KitN a mistake. It wasn't until the parlay between Stannis and Renly that Catelyn began to understand what was really going on and by then the mistake had already been made. Sadly, Robb's campaign was doomed to failure. As far as people saying the deal Renly was offering was better than what Stannis was offering, all I can say is they don't really understand what Renly was offering.
His description says silvered gray. This is different than silver hair since it implies his hair was something else before graying. And high Valyrian is the language of nobility in Essos. Silvered gray hair and speaking high Valyrian is not really much evidence for being Targaryen.
This would be my guess as well. If GRRM intends to finish the story of Dunk and Egg, and it appears he does, he is unlikely to reveal information about the fate of characters that will be appearing in those stories.
On another note, where is it shown that Tatters looks Valyrian?