J. Stargaryen

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About J. Stargaryen

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    Maegor II

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  1. R+L=J v.163

    This is only required to fit into your interpretation of events. For example, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to suppose that Rhaegar arranged Lyanna's post-tourney stay at HH, and work from there. That kind of deception would account for treachery. But still, that's assuming we even need to account for that, which isn't a certainty. Just one of your parameters. Except that RLJ already provides a pretty good explanation for how they work. Are you saying it's a coincidence that you went looking for something extra, when that "something extra" is a requirement of AD+L=J? Lol. Fine. But the point I was making was, yours was not a natural conclusion. You had to go looking for it in order to "find" it. So, you had a conclusion in mind, which required a certain type of explanation— one that de-emphasized the connection between Rhaegar and the blue roses. Lo and behold, "treachery." This right here. How is this cleaner than the RLJ explanation I provided?
  2. R+L=J v.163

    I added @Kingmonkey's essay to the OP. It's near the top with the other essays and the Radio Westeros podcast. There was some discussion of an accompanying description, but I wasn't sure if that had been decided upon or not, so I just left it bare bones for now. --- As for GRRM always associating blue roses and treachery, RLJ already allows for that in multiple ways, not to mention secrecy, bitterness, heartbreak, forbidden love, etc. For example, Rhaegar running off with Lyanna is certainly a breach of trust since she was betrothed to Robert. To be clear, this entire angle of @Sly Wren's exists as a way to explain Rhaegar giving Lyanna the blue roses, but Arthur fathering her baby. That is, this isn't a natural conclusion. This is the fruit of someone who went looking for an alternative explanation to fit with a preconceived idea. But I just don't know how we can work around the fact that GRRM connects roses with Lyanna's birthing bed. I was with her when she died,” Ned reminded the king. “She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father.” He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes. Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. “I bring her flowers when I can,” he said. “Lyanna was… fond of flowers. - Eddard I So, "blood and roses" equals bed of blood/bloody bed and blue winter roses. Though the roses here aren't blue, they don't need to be, as no other colored roses are connected to Lyanna. That, and the fact that Ned's ToJ dream includes Lyanna and blue rose petals. Interestingly, the "blood and roses" Ned describes here are the colors red and black, Targaryen colors. IMO, if you know the text well enough, the phrase "blood and roses" is enough to tell you who Jon's parents are. Because it means that Lyanna gave birth, and points to a specific man, Rhaegar Targaryen. Because only Rhaegar gave her roses.
  3. Was Lyanna Stark the Knight of the Laughing Tree?

    I'm not so sure. And even if we assume you're correct, that doesn't detract from the Lyanna-Daena parallels. - Lyanna liked playing with swords. Not exactly lady like. So the Lyanna-Daena parallel is at least as strong. - Sure, but Lyanna might have done the same after her abduction, or on her way to meet Rhaegar. - Except Cersei didn't raise her children as bastards. She passed them off as Robert's children. Whereas Daena openly acknowledged her son's bastardy. Their characters intersect in certain ways. In any case, a large part of your problem with Lyanna as the KotLT, and its evidence re: practicing at jousting, was the lack of a parallel. Since one has been found, I'm curious to know what you make of it now.
  4. Was Lyanna Stark the Knight of the Laughing Tree?

    Any comment on this, @Sly Wren?
  5. R+L=J v.163

    Are you sure, or is it that we don't have descriptions of many other Targaryen knights? I'm pretty sure that variations of Rhaegar's design are used in the graphic novel version of THK. I don't think the two have to be mutually exclusive. After all, the phrase "all in black" is only used when describing brothers of the NW or Rhaegar in his armor. There is one kinda-sorta exception, where someone or something is described as "all in black" and then immediately compared to a brother of the NW. Schmendrick's idea seems a lot more straightforward to me than many of yours. Fair point on the knights, but the Stark/Bael tale doesn't tell us anything about the Daynes. And again, there's a very good reason for this. ETA: This is the only way the mystery could be worked into the story. You can show, and even emphasize, Jon's Starkiness because those traits can be attributed to Ned, and the mystery remains safe. But if you show Jon as possessing Targaryen traits, the game is over. There's more to being a Targaryen than just dragons. Some of them were good leaders, some were good fighters. Rhaegar didn't have a special sword or a dragon.
  6. R+L=J v.163

    Thanks. You're preaching to the choir. With mysteries like Jon's parentage, where there is only one correct solution, often times the best argument against one theory is the strength of another. However, since the discussion I was joining had focused on what was the best non-RLJ explanation, I felt like it made sense to use the RLJ red herring premise when stating my case, as it is the basis for those theories. Schmendrick's idea was based on the part where Jon thinks that he will not forget that Ned is his father no matter how many swords they give him. Which is kind of clever. The IT– that's a lot of swords! There's seems to be a hiccup or two here for Jon. He's not a knight, and he's almost certainly not a Dayne, even after allowing for AD+L=J. I guess he could be knighted on the battlefield, or something like that. But then how do we get from AD+L's bastard to Jon Dayne? Even if that is true, there's a really good reason for that, which I think somebody else already mentioned. Once you start putting Rhaegar, and/or dragon symbolism all around Jon, there's no more mystery. 1) We are told he was the Stark in Winterfell during the rebellion. Do we have reason to doubt that, or are you suggesting something different, perhaps earlier when Rickard could have been the Stark in Winterfell? 2) I will grant you that. Here's my attempt to patch up this hole in AD+L=J. LYANNA: I heard the rebels murdered Rhaegar's children. I'm worried about my son. NED: But your son is Arthur's child. LYANNA: Close enough. NED: True. Retribution for Brandon or Ned dishonoring Arthur's sister at HH. This is just speculation of course. But there are some inverted parallels between Lyanna and Ashara. Lyanna was honored at HH, Ashara dishonored at HH. Lyanna gave birth to living boy, Ashara to a stillborn girl. Lyanna died inside a tower, seemingly struggling to hold on, whereas Ashara allegedly took her own life by jumping off of a tower. So there might be room for the two events, the dishonoring of Ashara and the kidnapping of Lyanna, to be connected. Maybe. There are absolutely different ways to explain that symbolism. I kind of like the idea that Dawn is both the original Ice and LB. With the latter possibly being kind of a title given after the WftD. If Dawn is the original Ice, then Jon would have a pretty decent claim to it with RLJ. There's Dayne blood on his father's side, and he's a Stark through his mother. As for the "red sword of heroes" moniker, I feel like there's a decent chance that is a reference to the great (blood) sacrifice required to forge the sword. Dawn was forged from the heart of a fallen star, and LB was forged in Nissa Nissa's heart. This seems a little too coincidental to me. It's also possible that LB isn't actually a sword, but a different kind of weapon. Maybe a dragon, or perhaps great warrior/leader. Thanks. While I think is a long shot, to put it mildly, I could see how it might be possible for AD to be Jon's father. But I just can't envision any scenario where Lyanna is not Jon's mother.
  7. R+L=J v.163

    Why would Rhaegar wear a black suit of armor with a red, three-headed dragon upon the chest? Because it's the Targaryen sigil in armor form. What might GRRM have been trying to convey by having Rhaegar wear that suit? By essentially wearing the Targaryen sigil, Rhaegar became the embodiment of House Targaryen when he donned that armor. This hypothesis fares well at the Trident, where Robert defeated House Targaryen when he smashed their sigil, worn by Rhaegar on his chest. I think there's another angle, too. Though it's hard to know exactly what to make of it. It might not mean anything, really. Or it might. Who knows. I believe GRRM borrowed a bit from real-world history when constructing Rhaegar's famous suit of armor. If you go back to just a bit before the WotR began, you'll find a character named Edward of Woodstock, who was the son and heir of Edward III. He predeceased his father, and his son went on to succeed Edward III, as Richard II. Edward of Woodstock is famous for a couple of things. He's most well known as the Black Prince. Historians aren't sure where this name came from. However, the most popular answer seems to be that it is owed to his black suit of armor. Also, to this day the centerpiece of the Imperial State Crown of the UK is a red gem called the Black Prince's Ruby. So, a crown prince who predeceased his father. Which helped set the stage for the WotR, which GRRM has heavily borrowed from for ASoIaF. Combined with a famous black suit of armor, and a royal ruby. Both of which are associated with said prince. Again, who knows what it all means, or if it even means (re: tells us) anything, but it's unlikely to be coincidental.
  8. R+L=J v.163

    A couple of pages back a few people mentioned their preferred, and/or most likely, alternatives to RLJ. I was a bit surprised that AD+L=J wasn't almost unanimous. Although I generally agree with the criticisms mentioned by @Kingmonkey and @SFDanny, I still think it presents the strongest alternative case on all fronts. At least cumulatively, if not individually. Some disclaimers before I make a small case for AD+L=J: I believe RLJ. I do not believe AD+L=J. However, IF GRRM is pulling a grand prank on us, and RLJ is a red herring, then I do believe AD+L=J is the only alternative for a variety of reasons. Also, despite a few people writing posts and essays in favor of AD+L=J, I'm not sure the best, or rather the most complete, case has been put forward. At least not that I know of. I'll post some stuff below that I think has been missed. Again, at least as far as I know. However, please keep in mind that I am, or at least may be, aware that alternative explanations and/or interpretations exist for evidence I list. Since I'm posting this, I'm obviously open to discussion, answering questions, clarifications, etc. However, I'm not especially invested in this idea, which means I'm not overly enthusiastic about defending it. And I've probably shortchanged some of my arguments by limiting most of my research to AGoT. Because again, I don't even believe in AD+L=J. I believe RLJ. Please keep all of that in mind as you're reading. The gist of my argument is that, regardless of how certain theories have been evaluated and judged, AD+L=J is the only real alternative. Before diving into some of the reasons why I think AD+L=J is the strongest alternative, really the only possible alternative in my mind, I want to point out the basis for these recent R+L≠J cases. I've been a member of these forums for about 4.5 years now. As I recall it now, the bulk of R+L≠J arguments were based on a lack of evidence. In other words, the evidence for RLJ wasn't very convincing. On the contrary, the case for RLJ is very strong, to say the least. A point which is rarely contested these days. Thanks in part, I think, to the many RLJ regulars who answered the call over the years. I said all that to say this: All of the XYJ essays are based upon the premise that RLJ is an intention red herring by GRRM, and ought to be evaluated through that lens. Now, I would argue that red herrings don't really work this way, since you can't mislead an audience that doesn't know it's being fooled. And for so long, so much of the audience was blissfully unaware of RLJ. Anyway... leaving all that aside, assuming that RLJ is a red herring--and despite what I just got done saying, it really has to be in order for R+L≠J to work--we might have good reason to answer some of the AD+L=J criticisms mentioned. About the lack of positive evidence, specifically something between Arthur and Lyanna. Because RLJ would be a non-traditional red herring, and really constitute a fake out on a grand scale, we would have to assume GRRM would be going "all in" in his attempt to deceive the more skilled reader who susses out RLJ. Which would explain the lack of positive evidence for AD+L=J. And IMO, would mean that we shouldn't put a big emphasis on the aforementioned "positive evidence." So it would mean that GRRM couldn't exactly tell us that Lyanna met Arthur Dayne and was enamored with Dawn. But, he could lay the groundwork for such a scenario by repeatedly showing us that she was interested in swords. Because if you're a girl who is interested in swords, there's a fair chance you'd be impressed by Dawn. And I suppose one could even understand this interest in "swords" as a metaphor for an interest in someone whose house has a sword on its sigil. Maybe. Right now I want to address some of the reasons why AD+L=J is really the best alternative. Some are basic, some are narrative, others are meta-narrative. It fits in the timeline. That's big. Nothing has to fudged, or chucked out the window altogether. Dawn. A special sword that seems destined to play a part in the series. In fact, it may be the legendary Lightbringer, or the original Stark family sword, Ice. Or both! Arthur Dayne appears to be an homage to Arthurian legend--As is the ToJ, btw. Perhaps meant to emphasize the Arthurian theme here.--combining King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. Arthur Dayne is not the king, but his name is Arthur and he has a very special, unique sword. Plus, he's meant to be the finest knight of his day. Well, Lancelot was also famous for stealing a lady who didn't belong to him. Jonny Sword. The sword symbolism/theme with Jon. Even better if we're talking about Lightbringer. After all, it's not a large stretch that Dawn was the original LB. If you're interested in this line of inquiry I'd recommend reading @Schmendrick's R+L=LB essays. Lots of Jon-sword stuff. For AD+L=J, the key takeaway from the symbolism/theme of Jon and swords is the Dayne sigil, which features a sword and falling star. Now, because there is also a star, it's not as clear cut as when we say that lion symbolism means Lannisters, dragons for Targaryens and so on. But, if we're meant to think of sword symbolism the same way we do with lions and dragons, then I'm assuming that swords means Dayne. Alternatively, KGs are called "white swords" repeatedly throughout the series. A bit further out there, but based on the similar wording of the LB and Dawn origin stories*, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the sword and star on the Dayne sigil are representative of a man and woman. I'm sure we can figure out which is which. In other words, "sword" could symbolically refer to a male Dayne. This last part is a bit crackpot, but many moons ago I wondered if star:Stark::day:Dayne, which might play into that idea. *(LB was forged in Nissa Nissa's heart, Dawn was forged from the heart of a falling star.) Now, with that in mind, I'd ask everyone to (re)consider a few passages through the lens of AD+L=J. Some of them are more familiar than others. He gave her a half smile. “Bastards are not allowed to damage young princes,” he said. “Any bruises they take in the practice yard must come from trueborn swords.” - AGoT, Arya I This is popular with the RLJ crowd. Most of us take this to mean that Jon is trueborn since we know Joff is a bastard. Why does GRRM choose "trueborn sword" here? Is GRRM telling us Jon is a bastard sword Dayne? He is not my father. The thought leapt unbidden to Jon’s mind. Lord Eddard Stark is my father. I will not forget him, no matter how many swords they give me. Yet he could scarcely tell Lord Mormont that it was another man’s sword he dreamt of… - AGot, Jon VIII This is when Mormont gives Jon the (bastard) sword, Longclaw. Upon receiving this magnificent sword, Jon kind of freaks out and thinks about his father. For Jon that's Ned, but the audience knows better by now. The dramatic irony marks this passage as worth paying attention to, I think. "Knowing" that Jon's father is really Rhaegar, can we make sense of this paragraph, does it fit? It's tricky because the Targaryens don't have any special swords anymore. Blackfyre and Dark Sister are long gone. But, Schmendrick came up with an interpretation I quite like a couple of years back. That the "swords" are a reference to the IT. Now, let's try the same thing with AD+L=J. "Knowing" that Arthur is Jon's father, can we make sense of this paragraph, does it fit? I think the answer is obviously yes. Jon's internal struggle here is about his father and his swords, specifically his father's sword. That's quite compatible with Arthur being Jon's father. I'll post a few other passages from AGoT that stood out to me as possible evidence for the AD+L=J argument. They're interpretations of course, but I don't think any of them "interpret" more than normal. Nor do I think they are very convincing. Especially individually. [Ned] lifted the greatsword high above his head. Bran’s bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer. - Bran I A greatsword, like Dawn, in the last sentence of one paragraph, and then the Jon is described as a bastard in the first sentence of a new paragraph. Meh. This barely caught my eye. But it's a possible connection between "greatsword" "bastard" "Jon." It gets better. Jon swelled with pride. “Robb is a stronger lance than I am, but I’m the better sword, and Hullen says I sit a horse as well as anyone in the castle.” - Jon I "I'm the better sword." It could be something on its own. But there's also something of a sword/lance dichotomy. Which might be worth noting when remembering the HH tourney. Rhaegar was the better lance, but there's no way he way he was better with a sword that Arthur. And, not only is Jon the better sword, but he sits a horse as well as anyone in the castle. Sword + horse riding could be interpreted as evidence of AD+L=J. The next three are all from Jon's third chapter. The courtyard rang to the song of swords. The opening paragraph of Jon III. Not my mother, Jon thought stubbornly. He knew nothing of his mother; Eddard Stark would not talk of her. Yet he dreamed of her at times, so often that he could almost see her face. In his dreams, she was beautiful, and highborn, and her eyes were kind. Jon thinking about his mother in the armory; the place swords are kept or made. So, Jon's mother + sword(s). By the time Jon left the armory, it was almost midday. The sun had broken through the clouds. He turned his back on it and lifted his eyes to the Wall, blazing blue and crystalline in the sunlight. Even after all these weeks, the sight of it still gave him the shivers. Centuries of windblown dirt had pocked and scoured it, covering it like a film, and it often seemed a pale grey, the color of an overcast sky… but when the sun caught it fair on a bright day, it shone, alive with light, a colossal blue-white cliff that filled up half the sky. Jon emerges from the armory and the sun comes out. BftD/Long Night imagery perhaps. Then the Wall is described as "alive with light," just like Dawn is in the ToJ chapter. It's also described as "blue-white," a combination of blue and white. Perhaps like winter roses and Dawn. The next three are from Jon's following chapter, Jon IV. Jon was showing Dareon how best to deliver a sidestroke when the new recruit entered the practice yard. “Your feet should be farther apart,” he urged. “You don’t want to lose your balance. That’s good. Now pivot as you deliver the stroke, get all your weight behind the blade.” Jon III and IV both begin with sword practice. Life at Castle Black followed certain patterns; the mornings were for swordplay, the afternoons for work. The black brothers set new recruits to many different tasks, to learn where their skills lay. Jon cherished the rare afternoons when he was sent out with Ghost ranging at his side to bring back game for the Lord Commander’s table, but for every day spent hunting, he gave a dozen to Donal Noye in the armory, spinning the whetstone while the one-armed smith sharpened axes grown dull from use, or pumping the bellows as Noye hammered out a new sword. Swordplay in the mornings for Jon, and most of his afternoons were spent in the armory. Again, armories are where swords and other weapons are stored or made. “The Old Bear’s no fool,” Dareon observed. “You’re certain to be a builder, and Jon’s certain to be a ranger. He’s the best sword and the best rider among us, and his uncle was the First before he…” His voice trailed off awkwardly as he realized what he had almost said. - Jon V Jon is the best sword, and the best rider. Arthur was certainly a sword, whether as a Dayne or a KG, and Lyanna was a fantastic rider. I'll stop there, but also note that Jon stays in the armory when he becomes LC of the NW in ASoS. Again, the idea being that armories are places where weapons--like swords--are stored or forged.
  9. R+L=J v.163

    I think the initial "sneeze" discussion gave me a cold. Mostly better now though. Anyway, my initial take on GRRM's comments was that they were more generalized, hence my suggestion of the Great Spring Sickness. But if he was being more specific, i.e. the events that directly led to the fall of the Targaryen dynasty, then the Jaehaerys II illness makes more sense.
  10. What the Heck Happened to Baby Maegor?

    I like the theory too. Maybe not as much as you though.
  11. R+L=J v.163

    Sneeze = sickness. The Great Spring Sickness killed Daeron II, one of the best Targaryen kings, as well as two of his heirs. It was a disaster for the Targaryens.
  12. R+L=J v.163

    You think "sneeze" is more likely to describe a fire than a plague?
  13. R+L=J v.163

    The Great Spring Sickness would be my guess.
  14. R+L=J v.163

    I agree with you for a couple of different reasons. First, most RLJers here have considered alternatives many times over. I think this is why a lot of us so staunchly believe in that solution. Because we saw what those alternatives had to offer. Second, I've gotten the impression that some people are unsure of who Jon's parents are, but they're certain it's not R+L.
  15. What the Heck Happened to Baby Maegor?

    That could provide the motive right there. Aerion helped to defeat the Blackfyres and his son was passed over. Not much of a reward.