J. Stargaryen

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About J. Stargaryen

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

    I read the first few pages of this thread, so apologies if I'm repeating points others have already made. Regarding the KG at the ToJ and the Protect vs. Obey debate. Since Obey is the default position, the onus is on Protect to make its case. Normally we'd call that the burden of proof, but that somehow doesn't seem quite right here, in the realm of theorizing. Now, rather than rehash the details of the debate myself, I'd suggest that everyone look at the bigger picture. Meaning, ask yourself what message GRRM was trying to convey to his audience by having the kingsguard at Jon Snow's place of birth, and by wording the dialogue in Ned's dream the way he did. The answers to these questions form the basis of the Protect case, though they can be interpreted in ways that are compatible with Obey. The message I get is that (1) Jon is the king, or, possibly quite separately, (2) he will become king later on in the story. The first option need not be strictly literal, of course. There are a range of possibilities defining what it meant for Jon to be king when the KG fought Ned and company; e.g., "rightful," "uncrowned." Or, maybe it tells us what the KG (possibly mistakenly!) believed. Though these interpretations tend to be well known, I want to comment upon arguably the strongest hints for option 1 from the ToJ dialogue. For the sake of clarity and brevity I've numbered the lines and will be referring to them as such. So, at the risk of repeating what others have already said in this thread, and countless times before... “Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.” “Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell. “But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.” “Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm. “We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold. - AGoT, Eddard X In line 1 Ned suggests that the KG might have left King Aerys and fled to Dragonstone with Prince Viserys and Queen Rhaella, which makes sense. But lines 2 and 3 make it clear to Ned why they didn't flee, or probably more accurately, why they wouldn't have fled, with Viserys and the queen. KG don't flee, not even with the prince and the queen. But why not? What is it that would keep them from fleeing with the prince and queen? The dialogue appears to provide an answer of sorts in line 5. But "We swore a vow" only leaves the audience asking yet another question— What vow? I think there is an answer to that, which I'll get to momentarily. But first I want to address the previous question. Why wouldn't the KG flee with the prince and queen? What could possibly be more important to the kingsguard than the (crown) prince and the queen? Simple deduction suggests an obvious and sensible answer— The king. Yes, guarding the king would be more important to the kingsguard than the (crown) prince and/or the queen. Now we can move onto the next question—What vow?—and see how well that fits with the answer to the previous one. Someone, I forget who, pointed out many moons ago that Ser Gerold practically repeats line 5, from AGoT, in the following book, ACoK. But that's not all. He actually mentions a specific vow while using nearly identical language. Jaime relays this quote to Catelyn during their conversation in the RR dungeons. “After, Gerold Hightower himself took me aside and said to me, ‘You swore a vow to guard the king, not to judge him.’ That was the White Bull, loyal to the end and a better man than me, all agree.” - ACoK, Catelyn VII Can we be certain that this excerpt from ACoK actually echoes and explains the line from AGoT? No, not for certain. But it's at least a tantalizing possibility, I'd say. We don't exactly have an abundance of quotes from this deceased character for one, and the linguistic similarities can't help but call attention to each other. Then there's the fact that the later quote is specific precisely where the original is vague. More to the point, the second quote gives us an answer to the exact question left by the first— What vow? To guard the king. Is it simply a coincidence that this same character uses almost identical wording—"We/you swore/swear a vow"—to describe a vow specific to KG in successive installments of the series? Possible, sure. But how likely? If you're asking me, I personally rate the possibility that this is merely a coincidence as very unlikely. I could be wrong, but to me it looks an awful lot like GRRM left the audience with a question in book one—What vow?—which he answered in book two— To guard the king. Using deduction, we were able to answer the first question. Which was, What would prevent the KG from fleeing with the (crown) prince and queen? The answer being, the king. More precisely, the safety of the king. In other words, protecting the king. Kingsguard guard the king. Makes sense. Then, we answered the second question—What vow?—by noting the nearly identical language of Ser Gerold in line 5 to a quote from ACoK, where he mentions the specific vow of guarding the king. Are these two answers compatible? You could describe it that way, I suppose, but you would be grossly underselling the harmony of the answers, IMO. Now, with all of that in mind, let's reconsider the lines in question, and what exactly they entail. “Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.” “Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell. “But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.” “Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm. “We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold. - AGoT, Eddard X Within the first three lines we are given information that requires an answer. Specifically, why wouldn't the KG have fled with Viserys and Rhaella. The plain text of the dialogue seems to suggest that the reason "The Kingsguard does not flee" is that they "swore a vow." Notice that both of these lines, 3 and 5, are from Ser Gerold. It's not much of an explanation by itself, but there you have it. And we have tantalizing, if not compelling, evidence that line 5's own question—What vow?—is answered in ACoK, and that the answer is—To guard the king. The same answer we arrived at using deductive reasoning to the first question. So, if the question posed by lines 1 and 3 is answered by line 5, and line 5's answer is, to guard the king. Which checks out when using deductive reasoning. Then what are we to make of line 4? Well, a pretty strong argument in favor of Protect, actually. It's quite obvious that "then" refers to when Aerys sent Viserys and Rhaella to Dragonstone. The answers to the two questions posed in the 5 lines—guarding the king—make perfect sense here. If all of that is true, and there's good reason to believe it is, then the possible, or maybe likely, implication of "now" becomes clear. We, the KG, will not flee now, from the ToJ, because we swore a vow to guard the (uncrowned, rightful, etc.) king. Once you have an an answer to the question posed by line 5—What vow?—the KG seem to be saying that their place is with the king, not the prince. The question then becomes, how literally are we supposed to take this dialogue? Do the KG think Jon is the rightful, yet-to-be-crowned king? Or is Ned projecting his own thoughts and beliefs onto the KG in this dream? Or maybe, is it possible that GRRM was hinting at Jon's eventual kingship, rather than his birthright? There is room for debate here. In fact, I think there is enough room to allow for all I've said to be true, more or less, and Obey to be right. In that case, it would mean that Protect more or less correctly interpreted figurative evidence, but made the mistake of believing it was literal. Playing devil's advocate, I think there is a simple counter interpretation to the analyzed paragraph. Simply, the KG did not flee Lyanna and her (unborn?) child when Viserys and Rhaella fled to Dragonstone—then—and they're not going to flee from Lyanna and her (unborn?) child now. I think if you're looking for a simple explanation and you favor Obey, you'll probably prefer this interpretation. That's fine, of course. But I don't think it's quite as strong an interpretation as the one I've laid out. At least in my eyes, it doesn't explain why the KG contrast themselves with Ser Willem Darry as well the Protect version does. Sure, he fled to Dragonstone with the prince and the queen, but he was not specifically charged with protecting the king. At least not in any way that set him apart from other knights, or even able-bodied men, in KL at the time. So he wasn't fleeing from any specific vow or duty. On top of the fact that guarding the (crown) prince and queen can't be less noble than guarding Rhaegar's mistress and their bastard. Now couple this with the evidence suggesting that the answer to the question raised by line 5—What vow?—is revealed in ACoK to be— To guard the king, and suddenly the explanation is not as simple as it first appeared to be. Hat tip to @MtnLion and countless others for their contributions, which have almost, if not entirely, informed this post.
  2. The Others: Why now?

    You're confusing evidence with proof. Statements and/or testimony are considered evidence. And without affirmative evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to doubt what MMD and Jhiqui told Dany. That his face was smashed beyond recognition was a red flag for lots of readers. Also, GRRM later teased the possibility in a SSM. Prior to YG's introduction.
  3. R+L=J v.163

    The important takeaway, IMO, is that his train-of-thought rambling leads him from Jon Snow's parents to the Targaryens. Not the Baratheons. Not the Daynes. Not the Starks. The Targaryens. Digging a little deeper, GRRM traded this knowledge rather cheaply. Alfie answered some questions about his sister for GRRM. So we should ask ourselves: Would GRRM be more likely to do this if R+L=J was already one of the worst kept secrets in fandom, or R+L=J was a grand red herring? I know which answer makes a lot more sense to me. Honestly, I simply can't see GRRM revealing the latter in exchange for the knowledge of Lily Allen's favorite color, or whatever.
  4. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

    I saw someone speculate that it was so people couldn't figure out who lives, and who dies by the chapter titles. Which made sense to me. I'm not sure if this contradicts that, but GRRM said he got the concept from Stephen King. So, maybe if anyone knows why he does it, we could figure out why GRRM does.
  5. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

    It's another green and black pairing. I'm not sure if it means anything specific here, though. Just spit balling, but it might be worth noting the mother-of-pearl crown. Which could imply moon/moon mother. And I think there is some connection between dragons and the green and black pairing, or maybe that's just magic in general. So maybe it's reinforcing the connection of dragons and/or magic to the moon. Something like that.
  6. R+L=J v.163

    Why all the secrecy around Jon's parentage? Short answer: “So you say. If you are wrong, we need not fear. If the girl miscarries, we need not fear. If she births a daughter in place of a son, we need not fear. If the babe dies in infancy, we need not fear.” “But if it is a boy?” Robert insisted. “If he lives?” - AGoT, Eddard VIII
  7. I think starting with the Conquest could work well. I don't think the CGI would have to be too crazy, as you'd only need to heavily feature the dragons in a few key scenes; Field of Fire, HH, the Eyrie, for example. 2-3 seasons of the Conquest and Aegon + Visenya + Rhaenys ruling. Then you could have Aegon die, and watch Maegor + old Visenya war with the Faith. Blackfyre, Dark Sister. I'd love to see it. The biggest issue I see with this type of series is that it would be extremely Targaryen centric. It would essentially be Game of Thrones: Fire and Blood. As we are all aware, one of the most appealing aspects of this series is that you have your choice of protagonists. Think the Targs are inbred, entitled assholes—fine. House Stark to the rescue! Unless you're bored by those beleaguered orphans. In that case, House Lannister has your back. Unless you, like show!Renly, think they're the most pompous, ponderous cunts the gods ever... something, something. Think all three of those houses are a bunch of pussies, Ours is the Fury! And if none of them are rapey enough for you, there's always the Greyjoys. I think if they could swing the budget, the Dance would work the best, as it includes other houses in a more substantial way. Maybe they need to wait a few years for the technology to help lower the cost of the CGI. Then we can watch the Targaryens fight fire with fire. Would also love some D&E though. Aerion Brightflame, yo.
  8. Board Issues 4

    Pretty sure I had a post disappear from the end of this thread.
  9. Why did Robert hate the Targaryens so much?

    Aside from Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna, and Aerys murdering a bunch of Robert's allies, it was probably pretty easy to resent the royal family— the only house above his in the 7K.
  10. Actually, I don't think we necessarily disagree that much about Rhaegar. We both acknowledge that he was likely motivated by some combination of politics, love, and prophecy. We only really differ on the size of the role each part played. I think your theory is reasonable, but I have much less confidence in it than you do. I don't think the available evidence justifies the opening claim that, "There is no doubt... ." On the contrary, Elia's attendance at HH, while pregnant, would seem to run counter to your narrative. Given her difficulty following Rhaenys's birth, I would imagine that any indication of ill health would have prevented her from traveling. This is all possible, of course. But it's also highly speculative. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if at least some of this turned out to be correct. I think there's a decent chance of some interaction with the GoHH. I suppose it's possible that he chose Lyanna at HH as Elia's eventual replacement, and this is what he was signalling when he crowned her. This symbolism does exist, but my guess is that it was meant for the readers, and not the characters. I think I get what you're coming from. However, I'm just saying that the sniffles wouldn't have made her stand out. It was something all the girls who heard Rhaegar play had in common. I think that detail is more significant for the readers than the characters. You kind of make this point yourself, but it's not so much the sniffles as it is all of the other stuff. Sticking up for Howland, being the KotLT. Those are what separate her from the crowd. Nothing wrong with having different opinions.
  11. It's certainly convenient. I'll give myself that much credit. I tend to think they simply wanted to counter-balance the crown's power. But of course such an alliance might naturally result in the type of scenario you suggest. This is another interesting angle. The Mad King was mad, but not necessarily wrong. And perhaps the supposedly honorable Jon Arryn wasn't as innocent and noble as we've been led to believe. Some have even suggested that he was working behind the scenes with Tywin Lannister even prior to the rebellion. I think plans would have changed when Aerys executed Rickard, Brandon, et al., and then called for Ned and Robert's heads. Suddenly instead of a counter-balance to the crown's power, STAB is at war, and fighting for their lives. What is different about the Trident though, is that Rhaegar is leading his father's armies. Maybe STAB had considered the possibility of replacing Aerys with Rhaegar, until the prince joined with his father. It seems unlikely that Robert would have been in favor of this, but cooler heads might have believed it to be an acceptable outcome to the war. At least one!
  12. I don't doubt that he was aware of the possibility. However, I do doubt that he would have made any decisions prior to Aegon's birth. Perhaps, but it's said that all the girls cried when Rhaegar played. I don't think her sniffles would have made her stand out to him. I could see this making sense. Upon realizing Elia could not give him a third child, Rhaegar's thoughts turned to the Northern girl... Brandon wouldn't have to be thinking especially deeply. All that he needs realize in that moment is that Rhaegar is sending a message involving the Starks. My guess is that Brandon knew what his father was up to, and would have understood any intended message. Keep in mind that Lyanna was arguably the linchpin in the STAB alliance, being the only way to unite the Starks and Baratheons by marriage; the only girl out of seven combined children. Brandon and Catelyn both had younger same-sex siblings to replace them if need be. Ned + Lysa would still unite houses Stark and Tully. Fair enough. I think it's a viable theory for sure. Or maybe Rhaegar was acknowledging Lyanna's deeds as the KotLT. I don't think any of the possibilities is the overwhelming favorite at the moment. But for a while now, I've been attracted to the political angle involved in R+L.
  13. I guess it depends on how you look at it, because what Danny and I are saying includes a political element. Are you excluding that element? If not, then we're just arguing over semantics. But in my experience, people opposite myself in these discussion usually are excluding any political motivations for the crowning and/or kidnapping. To be clear, my posts dealt with the kidnapping more, or rather, than the crowning itself. But for the sake of this discussion, I think we can probably lump them together. I think there might be a distinction though, that's worth discussing. I don't think Rhaegar crowned, and/or kidnapped, Lyanna in order to fulfill a prophecy. I think Rhaegar was attempting to solidify his power, as well as that of House Targaryen, against any threats. So that he, or his offspring, could then fulfill the prophecies at a later time. I think that playing at politics with Lyanna Stark caused him, almost by accident, to fulfill the prophecies he had intended for himself and later his children by Elia. So, I don't think he set out to fulfill the prophecies with Lyanna. At least not at first. However, he may have changed his mind later on. Though I am uncertain to what degree. If Brandon had attacked Rhaegar, he would have been arrested or cut down immediately. Remember that six of the seven KG were present. Whether or not Brandon and/or Robert personally feared Rhaegar is irrelevant. This wasn't a matter of a one-on-one battle between the prince and either Brandon or Robert. This was a matter of faction vs. faction. All out civil war. Btw, has it occurred to you that Brandon's reaction is a sign that he received and understood Rhaegar's hypothetical message? Perhaps that was what enraged him so. I completely disagree. If Brandon had attacked Rhaegar, he would have been in the wrong 100%, and all who gathered at HH would have seen it. Hard to sell your rebellion as noble when it was started by a hotheaded fool who broke the law. Not as convincing a piece of propaganda as Rhaegar kidnapping Lyanna, and Aerys murdering Rickard, Brandon, et al. Also, it's entirely possible that if Brandon had attacked Rhaegar that Rhaegar would have defeated him, settling the matter. Or vice versa. No doubt such a confrontation would lead to hard feelings that could eventually lead to rebellion. But a personal beef between two parties, one of them notoriously hotheaded, doesn't guarantee immediate civil war. Right. But what I'm saying is that the theory itself makes sense. We can disagree on how much sense it makes, but I'm not ready to write it off as silly or weak based on the counter arguments I've seen. Well, it might not be as cut and dry as I stated it. Rhaegar may have crowned Lyanna in order to signal that he knew about STAB, and that he planned to stop it. Not that he was necessarily in lock step with his father again. But by indicating that he planned on stopping the STAB bloc, he would have been indicating that he and his father now had a common cause. That STAB would have to deal with the whole of House Targaryen, rather than just mad Aerys at first, and then maybe later Rhaegar + Dorne. You know, it's possible that STAB intended to allow Rhaegar to eventually become king. But by that time he might have been left with half a kingdom, and/or known as the Toothless Dragon. Recall Aegon V's difficulty in ruling the 7K. Surely Rhaegar would have even less power and success had STAB been allowed to continue to grow.
  14. As I mentioned, I especially liked the point about what actually happened after RR ended. Namely, that the rebels did not disband the 7K. In fact, keeping them together seemed to be a top priority, as evidenced by Jon Arryn's urging Robert to marry Cersei. I don't think it has to be that he was more focused on politics than prophecy. In fact, one of the arguments I made somewhere along the way in those discussions I linked, was that Rhaegar could have been motivated by prophecy to play at politics. Keeping in mind all you say, Robert and Brandon have more to fear from Rhaegar than vice versa. He's still a Targaryen prince, which places him above them in the kingdom's pecking order. Simply crowning Lyanna isn't enough to start a rebellion. Relatively minor insults from the royal family, including the kind of message sending we're discussing, had to be tolerated by non royals. You're not going to get half of the kingdom to risk literally everything because a handful of lords were insulted, without injury. Also, if you look back at the actual rebellion it becomes clear that even a united STAB was a long shot to overthrow the Targaryens. The rebels were on the brink of losing the war for almost its entire duration, despite only one indecisive loss in the field. On the other hand, the Targaryens were one victory at the Trident away from putting down the rebellion, despite losing battle after battle to them. Rhaegar went to the Trident with the larger army. Again, after losing several battles, and indecisively winning only once. The rebels had to walk a tightrope in order to win, which they did. If Hoster Tully backs out of STAB, the rebels lose. If Storm's End falls, the rebels lose. If Robert dies in battle at any time, the rebels almost surely lose. And as we know, he was injured on at least a couple of occasions. I don't really agree. Especially if you follow @SFDanny's line of thinking. Which is, that Rhaegar was sending a message to STAB that he and his father were united. Because, as I stated above, even a united STAB still had to fear the might of the Targaryens. They no longer had dragons, but they had enough loyal houses to keep them in power. I think the crowning can be political, prophecy related, and for love. Depending on how you look at it. For example, I think the symbolism of Rhaegar using his lance to place the crown in Lyanna's lap is, for the readers, undoubtedly sexual. It's meant to symbolize Rhaegar impregnating Lyanna with Jon. But was that Rhaegar's intent when he crowned her? I highly doubt it. In universe I think there is a fair chance that it was a political statement. I kind of touched upon it above, but my feeling is that Rhaegar was motivated by prophecy to play at politics, which led to his relationship with Lyanna. I agree that there is a tendency for us to overthink certain issues here. But it's hard to blame us since the last book came out in 2011. No worries.
  15. Thanks. That's rather kind of you. I certainly wasn't implying that you were claiming credit for what is a rather minor contribution in the grand scheme of things. One invented for the sake of convenience. (Sort of like my naming Bael the Bard's Stark girl Baelette, which I've seen used here and there.) Nor was I implying any ill intent on the part of @TheSeason. No harm, no foul. Just a simple misunderstanding. Perhaps I came off as clamoring for attention, but that wasn't my intention either. "STAB" belongs to the community—that's what we're here for, to share our ideas—but if credit is going to be given, it ought to be given where it's due. Indeed, you are misinterpreting my post. I was simply trying to add a bit to the discussion. It's easier to post links than re-type what is already written.