SFDanny

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  1. R+L=J v.160

    That's an interesting take on the subject. Do you have any examples of betrothals being cleared for his possible veto? Or is this your assumption that the king can do whatever he wants? I'd bet the High Lords of Westeros, and the not so High Lords as well would take issue with the king interfering with their right to arrange marriages of their children as they pleased. Now, the king always has other powers to make his displeasure known. So do the High Lords over their bannermen. But a right of veto is a far stretch here. This isn't like a bill going through Congress in which a marriage pact needs to pass through the ok of the king before being valid. Nor do we have any evidence that any of the betrothals of the STAB alliance were ever presented to the king for his approval. In fact, Aerys's interference in the Jaime-Lysa marriage is not done with a veto, but through the subterfuge of "honoring" Jaime through his appointment to the Kingsguard.
  2. R+L=J v.160

    Sorry, nanother, I know I'm wandering more than a bit off topic here, but all of the backstory seems so intertwined to me it's easy to do. So, let me just say this in response and then I'll stop and try to get the essay finished this week. I have a road trip across country to do, so I'd like to post it for further discussion before I go. And thanks to those who read this stuff and find it interesting enough to comment on. To your points, it's not that I disagree with your observation here, but that I think what we are looking at is classic Martin. He introduces a character everyone must find sympathetic - old, loyal, and long suffering surrogate father Maester Cressen. Cressen tries to not only kill someone he sees as evil, but someone he seesas a threat to his beloved Stannis, and he is willing to die in the attempt. What could be wrong in that? Two books later he introduces the maester's conspiracy and a book after that he has Lady Dustin tell us of the plots of Winterfell's maester. We are, in effect, told the other side. There is no black and white here. It is all gray. Maester Cressen does indeed have good reasons for doing what he does, but that doesn't mean the maesters, like him,who murder people who seek after magic, prophecy and dragons are right in doing what they do. They want a world without these powers so that it will be understandable, controllable, and the lives of people will be better. Noble aims. But Martin's world is not simple. Dragons exist. The threat of the Others exist. Magic is real. So, when the Maester's try to kill the dragons, as Marwyn tells us they do, or they teach to all that the Others are only old fairy tales made up by primitives, and magic never existed, whatwe have is an order of men fighting for anenlightened world, but whose actions threaten everyone's existence. Suddenly, viewed in that light these men of reason aren't so just and good. Martin, I think, wants us to ponder these questions when he smacks us upside of the head with such contradictory points of view. Anyway, I'll invite you to think on these questions with me in another thread soon. If you are interested, I'll let you know when I post it.
  3. R+L=J v.160

    Thanks for the catch of Ned speaking of when Robert was Joffrey's age. As I wrote earlier I think it likely that Robert is in the Vale before Steffon's death, and I agree it likely from the the general tone of their references that they know each other for a longer time than Robert fathering Mya tells us. The Joffrey quote is the best thing yet I know of to point in that direction. It still could be that Ned is only referencing what he knows from Robert and others about Robert behaved when he was Joffrey's age, but it seems more likely Ned knows first hand. Is the "he" in "Cressen doesn't sound like he" referring to Steffon or Cressen himself? Assuming you mean Cressen let me respond. I think the best evidence of Cressen's attitude towards the Targaryens is how he acts towards Melisandre. He tries to kill her because she is trying to influence Stannis with all the things he hates and fears - magic, prophecy, and stories of resurrecting dragons. Who else do we know who are obsessed with the same topics? The Targaryen rulers of Westeros. Cressen's attempt to poison Melisandre is almost exactly what Marwyn warns Sam about when he tells himnot to speak of these topics around other maesters because they will poison his breakfast if he does. Is it anaccident that Marwyn's warning to Sam is a spot on description of what Cressen does two books earlier? I don't think so. Cressen is, by his actions, a prime candidate for Marwyn's maester's conspiracy which he said did away with the dragons the first time. It is very interesting that he was the maester of youthful Robert, Stannis, and Renly. So, I take his remarks about Aerys's madness for just the face value of what he says, not an indication of a feeling one way or another towards Aerys or all Targaryens. It's not a question of hating the individual, but a need to stop the use of magic and dragons and other "superstitions" from ruling Westeros. To do so, we have proof that at least one maester is indeed willing to commit murder. And, again, I think the maester's conspiracy has a lot to do with the building of the STAB alliance.
  4. R+L=J v.160

    1) I don't disagree. These are possible reasons for Steffon putting Robert into Jon Arryn's care. Again, the problem is we don't know when Robert goes to the Vale. Steffon having reasons for possibly sending Robert there that have nothing to do with a conspiracy against Aerys doesn't mean the conspiracy doesn't grow from this relationship of Ned and Robert to Jon as the first step. 2) If Steffon was involved, and I'm not claiming he was, the best possible motivation would seem to me his seeing the growing madness of his cousin the king. He may have been the nearest person with any access to Aerys other than Rhaella and Rhaegar.
  5. R+L=J v.160

    The betrothal is the promise. It's the same thing. We are told Catelyn is twelve when her father tells her of her marriage pact. This places this part of the STAB alliance well before any of the crimes we know of committed by Aerys against the Starks, the Baratheons, the Arryns, or Tullys.
  6. R+L=J v.160

    The question about Steffon's role is a very good one, but the answer, I think, is unknowable at this point. Steffon died in 278, a year after Duskendale. So he was alive for the early parts of the building of alliances. When does Robert go to the Vale? We don't know, we only know he is in the Vale to father Mya in the timeframe RT shows. It could be Robert is sent there after his parents deaths, but I would guess it more likely he goes there earlier. Either way, I'm very, veryinterested concerning Maester Cressen's role in this arrangement.What we do know is that Steffon had no role during the time of Lyanna's and Robert's betrothal. He is dead by that time. Assuming Steffon had a role in building the STAB alliance in the early days, I think it is safe to say he kept it secret. This is, after all, known as Lord Rickard's plan, as shown by the Yandel quote. I think it would also be highly unlikely that Aerys sends his cousin to find Rhaegar a bride, if he thinks Steffon is part of a conspiracy to betray him. But think of this from the Targaryen point of view for a moment. Is there something a bit odd about Jon Arryn fostering two children of different High Lords? Probably, but this alone is not enough make one think it is proof of a nefarious plot. When the Iron Throne finds out about the betrothal of the heir of Winterfell to the eldest daughter of Riverrun, then alarms had to go off. Certainly when the young lord of Storm's End is betrothed to the daughter of Winterfell, those alarms had to reach deafening levels. Especially because Steffon is dead. The High Lord to which the Crown had the strongest ties by blood and friendship has just joined himself to a growing power bloc outside Aerys's control.
  7. R+L=J v.160

    Indeed. I would also point out that one has to consider what exactly the STAB alliance had to offer the Lannisters that got them so close to a Jaime-Lysa marriage? Can anyone imagine it included Tywin accepting Rickard as his new King? I don't think so. Offering him a chance to be the new King of the Rock is another thing altogether. Complete with an opportunity to put Aerys and the Targaryens on their collective asses.That just might bring Tywin into the alliance. That is entirely reasonable. Sorry for the overload. I will try to finish the aforementioned essay and post it for discussion.
  8. R+L=J v.160

    nanother, the main evidence, though not the only evidence, for this theory is the unique nature of the STAB alliance in Targaryen history. There are instances of marriages between the Great Houses in the 280 plus years of Targaryen rule, but they are few and far between. There are some marriages between the Great Houses the Targaryens themselves arrange/force early on in their rule. We know that is not the case with the STAB alliance. In fact, the two actions cited above show hostility by the Targaryens to the proposed marriages between these Great Houses. So, what purpose is there for this web of alliances to come into being between the Starks-Tullys-Arryns-and the Baratheons? We are clear that most of the marriages of members of the Great Houses are with their own vassal houses, including cousins. This type of marriage strengthens the ties of the vassal to the Great House and reinforces the oaths of fealty between them. There is a very easy and understandable reason for this - in time of war the Great House can call on his bannermen for troops to fight, in time of famine crops can be shared, and taxes go to enrich the Great House providing monies for its wants and needs. None of this applies to the marriages of the STAB alliance. There is no oath of fealty. So why are they spending so much of their "marriage coins" in building this alliance? Because there is an outside enemy they want to bind the Great Houses together in opposition against. There is really only one other example given to us that fits what the STAB alliance is doing. That is the marriage alliances during the War of the Five Kings. It is a simple fact these marriages are done to bring about alliances to enable certain people to sit the Iron Throne. We see it happen all laid out in our story as Renly marries Margaery in order for the joint might of the Stormlands and the Reach can put him on the throne. We see it happen in Tyrion's diplomacy to Dorne and Myrcella's betrothal to Trystane, and in his overture to the Tyrells fallowing Renly's death. We see it in Tywin's move to force the marriage between Tyrion and Sansa. What we have is a textbook on how marriage alliances between Great Houses are used to secure the throne and strengthen the power to hold on to it.What then is this web of alliances between the STAB alliance if not aimed at the Targaryens? We know it is not a series of accidental love matches that just happened to occur during the same time period. The only person who really professes love amongst the parties involved is Robert's "love" for Lyanna. Lyanna shows no love for him. Brandon and Catelyn are to be married but no love is involved. The same is true with the proposed marriage of Lysa to Jaime, and the Blackfish to Bethany Redwyne, And of course the foster relationships are not ones of romantic love either, though they build strong bonds between the Houses. Here let me note that we know next to nothing about possible matches among some family members of the Great Houses. We don't know if Elbert Arryn was ever married or if there was even an attempt to arrange one. Yet when Brandon rides to his death at King's Landing Elbert rides with him. There is obviously a tie between the men for Elbert to follow Brandon. Is it a foster brother relationship? Was it not just Ned going to the Vale, but also Elbert going north? Plans forBenjen, Ned, Edmure, and Cersei are likewise unknown at this time. The point being the STAB web of alliance could have well been developed even further. Then we have to place the STAB alliance into its specific time and place. Almost 130 some years after the last dragon died. After the War of the Ninepenny Kings in which there is a opportunity for the Great Houses to form bonds of friendship and battle between their members independent of the Targaryen court. Is it a really so hard to understand the growth of independent feelings among the Great Houses when we combine these factors with a weak, and later mad Targaryen king? I think not. What is it that the Great Jon shouts? It has been my belief for a long time that what we have is not an alliance to replace the Targaryens with one of the members of the STAB alliance, but to build an alliance that can renounce Targaryen overlordship over the old seven kingdoms with the power to stop the Targaryens and their allies from doing anything about it. To resurrect the Kingdom of the North, the Vale Kings, the Storm Kings, the River Kings, etc. Which is why there is no agreement by the rebels until around the time of the Trident who will take the Iron Throne if they win. The long simmering resentment of the rule from King's Landing which we see boil over in Great Jon Umber's speech is likely present, to one degree or another throughout Westeros. To use that to bring about a new Kingdom in the North is Lord Rickard's Southron Ambition. To this we add things like Yandel's quote. What do we get. We get a lot of evidence pointing to the STAB alliance being pointed at ending Targaryen rule.This is the context Harrenhal takes place in. A failed attempt by Rhaegar to win the STAB alliance to his idea of replacing his father. Exhibited in the treatment of Ashara by Brandon, I believe. Given that background, Rhaegar's political response stating his opposition to the Lyanna-Robert marriage by the symbolism of honoring her as his queen of love and beauty now makes sense, as opposed to the portrayal of him as a lovestruck idiot unaware of the politics he lives and breathes every day of his life.
  9. R+L=J v.160

    I would point out this text from The World of Ice and Fire: The interesting thing here is both what the author reveals and what he tries to hide. Remembering he is writing for Robert and his "sons", so it is not surprising that the maester blames Aerys. What is surprising and most illuminating is that in his defense of Lord Rickard he admits that the alliance's purpose is directed against Aerys - "whose alliances by blood and friendship tied the great houses together and ensured that they would act together in response to the Mad King's crimes." Of course, what is also obvious is that it is not possibleit is Aery's "crimes" that the alliances are built in response to simplybecause the crimes come long after the alliance ties are pledged. Clearly the maester lets something slip about the target of Rickard's alliances while trying to paint them in the best possible light for his audience. One doesn't tell Robert he joined a treasonous alliance through his betrothal to Lyanna long before Rhaegar or Aerys did anything to dear cousin Robert. Or at least one doesn't tell him so and expect to keep his head. Yandel's unnamed "misguided men" have the truth of it, I think. Any study of these ties points to them being unique in the history of the Targaryen reign. The STAB alliance is formed in opposition to Aerys's rule, and they show Rhaegar at Harrenhal their opposition is not just to his father, but to all Targaryens. And, yes, I think the maesters and their interests are very much part of the formation of the STAB alliance. Not just because of Lady Dustin's words, but because her words are supported by Marwyn's views of the aims of the maester's conspiracy. Winterfell's Maester Walys's description by Lady Dustin does indeed fit Marwyn's view of the Citadel's aims. So too does the thoughts and actions of old Maester Cressen as he goes about trying to murder someone he thinks is seducing his lord with tales of magic, fire, prophecy, and dragons. That makes two of the four Maesters of the STAB alliance as likely foes of the Targaryens. I wish we had more on Riverrun's Maester Kym and whoever was Jon Arryn's maester in the Vale.
  10. R+L=J v.160

    Leave for a few weeks and all kinds of interesting posts appear! Let me weigh in on Rhaegar and his political motives at Harrenhal. I think what we have in his crowning of Lyanna is primarily a political act. It is a statement to the realm that the Crown Prince claims an interest in Lyanna. Not a statement he wants her romantically, though that may be developing too. It is a statement to the STAB alliance that he disapproves of their proposed alliances and that he stands with his father against attempts to remove the Targaryen dynasty from power. Why does he do this? Because he called the Harrenhal tourney as a way to circumvent the STAB alliance grab for power and to offer himself as a peaceful candidate to resolve their concerns around his father's madness. The road not taken is indeed a council to replace Aerys.The STAB alliance spits in his face. They have no interest in replacing the father with the son, but want to do away with Targaryen rule. This comes to a head with the dishonoring of the Lady Ashara, lady-in-waiting to the Prince's wife and sister to his best friend. The best candidate for this act is the heir to the North himself. It looks like Brandon sleeps with Ashara with no intention of ending his impending marriage to Catelyn. He treats her, along with her close relationship to Rhaegar and Elia, as unworthy of respect. If I'm right, I'm pretty sure Brandon had every understanding of what were the political consequences of his actions. Rhaegar's response is to say I will support my father rather than allow this web of alliances to comeinto being and this new power replace the Targaryen's rule. He is not being stupid in rejecting the people he needs for a successful council replacing Aerys. He is recognizing the political reality that the STAB alliance has gone too far in its ambitions and can never be part of his proposal. He has very little choice other than to stand with Aerys. But how he does it is perhaps the most interesting part. He does it by "honoring" Lyanna. Just as Aerys did on the first day of the tourney by "honoring" Jaime with his selection to the Kingsguard. Both of these acts are pointed not only at sending a lesson to High Lords the Targaryens see as disloyal, but also at the alliance in particular. Rhaegar proclaims his interest in Lyanna who is to be married to Robert, and Aerys takes away Jaime's ability to marry Lysa and thereby expand the STAB alliance to include the Lannisters. So, we see in the course of the tourney, the swing of the political fortunes of Westeros. Rhaegar offers a hand of peace and unity in replacing his father, and it is slapped away. Anyway, my thoughts on the subject in a nutshell. One of these days I will finish an essay on the subject, but life keeps getting in the way. edit:While I'm at it let me address the "kidnapping." After Harrenhal Aegon is born, and Rhaegar learns of Elia's inability to have any more children, or her inability to have more children without risking her death. He departs on a journey into the Riverlands with a handful of friends seeking answers. I'm convinced that this is largely to seek counsel from either the Ghost of High Heart and/or the Greenseers on the Isle of Faces regarding matters of prophecy and the need for one more head of the dragon. I don't think this starts with a search for Lyanna. I believe the meeting with Lyanna is a chance meeting, and during it Lyanna asks him for help in stopping her impending marriage to Robert. I think the Stark response to Harrenhal is to move the marriages of the alliances forward and that includes Lyanna's marriage to Robert. They "double down" on moving the STAB alliance forward.His "kidnapping" is instead a "rescue" that Daenerys wishes for from her own wedding all those years later. The swords are pointed at Lyanna's escort and they run off together. Is it for love? Perhaps the Crown Prince has been obsessed with Lyanna since their encounter at Harrenhal. I think it likely. Perhaps the need for another mother to give birth to his "third head of the dragon" is revealed to him as the answer for his problems. Or perhaps he simply wants to stop the marriage he objected to at Harrenhal from taking place. I think all three play a role in his decision to help Lyanna. But I think there is another motive at play here. I think he "owes" Lyanna for what he sees as using her to make his political point at Harrenhal. She may think his crowning a act of love, or understand other motives behind it, but there can be no doubt by crowning her he has placed her at the center of the struggle between Targaryens and the alliance. What happens next though, is instructive of Rhaegar's thinking. He not only takes Lyanna away from her family, he takes her away from Aerys's power as well. If this was a purely political act against the alliance he would bring Lyanna to King's Landing and hold her hostage with all of the power of the crown behind him. He does not. He hides away with her with only the power of a handful of friends to help him and her ride out the anger they know will be coming from both sides.It is a desperate move, but likely the only narrow path that rescues Lyanna and does not give her over to an even worse fate. In any case, that is my two cents on the subject.
  11. R+L=J v.160

    Not a problem. I was only trying to clarify the need to keep the show/book discussions separate. Again, welcome, and feel free to advance your theory for discussion.
  12. R+L=J v.160

    This from the show, not the books. Welcome to the forums, but this is in the wrong space for this discussion, There is another area on this site for show discussions. What Ned said to Jon in the show - in this case, at least - has nothing to do with what happened between them in the books.
  13. R+L=J v.160

    Done. Hope that fixes the numbering problems and has the right links. If not, let me know and I will fix them again.
  14. Rhaegar and Lyanna timeline question.

    Martin tells us that Jon is "eight or nine months" older than Dany, so, yes, there is time enough between the two - barely - to be siblings. The problem is, depending on who she thinks are the parents of the two, is getting the characters in the same place at the needed time.
  15. R+L=J v.160

    Reference guide The R+L=J theory claims Jon Snow most probably is the son of crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister Lyanna Stark. The Tower of the Hand has an excellent analysis of this theory: Jon Snow's Parents And Westeros' Citadel also provides a summary: Jon Snow's Parents A Wiki of Ice and Fire: Jon Snow Theories Radio Westeros podcast: A Dragon, a Wolf and a Rose Frequently Asked Questions: How can Jon be a Targaryen if ordinary fire burned his hand? Targaryens are not immune to fire. It's a myth that has been refuted by a list of Targaryens being burned. Danaerys 'the unburnt' was indeed unscathed when she hatched the dragon eggs, but that has not stopped her being burned on other occasions. See this thread on Targaryen fire immunity. Don't all Targaryens have hallmark Valryian silver-golden hair and purple eyes? Not all of them: Valarr and Queen Alysanne had blue eyes. Bittersteel, who like Jon was half first men blood, had brown hair. Baelor Breakspear and his son(s) and Jon's own half-sister Rhaenys had the Dornish look (dark hair, black eyes, olive skin). Rhaenyra Targaryen's three sons all had brown hair and brown eyes even though both their parents had light silver-gold hair. Had Jon Valyrian features, it would give his parentage away: "He had the Stark face if not the name: long, solemn, guarded, a face that gave nothing away. Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son." Tyrion got the bit about the mother wrong, though: his mother was the Stark. If Jon isn't Ned's son, then why does he look so much like him? Jon looks very like Arya, and Arya looks very like Lyanna. Jon is Ned's nephew, and Lyanna and Ned looked similar. Ned is too honourable to lie. If he says Jon is his son, doesn't that mean he must be? Ned tells Arya that sometimes lies can be honourable. His final words, a confession of his guilt, are a lie to protect Sansa. While a lie can be honourable, cheating on his wife isn't, so Ned's famed honour points to Jon not being his son. How can Jon be half-Targaryen and have a direwolf? He's also half Stark, through Lyanna. Ned's trueborn children are half Tully and that doesn't stop them having direwolves. Why doesn't Ned ever think about Lyanna being Jon's mother? Ned doesn't think about anyone being Jon's mother. If he did, there would be no mystery. He names 'Wylla' to Robert, but we do not see him thinking of Wylla being Jon's mother. There's a hidden hint at who Jon's mother might be: In chapter 4, Eddard's internal monologue goes "Lyanna ... Ned had loved her with all his heart." and in chapter 6, Catelyn thinks "Whoever Jon's mother had been, Ned must have loved her fiercely". Why would Ned not at least tell Catelyn? We don't have a list of what Ned promised to Lyanna, but know he takes his promises seriously. Maybe he promised not to tell anyone. In Chapter 45, Ned is uncertain what Cat would do if it came to Jon's life over that of her own children. If Catelyn knew that Jon was Rhaegar's son, she might feel that keeping him at Winterfell presented a serious risk to her own children. Ultimately, Catelyn did not need to know, so maybe Ned simply chose to be on the safe side. Doesn't Ned refer to Robb and Jon as "my sons in the very first chapter? In speech, not in thought. Ned is keeping Jon's parentage secret. He never thinks of Jon as his son: In Chapter 45, Ned thinks of his children "Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon and explicitly excludes Jon from the list. ADwD Chapter 34 has Bran's vision of younger Ned in the Winterfell godswood: "...let them grow up close as brothers, with only love between them," he prayed, "and let my lady wife find it in her heart to forgive..." which not make sense if they are brothers. Since Rhaegar was already married, wouldn't Jon still be a bastard? He might, or might not. There was a tradition of polygamy among Targaryens in the past, so the possibility that Rhaegar and Lyanna married is not easily ruled out. A pro-legitimacy argument is this: The presence of the three kingsguards at the Tower of Joy is best explained if they were defending the heir to the throne, which Jon would only be if he was legitimate. Can we be certain polygamy is not illegal? Aegon I and Maegor I practised polygamy. In Westeros, unlike a constitutional monarchy, royals are not subject to the law. So if there ever was a law against it, it did not apply to the Targaryens: In Chapter 33 it says "like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men". Examples demonstrate that it was considered an option for Targaryens: Aegon IV and Daemon Blackfyre may have considered it for Daemon, Jorah Mormont suggested it to Daenerys as a viable option, and she said the same about Quentyn Martell. George R.R. Martin says in this SSM: "If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want". There is alsothis SSM predating the worldbook. On Polygamy essay by Ygrain with additions by Rhaenys_Targaryen Weren't the Kingsguard at Tower of Joy on the basis of an order from Aerys, to guard Lyanna as a hostage? If so, why would they have apparently made no effort to use this leverage against Robert and Ned? Some argue their Kingsguard vows would have taken precedence and still have required them to leave the Tower to protect Viserys when he became heir -- unless there was another that took precedence [Jon]. Others think they were guarding Lyanna as a hostage at the Tower of Joy. Some say that makes little sense: She would better be kept hostage at King's Landing, and wouldn't require kingsguards to guard her. The mere presence of three kingsguards implies something more important: guarding members of the royal family or maybe the heir. Frequently suggested readings: At the tower of joy by MtnLion and support of the toj analysis by Ygrain Isn't there an SSM that says the 3 Kingsguard were following Rhaegar's orders though? The SSM you may be thinking of is probably this: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that. They can't say, "No we don't like that order, we'll do something else." We know from Barristan, protecting the king is the first and most important of all kingsguard duties. Jamie suggests some other KG to stay with the king when he wants to leave for the Trident and we also learn of a ritual that is performed when all KG meet and the king is guarded by someone who is not from the order. "Protect vs Obey" is an ongoing subject of debate that is unlikely to be settled until we know more. Either viewpoint is compatible with R+L=J. Wouldn't Viserys take precedence anyway? Rhaegar died without becoming king, and doesn't the world book call Viserys, not Aegon, Aerys' new heir? No, in the case of an eldest son dying before the king dies, a grandson comes before a younger son. Even in the case the grandson is yet unborn at the time of death, he would succeed (heir apparent vs. heir presumptive). The world book is written with a Lannister bias (it may be propaganda to undermine Dornish support for the Targaryens) and in hindsightby maesters who have never learned all of what we know from Ned's dreams and memories. If it still turns out to be true... see the next answer. Are matters of succession just as clear as presented here? Succession quarrels are a part of medieval power play and even a very clear inheritance could well be contested. So maybe in King's Landing things did happen as the world book says. Rhaegar and Aerys may have been at odds over the succession. Rhaegar told Jaime before leaving for the Trident that he intended to call a council, and The Great Councils of the past have dealt with matters of succession. Who would have accepted such a change is a question worth asking. Ned is dead. Who's going to tell anyone about it? Bloodraven and Bran may have learned of it through the weirwood network. Benjen might know. Checkov's CrannogmanHowland Reed is the sole survivor of the encounter at the Tower of Joy, and George R.R. Martin has stated he has not yet appeared because he knows too much about the central mystery of the book. "They had found him [Ned] still holding her [Lyanna's] body" tells that there also was someone else besides Howland to find Ned. Why is this important? What impact can it have on the story? The careful way the mystery of Jon's parentage was created is reason to believe it's important. What impact it will have on the rest of the series is still unknown. This theory is too obvious and too many people believe it to be fact. How can it be true? It is not so obvious to the majority of readers. Some will get it on their first read, but most will not. Readers who go to online fan forums, such as this, still represent a very small minority of the readership. Also, A Game of Thrones has been out since 1996. That's more than 18 years of readers being able to piece together this mystery. Crowd-sourced internet-based mystery solving like this inevitably make solved mysteries seem more obvious in hindsight. George R.R. Martin is a "breaker of tropes, there can be no hidden prince, it's simply too cliché. In order to break a trope it needs to be installed in the first place. It is yet unknown what will happen to Jon in the future. Being the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar does not imply the fairy-tale style happy ending associated with the hidden prince trope. Is there a list of all R+L=J clues that have been found? There is a list of R+L=J hints, clues and foreshadowing compiled by sj4iy. Since this theory has been refined so well, will Martin change the outcome of the story to surprise his fans? He has stated that he won't change the outcome of the story just because some people have put together all the clues and solved the puzzle. A thread for discussing strengths and weaknesses of the theory that Jon Snow's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna. Previous editions: Please click on the spoiler below to reveal links to all previous editions of this thread