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  1. R+L=J v.162

    You are right, RT. The wedding had to have Aerys's approval. In fact, the fears for his own life and Viserys as well probably comes from Aerys's fear of Tywin. When Steffon dies, I believe, Aerys thinks that Tywin was somehow responsible, and he thinks Tywin wants to kill him as well. After Tywin's foolish remarks before the small council as they met in the siege of Duskendale, I can understand the lack of trust in his Hand. The paranoia is shown, however, in the extent he sees Tywin's plots in things like a shipwreck during a storm. Another problem here is that the paranoia extends to his son. He has begun to think Rhaegar is in league with Tywin. Does that mean, he fears Rhaegar had a hand in these made up plots to kill Aerys at the wedding? I don't know, but we can say the relationship between father and son is not the same after Duskendale and the marriage only makes it worse. The Dornish marriage is, likely as not, agreed to in order to spite House Lannister's overreaching desire to marry Cersei to Rhaegar. The Martells, however, become a new "enemy" after the wedding, and we see it clearly in Aerys's reaction to being presented with Rhaenys, if not before that. Here we agree completely. I would only add that, while we don't know how it is Elia and her children end up in King's Landing under Aerys's control, it seems very unlikely given the background we have gone through above that she goes there willingly. If she has a choice, it would seem to me she either would want to be in Dorne with her family, or if she sees that as a rebuke to Rhaegar, to stay on Dragonstone. The last place she would travel to after the "kidnapping" would be King's Landing and into the paranoid grasp of Aerys. My thinking is that at some point Aerys's sends an escort to Dragonstone with a summons Elia cannot refuse. Was that Hightower? I don't know, but I think we will learn more of this time period's details in the next book.
  2. R+L=J v.162

    Well, we know he was planning to have them burn with everyone else in King's Landing after the Trident. He had sent Rossart out to start the fires before Jaime caught the newly made Hand. Now this was probably 4-6 months after he first reminded Prince Lewyn he held Elia, but considering the murder and torture he had committed before that and the months of preparation that must have been needed to prepare the pyromancer plot, it's not a stretch to conclude that Aerys not only was capable of these murders, but planned much more. We know there "tensions" between father and son concerning the wedding to Elia (Aerys did not attend, and forbade Viserys from doing so as well) and we know the "tensions" grew with the removal to Dragonstone into rumors of a crises between the two involving either a disinheritance of Rhaegar or the overthrow Aerys. When Rhaegar brought his family back so his father could see his new granddaughter, we know Aerys refused to touch her and complained that she "smells Dornish." Given Aerys's state of mind and his expressed disapproval of Elia and Rhaenys Dornish heritage, I don't know how Rhaegar could not take all of it as a threat to his family. This is not a situation in which one could count on Aerys changing his mind over his perceived inferiority of Rhaegar's wife and child. Rhaegar would have been a fool to ignore this and trust his father to not harm them. I'm not sure why you think this strange, other than it extends into the royal family itself this is a normal practice in Westerosi history. Right off we are given the example of Theon Greyjoy who is held hostage by Ned Stark against his father's future behavior. There are many other such examples in the books. The shocking difference is that this tactic is employed between father and son, not that it is employed. Given the shocking nature of Aerys's mental state and his cruel history, we should not be surprise to learn his is willing to hold his own family members under threat of violence in order to get his way. But this is not the only reason Rhaegar has for fighting for his father during this time period. It is the threat to his family, and the fact Rhaegar has a self-interest in saving the Targaryen monarchy from the rebellion that motivates him, I think. I don't find his response to a very difficult situation surprising at all. He did what he had to do. Yeah, I'm not buying into this one. Aerys wants to win against the rebellion. Why wouldn't he want experienced commanders like Prince Lewyn and Ser Barristan there? The problem isn't with who goes, but in when we find a difference between father and son about who goes. Rhaegar tells Jaime why Aerys would not let him go, and the king's wish is what rules. We have no reason to think Aerys made Rhaegar the Lord Protector. Far from it. Aerys is still giving orders to his Hand. He is still giving orders to Rossart to prepare burning down King's Landing. And the conversation between Rhaegar and Jaime does not suggest Aerys has given over the rights of Kingship to Rhaegar. As I've pointed out, it shows Rhaegar knows the limits of his ability to command is subordinate to his father's. Not a problem, LV. This is real hypothetical territory seeing as such a council was never called. Rhaegar's death at the Trident render all these plans moot. I agree that it would not have solved the underlining problems of Targaryen rule sans Dragons, but it could have removed Aerys from power, whatever the formal titles he and Rhaegar used, and it could have led to a temporary truce in further rebellion. The part of this I think you're missing is that Rhaegar returns not only because of his family being held hostage, and his own need to defeat the rebellion, but also because his father needs him. I don't mean that to say Rhaegar returns because he is being kind to his father. Rather I mean it is because the need for Rhaegar to play a role in rallying loyalist forces is paramount at this point. Loyalists will still flock to his banner, and see a hope of defeating the rebellion. More than a general, he is a charismatic symbol that Aerys can no longer be. Rhaegar understands this, and uses it in his preparation for battle. It keeps him out of the dungeon as well, at least temporarily. I don't think there is any doubt if Lyanna comes north with Rhaegar, she ends up in a room right next to Elia, if not a Black Cell, and under Aerys's control. If she is a prisoner, ordered to be such by Rhaegar, why do you think she dies holding onto roses? Roses that sound suspiciously like the ones given to her at Harrenhal? No, I don't think she is Rhaegar's prisoner, nor do I think Hightower could force Dayne and Whent to treat her as such. As I said above, I think Ser Gerold throws his lot in with Rhaegar because he is ordered to deliver the threat to Rhaegar about Elia and her children. That was the last straw for the White Bull.
  3. R+L=J v.162

    When you say Aerys "might have not been serious in his threats towards Elia and the children," what could possibly give you that idea? This is a man who has tortured and murdered both Rickard and Brandon. He has killed every member of the Darklyn and Hollard families, but one, in the most cruel and inhuman ways possible. He has beheaded servants, and tortured others to death. So when you say he wasn't "serious" I don't know how you can reach that conclusion. He wasn't serious because it wouldn't make sense to think of his half-dornish grandchildren as less "Valyrian" than his own and therefore "smelled" funny? And yet he did. I somehow can't get Joe Pesci's rant in "Goodfellas" out of my mind when I think of how unserious Aerys could have been. Aerys was dangerous in the extreme to all around him. That is true of those he should have viewed as loyal friends and those he had reason to see as a threat. His paranoia placed everyone in peril, and one would have to be a complete fool to hear his threats agains Elia, and later to his grandchildren as well as less than as serious as a heart attack. Rhaegar was no fool. He knew his father too well. In fact he knew his father so well he removed his family from King's Landing to Dragonstone away from the day to day crazy acts his father could inflict. It is important to note that somehow Elia and her children leave the relative safety of Dragonstone to return to the court while Rhaegar can't be found. It is also important to note that it is during this time Elia is used as a hostage. How one can think this is a joke is beyond me. We have the testimony of Ser Barristan that Rhaegar was "fond" of his wife, and I see no reason to believe he didn't love his children. If those are even close to being true, he can't have been accepting of his father's threats to his family. What he could do about it once they are in King's Landing is another question. It makes sense to me he would want to remove them from the city and his father's reach if he could in anyway make that happen. That it doesn't, to our knowledge, happen should tell us something of the limits of the Crown Prince's power in this time. I do not disagree with your last point. While up to Lyanna's "kidnapping" the Dornish are a critical part of Rhaegar's partisans, after that event his relationship with the Martell brothers, and possibly Prince Lewyn, becomes strained to say the least. I don't dispute that Rhaegar had the power to order the Kingsguard. Up to the point those orders contradicted Aerys's wishes. What we see in the last meeting between Rhaegar and Jaime is just one of those points. Rhaegar tells Jaime why he can't take him with him. It is because, like Elia and her children, Aerys holds Jaime close as a hostage. In this case to ensure Tywin's good behavior instead of Rhaegar and Dorne, but for the same reason. Rhaegar knows of the paranoia Aerys feels towards his former Hand. How could he not? He knows Aerys would veto any decision he makes that would take Jaime out of the king's power, and that is exactly what he tells Jaime. This scene should show us the limits of Rhaegar's power, not that he can do as he wishes. After all, there is still a Hand of the King, as well as the King himself. Rhaegar may well make all the tactical decisions of the commander of the loyalist troops, but he is neither the King or his Hand. No hint? You're not serious, right? I'm not quite sure how more obvious the hints can be that Rhaegar wants to call a Great Council to make changes after the war, or that he tried to use Harrenhal to accomplish that in the past. You may think he really didn't mean to, and I'd love to hear your reasoning, but it is just plain false to say there are no "hints" concerning calling a Great Council. Could it have included the Baratheons, Tullys, Arryns, and Starks? That depends on who is left from those Great Houses, and if Rhaegar wanted to bring them into a new Westeros under his new Kingship. My guess is, yes, there would be an accommodation to bring them back into the King's grace. I think I've already answered this, but again, Rhaegar's power wasn't unlimited. If he brings Lyanna to King's Landing, she becomes every much a hostage to Aerys's whims that Elia and her children already are. I've no doubt Lyanna would have told Rhaegar, and Aerys, and Ned, and Robert, and Prince Doran, and Prince Oberyn, and Jon Arryn, and Hoster Tully, or anyone else just what she thought and what she wanted. She unfortunately has no armies under her control, and is largely dependent on Rhaegar for getting her wishes to come true.
  4. R+L=J v.162

    @The Twinslayer The problem I find in most of these kind of scenarios is they really aren't needed. It assumes Rhaegar must give an order that circumvents his father's wishes in deed but not in word. I think the evidence shows that is not the case with Dayne and Whent. They help with Harrenhal and its preparations, and they are present with Rhaegar when he runs off with Lyanna. Both are against what Aerys wanted, but they follow Rhaegar's lead anyway. That only leaves Rhaegar with how does he get around Hightower? My take is he can't. Hightower is no fool and he isn't going to follow an order from the Crown Prince that is against the King - no matter how cleverly worded - unless he has decided his loyalties lay with Rhaegar and not his insane father. This is not a decision of standing by while Aerys tortures Brandon and Rickard. This is a decision about supporting a clearly mad king or the last hope of the Targaryen dynasty. I think the White Bull makes that decision, and if Rhaegar gives him an order that removes him from immediate control from Aerys, I think Hightower is fulling aware of what is going on and is fine with it. It may have been a long time coming, but the Lord Commander makes a decision about who to support - Aerys or Rhaegar - and he does so before the Crown Prince leaves and goes north.
  5. R+L=J v.162

    The hints are only contradicting if one assumes Rhaegar has all the authority you suggest, and that he basically goes along with his wife and children being held hostage against Dorne. Given the tensions we already know exist between father and son that date back to well before this time, I think these assumptions aren't well founded. If one assumes Rhaegar does not have the power to overrule his father concerning where his own family should be, and who controls their safety, then the seeming contradictions disappear. I'd suggest it is clear that Rhaegar's authority is in his command of the Targaryen forces in the field. Not in the control of those in charge of King's Landing (the Gold Cloaks) or necessarily in the allocation of duties to the members of the Kingsguard. Could he fight with his father at this time and win? Possibly, but he has a greater threat in the rebel army, and if even he wins in a fight with his father it could mean the death of his family. It makes more sense for Rhaegar to do as he did. Try to win against the rebels and return as the victorious general calling for a Great Council to resolve the problems of the realm. It's what he tells Jaime he means to do, and it makes sense given all of the problems he faces. As an aside, given all the circumstances above, it also makes sense for Rhaegar to try to smuggle his family out of King's Landing and outside of his father's control. This, plays into an old theory of mine I call "two princes in the tower" but that's for another discussion. Regarding Lyanna, let me make it clear I don't think the main reason she isn't moved isn't because of her health or the health of her baby. I agree with your timeline that is likely Lyanna is early on in her pregnancy. The reason she isn't moved, as I said earlier, is that Rhaegar wants to keep her outside the control of other forces - including Aerys, Prince Doran, or any of the rebel leaders. Aerys would use her as a hostage both against the rebels and against Rhaegar's behavior. Doran would use her as a balance against Elia and her children's status, and against Rhaegar. If the rebels get ahold of her they have a possible valuable hostage back, and if they know she is pregnant with Rhaegar's child, as a hostage against Rhaegar himself. In short, Rhaegar has every interest in keeping Lyanna hidden away and in his own control with men he trusts completely. That doesn't mean that concerns about Lyanna's health and the health of her child don't become crucial latter on. Which also argues that it would be likely a maester was at the tower. If there is any warning of complications, there would be a need to get a maester there as fast as possible. And as I said earlier, having one in attendance for an aristocratic birth is the norm shown in the books.
  6. R+L=J v.162

    Sorry, LV, I know you know this stuff, but I was trying to point out the importance of Aerys using Elia as a hostage against Dorne before Rhaegar arrives to take over the command of the royalist troops. I'm not sure why it is then a stretch to imagine he would do the same with his son. It seems likely to me, that one of the reasons Rhaegar leaves the Tower of Joy is that his father threatens, perhaps subtly, perhaps not so subtly, Rhaegar's wife and children. If we are to take his boast to Prince Lewyn that he "held Elia" as a threat, as obviously Jaime thinks it is, then why would he not tell his son the same thing? If nothing else, the long held threat that he can replace Rhaegar and his line with Viserys has now been augmented by the physical control of Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon. If true, there is no ability to send his family back to Dragonstone. They are there until Rhaegar fulfills his duty to defeat the rebels. Not that Rhaegar doesn't also have an interest in defeating the rebellion, but it seems to me he would rather do so without his father holding his family hostage. With regard to what the discussion with Jaime on the occasion of Rhaegar's departure from King's Landing reveals about his power to order the Kingsguard to do his wishes, I would disagree this shows he could override his father's orders. Rhaegar seems to be held on a leash in the form of his children and wife being held by his father. He can order anything he wishes - until it contradicts something Aerys wishes. The king wants Jaime to stay with him, as hostage to Tywin's good behavior. Rhaegar shows he knows he can't go against his father in this. The king wants Elia and her children held as hostage against Dorne, and, obviously Rhaegar knows he can't order they be sent back to Dragonstone as they are likely held hostage against Rhaegar's own good behavior. Not so odd at all. I think he leaves the three Kingsguard at the Tower because he trusts those specific men with Lyanna and her expected newborn. I think we have evidence that shows Dayne and Whent to be Rhaegar partisans, and I think the orders the White Bull carries to the tower are the last straw for the Lord Commander. Holding his own grandchildren hostage is a bridge too far into insanity even for Hightower. Yeah, I don't buy the "confirmation" to be anything more than saying only two men - Ned and Howland - survived the combat. Serving men who aren't part of the fight aren't included in what I think Martin is trying to say here. Not that means there was a maester there, but only I don't take George's remarks as ruling it out. It would be the normal course of preparation for a aristocratic birth for there to be a maester in attendance. Surely there can be found a Rhaegar loyalist amongst the maesters who the Crown Prince would trust to deliver his child. I've always favored Marwyn as the prime candidate for this role, but without more information it is pure speculation. The reason for Lyanna to give birth in hiding is clear. Both sides in the war, and many parties with different interests on both of those sides, would very much like to have Lyanna in their control. By leaving Lyanna to give birth at the Tower, outside of anyone's control but his own, Rhaegar stops the danger to Lyanna and her child being captured by the rebels, the king, or the Dornish would bring. I do agree the Dothraki are not an example the Westerosi noble class would look to for health information concerning pregnant women. edit: from a quick google search: http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-ride-horseback-during-pregnancy_1246863.bc tons of this stuff out there. Almost all of it says, no, don't do it. Of course, that doesn't mean that is the best medical advice in Martin's world of aristocratic Westeros. Among the few examples of pregnant ladies of the noble classes, they aren't any I recall riding horseback. I'll have to do more study and get back to you on that. Certainly, there are alternative was to travel - boat, palanquin, wagon, that may be safer, and we know some pregnant women traveled to King's Landing, for instance, for the wedding. But by horse back, I can't think of any off hand. Clearly, the farther along one gets in a pregnancy the greater the danger.
  7. R+L=J v.162

    The one year estimate comes from Ned's thoughts about the time from the start of the rebellion to the sack of King's Landing. The time from the sack to the taking of Dragonstone by Stannis is indeed about nine months later. This makes the time from the start of the rebellion to the fall of Dragonstone about 21 months, not 12.
  8. R+L=J v.162

    Rhaegar does leave Elia and their children on Dragonstone. We know this from TWoI&F. We also know Elia and the children end up in King's Landing before the Trident. We know that Elia and the children have come to court, likely having been summoned to court by Aerys while Rhaegar is hidden away from his father. We know this because after the Battle of the Bells before Rhaegar comes north and takes control of the army that Prince Lewyn is reminded by Aerys that "he held Elia" when he sent the Prince to take up command of ten thousand Dornish troops. Note that in Jaime's recounting Rhaegar arrives after Aerys warns Lewyn he has control of Elia. We don't know how long of time passes between Rhaegar's return and the Trident, but even if Lyanna is not that far along in her pregnancy it would not be likely a long trip by horse is something Rhaegar would look on as a good idea for the health of the baby and Lyanna. But the most important reason for Lyanna to not go to King's Landing is she would become a hostage of Aerys against the rebels. As to medical care at the tower, we just don't know who is there as part of the "they" who find Ned holding Lyanna's body. It could well be a maester is with the party.
  9. R+L=J v.162

    Please keep this crap out of these threads!
  10. R+L=J v.162

    That kind of depends on who are the "they" in your hypothetical revolt, doesn't it? The High Lords of the Realm? Rising for a bastard? I think not. I can see a victorious Ser Arthur taking Jon into exile to be safeguarded from Robert's wrath, but I can't see a coalition of the Targaryen loyalist lords raising in revolt to put a bastard son on the Iron Throne. Possible, but not terribly honorable. If Jon has a claim, the honorable thing to do is to tell him before he decides to swear an oath throwing it away. If Benjen and Ned know of such a claim, I think it likely they either had no plan for him to ever take the Black, or they planned on telling him before he did so. Or so goes my read of the Stark brothers.
  11. R+L=J v.162

    Certainly it's an open question what Ned told Benjen about Jon and Lyanna, but I'd argue it really doesn't matter if Ned doesn't tell Benjen because he likely already knows. Benjen was at Harrenhal and he clearly was close to his sister. My guess is that Benjen was the one brother who sided with Lyanna's objections to the betrothal to Robert. Not that at his age he could do anything about it. Martin has hinted at revealing the reasons Benjen joined the Night's Watch when he did. Again, my guess is that tensions between Ned and Benjen over Lyanna's death are behind his actions. If Benjen knew his sister's attraction to Rhaegar and her objections to Robert, it wouldn't take him long to figure out who this babe Ned claimed as his own really was. Did Ned actually take his younger brother into the secret? I don't know, but I believe Benjen knew even if Ned said nothing. For me, one of the interesting questions concerning Benjen is whether or not he and Ned ever really wanted Jon to take the Black? Benjen certainly intended on talking to Jon on his return, and Ned regrets learning of his brother being lost on his journey north of the wall, not just for the obvious loss of a brother, but also because he wants to talk to Jon as well. Did the brothers have an understanding about removing Jon from Winterfell that did not include him actually taking the oath? Let me just say, I think it likely Ned and Benjen believe Jon is Rhaegar's bastard son - for reasons I went over in the last thread. But let's assume they know Jon is a legitimate heir to Rhaegar Targaryen. Then we have to assume that the brothers sent Jon off to join the Night's Watch without knowing his true parentage and any claims he had because of it. Does it sound like the Stark brothers we know? Perhaps, if Jon's safety is the only thing on their mind. But it seems to me that honor would dictate Ned and Benjen tell Jon who he is before he takes his oath. Unless they never intended he do so. If they believe he is a bastard then it makes little difference. Anyway, some thoughts on the subject.
  12. R+L=J v.161

    Yes, it is possible. I think it a bit strained, but it is certainly possible. In your version Ned's mind goes to Jon when thinking of bastards, but only because he has falsely told Jon his whole life he is one. In my version he thinks of him as a bastard because he believes he is one. I think my version is more straightforward in its reading of Ned's thoughts here, but you could be right. I would again point out how unlikely I think it is for Lyanna to have been focused on her marriage status as she pleads with her last fevered breath with Ned to save her son. If I'm right, then who tells Ned of a wedding, and why would they? Ned is riddled with guilts. He feels guilty towards Jon because he has lied to him his whole life about being his father, about who his real father is, about who was his mother. Towards Catelyn he feels guilty because he has let her believe, and let the world think, that he was unfaithful to her after their marriage, while she carried their son into the world. Towards Robert he feels guilty because he has lied to him while trying to be true to oaths of fealty and bonds of friendship. Towards Lyanna, he feels guilty, even as he tries to fulfill his promises to her, for the estrangement between her and his family over the betrothal to Robert and her feelings towards Rhaegar. All of these guilty thoughts pervade his everyday life as he struggles to find an honorable way to keep his promises and protect his family. So, we can add other sources of guilt if you want, and it is possible this is one of those, but it is not hard to find the other sources without this one. The problem here, to me, is Ned is not preoccupied with thoughts of brothels, but of bastard children. One of which he finds in a brothel. Yes, he thinks of Rhaegar not visiting brothels as Robert did, but is in the context of Robert fathering a bastard with a woman there. That he also thinks of Rhaegar in this context, I believe, points to Rhaegar having fathered a bastard, but not by frequenting whores as Robert does. If this is only a contrast between Robert's brothel habits and Rhaegar's, then why Rhaegar? He could just as easily picked out some other man he knew who didn't frequent brothels. Stannis, perhaps? Given he is following Stannis and Jon Arryn's investigation, that would make more sense. Why bring Rhaegar into this at all? I think it's because Rhaegar fathered a child Ned thinks of as a bastard. I've written on this one before, Ygrain. Much of my thinking is in Part Four of my essays in my signature. Even though I argued your view for many years, from the second R+L=J thread forward, and did so against many who thought this idea wrong including Ran and others, I think new information points in other directions. Looking at the likelihood that Viserys was Aerys's heir after Rhaegar's death, and the likelihood the Kingsguard trio knew this, forced me to reevaluated my thoughts. In so doing I had to explain to myself Ned's view of these men if they are not following the first duty as laid out in their Kingsguard oath. To me, it looks like the view of Ned who honors above all else those who follow the letter of their vows is wrong. Ned tells us what is most important to his view of honor, and that is not it. For Ned, it all begins with "I do not kill children." The protection of innocents is what he fought for, not a blind obedience to a vow. It is the same with Ser Duncan when he puts his oath to protect women and children before his responsibility to a member of the royal family. Ser Barristan struggles with this dilemma all of his life. Over and over we see it with Jaime and others. Ned is the epitome of this struggle but we don't always see in all of the talk of his pig headed view of honor. So, the dilemma at the Tower of Joy is a different one than you see, in my opinion. Ned finds men who are willing to die rather than let him get to his sister. In his dream he asks them why they aren't doing something else their oaths would seem to point towards. It is only when he finds his sister and her fear of what he will do that he understands why they seemingly throw their lives away and kill his friends in the process. They die to protect an innocent child and his mother from Ned himself. That is the true tragedy of the scene. They cannot take the chance Ned will turn Jon over to Robert.
  13. R+L=J v.161

    I think I've shown that Ned's view of Robert's madness is all he needs to fear what Robert would do to Rhaegar's son. If Ned thinks Jon is born a bastard doesn't mean he need not fear Robert's hatred of Targaryens. At the point he finds Jon, Ned already has experienced Robert declaration of the children of Elia and Rhaegar being no more than "dragonspawn." He has every right to fear what Robert would do to another one of Rhaegar's "dragonspawn" if he finds him. So, no, I don't agree that this is much of a sign Jon is trueborn. I think other things point to that, but not this. To the point of what Ned thought, let's once again take a look at the scene in AGoT in which Ned is riding back from a visit to Chataya's to see one of Robert's bastards. It seems by this text that Ned associates Jon with bastards. Not surprising to the reader because we are told, up to this point, that Jon is Ned's bastard son. But then, after a discussion with Littlefinger about Robert's bastards and how many he has, we find this little nugget. So we have both Jon Snow and Rhaegar Targaryen associated through the brothel visit to bastards. I think this does indeed point to Ned's thought about Jon being a bastard child, but with Rhaegar as his father, not Ned. Why would Ned think this? Because his dying sister doesn't likely spend her last breath telling Ned of her wedding to Rhaegar. She is much more focused than that, I think, in getting Ned to promise to protect her child and raise it as his own. No one left alive at the tower after Lyanna dies is likely to tell Ned of weddings even if they know. So, to me, the evidence points to Ned thinking Jon is a bastard child.
  14. R+L=J v.161

    I know we've talk of this before, Twinslayer, but once again I think you take what you infer Martin is saying too far. His remark about Ashara not being nailed to the floor in Starfall certainly is a way of telling readers not to assume Ned and Ashara were apart during the whole of this period. It does not mean he planned to reveal in ASoS that they had met, or that in this hypothetical meeting took place nine months before Jon was born. Martin might well revel such a meeting in future books, and if he does so, it doesn't mean Jon is necessarily Ashara's son, or that by not doing so in ASoS that Martin has changed his mind about anything concerning this topic. All it means is that Martin is telling the questioner not to assume where his characters are because he may show us they are in different places than our assumptions tell us. As to your thinking there is a contradiction concerning Elia's residence from references in the SSM and TWoI&F, it is easily explainable in that we have her living in both places from other sources. There are three to four years between Rhaegar and Elia's wedding and their deaths. They went to Dragonstone after the wedding, but return to King's Landing to present their first child to Aerys and Rhaella. Obviously, when Aerys refuses to let Elia and her children to go with Rhaella and Viserys to Dragonstone after the Trident they are living in King's Landing. There is no contradiction only change of location over the years. There is nothing here that tells us Martin changed his mind from what the SSM tells.
  15. R+L=J v.161

    Lol, once again, I don't need lectures on the dictionary definition. I know what a fortnight means. If you don't want to accept my advice, and the author's advice, not to hold him to strict timelines then by all means try to recreate his timeline yourself. I've tried and so have many others over the years. Perhaps you can show all of us how exact George is in his use of time. I think Martin might think it funny. All of which doesn't mean that there aren't solid time markers within the story. When George writes of the day passing he means it's a new day. Good day.