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

    No, it's not the same. I don't think I said it was. Aerys naming Viserys is a command to all his loyal subjects to accept Viserys as their king after he dies. It isn't a direct order to only his Kingsguard, but to a loyal Kingsguard it should be treated as if it was. Again, there is indeed a difference between accepting Viserys as their king, and attending him. In that much you're right. It isn't directly the succession order that commands them to attend Viserys on Dragonstone. It is the succession order in combination with their oaths as members of the Kingsguard that mandates that at least one of their members attend the new king. It is their first duty as members of that order that tells them to go to their new king and make sure of his protection. Both Jaime and Ser Barristan tells us this is so. Selmy tells us it was treason he did not do so. Certainly they have a choice. They have a choice to be loyal to their king and to their oaths or not to be loyal. I think the discussion is all about the evidence whether or not Hightower, Dayne, and Whent were loyal to their old king's orders and their new king's needs, and their own Kingsguard oaths, with their actions at the Tower. My own belief is the three men set aside their oaths and obligations to instead lay down their lives for the protection of Lyanna and her child. To me this is not the same as Selmy's choice, or Criston Cole's choice, but rather is most akin to Ser Duncan choice to defend Tanselle Too Tall from a royal prince at the Ashford tourney. They do it for the love of their dead prince, and perhaps for the love of his beloved wife or paramour, and certainly for the protection of Rhaegar's and Lyanna's innocent child. While I respect the choice they made, I also note it put them at odds to their orders from their old king and their obligations to their new king. And they certainly also can ignore royal commands and plot against Aerys. We see the young Jaime struggle against his oaths and what he sees as right when he must stand by and see Rickard cooked in his armor and Brandon strangled. We again see Jaime struggle with what he should do when Aerys rapes and brutalizes Rhaella. In both situations there is a member of the Kingsguard who tells Jaime his oaths tell him not to interfere, and to not even judge their king's actions. So, no, it is no surprise that Dayne and Whent helped Rhaegar in his plots to set aside his mad father. It is important to note, however, they did so in contravention of what their oaths told them they must do. Otherwise we cannot understand the real motives of the men's actions at the tower. These are straw man arguments, LV, and you're better than that. No one is suggesting their oaths mandate that a member of the Kingsguard is always with the king. Their oaths mandate their first duty, above all else, is to protect their king. In some instances it is not possible for that to mean always being at the king's side Certainly the men of the Kingsguard are human and some time they must sleep, attend to private needs, or leave the king because of the needs of his safety or his orders. But even when they can't be there with the king they are responsible for his safety and must do what they can to make sure he is safe in their absence. Apply that standard to Hightower, Dayne, and Whent as they learn the news of the Trident, King's Landing, and Dragonstone. There is no other conclusion than the oaths and Aerys's order of succession mandate they see to the protection of their new king. The question is did fate and timing prevent them from doing so, or did they make a decision not to send at least one of their number to Viserys? I think the evidence points to their making such a decision. LV, I will respond to the rest later, but it is beyond my bedtime, and this old body needs its sleep as much as any kingsguard does. Until later.
  2. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    To the bolded part, the prince is not a king. It was the wish and order of their king that Viserys would be his heir after Rhaegar's death. Any orders from the dead Rhaegar do not counteract those orders from their king. But, of course, the three men are not likely confronted with a conflict of duty. All they have to do is send one of their number to Dragonstone. They have a responsibility to do so. Their first duty demands it, and their oath to follow their king's orders demand it. Yet they don't do it. It is not because it is too hard to get to Dragonstone. They would travel south to Starfall and from there by ship to Dragonstone. All friendly territory and at a time the royal fleet is still a force, for at least a part of which the Redwyne ships would be still blockading Storm's End, and the way to Dragonstone is open to them. And let's be clear, it is not just a question of one sword coming to guard Viserys and Rhaella. It is likely the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and his knowledge and expertise that should be with the new king on Dragonstone. If there is one advisor that could have helped the eight year old Viserys train to be a new king it is Ser Gerold Hightower. The fact none of the three men or Ser Barristan decides to go to Viserys changes his, and his soon to be sister's lives dramatically. That all leaves us with a few possibilities of why they don't. They believe they have the heir to the throne with them at the Tower. This presumes they did not receive the news of Aerys's naming Viserys his heir. Ned surprises them at the tower before they can do anything about sending one of their number to Dragonstone, and they see no way of getting by Ned and his party save through a unequal battle. Or the motives of the Kingsguard are something other than fulfilling their first duty to guard their king. They want to kill every rebel they come across, they want to kill Ned in particular, they want to disobey Aerys's orders and put Rhaegar's last child on the throne, or, as I have suggested in the series of posts in my signature that they refuse to surrender their charges to the fates of Elia and her children and they die protecting the innocent Lyanna and Jon from Ned bringing them to Robert's "justice." No, unless the Kingsguard decide to play the role of kingmaker like Criston Cole, they do not choose a king. They follow the orders of the last king as to who their new king is. That is if they are true to their oaths. Some Kingsguard would choose to disregard their oaths and follow which way the wind blows, but one who follows his oath does not. Those who followed Viserys's orders and supported Rhaenyra in the Dance of the Dragons were true to their oaths.. Those like Cole who did otherwise did were not truthful to their oaths. That is not a judgement on who was the better king or queen, it is simply a statement of what their oaths tell them they must do. Morally, one can, and I think should, consider the impact of putting a mentally unstable child like Viserys on the throne, but one cannot argue that is not what their oaths told them to do. In the example of Egg, none of this applies because it is clear Maekar did not leave a named heir. It is not just following custom. It is following the orders of your king that matter. Meagor had no children and the armies that toppled him belonged to the rightful heir anyway. Aegon II's Kingsguard do not set an example for Hightower, Dayne, and Whent. They had no choice but death or service to the new king they did not recognize. They chose death. The Kingsguard at the tower had the choice between what their oaths told them to do - serve Viserys - or violate their oaths by suicide in battle, or join with Cole's example in becoming kingmakers. Selmy, Hightower, Dayne, and Whent are all bound by their oaths to support Aerys's order, decree, or will -whatever you want to call it - to support Viserys, in exile, on Dragonstone, or on the Iron Throne. Or your assumptions about the skills of Ned and his companions are wrong. It is telling that you don't even believe this idea. If Aerys controlled the whereabouts of Lyanna she would have been under guard as a hostage in the Red Keep. It does him no good to have her locked away in a unknown location in Dorne. What would have Robert or Ned done if Aerys could have threatened Lyanna's life? I'm sure Aerys would have liked to have known. I'm quite willing to believe Ned's dream represents what he knows of the history and what he thinks the Kingsguard would say in response to his questions if he was able to put them to them. As such it still tells us a lot about the events and his view of the men he fought. What I'm not prepared to believe is that these men did not have some way of finding out what was going on in the war and hide blind to all the events happening around them. Hightower was the general in command of the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and Dayne was in charge of the battles against the Kingswood Brotherhood. Whent was a skilled go between in the factional fights between Rhaegar and the lickspittle lords of the small council. None of them would sit isolated without information on what the enemy was doing. We know that is where Hightower found them and that Ned finds them there months later. Could they have traveled during that time? Sure, but we have no evidence they did. None of which changes the need of the men to have intelligence reports.
  3. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Not only is it likely they disregarded all the social norms you indicate, they also have reason to think their child is needed to recreate the three headed dragon. That dragon refers to Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys, the three trueborn children who won the battle for Westeros. Not Aegon, Rhaenys and Orys Baratheon. Rhaegar has this powerful reason to buck tradition and marry Lyanna as his second wife, and Lyanna is unlikely to accept being a mistress and her child the life of a bastard. Add to this, the strong indications they loved each other, and it is hard to see why they wouldn't get married. To hell with what Aerys said.
  4. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    I agree the replacement of Aegon with Viserys as Aerys's heir is not the earth shaking news of the Battle of the Trident and the death of Rhaegar. It is rather important news, however. It is, if we take the word of Jaime on the subject, a slap at the Dornish when Aerys decides they must have betrayed him and Rhaegar at the Trident. It is Aerys way of punishing the Martells for their perceived treachery, and fits right in with his refusal to let Elia and her children go to Dragonstone with Rhaella and Viserys. Aerys holding them hostage and bypassing Aegon is part of the same paranoid response. But this is not something to be done quietly. Not only does it make sense to do it publicly in order to show the power Aerys still has, but for it to succeed it has to be done in a way in which his supporters see his wishes. I think as well that it is important to note that it is not just through the normal spread of news that it is likely the Kingsguard at the tower get their news. Rhaegar fought a factional battle with the lickspittle lords of the small council who wished to replace in favor of Viserys for years. That implies a factional organization on Rhaegar's part as well as those against him. Given the need of the Kingsguard to be prepared for the eventualities of the war, they would need to make use of Rhaegar's friends and of friends of their own to stay hidden, stay supplied, and to stay informed. I take it as fact that military men like Hightower and Dayne know these necessities. Getting the news of the war and what is going on in King's Landing to the tower is an imperative for their hope of survival. So, when Ned leaves with his army to go to Storm's End from the capital, it is likely such an established network got the news out of the city and on its way to the Tower of Joy. I think it would be a mistake to think that the news of passing over Aegon for Viserys would not be part of that transmission of information. Competent spies would send this news on as a very important part of the developments. Even if that network is shut down by the sack, the news of naming Viserys heir to the throne predates that event. You are right, of course, that Aerys's action on the succession is a moot point to everyone who believes Aegon dead. It certainly would not be moot to the Kingsguard if they are guarding a pregnant Lyanna or a new born son of Rhaegar. You could well be right that they would object to Aerys's action, but that would certainly change our view of Hightower, Dayne, and Whent. They become kingmakers, instead of men who follow their oaths to the letter. I'm inclined to think Ned knows none of the Kingsguard thinking on this. They are very unlikely to have told Ned on their own, and I think Lyanna was dying when she got Ned to promise to protect Jon from Robert and all those who would hurt him. To raise him as his own son. I lean to Ned thinking Jon is a bastard, even though I agree with you it is likely he is not. I don't know that we have, but I've already tried to explain my thinking on why it wouldn't be kept secret in the first part of my response in this post. I'd only add that any Targaryen is a target - Rhaella, Viserys, Aegon, and Rhaenys. It's not like Robert and the rebels are going to ignore the threat any claimant to their rule poses.
  5. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Many years ago when I first posted the idea the Kingsguard trio's actions were strong evidence that Jon was the legitimate son, and heir to the Targaryen throne, I always tried to follow that with two other options. First it was just a matter of timing. The Kingsguard had no time from when they knew of the events in the dialogue to when Ned arrives. If that was the case, however, the Kingsguard should have negotiated with Ned to get at least one of their number to Dragonstone. It doesn't matter what Rhaegar ordered, if they are true to their duty to guard their king. Second, it has always been possible that the Kingsguard were not true to their vows to guard their king. We assume that because Ned's view of them they would, but that is not necessarily so. If that is the case, then there are a host of reasons why the three men did not send one of their number to Dragonstone. Somehow the other options got dropped by others along the way. I haven't forgotten them. With the new evidence that Viserys was named Aerys's heir, much of that line of thinking has to reconsidered. There is no way, LV, to just set it aside and not consider it, because it touches on evidence after evidence that the Kingsguard Oath would mandate a first duty to guard their king. It is absurd, my friend, to sweep the question aside as if it didn't exist. Sorry, LV, this is nonsense. A member of the Kingsguard should not put his own sense of honor above his oath to guard his rightful king. Ser Barristan's tells us why he made the choice he does, and he names it worthy of a "traitor's death." Selmy should have tried to escape to Viserys some time during his life as Robert's Lord Commander. He doesn't because of his concerns for Viserys's sanity. Does the orders of their king die with them? I don't think so. When Aerys made Viserys his heir, that order stood after his death and should have guided any loyal members of the Kingsguard. Now, for all the Kingsguard who remained loyal to their oaths, there are many a Ser Boros Blunt, or a Criston Cole. What we do then is make a judgement of the character of these men based on their choices. Ultimately, Selmy makes his judgement on his own choices and finds them unworthy. The question is did the three Kingsguard at the Tower make they same judgement as Selmy? Did they seize the opportunity to become new kingmakers? Or was there something else going on here? Their inaction towards guarding Viserys suggests this as a possibility. Their condemnation of Jaime for his role at King's Landing tells us they knew of Aerys's death and who killed him. They seem to be aware of that much of the events at King's Landing, the Trident, Dragonstone, and Storm's End. If one accepts the fevered dream as evidence of knowledge on the part of the three Kingsguard, one can't pick and choose what they knew based on one's own wishes. Instead, it is important to look to the dream conversation for if it is supported by evidence outside the dream. In addition, the assumption of ignorance on the part of Hightower, Dayne, and Whent should be evaluated on the basis of not just what is in Ned's dream, but on the basis of who these men are, and how they would likely act to keep their charge(s) safe. Sitting blind in an isolated tower with no way of getting information about what was going on in the war is completely out of character of these veterans of war. Ned expected to find the men in the places he named for important reasons. He expected someone to be with Viserys because Ned thinks Viserys is the Targaryen heir. That could be because he knows of Aerys's selection of Viserys as his heir, or just that he thinks all other heirs are dead. What we should take notice of here is that Ned knows Viserys and Rhaella are on Dragonstone. That implies that he was aware of their flight there from people who knew their destination. He is not just working on putting check marks on the Targaryens he saw dead. I agree with you, Ygrain, there is a possibility Hightower, Dayne, and Whent did not know. I think it unlikely, but it is a possibility. Given a much more likely scenario that the men had ways in which they received news of the events of the war, then I think it likely that they would know of Aerys naming Viserys their heir. And, yes, they could have taken the Cole route to chose their own king, for reasons like Selmy did. I find it unlikely Ned would admire such a choice.
  6. I can think of a very good reason Rhaegar might not have wanted any Targaryen forced marriages to another Targaryen. Rhaella's misery in her marriage to their father. I'm not sure Rhaegar would want to chance the repetition of that debacle. Prophecy may have forced Aerys and Rhaella to marry, but it doesn't say anything about to whom their descendants must be married.
  7. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Let me throw this into the mix of the discussion, because it seems to be getting lost. It doesn't matter if Jon was the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna because Aerys named Viserys his heir before his death. One has to assume that the Kingsguard knows all the information in Ned's dream dialogue, and yet does not know of this fact. They are protecting the wrong king. One has to consider the likelihood they knew Viserys was their lawful king and they chose, just as Ser Barristan did, to not go to him.
  8. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Aragorn brings to the fight the Flame of the West in the reforged shards of Narsil. So, Anduril, a very nice sword, versus the only three known dragons in her world. Sounds like Dany doesn't do badly in at least this comparison.
  9. Arthur Dayne

    I don't get the same impression. When Selmy is stripped of his white cloak by Joffrey he mentions three of the men he had the honor to serve with - Of all the men who were his brothers in the Kingsguard he lists Ser Arthur amongst those three. I don't see a problem between the two men. Unless it is the closeness Ser Arthur had with Rhaegar. There may have been a bit of jealousy about that, but it isn't in regard to how honorable he thought Ser Arthur was.
  10. Small Questions v. 10105

    I can't imagine why Jon Arryn would want his heir brought to King's Landing and all of it's intrigues and struggles. He has no choice with Sweetrobin because his mother would not allow her son to be apart from her. The presence of Lysa in King's Landing during Harry's childhood and the corruption of King's Landing kind of rules out Harry being physically close to Lord Arryn when he is a boy. As he grew from boyhood into manhood, Harry should be with those Jon has the most confidence in raising the boy in a way that prepares him to be a High Lord. I think the answer to your question comes in the estimation Lord Arryn had of Nestor Royce and of Lady Anya Waynwood. I think the descriptions of the two in A Feast for Crows shows Lady Waynwood to be the better bet of where to raise Harry.
  11. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    I've suggested my own thoughts on this in the links in my signature. Particularly post #4.
  12. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    Thanks! Great link.
  13. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    Don't mistake what Ned believes for what the Kingsguard believe. Even if Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, it doesn't mean Ned knows this fact. Ned may well believe Jon is the bastard son of Rhaegar. It is unlikely that Lyanna is pleading with Ned to raise her son as her own with her dying breath, and has the time or the ability to describe to Ned her wedding to Rhaegar. Her priorities are Jon's safety, not his possible claim. Now, your second point is of interest because it touches on what the Kingsguard trio know. Do they know that Viserys is Aerys's named heir? If so, it means they have reached their conclusion that their duty demands they stay and fight Ned for some other reason than defending their king.
  14. Danerys is Ned Stark's bastard daughter

    That would be a neat trick. Robb is conceived on the night of Ned and Catelyn's wedding, which takes place sometime after the Battle of the Bells. Given that Brandon died before the Rebellion started, he would have been months dead when Robb was conceived.
  15. Rhaella's flight to Dragonstone

    I certainly don't have a problem with how beautiful the hypothetical children could be from a union of Arianne and Ser Gerold. Hopefully they also wouldn't inherit his batshit crazy tendency to try to murder little girls, but the odds are they would look quite pretty. I'm just not sold that Arianne brings much of anything to the odds of producing prototypical Targaryen looking children. There are four generations of Targaryens, if my count is correct, from Daenerys's marriage to Mors Martell to Arianne,and I don't think we have any evidence of Targaryen intermarriage with House Martell since then. It could be an omission by the author that he will correct, but I'm guessing based on what we know now, no. Happy to know I'm wrong, but we need some evidence.