Damsel in Distress

Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

505 posts in this topic

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52 minutes ago, Eilrach Dayne said:

I was coming to the conclusion the series would end up being something different, I just consider it as a parallel universe now

This isn't just you -- this is how the show guys see it, and also how GRRM sees it.

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Dan: So you’re saying there’s never been a moment where George has said, “There’s no way you can do that.”

Bryan: Well he’s never expressly said “Don’t do this!” He’s not in the writers room when we break down the season. He reads the outline and gives us thoughts, we go back and forth and we ask him questions, he asks us questions. It’s been a great collaboration. He understands the show universe is the show universe, and the book universe is the book universe. I’ve said this before, but… If you read comics, if you read DC comics, there’s Earth 1, there’s Earth 2, and the way I reconcile it, as a fan of the books — as one of the biggest fans of the books — there’s Westeros 1 and Westeros 2, and they’re alternate universes; some things are the same, some things are different.

The popular idea that the show and books must be the same on all important points is also clearly established already to be false.

Instead, GRRM has for years and years been predicting that they are getting increasingly different, referring to this as the "butterfly effect" in interviews.

Quote

So when you ask me, "will the show spoil the books," all I can do is say, "yes and no," and mumble once again about the butterfly effect. Those pretty little butterflies have grown into mighty dragons.

But no matter how many times he reminds them of this, the fans always forget, I'm afraid.

Edited by JNR

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For those who are saying that fighting against 3 more people for Dayne was easy, no, it wasn't. If the strategy was good enough they could attack in a way that Arthur can't defend 3 sides at the same time. It's not honourable but the only person there that we know for sure respected was Ned. They could've done the same tactics for the other 2 guards, but with casualites. But 7 x 3 is never winnable. No matter who are the 3. You simply get overwhelmed.

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On a side note: if you'd like to delve into some well-based theories, observations and analyses, try https://radiowesteros.com/, they're doing great job.

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3 hours ago, Eilrach Dayne said:

The order of the green hand did not say a lot against the R+L theory. But I just think that the founding stone for arguments for R+L = J is the fever dream. Still I did not know the exact timeline for Jons birth, now that I do it does seem much harder for Ned and Ashara to have concieved Jon, they would have had to be somewhere else still together after the tourney at harenhal, towards the start of the rebellion.

I don't have time to get into everything you are being told here, but I would encourage you to take it all with a grain of salt.  For example, I don't think anyone knows "the exact timeline for Jon's birth."  Many people think they do because of a statement GRRM made in July 1999, after he published ACOK and before he published ASOS.  You can find it in the link at the bottom of this post.  I would encourage you to read the whole statement with its context in mind and consider a few things.

First, one thing GRRM says is that he is giving "a little tidbit from SOS."  In other words, he has written a chapter of ASOS and he is going to tell us what that chapter will reveal:  that Ashara was a lady companion to Princess Elia in King's Landing in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar.

Why is that important?  For two reasons.  That "tidbit" does not appear anywhere in ASOS.  So GRRM changed his mind.  He revised the chapter to say something different from what it said when he made the statement.  And second, he changed his mind about the pertinent fact.  We know Ashara was not a lady companion to Elia in KL in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar because the world book (published more than 15 years after the SSM) tells us that at that time Elia and Rhaegar lived on Dragonstone.  

So we know that the "SSM" from 1999 reflected something GRRM was thinking about including in ASOS but then decided (1) not to include in that book, and (2) to alter completely in a later book.  In other words, the SSM that supposedly pinpoints Jon's birth on a timeline reflected nothing more than a rough draft that was soon discarded.

And this is not just nit-picking.  The question GRRM was asked and which prompted him to reveal this information was a question designed to prove that N+A=J is impossible because Ned and Ashara weren't together at the right time.  The whole point of GRRM's answer was to say that the timeline does work for N+A=J because Ashara could move around the 7 kingdoms before and during Robert's Rebellion as easily as Catelyn went from Riverrun to the Reach to Storm's End during the War of the Five Kings.  In other words, if GRRM wants there to be a Ned/Ashara meeting 9 months before Jon's birth, he can very easily write about it and it will be believable in light of all of the other information we already have.  

That gives us a clue about what we would find in the rough draft GRRM had on hand when he gave the 1999 SSM and which he later scrapped.  In all likelihood, that draft chapter recounted information about a meeting Ned and Ashara had 9 months before Jon's birth.  Meaning that GRRM had to figure out both when the meeting occurred and when Jon's birth occurred.  And because he said Jon was born 8-9 months before Dany, we know that that meeting would have happened 8 or 9 months before the Sack of King's Landing.  

But you won't find any explicit reference to that meeting in ASOS.  GRRM scrapped it.  Which means there is no need for him to fix Jon's birth at a point in time 9 months after that meeting.  In all likelihood, what he thought about the timing of Jon's birth when he made the SSM statement went out the window when he decided to scrap the explicit reference to the Ned/Ashara meeting.  

Which makes sense, because we know he was playing with the timeline for Robert's Rebellion when he wrote ASOS and it appears that he changed some of the things we learned in earlier books.  In AGOT and ASOS, it is implied that Ned married Catelyn before the fighting started (the war lasted a year and they were apart for a year after their marriage). Catelyn also says that Ned married her in Brandon's place because that is what tradition dictated.  In ASOS, we are told the marriage happened well into the rebellion (after the Battle of the Bells) and it was the price for Hoster Tully's entry into the war.  So the timeline for Ned's marriage to Catelyn shifted between the publication of AGOT and the publication of ASOS.  And in AGOT, Ned says the war started to stop the murder of children after Aerys had killed some unnamed hostages.  In ASOS we are told it started when Aerys demanded to kill Ned and Robert, both of whom were men grown.  So even the reason for the rebellion was changed between book 1 and book 3.  

So I think it is safe to say that any comments GRRM made about the timing of Jon's birth when he was writing ASOS are not to be relied upon.  The only thing I we learn from this SSM is that GRRM thinks that N+A=J is not ruled out by anything related to the timeline.

One final thought here:  what replaced the draft chapter about Ashara in ASOS?  I think it is the discussion between Ned Dayne, Arya and Harwin.  Ned Dayne says that Ned Stark and Ashara were in love based on what his aunt Allyria (Ashara's sister) has told him.  Harwin sees how much that upsets Arya, confirms that he heard the same story in Winterfell, but tries to comfort Arya by saying it might not be true.  

I noticed that you were encouraged by another poster to believe that Harwin's statement (that it might not be true) and to disbelieve Ned Dayne.  You should take that with a grain of salt, too, for a few reasons.  First, we know that there are at least four sources for the stories about Ned and Ashara:  Cersei, Catelyn, Allyria Dayne, and whoever told Harwin.  Cersei and Catelyn at least were mature women during the war.  If they think it is possible, then that means it is possible.  Second, we know Harwin was very young when Ned Stark shut down all talk of Ashara in Winterfell.  So his only knowledge comes from rumors he heard as a child.  He may (or may not) really think that N+A is unlikely, but that is based purely on rumors he heard as a young child.  

Third, there is no good reason to doubt that Allyria knows exactly what she is talking about.  There is a theory that she must be very young (like Harwin) because during AGOT she is betrothed to Beric Dondarrion.  The theory is that the reason they are betrothed and not married is that she must be too young.  If she is too young to be married in AGOT, then she may not even have been born at the time of Robert's Rebellion, meaning she could be as young as Ned Dayne himself (12 in ASOS).  

But that is nonsense.  For one thing, Beric is "espoused" to Ned Dayne's aunt.  It does not say that the aunt in question is Allyria.  But if it is her, the way that word is used elsewhere in the books suggests that "espoused" means married, not just betrothed.  So if it is Allyria, she and Beric have been married -- not just betrothed -- for five years when ASOS happens.  

For yet another, even if she is just betrothed to Beric, we don't know that she is a young maid.  Plenty of women are betrothed or married late in life.  Lady Hornwood is past childbearing years when she approaches Bran about making a match for her.  Cersei is in her mid to late 30's when Tywin discusses betrothing her to Willas Tyrell.  

And, we know that Allyria has at least two siblings who were adults during Robert's Rebellion.  It is unlikely (in Westeros) that their mother had children as much as 20 or 25 years apart in age.    

It is, however, entirely possible that Allyria is an older woman who had to wait until Beric was old enough to marry her, meaning she could be very close to the same age as Ashara, or even a twin sister or an older sister, who knows exactly what went on between her sister and Ned Stark.      

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1040/

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

This isn't just you -- this is how the show guys see it, and also how GRRM sees it.

The popular idea that the show and books must be the same on all important points is also clearly established already to be false.

Instead, GRRM has for years and years been predicting that they are getting increasingly different, referring to this as the "butterfly effect" in interviews.

But no matter how many times he reminds them of this, the fans always forget, I'm afraid.

Praise Jeebus, holy frijoles, kiss a snake! Ain't this the truth. 

Thank you for posting this. 

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

This isn't just you -- this is how the show guys see it, and also how GRRM sees it.

The popular idea that the show and books must be the same on all important points is also clearly established already to be false.

Instead, GRRM has for years and years been predicting that they are getting increasingly different, referring to this as the "butterfly effect" in interviews.

But no matter how many times he reminds them of this, the fans always forget, I'm afraid.

Since 2012 I have been arguing this same thing and this was back when D&D kept saying No we are going to end the same and when GRRM still played along.

To add perspective in early 2016 they were still saying they knew the ending and that's still their goal to end the same. 

Them saying it is actually a second universe is news to me. But I feel vindicated. Thanks. 

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2 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

I don't have time to get into everything you are being told here, but I would encourage you to take it all with a grain of salt.  For example, I don't think anyone knows "the exact timeline for Jon's birth."  Many people think they do because of a statement GRRM made in July 1999, after he published ACOK and before he published ASOS.  You can find it in the link at the bottom of this post.  I would encourage you to read the whole statement with its context in mind and consider a few things.

This is a fantastic post, thanks for having taken the time to write it.

And it's not exactly about a minor point. This infamous SSM from 1999 has been used numerous times to shoot down various theories. If it can be put in doubt, it would open quite a few possibilities...

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21 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

And it's not exactly about a minor point. This infamous SSM from 1999 has been used numerous times to shoot down various theories. If it can be put in doubt, it would open quite a few possibilities...

Well, for some, doubts and open possibilities of thoughts (away from RLJ), but he's also still consistent with clues pointing to RLJ and J being trueborn, beyond the first three and unto AFFC and ADWD.

One could also conclude that GRRM heavily placed clues and hints in the first book knowing it was meant for a trilogy, fans got the hints of RLJ and he's trying to dilute the hints or redirect with red herrings.  

He clearly said there are hints "early on..." this was heavily implied on the question that points to Jon's true parentage (especially during the Edinburgh Q&A session--where afterwards, articles were releasing about fans have guessed correctly the ending of the book--BUT it was GRRM's response to a question by a lady referring to, undoubtedly, Jon's true parentage).  

He's caught in an author-box (unfortunately by eager fans), he can't change the story and won't retconn a major piece of what RLJ signifies so far in the narrative.  So he has to create leads to divert attention from RLJ in the subsequent books that does make sense and have purpose, yet stay consistent with hints that still points to Jon being the son of RL's union.

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3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

This is a fantastic post, thanks for having taken the time to write it.

And it's not exactly about a minor point. This infamous SSM from 1999 has been used numerous times to shoot down various theories. If it can be put in doubt, it would open quite a few possibilities...

Thanks.  I think it is very possible that R+L=J (although I think the polygamous marriage theory is ridiculous).  But I also think there are other possible candidates for Jon's mother (and for Lyanna's child) and more importantly I think GRRM has done a good job ensuring that there are several plausible candidates for both Jon's mother and Lyanna's child.

That said, if I had the time it would be fun to go through the R+L=J "reference guide" and point out all the fan fiction it contains.  There are good arguments for R+L=J but there is also a lot of information that is either very tenuous or outright wrong.

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8 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

Thanks.  I think it is very possible that R+L=J (although I think the polygamous marriage theory is ridiculous).  But I also think there are other possible candidates for Jon's mother (and for Lyanna's child) and more importantly I think GRRM has done a good job ensuring that there are several plausible candidates for both Jon's mother and Lyanna's child.

That said, if I had the time it would be fun to go through the R+L=J "reference guide" and point out all the fan fiction it contains.  There are good arguments for R+L=J but there is also a lot of information that is either very tenuous or outright wrong.

I wasn't really referring to RLJ itself though. :P

I think RLJ remains one of the most solid theories out there. However, a more flexible timeline allows for slightly different perspectives on it, among other things.

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On 4/11/2017 at 5:22 PM, The Twinslayer said:

I don't have time to get into everything you are being told here, but I would encourage you to take it all with a grain of salt.  For example, I don't think anyone knows "the exact timeline for Jon's birth."  Many people think they do because of a statement GRRM made in July 1999, after he published ACOK and before he published ASOS.  You can find it in the link at the bottom of this post.  I would encourage you to read the whole statement with its context in mind and consider a few things.

First, one thing GRRM says is that he is giving "a little tidbit from SOS."  In other words, he has written a chapter of ASOS and he is going to tell us what that chapter will reveal:  that Ashara was a lady companion to Princess Elia in King's Landing in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar.

Why is that important?  For two reasons.  That "tidbit" does not appear anywhere in ASOS.  So GRRM changed his mind.  He revised the chapter to say something different from what it said when he made the statement.  And second, he changed his mind about the pertinent fact.  We know Ashara was not a lady companion to Elia in KL in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar because the world book (published more than 15 years after the SSM) tells us that at that time Elia and Rhaegar lived on Dragonstone.  

So we know that the "SSM" from 1999 reflected something GRRM was thinking about including in ASOS but then decided (1) not to include in that book, and (2) to alter completely in a later book.  In other words, the SSM that supposedly pinpoints Jon's birth on a timeline reflected nothing more than a rough draft that was soon discarded.

And this is not just nit-picking.  The question GRRM was asked and which prompted him to reveal this information was a question designed to prove that N+A=J is impossible because Ned and Ashara weren't together at the right time.  The whole point of GRRM's answer was to say that the timeline does work for N+A=J because Ashara could move around the 7 kingdoms before and during Robert's Rebellion as easily as Catelyn went from Riverrun to the Reach to Storm's End during the War of the Five Kings.  In other words, if GRRM wants there to be a Ned/Ashara meeting 9 months before Jon's birth, he can very easily write about it and it will be believable in light of all of the other information we already have.  

That gives us a clue about what we would find in the rough draft GRRM had on hand when he gave the 1999 SSM and which he later scrapped.  In all likelihood, that draft chapter recounted information about a meeting Ned and Ashara had 9 months before Jon's birth.  Meaning that GRRM had to figure out both when the meeting occurred and when Jon's birth occurred.  And because he said Jon was born 8-9 months before Dany, we know that that meeting would have happened 8 or 9 months before the Sack of King's Landing.  

But you won't find any explicit reference to that meeting in ASOS.  GRRM scrapped it.  Which means there is no need for him to fix Jon's birth at a point in time 9 months after that meeting.  In all likelihood, what he thought about the timing of Jon's birth when he made the SSM statement went out the window when he decided to scrap the explicit reference to the Ned/Ashara meeting.  

Which makes sense, because we know he was playing with the timeline for Robert's Rebellion when he wrote ASOS and it appears that he changed some of the things we learned in earlier books.  In AGOT and ASOS, it is implied that Ned married Catelyn before the fighting started (the war lasted a year and they were apart for a year after their marriage). Catelyn also says that Ned married her in Brandon's place because that is what tradition dictated.  In ASOS, we are told the marriage happened well into the rebellion (after the Battle of the Bells) and it was the price for Hoster Tully's entry into the war.  So the timeline for Ned's marriage to Catelyn shifted between the publication of AGOT and the publication of ASOS.  And in AGOT, Ned says the war started to stop the murder of children after Aerys had killed some unnamed hostages.  In ASOS we are told it started when Aerys demanded to kill Ned and Robert, both of whom were men grown.  So even the reason for the rebellion was changed between book 1 and book 3.  

So I think it is safe to say that any comments GRRM made about the timing of Jon's birth when he was writing ASOS are not to be relied upon.  The only thing I we learn from this SSM is that GRRM thinks that N+A=J is not ruled out by anything related to the timeline.

One final thought here:  what replaced the draft chapter about Ashara in ASOS?  I think it is the discussion between Ned Dayne, Arya and Harwin.  Ned Dayne says that Ned Stark and Ashara were in love based on what his aunt Allyria (Ashara's sister) has told him.  Harwin sees how much that upsets Arya, confirms that he heard the same story in Winterfell, but tries to comfort Arya by saying it might not be true.  

I noticed that you were encouraged by another poster to believe that Harwin's statement (that it might not be true) and to disbelieve Ned Dayne.  You should take that with a grain of salt, too, for a few reasons.  First, we know that there are at least four sources for the stories about Ned and Ashara:  Cersei, Catelyn, Allyria Dayne, and whoever told Harwin.  Cersei and Catelyn at least were mature women during the war.  If they think it is possible, then that means it is possible.  Second, we know Harwin was very young when Ned Stark shut down all talk of Ashara in Winterfell.  So his only knowledge comes from rumors he heard as a child.  He may (or may not) really think that N+A is unlikely, but that is based purely on rumors he heard as a young child.  

Third, there is no good reason to doubt that Allyria knows exactly what she is talking about.  There is a theory that she must be very young (like Harwin) because during AGOT she is betrothed to Beric Dondarrion.  The theory is that the reason they are betrothed and not married is that she must be too young.  If she is too young to be married in AGOT, then she may not even have been born at the time of Robert's Rebellion, meaning she could be as young as Ned Dayne himself (12 in ASOS).  

But that is nonsense.  For one thing, Beric is "espoused" to Ned Dayne's aunt.  It does not say that the aunt in question is Allyria.  But if it is her, the way that word is used elsewhere in the books suggests that "espoused" means married, not just betrothed.  So if it is Allyria, she and Beric have been married -- not just betrothed -- for five years when ASOS happens.  

For yet another, even if she is just betrothed to Beric, we don't know that she is a young maid.  Plenty of women are betrothed or married late in life.  Lady Hornwood is past childbearing years when she approaches Bran about making a match for her.  Cersei is in her mid to late 30's when Tywin discusses betrothing her to Willas Tyrell.  

And, we know that Allyria has at least two siblings who were adults during Robert's Rebellion.  It is unlikely (in Westeros) that their mother had children as much as 20 or 25 years apart in age.    

It is, however, entirely possible that Allyria is an older woman who had to wait until Beric was old enough to marry her, meaning she could be very close to the same age as Ashara, or even a twin sister or an older sister, who knows exactly what went on between her sister and Ned Stark.      

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1040/

Thank you for the great explanation you gave. I am currently rereading the whole series to se all these details again, It really is amazing how much I missed the first time I read the series, I keep finding new things and hints my books are full of highlights now and Im trying to come up with as much evidence as possible for all the theories regarding Jons parents. I was under the idea that N+A was completely plausible but the timeline quote totally made me doubt everything, this is really good information, I thank you again.

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4 hours ago, Eilrach Dayne said:

this is really good information

It is not. Take with grain of salt everything people say, myself included, because you're new to the forums and don't know whose information is reliable, and even reliable people can be mistaken. 

For example, this passage is blatantly incorrect:

Quote

 we know that there are at least four sources for the stories about Ned and Ashara:  Cersei, Catelyn, Allyria Dayne, and whoever told Harwin.  Cersei and Catelyn at least were mature women during the war.  If they think it is possible, then that means it is possible.  Second, we know Harwin was very young when Ned Stark shut down all talk of Ashara in Winterfell.  So his only knowledge comes from rumors he heard as a child.  He may (or may not) really think that N+A is unlikely, but that is based purely on rumors he heard as a young child. 

Catelyn's source is exactly the same as Harwin's - she heard rumours circulating at Winterfell, from one of her maids. Rumours. Plus, she even hears a different rumour than Harwin - his is about a romance at the tourney, hers is how Ned went to Starfall to return the sword to Ashara the hauntingly beautiful. The rumour doesn't even name Ashara as Jon's mother, it is a conclusion jumped at because she's the only woman that Ned can be related to somehow. And then you have a third(!) rumour, about Jon's mother being commonborn. That' means only one thing - no-one at Winterfell knows anything for sure, Cat included. She is a source of rumour, not valid information, and the same goes for Cersei, who spent the whole time at Casterly Rock (we know from Jaime that when he was named KG, Tywin got angry and removed both himself and his daughter from the court) and had absolutely no way of knowing first-hand anything. And then we have Ned Dayne who sort of validates two of the rumours - that Ned and Ashara had a romance, and that Ned fathered Jon on commonborn Wylla - and here lies the trap: if the young Dayne (and Allyria, because the former information come from her) are a reliable source, then N+A =/= J. They can be right on both accounts or neither, but if they are right on just one of them, it's not up to the reader to pick the one that is convenient for them. - Oh, and just BTW, validity of rumours has nothing to do with the age of the person who heard them. Just saying.

There are several facts about Ned and Ashara that seem to be common knowledge and that are likely the basis of the rumours:

- Ned's interest in Ashara at HH

- Ashara's pregnancy

- Ned's visit to Starfall

- Ashara's suicide

- Ned's bastard

It is seemingly a very logical conclusion that Ned is the father of Ashara's baby. Only, his inner thoughts do not fit, he names another woman when asked by his best friend, people who should hold a grudge against him for this respect him instead. And, for some reason, he never tells Jon or Cat although his silence is hurting them, and he let Ashara bear the brunt of dishonour, which is both out of character for him. Timelines aside, this is why the N+A option holds no water for me and I consider it a bookcase example of a red herring: a false lead that is spelled out explicitely. Plus, from a meta perspective: it is no secret when people are speculating about it on page. Like with classical detective stories, the villain is the one not suspected till the end.

Now, finish your reading and think for yourself. If you find a flaw with my reasoning, do tell me.

 

 

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Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark + Wedding on the Isles of Faces which is near Harrenhal, and the Targaryens have a history of polygamy = Royal Heir to the Iron Throne who is assumed to be a bastard son of Ned Stark

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, KarlDanski said:

Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark + Wedding on the Isles of Faces which is near Harrenhal, and the Targaryens have a history of polygamy = Royal Heir to the Iron Throne who is assumed to be a bastard son of Ned Stark

While I agree with the conclusion, it is not a mathematical formula that says your conclusion must be right. There is lots of evidence in these books that point in contradictory ways, and that evidence must be weighed, not reduced to an equal sign.

For instance, I've come to the conclusion that it is likely Ned believes Jon is the bastard son of his sister and Rhaegar Targaryen. I've also reached the conclusion that it is likely Ned is wrong about that. That Jon is likely the trueborn son of Lyanna and Rhaegar. The evidence for both possibilities needs to be considered and discussed. My conclusions could be wrong.

Edited by SFDanny

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Oh, don't take my mathematical approach as fact, I was just using the same format the topic maker was using. He very well could be Dayne/Stark, Stark/Targaryen, Stark/Whatever,  no matter what his other family is, he's first and foremost a Stark, and I doubt he would take the IT if offered, he barely accepted the mantle of Lord Commander. Royal or not, all it takes is a legitimization, and he's golden, and legitimization can either be done through favor of a monarch or by force which is what Robert did and what Renly attempted.

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On 4/15/2017 at 1:48 AM, Ygrain said:

It is not. Take with grain of salt everything people say, myself included, because you're new to the forums and don't know whose information is reliable, and even reliable people can be mistaken. 

For example, this passage is blatantly incorrect:

Catelyn's source is exactly the same as Harwin's - she heard rumours circulating at Winterfell, from one of her maids. Rumours. Plus, she even hears a different rumour than Harwin - his is about a romance at the tourney, hers is how Ned went to Starfall to return the sword to Ashara the hauntingly beautiful. The rumour doesn't even name Ashara as Jon's mother, it is a conclusion jumped at because she's the only woman that Ned can be related to somehow. And then you have a third(!) rumour, about Jon's mother being commonborn. That' means only one thing - no-one at Winterfell knows anything for sure, Cat included. She is a source of rumour, not valid information, and the same goes for Cersei, who spent the whole time at Casterly Rock (we know from Jaime that when he was named KG, Tywin got angry and removed both himself and his daughter from the court) and had absolutely no way of knowing first-hand anything. And then we have Ned Dayne who sort of validates two of the rumours - that Ned and Ashara had a romance, and that Ned fathered Jon on commonborn Wylla - and here lies the trap: if the young Dayne (and Allyria, because the former information come from her) are a reliable source, then N+A =/= J. They can be right on both accounts or neither, but if they are right on just one of them, it's not up to the reader to pick the one that is convenient for them. - Oh, and just BTW, validity of rumours has nothing to do with the age of the person who heard them. Just saying.

There are several facts about Ned and Ashara that seem to be common knowledge and that are likely the basis of the rumours:

- Ned's interest in Ashara at HH

- Ashara's pregnancy

- Ned's visit to Starfall

- Ashara's suicide

- Ned's bastard

It is seemingly a very logical conclusion that Ned is the father of Ashara's baby. Only, his inner thoughts do not fit, he names another woman when asked by his best friend, people who should hold a grudge against him for this respect him instead. And, for some reason, he never tells Jon or Cat although his silence is hurting them, and he let Ashara bear the brunt of dishonour, which is both out of character for him. Timelines aside, this is why the N+A option holds no water for me and I consider it a bookcase example of a red herring: a false lead that is spelled out explicitely. Plus, from a meta perspective: it is no secret when people are speculating about it on page. Like with classical detective stories, the villain is the one not suspected till the end.

Now, finish your reading and think for yourself. If you find a flaw with my reasoning, do tell me.

 

 

I appreciate your comment. I am not sure anymore but Im halfway through the second book, and trying to tie in all the loose ends. Still it helps a lot to have a forum with people that have extesive knowledge or research on the subject, having said that I will eventually have my own opinion on the subject but right now im just backtracking and trying to find evidence or hints. I agree that rumors dont give validity to the age of a person, timeline issues are really complicated so far so Im trying to narrow the hints and instances of hints in the books first. I take Ned Daynes comments as somewhat reliable because the best lies have bits of truths (like littlefinger points out in ACOK) and Allyria could either have lied about certain parts of the story or her source of the information could have lied to her. But certainly I believe Ned and Ashara had a thing at Harrenhal, call it a crush, mutual attraction or whatnot (that does not mean they had a baby, but it will still be a posibility).

Neds inner thoughts thoug dont reflect something to back up N+A=J that much though, so you are right in a sense but it stills leaves room for doubt enough to believe it was a possibility. Most of the chapters where Ned thinks or remembers about something regarding the theory I think GRRM did a great job to keep it vague enough so as to make any of the 3 theories a possibility. 

I dont think this is like one of those classical detective stories you mention, and the answer might be the one that we least espect because of how obvious it is or not, you never know with Martin he likes using a common story building element in unconventional ways. Thanks for the advice, I am trying to come up with reasons of my own to support any of the 3 theories. I doubt I get any valuable answer that has not been said before though, when i jumped into the forum I did not know how far the rabbit hole went. Im starting to get an Idea though haha.

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On 4/15/2017 at 3:30 AM, SFDanny said:

While I agree with the conclusion, it is not a mathematical formula that says your conclusion must be right. There is lots of evidence in these books that point in contradictory ways, and that evidence must be weighed, not reduced to an equal sign.

For instance, I've come to the conclusion that it is likely Ned believes Jon is the bastard son of his sister and Rhaegar Targaryen. I've also reached the conclusion that it is likely Ned is wrong about that. That Jon is likely the trueborn son of Lyanna and Rhaegar. The evidence for both possibilities needs to be considered and discussed. My conclusions could be wrong.

I agree with your statement that all evidence must be weighed, have not made up my mind on Jons parentage yet though. 

My only questino is why do people trouble themselves so much about Jon being true born or not (Even if he is part Targaryen), I dont think anybody still alive in the books can testify to the nature of his birth who is reliable enough to make a difference anyway. Even if Howland or some one else of some sort of reputation (which Howland is not), how would it affect Jons role? I dont think anyone in ASOIAF would be like sure Jon you are the heir now, and even if somehow for whatever reason they did Jon would probably want nothing less than being some sort of King or ruler. I think his parentage is important for him on a personal level for his own peace of mind but it will not have a huge effect to the overal story of the story (meaning to people in the Kingdom). Everyone will still always consider him a bastard, Tyrion has taught him how to use his weaknesses as armour so it cant be used against him, and I believe that is an essential part of who he is. Even so Knowing who his parents really were, being that whover it was, will bring him peace of mind none the less.

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On 4/15/2017 at 3:36 AM, KarlDanski said:

Oh, don't take my mathematical approach as fact, I was just using the same format the topic maker was using. He very well could be Dayne/Stark, Stark/Targaryen, Stark/Whatever,  no matter what his other family is, he's first and foremost a Stark, and I doubt he would take the IT if offered, he barely accepted the mantle of Lord Commander. Royal or not, all it takes is a legitimization, and he's golden, and legitimization can either be done through favor of a monarch or by force which is what Robert did and what Renly attempted.

Agreed, i dont think it makes a real difference  for the Kingdom at large but it will for Jon himself.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/19/2017 at 1:22 PM, Eilrach Dayne said:

I think his parentage is important for him on a personal level for his own peace of mind but it will not have a huge effect to the overal story of the story (meaning to people in the Kingdom). Everyone will still always consider him a bastard

You might find a Youtube channel called "The Order of the Greenhand" interesting.  I do not believe R+L=J.  That theory hinges on the very narrow foundation that require all of the following to be true among other things:

  1. Lyanna died from childbirth.
  2. The child was born right before Ned and his men arrive.
  3. The baby lived.

Lyanna could have slitted her wrist after learning Rhaegar died at the trident.  Perhaps she had a child months before the Tower of Joy incident and it was that child that Ned took to Winterfell.  That opens up the possibility that she was already pregnant when Rhaegar kidnapped her.  Perhaps she got pregged by Brandon, or even Mance as the M + L = J theorists believe.  I personally would like to see B+L=J as it brings a parallel to the story.  With a pregnancy that resulted in the death of the mother it is also possible that the child also died.  

I agree with the OP, Jon was born a bastard and he remains a bastard.   There are numerous good possibilities for his parentage and most lead to him being a bastard.  

Edited by Widowmaker 811

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On 4/15/2017 at 0:59 AM, KarlDanski said:

Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark + Wedding on the Isles of Faces which is near Harrenhal, and the Targaryens have a history of polygamy = Royal Heir to the Iron Throne who is assumed to be a bastard son of Ned Stark

thank you for your detailed information, Mr. GRRM. 

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