sweetsunray

Ragtag Bands of Misfits

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Posted (edited)

 

The thread's title is actually a  trope-name, which is quite typical for Fantasy (hello "Fellowship of the Ring" I'm looking at you.)  The gathered special-op team has the utmost important mission - saving the world, ensuring the good guy's victory, seat the usurped/hidden king or queen on the throne. But the ragtag band is not made of just the best at what they do, they are often misfits of their society, outcasts, misunderstood, ridiculed because of biases, or not living up to society's short-sighted demands, expectations or restrictions. If they gather around a heroic (future) leader figure, then these misfits will be true at heart. If they gather around a villain, then so are they. And despite their differences at the appropriate time they are expected to stand together and become a Badass Crew.

George has several such ragtag bands "gathering" or "forming" all over Planetos, some of which inevitably will clash or oppose one another, and we can expect some ragtag bands to ultimately fail. I propose the following ragtag bands assembling, evolving or disbanding.

  • ·         Ragtag Band of Exiles (Aegon's)
  • ·         Ragtag Band of Outlaws (Brotherhood without Banners)
  • ·         Ragtag Band of Villains (the Bloody Mummers)
  • ·         Ragtag Band of Slaves (Dany's)
  • ·         Magical Mystery Ragtag (Oldtown, team Magic)
  • ·         Ragtag Band of Ice (North & Wall)
  • ·         Valed Ragtag Band (Sansa's)
  • ·         ...
Quote

The eunuch looked at him curiously, tilting his head. "When I was a young boy, before I was cut, I traveled with a troupe of mummers through the Free Cities. They taught me that each man has a role to play, in life as well as mummery.[...]." (aGoT, Eddard XV)

In each ragtag band certain roles are featured time and time again, sometimes literal at other times more figurative or metaphorical:  bastard, the fat guy/lady, fool or singer, a wizard or magician, a princess, a prince, a cross-dresser, a dead person but alive nonetheless, a (hedge/true) knight, religious figure: septon, septa, priest or priestess, woods witch, … an armorer/smith, father figure, a dragon, a maid, a maester, healer, orphans, armed brotherhood, hidden royal heir, a eunuch and androgynous, a coward, …

One character can conflate roles, but unless the ragtag’s army shares the trait (like Dany ‘s Unsullied eunuchs), two people never fill in the same role at once in the same band. Some characters change team (such as Tyrion). And a few characters are part of the team from a far distance, possibly without realizing it. This means that a parallel role between two characters does not always mean we should conflate their identities.

Ragtag Bands have features that unite them:

  • ·         a similar background story for the origin of them becoming a member of the ragtag.
  • ·         a shared spiritual ideology, belief or mindset.
  • ·         a common outlined purpose.

These three form the Ragtag’s member rules, defining the identities of those individuals. If an individual does not share those commonalities, then they are not a member but an infiltrating agent working for another ragtag band.

Readers love to figure out the “true identity” of a character, who they were in another lifetime, before they became a member of a certain ragtag. But it cannot be done successfully outside context (or hinted plot), because George has dropped over a thousand references to people we have never met yet and may never meet, and he is always at liberty to invent new ones. The Ragtag member rules and who else is already part of it (unless it’s an army’s trait) are that context.

Part 1 Ragtag Band of Exiles (aka Team Aegon)

In this section I will apply the above reasoning. First I will determine all what unites this particular ragtag band. Determine the member rules. Then I will address plot context. In the next post, I will tackle the prominent members, starting with those whose identity has been “confirmed” and show you how they prove my above assertions about ragtag band context and roles. I will then continue with the characters whose identity is speculated on, list and discuss the often proposed candidates, referring to essays and theories out there, and in some cases will propose a candidate myself.

tWoW quote
Spoiler

Lysono Maar - “We prefer to call ourselves a free brotherhood of exiles.” (tWoW, Arianne II)

The members of this band are defined by a backstory that led to a forced or voluntary exile. Their stories or origin reveals how they could not practice their life's calling, except in exile, because of society’s or their peers’ short-sightedness, while plenty of their inferior colleagues get recognition in Westeros.

  • ·         An armorer’s son cannot be a knight
  • ·         A woman who had sex and had a child cannot be a religious instructor
  • ·         A man who lost a battle cannot possibly win a war
  • ·         A gay man cannot be a proper father
  • ·        

These type of prejudices affected characters in other ragtag bands as well1, but instead of turning into Bloody Mummers, outlaws or brothers of the Night’s Watch, the characters in this particular ragtag chose or were forced into exile. And in doing so, reclaimed their purpose and freedom.

The founder of this ragtag band of exiles was not Aegon, nor Jon Connington, nor the Golden Company, but Varys.

Quote

The shame of the lie still stuck in his craw, but Varys had insisted it was necessary. "We want no songs about the gallant exile," the eunuch had tittered, in that mincing voice of his. "Those who die heroic deaths are long remembered, thieves and drunks and cravens soon forgotten." […]

[…] Varys had been adamant about the need for secrecy. The plans that he and Illyrio had made with Blackheart had been known to them alone. The rest of the company had been left ignorant. What they did not know they could not let slip. (aDwD, JonCon I, The Lost Lord)

 As original recruiter, Varys put his stamp on both the ideology and the goal of the ragtag band. Varys hates magic.

Quote

"Magic, you mean?" Tyrion said impatiently. "Bloodspells, curses, shapeshifting, those sorts of things?" He snorted. […]

[…]"Yet I still dream of that night, my lord. Not of the sorcerer, nor his blade, nor even the way my manhood shriveled as it burned. I dream of the voice. The voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, some conjurer's trick? I could not tell you, and I know all the tricks. All I can say for a certainty is that he called it, and it answered, and since that day I have hated magic and all those who practice it. If Lord Stannis is one such, I mean to see him dead." (aCoK, Tyrion X)

Hence, anyone that Varys recruited or helped to recruit would follow the least magical religion – the Faith of the Seven. The recruited members are rationalists, at worst “superstitious”, but most importantly they do not practice magic or lack magical abilities. They are the closest thing to a secular ragtag band in the books.  

Secondly, Varys is a master of mummery, of disguises, and so are the recruits living a life of disguise, but not a magical one: different name, different hair color, …

And yet, not all is false. While Varys is not dirty of machiavelistic methods² and murder to accomplish his goals for what he believes is the greater good, he espouses a belief in a uniting enlightened despot, who historically altered society from feudalism and serfdom to a far more meritocratic society and promoted the formation of middle class and cities³.

Quote

"No." The eunuch's voice seemed deeper. "He is here. Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk. He has been trained in arms, as befits a knight to be, but that was not the end of his education. He reads and writes, he speaks several tongues, he has studied history and law and poetry. A septa has instructed him in the mysteries of the Faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them." (aDwD, Epilogue)

Hence, Varys recruited members he believed to be genuine in their professions, callings and hearts, often because they experienced prejudice first hand. Even while disguised or keeping a secret, the ragtag members are true at heart. These are not false people, only in it for themselves and their more base needs, but following a calling that appeals to a higher nature, in reconciliation with their integrity of self.  

And finally they all share the goal in hiding Aegon and keeping him alive.

So, all true ragtag members share these traits:

  • ·         Exiles in hiding because of prejudice
  • ·         Free
  • ·         Followers of the Faith of Seven
  • ·         Secular, rationalists, no magic
  • ·         In disguise, keeping a secret, cautious or prudent
  • ·         Yet true at heart, answering a calling of the higher self
  • ·         Protect and instruct Aegon

Lastly, it must be noted that if Varys and Illyrio as founders start out by being the behind the scene leaders of the ragtag band, who recruit, form the plans and order the band where and when to go, Jon Connington and Aegon have now effectively taken control of the band, reducing Illyrio and Varys to men who will have to follow suit.

Quote

[…] Very little of what the fat man has anticipated has come to pass." Griff slapped the hilt of his longsword with a gloved hand. "I have danced to the fat man's pipes for years, Lemore. What has it availed us? The prince is a man grown.[…]”

[…]"Which plan?" said Tristan Rivers. "The fat man's plan? The one that changes every time the moon turns? […]I have had enough of Illyrio's plans. […]” (aDwD, The Lost Lord, Jon Connington I)

As they reject Illyrio’s plans, they also drop the disguises which Varys insisted was necessary.

Quote

[Jon Connington] was sick of hiding, sick of waiting, sick of caution. I do not have time enough for caution. […]

[…]Young Griff ran his fingers through his hair. "I am sick of this blue dye. We should have washed it out." […]

[…]”No man could have asked for a worthier son," Griff said, "but the lad is not of my blood, and his name is not Griff. My lords, I give you Aegon Targaryen, firstborn son of Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone, by Princess Elia of Dorne … soon, with your help, to be Aegon, the Sixth of His Name, King of Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms."[…]

 […] It was not the prudent course, but he was tired of prudence, sick of secrets, weary of waiting. (aDwD, The Lost Lord, Jon Connington I)

Instead of remaining hidden, they decide to strike out by themselves, return to Westeros, reclaim lost lands and a kingdom (they hope).

Hence  some of the rules alter for the members.  

  • ·         Instead of exiles, they are returned exiles who reclaim
  • ·         Drop the disguise
  • ·         Help Aegon take the Iron Throne

So, any of the others having secrets should be revealed in quick succession in tWoW. And if the rules change, other characters who were never exiled can be recruited to become part of the team, which is exactly what Jon Connington aims to do after taking Griffin’s Roost.

Quote

"[…] No one ever seems to mention the Vale, which suggests to me that the Arryns have taken no part in any of this."

"And Dorne?" The Vale was far away; Dorne was close. […] Without Daenerys and her dragons, Dorne was central to their hopes. "Write Sunspear. Doran Martell must know that his sister's son is still alive and has come home to claim his father's throne."

"As you say, my lord." The Halfmaester glanced at another parchment. "We could scarcely have timed our landing better. We have potential friends and allies at every hand." […]

“[…] And whilst they dither, we will send out word secretly to likely friends in the stormlands and the Reach. And Dorne." That was the crucial step. Lesser lords might join their cause for fear of harm or hope of gain, but only the Prince of Dorne had the power to defy House Lannister and its allies. "Above all else, we must have Doran Martell." (aDwD, The Griffin Reborn, Jon Connington II)

And so, I have arrived at the plot development with regards to the Ragtag Band of Exiles. While I notice mostly speculation with regards to “friends in the Reach” (which is referred to by Peake more as a vague hope of potentials rather than a surety), including speculations of prominent members of House Hightower to be secret members of this Ragtag of Exiles, the speculation regarding Dorne’s recruitment seldom goes beyond, “When Doran learns of Quentyn’s death he’ll side with Aegon,” despite the fact that several times Jon Connington’s thoughts and words hammer on Dorne being the most crucial ally.  

There is however a more imminent issue to be dealt with. Prince Doran is cautious and is unlikely to believe that either Jon Connington or Aegon are alive, that they are who they claim to be on their word alone. Even if Aegon and Jon Connington take all of the Stormlands by storm (pun intended), there is still the issue of verification. Learning of Quentyn’s death might help, but his emissary Arianne Martell still needs to be convinced, and she will be the one making the decision by sending the word “dragon” back to Sunspear.

tWoW spoilers

Spoiler

Arianne’s two excerpt chapters both focus on her wondering what happened to Quentyn, but also pondering the problem how she could ever verify whether Aegon is indeed Elia’s son, or just a pretender.

Combine this with the likelihood of secrets and disguises being let go of in rapid succession, when we solely have Arianne’s POV in the Stormlands while meeting the members of the Ragtag Band of Exiles, one of the possible secret identities must be someone who is quite capable of winning Arianne’s trust and convince her that Aegon is indeed a dragon (regardless whether it's actually true or not). This limits the possible identities considerably. One of their members must be someone she knows personally, someone she can recognize upon meeting, someone whose story she knows, someone she can trust on their word alone, because she would regard this person as affiliated to her family’s inner circle. If there is such a person amongst the prominent characters of the Ragtag Band of Exiles, we could expect Arianne to send the raven to Sunspear with the one word, “dragon”, regardless of Arianne learning of Quentyn’s fate before or after.

And so, I have proposed a framework, context and important expected plot developments where roles, backstories and identities have to fit for the members of the Ragtag Band of (Returned) Exiles. In the next post I will test this in relation to the individual members.

Notes

  1.      These prejudices are actually used by readers to argue a certain character can never achieve this or that nor will have plot importance  – tsk, tsk, you should know better
  2.          I proposed in the past that much of Varys's plans, machinations and expressions of his personal beliefs match Machiavelli’s Il Principe that was adopted by the Tudors and Catherine de Medici in England and France.
  3. .       The War of the Roses occurred within a feudal system, but the Tudor dynasty emerged out of that war with the reconciliation marriage between Lancastrian Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Their son Henry VIII ruled as an enlightened despot rewarding and elevating commoners to high stations, while ridding himself of long-time lines of noble blood, as did his daughter Queen Elizabeth I. Feudalism ended within one generation.

 

   Continuation of OP:

Edited by sweetsunray

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36 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Notes

  1.      These prejudices are actually used by readers to argue a certain character can never achieve this or that nor will have plot importance  – tsk, tsk, you should know better

 

Haha! Nice :thumbsup: I find this part particularly true. 

(Also bookmarking for later when I have a bit more reading time) 

 

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5 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

   The War of the Roses occurred within a feudal system, but the Tudor dynasty emerged out of that war with the reconciliation marriage between Lancastrian Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Their son Henry VIII ruled as an enlightened despot rewarding and elevating commoners to high stations, while ridding himself of long-time lines of noble blood, as did his daughter Queen Elizabeth I. Feudalism ended within one generation. 

Nice work, @sweetsunray-

Also bookmarked.

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Posted (edited)

I like your idea but I think you might have missed the biggest infiltrating agent, the classic bad guy sets up a ragtag band to achieve his goal then betray them. 

 

What Varys goal is I am not sure but his parallel with the FM is striking and we should play the lying game whenever he speaks.  He might truly be team Aegon but his ragtag team are expendable and kept in the dark

 

Looking forward to next post 

Edited by elder brother jonothor dar

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, elder brother jonothor dar said:

I like your idea but I think you might have missed the biggest infiltrating agent, the classic bad guy sets up a ragtag band to achieve his goal then betray them. 

 

What Varys goal is I am not sure but his parallel with the FM is striking and we should play the lying game whenever he speaks.  He might truly be team Aegon but his ragtag team are expendable and kept in the dark

 

Looking forward to next post 

I sort of disagree, but not for the reason you migh tthink. I think the FM is a very sincere order. The "expensive assassins for hire" is imo more PR to scare off greedy men or women like Littlefinger or the Waif's stepmother who would otherwise use them to keep his hands clean. LF and the waif's stepmother didn't want to hire them, because it was ridiculously expensive in their mind. I've argued in the past that there is highly suggestive evidence the FM ask for a price that is basically a zero-operation. Hence only those who trully wish someone dead for whatever they did to them or a loved one are willing to pay. Euron got them to do his dirty work, imo because he tricked them. They had him chuck his egg overboard, to be lost at the bottom of an ocean forever, but they didn't know about his dragonhorn.

And I don't think members of the HoBaW are expendable at all to them. There's a lot of training and time put into them. Anyway, you might check my opinion on them more in depth in my The Valkyrie for the FM thread (see my sig), both OPs and discussions in that thread.

As for Varys - yes and no. People are expendable to him (see Kevan and Ned Stark): they're good people working for the wrong cause in his mind. Dany and Viserys were more expendable than Aegon (fake or true). Still, he tries to salvage those he thinks he can use for his ragtag team. But he gave up any leading control, the moment he rescued Tyrion and went into hiding, leaving the small council, and skulking like a spider in the catacombs of the Red Keep. Together with Illyrio the plan was to unite Aegon with Dany, to better Aegon's claim (not to help Dany, but because she's verifiable Targ blood, has 3 dragons and an army). But JonCon and Aegon struck out on their own plan (inspired by Tyrion), and Varys is now following suit to help stir up trouble between Tyrells and Cersei again. Which falls perfectly in line with JonCon's hopes after taking Griffin's Roost. After Haldon has read up onthe reports in the rookery of Griffin's Roost and explains the political situation in KL, the North, RL, etc, JonCon deliberately wants to make KL think he's just there to reclaim his lands (even sends a request of a pardon to KL) and let the Tyrells and Lannisters quibble amongst themselves over the disgrace of the two queens. And just as Tyrells and Lannisters are beginning to mend the broken pieces with Kevan's help, Varys murders both Pycelle and Kevan, giving Cersei room to take power again and alienate the Tyrells and Reach once and for all.

While many members of the ragtag of exiles are expendable to Varys, Aegon is the least expendable to him. This is the child and boy he invested in for close to 2 decades.

It doesn't mean that I fully believe that Varys speaks the truth about his claim that Aegon is Aegon Targaryen, but imo Varys compares to Machiavelli who regards Aegon as his Il Principe.

Edited by sweetsunray

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

It doesn't mean that I fully believe that Varys speaks the truth about his claim that Aegon is Aegon Targaryen, but imo Varys compares to Machiavelli who regards Aegon as his Il Principe.

Aegon or FAegon is also kept in the dark his role will be of the son of said bad guy.  If this is true the question is does he continue as a member of the group holding true to its truth despite the lies or does he transforms into an agent with his own agenda.  This conflict of identity will be his story and his arc but he is a mere pawn in the game.  Varys might have lost control of the ragtag band but he will remain the puppet master unless Jon Con can see the strings/truth 

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Posted (edited)

Varys is a eunuch, serving the Mad King in King's Landing, before Aegon was born. Illyrio was still married to the daughter of the Prince of Pentos when Varys was hired. Varys ain't the dad (and he ain't uncle either imo).

Ragtags can change course, mission, ideology, etc and lose members (including leaders) because of it, while gaining others. We see that with the BwB, when Beric sacrifices his life and resurrects Catelyn as LS. 

It's possible that an identity crisis lies ahead for Aegon, though I'm not sure of that yet. He may die, never knowing or learning he wasn't Rhaegar's son (if indeed he isn't Rhaegar's son). He may live, believing himself to be the son of a Pentosi cheesemonger instead, yet we as readers may gain confirmation through Varys's choices and actions that Aegon is Rhaegar's son as Varys sacrifices himself. :dunno: While I do lean to a certain ancestry for Aegon, as I do lean to another certain ancestry for Varys, I'm 60 (fake)-40 (real) on it. This ragtag exercise  and the ancestries I will propose in it hasn't convinced me 100% yet, because inherently the resolution and plot for that imo lies still too far ahead and is still too ambiguous. But for the ragtag team as they are on the Shy Maid and by the start of tWoW I am quite certain of their current roles. And I will make an elaborate case with regards identities for Lemore and Haldon. 

Also in case of Varys, he just hasn't lost the recruiting and decision making role over the ragtag band. He also lost his spymaster role. Lysono Maar is fast tracking on that position, who was recruited as GC's spymaster and introduced to us after Varys scuttled to the dark catacombs, and Lysono Maar (from Lys) is now the purple garbed, androgynous like creature endowed with pearls and amythysts (and he's Lyseni). He's still the ragtag's wizard though :)

Edited by sweetsunray

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Varys claims to be a eunuch at least (again FM parallel) my theory is the story of him getting cut is true but done in different circumstances during his final FM rite(play the lying game whenever he speaks what's true and what's miss-direction ) either way Varys won't be the father you are right and I'm side tracking.  Varys may have lost control but he put the team together and set their agenda setting them on a path,  as for losing the spy master role he gave it up but not entirely; he still spying in the red keep, his agents (little birds) are still in play and more importantly he is still moving the pices insde KL Cersei/Tyrells and Quburn informants are all his.

Enough of my ramblings like I said I like the idea and want to hear more

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16 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Combine this with the likelihood of secrets and disguises being let go of in rapid succession, when we solely have Arianne’s POV in the Stormlands while meeting the members of the Ragtag Band of Exiles, one of the possible secret identities must be someone who is quite capable of winning Arianne’s trust and convince her that Aegon is indeed a dragon (regardless whether it's actually true or not). This limits the possible identities considerably. One of their members must be someone she knows personally, someone she can recognize upon meeting, someone whose story she knows, someone she can trust on their word alone, because she would regard this person as affiliated to her family’s inner circle. If there is such a person amongst the prominent characters of the Ragtag Band of Exiles, we could expect Arianne to send the raven to Sunspear with the one word, “dragon”, regardless of Arianne learning of Quentyn’s fate before or after.

Septa lemore = Ashara Dayne confirmed.

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

Septa lemore = Ashara Dayne confirmed.

Arianne never met Ashara Dayne as far as we know, and is not close to anyone that Arianne loves or looked up to for most of her life. Ashara could say she's close to x and y, but Arianne can't verify that with her own memory. She did meet someone else though, by her own thoughts in the tower chapter.

Edited by sweetsunray

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4 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Arianne never met Ashara Dayne as far as we know. She did meet someone else though, by her own thoughts in the tower chapter.

But she could confirm Aegon's identity, she was close to Ellia. We'll have to wait either way.

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Just now, Ser Loras The Gay said:

But she could confirm Aegon's identity, she was close to Ellia. We'll have to wait either way.

Yes, she was close to Elia. But again, Arianne was way too young at the time to account for that. Arianne was around 6 years old playing in the Water Gardens with her plyamates at the time of RR. She was 4 when Elia left for KL and then to live on Dragonstone. I will say that she's the second best candidate, but for Arianne it would still be, "Ok, so now I also have to believe this woman never leaped to her death." It only adds a more doubtful story to the previous two without her being able to verify it. It requires someone she can recognize at first sight, and because of her own experience with the woman, she won't question her at all. 

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23 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Yes, she was close to Elia. But again, Arianne was way too young at the time to account for that. Arianne was around 6 years old playing in the Water Gardens with her plyamates at the time of RR. She was 4 when Elia left for KL and then to live on Dragonstone. I will say that she's the second best candidate, but for Arianne it would still be, "Ok, so now I also have to believe this woman never leaped to her death." It only adds a more doubtful story to the previous two without her being able to verify it. It requires someone she can recognize at first sight, and because of her own experience with the woman, she won't question her at all. 

who we know for sure has:
a) a good motive to hide her/his identity
b ) knows Arianne enough for her to believe in a first glance
c) isn't right now believed to be dead
d) knows who Aegon really is
they need to have most of those at the same time right? Who can it be?

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1 minute ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

who we know for sure has:
a) a good motive to hide her/his identity
b ) knows Arianne enough for her to believe in a first glance
c) isn't right now believed to be dead
d) knows who Aegon really is
they need to have most of those at the same time right? Who can it be?

I will lay it out in due time. :)

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1 minute ago, sweetsunray said:

I will lay it out in due time. :)

Thanks <3

 

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However, she cannot actually guarantee d (for us readers) I think. She simply believes it like JonCon does. But if she believes it, her word will be good enough for Arianne.

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6 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

However, she cannot actually guarantee d (for us readers) I think. She simply believes it like JonCon does. But if she believes it, her word will be good enough for Arianne.

Actually it's a good question who are the people who are alive in both westeros and Essos who can 100% confirm Aegon's identity? For us and for the people in ASOIAF?

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1 minute ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

Actually it's a good question who are the people who are alive in both westeros and Essos who can 100% confirm Aegon's identity? For us and for the people in ASOIAF?

Does George even want to confirm it to us either way? I think that actually may be one of those mysteries that George likes to keep for us to make up our mind about ourselves.

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2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Does George even want to confirm it to us either way? I think that actually may be one of those mysteries that George likes to keep for us to make up our mind about ourselves.

A better question. I don't know, maybe we'll never know, some people think we'll never be confirmed on the R + L = J or whatever other identity.

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Posted (edited)

52 minutes ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

A better question. I don't know, maybe we'll never know, some people think we'll never be confirmed on the R + L = J or whatever other identity.

I do think he will reveal R+L=J, exactly because in the books he never has Jon or any other character question his paternal parentage being Ned, only have him wonder who his mother was, and the books still have characters put Ashara or Wylla or the fisherman's daughter forward as Jon's mother. 

Aegon has been explicitly made ambiguous. Except for the ragtag team of exiles everybody else within the world doubts the claim.

Alternatively he may reveal it in the way I mentioned - when it doesn't matter anymore. Someone as ambiguous as Varys tells Aegon he's a son of a Lyseni whore, and he accepts it as truth, but then Varys does something heroic that verifies it for us, withotu Aegon ever knowing it, believing for the rest of his life that he was used. Or, Aegon dies in battle believing he is Rhaegar's son and we get confirmation from Illyrio that he was his son after the fact. I do think George will keep it as ambiguous for as long as he can for the reader... kindof like the legend of the man with the iron mask.  

Edited by sweetsunray

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