Black Crow

Heresy 199 Once upon a Time in the West

464 posts in this topic

Welcome to Heresy 199, the latest edition of the quirky and very lively thread where we take an in-depth look at the story and in particular what GRRM has referred to as the real conflict, not the Game of Thrones, but the apparent threat which lies in the North, in those magical Otherlands beyond the Wall. The thread is called Heresy because we were the first to challenge the orthodoxy that the Wall is the last best hope of mankind; to question whether the three-fingered tree-huggers really are kindly elves and question too whether the Starks might have a dark secret in their past.

 The strength and the beauty and ultimately the value of Heresy as a critical discussion group is that it reflects diversity and open-ness. This is a thread where ideas can be discussed – and argued – freely, because above all it is free-ranging exchange of ideas and sometimes too a remarkably well informed exchange drawing upon an astonishing broad base of literature ranging through Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and so many others all to the way to the Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Mabinogion.

 If new to the thread, don’t be intimidated by the size and scope of Heresy, or by some of the many ideas we’ve discussed here over the years since it began in 2011. This is very much a come as you are thread with no previous experience required. We’re very welcoming and we’re very good at talking in circles and we don’t mind going over old ground again, especially with a fresh pair of eyes, so just ask. You will neither be monstered, patronized nor dismissively directed to follow links, but will be engaged directly. Just be patient and observe the local house rules that the debate be conducted by reference to the text as written, with respect for the ideas of others, and above all with great good humour

 With iteration 199 we can safely claim to have been around for a while now and discussed an awful lot of stuff over the last five going on six years. Some of it has been overtaken by events and some of it seemingly confirmed by the mummers’ version, but notwithstanding the occasional crack-pottery on the whole it’s been pretty good stuff and we’re pleased enough with what we’ve done to have a bit of a celebration. In the run-up to Heresy 100 we ran a series of specially commissioned essays focused on discrete aspects of heresy. Now, in the run-up to the Heresy bicentennial we are running a series of essays summarizing what we’ve been discussing on particular aspects of Heresy. Some of it goes over old ground again, but other essays bring some new ideas to the table. The essays are just starters for 10 so while its hoped that we can focus the discussion on them, that’s not to be considered as prescriptive, to paraphrase GRRM himself, Heresy is a matter of gardening, not architecture.

 By popular request the theme for the last discussion before the bicentennial is another look at what happened by a certain tower long fallen.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once upon a time in the West…

“I spy with my little eye,” said Dayne as he polished his sword. “Something beginning with R”

“Rock,” replied Whent with utter certainty

“Got it in one, go on, it’s your turn”

“I spy something beginning with R”

“Need something different”

“It is different, it’s a red rock”

“They’re all bloody red,” pointed out Hightower, scratching his crotch moodily. “Anyway, its time to go and get the bread and milk; two pints, and see if you can get a newspaper while you’re at it”

“It’ll be out of date. Always is. And so’s the milk”

“I’m not bothered about the news, it’s always the same. I want to do the crossword”

“You did one of them before”

“Didn’t finish it though, did I? You got caught short that night, remember?”

“Bloody sour milk, sorry about that”

“I hear the Dothraki drink themselves silly on the stuff once its fermented”

“Might try that,” commented Dayne, wistfully.  “Getting beastly drunk has to be better than staring at rocks”

“Well who’s fault is that? Who was it got her preggers, and then his nibs turns round and puts on his sanctimonious go to meeting face and says it won’t be fair to take you off to the wars and let the little bastard grow up without ever seeing his father”

“Not my fault… well I suppose it is, but what about you two?”

“Ah high politicks that one,” says Hightower loftily, then produces his famous impersonation of the last best hope of House Targaryen;  ‘I’m going to speak VERY FIRMLY to Pater about making changes,’ says he, ’and anyway I know you can’t stand the sight of blood’

“Smell of burnt toast more like, knowing his Old Man” grumbled Whent .

“Speaking of toast, are you going for the bread or not?”

“Not my turn, I did the washing up last night”

“I don’t care, I’m the Lord Commander and what I say goes… hullo… what’s this? Riders!”

“Can’t be the guy to read the gas meter, he came last week.”

“And there’s seven of them”

“Oh shit” muttered Dayne. “Seven; warrior, smith, maiden, mother, crone and all that jazz… It’s the bloody Jehovah’s Witnesses!”

 

And as to what may have happened next...

In AGoT chapter 39, Ned has his infamous dream about the fight there as quoted many a time. He's woken from it by Vayon Poole and becomes involved in various bits of business, and on learning that Alyn, the new captain of his guard, has given the body of Jory Cassel into the keeping of the silent sisters to be taken home to Winterfell to lie beside his grandfather, he reflects:

It would have to be his grandfather, for Jory's father was buried far to the south. Martyn Cassel had perished with the rest. Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns upon the ridge. It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory. They had been seven against three, yet only two lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed.

This, incidentally, is the only use of the term tower of joy [no initial capitals] anywhere in the books, and at this point we need to qualify the dream and its aftermath with this comment by GRRM:

http://www.westeros....he_Tower_of_Joy

You'll need to wait for future books to find out more about the Tower of Joy and what happened there, I fear.

I might mention, though, that Ned's account, which you refer to, was in the context of a dream... and a fever dream at that. Our dreams are not always literal.

So there’s something wrong with the dream passage, but what? To a large extent the encounter itself is confirmed by the passage about Ned’s thoughts on waking. He’s not dreaming, feverishly or otherwise, when he thinks of Martyn Cassel and the aftermath of the fight, so it obviously happened and it ended with all of them dead except Messrs Stark and Reed. Nor do I think there’s a problem with the exchange between Ned and the Kingsguard that preceded the fight. It’s too clear, too precise, not to be a memory of an actual conversation, or at least an accurate memory of the gist of what was said. Nor can Ned seeing his dead friends as wraiths or the blood red skies be regarded as significant enough to justify GRRM’s warning, given that he was specifically responding to a question about the events.  That then leaves Lyanna.

Is GRRM therefore hinting that in his “fever dream” Ned is conflating two related but different memories; that of the fight and that of Lyanna’s death, not in an old watchtower in the Prince’s Pass, but somewhere else entirely and not improbably Starfall?

It’s not only an interpretation that makes sense, but one which makes a lot more sense than star-crossed lovers spending all that time at the tower. In the first place the tower in question wasn't a remote hideaway by any stretch of the imagination, but a watchtower sitting on a ridge overlooking one of only two roads into Dorne. It was not a castle, or even a holdfast, but a simple watchtower. All in all; very small, very squalid and very Spartan. There is no way it could have been used as a hideout for a prince, and a young [and latterly pregnant] girl attended by two and eventually three members of the famous kingsguard, bickering over whose turn it was to fetch the bread, milk and morning papers over a period of several months. [see above]

All very well says you, but what about the Kingsguard and why the tower?

Again it’s worth turning back to GRRM, specifically answering that question:

http://web.archive.o...s3/00103009.htm

Martin: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that.

There’s a clear implication here that the reason they were so far from home in the first place is that they were obeying an order given by Prince Rhaegar or even Aerys himself. Exactly what that order was we don’t know but it is apparent from the exchange with Ned it was an order they didn’t like. It’s also important at this point to consider the timing of that order.

Rhaegar has been absent for months, but at some point Hightower catches up with him bearing Aerys’ summons to return. Rhaegar then does so, but Hightower, Dayne and Whent remain behind. I’ll discuss a possible reason for this shortly, but at this particular moment when Rhaegar returns to Kings Landing, Aerys is the King, Rhaegar is the Crown Prince, and Rhaegar’s own son and heir, Aegon is still living. Jon is still just a bump, so with war raging up north, leaving three out of the seven members of the guard to protect an unborn child who at best will be third in line after Aerys seems a touch odd.

So let’s look at what happens:

"I looked for you on the Trident," Ned said to them.

"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.

"Woe to the Usurper if we had been," said Ser Oswell

 The use of the term Usurper is interesting. Robert is no longer a rebel, they acknowledge that he holds the throne, they just refuse to recognise him as their king.

"When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were."

"Far away," Ser Gerold said, "or Aerys would yet sit on the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells."

 But not “here” and Aerys is still their king and still would be if they had anything to do with it.

"I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege," Ned told them, "and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them."

"Our knees do not bend easily," said Ser Arthur Dayne.

 Now again this one is consistent with the bit about the usurper. Tyrell, Redwyne and the others did bend the knee, because their king and his heirs and successors were gone and there was no point in fighting on in the name of that boy fled to Dragonstone. On the other hand Messrs Hightower, Dayne and Whent decline to do so because their pride and their honour as members of Aerys’ guard do not allow it.

 If we separate Lyanna from the tower, there is nothing in the exchange with the Kingsguard to suggest that they are guarding anybody; whether Lyanna Stark, Jon Snow or even, the gods help us, Aegon Targaryen.

So why are they at the tower?

 The obvious answer is that it’s a landmark and human nature being what it is their eyes will be drawn to it – as will Ned’s.

 We now know from the World Book about Rhaegar’s involvement in a coup to overthrow Aerys and the Harrenhal tourney being a cover for a gathering of conspirators or would-be conspirators. However the three guards in the Pass, and certainly not Hightower, were not party to the possible coup. Their loyalty to Aerys is unambiguously expressed. Whether Rhaegar ordered them to remain behind for that very reason, perhaps only using Lyanna and her bump as a pretext, we don't know but it’s a very strong possibility given that the exchange with Ned affirms their loyalty to Aerys but mentions no other king.

Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your Queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.”

“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.

“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.

There’s another interesting point here. We also know from the World Book that when Rhaegar died at the Trident, Aerys named his own second son Viserys as his heir in place of Rhaegar’s son Aegon. Its argued by some of those who believe that R+L=Jon Targaryen that the Kings Guard were protecting the true king – but that was Viserys and men whose last words repeatedly affirm their loyalty to Aerys are hardly likely to be rejecting his last orders.

 Therefore if we look at the exchange between Ned and the three knights without preconceptions as to R+L=J it all makes sense. In the first place the knights are not defending or protecting anything, the three of them have lined up to fight.

 It is more like the OK corral than the defence of Kings Landing.

 We're actually given some very strong clues as to this. They speak of their king, Aerys, who they failed by being far away. They refer to Bob as the Usurper, because he has usurped the throne.  Then both Viserys and Danaerys refer to Ned as the usurper's dog. He is recognised as Bob's right-hand man and just as responsible for everything that has happened.

 The knights also speak of Jaime Lanister with some understandable venom and how he should burn in seven hells

 And then there's the final exchange: "And now it begins..." to which Ned replies no, "Now it ends..."

That bit tends to get passed over in discussion but it’s of a piece with the rest. The three knights have failed in their duty and their king is dead. They are now Ronin and all that remains is their honour. That not only means that they will not kneel, but they will die avenging him.

 This is the vow they have sworn. "It begins" with killing the Usurper's Dog and if they're not stopped the forsworn Jaime Lanister and the Usurper himself are next on the list.  But to Ned "Now it ends", because the war is over and too many have already died. And so they fight, and so the three Ronin die.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From H198:

 

3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Barristan never mentioned that the crown was blue roses.

...If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?

 

Indeed. I was expanding upon this idea:

On 6/6/2017 at 2:22 PM, Voice said:

We've seen men prepare for jousts and tourneys. They arrange their pavilions, get their shields painted, they call for breastplate stretchers.

They do not pick forget-me-nots and weave them into little crowns. At least, not in asoiaf.

 

So I would like to offer a more plausible origin for this infamous qolab crown: Walter Whent (who, should remind us to read some Walt Whitman). As the tourney's host, he would have needed to make the necessary preparations. We've seen LF and Renly begin such preparations on Robert's behalf. Singers, food, city watch. I would guess that tourney grounds must be cleared and prepared, seating areas, feasting areas, etc.

Organizers would also likely be responsible for readying the champion's purse. I would think the qolab crown would be a part of that booty for the victor.

 

3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Does anyone other than Ned recall the crown as being blue roses?

Theon:

But there were others with faces he had never known in life, faces he had seen only in stone. The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown spattered with gore could only be Lyanna.

 

7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

I don't think you can convince JNR to be explicit any more than GRRM -- Voice can be seduced, but not the other two.  

  

Spoiler

But you are of course quite right, I am easily seduced. :D

 

7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Let's keep a sense of humor here -- I find it hilarious; so to quote Voice: 'LOL :cheers:.'

Not that is a good Voice impression! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, wolfmaid7 said:

I think much is being made about Rhaegar's character.I do think there's somethings that would be out of chatacter for him,but not this.

If the man raped a 14 year old girl, I wouldn't put any offense past him.

But no. This isn't about character, this is about purpose. Rhaegar was a man with a plan, and his plan was a Great Council. Offending House Stark would not have served that purpose.

 

1 minute ago, wolfmaid7 said:

He is the type of guy that would characterise Jamie as "a crutch" to his face.

Indeed. My thoughts on that can be found here.

 

1 minute ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Either way you slice it he did publicly diss his wife and piss off his cousin and a noble house.These were the outcomes.

Those are the outcomes that people have assumed over the years in the forum-verse, but no. We are told that Robert dismissed the gesture and kept on joking around.

And we know the Martells are not offended at extramarital sex, so I doubt Elia batted an eye when Rhaegar rode up to Lyanna.

While she was known not to have been the most healthy of broodmares, I am surprised by how often people assume Elia would have been offended or dismayed by Rhaegar having a lover or two on the side. House Martell has given us every reason to think otherwise.

And why would Elia care if she didn't get a crown made of flowers? Unlike Lyanna, she was an actual princess, and if she ever wanted a crown, my guess is that it would have been a real one.

 

1 minute ago, wolfmaid7 said:

What we are quibbling over is his reasons.Was it malicious, innocent,affectionate.

I would nominate a fourth option: unimportant.

People act like crowning Lyanna qolab is some great hinge upon which the world turned.

It wasn't.

Some smiles died, Robert dismissed it all, and then life went on. No banners were called. No confessions of love were made. Elia did not throw herself from a tower and the prickly Starks recovered.

Rhaegar went home to Dragonstone with his pregnant wife, and soon proclaimed that his son Aegon was the fabled prince that was promised.

 

1 minute ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Then comes motives which can occur within varying degrees in the aforementioned.

I wouldn't limit it to those degrees. I think Lyanna is far more important to we readers than she was to Rhaegar. Of Rhaegar's considerations and priorities, Lyanna seems to have been pretty far down the list (even if R+L=J). And given her fate, I suspect that she wasn't on it at all.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Is GRRM therefore hinting that in his “fever dream” Ned is conflating two related but different memories; that of the fight and that of Lyanna’s death, not in an old watchtower in the Prince’s Pass, but somewhere else entirely and not improbably Starfall?

It’s not only an interpretation that makes sense, but one which makes a lot more sense than star-crossed lovers spending all that time at the tower. In the first place the tower in question wasn't a remote hideaway by any stretch of the imagination, but a watchtower sitting on a ridge overlooking one of only two roads into Dorne. It was not a castle, or even a holdfast, but a simple watchtower. All in all; very small, very squalid and very Spartan. There is no way it could have been used as a hideout for a prince, and a young [and latterly pregnant] girl attended by two and eventually three members of the famous kingsguard, bickering over whose turn it was to fetch the bread, milk and morning papers over a period of several months. [see above]

If 2 towers are conflated, is it possible Ashara's death, also in a tower, is related?  There is something wierd here, I don't buy the apparent story of Ned returning the sword, her thanking him, then jumping to her death over the loss of her brother. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I looked for you on the Trident," 1 Ned said to them.

"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.

"Woe to the Usurper if we had been," said Ser Oswell.

"When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were." 2

"Far away," Ser Gerold said, "or Aerys would yet sit on the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells."

"I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege," Ned told them, "and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them."

"Our knees do not bend easily," said Ser Arthur Dayne.

Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your Queen and Prince Viserys. 4 I thought you might have sailed with him.”

“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.

“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.

 

While constructing a related theory some time ago, I caught some things about this passage that struck me as interesting.   

First, note the bolded, and the order of Ned's passive aggressive "where were you" statements:   1) Trident, 2) Sack,  3) Siege, 4) Dragonstone. 

Dream Ned is mentioning these in sequence...and in this sequence, the legendary flight to Dragonstone is actually LAST.   This totally goes against the established narrative that Rhaella and Viserys hightailed it to the Targaryen stronghold with Willem Darry immediately after learning of Rhaegar's death at the Trident (something that always struck me as odd anyway, given that Willem Darry was the Master-at-Arms of the Red Keep - and he's bailing before the city risks being sacked?  Come on.).      There's something going on here....and Neddard was in on it.      I suspect this may have something to do with a little baby holed up at Dragonstone.

Second, note the underlined.   Two people in the entire series refer to Jaime killing Aerys with a golden sword:   Viserys, as he told it to Dany as a child, and Ned, in this fever dream.   Jaime wasn't wielding a golden sword, however:
 

Quote

 

"Soiled my white cloak . . . I wore my gold armor that day, but . . ."

"Gold armor?" Her voice sounded far off, faint.

...

Jaime had slipped in through the king's door, clad in his golden armor, sword in hand. The golden armor, not the white, but no one ever remembers that.   Would that I had taken off that damned cloak as well.

 

Odd that only two people  - Ned, and by proxy somehow, Viserys  - certainly DO remember Jaime sporting something gold that day, and even odder that these two people both misidentify the gold as the same wrong item.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i understand the premise Of The OP correctly its:

Tower of joy was just a watch tower

KG were just there for a fight, not guarding anyone, or..

If they were there it was part of some secret mission that we don't yet understand.

That the memory of it as recounted by the ned is flawed and potentially confusing 2 separate memories, one of a fight and one of Lyanna.

Collectively all Of The above cast significant doubt over R+L=J

How did I do?

If I'm on the right lines I think that requires a number of questions to be answered.

1 if it's just a watch tower Why Was it called the tower of joy, even once?

2 why are the KG there at all? Eg what is the secret mission

3 what is the narrative purpose Of The tower of Joy scene if it isn't to create the belief in R+L=J? (Lets not forget that R+L =J whilst widely discussed on this forum would be a revelation to 99.9% of global reader/viewership.)

Now it doesn't matter whether we believe in R+L=J or not, to me the tower of Joy scene is clearly designed to plant some sort of seed and that is the most likely seed given the rest of the hints and "evidence" in the text.  I think this is the backdrop to the stilted conversation. 

"We thought you would be here"... "We weren't."

"Well then we thought you would be here"..."we weren't there either". Etc it's the authors way of spelling out all if the most likely duties if the KG for simple readers like myself so that they can then start to wonder why they were there and look for their own answers.

There is little or nothing in the exchange or the rest Of The books to suggest that 2 memories might be confused and there seems to be little to no evidence that we shoukd accept the full exchange at the tower of joy between Ned and the KG but then Challenge the Lyanna memory as false.

I think given the rest Of The hints in the books about R+L=J the burden of proof needs to rest with another superior theory about why the KG were there and it's not enough to say there is a bit of doubt about R+L=J so there must be some other secret mission.

 

In terms of Rhaegars orders, we know he was a believer in the 3 heads if the dragon prophecy so his orders could be linked to that more than to the line of succession.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Voice said:

From H198:

 

 

Indeed. I was expanding upon this idea:

 

Theon:

But there were others with faces he had never known in life, faces he had seen only in stone. The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown spattered with gore could only be Lyanna.

 

  

  Reveal hidden contents

But you are of course quite right, I am easily seduced. :D

 

Not that is a good Voice impression! :D

I think it's notable that Theon's vision is of a dead Lyanna, thus a second connection between "blue" and the crown of roses. It's symbolic, but not necessarily proof that the crown was blue roses. Just playing devil's advocate here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welp. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but I may as well put down my official opinion on this subject again that I'm wary of believing the three men that killed Ned's men were Kingsguard. Ned compares the dream to real life twice:

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood. (My insertion...is this "old dream" a repeat sent by a greenseer?)

    In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life. Proud Martyn Cassel, Jory's father; faithful Theo Wull; Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon's squire; Ser Mark Ryswell, soft of speech and gentle of heart; the crannogman, Howland Reed; Lord Dustin on his great red stallion. Ned had known their faces as well as he knew his own once, but the years leech at a man's memories, even those he has vowed never to forget. In the dream they were only shadows, grey wraiths on horses made of mist. 

    They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life. Yet these were no ordinary three. They waited before the round tower, the red mountains of Dorne at their backs, their white cloaks blowing in the wind. And these were no shadows; their faces burned clear, even now. Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, had a sad smile on his lips. The hilt of the greatsword Dawn poked up over his right shoulder. Ser Oswell Whent was on one knee, sharpening his blade with a whetstone. Across his white-enameled helm, the black bat of his House spread its wings. Between them stood fierce old Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

If the situation was exactly the same in life as in the dream then it's superfluous to type "as it had been in life". IMO the word "yet" in the next sentence, "Yet these were no ordinary three." indicates that in life these three were ordinary. If this is an old dream that Ned has had many times over the years, is it because it's something akin to post traumatic stress disorder, or was there a damn greenseer trying to alter his memories and recall of the actual events? And if it was a greenseer that kept infecting Ned's sleep at night, what memory are they trying to suppress or twist and why? Could it be that Ned didn't actually find Lyanna at the tower of joy, but found someone else instead? Would Bloodraven have motive to protect someone? 

When Bloodraven counseled Bran against calling out to his dead father, he told Bran that many times he tried talking to his family via the weirnet, but no one heard him. He must have felt frustrated and wondered what could he do to help House Targaryen. He was a stanch loyalist and it must have been hard for him to lose his position as protector of the realm and be satisfied with being the Lord Commander in charge of the Wall. (The Wall takes no part in the Seven Kingdoms, and all that.) After a few short years he goes in search of the Children and he stays on as their greenseer. Why would he do that? What makes sense to me is that he'd want a way to get back control over the realm, but can a greenseer really do more than just watch? He may have learned the songs of earth, water, and tree, but he could not control or stop the rebellion from removing King Aerys Targaryen from the throne. And maybe he could protect Rhaegar's son by making Ned believe "he's my blood". You may think that I've cracked more than a few pots with this, but I think greenseers can influence people by manipulating their dreams.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Lyanna wasn't at the tower of joy but 3 Kingsguard were, what was anyone on either side there for?  Why was there a battle?

Another odd thing about this battle is who fights.  We have the 3 Kingsguard Rhaegar trusted most alone on a special mission after he died.  Weirder still, Ned has 6 nobles and no one else.  Compare this to the Trident, with 75000 people fighting, mostly common folk.   If this were an ordinary military mission, wouldn't Ned be the only noble, leading 100 nameless soldiers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Black Crow said:

“I spy with my little eye,” said Dayne as he polished his sword. “Something beginning with R”

“Rock,” replied Whent with utter certainty

“Got it in one, go on, it’s your turn”

“I spy something beginning with R”

“Need something different”

“It is different, it’s a red rock”

First, I think this is quality stuff.  The KG are looking around, with apparent resentment, for anything that starts with R... obvious possible candidates suggesting themselves instantly... and rocks are the only candidates.  :D

Second, the KG demonstrate here a wit and phrasing that reminds me of Baldrick from the old-school Blackadder series, aptly stated by Wikipedia to have had "intelligence decreasing as the show continued," so I'm surprised there are no turnip (letter T) references, or cunning plan (C) references. 

(Though perhaps, given context, it's Rhaegar whom they believe to have had a Baldrick-class cunning plan, which may turn out in the end to be spot-on accurate for the canon.)

6 hours ago, ReturnOfCaponBreath said:

the burden of proof needs to rest with another superior theory about why the KG were there and it's not enough to say there is a bit of doubt about R+L=J so there must be some other secret mission

Well, how about something very simple. 

As BC points out, their situation is an awkward one.  Rhaegar is gone, apparently having left specific orders, but those orders conflict with other traditional KG interests and priorities, and they also very likely know he is dead.  Ergo, they must decide what to do.

Now, Hightower was the LC, and we learn from Selmy in ADWD that it would have been the LC's job to make any decision in such an awkward and uncertain situation:

Quote

If the queen had commanded me to protect Hizdahr, I would have had no choice but to obey. But Daenerys Targaryen had never established a proper Queensguard even for herself nor issued any commands in respect to her consort. The world was simpler when I had a lord commander to decide such matters, Selmy reflected. Now I am the lord commander, and it is hard to know which path is right.

So what is Hightower's state of mind in this time?  The point in time BC imagines in his Blackadderish dialogue?

Based on the first boldfaced bit above, Rhaegar's orders would have seemed to Hightower to trump all other factors, unless of course superior orders from Aerys came.  

Why do I think Selmy is right about this controversial point?  Well, Selmy is a KG, has served four kings, has known LCs and has been an LC.  Selmy is therefore an outstandingly good authority on KG rules and procedures and if he thinks the first boldfaced bit, he is bound to be correct.

Thus we infer, also with confidence, that no such countermanding orders from Aerys ever did come, and from that, we infer that Aerys probably did not know where they were, because he certainly would have wanted to order them to do different things if he possibly could have.  Like protect him or protect Rhaegar at the Trident.

This also explains tidily why Aerys never took Lyanna as an incredibly powerful political hostage against Robert and Ned.    He would have if he could have, but he didn't know where she was either.

And, finally, it establishes that the fapp is almost certainly wrong when it claims Aerys did know where Rhaegar and Lyanna were -- halfway into the War (!), after the Battle of the Bells -- that there was a public rumor they were at the ToJ -- and that he deliberately sent Hightower there. 

And that despite her power as a political hostage, Aerys deliberately chose to leave ultra-valuable Lyanna at this watchtower in Dorne for months...!

All that is very likely total BS.  How Hightower came to join Dayne and Whent remains an interesting mystery.

Edited by JNR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why anyone thinks Aerys would value Lyanna as a hostage.  He had Rickard and Brandon which would be much more useful and killed them.  The rebellion started because he wanted Ned and Robert dead.  So what would his bargaining position be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

If Lyanna wasn't at the tower of joy but 3 Kingsguard were, what was anyone on either side there for?  Why was there a battle?

Another odd thing about this battle is who fights.  We have the 3 Kingsguard Rhaegar trusted most alone on a special mission after he died.  Weirder still, Ned has 6 nobles and no one else.  Compare this to the Trident, with 75000 people fighting, mostly common folk.   If this were an ordinary military mission, wouldn't Ned be the only noble, leading 100 nameless soldiers?

I am proposing that the only people at the tower were three ordinary soldiers, likely Dornish, who didn't know the rebellion was over and sprang a surprise attack against Ned and his men. Ned and Howland were the only two to surviv, but they continued the mission they came this way for in the first place: return Dawn to Starfall. Upon arrival to Starfall they come upon Wylla, who has been taking care of Jon, because she reports to Ned that Ashara jumped from the tower when she heard her brother was dead. This is likely just a cover story. She tells Ned that the child was Ashara's...the result of the "dishonoring" at Harrenhal. Ned concludes that the child is Brandon's, thus "his blood", which would explain the rumors at Winterfell that Ashara is Jon's mother.

Backing up a bit, Ned had already found Lyanna dying from sword wounds early on in the Rebellion, likely somewhere near the same place Arya left Sandor to die. This would be a reverse parallel to Arya with the daughter of Winterfell (Lyanna) dying and the Kingsguard (Arthur) becoming no one. Lyanna's sword injury would also parallel Myrcella's injury by Darkstar (Gerold Dayne). I am undecided if Darkstar is paralled by Arthur Dayne or by Gerold Hightower or both. 

IMO Ned's fever dream is the same as a familiar "old dream" that Bloodraven keeps sending, but that Ned is aware is different than real life. He recognizes that some things are the same as real life was, but that there are also significant changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

If Lyanna wasn't at the tower of joy but 3 Kingsguard were, what was anyone on either side there for?  Why was there a battle?

Another odd thing about this battle is who fights.  We have the 3 Kingsguard Rhaegar trusted most alone on a special mission after he died.  Weirder still, Ned has 6 nobles and no one else.  Compare this to the Trident, with 75000 people fighting, mostly common folk.   If this were an ordinary military mission, wouldn't Ned be the only noble, leading 100 nameless soldiers?

Its not a battle. The three members of the King's Guard are not defending the tower and anybody or anything that might be inside it. They are in fact engaged in a formal rencounter or meeting - a pre-arranged duel.

"at the tower - at noon"

That's why they are waiting outside, that's why they are alone and why, when the magnificent seven turn up they engage in that formal conversation as to whether they should fight.

Compare it with the early chapter in The Three Musketeers when D'Artagnan has that rencounter with them The motives and outcomes are different, obviously, but the atmosphere is there all the way through to Athos sharpening his sword while he waits

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some observations about Eddard's actions...

Is it unreasonable for me to assume that, as Eddard headed to Dorne, he knew:
1.) What/who he was looking for
2.) Where to find them?

To revisit this SSM...
http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Baratheon_Brothers/
 

Quote

Ned's army did not accompany him to Dorne, no. There were no battles in Dorne during Robert's Rebellion, though doubtless there were minor skirmishes along the borders.


So, Eddard is taking a risk here, heading into enemy territory with only a small band of men, and it doesn't seem as though this was a formal military action. Given the danger, I'm also inclined to conclude that he didn't intend to scour the Dornish countryside, so it seems logical enough that he wasn't just following a rumor and hoping it panned out, but acting on reliable information.

As to where he would have gotten that information:
http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1040/

Quote

 I will give you this much, however; Ashara Dayne was not nailed to the floor in Starfall, as some of the fans who write me seem to assume. They have horses in Dorne too, you know. And boats (though not many of their own). As a matter of fact (a tiny tidbit from SOS), she was one of Princess Elia's lady companions in King's Landing, in the first few years after Elia married Rhaegar.

To get into more speculative territory here, if Eddard had spent some time with Ashara at the Harrenhal tournament, he might reasonably have established familiarity with any knights and servants who serve House Dayne, and Lady Ashara herself.

Given GRRM's hint that Ashara wasn't inactive in her final days, and was close to Elia, one might speculate that Starfall - and even Ashara herself - may have had knowledge of whatever it was that Rhaegar was doing during his absence, perhaps even been co-conspirators.

With all of that in mind, I'm going to make a leap here, and suggest that Ashara being a companion of Elia creates a potential context in which there might be servants of House Dayne present at King's Landing; furthermore there may have been men and women who knew Eddard, and passed information to him in the aftermath of the Sack, the information that prompted his clandestine trip to Dorne. 

I apologize if all of these conclusions were already self-evident to everyone else, but I thought it might be worthwhile to look at the Battle of the ToJ from the "what was Eddard doing there?" point of view, rather than the more typically explored "what were the KG doing there?" point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

As an aside I think its worth mentioning a little problem with the mummers' version. For once it appeared to provide a pretty faithful interpretation of a book passage, albeit with a slimmed down cast and a re-attribution of it from Ned to Bran.

Much quiet and not so quiet satisfaction by adherents to a certain theory.

But stay, all is not as it appears on the screen. In the first place it was never a vision but a dream and moreover one which GRRM warned:

might mention, though, that Ned's account, which you refer to, [ie the one presented by the mummers as Bran observing an actual historical event] was in the context of a dream... and a fever dream at that. Our dreams are not always literal

Edited by Black Crow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The book mentions something about Ned saying how one man can defeat many in a stairway,  which some have taken as a reference to ths fight.  If the fight was inside the tower on the stairway it was not OK corral style.  "Meet me at noon, we'll behind behind fortified walls attacking you down the stair well".

The mummer's version, with the fight outside the tower, and Howland winning by cheating,  is more inline with a duel than what I pictured reading the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

The book mentions something about Ned saying how one man can defeat many in a stairway,  which some have taken as a reference to ths fight.  If the fight was inside the tower on the stairway it was not OK corral style.  "Meet me at noon, we'll behind behind fortified walls attacking you down the stair well".

The mummer's version, with the fight outside the tower, and Howland winning by cheating,  is more inline with a duel than what I pictured reading the books.

There is no evidence, nothing, zilch nada... to suggest the fight was a desperate defence of the tower. GRRM describes a formal rencounter and acceptance of that resolves all manner of supposed issues.

It does not however place Lyanna in the tower 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I am proposing that the only people at the tower were three ordinary soldiers, likely Dornish, who didn't know the rebellion was over and sprang a surprise attack against Ned and his men. Ned and Howland were the only two to surviv, but they continued the mission they came this way for in the first place: return Dawn to Starfall. Upon arrival to Starfall they come upon Wylla, who has been taking care of Jon, because she reports to Ned that Ashara jumped from the tower when she heard her brother was dead. This is likely just a cover story. She tells Ned that the child was Ashara's...the result of the "dishonoring" at Harrenhal. Ned concludes that the child is Brandon's, thus "his blood", which would explain the rumors at Winterfell that Ashara is Jon's mother.

Backing up a bit, Ned had already found Lyanna dying from sword wounds early on in the Rebellion, likely somewhere near the same place Arya left Sandor to die. This would be a reverse parallel to Arya with the daughter of Winterfell (Lyanna) dying and the Kingsguard (Arthur) becoming no one. Lyanna's sword injury would also parallel Myrcella's injury by Darkstar (Gerold Dayne). I am undecided if Darkstar is paralled by Arthur Dayne or by Gerold Hightower or both. 

IMO Ned's fever dream is the same as a familiar "old dream" that Bloodraven keeps sending, but that Ned is aware is different than real life. He recognizes that some things are the same as real life was, but that there are also significant changes.

In this interpretation what happens to the actual 3 members Of The Kings guard if they aren't at TOJ? I don't believe there is any dispute anywhere in the books that they are all dead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

Given GRRM's hint that Ashara wasn't inactive in her final days, and was close to Elia, one might speculate that Starfall - and even Ashara herself - may have had knowledge of whatever it was that Rhaegar was doing during his absence, perhaps even been co-conspirators.

You've reminded me of a passage in The Captain of Guards AFFC chapter 2 that has to do with the politics of the court at Kings Landing. I was was puzzling out and applying my inversion theory to  the chapter as I am want to do.  

I saw parallels between Lady Nym and Ashara Dayne, as well as parallels with her "sweet sister" Tyene to Princess Elia. Lady Nymeria Sand is "five-and-twenty, slender, with straight black hair, dark eyes, high cheekbones, full lips, and milk-pale skin." She was very beautiful. Ashara Dayne is also described as tall, with long dark hair and haunting violet eyes. She had a reputation as a great beauty, and many men were infatuated with her. Princess Elia and her handmaiden, Ashara Dayne were likely very close, and would be in prime positions for politicking.

In the chapter, Nym acknowledged that she knows that Obara wants to set the torch to Oldtown, that she hates that city as much as her little sister (Tyene) loves it. The parallel to that might be Ashara knew that Elia hated Kings Landing and would like to destroy it. Doran asks how she feels about it and she confesses that she was with the Fowler twins when word of Oberyn’s death reached her, and she asked Doran if he knew the Fowler words? Let me soar! Could this be a parallel of Ashara's presumed death by jumping off a tower?

Nym says she doesn’t need a mighty host, only her sweet sister Tyene. She says Tyene is so sweet that no one would suspect her. She also mentions a Ser Daemon who informed her of the poison Oberyn used on the spear that tickled Gregor. This too might parallel that Ashara knew Elia was slowly poisoning Aerys, but that no one would ever expect Elia because she was a princess. I will point out though that even though Elia was Dornish doesn't mean she actually used poison, but rather she may have been the one that was feeding Aerys "poisonous" lies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.