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King Ned Stark

Another (f)Aegon thread I guess

55 posts in this topic

On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 10:13 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

As I said above, the only way it works is if Elia is involved. It's not ridiculous to think she'd agree to a plan that saves her son's life.

Kytheros, you will never make a truly great villain. You're just not thinking like one. If Clegane and Lorch get into the Red Keep and Elia and her kids are missing, the entire city gets shut down. All three of them, and anyone helping them end up dead. There's no way to sneak them all out. 

You're also forgetting that Clegane and Lorch were sent directly to the Red Keep to break in. They arrived first and scaled the walls. The rest of the army was busy actually sacking the city. If there had been a wait while the whole Lannister army marched to the castle, then sure there would have been time, but that is not how it went.

From what we know, Rhaenys was probably originally in the nursery with her mother and "Aegon" but she got scared and ran. That not only makes it harder for the bad guys to find her, but also makes it harder for anyone who is trying to get her out to be able to find her. And that doesn't even get into how hard it would be to find a 3-year-old who looks like, talks like, and acts like Rhaenys enough to fool people as long as necessary to get the kids safely away. If they'd known the enemy was going to kill her, they could have just pulled any dark-eyed, dark-haired, vaguely Dornish-looking female toddler off the street, but they were probably expecting Rhaenys to be kept as a hostage. 

Aegon was the son. He was the one at greatest risk. The priority is always the male heir. It's a necessity of the setting. There was no reason to think Elia herself was at risk. Even Tywin says he didn't order Elia's death.

This kind of thing always has to be done at the very last minute. Try and pull it off too son and you'll run into issues like witnesses or people who aren't smart enough to be quiet noticing that something's not right about the little prince and speaking up at exactly the wrong time. 

Who was then cryogenically frozen by Bloodraven, who stole the tech from the Others, and switched with both Gilly's child and Aemon Steelsong. 

Tywin did not tell Gregor Clegane not to kill Elia ,if the quote is right .

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Okay, I'll try and be a little clearer this time around.  And again, I did not want to present this as a theory some much as a brainstorming exercise for people that are still not satisfied with Rhaegar's motivations for doing what he did, but perhaps that can't be helped.

Rhaegar's motivations seem to be agreed upon that he was either a nut job about prophecy, or some weird guy who threatened the realm because of love/lust for Lyanna.  Neither of which match up with all the favorable recollections of Rhaegar; notably Ned and Barristan.  I don't like either of those motivations, as more and more I'm starting to think Rhaegar was a political player who dabbled in prophecy, not a prophetical player who dabbled in politics. 

Let's take a took at the timeline, as it was only after looking at the timeline I started thinking in this direction.

280 AC - Rhaegar weds Elia, a woman of known delicate health.

280 AC - Later that year (close to 281) Rhaenys is born, and Elia is bedridden for 6 months (which takes us somewhere to the 3rd to 6th month of 281).

281 AC - Elia attends ToH, and gets pregnant again.  Aegon was born sometime late in 281 to early 282 AC.  Elia is said to have "nearly died" from giving birth to Aegon, yet Rhaegar leaves for the Riverlands early in 282 AC and had a moment that Dany sees in the HotU, where Elia (who nearly died from childbirth) is nursing a newborn baby and chatting idly with Rhaegar.

The timeline is very tight, granted it's possible, but it is very tight.  And to believe in that timeline you have to believe Rhaegar left his (possibly) dying wife and infant son (whom he supposedly believed was a prophetical savior) in the middle of a bad winter storm to rescue/kidnap a teenage girl.  Or you have to question the story entirely.  I screwed up when I mentioned baby swap, with this exercise, there is no baby swap, because Elia was never pregnant the second time.  If, and it's a big if, the maesters told her after Rhaenys (not Aegon), when she was bedridden and perhaps nearly died, that she could not have anymore children, then she and Rhaegar and Rhaenys are in a dangerous spot.  Especially with Aerys grumbling about disinheriting Rhaegar, which he didn't talk about until he had a suitable replacement.  And in Targaryen eyes, what is a suitable heir?  A male child.

According to Archmaester Gyldayn, in the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC established an iron precedent on matters of succession; that the Iron Throne could not pass to a woman, or a male descendant of a woman.

If Rhaegar is in a Cold War with his father, and wishes to manage a peaceful transfer of power through a council, he would be smart enough to know he needs a male heir to call one.  He knows he is more popular than Aerys, but his father has an heir and he doesn't (hypothetically speaking of course).

Viscerys l strengthened Rhaenyra's claim in the succession by marrying her to Laenor Velaryon - who had Targaryen blood.

Martin has stated that Elia and Rhaegar had a complicated relationship.  If Rhaegar is disinherited/and or exiled, then presumably so is Elia and Rhaenys.  So Elia (and Dorne by proxy) would agree to Rhaegar taking a second wife (which there is a precedent for a Targaryen prince - not a king - taking a second wife) because he would betroth his male heir from that wife to his daughter from his first, strengthening their claim, and his claim in a Great Council against his father.

There wasn't a baby swap (maybe a baby stand-in, Ashara?), he was stalling for time and him eventually being disinherited so he can get everything in order to call a council.  Elia would have been easy to keep from prying eyes, Rhaegar needs a male heir and Elia's ability to produce that heir is at least worthy of being questionable.  Aegon was fake the whole time basically, and Rhaegar's political scheme was the possible impetus for Varys/Illyrio scheme or even Ned and Lyanna, with Ned claiming a son that wasn't his.

There is probably some things I'm forgetting to add, but that's the gist.  For me, it's better motivation for Rhaegar (that is in keeping with people's remembrance of him) than prophecy or some immature love/lust story going on.

Anyway, I hope I cleared it up somewhat.  Basically, Elia couldnt get pregnant a second time, which started a chain of events that's led to Rhaegar accidentally fathering the prophecy child that is Jon, not him doing it by being some prophecy mastermind.

Edited by King Ned Stark

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@King Ned Stark

OK, that is much clearer.

I think your theory (or whatever you want to call it) is technically possible, but I don't buy into it for a few reasons. First, they would have to fake an Elia pregnancy and birth in the Red Keep, which sounds to me like a very difficult task. Second, we would have to assume that the vision from the HOTU is false (the line about "there must be a third child") because Rhaegar only had one child so far (though I could believe that anything from HOTU is false so not a huge issue there). Third, Rhaegar's political schemes were not predicated on him having a male heir; they were predicated on the fact that his dad was totally bananas insane and there were many lords who wanted to see him off the throne. Keep in mind that the whole point (originally) of the Harrenhal tourney was to have a big meeting and talk about deposing Aerys, and off the top of my head I'm pretty sure this is before Aegon was born (or a fake baby was brought in as Aegon). Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, I disagree with your premise; I do think that Rhaegar was all about fulfilling prophecy. As far as we can tell, he thought that the Long Night 2.0 was coming and that his children would need to save mankind from a horrific genocide. And if he really believed that, then fulfilling prophecy would absolutely take priority over politics. After all, why bother succeeding politically if the entire kingdom is facing potential annihilation? To clarify, I think he was concerned about politics, but only as a means to an end of defeating the Others. I think the threat of genocide and eternal winter would be plenty of motivation for his actions.

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10 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

@King Ned Stark

OK, that is much clearer.

I think your theory (or whatever you want to call it) is technically possible, but I don't buy into it for a few reasons. First, they would have to fake an Elia pregnancy and birth in the Red Keep, which sounds to me like a very difficult task. Second, we would have to assume that the vision from the HOTU is false (the line about "there must be a third child") because Rhaegar only had one child so far (though I could believe that anything from HOTU is false so not a huge issue there). Third, Rhaegar's political schemes were not predicated on him having a male heir; they were predicated on the fact that his dad was totally bananas insane and there were many lords who wanted to see him off the throne. Keep in mind that the whole point (originally) of the Harrenhal tourney was to have a big meeting and talk about deposing Aerys, and off the top of my head I'm pretty sure this is before Aegon was born (or a fake baby was brought in as Aegon). Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, I disagree with your premise; I do think that Rhaegar was all about fulfilling prophecy. As far as we can tell, he thought that the Long Night 2.0 was coming and that his children would need to save mankind from a horrific genocide. And if he really believed that, then fulfilling prophecy would absolutely take priority over politics. After all, why bother succeeding politically if the entire kingdom is facing potential annihilation? To clarify, I think he was concerned about politics, but only as a means to an end of defeating the Others. I think the threat of genocide and eternal winter would be plenty of motivation for his actions.

Fair enough.  I didn't want to present this as a theory that I am sold on, because really I'm not, even though at the moment it seems cleaner to me than other possible scenarios.  After twenty years I've wavered back and forth a lot on the motivations of Rhaegar and Lyanna, so I try not to get too attached to a particular theory and then allow it to cloud my judgement.  I'd rather analyze any theory, however improbable, as long as it's technically possible.  Anyway, I'll try to address your points.

Point 1 - I was under the impression that Rhaegar and Lyanna resided on Dragonstone, and Elia was only summoned to Kings Landing after Rhaegar left for the Riverlands.  If they were indeed in the Red Keep, then you could nail the lid on this idea as they could have never pulled that off.  If they were on DS, then I think they could've pulled it off rather easily.

Point 2 - The HotU vision I do indeed believe is written as misdirection.  The line about the dragon having three heads has had people looking for hidden Targaryen's and possible dragonriders for years; when in reality, we can't say 100% that it is even true.  Something that caught my attention on reading that chapter for the 3rd or 4th time, is not just that Pyatt Pree prefaced the entire string of events with "and days that never were", but the fact Martin cleverly throws in only 1 obvious day that never was; Rhaego with a city burning behind him.  Why only throw in one obvious false vision, if not to hide a more important not-so-obvious vision?  It helps to cloud everything.  From what I remember, Rhaegar is the only one who thinks that there needs to be 3 prophetical saviors, and only says so in that vision.  At this point, I'm leaning that Rhaegar, Elia, and Aegon were never in that room.  Granted, I could easily be wrong, but as I said upthread, the timeline seems incredibly tight to believe that vision.

Point 3 - I think that Martin wrote 92 AC (the second quarrel?), and the Great Council of 101 expressly as clues of the importance of a male heir for a Targaryen Westeros (as @Lady Blizzardborn stated earlier).  I think the tourney could have been set up for several things all at once, only people suspected later that it was for a great council.  To see if there was ample support to call a council, and possibly to look for a second wife that would be suitable not only in his eyes, but also Elia's.  Else, why bring her, she is newly recovered from giving birth to Rhaenys, and by most accounts it was dangerous espionage.  If Rhaegar was only worried about garnering support, why spend so much time looking for and getting to know Lyanna?

Point 4 - I agree mostly with what you say here, and apologize for not being more clear.  I agree that he was worried about more important things than political schemes, I just doubt that he was working with any more information than anyone else.  I believe he thought his child(ren) would save Westeros (the world), but in order to do so, or give them/him/her the best chance he thought that they needed a secure Westeros under their rule.  For him to all of a sudden to realize he needs Lyanna seems campy and too coincidental, to me at least.

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Also a different look at a peculiar thought Ned has in A Game of Thrones:

Quote

For the first time in years he found himself remembering Rhaegar Targaryen.  He wondered if Rhaegar frequented brothels; somehow he thought not.

This is an odd statement because Ned thinks or talks about Rhaegar six or seven times prior to this in his earlier chapters.  This time, however, Ned is remembering Rhaegar, as in who he was as a prince, a man, a father.  The obvious link is that Ned is contrasting Rhaegar to his friend Robert, and Robert comes up short.  There could be more subtleties to this statement; another clue with multiple layers.

Ned has this thought after leaving the brothel where Robert fathered Barra on a young girl there.  Littlefinger tells Ned a rumor of Robert fathering twins on a serving wench at Casterly Rock, and that Cersei had the babes killed, and the mother sold into slavery.  Ned thinks of how Robert has grown accustomed to turning a blind eye.  One possible layer of this peculiar thought, is that Robert is the kind of man that can abandoned children, even is own, and that possibly Rhaegar was not.  I don't think that Ned would feel that way if Rhaegar did abandoned his children for love or chasing prophecy.  If Rhaegar did abandon his children (leave them at Dragonstone) then he did so for the same reasons Ned left his kids at Winterfell, for his duty to the realm.

 

From the same chapter, we also have this:

Quote

"I will," Ned had promised her.  That was his curse.  Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows.  He thought of the promises he'd made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he had paid to keep them.

So if you want to stretch it a bit, Ned compares Robert to himself, and possibly Rhaegar to himself through Robert, and decides Rhaegar is more like himself.  Ned is well known among the fandom for claiming a child that wasn't his for the good of the realm.

Is it possible that prophecy led Rhaegar to believe that he needed a unified Westeros under him (or his kid/s), and he was peacefully trying to unseat his father through a great council.  But he also believed that he needed a male heir to garner enough support (because of the the GC of 101 and Archmaester Gyldayn).

It may seem convoluted, but it keeps true to how people remember Rhaegar and Lyanna, and doesn't reduce Rhaegar to the male version of Melisendre.  He wasn't letting the realm burn while he made savior babies, he was trying to slow down a political situation that eventually grew out of his control.  If he was trying to woo the Starks to his side, then a GC is all but in the bag, but by spreading the rumor that he kidnapped Lyanna, then murdering Rickard and Brandon, Aerys weakened the northern alliance and undermined his son to the point that Rhaegar really had no other option but to win on the Trident and, with the loyalty of the army (if he indeed had it after the battle), take control of KL.

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@King Ned Stark

Aah, I totally forgot they were on DS at that point, so that is a good point and definitely would make it easier to lie about a pregnancy. I forget exactly when they went to KL but they were definitely held hostage by Aerys during the rebellion.

As for the HOTU, yeah I think pretty much anything is possible there. I actually think the entire final scene with the Undying was a false vision and that the Undying are still alive. But on an interesting note, we don't actually know for sure that Rhaego is dead and so that vision is still technically possible.

Why spend so much time looking for Lyanna? I don't think he did per se. I think Lyanna was the KotLT and impressed Rhaegar with her skinchanging abilities, and then he sought her out because he thought he could use her to make a prophecy baby. The scene is paralleled with Dany riding her silver and leaping over a firepit at her wedding, and she saw Drogo smile for the first time. Drogo, like Rhaegar, was also trying to create a prophecy baby, and it was probably the exact same prophecy, the TSWMTW prophecy simply being the Dothraki version of AAR.

So yeah, it's not about him suddenly or arbitrarily realizing that he needed Lyanna. He was looking for a woman with the right skinchanger/dragon rider genes and took advantage of the opportunity, basically the same reason he married Elia (because of her Targaryen ancestor Daenerys). And I certainly don't think it was a coincidence. I think Howland Reed was basically sent on a mission by the Green Men to set up the Rhaegar-Lyanna relationship.

3 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

Also a different look at a peculiar thought Ned has in A Game of Thrones:

This is an odd statement because Ned thinks or talks about Rhaegar six or seven times prior to this in his earlier chapters.  This time, however, Ned is remembering Rhaegar, as in who he was as a prince, a man, a father.  The obvious link is that Ned is contrasting Rhaegar to his friend Robert, and Robert comes up short.  There could be more subtleties to this statement; another clue with multiple layers.

Ned has this thought after leaving the brothel where Robert fathered Barra on a young girl there.  Littlefinger tells Ned a rumor of Robert fathering twins on a serving wench at Casterly Rock, and that Cersei had the babes killed, and the mother sold into slavery.  Ned thinks of how Robert has grown accustomed to turning a blind eye.  One possible layer of this peculiar thought, is that Robert is the kind of man that can abandoned children, even is own, and that possibly Rhaegar was not.  I don't think that Ned would feel that way if Rhaegar did abandoned his children for love or chasing prophecy.  If Rhaegar did abandon his children (leave them at Dragonstone) then he did so for the same reasons Ned left his kids at Winterfell, for his duty to the realm.

 

From the same chapter, we also have this:

So if you want to stretch it a bit, Ned compares Robert to himself, and possibly Rhaegar to himself through Robert, and decides Rhaegar is more like himself.  Ned is well known among the fandom for claiming a child that wasn't his for the good of the realm.

Is it possible that prophecy led Rhaegar to believe that he needed a unified Westeros under him (or his kid/s), and he was peacefully trying to unseat his father through a great council.  But he also believed that he needed a male heir to garner enough support (because of the the GC of 101 and Archmaester Gyldayn).

It may seem convoluted, but it keeps true to how people remember Rhaegar and Lyanna, and doesn't reduce Rhaegar to the male version of Melisendre.  He wasn't letting the realm burn while he made savior babies, he was trying to slow down a political situation that eventually grew out of his control.  If he was trying to woo the Starks to his side, then a GC is all but in the bag, but by spreading the rumor that he kidnapped Lyanna, then murdering Rickard and Brandon, Aerys weakened the northern alliance and undermined his son to the point that Rhaegar really had no other option but to win on the Trident and, with the loyalty of the army (if he indeed had it after the battle), take control of KL.

I actually think he was probably trying to force Rickard's hand into an alliance by getting Lyanna pregnant. Rickard couldn't break his betrothal deal with House Baratheon, but he could have been forced into supporting Rhaegar if Rhaegar broke the deal for him by getting Lyanna pregnant and then offered to name his child by Lyanna as the new heir.

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@40 Thousand Skeletons

Just got home from little league game and gotta get the kids in bed.  Will give it a read tomorrow at work.

A quick note, I agree with much of what you say, Howland Reed being at the Tourney does present an opportunity similar to his son and Bran.  If Jojen had simply showed up and told Bran to head beyond the wall he would've sounded crazy.  But over the course of CoK he was able to prove to Bran that he had important visions.  

Per the Stark alliance, I can buy that.  At this point in time I feel strongly that he was aware of Rickard's power bloc and realized that if he could swing it to his favor then the game is virtually over.  I didn't put to much thought in how he was trying to accomplish this, only that was part of his goal.

Anyway, thx for the link, will try to get back to ya as soon as I can.

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On 8/24/2017 at 11:49 AM, King Ned Stark said:

Let me start off by stating this isn't so much a theory as an attempt to understand some things that seem inconsistent, at least to me.  I'll attempt to turn these jumbled thoughts into a cohesive post, which may prove troublesome as I am not good with the timeline.

From what I can gather, Aerys ll was married and had a child with his sister-wife Rhaella by the time he was 15 or 16.  A few years later he came into the throne after an illness took his father.  After Rhaegar, Aerys and Rhaella are unsuccessful for quite some time at having another child.  Rhaella has miscarriages in 263 and 264, a stillborn baby in 267, another child that lives only half a year in 269, another stillbirth in 270, another miscarriage in 271, a premature baby in 272 that dies shortly thereafter, and finally Viscerys is born in 276.

At this point Rhaegar is sixteen or seventeen years old and still unmarried, without even a betrothal.  Now it's possible that Aerys was waiting in the hopes that a daughter, and suitable bride for Rhaegar, would be born.  I more or less believe that's how it started, but question if Aerys's motives changed after all of the failed pregnancies and as Rhaegar grew into his majority.

A short year after Viscerys's birth (give or take), we have the incident known as the Defiance of Duskendale in 277.  Whilst in a war council with Rhaegar and others, someone proclaims that Lord Darklyn will execute the king should they storm the castle, Tywin replies in a Tywinesque manner, "he may or he may not, but if he does we have a better king right here," where he lifted his hand to indicate Rhaegar.

At this point Rhaegar must be around 18 years old and still not betrothed, but quite possibly already well versed in politics, schemes, and perhaps prophecy.  We also know from Areo Hotah that "someone always tells".  So it seems likely that this got back to Aerys.

TWoIaF tells us that a distrust was growing between father and son, and the DoD incident likely intensified that rift.  If Aerys was not working against Rhaegar and trying to undermine him politically before Duskendale, it seems quite plausible that he was after the Defiance.

At this point in the story, somewhere around 278 AC, Aerys finally begins looking for a bride for Rhaegar.  He spurns Cersei because "a king does not marry his heir to a servants daughter", which is silly, because everyone in the kingdom is a servant in Aerys's eyes.  It's possible he rejected the offer because he thought Tywin and Rhaegar conspired at his death at Duskendale.

This leaves the problem of whom shall Rhaegar marry, Catelyn and Lyanna are spoken for, Cersei has been rejected, and Elia apparently ignored at this point.  Aerys therefore sends Steffon across the narrow sea to find a bride of Valyrian blood, or possible to find a bride that will bring Rhaegar no natural allies.  When this fails, Aerys turns to Elia Martell.

What we know of Elia Martell is that she was born premature, was not expected to live past infancy, and was unable to travel in her youth because of her frail condition. Tywin refused a betrothal between Jaime and Elia, as well as Oberyn and Cersei.  While Tywin seemed to have a good reason for the latter (saving Cersei for the prince), no reason is given for the former.  Tywin even offers an infant Tyrion for Elia, who Tywin may or may not have cared at this point if Tyrion had any children of his own.  Is it possible that Elia's delicate health was known well enough that Tywin would refuse over the fear that she may struggle to produce an heir?

Aerys had experience with a child born premature in 272, but chose a woman of known health issues for his heir, but only after having a second, and possibly more desirable, heir in Viscerys.

That's good thinking. 

On 8/24/2017 at 11:49 AM, King Ned Stark said:

 

Rhaegar is married in 279 (in which Aerys did not attend), and early in 280 AC Rhaenys is born (in which Aerys states "smells" Dornish).  This could be the usual Aerys being a jerk, or it could be Aerys being suspicious of Elia's ability to have such a healthy child.  Elia, nevertheless, is bedridden for half a year which takes us to the middle to late of 280 AC.  Despite being bedridden for 6 months, roughly a year later Elia and Rhaegar again try to conceive; and again, against the odds, have a healthy baby, a boy named Aegon who can be Rhaegar's heir (and the crux of many theories and much debate).

Aegon is born early in 282, close to when Rhaegar takes to the rose with a half dozen companions on a journey that will ultimately lead him back to the Riverlands. It is said the Elia nearly died from giving birth to Aegon, and yet still Rhaegar takes to the road shortly thereafter?  There are still some difficulties ahead, chiefly:

I found it hard to rationalize how Elia, who was nearly killed by childbirth, was nursing newborn (around a month old or younger) and chatting casually with Rhaegar, who then soon leaves.  But earlier, in the same chapter:

The visions Daenerys sees in the House of the Undying Ones are not necessarily snapshots, but representations designed to convey meanings that the reader has to decipher. 

On 8/24/2017 at 11:49 AM, King Ned Stark said:

 

Prophecy aside, Rhaegar had every right to fear trying to enforce his daughter as heir when there was another viable male candidate, especially if rumors were floating about Aerys passing him over for Viscerys.  He wants to call a great council, but wants to do so from a position of strength.  What if mostly everything we know is wrong?  Perhaps Rhaegar initiated the Tourney of Harrenhal not just in hopes of calling a Great Council, but also in hopes of finding a suitable second wife.

He needs to stall for time, and here enters old long con himself, Doran, brother to Elia:

Barristan says Elia was kind and clever, with a sweet wit.  She would have learned those lessons with Doran.

GrrM has stated that Elia was dutiful, and her situation with Rhaegar complicated.  What would be more complicated than the princess being unable to provide the prince with a male heir, who is in a cold feud with his dangerous and unpredictable father who has a predilection for burning people.  Her status is largely dependent on Rhaegar, who could possibly be disinherited or exiled or worse.  

I like this... So often we attempt to rationalize Rhaegar's actions based on prophecy, but your analysis suggests that he was acting very rationally out of political and dynastic necessity. 

On 8/24/2017 at 11:49 AM, King Ned Stark said:

Is it possible, or even plausible, that the first baby swap/stand-in was initiated by Rhaegar and Elia in an attempt to forestall being disinherited?  With the understanding that the male heir from a second marriage would wed Rhaenys, and solidify his claim against Aerys and Viscerys.

Rhaegar possibly had to worry about the northern coalition or STAB and Aerys, just as Aerys had to worry about Rhaegar and the northern coalition.  Rhaegar attemtped to co-opt the northern alliance and use it against his father and Aerys tried to turn them against his son.

I know it's not airtight, and might be chock full of holes, but wanted to see if this has been broached before, or if the great minds of ASoIaF could add, take away, or change the direction of it.  There may be a few things I'm forgetting, but this has dragged on much longer than I'd intended, so, sorry for the length and thx for reading.

Sorry, you lost me. 

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On 9/4/2017 at 7:22 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

This is pretty good.

Because as soon as Rhaegar makes his move to depose his father, and possibly before then, there's a real possibility that Aerys will move against Rhaegar's children. Confining Rhaegar at all would make everything public and make Aerys look bad, but King Scab would not have any issue holding little Aegon hostage as a means to keep his son in line.

Which is what he did--he sent Rhaella and Viserys to Dragonstone, but held Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon close to bind Dorne and Rhaegar. Aerys had to have been, or should have been, at least a bit concerned that Rhaegar might negotiate with the rebelling lords at the Trident. 

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On 9/4/2017 at 7:22 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Once the Rebellion gets going there's even more reason to switch him out, because whether he's within Grandpa Crazy's striking distance or the Rebels reach King's Landing, the kid is in massive danger either way. 

Also having more time to get him safely out, as opposed to a last minute rescue, makes the probability of success higher. The only question would be how does Varys fit in. Did Rhaegar recruit him? Did he switch sides once he realized how truly nuts Aerys was? Was he playing both ends against the middle in hopes he could keep from getting killed by either side?

Then why would Varys concoct the pisswater prince story? Or do you believe that Aegon is a pisswater prince, and the real Aegon is somewhere, or someone, else? 

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On 9/8/2017 at 2:07 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

Exactly. BR warged rhaegar's sperm and kept it alive in various animals he was warging for a journey north so it could be used to impregnate gilly! Aemon is TPTWP,  AA reborn and the song of ice and fire!!!!!!!!!!

That's awesome! 

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On 9/8/2017 at 7:59 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Does this mean the direwolf pups are also Rhaegar's? If so I'd like to nominate Shaggydog for The Prince that was Promised.

No, they must be Tormund's. Only his mighty member was mighty enough to accomplish Bloodraven's designs. 

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On 9/8/2017 at 9:50 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

Only Ghost is Rhaegar's  The rest are Tormund's 

Great minds think alike. 

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On 9/9/2017 at 3:03 PM, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

Tywin did not tell Gregor Clegane not to kill Elia ,if the quote is right .

He told Tyrion...

Quote

"And when Oberyn demands the justice he's come for?"

"I will tell him that Ser Amory Lorch killed Elia and her children," Lord Tywin said calmly. "So will you, if he asks."

"Ser Amory Lorch is dead," Tyrion said flatly.

"Precisely. Vargo Hoat had Ser Amory torn apart by a bear after the fall of Harrenhal. That ought to be sufficiently grisly to appease even Oberyn Martell."

"You may call that justice . . . "

"It is justice. It was Ser Amory who brought me the girl's body, if you must know. He found her hiding under her father's bed, as if she believed Rhaegar could still protect her. Princess Elia and the babe were in the nursery a floor below."

"Well, it's a tale, and Ser Amory's not like to deny it. What will you tell Oberyn when he asks who gave Lorch his orders?"

"Ser Amory acted on his own in the hope of winning favor from the new king. Robert's hatred for Rhaegar was scarcely a secret."

It might serve, Tyrion had to concede, but the snake will not be happy. "Far be it from me to question your cunning, Father, but in your place I do believe I'd have let Robert Baratheon bloody his own hands."

Lord Tywin stared at him as if he had lost his wits. "You deserve that motley, then. We had come late to Robert's cause. It was necessary to demonstrate our loyalty. When I laid those bodies before the throne, no man could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever. And Robert's relief was palpable. As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar's children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children." His father shrugged. "I grant you, it was done too brutally. Elia need not have been harmed at all, that was sheer folly. By herself she was nothing."

"Then why did the Mountain kill her?"

"Because I did not tell him to spare her. I doubt I mentioned her at all. I had more pressing concerns. Ned Stark's van was rushing south from the Trident, and I feared it might come to swords between us. And it was in Aerys to murder Jaime, with no more cause than spite. That was the thing I feared most. That, and what Jaime himself might do." He closed a fist. "Nor did I yet grasp what I had in Gregor Clegane, only that he was huge and terrible in battle. The rape . . . even you will not accuse me of giving that command, I would hope. Ser Amory was almost as bestial with Rhaenys. I asked him afterward why it had required half a hundred thrusts to kill a girl of . . . two? Three? He said she'd kicked him and would not stop screaming. If Lorch had half the wits the gods gave a turnip, he would have calmed her with a few sweet words and used a soft silk pillow." His mouth twisted in distaste. "The blood was in him."

Tyrion VI, Storm 53

Yet in TWOIAF, we are told that Tywin “handpicked” those men for the mission...

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25 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

That's awesome! 

 

16 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Great minds think alike. 

Exactly. 

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On 9/11/2017 at 0:39 PM, King Ned Stark said:

Okay, I'll try and be a little clearer this time around.  And again, I did not want to present this as a theory some much as a brainstorming exercise for people that are still not satisfied with Rhaegar's motivations for doing what he did, but perhaps that can't be helped.

Rhaegar's motivations seem to be agreed upon that he was either a nut job about prophecy, or some weird guy who threatened the realm because of love/lust for Lyanna.  Neither of which match up with all the favorable recollections of Rhaegar; notably Ned and Barristan.  I don't like either of those motivations, as more and more I'm starting to think Rhaegar was a political player who dabbled in prophecy, not a prophetical player who dabbled in politics. 

Let's take a took at the timeline, as it was only after looking at the timeline I started thinking in this direction.

280 AC - Rhaegar weds Elia, a woman of known delicate health.

280 AC - Later that year (close to 281) Rhaenys is born, and Elia is bedridden for 6 months (which takes us somewhere to the 3rd to 6th month of 281).

281 AC - Elia attends ToH, and gets pregnant again.  Aegon was born sometime late in 281 to early 282 AC.  Elia is said to have "nearly died" from giving birth to Aegon, yet Rhaegar leaves for the Riverlands early in 282 AC and had a moment that Dany sees in the HotU, where Elia (who nearly died from childbirth) is nursing a newborn baby and chatting idly with Rhaegar.

The timeline is very tight, granted it's possible, but it is very tight.  And to believe in that timeline you have to believe Rhaegar left his (possibly) dying wife and infant son (whom he supposedly believed was a prophetical savior) in the middle of a bad winter storm to rescue/kidnap a teenage girl.  Or you have to question the story entirely.  I screwed up when I mentioned baby swap, with this exercise, there is no baby swap, because Elia was never pregnant the second time.  

Wait, what? Are you saying there never was an Aegon? 

On 9/11/2017 at 0:39 PM, King Ned Stark said:

If, and it's a big if, the maesters told her after Rhaenys (not Aegon), when she was bedridden and perhaps nearly died, that she could not have anymore children, then she and Rhaegar and Rhaenys are in a dangerous spot.  Especially with Aerys grumbling about disinheriting Rhaegar, which he didn't talk about until he had a suitable replacement.  And in Targaryen eyes, what is a suitable heir?  A male child.

According to Archmaester Gyldayn, in the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC established an iron precedent on matters of succession; that the Iron Throne could not pass to a woman, or a male descendant of a woman.

If Rhaegar is in a Cold War with his father, and wishes to manage a peaceful transfer of power through a council, he would be smart enough to know he needs a male heir to call one.  He knows he is more popular than Aerys, but his father has an heir and he doesn't (hypothetically speaking of course).

Viscerys l strengthened Rhaenyra's claim in the succession by marrying her to Laenor Velaryon - who had Targaryen blood.

Martin has stated that Elia and Rhaegar had a complicated relationship.  If Rhaegar is disinherited/and or exiled, then presumably so is Elia and Rhaenys.  So Elia (and Dorne by proxy) would agree to Rhaegar taking a second wife (which there is a precedent for a Targaryen prince - not a king - taking a second wife) because he would betroth his male heir from that wife to his daughter from his first, strengthening their claim, and his claim in a Great Council against his father.

There wasn't a baby swap (maybe a baby stand-in, Ashara?), he was stalling for time and him eventually being disinherited so he can get everything in order to call a council.  Elia would have been easy to keep from prying eyes, Rhaegar needs a male heir and Elia's ability to produce that heir is at least worthy of being questionable.  Aegon was fake the whole time basically, and Rhaegar's political scheme was the possible impetus for Varys/Illyrio scheme or even Ned and Lyanna, with Ned claiming a son that wasn't his.

There is probably some things I'm forgetting to add, but that's the gist.  For me, it's better motivation for Rhaegar (that is in keeping with people's remembrance of him) than prophecy or some immature love/lust story going on.

Anyway, I hope I cleared it up somewhat.  Basically, Elia couldnt get pregnant a second time, which started a chain of events that's led to Rhaegar accidentally fathering the prophecy child that is Jon, not him doing it by being some prophecy mastermind.

Oh, so you are simply saying that Rhaegar got Ashara with child--a boy, with Elia's blessing, and they passed the boy off as Elia's, calling him Aegon?

In which case the noblest lad that ever lived is either the son of Ashara Dayne, the Blackfyre, or some pisswater prince?

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17 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Wait, what? Are you saying there never was an Aegon? 

Oh, so you are simply saying that Rhaegar got Ashara with child--a boy, with Elia's blessing, and they passed the boy off as Elia's, calling him Aegon?

In which case the noblest lad that ever lived is either the son of Ashara Dayne, the Blackfyre, or some pisswater prince?

That was the idea of the exercise, what-if Elia was never pregnant a second time.  It's what started (or greatly sped up) Rhaegar's troubles.  Martin makes a case at least twice, I believe, of the difficulties of trying to enforce a female Targaryen's claim, and the consequences that derive from it.

There's two ways I see it, either 1, the vision of baby Aegon is real (which I have thought for many years), and the problem comes in trying to reconcile Rhaegar's actions with everything we know about him.  If the vision is real, then he thinks Aegon is the PtwP, so why leave his newborn heir and his wife that is in critical condition?  To hunt down Lyanna?  Why, what's the hurry, he has 2 of the 3 heads already.

Or 2 the vision is fake (a day that never was), and then you have to ask yourself why would Martin tuck this seemingly innocuous vision in if it never happened.  What trick is he trying to pull, what's he trying to cover up.  And the only conclusion I can come to (doesn't mean that's the only one or I am even right) is that Elia never had a second child.

It explains Rhaegar's actions better than love or prophecy, and doesn't really kill any other theories on Young Griff, except  for those who think YG is the real Aegon, because there never was a real Aegon.

No, I don't think that Rhaegar had a child with Ashara, was just throwing an example out of someone who was rumored to be pregnant around that time, or it could have been a child from the water gardens, or across the narrow sea.  It doesn't matter (sorry to sound harsh) for the story who the kid is.  What matters is he wasn't a child of Rhaegar and Elia, and some of Rhaegars actions start to make sense, at least to me.

Will add some more in a bit, got some work to do.

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Think about it this way, how did Martin trick the majority of his readers that Jon was Ned's son?  Because we learn that Jon is Ned's  bastard before we learn of Lannisters, Targaryen's, or Roberts hatred of Targaryen's; so everything people read past that point they put it into the narrative that Jon is Ned's.  Hidden in plain sight.

We learn of the death of baby Aegon early on as well, so there is no need to think him anything else than a murdered prince.  Then we learn of Young Griff, and everyone is speculating if he is a Blackfyre, Targaryen, or fake (I lean towards Blackfyre).  Misdirection.  The entire reason for Aegon's inclusion in the story from a narrative standpoint, is to confuse readers on Rhaegar's actions, and doubt Jon's legitimacy (for those clever enough to figure out R+L=J).  Does that make sense at all?

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22 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

That was the idea of the exercise, what-if Elia was never pregnant a second time.  It's what started (or greatly sped up) Rhaegar's troubles.  Martin makes a case at least twice, I believe, of the difficulties of trying to enforce a female Targaryen's claim, and the consequences that derive from it.

There's two ways I see it, either 1, the vision of baby Aegon is real (which I have thought for many years), and the problem comes in trying to reconcile Rhaegar's actions with everything we know about him.  If the vision is real, then he thinks Aegon is the PtwP, so why leave his newborn heir and his wife that is in critical condition?  To hunt down Lyanna?  Why, what's the hurry, he has 2 of the 3 heads already.

Or 2 the vision is fake (a day that never was), and then you have to ask yourself why would Martin tuck this seemingly innocuous vision in if it never happened.  What trick is he trying to pull, what's he trying to cover up.  And the only conclusion I can come to (doesn't mean that's the only one or I am even right) is that Elia never had a second child.

It explains Rhaegar's actions better than love or prophecy, and doesn't really kill any other theories on Young Griff, except  for those who think YG is the real Aegon, because there never was a real Aegon.

No, I don't think that Rhaegar had a child with Ashara, was just throwing an example out of someone who was rumored to be pregnant around that time, or it could have been a child from the water gardens, or across the narrow sea.  It doesn't matter (sorry to sound harsh) for the story who the kid is.  What matters is he wasn't a child of Rhaegar and Elia, and some of Rhaegars actions start to make sense, at least to me.

Will add some more in a bit, got some work to do.

Since we are cracking pots (we are, aren't we?), how about Rhaegar knew that Eddard knocked up Ashara, and since he and Elia were looking for a boy they could pass off as their own, brought Ashara to Dragonstone, adopted her boy, named him Aegon, and got her to tell Barristan, and maybe others, that she had a stillborn daughter. Ashara then returns to Starfall believing that her bastard son is the heir to the crown prince. But then Eddard arrives and tells her that not only has he just killed her brother, but that Aegon's wee head was smashed to pulp against a castle wall. Then, regretting everything, she throws herself from the tower into the sea. Oh, but just before she leaps out the window, she turns to Eddard and says, "The boy was yours, my dear Ned. I am so sorry" 

F%#&, I just about convinced myself...

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37 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Since we are cracking pots (we are, aren't we?), how about Rhaegar knew that Eddard knocked up Ashara, and since he and Elia were looking for a boy they could pass off as their own, brought Ashara to Dragonstone, adopted her boy, named him Aegon, and got her to tell Barristan, and maybe others, that she had a stillborn daughter. Ashara then returns to Starfall believing that her bastard son is the heir to the crown prince. But then Eddard arrives and tells her that not only has he just killed her brother, but that Aegon's wee head was smashed to pulp against a castle wall. Then, regretting everything, she throws herself from the tower into the sea. Oh, but just before she leaps out the window, she turns to Eddard and says, "The boy was yours, my dear Ned. I am so sorry" 

F%#&, I just about convinced myself...

Well, for the record, I don't think Ashara had a child, especially with Ned, was a mistake to even mention her; only that through the story it is possible she had an illegitimate child that was unaccounted for.  But forget Ashara for now.

Are we cracking pots?  I don't know, I guess only a serious look will tell.  However, if there is conventional thinking in why Rhaegar did what he did, then that conventional thinking relies on unknown prophecy or information not privy to the reader, coincidences, and some very abnormal behavior from a guy some very reliable sources said was honorable and very able.

Trying to figure out why Rhaegar did what he did let me realize that you shouldn't rule out an idea, however improbable, if it is possible.  As I said, it's a similar trick he used with Ned having a bastard, he states it out plain, and then leaves clues as to why it should be questioned.

Why would Rhaegar leave a near-death Elia?  Or his savior baby a couple months after he is born?  If he is worried about the 3rd HotD, what's the rush?  He just fathered 2 in 3 years.

But it's the timeline that made me question if Elia ever even had Aegon.  The timeline almost, almost, rules out the HotU vision being true all by itself.  When you add Rhaegar's actions on top of the timeline, then you have to question everything else.  If he already had a male heir he thought was the PtwP, then nothing he does after that makes sense unless he had the clearest prophetic vision anyone has ever had in the books.

Would it not add reason to why he included all the baby swaps and hidden identities, if that was indeed a catalyst for the entire story?

The fact that Elia, who couldn't travel in her youth, was bedridden for six months, but has a healthy baby a year later (that nearly killed her), and yet can travel to Kings Landing around six months after that, doesn't seem a bit far fetched to anyone?

 

Edited by King Ned Stark

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