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Why I believe Dany is the daughter of Lyanna and Rhaegar

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Why I believe Dany is the daughter of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen:

I know this isn’t the first time someone has suggested this, but this is my attempt to give a fullish explanation of why I’ve come to believe this cracked tinfoil pot of a theory… I’m sick of people dismissing this out of hand when all they’ve ever noticed is the lemon tree part.

In my attempt to explain my reasoning I want to start with the textual reasons I ended up at this conclusion, and only at the end will I try and explain how the timeline of Robert’s Rebellion could actually make more sense if this is true.

I had best begin at the beginning… Apologies in advance for the length and any mistakes I made along the way.

Arms to Keep Her Warm

Dany describes Weteros (home), in her very first chapter:

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Somewhere beyond the sunset, across the narrow sea, lay a land of green hills and flowered plains and great rushing rivers, where towers of dark stones rose amidst magnificent blue-grey mountains, and armored knights rode to battle beneath the banners of their lords. The Dothraki called the land Raesh Andahli, the land of the Andals. In the Free Cities, they talked of Westeros and the Sunset Kingdoms. Her brother had a simpler name. “Our land,” he called it. The words were like a prayer with him. If he said them enough, the gods were sure to hear. “Ours by blood right, taken from us by treachery, but ours still, ours forever. You do not steal from the dragon, oh, no. The dragon remembers.”

Then in her “wake the dragon” dream, we see the same green hills/green fields, flowered plains/smell of home, stone towers/houses, and finally the pun: banners of their lords are “arms” (as in coat of arms).  Then of course it’s also worth pointing out she literally sees herself as Rheagar, wearing his arms and armor.

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The red door was so far ahead of her, and she could feel the icy breath behind, sweeping up on her. If it caught her she would die a death that was more than death, howling forever alone in the darkness. She began to run.

 She could smell home, she could see it, there, just beyond that door, green fields and great stone houses and arms to keep her warm, there. She threw open the door.

" . . . the dragon . . . "

And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. "The last dragon," Ser Jorah's voice whispered faintly. "The last, the last." Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.

After that, for a long time, there was only the pain, the fire within her, and the whisperings of stars.

She woke to the taste of ashes

....

Remember who you are, Daenerys,” the stars whispered in a woman’s voice. “The dragons know. Do you?”

 

Ned Instructs Arya about the Stark family sigil… aka coat of Arms… aka the Direwolf.

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Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm. Septa Mordane is a good woman, and Sansa... Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows in both your hearts.

Notice how well it fits… They (Starks) must keep each other warm during winter or they will die, howling (dragons don’t howl, wolves do) alone in the darkness. Dany is looking for her family, the Starks.

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For a long moment there was no sound but the wind and the water and the creak of leaf and limb. And then, far far off, beyond the godswood and the haunted towers and the immense stone walls of Harrenhall, from somewhere out in the world, came the long lonely howl of a wolf. Gooseprickles rose on Arya’s skin, for an instant she felt dizzy. Then, so faintly, it seemed as if she heard her father’s voice. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” he said.

 Arya remembers her father’s words while at Harrenhall, and seems to hear a lonely wolf howling out in the world… who I’m suggesting is Dany. And she hears her father’s lecture about family.

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The old gods are dead, she told herself, with Mother and Father and Robb and Bran and Rickon, all dead. A long time ago, she remembered her father saying that when the cold winds blow the lone wolf dies and the pack survives. He had it all backwards. Arya, the lone wolf, still lived, but the wolves of the pack had been taken and slain and skinned.

“The Moonsingers led us to this place of refuge, where the dragons of Valyria could not find us…”

 

 Here we see Arya remembers her father’s words on her arrival to Braavos. But she uses misinformation to come to the wrong conclusions. Bran and Rickon are not dead and skinned. The white winds are not yet blowing (winter is still coming). And Arya is not the lone wolf… Interesting side note, this is followed by a reference to Moonsingers (wolves) being the ones to found Braavos, the secret city, a place to hide…

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There is no place here for Arya of House Stark, she was thinking. Arya’s place was Winterfell, only Winterfell was gone. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pact survives. She had no pack, though. They had killed her pack, Ser Ilyn and Ser Meryn and the queen, and when she tried to make a new one all of them ran off, Hot Pie and Gendry and Yoren and Lommy Greenhands, even Harwin, who had been her father’s man. She shoved through the doors, out into the night.

 Then again in Braavos, she identifies that having a pack isn’t the same as a castle (Winterfell) nor as having friends, even “loyal” ones. This is about Family, the same blood running in their veins. Arya just doesn’t know that her family isn’t dead, and she isn’t alone.

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Off in the distancea wolf howledThe sound made her feel sad and lonely, but no less hungry. As the moon rose above the grasslands, Dany slipped at last into a restless sleep.

 Besides the pun “moon rose” (blue flower anyone?), it is also a turn of phrase that connects again to the Starks… even the grass is repeated.

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Sansa drifted to sleep as the moon rose, Arya several hours later, curling up in the grass under Ned’s cloak. All through the dark hours he kept his vigil alone. When dawn broke over the city, the dark red blooms of dragon’s breath surrounded the girls where they lay.

 And being under Ned’s cloak is another reference back to the Stark arms, the Direwolf.

Finally, Jon breaks down the arms pun for us perfectly:

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"A wolf with a fish in its mouth?" It made her laugh. "That would look silly. Besides, if a girl can't fight, why should she have a coat of arms?"
Jon shrugged. "Girls get the arms but not the swords. Bastards get the swords but not the arms. I did not make the rules, little sister."

 

 

Red Door, Lemon Tree and Braavos

This is likely not a revelation for anyone with even a passing familiarity of Westerosi tinfoil, but Dany’s house with the red door and the lemon tree outside, which she thinks was in Braavos, almost certainly was not, and the discrepancies are repeated to the point where it’s clearly not a mistake. From Dany’s first chapter:

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All Daenerys wanted back was the big house with the red door, the lemon tree outside her window, the childhood she had never known.

 Dany has the barest memories of this childhood in a house with a red door… However, these memories do not fit with the “story of her childhood she has been told.

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She remembered those great wooden beams and the carved animal faces that adorned them. And there outside the window, a lemon tree! The sight of it made her heart ache with longing. It is the house with the red door, the house in Braavos.

This description doesn’t match with what we see from Arya’s arrival to Braavos.
 

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The city had seemed like one big island from where the Titan stood, but as Yorko rowed them closer she saw that it was many small islands close together, linked by arched stone bridges that spanned innumerable canals. Beyond the harbor she glimpsed streets of grey stone houses, built so close they leaned one upon the other. To Arya's eyes they were queer-looking, four and five stories tall and very skinny, with sharp-peaked tile roofs like pointed hats. She saw no thatch, and only a few timbered houses of the sort she knew in Westeros. They have no trees, she realized. Braavos is all stone, a grey city in a green sea.

 

The wooden beams, the window (Braavos has houses abutting), the tree outside… none of that fits with the crowded stone island without trees.

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She did take a dozen flasks of scented oils, the perfume of her childhood; she had only to close her eyes and sniff them and she could see the big house with the red door once more.

 Even the smell is different.

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But Braavos lay before her. The night air smelled of smoke and salt and fish. The canals were crooked, the alleys crookeder.

 Arya notes that Braavos doesn’t smell like scented oils…

Also, the houses of Braavos are stone, but not great, and there are no green fields.

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She could smell home, she could see it, there, just beyond that doorgreen fields and great stone houses and arms to keep her warm, there. She threw open the door.

 The smell, the house, the grass and the door… all associated with home, Westeros:

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 Home? The word made her feel sad. Ser Jorah had his Bear Island, but what was home to her? A few tales, names recited as solemnly as the words of a prayer, the fading memory of a red door

 And I haven’t even gotten to the Lemon tree!  If you didn’t know, Lemons do not grow in Braavos.

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 Lemons. And where would we get lemons? Does this look like Dorne to you, you freckeled fool? Why don’t you hop out back to the lemon trees and pick us a bushel, and some nice olives and pomegranates too.”

 This lack of tropical fruit in northern climates is even being repeated in a sample Winds chapters.

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Spoiler

 For me, Alayne thought, as they wheeled it out. Sweetrobin loved lemon cakes too, but only after she told him that they were her favorites. The cake had required every lemon in the Vale, but Petyr had promised that he would send to Dorne for more.

 

So it appears Lemons come from Dorne, or at least southern climates, which makes sense.

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Seven hells, this place is damp,” she heard her guard complain. “I’m chilled to the bones. Where are the bloody orange trees? I always heard there were orange trees in the Free Cities. Lemons and limes. Pomegranates. Hot peppers, warm nights, girls with bare bellies. Where are the bare-bellied girls, I ask you?”

Down in Lys, and Myr, and Old Volantis,” the other guard replied. He was an older man, big-bellied and grizzeled. “Went to Lys with Lord Tywin once, when he was Hand to Aerys. Braavos is north of King’s Landing, fool. Can’t you read a bloody map?”

 

It doesn’t get any more plainly laid out than that… Lemon trees don’t grow in Braavos.

Clearly the whole point here is that the big house with the red door from Dany’s memory wasn’t in Braavos… Dany was lied to.

Viserys the Snake, and the Usurper’s Knives

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Even the big house with the red door had not been home for him.

 Dany’s first chapter takes place in Pentos, she’s being prepared for her first meeting with Drogo by Illyrio and Viserys. I think it is often forgotten the feeling surrounding this first chapter and what an abusive terrible person Viserys was… but also, how there is an immediate feeling of distrust and unsureness of her own memories on Dany’s behalf. Her first chapter begins:

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Her brother held the gown up for her inspection. “This is beauty. Touch it. Go on. Caress the fabric.”

Dany touched it. The cloth was so smooth that it seemed to run through her fingers like water. She could not remember ever wearing anything so soft. It frightened her. She pulled her hand away. “Is it really mine?”

“A gift from Magister Illyrio,” Viserys said, smiling. Her brother was in a high mood tonight. “The color will bring out the violet in your eyes. And you shall have gold as well, and jewels of all sorts.  Illyrio has promised. Tonight you must look like a princess.”

A princess, Dany thought. She had forgotten what that was likePerhaps she had never really known. “why does he give us so much?” she asked. “What does he want from us?” For nigh on half a year, they had lived in the magister’s house, eating his food, pampered by his servants. Dany was thirteen, old enough to know that such gifts seldom come without their price, here in the free city of Pentos.

 

 Viserys opens with a textbook creepy “touch it, touch it”…

 Dany meanwhile, “could not remember”, and was frightened by a dress being soft… also, note the lavish lifestyle Illyrio provides them. Why have they been running around the continent as the Beggar King and less politely named sister?

I’m suggesting that this passage, and others,  indicate Viserys abused her and told her lies about her own past.

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And perhaps the dragon did remember, but Dany could not. She had never seen this land her brother said was theirs, this realm beyond the narrow sea. These places he talked of, Casterly Rock and the Eyrie, Highgarden and the Vale of Arryn, Dorne and the Isle of Faces, they were just words to her. Viserys had been a boy of eight when they fled King’s Landing to escape the advancing armies of the Usurper, but Daenerys had only been a quickening in their mother’s womb.

As I pointed out above, Dany’s memories of home (even in this same chapter) are associated with Westeros (Dorne in particular) and not Braavos. Also, it is interesting that her mother isn’t referred to by name… and the next paragraph has an unnamed woman too…

Yet sometimes Dany would picture the way it had been, so often had her brother told her stories. The midnight flight to Dragonstone, moonlight shimmering on the ship’s black sails. Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. The sack of King’s Landing by the ones Viserys called the Usurper’s dogs, the Lords Lannister and Stark. Princess Elia of Dorne pleading for mercy as Rhaegar’s heir was ripped from her breast and murdered before her eyes. The polished skulls of the last dragons staring down sightlessly from the walls of the throne room while the Kingslayer opened Father’s throat with a golden sword.

 

 

 

Rhaegar dying for the woman he loved! Interesting that a name isn’t used here either… in fact, mother and father are used when talking about (presumably) Aerys and Rhaella…

So often had her brother told her stories…  She’s starting to picture it herself.

Except remember that midnight flight to Dragonstone doesn’t match up with Jaime’s memory of Rhaella and Viserys leaving King’s Landing in the morning.
 

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She had been born on Dragonstone nine moons after their flight, while a raging summer storm threatened to rip the island fastness apart. They said that storm was terrible. The Targaryen fleet was smashed while it lay at anchor, and huge stone blocks were ripped from the parapets and sent hurtling into the wild waters of the narrow sea. Her mother had died birthing her, and for that her brother Viserys had never forgiven her.

 

The Targaryen fleet was smashed by a storm… remember that…

Also, “her mother”  had died birthing her, but I’m not sure that’s why Viserys never forgave her. I think it was perhaps who her mother was, and that she was born at all.

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She did not remember Dragonstone either. They had run again, just before the Usurper's brother set sail with his new-built fleet. By then only Dragonstone itself, the ancient seat of their House, had remained of the Seven Kingdoms that had once been theirs. It would not remain for long. The garrison had been prepared to sell them to the Usurper, but one night Ser Willem Darry and four loyal men had broken into the nursery and stolen them both, along with her wet nurse, and set sail under cover of darkness for the safety of the Braavosian coast.

I thought the whole Targaryen fleet was destroyed? What did they set sail in?

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She remembered Ser Willem dimly, a great grey bear of a man, half-blind, roaring and bellowing orders from his sickbed. The servants had lived in terror of him, but he had always been kind to Dany. He called her "Little Princess" and sometimes "My Lady” and his hands were soft as old leather. He never left his bed, though, and the smell of sickness clung to him day and night, a hot, moistsickly sweet odor. That was when they lived in Braavos, in the big house with the red door. Dany had her own room there, with a lemon tree outside her window. After Ser Willem had died, the servants had stolen what little money they had left, and soon after they had been put out of the big house. Dany had cried when the red door closed behind them forever.

Is it odd that Dany doesn’t remember him ever using her name?

I’m undecided if the description of Willem’s “soft” hands fits with the fact we know Willem Darry was the master at arms who taught Rheagar how to fight (he should have calloused hands), but perhaps this was since he was an old done man.

However, the “Hot, moist, sickley sweet” sure doesn’t fit with Braavos, and we’ve even seen an old man (Aemon) get sick in Braavos and it was described as the opposite, chill. The lack of wood in Braavos made even a fire expensive.

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They had wandered since then, from Braavos to Myr, from Myr to Tyrosh, and on to Qohor and Volantis and Lys, never staying long in any one place. Her brother would not allow it. The Usurper's hired knives were close behind them, he insisted, though Dany had never seen one.

 Viserys kept her moving around, saying that the Usurper’s knives were chasing them.

 We know for a fact that this was a lie. The wine merchant was the first assassin sent by Robert.

 Viserys, meanwhile, has been commanding obedience from Dany for as long as she can remember.

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"Stand there," he told her. "Turn around. Yes. Good. You look  . . ."

"Regal," Magister Illyrio said, stepping through an archway. He moved with surprising delicacy for such a massive man. Beneath loose garments of flame-colored silk, rolls of fat jiggled as he walked. Gemstones glittered on every finger, and his man had oiled his forked yellow beard until it shone like real gold. "May the Lord of Light shower you with blessings on this most fortunate day, Princess Daenerys," the magister said as he took her hand. He bowed his head, showing a thin glimpse of crooked yellow teeth through the gold of his beard. "She is a vision, Your Grace, a vision," he told her brother. "Drogo will be enraptured."

"She's too skinny," Viserys said. His hair, the same silver-blond as hers, had been pulled back tightly behind his head and fastened with a dragonbone brooch. It was a severe look that emphasized the hard, gaunt lines of his face. He rested his hand on the hilt of the sword that Illyrio had lent him, and said, "Are you sure that Khal Drogo likes his women this young?"

"She has had her blood. She is old enough for the khal," Illyrio told him, not for the first time. "Look at her. That silver-gold hair, those purple eyes . . . she is the blood of old Valyria, no doubt, no doubt . . . and highborn, daughter of the old king, sister to the new, she cannot fail to entrance our Drogo." When he released her hand, Daenerys found herself trembling.

 

 Viserys continues to boss Dany around, and she listens.

Illyrio points out how regal she looks, the hair the eyes, she has the Targaryen look… and yet the phrasing is all so incredibly suspect.

Viserys comments that she’s too skinny… funny, where have I heard a “brother” say that before…

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Jon looked over with all his fourteen-year-old wisdom. “you’re too skinny,” he said.

 Oh that’s right it was Jon telling Arya the same thing in her very first chapter.

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Dany looked at Khal Drogo. His face was hard and cruel, his eyes as cold and dark as onyx. Her brother hurt her sometimes, when she woke the dragon, but he did not frighten her the way this man frightened her. "I don't want to be his queen," she heard herself say in a small, thin voice. "Please, please, Viserys, I don't want to, I want to go home."

"Home?" He kept his voice low, but she could hear the fury in his tone. "How are we to go home, sweet sister? They took our home from us!" He drew her into the shadows, out of sight, his fingers digging into her skin. "How are we to go home?" he repeated, meaning King's Landing, and Dragonstone, and all the realm they had lost.

Dany had only meant their rooms in Illyrio's estate, no true home surely, though all they had, but her brother did not want to hear that. There was no home there for him. Even the big house with the red door had not been home for him. His fingers dug hard into her arm, demanding an answer. "I don't know . . . "she said at last, her voice breaking. Tears welled in her eyes.

"I do," he said sharply. "We go home with an army, sweet sister. With Khal Drogo's army, that is how we go home. And if you must wed him and bed him for that, you will." He smiled at her. "I'd let his whole khalasar fuck you if need be, sweet sister, all forty thousand men, and their horses too if that was what it took to get my army. Be grateful it is only Drogo. In time you may even learn to like him. Now dry your eyes. Illyrio is bringing him over, and he will not see you crying."

Dany turned and saw that it was true. Magister Illyrio, all smiles and bows, was escorting Khal Drogo over to where they stood. She brushed away unfallen tears with the back of her hand.

"Smile," Viserys whispered nervously, his hand failing to the hilt of his sword. "And stand up straight. Let him see that you have breasts. Gods know, you have little enough as is."

Daenerys smiled, and stood up straight.

 

 Here at the end of the chapter we see more hard evidence of how abusive and dictatorial Viserys was.

More home references, more associations with Westeros, and the suspiciously worded “Even the house with the red door had not been home for him.” 

But maybe most importantly, Dany’s first chapter ends the way it began, with Dany obeying the abusive Viserys, who has been dominating her and telling her stories for as long as she can remember.

I won’t speculate too much here on what Viserys’s motive was, likely it had to do with a child of Rheaegar having a better claim than him to the Iron Throne.

Illyrio’s motives are mysterious as well, with the added wrinkle that we know Dany believed she had been running from the Usurper’s knives for years, there were no Usurper’s knives, and…

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"That did not stop you selling her to Khal Drogo …"

"Dothraki neither buy nor sell. Say rather that her brother Viserys gave her to Drogo to win the khal's friendship. A vain young man, and greedy. Viserys lusted for his father's throne, but he lusted for Daenerys too, and was loath to give her up. The night before the princess wed he tried to steal into her bed, insisting that if he could not have her hand, he would claim her maidenhead. Had I not taken the precaution of posting guards upon her door, Viserys might have undone years of planning."

"He sounds an utter fool."

 

So Illyrio had been planning Dany’s wedding to Drogo for years, but Dany and Viserys had only stayed with him for about six months. Before that they had been making their fake flight across Essos.

 This hammers home the fact that Dany has been lied to, Illyrio is a rich man and more than capable of providing a home for Dany.

 Is it possible Illyrio had Dany and Viserys running all over Essos under false pretenses so Dany would gain exposure in multiple courts, to the point where no one would doubt who she was?

Meanwhile, we know Illyrio has been raising Young Griff in secret, planning to one day put him on the throne of Westeros. Also, just in case it wasn’t complicated enough, he also gave Dany the Dragon Eggs… but this post isn’t about Illyrio.

Ned’s Promises, and the Usurper’s Knives

Ned has repeated memories of the promises, plural, he made to Lyanna, “she wanted to come home” is another nice Dany parallel by the way:

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"I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father." He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and rosesPromise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister's eyesNed remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. "I bring her flowers when I can," he said. "Lyanna was … fond of flowers."

 As Lyanna lay dying Ned promised her something(s)… And at least early on it seems he believes he’s kept his promises: 

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"Tell him that when you see him, milord, as it … as it please you. Tell him how beautiful she is."

"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'd paid to keep them.

 

Notice this is when he is visiting Robert’s bastard daughter, and it makes him think of Lyanna, and the promises he so far has kept.

However, somewhere before Ned ends up in the Black Cells this changes…

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When he thought of his daughters, he would have wept gladly, but the tears would not come. Even now, he was a Stark of Winterfell, and his grief and his rage froze hard inside him.

When he kept very still, his leg did not hurt so much, so he did his best to lie unmoving. For how long he could not say. There was no sun and no moon. He could not see to mark the walls. Ned closed his eyes and opened them; it made no difference. He slept and woke and slept again. He did not know which was more painful, the waking or the sleeping. When he slept, he dreamed: dark disturbing dreams of blood and broken promises. When he woke, there was nothing to do but think, and his waking thoughts were worse than nightmares. The thought of Cat was as painful as a bed of nettles. He wondered where she was, what she was doing. He wondered whether he would ever see her again.

 

While awake he is worried about Cat and his daughters, but while he sleeps he is dreaming of “blood and broken promises”. This appears a clear reference to Lyanna, and the fact that he now thinks of the promises as broken is significant. So what has happened in between to cause this change?

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"Serve the boar at my funeral feast," Robert rasped. "Apple in its mouth, skin seared crisp. Eat the bastard. Don't care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned."

"I promise." Promise me, Ned, Lyanna's voice echoed. 

"The girl," the king said. "Daenerys. Let her live. If you can, if it … not too late … talk to them … Varys, Littlefinger … don't let them kill her. And help my son, Ned. Make him be … better than me." He winced. "Gods have mercy."

 

I believe the reason he thinks of his promises as broken is that an assassin was sent after Dany. Remember Ned and Robert argue about his sending of the assassin, and we know there had been no Usurper’s Knives sent before this, despite the lies told to Dany.

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The king's mouth twisted in a bitter grimace. "No, gods be cursed. Some pox-ridden Pentoshi cheesemonger had her brother and her walled up on his estate with pointy-hatted eunuchs all around them, and now he's handed them over to the Dothraki. I should have had them both killed years ago, when it was easy to get at them, but Jon was as bad as you. More fool I, I listened to him."

 Sending an assassin, is a clear policy change from the last decade and a half.

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The king frowned. "A knife, perhaps. A good sharp one, and a bold man to wield it."

Ned did not feign surprise; Robert's hatred of the Targaryens was a madness in him. He remembered the angry words they had exchanged when Tywin Lannister had presented Robert with the corpses of Rhaegar's wife and children as a token of fealty. Ned had named that murder; Robert called it war. When he had protested that the young prince and princess were no more than babes, his new-made king had replied, "I see no babes. Only dragonspawn." Not even Jon Arryn had been able to calm that storm. Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south. It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing

This time, Ned resolved to keep his temper. "Your Grace, the girl is scarcely more than a child. You are no Tywin Lannister, to slaughter innocents." It was said that Rhaegar's little girl had cried as they dragged her from beneath her bed to face the swords. The boy had been no more than a babe in arms, yet Lord Tywin's soldiers had torn him from his mother's breast and dashed his head against a wall.

 

Going all the way back to the end of the Rebellion, this is the one major issue that wedged itself between Robert and Ned. We know that up until this point Jon Arryn had stopped Robert from sending assassins. In addition, the wine merchant being sent is the reason Ned resigns as Hand… of course, as we see in one of the quotes above, Robert has a change of heart on his deathbed. But…

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Certainly Varys had once been young. Ned doubted that he had ever been innocent. "You mention children. Robert had a change of heart concerning Daenerys Targaryen. Whatever arrangements you made, I want unmade. At once."

"Alas," said Varys. "At once may be too late. I fear those birds have flown. But I shall do what I can, my lord. With your leave." He bowed and vanished down the steps, his soft-soled slippers whispering against the stone as he made his descent. 

 

Varys tells Ned it is too late… and it is only after this point we see Ned think of “broken promises”, instead of promises kept while he lies helpless in the Black Cells unable to help Jon or Dany.

The Shape of Shadows and the Bitter Cup

When Dany reaches the Heart Room of The House of the Undying, she is told a bunch of interesting phrases, my goal isn’t to explain every vision she receives, as I’ve found I always end up lost in the weeds, but I did want to point out this interesting association:

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"I have come for the gift of truth," Dany said. "In the long hall, the things I saw . . . were they true visions, or lies? Past things, or things to come? What did they mean?"
. . . the shape of shadows . . . morrows not yet made . . . drink from the cup of ice . . . drink from the cup of fire . . .
. . . mother of dragons . . . child of three . . .

First, the shape of shadows… Of all the shadows in Mirri’s tent Dany can only make out two…

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 What was wrong with them, couldn't they see? Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames.

 The shapes of the shadows are important… it seems there were other’s but these two are the ones Dany recognizes, they are important in relation to her.

 As for the cups of fire and ice… I’m going to quote Mel and try and make some associations:

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 "The way the world is made. The truth is all around you, plain to behold. The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good." She took a step toward him. "Death and life. Everywhere, opposites. Everywhere, the war."

I’m not sure that I agree with all the reasoning Mel is using here, especially good and evil, but the association of ice-bitter and fire-sweet is an interesting one. And seems to carry some weight, let’s look at some more Ned quotes:

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That brought a bitter twist to Ned's mouth. "Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King's Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me."

So what cup has been passed to Dany?

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"For a start," said Ned, "I do not kill children. You would do well to listen, my lady. I shall say this only once. When the king returns from his hunt, I intend to lay the truth before him. You must be gone by then. You and your children, all three, and not to Casterly Rock. If I were you, I should take ship for the Free Cities, or even farther, to the Summer Isles or the Port of Ibben. As far as the winds blow."

"Exile," she said. "A bitter cup to drink from."

"A sweeter cup than your father served Rhaegar's children," Ned said, "and kinder than you deserve. Your father and your brothers would do well to go with you. Lord Tywin's gold will buy you comfort and hire swords to keep you safe. You shall need them. I promise you, no matter where you flee, Robert's wrath will follow you, to the back of beyond if need be."

 

Now there are a lot of other great uses of bitter throughout the series, a quick search will reveal a surprising number of very plot relevant quotes.

But this one was too good to pass up. Exile, the bitter cup, is one that Dany has most certainly tasted.

There are some other interesting bitter cups I’ll include as well, since they may or may not be relevant, including in Mirri’s tent:

Quote

 

"No," Dany said. "Please. Please."

"Yes." He covered her with silk, though she was burning. "Sleep and grow strong again, Khaleesi. Come back to us." And then Mirri Maz Duur was there, the maegi, tipping a cup against her lips. She tasted sour milk, and something else, something thick and bitter. Warm liquid ran down her chin. Somehow she swallowed. The tent grew dimmer, and sleep took her again. This time she did not dream. She floated, serene and at peace, on a black sea that knew no shore.

 

In this case the bitter cup appears to be about forgetting, and again, like exile, floating away from shore… in darkness and in ignorance.

Arya drinks a bitter cup to make herself blind in the House of White and Black:

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That was a lie. They often lied to her, to test her. No stick was better than a pair of eyes. It was good to have, though, so she always kept it close. Umma had taken to calling her Stick, but names did not matter. She was her. No one. I am no one. Just a blind girl, just a servant of Him of Many Faces.

Each night at supper the waif brought her a cup of milk and told her to drink it down. The drink had a queer, bitter taste that the blind girl soon learned to loathe. Even the faint smell that warned her what it was before it touched her tongue soon made her feel like retching, but she drained the cup all the same.

"How long must I be blind?" she would ask.

 

Theon also tastes a bitter cup, and there is no doubt this one has to do with ice:

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That night he dreamed of the feast Ned Stark had thrown when King Robert came to Winterfell. The hall rang with music and laughter, though the cold winds were rising outside. At first it was all wine and roast meat, and Theon was making japes and eyeing the serving girls and having himself a fine time . . . until he noticed that the room was growing darker. The music did not seem so jolly then; he heard discords and strange silences, and notes that hung in the air bleeding. Suddenly the wine turned bitter in his mouth, and when he looked up from his cup he saw that he was dining with the dead.

King Robert sat with his guts spilling out on the table from the great gash in his belly, and Lord Eddard was headless beside him. Corpses lined the benches below, grey-brown flesh sloughing off their bones as they raised their cups to toast, worms crawling in and out of the holes that were their eyes. He knew them, every one; Jory Cassel and Fat Tom, Porther and Cayn and Hullen the master of horse, and all the others who had ridden south to King's Landing never to return. Mikken and Chayle sat together, one dripping blood and the other water. Benfred Tallhart and his Wild Hares filled most of a table. The miller's wife was there as well, and Farlen, even the wildling Theon had killed in the wolfswood the day he had saved Bran's life.

 

And Tyrion prefers sweet lies to bitter Starks:

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That night, alone in his tower cell with a blank parchment and a cup of wine, Tyrion found himself thinking of his wife. Not Sansa; his first wife, Tysha. The whore wife, not the wolf wife. Her love for him had been pretense, and yet he had believed, and found joy in that belief. Give me sweet lies, and keep your bitter truths. He drank his wine and thought of Shae. Later, when Ser Kevan paid his nightly visit, Tyrion asked for Varys.

Even Jon partakes in the bitter cup, and while Mance (Rattleshirt) burned brightly, the light still blinded and there is a bitter truth beneath, certainly about Mance (still alive!) and probably about Stannis (false king), and dare I say there even might be secrets about Jon even he is blind to?

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"The queen's men are saying that the King-Beyond-the-Wall died craven. That he cried for mercy and denied he was a king."

"He did. Lightbringer was brighter than I'd ever seen it. As bright as the sun." Jon raised his cup. "To Stannis Baratheon and his magic sword." The wine was bitter in his mouth.

"His Grace is not an easy man. Few are, who wear a crown. Many good men have been bad kings, Maester Aemon used to say, and some bad men have been good kings."

 

This post is far too long to begin with so I won’t get to far into the sweet cups, fire… but just for completeness sake here are two Dornish examples:

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The prince left it to Ricasso, his blind seneschal, to rise and propose the toast. "Lords and ladies, let us all now drink to Tommen, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms."

Serving men had begun to move amongst the guests as the seneschal was speaking, filling cups from the flagons that they bore. The wine was Dornish strongwine, dark as blood and sweet as vengeance. The captain did not drink of it. He never drank at feasts. Nor did the prince himself partake. He had his own wine, prepared by Maester Myles and well laced with poppy juice to ease the agony in his swollen joints.

The white knight did drink, as was only courteous. His companions likewise. So did the Princess Arianne, Lady Jordayne, the Lord of Godsgrace, the Knight of Lemonwood, the Lady of Ghost Hill … even Ellaria Sand, Prince Oberyn's beloved paramour, who had been with him in King's Landing when he died. Hotah paid more note to those who did not drink: Ser Daemon Sand, Lord Tremond Gargalen, the Fowler twins, Dagos Manwoody, the Ullers of the Hellholt, the Wyls of the Boneway. If there is trouble, it could start with one of them. Dorne was an angry and divided land, and Prince Doran's hold on it was not as firm as it might be. Many of his own lords thought him weak and would have welcomed open war with the Lannisters and the boy king on the Iron Throne.

 

Of course Doran does not partake of the sweet cup, and since we know he is plotting vengeance against the Lannisters, I don’t believe this is a coincidence. Also, worth noting that Doran appears to be drinking a bitter cup instead.

His son meanwhile, seems to have his own sweet cup as he tries to convince himself of something:

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The night crept past on slow black feet. The hour of the bat gave way to the hour of the eel, the hour of the eel to the hour of ghosts. The prince lay abed, staring at his ceiling, dreaming without sleeping, remembering, imagining, twisting beneath his linen coverlet, his mind feverish with thoughts of fire and blood.

Finally, despairing of rest, Quentyn Martell made his way to his solar, where he poured himself a cup of wine and drank it in the dark. The taste was sweet solace on his tongue, so he lit a candle and poured himself another. Wine will help me sleep, he told himself, but he knew that was a lie.

He stared at the candle for a long time, then put down his cup and held his palm above the flame. It took every bit of will he had to lower it until the fire touched his flesh, and when it did he snatched his hand back with a cry of pain.

 

I love this example since it includes the dark/light symbolism and the sleep/waking symbolism from the opposite perspective I was trying to illustrate above.

The sweet solace (like a sweet lie compared to a bitter truth?) of the cup, then lighting a candle. He lies to himself about the sweet cup helping him sleep (that’s the bitter cup) and when he puts down the cup, he is burned by the flame (truth?).

She-Wolves of Winterfell

In this section I want to show a number of examples of how Dany fits right in with the She Wolves of Winterfell (Starks), in particular, Lyanna. I don’t think the quotes require much explanation… the parallels are fairly apparent and apply to almost everything we’ve learned about Lyanna.

Pleading:

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Yet even as he said the words, he remembered that chill morning on the barrowlands, and Robert's talk of sending hired knives after the Targaryen princess. He remembered Rhaegar's infant son, the red ruin of his skull, and the way the king had turned away, as he had turned away in Darry's audience hall not so long ago. He could still hear Sansa pleading, as Lyanna had pleaded once.

"Help him," Dany pleaded. "For the love you say you bear me, help him now."

 

 Beautiful:

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Lyanna was beautiful,” Arya said, startled. Everybody said so. It was not a thing that was ever said of Arya.

"My queen,” he said, “and the bravest, sweetest, and most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Daenerys-“

 

Horseback Riding: 

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"Brandon was fostered at Barrowton with old Lord Dustin, the father of the one I'd later wed, but he spent most of his time riding the Rills. He loved to ride. His little sister took after him in that. A pair of centaurs, those two.”

She was a young filly, spirited and splendid. Dany knew just enough about horses to know that this was no ordinary animal. There was something about her that took the breath away. She was grey as the winter sea, with a mane like silver smoke.

Nervously Dany gathered the reins in her hands and slid her feet into the short stirrups. She was only a fair ridershe had spent far more time traveling by ship and wagon and palanquin than by horseback. Praying that she would not fall off and disgrace herself, she gave the filly the lightest and most timid touch with her knees.

And for the first time in hours, she forgot to be afraid. Or perhaps it was for the first time ever.

The silver-grey filly moved with a smooth and silken gait, and the crowd parted for her, every eye upon them. Dany found herself moving faster than she had intended, yet somehow it was exciting rather than terrifying. The horse broke into a trot, and she smiled. Dothraki scrambled to clear a path. The slightest pressure with her legs, the lightest touch on the reins, and the filly responded. She sent it into a gallop, and now the Dothraki were hooting and laughing and shouting at her as they jumped out of her way. As she turned to ride back, a firepit loomed ahead, directly in her path. They were hemmed in on either side, with no room to stop. A daring she had never known filled Daenerys then, and she gave the filly her head.

The silver horse leapt the flames as if she had wings.

The khal had commanded the handmaid Irri to teach Dany to ride in the Dothraki fashion, but it was the filly who was her real teacher. The horse seemed to know her moods, as if they shared a single mind. With every passing day, Dany felt surer in her seat. The Dothraki were a hard and unsentimental people, and it was not their custom to name their animals, so Dany thought of her only as the silver. She had never loved anything so much.

The descent was steep and rocky, but Dany rode fearlessly, and the joy and the danger of it were a song in her heart. All her life Viserys had told her she was a princess, but not until she rode her silver had Daenerys Targaryen ever felt like one.

The Pureborn were notorious for offering poisoned wine to those they thought dangerous, but they had not given Dany so much as a cup of water. They never saw me for a queen, she thought bitterly. I was only an afternoon's amusement, a horse girl with a curious pet.

 

 Flowers:

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The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. “I bring her flowers when I can,” he said. “Lyanna was… fond of flowers.”

The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown splattered with gore could only be Lyanna.

Starlight and seafoam, Dany thought, a wisp of silk that leaves my left breast bare for Daario's delight. Oh, and flowers for my hair. When first they met, the captain brought her flowers every day, all the way from Yunkai to Meereen. "Bring the grey linen gown with the pearls on the bodice. Oh, and my white lion's pelt." She always felt safer wrapped in Drogo's lionskin.

 

(She’s even wearing the Stark colors!!!)

Songs and Wine:

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The dragon prince sang a song so sad it made the wolf maid sniffle, but when her pup brother teased her for crying she poured wine over his head.

"I'm cold," Dany lied. "Bring me the book I was reading last night." She wanted to lose herself in the words, in other times and other places. The fat leather-bound volume was full of songs and stories from the Seven Kingdoms. Children's stories, if truth be told; too simple and fanciful to be true history. All the heroes were tall and handsome, and you could tell the traitors by their shifty eyes. Yet she loved them all the same. Last night she had been reading of the three princesses in the red tower, locked away by the king for the crime of being beautiful.

"You will drink," Dany saidcold as ice. "Empty the cup, or I will tell them to hold you down while Ser Jorah pours the whole cask down your throat."

 

Brave Dany Flint

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It is not their fathers who concern me. "Did Mance ever sing of Brave Danny Flint?"

"Not as I recall. Who was he?"

"A girl who dressed up like a boy to take the black. Her song is sad and pretty. What happened to her wasn't." In some versions of the song, her ghost still walked the Nightfort. "I'll send the girls to Long Barrow." The only men there were Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd, both of whom he trusted. That was not something he could say of all his brothers.

 

Brave Dany Flint was a daughter of the north who joined the Night’s Watch after disguising herself as a boy. She ends up being raped and murdered, but this isn’t the only possible dressing up as a boy we see in the series, we see Lyanna as the Knight of the Laughing Tree at the Tourney of Harenhall. Rheagar sings a sad and pretty song that makes her cry at the feast, and the story told about the following events was that Rheagar raped and murdered her. Oh and of course there is “The Song of Ice and Fire”.

But wait, there’s more…

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“No one ever looked for a girl,” he said. “It was a prince who was promised, not a princess.”

Aemon believes that Dany is the prince that was promised. Gender surprise!

Dany was supposedly named by her mother. (re:GRRM SSM)

Flint is stone that can make fire… The Prince that was Promised is supposed to wake dragons (fire made flesh) from stone. Dany has already done this.

Robert’s Rebellion Timeline

280 AC – Rheagar Targaryen and Elia Martell are married

Rhaenys Targaryen born

281 AC – The Year of the False Spring (the false spring itself being near the end of the year)

The Tourney at Harrenhall

Snow in King’s Landing on the last day of the year

Aegon Targaryen (Son of Rhaegar and Elia) is born either at the very end of the year or very start of 282)

282 AC – Rhaegar disappears, Lyanna disappears

Brandon goes to Kings Landing, followed by Rickard, Executions ensue

Robert’s Rebellion begins – Battle of Gulltown, Ned goes North, Battle of Summerhall

The Siege of Storms End begins

Battle of Ashford

283 AC – Battle of the Bells (Stoney Sept)

Ned and Cat, Jon and Lysa double wedding

Jon Connington exiled and Chelstead named Hand

Gerold Hightower, The White Bull, sent to retrieve Rhaegar

Chelstead Burned and Rhaella is impregnated

Battle of the Trident

Rhaella and Viserys flee to Dragonstone with Willem Darry

Sack of King’s Landing

The Siege of Storms End is lifted

Tower of Joy

Rob Stark is born

284 AC – Rhaella dies in childbirth on Dragonstone during a storm

 

Above you can see a rough timeline of some major events from Robert’s Rebellion.

First, I want to point out that between the start of 280 and the start of 282 Rhaegar and Elia are married and have two children. A girl and a boy.

What I am proposing is that Lyanna became pregnant at the tourney of Harrenhall (end 281) and had two children before dying in childbirth at the Tower of Joy (end 283). A boy and a girl.

This fits well within the timeline, and provides a reason for Lyanna’s disappearance besides being kidnapped (which never really made sense to me anyway), she discovered she was pregnant.

She disappears to the Tower of Joy with Rhaegar, who returns to King’s Landing after she gives birth to a boy, and commands the three Kingsguard Ned fight’s there, including the commander of the Kingsguard who was sent to retrieve him, for this reason. If Lyanna was still pregnant, their presence doesn’t really make sense.

Ned arrives to find her dying giving birth to a daughter.

Rhaella meanwhile died in childbirth, but, like so many of her other pregnancies, this one did not result in a living child.

Darry, and his four loyal men, fled with Viserys to Braavos in secret along with any evidence of Rhaella’s miscarriage and her crown.

The point here is that Lyanna having two children is not only possible within the timeline, but Elia’s pregnancies provide precedent.

Now of course I realize that this begs the question, what happened next? How did Dany end up in Illyrio’s estate with Viserys thinking she was his sister?

I would propose that Ned finds himself with Lyanna’s two kids who he has promised to protect.

Jon he can take home since he looks like a Stark and passes him off as a bastard. It’s worth pointing out that the age difference between Rob and Jon isn’t at all clear. Cat seems to have told herself that Rob is older, but…

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"I am almost a man grown," Jon protested. "I will turn fifteen on my next name day, and Maester Luwin says bastards grow up faster than other children."

"That's true enough," Benjen said with a downward twist of his mouth. He took Jon's cup from the table, filled it fresh from a nearby pitcher, and drank down a long swallow. (Bitter Cup?)

He'd heard it said that bastards grow up faster than other children; on the Wall, you grew up or you died.

 

And Cat arrived at Winterfell after the Rebellion with baby Robb only to find Jon already there.

Dany however looks like a Targaryen, and Ned had only recently come from King’s Landing and fighting with Robert about killing children (dragonspawn). I propose Ned does with Dany exactly what he tells Cersei to do when fearing Robert’s wrath, Exile… and he asks Ashara Dayne, and possibly other(s), to help him when he returned her brother’s sword. (“Daenerys” contains the same letters as “Ser Dayne”, while Ned Dayne appears named after Eddard Stark).

 Ashara Dayne meanwhile supposedly died after throwing herself into the sea in grief after having a still born girl.

Of course at this point everything gets supper fuzzy, like it wasn’t already,  and we’re not sure exactly what happened.

I suspect the first five years of Dany’s life were spent in the House with the Red Door with some guardian she now conflates with Willem Darry.

She does have a memory of arriving in Braavos, and no black Targaryen Sails:

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The narrow sea was often stormy, and Dany had crossed it half a hundred times as a girl, running from one Free City to the next half a step ahead of the Usurper's hired knives. She loved the sea. She liked the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above. It made her feel small, but free as well. She liked the dolphins that sometimes swam along beside Balerion, slicing through the waves like silvery spears, and the flying fish they glimpsed now and again. She even liked the sailors, with all their songs and stories. Once on a voyage to Braavos, as she'd watched the crew wrestle down a great green sail in a rising gale, she had even thought how fine it would be to be a sailor. But when she told her brother, Viserys had twisted her hair until she cried. "You are blood of the dragon," he had screamed at her. "A dragon, not some smelly fish."

We know there were no hired knives, and again we see Viserys abusing her and telling her what to believe.

It is also important that she can remember arriving in Braavos (as the story we’re told has her running from Braavos, she’d have been too young to remember arriving), and that Viserys isn’t in the memory of the ship, her memory of him is the abuse after telling him about it.

There are a few events which appear to have happened at about the same time around when Dany would have been turning five.

First, a marriage pact for Viserys was signed between Prince Oberyn Dorne and Willem Darry, witnessed by the Sealord of Braavos.

Dany and Viserys begin there wandering about Essos running from fake usurper’s knives.

And the Sealord of Braavos died.

This is what I propose happened, and I’m well aware that I’m making a few leaps at this point.

Dany’s location (the house with the red door, in Westeros) is discovered by the Martells (perhaps having been told on by the Darkstar Dayne, called by Doran “the most dangerous man in Dorne”, and Oberyn thought of as poison).

She is brought to Braavos with Oberyn when he is going to sign the wedding pact.

Illyrio didn’t know about the wedding pact, but he may well have found out that Viserys and/or Dany was staying in Braavos. At this point he is already raising Young Griff to be a king, and Varys has been in King’s Landing since before the rebellion. So clearly they’ve been plotting something, and it seems to me that Illyrio wouldn’t want Viserys or Dany claiming the Iron Throne. But he could still use them as pieces, he could parade them around Essos, preventing them from gaining any true friends or support while at the same time publicizing who Dany Stormborn is in every court in Essos until no man could question her blood.  Then he tries to marry her off to Drogo in hopes of gaining a Khalasar. I don’t expect he ever really wanted Viserys to survive.

So, I believe Illyrio is responsible for, or took advantage of, the death of the Sealord to take custody of Visery and Dany… toured them around Essos until they ended up at his mansion in Pentos at the start of the story, ready to be parlayed for a Khalasar.

Oh, and that Dany is the daughter of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.

Cheers

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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9 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I’m sick of people dismissing this out of hand when all they’ve ever noticed is the lemon tree part.

I'm sick of people dismissing things out of hand as well. Everything hasn't been demolished and RLJ isn't the grand unified theory that underpins everything.   I'm especially tired of the logic that AA = Jon... 'because RLJ'.  By all means, have at it.  :D 

 

Edited by LynnS

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Congrats! A nice read. I especially admire the effort that went into the OP and all those quotes you are reminding us of.

Whether your conclusion will turn out true I have no idea. And I don't care honestly: What I care about is that the theory is possible time-line-wise, would make sense and is interesting.

Personally I think even though you went to all these troubles with pulling quotes together you really did not manage to find even a single hard piece of evidence. But that is not your fault: it is GRRM's who (no doubt purposfully) has not give us any. However: your pattern works, the pieces would fit.

The pieces could also fit other theories of course as well since GRRM has been so vague. So: are you right? I don't know. Could you be right? Yes. Did you make an interesting post? Definitely yes.

 

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There were witnesses to her birth on Dragonstone.  Darry wouldn't sacrifice everything he had to protect the baby of Lyanna Stark because that child will have no claim to the throne.  Aerys disinherited Rhaegar's family when he named Viserys his heir. 

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You'v proven It's more likely then R+L=Aegon/Young Griff.

However there has to be one undoubtedly true born, real Targaryen and that's Dany. Making her a possible bastard adds nothing to the story in my opinion.

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13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

What I am proposing is that Lyanna became pregnant at the tourney of Harrenhall (end 281) and had two children before dying in childbirth at the Tower of Joy (end 283). A boy and a girl.

This fits well within the timeline, and provides a reason for Lyanna’s disappearance besides being kidnapped (which never really made sense to me anyway), she discovered she was pregnant.

I also came to idea about two non-twin children of Lyanna and Rhaegar. Only I thought maybe first child of Lyanna was born in Winterfell and she was „kidnapped“ after giving birth to her firstborn.  Sort of parallel of  Bael the Bard story – secret child in Winterfell. But maybe I just was wrong about timelines.

 

Daenerys could be child of Lyanna and Rhaegar only if she is the second born child. This is because her hair and eye color:

 

As many readers has noticed already firstborn children in couples of Targaryen males and non-Valyrian females always had hair and eye colour of their mothers, while second and subsequent children had Targaryen look. So far this rule worked without exceptions (I have an idea how it could work).

Firstborn child of Rhaegar and Lyanna could look like Valyrian only if Lyanna had some secret Valyrian ancestry, which is very unlikely (yet not impossible).

But golden silver hair is believable if Daenerys is secondborn child of Lyanna and Rhaegar, while Jon Snow is still the best candidate for the firstborn.

 

And though I am not fan of theories R+L=YG, the colouring allows Young Griff to be second born child of Rhaegar and Lyanna as well (in this case he would be 1.5 -2 years younger than he thinks he is). There is also a slim possibility that Young Griff and Dany are twins. Twins could explain why labour of Lyanna was so difficult. And boy could  had been spirited from Tower of Joy even before Ned arrived, thus he ended up in charge of Varys. Ned entrusted girl to Ashara Dayne, who swapped her with stillborn child of queen Rhaella.

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13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:
Quote

 "The way the world is made. The truth is all around you, plain to behold. The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good." She took a step toward him. "Death and life. Everywhere, opposites. Everywhere, the war."

I’m not sure that I agree with all the reasoning Mel is using here, especially good and evil, but the association of ice-bitter and fire-sweet is an interesting one

I hadn't noticed that connection.  Sweet lies and bitter truths, that is very interesting indeed.

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9 hours ago, Amris said:

Congrats! A nice read. I especially admire the effort that went into the OP and all those quotes you are reminding us of.

Whether your conclusion will turn out true I have no idea. And I don't care honestly: What I care about is that the theory is possible time-line-wise, would make sense and is interesting.

Personally I think even though you went to all these troubles with pulling quotes together you really did not manage to find even a single hard piece of evidence. But that is not your fault: it is GRRM's who (no doubt purposfully) has not give us any. However: your pattern works, the pieces would fit.

The pieces could also fit other theories of course as well since GRRM has been so vague. So: are you right? I don't know. Could you be right? Yes. Did you make an interesting post? Definitely yes.

 

I certainly don't have any hard proof, but neither do I have hard proof for R+L=J... but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

8 hours ago, Damsel in Distress said:

There were witnesses to her birth on Dragonstone.  Darry wouldn't sacrifice everything he had to protect the baby of Lyanna Stark because that child will have no claim to the throne.  Aerys disinherited Rhaegar's family when he named Viserys his heir. 

Who were the witnesses?

I'm suggesting the real Willem Darry never met our Dany until possibly in Braavos just before his death... so not sure what he would be sacrificing. 

Aerys, the Mad King, disinheriting people or not, Rhaegar and Lyanna being married or not, there are a lot of variables up in the air. 

I'm trying to say I think Dany is Lyanna's daughter. From the text and that it would fit the timeline.

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6 hours ago, LynnS said:

I hadn't noticed that connection.  Sweet lies and bitter truths, that is very interesting indeed.

I think so! It makes for great asearchoficeandfire reads! (Bitter cup) (sweet cup) and look for the truth/lies...

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12 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think so! It makes for great asearchoficeandfire reads! (Bitter cup) (sweet cup) and look for the truth/lies...

Thank you for pointing it out.  ^_^

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Isn't the wolf Arya hears howling in the distance just Nymeria? I mean it is possible that it's symbolic, but not in my opinion. You did do a fantastic job of explaining the theory and if it turns out to be true, all the better.

 

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On 12/2/2017 at 10:11 AM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Who were the witnesses?

The attendants to the birth, for one thing.  We heard from Cersei that there is quite a crowd at a royal birth.  And you can bet that Stannis, thorough and dutiful as he is, would have questioned them carefully.  If there was anything questionable about the birth, we would have heard something by now from him.

On 12/2/2017 at 10:11 AM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I'm suggesting the real Willem Darry never met our Dany until possibly in Braavos just before his death... so not sure what he would be sacrificing. 

"[Robert] blamed me for letting Willem Darry steal away Viserys and the babe, as if I could have stopped it." - ACOK, Prologue   This from Stannis 

"Sir Willem Darry is sailed to Dragonstone with your queen and Viserys.  I thought you might have sailed with him." - AGOT, Eddard X.  Eddard to the KG at Tower of Joy, in his dream.

I think it's a pretty safe bet that Darry was at Dragonstone with Viserys and Daenerys, and that Rhaelle gave birth to a baby girl. 

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14 hours ago, Nevets said:

The attendants to the birth, for one thing.  We heard from Cersei that there is quite a crowd at a royal birth.  And you can bet that Stannis, thorough and dutiful as he is, would have questioned them carefully.  If there was anything questionable about the birth, we would have heard something by now from him.

That's possible I suppose, but the impression I got was of an island full of men who were about to surrender to the usurper's fleet now that the war was all but done. I don't see any reason to believe there were more witnesses then Darry the nursemaid and the four loyal men. But I understand where you are coming from.

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

"[Robert] blamed me for letting Willem Darry steal away Viserys and the babe, as if I could have stopped it." - ACOK, Prologue   This from Stannis 

They were gone before Stannis got there, that's the point. 

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

"Sir Willem Darry is sailed to Dragonstone with your queen and Viserys.  I thought you might have sailed with him." - AGOT, Eddard X.  Eddard to the KG at Tower of Joy, in his dream.

This "queen" is Rhaella... Dany isn't mentioned.

Speaking of the Kingsguard, if they "do not run", then them waiting at the Tower of Joy for a pregnant woman doesn't make sense... if she gave birth to a girl then the Kingsguard duty would be with Viserys. They clearly already knew of the events of the sack of king's landing. The only way their presence makes sense is if Rhaegar's heir was already born and at the tower when Ned arrived.

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

I think it's a pretty safe bet that Darry was at Dragonstone with Viserys and Daenerys, and that Rhaelle gave birth to a baby girl. 

Haha, I question the certainty...

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On 12/2/2017 at 6:56 PM, A_Man_Has_No_Name said:

Isn't the wolf Arya hears howling in the distance just Nymeria? I mean it is possible that it's symbolic, but not in my opinion. You did do a fantastic job of explaining the theory and if it turns out to be true, all the better.

 

Cheers, and that is certainly what I first thought... but...

Quote

For a long moment there was no sound but the wind and the water and the creak of leaf and limb. And then, far far off, beyond the godswood and the haunted towers and the immense stone walls of Harrenhall, from somewhere out in the world, came the long lonely howl of a wolf. Gooseprickles rose on Arya’s skin, for an instant she felt dizzy. Then, so faintly, it seemed as if she heard her father’s voice. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” he said.

Far far off...

from somewhere out in the world...

long lonley howl of a wolf...

Nymeria is at the head of a huge pack of wolves, she is neither alone nor without a pack... and is actually relatively nearby hunting around the God's Eye.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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7 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

This "queen" is Rhaella... Dany isn't mentioned.

She wasn't born yet.

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9 minutes ago, maudisdottir said:

She wasn't born yet.

Exactly! So why are the Kingsguard there?

convieniently this also solves the problem with the "classic timeline" where Jon was supposedly "closer to nine months than a year" older than Dany... because if Dany was born nine moons after Rhaella left Kingslanding then it's almost impossible to conceive of a way for Ned to be present for Jon to be born at the Tower of Joy, wayyy after the Sack of Kings Landing.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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Bless you, child, for the lifting of mountains to switch a baby's bassanette.  Softer reading is recommended on a trial basis, on the off chance you may be reading overhard?    

 

Every child's parentage is in doubt, which is the series' primary joy and chief instructive tool: with all of them willing to die and kill for incorrect banners, the pointlessness of it all is underscored.    Yet this switcheroo takes a baby from the inner circle of Targs and deposits her back down in.... the inner circle of Targs.   So I don't see the point of doing all that leg work to achieve an essentially identical baby.   I'm open to the possibility, I just can't get excited about it because it's a very bland switcheroo that packs all the explosive revelatory potential of a Jeb Bush campaign. 

 

 If she can already earn it by paying the iron price, what's the point of hanging a better birthright on her?  Same for Jon, whom I hope never even finds out about his actual claim, because it's moot when you're already sitting on the throne because the people hoisted you up onto it en masse.  And since Targs allow threesomes and such there's already room for both of them on an enlarged sectional sofa throne anyways.

So while I readily admit lemon trees are weird and something hinky is afoot in her childhood recollections, I already see her mandate as more legit than any birthright can bestow, because everywhere we look we see highborn idjits who don't deserve their station, so one comes to see no legitimacy in their legitimacy, and one yearns to see the apple cart turned over, not legitimized.

 

Excellent longness, though.   And follow through, which any golfer will tell you is the main part of greatness.

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10 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Exactly! So why are the Kingsguard there?

convieniently this also solves the problem with the "classic timeline" where Jon was supposedly "closer to nine months than a year" older than Dany... because if Dany was born nine moons after Rhaella left Kingslanding then it's almost impossible to conceive of a way for Ned to be present for Jon to be born at the Tower of Joy, wayyy after the Sack of Kings Landing.

How lucky then that Ned could make it a little post-birth, to find Jon already born and Lyanna dying of puerperal fever :-)

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6 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Bless you, child, for the lifting of mountains to switch a baby's bassanette.  Softer reading is recommended on a trial basis, on the off chance you may be reading overhard?    

Every child's parentage is in doubt, which is the series' primary joy and chief instructive tool: with all of them willing to die and kill for incorrect banners, the pointlessness of it all is underscored.    Yet this switcheroo takes a baby from the inner circle of Targs and deposits her back down in.... the inner circle of Targs.   So I don't see the point of doing all that leg work to achieve an essentially identical baby.   I'm open to the possibility, I just can't get excited about it because it's a very bland switcheroo that packs all the explosive revelatory potential of a Jeb Bush campaign. 

This, especially the bolded.

6 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

 If she can already earn it by paying the iron price, what's the point of hanging a better birthright on her?  Same for Jon, whom I hope never even finds out about his actual claim, because it's moot when you're already sitting on the throne because the people hoisted you up onto it en masse.  And since Targs allow threesomes and such there's already room for both of them on an enlarged sectional sofa throne anyways.

:lol:

6 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

So while I readily admit lemon trees are weird and something hinky is afoot in her childhood recollections, I already see her mandate as more legit than any birthright can bestow, because everywhere we look we see highborn idjits who don't deserve their station, so one comes to see no legitimacy in their legitimacy, and one yearns to see the apple cart turned over, not legitimized.

And this, very much. Upturn the apple cart! :commie:

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

How lucky then that Ned could make it a little post-birth, to find Jon already born and Lyanna dying of puerperal fever :-)

Exactly! :)

And to me one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest of all, w/ changing Jon's "official" DoB is that while you can move Dany's DoB as well so that Jon remains ~ 9 months older, you can't make Jon and Robb's ages be roughly the same, something we know is true. 

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2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

And to me one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest of all, w/ changing Jon's "official" DoB is that while you can move Dany's DoB as well so that Jon remains ~ 9 months older, you can't make Jon and Robb's ages be roughly the same, something we know is true. 

I don't think this is really an issue.  What does 'of an age' really mean when comparing Jon and Rob when we meet them? That they are close enough in their development to make a difference between them moot.  The notion that Catelyn wouldn't be fooled by the differences between infants when she first sees Jon also seems a bit of a red herring to me.  Of course she sees the difference while everyone colludes with the fiction for Ned's sake.   At least, it's something they are never allowed to talk about after Ned's gag order.  The differences become less distinct the older Jon and Rob become.   If I saw and fourteen year old and a fifteen year standing beside each other; I wouldn't be able to tell the difference in their ages.

If Jon was really the younger of the two, I doubt Catelyn would be so hateful or threatened by Jon. 

Edited by LynnS

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