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Jon Targaryen

[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Davos 1 - Spoilers for ADWD

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Reading the first books of ASOIAF I got the impression that people that did the "right" thing got the short end of the stick, that the wicked and treacherous prospered. Later on in the series it seems that the honorable people eventually prevail. In AGOT Dany comes within inches of being poisoned by wine, but Robert's command to spare Dany (at Ned's urging) stops that assassination. If Dany then returns to the seven kingdoms and saves it from the Others Ned's honor would have been a pivitol point in keeping her alive so that she could save the people.

actually no, Dany don't get poisioned because of Varys, not Ned.

Ned never have time to spare Dany as he's pretty much imprisoned right after Robert's command

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Reading the first books of ASOIAF I got the impression that people that did the "right" thing got the short end of the stick, that the wicked and treacherous prospered. Later on in the series it seems that the honorable people eventually prevail. In AGOT Dany comes within inches of being poisoned by wine, but Robert's command to spare Dany (at Ned's urging) stops that assassination. If Dany then returns to the seven kingdoms and saves it from the Others Ned's honor would have been a pivitol point in keeping her alive so that she could save the people.

Nice point, but it wont console Ned much seeing as he's the one most responsible for the rebels success..

As for honour prevailing, I think a happy medium would be the best strategy, ruthless sometimes, lenient others a la Dany. Honourable people die first, then the ruthless bastards leaving only the middle

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actually no, Dany don't get poisioned because of Varys, not Ned.

Ned never have time to spare Dany as he's pretty much imprisoned right after Robert's command

Robert tells Ned to call off the assissnation on his death bed, after he's been restored as Hand but before he loses the Game of Thrones to Cersi. Varys is just the agent that passes along the command, the same agent that passed on the command to have her killed in the first place.

Nice point, but it wont console Ned much seeing as he's the one most responsible for the rebels success..

As for honour prevailing, I think a happy medium would be the best strategy, ruthless sometimes, lenient others a la Dany. Honourable people die first, then the ruthless bastards leaving only the middle

No, it won't console Ned.

And I believe that you are right about the happy medium being what will eventually come out. I actually see Robb's misjudgment with Jeyne to be his attempt to be even more honorable than his father.

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With one of the recent postings on GRRM's Not a blog mentioning a trip to the Rainwood this shows a possibility that Davos might still be alive, though it could be a Brienne of Tarth chapter to wrap up loose ends, since they are the only two who would have any reason to be in the Rainwood. Also, the Freys say the saw the Onion Knights head and hands on the walls of White Harbor they didn't say the saw the execution and they might not even know what the onion knight looks like so its a possibility that Davos survives his trip to White Harbor.

Also, I think there is a chance his son could be a marriage contender for Stannis's daughter as they are constant companions and the Seaworths connection with Stannis are strong and I don't believe Stannis will be King I think if he survives he would remain as Lord of Storm's End, while if Aurane Waters really went to Daenerys he would be given Dragonstone.

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About R+L=J

Ok, for those of you who are a little hazy into the theories already proposed, please review this FAQ: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/FAQ/Entry/2291/. Then, read this essay for the Jon parentage quotes: http://www.angelfire.com/ma4/mlarchives/faq/jon.html. Go ahead, I'll wait. Ok, go back and review the story given to Davos.

I think that this passage both presents a red herring and critical information on Jon Snow's parentage at the same time. The red herring is likely a literal read - that Ned Stark fathered a bastard named Jon Snow off a fisherman's daughter while making his way north.

The critical information is pinning down exactly where Ned was during the time of Jon's conception, estimated to be 1-3 months into the war. During this time Ned was in transit, by sea, heading north north-east. Now look at a map of Westeros, here is a link: http://www.towerofthehand.com/maps/westeros.html

Do you think it is an accident on GRRM's part that Ned during this time period - going north-east, getting stranded at the fingers and ultimately landing at White Harbor? Ned at the most likely time of Jon's conception is about the farthest he could be from Ashara Dayne's most likely location, Starfall, which lies in the South-east region of Dorne.

Previously others have speculated that the only way Wylla could have been Jon Snow's mother was if she was traveling with Ashara Dayne. But every indication is that Ashara Dayne was not in the company of Ned during Jon's likely conception, since if Ashara Dayne had been traveling with Ned, the Fingers locals would have registered her presence. So, this passage strongly suggests that Wylla and Ashara were not Jon's mother.

Furthermore, the likelihood that fisherman's daughter = Wylla is very low. For this to be the case, Ned would have had to abandon her (remember she was left with silver and a bastard in her belly) around the vicinity of the Fingers. Brave, love-sick, and pregnant Wylla would then (1) either have followed Ned north and then throughout the Robert's Rebellion campaign or (2) have traveled through war ravished countryside to meet up with Ned sometime before or after the fall of King's Landing and the Tower of Joy, popped the kid out around this time, and then continued on with Ned south to Starfall, where following this she takes service with House Dayne after traveling the entirety of Westeros during a time of war and delaying her return home for "years and years" until Edric Dayne was born (or never returning home, to live in a region opposite of the one she grew up in). http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Milk_Brothers_Dragons_and_Foreshadowing/. This is the same woman who also made so little impression to Robert that he could not even remember what Wylla looked like. While possible, it is extremely unlikely.

Which thus begs the ultimate questions - why lie? Why all the mystery? Why not say that Jon is the bastard son of a fisherman's daughter? Why continue said lie even to one's foster brother and king? Is that so much worse than the serving woman of Ashara Dayne or Ashara Dayne herself? Why would Wylla lie about mothering Jon? Simple, the Jon Snow Ned introduced to the world following his return from the Tower of Joy and Starfall is not his son, Jon is his nephew, would have been marked for death if Robert would have discovered the truth, and made have started another war between the throne and House Stark. House Dayne, loyalists to House Targ, helped maintain the lie.

Remember, this is book 5 of 7, we probably won't have enough info to conclusively say one way or another who Jon's parents are until 6 or (more likely 7)

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The critical information is pinning down exactly where Ned was during the time of Jon's conception, estimated to be 1-3 months into the war....

I think the timeline eliminates this story as a real possibility for Jon's mom. Jon is born, according to Martin, "eight or nine months" prior to Daenerys. Daenerys is born "nine moons" after the sack of King's Landing. All of which puts Jon's conception eight or nine months before the sack, and about three or four months into the rebellion *which last about a year." This is further limited by the fact both Catelyn and Ned agree that Jon's conception takes place after their marriage, and after the Battle of the Bells. Ned could be lying by a matter of weeks, but he can hardly tell Catelyn that a child four to five months older than Robb is younger. Not believable.

What this story would have us believe is that Jon is conceived, not three or four months into the rebellion, but in it's earliest days. Right after Jon Arryn calls his banners, both Ned and Robert go to do the same. So for this to be true, Martin has to have changed the story or have lied to readers about Jon's age relative to Dany. I can't believe either of those to be the case.

Instead what strikes me about this story is a little different than your take on this. First, I note that this is a Targaryen loyalist that is telling the story, so it seems likely to me that the story is told to advance Targaryen interests. I would think what we are seeing is the cover story that points to Wylla. This, in turn, tells me that Wylla IS likely from this island because the best way to build a cover is to include truth in it. If someone finds out that Wylla is claiming to be Jon Snow's mother - something Ned tells Robert and Wylla tells Edric - the logical thing to do is to find out the most one can about her, including talking to the people with which she grew up. Those folks must be willing to verify Wylla's account or it falls apart almost immediately.

Second, this tells me that Wylla is not just a chance midwife/wet nurse found at the last minute to help with Lyanna's pregnancy. Rhaegar must have trusted her, and whoever constructed the cover story knew her background enough to tell Lord Godric what to say if someone came nosing around. Wylla is likely a Targaryen servant of long standing with proven loyalty - a much younger version of Old Nan, if you will.

Next, it means to me that Wylla can't have been around Ned during the time in which Jon was conceived. The rumors circulating amongst the men who come back to Winterfell are all around Ashara, not Wylla. If Wylla was Jon's mother and she followed Ned around during his campaigns, then it would be Wylla's name they whisper about, not Ashara's, especially if Wylla is pregnant.

Lastly, the fact Wylla is thought to be Jon's mother by Edric, and presumably by most of the people of Starfall, AND the troops don't know her and think Ashara is Jon's mom tells me that Wylla shows up after Ned leaves his army at Storm's End and before Jon arrives in Starfall. Right around the time of Jon's birth and the events of the Tower of Joy. Wylla seems to me to be the obvious candidate for the midwife/wet nurse role at the Tower and Ned seizes on her loyalty to Rhaegar and Lyanna, and Lyanna's newborn child, to help to construct this cover story. If Wylla is a wet nurse, then she had a child of her own and a child conceived during the time this story details would fit for a child born earlier, it just doesn't work for Jon.

My two cents.

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Good food for thought. I disagree with you about Wylla, I have trouble believing any Old Nan-midwife who grew up on around the fingers find herself all the way in Starfall (normal people in medieval times rarely traveled that far). But this is GRRM, and stranger things have happened, so anything is possible.

I do like your implications of a general pro-Targ coverup. Why? Because it then suggests more people might have knowledge of Jon's true parents than just Howland Reed and Wylla. It would make the "big reveal" that much more easier to pull off and allow GRRM to sprinkle in more hints and clues throughout the narrative. For example, another potential conspirator could be Varys, who seems to know everything and would be motivated to secretly help a potential Targ heir stay hidden. Not that I buy your theory completely at this time, since Lord Godric comes from a family that, after all, by his own admission betrayed Targ's interests. It seems odd that such if such a conspiracy exists, it would want his family to be involved in any way with Jon Snow. But if he is pro-Targ, then it would give a hidden motivation for telling Davos, in the Stannis camp, this misinformation. If there is a greater conspiracy to mask Jon's identity, then they have to be concerned that Stannis (who would see Jon as a potential rival claimant and could think of some uses of kingly blood) is so close to Jon.

I also want to add some additional reasons on why information on Ned's position during the outset of the rebellion is so critical. Looking at a map of Westeros, there were two routes he could have taken north to raise his banners. The western route, by land would put him in the northern Riverlands. As we know Lady Ashara had traveled as far as Harrenhall in the southern-Riverlands for the LTK tourney, there was always the unlikely possibility that she and Ned (or Wylla - a serving girl of House Dayne) could have run into each other in "neutral" territory and conceived Jon. But, by explicitly having Ned take the eastern route by sea and then traveling by land through the North, such an scenario is next to impossible as Lady Ashara, of one of the most pro-Targ Houses during he rebellion, would have had to been in the medieval boonies or hostile territory during a time of war.

Not that Ned's route should be a surprise, since at this time the Riverlords were probably not in the Rebellion's camp until later when Arryn arranged the Cat/Lysa marriages. The safest route was by sea, even though Stark was detoured in the Fingers and could have been sent south to face Targ justice. If such a calamity had occurred, it could have extinguished Northern support for the rebellion as Brandon Stark was too young to rally the northern lords on his own. Especially when knowing now the ambition of House Bolton. Without Northern support, Robert and Jon Arryn would probably not have been able to gain the Riverlands support as well and ultimately would have been crushed by the loyalists.

I thank you for an excellent post.

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Good food for thought. I disagree with you about Wylla, I have trouble believing any Old Nan-midwife who grew up on around the fingers find herself all the way in Starfall (normal people in medieval times rarely traveled that far). But this is GRRM, and stranger things have happened, so anything is possible.

I agree with you completely. I doubt very much such a person from the Sisters would likely end up in Starfall on their own. A person employed by the Royal Family might, if the Crown Prince asked/ordered her to attend to the needs of Lyanna.

What I find totally bizarre is the idea - not yours - that Wylla could have had a romance or a one-night stand with Ned three or four months into the war and then show up in Starfall to be accepted as a family servant by the Daynes, a family of Targaryen loyalists whose members include the ex-girl friend/lover of Ned. Just how does that work? :huh:

I do like your implications of a general pro-Targ coverup. Why? Because it then suggests more people might have knowledge of Jon's true parents than just Howland Reed and Wylla. It would make the "big reveal" that much more easier to pull off and allow GRRM to sprinkle in more hints and clues throughout the narrative.

I do think it likely that others are involved, including others who would have been at the Tower of Joy when Ned arrives. I think a maester is very likely if Lyanna was really going to give birth. We have precedent of maesters being in attendance of the birth of noble children such as the Starks and the Lannister kids, so it makes sense that if Lyanna is with child she would have a maester as well. I've even gone so far as to suggest a name - Marwyn. Total speculation on my part, of course, but it would fit nicely with his trip to the east - as in Ned takes him to Starfall with him and puts him on a boat to get lost for a long period of time. If so, we could learn from him, as well as Ser Barristan in the Dany chapters, and we have the possibility of more bits of information in the Bran chapters from the Reeds. Now, if Jon ever gets it together to begin looking into who his mother was, then we might get something there as well, but I like the idea of revealing bits of the story over many different POVs, even if like this one I expect them to be contradictory to hints in others. It will make the puzzle all the more fun to unravel.

For example, another potential conspirator could be Varys, who seems to know everything and would be motivated to secretly help a potential Targ heir stay hidden. Not that I buy your theory completely at this time, since Lord Godric comes from a family that, after all, by his own admission betrayed Targ's interests.

That kind of depends on how much of the story is true doesn't it? Did Ned Stark truly land in Sisterton only to be set free by Lord Godric? Or is that part of a cover Ned helps to make up, using the place of Wylla is from and his own journey north to call his banners as a frame? I don't know but I'm dying to know how much of this is true.

With Varys, I'm not ready to say yet that he is a Targ sympathizer. Rather I think at least Illyrio is someone who is in it for money and power, and Varys maybe cut from the same cloth or he maybe the real deal and just works with Illyrio to advance Targ interests by convincing the "cheesemonger" that there will be great rewards for scoundrels like him in the chaos of a Westerosi civil war.

It seems odd that such if such a conspiracy exists, it would want his family to be involved in any way with Jon Snow. But if he is pro-Targ, then it would give a hidden motivation for telling Davos, in the Stannis camp, this misinformation. If there is a greater conspiracy to mask Jon's identity, then they have to be concerned that Stannis (who would see Jon as a potential rival claimant and could think of some uses of kingly blood) is so close to Jon.

I don't think there is a greater conspiracy around Jon. Rather I think there are a lot more people with bits of information and who played a role in the events of Lyanna's "abduction/escape" than we know. Lord Godric looks to be one of those on the periphery to me.

I also want to add some additional reasons on why information on Ned's position during the outset of the rebellion is so critical. Looking at a map of Westeros, there were two routes he could have taken north to raise his banners. The western route, by land would put him in the northern Riverlands. As we know Lady Ashara had traveled as far as Harrenhall in the southern-Riverlands for the LTK tourney, there was always the unlikely possibility that she and Ned (or Wylla - a serving girl of House Dayne) could have run into each other in "neutral" territory and conceived Jon. But, by explicitly having Ned take the eastern route by sea and then traveling by land through the North, such an scenario is next to impossible as Lady Ashara, of one of the most pro-Targ Houses during he rebellion, would have had to been in the medieval boonies or hostile territory during a time of war.

Not that Ned's route should be a surprise, since at this time the Riverlords were probably not in the Rebellion's camp until later when Arryn arranged the Cat/Lysa marriages. The safest route was by sea, even though Stark was detoured in the Fingers and could have been sent south to face Targ justice. If such a calamity had occurred, it could have extinguished Northern support for the rebellion as Brandon Stark was too young to rally the northern lords on his own. Especially when knowing now the ambition of House Bolton. Without Northern support, Robert and Jon Arryn would probably not have been able to gain the Riverlands support as well and ultimately would have been crushed by the loyalists.

Good points.

I thank you for an excellent post.

Thanks, and the same to you for your excellent post as well.

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One more thing about the conspiracy, or just that more people know then we think, about jon's parentage is it frees up Martin to play with us. A lot of us (myself included) are expecting Howland Reed to pop up and say "Hello, I'm Ned's best friend Mr. Reed. R+L=J." But if you're right it frees up Martin to be evil and just kill Reed right at the end of Winds of Winter as a big, "hahaha fuck you reader! Now you're never know Jon's true parentage!" Empire Strikes Back moment to get us emotionally beat up for the thrilling concluding book and kickass revelation?

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I do think it likely that others are involved, including others who would have been at the Tower of Joy when Ned arrives. I think a maester is very likely if Lyanna was really going to give birth. We have precedent of maesters being in attendance of the birth of noble children such as the Starks and the Lannister kids, so it makes sense that if Lyanna is with child she would have a maester as well. I've even gone so far as to suggest a name - Marwyn. Total speculation on my part, of course, but it would fit nicely with his trip to the east - as in Ned takes him to Starfall with him and puts him on a boat to get lost for a long period of time. If so, we could learn from him, as well as Ser Barristan in the Dany chapters, and we have the possibility of more bits of information in the Bran chapters from the Reeds. Now, if Jon ever gets it together to begin looking into who his mother was, then we might get something there as well, but I like the idea of revealing bits of the story over many different POVs, even if like this one I expect them to be contradictory to hints in others. It will make the puzzle all the more fun to unravel.

I like that. It's a great idea.

On the moment I was thinking: "Maybe Jon is Ned's son", but then I read "Jon-couldn't-be-so-much-old"-posts. It is possible that war last eight months, or ten months, thought. I mean, are we really sure that war last a whole year?

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One more thing about the conspiracy, or just that more people know then we think, about jon's parentage is it frees up Martin to play with us. A lot of us (myself included) are expecting Howland Reed to pop up and say "Hello, I'm Ned's best friend Mr. Reed. R+L=J." But if you're right it frees up Martin to be evil and just kill Reed right at the end of Winds of Winter as a big, "hahaha fuck you reader! Now you're never know Jon's true parentage!" Empire Strikes Back moment to get us emotionally beat up for the thrilling concluding book and kickass revelation?

I agree with you that Martin might be playing with us about Howland Reed being the 'end all' to the truth about Jon's parents. I am pretty sure Benjen Stark must have a pretty good idea (or he outright knows) who Jon's mother is. Wylla at Starfall was either Jon's mom or netnurse, so she would know.

I think Lyanna and Rhaegar are Jon's parents. I agree there must have been maids and possibly a maester at the tower of joy. This may sound really out there (I just thought of it the other day), but maybe Old Nan knows Lyanna is Jon's mother. She never told the Stark children the story of the Winter Rose of Winterfell or the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Maybe Ned told her never to tell the kids those stories and she put 2 and 2 together. Who knows what Ned did tell her?? Both Old Nan and Benjen lived at Winterfell with Lyanna, they must have been very close. I'm sure they know Lyanna's good or bad feelings on marriage to Robert.

Of course, Ben might be dead beyond the wall and poor Old Nan is a captive of Ramsey Bolton. I want them both be alive long enough to meet up with a Stark, Jon and Bran being the most likely ones.

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I just find it absolutely hilarious that I signed up on this site with the name Lord Godric (which is a name I have been using on a Harry Potter forum since 2004) and nearly a year later I learn there is a character in Dance to be called Lord Godric. Must have been a green dream, or R'hllor's fires, or something.

Now, as for the what the chapter holds, I have no idea what this means for Jon's parentage. I think it is safe to suggest this is just another red herring, but I am not sure if the story overlaps with others we have already heard. It doesn't seem very likely that this fisherman's daughter is Wylla, but it doesn't seem like there is much likelihood that all of these stories about Jon's true parentage are independent. I like the idea of a large coverup because how else would people be so certain that Jon's real mother is Wylla/Ashara/fisherman's daughter. There have to be many lies floating around.

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