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The Twinslayer

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  1. I have not been following this thread, but has anyone mentioned the implication of the fact that (unlike Dany), Rhaegar was married to Elia in a Faith ceremony? I think this is important because we know that one of the Seven Vows of a Faith Wedding is monogamy. There are a few ways to prove this. We know that Rhaegar married in the Faith because House Targaryen adopted the Faith under Aegon I and that was reinforced when Jaehaerys swore to protect the Faith. We know a Faith wedding involves Seven vows from Joffrey’s ceremony. And one of the ways we know that one of the seven vows is monogamy is because Ned was married in a sept and Jon thinks that Ned “broke his vows” with Jon's mother. The Targs who married in the Faith including Rhaegar swore a vow to take only one wife at a time. Why in the world would we think that Lyanna (“keep to one bed”) Stark would purport to “marry” a man in a ceremony in which that man was breaking a vow to keep to one (Elia’s) bed?
  2. So here is another interesting example. During Lord Rogar's War, Rogar Barratheon takes five hundred men into the Dornish mountains to root out his brother Borys and the Second Vulture King. King Jaehaerys not only gave his leave, he promised his sword as well. So Rogar marched off into the mountains and Jaehaerys did reconnaissance overhead on his dragon. "In the end, they found their foes. Borys Baratheon did not know the mountains hidden ways as the Dornish did, so he was the first to be cornered. Lord Rogar's men made short work of his own, but as the brothers came face-to-face, King Jaehaerys descended from the sky. 'I would not have you named a kinslayer, my lord,' His Grace told his former Hand. 'The traitor is mine.' Ser Borys laughed to hear it. 'Rather name me a kingslayer than him a kinslayer!' he shouted as he rushed the king. But Jaehaerys had Blackfyre in hand, and he had not forgotten the lessons he had learned in the yard on Dragonstone. Borys Baratheon died at the king's feet, from a cut to his neck that near took his head off." There is even a nice illustration showing Jaehaerys and Borys in single combat. But of course we see no Kingsguard upholding the "first duty."
  3. There is a discussion in the R+L=J thread about whether anyone -- you specifically included -- still adheres to the theory that the KG vow requires that at least one KG always be with the king, and that that means that Hightower, Dayne and Whent must all have believed that Viserys cannot have been the heir when Aerys died. The question is (1) whether anyone still believes that theory, and (2) if so, how can that be reconciled with all of the examples we now have of times when Targaryen kings were away from their kingsguards and no-one seemed to care? I want to be sure you are aware of that discussion and to give you a chance to weigh in, since it has been suggested that you still believe that theory but I think that can't possibly be the case. What are your thoughts on those questions?
  4. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    I enjoyed reading your post. Here are my thoughts on the three main issues you raised. 1. Whether GRRM retconned some of the events relating to Robert's Rebellion between publishing AGOT and publishing ASOS. You might be right about that. My point wasn't really to discuss the battles Ned may or may not have fought in the South after the Sack. It was more about the fact that there is zero evidence in any of the books that Ned left KL after the Sack to look for Lyanna. The only purpose we are given for Ned's departure from KL after the Sack is to fight battles. Neither he nor anyone else ever says he is looking for Lyanna after the Sack. It seems to me that if they thought she was still alive at that time, Ned would have gone to look for her and let someone else relieve the siege of Storm's End. 2. I think each of the facts in the list I gave is explicitly stated by a character in the books and is credible, or at least not contradicted, based on other things we know. If you think any of those statements may be factually inaccurate, I would be interested in discussing why you think that. 3. Thank you for sharing the link to the post by @Ygrain in the other thread. I had not seen that. It looks like you are right but I am not 100% sure. So I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, at least for a time, so that she can answer definitively in this thread (or that one) whether she still believes the theory that one KG must always be with the king. And if she does, I am sure she will explain how that fits in with the fact that we now have a plethora of examples of times when the king was away from all of the kingsguards and no-one seems to have noticed or cared. When I reported @SFDanny's earlier post where he tore into me for no apparent reason, I also reported that this thread is beyond 20 pages. So if this version is locked, we can pick up the next thread by giving @Ygrain the chance to tell us one way or another whether she still espouses the "one KG must always be with the king" theory.
  5. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    No need to swear. I would agree that your reading of that passage was correct if it just referred to “a subsequent death.” But it does not. It refers to “another” death. And the grief they shared over it. It is important to note that it is not just Lyanna’s death that led to the reconciliation. It was the death plus their shared grief. Now, I would agree that the grieving over Lyanna must have happened after the coronation because they argued at the coronation and reconciled when they grieved together. I think everyone would agree that Lyanna’s death happened before Ned and Robert grieved together because Ned was present at Lyanna’s death while we have no reason to believe that Robert was anywhere nearby. So some time passed between Lyanna’s death and the Ned/Robert grieving. What you seem to be suggesting is that Ned and Robert grieved together the first time they saw each other after Lyanna died. All I am saying is that might be true and it might not. Because people in Ned’s and Robert’s position don’t always have the luxury of stopping what they are doing to grieve together. We know this because Catelyn tells us after Hoster dies that she would like to spend a moment or a month grieving with Edmure but she can’t do that because he has to take over as Lord of Riverrun and fight a war. So my conclusion is that the passage you quoted tells us that Ned and Robert grieved together over Lyanna’s death some time after Robert’s coronation. But it tells us nothing about whether Lyanna died before or after the coronation. Anyway, while we are waiting for GRRM to finally tell us who Jon Snow’s mother is, would you like to tell us whether you still believe that the KG oath requires that one member of the Kingsguard must always be with the king, and if so, how you reconcile that with the various examples where the King has no KG with him? My view is that that theory has been conclusively debunked, and I would be curious to know whether you now agree with me on that.
  6. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    I think you are over-egging the pudding a little. The quote you offered does not prove that there is "no case" for Lyanna dying before the Trident. It provides a counterargument, and a pretty good one at that. But it is not definitive. "It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they shared over her passing" does not tell us when Lyanna died. It tells us when Ned and Robert mourned her death together. If you want to see an example of this elsewhere in the books, here is a quote from Catelyn: "Catelyn would have liked to embrace him, if only for a moment; to sit for an hour or a night or the turn of a moon to speak of the dead and mourn. Yet she knew as well as he that this was not the time; he was Lord of Riverrun now, and his knights were falling in around him, murmuring condolences and promises of fealty, walling him off from something as small as a sister's grief." Simply put, sometimes people have to put off mourning until a later date, and it is possible that this is what Ned and Robert did. So far as "you avenged Lyanna at the Trident" being correct even if Lyanna were still alive, I acknowledge that that is possible in the English language and it is possible that that is what GRRM meant here. But that would be an exception to a well-established pattern in his writing.
  7. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    You make some good points here. I'll just respond to the parts I have bolded. Unless I have forgotten something, we have no reason to think that Ned went south of King's Landing after the Sack to look for Lyanna. Ned tells us that he left King's Landing the day of Robert's coronation in a cold rage and that his purpose was to fight the last battles of the war alone. We don't know how many battles he fought after the Sack or where they took place, other than the fact there was more than one battle and that one of them took place at the toj. I get that from Ned's use of the word "battles" and from his dream, which makes clear that he fought the 3 KG, that it happened after the Sack, and that it took place in or around Dorne. I think the dream is probably reliable on that point. So if we are looking for clues as to when and where Lyanna died, we have to look elsewhere. To the best of my recollection, here is what we know to be fact: She was alive during the tournament at Harrenhal and for some time after that, at least until Rhaegar abducted her. Ned was with her when she died. He says that to Robert. Howland Reed and at least one other living person were nearby, since Ned remembers that "they" found him holding Lyanna's body and Howland took Lyanna's hand out of Ned's. The immediate cause of Lyanna's death was a fever and she was holding some dead flowers when she died. She made Ned promise her something as she was dying. Fear went out of her when he gave his promise. At some point she had a "bed of blood," whatever that means. Ned's dream connects the bed of blood to a tower long fallen. At some point, she told Ned that she wanted to be buried in Winterfell with her father and Brandon. Ned arranged for her bones to be placed in the Winterfell crypts. She was a "Stark of Winterfell" and Ned believed that she should therefore be buried in the crypts. She spent enough time with Rhaegar after her abduction and prior to her death for Robert to believe Rhaegar had raped her hundreds of times. We are not told where that supposedly happened, except that Rhaegar was not in the Red Keep when Brandon challenged him to a duel. Ned believes that Robert avenged some wrong done to Lyanna when Robert killed Rhaegar, and GRRM uses the word "avenge" exclusively or almost exclusively to refer to avenging a death. Ned and Robert argued after the Sack and were reconciled when they mourned Lyanna's death together. I think the best argument for Lyanna dying after the Sack is this. We know that Rhaegar spent enough time at the toj to name it the "tower of joy." Three Kingsguard knights were at the toj when Ned arrived there, and that was after the Sack. The toj could be the "tower long fallen" because we know Ned tore it down, meaning that could be the location of Lyanna's bed of blood. Finally, the fact that Ned and Robert mourned Lyanna's death together could mean that Robert only learned about it after the Sack. Personally, I find this argument pretty persuasive. The counterargument is that all of the facts we know are also consistent with the possibility that Lyanna died before the battle of the Trident. Very early on we are told that Robert avenged Lyanna at the Trident. GRRM habitually uses that term to mean the act of avenging a death. So there is a good chance that Ned is saying that killing Rhaegar avenged Lyanna's death rather than avenging some other unspecified crime. To that I would add that if Lyanna was still alive after the Sack, Ned probably would have wanted to go look for her and have Jon Arryn or Hoster Tully go fight the last battles of the war alone in the south so he could go hunt for his sister. Then the question is whether we can reconcile the other facts we know with Lyanna's having died prior to the battle of the Trident. We can. There are two big ones. The first is the fact that Robert and Ned mourned Lyanna's death some time after the Sack. That is easy to explain by the scenario I offered before. Lyanna dies just before the Trident, Ned tells Robert the morning of the battle, and there is no time to mourn because he needs to go kill Rhaegar. The next time they see each other is the coronation, and Ned leaves in a rage that same day -- so no mutual mourning of Lyanna. Then, the next time they see each other, Ned has finished fighting the last battles of the war and they have time to mourn properly -- and reconcile. The second is, how do we explain the "tower long fallen." That is the one that convinces me that Lyanna was probably at the toj. But that is not the only explanation, and as you have pointed out, it is all tied up with a fever dream that cannot be taken literally. I really don't understand this. I am presenting a theory in good faith. It is one that has been presented by other posters before. I actually don't agree with the theory, but I think I made clear that I am presenting it to make a larger point. The larger point is that there is a long history on this thread of trying to shut down any theory that is not consistent with the basic R+L=J narrative. If you go back to version 1 of this thread, you will see that the discussion was about whether R+L=J is true. Go to around version 15 and you will see that anyone suggesting that the theory may not be true, or anyone even debating some of the details (like whether Jon was born at the toj or somewhere else) is eventually mocked and ridiculed. I find that very unsatisfactory because GRRM has deliberately made all of this ambiguous. If he eventually reveals that R+L=J is true, that will be a satisfactory revelation that is consistent with various clues. But if he eventually reveals that Jon's parents are Ned and Ashara, or Ned and Wylla, or Ned and someone else, that will also be satisfactory and consistent with the various clues. So my point was just to illustrate that ambiguity: we can say what we think is likely based on the clues, but we can't say that there is 100% certainty on most of these issues. What happened here fit a classic pattern. I put forward a reasonable theory that is held by a number of thoughtful people (that Lyanna died before Rhaegar and that the use of the word "avenge" provides some support for that theory). I tied it to the way most people here construe the term "bed of blood," which is a sensible way of interpreting the words GRRM uses. One poster didn't like that because it is inconsistent with his theory. Rather than engage that analysis on the merits, or just saying that we could agree to disagree, that poster created a straw man (pretending that I was saying no one who speaks English would think that avenge is used exclusively to refer to death, when what I was saying was that GRRM uses it exclusively or almost exclusively to refer to death) and then insulted me. When that happens, I think it is fair to conclude that the other poster has implicitly acknowledged that he or she has no good response to the argument. Anyway, I don't appreciate being called a troll by him or by you. It isn't justified, particularly when I spent a lot of time going through the various times GRRM uses the word avenge and then demonstrated that he has a consistent pattern. And because I acknowledged that this is a decent theory but that it might not be correct. Trolling would be making a blanket assertion that something is true without offering any support in an effort just to annoy people, which is not something I do.
  8. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    To be very clear, I am not suggesting that you can only avenge a death in the English language. I am saying that GRRM has a stylized way of writing and you can see patterns in the way he uses certain words and phrases (like "bed of blood" and "bloody bed."). And I am suggesting that in ASOIAF, GRRM's characters always, or almost always, use the word "avenge" to refer to avenging a death. Thus, I am suggesting that when when Robert refers to Lyanna in her crypt and then Ned says "you avenged Lyanna at the Trident," a reasonable person could infer that Lyanna was already dead when Robert killed Rhaegar at the Trident. As I noted above, I think that is probably a bit of misdirection on GRRM's part and that Lyanna actually died after Rhaegar died. But we can't discount entirely the possibility that Lyanna died before Rhaegar died. It would be good if someone who is convinced that Lyanna died after Rhaegar would lay out that case supporting that proposition, as you have invited @Corbon to do. Clearly, @SFDanny is not willing to do that. But if someone would do that then we could compare the arguments pro and con.
  9. The R+L=J threads versions approximately 18 through about 101 include an overwhelming number of posters espousing the theory that one KG must always be with the king, including when the king rides a dragon. And those threads include those same posters ridiculing me and a few others for contesting that theory. If you look at the last few pages of the current R+L=J thread you will see some posts from me quoting R+L=J regulars (including the OP on the current version) promoting that theory in earlier threads. You will not see any of them admitting that they were wrong, however. This was a real theory for many years on this board even though it was obviously wrong. Anybody pointing that out, however, was insulted and mocked by a horde of posters. That is why it is important to kill the theory off once and for all. If after you look at the current R+L=J thread, you continue to think that no-one espoused this crazy theory, I will be happy (when I have time) to post examples of other prolific posters pushing this theory as though it were an incontrovertible fact—to the point of comparing people who doubted it to Holocaust deniers. Please do let me know if you would like for me to do that, but if so, please confirm that you have read the last 5 pages of the current R+L=J thread and then reconfirm your belief that no one has ever espoused this theory. Alternatively, if you will just agree with me that the theory we are discussing never had any merit, there is no need for you and I to discuss it any more — we can just agree that the theory has been killed off for good and go on from there.
  10. Do you think anyone can argue with a straight face now that the Kingsguard oath requires that at least one member of the Kingsguard must be with the king at all times? If that were true, virtually every Kingsguard member we see in Fire and Blood, plus Thorne and Fell and others we see in the main series, were in the habit of regularly breaking that vow. And no one (in-story) has criticized them for it. Or even noticed it, for that matter. Yes, I think that theory has been killed off for good, and no, that does no mean I am full of myself. But if you want to argue that that theory is still viable, I would love to hear your reasoning.
  11. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    Well, you have moved the goal posts a long way. You raised the question of how GRRM uses the word "avenge." I showed you examples from the first three books where GRRM used the word consistently in the way it is usually used in the English language -- to describe an action triggered by a death. I think you were right the first time because that is the normal way people analyze GRRM's use of language. This is a normal way of analyzing GRRM's work. For example, AGOT refers to Lyanna's "bed of blood." In normal English usage, there are a variety of ways a woman could find herself in a bed of blood. Robert died in a bed that was covered in blood from a wound he suffered from a boar's tusk. So how do we figure out what Lyanna's bed of blood means. Most posters on this thread use the method I just used to figure out what GRRM means by "avenge." They look for other instances where the same words are used. There is no other reference to a bed of blood in the books. However, Mirri Maaz Duur refers to the "secrets of the bloody bed' around the time Dany delivered Rhaego. So the inference is that "the bloody bed" and a "bed of blood" are both references to the same thing and that thing is a birthing bed. If that method of figuring out GRRM means by "bed of blood," it is equally valid to determine what he means by "avenge." The word "avenge" or some variation of it appears 38 times in the five books and three novellas written by GRRM. You have identified one instance in ADWD where a living woman talks about being avenged in the future. It is possible she is talking about some wrong that happened to her in the past that did not involve her death. It could be that she had a green dream showing that she would die and need to be avenged in the future. Indeed, it could be that she knows she is going to die in childbirth and wants the child to avenge that death. The point is, we don't know what that vision means and so we can't use it to extrapolate what GRRM means when he uses the word "avenge." Your other example comes from TWOIAF. I don't believe that was written by GRRM. It is not his writing style at all. So I don't infer anything from the way the author of TWOIAF uses the word. Even if we knew that that was GRRM's writing, I don't think that one or two examples out of 38+ uses of the word changes the analysis, which is this: the word is used ambiguously to talk about Lyanna and about 40 times in other situations. Of the ones we can clearly define, 38 (or whatever the number is) refer to avenging a death and one refers to avenging something else. It is more likely than not that the ambiguous (Lyanna) example means the same as the 38 "death"examples, not the one "something else" example. Especially since the sentence before Ned uses the word is a reference to Lyanna being in her tomb.
  12. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    Regarding the bolded part of your post, we are fortunate to have ASEARCHOFICEANDFIRE.COM. I have used it, and I was not able to find an example where GRRM used the word "avenge" to mean anything other than a response to a death. I'd suggest that this is some evidence that "the author uses the word in the same [not wrong] way propose." For example: AGOT: Viserys says the Dornish yearn to avenge Elia and her children. Dany says that after a khal dies, the khal's bloodriders may only live long enough to avenge their dead khal. At Tyrion's trial in the Vale, both Lord Hunter and Lysa Arryn say the point is to avenge the murder of Jon Arryn. Jon deserts the NW to avenge his father's death. ASOS: Cresson advises Stannis to help Robb Stark avenge Ned. Catelyn says, when Bran and Rickon "die," that Robb will avenge them. Catelyn ridicules Jaime for suggesting that he slew Aerys to avenge Brandon Stark. Theon tells his father he will avenge his dead brothers. ASOS: Dany thinks Pyat Pree send a Sorrowful Man to avenge the Undying (whom she killed). Thoros says every fallen man from the Brotherhood must be avenged 10 times over. Grenn tells Jon that Ramsay Snow has avenged Bran and Rickon. Varys says he is a target for assassination because he has no brothers to avenge him. Cersei asks Jaime to avenge Joffrey by killing Tyrion. The White Book says that Ser Barristan avenged the murder of Ser Gwayne Gaunt. Jaime thinks about whether he should avenge Joffrey's death. That takes us through ASOS, and it leads me to conclude that when GRRM uses the word "avenge," he means to avenge someone's death. Perhaps Ned's reference to Robert's having avenged Lyanna is the one exception. Or perhaps it is some deliberate misdirection on GRRM's part. But if you want to know what GRRM means by the word "avenged," the best way to figure that out is to look at how he uses it consistently across several books -- as you yourself suggested. Where does that leave us? We have one passage (Robert avenged Lyanna on the Trident) that implies that Lyanna died before Rhaegar. You have others that imply that Lyanna may have died after Rhaegar (Lady Dustin implies that Lord Dustin died at the same place as Lyanna and we know Lord Dustin died after the Trident). Those have to be reconciled, and when we do that, we are not talking about which version is definitely right and which is definitely wrong. We are talking about information that the author fed to us in a deliberately ambiguous way and we have to decide for ourselves which we believe to be more likely.
  13. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    I don't want to get into a long back and forth about this because I agree that it is likely Lyanna died at the toj shortly after Ned fought the 3 KGs. I do think, however, that this is a good example of the way GRRM writes things sufficiently vaguely that they are open to more than one reasonable interpretation. When Ned says that Robert avenged Lyanna, they are not talking about rape. That discussion was 7 pages earlier (in my version). Here is what Robert says right before Ned says Robert avenged her: "Go down to into your crypt and ask Lyanna about the dragon's honor!" To me, that implies that Ned and Robert believe that Rhaegar is responsible for her death and that Robert killed Rhaegar after Lyanna died. Also, we are not told that the fight between Robert and Ned over the deaths of Rhaegar's children happens before Lyanna dies. We are told that Ned and Robert reconciled when they grieved over Lyanna's death. That would be true if the sequence played out like this: Rhaegar does something that makes Lyanna sick (she has a fever when she dies) Ned locates Lyanna, is with her when she dies. Howland Reed and other friends of Ned find him holding her body and Howland takes her hand from Ned's. Ned goes from that location to the Trident, sees Robert the morning of the battle, and tells him that Lyanna is dead and it's Rhaegar's fault. There's no time to mourn, because there is a battle to fight. Robert goes into a berserker rage and kills Rhaegar, avenging Lyanna's death. Ned rushes immediately to King's Landing and gets there in time for the Sack. Robert arrives later, is crowned, is given the dead Targaryen children by Tywin, and Ned and Robert have their fight. Ned leaves that same day in a cold rage to fight the last battles of the war alone. Presumably, this is Jon Arryn's idea to get Ned out of the city and to make sure someone competent leads the Barratheon forces into the final battles. Ned and friends kill the 3KG, Ned goes to Starfall to return Dawn, and then goes to King's Landing. Ned and Robert are still angry with each other, but finally have a chance to mourn Lyanna's death together, and they are reconciled as a result. So while I share your interpretation of this particular issue, I believe it is possible that we are wrong and I won't be surprised if GRRM tells us Lyanna died before Rhaegar did. He has certainly laid enough groundwork that he can do that credibly without having to retcon anything.
  14. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    I pretty much agree with all of this, to the extent you are arguing that there is evidence in the books that places Lyanna at the toj at the time Ned fought the 3 KGs. I'd add to your analysis the fact that in ADWD Barbry Dustin believes that Lord Dustin died and was buried at the toj and that she heavily implies that she believes Lyanna died at the same place. Personally, I am persuaded by this evidence. That said, there are some suggestions that Lyanna died well before Rhaegar died and therefore prior to the deaths of the 3 KG. For example, Ned tells Robert that he (Ned) was present when Lyanna died, meaning that Ned has told Robert about Lyanna's death. Ned also says that Robert "avenged Lyanna at the Trident." You don't avenge someone who is still alive. That is why we are also told that the Dornish "burn to avenge Elia and her children." You avenge someone who is dead. So when Ned tells Robert that he avenged Lyanna on the Trident, a reasonable reader could conclude that Lyanna died before Robert killed Rhaegar. And because Ned told Robert that he was present at Lyanna's death, and we know that Ned was with Robert at the Trident, we can safely assume that (if Lyanna was dead prior to the Battle of the Trident), Robert knew that Lyanna was already dead when he slew Rhaegar. And since we know that Ned fought the 3KG at the toj after the Battle of the Trident, that would mean that Lyanna died quite some time before that fight. Another factor is the fact that Ned arranged for Lyanna's bones to get back to Winterfell from wherever she died. If she died in a castle, the Silent Sisters would have stripped her bones and they would have been sent back to Winterfell. If, however, she was at the toj, Ned and Howland would have left her dead body lying around while they destroyed the tower, built cairns for 8 men, and transported the body from the toj to Starfell. That would be rather smelly, not to mention unhealthy -- particularly if they were also transporting a newborn. And there are other facts that support an argument that Lyanna died prior to the Ned vs. KG fight. Notably, if that analysis is correct (which I don't personally believe), it does not destroy the R+L=J theory. It just eliminates the actions of Hightower, Dayne and Whent from the analysis. I very much agree with this. When the reference guide was first introduced, and again when it was edited after the world book came out, I did my best to eliminate some of these errors. I believe @Rumham was heavily involved in those discussions (at least with respect to the post-world book edits), too. But I definitely agree that it is time to revisit the "reference guide," both to eliminate historical errors and to incorporate new information from the post-world book publications.
  15. The Twinslayer

    R+L=J v.165

    I remember your bringing up the point about KG knights needing to sleep, relieve themselves, etc. before. I just don't recall any poster disputing that point. My understanding of the "one KG must always be with the king" theory has always been that they were arguing that one KG had to be in close proximity to the king in order to supervise his defense. Some of those folks were extreme, but I don't recall seeing any of them argue that Jaime never slept between the time Rhaegar left for the Trident and the day he slew Aerys. If they did, then either I missed it or I have forgotten. Their real argument, as I always understood it, was that there is an absolute rule that wherever the king went, there had to be at least one KG knight on hand (nearby, or in the same room) to follow the "first duty," which is to protect the king. That meant that the KGs could never allow a situation where the person in charge of the king's safety was someone not of the KG. So if Viserys actually were Aerys' heir, then when Hightower, Whent and Dayne realized that Viserys' personal safety was being overseen by Ser Willem Darry, at least one of them would be required to drop whatever else he was doing and go to Viserys' side. The fact that all three stayed at the toj meant that Viserys could not be the heir to Aerys; the only possible explanation was that there was someone at the toj with a stronger claim. Otherwise, one or two of them would have hightailed it to Dragonstone, leaving the remaining one (or two) to fulfill whatever duty had them at the toj before they heard the news of Aerys' death. Because those posters believed that R+L = J and that Jon was the only relative of Aerys present at the toj, that meant that Jon must have been born a king, and that Rhaegar and Lyanna must have entered into an unquestionably legitimate polygamous marriage. Some very thoughtful posters with good reputations like Ygraine and Corbon adopted this theory. Some other prolific (but less thoughtful) posters also adopted it. And as a consequence, there were a lot of casual posters who concluded that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and that Jon was born a king based on that theory, and they responded negatively to any contrary suggestion. Anyway, I had two problems with that theory. First, it is just wrong (or, as you suggested, "absurd."). For example, in the quote I posted from Corbon, he based the theory on Barristan Selmy's thoughts in ADWD. But while Barristan was having those thoughts, his queen -- Dany -- was lost. And he was her only KG knight. If Barristan really thought she could not be without KG protection, he would have gone looking for her. Instead, he sent someone else to look for her while he took over her kingdom and arrested her husband. And there are lots of other reasons the theory does not work. For example, long before FAB was published, I was arguing that it was absurd to think that no Targaryen king had ever traveled on dragon back without one of his KGs coming along for the ride. Second, and far more importantly, that theory stifled what could have been an interesting discussion about the question at hand: what were the three KGs doing at the toj? I readily acknowledge that they may have believed they were guarding a Targaryen heir. I am also open to the possibility -- and in fact believe -- that they were there for an entirely different reason. But we were never able to have a civilized discussion about that because half the people responding took the position that the only possible reason for the KGs to be at the toj was to protect the king because there is an iron-clad rule that one KG must always be with the king. And a significant number of them were really obnoxious about it. A few of them even coined the deeply offensive term "R+L=J deniers," as though anyone who disagreed with their "absurd" theory was tantamount to a Holocaust denier. It is only after everyone (or at least a majority) acknowledges that it is possible that the 3 KGs believed that Viserys was the next Targaryen heir but that they nevertheless kept their vow by staying at the toj that the real debate over the reasons they were at the toj can begin. That is a discussion I would enjoy.
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