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The Coconut God

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  1. I don't think we should read too much into the winter roses. "The year of the false spring" implies it was still fairly cold, so these were probably the prettiest flowers available in the season. The only one who called them "rare and precious" was Ygritte, and she also took a towerhouse for a castle. What seems rare to a wildling may be readily available to any lord. The Starks grew winter roses at Winterfell, so why wouldn't they have them at Harrenhal, or somewhere else in the Riverlands? In a world with year-long winters, nobles would want to have flowers that bloom in the cold, no? There's also the fact that the Bael story is an old folk tale. The value of the flower may have been exaggerated in order to romanticize the story. Indeed, that whole segment sounds like it could be apocryphal. The core of the tale is that Bael passed himself off as a musician, seduced a Stark maiden and stole her away from Winterfell. Asking for a flower as payment is not integral to the story and realistically speaking would only raise suspicion (Why would a singer ask for that? Wouldn't he need coin to buy food?).
  2. A supernatural cause is fine, as long as it makes sense within the story. The idea that a Stark (or a Reed?) killing a Dayne would trigger the Long Night (with a decade and a half delay) remains absurd even if we take the magic of ASoIaF into consideration. I mean, if this is possible, what other rules are there? Do the squisher come if a Tyrell kills a Crabb? Do grumkins pop into existence if a Martell kills an Umber? Dawn is referenced only 3 or 4 times in the series, and all in relation to the ToJ battle. That's hardly a lot. And all the Daynes combined are mentioned just as often as Boros Blount, according to https://asearchoficeandfire.com/ It's the cool factor that makes you exaggerate their presence. I'm not saying it won't be important, but it could just as easily be an echo or a misdirection... Just like the Just Maid, which I don't believe to be the same as Dawn. I agree. That's what makes the echoes of Azor Ahai so interesting in Stannis's story. Belief in the mythos justifies human sacrifice for some of the present day characters, and we get to witness how that affects them and those around them. Dawn being a readily available Lightbringer doesn't provide that, though. Yeah, I can't warm up to this. The hero has to prove himself or herself "worthy" in half the folk tales that were ever written. Take my Exodus suggestion for example. Under this scenario, Jon would have to choose between trying to save Winterfell and the North and trying to save his people. That's hard, that's human, and no magic is required, other than that already present in the story (the long winter and the Others, which can easily be a stand-in for climate change, political collapse, famine, etc.) His choice would echo Mance and Nymeria, who both had to lead people into exile, and it would invite comparisons with Stannis (who was clever enough to understand he had to put the real ahead of the crown, but probably won't be kind and flexible enough to put the people ahead of the realm). On top of that, there's just a drop of selfishness in there as well, since Jon would believe that Arya is in Braavos, and he probably would trade Winterfell for Arya. Maybe you understand why I don't find the "Jon is worthy and/or special" narrative to be very compelling. I'm not excluding it, but... meh. Don't forget Nightfall! (in the spoiler tag above).
  3. Absolutely! But the window to introduce new information is closing. If vital elements are introduced too close to the big twists, then the pacing would suffer. I'm not sure I like that theory. People always try to associate great natural events with something that is symbolically important to them, but most of the time that's just due to anthropocentric reasoning and lack of knowledge. It's how superstitions are born. I think it would be more realistic (and a better message for the readers) if the return of the Others was decidedly NOT related to a big moment in Westerosi history. At the end of the day, the idea that a Stark killing a Dayne would awaken an ancient enemy thousands of miles away is still "magical bullshit". I don't think Dawn in itself matters, even if it was the original Lightbringer. If anything, it is meant to show us how much the story was distorted (the Last Hero is part of the mythology of the North, Azor Ahai is Essosi, yet the Daynes are from Dorne - something doesn't add up here). The "human element" of the Azor Ahai story was that he had to sacrifice Nissa Nissa to create the weapon. If the sword already exists now and one can simply use it (as long as they're a "worthy" Dayne), that internal conflict is removed. On the other hand, if a sacrifice does need to be made to light the sword on fire, then the identity of the sword (and the wielder) is superfluous. The story would be just as compelling if Longclaw is used. You see what I'm trying to say? Fair enough. I feel we are going a bit in circles with this. The markers are interesting enough to take a closer look, yes, and it's not impossible that George intended them the way you say, but I'm far from sold on them. The story has no obligation to offer a pay-off for these markers; indeed, it might feel more organic if it does not, because on a character level it would be unrealistic if all the Stark maids have the same preferences in love and faith. I was saying there are plenty of hints in the books towards an R+L love relationship (as well as a few for a forceful one). You posited that they are misdirections, but if they aren't, the story would still feel organic. Neither of those scenarios would feel like it came out of the blue. Those tangents don't really reflect on characters, though. It's not impossible, but we should hope it doesn't happen because it's kind of generic and weak... I may be foolish, but I expect more from George. The bastard child would have learned his lessons even if he wasn't special! But that's what I was saying in the first place, his bastardy contributed to his character development, it's the "secretly special" blood that doesn't bring anything compelling to the table. A good premise. Why can't he earn it without being a secret Targ/Dayne then (or without anyone finding out, at least)? It feels like that part is both cliched and superfluous! If anything, it's more likely that Dawn is associated with the Others (perhaps one of their own blades, taken as trophy?) It's described as "pale as milkglass", and we only see that word used four times in the series: once for Dawn, once for the ghost grass in Dothraki legends, once for the bones of a dying Other, and finally one time for some innocuous bottles. Here are the relevant three: I bet it sounds a bit more ominous now! Wouldn't it be a cool inversion if it turns out Dawn was made with ice magic during the Long Night and Ice becomes the new burning sword Lightbringer? A song of ice and fire indeed...
  4. That's the intention. I'm glad you see it that way. True that! But I think there's a way to define "satisfying" other than "Yay, my theory was correct!"or "Yay, I got the fan service I wanted!", and that is a story with plot and thematic consistency and a good pacing. If you look back on the story and you don't allow yourself to be biased by your own expectations, you have to be able to say "Yes, that makes complete sense, this is how this happened and this what it means," and the loose ends shouldn't overwhelm the fulfilled arcs. But do we need that to be explained? You see, dragons are made up beings, but we can relate to a story with dragons because they can take the role of something in our own world (weapons of mass destruction, endangered species, symbols of powers, priceless rarities, technological advancements, aggressive pets, the joy of flying, etc.) and thus reveal something interesting about the human condition. The exact reason why dragons can be created, though, is always going to be some magical bullshit. It's fun for us to speculate because it can be seen as a logical puzzle, but it's never going to be compelling from a plot or thematic point of view. Since "magical bullshit" can be literally anything, it becomes very transparent when authors use it to create a forced in-world dramatic moment (which is why I believe some things would be better left unexplained). That's kind of what I was saying about Jon as well. If Jon finds out that R+L=J (assuming it's true) and the whole point of it is that he learns he can ride a dragon, that would feel weak and contrived. A better approach would be for him to ride a dragon without any explanation, and have that be a semi-confirmation for the reader that R+L=J. The "magical bullshit" is there, but it serve as a low key reveal to an emotional puzzle, rather a dramatic centerpiece, where it can more easily fall apart. I don't think that changes much... she's related to both men either way. I wouldn't say it wasn't good. As another poster pointed out, there are plenty of hints for that reveal. George's "worst" mystery reveal was probably that Joffrey was the one who hired the assassin to kill Bran, but that wasn't really a centerpiece twist, it was more that George needed a culprit who wasn't Tyrion or Jaime (or Cersei, since at that time she would have 100% asked Jaime, or at least told him). But the echoes don't really follow the same beats. There are never enough similarities to make us assume that Lyanna wouldn't like Rhaegar just because other Starks seem to have different tastes. It certainly is, but the hints go both ways. I mean, if it turns out the two of them really were in love (or that Rhaegar the perfect prince imprisoned and raped her), would it feel that the reveal wasn't "earned" in the text? But both Rhaegar and Aerys (and Ellia and her children) were dead by the time Ned went to the ToJ. What reason would Arthur have to hold her hostage at this point, especially if he loved her? I'd like to find out more about the Daynes, but not by turning them into the centerpiece of the climactic conflict of the series. What I said before about "magical bullshit" applies here as well. If the only reason they are important is some McGuffin that is explained at the end, it will feel contrived and unearned, imho. But that's his motivation anyway. Plain Jon Snow who never even finds out who his real parents were would do exactly that. Why weigh down the narrative with some soap drama that doesn't change anything? Doesn't sound like George... That doesn't make it any less of McGuffin, it just mixes up the McGuffin with a chosen one trope. At the end of the day, does it really matter if Jon is a Dayne and gets Dawn, or he the Last Hero was a Stark who wielded Ice and Jon gets Oathkeeper, or Longclaw catches fire through magic, or Jon gets Stannis's Lightbringer, or Arya hides Needle in a hay stack and Jon lights the hay stack on fire and gets Needle out just in time to fight the Others, only it has no hilt 'cuz it burned out? The story is still going to be "Jon gets a special sword because he's special". Or not Jon. Personally, I think it would be cool if Brienne was the Last Hero/Azor Ahai. She has a "magic sword", the sword was treated in a way that makes it unlike other valyrian blades (maybe the blacksmith unwittingly enchanted it to catch fire in certain circumstances), she is in a position where she might get to stab Cat through the heart with Ned's steel, and Jaime had a vision about her wielding a burning sword... but nobody suspects her because she's not a Main Character or a "prince" (the "prince" part could easily be another misdirection). Now that would be a truly subversive twist! You are correct, he could have figured it out. I just said it wouldn't have been easy. One could claim that the word about the squires spread and someone entirely unrelated decided to teach them a lesson, which would have thrown a wrench in the investigation. I'm not saying that's what happened, just that we can imagine a scenario where Ellia, not Rhaegar, was the one who found out (via Ashara) as a possible solution to the misdirection suggested in this thread.
  5. I was talking hypothetically. R+L=J would be the solution to the "Wylla or Ashara" misdirection, so if Rhaegar isn't really Jon's father, then we would have a misdirection within a misdirection. While this would be a pretty complex mystery, you also have to wonder where the dramatic payoff would come from. I'm not sure adding a flurry of backstory about the Daynes right before (or after) the reveal would feel satisfying to the average reader. I mean what do we get from following Rhegar's backstory? What is the payoff for all the little clues we've been getting about this character? Why is he considered so central to Lyanna's disappearance? Is he just a red herring? And if you're going to say "Dany is Rhaegar's daughter", what would the story gain from that? She would still be the Targaryen heir (with even less competition, if Jon is a Stark-Dayne). Aegon would still be related to her if he's real, and he would still have a better claim. And we would need an ass-pull explanation for who her mother is. I dunno, I'm not a fan of twists for the sake of twists. Like I said, as interesting as your observations are, I don't buy into this meta-narrative about the Stark maids. Ultimately, I like character-driven, realistic stories, and this theory inevitably reduces the characters to their lowest common denominator. It ignores a great deal about the specific situations that lead each of them of them to love, trust and doubt for the sake of... giving us hints about a background character's story and executing a twist that doesn't isn't even thematically necessary? I won't go into details because other posters have already done it to some extent, but for everything that your "maids" think and do, I can find solid, organic, independent reasons in their stories. Reasons that rarely have anything to do with them being Starks or maids. I can't imagine those same reasons applying to Lyanna, and even so I would prefer her to be her own unique character, with quirks that would allow her to make different choices than Arya, even though we are meant to believe they are in many ways alike. He sleeps with so many women, but he never shows respect to any of them. And, most importantly, when he remembers Lyanna he focuses on her beauty, not on the less feminine things she liked (horse riding, fighting). He's also unhappy with the grave she chose for herself because he would have preferred something more "pure" and "romantic". This shows that, although he was fond of her looks, he completely ignored her personality, and the fact that he never actually got to sleep with her is probably the only reason he is still obsessed with her. Could it be... dare I say... a misdirection? It just so happens I noticed a post on reddit today about a little song Tom of Sevenstreams sings at Acorn Hall. In light of our Lyanna = KotLT discussion, it seems to give us a hint on how R+L might have played out: It could be. But Rhaegar could no longer challenge his father after he got a hold of Ellia and his children. We don't know when and how this happened, but he was truly plotting against Aerys, you'd think he would have made sure they were out of his reach? Two questions: If Arthur was Lyanna's lover, why would he not try to talk things out with Ned and spare her the pain of losing one or both of them? He would have already broken his vows by being with her anyway. If A+L=J, what's the catch? We're not really invested in Arthur as a character, and it would be random and inconsequential for Jon... not much different than N+A, really. If you're saying this would matter because of Dawn, that seems a bit contrived to me. At the end of the day the sword would just be a McGuffin. And it still doesn't explain the point of the "Rhaegar loved Lyanna" legend. I mean, Littlefinger was actively trying to deceive other characters about Jon Arryn, that misdirection is not only for the readers, Was Rhaegar covering for a member of the King's Guard? I realize this is subjective, but I disagree here. I think his parentage works as a mystery if: It matters for an organic reason (i.e. Jon's internal conflict over being the heir to the throne affects his relationship with other characters, or other characters' struggle with the information if they find out before him - Sansa and Dany are both good candidates) It matters for the readers on a thematic level (i.e. he's the real heir but he never finds out, or he ironically gets a crown but not for this reason, subverting the "hidden prince" trope) It matters for the reader because it fills in the backstory of some side characters we care about (such as Lyanna, Rhaegar, Ned, etc.) Notice how in the two last cases, the character doesn't even necessarily need to find out. If his parentage is solely a plot device that allows him to use a McGuffin (i.e. Jon can ride a dragon because he's a Targ, or Jon receives the sword Dawn because he's a Dayne, and Dawn is Lightbringer), then the mystery can easily feel contrived an fall flat... even if it sounds cool as a theory. Sure, it technically matters, the story tells us that it does, but the author could have achieved the same result in many other different ways without hurting the narrative. In the end though, I understand why you would be fond of your theory (only George himself could disabuse me of my Exodus theory after all, end even then his story better be damn good, or I might still cling to the thought that my solution was better! ), and I apologize if I was too harsh. It's very well thought out, but imho at some point you leave the rest of the text behind and focus everything on this mystery alone, skewing you results a bit. It would be interesting to see your initial misdirection identification technique applied to some other mysteries as well.
  6. It could fit into a false dilemma, but I don't think it has to. We already have one about Jon's mother. Is it Wylla the peasant girl or Ashara Dayne the noble lady? It's (probably) neither because (probably) Ned isn't his father. R+L is just the set up for that reveal, although admittedly it comes off earlier and is a bit more obvious than Lysa and Baelish poisoning Jon Arryn. I would say it had to, because Ned is our main window into that, and he was going to die at the end of the first book. If R+L wasn't a thing, then what is the alternative? Not for Jon's parents necessarily, but for their roles in the story. As others have pointed out, Lysa + Baelish was suggested, if not made plain, since relatively early in the series. It did not come out of the blue. I understand. I tend to do the same thing if it's not a key point of discussion, otherwise the discussion would grow out of control and snap when we realize a proper response would be so long that we no longer have time to write it (it's happened to me before). Some points are also being addressed by other posters, I wouldn't expect you to answer everyone individually. The thing here is that we are looking at a chain of events spanning 9 months to a year. Hindsight is 20/20 for us, but the characters wouldn't have known what their choices would cost them. Lyanna most likely wouldn't have been faced with the prospect of losing her identity (or getting her family killed, or dying in childbirth) when falling in love with Rhaegar, or sleeping with him, or buying into the Ice & Fire prophecy. By contrast, Arya is faced with the price for becoming no one relatively early on, so it's only natural that she is fighting back. By the way, I believe there will be a low point moment where Arya does appear to give up her identity, and it will be very painful to read because it will be because of Jon. If she is only privy to partial information from the North, it might soon appear to her that Jon consented to passing Jeyne Poole off as her and that he abandoned his Night's Watch vows to be king (her killing Daeron for renouncing his vows potentially sets this up). That would probably break her into embracing the Faceless Men fully, since her main anchor to her identity is her gift from Jon... But I digress with my own head canon here... Apologies. It could be, but their relationship doesn't hinge on the song alone. I also think it's a bit dangerous to assume that all similar things serve the same purpose in the story, That only seems to work when you pick and choose some examples, but assuming the whole story is built that way puts enormous strain on it, and I don't think it would stand to scrutiny. Even with the examples you gave, Arya is never really into songs from the start, while Sansa learns not to trust them along the way. And the "life is not a song" theme is not restricted to the Stark girls. You can see aspects of it with Jon and Ygritte (which may suit you), but also Dany, Arianne, Quentin, Bran, Brienne, Tyrion and possibly more. It seems to be a theme that the author likes rather than a hint aimed specifically at debunking R+L. In fact, you are kind of diminishing the message by making it mainly about this. Again, you are reducing a much larger story with its own themes and arcs to a hint for a background mystery. Mance's cloak had red on it because red is the strongest color to oppose the black of the Night's Watch and the white of winter. The red on black does mirror the Targaryen colors, but that can also be interpreted as a symbol of "kingship". Mance is the king of the wildlings, therefore his cloak bears a crude resemblance to the sigil of the old westerosi kings. If you want to draw further parallels between Mance and Rhaegar, his Lyanna would be Dalla - a chance meeting, she dies in childbirth. The idea that Mance's attempts to "seduce" Jon parallel Rhaegar's attempts to seduce Lyanna is a stretch. You could apply the same logic to Zaro's attempts to seduce Dany if you really wanted to... does that mean Dany is a Stark Maid and Xaro a Rhaegar figure? And I repeat, Jon is already invested in the opposite side when he meets Mance, Lyanna andRhaegar wouldn't have been enemies at the onset of seduction. Jon had much, much, much better reasons to resist. As for Stannis, only his secondary, superficial traits are similar to Rhaegar, and he has the seductive power of a split log. It doesn't say anywhere that Rhaegar resembled Stannis in personality in any way. There are a lot of circumstantial reasons why Jon would resist Stannis while Lyanna would give in to Rhaegar... It seems weird to me to ignore them all and bank everything on a forced parallel. But Gendry isn't the follower of any Rhaegar figure at the time when Arya appears to be into him. If anything, him joining the BwB is what put a stop to their budding "relationship". And the Hound breaks off from Joffrey when he steals the song from Sansa. Things don't really align s much as you want them to. Maybe Lyanna was really into Ellia then... or Ashara Dayne? And she only got in bed with Rhaegar to please her lesbian crush(es). That would explain why Ashara Dayne killed herself after Eddard visited her. Hmm... this actually makes more sense than I initially expected. True, Martin gave them all that... But you may have chosen to read more into it than he intended. Or not. We'll have to wait and see. I'm not sure Lyanna's aversion towards Robert came solely from a strict belief in monogamy. Robert saw her purely as a sexual conquest, and likely had little regard for her personality and interests. That would have been reason enough to dislike him. Add the fact that he was a womanizer who wouldn't have stayed faithful to her on the long run, and Lyanna realized there would have been literally nothing for them to build a lasting relationship on. "He's going to cheat on me" was just a good excuse to offer her brothers. There's also the fact that people's perception on cheating is a relative thing. What seems morally reprehensible in principle might become acceptable if they have to choose between a loveless relationship and a caring and/or passionate one. Also, some people don't consider swinging or group sex cheating if the spouse is on board with it and possibly participating, and Ellia might have been. It all depends on how the chain of events played out. There are a lot of questions that would need to be answered here: Was anyone supposed to find out that it was Rhaegar who took Lyanna, or was this an accident? The fact that she wasn't with anyone of note when she was abducted seems to imply that she went there willingly, but we also can't count out some companions or guards who might have been ordered by the prince to hand her over, or maybe even killed (though this would place the event in an entirely different light) Where were Rhaegar and Lyanna when Brandon came to King's Landing? How soon did they find out that he was taken prisoner? Did they anticipate that Aerys would kill Rickard, Brandon, and the other father-son pairs accompanying them? Would it be too much to assume that they figured the matter would settle itself, or weren't in the loop at all when it happened? Was Lyanna already pregnant at this point, and did she know it? Did Rhaegar? At which point did Ellia and her children arrive at King's Landing? If they were already there when Rhaegar went to get Lyanna, that invalidates my theory of Ellia's involvement in the affair. On the other hand, it would appear that Aerys used them as bargaining chips to make Rhaegar fight in the war, and this only happened later on in the Rebellion. The key points here are Rickard and Brandon's death and Ellia's arrival at King's Landing. Once the two Starks and their bannermen were killed, war became inevitable. Once Aerys got a hold on Ellia and the children, it became impossible for Rhaegar to side with the rebels. If there was any opportunity in between to do anything, they clearly missed it. Handing Lyanna to Aerys would have been incredibly unsafe for her, and handing them to the rebels would have: potentially been construed as treason by Aerys, who could have retaliated on Rhaegar's family. led to Lyanna being executed with the rest of the rebels, if Aerys won the war. Depending on how the events played out, it's not impossible to imagine that Lyanna would have agreed to remain hidden: to protect Rhaegar's family by not giving Aerys a reason to believe his son had betrayed him to protect her own unborn child to protect Ned, by avoiding a situation where she could have been captured by Aerys's loyalist to avoid causing a rift between the rebels by admitting she willingly refused to marry Robert Sure, but the real question is, how would it improve the story? Let's say the best alternative is Arthur Dayne... but we know so little about him that it wouldn't have much of an impact on the story, aside from being a twist. And Rhaegar's involvement in the "kidnapping" would remain an open story, unlike the Lannister-Jon Arryn misdirection which had a massive impact on the plot. Your proposition only reverberates through the fandom. In any case, my head canon at the moment is that Lyanna and Ashara Dayne fell in love at Harrenhal. One was a wild wolf-girl who could dress in armor and defeat real knights in tourneys, and the other a sensual courtier who was probably already used to sharing her bed with Ellia and Rhaegar, and opposites attract! Ashara discreetly let her mistress Ellia know that Lyanna was the KotLT, and the princess was so impressed that she instructed her husband to win the tourney and give her the crown of love and beauty as a coded prize for her courage. Later, when her marriage with Robert was impending, Lyanna appealed to her friends to help her abscond to Dorne to be with her violet-eyed lover. They spent some time together, isolated from the realm, and the kinky Ashara encouraged Lyanna to experiment with the royal couple, which incidentally led to her becoming pregnant with Rhaegar's baby. When they finally found out what their indiscretions wrought, it was to late to change anything, and Lyanna had to remain hidden at least until giving birth. Ashara herself had to return to Starfall so as to not create any suspicions and indirectly reveal Lyanna's whereabouts. Sadly, we all know how everything ended, and when Ashara found out that both her brother and her lover had died, she took her own life in grief.
  7. This one is particularly interesting.
  8. It's more than that. It's respect/admiration for something Lyanna values in herself as well, which makes all the difference. This is similar to how Arya likes Jon because he encourages her tomboyish hobbies. I don't disagree that there could be a third option there. Or at the very least that things were a lot more complicated. Your Parts I and II make this possibility very compelling, but the comparisons don't hold water. Arya is still a child, which explains her lack of interest for romantic things. We don't know for sure what her type will be when she grows up. Gendry is hardly an example of genuine attraction, that's more a fan ship than anything else. Even if there are hints of interest shown on page, it's still very abstract and I wouldn't take it as a sign that he is Arya's "type". If you read the Mercy chapter, you could even argue that she's not immune to pretty boys (and that chapter was originally written with an older Arya in mind): As for her interest in cults... it seems to me she is neck-deep in one. Just because she refuses to give up her identity completely doesn't mean she isn't invested in the Faceless Men. Lyanna wouldn't have had to pay such a big price to buy into Rhaegar's prophecies. Not from her perspective at that time, at least. Sansa is the complete opposite of the wolf-girl archetype. Using her as a parallel for Lyanna is a pretty big stretch. Even so, her type fluctuates and changes with time. It took some pretty drastic events for her to get over her pretty boys phase, and if she isn't won over by Marillion's songs, that's because she's jaded and weary due to trauma at that point. Lyanna hadn't suffered any traumas when she cried at Rhaegar's song. Jon is even more of a stretch. Never mind that he's a straight guy, and the Rhaegar figures you propose for him are never framed as potential romantic or sexual partners. Politically speaking, Mance is an enemy of the Night's Watch and the North, joining him would mean breaking his vows. Rhaegar is not Lyanna's enemy, and if she's breaking her engagement with Robert, I'm sure she never consented to it in the first place. Not the same thing at all. As for Stannis, Jon refuses him because he wants to burn Winterfell's godswood, and because he wouldn't feel comfortable stealing Sansa's inheritance. Lyanna isn't faced with such a dilemma when she disappears with Rhaegar. The Rebellion only happens after the deed is done. But the most important thing is that Ygritte is certainly not a follower, not in their relationship. She's the one who takes the initiative almost all of the time, and she doesn't fall in line with Jon's choices when he decides to betray the wildlings. Also, the fact that she is a "warrior" means something entirely different than in the other examples. Women liking "warriors" is fairly common in that culture, but men liking a woman who fights is more unusual. If we transpose that to Lyanna, that would mean she would like a man who puts emotion and tenderness ahead of aggression (or someone like Howland Reed, if you want to follow that path!). Oh, and you kind of glossed over Ygritte being "kissed by fire". That's pretty Targaryen-ish Rhaegar - While we don't know much about him, I think you are doing him a disservice by comparing him to the likes of Joffrey, Baelish, Marillion and Stannis. The fact that you can pick one or two similarities - he's pretty, he has a complex plot (does he?), he sings, he falsely believes to be a savior figure - that doesn't mean he's anywhere close to any of those characters. Although if I think about it, there's another little problem. You never really addressed the "rape" side of the misdirection. Most of your arguments are trying to prove that Lyanna wouldn't have fallen for Rhaegar (not even that Rhaegar wouldn't have fallen for her!). That still leaves Robert's horrible scenario open, but you clearly don't think we should be buying into it. If we cast aside all the hints pointing at love, how do we prove it wasn't rape? Not necessarily. Maybe he died protecting a friend that he also happened to have sex with. Maybe he was only fighting because his father held Ellia and his children captive. It's also very likely that he didn't expect to die, because clearly he thought he was destined for something. The one thing I'm sure of is that the scenario is more complex than most readers assume. Possibly Lyanna reached out to Rhaegar and Ellia to help her escape from marrying Robert (why at that moment we don't know, maybe Robert tried to rape her, or maybe she was just being willful), and none of them anticipated how much things would escalate. Brandon's decision to come to King's Landing and threaten Rhaegar's life (at a time when the prince wasn't even there, no less - maybe if he was he could have explained) was incredibly stupid, and probably not something Lyanna foresaw. From there, I can imagine things unraveled quickly, and there really wasn't any point when producing Lyanna would have fixed the situation. Once Aerys killed Rickard and Brandon, the Rebellion was sealed. Handing Lyanna over to either side while Aerys was still king would have been a danger to her life, especially if Rhaegar assumed the Rebels were going to lose. The Mad King mistrusted even his own son, and he would have certainly executed Lyanna as a "conspirator" if he got his hands on her at any point, and best case scenario she would have had to marry the same man she had ran away from to begin with. This explains why she was MIA during the war. As to how she got pregnant, neither love nor rape are required. Maybe she simply experimented a few times with her rescuers in the early days after her "abduction". The way Dornishmen are described, it would not be a stretch to imagine Ellia consenting to and easing Lyanna into something like this. And yes, if there was a menage a trois involved, I consider her as the most likely instigator, not Rhaegar (mostly because I'd rather imagine her as an open-minded woman with agency, rather than an universal victim). Whether or not any of them had ulterior plans concerning a prophecy child I do not know - it could work either way. This may be a bit circular, but Arya does like Jon, the supposed secret Targaryen, and she finds the pretty boy I mentioned in the spoilers attractive. And Jon likes Ygritte who is "kissed by fire", seems to like fair-haired, strong Val and possibly will grown to like Dany in the future. And he is tempted by Mel and her prophecies (he does send Mance to Winterfell at her suggestion)! There are plenty of Rhaegar parallels in there!
  9. I think the way you dissect the set-up for George's mysteries is fascinating, but then you go and fall into the same trap you are trying to warn us about. You focus so much on your comparisons (which are far from perfect to begin with) that you brush over the subtext in other places. Apply your own reasoning to the crown of winter roses: Why did Rhaegar give it to Lyanna instead of Ellia, and how does that frame their relationship? There are several attempts to misdirect here, and you embrace all of them: That Lyanna is fond of roses and we should look at the blue crown primarily through this lens That Rhaegar gave it to her as a sign of love or a means of seduction That it had something to do with beauty That the sad song was somehow connected That Ellia Martell was just a jilted wife in all of this That their relationship would have become sexual solely based on this event All these are (probably) meant to mask the fact that she wasn't given the crown for the traditional reasons, but as a sign of acknowledgement and respect for her bravery in avenging Howland Reed. Lyanna was unable to appear again as the Knight of the Laughing Tree because Aerys had gone crazy and wanted that mystery figure found and arrested. This was Rhaegar's way of telling her "you're the real winner of this tourney, and I know it" without blatantly tipping off his father... And that kind of gesture would have been appealing to the Arya/Lyanna archetype. I also believe that Ellia herself was the one who informed Rhaegar about this and instructed him to do it, because in a sense that crown was also hers to give. And Rhaegar wouldn't have had an easy way of knowing Lyanna was the KotLT, unless we assume their relationship was already ongoing. Ellia, however, had a link to the Stark group via her companion Ashara Dayne, who Meera's story doesn't fail to mention. Lyanna and Rhaegar probably didn't immediately fall in love at this point, they only grew to respect each other. The "abduction" happened months later, and we don't know what was the reason, We also don't know where Lyanna, Rhaegar and Ellia were at the beginning of the Rebellion, when Jon would have been conceived (if R+L=J). They could have had a nice menage a trois going on for a while on Dragonstone for a while for all we know.
  10. The Coconut God

    GRRM: Some folk got it right.

    I guess we can agree on that. I mainly addressed that one because I think it's the most likely to have a large impact.
  11. The Coconut God

    GRRM: Some folk got it right.

    I see my persistence had an effect on you! You learned the lesson well! I hope you and your friends didn't begrudge me that one little hijacked thread out of 216... I must say, however, that my position in this thread is quite independent from the Exodus premise. Don't worry, since George's quote from the OP is from 2014, and I only came up with my theory less than two years ago, I know perfectly well that he didn't mean me (...unfortunately ) My original comment was directed at people who believe the reveal of Jon's parents will be the culmination of the series. For me, the reveal would be used well if it felt necessary for the outcome it leads to. It would get bonus points if it impacted a larger number of characters, not just Jon and his immediate entourage. I gave you the example of Tywin's death: it was necessary for the outcome we had in AFFC, and it affected the story throughout the realm, not only around the Lannisters. When it comes to the outcome of Jon being able to ride a dragon, the reveal is just "good enough" as a reason. It's not the idea that George "made it up" that's the problem, but the fact that it could be replaced quite easily with something else without undermining the integrity of the story (i.e. "anyone can ride dragons", "brave people can ride dragons", "wargs can ride dragons", "Dany's soulmate can ride dragons", "Bran helps him by remotely controlling the dragon" work just as well). To make matters worse, we already know that Quentin got toast when he tried to ride one, so Jon having the right blood isn't even a sufficient condition. Try to swap Tywin's death with some other singular event and see if it holds water. That's real impact.
  12. You have a very ethnocentric view of Essos! I'm not sure Dany shares it, let alone the Dothraki. You continue to view them as props who would roll over at the sight of a dragon and immediately abandon their "shitty" homeland when promised an alien kingdom they never saw before. If they were that impressed with Westeros as a potential prize, you'd think one khal would have attempted to cross the Narrow Sea and have a go at it at some point. Of all of that, chasing the stolen dragons is the most believable. However, that assumes that Dany: Knows that they were stolen and didn't just fly away to do their own thing, like Drogon. Knows who stole them and where they are taking them. Can afford to go on this wild goose chase (has enough ships, can convince the Dothraki to follow her on such an enterprise). In light of the above, she doesn't decide she has other priorities. Yes, the dragons are her children, but Dany is a tough girl. If she's not sure how to get them back, she might focus on other things that she can do. As for the Blackfyre pretender... keep in mind that's just a theory at the moment! A very likely one, mind you, but Dany would still need to spend a good chunk of the book just finding out and confirming this (hello, Pentos arc) before she can muster the motivation to go fight fAegon. And no, I don't expect Tyrion to manipulate her into that. Currently he's trying to make sure she won't feed him to a dragon, there's a long way to go before he can manipulate her. And having a reason to oppose fAegon doesn't mean she would be in more of a hurry to dethrone him than Robert or Cersei. She is very young, she can easily afford taking a few years to smash the slaver cities and strengthen her bond with the Dothrak. From her position, that's what would make the most sense. I will say it again, it's us who want her to hurry up.
  13. The Coconut God

    GRRM: Some folk got it right.

    I explained what I consider game-changing in my earlier post. A twist that actually drives the plot, instead of just the mood of a character. Jon deciding the Iron Throne should be his would be game-changing. My original argument was that it was hard to imagine a plot development that would turn Jon's parentage into the main conflict or the resolution of the series. Simple stuff like riding a dragon don't really count, because they would appear very convenient and born from circular logic: Q: Why does it matter who Jon's parents were? A: Because look, now he can ride a dragon! Only Targs can ride on dragons, and his dad was a Targ! Q: Couldn't he skinchange into, or like, be really brave and ride it anyway? Why is it that only Targs can ride on dragons? A: Because Jon is a Targ and we had to make that matter! Kind of silly, don't you think? Sure, George could use that reasoning to pretend his parents are important, but from a narrative point of view you can remove it and the story is mostly the same, maybe with a slightly different tone.
  14. The general consensus is that the blue rose on the Wall is Jon Snow. Fun fact, in TWoIaF, George introduced the Company of the Rose, a sellsword company founded by men and women from the North who rejected Torrhen Stark's submission to Aegon the Conqueror and chose exile to Essos over bending the knee. So there's that...
  15. The problem with her losing is that the Dothraki follow strength. If she's going to get her ass handed to her by the Masters, how will she have any credibility when she tells them to follow her across the poison water to conquer another, hardier kingdom? Why would they stick with her? What you are saying only works if we treat the Dothraki as props. On the other hand, if she promises them Essos and proves she can give them resounding victories at home, that is in line with the Stallion Who Mounts the World prophecy and might make them overlook the fact that she is a girl and won't let them take slaves and rape. Also, a lot of the set up in Essos is pretty complex. I mean, what was the point in introducing her Rh'llorist supporters in Volantis and characters such as the Widow of the Waterfront if we're never going to see the city again? What was the point of the Tattered Prince wanting Pentos? We can't expect him to know about fAegon because he fled from Pentos in 262 AC, two decades before Aegon was born, and he never went back, Also, the Wot5K spanned 2.5 books, not 1.5.