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corbon

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  1. No. Her identity is not yet ready to be revealed. Not even by JonCon, let alone GRRM. There is no reason or requirement that he think of her or call her Lady Ashara or Lady Dayne. Sorry, facts are facts, and saying 'come on' doesn't change them The misinformation gets stronger as desperation sets in. There is no description at all beyond 'maid' and 'laughing purple eyes. Saying she is described is beautiful in that story is an outright lie. Never mind that the entire story is distinctly romanticised and simplified (individuals are reduced to a single symbollic descriptor) rather than being specific in any descriptive way. Sure he does. Her identity must be hidden. No, t does not suggest any such thing. Her identity has not yet been, is not yet ready to be, revealed. He is not thinking of her 'outside her alias', he is merely revealing (or adding) status to her alias. First, because of the way she can argue with him about the big picture with no comeback. Second, because he gives her status as a Lady even in his own mind (once that is safer to do), which indicates he knows enough of her to believe she truly has that status. I think its a fatally flawed and misleading point, and that needed pointing out. Gilly is giving up her child - and fair enough, thats a hard thing to put your child at risk to save another, even if the other is of higher status. But Elia isn't 'giving up her child'. She's saving her child - the gates have been opened, she's likely to have a more sane understanding of the consequences of that than the Mad King did. She, and both her children are already at great risk, if not dead already. As to the daughter nearby, thats also not a reasonable factor. Its as likely as not (or more, IMO) that Rhaenys had run away in fear (found hiding beneath her father's bed (in the next floor up IIRC)) and Elia could't control what happened to her. Varys may even have had a double for Rhaenys too (less likely IMO, for several reasons, but still possible). Because the enemy are not at the gates, they are already within them. No. Pay attention. Doubles for royal children were relatively common. Such a double, when needed, needs to have been prepared months or years in advance. They need to not just look similar but also be able to pull off basic courtesies and interactions at the very least. Given the rarity in Westero of matching Aegon's hair colour, its not at all unreasonable that Varys found the Pisswater prince months before the siege and would have had the child raised and trained for a decade or more in case there was need for any reason. The Pisswater Prince was almost certainly not acquired specifically for a baby swap during the Sack, but as a general tool to have around for any requirement necessary in the next decade or two. This is additional met-story reasoning, agreed. I don't know exactly how (or if) it will play out but Lemore=Ashara certainly would enable GRRM to have a straight 'betrayal for love' between Barristan and Dany. There are arguments that can be made, but I'm not certain we've seen that particular betrayal yet. Barristan switching to Aegon for the love of Ashara would be undeniably a betrayal for love. Not true at all. The youthful generations may use the language that way, but thats not how it has been used for... maybe centuries? GRRM knows his language. And ASoIaF is written deliberately using older styles and usages to fit with its cultural times. "Handsome" is exactly how attractive 'older' women have long been described. They no longer have youthful 'prettiness', they have lost the full bloom of outright beauty (modern women can retain that much longer due to cosmetics, surgery and much healthier but also much less physically stressful lifestyles), but they are still clearly very attractive. Anyhoo... As usual, we seem to have gotten well off topic. Ashara=Lemore always seems to do this, IMO because quite a lot of readers have a very large amount of disinformation in their heads and it gives them strong convictions which are easier to argue than checking facts and rethinking ideas. To try to being us back to a semblance of topic... Lemore's actual identity, though interesting of itself and relevant to the truth of fAegon's identity, is not actually critical. fAegon can be real with our without Lemore as Ashara, and he can be false with or without Lemore as Ashara. All 4 options are plausibly in play, though different readers will assess the data in different ways to come to different conclusions.
  2. Common mistake, but no, actually. She gets a romanticised gossip description from Cat, who never met her but heard gossip that she was 'tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes'. Fair is attractive, not gorgeous (and we find out in ADwD that its not referring to hair colour). Barristan, who was infatuated, describes her as having long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and haunting purple eyes. And in his eyes Elia compares to her as a kitchen drab, but then Elia was sickly (though not unattractive), married, socially too high for him, and not Barristan's crush. Barristan's opinion has some weight as an eye witness, but its also coloured by time and feelings. Actually, they are. More common perhaps, amongst a specific racial group and bloodline, but as we see with Aegon, and with Gerold Dayne, not to mention John the Fiddler, GRRM's purple eyes also often seem to be other colours and its often only close study, or known associations that clarify them as some shade of purple. We also see Egg able to stay largely anonymous despite his distinctively purple eyes, because people aren't expecting a hedge knight's squire to be a Targaryen and don't pay close attention. Its not obvious, because everyone in world 'knows' Valyrians have purple eyes so see what they expect very often, but its clear that GRRM's purple eyes often work much like real world purple eyes in being distinctive at times, and indistinct at others. Yes, as a courtier at court in her late teens, she had striking eyes. As a drab older religieuse tutor trying not to be recognised, not necessarily so. No matter how much one chooses to deny realty, the facts are there through the books. Ashara had long dark hair 'tumbling about her shoulders' - per Barristan's memories. 'Dark' in such a context covers many shades of brown to black. Lemore has dark brown hair flowing about her shoulders (at least when she first emerges in the morning) - per Tyrion's live observations. Would he? You don't think purple eyes would have given his game away entirely? You don't think its odd that she is one of very few significant characters (and with an explicit mystery around her identity) that we don't get her eye colour? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Ashara wasn't a very attractive woman - look at the calibre of men she pulled when dancing! But her descriptions are romanticised, rather than realistic. Its a mistake to over emphasise that it. And Septa Lemore certainly seems to have that same sort of 'pull' toward men. And 38-42ish not trying, is not the same as 17-18ish trying very hard. From the shoulders down, yes. We have no idea whether Lemore has a crooked nose, mismatched eyes, scarred face etc. I mean, its very unlikely she has any obvious distinctively unattractive features, but literally the only information we have on her above the shoulders is hair colour. Does she have a long aquiline nose? Or a short pert one? Does she have strong distinctive brows or thin sparse ones? Does she have full shapely lips or mobile, expressive lips. Dark eyes, or light? High cheekbones or normal? We don;t know. Tyrion's "inspection" didn;t give us any information about her looks - it was all about his feelings, not her. The truth is that we have no description of her personal features except she's generally hot naked and has stretch marks (and has dark brown hair, but thats from a different passage). Its an 'inspection' specifically designed to not give us much in the way of identifying information! I wonder why that is? You can say it as often as you like, but the data says otherwise. Its no big deal. We'll find out eventually (I can't imagine GRRM not clarifying a mystery he makes explicit and that is important to the storyline - assuming he finishes that is). But so far your arguments simply don't fit the data. The only reason I explain this is so that readers here are not fooled by misinformation and so feel duped later.
  3. Inspected her? You mean ogled her. He certainly wasn't paying attention to her eyes. What did he say about her face again? Oh, nothing. Flowing hair, breasts, belly, legs, skin... No eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheekbones, anything. In a wider point, purple eyes often don't look very purple without makeup or accessories to 'bring out' the colour. This is easily seen both in our world, where the most famously purple eyed woman ever, Elizabeth Taylor, often appeared to have grey or blue eyes when not wearing purple makeup or accessories that enhanced he purple colour, and in Westeros where Young Griff's purple eyes are disguised as blue by dying his hair blue. What a beautiful courtier in her late teens, from the highest strands of society, is described as at the biggest party of her life 20+ years ago, bears only some small resemblance to what that same woman might be described as in her late thirties or early forties when trying not to be noticeable. What can be shown? "Here is a baby (looks like Aegon). It is Aegon, I rescued him, we'll raise him to be a great king and put him on the throne when he's ready." 20odd year old JonCon, warrior, Lord, Hand of the King, is unlikely to truly be able to tell Aegon from another baby specifically chosen for its similar looks. It may well have been months, or years, since he'd seen the babe as well. Absent JonCon convincing himself, I don't think any 'show' or any 'tell' from Varys would work. Ashara OTOH is noble, close (possibly very close) to the child's mother and from an impeccably honourable and loyal family. If she claimed to have brought the child over from Westeros to Essos shortly after the rebellion, I think he'd be much much more inclined to accept that anything from Varys (and even more influenced by, or less guarded against, his own needs as well). Thanks. I drop in occasionally, more to check up on certain old friends, but it rarely seems worth posting. Disagreement is fine. The case is not open and shut, we can agree and disagree on where judgement lies. I do hate incompetent arguments (from others in this case) though.
  4. I'm not sure Varys would be able to convinceJonCon of much. JonCon wasn't, in his youth, the type to put a lot of stock in the words of a grovelling, lowborn, foreign, eunuch, spy. Ashara Dayne though, Companion of Elia, sister to Arthur Dayne... If not Ashara Dayne, this is the only reasonable answer I've seen as to why JonCon might believe Varys. I don't see any necessity for that. I think its more likely, though not certain, that her baby, if not actually stillborn, is Allyria Dayne, falsely claimed by the family as the daughter of Ashara's mother, rather than an illegitimate child born of disgrace. Better for the family, better for the child. Indeed. It only serves as a motivation for Ashara, and even then, counter's her family's emphasis on honour, relationships with Elia and Rhaegar and loyalty to the Targaryens. Oh wait... do you mean her baby was killed in KL and fAegon is Aegon? I thought you meant her baby was fAegon. If fAegon is Aegon, then IMO Ashara has plenty of motivation to put him on the throne already from family connection, honour, loyalty and personal ties to both his mother and father. Her child's part is completely unnecessary. I find this an extremely poor argument. Elia didn't 'give up' her son, she protected him. If all went well, then its only a temporary swap, if all goes badly she potentially saves her son's life. Gilly's situation is utterly different. Not only is the threat not even apparent to her, but its also less certain, and the swap is guaranteed to be long term. Plus its her child that is being put into danger not taken away from danger. It is in fact a reverse situation! Why would she not? He's right there in KL with her, has nothing outside KL, if all goes well its only a temporary situation, and if the worst happens she saves her son's life. No, you are to believe that a smart counselor prepares for many eventualities, and that, like we saw with Myrcella, 'doubles' are sometimes used for royal children. Varys almost certainly prepared the Pisswater Prince long before any siege, as a convenient double for all sorts of possibilities. At worst, Varys uses the secret passages to move from Aerys' side, once the order is given to open the gates to the Tywin, to grab the pisswater double and swap with Aegon. Maybe there was also a double for Rhaenys (or maybe she wasn't as important as not-the-heir) but she'd disappeared (to hide in her father's chambers) and Elia didn't have her. We don't know virtually any detail. Varys does appear noticeably not apparent in the throne room accounts of Jaime and Ned though. Its not stretching anything to make entirely plausible and entirely reasonable scenarios that fit all available data and have Varys doing a late switch. Yes, Tyrion has doubts. Tyrion is not omniscient and is feeling his way through things with far less data than we have. He also makes mistakes and changes his mind at different times. Nice. There are certainly arguments both ways.
  5. Very few things that remain 'open' in the books have been settled. Frankly, even things that have been 'settled' in the books, remain unsettled amongst fan, most of whom will do any amount of mental gymnastics to twist their preferred narrative to fit GRRM's written word. And then then often accuse him of being a bad author to boot. Sorry, semi sardonic rant over, nearly. Most of the competent veterans don't hang around much here any more I'm afraid. No new material, and you have to wade through so much garbage nowadays to find any gems, its just not worth the time. I think you've done pretty well, but a few pointers for you to think about. They may or may not be right, we won't know until GRRM finishes, if he does. Also, this is in the nature of a flying visit, so I don't have time to check/research everything the way I'd prefer, so I'm relying on memory alone for this, sorry But you seem ore than capable of checking up the relevant facts and figuring out anythi I get factually wrong. And how did Varys get him to Illyrio, and how did llyrio handle a one year old child and raise him til 6-7+? I suspect another party is connected. A Targaryen loyalist, closely connected to Rhaegar and Elia, who 'committed suicide' (but no body found) at just about the right time to secretly (by Varys' design probably) take young Aegon from Westeros to Essos. Who was about the right age and the right look to pass as his mother, and the right upbringing and background to later act as a tutor and prepare him to be a competent ruler of a 'foreign' (even if it is home) land. Also, remarkably attractive to men, rumoured to have had a child, dark haired and raised literally beside the sea (more likely than is common to be a swimmer. Oh, and fAegon's 'tutor' is referred to by Jon Connington as a "Lady" and senior enough in the conspiracy to argue with Jon Con about their plans and actions - more than once, with no comeback. She also explicitly has her own secrets (and may be recognisable without some sort of disguise) which Tyrion deliberately ignores once, then gets lost from the party almost immediately after deciding that there was more to her than he thought. More than that, probably. The clothes Tyrion acquired at Illyrio's seemed to be made for a 'small boy' but they'd still need to be large enough for Tyrion to physically fit his torso into. Which suggests maybe 10-12, rather than 5-6. And there is no reason Griff needed to be 'on the road' with YG immediately after leaving the GC (actually, he had to spend some time at least establishing a drinking-to-death likelihood, but that needn't be that long to be fair). Check out when Tyrion meets Jon for the first time (way back in AGoT Tyrion II - yes, I did some of the research to check, couldn't help myself. If you don't already know asearchoficeandfire.com is your very very good friend. Yes, GRRM is that good. Literally the only person who need know, is Varys. At the Pisswater Prince (theoretical swap) time, Varys is the only person involved and can choose as he likes. Literally everyone else involved assumes thereafter from his word. Which leaves the final conclusion that none of us can tell unless GRRM decides to make it clear and explicit (and even then you can be sure there will be arguers!) I lean fairly strongly towards the Varys -> Kevan = truth side though. I just acknowledge that I could be wrong here - its a judgement call, rather than an area of fact. No. Thats just stupidly convoluted, a product of incompetent idiots so welded to their pet theories they twist anything and everything to make shit up. GRRM is a much much better writer than that. And its clear from JonCon's POVs that he's a believer. Period. There is no reason to believe they've been on the Rhoyne the whole time - or even large sections of time. Tthey may have, but no necessity. I would guess there have been periods on the Rhoyne - part of YG's wider education and periods in other safe places - also part of YG's education. Overall, I agree largely with your conclusion, but one has to allow room for alternates. One of GRRM's skills is that he can have balls in the air and there are multiple places they could plausibly land until they actually do. IMO its one of his weaknesses too - a possible/partial cause for his need for many rewrites and adjustments in the writing process - he keeps not just his actual narrative alive and coherent, but also many many alternative narratives also still alive and coherent, or at least close enough to be almost coherent enough to give every theorist an opening...
  6. Yes, I think so. Especially as Barristan would rarely 'see' the intimate details of Rhaegar's relationships with the younger men at court. He has other duties, another focus entirely. I suspect your characterisation of Kevan being rarely at court is rather understated, and your characterisation of Barristan seeing Rhaegar daily for years is rather overstated - in this context at least. He's not stupid. He's very good at what he does, one of the best there is. But he's also quite limited outside that. That is apparent in his thoughts. His whole life has been tightly defined by one thought, one duty. He's as green as a boy in other areas.
  7. Not all by any means. But accurate. Kevan is astute (or Tywin would never have relied on him so much), and his position as Tywin's second means he's well experienced in judgig character and relationships, and noticing and understanding how relationships within circles work and affect people's performance, choices and actions. Barristan is pretty reliable I think in terms of social and technical positions, and military expertise. Black and white things. But a bit dim in terms of relationships and human connections, grey things. He's not the sharpest mind, especially so in these areas These strengths and weakness come from his character, his life experiences, his position as Kingsguard and the choices he has made over his life. This is why I place a much greater value on Kevan's observation than on Barristan's - in this case. I also think JonCon's own reminisces point to the gulf between him and Rhaegar. We don't see any closeness, any shared or bonding experiences. We see apart-ness, and yearning. You are free to. I'm just explaining the basis of my thoughts for better understanding.
  8. Nope. Or at least not quite. Young Griff tells us that Griff and Rhaegar were squires together. Thats the only source that says so. Does he know accurately? Is he just confused about something he heard from his father? This is not a strong source. It may be accurate, it may be not. Note also that Tyrion poses the question as Connington being Rhaegar's "dearest friend". Yet Barristan tells us that that was Dayne, even though Barristan wasn;t part of Rahegar's inner circle and thus probably not that clear about the details of the prince's relationships (plus thats a weak area for Barristan). YG's answer is an explanation, not a rebuttal. It seems as though he believes the dearest friend part too. So I think he's probably put things together from his father's stories, not necessarily from knowledge of specific facts. Barristan, who is probably the best source we could possibly have in this area (positions at court in Aerys' time) says: Why does he describe Mooton and Lonmouth as Rhaegar's squires (not at the same time) but Connington differently? It may mean nothing, but it may also be relevant. Daemon Sand, bastard of Godsgrace, tells Arriane that Daemon is to young to have known these men, so I'd be a little wary of this info. However Arriane thinks that Prince Doran had told her all this and more already. Allowing for the possibility that what Doran told her was not exactly the same, but close enough that her casual thought doesn't pick apart any minor differences, I think we have to accept this as a fairly solid piece of evidence. At least as to position - I doubt either Doran or Daemon knew the intimate details of Rhaegar's inner circle. All in all, I'd say probably JonCon was Rhaegar's squire at some stage. It possible they were squires together as well (earlier), but unlikely I think. Look a bit deeper... This is much older Griff thinking. Rhaegar was so young - maybe 16ish to 22ish? Thats a 'boy' to old Griff. Jon Con was younger. While JonCon is mooning over the older Rhaegar, his father is trying to involve the young Crown Prince in land disputes. These are not 'boys together', for all JonCon's rosy reminisces. The gap between them is much larger than just years. Then think too, only one walk up those stairs together. In two weeks hanging out at the castle. And a lifetime (well, a number of years) of potential other visits. So maybe not so close as some thought. Rhaegar at 17 beat Selmy, Tyget and Gerion Lannister and a dozen of the finest knights of the west and lost only to Arthur Dayne at Tywin's tournament. But rarely entered tourneys because he wasn't interested in glory etc. Where was JonCon? I don't see awkward 'vulnerability'. I see a polite and respectful but distant young prince and a mooning, awkward, immature boy that has a crush on him. Its possible. Some of them anyway. I just don't think the data indicates Rhaegar was particularly close to JonCon, despite what some people may have thought.
  9. Fair cop, I'd forgotten that quote. I'm not sure Selmy is that reliable a source - he wasn't part of Rhaegar's circle and is a bit naive in relevant ways. But there it is, fwiw. I think it clashes rather, with Kevin's IMO much more reliable viewpoint. I think Kevin is exactly the sort if dispassionate, experienced, more worldly overview that far outweighs Selmy's somewhat naive understanding of relationships. But perhaps I'm wrong. True. Though those two were sort of thrown together in a virtual peer situation, at a young age where those things form more easily. They were pretty much bound to either hate each or love each other. Jon Con was very much a junior to Rhaegar, in age, in experience, and in status. And I think they both knew it. Its pretty clear from JonCon's reminiscence I don't see much evidence, outside Barristan's, that Rhaegar was particularly personal in his association with JonCon. A hanger on, included generally because of his former squireship, but the reminisces of Connington on the eastern Tower at Griffin's Roost seem to me to show the JonCon knew how far out of Rhaegar's circle he was, even if it appeared less so to some from further afield. Even he, looking back, despairs at the obvious desperation to be more of a peer. Arrogant and disdainful lordlings are not usually 'liked by all'. And agreed, being 'liked by all' is not a personality trait. But it does point to the absence of certain disagreeable personality traits. And those who are most able, and dutiful, IME, usually are not 'close' to arrogant and disdainful types around them, though they often have to associate with them quite closely. Nor do people who are not glory hounds usually have much respect for those who are. And I think respect is an important requirement for closeness. For example, I think Ned, while acknowledging Robert's flaws, respects his friend for being true to himself - his generosity and quickness to forgive, and that he never did things for show, but did them because that was who he was. - the good and the bad. I think the judgement over Lady was the first time Ned really saw how far Robert had fallen, but by that time his love was too deep to disentangle. JonCon was considered 'able and energetic' by his seniors, and skilled at arms. I'll give him that. I agree.
  10. There is no indication that he did. Well, not from any reliable source. Tyrion calls JonCon Rhaegar's dear friend, but Tyrions ididnt know them and he thougt JonCon was dead, and now is being sarcastic. From JonCon's side its seems clearly a hidden love. I don't see that he was necessarily particularly close friends with JonCon in the first place. Jon Con was his squire for a while, so not really a 'peer'. JonCon's character doesn't seem to fit well with Rhaegar. JonCon was more of a hanger-on-in-chief, the foremost of the 'youngbloods' at court trying win Rhaegar's favour. Does a disdainful, arrogant, proud, glory hound who clearly disdains the Crown Princess sound like the likely close friend of a bookish, dutiful, able, much-loved-by-the-commoners prince?
  11. No, very much doubt that they do mostly. They just see more than that. Yes, but why would she? Rhaegar failed, died. He was wrong. SHE is tPtwP, the dragons prove it, clearly (in her view - but also in fact in Aemon's view, who agreed with Rhaegar before). Rhaegar was clearly fallible, since he lost and died. He can be part right - she is the 'one more', and part wrong - She, not Aegon is the PtwP. And thats assuming she knows or cares about prophecy at all. She is the Mother of Dragons after all. Thats real and now and much bigger than some dusty old obscure prophecies that may or may not be relevant in the here and now. I don't think you are displaying any idea how to get inside someone's head and see things from their POV.
  12. Agreed, sort of. I think its generally a choice on the character's part (which is the Author's choice of course), to emphasize their status and to nail their colours to a particular mast, so to speak. I don't think its a random choice on GRRMs part. Targaryen>Velaryon Lannister>Baratheon (in Cersei's eyes).
  13. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe they did and got found out, recognised, whatever. Like Cat did when she ran into Tyrion at the Inn of the Crossroads. Myabe the didn't, and people knew, but the situation was misunderstood, or deliberately misrepresented. I probably shouldn't throw this one in, but its cute and reasonable and fits with several other theories which I'm not convinced of but are plausible... Just for an example, among many other scenarios which are reasonably possible, is the possibility that the Grey Girl Mel saw in her flames was Lyanna, fleeing from Aerys' men - and Rhaegar rescued her from them and it was called kidnapping by them or others. The description of the scene Mel gives actually works much better for Lyanna near Harrenhal than it does for the obvious answer, Alys Karstark. People in this world (and social status) using clothing and symbols and colouring as identifiers. Never mind that Rhaegar Targaryen with his silver hair is readily identifiable even from a distance. Almost anyone who saw a silver haired man in black and red with dragon insignia with a young girl in grey with wolf insignia would know who they were, or know enough that others would identify them through the descriptions. plausible - I do not think it means what you think it means, at least by the way you use it. That too is one of the options I gave. Maybe, but also maybe not. Quite probably not, given he didn't do that. Its a bit pointless postulating some random possibility, that is possible, but not even likely let alone certain, that should lead to an action not taken. Multiple options here. I'll list just a few of them, there are plenty more for sure. Maybe he isn't worried by everything they could do. Just eliminating certain aggressive options. Maybe he wants Rickard and Aerys talking, and in agreement over something. Maybe that option wasn't available due to the circumstances surrounding their meeting? Maybe they tried that option and failed. Shit happens, happened to Catelyn for example. So? There is nothing in the text that indicates, let alone 'confirms', Aerys was in any place that Lyanna was ever at, even at disparate times, any time after Harrenhal. Yes, thats entirely possible for a long time, long after the relatively fast paced events that followed. No Twits in this world. No radio, no TV news, no internet, no Instagram etc etc. You go off the grid (not that there's even much of a grid!) for a month or two and anything at all can happen to anyone and you have no idea. And then even if/when you do find out, you may be weeks or months away from being able to intervene in any way, and the news you have itself may be months or more out of date making any attempt to intervene pointless. This is a pretty fundamental point. It astonishing that some people don't seem to be able to factor it in to their understanding of possibilities. Didn't he? He succeeded. We have no idea how long it took him and how difficult it was. Maybe months. And thats a determined effort by the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard on a mission from the King, not random people or news fnding its way to people trying to hide. Blah blah blah you have zero idea about what and why things happened. Guess what, Ned DOESN'T think they way you do. Which is a massive indication that your narrative is WRONG. Its that simple. Not according to your narrative, no. But you'll forgive me if, given all these characters not doing what they 'should' be, by your narrative, I'll not think very much of your narrative and work with a different narrative. Riiight. So its you who knows what happened exactly (and who knows what), and all the characters who aren't doing what they "should" (according to you) have it all completely wrong. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Only because the narrative is false. Aerys doesn't want to 'get rid of' Rhaegar. Rhaegar is his most ultimately dependable ally, He just doesn't get along with him all the time. Yes, sometimes he's suspicious and paranoid of Rhaegar. He's suspicious and paranoid of everyone. But he knows, underneath that, that ultimately Rhaegar is on his side compared to anyone else. As evidenced by him putting Rhaegar in charge of all his forces, even the KG deployments. The "doting" part is. You just made that up to misrepresent the rest. This was all out of fear and obsession, not extreme love. What battles or armies had anyone in Westeros led at the start of the Rebellion? Outside a few older men a long time ago, none. Certainly none by Robert, Ned, Jon Con or others. Neither a battle nor a great army, and no great "experience" for anyone. An entirely 'do nothing' event other than Barristan Selmy's one man action. You don't know that. You just assume that from a lack of direct information. Even if it were true, he has trained as a knight and a leader since he was a child, under the finest tutelage available. And excelled. He is born to this job, and has trained for it virtually all his life - much more so than Ned for example. JonCon was his squire, and that was qualification enough to command the royal army. Indeed. The point is, thats simply not the case. Your narrative fails the facts. So fix your narrative. Because the FACT s that Aerys DID give Rhaegar the army. Period. And yet that same default doesn't apply to Rhaegar who is older, more experienced, better trained, better qualified than both of them. Ah well.... I didn't see anyone else putting it forward here, just you. Did I miss something or was that a straw man? People are stupid, thats on them. You aren't discussing things with those people so their thoughts aren't relevant.. There are multiple options available. Do you actually want some of them explained again? Problem is, there doesn't seem to be any point. You just rant every time about how either the facts on the ground or other people's explanations of them don't fit with your failed narrative. Is explaining even one 'working' narrative worth my time, honestly? It feel like an enormous task, because I can needing to develop almost every side issue due to how interpretations are chosen, or not chosen by either of us. I can metaphorically see you in many places claiming "thats doesn't fit/make sense" purely because of how you have chosen various interpretations. Like the whole Rhaegar and Aerys being enemies thing, for example. They weren't, IMO, just allies, or brothers (or father and son!) occasionally at loggerheads. but definitely both on the same side vs anyone else! Nope. Its pretty straight forward. But it fits the facts and characterisations we have. It probably doesn't fit the assumptions you have, so you'll ignore it (or more likely shout it down) anyway. At least, thats my past experience. We agree there. Thats something at least! Sure it does. You just have to throw away preconceptions that don't fit. They almost always aren't facts, just interpretations of facts. Sure it does. There is no "fact" that says Aerys and Rhaegar were enemies. Only a few things that can be interpretated that way, but also can be interpreted as relatively minor differences. The image of two brothers fighting each other but instantly ready to defend each other against the whole world is a common one, just in this case its father and son. The whole 'distrust and paranoia' thing is vastly overblown IMO. Yes, there was some there at some times, because Aerys was mad and paranoiac and frequently listened to bad people, lickspittles and schemers etc. But only some times and never that deeply. Ultimately Rhaegar was always Aerys' greatest shield. His heir until he died, given command of all royal forces, including Aerys' KG. And would have been given command earlier too, if he cold be found. Agreed. Except there are no "facts" that fit that narrative. Only a tiny number of rather poor interpretations that don't fit with other facts. And plenty of things that contradict it. What does fit the facts are Aerys knowing nothing about ToJ or the KG (or Lyanna) there, but those KG still being loyal to him. And Rhaegar too. They were all on the same team. But Rhaegar was giving directions, not all of which Aerys knew the details of (not necessarily to harm Aerys, but to keep him from harming himself, or others). Remember how Jaime wanted to go to the Trident instead of Darry? It was Rhaegar he pleaded with, Rhaegar who made the decision. Not Aerys. Even in the Red Keep. Rhaegar had been put in charge,even over the KG and who guarded Aerys. And he made his decisions with Aerys in mind, not antagonistically toward his father. He left Jaime there as a crutch for his father that no other KG would have been.
  14. Someone lied, someone saw something from afar without knowledge of what it was exactly, someone made wrong assumptions, someone (like Robert for example) just refused to believe any alternative. There are so many options that this isn't a reasonable question to ask at this stage. There is no necessity (or indication) that they did. So, again, this is not a reasonable question to be asking. There is no necessity or indication that they did. So, once again, not a reasonable question to ask. Because its isolated and they are unlikely to be found there - unlike Dragonstone. Because if their location is known then there is a predictable chance of a violent attempt to get her back or take revenge. A possibility that leads to major problems for everyone. Remaining hidden removes this option. Unfortunately, Brandon (whose place it was not) and Aerys acted with incredible and impossible to predict (at least on Brandon's part) stupidity and the situation turned into a disaster anyway. But, assuming the 'abduction' was necessary, what is the best way to keep things from getting worse? Remain hidden. Don't give the Starks a target. Force Rickard and Aerys to talk (action being unproductive given Lyanna and Rhaegar's whereabouts are unknown), with both in agreement (neither Aerys nor Rickard want Rhaegar and Lyanna together). And this is only one reason. There are other potential answers. The fact is, HE DID. Factor that in to whatever narrative you try to make work. Who says she is ok with the story - or even aware of it? No one. That situation happens when she is out of contact with events. She almost certainly doesn't know of it until after its all happened. So no, there is no indication she might be 'ok with it'. And it shouldn't have happened. There is no way Brandon should have ridden to the Red Keep, when Rhaegar (and Lyanna) weren't even there, and challenged Aerys in teh reckless manner he did. It wasn't his place, it was Rickards, and there was no positive potential outcome in the manner he acted. Because thats not what happened. Instead of assuming a stupid narrative, then complaining it doesn't fit, try working on a narrative that does fit. Thats not true, or at least a vastly overstated case. Aerys and Rhaegar have had issues. Off and on. Rhaegar is popular Aerys is increasingly paranoid. They sometimes clash. But they are not enemies. They are both Targaryens, committed to the Targaryen cause. Rhaegar is Aerys' heir. Because the accusation is an attack on the crown and House Targaryen. He's not a madman and not Aerys' enemy. He is in fact Aerys' most tightly bound ultimate ally. They just don't always get along. Except Viserys isn't his 'favourite'. Viserys isn't even in the realistic picture, being too young as yet to be involved politically. Rhaegar is still the ultimate hope and glory of House Targaryen, and Aerys, as evidenced by Aerys' actions. Aerys defends Rhaegar (by default) and ultimately puts him in charge of the Targaryen forces. The narrative that Aerys favoured Viserys over Rhaegar is bullshit. Viserys was only named heir after Rhaegar died At best Viserys was favoured over Rhaegar's kids (who had a 'dornish smell' or some such) and even that only happens after Rhaegar is dead adnd Rhaegar's kids are even less suitable age to be heir than Viserys. This is not known actually. Nor is it relevant. It is pure negative spite to support a narrative. Rhaegar has as much or more military and battle experience when he is given command as Ned or Robert did when they took command - almost certainly vastly more than Ned. At the beginning of a war, after a long period of peace, almost no one has experience. Thats the effect of peace. Once again, instead of creating stupid narratives that runs counter to the evidence, then complaining that the evidence doesn't make sense, try building a narrative that fits the evidence instead. Aerys gave command to Rhaegar. Thats what happened. Even the KG assignments were under his control, Thats what happened. Aerys even tried to give Rhaegar command earlier, but gave it to JonCon as 'Rhaegar-like' when Rhaegar couldn't be found. So given that these are facts, build a narrative that works with these facts rather than complaining about how these facts don't work with your narrative. Nope. Bullshit narrative again. Fix your narrative and these flase problems disappear. Or perhaps that act wasn't mad at all. Fix your narratve to fit the facts. And all that means, is that the story isn't right. FIx the story and all the actors act their part according to their viesws, actions and chracter and the whole thing is completely consistent. FTFY There is no evidence that disputes RL=J that stands up to any scrutiny. It is always, without exception, flawed and leads to clashes with the text. There is a lot we don't know. Its the assumptions made to fill in the gaps that screw up the narrative every time. Find the right narrative, it will fit all the known facts, and have all the characters acting with internal consistency. But if you are committed against some narrative or other, so refuse to fit to all the facts and characterisations, then you will fail. Every time.
  15. Like I said, its been refuted so many times its ridiculous. But people ignore the refutation in favour of their own narrative.
  16. By people pointing out the difference between apples and oranges. Changing from one bed (woman) to another bed (woman) once (potentially, not even yet), after relevant circumstances changes, is not the same thing as an inability to stop bed-hopping. She isn't talking just about sex. Robert's not even married yet, she has no claim over his bed, nor does any other woman. She's talking about character. Robert is faithless by character, and that won't ever (and didn't ever) change. Rhaegar is, from every source except Robert's blind hatred (and heck, not even Robert claims Rhaegar was sleeping around behind her back), faithful by character. Moving on, once, when an arranged marriage can no longer include (believed to be necessary - there must be a third head) procreation doesn't change the basic character. If she expects Rhaegar to stay in her bed, then she is consistent and not hypocritical. Whether she is right, is another thing entirely. People will disagree on that. A lot of people have already formed their own opinions on very limited information and without close reference to the text. As to the original question, we don't know for sure. But Ned thinks that Lyanna's wild nature led her to an early grave. In other words, in Ned's eyes, she was not purely a helpless victim of Rhaegar, but somehow her own choices and/or actions contributed to her fate. To what extent, we don't know. And he's not 'blaming' her, just noting that it was a contributing factor. Further, we have dying Lyanna, finally 'safe' in Ned's arms, clutching dead roses. And we know the crown Rhaegar gave her at Harrenhal was made of roses. And after more than a year, they would be dead. She died, clutching something significant, old, dead roses, by her own choice (clutching the dead roses, not dying). Not conclusive, but it seems rather coincidental to her crown. Hardly likely she'd have the crown as a close and valued thing on her deathbed if her relationship with its giver was as his victim. I think the evidence points rather strongly towards an elopement of sorts, though the details are utterly unknown. And the whole thing could be reversed by new, stronger evidence.
  17. This has been refuted so many times its ridiculous.
  18. This is simply incorrect. We don't know exactly when Jon was born. There is no 'latest date' timeline. The 'best' understanding we have places his birth some time p to a month after the Sack of KL but that can be extended out further by uncertain variables. Jon was born closer to 8 or 9 months or so (than a year or more) before Dany, per GRRM. Dany's birth was 9 moons after her mother's flight from Dragonstone, which was precipitated by the news of the Battle of the Trident. So Dany is born 9 months or more after the Trident, and Jon born approximately 8 or 9 months before her - in short, up to a month or slightly more after the Battle of the Trident. Thats not the 'latest date', Its the best approximation, which can be moved in either direction from various factors - for example, GRRM's response to the statement that Jon was born 'more than a year before Dany' was to say that it was probably closer to 8 or 9 months. Which might mean it was 8 or 9 months, or 7.5 say, or 9.5. Plus, as others have noted, we can't be sure exactly how long after the birth Ned arrived at ToJ. Lyanna had a fever, according to Ned and puerperal fever was historically a major cause of death in childbirth, before bacterial theory was understood. Death could occur days, weeks or months after the birth event. My understanding is that up to 10 days or so was most common, though longer happened too. Not that much. He went in haste to Storms End to relieve the siege there and accepted the surrender of the Reach forces there. There is no indication that he took a major force there ready to battle, so it could have been a smaller all-mounted force taking only a couple of weeks to get there and a day or two to conduct the business. Then we know nothing until he appears at ToJ with a tiny select band of personal retainers. That could be a week or two after relieving the siege, so possibly less than 1 month of the Sack. Well, since our best timeline, with a bit of room either way, puts Jon's birth at up to a month after the Sack, and Ned could have arrived within a month of the Sack, its even possible Ned could have arrived before/during the birth. More likely though, Lyanna suffered for a week or two and died shortly after Ned arrived. Note that thats all within fairly standard timeframes. There is room in either direction. Perhaps just as importantly, this all ignores GRRMS notoriously lax logistical efforts. Throw those in the mix and you've got even more space. ETA: Note @Megarova's calculations allow time for Ned to go to Starfall (I don't believe the evidence supports Starfall vs ToJ, but she disagrees) which is even further away from Storms End than ToJ is (travel time might be similar due to sea vs overland). GRRM specifically warns against calculating such logistics finely (because he doesn't, so can get things a bit wrong sometimes!), but they do give us a reasonable guide.
  19. Umm, do you know of any singers who are not wandering philanderers? I mean, I know there are some, but thats the generic stereotype, frankly, and while stereotypes shouldn't be applied to any individual without specific evidence, they are formed for a reason... Its also not true. Dareon and Bael spring to mind immediately. Not as Pod's father obviously, but as wandering philandering singers, supporting the generic stereotype.
  20. If its not a mistake, its because when Ser Allister used it he used it as a (mocking) formal title. Pyp used it for himself shortly after, echoing Ser Allister, and it was back to lower case, even with 'the' in front. I'd guess Pyp wasn't using it as a 'title' for himself, even mockingly, but mocking Ser Alister's use of it in effect. Hence the lower case. Lancel was 'a', not 'the', so always lower case. Formal (even mocking) titles get upper case, descriptions and less 'formal' uses of titles get lower case.
  21. Why not? While Aerys was Mad, there was a basic rationality to his madness. Disrespecting the dead is a long, long way further than Aerys went and has deep implications that even he might be fearful of.
  22. Yes, its in a dream, but in the dream Ned remembers the moment... Then we have Theon independently dreaming of a Lyanna whom he never met in what is clearly something of a 'sending' from the Stark spirits after he has taken Winterfell. Finally the worldbook - while not everything in it should be taken as 'fact' most readers are smart enough to understand that that doesn't mean nothing can be taken as fact. The act described here is a simple statement of acts with plentiful witnesses. This is exactly the sort of thing we should take as fact. What we should not take as fact from the world book is speculative information about ancient civilisations, legends, and myths, and opinions of the meanings of things, or the motivations of people. Such as this: Symond Staunton probably did suggest this to the king. But just because its reported in the World Book doesn't make it fact. Its still just the insinuations of one biased lickspittle. Perhaps. So we have a reported factual event with many witnesses. Supported by an eyewitness' memory, even though that memory is recalled within a dream. Further supported by a supernatural sending to someone who wasn't present. There's a reason its not 'questioned'.
  23. Your disagreement with the reasons offered has nothing to do with their clarity or ease of understanding. They were offere, they are not complicated or difficult to understand. Get over it. I'm done with this little side conversation. Better things to do for both of us. Given Ned explicitly tells us that he kept his promises to Lyanna, its your position thats not exactly defensible here. If he kept the promises to Lyanna, then its clearly other promises, whether by him or by others, that are the broken ones that trouble him. His dream is about Lyanna. Its her crown. He thinks of the promises he =made her when he wakes, not the 'bloody promises'. In this case the two ideas, blood and promises, are separate things. While it might feel nice to link them, its implicitly counter-indicated when Ned tells us he kept his promises to Lyanna. But there are no broken promises mentioned in this passage. Ned can have other dreams of blood that are linked to broken promises. He doesn't link this one to broken promises and he tells us that he kept his promises to Lyanna. So we shouldn't link this dream to broken promises. I think there are fairly obvious connections there - to the promises he kept to Lyanna, and to at least one promise the current situation means he will obviously break, to Jon (who is likely the subject of one of his promises to Lyanna).
  24. Thats a lie. Multiple explanations have been given multiple times. By me and others.
  25. You directly lied about what has been said. The bullshit was earned. There is no necessity for that. More importantly, it never got that far in the dream. Agreed. Or its a responsibility he has and/or its more or less on the way anyway. But I think it likely he didn't know at that stage. Seems likely, but not certain. After he left KL at least, IMO. Agreed. That doesn't really fit with the dialogue. Ned speaks as though he's still not clear why they are here and weren't in all those other places. There is an unspoken question running through his dialogue in the dream. If he has Jon and has already found Lyanna and knows what they did and why, then his dialogue is nonsense. Thats also nonsense. Viserys being alive can't stop Robert being King, so neither could Jon being Rhaegar's son. No, No adding or inventing things. Its a dream about "Lyanna in her bed of blood", not "the promises he'd made to Lyanna in her bed of blood". As @SFDanny points out, Ned disagrees with you.
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