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About Ygrain

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    One who prefers walking around unlabelled

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    Czech Republic
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    Fantasy, history, Tolkien, Dragon Age, Mass Efect, fanfic
    gardening, embroidery,

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  1. That is what I've been mulling over ever since the app: why leave Riverrun only to meet the wedding party and head back? Seems like a waste of time and energy to me. Hoster is no Walder Frey to be a poor host, I doubt that Brandon cared for LF's continuing presence, Cat seemed more than happy with her betrothed... Was he merely getting bored staying in one place? Was it a pretext to get some sex along the road? Out of all potential pretexts, the one interesting story-wise would be news about, or meeting with, Ashara, but unfortunately, no clues pointing towards that.
  2. Rickard actually may have been quite close to Riverrun already, Brandon supposedly left to join the wedding party on the way.
  3. I can totally see Lyanna riding about and getting herself in trouble, though I have the feeling that Rickard was a much restrictive father than Ned and that there is a difference between leaving a child to her devices and doing so for a child-woman. We do - when Dany goes about saving the women from rape, Jorah says that this is what Rhaegar would do. Given that he couldn't have known Rhaegar personally, there must have been some common knowledge of this trait of his character. I fundamentally disagree here - while it is certainly possible that the two collaborated, it is in no way a given. Rhaegar would still become king whether he cooperated with Tywin or not, and he would still owe it to Tywin. In fact, I'm not even sure if the bolded fully corresponds to Tywin's modus operandi - it seems more a Varys or LF thing to do. While Tywin is certainly capable of cunning (see the Red Wedding plans) and letting people dig their own grave (the provocations in the Riverlands), I don't recall seeing him goad people so subtly. That's it - we don't know. And we don't know if he had autonomy from the beginning, or gained one only because Aerys sorely needed him. No. I'm just trying to figure a character's stance and motivation: your family is involved in fighting with your spouse's family. Would you want your spouse to fight your family? Negative on bot parts: We don't. We only assume. It could be a trait of character, yes. But we know that he believed he was PTWP, and took his role very seriously, he completely changed his lifestyle in order to do his duty. Taking seriously one's role as a future saviour definitely takes a toll, especially if you are privy to some tragic details (sacrifice of others? self-sacrifice? direst consequences if you fail?). Furthermore, we don't know how he even learned - Barristan says that he read something, but what if he didn't read but dream it, as prophetic dreams run in the family? It has been speculated that Rhaegar either may have had the ability himself, or was in touch with someone who did - most likely, during the visits to Summerhall and GoHH is the suspect, to whom he paid in songs. When he returned with a new sad song, he sand about deaths of kings as if it was the deaths of all those he loved (loosely paraphrasing, I don't have the time to search it). I doubt that Rhaegar had any true lover before Lyanna. If my interpretation is right, it was a first time for him, and that's why he handled it no better than the teenage Lyanna. The first time in his life that he was not deliberate and dutiful, and this natural and human state backfired so, so terribly. It's instances like this when I feel that you are being distracted by details, sorry. A lot is only slowly revealed to Ned what the reader already knows, the reveal for the sake of a character doesn't matter. We know LF pitted the Starks against the Lannisters and betrayed Ned, Sansa doesn't. The reveal is for us. Not quickly in the least. Most people never got over the rape version in AGOT, the clues are veyr subtle there. The more explicit reveal came only with the HotU vision. Trying my best I understand your premise, and fully agree. I just feel that sometimes you approach the echoes with too much certainty that you know which ones they are.
  4. Ygrain

    The KoLT and Subsequent Events

    Except that this is not what happened. We can see the KG gathering and leaving the king without even one of their number for only the shortest time, so if Rhaegar commanded all the KG away, that would probably be a problem. This is supported by Jaime requesting that Darry or someone should stay at home, so that he could go fight at the Trident. But Rhaegar's actions left Aerys with 4 KG, who take turns in guard duty, anyway (when Aerys is raping Rhaella, it's Jaime and Darry keeping guard behind the door, not all 4). Since the king is not protected by all 7 at the same time at all times, it is blatantly incorrect to state that he must be protected by all 7 at all times and that some of them cannot be assigned to other tasks by anyone else but king himself. - BTW, we even see a scenario where the king is left without ANY KG, by someone else's order, when Larys smuggles Aegon out of KL.
  5. I think the difference is partly due to the age difference (Lyanna was a couple years closer to adulthood), partly due to Sansa's obsession with song characters. Joffrey was like one of them come true. If Lyanna didn't have such preconceptions, it would be easier for her to see through Robert. That's how the echoes work - only parts of the story bear resemblance. I think you are sticking to the general concept and overlook how the concept of flowers develops in connection with Lyanna: flowers - roses - blue roses - the laurel. A sort of a gradual reveal, and emphasis is not on flowers in general but blue roses in particular. WUT?! Where was this stated that Rhaegar planned Aerys' death?! Or that he was plannning something as early as Duskendale?! Harrenhal being a pretext for assembling the lords is more or less certain but how can you claim that he wanted to kill his father instead of deposing him, and that for a very valid reason? And no, he doesn't sit out the war - Tywin never answers the summons but Rhaegar does. We don't even know if Rhaegar spent the time in isolation willingly, not to mention if there even was something that he could do at that time. Did it ever occur to you that Lyanna may not have wanted him to become involved in the fight against her family, and since he couldn't really be expected to fight his own family, she at least convinced him to maintain neutrality? Well... that's a reason I haven't heard yet. Only, I see zero proof that Rhaegar actually wanted a war, and if he did, he made a really shitty job making use of it. You know, if he wanted this war, why the hell not use his huge popularity to squish the rebels, gain even more popularity by that, and then depose Aerys? Who would have opposed him? What sense does it make to let his side bleed out before he becomes involved? This doesn't make sense, either - if Rhaegar defeats the Rebels, he doesn't need to appease them, he has an upper hand. If things go badly for the loyalists - and they did - why the hell not use her then to make them fall in line? Really, sorry, but your argumentation seems to be drowning in theoretical concepts while missing out on practical issues. This is something I totally don't get. Where do you see Rhaegar willing to let people die to fulfill his plans? We don't know what those plans were, so we don't know if they were fulfilled and what he was willing to sacrifice. What we do know, though, is that Rhaegar was carrying some burden that made him feel blue most of the time. So, if his plans really included letting people die, he definitely didn't seem fine with it. Which is what makes the difference between him and people like Baelish, who don't give a shit about who suffers as a consequence of his actions. No need to apologize, I was merely considering the logistics of a ship which, contrary to your opinion, is perhaps the only other solution that might work. I'd just think that towers don't sink in storms. Oh, I certainly agree that we should be paying attention, I only think that you focus on insubstantial details and miss the larger picture. What is going on between Petyr and Lysa is a travesty of anything that a normal person would consider "joy", therefore, while one can draw interesting ideas from the scene, it definitely isn't what went on between Rhaegar and Lyanna. BTW, Sansa is not stolen, she is rescued. She doesn't get taken where she would prefer but she took her chances and went willingly. Now that would be a real game changer! (sorry, couldn't resist, I know you meant father) I have long posited that Arthur was his secret joy... And yes, I do believe that Lyanna was his true joy (though I am not sure if she was really stolen). Which, if Petyr-Lysa are supposed to be a parallel/echo/antithesis/whatever, it really doesn't matter as these things never work 100% :-) How does it bear comparison when one incident led to haunting memories +14 years later, and the other never even got a honorable mention? That's like the "your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate" connection. Yeah but the difference is at which point of narrative we see these opinions. The conviction that Cersei is the culprit comes at the beginning of the narrative, and is gradually revealed to be incorrect. The love between Rhaegar and Lyanna is never mentioned at the beginning, can only be inferred. As the narrative develops, there are more explicit hints, and then you get a blatant statement, towards the finale. Remember what was said about GRRM's three-stage reveal structure? Sorry but this seems rather superficial comparison, and the insistence on the Stark Maid unnecessarrily narrowing the view. Loras only needed the trick at the end because Gregor was such a monster of a man. Loras as a parallel doesn't work, though, because he is described as exceptionally skilled and keen on particiating in tourneys. Jorah was neither and Rhaegar wasn't particularly interested. He might, but it doesn't fit with the accounts of him as being honourable. Plus, we see a much less skilled knight, Jorah, winning solely due to being inspired by Lynesse. And you know how that he did nothing? Or that he could have done anything in the first place? Or, as I suggested above, that Lyanna even wanted him to? BTW, allow me to correct your interpretation of Arya kicking the dead guard - she is not angry because he failed but because he lied to her, he gave her a false sense of safety. Not really. If a young girl disappears with a man, people are bound to lean towards one or the other version and you need more information to make up your mind. Whereas, if you get a secret note accusing someone of murder, it is a safe bet that there is something going on. The contradiction fever-Lannisters never existed, the latter replaced the former the moment it appeared on the scene. Ned may not have been entirely convinced but the reader knows otherwise, and after Bran spies Jaime with Cersei at the old tower, there is not a shadow of doubt that the Lannisters do have a secret worth killing for. That is the real distraction, not the fever story. Not good enough for me, definitely. In fact, I think that the Stark Maid detracts from the argument as it is based on very generalised, and thus superficial, reading, slapping together elements which are either cherry-picked or which form only dubious associations. What I consider as its greatest sin is its very core - creating this supposed Stark Maid paradigm and trying to fit all kinds of characters into the pattern ignores the fundament of good writing, and that is characterisation. Characters do what they do not to fit in some abstract pattern but to follow the natural course in which their character drives them. The author can expose them to certain situations intentionally built to remind of other situations but those are never meant as a 100% repetition. There will always be variation caused by differences in character as well as developing the explored theme because you don't want your story to go in an endless cycle of repetitions, you need your characters to make a difference.
  6. @Lady Gwynhyfvar had a good essay somewhere on her blog, presenting quite a convincing case for a parallel between Lancelot saving Guinevere from being burnt at the stake and bringing her to his castle Joyous Garde, and Rhaegar bringing Lyanna to ToJ to protect her from Aerys' wrath when he discovered her identity as KotLT (hint: Aerys would have wanted to give her to the flames). The abduction would actually be a rescue and love ensue only later. I don't recall, though, if or how she adressed the issue of Lyanna's wolf blood that led her to an early grave, which I always considered as a hint at her own active participation. To play a bit of a devil's advocate: there might be a hint at something between the two men - there is Arthur Dayne's sad smile welcoming Ned, and Ned falling sad after he names Arthur as the finest knight ever who would have killed him if not for Howland (in response to Bran's enquiring about KG). Of course, the sadness (on both parts) can have other valid reasons, but it is there.
  7. Ygrain

    The KoLT and Subsequent Events

    Ah, I see - the strangler scenario all over. Make your own interpretation of events/ vows/ whatever, and dismiss when the author claims otherwise. Seems like a pattern. We really need TWOW and ADOS ASAP.
  8. Alrighty :-) As I see it, while Arya does bear a strong resemblance to Lyanna, she is still very much her own person, and she is a child, while Lyanna already reached puberty when those fateful events started to unfold. Therefore, Arya can never be a 100% Lyanna proxy, and Lyanna exhibits traits that definitely don't fit with Arya (I sure as hell don't see Arya sniffing over a song, ever, puberty or not). A case can be made that Lyanna's romantic side is more Sansa-like. I think you are letting yourself be mislead by overgeneralisation. Generalise far enough, and you can build a connection between anything and everything. Whatever generic "flowers" might the current generation Stark Maids like, neither of them is associated with any specific kind, nor is there any specific importance. Even the red rose that Sansa is so hyped about turns out to be nothing, and no witness of anything going on with her would ever make such connotations as Ned does with Lyanna and blue roses. There are whole levels of difference between these situations. I guess this goes down to personal preferences. I see nothing surprising about a lively, inquisitive girl picking wonderful new flowers, I would undoubtedly do the same. What I do find surprising, though, is that Arya's supposed love of flowers doesn't show anywhere else. I buy flowers, grow them at home and in the garden, take photos... I take it that Arya mostly doesn't have time for this, but I would expect more occurences if this was to play any important role. And it also tells us that she didn't hold any adverse feelings towards the person she got the flowers for, or else she would have dumped them in the chamberpot :-) Otherwise agreed. One has to wonder, though, if every single detail that GRRM has included really constitutes a clue. It might, or not. My two cents are that Arya's instance most likely doesn't mean a thing, and Sansa's rose is part of her arc that life is not a song. - Which, however, doesn't mean that it is supposed to give a clue about Lyanna. Sansa was not the only girl that was gifted a rose that day, so drawing a parallel with Lyanna's crowning is not exactly valid. No smiles died after Sansa was given the rose, did they? Basically no-one except Sansa gave a damn. Gross overgeneralisation. Rhaegar was an heir to the kingdom, by all accounts a dutiful and honorable person, acting in the best interest of the realm (as he saw it). Baelish is a devious schemer with an inferiority complex, acting solely for his own benefit and with complete disregard for those harmed by his actions. He was abusing Lysa's infatuation to get himself power - what power did Rhaegar get from whatever was going on with Lyanna? You are doing exactly the same what you criticised above in using the Arya-Lyanna similarities. Some things are similar, others are not, therefore no parallel conclusion about the Rhaegar-Lyanna dynamics can be made without further textual support (and here I mean facts, not meta) Don't have the time to re-read the chapters but I would presume that nobody wants to spend more time on a ship than strictly necessary (wasn't Sansa seasick?). As to why a tower and not a different type of building: such a tower is the most basic defence structure. Honestly, this is mind-boggling. ToJ and Dreafort work as parallels only on a very general level and there are tons of major differences (for some, see above). Yet, you act as if they were somehow bound to be 100% parallels where it fits your Stark Maid paradigm (while the existence of such a paradigm itself is highly dubious as all the Stark Maids and "Maids" are vastly different, in vastly different situations). Where is any kind of textual support that your bolded assumption works? Which other woman is Rhaegar associated with? Ashara? That one is being associated with the Stark(s) - and no, being a handmaid to Elia and a sister of Rhaegar's BF does not constitute association, just like there is no association between Robb and poor Jeyne Poole. The only similarities between Rhaegar and Stannis I see is being honorable and believeing they are AA. Rhaegar, however, didn't have a fake flaming sword, and figured out he had been wrong in his interpretation. And to me, it sounds like author talking meta... It's as close to a laurel as a tent to a skyscraper, so I'd be highly cautious to draw any conclusions from that. Sansa convinces herself that her rose is special but it is not, it is just one of several (many). It's no specific symbol, given at no specific circumstances. It doesn't bear comparison. Sansa's experience was different because she wasn't given a laurel in the first place. What I am comparing is the way both Jorah and Rhaegar were unstoppable in one particular tourney which they won. Jorah's motivation and inspiration are known, Rhaegar's are not. We do have other characters' statements, though, that he loved Lyanna, which would support the parallel. No-one ever claimed or speculated that Loras loved Sansa. I highly doubt that he had such an arrangement with Brandon, of all people. Plus, it's not like Rhaegar hadn't won tourneys before. Again, taking the parallels too far. Rhaegar wasn't the one ordering the death of Lyanna's father. Also, one more thought about your OP: the mystery of Jon Arryn's murder is presented differently from R+L. With the murder, we have one initial story and are gradually presented with contradicting details till the reveal. With R+L, we are presented with two contradicting stories, love and rape. The love version comes first, but it is presented in Dany's PoV as a part of highly embellished, romanticised telling of events which are, at best, second or third hand narrative. In Ned's PoV, we are then introduced to the ugly, realistic version of one who was in the medias res, which makes us completely discard Dany's version as completely unreliable. Yet, this seemingly realistic version later develops subtle contradictions, and as the series proceed, it is the love angle that keeps receiving support till the blatant "Rhaegar loved his lady Lyanna". It is a different type of misleading that the Jon Arryn case.
  9. Ygrain

    The three Kingsguard were loyal to Rhaegar, not Aerys.

    I think Rhaegar may have trapped Hightower into doing what he wanted. If Hightower's task was to convince Rhaegar to return to KL, Rhaegar may have conditioned his return by Hightower staying at ToJ. It would depend on who needed whom more - was Aerys feeling desperate enough to think that Rhaegar was his only hope? I believe it might be so.
  10. Ygrain

    The three Kingsguard were loyal to Rhaegar, not Aerys.

    If it was only Dayne and Whent, it would be clear as day that they had made their choice and considered Aerys unworthy of their vows. However, Hightower, as you yourself say, is a different matter, and the reason why Hightower originally stayed behind at ToJ may not be the one as the one why they fought Ned. The main reason why I remain unconvinced that Hightower switched sides is his proclamation that had they been with KL, Aerys would still sit the throne. Even with Rhaegar dead, Aerys absolutely couldn't be allowed to continue his mad acts, a regent, or some kind of ruling body, would have been needed to take care of the realm until Rhaegar's heir came of age. Yet, Hightower doesn't say that they would simply prevent Jaime from killing Aerys, but that they would keep him on the throne, and that, IMHO, is inconsistent with swearing vows to Rhaegar. ETA: Forgot to mention Ned's deep respect for the original Kingsguard. Whatever they did, must have been in accord with their KG role, or else he, so concerned with honour, wouldn't have respected them.
  11. Woah, stop right there. Your Stark maids are based solely on meta-reading, for which you choose what fits with your narrative and dismiss the parts that don't. The staple or R+L never relied on meta. You're still missing the main point here. It's not just flowers, it's the wreath. Gifted to her through a rather explicit sexual metaphor by none other than Rhaegar. And for some reason, the reveal of the wreath comes only in Ned's final PoV, and though Lyanna was fond of flowers, it is chronologically the first and only "interaction" between her and flowers till the end of her life when dead and black petals spill from her hand. Not really sure why you dwell on Arya's poison kisses so much - I don't recall them ever mentioned again as playing ANY further role. Unlike Lyanna's blue roses, which keep haunting Ned again and again, popping up at unexpected places and often accompanied by a sense of tragedy (Ned wants to weep at the memory, he dreams about Lyanna weeping blood, the thorns draw blood). WAY more emphasis, WAY more significant than Arya's single encounter with poison kisses (which, BTW, she collects herself, doesn't get them from anyone). There might be a very general parallel of the poison kisses as a cautionary tale - they look pretty but just like the QoLaB laurel, they hurt you - perhaps a sort of foreshadowing, but I'd be very cautious to use a single incident for any far-reaching conclusions. If and when such an interaction occurs, perhaps. To be a valid parallel, though, Stannis would have to be the Stark Maid's love interest. Though, strictly speaking, when Jon meets Stannis, he is not a maid any more. Quite a couple of points here. Dreafort is not a parallel but an antithesis of tower of joy, just as the cunning and devious Baelish is as far from Rhaegar as it gets. Therefore, I could easily make a case that what takes place at Drearfort is very different from what went down at tower of joy. Baelish's coupling with Lysa was a coldly calculated move, therefore Rhaegar's was genuine affection, Baelish didn't care for getting Lysa pregnant, therefore Rhaegar wanted a baby, Lysa didn't get pregnant, therefore Lyanna did, and because Lysa was pathetically loud, Lyanna had a quiet romantic intercourse. That's why meta interpretations are such a, err, treacherous woman, they can be twisted any way you want, and since the book is unfinished, you cannot tell yet which one is right. Now, why Drearfort: First, LF needs to get Sansa offthe grid completely, which requires an isolated location. One where you have some kind of support and sustenance, and where no-one would ever dream of looking. That's why going directly to Eyrie is not an options. Unlike any other place LF might choose, this one is run solely by faithful family servants who wouldn't betray him. Second, LF wants to get hold of the Vale. To do so, he needs to marry Lysa. Which would be met with a LOT of screaming and opposition if it was to take place in the Vale, so the marriage takes place elsewhere more or less secretly and the Vale lords are presented with a fait accompli, and cannot do a thing about it (and I might argue that this is a point towards Rhaegar and Lyanna doing just the same, by your own claim that Drearfort parallels ToJ). The combination of all these factors makes Drearfort perfect for LF's plans, it's a "safehouse" where he can wait and bring his plans to fruition. The full phrase that you can see in my sig was a reply to how come that the Seven kingdoms descended into chaos so quickly. Doesn't seem like what characters think, and the love-struck prince part could have been left out completely or phrased differently if it wasn't true. Again missing the point, I'm afraid. It's not that people give the laurels to profess their love when they win, but that Jorah wanted to win so that he could do so. His whole behaviour changed, in a sort of love-gives-wings manner, that new feeling inspired him to a feat he normally wasn't capable of. While Rhaegar was capable, we know that he wasn't really interested, he lacked the drive to win. Yet, at HH, his tourney feats are described in the same manner as Jorah's, with that drive. If the drive was indeed there, I find it hard to believe that it was for political reasons. - Which is very different from what Loras: he won due to skill and cheating, the rose to Sansa was not the laurel, his blue flowers were not roses. See above - a variant indeed, completely different. An echo. A valid interpretation. The problem is, the visions show a lot of stuff we have no connection for - the human sacrifice, the pale youth making the weirwood arrows - so it is not a certain that the pregnant woman must be related to the current story. She might, or not. Not to mention that Bael's tryst with the Stark maid must have had her cooperation at least initially, because how he would know about the crypts and why she would be willing to hide down there with him for +9 months, plus the whole logistics of getting food and the like... The story is apparently rather distorted from what originally happened (which might well have been a single rape). 1) Parallels, or echoes, of a story absolutely don't need to be restricted to particular characters 2) Jon is no more a Stark Maid than Alys Karstark is, if you want to split hairs. She at least has the right gender and the right story arc. Now that you mention Sansa... she's the girl who crossed the social norms, as well as her father's express order, to get what she wanted (the man she wanted). I might claim that this points to Lyanna snucking out to get the man she wanted. If he did, and if it the reason that you assume.
  12. Ygrain

    The KoLT and Subsequent Events

    GRRM begs to disagree: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that. They can't say, "No we don't like that order, we'll do something else."
  13. Honestly, I expected more from this thread. The Jon Arryn parallel is rather lame as it ignores some very explicit problems with "the Lannisters did it" - while Lysa's switch from Cersei to Tyrion as the culprit could be explained by her unstable state and Tyrion as an easy target (the way Cat thinks it looks), there is the huge issue of Baelish framing Tyrion for yet another crime he never comitted, not to mention defaming both Cat and Lysa. So, there is a contradiction in the story and very clear foul play by Baelish with sinister motives, confirmed when he betrays Ned. In retrospect, all contradictions and unknown motives become clear and perfectly fit. Unlike the alternative parentage scenarios which require impossible mental gymnastics to explain away all the inconsistencies. - Which is the weakest point of your alternative reading: you focus so much on the parallels and metatextual, that you forget about what is actually written in the text. Why is Lyanna depicted not just with blue roses but with her QoLaB crown, both in Ned's PoV as well as in Theon's dream? Why does Ned spare any thought to Rhaegar's sexual habits as contrasting Roberts, while remembering Lyanna not happy with Robert's womanizing? Why "tower of joy"? (not to mention, why does GRRM refer to Rhaegar as "lovestruck prince"?) Also, you are leaving out parallels which might show something else, e.g. between Jorah's victory inspired by his infatuation with Lynesse, and Rhaegar's victory at HH. Even the language used in the discriptions is similar, conveying the air of being unstoppable. Jorah was not a tourney knight, Rhaegar "seldom entered the lists". A case can be made that this is an intentional parallel showing Rhaegar's motivation for crowning Lyanna. One might also speculate if the parallel went even further and their relationship soured, just like Jorah's, or if the parallel is only partial. That's the problem with them parallels - until we get to see them in retrospect, we don't know if it is safe to assume that they go 100%. Even that dratted Bael story - the Stark maiden committed suicide seeing Bael dead, so might she have cared, after all? Speaking of potential parallels: Alys Karstark running from an unwanted marriage and seeing protection with a higher authority offers some food for thought. Especially as she is an Arya figure, who looks like Lyanna. - But again: the possibility is there, but with no actual support in the text so far, it is only a possibility.
  14. Ygrain

    Jon Snow's Real Name

    We know for a fact that Lyanna made Ned promise at least two different things (Ned kept the promiseS, plural), out of which one was being buried at Winterfell. Ned's memory of her last moments doesn't include this particular wish, nor the phrasing of what it was that she wanted him to promise that haunted him so much. I believe it is quite a safe bet that those two exchanged more than a couple of words before she died.
  15. Ygrain

    Jon Snow's Real Name

    1. If Lyanna indeed died of puerperal fever, Jon would have been at least a couple days old. 2. She had enough time and strength to say where she wanted to be buried, but didn't have a moment to spare to think about her baby's name? I find that hard to believe.