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SFDanny

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  1. SFDanny

    R+L=J v.166

    Reference guide The R+L=J theory claims Jon Snow most probably is the son of crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister Lyanna Stark. The Tower of the Hand has an excellent analysis of this theory: Jon Snow's Parents And Westeros' Citadel also provides a summary: Jon Snow's Parents A Wiki of Ice and Fire: Jon Snow Theories Radio Westeros podcast: A Dragon, a Wolf and a Rose Kingmonkey's essay: R+L=J Frequently Asked Questions: How can Jon be a Targaryen if ordinary fire burned his hand? Targaryens are not immune to fire. It's a myth that has been refuted by a list of Targaryens being burned. Danaerys 'the unburnt' was indeed unscathed when she hatched the dragon eggs, but that has not stopped her being burned on other occasions. See this thread on Targaryen fire immunity. Don't all Targaryens have hallmark Valryian silver-golden hair and purple eyes? Not all of them: Valarr and Queen Alysanne had blue eyes. Bittersteel, who like Jon was half first men blood, had brown hair. Baelor Breakspear and his son(s) and Jon's own half-sister Rhaenys had the Dornish look (dark hair, black eyes, olive skin). Rhaenyra Targaryen's three sons all had brown hair and brown eyes even though both their parents had light silver-gold hair. Had Jon Valyrian features, it would give his parentage away: "He had the Stark face if not the name: long, solemn, guarded, a face that gave nothing away. Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son." Tyrion got the bit about the mother wrong, though: his mother was the Stark. If Jon isn't Ned's son, then why does he look so much like him? Jon looks very like Arya, and Arya looks very like Lyanna. Jon is Ned's nephew, and Lyanna and Ned looked similar. Ned is too honourable to lie. If he says Jon is his son, doesn't that mean he must be? Ned tells Arya that sometimes lies can be honourable. His final words, a confession of his guilt, are a lie to protect Sansa. While a lie can be honourable, cheating on his wife isn't, so Ned's famed honour points to Jon not being his son. How can Jon be half-Targaryen and have a direwolf? He's also half Stark, through Lyanna. Ned's trueborn children are half Tully and that doesn't stop them having direwolves. Why doesn't Ned ever think about Lyanna being Jon's mother? Ned doesn't think about anyone being Jon's mother. If he did, there would be no mystery. He names 'Wylla' to Robert, but we do not see him thinking of Wylla being Jon's mother. There's a hidden hint at who Jon's mother might be: In chapter 4, Eddard's internal monologue goes "Lyanna ... Ned had loved her with all his heart." and in chapter 6, Catelyn thinks "Whoever Jon's mother had been, Ned must have loved her fiercely". Why would Ned not at least tell Catelyn? We don't have a list of what Ned promised to Lyanna, but know he takes his promises seriously. Maybe he promised not to tell anyone. In Chapter 45, Ned is uncertain what Cat would do if it came to Jon's life over that of her own children. If Catelyn knew that Jon was Rhaegar's son, she might feel that keeping him at Winterfell presented a serious risk to her own children. Ultimately, Catelyn did not need to know, so maybe Ned simply chose to be on the safe side. Doesn't Ned refer to Robb and Jon as "my sons in the very first chapter? In speech, not in thought. Ned is keeping Jon's parentage secret. He never thinks of Jon as his son: In Chapter 45, Ned thinks of his children "Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon and explicitly excludes Jon from the list. ADwD Chapter 34 has Bran's vision of younger Ned in the Winterfell godswood: "...let them grow up close as brothers, with only love between them," he prayed, "and let my lady wife find it in her heart to forgive..." which not make sense if they are brothers. Since Rhaegar was already married, wouldn't Jon still be a bastard? He might, or might not. There was a tradition of polygamy among Targaryens in the past, so the possibility that Rhaegar and Lyanna married is not easily ruled out. A pro-legitimacy argument is this: The presence of the three kingsguards at the Tower of Joy is best explained if they were defending the heir to the throne, which Jon would only be if he was legitimate. Can we be certain polygamy is not illegal? Aegon I and Maegor I practised polygamy. In Westeros, unlike a constitutional monarchy, royals are not subject to the law. So if there ever was a law against it, it did not apply to the Targaryens: In Chapter 33 it says "like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men". Examples demonstrate that it was considered an option for Targaryens: Aegon IV and Daemon Blackfyre may have considered it for Daemon, Jorah Mormont suggested it to Daenerys as a viable option, and she said the same about Quentyn Martell. George R.R. Martin says in this SSM: "If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want". There is alsothis SSM predating the worldbook. On Polygamy essay by Ygrain with additions by Rhaenys_Targaryen Weren't the Kingsguard at Tower of Joy on the basis of an order from Aerys, to guard Lyanna as a hostage? If so, why would they have apparently made no effort to use this leverage against Robert and Ned? Some argue their Kingsguard vows would have taken precedence and still have required them to leave the Tower to protect Viserys when he became heir -- unless there was another that took precedence [Jon]. Others think they were guarding Lyanna as a hostage at the Tower of Joy. Some say that makes little sense: She would better be kept hostage at King's Landing, and wouldn't require kingsguards to guard her. The mere presence of three kingsguards implies something more important: guarding members of the royal family or maybe the heir. Frequently suggested readings: At the tower of joy by MtnLion and support of the toj analysis by Ygrain Isn't there an SSM that says the 3 Kingsguard were following Rhaegar's orders though? The SSM you may be thinking of is probably this: 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." We know from Barristan, protecting the king is the first and most important of all kingsguard duties. Jamie suggests some other KG to stay with the king when he wants to leave for the Trident and we also learn of a ritual that is performed when all KG meet and the king is guarded by someone who is not from the order. "Protect vs Obey" is an ongoing subject of debate that is unlikely to be settled until we know more. Either viewpoint is compatible with R+L=J. Wouldn't Viserys take precedence anyway? Rhaegar died without becoming king, and doesn't the world book call Viserys, not Aegon, Aerys' new heir? No, in the case of an eldest son dying before the king dies, a grandson comes before a younger son. Even in the case the grandson is yet unborn at the time of death, he would succeed (heir apparent vs. heir presumptive). The world book is written with a Lannister bias (it may be propaganda to undermine Dornish support for the Targaryens) and in hindsightby maesters who have never learned all of what we know from Ned's dreams and memories. If it still turns out to be true... see the next answer. Are matters of succession just as clear as presented here? Succession quarrels are a part of medieval power play and even a very clear inheritance could well be contested. So maybe in King's Landing things did happen as the world book says. Rhaegar and Aerys may have been at odds over the succession. Rhaegar told Jaime before leaving for the Trident that he intended to call a council, and The Great Councils of the past have dealt with matters of succession. Who would have accepted such a change is a question worth asking. Ned is dead. Who's going to tell anyone about it? Bloodraven and Bran may have learned of it through the weirwood network. Benjen might know. Checkov's CrannogmanHowland Reed is the sole survivor of the encounter at the Tower of Joy, and George R.R. Martin has stated he has not yet appeared because he knows too much about the central mystery of the book. "They had found him [Ned] still holding her [Lyanna's] body" tells that there also was someone else besides Howland to find Ned. Why is this important? What impact can it have on the story? The careful way the mystery of Jon's parentage was created is reason to believe it's important. What impact it will have on the rest of the series is still unknown. This theory is too obvious and too many people believe it to be fact. How can it be true? It is not so obvious to the majority of readers. Some will get it on their first read, but most will not. Readers who go to online fan forums, such as this, still represent a very small minority of the readership. Also, A Game of Thrones has been out since 1996. That's more than 18 years of readers being able to piece together this mystery. Crowd-sourced internet-based mystery solving like this inevitably make solved mysteries seem more obvious in hindsight. George R.R. Martin is a "breaker of tropes, there can be no hidden prince, it's simply too cliché. In order to break a trope it needs to be installed in the first place. It is yet unknown what will happen to Jon in the future. Being the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar does not imply the fairy-tale style happy ending associated with the hidden prince trope. Is there a list of all R+L=J clues that have been found? There is a list of R+L=J hints, clues and foreshadowing compiled by sj4iy. (the link is currently inactive) Since this theory has been refined so well, will Martin change the outcome of the story to surprise his fans? He has stated that he won't change the outcome of the story just because some people have put together all the clues and solved the puzzle. A thread for discussing strengths and weaknesses of the theory that Jon Snow's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna. Previous editions: Please click on the spoiler below to reveal links to all previous editions of this thread
  2. SFDanny

    R+L=J v.166

    While I think it is quite clear that Robert had taken the throne already before any marriage to Cersei was pursued, I don't think it is "clear" that Robert hears of Lyanna death before that takes place. I've argued for a long time that it is likely only after Robert hears the news of her death that this takes place, but unless you have information the rest of us don't I don't see how one can say this claim is "clear." Robert's obsession with Lyanna and getting her back is the best evidence we have that he wouldn't consider a marriage to Cersei until Lyanna's death is known. It is likely that Ned delivers that news on his return trip to the North from Starfall, which gives us an idea of when this takes place, but the details of this time period are very much up in the air and up for discussion.
  3. SFDanny

    Doctrine of Exceptionalism

    This is a theory based on nothing. In no place does does Jaehaerys condemn polygamy. He condemns his daughter's conduct and her evoking of Maegor's name as an example to follow, but this in no way shows he condemns polygamy. It only shows his outrage over his daughter's conduct, her use of his brothers's murderer as an example, and her plan. It is an absurd plan that no Targaryen ruler would approve. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the institution of polygamy. His rejection of a polygamous marriage can't be seen as a generalized view, but it has everything to do with the Saera's shameful conduct, her lack of contrition, and the unsuitable character of her proposed "grooms." This is a conversation of a father chastising his wayward daughter and an attempt to control her and punish her. Not a discussion about the permissibility of polygamy. Once again, for any Targaryen ruler other than Maegor to reject polygamy would be a rejection of Aenys's line claim to the throne. It is a claim based on the validity of a second marriage. For this reason alone we don't see Jaehaerys reject polygamy, or any of his descendants do so. That is not to say they think it is a good idea in specific cases, but the idea they would reject the marriages of the Conquerer and his sister wives is nonsense. And LV, what's with the invoking the use of the word "bigamy?" Bigamy is only illegal polygamy, and there is no question about polygamy being outlawed ever. There is absolutely nothing to suggest such was the case ever, and well known examples of it being considered by later Targaryens.
  4. SFDanny

    Doctrine of Exceptionalism

    LV, I think this misrepresents Jaehaerys's views on polygamy. What Jaehaerys objects to is not polygamy but the idea that his daughter would marry or conduct herself in ways he didn't approve. The issue that runs through all of the many examples in ASoI&F is the question of who decides, and is that decision respected and honored.The lord, be he the king or a petty noble or even the simple head of a small folk household holds the power of such decisions. Be that Tywin and Tyrion's marriage to Tysha, the broken vows of Robb or Duncan, Hoster's anger with the Blackfish, or on and on, this theme runs through all of Martin's world. If they are not respected it questions the whole structure of Westerosi society. So it is not a question of multiple wives or husbands. It is a question of power. Jaehaerys owes his claim to the throne of Westeros to the polygamous second marriage of his grandfather. He can hardly object to that practice. Nor do we find any generalized objection by any Targaryen monarch to polygamy. Although one might suspect Baelor's devotion to the faith of the Seven might make him a candidate to do so. But what every Targaryen king or aspiring queen must ask themselves is does a marriage make the Crown stronger or weaker. Polygamy, by its nature, adds more potential claimants to the reins of power and wealth. It's not often that it therefore makes it a good choice. For instance, a marriage of Lyanna to Rhaegar may help fulfill a prophecy he believes is critical, but it also weakens the ties to Dorne. As a practical matter of succession polygamy isn't often good for building and maintaining alliances. I believe this is the core reason we see no Targaryen polygamy after Maegor, not that Jaehaerys or his Doctrine frowned on the practice. To the contrary, Jaehaerys by winning the battle against the Faith and the acceptance of his doctrine ensured, among other things, that the Targaryens had polygamy as an option. They just didn't find it useful in building and maintaining their power and the alliances that built that power.
  5. SFDanny

    Worldcon 2020: Wellington New Zealand

    I do believe someone is testing my ability to endure a flight to New Zealand next year. My already extremely long non-stop flight back to San Francisco had six plus hours added to it because of "technical problems" with the aircraft and then more "technical problems" with a flight in front of us on the runway blocking us from taking off. Dublin just didn't want to let us go. Looong flight over and safely done. I hope everyone is enjoying Titancon and their own return home. Now if I can a figure out if I really can do New Zealand.
  6. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    I actually was not trying to deal with the question of the "nature" of Rhaegar's relationship and who knew about it although I've state my opinion on that topic many times in the past. I was trying to deal with the narrower issue of the fact we have nothing to show any threat to Lyanna's life over the time of her "captivity." From the "kidnapping" to her death. Even at the very end of the fight at the Tower of Joy we have nothing that points the Kingsguard using Lyanna as a hostage to Ned's retreat or surrender. I do think the evidence points to Ned knowing that Lyanna went willingly. I think so because all of Lyanna's brothers were at Harrenhal and they surely knew something of Lyanna's feelings to those events. I also think Ned knew much earlier of his sister's feelings towards Robert. He delivers the proposal to her and hears her words on love not changing a "man's nature." I do not think that knowledge means he told Robert about how Lyanna felt.
  7. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    While a reference to Robert's warhammer would be funny, it seems extremely unNed like particularly in the context. I realize the author has changed things as his story grew, but unless I see something in the way of evidence I see the quote about Robert having a better claim as far back as in AGoT as fairly strong evidence Martin knew Robert's backstory well enough when he wrote it to reflect a Targaryen ancestor for the Baratheons.
  8. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    Not Ran, but it would seem that the well known quote in A Game of Thrones would point to George having some idea.
  9. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    What exactly do marriage vows have to do with this discussion? Could you be more specific? Rhaegar's marriage vows, or someone else's? Or are you speaking of broken betrothals? Specifically the broken betrothal of Robert and Lyanna? I would also disagree that broken marriage vows have diminished Targaryen legitimacy. Many Targaryens have broken those vows and prior to Aerys's reign those broken vows had little to nothing to do with the strength of Targaryen rule. The loss of dragons? Very much so. Broken marriage vows? Not so much. My understanding of the point under discussion here was the question of why weren't Ned and Robert concerned about a threat on Lyanna's life in revenge for the killing of Elia and her children at the sack of King's Landing? My response is there is no evidence that Lyanna's life was threatened anytime after the "kidnapping." in order to change anyone's conduct in any way. To the contrary, what her "kidnappers" and "gaolers" do is one thing - to keep her hidden from everyone else. That is what we call a clue. A clue to the wants of Rhaegar, and maybe of Lyanna herself. It tells us that Rhaegar doesn't want to threaten Lyanna, and that his agenda is helped if Lyanna is not controlled by Aerys, Robert, Ned, Brandon, Rickard, the Martell brothers, or anyone else who would benefit by her location being known. If, on the other hand, Lyanna was in King's Landing under Aerys's control, we have ample evidence that he would us her as a hostage and threaten her life against the conduct of her family and Robert. What this should tell us is that the rebels know that despite Rhaegar coming north to join his father in the war against the rebellion, that control of Lyanna hasn't changed in order to allow her to be used as a hostage.
  10. I think we have a small sample size to grade Rhaegar's skill in actual combat, but that one duel with Robert at the Trident should remove any thoughts Rhaegar's skills were mere puffery from rigged tourneys. Tourney wins and displays of skill in the practice yard certainly built Rhaegar's reputation, and deservedly so. But it is at his death that Rhaegar proves he is a great warrior. Robert came to destroy Rhaegar, and it very nearly turned out to be the opposite. Personal Bravery? Master level skill with sword and lance? I think we can check all those boxes while acknowledging Rhaegar was up against a better foe.
  11. SFDanny

    Folio Society Map

    Thanks! If you have time after you get it post your thoughts. I'd love to read them.
  12. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    Rhaegar is in King's Landing for a considerable time - a matter of some months while he rebuilds his army and the Dornish arrive - during which he could have issued a threat to Lyanna's life to the rebels to attempt to make them surrender, if he chose to do so, but nothing of the sort takes place. During the time before the Arryns, the Starks, and the Baratheons raise their banners in rebellion either Rhaegar, or Aerys if he had control of Lyanna, could have used a threat to Lyanna's life to try to get them to stop their rebellion, but that never happens. In the immediate aftermath of the "kidnapping" using Lyanna as a hostage to make the Starks and their allies to break their marriage vows was entirely possible, but it never happened. Why? We are forced to conclude that Rhaegar never wanted to use Lyanna in this way, and that Aerys who proved quite capable of using his own family as hostages did not have control of Lyanna ("Rhaegar could not be found") in order to do so. Which tells us why Robert, Ned, Jon, Arryn, and Hoster Tully did not fear punishment towards Lyanna, and did not consider it after the murders of Elia and her children. All of which should also tell us something about the orders Hightower, Whent, and Dayne had from Rhaegar about Lyanna - to keep her safe from all.
  13. SFDanny

    Folio Society Map

    I received mine yesterday. It's beautiful to my eye. Would love to know your thoughts on the map, @Werthead, and on the Folio edition in general. @Ran and @Linda as well, of course.
  14. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    I think the question needs to be flipped around. Why was Lyanna never used as a hostage against Robert or Ned's conduct? I think the answer is staring the reader in the face. Because Aerys never has control over Lyanna. Aerys shows us he will use threats to Elia and her children to enforce Dornish conduct in the rebellion, and if I'm right that extends to use of threats to Elia and her children to enforce Rhaegar's conduct as well. But Lyanna's life is never threatened. It tells us that Aerys never controls Lyanna even after Rhaegar goes north and leaves Hightower with Lyanna. In short it is a very strong indication that Rhaegar has been in control of Lyanna's well being since the "kidnapping" and he never chooses to threaten her life for any political or tactical advantage. Rhaegar's only "threat" is to keep Lyanna hidden away from everyone, including her family and her betrothed. So why don't the rebels fear for Lyanna being punished for Elia and Rhaegar's children's murder? Because her life has never been threatened by those who hide her. Which implies that the rebels - including Robert and Ned - know this wasn't a simple kidnapping. One can argue what both Ned and Robert thought of Rhaegar's motives, but they must understand that threatening her life isn't on his agenda. They must have understood that at least since they raised their banners in rebellion and no threat to Lyanna was ever issued to either of them. I'd argue that Ned knew it since Harrenhal.
  15. SFDanny

    Why did Ned allow Benjen to take the black?

    I believe I've already posted my thoughts on this in other threads on the same topic, but assuming you are not tired of my opinions on the matter I will throw them in again for whatever they are worth to this discussion. GRRM has consistently refused to answer the reason why Benjen joins the Watch when he does, which leads an attentive reader to ask why he won't respond if the answer is just another younger Stark joining the Night's Watch in a long line of Starks doing so? That and the timing of Benjen's joining, as you point out, make it extremely suspicious for ulterior motives yet unknown to be the explanation. My guess is that there is a rift between the brothers concerning Lyanna's death. Specifically, that Benjen - ever the loyalist and confidant to Lyanna - supported her in her wish to not marry Robert. There seems to be a split in the family with Lord Rickard, Brandon, and Ned all supporting Rickard's plan to build alliances among other High Lords and House Stark, and Lyanna and young Benjen not wanting to be used as tools in these political games. It looks to me as if Lyanna's response to her upcoming wedding is to runaway with Rhaegar to remove herself from the marriage. I think Rickard and all of the Stark brothers know this, but Lord Stark, Brandon, and Ned see it as Lyanna's duty to go through with the match, no matter how strongly she is set against it. No matter how sure she is of Robert's unsuitable "nature." What this means for Benjen, who has spent the rebellion doing his own duty to his family by being the "Stark in Winterfell," is he must deal with his grief about Lyanna's death, along with the deaths of his father and oldest brother, when Ned returns with their sister's bones. For the teenage Benjen, Ned is the only one left for him to blame of those who tried to force the marriage. The Night's Watch is likely the only refuge from his pain and loss that puts space between the brothers. That they both view service in the Watch as a honorable thing and a longstanding Stark tradition only makes such a move acceptable, even in the face of the needs of House Stark for more heirs. What we see as the story begins is a more mature Benjen and Ned, who time and distanced, at least partially healed from their shared grief and have worked to repair their relationship as brothers with different duties. My two cents. an addendum to the above. We don't know when or how Benjen finds out about Lyanna's death, but it seems likely to me that Ned might want to tell him his brother himself. It seems Ned does the same with Robert and they are "reunited in grief" of Lyanna's death. This would mean that Ned likely keeps the news of the deaths at the tower of joy to a very few until he reaches first King's Landing and then on to Winterfell. Alternatively, Howland could have been sent on ahead with baby Jon and his wet-nurse, and Benjen could have learned of his sister's death via the crannogman's delivery of both baby and bones in a way to circumvent both from falling into the grasp of those in King's Landing who might want to hold them for their own purposes. Robert to build his shrine to Lyanna's remains, or Varys to investigate Jon's birth and interrogate his wet nurse. So when we ask ourselves why Benjen joins the Watch when he does, the answer may all be wound up in how he hears the news of his sister's death. He is then a teenage boy who has had to be alone from family as the Stark of Winterfell for something over two years while wondering if he will ever see his sister again. The shock and bitterness of the news, I think, almost certainly shapes his response of joining the Watch so soon after his brother's arrival back home. Or that is how I see it as likely happening.
  16. SFDanny

    R+L=J v.166

    We are talking about a "kidnapping" that takes place only about 30 miles from Harrenhal in a very populated area of Westeros. The news of Lyanna's kidnapping would have likely spread like wildfire. Think of Tyrion's kidnapping by Catelyn and how fast the word spreads. It makes it unlikely that Brandon rides to Riverrun and fights the duel and after the kidnapping and then he rides out to hear news of a much distant past. Could it be the duel takes place after Lyanna is taken away by Rhaegar? Yes, but it seems the two events have to be close together. I think we have to guess on a matter of a couple of days at most for Brandon to learn of Lyanna having gone missing. He does so on the road after he leaves Catelyn and after the duel. So, it is certainly possible the duel takes place after the kidnapping, but I think it unlikely. I would again point that is unlikely that Lyanna is traveling without a Winterfell escort and among the first things they would have done after seeing Lyanna disappear with Rhaegar and Dayne and Whent is to send someone to tell Brandon of the event. That it seems Brandon hears of this while he is on the road and it sounds like this is before the Tullys know of the kidnapping, makes me believe it is not done via a raven, but by a personal messenger of the Stark's escorting company. That still is likely to be only a matter of a day or two at most before Brandon hears the news.
  17. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    No apologies needed. I agree with you. That is the same guess I've made for a long time. But it is a guess. What Martin really tells us with this quote is the Westerosi calendar is a solar calendar like the Gregorian. It measures the "year" by the length of time around its sun. He also tells us there are twelve turns of the moon within the Westerosi year. All good information, but it doesn't tell us how many days are in the Westerosi year. While that critical information remains unknown it is impossible to know for sure if the Westerosi year and the Gregorian year are the same length. I doubt in his creation of his world Martin complicated it by creating a new calendar different than the one he uses everyday. If I were him I would just use a easily accessible real world calendar to map his important dates for his story. But what we see in things like Arya's 30 day moon turn and Westerosi creations like "maiden's day" look to be Martin's spin on how this all works out in the story.
  18. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    I would put it slightly differently. I think the Doctrine of Exceptionalism confirms most of what we expected. It also gives us elements of the history we hadn’t seen before. How the Targaryens win the Faith to this view is a combination of the aftermath of Maegor’s brutal war and Jaehaerys’s brilliant understanding of how to accept the surrender of one’s enemies. The how of it is important in understanding just how complete is the Targaryen victory. Any thought that the Faith had somehow won a end to polygamy should be discarded as absurd
  19. SFDanny

    Small Questions v. 10106

    I think you are probably right, RT, but I don't think this quote tells us how many days are in the Westerosi solar year. We are told in Arya's Braavosi chapters the moon turn is 30 days. We are told by Martin here there are twelve turns of the moon in the year. But that would equal 360 days, not 365 or 366 days such as the modern Gregorian calendar. Which is it? Are there Westerosi days outside the count of the moon's turn? Or do certain turns of the moon have more than Arya's 30 days? I don't think we know.
  20. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    Let's take this a step at a time. "In the text, nobody has ever interpreted it in this way" The "Doctrine of Exceptionalism" is first laid out in the recently published Fire & Blood, Part 1, so it is quite understandable that previous to this some people have put theories out that don't lay out exactly what the doctrine itself says. However, Fire & Blood is quite explicit in what the doctrine means. It gives not only an explanation of the doctrine's meaning concerning the Faith's relationship to Targaryen marriage customs, but to Targaryen rule as a whole. It is the culmination of struggle by the Faith to overthrow the Targaryens and to reinstitute the Faith's sway over all such questions Westeros wide. It is the complete capitulation of the Faith's war with the Targaryens and is the surrender, along with Jaehaerys's imposition of royal power over religious trials and the formal outlawing of the Faith Militant. The Targaryens won. Big time. They won it all. However, other than the recent explanation in Fire & Blood of the Doctrine itself, it is totally wrong to say the relationship between the Targaryens and the Faith, and the Targaryen ability continue with its marriage customs - including polygamy - "has never been interpreted this way." Quite the contrary. That the Targaryens retained these rights throughout their dynasty has not only been "interpreted" as such by many readers, but has been done so for far longer than the publication of Fire & Blood. When @corbon gives you Catelyn's quote from A Clash of Kings and Ser Jorah's from A Storm of Swords, you should recognize clues used by readers as far back as the publication of ACoK that place polygamy firmly within Targaryen customs and choices. These boards don't go back that far, but I can tell you these quotes have been used by myself and many others to argue the same point @corbon makes. By far and away, the minority position over these many years has been that somewhere, somehow, the Targaryens had lost the right to choose a polygamous marriage if approved by the Targaryen king. It is this idea that has nothing to support it. Although, some few, have argued it along the way. "so to the think that R&L would just take it upon themselves to do so and then imagine that everybody will just be OK with this is ludicrous." What is ludicrous is to characterize the choice Rhaegar and Lyanna may have made to marry in this way. The history of events tells that if they made the choice to marry, it was with a very, very clear understanding that short of Rhaegar becoming king himself and winning against the rebellion that it would not be a choice accepted by either side of the rebellion. That does not mean the choice to marry as a Husband to a second wife was not made, nor that polygamy was not thought to be an acceptable choice by a Targaryen to make. It is a choice both within Targaryen custom and within the context of the political realities the couple faced highly unlikely to be accepted. Unless Rhaegar wins it all. Obviously he didn't. But that doesn't mean his and Lyanna's plan wasn't to win both the throne and the acceptance of their marriage. "And there would be no reason to keep all of this hidden if this is what they were thinking." Again to the contrary, there is every reason to "keep all of this hidden." In the beginning, hiding is their only method available for winning through to an unlikely victory. The two choose hiding in the pre-rebellion world in hopes that the Starks and the Baratheons would have to eventually accept Lyanna's refusal to marry Robert. Short of a duel to the death between Rhaegar and either Robert or a Stark family member, there is no path forward for them other than a refusal to come out into the open. The death of any of these people is hardly part of their plan. When open war breaks out after Aerys has gone batshit crazy and killed Rickard, Brandon, and so many others, the two have little they can do to effect the outcome. But when Rhaegar is called back by Aerys, there opens a very slim path to their plan succeeding. But that entails Rhaegar leaving Lyanna hidden and coming out to fight the rebellion and, hopefully replace his father on the throne. Hiding is a tactic towards an end. An end that might have been achieved if Robert's and Rhaegar's duel at the Trident had gone another way.
  21. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    Read what the Doctrine of Exceptionalism says, not what phrase you arbitrarily decide it must say. It quite clearly means the Faith can no longer judge what the Targaryens do in their customs, traditions regarding marriage. As Septon Alfyn so succinctly puts its, “What they do is what they have always done, and it is not for us to judge them.” It is hard to be clearer than that. The Faith will no longer judge what the Targaryens do. That includes polygamous marriages if they see fit. We know this why? Because that is clearly part of Targaryen history in the founding of their dynasty. Read and understand the history put forward for us to read, and it is very clear. Instead of distorting the Doctrine of Exceptionalism so that it excludes what it clearing includes, the question becomes why did the Targaryen kings of Westeros choose to not use polygamy as an option? It would seem that tightly controlling who married into the royal house benefitted Targaryen power, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the power of the Targaryen who sat the Iron Throne, than creating multiple loyalties through the lines of others.
  22. SFDanny

    The whole "Tower of Joy" story is flawed

    Quite the opposite. While the exact phrase you choose is not used - so much is true - the concept is explained very well. Or more simply as Prince Maegor once put it, Once Septon Alfyn is named High Septon and the Doctrine of Exceptionalism is accepted by the Faith, there is nothing to stop any Targaryen from taking multiple spouses or unions between siblings, or anything else accepted in Old Valyria except the will of the reigning king. That Targaryen kings kept tight reign on who their family members wed is not surprising, but it isn't controlled by the Faith or by other customs, laws, or traditions. That remains true down to the end of Targaryen rule. The idea that another polygamous marriage could not take place among House Targaryen is simply without merit. It only waited the approval of a Targaryen king.
  23. SFDanny

    R+L=J v.166

    The family tradition starts its rule over Westeros with a polygamous marriage. What Maegor's example shows is that polygamy is subservient to the King's wishes and the power of the king to enforce his will, not that Westeros will not or can not be forced to accept polygamy. It obviously can and does with Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys. The rule of law is clear after Maegor's wars and Jaehaerys's imposing Targaryen exceptionalism. The law is that the King makes the law, and only the king can decide this question when it comes to his heirs or himself. There is nothing up to the rebellion that challenges the king's power on this question. So when Daemon Blackfyre wants to revive polygamy, it is still up to Aegon the Unworthy to make the decision to do so. He decides not to in Daemon's case. But if he had decided otherwise there is nothing in the law that would have stopped him from allowing it. What is more important than the rule of law, is whether or not in any specific circumstance there was political forces that would have tried to stop a Targaryen king from marrying a second wife, or allowing one of his heirs to do so? And if so would they be successful. In Rhaegar and Lyanna's case it isn't the question of polygamy that stops them from having a marriage recognized. It is simply the combined forces of the rebellion and the will of Aerys. So, I agree that the power balance after the Trident swings strongly against the already difficult path to recognition. But the point being that the power balance could have swung just as strongly Rhaegar's way at the Ruby Ford, and it would have been Rhaegar himself who sits the Iron Crown and makes the decision whether or not to recognize his polygamous marriage. That seems to have been his plan. We have this from two critical sources. Maester Aemon tells us Rhaegar thought Aegon would be the prince who was promised. And the vision we have of the royal couple shortly after Aegon's birth in which we are told there must be "one more" because the dragon "has three heads" strongly suggests Rhaegar sees his children as the three heads of the dragon. The question then becomes did Rhaegar believe, assuming R+L=J, that his child with Lyanna would be the third head of the dragon, and if so would he want that child born a bastard? Would Lyanna want her child born a bastard? If not the only way to prevent that fate would be to marry. The only way to prevent that fate and not set aside his other children with Elia, who we have no reason to think Rhaegar has changed his mind about their role in fulfilling prophecy is for him to be married to both Elia and Lyanna. That the Crown Prince doesn't really have the power yet to force this on anyone doesn't make it unlikely as part of his plans for Westeros once he does have the power when he sits the Iron Throne. That Rhaegar doesn't succeed in his plans, doesn't undermine the evidence we have of what he was trying to do.
  24. SFDanny

    R+L=J v.166

    I think you are confusing the term "baseborn" with "bastards." In the R+L=J example, Jon is not base born, but if his parents did not marry he is born a bastard.
  25. A question. Is it only me, or are others here irritated by the plethora of self-described "experts" on Martin's work who make money by charging for premium content based on nothing but profoundly pronounced comments over what looks to be stolen fan art? I have no problem with supporting real fans and encouraging many different views, but I have a problem with charlatan experts, without basic respect for other people's work, charging money from people who can't tell a knowledgable fan from a con artist. I doubt anyone is making lots of money, but as a principle question of good conduct, it irritates the hell out of me.
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