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Angalin

R+L=J v.83

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Reference guide

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


Frequently Asked Questions:

How can Jon be a Targaryen if he has a burned hand?
Targaryens are not immune to fire. Aerion Brightflame died drinking wildfire. Aegon V and his son Duncan are thought to have died in a fire-related event at Summerhall. Rhaenyra was eaten by Aegon II's dragon, presumably roasted by fire before the dragon took a bite. Viserys died when he was crowned with molten gold. Dany suffered burns from the fire pit incident at the end of A Dance with Dragons. Finally, the author has stated outright that Targaryens are not immune to fire. Jon's burned hand does not mean he is ineligible to be part Targaryen. For more information about the myth of Targaryen fire immunity, see this thread.

How can Jon be a Targ if he doesn't have silver hair and purple eyes?
Not all Targaryens had the typical Valyrian look. Alysanne had blue eyes. Baelor Breakspear and his son(s) had the Dornish look. Some of the Great Bastards did not have typical Valyrian features. Jon's own half-sister Rhaenys had her mother's Dornish look.

If Jon isn't Ned's son, then why does he look so much like him?
Much is made over the fact that Arya looks like Lyanna, and Jon looks like Arya. Ned and Lyanna shared similar looks.

How can Jon be half-Targ if he has a direwolf?
Ned's trueborn children are half Stark and half Tully. Being half Tully didn't prevent them from having a direwolf so there is no reason to think being half Targaryen would prevent Jon from having a direwolf. If Lyanna is his mother, then he's still half Stark. Furthermore, there is already a character who is half Targaryen and half blood of the First Men and was a skinchanger: Bloodraven.

Since Rhaegar was already married, wouldn't Jon still be a bastard?
The evidence that Jon is legitimate is that Targaryens have a history of polygamous marriages which makes it a possibility that Rhaegar had two wives. Three Kingsguards were present at the Tower of Joy when Ned arrived. Even after Ned said that Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon were dead and Viserys had fled to Dragonstone, the Kingsguard opted to stay at the Tower of Joy stating they were obeying their Kingsguard vow. The heart of a Kingsguard's vow is to protect the king. With Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon dead, the new king would have been Viserys, unless Lyanna's child was legitimate making him the new king of the Targaryen dynasty.
For a comprehensive analysis of Jon's legitimacy, see the detailed explanations in the two linked articles.

But polygamy hadn't been practiced in centuries, is it still even legal?
The practice was never made illegal and there may have been some less prominent examples after Maegor, as stated in this SSM. Furthermore, Jorah suggests it to Dany as a viable option.

Weren't the Kingsguard at Tower of Joy on the basis of an order from Aerys, to guard Lyanna as a hostage?
Aerys was sane enough to realize how taking someone hostage works even at the end of the Rebellion, and he would hardly miss the opportunity to bring Ned and Robert in line any time after the situation started to look really serious.
Furthermore, regardless of on whose order the Kingsguard might have stayed at Tower of Joy, they would still be in dereliction of their duty to guard the new king.

This theory is too obvious and too many people believe it to be fact. How can it be true?
The theory is not obvious to the majority of readers. Some will get it on first read, most will not. Keep in mind that readers who go to online fan forums, such as this one, represent a very small minority of the A Song of Ice and Fire readership. Also, A Game of Thrones has been out since 1996. That's more than 17 years of readers being able to piece together this mystery.

Why doesn't Ned ever think about Lyanna being Jon's mother?
Ned doesn't think about anyone as being his mother. He says the name 'Wylla' to Robert, but does not actively think that Wylla is the mother. He also doesn't think of Jon as his son. There are numerous mysteries in the series, and Jon's parentage is one of those. If Ned thought about Jon being Lyanna's son, it would not be a mystery.

Why should we care who Jon's parents are? Will Jon care? Who cares if he's legitimate?
Once one accepts that the evidence is conclusive and that Jon's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna and that he is most probably legitimate, these become the important questions.

Previous editions:

Please click on the spoiler below to reveal links to all previous editions of this thread.

Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread” (thread one)

Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread” (thread two)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon thread (Part III)” (thread three)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon thread (Part IV)” (thread four)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread (Part V)” (thread five)

The Lyanna + Rhaegar = Jon Thread (Part VI)” (thread six)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon Thread Part VII” (thread seven)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon thread, Part VIII” (thread eight)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon thread, Part IX” (thread nine)

The Rhaegar + Lyanna =Jon Thread, Part X”(thread ten)

The R+L=J thread, part XI” (thread eleven)

The R+L=J thread, part XII” (thread twelve)

R+L=J Part XXIII” (thread thirteen)

R+L=J Part XXIV” (thread fourteen)

R+L=J XXV” (thread fifteen)

R+L=J v.16” (thread sixteen)

R+L=J v.17” (thread seventeen)

R+L=J v.18” (thread eighteen)

R+L=J v.19” (thread nineteen)

R+L=J v.20” (thread twenty)

R+L=J v.21” (thread twenty-one)

R+L=J v.22” (thread twenty-two)

R+L=J v.22a” (thread twenty-two (a))

R+L=J v.23” (thread twenty-three)

R+L=J v.24” (thread twenty-four)

R+L=J v.25” (thread twenty-five)

R+L=J v.26” (thread twenty-six)

R+L=J v.27” (thread twenty-seven)

R+L=J v.28” (thread twenty-eight)

R+L=J v.29” (thread twenty-nine)

R+L=J v.30” (thread thirty)

R+L=J v.31” (thread thirty-one)

R+L=J v.32” (thread thirty-two)

R+L=J #33” (thread thirty-three)

R+L=J v.34” (thread thirty-four)

R+L=J v.35” (thread thirty-five)

R+L=J v.36” (thread thirty-six)

R+L=J v.37” (thread thirty-seven)

R+L=J v.38” (thread thirty-eight)

R+L=J v.39” (thread thirty-nine)

"R+L=J v.40" (thread forty)

"R+L=J v. 41" (thread forty-one)

"R+L=J v.42" (thread forty-two)

"R+L=J v.43" (thread forty-three)

"R+L=J v.44" (thread forty-four)

"R+L=J v.45" (thread forty-five)

"R+L=J v.46" (thread forty-six)

"R+L=J v.47" (thread forty-seven)

"R+L=J v.48" (thread forty-eight)

"R+L=J v.49" (thread forty-nine)

"R+L=J v.50" (thread fifty)

"R+L=J v.51" (thread fifty-one)

"R+L=J v.52" (thread fifty-two)

"R+L=J v.53" (thread fifty-three)

"R+L=J v.54" (thread fifty=four)

"R+L=J v.55" (thread fifty-five)

"R+L=J v.56" (thread fifty-six)

"R+L=J v.57" (thread fifty-seven)

"R+L=J v 58" (thread fifty-eight)

"R+L=J v 59" (thread fifty-nine)

"R+L=J v 60" (thread sixty)

"R+L=J v 61" (thread sixty-one)

"R+L=J v 62" (thread sixty-two)

"R+L=J v 63" (thread sixty-three)

"R+L=J v 64" (thread sixty four)

"R+L=J v 65" (thread sixty five)

R+L=J v 66 (thread sixty-six)

"R+L=J v 67" (thread sixty-seven)

"R+L=J v 68" (thread sixty-eight)

"R+L=J v 69" (thread sixty-nine)

"R+L=J v 70" (thread seventy)
"R+L=J v 71" (thread seventy-one)

"R+L=J v 72" (thread seventy-two)

"R+L=J v 73" (thread seventy-three)

"R+L=J v 74" (thread seventy-four)

"R+L=J v 75" (thread seventy-five)

"R+L=J v 76" (thread seventy-six)

"R+L=J v.77" (thread seventy-seven)

"R+L=J v. 78" (thread seventy-eight)

"R+L=J v. 79" (thread seventy-nine)

"R+L=J v. 80" (thread eighty)

"R+L=J v. 81" (thread eighty-one)

"R+L=J v. 82" (thread eighty-two)

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@JonCon's Red Beard, the app states that Robert was "irritated" (yes, that's the word it uses :p ) when Rhaegar presented Lyanna with the crown. It says nothing on a betrothal.


Mya had been born by the time Robert and Lyanna were betrothed. Mya was born in either 279AC or 280AC. Robert spend time with the girl, and rumours had reached Lyanna all the way. It would seem that the betrothal took place a while after Mya's birth.


In addition, Robert and Lyanna would have needed to have seen each other at least once, before getting betrothed. And until so far, the Tourney at Harrenhal seems to have been the only time they had met.



@BearQueen87, If you were in negotiations to be betrothed to someone, having fallen in love with said person on sight, and a married person would walk up to your betrothed-to-be and show interest, wouldn't you feel anger? (you know, if you can place your thoughts into a world where marriages can be arranged, whether the girl agrees or not :p )

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@BearQueen87, If you were in negotiations to be betrothed to someone, having fallen in love with said person on sight, and a married person would walk up to your betrothed-to-be and show interest, wouldn't you feel anger? (you know, if you can place your thoughts into a world where marriages can be arranged, whether the girl agrees or not :P )

Oh sure. I don't question the feeling angry part, I question the feeling threatened part. If Rhaegar is as good/levelheaded as most stories say, since it's only Robert who seems to have flat out hatred for the man, I don't know if Robert would be threatned by the crowned prince paying attention to Lyanna--espeically since Rhaegar is already married. It might cause Robert to resent his prince, but to think "he might try to take her away" is a stretch.

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Oh sure. I don't question the feeling angry part, I question the feeling threatened part. If Rhaegar is as good/levelheaded as most stories say, since it's only Robert who seems to have flat out hatred for the man, I don't know if Robert would be threatned by the crowned prince paying attention to Lyanna--espeically since Rhaegar is already married. It might cause Robert to resent his prince, but to think "he might try to take her away" is a stretch.

Well, the actual wording that was given in the app was "irritated". It seems reasonable that if Robert was seeking an arranged marriage with Lyanna (having just met her, and seemingly haven fallen in love with her) and the prince presents her with the top prize from the tourney (like Jorah Mormont did, leading to his ill-fated marriage) that he might get irritated.

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Well, the actual wording that was given in the app was "irritated". It seems reasonable that if Robert was seeking an arranged marriage with Lyanna (having just met her, and seemingly haven fallen in love with her) and the prince presents her with the top prize from the tourney (like Jorah Mormont did, leading to his ill-fated marriage) that he might get irritated.

I think someone in the previous thread said threatened and that's what I was responding to. I agree that irritated/anger is a fitting emotion for Robert at Harrnehall.

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On melancholy:

(I conducted a search on my e-reader so these are genuine.)

A face had been carved in the trunk of the great tree, its features long and melancholy, the deep-cut eyes red with dried sap and strangely watchful.

Catelyn I, AGoT

Robert looked off into the darkness, for a moment as melancholy as a Stark.

Eddard I, aGoT

When he (Ned) turned away from the window at last, his voice was tired and full of melancholy, and moisture glittered faintly in the corners of his eyes.

Catelyn II, aGoT

Robb opened the window and let the night air into the stuffy tower room. The howling grew louder. It was a cold and lonely sound, full of melancholy and despair.

Catelyn III, aGoT

"It was enough to weary even a strong man, and the Lord Jon was not young. Small wonder if he seemed melancholy and tired. Or so I thought at the time." Pycelle

Eddard V, aGoT

The serving girl had at least been pleasant. She said Lord Jon had been reading more than was good for him, that he was troubled and melancholy over his young sons frailty, and gruff with his lady wife.

Eddard VI, aGoT

The kings melancholy melted away with the morning mist, and before long Robert was eating an orange and waxing fond about a morning at the Eyrie when they had been boys. had given Jon a barrel of oranges, remember?"

Eddard VII, aGoT

And that's it for the first book. Only Catelyn and Ned have this word in their POVs and no other form of it is used elsewhere. The most important one seems to be from the first Catelyn chapter. The features on the weirwood are Stark-like. Plus, we know from the fifth book that the 'nameless, faceless' god of the heart tree is Bloodraven, blood of the First Men and Valyria/Targaryen.

This was a follow-up to the fake quotes that created a stir in the last version of this thread.

Edit: Also note that the watchfulness of the weirwood is a recall to the way Bran describes Jon in the first Bran chapter in aGoT.

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@ corbon,



Someone has blundered badly in interpretation then.

Who would be the Stark in Winterfell then?



I believe Rickard was the Stark in Winterfell during the HH tourney.

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@JonCon's Red Beard, the app states that Robert was "irritated" (yes, that's the word it uses :P ) when Rhaegar presented Lyanna with the crown. It says nothing on a betrothal.

Mya had been born by the time Robert and Lyanna were betrothed. Mya was born in either 279AC or 280AC. Robert spend time with the girl, and rumours had reached Lyanna all the way. It would seem that the betrothal took place a while after Mya's birth.

In addition, Robert and Lyanna would have needed to have seen each other at least once, before getting betrothed. And until so far, the Tourney at Harrenhal seems to have been the only time they had met.

@BearQueen87, If you were in negotiations to be betrothed to someone, having fallen in love with said person on sight, and a married person would walk up to your betrothed-to-be and show interest, wouldn't you feel anger? (you know, if you can place your thoughts into a world where marriages can be arranged, whether the girl agrees or not :P )

Ya know what's weird, is that Brandon was obviously a play boy, didnt have a problem with sleeping around with whoever, even after he was engaged to Catelyn he was fine with sleeping with Lady Dustin. Robert also had zero qualms about sleeping around with any female in the vicinity, so much so that Lyanna already knew he was a man-whore and had reservations about him. IS this why Brandon became so incredibly over-enraged about Lyanna and Rhaegar? That Robert was his fellow playa-playa, and by Lyanna not choosing Robert she was insulting all playboys in general. Like the fact that any woman could possibly not want a high-born slut-man is taken as a personal insult to Brandon?? I mean gods forbid that every high-born boy doesnt get exactly what he wants at the minute he wants it.

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@JonCon's Red Beard, the app states that Robert was "irritated" (yes, that's the word it uses :P ) when Rhaegar presented Lyanna with the crown. It says nothing on a betrothal.

Mya had been born by the time Robert and Lyanna were betrothed. Mya was born in either 279AC or 280AC. Robert spend time with the girl, and rumours had reached Lyanna all the way. It would seem that the betrothal took place a while after Mya's birth.

In addition, Robert and Lyanna would have needed to have seen each other at least once, before getting betrothed. And until so far, the Tourney at Harrenhal seems to have been the only time they had met.

Why? Marriages got arranged all the time in real world history, and even in Westeros without the people involved actually meeting. From what I know, marriages are arranged by the parents on either sides, or the heads of house, or directly with the suitor -- if he represents himself. But the bride is not involved at all in the negotiations. You do not ask her opinion, but inform her after the fact.

Ned and Robert growing up together, is enough motivation imo, for Robert getting the idea in his head, that Lyanna would make a good match -- further, he was probably pressed to find a match from the moment his parents died; one can assume that the young lord of Stormsends had many offers of marriage; Ned's proximity, friendship and Ned having a sister, would have been imo, the ideal solution for a lazy, laid back youth.

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Ya know what's weird, is that Brandon was obviously a play boy, didnt have a problem with sleeping around with whoever, even after he was engaged to Catelyn he was fine with sleeping with Lady Dustin. Robert also had zero qualms about sleeping around with any female in the vicinity, so much so that Lyanna already knew he was a man-whore and had reservations about him. IS this why Brandon became so incredibly over-enraged about Lyanna and Rhaegar? That Robert was his fellow playa-playa, and by Lyanna not choosing Robert she was insulting all playboys in general. Like the fact that any woman could possibly not want a high-born slut-man is taken as a personal insult to Brandon?? I mean gods forbid that every high-born boy doesnt get exactly what he wants at the minute he wants it.

It always struck me as odd that Ned and Robert got on as well as they did with each other. Ned seemed to have slightly bitter feelings towards Brandon, and from what we know of his own character doesn't like the idea of whoring (that whole "that was not a charge anyone could lay at the door of Eddard Stark" comment), so you'd think it would have been Bob and Brandon that were BFF's (despite Ned and Robert being the ones who grew up together).

Maybe there was a slight personal sting in it for Brandon, though his real motivation seems like he was just a hot-blooded ass who probably thought this would be expected of him.

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Ya know what's weird, is that Brandon was obviously a play boy, didnt have a problem with sleeping around with whoever, even after he was engaged to Catelyn he was fine with sleeping with Lady Dustin. Robert also had zero qualms about sleeping around with any female in the vicinity, so much so that Lyanna already knew he was a man-whore and had reservations about him. IS this why Brandon became so incredibly over-enraged about Lyanna and Rhaegar? That Robert was his fellow playa-playa, and by Lyanna not choosing Robert she was insulting all playboys in general. Like the fact that any woman could possibly not want a high-born slut-man is taken as a personal insult to Brandon?? I mean gods forbid that every high-born boy doesnt get exactly what he wants at the minute he wants it.

Interesting idea. Because of Lyanna's three brothers, Brandon is the one who is most like Robert. Ned and Robert always struck me as a strange team. They aren't that alike. Even as a boy/young man Ned was more quiet and reserved. Brandon is the one who has to ask Ashara Dayne to dance with Ned.

Why? Marriages got arranged all the time in real world history, and even in Westeros without the people involved actually meeting. From what I know, marriages are arranged by the parents on either sides, or the heads of house, or directly with the suitor -- if he represents himself. But the bride is not involved at all in the negotiations. You do not ask her opinion, but inform her after the fact.

Ned and Robert growing up together, is enough motivation imo, for Robert getting the idea in his head, that Lyanna would make a good match -- further, he was probably pressed to find a match from the moment his parents died; one can assume that the young lord of Stormsends had many offers of marriage; Ned's proximity, friendship and Ned having a sister, would have been imo, the ideal solution for a lazy, laid back youth.

He might have assumed that Lyanna was just like Ned: honorable and decent, which are the qualities you look for in a wife but also as the future lady of Storms' End. But Robert doesn't realzie that Ned and Lyanna aren't that alike.

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Why? Marriages got arranged all the time in real world history, and even in Westeros without the people involved actually meeting. From what I know, marriages are arranged by the parents on either sides, or the heads of house, or directly with the suitor -- if he represents himself. But the bride is not involved at all in the negotiations. You do not ask her opinion, but inform her after the fact.

Ned and Robert growing up together, is enough motivation imo, for Robert getting the idea in his head, that Lyanna would make a good match -- further, he was probably pressed to find a match from the moment his parents died; one can assume that the young lord of Stormsends had many offers of marriage; Ned's proximity, friendship and Ned having a sister, would have been imo, the ideal solution for a lazy, laid back youth.

I always assumed Robert just thought she was hot, and if they interacted at all, I doubt she took any of his BS, so he probably found that intriguing. I assume Robert didn't need much motivation, tbh.

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Oh sure. I don't question the feeling angry part, I question the feeling threatened part. If Rhaegar is as good/levelheaded as most stories say, since it's only Robert who seems to have flat out hatred for the man, I don't know if Robert would be threatned by the crowned prince paying attention to Lyanna--espeically since Rhaegar is already married. It might cause Robert to resent his prince, but to think "he might try to take her away" is a stretch.

In that case, I didn't say a thing :) :D

Ya know what's weird, is that Brandon was obviously a play boy, didnt have a problem with sleeping around with whoever, even after he was engaged to Catelyn he was fine with sleeping with Lady Dustin. Robert also had zero qualms about sleeping around with any female in the vicinity, so much so that Lyanna already knew he was a man-whore and had reservations about him. IS this why Brandon became so incredibly over-enraged about Lyanna and Rhaegar? That Robert was his fellow playa-playa, and by Lyanna not choosing Robert she was insulting all playboys in general. Like the fact that any woman could possibly not want a high-born slut-man is taken as a personal insult to Brandon?? I mean gods forbid that every high-born boy doesnt get exactly what he wants at the minute he wants it.

I think it had more to do with the fact that Lyanna was said to have been taken at sword point, or, kidnapped. I can imagine that idea didn't sit right with Brandon :p

Why? Marriages got arranged all the time in real world history, and even in Westeros without the people involved actually meeting. From what I know, marriages are arranged by the parents on either sides, or the heads of house, or directly with the suitor -- if he represents himself. But the bride is not involved at all in the negotiations. You do not ask her opinion, but inform her after the fact.

Ned and Robert growing up together, is enough motivation imo, for Robert getting the idea in his head, that Lyanna would make a good match -- further, he was probably pressed to find a match from the moment his parents died; one can assume that the young lord of Stormsends had many offers of marriage; Ned's proximity, friendship and Ned having a sister, would have been imo, the ideal solution for a lazy, laid back youth.

Robert loved her, It's a bit difficult to fall in love with someone whose face you've never seen before, isn't it? :P

You are right about the brid, she in most cases had little to nothing to say about the matter. But Robert was lord in his own name, so he would have been involved himself.

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Robert loved her, It's a bit difficult to fall in love with someone whose face you've never seen before, isn't it? :P

You are right about the brid, she in most cases had little to nothing to say about the matter. But Robert was lord in his own name, so he would have been involved himself.

In real life, yes. In fantasy stories? No. You hear of their beauty and valor and honor and chastity and thus have a vision in your head and you fall in love with THAT without needing to see the person themselves. Robert knows Ned has a sister, he hears about her beauty from Ned who admits that his sister is beautiful (he tells Ayra that in aGoT); he also answers questions about his sisters temperment which causes Robert to build up this image of Lyanna as "the perfect woman." And thus falls in love. But Lyanna doesn't have the same experience as Robert. When she hears about him/sees the sort of man he is, she is unimpressed. Robert spends the rest of his life "killing Rhaegar on the Trident every night" defending a woman he barely knew but claims to love deeply. And Lyanna spent the last year of her life with the man she actually loved, who was nothing like Robert (at least in parts...do we know if Rhaegar had other lovers outside of Elia before Lyanna?)

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@JonCon's Red Beard, the app states that Robert was "irritated" (yes, that's the word it uses :P ) when Rhaegar presented Lyanna with the crown. It says nothing on a betrothal.

I'm loving Rhaegar the troll :3

Anyway, I've always assume that it's during the Tourney when they officially met, Robert and Lyanna, I mean.

And there was a nice parody around here (or somewhere) about the whole thing. We have Robert being Robert, drinking and smashing things yelling "LYANNA! LOOK! LOOK! I'M ALL DRUNK AND SMASHING THINGS FUCK YEAH!" while Rhaegar was playing his harp and looking at her with a "sucks for you" look on his face :lol:

Ya know what's weird, is that Brandon was obviously a play boy, didnt have a problem with sleeping around with whoever, even after he was engaged to Catelyn he was fine with sleeping with Lady Dustin. Robert also had zero qualms about sleeping around with any female in the vicinity, so much so that Lyanna already knew he was a man-whore and had reservations about him. IS this why Brandon became so incredibly over-enraged about Lyanna and Rhaegar? That Robert was his fellow playa-playa, and by Lyanna not choosing Robert she was insulting all playboys in general. Like the fact that any woman could possibly not want a high-born slut-man is taken as a personal insult to Brandon?? I mean gods forbid that every high-born boy doesnt get exactly what he wants at the minute he wants it.

Brandon Stark, defender of the playahs.

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(at least in parts...do we know if Rhaegar had other lovers outside of Elia before Lyanna?)

JonCon I don't think we know for sure, but we do know that he was bookish and "took no interest in the play of other children," so whether that carried on into his teenage years, who knows. Ned also assumes he wasn't the type to frequent brothels, for what that's worth.

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Robert loved her, It's a bit difficult to fall in love with someone whose face you've never seen before, isn't it? :P

You are right about the brid, she in most cases had little to nothing to say about the matter. But Robert was lord in his own name, so he would have been involved himself.

I didn't say he wasn't involved -- as I said, for me, Ned having a sister would seem a good motivation for starters. That way, Robert doesn't have to go look for a bride; and if he had some offers ( I’d expect him to have a few at least, because of his status) then he wouldn’t have any need to go through a “selecting” process....

Lyanna was available, he knew her brother, her family’s reputation, her brother’s character; and that she was of good birth. Ned could have told him childhood stories, too. imo, there would have been no need for him to look further; nor any need for him to actually see Lyanna before starting negotiations.

As to the “being in love” part, I suppose that’s a matter of perception. Personally, I believe Robert loved the idea of her. Not Lyanna herself. I believe that he barely knew her at all.

Sure, he must have found her pretty; but what prevents him from first arranging the betrothal, and then meeting her, and finding her lovely? all the better to feed his sense of entitlement – and by that I mean that she was to be his and she had been promised to him; a lot of “feelings” and hopes can be projected on such ideas.

Brandon and Catelyn barely knew each other. Cat's crush was helped along by Brandon's pretty face, I gather -- but as he was her betrothed, I assume she was ready to love him even before she laid eyes on him; it was her duty; and her future.

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It always struck me as odd that Ned and Robert got on as well as they did with each other. Ned seemed to have slightly bitter feelings towards Brandon, and from what we know of his own character doesn't like the idea of whoring (that whole "that was not a charge anyone could lay at the door of Eddard Stark" comment), so you'd think it would have been Bob and Brandon that were BFF's (despite Ned and Robert being the ones who grew up together).

Maybe there was a slight personal sting in it for Brandon, though his real motivation seems like he was just a hot-blooded ass who probably thought this would be expected of him.

Robert always seems to have been wild but I always took it that he had gotten worse and worse over time. Also two people just alike may have clashed after a point. Especially if both were very dominant.

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JonCon I don't think we know for sure, but we do know that he was bookish and "took no interest in the play of other children," so whether that carried on into his teenage years, who knows. Ned also assumes he wasn't the type to frequent brothels, for what that's worth.

Great irony. Ned and Rhaegar are more suited to be friends than Ned and Robert. Robert and Brandon were probably better suited together than Robert and Ned.

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(at least in parts...do we know if Rhaegar had other lovers outside of Elia before Lyanna?)

The timeline is much to constricted to suggest that this could have happened. Also, many seem stuck on the idea that Rhaegar took Lyanna, and I believe it may have been the other way around. Lyanna taking Rhaegar, then convincing him to save her from Robert . . .

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