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UnmaskedLurker

Marriage of Rhaegar and Lyanna Revisited

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This OP will examine the arguments regarding whether Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. While I know that this issue is addressed briefly in the OP of the R+L=J pinned post, questions keep coming up about this issue, and I thought it deserved its own thread (again), to get people’s current thoughts on the issue. Most of this analysis is not original (I owe many thanks to the thoughts of frequent posters, including corbon, Ygrain, Mtn Lion and many others). While this post will be a bit long, I am attempting to pull together all of the arguments pointing toward Rhaegar and Lyanna having been married, and then propose answers to the frequent objections that have been raised against such a marriage.



Tower of Joy



The strongest evidence in favor of the marriage is the conversation at the ToJ between Ned and the 3 KG. Here is a copy of the passage:



“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.


“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.


“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.


“When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”


“Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.”


“I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”


“Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.


“Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.”


“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.


“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”


“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.


“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.


Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.


“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.


“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” [2]



Mtn Lion has an excellent line-by-line analysis that has been reproduced in a number of threads, and I will not try to go through each point here. The most important lines that are relevant to this question is the discussion of the queen and Viserys going to Dragonstone. Ser Gerold points out that the man protecting them (Willem Darry) is not KG and that the KG do not flee. Ser Arthur agrees, and Ser Gerold clarifies “We swore a vow.” This line is probably the most important line in understanding that R & L were married. Unless all 3 KG believed that Jon and not Viserys was the rightful heir to the throne, at least one, if not all three, of the KG would have tried to get to Viserys. Ned seems to be giving them an out—leave my sister alone and leave to guard the person you consider to be your king. But the KG do not accept Ned’s apparent offer, notwithstanding that the first duty of the KG is to guard the king. The only logical explanation is that the KG are already guarding the person they consider to be their king—Jon.



Ned later thinks of these men as men of the highest honor. Given the primary vow of a KG is to protect the king, this view by Ned makes most sense if Ned believes that they died defending their king, Jon. Ned would have no other knowledge of any other oath or vow that might have kept the 3 KG at ToJ. Once Ned talks to Lyanna and finds out the entire story, Ned comes to understand that the KG were guarding ToJ because Jon was their rightful king. Otherwise, Ned likely would have considered them to be something other than having the highest honor (not necessarily dishonorable, just not such high honor) because they made no attempt to try to guard Viserys. That behavior is only consistent with the highest honor if Jon is really the king in the eyes of the KG, and the KG can only consider Jon to be king if Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. In addition, Ned buried Lyanna with the Stark kings, which makes sense if Lyanna really was a Queen (as mother of the king).



Opportunity for Marriage



GRRM gives the reader clues that R & L had the opportunity to get married. GRRM lets the reader know that they were near the Isle of Faces, one of the only places in the South with Weirwood trees, before which a Northern marriage ceremony could be performed. He also lets the reader know that a wandering septon, Meribald, was in the area who could have performed a Southern marriage. While these clues are not dispositive, they certainly provide the opportunity for marriage, which is necessary (if not sufficient). These clues support the idea of marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna. GRRM has no real need to mention these facts unless they were somehow relevant. The main way these facts become relevant is that when the reader is finally told that R & L were married, the method of the marriage is not revealed for the first time. GRRM generally sets these things up well before the final reveal (some refer to this method as the three step process of obscure clue, better clue, total reveal).



The existence of polygamous marriages by the Targaryens also provides the necessary opportunity for a marriage between R & L. The marriage being polygamous, however, is one of the main objections given regarding this theory, which I will address in more detail below.



Rhaegar in the Vision at HotU



In Dany’s vision at the House of the Undying, Rhaegar refers to Aegon as “the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” It appears to be fairly clear that Rhaegar was wrong about Aegon being the prince that was promised because he is likely dead (or will be dead) and was not the song of ice and fire. Jon must be the Son(g) of Ice (Lyanna) and Fire (Rhaegar). If he is the song of ice and fire, then he presumably is the “prince that was promised” and not the “bastard that was promised.” A prince is the legitimate son of a king or prince, not the bastard son of a king or prince (unless later legitimized). So the be the prince that was promised, Jon’s parents must have been married.



Rhaegar then says, “There must be one more… The dragon has three heads.” This quote suggests that Rhaegar believed he needed to have another child. While it might be possible that Rhaegar would consider any child, legitimate or not, to be the third head of the dragon, I don’t think so. Rhaegar was obsessed with prophesy and believed at that time that he needed to have three children to save the world—presumably Aegon and his two sisters (like the original Aegon). Rhaegar would have wanted a legitimate third child to serve this purpose to maximize the power of the three heads. Obviously his view was wrong (at a minimum, his daughter is already dead and his son probably is dead or will be), but all that is relevant is Rhaegar’s belief at that time. Elia could not have a third child, so marrying another woman became Rhaegar’s only option. In addition, it seems likely that once he realized that Lyanna is ice to his fire, the marriage seemed inevitable to him. Polygamy might not have been his first choice, but under the circumstances, it became his only choice.



Character of Rhaegar and Lyanna



Most nobles viewed having a child without benefit of marriage to be dishonorable. Rhaegar would not have wanted to dishonor Lyanna that way. In addition, Lyanna was raised as a noble and is portrayed as strong-willed. She likely would have insisted on being married before trying to have Rhaegar’s third child. Whatever views may have been prevalent regarding polygamy, having a child without the benefit of marriage would be worse for Lyanna. The descriptions the reader is given of the personalities of Rhaegar and Lyanna are more consistent with them getting married than Lyanna becoming Rhaegar’s mistress.



Allusions to Jon as King



The books include allusions to Jon being a king. I will not try to find all of them, but they have been cited in other threads. Two of the more popular that I can recall are when Mormont’s raven (well, actually likely Bloodraven skinchanging into the raven) appears to refer to Jon Snow as king. Robert also joked to Ned about kings in the north hiding in the snow. These allusions make sense only if Jon is the rightful Targaryen heir, which requires a marriage between R & L.



Story Arc



This factor is the most subjective. Some people view this factor the other way, primarily that Jon’s central identity is as a bastard, and GRRM would ruin this identity by making him true born. Similarly they argue that the trope is fully undermined if a non-true born is the hero rather than a hidden king. These views notwithstanding, the story arc I see is one in which Jon Snow’s entire identity has been a lie. He is not the son of Ned, and he is not a bastard. Joffrey was a bastard, raised as a true-born king, while Jon is a true-born king, raised as a bastard. The symmetry makes sense. If the point of the “reveal” is to turn Jon’s world upside down and prepare him for the final battle, the knowledge of the identity of his parents might be enough, but the knowledge that his parents actually were married and wanted him would be even more poignant. We have been told by GRRM that the ending is “bittersweet” and by D&D (who were told the ending by GRRM) that it is “satisfying.” While those statements can mean almost anything other than a “happily ever after” ending, Jon being the legitimate Targ heir seems to be quite consistent with those ideas.



ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE MARRIAGE



Polygamy is Not Allowed



The issue of polygamy is addressed briefly in the OP for the pinned R+L=J post, but it remains the loudest arguments I see on the boards against the marriage. The argument seems to be that polygamy is against the religion of the faith and apparently not practiced by anyone other than Targs or even by Targs for almost 300 years. Some even argue that GRRM would never have the hero be the product of polygamy because he would not condone such a horrible institution.



While the only Targs that we know that have engaged in polygamous marriages were two of the earliest kings (Aegon I and Maegor), the reader has never been given any information that polygamy was ever outlawed. There are practical reasons why polygamy is not a common practice, including political considerations. GRRM suggests in the SSM quoted in the R+L=J thread that polygamy was never outlawed—here is the quote:



First off all I want to thank you for the one of the best fantasy novels I ever read. Then I would like to ask one question: In the SOS Jora Mormont told to Dany that Aegon The Dragon had two wives and she could take two husbands. The question is if there were any other precedents of polygamy among Targaryens besides Aegon the First.



Yes, there were.



Maegor the Cruel had eight or nine wives, I seem to recall, though not all of them were simultaneous. He beheaded a few of them who failed to give him heirs, a test that all of them ultimately failed.



There might have been a few later instances as well. I'd need to look that up... (or make that up, as the case might be).




So GRRM is setting up the possibility that even after Maegor, later Targs also might have been polygamous. He is telling the readers that polygamy at the time of the story is a possibility. The talk of polygamy is not done just as interesting backstory for the Targs, but because the use of polygamy becomes important to the story. In another discussion, GRRM is quoted as stating that after the loss of dragons, ignoring the views of the nobles became more difficult. But more difficult is not the same as impossible.



We also know that incest was looked down upon, apparently more than polygamy. But the Targaryen’s continued to practice incest. Rhaegar’s parents were brother and sister. No one claimed that Aerys and Rhaella were not legitimately married or that their children were bastards. When a person in a royal family takes an action that is not technically illegal but is greatly discouraged, the royal tends to get away with it. So if Rhaegar married Lyanna, there is no reason to believe it would be disregarded any more than the marriage of Aerys and Rhaella. Even Jorah believes that Dany could have two husbands based on the precedent of Aegon I having two wives. The rules that apply to others, even nobles, do not necessarily apply to the royal family.



Admittedly, other than Craster, we only know of Targs using polygamy, but Rhaegar is a Targ and was the crown prince at the time he would have married Lyanna. And Maegor’s multiple wives were not Targaryen, so the wives are not necessarily Targ. Although likely that Rhaegar would not normally have taken a second wife, his first was could not have any more children. Rhaegar was desperate to fulfill his understanding of the prophesy which apparently required a third legitimate child. He came to meet Lyanna—ice to his fire. Rhaegar might not have liked the idea of polygamy, but it became the only way to have the third head of the dragon. Marrying Lyanna became the only way to fulfill his destiny. So he brought back the old practice of polygamy, and he married the woman he came to love (we have a vision of him saying a woman’s name at his death, which presumably was the woman he loved, Lyanna).



Personal objections to polygamy are irrelevant. This story is a work of fiction. GRRM is not endorsing polygamy just because the hero is born of it—anymore than he would be endorsing having children outside of marriage if the hero is born of that.



ToJ Revisited



Some have argued that the interpretation above of the conversation at ToJ between Ned and the KG is incorrect. These arguments tend to rely on the view that the 3 KG stayed at the ToJ to satisfy a different vow than the vow to protect the king. The main line of argument is that Rhaegar ordered them to protect Lyanna and his baby and defend the ToJ until he returned, and the 3 KG are bound to follow this order until they are given a new order. Similarly, some have argued that if the primary vow of the KG is to protect the king, then the KG should have left the ToJ sooner either to protect Aerys before he was killed or to protect Viserys prior to Jon’s birth, when it would not have been known whether Jon would be a boy or girl (or even born alive), or possibly left ToJ with Jon rather than staying there and risk being found. One variation of the argument involves a theory that the 3 KG viewed Rhaegar (rather than Aerys) as their king and thus were bound to follow his order even after death.



These arguments do not stand up to close examination. The last one is the easiest to dismiss because in the conversation, Ser Gerold states that Aerys would still be on the throne if they had been there to stop Jaime. In addition, Hightower also has been quoted as telling Jaime, “You swore an oath to guard the king, not to judge him.” These words from Ser Gerold Hightower seem to clarify that the 3 KG would not have turned against Aerys, and would not consider Rhaegar to be king.



Now on to the two main arguments, that the vow they are keeping is not a vow to protect the king and that if the main vow had been to protect the king, staying at ToJ until Ned arrived would be inconsistent with that vow. Of course these arguments are interrelated.



Even if Rhaegar ordered the KG to stay at the ToJ, once Rhaegar, Aerys and Aegon are dead, and Viserys is presumably the next in line, the primary duty to have at least one KG with the king would take precedence. As Hightower stated, the KG “swore an oath to guard the king.” If another KG is guarding the king or if there is a direct order from the king to be somewhere else or if the king slips away, then there might be temporary exceptions. But under these circumstances, the need to send at least one KG to Viserys to protect him would take precedence over obeying the last order from Rhaegar, who is dead and was never the king. GRRM gives us the clue when Hightower says to Ned “We swore a vow.” GRRM is giving the reader a big clue that in Hightower’s mind, he is indicating that he cannot leave for Dragonstone because he is obligated to guard Jon, the heir to the Targaryen dynasty and rightful king.



Although the primary vow is to guard the king, this vow does not mean that the KG were failing to keep their vow by not leaving ToJ. This issue is one of timing, which GRRM has intentionally left a little unclear. We don’t know exactly when Jon was born relative to the battle at ToJ, and we don’t know when the 3 KG learned of the deaths of Rhaegar, Aerys and Aegon. Jon’s time of birth is unclear because even though Lyanna was in a “bed of blood” when Ned finds her, she might have given birth more than a week earlier. Deaths from puerperal fever (caused by an infection in the reproductive tract) often occurred between 7 to 10 days after giving birth. Death might happen even later. The fever can also generally be accompanied by excessive bleeding, which would explain the blood Ned smelled (not the blood from the birth but from the continued bleeding).



The other timing issue is when the 3 KG at ToJ found out about the deaths of Rhaegar, Aerys and Aegon. The 3 KG already seem to know about Rhaegar because they reference the Userper without Ned filling them in on the events of the Trident. But the deaths of Aerys and Aegon and the move of Viserys to Dragonstone is less clear. We don’t know exactly how long it took Ned to get to ToJ (he stopped off in Stormlands first), but communication to ToJ was likely not on a regular schedule. But whenever the 3 KG found out about these deaths, there is no reason to believe that they did not find out until after the birth of Jon.



While Aerys was alive, he was protected in KL by at least one KG, Jaime. So prior to the death of Aerys, the 3 KG at ToJ had no reason to go to KL. If Tywin and Jaime had not betrayed Aerys, Aerys would have remained safe. The duties of the KG were being fulfilled at that time, and the 3 KG at ToJ had no reason to leave for KL. It is unclear what the 3 KG would have done if they knew that Aerys, Rhaegar and Aegon were dead and Viserys was on Dragonstone before Jon was born. Perhaps one or two would have gone to Viserys and one or two stay with Lyanna to find out whether the baby is a boy or a girl. The fact that all 3 KG stay at the ToJ means that this information gets to them most likely after Jon is born. The conversation between Ned and the KG suggests that Ned is informing them for the first time that Aerys is dead and Viserys is gone to Dragonstone, implying that Elia and her children are also dead, as they are not mentioned. Either way, there is no evidence that the 3 KG at ToJ found out about these deaths prior to Jon’s birth.



In addition, the vow to protect the king would not require the KG to leave ToJ with Jon immediately after his birth. As noted above, it is not entirely clear that the 3 KG even knew Jon was king until Ned told them that Aerys (and by implication Aegon) was dead. But even assuming the 3 KG knew before then, leaving ToJ would not have necessarily been safer for Jon. Lyanna would have been left behind, and as the presumed Regent, it is not clear they could leave without her. But even assuming they could leave without her, there is no evidence that the 3 KG had reason to believe that Jon would be safer if they left. Robert won the war, and his men would be searching for them. Traveling with an infant is not necessarily an easier way to stay hidden. The location of ToJ had stayed a secret for some time. Laying low until they could arrange for safe transport likely was their best option. Ned showed up before they could leave.



Conclusion



While not absolutely definitive, the evidence suggests that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, and the 3 KG at ToJ considered Jon to be the rightful king. R+L=J is virtually a certainty, but the marriage of R & L is not as certain. Nevertheless, the best fit for the clues, and the best explanation for certain information being inserted into the story (such as trees on Isle of Faces, wandering septon, polygamy practiced by Targaryens) makes most sense if the placement was to support the eventual reveal regarding the marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna.



I welcome any comments or criticisms (within reason).


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I personally don't think them being married is really a point of contention when you factor the kingsguard being there or BR himself basically calling Jon King. It it pretty obvious to many that they were married unless BR just decided to lie to himself for no good reason..... The one problem here remains whether or not other lords and other kingdoms in Westeros would recognize him as such. The Targs were overthrown, so they don't have a current claim to the throne, definitely not over Baratheon anyways. I think the most ironic part of this whole argument is that Dany is going to have to win back the Iron Throne for Jon to have a real claim to it. lol


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I think "We swore a vow" is the big clue. The KG vows are to protect the King. They wouldn't have to protect Jon unless he was the Heir. And he can't be heir unless Rhaegar and Lyanna were married

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I personally don't think them being married is really a point of contention when you factor the kingsguard being there or BR himself basically calling Jon King. It it pretty obvious to many that they were married unless BR just decided to lie to himself for no good reason..... The one problem here remains whether or not other lords and other kingdoms in Westeros would recognize him as such.

I wish you were right about it being a point of contention, but I have spent a good part of the last week arguing this point in various threads. It is clear to me that many people on these boards still question this conclusion, and I have tried to address their primary arguments against. As to whether the lords will recognize him as the real king, that is a matter of speculation, but if GRRM needs them to recognize him for the story to work the way he wants, they will. It is certainly not impossible, as some have suggested. My suspicion is that Jon essentially will be the "last man standing" and will have "saved the world" so when the proof comes out (however it comes out), the lords may be begging Jon to take the throne. Or there might not even be an IT to take at all.

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I think "We swore a vow" is the big clue. The KG vows are to protect the King. They wouldn't have to protect Jon unless he was the Heir. And he can't be heir unless Rhaegar and Lyanna were married

not to mention if Jon wasn't king, the Kingsguard wouldn't have forsaken their vow and have left Viserys and his mother to themselves.

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I wish you were right about it being a point of contention, but I have spent a good part of the last week arguing this point in various threads. It is clear to me that many people on these boards still question this conclusion, and I have tried to address their primary arguments against. As to whether the lords will recognize him as the real king, that is a matter of speculation, but if GRRM needs them to recognize him for the story to work the way he wants, they will. It is certainly not impossible, as some have suggested. My suspicion is that Jon essentially will be the "last man standing" and will have "saved the world" so when the proof comes out (however it comes out), the lords may be begging Jon to take the throne. Or there might not even be an IT to take at all.

I don't like to much to speculate on how things will end up but there's a definite theme with Jon where he's the one (unknown king) in the middle of all the events meant to save the realm. It's ironic when you consider GRMM has made this drastic turn for Stannis where he becomes aware that you need to save the realm first before you can become king. Clearly Jon fits that description to a T so far.

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OP, you and I have been discussing whether a spin-off of the R+L=J thread deserved to be independent of the pinned one, and now you've gone and made a spin-off of that thread? Are you taking the piss? :lol:

I do firmly believe that Jon is legitimate, otherwise the whole thing is pointless.

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The only thing about R+L=J that really bothers me is that it is a overdone troph in a book that breaks all the rules.



A bittersweet ending for this would be if Jon found out that R+L=J and he was the real ruler but he has insufficient proof to prove it to anyone else.



He then wins the throne not because of who he was born as but who he became. He then plants his but on the IT.



Maybe (f)Ageon will argue with him or Dany will fight him because they believe he does not have the right but he does



The boy who had the right wins it as well. That would be bittersweet.


Bitter because Jon would have the inner conflict of R+L=J but not the titles and sweet because he managed to get the throne without a right


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I think the OP is well done, but it's annoying that people continually ignore the fact that there is a pinned thread for exactly this kind of post and subsequent discussion.


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The only thing about R+L=J that really bothers me is that it is a overdone troph in a book that breaks all the rules.

That is so not true and I see it used over and over again as a point of contention. This series is full of clichés. The father figure dying so his kids can grow up is about as cliché as it gets. Then people use Rob Stark as an argument for why this series breaks the rule, which again is total BS when you consider his character never even had a single POV. Rob was a side character to the main storyline and as such easily expendable. Catelyn while was killed, she was resurrected, geez what a shock there. Where are all these things that break the norm in this series exactly, because I sure as heck don't see them. I mean how many times do we need to be shown Tyrion possibly dying to see him survive or to see again see Jon (who is going to be brought back one way or another) and realize that this series doesn't break the rules at all?

GRMM's contention more along with clichés was with super happy endings and from what we've seen it's hard to see how he's setting up his main characters to have one.

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Point I find most persuasive in the OP: the "we made a vow" statement, which I never interpreted in this way before, but now I see how OP's explanation makes sense.



Things that I don't find persuasive:


Island of Faces argument. There could well be other godswoods with weirwoods in the south besides on the Isle of Faces. I can recall at least two other weirwoods south of the Neck, at Riverrun and Raventree Hall (home of the Blackwoods)


Wandering septon argument is similarly unconvincing. A prince of the realm wouldn't find it difficult to get a septon to perform a marriage ceremony. I don't believe that septon Meribald was introduced as a clue to Rhaegar and Lyanna's wedding. He's an interesting character, but has no further significance.


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Point I find most persuasive in the OP: the "we made a vow" statement, which I never interpreted in this way before, but now I see how OP's explanation makes sense.

Things that I don't find persuasive:

Island of Faces argument. There could well be other godswoods with weirwoods in the south besides on the Isle of Faces. I can recall at least two other weirwoods south of the Neck, at Riverrun and Raventree Hall (home of the Blackwoods)

Wandering septon argument is similarly unconvincing. A prince of the realm wouldn't find it difficult to get a septon to perform a marriage ceremony. I don't believe that septon Meribald was introduced as a clue to Rhaegar and Lyanna's wedding. He's an interesting character, but has no further significance.

Maybe I should have been clearer about the weirwood and traveling septon points. What I was trying to point out is that weirwood trees are not broadly available all over the south, and GRRM made a point to note that R & L were near a spot where they would have access. It is not a major clue, but just a little hint to the reader. As far as the access to a septon, the point is that a prince on the run would not have easy access to a septon. Meribald may not have performed the wedding, but his existence demonstrates that there were the random traveling septon that could have performed the ceremony discretely. These points certainly are not critical to the theory--they just answer questions in the event that someone was wondering where they could have found a place to have a northern ceremony for Lyanna and how could have located a discrete septon while they were on the run.

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OP, you and I have been discussing whether a spin-off of the R+L=J thread deserved to be independent of the pinned one, and now you've gone and made a spin-off of that thread? Are you taking the piss? :lol:

Why do you think I was defending the practice so strongly? :devil:

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GRRM made a point to note that R & L were near a spot where they would have access.

Was this in the books or in an interview? I don't remember this.

As far as the access to a septon, the point is that a prince on the run would not have easy access to a septon. Meribald may not have performed the wedding, but his existence demonstrates that there were the random traveling septon that could have performed the ceremony discretely.

I see what you mean there. Allow me to point out that we also see small septs scattered throughout the land. In the traditional hidden romantic fantasy wedding, there is this old but lovely ivy-covered historic country church, complete with venerable and sympathetic clergyman, where the secret lovers gather, with the faithful servants in attendance, to perform the wedding. Maybe that's what happened? ;)

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I do firmly believe that Jon is legitimate, otherwise the whole thing is pointless.

Basically this. Not so much in the prophetic sense (Jon has both parents, ice and fire, no matter what) but in terms of the secrecy involved (Robert might kill Jon out of spite, but as a bastard he's politically toothless, whereas legitimate, he's a threat that warrants Ned's level of secrecy), the specific details of the Kingsguard being there (if Jon were a bastard, Ned could have easily found Lyanna in the same place, in the same condition, with a few random servants or even knights; there's a reason it's Kingsguard) and all of the various wordplay and clues in the stories ("bastards aren't allowed to hit princes" only makes sense as a joke if Jon is actually legitimate; that's the symmetry, that Joffrey is the bastard and Jon is the prince).

I think people get way too hung up on the polygamy thing, which, near as I can tell, is the only actual argument against this. Yet we have the author leave the polygamy issue quite open-ended. It could have happened again later. Straight up. He had the perfect chance to close the case and say, "No. Aegon and Maegor and no one else." But he didn't. Now, is this proof of polygamy, no. But it's proof that polygamy is possible, which, again, demolishes the primary point against the argument.

That, and the Rhaegar-Lyanna-Elia triangle resembles the Aegon-Lyanna-Visenya triangle. Aegon married Visenya out of duty. He married Rhaenys out of desire, because he wanted to.

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The KG were obviously under order to guard Lyanna. Not fleeing would have been keeping that vow.

Perhaps that was the case when Rhaegar was still alive (and Aerys and Aegon). Yet by the time Ned gets there, the men know that Aegon, Rhaegar and Aerys are all dead. They know and they're still there. Ned mentions Viserys on Dragonstone, obliquely offering them an out. They do not give a single solitary fuck that their king (if Jon is a bastard) is alone on Dragonstone without a Kingsguard. Alarm bells should be ringing.

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"but as a bastard he's politically toothless" @Applemartini You really think the difference between Robert wanting a child born between Rhaegar and Lyanna dead like the other "dragonspawn" would be his legitimacy. As if If Rhaegar and LYanna hadn't said some words in secrecy Eddard wouldn't feel the need to conceal Jon's identity?


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"but as a bastard he's politically toothless" @Applemartini You really think the difference between Robert wanting a child born between Rhaegar and Lyanna dead like the other "dragonspawn" would be his legitimacy. As if If Rhaegar and LYanna hadn't said some words in secrecy Eddard wouldn't feel the need to conceal Jon's identity?

Do you disagree that Jon is a bigger political threat if he's legitimate than he is if he's a bastard?

ETA: The other "dragonspawn" were trueborn Targaryens and not relatives of Ned.

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The KG were obviously under order to guard Lyanna. Not fleeing would have been keeping that vow.

wrong the vow is to protect the king foremost. The Kingsguard isn't supposed to keep a vow from a dead prince protecting a woman (queen or no queen) when their real King is fleeing. (remember the quote to Jaime how you're sworn to protect the Queen but not from the King) That's breaking their sworn duty and foremost breaking their vow. The only way Hightower's words make sense is if they are protecting their king (in this case Jon).

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