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Jon Weirgaryen

R+L=J v.90

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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 v.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)

"R+L=J v.83" (thread eighty-three)

"R+L=J v.84" (thread eighty-four)

"R+L=J v.85" (thread eighty-five)

"R+L=J v.86" (thread eighty-six)

"R+L=J v.87" (thread eighty-seven)

"R+L=J v.88" (thread eighty-eight)

"R+L=J v.89" (thread eighty-nine)

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Let's use Biology. Genes and Genetics....

Jon looks like a Stark more than Robb. Arya looks like a Stark too...reminder of Lyanna. He could carry some of the Targaryen genes but not in a physical way.

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No audio...

Let's use Biology. Genes and Genetics....

Jon looks like a Stark more than Robb. Arya looks like a Stark too...reminder of Lyanna. He could carry some of the Targaryen genes but not in a physical way.

Is there a metaphysical way to carry the genes? :)

Or perhaps we could say that the Targ seed is not so strong and hence it is the Stark genes that became manifest in Jon, at least in the visible traits like hair or shape of face.

Should we start with TOJ on page one?

There is never enough ToJ :P

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


Ned knew about Prince Lewyn Martell and Ser Jonothor Darry dying at the Trident. He knew about Ser Barristan Selmy slaying twelve of his and Robert’s friends before being wounded so severely that he may have died without Robert sending his own maester to tend to Selmy’s wounds. He knew that Ser Jaime Lannister had been in the Red Keep during the battle. He expected to see these three at the Trident, too.



“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.


From the app we know that Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent are with Prince Rhaegar when Lyanna enters the company of the prince. There is no surprise about events on the Trident expressed by any of these three. Evidently they are aware of the battle, and the outcome.



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


This states that Robert is considered an usurper by these Kingsguard, or at least by Ser Oswell Whent. He does use the term "we" and implies that Robert could not have won the battle at the Trident if these three had been present at the battle. They know that Robert has been crowned and taken the throne as an usurper. This also tells us that they know of an heir that is still living that has a better claim than Robert.



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


Ned relays that King's Landing has fallen and King Aerys is dead by Jaime’s hand. Ned knows that the primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king. He wonders why it is that these three Kingsguard were not with King Aerys when King’s Landing fell.



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


Ser Gerold Hightower condemns Jaime as a Oathbreaker, and implies that he or one of these others would certainly kill Jaime rather than let him slay the king if they had been present. Ser Gerold is expressing his support for King Aerys. He also relays that when Jaime slew Aerys that none of the three had been in a position to react, they were too far away.



“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.”


Ned tells them that all remaining forces surrendered to him, and pledged fealty to Robert and Ned. He expected to find the last of the Kingsguard with these forces, but again was surprised to note that they were not. This is an invitation for these Kingsguard to surrender to him.



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


Ser Arthur Dayne speaks for the group, and says that they will not surrender. Of note, when Ned approaches the tower Ser Oswell Whent is on his knee. That fact and this line can amount to a subtle clue that the Kingsguard have already bent their knees at the tower, before Ned arrives.



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


Ned has offered the Kingsguard the option of surrendering to him, which they rejected. This line is disjointed in the timeline because Ned is changing his tactic. He holds the Kingsguard, especially these three in high regard, even years later. He called them a shining example to the rest of the world. In an attempt to find some talking point that would lead to a peaceful solution, Ned tells them that their queen and prince have fled to Dragonstone without Kingsguard protection. This is an opening for the Kingsguard to discuss a tactical withdrawal. It is within Ned’s capabilities, as second in command, to provide safe passage. It would be in his, his friend’s and the Kingsguard’s best interests to allow them to go to Dragontsone to carry out their duties there.



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


Ser Willem Darry is a brother to Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard, and known well to these members of the Kingsguard.



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


On the night that news of the Trident arrived at King's Landing Aerys ordered that Rhaella and Viserys be taken to Dragonstone for their safety, as it appeared that King's Landing would shortly be under siege. Jaime was the only Kingsguard in King's Landing so Ser Willem Darry was drafted to protect the royal family members, while Jaime remained with King Aerys, Elia, and her children.



The Lord Commander recognizes that Ser Willem Darry is not Kingsguard, thus the queen and prince Viserys are not currently under Kingsguard protection. Taken together with Ned’s statement, it is easy to see that Ser Gerold Hightower sees leaving King Aerys' side at King’s Landing as fleeing from his duty, even if it was to protect Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys.



If the Red Keep falls, and Aerys dies then Viserys was safe as long as he could stay alive on Dragonstone. The majority of the fighting men had gone with Rhaegar, and mustering enough men to defend the city or just the Red Keep may be difficult. Without a Kingsguard to protect them Darry, Viserys and Daenerys are nearly captured and turned over to Robert. They manage to escape just before Dragonstone surrenders.



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


Arthur reiterates that the Kingsguard would have chosen to stay in King's Landing over fleeing with Rhaella and Viserys. The primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king, they would choose to stay with King Aerys (then) as Rhaella and Viserys flee King's Landing. It appears that these three Kingsguard have decided that they have an obligation, by their vow, to stay and protect and defend someone at the tower (now).



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


The Lord Commander is citing the Kingsguard’s vow as the reason that they must stay. He has decided that all three would remain, and we must presume that the reason is to protect the king. Several things contribute to this conclusion:


  • The White Bull, as Ser Gerold is known, is quite the stickler when it comes to the comport of Kingsguard duties.
  • Ser Gerold does not have a friendship with Rhaegar that would favor this decision.
  • Ser Gerold has already stated that he would slay Jaime to protect Aerys.
  • Ser Gerold’s decision to keep Arthur and Oswell with him only protects the king (the primary purpose of the Kingsguard) if the king is present at the tower.
  • Ned knows that these men were honoring their Kingsguard vow. There is no other vow that Ned is ever aware of. He thinks of these three as the epitome of honor and skill. A shining example for the world.

Reading these three statements, The Kingsguard does not flee (from its duty to protect King Aerys) then or (from its duty to protect Jon) now, because (explained) we swore a vow; puts things in a very clear light.



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


GRRM has confirmed that with equal equipment Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Arthur Dayne are a close match, with Dawn in hand Ser Arthur is superior. Ser Barristan single-handedly rescued King Aerys from captivity at Duskendale. Ser Jaime Lannister expresses his awe at the defeat of the Kingswood Brotherhood and the Smiling Knight, who was slain by Ser Arthur. In the screenplay Jaime slays a dozen men before being subdued at the battle of the Whispering Woods. Kingsguard practice daily among themselves.



One of the seven is a crannogman, not known for fighting skill. Another is Ethan Glover, recently released from the Black Cells, and likely weak as well as just being Brandon's squire. It seems that even facing the odds that they do, the Kingsguard should prevail. Something odd happened, and I really look forward to GRRM telling us about it.



“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.


The most important (first) battle of the Jon Targaryen dynasty. The mindset of the Kingsguard is that they will win the battle, and keep the secret at the tower safe until they can move to safety. There is nothing here that would indicate any fatalism on the part of Arthur. It suggests that Arthur expects to win, though we know with hindsight that they did not, and that at least Ned and Howland are aware of the secret.



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


Ned knows the outcome, and he regrets that he had to kill the three finest knights in the kingdom, even years later. If Lyanna had been kidnapped or mistreated while they were present Ned would not have that favorable view of these men. These three Kingsguard are undoubtedly living up to their "vow to guard the king", in Hightower's own words, to gain Ned's greatest respect. As fate has it, because these men were so honorable, on both sides of this meeting, they were fated to fight to the bitter end, for honor’s sake.









We also have the text of the white book about Ser Gerold Hightower from the screenplay.

Dispatched by King Areys to locate the crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen in the wake of Robert Baratheon's rebellion. Died in the Red Mountains of Dorne alongside his sworn brothers, Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent. After refusing to bow to the new King, Robert Baratheon, all three were defeated by a small force led by Eddard Stark of Winterfell







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[snip]

I never get enough of seeing your analysis. Thanks for posting it again for any nOObs that happen to pass along.

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So Obey overrules Go Protect the King Right This Minute when it's the Hand of the King ordering it, even though the Hand of the King is not the King. But you object to the idea that the orders of "a dead crown prince" must be Obeyed...

If Jon is a bastard, the dynasty is at Dragonstone. A mistress and a bastard are at the ToJ. Logic says that they can't follow a dead crown prince's order at the cost of protecting the king.

...even though the Voice of God seems to have a different opinion...

...which seems to lend at least a little credibility to the idea that the ToJ 3 died obeying Rhaegar's last orders, not guarding a new king.

So GRRM seems to say that the KG is "bound to obey" the orders of Crown Prince Rhaegar, and you yourself say that the KG at Duskendale had to obey the Hand of the King - even if that means leaving the King alone in a dungeon with his life threatened (that is, postponing Protecting the King, which is the First Duty).

But when Lyanna, the supposed Mother of the King, would want the KG to let her talk to her brother and ask for his help and NOT kill him, you suddenly decide that the Duty to Protect overrides the Duty to Obey in this particular case. The KG will challenge Ned to a last fight to the death without trying to avoid bloodshed and the death of Lyanna's brother by making the least effort to negotiate, and you say that the Duty to Protect overrides any Duty to Obey - at least to Obey Lyanna.

In GRRM's view, the KG cannot Disobey Rhaegar's orders out of hand even if he's only a Crown Prince. In your own view, the KG are obliged to obey Tywin even when the King Himself is rotting in an enemy cell. With these facts in mind, why do you absolve the KG of any duty to Obey Lyanna by at least trying to come to some agreement that might spare Ned? Why are they allowed to ignore her wishes when they are supposed to obey both the Hand of the King and the Crown Prince? Seems inconsistent.

I shall wait with interest...though I suspect I may be waiting a long time.

Remember when I called you "obscurantist" a while back. Humor me for one moment. You are making this situation incredibly complicated, but it isn't. Let's strip it all the way down to the bare bones.

"Kingsguard"- the word itself has some implications.

If the king, crown prince, and the next in line all die, who do we naturally expect the "kingsguard" to "guard?" The answer is in the word the "king."

So the default assumption should be that the final loyal members of the "kingsguard" would "guard" the "king." They might not necessarily be doing this, but for the sake of argument, we need to understand that this position is the established default position.

If one cannot agree with the bolded, their contributions to a thread such as this can't be taken seriously.

Now, just because this is the default position, that doesn't necessarily mean that this is automatically what the kingsguard are doing. There are exceptions.

Perhaps they are no longer loyal.

This is clearly not the case here for reasons that need not be reiterated.

Perhaps they are physically unable to guard the king at this moment.

This has been alluded to by some, that perhaps the trek to Dragonstone is too treacherous under the circumstances. I don't find it convincing and I think you would have to work pretty hard to establish this as legitimately competitive with the default assumption and I don't think the evidence is there.

Perhaps their presence would actually place the king in greater danger.

This could very well have been the case at Duskendale IMO. All we know for sure about Duskendale is that the king was a hostage for 6 months. This is a sensitive situation, one more likely to be resolved with the king's life intact by sensitive means, diplomacy, espionage, trickery, etc. In such a situation, it is impossible for a kingsguard to be forthright in the line of duty. One cannot simply ride to the king's side and slay his captors. The utmost caution must be exercised to secure a still breathing monarch. It is easy to see why Tywin Lanniser would be involved in this scheme and why the kingsguard would seek his counsel in how best to carry it out. IMO, it absolutely does NOT present a legitimate problem for the "obey vs protect" conundrum that has been suggested.

(Parenthetically I would add that Tywin was "the hand of the king." In a sense, there is not a complete distinction between him and Aerys. Figuratively he is part of the king, an inseparable component of the whole "speaking with the king's voice and ruling in the king's absence." Again, it is in the very name of the position. Therefore there is some justification for the kingsguard to be compelled to be certain Tywin approves of the mission that was ultimately carried out.)

Perhaps they were ordered to do something else

I know this is your favored alternative motivation so I'll dive into it just a bit more deeply. In the case of "Barristan, Bob, and the boar" you have a reigning monarch commanding his companions (including a kingsguard knight) to stand aside so that he may simply participate in the process of hunting. He cannot kill the boar with his weapon of choice without absorbing some risk, anymore than he could have participated in the melee at the Hand's Tourney or even ridden his horse to Winterfell and back. He was not "left unprotected" in the sense that Viserys was at Dragonstone and to forward this as a legitimate comparison is disingenuous in my honest opinion. Also, Viserys certainly didn't order the ToJ 3 to stay away, so the order did not come from the reigning monarch.

In the case of the hypothetical order to "guard the ToJ against all comers" there are several problems. First, who did this order come from? The contention, to the best of my recollection is that Rhaegar ordered the three to stay there. If Rhaegar died at the Trident, however, he never actually was the king, as the sack didn't occur until weeks later. It may be that the ToJ 3 didn't know of Rhaegar's death until they knew of Aerys's though, but I don't think that is hugely important. To continue to follow Rhaegar's order is to forsake Aerys's heir (but of course Viserys is every bit as much Rhaegar's as Aerys's direct heir). So the orders of a dead crown prince now take precedence over the first duty to the dead king (their duty to Aerys). Would Aerys have ordered the ToJ 3 to guard a mistress and bastard over protecting the heir to the dynasty? The question answers itself.

Secondly, the idea that the order to guard a mistress and a bastard could take precedence over the survival of House Targaryen and the royal line is an absurd reversal of priorities that should be enough to dismiss the suggestion without serious consideration. This is the part on which I understand that we strongly disagree, but you have demonstrated consistently that we will have to agree to disagree, because we have (through dozens of posts) failed to come to any common ground on the matter.

What would it take for the kingsguard to believe that Rhaegar himself would wish that they would forsake his own heir for the survivor of his mistress and bastard? In my opinion, they would have to believe that Rhaegar had, prior to his death, essentially given up on the Targaryen dynasty, that he was now simply a lovestruck tragic hero that would forfeit the survival of his house to protect the woman he loved and the product of their union.

If the bolded here is true it is problematic in two ways: First, it is senseless for the kingsguard to refer repeatedly to their "vow" if the order that they are following has so little to do, and is in complete dereliction of, their first duty. Second, and perhaps just as importantly, it shows that Rhaegar absolutely loved Lyanna more than life itself. We know that he wanted a third head to the dragon. If the above scenario is correct we know that nothing was more important to him than Lyanna. In what universe would he be likely to have planted a bastard in her belly?

Leaving all of the above arguments aside, let's go back to the beginning. The italicized exceptions above are just that: exceptions. We must understand that even to acknowledge them as possibilities is to concede that they exist as secondary to the default assumption that the "kingsguard" guards kings.

You are constantly demanding that I provide specific textual examples that demonstrate that your exceptions are not, or should not be the default. I'm sorry, but I don't see how the burden of proof is on me in any way shape or form. I hope what I've provided here sheds a little more light on my position, though it is hard to be optimistic at this point.

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


Ned knew about Prince Lewyn Martell and Ser Jonothor Darry dying at the Trident. He knew about Ser Barristan Selmy slaying twelve of his and Robert’s friends before being wounded so severely that he may have died without Robert sending his own maester to tend to Selmy’s wounds. He knew that Ser Jaime Lannister had been in the Red Keep during the battle. He expected to see these three at the Trident, too.



“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.


From the app we know that Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent are with Prince Rhaegar when Lyanna enters the company of the prince. There is no surprise about events on the Trident expressed by any of these three. Evidently they are aware of the battle, and the outcome.



Hightower, Dayne, and Whent at the Tower of Joy 950 miles south of the Trident saw 7 riders approaching.


House Sark White, a direwolf courant argent. House Dustin of Barrowton two longaxes bladed gules crossed, a crown between sable, House Glover of Deepwood Motte Silver mailed fist on scarlet, House Cassel Ten white wolf heads, House Wull Azure, three wooden buckets tenné, a bordure chequy cendrée and white, House Ryswell of the Rills Bronze, a horse's head sable orbed and maned gules within a bordure, Only Howland Reed is the head of House Reed and the Lord of Greywater Watch had no coat of arms


---- Ethan Glover (Silver mailed fist on scarlet) had been arrested along with Brandon and was Aerys' prisoner in King's Landing. Hightower was present for the execution of Brandon and Rickard.

---These 7 reporting a loss on the Trident would have been surprising.--Evidently the KG were aware that the losers of a battle do not then ride 950 miles into enemy territory.



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


This states that Robert is considered an usurper by these Kingsguard, or at least by Ser Oswell Whent. He does use the term "we" and implies that Robert could not have won the battle at the Trident if these three had been present at the battle. They know that Robert has been crowned and taken the throne as an usurper. This also tells us that they know of an heir that is still living that has a better claim than Robert.



---- Ethan Glover (Silver mailed fist on scarlet) had been arrested along with Brandon and was Aerys' prisoner in King's Landing. Hightower was present for the execution of Brandon and Rickard.

---These 7 rode past King's Landing and through 600 miles of enemy territory.or King's Landing had fallen--Evidently the KG were aware that the losers do not then ride 600 miles into enemy territory. A rebel sitting on the throne is a usurper to loyalists, even if the previous dynasty is exterminated.





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


Ned relays that King's Landing has fallen and King Aerys is dead by Jaime’s hand. Ned knows that the primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king. He wonders why it is that these three Kingsguard were not with King Aerys when King’s Landing fell.



-----Ned knew about Prince Lewyn Martell and Ser Jonothor Darry dying at the Trident. He knew about Ser Barristan Selmy slaying twelve of his and Robert’s friends before being wounded so severely that he may have died without Robert sending his own maester to tend to Selmy’s wounds. Ned knows that the primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king. He wonders why it is that these three Kingsguard were not with King Aerys----

These 7 rode past King's Landing and through 600 miles of enemy territory.or King's Landing had fallen--Evidently the KG were aware that the losers do not then ride 600 miles into enemy territory. A rebel sitting on the throne is a usurper to loyalists, even if the previous dynasty is exterminated---Ned only gave the KG the details.



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


Ser Gerold Hightower condemns Jaime as a Oathbreaker, and implies that he or one of these others would certainly kill Jaime rather than let him slay the king if they had been present. Ser Gerold is expressing his support for King Aerys. He also relays that when Jaime slew Aerys that none of the three had been in a position to react, they were too far away.



A solid paraphrase. 21 words in the text explained by 62 words....however nothing in the latter is not present in some way in the former.



“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.”


Ned tells them that all remaining forces surrendered to him, and pledged fealty to Robert and Ned. He expected to find the last of the Kingsguard with these forces, but again was surprised to note that they were not. This is an invitation for these Kingsguard to surrender to him.


Again a pretty solid paraphrase. The invitation to surrender may be a bit of a stretch. Considering Ned had looked for them and wondered where they were for the battles of the rebellion, expecting to find them with the last forces loyal to the Targaryens is not entirely unreasonable. (even if he meant to kill them there for their part in kidnapping his sister and murdering his father and brother) Offering them a chance to surrender would also make sense after a fashion,



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


Ser Arthur Dayne speaks for the group, and says that they will not surrender. Of note, when Ned approaches the tower Ser Oswell Whent is on his knee. That fact and this line can amount to a subtle clue that the Kingsguard have already bent their knees at the tower, before Ned arrives.


Interestng note. Interesting quote:



Quote





Though court protocol suggests many must bend the knee when the king or queen enter a place, the Kingsguard do not do so, standing guard as is their duty (IV: 349)


http://www.westeros....ction/2.1.3.2./




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


Ned has offered the Kingsguard the option of surrendering to him, which they rejected. This line is disjointed in the timeline because Ned is changing his tactic. He holds the Kingsguard, especially these three in high regard, even years later(see quote aCoK). He called them a shining example to the rest of the world(see quote aCoK). In an attempt to find some talking point that would lead to a peaceful solution, Ned tells them that their queen and prince have fled to Dragonstone without Kingsguard protection. This is an opening for the Kingsguard to discuss a tactical withdrawal. It is within Ned’s capabilities, as second in command, to provide safe passage. It would be in his, his friend’s and the Kingsguard’s best interests to allow them to go to Dragontsone to carry out their duties there.


Quote




Something his father had told him once when he was little came back to him suddenly. He had asked if the kingsguard were truly the finest knights in the Seven Kingdoms. "No longer," he answered,"but once they were a marvel, a shining lesson to the world."


"Was there one who was best of all?"


"The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne, who fought with a blade called Dawn, forged from the heart of a fallen star, They called him the Sword of the Morning, and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed." Father had gotten sad then , and he would say no more,


---aCoK page 332



If once was in Aerys reign, then Ned called Aerys' kingsguard a marvel, a shining lesson to the world. (that happened to lose a crown prince and a king and killed the king they were sworn to protect,)


I thought you might have sailed with him. =/=safe passage to Dragonstone in an attempt to find a peaceful solution in the best interests of all involved.



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


Ser Willem Darry is a brother to Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard, and known well to these members of the Kingsguard.


This is the first and only piece of information that the KG add that cannot be traced back to Ned's words or presence. It is also the reaction to the only good news for the loyalists,



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


On the night that news of the Trident arrived at King's Landing Aerys ordered that Rhaella and Viserys be taken to Dragonstone for their safety, as it appeared that King's Landing would shortly be under siege. Jaime was the only Kingsguard in King's Landing so Ser Willem Darry was drafted to protect the royal family members, while Jaime remained with King Aerys, Elia, and her children.



*The Lord Commander recognizes that Ser Willem Darry is not Kingsguard,* *thus the queen and prince Viserys are not currently under Kingsguard protection.* Taken together with Ned’s statement, it is easy to see that Ser Gerold Hightower sees leaving King Aerys' side at King’s Landing as fleeing from his duty, even if it was to protect Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys.



If the Red Keep falls, and Aerys dies then Viserys was safe as long as he could stay alive on Dragonstone. The majority of the fighting men had gone with Rhaegar, and mustering enough men to defend the city or just the Red Keep may be difficult. Without a Kingsguard to protect them Darry, Viserys and Daenerys are nearly captured and turned over to Robert. They manage to escape just before Dragonstone surrenders.



*(Ser Willem Darry is a brother to Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard, and known well to these members of the Kingsguard. ---The Lord Commander recognizes that Ser Willem Darry is not Kingsguard,)*


*(Ned tells them that their queen and prince have fled to Dragonstone without Kingsguard protection.--- thus the queen and prince Viserys are not currently under Kingsguard protection)*


Taken together with Ned’s statement, it is easy to see that Ser Gerold Hightower sees leaving King Aerys' side at King’s Landing as fleeing from his duty, even if it was to protect Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys.


Taken together with Ned's statement--Oswell's statement--Gerold's statement


Ser Willem Darry is fled--Ser Willem is a good man and true---But not of the Kingsguard,” “The Kingsguard does not flee."


No Aerys for Viserys. No fleeing from duty. No duty. Just a statement: kingsguard dont flee.



If the Red Keep falls, and Aerys dies then Viserys was safe as long as he could stay alive on Dragonstone. The majority of the fighting men had gone with Rhaegar, and mustering enough men to defend the city or just the Red Keep may be difficult.


That had already happened


Without a Kingsguard to protect them Darry, Viserys and Daenerys are nearly captured and turned over to Robert. They manage to escape just before Dragonstone surrenders.


That happened 9 moons after the flight.



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


Arthur reiterates that the Kingsguard would have chosen to stay in King's Landing over fleeing with Rhaella and Viserys. The primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king, they would choose to stay with King Aerys (then) as Rhaella and Viserys flee King's Landing. It appears that these three Kingsguard have decided that they have an obligation, by their vow, to stay and protect and defend someone at the tower (now).



Arthur reiterates that the Kingsguard would have chosen to stay in King's Landing over fleeing with Rhaella and Viserys


One cant reiterate with out stating. Ser Willem not kingsguard fled. No kingsguard fled for any reason.


The primary duty of the Kingsguard is to protect and defend the king,


Quote





The Kingsguard are sworn to obey the king, but the first duty laid on them is to protect him (III: 757)


http://www.westeros....ction/2.1.3.2./



they would choose to stay with King Aerys (then) as Rhaella and Viserys flee King's Landing.


There is no choice involved.


It appears that these three Kingsguard have decided that they have an obligation, by their vow, to stay and protect and defend someone at the tower (now).


It appears the kingsguard are not fleeing now.



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


The Lord Commander is citing the Kingsguard’s vow as the reason that they must stay. He has decided that all three would remain, and we must presume that the reason is to protect the king. Several things contribute to this conclusion:



(The Lord Commander is citing the Kingsguard’s vow as the reason that they must stay He (Ned) holds the Kingsguard, especially these three in high regard, even years later. He called them a shining example to the rest of the world. )


Is the LC citing this vow for Ned because Ned does not know they are KG that swore a vow or is the LC citing this vow for the KG because they do not know they are KG that swore a vow?


He has decided that all three would remain, and we must presume that the reason is to protect the king


Neither the decision not the presumption are justified.


  • Ser Gerold is known, is quite the stickler when it comes to the comport of Kingsguard duties.

Quote





"As for Lord Rickard, the steel of his breastplate turned cherry-red before the end, and his gold melted off his spurs and dripped down into the fire. I stood at the foot of the Iron Throne in my white armor and white cloak, filling my head with thoughts of Cersei. After, Gerold Hightower himself took me aside and said to me, ‘You swore a vow to guard the king, not to judge him.' That was the White Bull, loyal to the end and a better man than me, all agree."--Jamie Lannister

  • Ser Gerold does not have a friendship with Rhaegar that would favor this decision.
  • Ser Gerold has already stated that he would slay Jaime to protect Aerys.
  • Ser Gerold’s decision to keep Arthur and Oswell with him only protects the king (the primary purpose of the Kingsguard) if the king is present at the tower.
  • Ned knows that these men were honoring their Kingsguard vow. There is no other vow that Ned is ever aware of. He thinks of these three as the epitome of honor and skill. A shining example for the world.

LC is a stickler for the rules and does not have a friendship with Rhaegar are new... but not supportive... the rest have been discredited earlier.



Reading these three statements, The Kingsguard does not flee (from its duty to protect King Aerys) then or (from its duty to protect Jon) now, because (explained) we swore a vow; puts things in a very clear light.


Reading these three statements, The Kingsguard does not flee (from its duty to protect King Aerys) then or (from its duty to protect Jon) now, because (explained) we swore a vow; puts things in a very clear light. as they are.



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


GRRM has confirmed that with equal equipment Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Arthur Dayne are a close match, with Dawn in hand Ser Arthur is superior. Ser Barristan single-handedly rescued King Aerys from captivity at Duskendale. Ser Jaime Lannister expresses his awe at the defeat of the Kingswood Brotherhood and the Smiling Knight, who was slain by Ser Arthur. In the screenplay Jaime slays a dozen men before being subdued at the battle of the Whispering Woods. Kingsguard practice daily among themselves.



One of the seven is a crannogman, not known for fighting skill. Another is Ethan Glover, recently released from the Black Cells, and likely weak as well as just being Brandon's squire. It seems that even facing the odds that they do, the Kingsguard should prevail. Something odd happened, and I really look forward to GRRM telling us about it.



OK... we now note that Aerys prisoner is among the men arriving at the ToJ.



“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.


The most important (first) battle of the Jon Targaryen dynasty. The mindset of the Kingsguard is that they will win the battle, and keep the secret at the tower safe until they can move to safety. There is nothing here that would indicate any fatalism on the part of Arthur. It suggests that Arthur expects to win, though we know with hindsight that they did not, and that at least Ned and Howland are aware of the secret.


(There is no surprise about events on the Trident expressed by any of these three. Evidently they are aware of the battle, and the outcome. They know that Robert has been crowned and taken the throne as an usurper --The mindset of the Kingsguard is that they will win the battle, and keep the secret at the tower safe until they can move to safety. )


They knew that the kingdom was lost and decided to wait until after they are discovered to fight a battle and then move to safety. They chose this route over going to safety before they were discovered. They expected to encounter only a token force, to defeat that force, and then to flee. They decided to give up any headstart they had on the chance things would work out that way. No wonder they had lost 2 kings and a prince. A marvel, a shining example of the world on how to lose a kingdom.



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


Ned knows the outcome, and he regrets that he had to kill the three finest knights in the kingdom, even years later. If Lyanna had been kidnapped or mistreated while they were present Ned would not have that favorable view of these men. These three Kingsguard are undoubtedly living up to their "vow to guard the king", in Hightower's own words, to gain Ned's greatest respect. As fate has it, because these men were so honorable, on both sides of this meeting, they were fated to fight to the bitter end, for honor’s sake.



(Ned knows the outcome,... Arthur expects to win, though we know with hindsight that they did not)




and he regrets that he had to kill the three finest knights in the kingdom, even years later.


the passage this is based on is included and does not support this conclusion.



If Lyanna had been kidnapped or mistreated while they were present Ned would not have that favorable view of these men.


Ned viewed Jamie as dishonorable for killing the man that murdered his brother and father. Not because it was wrong but because he broke his vow to do it.



These three Kingsguard are undoubtedly living up to their "vow to guard the king", in Hightower's own words, to gain Ned's greatest respect.


the vow is protect obey keep.... any one of those is keeping their vow



As fate has it, because these men were so honorable, on both sides of this meeting, they were fated to fight to the bitter end, for honor’s sake.


The honor of protecting the king, obeying the king's orders, and keeping the kings secrets


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I don't understand why the presence of the KG at the Tower of Joy has to mean that Jon/anyone there was the true heir.
Do they only have made one vow(To protect the king)? I don't think so, it seems inconclusive to me.

:bs:

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I don't understand why the presence of the KG at the Tower of Joy has to mean that Jon/anyone there was the true heir.

Do they only have made one vow(To protect the king)? I don't think so, it seems inconclusive to me.

:bs:

So your lack of understanding means that this incredibly well thought out idea is BS? Seems reasonable.

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I don't understand why the presence of the KG at the Tower of Joy has to mean that Jon/anyone there was the true heir.

Do they only have made one vow(To protect the king)? I don't think so, it seems inconclusive to me.

:bs:

The primary vow of the Kingsguard is just that: guard the king.

We believe that news of Rhaegar's death, the Sack of KL, the death of Aerys and Aegon all reach the ToJ around the same time. They would also know that Viserys, who is now heir to the Targaryen throne, would have fled to Dragonstone. If the 3KG believed even for a second that Viserys was the true heir, one of them would have gone to Dragonstone because the King needs 1 KG with him. Hightower, the LC of the KG and by all accounts an absolute stickler for KG rules, would have booked it to Dragonstone, even if he left Dayne and Whent at the ToJ for Lyanna/the baby. The fact that all three of them remain AND that they are, in Ned's dream, declaring very loudly and proudly that they are KG and they do not flee because they swore a vow leads us to believe that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and that Jon is their child and heir.

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The primary vow of the Kingsguard is just that: guard the king.

We believe that news of Rhaegar's death, the Sack of KL, the death of Aerys and Aegon all reach the ToJ around the same time. They would also know that Viserys, who is now heir to the Targaryen throne, would have fled to Dragonstone. If the 3KG believed even for a second that Viserys was the true heir, one of them would have gone to Dragonstone because the King needs 1 KG with him. Hightower, the LC of the KG and by all accounts an absolute stickler for KG rules, would have booked it to Dragonstone, even if he left Dayne and Whent at the ToJ for Lyanna/the baby. The fact that all three of them remain AND that they are, in Ned's dream, declaring very loudly and proudly that they are KG and they do not flee because they swore a vow leads us to believe that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and that Jon is their child and heir.

Yes, all of that--but also the words said by Dayne that the KG do not flee "then or now." If Viserys is the king, then going to Dragonstone "now" would not be fleeing--it would be going to the king as would be appropriate for the KG (the reference to "then" is when Aerys is still alive and king, so going to Dragonstone clearly would be fleeing "then"). So the only logical way that going to Dragonstone "now" would be fleeing is if Viserys is not king, and the only way Viserys is not king at that moment is if Jon is the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and is in the ToJ (or perhaps nearby--but I personally think in the very tower). So it is not just the vow to protect the king--which is the first duty--but also the reference to going to Dragonstone "now" as a form of fleeing that makes me conclude that R&L were married.

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MtnLion, it would be a fun exercise to count how many times you posted this analysis... I love it!

It can never be posted enough.

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So your lack of understanding means that this incredibly well thought out idea is BS? Seems reasonable.

No, the fact that this part of the theory is taken as gospel is BS. It is not. :dunno:

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No, the fact that this part of the theory is taken as gospel is BS. It is not. :dunno:

Nothing is gospel until GRRM puts a book in our hands and writes the words "Jon Snow was actually the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and oh BTW: they were married." (he'll write it better than I did)

BUT...GRRM likes the mystery. He has set up the mystery from the start. Lots of clues with each new books. It's not gospel but I think the case people have built in support of R+L = LEGIT J is pretty gosh darn solid.

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No, the fact that this part of the theory is taken as gospel is BS. It is not. :dunno:

Well, right, it's not gospel. That's true. But, do you think maybe there is a reason why people seem so sure about this conclusion?

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The primary vow of the Kingsguard is just that: guard the king.

We believe that news of Rhaegar's death, the Sack of KL, the death of Aerys and Aegon all reach the ToJ around the same time. They would also know that Viserys, who is now heir to the Targaryen throne, would have fled to Dragonstone. If the 3KG believed even for a second that Viserys was the true heir, one of them would have gone to Dragonstone because the King needs 1 KG with him. Hightower, the LC of the KG and by all accounts an absolute stickler for KG rules, would have booked it to Dragonstone, even if he left Dayne and Whent at the ToJ for Lyanna/the baby. The fact that all three of them remain AND that they are, in Ned's dream, declaring very loudly and proudly that they are KG and they do not flee because they swore a vow leads us to believe that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and that Jon is their child and heir.

Thanks. :thumbsup:

I understand all of that. It just doesn't convince me.

Viserys was running away, he had to hide, far away from KL. Even if he was the king, he was way too far to make the KG abandon Lyanna to go after him. Even if they had done that, they probably wouldn't get there in time. So, what was the point?

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No, the fact that this part of the theory is taken as gospel is BS. It is not. :dunno:

Yes, and of course you bring so much red meat to the table to cast doubt on it too. Seriously, you should try to post something productive.

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