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Ygrain

R+L=J v.117

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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 18 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.

Since this theory has been refined so well, will Martin change the outcome of the story to surprise his fans?
No, he said he won't change the outcome of the story only because some people have put together all the clues and solved the puzzle.

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)

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

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

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

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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)

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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)

"R+L=J v.90" (thread ninety)

"R+L=J v.91" (thread ninety-one)

"R+L=J v.92" (thread ninety-two)

"R+L=J v.93" (thread ninety-three)

"R+L=J v.94" (thread ninety-four)

"R+L=J v.95" (thread ninety-five)

"R+L=J v.96" (thread ninety-six)

"R+L=J v.97" (thread ninety-seven)

"R+L=J v.98" (thread ninety-eight)

"R+L=J v.99" (thread ninety-nine)

"R+L=J v.100" (thread one hundred)

"R+L=J v.101" (thread one hundred one)

"R+L=J v.102" (thread one hundred two)

"R+L=J v.103" (thread one hundred three)

"R+L=J v.104" (thread one hundred four)

"R+L=J v.105" (thread one hundred five)

"R+L=J v.106" (thread one hundred six)

"R+L=J v.107" (thread one hundred seven)

"R+L=J v.108" (thread one hundred eight)

"R+L=J v.109" (thread one hundred nine)

"R+L=J v.110" (thread one hundred ten)

"R+L=J v.111" (thread one hundred eleven)

"R+L=J v.112" (thread one hundred twelve)

"R+L=J v.113" (thread one hundred thirteen)

"R+L=J v.114" (thread one hundred fourteen)

The TWoIaF Spoilers] R+L=J threads were used to openly discuss spoilers from TWoIaF at the time we needed to protect that information.

"[TWoIaF Spoilers] R+L=J v.1"

"[TWoIaF Spoilers] R+L=J v.2"

"[TWoIaF Spoilers] R+L=J v.3"

"R+L=J v.115" (thread one hundred fifteen)

"R+L=J v.116" (thread one hundred sixteen)

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Also, someone asked for the "bed of blood references":



He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood. (AGOT


Promise me, Ned, his sister had whispered from her bed of blood. She had loved the scent of winter roses (AGOT)



Before,” Dany said to the ugly Lhazareen woman, “I heard you speak of birthing songs …”


I know every secret of the bloody bed, Silver Lady, nor have I ever lost a babe,” Mirri Maz Duur replied. (AGOT)


The Lamb Woman knows the secrets of the birthing bed,” Irri said. “She said so, I heard her.” (AGOT)



That was the way of this cold world, where men fished the sea and dug in the ground and died, whilst women brought forth short-lived children from beds of blood and pain. (Damphair, AFFC)


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In response to "did everyone at Starfall lie to Edric, their lord?"

Seriously.... Do we suddenly believe that they sat a seven year old boy at a table and discussed big secrets with him?

I haven't been following the latest discussions, but we CANNOT simply mistrust every single piece of information GRRM gives us, right? Edric knows what he knows because that's what he has heard. Lie or not, it's what others believe to have happened. It's like what Harwin "knows". Tyrion is right, sometimes it's better people to talk the absurd rumours.

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Have you forsworn Comic Sans?

My computer does not even render Comic Sans any different than the normal font. :-)

Thanks for the shiny new thread, Ygrain!

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I haven't been following the latest discussions, but we CANNOT simply mistrust every single piece of information GRRM gives us, right? Edric knows what he knows because that's what he has heard. Lie or not, it's what others believe to have happened. It's like what Harwin "knows". Tyrion is right, sometimes it's better people to talk the absurd rumours.

Indeed, Edric knows what he knows because that's what he heard. But in he previous thread, the question was asked "so did everyone in Starfall lie to their lord, Edric?",(paraphrasing here)..

Yes Edric was their lord, but he was only seven years old when he enteted Dondarrions service. Why be so surprised about a seven year old not having been told dangerous secrets? Children talk, even when they don't mean or plan to, he chance is too high such a thing will eventually come out.

So it is much safer to not tell him.

Why tell him at all? Edric wasn't present and isn't involved.. telling him would only serve to make him part of the treason. While as log as he doesn't know anything, he is innocent.

My computer does not even render Comic Sans any different than the normal font. :-)

Thanks for the shiny new thread, Ygrain!

Nor does my phone... :(

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Indeed, Edric knows what he knows because that's what he heard. But in he previous thread, the question was asked "so did everyone in Starfall lie to their lord, Edric?",(paraphrasing here)..

Yes Edric was their lord, but he was only seven years old when he enteted Dondarrions service. Why be so surprised about a seven year old not having been told dangerous secrets? Children talk, even when they don't mean or plan to, he chance is too high such a thing will eventually come out.

In fact, the first thing he told Arya was "btw, I know who is Jon's mom!".

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Thanks for the shiny new thread, Ygrain!

I just happened to be online when we were threadless :-)

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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.

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.

The Kingsguard are sworn to protect the King yes, but they are also sworn to obey. We see this with Trant.

"Ser Merwyn, I have heard it said that Joffrey made use of you to chastice Sansa Stark. Here, show me where it is in our vows that we swear to beat women and children" - Jaime

"

I did as His Grace commanded me. We are sworn to obey." - Meryn

Ser Balon Swann is noted as being the most deserving of being a Kingsguard amongst the new ones

"Ser Balon, I have watched you tilt many a time, and fought with and against you in melees. I'm told you proved your valor a hundred times over during the the Battle of the Blackwater. The Kingsguard is honored by your presence." - Jaime

And we see that he's willing to obey his vows at all costs. When asked about whether he'd kill the king if his brother stormed the throne room while he was on duty Balon responds:

"My lord, on my sword, on my honor, on my father's name, I swear... I shall not do as you did" - Balon Swann

Yet we see that even he, a noble and true knight, will obey his orders, whether he likes them or not.

Prince Doran took a ragged breath. "Dorne still has friends at court. Friends who tell us things we were not meant to know. This invitation Cersei sent us is a ruse. Trystane is never meant to reach King's Landing. On the road back, somewhere in the kingswood, Ser Balon's party will be attacked by outlaws, and my son will die. I am asked to court only so that I may witness this attack with my own eyes and thereby absolve the queen of any blame. Oh, and these outlaws? They will be shouting, "Halfman, Halfman" as they attack. Ser Balon may even catch a quick glimpse of the Imp, though no one else will."

Areo Hotah would not have believed it possible to shock the Sand Snakes. He would have been wrong.

"Seven save us," whispered Tyene. "Trystane? Why?"

"The woman must be mad," Obara said. "He's just a boy"

"This is monstrous," said Lady Nym. "I would not have believed it, not of a Kingsguard knight."

"They are sworn to obey, just as my captain is," the prince said. "I had my doubts as well, but you saw how Ser Balon balked when I suggested that we go by sea. A ship would have disturbed all the queen's arrangements."

And what exactly do the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy give as to their reasoning for not fleeing with Ser Willem Darry to Dragonstone with Viserys?

“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.

The very wording here suggests that the Kingsguard are not at the Tower of Joy because they swore to protect the king, they are there because they swore a vow. What is that vow? It's right there: not to flee. They don't go to Dragonstone because their vow prevents them, and they don't flee from Ned either because their vow prevents them. They are there because they are obeying orders. We see that the Kingsguard are not above committing otherwise unknightly stuff, because they swore to obey and that vow trumps they're regular knightly vow to guard children and women and be chivalrous. And we see that Gerold Hightower, the lead Kingsguard at the TOJ, is not above doing his duty no matter how much he detests it either

"You swore a vow to guard the king, not to judge him.” – Gerold, to Jaime Lannister, after Aerys II Targaryen murdered Brandon and Rickard Stark

So the Kingsguard were at the TOJ because they were obeying orders to stay there, not because they swore to protect the king, and that the Kingsguard, including ones there, will act in ways that are unknightly if it means obeying their orders. So I see nothing that says that the Kingsguard at the TOJ wouldn't just sit by if Rhaegar was raping Lyanna like history says, nor is there anything to suggest that they were concerned that the new king was there (assuming Lyanna gave birth to Jon). Every fact we know suggests that the Kingsguard are there because they swore to be, and Rhaegar could tell them to do whatever he wanted and they'd obey. So the fact that the Kingsguard were at the Tower of Joy rather supports the fact that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna.

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Have you forsworn Comic Sans?

That was me. I honestly couldn't think of a way to answer the theory that it's simply impossible that anyone would keep a secret capable of ending your entire house from a small child if he's technically your lord without using comic sans, so I didn't.

In response to BQ's request that this thread be about something other than defending the basic hypothesis or the legality of polygamy, can we come up with something interesting and different to discuss? Anyone got a suggestion?

Perhaps we could, as it was brought up, discuss the connections with house Dayne. Let's look at the facts:

Some Stark -- maybe Ned, maybe Brandon, possibly both -- have a thing for Ashara Dayne, and somone, maybe one of them, gets her pregnant.

Ned (actually Howland, with a single mighty blow from his frog) kills Arthur Dayne.

Ned returns Dawn to Starfell.

The Daynes lend Ned a trusted servant to wetnurse Jon.

Ashara commits suicide (so 'tis said).

Wylla returns to Starfall.

In response to rumours that Ashara was Jon's mother, Eddard angrily refuses to allow Ashara's name to even be mentioned at Winterfell.

A few years later, Arthur's unnamed brother who I believe we know nothing about, has a son and names him Edric, suspiciously similar to the name of his brother's killer.

At seven, Edric goes to squire with Beric Dondarrion, who was betrothed to Ashara's sister Allyria.

A few years later, Edric tries to summon the courage to talk to Eddard at the Hand's tourney.

Eddard gives Dondarrion the leadership of the forces he sends to the Riverlands to take the Mountain.

Dondarrion proves oddly loyal to Eddard's cause, even after his own death.

Edric meets Arya and tells her he shared a wetnurse with Jon.

Dondarrion gives what's left of his life to resurrect Eddard's wife.

Why are the Daynes, given what's happened, so apparently pro-Stark? What did Edric want to talk to Eddard about?What's the connection with Dondarrion, who's also apparently oddly pro-Stark? Why did Eddard give priority to returning Dawn to Starfall? What's the deal with Gerold Dayne, and why's he the most dangerous man in Dorne? Is there some importance to the fact that the Daynes are an ancient First Men house, like the Starks?

So many questions. Any theories?

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Thanks Ygrain for shiny!


So the Kingsguard were at the TOJ because they were obeying orders to stay there, not because they swore to protect the king, and that the Kingsguard, including ones there, will act in ways that are unknightly if it means obeying their orders. So I see nothing that says that the Kingsguard at the TOJ wouldn't just sit by if Rhaegar was raping Lyanna like history says, nor is there anything to suggest that they were concerned that the new king was there (assuming Lyanna gave birth to Jon). Every fact we know suggests that the Kingsguard are there because they swore to be, and Rhaegar could tell them to do whatever he wanted and they'd obey. So the fact that the Kingsguard were at the Tower of Joy rather supports the fact that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna.

*sigh*

It was too much to ask (that we leave off defense of RLJ and #TeamProtect vs #TeamObey), wasn't it?

You really think the Kings GUARD don't GUARD the king??

Go ready Jaime's weirwood dream and what Arthur et all say about their jobs.

Also, seriously go read MntLion's analysis.

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In response to BQ's request that this thread be about something other than defending the basic hypothesis or the legality of polygamy, can we come up with something interesting and different to discuss? Anyone got a suggestion?

Off the top of my head

1) Pact of Ice and Fire

2) Why Jon's blood is important (and thus why RLJ is important)

3) What happen to Ghost-Puppy-Jon next and how he comes back?

*I'm sure there are other topics*

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One idea I've read is that Allyria Dayne, Beric's fiancée, is actually Brandon and Ashara's child. In particular, that would explain the Ned-Beric connection: Beric would soon be Ned's nephew-in-law by the time Ned needs to send somebody to find Gregor Clegane.


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Twin Slayer--

In v. 116 you asked me the following:

A question. Do you think Robb had the authority to name Jon his heir, and to disinherit Sansa? If the answer is "no", I can respect that (while disagreeing with it).

I have a hard time respecting the view that Viserys was not the heir to Aerys but that, at the same time, the northern lords want to make Jon their new King in the North based on Robb's will -- even though they know Bran and Rickon are alive. To me, that just can't be reconciled.

My answer is not simple, although the bottom line is that I am not sure. Here is the longer version of that answer. The rules for inheritance of who is Lord of the North is not necessarily the same as the rules for inheritance of the IT. For example, as the readers are told, a female can become Princess of Dorne and rule Dorne merely by being the oldest child of the prior ruler. But a female generally cannot inherit the IT (rule of GC of 101, IIRC). I don't know if we have been given enough information about how inheritance works regarding Lord of the North. If there is no precedence for naming an heir in a will that has been respected in the past, then Robb is taking a serious risk that upon his death, no one will respect his will. On the other hand, if there is clear recognized precedent for naming the new Lord of the North by will, then I would argue that the North has settled on this rule of inheritance. I just am not sure we have been given enough information. Just because no one publicly challenged Robb's right to name a new heir during his life does not mean his will would be respected after his death. I think the answer is unclear.

As to inheritance of the IT, I will acknowledge that RumHam made some valid points and that perhaps the answer is not as clear as I suggested. But I maintain strongly that any king that names someone as heir outside the normal rules takes a big risk that the appointment will be disregarded at the king's death. As noted, the only examples we have (Maegor and Viserys I) are ones in which the appointments were not respected. And as I noted, it is not just that Aegon II "took" the throne by force. It is also that Rhaenyra's son, Aegon III, even after he comes of age and takes over true rule of the kingdom, never tried to get the records to reflect his mother as having been Queen of Westeros. Aegon III accepts that his enemy who killed his mother (his uncle, Aegon II) was the true King of Westeros during the entire period that Aegon III's mother claimed to be Queen of Westeros. That fact is fairly strong precedent that a King does not have the power to name an heir.

Yes, subsequent kings after Aegon III claimed to have this power. That does not mean that they really had this power. Just because no one challenged any such King during his life does not mean that anyone thought the naming would be respected on his death. So yes, people may have noted that there were threats of disinheritance. But that could be a weapon for a King no matter what the default rule might be. No heir wants another potential candidate thrown into the mix. After all, look at Renly who made a claim on the throne based on almost nothing. An heir to the throne never wants his right subject to challenge, even if the challenger has an inferior claim. The mere naming by the prior king--even if not legally enforceable--gives people who prefer the other candidate an excuse to assert that candidate's right to the throne. That tends to lead to war or a potentially unpredictable GC. So even if the will is not technically a recognized way to name the next king (or queen), it can throw the situation into turmoil and thus still have an effect. Anything that muddies the waters of who is the proper heir creates potential for mischief if neither of the candidates will yield to the other.

So basically, I don't know if the rule in the North is different than the rule for the IT. I think at a minimum we can conclude that a King that names an heir by "will" cannot be certain that the "will" will be enforced on his death (given that no king has been successful in doing so), and the king is risking sending the kingdom into war or at a minimum a contentious GC by attempting such a naming. Anyone who asserts that the King definitively has this power is ignoring the history of Westeros which seems fairly clearly to demonstrate the opposite.

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In response to "did everyone at Starfall lie to Edric, their lord?"

Seriously.... Do we suddenly believe that they sat a seven year old boy at a table and discussed big secrets with him?

Yes. :D

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One idea I've read is that Allyria Dayne, Beric's fiancée, is actually Brandon and Ashara's child. In particular, that would explain the Ned-Beric connection: Beric would soon be Ned's nephew-in-law by the time Ned needs to send somebody to find Gregor Clegane.

:agree:

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It was too much to ask (that we leave off defense of RLJ...

Well, to be fair... markg171 is technically in compliance with your request. He's not defending RLJ. If what you'd really like is for nonbelievers to stop posting to the thread, that is probably something you should put in the standard OP. Otherwise, the only people defending RLJ are those who insist on responding to the objections. (And there are some legitimate objections that keep coming up.)

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Thanks Ygrain for shiny!

*sigh*

It was too much to ask (that we leave off defense of RLJ and #TeamProtect vs #TeamObey), wasn't it?

You really think the Kings GUARD don't GUARD the king??

Go ready Jaime's weirwood dream and what Arthur et all say about their jobs.

Also, seriously go read MntLion's analysis.

The Kingsguard do whatever they're told to do, no matter how honourable they are. And why ignore the fact that we have Gerold Hightower, who was there, doesn't have a problem sitting back watching Aerys host a trial by combat of one of the Lords Paramount against fire, while the Lord Paramount's son and heir strangles himself to death?

The Kingsguard at the TOJ say right there in Ned's dream why they're there: they swore a vow not to flee. If Rhaegar told them to stay, they will stay. They say they were told to stay, not that they're doing their duty to the king.

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