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J. Stargaryen

R+L=J v.128

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Reference guide

The R+L=J theory claims Jon Snow most probably is the son of crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister Lyanna Stark.

The Tower of the Hand has an excellent analysis of this theory:
Jon Snow's Parents

And Westeros' Citadel also provides a summary:
Jon Snow's Parents

A Wiki of Ice and Fire:
Jon Snow Theories

Radio Westeros podcast:

A Dragon, a Wolf and a Rose

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can Jon be a Targaryen if ordinary fire burned his hand?
Targaryens are not immune to fire. It's a myth that has been refuted by a list of Targaryens being burned. Danaerys 'the unburnt' was indeed unscathed when she hatched the dragon eggs, but that has not stopped her being burned on other occasions. See this thread on Targaryen fire immunity.

Don't all Targaryens have hallmark Valryian silver-golden hair and purple eyes?
Not all of them: Valarr and Queen Alysanne had blue eyes. Bittersteel, who like Jon was half first men blood, had brown hair. Baelor Breakspear and his son(s) and Jon's own half-sister Rhaenys had the Dornish look (dark hair, black eyes, olive skin). Rhaenyra Targaryen's three sons all had brown hair and brown eyes even though both their parents had light silver-gold hair.
Had Jon Valyrian features, it would give his parentage away: "He had the Stark face if not the name: long, solemn, guarded, a face that gave nothing away. Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son." Tyrion got the bit about the mother wrong, though: his mother was the Stark.

If Jon isn't Ned's son, then why does he look so much like him?
Jon looks very like Arya, and Arya looks very like Lyanna. Jon is Ned's nephew, and Lyanna and Ned looked similar.

Ned is too honourable to lie. If he says Jon is his son, doesn't that mean he must be?
Ned tells Arya that sometimes lies can be honourable. His final words, a confession of his guilt, are a lie to protect Sansa. While a lie can be honourable, cheating on his wife isn't, so Ned's famed honour points to Jon not being his son.

How can Jon be half-Targaryen and have a direwolf?
He's also half Stark, through Lyanna. Ned's trueborn children are half Tully and that doesn't stop them having direwolves.

Why doesn't Ned ever think about Lyanna being Jon's mother?
Ned doesn't think about anyone being Jon's mother. If he did, there would be no mystery. He names 'Wylla' to Robert, but we do not see him thinking of Wylla being Jon's mother.
There's a hidden hint at who Jon's mother might be: In chapter 4, Eddard's internal monologue goes "Lyanna ... Ned had loved her with all his heart." and in chapter 6, Catelyn thinks "Whoever Jon's mother had been, Ned must have loved her fiercely".

Why would Ned not at least tell Catelyn?
We don't have a list of what Ned promised to Lyanna, but know he takes his promises seriously. Maybe he promised not to tell anyone. In Chapter 45, Ned is uncertain what Cat would do if it came to Jon's life over that of her own children. If Catelyn knew that Jon was Rhaegar's son, she might feel that keeping him at Winterfell presented a serious risk to her own children. Ultimately, Catelyn did not need to know, so maybe Ned simply chose to be on the safe side.

Doesn't Ned refer to Robb and Jon as "my sons in the very first chapter?
In speech, not in thought. Ned is keeping Jon's parentage secret. He never thinks of Jon as his son: In Chapter 45, Ned thinks of his children "Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon and explicitly excludes Jon from the list. ADwD Chapter 34 has Bran's vision of younger Ned in the Winterfell godswood: "...let them grow up close as brothers, with only love between them," he prayed, "and let my lady wife find it in her heart to forgive..." which not make sense if they are brothers.

Since Rhaegar was already married, wouldn't Jon still be a bastard?
He might, or might not. There was a tradition of polygamy among Targaryens in the past, so the possibility that Rhaegar and Lyanna married is not easily ruled out. A pro-legitimacy argument is this: The presence of the three kingsguards at the Tower of Joy is best explained if they were defending the heir to the throne, which Jon would only be if he was legitimate.

Can we be certain polygamy is not illegal?
Aegon I and Maegor I practised polygamy. In Westeros, unlike a constitutional monarchy, royals are not subject to the law. So if there ever was a law against it, it did not apply to the Targaryens: In Chapter 33 it says "like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men". Examples demonstrate that it was considered an option for Targaryens: Aegon IV and Daemon Blackfyre may have considered it for Daemon, Jorah Mormont suggested it to Daenerys as a viable option, and she said the same about Quentyn Martell.
George R.R. Martin says in this SSM: "If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want". There is also this SSM predating the worldbook.
On Polygamy essay by Ygrain with additions by Rhaenys_Targaryen

Weren't the Kingsguard at Tower of Joy on the basis of an order from Aerys, to guard Lyanna as a hostage?
If so, why would they have apparently made no effort to use this leverage against Robert and Ned? Some argue their Kingsguard vows would have taken precedence and still have required them to leave the Tower to protect Viserys when he became heir -- unless there was another that took precedence [Jon]. Others think they were guarding Lyanna as a hostage at the Tower of Joy. Some say that makes little sense: She would better be kept hostage at King's Landing, and wouldn't require kingsguards to guard her. The mere presence of three kingsguards implies something more important: guarding members of the royal family or maybe the heir.
Frequently suggested readings: At the tower of joy by MtnLion and support of the toj analysis by Ygrain

Isn't there an SSM that says the 3 Kingsguard were following Rhaegar's orders though?
The SSM you may be thinking of is probably this: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that. They can't say, "No we don't like that order, we'll do something else."
We know from Barristan, protecting the king is the first and most important of all kingsguard duties. Jamie suggests some other KG to stay with the king when he wants to leave for the Trident and we also learn of a ritual that is performed when all KG meet and the king is guarded by someone who is not from the order.
"Protect vs Obey" is an ongoing subject of debate that is unlikely to be settled until we know more. Either viewpoint is compatible with R+L=J.

Wouldn't Viserys take precedence anyway? Rhaegar died without becoming king, and doesn't the world book call Viserys, not Aegon, Aerys' new heir?
No, in the case of an eldest son dying before the king dies, a grandson comes before a younger son. Even in the case the grandson is yet unborn at the time of death, he would succeed (heir apparent vs. heir presumptive). The world book is written with a Lannister bias (it may be propaganda to undermine Dornish support for the Targaryens) and in hindsight by maesters who have never learned all of what we know from Ned's dreams and memories. If it still turns out to be true... see the next answer.

Are matters of succession just as clear as presented here?
Succession quarrels are a part of medieval power play and even a very clear inheritance could well be contested. So maybe in King's Landing things did happen as the world book says. Rhaegar and Aerys may have been at odds over the succession. Rhaegar told Jaime before leaving for the Trident that he intended to call a council, and The Great Councils of the past have dealt with matters of succession. Who would have accepted such a change is a question worth asking.

Ned is dead. Who's going to tell anyone about it?
Bloodraven and Bran may have learned of it through the weirwood network. Benjen might know. Checkov's Crannogman Howland Reed is the sole survivor of the encounter at the Tower of Joy, and George R.R. Martin has stated he has not yet appeared because he knows too much about the central mystery of the book. "They had found him [Ned] still holding her [Lyanna's] body" tells that there also was someone else besides Howland to find Ned.

Why is this important? What impact can it have on the story?
The careful way the mystery of Jon's parentage was created is reason to believe it's important. What impact it will have on the rest of the series is still unknown.

This theory is too obvious and too many people believe it to be fact. How can it be true?
It is not so obvious to the majority of readers. Some will get it on their first read, but most will not. Readers who go to online fan forums, such as this, still represent a very small minority of the readership. Also, A Game of Thrones has been out since 1996. That's more than 18 years of readers being able to piece together this mystery. Crowd-sourced internet-based mystery solving like this inevitably make solved mysteries seem more obvious in hindsight.

George R.R. Martin is a "breaker of tropes, there can be no hidden prince, it's simply too cliché.
In order to break a trope it needs to be installed in the first place. It is yet unknown what will happen to Jon in the future. Being the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar does not imply the fairy-tale style happy ending associated with the hidden prince trope.

Is there a list of all R+L=J clues that have been found?
There is a list of R+L=J hints, clues and foreshadowing compiled by sj4iy.

Since this theory has been refined so well, will Martin change the outcome of the story to surprise his fans?
He has stated that he won't change the outcome of the story just because some people have put together all the clues and solved the puzzle.

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)

"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)

"R+L=J v.117" (thread one hundred seventeen)

"R+L=J v.118" (thread one hundred eighteen)

"R+L=J v.119" (thread one hundred nineteen)

"R+L=J v.120" (thread one hundred twenty)

"R+L=J v.121" (thread one hundred twenty one)

"R+L=J v.122" (thread one hundred twenty two)

"R+L=J v.123" (thread one hundred twenty three)

"R+L=J v.124" (thread one hundred twenty four)

"R+L=J v.125" (thread one hundred twenty five)

"R+L=J v.126" (thread one hundred twenty six)

"R+L=J v.127" (thread one hundred twenty seven)

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Shiny!



thanks J.Star!



Any suggestion for what we should talk about this round? I like topical disucssions


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Shiny!

thanks J.Star!

Any suggestion for what we should talk about this round? I like topical disucssions

Do you think Jon is actually lightbringer in human form or do you believe that he will wield lightbringer(I lean towards this idea) and that lightbringer is Dawn?

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Oooh, wasn't expecting this yet. Yay :)

Do you think Jon is actually lightbringer in human form or do you believe that he will wield lightbringer(I lean towards this idea) and that lightbringer is Dawn?

I think Jon is AAR/TPTWP and will wield LB...LB being Longclaw. I don't see Dawn ever coming into it.

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Oooh, wasn't expecting this yet. Yay :)

I think Jon is AAR/TPTWP and will wield LB...LB being Longclaw. I don't see Dawn ever coming into it.

I personally feel that Longclaw will be given by Jon to Rickon and become the new ancestral Stark sword and Jon will begin carrying Dawn.

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Do you think Jon is actually lightbringer in human form or do you believe that he will wield lightbringer(I lean towards this idea) and that lightbringer is Dawn?

I'm torn. I've read and heard so many good Lightbringer theories. LB could be a sword, dragon, person, the NW. I'm really not sure at this point. For some reason there seems to be a lot of mixed signals about this in the series. I'm sure there is a good reason for that, though.

I do lean towards the idea that Dawn was the original LB, however. Partially based on a peculiar coincidence from their respective origin stories.

“A hundred days and a hundred nights he labored on the third blade, and as it glowed white-hot in the sacred fires, he summoned his wife. ‘Nissa Nissa’ he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.’ She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.

“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.

As Lady Gwyn and yolkboy pointed out, the sigil of House Dayne features a falling star. And we know that GRRM uses the sigils to symbolize House members; Lannisters are lions, Targaryens are dragons, etc. So maybe a fallen star could mean a Dayne. And if that's the case then Dawn's origin story would start to look a lot like LB's.

And yes, I do realize that the fallen star from which Dawn was forged is meant to be a meteorite, or something like that. But I think the way "heart" is used in both stories is pretty coincidental. Especially when you consider the names Dawn and Sword of the Morning, and the legend of LB and the Battle for the Dawn, etc. Lots of potential for wordplay, double meanings here. For example, "forged" can refer to the actual heating and shaping of a sword, but it also means things like create.

Shiny!

thanks J.Star!

Any suggestion for what we should talk about this round? I like topical disucssions

You're welcome. :cheers:

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Do you think Jon is actually lightbringer in human form or do you believe that he will wield lightbringer(I lean towards this idea) and that lightbringer is Dawn?

I think the "Jon as Lightbringer" theory is clever but parts of it don't fit, or at least, don't fit to my satisfaction. Of course, my favorite darkhorse theory is still that the Night's Watch itself is Lightbringer. So Jon being the lord commander would make him Azor Ahai, "wielding" the "sword" that is the Night's Watch.

I'm still torn on Dawn. I think it's obvious that it plays some sort of role in all this. I don't know if it was Lightbringer, or is Lightbringer, or is something else entirely. I wondered a while ago if the original "bleeding star" was actually a Dayne who had fallen in battle (the Battle for the Dawn?) and that's where the "falling star" in the sigil originated. I like to play around with the idea of things in prophecy being symbolic and not literal, so I enjoy tossing around ideas like that.

ETA: I guess my biggest question about Dawn is how the Daynes got it if it's the original Lightbringer (unless the Last Hero was a Dayne himself, and that's a whole other can of worms). I'm open to suggestions. One idea I heard that's interesting is that some of the oldest families "split up" the "property" of the Last Hero/AA. So the Daynes got the sword and, perhaps, the Royces got the armor (maybe hinted at in the runes they use).

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Personally....as it stands right now



Jon is TPTWP.


Dany is AAR (which I think is just "fire champion)


LB is a dragon that Dany can fly and Jon can warg thus making them both able to wield it.



Dawn is....shiny?


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I personally feel that Longclaw will be given by Jon to Rickon and become the new ancestral Stark sword and Jon will begin carrying Dawn.

Just a few problems with this, though:

1. Dawn is the Sword of the Morning - IE: a Dayne who is worthy of wielding Dawn will inherit it. Jon is not a Dayne.

2. Dawn is a great sword - Jon has only ever used long swords or bastard swords, but he's never wielded a great sword...and it's a completely different fighting style.

3. Dawn is in Starfall - a very, VERY long way from where Jon is.

4. Lightbringer isn't a specific sword - we see that more than one 'hero' has carried LB throughout history...and there's no indication that it is the same sword from time to time. The history of Lightbringer, as well as the prophecy, seem to indicate that a new LB will be 'made' when AAR 'pulls a burning sword from a fire'. I don't see Jon pulling Dawn from a fire.

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And despite several very compelling arguments to the contrary (Butterbumps being a good example), I'm still of the mind that the Big Three (LH, AA and tPtwP) are all the same person, interpreted differently.


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Part of me does wonder if it even matters. Is it all just religious dogma and what's going to matter, in the end, is what the person does, not what they are called.



I do think Jon is TPTWP but if he is never declared as such, does that change his ability to do "the thing?"


Are the Red Priests going to see Jon and go, "oh whoops. We were mistaken! It's you, Mr. Snow! Not the girl with the three dragons who survived a fire and whom we've declared our personal messiah."


Bran's story lines up with the LH but if it's not exact and it turns out that Bran (and the LH) are a bit greyer than our stereotypical "hero" does that not make Bran a hero for whatever side he ends up on.



And my final question: when can I have Winds?


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If this is a topic that interests you, I would highly recommend listening to episode eight of Lady Gwyn and yolkboy's Radio Westeros podcast, as they have some pretty interesting thoughts on Dawn and LB, and a bunch of other cool stuff.



Radio Westeros E08 - Fear is for the Long Night. "Lady Gwyn and yolkboy look at the Long Night of ancient times. We examine all the textual clues, including some new hints from TWoIaF, but this episode is also full of speculation on the history and nature of the Others, the Night's Watch, Lightbringer, the Last Hero, Azor Ahai and more. With exclusive music from Robb Dylan and readings set to specially arranged music. Join us for a journey into Westeros' murky past!"


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Part of me does wonder if it even matters. Is it all just religious dogma and what's going to matter, in the end, is what the person does, not what they are called.

I do think Jon is TPTWP but if he is never declared as such, does that change his ability to do "the thing?"

Are the Red Priests going to see Jon and go, "oh whoops. We were mistaken! It's you, Mr. Snow! Not the girl with the three dragons who survived a fire and whom we've declared our personal messiah."

Bran's story lines up with the LH but if it's not exact and it turns out that Bran (and the LH) are a bit greyer than our stereotypical "hero" does that not make Bran a hero for whatever side he ends up on.

This is pretty much exactly why I immediately discount anyone in the story who is actually "pegged" to a prophecy. Stannis as AA? No. Dany as AA? No. Tyrion as the valonqar? No. Margaery as the younger, more beautiful queen? No. Either that or the prophecy is "solved" correctly but will have some other subversion going on.

You can't send the message that it's all just religious perspective bullshit (which I agree that it is) and then turn around and validate said religious perspective bullshit by making it be correct. That's partly why I think that whoever "really" embodies these prophecies will never actually be identified as fulfilling them. If Jon is AA/tPtwP, no one is going to stand up and say that he is. It'll just be known given what he does. That's where GRRM blew it with Dany: If it were that obvious that she was AA, the priests and Aemon pegging her as such was superfluous. That they did drags her right into red herring territory.

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When it comes to the Red Priests and AAR = Dany, I tend to think that the religious participants will realign their understanding of their messiah instead of the person who is their messiah. I think it might be akin to super early Christian ideas about Christ. Paul believed that Christ would return any day, like a "thief in the night" and everyone had to be prepared. But...that didn't happen, and obviously Christianity didn't die out....instead the Christians realigned their understanding of how Christ was the messiah and his second coming.



Take this back to Dany/AAR/Jon. Jon may very well be AAR but I think it's likely that the Reds simply reevaluate the way Dany is their AAR...instead of literal light and dawn, it's a metaphorical type that probably revolves around something like "birth of a new world, free of evils.."ect ect ect.


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When it comes to the Red Priests and AAR = Dany, I tend to think that the religious participants will realign their understanding of their messiah instead of the person who is their messiah. I think it might be akin to super early Christian ideas about Christ. Paul believed that Christ would return any day, like a "thief in the night" and everyone had to be prepared. But...that didn't happen, and obviously Christianity didn't die out....instead the Christians realigned their understanding of how Christ was the messiah and his second coming.

Take this back to Dany/AAR/Jon. Jon may very well be AAR but I think it's likely that the Reds simply reevaluate the way Dany is their AAR...instead of literal light and dawn, it's a metaphorical type that probably revolves around something like "birth of a new world, free of evils.."ect ect ect.

OK, but is that "realignment" the same as Dany objectively being AAR? Who gets to decide?

Sorry but it sounds like you're saying it's all religious dogma unless said religious dogma validates what you choose to believe about Dany and then it's OK because it's just "realignment." Either it's all religious bullshit or it isn't.

Given GRRM's general tone toward religion and the idea of prophecy being something that will eventually bite your cock off, I have a very hard time squaring that with the idea that these priests will get their handcrafted savior figure cut to their specifications.

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This is pretty much exactly why I immediately discount anyone in the story who is actually "pegged" to a prophecy. Stannis as AA? No. Dany as AA? No. Tyrion as the valonqar? No. Margaery as the younger, more beautiful queen? No. Either that or the prophecy is "solved" correctly but will have some other subversion going on.

You can't send the message that it's all just religious perspective bullshit (which I agree that it is) and then turn around and validate said religious perspective bullshit by making it be correct. That's partly why I think that whoever "really" embodies these prophecies will never actually be identified as fulfilling them. If Jon is AA/tPtwP, no one is going to stand up and say that he is. It'll just be known given what he does. That's where GRRM blew it with Dany: If it were that obvious that she was AA, the priests and Aemon pegging her as such was superfluous. That they did drags her right into red herring territory.

I actually agree with all of this. Which is why I think she's TSTMTW, because no one has her pegged as that. And Jon as AAR/TPTWP because he's not even on Melisandre's radar even when she's getting a shit ton of visions about him.

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I honestly don't understand what point you are making. If I were writing a series with a big mystery regarding a character's parents, such as RLJ, I would do exactly what you are describing. I would have all the information suggest that if someone is a Targ, that person will have certain looks. I would then show other examples of where children might take after one parent or the other (e.g., the Stark children) to establish the possibility that a child may take after either parent (except for the Baratheon/Lannister situation where "the seed is strong"--another potential misdirect regarding the Targ situation). This information would keep most readers from considering that Jon might have a Targ parent.

Then, when RLJ is revealed, the reader realizes that he or she was not thinking the situation through carefully enough and discounted an obvious possibility.

Thus, your description is 100% consistent with RLJ. It does not preclude RLJ, but intentionally misleads many if not most readers not to consider RLJ as a possibility. This approach is a classic literary approach, and one that GRRM certainly employs over and over again. He absolutely loves to mislead the readers as long as in retrospect the readers know they were not actually lied to--just misdirected.

Well then what's the point of pointing out in the OP that Targaryens don't have to look like Targaryens? If the idea is to mislead the reader into not considering it a possibility, then why point out these characters that make it a possibility? That would no longer be misleading the reader.

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OK, but is that "realignment" the same as Dany objectively being AAR? Who gets to decide?

Sorry but it sounds like you're saying it's all religious dogma unless said religious dogma validates what you choose to believe about Dany and then it's OK because it's just "realignment." Either it's all religious bullshit or it isn't.

I think the religious participants will subjectively decide. Objectively? Who knows, possibly no one in-universe. The readers may not even agree on it in the end, though I'm really hoping we will know for sure and forever be frustrated that the characters don't see what we do. Right now I think its Dany simply because I'm leaning toward AAR = Fire Champion, but I've gone back and forth before. Jon might do "the thing" (whatever that is) but doesn't mean that the religious followers will change their mind. It also doesn't mean Jon isn't actually AAR. And it might all be religious bullshit but that doesn't mean the followers won't continue to believe what they want.

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Well then what's the point of pointing out in the OP that Targaryens don't have to look like Targaryens? If the idea is to mislead the reader into not considering it a possibility, then why point out these characters that make it a possibility? That would no longer be misleading the reader.

But it's not misleading. Some Targs look like Targs. Some Targs do not have those features. Jon doesn't have to look like a Targ to be a Targ. That's the point.

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