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Jon Weirgaryen

R+L=J v.134

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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)

"R+L=J v.128" (thread one hundred twenty eight)

"R+L=J v.129" (thread one hundred twenty nine)

"R+L=J v. 130" (thread one hundred thirty)

"R+L=J v.131" (thread one hundred thirty one)

"R+L=J v.132" (thread one hundred thirty two)

"R+L=J v.133" (thread one hundred thirty three)

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I have a question for the new thread, though this probably has been discussed and I just don't recall it:



Robert had been jesting with Jon and old Lord Hunter as the prince circled the field after unhorsing Ser Barristan in the final tilt to claim the champion’s crown. Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty’s laurel in Lyanna’s lap.


The bolded is often pointed out that everyone present at the tourney was shocked. However, as there is no previous mention of the general audience laughing, shouldn't "the smiles" refer here only to Robert, Jon and Lord Hunter?

- Perhaps it is just me, I have to admit a certain deficiency in the use of articles.

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I have a question for the new thread, though this probably has been discussed and I just don't recall it:

Robert had been jesting with Jon and old Lord Hunter as the prince circled the field after unhorsing Ser Barristan in the final tilt to claim the champion’s crown. Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty’s laurel in Lyanna’s lap.

The bolded is often pointed out that everyone present at the tourney was shocked. However, as there is no previous mention of the general audience laughing, shouldn't "the smiles" refer here only to Robert, Jon and Lord Hunter?

- Perhaps it is just me, I have to admit a certain deficiency in the use of articles.

I think this was addressed in the World book, though if I recall Robert laughed or something to that effect.

Question about one of the Targs, has anyone done the Daena Targaryen description from SSM in a comparison to Lyanna and Jon? Seems very similar. It's probably been done before but just thought I would ask, I came across it last night when looking something else up and was like oh ok that works. Anyway if has been done it's all good, if it hasn't let me know and I will post it, it's personal discription of her from the author in a short transcript about the 3 Maidens. It may actually be in the World book if I recall or something close to it.

Anyway as some of you know I believe the numbers 3 and 1 are interchangable in the series, 3 Maidens in a tower and 1 maiden in a tower. I seem Balor and Aerys as an inverse of the other. Daena in many ways is described like Lyanna and of course you have her son. Which has got me wondering, Blackfyre has been missing for some time, and the leader of house Blackfyre generally would have it, except the Targs kept killing the leaders. And Blackfyre of course like Longclaw is a hand and half sword. Some say Aegon could have it but if there was piece of evidence that could help Jon wouldn't that be it? Did Selmy retrive the sword and did Rhaegar take it and leave it at the Tower in case something happened to him?

It's just speculation of course, it probably ends up in the Aegon storyline, and Darksister should pop up at some point.

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I have a question for the new thread, though this probably has been discussed and I just don't recall it:

Robert had been jesting with Jon and old Lord Hunter as the prince circled the field after unhorsing Ser Barristan in the final tilt to claim the champion’s crown. Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty’s laurel in Lyanna’s lap.

The bolded is often pointed out that everyone present at the tourney was shocked. However, as there is no previous mention of the general audience laughing, shouldn't "the smiles" refer here only to Robert, Jon and Lord Hunter?

- Perhaps it is just me, I have to admit a certain deficiency in the use of articles.

My view on it is that all the smiles died refers to all people in general, a tourney normally has dozens of people laughing and having fun, and the shock of rhaegar´s choice silenced those smiles (which were more than those three)... if i had to bet grrm is refering to the public in general, not Bob, Jon and Hunter in particular... but you can make a case on that for sure

Just to awnser Han Snow from the latest version of the thread, the reason i thought Ned would not tell Robert was the Lannister´s, in the sense that he already knew the marriage plan to cersei and revealing Jon as the true heir would be a death sentence even with Robert knowing he was his son... but of course latter the R+L=J made more sense to me

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That's why I am asking, because in reference to general audience, I'd say just "all smiles", without the article, but cases like this have always been the Achilles' heel of my English: does the article belong, or not? Or are both options correct?


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That's why I am asking, because in reference to general audience, I'd say just "all smiles", without the article, but cases like this have always been the Achilles' heel of my English: does the article belong, or not? Or are both options correct?

I´m Portuguese so there´s better qualified people for that question, but with my understanding it can work both ways, it´s a matter of reader interpretation, he could have used "THOSE" to more clearly identify the smiles as being from the jesting, but with or without "THE" it´s the same for me... but again let´s wait for a native to clarify it better :)

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That's why I am asking, because in reference to general audience, I'd say just "all smiles", without the article, but cases like this have always been the Achilles' heel of my English: does the article belong, or not? Or are both options correct?

Ned is referring to the fact the moment was a moment of cheer and laughter (which probably happened as Rhaegar was extremely popular), but it turned out to be a shocking scandal when the Prince chose another woman instead of his wife.

I suppose it was something like "yeah! Rhaegar! That's our pri-- wait... that's not his wife? What's happening? Who is that girl?".

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Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar as Martin might say, but he also says he is open to interpretation. So whatever you are comfortable with. I tend to think it's just all the Smiles died but if you feel there is a sub reference or an allusion to specific people that would be up to you I guess. There are others mentioned in the World book at being upset, notably Brandon.

It's said in the World book that Rhaegar did this to curry favor with Winterfell, but Brandons reaction on wo occasions would seem to suggest otherwise. Either that or Brandon was in on it and a great actor.

Yet if it was true "why did lady Lyanna's brothers seem so distraught at the honor the prince had bestowed upon her?"

To me there seems something more behind the action and the reaction of the Starks. They seem to know Rhaegar was up to something and that it was bad for their house. They could of just reacted like Robert. "Brandon Stark had to be refrained from confronting Rhaegar at what he took as a slight on his sisters honor." Eddard Stark was calmer yet no more pleased. Some say Robert laughed at the princes gesture claiming Rhaegar had done no more than pay Lyanne her due. But those that new him better say he brooded on the insult.

Before the act the cheers of the crowd had seemed deafening. This section of the World book may also contain a slight bias towards Robert as it was written for him and would eventually go to his family. So you may not believe this but Martin left something vague... again.

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New shiny thread. Too bad I missed out on most of the last one.

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Ygrain, as a native English speaker (though NOT an English major) here is the way I read the passage.



From Ned's point of view, as I recall, Ned is watching the joust in the company of Robert, Jon Arryn, and Lord Hunter. Robert is joking with Jon and Lord Hunter, and presumably those nearby, including Ned, are enjoying the humorous exchanges, laughing and smiling.



Rhaegar drops the wreath in Lyanna's lap, and now the joking is over. Robert is not happy, those around him notice and also stop laughing. I believe if the meaning of the phrase was that all of Robert's smiles stopped, the phrase would be all his [Robert's] smiles died. The more meaningful word in the phrase, to me, is "all," probably meaning all those close enough for Ned to observe stopped smiling in response to Robert's displeasure. It is possible that the entire audience of the jousting tournament stopped smiling, but Ned would not be able to observe every person in attendance, only those in his immediate area.


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It is possible that the entire audience of the jousting tournament stopped smiling, but Ned would not be able to observe every person in attendance, only those in his immediate area.

He could have heard them, though. The moment all the "yeaaaahs!" turned into whispers, so to speak.

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He could have heard them, though. The moment all the "yeaaaahs!" turned into whispers, so to speak.

It is possible but I tend to read it as Teal'c - a reference to Ned's surroundings (not necessarily just the three persons mentioned).

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There's also this

He remembered Brandon's laughter, and Robert's berserk valor in the melee, the way he laughed as he unhorsed men left and right.

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It's said in the World book that Rhaegar did this to curry favor with Winterfell, but Brandons reaction on wo occasions would seem to suggest otherwise. Either that or Brandon was in on it and a great actor.

And when the triumphant Prince of Dragonstone named Lyanna Stark, daughter of the Lord of Winterfell, the queen of love and beauty, placing a garland of blue roses in her lap with the tip of his lance, the lickspittle lords gathered around the king declared that further proof of his perfidy. Why would the prince have thus given insult to his own wife, the Princess Elia Martell of Dorne (who was present), unless it was to help him gain the Iron Throne? The crowning of the Stark girl, who was by all reports a wild and boyish young thing with none of the Princess Elia’s delicate beauty, could only have been meant to win the allegiance of Winterfell to Prince Rhaegar’s cause, Symond Staunton suggested to the king.

Yet if this were true, why did Lady Lyanna’s brothers seem so distraught at the honor the prince had bestowed upon her? Brandon Stark, the heir to Winterfell, had to be restrained from confronting Rhaegar at what he took as a slight upon his sister’s honor, for Lyanna Stark had long been betrothed to Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End. Eddard Stark, Brandon’s younger brother and a close friend to Lord Robert, was calmer but no more pleased. As for Robert Baratheon himself, some say he laughed at the prince’s gesture, claiming that Rhaegar had done no more than pay Lyanna her due … but those who knew him better say the young lord brooded on the insult, and that his heart hardened toward the Prince of Dragonstone from that day forth.

- TWoIaF, TYotFS

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- TWoIaF, TYotFS

I think there might be a historical aspect to this.We know from the main series courtesy of Ygritte's story to Jon that he knew nothing of the Bael the Bard story.Jon was taken aback that Ygritte implied that they are of the same blood.According to the WB when speaking of the Kings beyond the Wall,there is no mention of the incident with Bael and Lord Stark's daughter from WF side.The WB goes on to state that WF may have erased this bit of history because it didn't look good on their part given what Bael was said to have done.(WB,pg.147).

Given the historical significance of replacing a daughter of Winterfell's/virtue(deflowering) with a rose as payment.It may have been seen as a dishonerable act by the Starks present.Especially if that generation knew about that story somehow.

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It is possible but I tend to read it as Teal'c - a reference to Ned's surroundings (not necessarily just the three persons mentioned).

I think it has to be just Ned's surroudings. From a literal point of view, all the smiles cannot die because not everyone is there to bear witness to this. There are people who are not sitting there watching Rhaegar joust, surely. People in their tents, people who were off buying popcorn. I am also not sure that the smiles of the peasants would die because...would they care? There would be shock and some whispers but not the sudden absence of smiles indicating anger.

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That's why I am asking, because in reference to general audience, I'd say just "all smiles", without the article, but cases like this have always been the Achilles' heel of my English: does the article belong, or not? Or are both options correct?

The English language is not so rigid as to make only one of those options acceptable in this situation. While the use of the article "the" indicates a reference to specific smiles, in this context, it could easily be a reference to the specific smiles of the people in the audience (and not just those three people specifically mentioned jesting). In addition, GRRM's use of grammar is not always perfect in any case, so the reference really needs to be interpreted based on context -- and the more natural context would be the general public in the stands (but not impossible to argue the opposite).

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