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Jon Weirgaryen

R+L=J v.142

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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)

"R+L=J v.134" (thread one hundred thirty four)

"R+L=J v.135" (thread one hundred thirty five)

"R+L=J v.136" (thread one hundred thirty six)

"R+L=J v.137" (thread one hundred thirty seven)

"R+L=J v.138"(thread one hundred thirty eight)

"R+L=J v.139" (thread one hundred thirty nine)

"R+L=J v.140" (thread one hundred fourty)

"R+L=J v.141" (thread one hundred fourty one)

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/adds some polish/


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/adds some polish/

czech! ;)

eta from the last thread. @Smoother Than a Storm said:

I just happened re-read the Bran chapter that is cited in the evidence in this post.

And that part "as close as brothers" just really hit me hard, thinking that it refers to Robb and Jon, obviously implying that they are not, in fact, brothers. Which makes me sad, when I think of their childhoods together and everything. Aside from that, though, it really did seem like strong evidence and got me to thinking that R+L=J was not only possible, but likely.

So I had been feeling that way for a couple weeks now when suddenly, another angle occured to me: maybe Ned was thinking of Robb and Theon! Maybe the scene Bran sees is soon after the Greyjoy Rebellion and Ned is thinking of his son and his newly aquired ward. It seems less likely than that he is thing of Robb and Jon, but I feel that it is a real possibility.

I will admit, however, that the rest of the quote

Supports the belief that Ned is thinking of Robb and Jon.

Has anyone else considered that Ned might be praying about Theon and Robb, rather than Jon and Robb?

I have the thought, that there is little to nothing to go on with the idea that it may be about Theon, short of ruling it out completely.

Unless my reader, you, remember something we have overlooked since?

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Hello shiny! Did I miss anything revelatory in the last thread?

I have the thought, that there is little to nothing to go on with the idea that it may be about Theon, short of ruling it out completely.

Unless my reader, you, remember something we have overlooked since?

As to the question on if Ned might be talking about Robb and Theon and not Robb/Jon, I'd say a definitive no. Pretty sure we're supposed to understand that the scene of Ned praying at the heart tree happens upon his return to WF after the Rebellion is done. Why would he need Cat's forgiveness for bringing Theon home? Hostages are incredibly commonplace in Westerosi high lords houses. But Ned bringing home his "bastard son"...that's what Ned is seeking forgiveness for.

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Regarding the quote on the death of Elia's children, (again, that turn of phrase, "Elias children"), and Aery's part, I could see that, and certainly it reminds one of the historical parallel of the princes in the tower and Richard III.


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SFDanny--

In my last post (or maybe second or third to last post -- losing track) in v. 141, I acknowledge the possibility that the KG chose Rhaegar over Aerys, meaning that they considered Jon to be King as heir to Rheagar with the heir to Aerys being irrelevant. I also acknowledged the possibility that #TeamObey is correct, meaning that the KG simply continued to follow the orders of Rhaegar even after his death to guard Lyanna and the baby. I should have also acknowledged your suggestion that the KG are following the vow to protect the innocent.

I agree that looking solely at the situation generally, any of these alternatives are possible. But when I read the conversation closely, none of these alternatives seem plausible. Even if the ToJ conversation is not a word-for-word recounting, it must be consistent with Ned's understanding of what happened. And I think we can safely assume that Lyanna told Ned enough so that Ned would know which of the alternatives is correct. So Ned's construction of the conversation must be consistent with what the KG were doing at ToJ. I will address each of these theories as they become relevant by reference to the ToJ conversation between Ned and KG. Here is the conversation again:

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

“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here is my deconstruction of this conversation (with thanks to MtnLion for his assistance in the form of his now well-known analysis of this conversation in his sig). Ned asks about the Trident and the KG respond that Robert -- the Usurper -- would be dead if they had been there. Now this statement is potentially consistent with alternatives -- but calling Robert a Usurper is a bit ironic if the KG are backing Rhaegar as king over Aerys. So this statement seems a little inconsistent with that theory.

Next Ned moves to the issue of Jaime killing Aerys. The KG state that Aerys would still be on the throne if the KG has been there. Again, this statement is technically not inconsistent with siding with Rhaegar, but if the KG really decided that Rhaegar was the rightful king, then why would Aerys sit the IT rather than Jon? Wouldn't Jon become the rightful king after the death of Rhaegar -- and not Aerys -- if the KG "switched" sides from Aerys to Rhaegar? This statement also seems to be a little inconsistent with the "protect the innocent" theory, as this statement is a statement about defending the Targ dynasty rather than the innocent. While Jaime is not really an innocent either, if they are at ToJ for the purpose of protecting the innocent, this reference is a bit out of place.

Next Ned references others who changed sides to Robert. The KG state that their knees do not bend easily. Again this statement is inconsistent with changing sides to Rhaegar. In that case, their knees did bend easily -- away from Aerys and in favor of Rhaegar. It would make little sense to make this statement if they already did bend the knee easily in favor of Rhaegar over Aerys.

Next the conversation turns to Viserys going with Willem Darry to Dragonstone. The KG point out the Darry is a good man but not KG. Here is where the argument for turning sides to Rhaegar really breaks down. If V is the rightful king after the death of Aerys -- V is entitled to KG protection. The suggestion is that it is OK for Darry to be on DS because he is not KG. Even if the KG at ToJ had a different view about who should be king -- if Aerys named Viserys as the new heir and the KG at ToJ knew about it, they would not suggest that it would improper for a KG to go to DS to be with V. The KG are suggesting that Viserys has no right to any KG. But even if these three KG turned to Rhaegar and do not consider Viserys as the king, the KG at ToJ would not expect others to view the situation the same way -- they would expect that others would think that V was the true king. But they make no hint that V could be considered the rightful king under some people's view. This makes sense only if the KG believe that anyone with the knowledge that the KG have would consider Jon and not V to be king.

The KG further clarify the point about going to DS by stating that KG do not flee -- then or now. This statement is perhaps the biggest issue I have with the theory that they switched to Rhaegar. Yes, if they consider Rhaegar and not Aerys the proper king, then going to V on DS might be fleeing. BUT in the context of a conversation with Ned, it makes no sense. Going to V "now" would not be fleeing -- it would simply be recognizing the choice of Aerys. But they don't say anything like that -- they don't say anything that could possibly suggest that they know Aerys named V but the KG are choosing Rhaegar's son over V. Rather, the statement comes across as something that anyone would understand -- that with the "true king" in the tower, they cannot "flee" to DS. And this "true" king has to be a king that anyone who believed Robert was a Usurper would consider to be king -- not just these 3 KG who took it upon themselves to decide that Rhaegar was a better choice than Aerys. Further, if the KG agree that V was named King and is the rightful king, but they are staying to protect the innocent, then the comment about fleeing is simply absurd. They might say that they cannot go to the new king until they finish their current mission to protect the innocent, but they simply cannot call going to DS to be with the new king fleeing. No one would understand leaving to go to the new king rather than protecting an innocent to be fleeing. That interpretation twists the meaning of the word "flee" beyond recognition.

Finally, the capper is the statement that "They swore a vow." This statement is not just out there in no context. This statement is in the context of why then cannot go to DS. Why it would be a violation of their vows to go to DS. Again, it makes no sense to state that breaking their vow to Aerys and making a new vow to Rhaegar would be something they would want to emphasize when criticizing those who chose Robert over Aerys. Why is the vow of the KG righteous when the vows to Robert are vows to a pretender. I just don't see how this reference to a vow can be a vow to consider Rhaegar as king. As to this reference being a reference to the vow to protect the innocent -- again, in context it makes no sense. No one would understand that They are honor bound to ignore the KG vow to protect the king in favor of a nebulous vow to protect the innocent. In this context -- the context of explaining that their vows prevent them from "fleeing" to DS to be with V -- the vow at issue cannot be the vow to protect the innocent because it would be a statement that somehow that vow is more important than another vow. If they were making that point, they would state something about some vows being more important than others. But they don't -- there is no suggestion of vows being in conflict and choosing one over another. It is simply a statement that their vows require them to stay at ToJ.

I admit I have focused mostly on the issue of choosing Rhaegar over Aerys so I will now turn in more detail to the issue of protecting the innocent. I just don't buy it at all. That vow is a bit nebulous, and it is unclear how it would apply here. There are many innocents in Westeros, and the KG cannot go around protecting all of them. The example of Duncan is a poor analogy. He saw an injustice happening in front of him. He had no real conflicting vows at issue as Aerion was not Duncan's lord. So at great risk to himself, Duncan stepped in to protect the innocent -- quite noble. But Duncan did not forsake his other vows and stop serving his lord (if he even had a lord at that point) in order to continue to protect the innocent. No one -- probably not even Duncan -- would believe that a knight is allowed to just "go rogue" and stop serving his lord in order to roam around and protect the innocent. This "vow" is an aspirational goal that applies on a case-by-case basis but cannot be the primary day-to-day mission of a knight. It makes no sense as a knight is always expected to serve his lord and no one would think otherwise.

Hightower specifically has shown he does not view this obligation in that way. Hightower stands guard while Aerys rapes his wife. Is that protecting the innocent? Hightower likely would stop anyone else from raping a woman -- but not his "lord" -- or in this case his King as he is bound to serve the king rather than a lord as KG. Your suggestion that Hightower would say to Ned that he cannot go to serve the new king because it is more important for him to stay at ToJ to protect the innocent is laughable to me. I find it entirely implausible because if a KG thought that way, the KG could not do his job at all. The KG would be forced to leave the king -- who is well protected in RK -- and find innocents to protect. And Hightower would be obligated to stop Aerys from raping his wife.

GRRM is not writing a fairy tale. Duncan acts on impulse to protect the innocent. Given his character, that action is believable. But to suggest that the KG would abandon their central mission -- to ensure that the king has KG protection -- to protect some innocent under their roof -- is absurd to me. I find this way of thinking to be completely counter to the way that GRRM is writing these books and completely counter to the conversation between Ned and the KG. At the very least, if the KG believe Viserys is king -- at least one of the KG goes to DS. The KG vow to protect the king can be met and the desire to protect the innocent can be met if the KG split up. But they don't split up. This behavior -- combined with their words -- demonstrate a belief that they have no duty to Viserys at all. Protecting the innocent -- even if a duty -- does not relieve them of their separate duty to the new king. This case is not a situation in which the KG are forced to choose between conflicting duties. If there is a way to perform both duties -- they might be able to choose to do that. But the KG make no attempt to ensure a KG guard for Viserys -- which means they do not consider him king. So either the KG rejected Aerys in favor of Rhaegar -- and I explain above why that alternative makes no sense to me -- or the KG never got word of the "decree" (or the "decree" does not exist at all). But the notion that the KG completely forsake their vow to have a KG guard the king in favor of a vow to protect the innocent -- especially when in theory they could do both (by splitting up) but do not do so simply is inconsistent with any logical reading of the text.

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Rum Ham argues that Aerys decreed Viserys his new heir. SF Danny argues that it was public enough to get to the Kingsguard at the tower of joy. We have only one suggestion, source unknown that Yandel coalesces into Viserys, Aerys' new heir. I would argue that Viserys is Aerys' heir after the death of Rhaegar, but that Aegon remains Rhaegar's heir, and heir to the Iron Throne ahead of Viserys.



Yet sometimes Dany would picture the way it had been, so often had her brother told her the stories. The midnight flight to Dragonstone, moonlight shimmering on the ship’s black sails. Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. The sack of King’s Landing by the ones Viserys called the Usurper’s dogs, the lords Lannister and Stark. Princess Elia of Dorne pleading for mercy as Rhaegar’s heir was ripped from her breast and murdered before her eyes. The polished skulls of the last dragons staring down sightlessly from the walls of the throne room while the Kingslayer opened Father’s throat with a golden sword.

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SFDanny--

<snip>

Good, and thanks for the props.

“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.

Becomes:

The Kingsguard does not flee because we swore a vow. (Explained)

Then or now, refers to Viserys going to Dragonstone, and Aerys remained then, Viserys at Dragonstone and Jon remains now

Vow is something that Ned understands, it gives the meaning for the fight to come. Ned was present when Jaime swore his vow, and there is no question that he understands that.

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Hi,



This is my first post here so bear with me and my English (not my first language).



Here are my thoughts:



Why would Ned considers the KG at the ToJ honorable and have a low opinion for Jaime. Jaime kill THE MAD KING, the same king that order the torture and murder of Ned’s father and brother and ask Ned’s head from Jon Arryn. Most of the realm considered at the time the king as Mad and was afraid of him. Some would say Jaime did Ned a favor. But Ned’s opinion of Jaime (due to his own morality code) is very low. Jaime BROKE his oath as a member of KG and killed the king amd should be send at NW. So an oathbreaker is an oathbreaker no matter the reason for Ned. So why would Ned considers the KG in the ToF honorable and not oathbreakers. They are in Dorne and they are not guarding king Viserys (Aerys is dead, long live King Viserys). They are not trying to go to DS to their king, they are not fulfilling their vow, they are oathbreakers.



Also, IMHO I think if there really was a degree about Viserys (I still have my doubts) it wasn’t public. I fully agree with the analysis by UnmaskedLurker. And I would like to add this. At the ToJ when Ned is speaking to the KG he says:



“Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys.”



Ned was at the thick of the war, and he was at KL recently. Wouldn’t he know about the degree? So why tell the KG just “your queen and Prince Viserys” and not your queen and your king? He is probably trying to send them on their way to DS or at least shame them in order to leave the ToJ and go to DS and keep their oath as KG.





PS I hope I am making sense and I apologize for my English.



PS2 Lastly I want to thank you all for your efforts and great analysis throughout the forum. I am a bad reader when I like a book. I start reading faster and sometime miss things. So when I came to this forum and started reading the posts here I was always “What? Where? How? When?” and kept going back to the books. And now I am on a veeeeery sloooow second read. So feel free to shout down any of my opinions here.



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Ic_sek--



Welcome to the boards. :cheers:



Your English is certainly good enough that I understood your meaning (and I am sure much better than my abilities in your native language). I agree with your point that Ned discussing DS is significant. I agree with MtnLion that Ned is suggesting that he would give them free passage to go to DS to be with the person Ned thinks is their rightful king because at that point I don't think Ned would know about the existence of Jon. So I don't think the decree is relevant to Ned -- he thinks Viserys is the heir to the Targ throne because Rhaegar, Aerys and Aegon are all dead and has not yet learned of the existence of Jon (at least that is my take -- I know others think he knew about Jon already, but I don't think he learns of Jon's existence until he finishes fighting the KG and enters the tower). So his reference to Prince Viserys rather than King Viserys is simply a recognition that Viserys has not been coronated yet.



The real significance (IMHO) to Ned agreeing to give them free passage to DS is that it shows that the KG are telling Ned that they don't consider Viserys to be their king. They don't explicitly say why that is the case (maybe in the "real" confrontation, the KG told Ned at that point, but I doubt it because I think they were trying to keep Jon's existence a secret and if one of Ned's men got away during the battle, they would not want him knowing about Jon). Some have argued that the KG don't consider V to be king because they "switched" sides from Aerys to Rhaegar, but in my last post (#7), I explain why I don't find that line of thought likely. So if they don't consider V king and they are still loyal to the traditional Targ dynasty, then either they don't know about the decree or it never existed at all.



P.S. In English, the initials P.S. stand for post script, so a second P.S. is denoted as P.P.S. for post-post script (rather than PS2).


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Rum Ham argues that Aerys decreed Viserys his new heir. SF Danny argues that it was public enough to get to the Kingsguard at the tower of joy. We have only one suggestion, source unknown that Yandel coalesces into Viserys, Aerys' new heir. I would argue that Viserys is Aerys' heir after the death of Rhaegar, but that Aegon remains Rhaegar's heir, and heir to the Iron Throne ahead of Viserys.

How can one be heir to the king, but not heir to the throne?

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Hey everyone. On vacation at the beach, so not getting on (books don't corrode in the salt breeze. Not exposing my computer to that.) Anyway, just noticed this in ASOS, in the Jon chapter involving the famous cave and Lord's Kiss.





"Jon had never met anyone so stubborn, except maybe for his little sister Arya. Is she still my sister? he wondered. Was she ever?


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How can one be heir to the king, but not heir to the throne?

That might be a good question for Yandel.

It is in the quote I offered that Aegon is considered to be Rhaegar's heir when he is murdered. Rhaegar was heir to the Iron Throne. By the laws of succession Aegon would be the heir to the Iron Throne. The son inherits before the uncle.

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That might be a good question for Yandel.

It is in the quote I offered that Aegon is considered to be Rhaegar's heir when he is murdered. Rhaegar was heir to the Iron Throne. By the laws of succession Aegon would be the heir to the Iron Throne. The son inherits before the uncle.

What is curious to me is that Viserys refers to Aegon as Rhaegar's heir. And Yandel refers to Viserys as Aerys's heir. But other than being the heir to the throne, what does is mean to be heir to either the king or crown prince. Did Aerys have anything to give Viserys as heir other than the IT? Did Rhaegar have anything to give Aegon as heir other than becoming next in line to IT? These terms are thrown around but I am not sure what they mean in this context. In nobility, a noble's heir usually means heir to the person's title. But in this case, what title would Rhaegar have to pass on to Aegon other than Crown Prince -- i.e., next in line to the throne? But similarly, what title would Aerys have to pass on to Viserys other than King? So these references seem to be in conflict -- which of course, tends to support your theory that Yandel is mistaken altogether and no decree was ever made.

Can anyone who supports the "decree" theory explain this apparent contradiction?

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That might be a good question for Yandel.

It is in the quote I offered that Aegon is considered to be Rhaegar's heir when he is murdered. Rhaegar was heir to the Iron Throne. By the laws of succession Aegon would be the heir to the Iron Throne. The son inherits before the uncle.

Not an error. Primogeniture is customary, but not binding... especially not to a king. We have other examples of people being passed over, or potentially passed over, for others.

Maester Yandel is merely reporting based on historical records on events of the time.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/120966-errors-in-the-woiaf/?p=6801531

What is curious to me is that Viserys refers to Aegon as Rhaegar's heir. And Yandel refers to Viserys as Aerys's heir. But other than being the heir to the throne, what does is mean to be heir to either the king or crown prince. Did Aerys have anything to give Viserys as heir other than the IT? Did Rhaegar have anything to give Aegon as heir other than becoming next in line to IT? These terms are thrown around but I am not sure what they mean in this context. In nobility, a noble's heir usually means heir to the person's title. But in this case, what title would Rhaegar have to pass on to Aegon other than Crown Prince -- i.e., next in line to the throne? But similarly, what title would Aerys have to pass on to Viserys other than King? So these references seem to be in conflict -- which of course, tends to support your theory that Yandel is mistaken altogether and no decree was ever made.

Can anyone who supports the "decree" theory explain this apparent contradiction?

I really don't see the contradiction. If anything isn't it telling that he's called Rhaegar's heir there and not Aerys's or the heir to the throne? For the record it's not just about titles, someone's heir gets their wealth and possessions as well.

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That might be a good question for Yandel.

It is in the quote I offered that Aegon is considered to be Rhaegar's heir when he is murdered. Rhaegar was heir to the Iron Throne. By the laws of succession Aegon would be the heir to the Iron Throne. The son inherits before the uncle.

I think you may have mistaken the context of that quote

Cregan Karstark’s lips skinned back from his teeth. “Alys was promised to me.” Though past fifty, he had been a strong man when he went into the cell. The cold had robbed him of that strength and left him stiff and weak. “My lord father—”

“Your father is a castellan, not a lord. And a castellan has no right to make marriage pacts.”

“My father, Arnolf, is Lord of Karhold.”

“A son comes before an uncle by all the laws I know.”

Cregan pushed himself to his feet and kicked aside the furs clinging to his ankles. “Harrion is dead.”

Or will be soon. “A daughter comes before an uncle too. If her brother is dead, Karhold belongs to Lady Alys. And she has given her hand in marriage to Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn.”

Jon was referring to who would be lord of Karhold with Rickard dead. Jon is saying that Rickard's children come before Rickard's uncles in inheriting Karhold.

The proper context here would then be that Aerys' children inherit the Iron Throne before his uncles (Daeron, Duncan) would.

What is curious to me is that Viserys refers to Aegon as Rhaegar's heir. And Yandel refers to Viserys as Aerys's heir. But other than being the heir to the throne, what does is mean to be heir to either the king or crown prince. Did Aerys have anything to give Viserys as heir other than the IT? Did Rhaegar have anything to give Aegon as heir other than becoming next in line to IT? These terms are thrown around but I am not sure what they mean in this context. In nobility, a noble's heir usually means heir to the person's title. But in this case, what title would Rhaegar have to pass on to Aegon other than Crown Prince -- i.e., next in line to the throne? But similarly, what title would Aerys have to pass on to Viserys other than King? So these references seem to be in conflict -- which of course, tends to support your theory that Yandel is mistaken altogether and no decree was ever made.

Can anyone who supports the "decree" theory explain this apparent contradiction?

I don't see any contradiction. Aegon is Rhaegar's heir and not Aerys'. Viserys is Aerys' heir and not Rhaegar's.

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ML,



Rhaegar's heir would have inherited everything Rhaegar had when Rhaegar died if he was Rhaegar's heir then. Yet His Grace the king did neither give Dragonstone to Prince Aegon, nor did he name the boy his Heir Apparent. Perhaps Aerys did give Aegon some of Rhaegar's incomes - or not (after all, he was an infant and the king's hostage against Elia's family). The child seems to have owned nothing upon his death.



There is no law that demands that the a son comes before an uncle that binds the king, and even if there was - the king is above the law. And there are precedents in favouring the inheritance of uncles. Maegor I ascended the Iron Throne despite the fact that his brother Aenys had chosen his eldest son, Prince Aegon, as his heir. Aegon V came before Prince Maegor and Princess Vaella, and Prince Jaehaerys also came before his elder brother Duncan.



We know that Aerys passed over Prince Aegon. Get over it.



The idea that we can deduce a sort of special status for Aegon as Rhaegar's heir is preposterous, by the way. If Aerys had honoured Aegon's status as Rhaegar's heir he would have been made Prince of Dragonstone and Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne (which he was not) - not to mention that this is Dany remembering stuff that Viserys told her as a child. It is safe to say that Rhaella did either not tell him about his father's strained relations with his elder brother and his family, or that Viserys did not fully understand what was going there (i.e. why he had been named Heir Apparent and Prince of Dragonstone - or he did not question the king's decision on the matter) or that he chose to not trouble Daenerys with details that would cast a bad light on her parents. After all, Viserys would have told Dany stories of 'home' to resurrect the power and glory of House Targaryen for himself as well as to tell Dany about her dead kin - nobody in such a position would be particularly eager to paint the dead in a bad light.


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I think you may have mistaken the context of that quote

One line says it all:

Cregan Karstark’s lips skinned back from his teeth. “Alys was promised to me.” Though past fifty, he had been a strong man when he went into the cell. The cold had robbed him of that strength and left him stiff and weak. “My lord father—”

“Your father is a castellan, not a lord. And a castellan has no right to make marriage pacts.”

“My father, Arnolf, is Lord of Karhold.”

“A son comes before an uncle by all the laws I know.”

Cregan pushed himself to his feet and kicked aside the furs clinging to his ankles. “Harrion is dead.”

Or will be soon. “A daughter comes before an uncle too. If her brother is dead, Karhold belongs to Lady Alys. And she has given her hand in marriage to Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn.”

Is there some law that excludes the son in favor of the uncle that is not known?

Jon was referring to who would be lord of Karhold with Rickard dead. Jon is saying that Rickard's children come before Rickard's uncles in inheriting Karhold.

That is true, and why Alys comes before her uncle. In Targaryen primogeniture, females are excluded until all possible male claimants have been exhausted, including uncles.

The proper context here would then be that Aerys' children inherit the Iron Throne before his uncles (Daeron, Duncan) would.

I don't see any contradiction. Aegon is Rhaegar's heir and not Aerys'. Viserys is Aerys' heir and not Rhaegar's.

Rhaegar is the crown prince, he inherits the throne. If he predeceases his son, his eldest son inherits the throne, not his younger brother. It has to do with Primogeniture, and that favors Aegon (and Jon) over Viserys.

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