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Ygrain

R+L=J v.146

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Dump it all please. I could read you forever. Very interesting stuff.

:cheers: Well, thing is, to make it pleasantly readable I have to turn pages of notes and quote pulls (what I have now) into sensible prose - after I have figured out wtf it means. Right now, what I have is a lot of notes about various things being compared to Others - Starks in general, Jon in particular, greenseers in general, weirwood trees, and oddly, Kingsguard (that one is clearly symbolic, the KG obviously did not have anything to do with creating Others). Your wrote there about the Starks is certainly one of these. The thing I feel the most strongly about is that the Others were created, and that it involved greenseers (probably human greenseers, not cotf) and killing trees in some fashion. I think we are talking about a small group of human greenseers who somehow got involved with raising the dead, defying death, undying, etc. Just to give you an idea:

Outside, the night was white as death; pale thin clouds danced attendance on a silver moon, while a thousand stars watched coldly. He could see the humped shapes of other huts buried beneath drifts of snow, and beyond them the pale shadow of a weirwood armored in ice. (ADWD, Prologue)

"Pale shadow" is a specific word used to describe the Others, Ghost, and the KG knights, and no one else. Jon, meanwhile, was armored in ice in his Azor Ahai dream. Here we see a weirwood which is a pale shadow armored in ice. The "thousand stars" is a meteor shower reference, which is a clue we are talking about the Long Night here, and taken with a night which is as white as a death (k)night, we get the implication of both he long night and white death knights. The weirwoods symbolize greenseers, and its stays as a pale shadow armored in ice indicates a greenseer which became an icy pale shadow. During the Long Night.

There are many more like this.

The trees had grown icy teeth, snarling down from the bare brown branches.

“The wood’s too silent,” the old forester was saying. “No frogs near that river, no owls in the dark. I never heard no deader wood than this.” “Them teeth of yours sound pretty dead,” said Hake. Dywen clacked his wooden teeth. “No wolves neither. There was, before, but no more. Where’d they go, you figure?”

The light of the moon painted the limbs of the weirwood silvery white as she made her way toward it, but the five- pointed red leaves turned black by night.

The trees stood beneath him, warriors armored in bark and leaf, deployed in their silent ranks awaiting the command to storm the hill. Black, they seemed … it was only when his torchlight brushed against them that Jon glimpsed a flash of green.

“Nor live, I hope,” Mormont said, cutting his ham with a dagger and feeding a bite to the bird. “You have not deserted— yet. Here you stand. If we beheaded every boy who rode to Mole’s Town in the night, only ghosts would guard the Wall.

The others were good men too. Good men in a fight, at least, and loyal to their brothers . Jon could not speak for what they might have been before they reached the Wall, but he did not doubt that most had pasts as black as their cloaks. Up here, they were the sort of men he wanted at his back.Their hoods were raised against the biting wind, and some had scarves wrapped about their faces, hiding their features. Jon knew them, though. Every name was graven on his heart. They were his men, his brothers.

Do you think your uncle Benjen was the only ranger we’ve lost this past year?” “Ben Jen,” the raven squawked, bobbing its head, bits of egg dribbling from its beak. “Ben Jen. Ben Jen.” “No,” Jon said. There had been others. Too many.

Suddenly Arya remembered the crypts at Winterfell. They were a lot scarier than this place, she told herself. She’d been just a little girl the first time she saw them. Her brother Robb had taken them down, her and Sansa and baby Bran, who’d been no bigger than Rickon was now. They’d only had one candle between them, and Bran’s eyes had gotten as big as saucers as he stared at the stone faces of the Kings of Winter, with their wolves at their feet and their iron swords across their laps. Robb took them all the way down to the end, past Grandfather and Brandon and Lyanna, to show them their own tombs. Sansa kept looking at the stubby little candle, anxious that it might go out. Old Nan had told her there were spiders down here, and rats as big as dogs. Robb smiled when she said that. “There are worse things than spiders and rats,” he whispered. “This is where the dead walk.” That was when they heard the sound, low and deep and shivery. Baby Bran had clutched at Arya’s hand. When the spirit stepped out of the open tomb, pale white and moaning for blood, Sansa ran shrieking for the stairs, and Bran wrapped himself around Robb’s leg, sobbing. Arya stood her ground and gave the spirit a punch. It was only Jon, covered with flour.

In the dark he’d heard the scrape of stone on stone. When he turned he saw that the vaults were opening, one after the other. As the dead kings came stumbling from their cold black graves, Jon had woken in pitch- dark, his heart hammering.

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But, when a reader ONLY has eyes for RLJ, it makes it very difficult to see the less-obvious clues as surrounding Jon's birth. The least of which is his parentage. ;)

Well, we could also say that some readers ONLY have eyes for anything but RLJ. ;)

A reader though doesn't decide what the eyes will see prior reading the books. Opinions are formed reading the clues, obvious or less obvious. Personally I don't see Wylla or Ashara as less-obvious, on the contrary. We have Ned saying to Robert that Wylla is the mother, and Edric Dayne confirming this. Hardly less obvious. Ashara is the woman that Ned liked (loved her?). There was a war going on but it's possible that the guy took a day off and went to be with her. Some say Barristan suggests that it was Ned who had a child with Ashara and she killed herself over that. Barristan says "a Stark" but Ned is the most obvious association.

So, if we're going against the "obvious", we should discard all the above. Thus, both Wylla and Ashara.

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A reader doesn't decide what the eyes will see prior reading the books.

Opinions are formed reading the clues, obvious or less obvious.

Personally I don't see Wylla or Ashara as less-obvious, on the contrary. We have Ned saying to Robert that Wylla is the mother, and Edric Dayne confirming this. Hardly less obvious. Ashara is the woman that Ned liked (loved her?). There was a war going on but it's possible that the guy took a day off and went to be with her. Some say Barristan suggests that it was Ned who had a child with Ashara and she killed herself over that. Barristan says "a Stark" but Ned is the most obvious association.

Following the anti-obvious logic, we should discard all the above.

Your entire comment missed my point, while at the same time proving it. Pretty cool!

As I said, when reading the text from an RLJ-centric perspective, one misses the clues surrounding the mystery of Jon's birth, THE LEAST OF WHICH is his parentage.

Least. Of. Which.

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Is there compelling proof, textual or symbolic, that leads to the belief that Jon is Arthur Dayne's son? (Funny, my phone automatically capslocks ARTHUR DAYNE. Guess we know my feelings about a certain SotM.) Or that he is Ashara's? Other than the obvious points in the text that directly speak to her. I imagine there are threads on this? Can someone link me?

Also, if RLJ isn't the truth, what is the point of the symbolism associated with Lyanna? Why is there a blue rose at the wall? Why is the phrase "song of swords" only associated with Jon and Rhaegar? Why the weird connection with Bloodraven and Mormont's raven and the repeated "king"?

I think it's pretty obvious the Daynes have a big part to play. As to what it is... I dunno.

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Your entire comment missed my point, while at the same time proving it. Pretty cool!

As I said, when reading the text from an RLJ-centric perspective, one misses the clues surrounding the mystery of Jon's birth, THE LEAST OF WHICH is his parentage.

Least. Of. Which.

But what does this mean? What clues? Honest question.

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Well, we could also say that some readers ONLY have eyes for anything but RLJ. ;)

Ah, I see you added an edit. Surely you are not lumping me into such a group, as I've always spoken out in favor of RLJ, and defended RLJers in Heresy.

It was only when I attempted to prove RLJ, to myself (for the bicentennial Heresy project), that I ended up finding it an untenable theory due to the conflicts presented by canon.

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I don't understand how does that support Ned and Wylla as parents.

They had just finished making love when they start discussing about him going to KL, and she's trying to convince him to go.

She mentioned Brandon for the sake of comparing herself with Sansa about the age, and Ned becomes bitter. He's clearly speaking about responsabilities, and being reminded of his brother and be compared to him (he does that though, not Cat), because he was the big brother and "better". She understands this very well and replies.

The cup is not Catelyn only. The cup is everything, mainly his position as the head of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, since the discussion was about that. I very much doubt that Ned Stark was making a statement that he never wanted to marry her (he wasn't suppose to marry her and she knows that. She didn't want to marry him either) and that he was in love with somebody else, after 15 years of marriage and after making love with her. That would make any woman go nuts. It's rude and offensive. It shows disrespect. He's not Robert speaking to Cersei.

1. Fair point--to assert that it could be supportive of Ned and Wylla, I'd have to assume Ned loved/had feelings for Wylla. We've got some bits of evidence re: Ned and Ashara--Wylla. No. I'd need more.

2. You're absolutely right re: the cup. It's not just the marriage, but the Lordship and all the rest. And Ned clearly doesn't like being compared to Brandon. But I can't see how his bitter expression, his answer or Cat's response exclude Ned's implying that he wanted someone else. He seems to know she wanted Brandon. Says she was intended for Brandon. She's included in the "cup" metaphor. And she's guessed (not without reason) that he loved Ashara. Bottom line: they both know this was an arranged marriage. That Cat was for Brandon. That Ned married out of duty. They weren't each other's first choice, no matter how much they love each other now. It comes out--in what they both say. Doesn't mean they don't love each other now. But the old facts are coming out in this conversation.

3. You're right--if Ned were flinging another woman in Cat's face, she'd be offended. But he doesn't seem to be doing that. If anything, he resents her bringing up Brandon--shows his dislike of that tactic. And perhaps that's why she doesn't show offense at his cup remark--she has a goal in speaking, knows she pushed a bit far with the Brandon line, but keeps going, trying to keep him focused.

4. Bottom line--the conversation implies they didn't originally want each other. Cat, not Ned, brings up her first choice first. Ned only implies he wanted another person as part of another life: “Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King’s Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me.” But it is implied in the statement. Suggests (not proves) that Ned loved another--Jon's potential mother.

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Stop reaching. This interview is done way before D&D described how it was with Martin when they said their answer on other media forums.

In fact, if tomorrow D&D say publicly, "Actually, Martin didn't really say anything, he just shook his head from side to side, giggle a little bit, and said 'okay', never really say that we got it right." You would believe it. Because in your head, the narrative theory of R+L=J, is wrong, you guys are very easy to predict. We went through the thick and thin slicing this theory, discussing its pros & cons, and how it relates to the overall arc and narrative of Martin's novels. It's the most accurate with all the hints, clues and foreshadowing, given to us. No other comes close.

This is my 2nd post ever, to any forum, so I beg a little leeway regarding etiquette. These longstanding forums are highly partitioned, and navigating is not entirely intuitive to a novice. My 1st post explained the possibility of Jon Snow being born from Robert Baratheon forcing himself on his betrothed, Lyanna Stark, maybe while Robert was too drunk to accurately remember his actions. In this scenario, Lyanna sought, and was granted, the protection of Crown Prince Rheagar. The 1st reply was that I posted in the wrong area, although I believe it was in this thread. If anyone is interested and has search working currently, it is a rather lengthy post but I believe there is merit to the line of reasoning. Cheers

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So, in the context of the scene, I grant you that Ned's thinking of Cat and Jon in this moment could be suggestive of Jon's parentage. But still can't see that it's determinative. Really think could also be Ned's realizing Cat's impulsiveness--especially now that she's snatched Tyrion.

Of course -- if it was determinative, R+L=J wouldn't just be a theory.

The original question was why Ned would keep the secret from Cat, even if Rhaegar was the daddy. Even if you see this as being purely about Cat's impulsiveness, you've got your answer right there.

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^^^ the above are all logistical reasons that can be easily explained (and have been). What I was saying is that if you want to solve Martin's mysteries, you need to rely on symbolism first and foremost.

The blue rose in the Wall means he is Lyanna's son. There is no explanation for the blue rose other than RLJ - I've seen someone try one time, it was really bad. The section where Ygritte tells Jon about Bael the Bard makes it even clearer, again from a symbolism point of view.

In our world, the blue rose is a symbol of unattainable love. I see some believe in Martin's world this is somehow reduced to mean Stark women, because of the story Ygritte tells Jon of Bael the Bard and his Stark lover. I think there are more readings than this in Ygritte's tale. If one reads the tale to mean the unattainable, forbidden love between a wildling and a Stark daughter of the King in the North, then we read the rose in the Wall symbol as not a particular Stark woman, or her son, but as the same unattainable and forbidden love the Bael feels for his Stark lover. Because it is Daenerys that sees this vision the straightforward reading of the symbol is that she will meet with her unattainable and forbidden lover at the Wall. That either interpretation points most likely to Jon Snow, does not mean it unimportant to read the symbol in a more general meaning, instead of a specific meaning of a particular Stark woman. It references Lyanna, I believe, in her attraction to Rhaegar, and Rhaegar's attraction to her, and in their families opposites sides of the coming rebellion. It represents to Ygritte, who is telling the tale to Jon, of not only being the same kind of love for her as Bael feels for his love, but also the doomed aspects she feels knowing they will have to leave the cave and face a world where they may end as enemies. It maybe it foreshadows similar problems for Jon and Daenerys.

Now, this is northern tale, and it utilizes northern symbols, but I think it is a mistake to reduce the story to blue roses symbolizing Starks. The key here, for me at least, is the doomed nature of unattainable love. Yes, Daenerys finds her love in Jon Snow. No, it's not going to work for either of the them. Even if they both survive. If you read it the way you do, LmL, I think it strips it of this meaning, and misses the message. So, no, I don't think yours is the only meaning that makes sense, and there can be no other. Yours could, of course, be right, and I hope we find out soon if that's the case, but asserting only your meaning is right isn't helpful.

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But what does this mean? What clues? Honest question.

:cheers: Happy to answer Eurybia.

I can only speak for myself, but Starfall is the biggest clue. I've never had a dog in this particular fight, and never really cared about Jon's parentage. Nonetheless, I've check in with RLJ over the years and posted comments/citations/finds from the text that seemed to point in favor of the theory. Because it was never a priority of mine (I prefer discussions surrounding the Wall, the North, and the Others), I've always sort of just accepted RLJ as a plausible theory and moved on to other things.

Once WeaselPie pointed out that Lyanna at the toj=not canon, I couldn't but agree. I've been around westeros.org enough to know how much people accept interpretation and speculation when it suits their ends. RLJ isn't the only thread that does it, but it is a place where the popularity of the practice is used as justification for it. I rarely post here, because again, I prefer other discussions, but I've followed the conversation enough to know the debate here tends to focus more on the effects of RLJ, rather than question and test RLJ.

For me, that is rather inexcusable. Theories should be questioned, constantly. And when someone questions RLJ, here, it often provokes angered responses, rather than informed ones. There are clear exceptions to this. Kingmonkey and SFDanny seem particularly informed and deal with questioning the RLJ theory itself in a very logical way. Anyway, I'm getting off topic...

Clues!

1. There has not been a Sword of the Morning these past 17 years, even though there are at least two living Dayne-swordsmen. Jon is now about 17 years old. And we have no record of Dawn ever being wielded by a non-Dayne.

2. Wylla, Edric Dayne, and the Stark-Starfall-Dayne connection. Jon would have required a wetnurse shortly after birth, unless was able to lactate or borrow one of Shagga's goats. Wylla serves as wetnurse to Starfall as Old Nan served as wetnurse to Winterfell. Jon was born at Starfall.

And...If Jon was born at Starfall, as opposed to the tower of joy, it solves several glaring problems with the RLJ theory:

  • Lyanna would have had a maester, as befits a highborn lady who was loved by the man who impregnates her (if she was indeed pregnant)

The pull-downability of the tower of joy (Ned pulled it down himself, after nearly dying in a melee with the greatest knight in living memory)

Only Ned and Howland lived to ride away from the toj

The "They" who found Ned still holding Lyanna's body (in a building that was obviously still standing as opposed to "long-fallen")

And...If Jon is a Dayne, and not Rhaegar's heir or bastard, it solves several other character issues:

  • Ned found it hard to believe that Rhaegar would have visited brothels and fathered bastards (the way Robert Baratheon did).

Lyanna did not approve of men being promiscuous and betraying their wedding vows. That's why she didn't want to marry Robert. So why would she then develop a romantic relationship with a married father?

3. The Palestone Sword is another clue, as is Jon's discomfort with Longclaw. I'd like to claim Ashara's suicide as another clue, but unfortunately the circumstances of her death are far too mysterious to lay claim to one way or the other.

4. The level of admiration for Arthur Dayne, from House Stark... and the level of admiration for Eddard Stark, from House Dayne.

4. Last, but not least, is Dawn=the Original Ice. You can find my thoughts on that topic in the link in my signature.

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Not too subtle at all--I brought in Wylla because both Neds do. But the Dayne issue is clearly part of the story, including the myths. No reason to dismiss it out of hand until the books are finished. Even potentially puts the tower of joy name in context--an Arthur who's behaving like a Lancelot . . .

Last ween GRRM once again said how Arthurian legends inspired him, and according to Arthurian legend, Arthur Dayne (Lancelot) is a father.

It would be funny if it turns out he was. First you have to figure out Ned is not a father, then you have to figure out Lyanna is a mother, and then you think Rhaegar is father. But it was actually his BFF Arthur Dayne :)

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Ah, I see you added an edit. Surely you are not lumping me into such a group, as I've always spoken out in favor of RLJ, and defended RLJers in Heresy.

Not at all. I just took advantage to add that point which I wanted to make a while ago. :-)

Your entire comment missed my point, while at the same time proving it. Pretty cool!

As I said, when reading the text from an RLJ-centric perspective, one misses the clues surrounding the mystery of Jon's birth, THE LEAST OF WHICH is his parentage.

Least. Of. Which.

I thought you and Sly were talking about parentage. However, my main point was how can I read a text from an RLJ-centric perspective, or Ashara+Ned perspective&others for that matter? It's not like I'm looking for it. Anyway, about the mystery of Jon's birth, the least of which is his parentage, in the sense that his parentage is the least of the mysteries surrounding his birth?

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Of course -- if it was determinative, R+L=J wouldn't just be a theory.

The original question was why Ned would keep the secret from Cat, even if Rhaegar was the daddy. Even if you see this as being purely about Cat's impulsiveness, you've got your answer right there.

I know it's getting late in this thread Kingmonkey, but I am still looking forward to your reply to this comment when you have time. :cheers:

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Of course -- if it was determinative, R+L=J wouldn't just be a theory.

The original question was why Ned would keep the secret from Cat, even if Rhaegar was the daddy. Even if you see this as being purely about Cat's impulsiveness, you've got your answer right there.

Fair enough. :cheers:

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Not at all. I just took advantage to add that point which I wanted to make a while ago. :-)

I thought you and Sly were talking about parentage. However, my main point was how can I read a text from an RLJ-centric perspective, or Ashara+Ned perspective&others for that matter? It's not like I'm looking for it. Anyway, about the mystery of Jon's birth, the least of which is his parentage, in the sense that his parentage is the least of the mysteries surrounding his birth?

Bingo

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Ah, I see you added an edit. Surely you are not lumping me into such a group, as I've always spoken out in favor of RLJ, and defended RLJers in Heresy.

It was only when I attempted to prove RLJ, to myself (for the bicentennial Heresy project), that I ended up finding it an untenable theory due to the conflicts presented by canon.

^^^Yep. Voice argued and argued for RLJ, and I think we both hopped off the fence about the same time, no? But always neutral. He's not a biased reader. I can attest to that.

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^^^ the above are all logistical reasons that can be easily explained (and have been). What I was saying is that if you want to solve Martin's mysteries, you need to rely on symbolism first and foremost.

The blue rose in the Wall means he is Lyanna's son. There is no explanation for the blue rose other than RLJ - I've seen someone try one time, it was really bad. The section where Ygritte tells Jon about Bael the Bard makes it even clearer, again from a symbolism point of view.

I'm not sure you should be so definitive with your interpretation. The blue flower growing in the wall comes from dannys HoU visions which she is told are events from the past, present and FUTURE.

The Bael the bard story could be seen as the blue winter rose representing a Stark maiden. If you rewind the clock back to GRRMs outline of the book that he sent out to the publishers he has Arya placed at the wall. Can you definitively tell me that in the next 2 books that Arya will not be situated at the wall and represent the blue flower?

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3. You're right--if Ned were flinging another woman in Cat's face, she'd be offended. But he doesn't seem to be doing that. If anything, he resents her bringing up Brandon--shows his dislike of that tactic. And perhaps that's why she doesn't show offense at his cup remark--she has a goal in speaking, knows she pushed a bit far with the Brandon line, but keeps going, trying to keep him focused.

That's what I meant, because as it was put by Tywin (in the post you quoted) sounded like he was telling her: look I didn't want you.

The words should be put in a context also.

Bottom line--the conversation implies they didn't originally want each other.

Oh but that's a fact they both know.

"Catelyn softened then, to see his pain. Eddard Stark had married her in Brandon’s place, as custom decreed"

Cat, not Ned, brings up her first choice first. Ned only implies he wanted another person as part of another life: “Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King’s Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me.” But it is implied in the statement. Suggests (not proves) that Ned loved another--Jon's potential mother.

I'm not sure that part suggest that. It suggest that he didn't want ALL this, and wasn't meant for him.

But this part, which is what Cat feels/thinks, might suggest that:

but the shadow of his dead brother still lay between them, as did the other, the shadow of the woman he would not name, the woman who had borne him his bastard son.

Might very well be Cat's fears only. You know how we womens are. :P

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Bingo

I kind of agree with that. Jon's birth is a mystery, that's obvious. Who are his parents per se isn't that important to me. It's what does that mean and what it will bring to the story.

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