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Prince of Ghost

R+L=J v. 149

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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.

A thread for discussing strengths and weaknesses of the theory that Jon Snow's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna.

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 forty)

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

"R+L=J v.142" (thread one hundred forty two)

"R+L=J v.143" (thread one hundred forty three)

"R+L=J v. 144" (thread one hundred forty four)

"R+L=J v.145" (thread one hundred forty five)

"R+L=J v.146" (thread one hundred forty six)

"R+L=J v. 147" (thread one hundred forty seven)

"R+L=J v. 148" (thread one hundred forty eight)

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So does anybody think that Jon is the song of Ice and Fire?

Cause I never thought that and still don't but when I read about a marriage alliance between the Targs and Starks and it being called A Pact of Ife and Fire than I started thinking that Jon has a lot more to do with the series title than I give him credit for.

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So does anybody think that Jon is the song of Ice and Fire?

Cause I never thought that and still don't but when I read about a marriage alliance between the Targs and Starks and it being called A Pact of Ife and Fire than I started thinking that Jon has a lot more to do with the series title than I give him credit for.

Yes., Unmasked Lurker and I are big proponents of that idea.

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That's the way I tend to see it as well.

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So does anybody think that Jon is the song of Ice and Fire?

He would be, if not for the Huge twist that GRRM has planned for Jon...

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So does anybody think that Jon is the song of Ice and Fire?

If you're saying Rhaegar tried and succeeded to fulfill prophecy and birthed the savior of Westeros which is exactly what he intended to do then no I don't believe it for a second.

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The incredibly ironic thing is that Martin created Jon's parentage to not hinder a love relationship between Jon and Arya as they would be cousins, and Martin did this when both thought they were brother and sister.

Now the idea of WHO his parents are have become the scandal.

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Honestly the last two books are gonna be much darker than most people here would believe and some of the regulars in this thread are setting themselves for some massive heartbreak. I don't think it's a bad thing to distance yourself from the rosier versions of the R+L=J theory even if you believe it's the most likely outcome.



If D&D are excited about what GRRM has told them about the ending (and both of them seem glowy about it unless they're lying), well, they're pretty much on record as being in favor of a darker ending.


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Honestly the last two books are gonna be much darker than most people here would believe and some of the regulars in this thread are setting themselves for some massive heartbreak. I don't think it's a bad thing to distance yourself from the rosier versions of the R+L=J theory even if you believe it's the most likely outcome.

If D&D are excited about what GRRM has told them about the ending (and both of them seem glowy about it unless they're lying), well, they're pretty much on record as being in favor of a darker ending.

I heard D&D state that they found the ending satisfying. I never heard anything about them preferring a dark ending. Do you have a link to your source? I think GRRM has indicated that the ending is bittersweet, but I am not sure I have seen anything saying it would be a particularly "dark" ending (beyond whatever darkness normally comes as part of a bittersweet ending).

I have always believed that there will be quite a bit of death and destruction. But in the end, humanity will survive (even if many of our favorite characters do not) and there will be a hope for a brighter future. That type of ending is what I take from being "bittersweet" but I have never assumed a "fairy tale" happy ending. None of that has anything to do with RLJ, however, in my opinion. I think RLJ is relevant to how Jon is able to win the war in the end. But I don't think is suggests a happy ending or a dark ending. It simply is an important plot development that will be a jolt to Jon and cause him to re-think his role in the world and, as I said, ultimately allow him to have the "special talent" from his ice/fire heritage to win the war.I just have not figured out what this "special talent" actually will be. But all of that can be true no matter how "dark" the ending happens to be, unless you are suggesting that the Others win and every human being dies -- now that would be dark but I highly doubt is where GRRM is going.

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Honestly the last two books are gonna be much darker than most people here would believe and some of the regulars in this thread are setting themselves for some massive heartbreak. I don't think it's a bad thing to distance yourself from the rosier versions of the R+L=J theory even if you believe it's the most likely outcome.

If D&D are excited about what GRRM has told them about the ending (and both of them seem glowy about it unless they're lying), well, they're pretty much on record as being in favor of a darker ending.

It's an apocalyptic battle for life itself. It's going to be fairly dark with lots of death and destruction on all sides, like UL says. I'm not sure what "rosier" version you're referring to. I think R and L are a tragic romance. They are both dead after all, having never gotten to see their son (Lyanna only briefly before the fever took her life). Their love and decisions set the world ablaze and had repercussions for everyone around them and reverberate until the present day. I don't think R and L were camped out, signing songs, and feeding each other lemon cakes. Do I think they loved each other? Yes. Do I think that there was a lot of angst and internal struggling because of their decisions and love? Also, yes. GRRM would never write those two an easy romance, but, for me, it's more about those much beloved conflicts of the heart (did we make the right choice? What are the consequences of our actions? how do we live in a world after all that we have wrought?) that make RL interesting--not the "oooh baby, I love u so much!" aspect.

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I heard D&D state that they found the ending satisfying. I never heard anything about them preferring a dark ending. Do you have a link to your source? I think GRRM has indicated that the ending is bittersweet, but I am not sure I have seen anything saying it would be a particularly "dark" ending (beyond whatever darkness normally comes as part of a bittersweet ending).

I have always believed that there will be quite a bit of death and destruction. But in the end, humanity will survive (even if many of our favorite characters do not) and there will be a hope for a brighter future. That type of ending is what I take from being "bittersweet" but I have never assumed a "fairy tale" happy ending. None of that has anything to do with RLJ, however, in my opinion. I think RLJ is relevant to how Jon is able to win the war in the end. But I don't think is suggests a happy ending or a dark ending. It simply is an important plot development that will be a jolt to Jon and cause him to re-think his role in the world and, as I said, ultimately allow him to have the "special talent" from his ice/fire heritage to win the war.I just have not figured out what this "special talent" actually will be. But all of that can be true no matter how "dark" the ending happens to be, unless you are suggesting that the Others win and every human being dies -- now that would be dark but I highly doubt is where GRRM is going.

If they're on record as liking it, I can see the people that made that Sansa storyline as liking it darker. Of course, the people who think Alister can't be the one doing the stabbing because he's "the bad guy" might also want a traditional good guys win ending, so who knows.

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I heard D&D state that they found the ending satisfying. I never heard anything about them preferring a dark ending. Do you have a link to your source? I think GRRM has indicated that the ending is bittersweet, but I am not sure I have seen anything saying it would be a particularly "dark" ending (beyond whatever darkness normally comes as part of a bittersweet ending).

I have always believed that there will be quite a bit of death and destruction. But in the end, humanity will survive (even if many of our favorite characters do not) and there will be a hope for a brighter future. That type of ending is what I take from being "bittersweet" but I have never assumed a "fairy tale" happy ending. None of that has anything to do with RLJ, however, in my opinion. I think RLJ is relevant to how Jon is able to win the war in the end. But I don't think is suggests a happy ending or a dark ending. It simply is an important plot development that will be a jolt to Jon and cause him to re-think his role in the world and, as I said, ultimately allow him to have the "special talent" from his ice/fire heritage to win the war.I just have not figured out what this "special talent" actually will be. But all of that can be true no matter how "dark" the ending happens to be, unless you are suggesting that the Others win and every human being dies -- now that would be dark but I highly doubt is where GRRM is going.

How bitter is bittersweet for you though? When GRRM decided to write a children's story he wrote the Ice Dragon. That one has some bitter Amazon comments. It's one the sadder children's stories I've read or watched or heard of.

I think people think they're prepared for a bittersweet ending, but they're not really prepared for what the author may consider bittersweet.

By all means believe in, defend and support this theory. There's tons of evidence for it (and it's my belief that was intentional). But why people are so eager to put their faith in the supposition that Rhaegar succeeded in his quest to birth a savior thus justifying the bloody consequences of his actions (at least to Rhaegar's ghost), I really and truely do not understand it and never have. GRRM has fucked with my emotions too much already to put my faith in that.

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[MOD]



Several posts have been deleted.



Sniping about what happens on other forums is not permitted here.



It doesn't matter which side of the R+L=J debate you sit - if you are rude or bring up drama created elsewhere on the internet you will be suspended.



It cannot be any clearer than that.



In the meantime, if you think someone is trolling, please use the report function and we will deal with it.



Finally - and this applies to everyone - it costs nothing to be civil, address arguments and refrain from personal attacks - especially when debating the contents of a fictional story.



[/MOD]


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I agree that we should get back to discussing RLJ.

Good idea.

In the last thread, I raised the idea that the SSM that places Jon's birth "probably" around "8 or 9 months" before Dany's "or thereabouts" is unreliable. Here is a link:

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1040

My thought is that this SSM was given in 1999, while GRRM was working on ASOS. He was answering a questioner who was trying to establish that Ashara could not be the mother because Ned and Ashara were not together at the right time during the Rebellion. His intention was to reassure the questioner that the possibility of N+A=J can't be ruled out. The way he did it was to say that he planned to reveal in ASOS that Ashara was not in Starfall during the entirety of the Rebellion and that in fact she spent the early years of the Rhaegar/Elia marriage as a companion to Elia in King's Landing. He also stated that Jon was about 8 or 9 months older than Dany.

From that, I inferred that at that point in 1999, GRRM was planning to include a POV in ASOS that would disclose this information about Ashara in a way that hinted at N+A=J (either because that theory is true or as a red herring). This would require him to pick a birth date for Jon and then to have Ned and Ashara crossing paths 9 months before that birth date. He was free to place that birth date early in the Rebellion, at the time of the Sack, or months after the Sack if he wanted to do that, since he had not at that point narrowed his options for when Jon was born. (Remember that Jon was "of an age with Robb", but Robb was "of an age" with Joffrey, even though Robb was about to turn 15 when Joffrey was 13).

So GRRM told the questioner that of course the timeline did not rule out Ashara as Jon's mother, that ASOS would tell us about Ashara's movements during the Rebellion, and that Jon as born around the time of the Sack, give or take a month. (Keep in mind that Jon's birth date was still somewhat fluid, because he keyed it off Dany's birthdate, which was "9 moons" after a midnight flight to Dragonstone in AGOT, but which changed to 8.5 moons after a daytime flight to Dragonstone by the time ASOS was published). But ASOS did not tell us any of these things -- there is no information in ASOS about Ashara's movements during the Rebellion, and in fact we learned in the World Book that Ashara could not have been a companion to Elia in King's Landing in the early years of Elia's marriage because during that time Elia lived on Dragonstone. I concluded from all of this that GRRM had abandoned the ideas that were reflected in this SSM and that the information about Jon's birth cannot be viewed as reliable.

Your response, if I understood it, was to suggest that everything else in the SSM was unreliable, but the information about Jon's birth date was not, because the information about Ashara related to revelations that might come in a future book, but that GRRM must have known who Jon's parents were at the end of AGOT. I think your point was that GRRM felt comfortable saying that Jon was born around the time of the Sack, even though we learned in ASOS that Brandon died more than 9 months before the Sack and Robert had not seen Lyanna for more than 9 months before the Sack, because GRRM already knew that neither Brandon nor Robert was Jon's father.

My response to that is that (while I don't think Brandon or Robert is Jon's father), I don't think that GRRM had fleshed out the Rebellion enough at the conclusion of AGOT to rule out any potential mothers (or fathers) for Jon based on the timeline. Reading just AGOT, it sounds like Rickard and Brandon died some time after the Rebellion started, and there is no indication of whether Rhaegar abducted Lyanna before the war started or halfway through it.

ASOS gave us a lot of backstory on the Rebellion that we did not have before, and GRRM was obviously playing around with how to do this when he gave the SSM in 1999. We don't know why he changed his mind about the main points in the SSM (which had to do with Ashara Dayne), we just know that the main points he made in the SSM never made it into the books. That leads me to conclude that whatever he plan he had for giving clues about Jon's birth, including the date he had in mind in 1999, he changed his mind. In other words, I don't think he necessarily had in mind that Jon was born probably 8 or 9 months before Dany, or thereabouts, when he published AGOT. I think that was something he was thinking about when he was trying out ideas for how to write a workable N+A=J clue that he later decided not to use.

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It's an apocalyptic battle for life itself. It's going to be fairly dark with lots of death and destruction on all sides, like UL says. I'm not sure what "rosier" version you're referring to. I think R and L are a tragic romance. They are both dead after all, having never gotten to see their son (Lyanna only briefly before the fever took her life). Their love and decisions set the world ablaze and had repercussions for everyone around them and reverberate until the present day. I don't think R and L were camped out, signing songs, and feeding each other lemon cakes. Do I think they loved each other? Yes. Do I think that there was a lot of angst and internal struggling because of their decisions and love? Also, yes. GRRM would never write those two an easy romance, but, for me, it's more about those much beloved conflicts of the heart (did we make the right choice? What are the consequences of our actions? how do we live in a world after all that we have wrought?) that make RL interesting--not the "oooh baby, I love u so much!" aspect.

I really think you are short changing it when you say fairly dark. This shit could get really, really dark. None of us really have any idea what he's planning to do but whether tounge in cheek or not he says he wants to destroy the souls of his readers. When I read shit like that in interviews I start to steel myself, especially given what GRRM has given us so far.

Now whether the idea the Rhaegar managed to birth a savior which is exactly what he intended to do is rosy or not - I absolutely believe it is. I believe even with the bloody consequences of his actions Rhaegar would be satisfied with himself for managing to ultimately save humanity. Don't you think he would? I do. And I believe most readers would be happy with it too. They would ulimately view Rhaegar's reckless actions as noble and worth the destructive consequences and the stupider readers would even see the whole situation as highly romantic (and sorry there's no easier way to say that, it's just true). That's what it's ultimately about, GRRM would never let one of his characters plunge the realm into war on their whims to fulfill a half-baked prophecy that was in probability a load of bull anyway and then actually be rewarded for doing so.

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Good idea.

In the last thread, I raised the idea that the SSM that places Jon's birth "probably" around "8 or 9 months" before Dany's "or thereabouts" is unreliable. Here is a link:

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1040

My thought is that this SSM was given in 1999, while GRRM was working on ASOS. He was answering a questioner who was trying to establish that Ashara could not be the mother because Ned and Ashara were not together at the right time during the Rebellion. His intention was to reassure the questioner that the possibility of N+A=J can't be ruled out. The way he did it was to say that he planned to reveal in ASOS that Ashara was not in Starfall during the entirety of the Rebellion and that in fact she spent the early years of the Rhaegar/Elia marriage as a companion to Elia in King's Landing. He also stated that Jon was about 8 or 9 months older than Dany.

From that, I inferred that at that point in 1999, GRRM was planning to include a POV in ASOS that would disclose this information about Ashara in a way that hinted at N+A=J (either because that theory is true or as a red herring). This would require him to pick a birth date for Jon and then to have Ned and Ashara crossing paths 9 months before that birth date. He was free to place that birth date early in the Rebellion, at the time of the Sack, or months after the Sack if he wanted to do that, since he had not at that point narrowed his options for when Jon was born. (Remember that Jon was "of an age with Robb", but Robb was "of an age" with Joffrey, even though Robb was about to turn 15 when Joffrey was 13).

So GRRM told the questioner that of course the timeline did not rule out Ashara as Jon's mother, that ASOS would tell us about Ashara's movements during the Rebellion, and that Jon as born around the time of the Sack, give or take a month. (Keep in mind that Jon's birth date was still somewhat fluid, because he keyed it off Dany's birthdate, which was "9 moons" after a midnight flight to Dragonstone in AGOT, but which changed to 8.5 moons after a daytime flight to Dragonstone by the time ASOS was published). But ASOS did not tell us any of these things -- there is no information in ASOS about Ashara's movements during the Rebellion, and in fact we learned in the World Book that Ashara could not have been a companion to Elia in King's Landing in the early years of Elia's marriage because during that time Elia lived on Dragonstone. I concluded from all of this that GRRM had abandoned the ideas that were reflected in this SSM and that the information about Jon's birth cannot be viewed as reliable.

Your response, if I understood it, was to suggest that everything else in the SSM was unreliable, but the information about Jon's birth date was not, because the information about Ashara related to revelations that might come in a future book, but that GRRM must have known who Jon's parents were at the end of AGOT. I think your point was that GRRM felt comfortable saying that Jon was born around the time of the Sack, even though we learned in ASOS that Brandon died more than 9 months before the Sack and Robert had not seen Lyanna for more than 9 months before the Sack, because GRRM already knew that neither Brandon nor Robert was Jon's father.

My response to that is that (while I don't think Brandon or Robert is Jon's father), I don't think that GRRM had fleshed out the Rebellion enough at the conclusion of AGOT to rule out any potential mothers (or fathers) for Jon based on the timeline. Reading just AGOT, it sounds like Rickard and Brandon died some time after the Rebellion started, and there is no indication of whether Rhaegar abducted Lyanna before the war started or halfway through it.

ASOS gave us a lot of backstory on the Rebellion that we did not have before, and GRRM was obviously playing around with how to do this when he gave the SSM in 1999. We don't know why he changed his mind about the main points in the SSM (which had to do with Ashara Dayne), we just know that the main points he made in the SSM never made it into the books. That leads me to conclude that whatever he plan he had for giving clues about Jon's birth, including the date he had in mind in 1999, he changed his mind. In other words, I don't think he necessarily had in mind that Jon was born probably 8 or 9 months before Dany, or thereabouts, when he published AGOT. I think that was something he was thinking about when he was trying out ideas for how to write a workable N+L=J clue that he later decided not to use.

I think this is very reasonable. In the last few threads, I have quoted this SSM that you are debating and the other SSM about times and distances to show the uncertainty in GRRM's timelines. And you have taken it further in the right direction. :thumbsup:

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Oh I could see the prophecy coming true after all of that... would be ironic at this point for a prophecy to actually serve some purpose

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