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Annara Snow

Sweetrobin's parentage + speculation about Harry (minor spoilers for Alayne I)

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It's been speculated before on these forums, multiple times, that Robert Arryn may be a bastard son of Petyr Baelish. Reasons for: Lysa may have had an affair with Littlefinger in KL during her marriage and not just before (depending on how you take her remarks about being able to scream when he makes love to her... which could mean they were having sex in secret on some previous occasions during those many years in KL); the fact that SR is small and dark, like Littlefinger (however, while we know Lysa was auburn-haired and tall for a woman - taller than LF - at the time, we knew little about Jon Arryn's appearance, except, IIRC, for a mention of his broad shoulders); and the parallel between SR and LF in Alayne's chapters that doesn't seem like a coincidence (not only are they both obsessed with Sansa and using their position to bother her with unwanted kisses, they also both tell Sansa they hate porridge when offered - this is the kind of minor detail that seems like a hint). Reason against: Lysa never talked to LF, when we saw them together, as if SR was his son, even though one would imagine she'd be happy if he were (then again, she may not have been 100% sure?).

 

The released Alayne chapter from TWOW adds more fuel to this possibility: we learn that Harry the Heir has what's thought of as "the Arryn look" and that he looks a lot like young Jon Arryn. Harry is described as tall, with ash blond hair and an aquiline nose. None of that sounds anything like Sweetrobin. 

 

And considering the fact that cases of false paternity and the role of people's physical traits in those controversies have played a big role in ASOAIF, I'd be surprised if this is something GRRM just hasn't thought  through. SR not looking like either one of his parents, but looking like his mother's lover, is reminiscent of Rhaenyra's three eldest sons, officially from her marriage to Laenor, rumored to be by Harwyn the Strong. These are the kind of cases that easiest provoke rumors - actually, the suspicion would normally be far easier aroused by a child not looking like either of the parents, than a case like Cersei's children, who simply look like their mother, so most people would not immediately think they were not Robert's, and if they did, they sure would not immediately think they were her brother's; it's the only if one has had a chance to observe the behavior of Jaime and Cersei with each other that that accusation - which would have otherwise seemed ludicrous - becomes very plausible. It would be highly ironic if Jon Arryn, who was investigating the parentage of Robert's children, and was once believed by the Starks and by the readers to have died because of it, never realized that his son and heir was also a bastard fathered by his wife's lover. It would also be ironic that, while Alayne is posing as LF's bastard, there's actually LF's bastard right there and he's the Lord of the Vale.

 

So, how come no one has brought up this possibility in-universe? Everyone likely assumes that SR is small because of Lysa's fertility problems, and that it's the same reason why he's sickly. Most people in KL probably didn't even know Jon Arryn in his youth, so they've probably only seen him grey haired, and he may have shrunk a bit been shorter than he was as a young man; and LF was probably smart enough to conceal his relationship with Lysa and not to talk about his earlier relationship with Lysa while Jon Arryn was able to hear about it. (We know from Tyrion that LF had been bragging before, probably for years, about supposedly having had taken Cat's virginity, but I don't think there's any evidence of him telling that story about Lysa before Arryn's death.) Ned never saw Sweetrobin. Cat remembered Jon Arryn vaguely from the time he was 50-something and more importantly, never even entertained the idea that there may be/have been a relationship between LF and Lysa. There are lots of people in the Vale who remember Jon Arryn well, but they were not around Lysa, Jon and LF when they were in King's Landing; and most of them have probably not entertained the idea that their lady may have committed an adultery.

ETA: Regarding Jon Arryn himself: he doesn't seem to have been the most perceptive person in the world, since he apparently did not realize what was going on between Lysa and LF; and he had been alerted to the twincest by Stannis. But no doubt he also desperately needed a child and heir, and it may also be that, like most medieval men, he did not want to think of the possibility that the fertility problem was about him. It is generally believed that Lysa had all her miscarriages because of the abortion tea Hoster made her drink, but Jon Arryn had first two marriages produced just one stillborn child.  (It's been speculated, for instance, that Henry VIII may have had a Kell antigens and that this is why two of his wives had repeated miscarriages.)

 

However, are things going to remain that way? I'd be surprised if nothing ever comes of it, or if no one ever starts to question SR's parentage. Two other things we learn from the Alayne TWOW chapter are that Harry is very openly asserting his Arryn background with his sigil, and that SR sees Harry as a threat and is aware that Harry wants to be the Lord of the Vale instead of him. SR thinks Harry is waiting for him to die, and the fandom is also focused on speculations about SR's death, possibly through poisoning by LF. But, if SR proves himself to be slow in dying, could Harry try to use accusations of bastardy against SR to try to call his position into question? He's already proudly displaying the Arryn sigil as 2/4 quarters of his own, his Arryn looks can, no doubt, help him gain support, as can the fact he's not a weak, sickly little boy unable to fight; add a rumor about SR's bastardy to this, and you have a struggle for succession with good chances for Harry. Whether SR is really LF's biological son or JA's biological son, this is a pretty obvious card to play, especially since cases where accusations of false paternity have been used as a political weapon and an attempt at disinheriting opponents both in real life and in ASOAIF.

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*facepalm* Can people let anybody, anybody,, in Westeros be what who they appear to be and be a child of the people thy are said to be?

 

Who's parentage are we questioning next?

 

Is Shireen really Melisandre's child? Or Patchface's? Robert's?

In a shocking double twist, were Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella really King Fatass' children all along?

Are the red-headed Stark children really born of Tully incest?

Is Theon really Ned Stark's bastard?

Is Ned the son of Tyrion via time travel?

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He may or may not be jA's legitimate son....but it's not going to matter when he dies without a son of his own, which is likely.

 

Everyone expects him to die soon. But what if he does not?

 

*facepalm* Can people let anybody, anybody,, in Westeros be what who they appear to be and be a child of the people thy are said to be?

 

Who's parentage are we questioning next?

 

Is Shireen really Melisandre's child? Or Patchface's? Robert's?

In a shocking double twist, were Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella really King Fatass' children all along?

Are the red-headed Stark children really born of Tully incest?

Is Theon really Ned Stark's bastard?

Is Ned the son of Tyrion via time travel?

 

Wow, that was dramatic!

 

Yes, you are right, it's absolutely inconceivable and crackpotty that Sweetrobin may be LF's child, or that someone may suspect he is. I mean, it's not like there was ever any affair between Lysa and Littlefinger, we know they could not have possibly have sex during her marriage. They would never! And a child not looking anything like either parent but looking a lot like their mother's lover is not known to ever make anyone suspicious of their parentage. This is so completely unlikely that it can be compared to Ned being the son of Tyrion via time travel. What crazy things people will come up with! Next thing, someone may even start thinking Jace, Luke and Joffrey were the sons of Harwyn Strong rather than Laenor! 

 

Facepalm, indeed. Just for different reasons.

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if the OP is right, then Littlefinger's comments about the mortality of SweetRobin are particularly cold.

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Everyone expects him to die soon. But what if he does not?

Then he's going to get eaten alive in middle school.

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if the OP is right, then Littlefinger's comments about the mortality of SweetRobin are particularly cold.

I was reading this book  as part of my research for my novel and it sort of mentions that these pagan religions were obsessed with fertility and family. The characters who commit unfilial deeds in Greek myth are often punished with blindness. Although the patriarchal layer adds caveats such as "mothers are not really your relative since they just fed you in the womb* therefore it is okay to kill your mother if she murders your father". Men who go against the maternal order in Russian myth are punished with infertility (one of the bogatyr's kills his pregnant wife) and death.

Anyway, LF is evil and unnatural... he can't even love his own son.

I too would agree with Annarra that Jon Arryn was likely firing blanks this seems more likely than one abortion will not do permanent damage (other women in Westeros seem unaffected by guzzling moon tea).

I tend to think that part of Lysa's tragedy is that she was in love with a man who flattered her, and repaired her broken self esteem (occuring as a result of a beautiful and dominating older sister who is favoured by their father)... so she let Petyr father her child, and as a result she had Sweet Robin. With his terrible immune system, bad behaviour and all around feebleness.

 

 

*Also known as you fail genetics forever

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if the OP is right, then Littlefinger's comments about the mortality of SweetRobin are particularly cold.

He didn't care about the mother, why would he care about the kid? But agreed - Littlefinger's one cold bastard.

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This does seem likely to me at this point.  I mean I know GRRM doesn't use real world genetics but Auburn Hair + Blonde hair = Black hair?  That just doesn't add up, you have 2 recessive traits adding up to a dominant trait, its literally not possible in our world, so I think its only fair to say its not possible in that world.

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I don't think that Sweetrobin is Little finger's child. If he was then Lysa would have brought that up when she was rambling before being pushed out of the moon door. 

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I've been on board this theory for a while. It may not quite be foolproof but it makes sense.

 

It seems to me that, if it is true, LF doesn't know or even appear to suspect. That seems strange, since you would expect him to question it at the very least. However, it would make sense for Lysa to either want to keep it secret given all the fertility problems and the legitimacy/inheritance issue or to simply not know with any degree of certainty who the father is and prefer to avoid any such discussion.

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I don't think that Sweetrobin is Little finger's child. If he was then Lysa would have brought that up when she was rambling before being pushed out of the moon door. 

my opionion too and imho the talk that harry looks like a young jon arryn just that: talk and flattery.

AFAIR jon arryn was a) blackhaired and b) more of a thin build

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my opionion too and imho the talk that harry looks like a young jon arryn just that: talk and flattery.
AFAIR jon arryn was a) blackhaired and b) more of a thin build

That's based on what? His height and hair color were never described before.

If the people in the Vale were to flatter anyone by telling him he looks like Jon Arryn, it would be Lord Robert. But no one ever says he looks like his late father. Yet they would supposedly flatter Harry, who is currently just a young knight, through a blatant lie? How does that make sense? And if they are flattering Harry, why is Sansa hearing it from people talking about Harry?

There's no doubt that there are more thsn enough people in the Vale who either remember what Jon looked like on his youth, or have heard from their elders. Unless they are all in on some big conspiracy to conceal what JA looked like, your explanation does not work.

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if the OP is right, then Littlefinger's comments about the mortality of SweetRobin are particularly cold.

Indeed.

But it is possible that neither LF or Lysa is aware of Robin's true parentage.

Or that LF, simply doesn't care and imagines Sansa or someone else having a child by him.

But for the irony to be tragic that LF kills his own son to further his ambitions, LF must:

1) LF must be unaware of the fact Robin is his son
2) Somehow after LF kills Robin it is eventually revealed to LF that he has killed his son.
3) LF must care

In the books, LF engineers the circumstances that lead to Cat's murder, a woman he supposedly loved.

It seems unlikely, at least in the books, that LF cares very much for anyone in so far as they advance his own agenda and we are not yet clear in the books what LF ultimately wants.

In the HBO series LF states what he wants. He can't win the Games of Thrones, at least on the terms of the Great Houses, so he wants to "F-- them." As he literally did Lysa, thinking it was Cat.

It doesn't matter to him that his machinations may leave the country in a state of Chaos and thousands dead. That his malice and greed may lead to the extinction of mankind by the Others, as the Wars left most of Westeros too weak to defend itself even if they had the necessary weapons and leaders.

I believe this is another instance of the TV series LF and book LF diverging. I think LF believes Robin IS his son.

Robin feels warmly to LF and does not tremble in fear of him, even after his mother is dead. Unlike in the books. LF does not seem to rule Robin through fear but through attachment. LF is even defensive of Robin during his exchange with Royce over Robin's inadequate fighting skills. LF reminds Royce about whose name Robin carries (which might be LF revealing an irony) when he tells Royce "sometimes all you need is a famous name." Which also carries an implied threat, should any harm come to Robin while leaving him with Royce when LF leaves with Sansa for WF.

Which does not preclude LF from killing Robin or allowing him to die in the series, if it serves some greater goal of his or his own self-preservation.

But why would GRRM set-up Robin to be so dislikeable that some can't wait for him to die? Making him an impediment tto Sansa's chilvaric dreams of Harry and LF's power hungry one's?

In the books, it seems to me, from his perception of Harry as a threat in the Alyane chapter, that Robin may take some very LF -like action for his own self-preservation and ridding himself of a rival for Alyane/Sansa. That may or may not result in inciting LF into killing or attempting to kill him.

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I've been on board this theory for a while. It may not quite be foolproof but it makes sense.

 

It seems to me that, if it is true, LF doesn't know or even appear to suspect. That seems strange, since you would expect him to question it at the very least. However, it would make sense for Lysa to either want to keep it secret given all the fertility problems and the legitimacy/inheritance issue or to simply not know with any degree of certainty who the father is and prefer to avoid any such discussion.

I think that LF sees in Sweet Robin, the sickly motherless boy that he was as a child. But instead of viewing this with empathy, he feels disgust, and wants to destroy that weakness, as personified by the boy.

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As I've been saying for a while now, we don't know that LF actually wants to kill SR, politically speaking, killing him would seem stupid as he would loose all power in the Vale.  It is my opinion that he is going to kill Harry so that Bronze Yhon does not have a viable candidate to back that is outside of LF's control, and that betrothing (his daughter) to Harry was his way of avoiding suspicion, after all why kill the man you paid an enormous dowry for you daughter to marry?

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I was thinking a a potential crackpot theory that stems from the belief that SR is LF's bastard, We know that LF believed that he would have a fairytale ending with Catlyn if he the younger smaller lesser lord's son  could have won a challenge from a older larger son of a much "greater" house.  

 

The crackpot part of it is that he doen't actually want Sansa for himself, but rather wants her to marry his son and set up a similar situation to achieve that end.  This I find interesting because it is actually very similar for what Robert and Ned had envisioned when they wanted to marry Jeoffry to Sansa.

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Well, GRRM did mention he has a "big twist" in store for a "long-time character", one that "[he] hasn't thought of before". Perhaps the twist is that SR is LF's son. :dunno: It certainly is possible. And that would definitely open the door for Sansa/Harry to become a reality. Jus' sayin'...

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Reason against: Lysa never talked to LF, when we saw them together, as if SR was his son, even though one would imagine she'd be happy if he were (then again, she may not have been 100% sure?).

That's the real sticking point for me.  In her climactic emotional breakdown, when Lysa is terrified that Littlefinger is going to ditch her and take up with Catelyn 2.0/Sansa, she reels off the list of things she's given him:  "I gave you my maiden's gift.  I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea[.]"  She then proceeds to talk about how she's supported his career, helped him with his plans, etc.  This is a woman in total crisis.

 

Surely, if she had any inkling that Robert might be Littlefinger's son, she would be urging that idea at this point.  Why would she ever remain silent, when she's spilling the details on everything else she's done for him?  Lysa would know if they were sleeping together around the time of Robert's conception, she certainly knows what Baelish looks like and what he looked like as a child (and so would be able to compare him to Robert), and she surely would have nurtured that possibility to the point of certainty over the years in her obsession with Baelish and her lost child.

 

I think the arguments in favour are quite plausible (the description of Harry as having Jon's look stood out), but if it's true, I find that impossible to reconcile with Lysa's behavior here.

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