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HelenaExMachina

R+L=J v.151

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Boy have I missed you. :cheers:  Your analysis is always so crisp and clear and so effective at destroying the arguments of the other side. Please come around more often. I do my best to make these points, but I will admit that you are one of the few people that I believe do it better than I can most of the time (not that there aren't others that do it well -- you are just one of the best).

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Some more Heretic essays on Jon's parentage:

 

http://thelasthearth.freeforums.net/thread/107/eddard-wylla-jonby  markg171

 

The essay rests on only six points - Ned doesn't lie, Jon looks like Ned and has dark complexion, my blood = my son, the weirwood vision "as brothers" still applies to half-brothers, Ned doesn't talk about Jon's mother because his family don't ask at a later point.

 

The claim that Ned is too honourable to lie/is a poor liar, completely ignores the fact that Ned believes that some lies are not without honour (Arya lying to protect Nymeria) and that Ned lied of his own volition to protect Cat, claiming that she abducted Tyrion at his order, and was blackmailed to lie about his treason to protect Sansa. In both cases, he lies to protect a loved person and takes the fallout of his lie; in the first case, he lies even to his friend and king. Most importantly, how has Ned been living lies under this scenario?

 

Not going about the whole "Jon looks like Ned not Lyanna" here again but Jon is not dark-skinned. He is darker in comparison with Robb, who has fair complexion (as people with blue eyes and reddish hair tend to), but no character ever comments on him being dark. If he had Dornish tone of skin, Tyrion would hardly fail to mention that when saying that Jon has more of the North in him than his brothers. 

 

"My blood" argument is a failure of logic. A implies B doesn't mean that B implies A. My son is my certainly my blood, but my blood is not necessarily my son, it applies to any other relative, as markg perhaps missed in a quote he posted elsewhere:

 

“Brother?” Arya did not understand. “But you’re from Dorne. How could you and Jon be blood?” 
“Milk brothers. Not blood. My lady mother had no milk when I was little, so Wylla had to nurse me.” 

 

The part about half-brothers growing up as brothers might have some  merit, though I'd argue that were that an instance, the use is a bit redundant but the last point is totally off as it ignores Jon's trauma of not knowing his mother's name (as well as Cat's, but here we could argue that having asked once with such a disastrous outcome, she never dared another try). 

 

All in all, the same arguments as before, and seeing them together instead in separate posts makes them even less convincing.

 

 

 

http://thelasthearth.freeforums.net/thread/108/eddard-ashara-jon posted by  wolfmaid7 on behalf of Voice of the First Men

 

This is not really an essay but a selection of quotes that, as Voice claims, link Ned to Ashara every single time her name turns up.

 

However, the quotes do not explain why e.g. Cat's or Cersei's opinion that Ned and Ashara were an item should be more valid than Harwin's that it was not so, or than Edric Dayne's who claims that Ned loved Ashara but fathered Jon on Wylla. Or why Barristan doesn't name Ned as the man who dishonoured Ashara, or how come that Ned dishonoured himself by getting Ashara pregnant without marrying her, and so on. Voice supposedly argues them in the following discussion.

 

ETA: Edited authorship of the latter piece.

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This whole question is just silly. We know that Rhaegar didn't love Elia, and the only other reasonable candidate for a woman he may have loved is Lyanna. You don't need the App to come to this remarkable conclusion, you can just read the books and think.

 

SFDanny,

 

while it may be possible that the guys at the tower had some news - that would greatly depend on their access to news spread via raven as well as how time passed between the Sack and Ned's arrival (and we actually have no real data on that) - it is entirely likely that Lyanna also feared for the well-being of her child simply because she knew she was dying, and that the father of the boy was dead. Any mother would fear for her child under such circumstances, not only a mother whose family was greatly involved in war against the family of her husband. And imagine for a moment Aerys had won the war but Rhaegar was still killed at the Trident - a son of Rhaegar's by Lyanna may have been as much in danger under King Aerys II as he would have been under Robert I.

 

We don't really have to assume Lyanna had the whole picture of events at KL nor do we have to assume that she knew of Robert's (alleged) Targaryen hatred for her to be concerned for her child's well-being and future. Perhaps she was even afraid what the Kingsguard would do with the child after she died. If we assume that Lyanna wanted for her son to live a long and happy life it is quite likely she had no intention of him becoming a pawn in a game for the throne. But then, considering what some people believe Serra (or only Illyrio) want for Aegon, it is quite likely that Lyanna may actually have wanted that her son become king.

 

I think it likely the tower had the news of the sack, and of the Trident, for the simple reason these are the pieces of news everyone in Westeros must be talking about from the small folk to every lord and lady in the land. These represent a political earthquake that shakes the realm to its foundation. So, given enough time for the news to travel, and that would be at its fastest rate possible, this news would spread to every corner of the land. But more importantly, as I've shown, I think, it was the business of Hightower, Dayne, and Whent to look for this kind of information in order to carry out their duty. I think I've shown their need for a method to regularly get information, and have suggested methods this would take (Rhaegar loyalists still in the capital, from whatever support network the tower has in place, etc.) As to timing and the ability of the news to travel to the Tower, let me say it is illogical to assume there isn't enough time for that to happen if we are talking about the same amount of time for Ned to have been in King's Landing waiting for Robert to arrive, the staging of Robert's coronation and the fight between Ned and Robert, Ned leaving King's Landing to lead troops to relieve the castle of Storm's End, and then after accepting the surrender of the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne setting off to the tower. Ravens travel much faster than armies especially with a head start and with the armies on a slow detour. Whichever lord, the Daynes or somebody closer, who help support the tower would have had plenty of time to send this news to the tower before Ned got there, even if they don't hear of it first from the news having reached the environs of the tower from the natural spread of this news. To assume Ned gets there first is the assumption that lacks support.

 

One can assume Lyanna feared for her child because she knows she is dying, and I think that is part of her fear. Her child would not be abandoned however. She has three quite capable guardians with her, and likely more in terms of the support staff at the tower. So her fear isn't from the fact she thinks the child will die in the wilderness until Ned shows up. No, it is likely she knows something of the news, and she certainly knows some of the danger without it. She knows Robert, and she likely knows that Ned has just fought a battle with her guardians before finding her. Fear for her child from both Ned and Robert would be natural.

 

To Robert's hatred of Targaryens, there is nothing alleged about it. Ned saw it clearly when he pronounces Aegon and Rhaenys dead bodies as "dragonspawn" and accepts Tywin's bloody tribute. No Targaryen is safe from Robert.

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I think that's fairly reasonable.

 

 

What's next? It's got to be asking Ned if Robert will hurt her child. To such a question what does Ned do? Does he lie about Robert's obsession and hatred of Targaryens? I don't think so. Ned couldn't lie to her concerning Robert's fooling around before the betrothal. He could never lie to her about Robert's nature he saw reveled in his viewing of Elia and her children's dead bodies and his "dragonspawn" comments. It doesn't take an assumption of the tower already knowing about the degree of Robert's hatred. It is almost certain Ned would not lie to Lyanna about the danger to her child from Robert. Once Ned promises to hide the child as his own and protect him from Robert's wrath, if that is indeed the promise he makes to Lyanna, the fear would go out of her eyes. I don't expect to convince you on this topic, but for whatever you feel they are worth, those are my thoughts on it.

 

This is the part where I diverge with your recreation of events. We have in book context for how Ned deals with someone who is on their deathbed: Robert. Yes I know the two relationships are not the same (foster Brother Robert who he has clearly lied to a lot, and a real sister he grew up with). But the point I want to make from this deathbed scene is that Ned does not want to distress his friend with the truth. He is dying, why endanger his health more with such a reveal? It is also reasonable to assume that Ned wouldn't offer up information to upset Lyanna when she is clearly in bad health and possibly dying.

 

If Ned offers her a lie that she can believe, extracting the promise might not be as crucial. Obviously if Jon is legitimate than Lyanna won't need confirmation about Jon being in danger.

 

I will agree that your depiction here is a possibility. Our knowledge of Lyanna and Ned's relationship is fairly limited.

 

As for the treason discussion. I was talking about a rationalization of Ned. He clearly knows he is working against Robert with his action in taking in a bastard. But he would probably rationalize 1.) Greater good protecting an innocent 2.) harmless action as Jon will never be in a position in which he will be a threat to Robert and his dynasty (this assumes that Ned was only going to tell Jon if he had shown himself to be honorable and mature).

 

As for the tangent. Yeah there does seem to be a lot of foreshadowing of his character. Some might argue that foreshadowing will have to do with Robb's will and not being a legitimate Targaryen. But with the context you provided dealing with Rhaegar and Lyanna's illustrated intentions/motives it seems likely.

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Some more Heretic essays on Jon's parentage:

 

http://thelasthearth.freeforums.net/thread/107/eddard-wylla-jonby  markg171

 

The essay rests on only six points - Ned doesn't lie, Jon looks like Ned and has dark complexion, my blood = my son, the weirwood vision "as brothers" still applies to half-brothers, Ned doesn't talk about Jon's mother because his family don't ask at a later point.

 

The claim that Ned is too honourable to lie/is a poor liar, completely ignores the fact that Ned believes that some lies are not without honour (Arya lying to protect Nymeria) and that Ned lied of his own volition to protect Cat, claiming that she abducted Tyrion at his order, and was blackmailed to lie about his treason to protect Sansa. In both cases, he lies to protect a loved person and takes the fallout of his lie; in the first case, he lies even to his friend and king. Most importantly, how has Ned been living lies under this scenario?

 

Not going about the whole "Jon looks like Ned not Lyanna" here again but Jon is not dark-skinned. He is darker in comparison with Robb, who has fair complexion (as people with blue eyes and reddish hair tend to), but no character ever comments on him being dark. If he had Dornish tone of skin, Tyrion would hardly fail to mention that when saying that Jon has more of the North in him than his brothers. 

 

"My blood" argument is a failure of logic. A implies B doesn't mean that B implies A. My son is my certainly my blood, but my blood is not necessarily my son, it applies to any other relative, as markg perhaps missed in a quote he posted elsewhere:

 

“Brother?” Arya did not understand. “But you’re from Dorne. How could you and Jon be blood?” 
“Milk brothers. Not blood. My lady mother had no milk when I was little, so Wylla had to nurse me.” 

 

The part about half-brothers growing up as brothers might have some  merit, though I'd argue that were that an instance, the use is a bit redundant but the last point is totally off as it ignores Jon's trauma of not knowing his mother's name (as well as Cat's, but here we could argue that having asked once with such a disastrous outcome, she never dared another try). 

 

All in all, the same arguments as before, and seeing them together instead in separate posts makes them even less convincing.

 

 

 

http://thelasthearth.freeforums.net/thread/108/eddard-ashara-jonby  wolfmaid7

 

This is not really an essay but a selection of quotes that, as wolfmaid claims, link Ned to Ashara every single time her name turns up.

 

However, the quotes do not explain why e.g. Cat's or Cersei's opinion that Ned and Ashara were an item should be more valid than Harwin's that it was not so, or than Edric Dayne's who claims that Ned loved Ashara but fathered Jon on Wylla. Or why Barristan doesn't name Ned as the man who dishonoured Ashara, or how come that Ned dishonoured himself by getting Ashara pregnant without marrying her, and so on.

You have addressed nearly everything in your response. I would just add/expand a couple of things.

 

To address Jon looking like Ned. That really doesn't mean very much. I have two nephews that closely resemble me. What is more important in discussing Jon's looks is that he and Arya resemble each other. Arya reminds everyone of Lyanna. Therefore we can also assume he looks like Lyanna. That doesn't automatically make Lyanna his mother, but it also doesn't automatically make Ned his father. In other words it is very clear that he also resembles Lyanna. Where someone would get he looks like Ned not Lyanna is beyond me.

 

The My blood argument. This has been done to death, but since apparently someone is trying to use this as evidence that Ned is Jon's father lets cover it quickly once more. This is more suggestive that Ned is NOT Jon's father. It is certainly not evidence he is. If I am think about my son I am thinking "My Son" not "My Blood". Most people would be far more likely to think something about "My blood" concerning a Nephew.

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You have addressed nearly everything in your response. I would just add/expand a couple of things.

 

To address Jon looking like Ned. That really doesn't mean very much. I have two nephews that closely resemble me. What is more important in discussing Jon's looks is that he and Arya resemble each other. Arya reminds everyone of Lyanna. Therefore we can also assume he looks like Lyanna. That doesn't automatically make Lyanna his mother, but it also doesn't automatically make Ned his father. In other words it is very clear that he also resembles Lyanna. Where someone would get he looks like Ned not Lyanna is beyond me.

 

The My blood argument. This has been done to death, but since apparently someone is trying to use this as evidence that Ned is Jon's father lets cover it quickly once more. This is more suggestive that Ned is NOT Jon's father. It is certainly not evidence he is. If I am think about my son I am thinking "My Son" not "My Blood". Most people would be far more likely to think something about "My blood" concerning a Nephew.

Well, markg claimed that two people can resemble a person without looking like each other or something like that, and I didn't want to go there again.

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SFDanny,

 

it really depends on a lot of stuff. First, how long were the guys at the tower and did they have support network of some sort in place? While I agree that they would want to know what happened around them this doesn't mean that they had sufficient means to ensure that they would get the news. After all, we still have no clue why they felt they had to stay at the tower rather than at a Targaryen loyalist castle in the region (talking about the time of Rhaegar's departure, not shortly before the birth - they couldn't travel then, for obvious reasons).

 

While I agree that some ravens may have eventually flown, it is quite unlikely that they were sent by Targaryen loyalists, and most certainly not from KL. Pycelle controlled the ravens there, and he most certainly did not sent out letters giving a thorough report on both the fates of Aerys and Rhaegar's family. This was nothing the new regime could be or was proud of, and Pycelle would have done nothing to tarnish Lannister reputation. An official letter from Robert I would cover the death of Aerys II - although not necessary the exact circumstances of his death - the fact that he had ascended the Iron Throne as Robert I Baratheon, and there every lord in the Realm has to do him homage now.

 

Any witness of Aerys' corpse or the presentation of the dead princes would have either been a rebel himself (no motivation to play the informer for a lost cause) or known Targaryen loyalists at court - who would have been taken or otherwise incapable of writing letters to loyalists that were still in the field.

 

The fact that Ned left KL shortly after Robert's arrival suggests that the rebels did not trust that letters or proclamations bend the knees of the remaining loyalists - which could be a hint that nobody cared to inform the Tyrells or the Martells via raven but Robert/Ned intended to subdue them personally through a show of force.

 

Unless the knights did indeed receive a letter in the handwriting of a person they trust to know what has transpired I simply see little reason to assume they would heed news they received in the form of rumors. After all, if you live in a world like Westeros you know how distorted stories can get if they travel overland, and thus you dismiss most of this stuff out of hand. But even if you receive a letter from a person who has no reason to lie or be mistaken, you may still not yet be convinced. After all, Prince Doran receives a letter written and signed by Lord Jon Connington yet he still doesn't jump to his feet, crying 'Let's seat my nephew on the Iron Throne!' 

 

The idea that the knights had access to multiple news sources corroborating each other - which would have been a good way to determine the truth - doesn't ring true to me as long as we are assuming that the tower was a rather remote place up in the mountains.

 

As to the time passing between the Sack and Ned's departure, this doesn't seem to have been much time. Tywin apparently only presented the children after Robert's arrival, and then there was the dragonspawn incident and subsequent quarrel between Robert and Ned. I imagine victorious Robert marched into the city, had a coronation/anointing at the Great Sept, and subsequently was presented with the corpses once he took possession of the Red Keep. There may have been a few days between the Sack and Robert's arrival but I actually don't think much - perhaps only a day or so - since the Starks and the Lannisters would have fought their differences out had Ned have to spend much time 'at Tywin's side' in the capital.

 

As to Robert's Targaryen hatred:

 

If Jon Arryn could prevent him from sending assassins after Viserys and Dany then this hatred cannot have been that strong. Especially since one assumes that pretty much everyone at court - Stannis, Renly, Pycelle, Littlefinger - would have supported the murder of the Targaryens considering the fact that they posed a threat to Robert's dynasty.

 

And a correct report on the Sack would only have reported Lannister treachery rather than Baratheon blood lust to the guys at the tower. Of course, Robert's dragonspawn comment as well as the fact that Robert didn't punish either Tywin or Jaime would have made it clear that Lyanna's son may have been in danger from the new regime, but I guess the emphasis at this point would have been solely on the Lannisters rather than Robert himself.

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Why is it that I agree with everything you wrote? Usually we are on opposite ends of a debate on this subject.

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i wish jon and arya wont be taking down that route tho,... they have a wonderful relationship as bro and sis. 

 

I think it really rests on how Martin develops them. At the end, into their full adulthood, it could be after the evolution of their characters, be the most "natural" thing in the world.

 

These types of marriages were so common amongst the peerage, even until very recent times And even uncle/niece-aunt/nephew marriages were more common than even I suspected.

 

What could happen to the Prince Who Was Promised if Rhaegar really believed Aegon was it?

 

Rhaegar didn't need another wife for political reasons. Preparing the setup for another Dance of Dragons between his sons just in case his son predeceased him - a thought that no normal father entertains - would be a terribly stupid move.

 

Rhaegar would have absolutely needed another wife for succession reasons. And if he married high enough, that marriage could be more beneficial than that of the Martells.

They styled themselves as Prince and Princesses, but in terms of real power and wealth, they were not really the most powerful. Elias mothers, to slight Tywin, played a game with Aerys, played upon the possible loss of Dorne, and reminding him that Elia was as good at it currently got in finding a dragon bride for Rhaegar, because remember, Stannis's father looked elsewhere first before Dorne.

The Starks actually did have royal blood as the kings of winter and carried a territory, and I speculate, secret wealth on par with the Lannisters, and whose territorial loss would be to lose over half the kingdom.

 

If I had to guess Rickard was the equivlalent of a Duke,  which would be one step down from the royal prince.

 

 

 

"Spare to the Heir."

 

It would have been succession suicide to NOT have another heir in place should the first one die, and many of them died. Rhaegar is not "pittiing" his sons against each other deliberately to have more than one heir in place.

If the normal paths of succession are uninterupted, Aegon would be heir, and should something happen to him, which it could, then Jon would be second without any "pitting" being done. Though royal sons can become rivals, they can also be each others greatest allies.

 

The only way that Aegon and Jon become rivals is if Rhaegar set Aegon aside in favor of Jon and there is no indication he did as referred to the naming of Aegon as being a good name for a king.

Given that language, it seems that to Rhaegar while Aegons place in the metaphysical world might have changed, his place in the physical world had not. In the end, Jon may find himself occupying both realms.

 

As to whether Rhaegar loved Elia, I don't believe he did. At the same time, I take everything Selmy said with a grain of salt. That's the man who presented Aerys' abuse of Rhaella as simple lack of fondness. What exactly did Rhaegar being fond of Elia entail? That he did not lock her in the Maidenvault? That he did not rape her? That he did not accuse her of adultery? Now, I don't believe any of those took place but the lack of them could be well taken by Selmy to mean "fondness".

 

If Selmy lived at court - and I believe he did since he met Ashara at court and not Dragonstone -  he'd have personal observations on Rhaegar and Elia only for limited periods of time and many of them would be after Harrenhall and after the Lyanna scandal broke out. It wouldn't be representative to their everyday interactions and feelings for most of their marriage. He was in no position to know and he recognizes that Rhaegar didn't confide him and no one truly knew Rhaegar, presumably Selmy himself included. And if Rhaegar did love Elia, GRRM couldn't say that without ruining part of the R+L appeal too early in the plot. Marrying for duty doesn't mean that love couldn't blossom later.

 

I don't believe it did. There's nothing pointing at that. But Selmy's testimony is not reliable. He never mentions a single case of Rhaegar confiding in him and he didn't have everyday observations on Rhaegar and Elia after ther wedding. He just makes his own conclusions based on what he sees in extreme moments and what he sees and hears - but not on Rhaegar's confidences.

 

That Rhaegar didn't love Elia. They might have been pals, and he might have thought she was sweet and reliable, and might make a suitable queen.

 

AGain, While Selmy wasn't Rhaegars body servant, and wasn't with him in the privy, it doesn't negate what he did know. And I think that Rhaegar did confide in Selmy, just not certain things. The way he says that Rhaegar didn't trust him the way he trusted Dayne stands out to me that there was some trust at least in the same way that Rhaegar also trusted Joncon, but not with everything.

I think that there is a difference between what Selmy, as well as others knew and observed about Rhaegars personal life, and what he knew about a political coup, which sounds like he was firmly shut out of.

He isn't going to trust Joncon with anything regarding to Lyanna because he knows Jons feelings. He isn't going to talk to Selmy about throwing in with him and playing the GOT because he knows Selmys KG perameters.

 

But in regards to a very public private life, the fact that almost every other persons remembrances are consistent with Selmys seems like a big clue that he knows what he is talking about.

 

And the way that GRRM has his characters making all the veiled references to Elia and her health is a big red flag that they were making excuses for why Rhaegar did what he did, and why, though shocking, they understood he did what he did, so there seems to be some complications in their marriage.

 

It was said that Rhaegars daughter was hiding under Rhaegars bed during the sack at KL.

If Rhaegar was still maintaining his apartments at KL, and "keeping his secrets of the Red Keep," it would appear he is still residing at KL at least part of the time, with or without Elia, which would be consistent with his duties and the fact that he would want to be remain close to watch his father, and that Aerys in turn would want to watch him.

And given that after the birth of their daughter, Elia was bedridden for six months or more, I doubt she was in the mood to go to KL where it sounds like she wasn't welcome.

We also know Tywin kept Cersei at court to be around Rhaegar.

 

As far as Rhaella goes, he is a typical KG. He is there to serve, not judge. In fact, serving is all he knows. He doesn't ask questions, he doesn't get involved, (even with the woman he supposedly loved), he just serves and observes. 

But the fact that he is hesitant to tell Dany the truth about her family would indicate he isn't comfortable telling her the truth about that aspect of her father and mother.

 

Finally, at the end of the day, if Rhaegar had loved Elia, there was ZERO reason for him not to tell Dany that. In his own inner monologue, which are his private thoughts, he notes that "Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it."

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Well, markg claimed that two people can resemble a person without looking like each other or something like that, and I didn't want to go there again.

I don't blame you. 

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If the normal paths of succession are uninterupted, Aegon would be heir, and should something happen to him, which it could, then Jon would be second without any "pitting" being done. Though royal sons can become rivals, they can also be each others greatest allies.

 

The only way that Aegon and Jon become rivals is if Rhaegar set Aegon aside in favor of Jon and there is no indication he did as referred to the naming of Aegon as being a good name for a king.

Given that language, it seems that to Rhaegar while Aegons place in the metaphysical world might have changed, his place in the physical world had not. In the end, Jon may find himself occupying both realms.

 


Finally, at the end of the day, if Rhaegar had loved Elia, there was ZERO reason for him not to tell Dany that. In his own inner monologue, which are his private thoughts, he notes that "Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it."

Each other's greatest allies? In Targaryen Westeros where literally every case of a king with sons by two mothers who are of equal status has ended up in bloodshed?

 

Jon deciding that he should be king after Rhaegar's death is another great way for him and Aegon to end up rivals to death. Or the North chasing its Southern ambitions a step further and deciding that Aegon was no longer needed and should not be allowed to inherit, thus building a faction against him. Even Lyanna's defense of Howland Reed is not enough to deem that she's be a selfless angel till the end of her days. There are myriad of ways for Jon and Aegon to end up rivals and Rhaegar should have been an idiot not to foresee that. He didn't even need to change the succession in Jon's favour. Viserys I never did - and what of that?

 

I was not talking about Aegon's place changing anywhere. In the same passage you quote Rhaegar professes Aegon the Prince Who Was Promised. That means that the kid is supposed to survive to become this Prince. Which means he will survive to become king. Laws of nature. If you're alive, you're alive. Meaning that Rhaegar didn't need a spare to his heir if this heir was guaranteed to survive.

 

As to Barristan, he mentions that he didn't know the secrets of Rhaegar's heart. If Rhaegar did love Elia, Barristan wouldn't know it. He knows the evident thing - the slight at Harrenhall that Elia, according to him, didn't deserve, and the elopment. If he didn't know anything but Rhaegar's character, what could he deduce but that Rhaegar didn't love his wife and loved the girl he ran away with? Why else would Rhaegar do that? That's what he'd think of his noble prince if he didn't know his motives. He simply goes with what he knows and he places the Rhaegar and Lyanna story along with the mythical love stories of the Seven Kingdoms. It doesn't sound to me as if he knew more about it than your average Westerosi man. And with Elia living mainly at Dragonstone, he didn't see her and Rhaegar together often enough under normal circumstances to form truly informed judgment.

 

Again, I find nothing in the text indicating that Rhaegar loved Elia. I am not arguing about this. I am arguing that we shouldn't use Barristan as the almighty observer of their relationship because he wasn't there to observe. And with his way of mitigating Aerys' attutude towards Rhaella, I wonder how much he mitigates about Rhaegar and Elia's relationship. Compared to Aerys, Rhaegar might have been a find husband. However, it might not be so compared to someone who wasn't, well, mad. The "complicated" relationship might turn out to be just as painful as I suspect Rhaegar and Lyanna's might have been. People tend to write that possibility off because of the lack of love but having been in relationships based on love and others where the glue was not passion and hearts' desires, I can attest that lack of love doesn't mean lack of anguish, pain, and other negatives. Life would have been really easier if relationships based on fondness, shared interests and other things in common were all nice and serene, just without passion.

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Not according to the world book.


But Kat just told me the WB is unreliable:

You do realize that the World of Ice and Fire is written from the POV of a specific fictional maester, right? Elio, Linda and George discussed this in a panel at Archipelacon. The fictional maester responsible for AWOIAF is to be taken as a limited, possibly biased (in favor of saving his own butt) maester during the reign of Tommen. That narrative conceit allowed them to avoid including spoilers for things that haven't been revealed in the narrative yet.


And this illustrates the point I was trying to address earlier. How can we decide to cherry pick what's real and what's not in the WB? I feel like this happens around here, and it's not about disrespecting anyone. This is why I suggest eliminating the WB when coming up with explanations rather than the series.

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Well, markg claimed that two people can resemble a person without looking like each other or something like that, and I didn't want to go there again.

Without trying to sound like markg, it's possible.  Me and my middle brother look nothing alike, but the youngest has enough common traits with each of us that everyone can tell he is either of our brothers.  

 

With that said, literary devices tend to rely on probability rather than possibility.  Anyone making an argument to something being possible as a theory to something being probable is generally grasping at the last desperate straws they have for or against something.

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But Kat just told me the WB is unreliable:


And this illustrates the point I was trying to address earlier. How can we decide to cherry pick what's real and what's not in the WB? I feel like this happens around here, and it's not about disrespecting anyone. This is why I suggest eliminating the WB when coming up with explanations rather than the series.

You have to use judgment.  Something that could highly likely be propaganda driven (Targs so evil, Baratheon so good, blah blah) I'd be hesitant to believe, especially the closer it got in time to the events of Roberts Rebellion.  Generally history of different places, I would assume to be (as believed to be in world) correct and unbiased.  The existence of dragons elsewhere would probably fall into the latter (I haven't read the worldbook, so it's conceivable it's tied to propaganda around the Targs, I suppose).  

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But Kat just told me the WB is unreliable:


And this illustrates the point I was trying to address earlier. How can we decide to cherry pick what's real and what's not in the WB? I feel like this happens around here, and it's not about disrespecting anyone. This is why I suggest eliminating the WB when coming up with explanations rather than the series.

But can't see that Kat said the WB is any less reliable than any of the narrators in the series--so, like everything else, has to be taken with a grain of salt. No?

 

Add that to "the app is semi-canon" and "nothing is canon until it appears in the books"--seems like the WB is like the novels (vs. the app) in that it's in print and from POVs--which is suspect as any other POV in the books. So--I'm not sure we get an easy way out here. Interp is still the name of the game for the stuff that's in the books. Can't cherry pick much of anything--no trump cards, usually. Just have to do our best with limited, biased info.

 

Unless you're seeing something in the messages from Kat and earlier from Ran that I'm missing. . . which is always possible.

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But Kat just told me the WB is unreliable:


And this illustrates the point I was trying to address earlier. How can we decide to cherry pick what's real and what's not in the WB? I feel like this happens around here, and it's not about disrespecting anyone. This is why I suggest eliminating the WB when coming up with explanations rather than the series.

 

It comes from context. Is it reasonable that the Maester might be well informed on a subject? Is there reason to believe some of his information might be incorrect in a certain statement? The Maester is a flawed in world character who is working with the best historical records of the time. That doesn't mean their historical records are perfect. It does mean that recent events could be contaminated by the great houses politics (as all recent history can be contaminated by the biases of that era).

 

Recent things that can be trusted from the WB. When the Maester talks about the Tourney of Harrenhal, there are dozens upon dozens of witnesses there to collaborate that history if what he wrote was questionable. It is not really reasonable to think that it was flawed or wrong.

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Each other's greatest allies? In Targaryen Westeros where literally every case of a king with sons by two mothers who are of equal status has ended up in bloodshed?

 

Jon deciding that he should be king after Rhaegar's death is another great way for him and Aegon to end up rivals to death. Or the North chasing its Southern ambitions a step further and deciding that Aegon was no longer needed and should not be allowed to inherit, thus building a faction against him. Even Lyanna's defense of Howland Reed is not enough to deem that she's be a selfless angel till the end of her days. There are myriad of ways for Jon and Aegon to end up rivals and Rhaegar should have been an idiot not to foresee that. He didn't even need to change the succession in Jon's favour. Viserys I never did - and what of that?

 

I was not talking about Aegon's place changing anywhere. In the same passage you quote Rhaegar professes Aegon the Prince Who Was Promised. That means that the kid is supposed to survive to become this Prince. Which means he will survive to become king. Laws of nature. If you're alive, you're alive. Meaning that Rhaegar didn't need a spare to his heir if this heir was guaranteed to survive.

 

As to Barristan, he mentions that he didn't know the secrets of Rhaegar's heart. If Rhaegar did love Elia, Barristan wouldn't know it. He knows the evident thing - the slight at Harrenhall that Elia, according to him, didn't deserve, and the elopment. If he didn't know anything but Rhaegar's character, what could he deduce but that Rhaegar didn't love his wife and loved the girl he ran away with? Why else would Rhaegar do that? That's what he'd think of his noble prince if he didn't know his motives. He simply goes with what he knows and he places the Rhaegar and Lyanna story along with the mythical love stories of the Seven Kingdoms. It doesn't sound to me as if he knew more about it than your average Westerosi man. And with Elia living mainly at Dragonstone, he didn't see her and Rhaegar together often enough under normal circumstances to form truly informed judgment.

 

Again, I find nothing in the text indicating that Rhaegar loved Elia. I am not arguing about this. I am arguing that we shouldn't use Barristan as the almighty observer of their relationship because he wasn't there to observe. And with his way of mitigating Aerys' attutude towards Rhaella, I wonder how much he mitigates about Rhaegar and Elia's relationship. Compared to Aerys, Rhaegar might have been a find husband. However, it might not be so compared to someone who wasn't, well, mad. The "complicated" relationship might turn out to be just as painful as I suspect Rhaegar and Lyanna's might have been. People tend to write that possibility off because of the lack of love but having been in relationships based on love and others where the glue was not passion and hearts' desires, I can attest that lack of love doesn't mean lack of anguish, pain, and other negatives. Life would have been really easier if relationships based on fondness, shared interests and other things in common were all nice and serene, just without passion.

 

 

 

And "Targaryen" Westeros is based upon Plantaganet England, and for every rivalry between brothers was strong familial loyalty because the family was also your first loyalty.

 

Whether Rickard wanted to take over the world, or just have some influence in the South rather than remain politically isolated is yet to be seen.

 

And as far as Selmy goes, when he says so meekly that he it wasn't for him to know the Princes heart, its actually the opposite, he knew plenty, but he wasn't prepared to bust Danys bubble yet.

 

GRRM on arranged marriages:

 

Marriage was a form of political alliance. It was a way to cement a political alliance – one of the ways to bind to families together and hopefully make peace between them or to establish that… they would be allies against a third common enemy. You didn’t want your sons or daughters, if you were a lord, marrying for love. That was, that was insane… If you had a vassal whose loyalty you questioned, maybe you married him to one of your daughters and thereby bind him more closely to the family. If you have a rival you’d been at war with and now you make peace, you marry a daughter to his son…”“-GRRM

 

 

Selmy the dithering idiot:

 

He must be one of the most unreliable plot devices that an author ever created. His character is there just to be there. He knows more nothing than Jon knows nothing.

 

Maybe Selmy is Jons father.

 

Beyond the fact he calls Elia a "kitchen drab," which don't get me wrong, I think Elia was fair, just not as fair as prom queen Ashara, and he thought picking wild beauty Lyanna was just nuts, he was a fan of Elias.

And now hes shaking in his white cloak that Dany is going to do something crazy with wild boy Daario.

 

 

 

And I wonder what the author is trying to say here:

 

"I have always agreed with William Faulkner. He said the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. I've always taken that as my guiding principle, and the rest is just set dressing. I mean, you can have a dragon, you can have a science fiction story set on a distant planet with aliens and starships, you can have a western about a gunslinger, or a mystery novel about a private eye, or even literary fiction- and ultimately you're still writing about the human heart in conflict with itself. So that's the the way I try to approach this this thing.  And while I've worked within a genre, I've never liked to be bound by them. " George R. Martin, The Atlantic interiviewed by Rachael Brown, July 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

“I broke my vows with her. I never meant to, but …” It was wrong. Wrong to love her, wrong to leave her … “I wasn’t strong enough...”  

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing to see here, no parallels at all.

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The Targaryen Westeros was based on Plantagenet England but it looks like the Targaryens didn't read the books on Plantagenet England. And I guess Rhaegar didn't read them either since all he could read in his world was his family history of treason each time a second wife or highborn enough mistress stepped in.

 

Not too reassuring for the chances of Westeros of peaceful future under his sons by two wives, with him falling back to a well abandoned custom to gain a second wife and breaking the vows he made when he married his first one. The Seven do not accept polygamy. And no, the incest as something to explain just how acceptable Rhaegar's actions were doesn't wash it me. The last king who practiced polygamy also practiced killing his wives off. Rhaegar dispensing of his barren useless wife this way (which also had precedent) wouldn't have been acceptable, I think, but given what I read in this thread, perhaps I am in the wrong. Perhaps Elia and Dorne should have been reduced to tears out of gratitude that he didn't order her killed.

 

Your Selmy the Mindreader couldn't even find a single unflattering trait of Elia's to give to Dany as an excuse as to why Rhaegar slighted her. Yeah, he knew her all right. Because Elia was a paragon of virtue. No flaws to her!

 

To me, that simply spells that he didn't know her. How could he? She lived away from court. Anyway, I don't agree at all that he was a fan of hers. He simply pitied her.

 

Once again: I do not say that Rhaegar did not love Lyanna. No need to prove that he did. Although I wonder why you posted the conflicting heart quote as if it contradicts what I am saying. If anything, my views of a relationship not based on love but other things as possibly harsh and painful aligns more with the hearts in conflict things than the idea of a serene relationship based on nothing but sweet trust which is only disturbed by the arrival of the amazing nubile warrior girl - a lucky occasion since he needed a second wife anyway. Where's the conflict here? It's perfectly logical.

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But Kat just told me the WB is unreliable:


And this illustrates the point I was trying to address earlier. How can we decide to cherry pick what's real and what's not in the WB? I feel like this happens around here, and it's not about disrespecting anyone. This is why I suggest eliminating the WB when coming up with explanations rather than the series.

I agree with what JS4P and Avalatis wrote on this issue but I would add the following. It would be a mistake to eliminate the WB entirely as GRRM obviously planting many clues in WB. Of course it can be a challenge to decide what is reliable and what is not reliable -- but there are ways to try to get at that issue as JS4P and Avalatis pointed out. I agree, however, that one must be careful and some of the information certainly is mere propaganda (like Aerys possibly having killed Elia and the children). But just because figuring out what is reliable and what is not is a challenge does not mean it is not worth the attempt -- even if the level of certainty might be diminished based on uncertainty regarding reliability.  

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I agree with what JS4P and Avalatis wrote on this issue but I would add the following. It would be a mistake to eliminate the WB entirely as GRRM obviously planting many clues in WB. Of course it can be a challenge to decide what is reliable and what is not reliable -- but there are ways to try to get at that issue as JS4P and Avalatis pointed out. I agree, however, that one must be careful and some of the information certainly is mere propaganda (like Aerys possibly having killed Elia and the children). But just because figuring out what is reliable and what is not is a challenge does not mean it is not worth the attempt -- even if the level of certainty might be diminished based on uncertainty regarding reliability.


See, I understand the points you and the others have made on here about the WB. I do own it, btw, and use the family trees sometimes to help me get the characters straight- particularly the Targs while I was reading Dunk & Egg.

I don't think it's all hogwash, my understanding was that it was "produced" by GRRM. I understand he contributed, but my impression was that it was written for the most part by Ran and Linda. I get that they communicate with GRRM and his assistant, but they have also said they don't have "insider info" meaning anything spoiler worthy. I was pretty sure I read that on Twitter a month or two ago, which leads me to believe they don't know more than we do- in regards to the direction the story is taking.

I think I just get irritated when people will say it's unreliable, then in the next turn say it proves a point- and just to clarify, I'm not thinking of any individual(s) in particular. Just making a general statement. I haven't read the whole thing, I mostly look at the pictures, but basically, that was my beef.

Again, it's not meant to disrespect anyone; it's just how I perceive some of the arguments re: WB

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