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HelenaExMachina

R+L=J v.154

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Reference guide

The R+L=J theory claims Jon Snow most probably is the son of crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister Lyanna Stark.

The Tower of the Hand has an excellent analysis of this theory:
Jon Snow's Parents

And Westeros' Citadel also provides a summary:
Jon Snow's Parents

A Wiki of Ice and Fire:
Jon Snow Theories
 
Radio Westeros podcast:
A Dragon, a Wolf and a Rose
 
Frequently Asked Questions:

How can Jon be a Targaryen if ordinary fire burned his hand?
Targaryens are not immune to fire. It's a myth that has been refuted by a list of Targaryens being burned. Danaerys 'the unburnt' was indeed unscathed when she hatched the dragon eggs, but that has not stopped her being burned on other occasions. See this thread on Targaryen fire immunity.

Don't all Targaryens have hallmark Valryian silver-golden hair and purple eyes?
Not all of them: Valarr and Queen Alysanne had blue eyes. Bittersteel, who like Jon was half first men blood, had brown hair. Baelor Breakspear and his son(s) and Jon's own half-sister Rhaenys had the Dornish look (dark hair, black eyes, olive skin). Rhaenyra Targaryen's three sons all had brown hair and brown eyes even though both their parents had light silver-gold hair.
Had Jon Valyrian features, it would give his parentage away: "He had the Stark face if not the name: long, solemn, guarded, a face that gave nothing away. Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son." Tyrion got the bit about the mother wrong, though: his mother was the Stark.

If Jon isn't Ned's son, then why does he look so much like him?
Jon looks very like Arya, and Arya looks very like Lyanna. Jon is Ned's nephew, and Lyanna and Ned looked similar.

Ned is too honourable to lie. If he says Jon is his son, doesn't that mean he must be?
Ned tells Arya that sometimes lies can be honourable. His final words, a confession of his guilt, are a lie to protect Sansa. While a lie can be honourable, cheating on his wife isn't, so Ned's famed honour points to Jon not being his son.

How can Jon be half-Targaryen and have a direwolf?
He's also half Stark, through Lyanna. Ned's trueborn children are half Tully and that doesn't stop them having direwolves.

Why doesn't Ned ever think about Lyanna being Jon's mother?
Ned doesn't think about anyone being Jon's mother. If he did, there would be no mystery. He names 'Wylla' to Robert, but we do not see him thinking of Wylla being Jon's mother.
There's a hidden hint at who Jon's mother might be: In chapter 4, Eddard's internal monologue goes "Lyanna ... Ned had loved her with all his heart." and in chapter 6, Catelyn thinks "Whoever Jon's mother had been, Ned must have loved her fiercely".

Why would Ned not at least tell Catelyn?
We don't have a list of what Ned promised to Lyanna, but know he takes his promises seriously. Maybe he promised not to tell anyone. In Chapter 45, Ned is uncertain what Cat would do if it came to Jon's life over that of her own children. If Catelyn knew that Jon was Rhaegar's son, she might feel that keeping him at Winterfell presented a serious risk to her own children. Ultimately, Catelyn did not need to know, so maybe Ned simply chose to be on the safe side.

Doesn't Ned refer to Robb and Jon as "my sons in the very first chapter?
In speech, not in thought. Ned is keeping Jon's parentage secret. He never thinks of Jon as his son: In Chapter 45, Ned thinks of his children "Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon and explicitly excludes Jon from the list. ADwD Chapter 34 has Bran's vision of younger Ned in the Winterfell godswood: "...let them grow up close as brothers, with only love between them," he prayed, "and let my lady wife find it in her heart to forgive..." which not make sense if they are brothers.

Since Rhaegar was already married, wouldn't Jon still be a bastard?
He might, or might not. There was a tradition of polygamy among Targaryens in the past, so the possibility that Rhaegar and Lyanna married is not easily ruled out. A pro-legitimacy argument is this: The presence of the three kingsguards at the Tower of Joy is best explained if they were defending the heir to the throne, which Jon would only be if he was legitimate.

Can we be certain polygamy is not illegal?
Aegon I and Maegor I practised polygamy. In Westeros, unlike a constitutional monarchy, royals are not subject to the law. So if there ever was a law against it, it did not apply to the Targaryens: In Chapter 33 it says "like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men". Examples demonstrate that it was considered an option for Targaryens: Aegon IV and Daemon Blackfyre may have considered it for Daemon, Jorah Mormont suggested it to Daenerys as a viable option, and she said the same about Quentyn Martell.
George R.R. Martin says in this SSM: "If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want". There is also this SSM predating the worldbook.
On Polygamy essay by Ygrain with additions by Rhaenys_Targaryen

Weren't the Kingsguard at Tower of Joy on the basis of an order from Aerys, to guard Lyanna as a hostage?
If so, why would they have apparently made no effort to use this leverage against Robert and Ned? Some argue their Kingsguard vows would have taken precedence and still have required them to leave the Tower to protect Viserys when he became heir -- unless there was another that took precedence [Jon]. Others think they were guarding Lyanna as a hostage at the Tower of Joy. Some say that makes little sense: She would better be kept hostage at King's Landing, and wouldn't require kingsguards to guard her. The mere presence of three kingsguards implies something more important: guarding members of the royal family or maybe the heir.
Frequently suggested readings: At the tower of joy by MtnLion and support of the toj analysis by Ygrain

Isn't there an SSM that says the 3 Kingsguard were following Rhaegar's orders though?
The SSM you may be thinking of is probably this: The King's Guards don't get to make up their own orders. They serve the king, they protect the king and the royal family, but they're also bound to obey their orders, and if Prince Rhaegar gave them a certain order, they would do that. They can't say, "No we don't like that order, we'll do something else."
We know from Barristan, protecting the king is the first and most important of all kingsguard duties. Jamie suggests some other KG to stay with the king when he wants to leave for the Trident and we also learn of a ritual that is performed when all KG meet and the king is guarded by someone who is not from the order.
"Protect vs Obey" is an ongoing subject of debate that is unlikely to be settled until we know more. Either viewpoint is compatible with R+L=J.

Wouldn't Viserys take precedence anyway? Rhaegar died without becoming king, and doesn't the world book call Viserys, not Aegon, Aerys' new heir?
No, in the case of an eldest son dying before the king dies, a grandson comes before a younger son. Even in the case the grandson is yet unborn at the time of death, he would succeed (heir apparent vs. heir presumptive). The world book is written with a Lannister bias (it may be propaganda to undermine Dornish support for the Targaryens) and in hindsight by maesters who have never learned all of what we know from Ned's dreams and memories. If it still turns out to be true... see the next answer.

Are matters of succession just as clear as presented here?
Succession quarrels are a part of medieval power play and even a very clear inheritance could well be contested. So maybe in King's Landing things did happen as the world book says. Rhaegar and Aerys may have been at odds over the succession. Rhaegar told Jaime before leaving for the Trident that he intended to call a council, and The Great Councils of the past have dealt with matters of succession. Who would have accepted such a change is a question worth asking.

Ned is dead. Who's going to tell anyone about it?
Bloodraven and Bran may have learned of it through the weirwood network. Benjen might know. Checkov's Crannogman Howland Reed is the sole survivor of the encounter at the Tower of Joy, and George R.R. Martin has stated he has not yet appeared because he knows too much about the central mystery of the book. "They had found him [Ned] still holding her [Lyanna's] body" tells that there also was someone else besides Howland to find Ned.

Why is this important? What impact can it have on the story?
The careful way the mystery of Jon's parentage was created is reason to believe it's important. What impact it will have on the rest of the series is still unknown.

This theory is too obvious and too many people believe it to be fact. How can it be true?
It is not so obvious to the majority of readers. Some will get it on their first read, but most will not. Readers who go to online fan forums, such as this, still represent a very small minority of the readership. Also, A Game of Thrones has been out since 1996. That's more than 18 years of readers being able to piece together this mystery. Crowd-sourced internet-based mystery solving like this inevitably make solved mysteries seem more obvious in hindsight.

George R.R. Martin is a "breaker of tropes, there can be no hidden prince, it's simply too cliché.
In order to break a trope it needs to be installed in the first place. It is yet unknown what will happen to Jon in the future. Being the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar does not imply the fairy-tale style happy ending associated with the hidden prince trope.

Is there a list of all R+L=J clues that have been found?
There is a list of R+L=J hints, clues and foreshadowing compiled by sj4iy.

Since this theory has been refined so well, will Martin change the outcome of the story to surprise his fans?
He has stated that he won't change the outcome of the story just because some people have put together all the clues and solved the puzzle.

Previous editions:
Please click on the spoiler below to reveal links to all previous editions of this thread

 
[spoiler]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)
 

"R+L=J v.149" (thread one hundred forty nine)
 
"R+L=J v. 150" (thread one hundred fifty)
 
"R+L=J v. 151" (thread one hundred fifty one)
 
"R+L=J v. 152" (thread one hundred fifty two)

"R+L=J v.153" (thread one hundred fifty three)

[/spoiler]

 
Carry on.

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Avalatis,

well, I've just reread the section in question. Jon clearly states that Elia was never worthy of him since she was frail and sickly, 'and childbirth only left her weaker'. He doesn't mention anything about not liking her because she didn't give Rhaegar many children, nor does he imply that this was the reason why he did not like her. In fact, he thinks about that one Haldon presses him to arrange a marriage for Aegon, heavily indicating that the thought of a married Rhaegar isn't something Jon enjoyed and looked forward to - and he seems to have transferred that to Aegon now.

 

Kevan is the one, I think, who thought Rhaegar wanted sons and should thus have married Cersei rather than Elia.

 

What we know is that Rhaegar went to Riverlands, and it also seems to be implied that Harrenhal/Lyanna wasn't the original destination of their journey - but we can't conclude from that that Jon - if he was with Rhaegar - wasn't part of the abduction team as well. We simply do not know. I'm also inclined to believe that there was no abduction plan - but at this point I'm more in favor of prophecy changing the plan (in the aftermath of a meeting with the Ghost) than of Rhaegar making a rash decision after a chance meeting on the road. The Ghost talk must not necessarily have revealed stuff or changed Rhaegar's view on the promised prince, it could have been enough that he got some insight into his personal destiny.

Going with Jon keeping secrets about Rhaegar from Aerys is strange if he we consider that he was his Hand. At that time Jon would have wanted to prove himself to his king as much as to his silver prince, although in his memory only his silver prince survives.

 

UL,

 

we really have to keep in mind that POVs at times only remember or discuss stuff very selectively. Jaime must know the official story of Gerold Hightower's death, but he doesn't tell us. Jaime must know a lot more about what the Aerys' court knew or believed to know about Rhaegar and Lyanna during the time of the Rebellion. The same goes for Barristan and Connington - the latter may even have firsthand knowledge about those things. It is a conscious decision of the author to keep things secret by making people not think, talk, or finish their scarce conversation on those topics.

 

The fact that people do not think or talk about certain things doesn't mean they do not know. It takes quite some time until Cersei tells us about Maggy the Frog, for example. And this is also the reason why I think we shouldn't assume that things that are kept a secret from the reader - like the story of Lyanna and Rhaegar - are actually a state secret in Westeros of that day and age. Some aspects may be a secret, but the very fact Lyanna was effectively at the core of the whole war, both for Robert and Rhaegar, makes it quite unlikely that she wasn't a topic of everyone's consideration. Not to mention in light of all the problems the whole Lyanna affair caused for the Targaryen-Martell relationship.

 

This is mainly why I think it is stretching the credibility of a realistic scenario too much to assume that things around Lyanna, Rhaegar, their potential offspring, and the mission/fate of the Kingsguard could remain a true secret - not to mention that parts of it may never have been a real secret.

 

In continuation of previous stuff I wanted to add that I never said that I'm dying for the stillborn daughter idea. Ned could have changed the truth to Lyanna dying from the complications of a miscarriage. But I'm also not really claiming that - I just could see it as part of his attempt to obscure Jon Snow's identity.

 

And thinking about the Jon Snow thing again:

 

Even if Ned had remained silent on both Lyanna's manner of death as well as the Kingsguard there - which makes no sense to me at all - he still reveals a striking blunder in his whole web of lies. The lack of convincing fake mother for Jon Snow. Despite the fact that he told Robert apparently some tale, the Wylla story is hardly an official story considering that Ned's own people spread the Ashara version, and the Sistermen spun their own tale. Ned may have been tight-lipped and secretive about his bastard, but he could not have possibly treated Lyanna and the knights with the same approach. He would have told that story to all his friends and family who wanted to know since, you know, it was important.

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Continuing with the JonCon discussion from last version, I understand that GRRM needs to avoid certain topics because he needs to keep some secrets. But given that JonCon almost certainly did not know that they were at ToJ, I would think that suggests that only Dayne and Whent stayed with Rhaegar after he encountered Lyanna. But I agree that JonCon could know more but just has little reason to think about it now. I am just not sure why he never looked to meet JonS. For the five years before he is introduced to Aegon, JonS would be the only possible surviving heir to Rhaegar. Why wouldn't JonCon try to make some contact with Ned to try to have some sort of relationship with JonS? Or maybe he did and Ned made it clear that JonCon was not welcome? Not sure?

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LV--

 

Of course some things that POV people know they don't think in order to keep some secrets. I get that. It is when they seem to talk about things where the topic would seem to be natural to come up -- and it does not. Or when their behavior seems to suggest lack of knowledge -- that is the point I was trying to make.

 

And I get that you are not strictly tied to stillborn child/miscarriage scenario. My main point simply was that as long as no one that matters (such as Robert) has any knowledge of Lyanna having been pregnant, Ned's best course is to keep it as simply as possible -- she died of a fever. People generally will not press him regarding how she caught the fever. As with the 3 KG -- again, he is best to keep it simple. He encountered them while he was traveling South -- they fought 7 against 3 -- and 2 survived. He does not need to go into more detail than that.

 

As you noted, he was more "tight lipped" about the identity of the mother than you think would have been wise. I think it was wise -- it allows him to be tight-lipped about everything. If he says it is too painful to talk about or just that he does not want to go into details -- or what he says to Cat to shut down the Ashara speculation -- he is less likely to get caught in a lie or slip up on details later -- and Ned hates to lie. Ned seems to have taken the minimalist approach regarding this episode -- give as little information as possible. Basically stick to the truth -- other than about Jon being Ned's son -- and let people assume what they will assume. It seems clear, however, that Ned is trying to lie as little as possible both because he prefers not to lie and because he knows he might get caught in a lie. 

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UL,

I don't think that JonCon knows about the ToJ. He can however fill us in on certain aspects i.e. the stuff between Rhaegar leaving DS and JonCon's eventual exile. Just as Jaime and/or Barristan can expand on the goings on in KL concerning R&L between Stony Sept and The Trident and Howland Reed can give us a non fever dream account of the confrontation at the ToJ and what happens after. Basically, between these four characters (and perhaps Wylla as well), all the blanks can be filled without Martin having to overuse dreams and visions.

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Consigliere--

 

I agree that JonCon likely can fill the readers in on what Rhaegar was doing in riverlands and the circumstances under which he encounters Lyanna (or at a minimum what caused him to seek her out). I am not sure exactly what Jaime or Barristan would know. They know what was going on at KL during that period of time, but I am not sure anyone at KL knew what was going with R&L. Of course, people have been saying for years that HR will be able to tell JonS and the readers the full ToJ story. HR knows so much, he has been kept "off screen" for the entire series to date to keep him quiet. I am just not convinced that JonCon knew about the marriage (assuming there was a marriage, as I strongly suspect) or that anyone else at KL knows any more about what happened between R&L than anyone else. 

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UL,

The thing is the app says that Hightower was sent to find Rhaegar and that there were rumours of R&L being somewhere in the south at a place called the ToJ. None of this is mentioned in the books. IIRC, Ned is the only character to have even mentioned the tower of joy. So where does this info come from? I doubt Ran just made this stuff up so there must have been some knowledge of R&L at court that simply hasn't been revealed in the books yet. There is also the question of what Rhaegar had to say about being MIA for so long and why Hightower did not return with him. I doubt that Rhaegar simply stayed silent on all of this. The only info we get is Rhaegar telling Jaime that he plans to call a council and make changes. If we are to learn more about these changes, Barristan and/or Jaime can provide that info.

On JonCon knowing about a possible marriage: I don't think that this is out of the question. It depends on when and where R&L were married. He could very well have either witnessed it or known of R&L's intentions.

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why everybody assume R and L got married?

This is really just a speculation. And it is not a fact

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why everybody assume R and L got married?
This is really just a speculation. And it is not a fact


I fail to see any post here claiming the marriage as a fact.

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I fail to see any post here claiming the marriage as a fact.

 

Almost like that. like include this as the evidence or reason to prove other speculations. 

For example, the famous track:

 

Why there were 3 KG?

because there was a king inside. 

How it could be a king?

Because they got married. 

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Consigliere--

 

Of course, GRRM can construct whatever knowledge he wants for whatever characters, but at some level he needs to keep the RLJ mystery a plausible secret. If too many people have too many pieces, he stretches credibility even more than he arguably has. So what sort of details do you think these people are likely to have?

 

purple-eyes--

 

I agree with Consigliere that no one has asserted the marriage as a fact. If you look up-thread, I say that I strongly suspect there was a marriage but do not state it as a fact. Similarly, Consigliere refers to a "possible" marriage -- clearly admitting it is not a certainty. But the clues in favor of a marriage are strong, so speculating about who might have information relevant to such a marriage is a natural course of discussion on this thread. But speculating about how the details of a marriage, i fit happened, might be revealed is not the same as asserting the marriage as a fact.

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Almost like that. like include this as the evidence or reason to prove other speculations. 

For example, the famous track:

 

Where there were 3 KG?

because there was a king inside. 

How it could be a king?

Because they got married. 

I think you are reversing the order of the analysis. One of the biggest clues in favor of a marriage is that it helps to explain why the 3 KG not only do not go to Viserys on DS after the deaths of the other royals, but indicate to Ned that going to DS at that time would be fleeing. So the marriage simply is a logical conclusion based on the available evidence. But just as RLJ itself is not a "fact" yet, certainly the marriage cannot be a "fact" at this point.

 

While perhaps some people put forth posts where they have been through this analysis so many times, they assume the result in debating ancillary issues. And those who believe the marriage to have happened (like me) sometimes slip and state it as if it is a fact when building on that theory for other theories. But basically, it is merely what I believe to be the theory that answers the most questions and leaves the fewest holes. So I strongly suspect the marriage occurred. But certainly I try not to state it as a fact -- just as I try not to state any theory, including RLJ, as a fact. Perhaps, some others are less careful in their wording. 

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UL,

I think that Martin could plausibly spread out bits and pieces of info via Jaime, Barristan and JonCon without any one character having sufficient knowledge to piece together the mystery. I've already mentioned the gaps in the story that these three could provide info on. The true events at the ToJ would remain a mystery that only Howland (and possibly Wylla) would know about.

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Actually, there is a hint suggesting that Ned at least that Ned believed that they were married: He would not have referred to Jon Snow as 'a boy with a bastard's name' when talking to Catelyn but rather as 'my bastard son' or 'a bastard'. Surely, one could try to find another explanation for that, but this is a very deliberate choice of words on Ned's - and the author's - part. Something a person usually does when s/he is uncomfortable lying.

 

The idea that Rhaegar would keep the marriage a secret if he went through with it doesn't convince me. He is the Prince of Dragonstone, and he has decided to abduct the daughter of Rickard Stark. He knows that this will cause trouble but he, presumably, doesn't care. If he wants to set Elia aside or live a not-so-happy polygamous life then she should better make his intentions clear, or else Aerys, Robert, and the Starks can (and will) do anything in their power to unmake this marriage, even against the will.

 

UL,

 

I'd agree that it would have been a good idea to keep shut about the pregnancy if nobody had known about it. But we don't know about that, and if people hadn't known but very much suspected that she was pregnant it might have been a good idea to establish the child as dead or else people might have started to connect the dots when they learned about Ned's bastard.

 

But with the Kingsguard I really don't think there is a plausible scenario as to where he might have encountered them, nor could he tell a convincing tale about them. If he encountered them prior to the tower stunt, he would have continued his journey to the tower only with Howland as companion, and he would have to claim that nobody actually guarded Lyanna there, right?

 

If we go with the Kingsguard not having to protect the king at all times etc. as an established fact in this world, then nobody would have necessarily have concluded that Lyanna was pregnant or had given birth to a son.

 

As to the companions and the tower:

 

Since they are not all accounted for, at least one of them, perhaps two, might have been with Rhaegar the whole time and ended up returning with him rather than staying at the tower. If the unaccounted for Richard Lonmouth was one of them, then there is at least one person besides Rhaegar who could have told Aerys and his court everything they wanted to know. And considering that Aerys searched for Rhaegar for quite some time - at least since the appointment of Connington as Hand - there is no reason to believe that he did not use informers and spies to backtrack Rhaegar's journey into the Riverlands - or rather, to backtrack Rhaegar and Lyanna's way from the very place they were last seen according to the reports.

 

The idea that they spent most of their time in that tower never convinced me. That makes little sense. The whole Prince's Pass location suggests that they were either on the way to or just leaving Dorne. An idea I've tossed around is that they could have taken a ship at Maidenpool to spend thereafter in Starfall before they decided or were forced to leave Dorne (I could see the Daynes throwing them out if Doran was putting pressure on them).

 

Howland Reed may actually know little besides Jon's true identity. We don't know whether he had the chance to speak with Lyanna before her death, and we also don't know what Ned told him.

 

As to Connington and Jon:

 

My idea was that Varys might have figured out the truth about Jon Snow but decided to leave him in peace since the boy wouldn't be of much use for their plans with his Starkish features. They could not possibly raise him in secret and then present him as the secret son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. If nobody knew he ever existed, everybody would have doubts - much more doubts than about Aegon surviving. If that's the case then Varys would only have told when he and Illyrio met with Connington and Toyne at Lys, for their secret conspiracy conference.

 

Connington holds a grudge against Varys for some reason - either because of personal clashes during his stint as Hand (perhaps Varys wasn't speaking up in his defense when Aerys exiled him?) or because of a more personal matter. Abandoning Rhaegar's son to Ned Stark could have been something like that. Or the whole grudge has nothing to do with that and is rather connected to other stuff.

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Actually, there is a hint suggesting that Ned at least that Ned believed that they were married: He would not have referred to Jon Snow as 'a boy with a bastard's name' when talking to Catelyn but rather as 'my bastard son' or 'a bastard'. Surely, one could try to find another explanation for that, but this is a very deliberate choice of words on Ned's - and the author's - part. Something a person usually does when s/he is uncomfortable lying.

 

 

That whole chapter he called "a boy" "a boy of fourteen" "the boy" etc. etc. 

I did not see any hinting of a secret marriage by saying "a boy with a bastard's name". 

He is a boy, he does has a name which is a bastard's name. 

 

By the way, Ned should have told his wife this secret. He did not, this means he did not completely trust his wife who has lived with him for so many years and gave him so many children. Apparently he put his wife behind Jon and Lyanna. 

He may be worried that Cat would send Jon away and leak the secret due to being worried he will bring danger to them. But cat could also understand everything and appreciate his honesty and keep the secret. He just did not trust her to be the latter.  

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purple-eyes,

 

I agree with the latter and find that strange and stupid myself. It is understandable that he didn't told her at once, but he should have told at least her eventually simply to enable her to overcome her resentment.

 

But the former really is strange. You don't call your own son 'a boy with my family name' either - or if you do, then you are suggesting that he isn't really your son, just as Jon Snow is apparently only a boy with bastard's name, but not (necessarily) a bastard.

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purple-eyes,

 

I agree with the latter and find that strange and stupid myself. It is understandable that he didn't told her at once, but he should have told at least her eventually simply to enable her to overcome her resentment.

 

But the former really is strange. You don't call your own son 'a boy with my family name' either - or if you do, then you are suggesting that he isn't really your son, just as Jon Snow is apparently only a boy with bastard's name, but not (necessarily) a bastard.

 

He is trying to make a point like: "a boy with a name of bastard will not be accepted in the court! He will have a terrible time! everybody who hears his name will laugh at him! his name will ruin his future!"

I really failed to see Ned is hinting a secret marriage by this. 

By your logic, he should have recalled Rhaegar much more since he is his brother-in-law, a family member. But he did not think about him for many years. 

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Martin has already given a hint why Ned did not tell Cat: "some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust". Might not be good enough for some, but there you go. Can't please 100% of the readers.

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My idea was that Varys might have figured out the truth about Jon Snow but decided to leave him in peace since the boy wouldn't be of much use for their plans with his Starkish features. They could not possibly raise him in secret and then present him as the secret son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. If nobody knew he ever existed, everybody would have doubts - much more doubts than about Aegon surviving. If that's the case then Varys would only have told when he and Illyrio met with Connington and Toyne at Lys, for their secret conspiracy conference.

 

If Vary's truly did know I'm pretty sure he would have hinted it to Ned. Especially when Ned was in the dungeons. Knowing Ned's big secret is something I'm sure Vary's would enjoy teasing him with.

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Martin has already given a hint why Ned did not tell Cat: "some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust". Might not be good enough for some, but there you go. Can't please 100% of the readers.

Understand. The less know, the safer. 

But again, some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. 

If you love and trust them enough, then you will share. 

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