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HelenaExMachina

R+L=J v.154

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Well, in hindsight this 'dangerous secret' wasn't dangerous at all since Jon Snow is now out of the way at the Wall. It is not like he was plotting to seat Rhaegar's secret son on the throne - such a secret would have been worthy to hide. He was just raising his sister's son as his own - without any secret plans or thoughts. If push came to shove Ned could always have sent a younger Jon to the Wall, too.

 

If Jon was a bastard, and Ned's bastard besides, there would have been no need to dance around that fact or be ashamed of it by using complicated phrases to soften the truth.

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I definitely read JC's introduction of Aegon as a hint that he knows that there is a second-born son. As to why he hasn't sought him out, well, if he hated Lyanna and blamed her for Rhaegars downfall, he probably wouldn't want to see him.
 
Purple Eyes:
 
I am not particularly a romantic, (ask my husband who just now got a birthday card- his B-Day was on the 12th, though he did get presents), so I personally don't care, therefore I am led to this conclusion by the plethora of clues that point in that direction, not because I engage in "shipping."

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I haven't been on the RLJ threads for a while, so forgive me if I'm playing catch-up. I 100% believe R+L=J due to the aforementioned plethora of clues. No issue there. But I do have questions around the alleged marriage.

Let's say for the sake of argument that they were married. Polygamy is obviously an issue. There is a case to be made for Targaryen polygamy, based on historical precedent, but it's not a sure thing by any stretch. The decision might belong to the King, the High Septon, a Grand Council, or any combination of those, but it does not belong to Rhaegar or members of the Kingsguard. Even if Rhaegar felt he could persuade the relevant authority and have his second marriage accepted, he could not have been certain he would succeed. Nor could the members of the Kingsguard, who were educated men after all and would not have been ignorant of the situation.

They would have watched Rhaegar ride away from the Tower of Joy, knowing that if he succeeded they were guarding an heir, but if he failed they were guarding a bastard. And that put them in a perilous position in terms of their vows. Furthermore, once news of the Trident reached them, which seems likely, they would have known they were guarding a bastard.

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Well, in hindsight this 'dangerous secret' wasn't dangerous at all since Jon Snow is now out of the way at the Wall. It is not like he was plotting to seat Rhaegar's secret son on the throne - such a secret would have been worthy to hide. He was just raising his sister's son as his own - without any secret plans or thoughts. If push came to shove Ned could always have sent a younger Jon to the Wall, too.


Does any of this matter? Martin required Ned to believe that this was dangerous enough -- rightly or wrongly -- otherwise there wouldn't be a mystery in the first place.

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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. 

 

When Cat met Jon, she and Ned were virtually strangers.

 

And even now, though they have the best relationship pf anyone we see in the series, he isn't sure what choices she would make to protect her children. If push came to shove would she sell out Jon Snow to protect Sansa? I think so, in a moment, and like Ned, I'm not sure that would change even if she knew he was Lyanna and Rhaegar's son. So telling her would just make her aware of the value in selling out Jon, a value she isn't currently aware of.

 

There's a quote in Ned's head directly reflecting this if someone can find it.

 

You can love and trust someone completely while still being aware that they may have different priorities and make different choices than you.

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I haven't been on the RLJ threads for a while, so forgive me if I'm playing catch-up. I 100% believe R+L=J due to the aforementioned plethora of clues. No issue there. But I do have questions around the alleged marriage.

Let's say for the sake of argument that they were married. Polygamy is obviously an issue. There is a case to be made for Targaryen polygamy, based on historical precedent, but it's not a sure thing by any stretch. The decision might belong to the King, the High Septon, a Grand Council, or any combination of those, but it does not belong to Rhaegar or members of the Kingsguard. Even if Rhaegar felt he could persuade the relevant authority and have his second marriage accepted, he could not have been certain he would succeed. Nor could the members of the Kingsguard, who were educated men after all and would not have been ignorant of the situation.

They would have watched Rhaegar ride away from the Tower of Joy, knowing that if he succeeded they were guarding an heir, but if he failed they were guarding a bastard. And that put them in a perilous position in terms of their vows. Furthermore, once news of the Trident reached them, which seems likely, they would have known they were guarding a bastard.

 

George said that the KG are not authorized to make such decisions.

 

And that is a big decision, not some simple yes or no situation.

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three-eyed monkey,

 

we would actually assume that Rhaegar commanded the Kingsguard to protect Lyanna, not his unborn child. From Barristan we know that Kingsguard were used by certain kings to protect their own mistresses and bastards, so that would be no inherent problem.

 

The validity of Rhaegar's second marriage is an important question, and to treat a child from that union as 'a normal heir' is highly problematic while we don't know whether Westeros as a whole, the Faith, or House Targaryen would accept the polygamy thing. It is easily imaginable that either Aerys or Rhaella would have decided to not accept any offspring of Lyanna's as part of their family if they did not consider Rhaegar's second marriage valid.

 

My guess is that Rhaegar would actually have been rather outspoken/public about the marriage since spreading this news could actually help make it stand/make it more difficult to dissolve. If we go with an effective Tyrion-Tysha scenario (only a few people know when daddy finds out) then Aerys could have easily unmade the whole marriage by suppressing the knowledge about it - say, by commanding Whent and Dayne into never speaking about what has happening, and by forcing either Lyanna or Rhaegar to ask the High Septon for an annulment. Not to mention that the king may have been of the position that polygamy is in itself invalid 'by now', and thus any polygamous marriage would be invalid by default unless either the king or the High Septon had given special dispensation before the marriage (which, most likely, would not be the case with Rhaegar and Lyanna).

 

Back to the KG:

 

George has hinted at that they might have not liked their orders (guarding Lyanna whom they may have considered as Rhaegar's paramour rather than his lawful wife) but he also says they would have to obey. That in itself is strange since one of them was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and all three of them were Kingsguard, ultimately only loyal to the king. One could make the case that King Aerys would have to decide whether he wanted to assign them to the paramour/second wife of his heir or not. Yet George indicates that they would have to obey Rhaegar - which could be a hint that by that time they no longer were in Aerys' camp or willing to put Aerys before Rhaegar since the former were obviously mad and should be deposed for the good of the Realm. After all, they could easily only have paid lip service to Rhaegar, and then decided to abandon Lyanna and return to Aerys after Rhaegar had left.

 

The construction that the fever dream sequence and the fact that there are three Kingsguard at the tower means that those guys were protecting 'the rightful king' (or rather, that they thought there were doing that, since the rightful king after Aerys' death was his chosen heir, Viserys III) doesn't hold any water. If their command was to guard Lyanna they would have been honor-bound to stay there until she was dead. They don't need the additional incentive to guard Lyanna's newly born son - if we go with the assumption that he was already born at that time and not only, say, pretty much around the time Ned and his men arrived. The idea that they intended to go to Dragonstone or would have sent a knight there if they knew about Viserys III makes little sense either if we go with the assumption Rhaegar commanded all three of them to remain with Lyanna - which he most likely did. There is a strange misconception about the Kingsguard out there that they are obliged to send one of their ranks to wherever place they think the king might be to guard him if he doesn't have KG protection. Even if that goes against their explicit orders - which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Not to mention that it would be simply not their place to interfere with the royal succession. If they knew about Aerys' decision to name Viserys his heir rather than Aegon then they would have betrayed their late king, and if they pledged their loyalty to an infant whose existence wasn't even known to the remaining members of House Targaryen (Queen Dowager Rhaella and Viserys III) then they would actually effectively create a rift within the royal house since one assumes that they could not honorably back down from such a decision. Usually you don't take a vow back - which means you should better sure that you are doing the right thing.

There are people believing that the Kingsguard doesn't renew it's oath of fealty when a new king ascends, but that makes little sense (for instance, Barristan doesn't feel bound to obey Hizdahr after he becomes sole ruler and king of Meereen, yet there is nothing wrong with that legally) and thus argue that they original KG oath now demands that they now perceive Lyanna's son as the rightful king - which it does not.

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George said that the KG are not authorized to make such decisions.
 
And that is a big decision, not some simple yes or no situation.


That was my point. The KG know that Jon's legitimacy is a factor they have no control over. The decision is in the hands of others, like the King, the high Septon, or a Grand Council. And while it is a big decision, it does boil down to yes or no. There are only two possible results. Either Jon will be legitimised or he will not.

At the time of Rhaegar's departure from the tower, the 3KG could not know what way that decision might go. One result would leave them guarding an heir, and hence fulfilling their vows. If the goes the other way, then they are left guarding Rhaegar's bastard. And then once Rhaegar died, the chance of having Jon legitimised all but disappeared. Yet, "We swore a vow," explained old Ser Gerold.

If Gerold is talking about his their vows as KG, then it must mean that they consider Rhaegar's second marriage to be valid, regardless of what the King, High Septon, or Grand Council may think. But I don't see what grounds they'd have to think that. Even if they reason that Rhaegar is a Targaryen, Targaryens had polygamous marriages, therefore it is ok for Rhaegar to have a polygamous marriage, that does not mean the realm will accept it.

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They would have watched Rhaegar ride away from the Tower of Joy, knowing that if he succeeded they were guarding an heir, but if he failed they were guarding a bastard.

 

Rhaegar's son's legitimacy or bastardy solely depends on the mother having been married to Rhaegar or not. It has nothing to do with Rhaegar's victory or peril in battle.

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LV--

 

Regarding where Ned admitted to having encountered the KG -- it could have been guarding Lyanna. Ned does not need to lie about that issue. People would assume that word of the deaths of the royals never got to the 3 KG and when Ned encountered them, they would not surrender. People know that the 3 KG were guarding Lyanna. That was not really a secret. People also know that they were in a remote location. So Ned does not need to explain why the 3 KG were still guarding Lyanna -- Ned simply can let people assume they never got any updates in the war situation and were waiting for Rhaegar's return. That would explain why the KG did not try to get to DS to be with Viserys. But the readers have reason to believe that the 3 KG know more and moreover, when Ned implies that he will let them pass and go to Viserys, the 3 KG state that going to DS "now" would be fleeing. That statement is what convinces me that the 3 KG do not consider V to be the rightful heir.

 

As to staying at the tower, where else were they that whole time? And they would have had some warning that Lyanna was pregnant while still able to travel -- so why allow themselves to get stuck at the tower unless it was their intended destination. And Rhaegar naming it tower of joy also strongly supports that they spent considerable time there.

 

I am not sure, however, what JonCon knows. He is a bit of an enigma to me -- I have trouble getting a clear read on him. But if JonCon knows about RLJ, then I am simply surprised that Ned and JonCon apparently had no contact all those years. But maybe they did, and the readers just have not been told about it.

 

tem--

 

I have a completely different take than LV. I believe that the arguments about polygamy misunderstand what people in Westeros seem to believe about marriage. Unlike US law, where the second marriage is not a valid marriage, the issue in Westeros seems to be more one of punishment than validity of the marriage. Maegor was exiled for refusing the dissolve his second marriage. But no one seemed to believe they had the ability to stop them from being considered married. The only question was whether a penalty could be imposed -- and one was for a time. We also have characters like Oldfather who has multiple wives -- no one questions that these wives are "real" wives. Also the "salt wives" of the iron born are accepted as real wives and the children of those marriage "legitimate" children.

 

So Rhaegar was risking punishment by marrying Lyanna -- but no one has ever claimed to have the power to dissolve such a marriage without the consent of the participants to the marriage. Which is why I believe that Rhaegar kept the marriage secret at that time. I believe he was waiting for the 3rd head of the dragon to be born, and he would come back to KL with wife and and child to get Aerys to accept the marriage. If he does, great. If not, I think Rhaegar goes into exile with his two wives and three children and works toward training them to be the three heads of the dragon. I think fulfilling the prophecy, as Rhaegar understood it, was more important than political considerations in KL.

 

So the KG are not "making a political decision" in this case. Assuming they have no knowledge that Aerys named Viserys as the new heir, Jon simply is next in line, if legitimate. They learn that Rhaegar, Aerys and Aegon are all dead. It is "known" that "sons come before uncles" in succession. So the KG simply are guarding the new heir under Targ precedent. They would not think they were making any decisions, as they would not think there was a decision to make. Absent a GC (or known naming of a different heir), the next in line is the next in line -- and Jon would be the next in line.

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Rhaegar's son's legitimacy or bastardy solely depends on the mother having been married to Rhaegar or not. It has nothing to do with Rhaegar's victory or peril in battle.

 

I do not think so. Rhaegar can always keep Jon as a bastard and legitimize him as a royal prince when himself becomes a king one day, like Aegon IV and Daemon Blackfyre.

So you are wrong. It does not solely depends on if Lyanna got married Rhaegar or not. 

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I do not think so. Rhaegar can always keep Jon as a bastard and legitimize him as a royal prince when himself becomes a king one day, like Aegon IV and Daemon Blackfyre.

So you are wrong. It does not solely depends on if Lyanna got married Rhaegar or not. 

The question is his legitimacy at birth -- when the KG are guarding him as the new heir. Whether Jon is legit at that time is based "solely" on whether Rhaegar and Lyanna were married -- not whether anyone else (like Aerys or HS) accepted the marriage.

 

As to your point, Rhaegar would want Jon to be a "full dragon" at birth as at at minimum Rhaegar thought Jon to be a head of the dragon and would want Jon to be a dragon in every sense. And if Rhaegar even suspected that Jon and not Aegon would be the prince that was promised, Rhaegar would want Jon to be a prince at birth -- not needed to be legitimized later.

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Rhaegar's son's legitimacy or bastardy solely depends on the mother having been married to Rhaegar or not. It has nothing to do with Rhaegar's victory or peril in battle.


It depends on the marriage being valid and accepted by law because the right of inheritance is a legal matter. R+L may well have had a ceremony and said their vows with Dayne and Whent as witnesses, but the issue is complicated by the fact that Rhaegar was already married and there is no suggestion that he had officially set Elia aside. If the marriage is deemed invalid, then Jon is a bastard. Highborn perhaps, but a bastard nonetheless. So the question is whether polygamy was accepted as a valid form of marriage in Westeros at that time?

Some people suggest that Rhaegar was going to take some action, like call a Grand Council or usurp his father's throne, so that he could legitimise Jon by either having the polygamous marriage recognised or by simply legitimising Jon once he ascended the throne. In this scenario, Jon's legitimacy did hang on Rhaegar's fate in battle, as Jon's chance of being made legitimate by way of Grand Council or King's decree died with Rhaegar.


Lord Varys

I largely agree with what your saying. I don't have any problem with the 3KG being loyal to Rhaegar, or with them staying at the tower by his command. I think that's more than reasonable considering we know that there was friction between Aerys and Rhaegar, divided loyalties at court, and that Dayne and Whent were almost certainly amongst Rhaegar's half-dozen closest companions. And it doesn't require Jon to be legitimate.

On the subject of close companions, how on-board do you think Rhaegar's friends were with the matter of prophecy? I find the RLJ arguments always seem to revolve around Jon as heir to the Iron Throne, whereas I tend to view the ToJ mystery as being more central to the overarching ice and fire theme.

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I have a completely different take than LV. I believe that the arguments about polygamy misunderstand what people in Westeros seem to believe about marriage. Unlike US law, where the second marriage is not a valid marriage, the issue in Westeros seems to be more one of punishment than validity of the marriage. Maegor was exiled for refusing the dissolve his second marriage. But no one seemed to believe they had the ability to stop them from being considered married. The only question was whether a penalty could be imposed -- and one was for a time. We also have characters like Oldfather who has multiple wives -- no one questions that these wives are "real" wives. Also the "salt wives" of the iron born are accepted as real wives and the children of those marriage "legitimate" children.

 

So Rhaegar was risking punishment by marrying Lyanna -- but no one has ever claimed to have the power to dissolve such a marriage without the consent of the participants to the marriage. Which is why I believe that Rhaegar kept the marriage secret at that time. I believe he was waiting for the 3rd head of the dragon to be born, and he would come back to KL with wife and and child to get Aerys to accept the marriage. If he does, great. If not, I think Rhaegar goes into exile with his two wives and three children and works toward training them to be the three heads of the dragon. I think fulfilling the prophecy, as Rhaegar understood it, was more important than political considerations in KL.

 

So the KG are not "making a political decision" in this case. Assuming they have no knowledge that Aerys named Viserys as the new heir, Jon simply is next in line, if legitimate. They learn that Rhaegar, Aerys and Aegon are all dead. It is "known" that "sons come before uncles" in succession. So the KG simply are guarding the new heir under Targ precedent. They would not think they were making any decisions, as they would not think there was a decision to make. Absent a GC (or known naming of a different heir), the next in line is the next in line -- and Jon would be the next in line.

 

I tended to believe " You know nothing, Jon Connington". IMHO He only knew what most people (like Barri) knew about Rhaegar and Lyanna stuff. 

 

I think it does not matter if Rhaegar got married secretly or not. The point is, in the current story, if most people will recognize Jon Snow as Jon Targaryen by a secret polygamy marriage which happened 18 years ago and also lack of valid proof. Faith and King did not know about it. Nobody who is alive has proof for it. Everybody who involved in this possible wedding were dead. 

A future king can legitimize Jon as Jon Stark or Jon Targaryen by just one pen. Can a future king lawfully recognize a secret polygamy marriage for two dead people based on whatever Howland Reed said (he was not in the marriage or in the "promise me" part)?

Which one is easier? Why author bothers to tell us there is a secret marriage which nobody can verify and also will raise a funny question for himself: 

If a prince can secretly marry a second wife to fix his problem, why not Robb Stark, a king of the North, marry Jenny and Roslin together to save his butts from his tragedy?

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The question is his legitimacy at birth -- when the KG are guarding him as the new heir. Whether Jon is legit at that time is based "solely" on whether Rhaegar and Lyanna were married -- not whether anyone else (like Aerys or HS) accepted the marriage.

 

As to your point, Rhaegar would want Jon to be a "full dragon" at birth as at at minimum Rhaegar thought Jon to be a head of the dragon and would want Jon to be a dragon in every sense. And if Rhaegar even suspected that Jon and not Aegon would be the prince that was promised, Rhaegar would want Jon to be a prince at birth -- not needed to be legitimized later.

Here comes again, "why 3 KG there?"--- "because there is a king inside"--- "how come there is a king inside" ---"R and L must be married". 

The truth is, 3 KG were ordered by Rhaegar to stay there, even there is nobody inside, they had to stay. 

Rhaegar asked KG to leave him alone when he traveled to summerhall. By your logic, KG should reject and say "I must be with you to protect you since you are the heir". No, they simply followed the order and stayed away from Rhaegar. 

 

Rhaegar never expected himself lose his crown or his life. It is apparently a smarter and safer choice to have a baby and then legitimize him when he becomes king one day. But yeah, Rhaegar can do whatever he wants since he is madly in love. They could get married and remain hidden and waited for Elia to die and then everything will be peachy. 

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It depends on the marriage being valid and accepted by law because the right of inheritance is a legal matter.

 

As everyone in the books tells us Rhaegar is excelling at everything, thoroughly honorable and doing everything by the book. That is one of the reasons many fans think he must have married Lyanna before impregnating her. If that's all well and true, then I cannot imagine him botching the marriage rites. It would have been immaculate, as it needed to be. So that's not

the question that I find interesting. I prefer to stay curious at whether the two did marry or no.

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tem and pe--

 

The issue of polygamy is relevant at two potential points in time. First, at ToJ. Second, if Jon being a legit Targ ever becomes relevant, such as if he becomes a candidate for the IT. Above, I only really discussed the first issue -- ToJ. 

 

tem's description of polygamy in Westeros ignores the text and uses modern law as a basis for analyzing polygamy in Westeros. No one has ever suggested that a second marriage is not a valid marriage. Ever. It is not done because penalties can be imposed (like Maegor being exiled or Cersei's punishment for adultery). But no one has ever said that a second marriage can be considered not a valid marriage. Anyone who claims as much is making it up -- all relevant evidence in the series is to the contrary. A marriage is a marriage -- it just may subject the person engaging in a second marriage to punishment under certain circumstances. So there really is no risk of the marriage not being considered valid of the children legit -- the issue is whether Rhaegar might be sent into exile (or other punishment).

 

pe--Rhaegar has reasons to need Jon to be legit from birth. You did not really address the points I made about this issue in post #32. Rhaegar needs Jon to be a full dragon and full prince from birth. Rhaegar cannot risk waiting for later -- he does not know how long his father will live (for example), and other reasons as well that I note above. As to Rhaegar's orders -- yes, they were good enough to keep them there as long as Aerys is alive and with KG. But once Aerys and Aegon are dead -- and the other KG are all dead, incapacitated or treasonous, Rhaegar's prior orders should not be sufficient to keep them from making sure that the new heir has a KG guard. And moreover, the KG state that going to V on DS would be fleeing. How could going to the new heir be fleeing? It makes no sense. So part of the argument is that the KG seem to talk about V in a way that strongly indicates they do not consider him to be heir. And if he is not the heir, then the only other candidate is Jon -- which means R&L must have gotten married.

 

As to whether anyone else will find out that R&L were married -- I am not sure. But if there is a faction arguing for Jon to become King, I suspect they will assert that R&L were married as part of their argument in favor of Jon. It does not matter if they can prove it -- it only matters if people who want it to be true so that Jon as King is more palatable decide to accept it as true.

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tem and pe--

 

The issue of polygamy is relevant at two potential points in time. First, at ToJ. Second, if Jon being a legit Targ ever becomes relevant, such as if he becomes a candidate for the IT. Above, I only really discussed the first issue -- ToJ. 

 

tem's description of polygamy in Westeros ignores the text and uses modern law as a basis for analyzing polygamy in Westeros. No one has ever suggested that a second marriage is not a valid marriage. Ever. It is not done because penalties can be imposed (like Maegor being exiled or Cersei's punishment for adultery). But no one has ever said that a second marriage can be considered not a valid marriage. Anyone who claims as much is making it up -- all relevant evidence in the series is to the contrary. A marriage is a marriage -- it just may subject the person engaging in a second marriage to punishment under certain circumstances. So there really is no risk of the marriage not being considered valid of the children legit -- the issue is whether Rhaegar might be sent into exile (or other punishment).

 

pe--Rhaegar has reasons to need Jon to be legit from birth. You did not really address the points I made about this issue in post #32. Rhaegar needs Jon to be a full dragon and full prince from birth. Rhaegar cannot risk waiting for later -- he does not know how long his father will live (for example), and other reasons as well that I note above. As to Rhaegar's orders -- yes, they were good enough to keep them there as long as Aerys is alive and with KG. But once Aerys and Aegon are dead -- and the other KG are all dead, incapacitated or treasonous, Rhaegar's prior orders should not be sufficient to keep them from making sure that the new heir has a KG guard. And moreover, the KG state that going to V on DS would be fleeing. How could going to the new heir be fleeing? It makes no sense. So part of the argument is that the KG seem to talk about V in a way that strongly indicates they do not consider him to be heir. And if he is not the heir, then the only other candidate is Jon -- which means R&L must have gotten married.

 

As to whether anyone else will find out that R&L were married -- I am not sure. But if there is a faction arguing for Jon to become King, I suspect they will assert that R&L were married as part of their argument in favor of Jon. It does not matter if they can prove it -- it only matters if people who want it to be true so that Jon as King is more palatable decide to accept it as true.

 

We agree to disagree. 

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UL,

 

Lyanna and Rhaegar could have traveled a lot, I guess. Be and feel free under the trees and all that. I'm not saying this would have taken long, but they would have to travel to the tower anyway, right? And this doesn't seem to anything they would take as a 'final destination'. And perhaps they were already on their way back from Dorne when they stranded there. Or not. My main trouble with that simply is the fact that they would have wanted to go and stay there.

 

The KG presence at the tower only 'proves' something if you insist that the knights knew all the stuff the fever dream indicates (which is not clear), and if you insist that they would be willing to push their interpretation of the line of succession against anyone else's - the Queen Dowager, Aerys' chosen heir, and all the Lords of the Realm included (if, say, Rhaella and Robert had decided to call a Great Council to settle the succession three days later).

 

This simply is not a view I think a Kingsguard is allowed to have. Not if they take their roles as loyal servants seriously. They are there to protect and obey the king (and his family), not to make or unmake kings. Their presence at the tower can easily be explained without referring to Jon Snow - just because they were protecting Lyanna (which would have been the reason Ned would give to everyone anyway). They can die as much in the defense of Lyanna and her young son if he is only a prince - or even just a bastard. It would be still doing their duty.

 

But I have to say I find the 'last stand/honorable death wish' idea that came up a while back to explain the fever dream conversation much more convincing than any belief that they were doing anything for Lyanna or her child. They obviously dwell in the past there, and they want to get a clean exit because they seem to think the Targaryen dynasty is done - and if so, they are not going to shy back from the fact that as Kingsguard they should not outlive Aerys II or Rhaegar.

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