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Jon Weirgaryen

R+L=J v.155

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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)
 
"R+L=J v.154" (thread one hundred fifty four)
[/spoiler]

 
Carry on.

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I'd like to know how many people noticed this on their first read, or their second, or on their own in general. Because I surely didn't. I didn't question that Ned is the father.

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Has anyone looked before at a possible parallel in the following two scenario's, both fever dreams?

 

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.

(A Game of Thrones. Eddard X)

 

He dreamt an old dream of a hovel by the sea, three dogs whimpering, a woman’s tears.

(A Dance with Dragons, Prologue)

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Has anyone looked before at a possible parallel in the following two scenario's, both fever dreams?

 

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.

(A Game of Thrones. Eddard X)

 

He dreamt an old dream of a hovel by the sea, three dogs whimpering, a womans tears.

(A Dance with Dragons, Prologue)

Kingmonkey started a thread dealing with this - Cersei's dream as well as other scenes bear similarities. Search for "Puppets of ice and fire." It's a very interesting read.

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Has anyone looked before at a possible parallel in the following two scenario's, both fever dreams?

 

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.

(A Game of Thrones. Eddard X)

 

He dreamt an old dream of a hovel by the sea, three dogs whimpering, a woman’s tears.

(A Dance with Dragons, Prologue)

Let me see do I look at parallels? Hmmmmmm, is curious George Curious?

 

Yeah you can draw a lot on Sixskins and Jon, but remember how treat parallels. Old Lumpies father took an axe and gave two pupies 40 wacks and when he finished and it was through he gave old Loptail 42. Woods Witch, symbolic use of three, child going to live with a Wolf (Warg) old One eye. Yep plenty to be found, in the story of Lump.

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Kingmonkey started a thread dealing with this - Cersei's dream as well as other scenes bear similarities. Search for "Puppets of ice and fire." It's a very interesting read.

Found it! Thank you!

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Hey is there a list of subtle or not so subtle textual hints.

I was just thinking this as I read the part when Ygritte and Jon are looking at the stars and Jon who is old friends with the Ice Dragon, Moon Maid etc. explains to her the names of constellations and hears the wildling names.

 

I especially like when she tells him that the "King´s crown is the cradle." Is there like a compiled list of similar kinds of textual hints?

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Hey is there a list of subtle or not so subtle textual hints.

I was just thinking this as I read the part when Ygritte and Jon are looking at the stars and Jon who is old friends with the Ice Dragon, Moon Maid etc. explains to her the names of constellations and hears the wildling names.

 

I especially like when she tells him that the "King´s crown is the cradle." Is there like a compiled list of similar kinds of textual hints?

I believe that sj4iy put together a comprehensive list of any quote that might be a clue in favor of RLJ -- there is a link in her sig to the list. I hope that helps. She has not been on-line for a while, but if you find a post of hers in any past thread, you should be able to access the link from her sig there.

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I'd like to know how many people noticed this on their first read, or their second, or on their own in general. Because I surely didn't. I didn't question that Ned is the father.


Sort of on the first read. I was interested in how Neds sister came to be a part of men's rebellion, and it led me down this rabbit hole.

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Hey is there a list of subtle or not so subtle textual hints.

 

Yes, ...

 

I believe that sj4iy put together a comprehensive list of any quote that might be a clue in favor of RLJ -- there is a link in her sig to the list. I hope that helps.

 

It has also been part of the OP for seemingly forever:

 

There is a list of R+L=J hints, clues and foreshadowing compiled by sj4iy.

Is there a list of all R+L=J clues that have been found?

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Hey there R+L'ers

 

If you've got the time, I have a rather lengthy piece I just posted to the board. Here's the link, I'm curious to see what your take might be on it. Maybe it works with some of your theories, maybe not.

 

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/135074-the-mad-king-commanded-rhaegar-to-kidnap-lyanna-alternative-theory/

 

Thanks!

 

 

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R+L=J certainly seems to be the most likely theory, but there are some threads loose that I think would be interesting to tie up.

 

For instance:

 

1) Why did Rhaegar choose to hide Lyanna in some isolated part of Dorne of all places? Wouldn't it have been more logical to hide her somewhere else like the Reach where there's better access to basic supplies (food, medical expertise, etc.) and no conflicting loyalties such as the Dornish might have had about Rhaegar eloping with Lyanna?

 

2) How did Ned and his companions know that Lyanna could be found at the Tower of Joy and how were they able to locate it? Were they tipped off?

 

3) If Lyanna's presence at the Tower of Joy was meant to be a secret then why guard her with three conspicuous and well-known Kingsguard who could certainly have been put to better use on a battlefield - say, by fighting alongside and protecting Rhaegar? What exactly was the contingency that Rhaegar was hoping to be protected against that specifically called for some of the best talent on the Targaryen side to be left behind for guard duty? 

 

N.B. Please be a bit more imaginative than simply saying 'to protect the heir'. That much is obvious.

 

What I really want to know is 'from what'? There are just three of them there. What were they supposed to have done if Ned or Robert had turned up with a battalion?

 

The likelihood was always that the Tower of Joy would not be reached by the Rebels until after the outcome of the war had been decided and by that stage the Kingsguard presence at the Tower would be futile anyway. So why not take Dayne and the others to the Battle at the Trident where they might have actually been able to make a difference?

 

4) Who were the 'they' that 'found' Ned at the Tower of Joy apart from Howland Reed? If as I suggested back in 2) that Ned had been tipped off as to Lyanna's location, could his informant have followed the group there? 

 

5) Where are the bodies?! (Kind of a joke question, but in all seriousness why are there indications that the bodies of the deceased weren't all returned to their families?)

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R+L=J certainly seems to be the most likely theory, but there are some threads loose that I think would be interesting to tie up.
 
For instance:
 
1) Why did Rhaegar choose to hide Lyanna in some isolated part of Dorne of all places? Wouldn't it have been more logical to hide her somewhere else like the Reach where there's better access to basic supplies (food, medical expertise, etc.) and no conflicting loyalties such as the Dornish might have had about Rhaegar eloping with Lyanna?

 
1.1 Its isolated. Thats the point.
1.1.1 Its also near an area (we think) that Rhaegar knows fairly well from many trips, Summerhall.
1.1.2 Its also relatively near the one House likely to hold allegiance to Rhaegar ahead of Aerys, House Dayne. House Dayne is quite likely  responsible for their secret supply (this is entirely speculative, but you should be able to understand where that speculation comes from).
1.2 Who says there's better access to supplies? Do you know what their supply arrangements were? Where ever they are, getting supplies is going to require contact with outsiders. And there you are dealing with the loyalties problem again. Take the Reach - they'd be loyal to Aerys first, not Rhaegar. And Rhaegar is inevitably hiding Lyanna from Aerys as much as from the Starks and Baratheons. So given their are loyalty issues more or less everywhere, isolation is the critical factor. And you need to be isolated in a way that you don't get any general contact with outsiders, but supplies can be passed to you without being noticeable. An long isolated pass area is ideal for this because people of either side of the pass don't see the picture on the other side - you can enter the pass with lots of supplies and leave with not much, and no one's the wiser because no one really knows the situation on the far side. A more populous area however is far more likely to attract notice off supplies etc being delivered, or being present at A but absent at B and nowhere between to sell them sort of thing...
 
In summary, the idea that Dorne was less safe than the Reach has little or no foundation. No where is safe because virtually everyone has alternate loyalties or potential for gains by betraying them.
 

2) How did Ned and his companions know that Lyanna could be found at the Tower of Joy and how were they able to locate it? Were they tipped off?

 
We assume they must have been. Its extraordinarily improbable that the just happened to ride up to the right isolated tower when they literally have a whole continent to search.
Theories (we have no hard data) for the tipper generally centre around Ashara Dayne, or perhaps Rhaegar having told something to the companion that was one of Brandon's companions and imprisoned in KL through the whole war after he returned to KL.
 

3) If Lyanna's presence at the Tower of Joy was meant to be a secret then why guard her with three conspicuous and well-known Kingsguard who could certainly have been put to better use on a battlefield - say, by fighting alongside and protecting Rhaegar? What exactly was the contingency that Rhaegar was hoping to be protected against that specifically called for some of the best talent on the Targaryen side to be left behind for guard duty? 
 
N.B. Please be a bit more imaginative than simply saying 'to protect the heir'. That much is obvious.


They are not conspicious if they are isolated.

She needs a small guard to remain un-noticable. It must be very effective, good enough to turn away/defeat casual brigands, wild animals, or very small parties (it nearly defeated Ned's 7, elite veterans).

Would they be 'put to better use' on a battlefield? Rhaegar had Darry, Selmy (as good as anyone) and Martell (needed for the Dornish contingent) already, would 3 more really have made a difference? Maybe, but thats a guess and a guess using hindsight to boot.

 

Anyway, I think its really more of a 'this is the option I have left' sort of thing more than a deliberate choice. Dayne and Whent were with him anyway, and Hightower found him (how? same source as Ned later?) with orders to go back to KL and take command. If Rahegar returns and any of these three go with him they are honour bound to tell Aerys anything he asks (like what were you doing, where's Lyanna, het her back to me for use as a hostage). I think Rhaegar protects his position and their honour by keeping them away from Aerys - -thats fine in itself because Dayne and Whent were already attached to him and Hightowers orders were to get Rhaegar to return, which he's doing, and Aerys still has 4 KG covering him so the KG are merely operating detached, not abandoning the king.
 

What I really want to know is 'from what'? There are just three of them there. What were they supposed to have done if Ned or Robert had turned up with a battalion?
 
The likelihood was always that the Tower of Joy would not be reached by the Rebels until after the outcome of the war had been decided and by that stage the Kingsguard presence at the Tower would be futile anyway. So why not take Dayne and the others to the Battle at the Trident where they might have actually been able to make a difference?

 

Well, first they weren't expecting to lose against the rebels. They had a bigger army, they had excellent leaders, they thought they had enough already.

 

Then they are hoping Ned or Robert can't find them to turn up with a Bn. Its the best chance they have, and Aerys/Varys hasn't cracked their secrecy  for over a year, there's a fair chance it will hold a little longer from Ned and Robert, who's sources must be weaker than Aerys'.

Probably they are waiting for Lyanna to recover (or die) enough to travel, and then they will follow a fAegon-type plan - secret exile until he grows up enough to return. But when Ned shows up, its too late already... (speculation again, we have no real clues here)
 

4) Who were the 'they' that 'found' Ned at the Tower of Joy apart from Howland Reed? If as I suggested back in 2) that Ned had been tipped off as to Lyanna's location, could his informant have followed the group there?

 
Unlikely, though not impossible. Almost certainly Wylla was at ToJ. A wet nurse would need to be found before the birth - the baby needs to feed from day 1, not day 10, and Ned would need some way to get Jon from ToJ to Starfall too. Note that this also fits in with the Starfall belief that Wylla is Jon's mum - Ned turned up with her in tow nursing the baby, they just assume she was the mother (at least those not in the know do).

In general, its probable that there was a small staff, probably selected for loyalty and discretion by Arthur Dayne or his relatives, at ToJ. Its pretty hard to see the 3KG doing the cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, midwifing etc etc for Rhaegar, Lyanna and themselves for months on end.
 

5) Where are the bodies?! (Kind of a joke question, but in all seriousness why are there indications that the bodies of the deceased weren't all returned to their families?)

 

In the cairns.

 

First, its very helpful to Ned that the world doesn't know what happened at ToJ. As soon as anyone knows all three missing KG were together in one place at the end, one has to wonder what was so important? And the wondering leads to thinking and possibilities and the thinking of possibilities leads to suspicions about Ned's new bastard, and Lyanna, and Rhaegar, and.... oh! But if the 3KG are not connected then all anyone knows is that they were on detached duty somewhere, two of them were never heard of again, and Dayne ran into Ned somewhere and Ned and his men killed him (because how else could they be returning Dawn to the Daynes?)

Second, its not required or all that common to home the bones of all the men who dies in war. Not even all the noblemen. Its just not practical. Lady Dustin is mad at the Starks for other things, and that has bled over into her thoughts about the return of her husband's bones.
Its even less practical when Ned prefers as little known as possible about what actually did transpire.

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R+L=J certainly seems to be the most likely theory, but there are some threads loose that I think would be interesting to tie up.

 

For instance:

 

1) Why did Rhaegar choose to hide Lyanna in some isolated part of Dorne of all places? Wouldn't it have been more logical to hide her somewhere else like the Reach where there's better access to basic supplies (food, medical expertise, etc.) and no conflicting loyalties such as the Dornish might have had about Rhaegar eloping with Lyanna?

 

2) How did Ned and his companions know that Lyanna could be found at the Tower of Joy and how were they able to locate it? Were they tipped off?

 

3) If Lyanna's presence at the Tower of Joy was meant to be a secret then why guard her with three conspicuous and well-known Kingsguard who could certainly have been put to better use on a battlefield - say, by fighting alongside and protecting Rhaegar? What exactly was the contingency that Rhaegar was hoping to be protected against that specifically called for some of the best talent on the Targaryen side to be left behind for guard duty? 

 

N.B. Please be a bit more imaginative than simply saying 'to protect the heir'. That much is obvious.

 

What I really want to know is 'from what'? There are just three of them there. What were they supposed to have done if Ned or Robert had turned up with a battalion?

 

The likelihood was always that the Tower of Joy would not be reached by the Rebels until after the outcome of the war had been decided and by that stage the Kingsguard presence at the Tower would be futile anyway. So why not take Dayne and the others to the Battle at the Trident where they might have actually been able to make a difference?

 

4) Who were the 'they' that 'found' Ned at the Tower of Joy apart from Howland Reed? If as I suggested back in 2) that Ned had been tipped off as to Lyanna's location, could his informant have followed the group there? 

 

5) Where are the bodies?! (Kind of a joke question, but in all seriousness why are there indications that the bodies of the deceased weren't all returned to their families?)

 

1) Possibly the Tower of Joy was not a perfect location, but the best place they found to hide. And according a SSM during the Robert Rebellion many battles, sieges and skirmishes happened through the Seven Kindgons, with exception of Dorne, so hiding in Dorne would be a safe choice. And we don't know if Doran or the dornish lords knew that she was in Dorne.

 

2) Good question, unhappily we haven't the answer yet.

 

3) They were protecting his wife and son, the tower of Joy was just a watch tower, so he needed the Kingsguard there to protect Lyanna. The place was exposed to ravers, for example and one more time, they were the best alternative in hands, not the best or ideal one.

 

4) May be there was some servant there, many believe that Wylla was there. Some think was Arthur Dayne, but for all we know, he was slain in the fight.

 

5) Barbrey Dustin never got her husband remains back, so probably the same happened with  the others. Ned and Howland had nine bodies with them, Lyanna, their five companions and three kingsguard. They couldn't go away with nine bodies, so the most practical way was put the bodies in a pyre, burn the flesh  and pick the bones. Did they have the way to burn nine bodies? May be not, so the best way was bury the corpses using the tower's stones. The only body burned was Lyanna's body, because she was Ned' sister and he would have to present her bones to Robert.

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1) Possibly the Tower of Joy was not a perfect location, but the best place they found to hide. And according a SSM during the Robert Rebellion many battles, sieges and skirmishes happened through the Seven Kindgons, with exception of Dorne, so hiding in Dorne would be a safe choice. And we don't know if Doran or the dornish lords knew that she was in Dorne.
 
2) Good question, unhappily we haven't the answer yet.
 
3) They were protecting his wife and son, the tower of Joy was just a watch tower, so he needed the Kingsguard there to protect Lyanna. The place was exposed to ravers, for example and one more time, they were the best alternative in hands, not the best or ideal one.
 
4) May be there was some servant there, many believe that Wylla was there. Some think was Arthur Dayne, but for all we know, he was slain in the fight.
 
5) Barbrey Dustin never got her husband remains back, so probably the same happened with  the others. Ned and Howland had nine bodies with them, Lyanna, their five companions and three kingsguard. They couldn't go away with nine bodies, so the most practical way was put the bodies in a pyre, burn the flesh  and pick the bones. Did they have the way to burn nine bodies? May be not, so the best way was bury the corpses using the tower's stones. The only body burned was Lyanna's body, because she was Ned' sister and he would have to present her bones to Robert.


Hey. If they can burn one body then they can certainly burn other bodies too.
They bury them because they did not want to carry all the bones back.
Only lyanna's is important for ned.

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The questions about lyanna and the KG being at the tower of joy are not the same as the theory of R+L=J.

That they were there, and died there, is a conclusion that is quite easy to arrive at from a fairly light reading of AGoT. I got that much on my first read of the books, and I'd hazard a guess that most forum posters did too.

R+L=J is a separate theory from simply R+L (which is so strongly hinted at it is barely a theory). It is the placement if Jon at the toj that is the part that many don't think of without seeing it on the forums.

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R+L=J is a separate theory from simply R+L (which is so strongly hinted at it is barely a theory). It is the placement if Jon at the toj that is the part that many don't think of without seeing it on the forums.

 

Very good point.  Though interestingly, R+L is only once hinted at so strongly that it might be described as something more than a theory.  It happens in chapter 12 of the first book, when Robert Baratheon says to Ned Stark:

 

"What Aerys did to your brother Brandon was unspeakable. The way your lord father died, that was unspeakable. And Rhaegar... how many times do you think he raped your sister? How many hundreds of times?" His voice had grown so loud that his horse whinnied nervously beneath him. The king jerked the reins hard, quieting the animal, and pointed an angry finger at Ned. "I will kill every Targaryen I can get my hands on, until they are as dead as their dragons, and then I will piss on their graves."

 

Hundreds and hundreds of sexual violations, says King Robert.  Yeah... if that's a hint, I'd call it rather strong.  Even if Rhaegar used his condoms consistently and correctly, Mathematics alone says it's a good bet Lyanna ended up pregnant after all that.  If we assume Robert is right.

 

On the other hand.  If Robert Baratheon never knew what the hell he was talking about... well, evidence for a sexual encounter between Rhaegar and Lyanna turns out to be pretty damn slim.  Which it is anyway, really.  Because Robert's emphatic statement is not evidence, per se.  Though it certainly creates a very strong bias in the reader, moving forward.  (Chapter 12 is rather early in the story, after all...)   ;)

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