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RumHam

R+L=J v.161

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On July 4, 2016 at 2:40 PM, J. Stargaryen said:

I have to make this brief since I have plans. You hit on condoning vs. ordering, re: Robert and the killing of children. Ned doesn't think Robert would order the murder of a child, but he knows he would condone it. Because he did exactly that when the Lannisters murdered Rhaegar's children, the dragonspawn. If Jon is Rhaegar's, this scenario could very well play out again. Even if Ned could persuade Robert to stand down because he doesn't think his friend is capable of such an act, he knows that the Lannisters are.

However, if Jon is Arthur's son there is no motive for the Lannisters to murder him. Further, as we discussed earlier, it would be politically foolish. Which someone like Tywin would realize.

So, would Robert order the murder of Arthur and Lyanna's son? Ned didn't think Robert would order the murder of a child, until he did. But, might Robert condone the murder of Arthur and Lyanna's son? Maybe. But the Lannisters had specific motives for murdering Rhaegar's children. Tywin is ruthless but practical. He's no Ramsay. What would be his motive for ordering the murder of the bastard child of Arthur and Lyanna?

 

On July 4, 2016 at 5:05 PM, J. Stargaryen said:

A couple free moments, so I wanted to address something quickly.

What is there to argue? Those are Ned's thoughts. The very basis of your argument.

I think there is precedent for the Lannisters murdering Rhaegar's children, and Ragin' Robert condoning it. I think it's possible that the combination of Ned and Jon Arryn could have persuaded Robert to spare baby Jon. Possible. For example, keep in mind that Jon Arryn was able to counsel Robert to spare Viserys and Daenerys. However, the Lannisters have murdered Rhaegar's children before, in order to further Tywin's own political agenda. While Robert may be driven more by rage than political considerations, Tywin Lannister is not. Rhaegar's son could become a player in the game of thrones, Arthur's could not.

ETA for clarity: It's possible Jon Arryn and Ned could have convinced Robert to spare (R+L=)Jon, were it not for Tywin Lannister.

I think the text is pretty clear on when the shift happens, because Ned only thinks this after Robert officially gives the order to assassinate Dany and her unborn child. Plus, we know Robert didn't give the order to have Rhaegar's children murdered, so I don't see how it could have anything to do with the Sack of KL.

Condoning :: Ordering : I'm glad they're dead :: Go kill them.

Ned also knows that Robert did not give the order to kill her. He discussed it with his chief counselor. Does Robert want to kill Viserys and Dany? Yes. He hates Targaryens. But he has shown a willingness to listen to counsel on the matter. Robert only ordered the assassinations years later, once he became convinced she posed a threat.

My apologies for the delay. Life impedes play.

I'm going to answer in a block to hopefully avoid getting too repetitive. 

1. Ned’s later thought that he wouldn’t have believed Robert would order the deaths of women and children is belied by Ned’s thought and words in Game, Eddard II.

  • Robert brings up a knife and a good man to wield it.
  • Ned DOES NOT dismiss the thought as mindless rambling. He thinks he isn’t surprised. That this is Robert’s madness. He gets angry and upset. It clearly isn’t a non-serious issue for Ned since he flashes back the scene in the throne room, remembering the stories of the children crying.
  • He actively thinks that he must keep his temper this time, Vs. the time he lost his temper and flew into a cold rage when Robert condoned the murders of the children
  • In short, in Ned's head and memory and emotion and reaction, this mention of killing Dany is in danger of making Ned as  worried and angry as the condoning of the murder of Rhaegar's children.
  •  

B. The line “You are no Tywin Lannister”—it is not a statement that Robert isn’t a threat. It’s a persuasive technique. An argument, trying to get Robert to drop the murder idea. Tyring to get Robert to take the higher ground and NOT kill a kid.

  • If Ned didn’t think Robert was a threat, there’s no point making the argument in the first place. He says it to stop Robert from doing something monstrous because he thinks Robert could do something monstrous.
  • When the "you are not Tywin" line doesn’t work, when Robert just gets angrier, Ned does NOT think Robert isn’t a threat. He thinks he can’t reason with Robert like this. Then drops his high-minded “you aren’t Tywin” attempt and goes with the practical: “you can’t get Dany.”

C. So, the line in Eddard VIII that Ned hadn’t believed Robert would order deaths—how does that fit with all that Martin showed us in Eddard II? Why on earth is Ned so fussed over Robert talking about killing Dany if he really thinks Robert won't do it? Why does he only calm down when Robert gets off of his anger at Rhaegar and moves to a discussion of the practicality of the Dothraki invading Westeros? 

  • I guess one could argue that Ned is conflating things—that since he says “women and children” but always thinks of Dany as a child that he’s conflating the deaths of Elia and her kids with the order. Possible, I guess. But it would be a weird conflation. 
  • But I think it more likely fits with Ned’s selective memory—as we see in other characters. Specifically, Ned keeps surprising himself that he’s thinking of Rhaegar, without remembering that he has already surprised himself by thinking about Rhaegar.
  • Ned clearly gets upset at the thought of Robert and killing Rhaegar’s relatives in Eddard II. He has to work to keep his temper and fights back and has flashbacks to dead babies.
  • But he also loves Robert, even with all their terrible disagreements re: Rhaegar’s relatives. So, “hope for the best but expect the worst:” hope that Robert would never do it, but take precautions just in case.
  • That would then make the Eddard VIII "didn't think he'd order death" line fit with Eddard II. Otherwise, Ned’s thoughts after Dany’s death order conflict with his thoughts and actions in Eddard II.
  • Because in Eddard II, Ned is very clearly worried over what Robert will do and angry at the simple mention of the possibility of sending a man with a knife. Robert doesn't even have a real plan. He's just spitballing. But Ned has to work to keep his temper.
  • Ned ONLY calms down when Robert backs off and starts talking the politics of the Dothraki. Once they are on basic politics, Ned is NOT worried. Gets confident. It is the "ragin' Robert" that Ned actually fears.
  • No reason to have to determine to keep his temper and call Robert's hatred a madness UNLESS he thinks Robert's talk if a real problem. 

D. Condone vs. command—on an SAT exam, they are very different.

But if we go by Ned’s actions and thoughts, they seem REALLY similar in his head. In both the case of Robert's condoning of the murder of Rhaegar's kids and the case of Robert's ordering Dany's murder, Ned  he takes off in a cold rage, their friendship shredded. If anything, Ned gets over the “command” much more easily—it doesn’t take the death of a mutual loved one to reconcile them. 

For Ned, there seems to be very little difference. And, given his thoughts and memories and words in Eddard II, Ned is clearly worried that Robert will follow through and send a good man with a knife after Dany. No reason to argue with him otherwise. 

 

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On July 4, 2016 at 2:49 PM, Lord Varys said:

 

On July 4, 2016 at 2:49 PM, Lord Varys said:

The fact that Robert and Lyanna were only betrothed when the whole Rhaegar thing happened is also a strong hint that Robert wouldn't have had any right to be as wroth as he had a right to be when his wife treated him in such a fashion as Cersei treated him. There are quantitative and qualitative differences.

The quote boxes are not my friend--sorry for the mess.

Whether or not Robert had a right to be as angry, he still would have done so. His idealization of Lyanna is REALLY intense. He's still so hurt over losing her that he claims to kill Rhaegar in his dreams repeatedly. He wants to not just kill EVERY one of Rhaegar's relatives, but he also wants to piss on their graves. 

If that ideal, flawless creature failed to be all he wanted, if she insulted his pride by falling in love with the man who "stole" her from Robert. . .  that angry would likely be amazing. A HUGE blow to his pride and his love.

On July 4, 2016 at 2:49 PM, Lord Varys said:

In fact, honor-wise the Starks were actually the party wronged by Rhaegar the most, not Robert - because he abducted their minor daughter and (forcefully?) married her. If Lyanna acted of her own accord then Robert was the wronged party not so much by Rhaegar but by Lyanna and House Stark, and he should have demanded recompense for the broken marriage contract from them, not Rhaegar. And perhaps we did. We'll have to see how the details play out. If Robert suspected that Lyanna was in love with Rhaegar he may have originally wondered/asked whether Rickard actually allowed Lyanna to be 'abducted'. If not, then he never believed something like that, presumably.

Perhaps Robert should have done the above. But given what we've seen of how he thinks, let alone what Ned thinks about him, seems more likely that Robert would rage both at the family of his lost beloved AND at the man and family who stole her from him.

On July 4, 2016 at 2:49 PM, Lord Varys said:

By the way:

Is Ned's hatred for Aerys all that hefty? I don't remember any passage where he actually states something like that. Which is odd. Oh, and I just thought that Ned would have wanted to kill Aerys had they ever been alone together. I'm in total agreement that Ned most likely would have wanted to do it properly. But I don't think they would have done it in a trial. A king cannot be tried because that would set a precedent to limit his power. They most likely would have just slain him.

A fair point. 

And I agree re: the trial. Ned likely would insist on hearing last words and such things, but a full trial hardly seems sure. Just a beheading, which Ned would likely insist on doing himself if Robert wanted to use a headsman.

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9 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Whether or not Robert had a right to be as angry, he still would have done so. His idealization of Lyanna is REALLY intense. He's still so hurt over losing her that he claims to kill Rhaegar in his dreams repeatedly. He wants to not just kill EVERY one of Rhaegar's relatives, but he also wants to piss on their graves. 

Yeah, but again: How much has Robert's later hatred to do with young Robert_283? Why does want to kill all the Targaryens and piss on their graves?

Isn't it more likely that this hatred only festered and grew because the war was for nothing in the end and Lyanna died?

That is another interesting open question:

What did Robert know/think about Lyanna's death? How does he think she died and who does he blame for that?

We know Ned and Robert grieved together after Lyanna's death so they must have talked about this whole thing. And Robert must have been interested how his beloved betrothed died.

In that sense it is actually possible that Ned inadvertently or deliberately fueled/nurtured/created Robert's lasting hatred of Rhaegar. Say, if he reinforced/confirmed Robert's view of Lyanna as Rhaegar's helpless sex slave who got abducted by him against her will and was subsequently raped all day long and imprisoned in that tower in the middle of nowhere.

It might even be worse if Ned disclosed to Robert that Lyanna died in childbirth, giving birth to 'stillborn dragonspawn'. I think sticking as close to the truth as he possible could would have been the best idea there. Especially if Lyanna's pregnancy was a known fact in KL and/or the marriage as I believe it was. If that was the case then establishing the fact that the child was stillborn was much better than to dance around that idea, allowing people to develop the notion that there was more to the whole thing than met the eye - say, that it would make sense to assume that Lyanna died in childbirth, and if that was the case that she could then also have delivered a living child rather than a dead one.

But if Ned did that then he also would have hammered home the fact that Rhaegar did kill Lyanna. By impregnating her.

That I think is a scenario that would resonate more with Robert's later hatred and madness, especially in combination once he was stuck with Cersei and lived a miserable life.

I mean, you see how difficult it is for Robert to live with Cersei. And his shame after he has actually hit Cersei suggests that even at that time he wasn't comfortable with himself. Just as he earlier on complained about not wanting to use poison to kill Dany.

In that sense I think the idea that he would have truly commanded the murder of women and children back at the end of the war is actually out of question. I'm actually more inclined that it was his stupid generous nature that led to him pardoning Jaime and Tywn (and all of Aerys' people) rather than that he was glad about what they did. He was glad about Aerys' death, but most likely not about the death of the children or Elia's.

Sure, he also didn't care all that much about them, that's true. But I can't see Robert ordering something like that or standing aside and let others do it under his watch. What Tywin did was during the war. If the children and Elia had been captured they would have been prisoners of war. Any slimy goon offering Robert to solve this problem for him most likely would gotten a beating himself because public opinion would still have (quite correctly) blamed Robert for what happened (hello there, Henry IV, Edward IV, and Richard III).

That certainly doesn't mean Rhaegar's son by Lyanna would have been safe, of course.

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42 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In that sense I think the idea that he would have truly commanded the murder of women and children back at the end of the war is actually out of question. I'm actually more inclined that it was his stupid generous nature that led to him pardoning Jaime and Tywn (and all of Aerys' people) rather than that he was glad about what they did. He was glad about Aerys' death, but most likely not about the death of the children or Elia's.

Sure, he also didn't care all that much about them, that's true. But I can't see Robert ordering something like that or standing aside and let others do it under his watch. What Tywin did was during the war. If the children and Elia had been captured they would have been prisoners of war. Any slimy goon offering Robert to solve this problem for him most likely would gotten a beating himself because public opinion would still have (quite correctly) blamed Robert for what happened (hello there, Henry IV, Edward IV, and Richard III).

That certainly doesn't mean Rhaegar's son by Lyanna would have been safe, of course.

I seem to recall Tywin agreed, and felt that Robert needed Rhaegar's kids dead but fancied himself a hero and thus wouldn't have done it himself. Though aren't we told that Jon Arryn had to talk him out of sending people to kill Viserys and Dany? I'd assumed this was right after the war, and that he then let them be until he got word of her marriage and pregnancy. 

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44 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, but again: How much has Robert's later hatred to do with young Robert_283? Why does want to kill all the Targaryens and piss on their graves?

Isn't it more likely that this hatred only festered and grew because the war was for nothing in the end and Lyanna died?

That is another interesting open question:

What did Robert know/think about Lyanna's death? How does he think she died and who does he blame for that?

We know Ned and Robert grieved together after Lyanna's death so they must have talked about this whole thing. And Robert must have been interested how his beloved betrothed died.

In that sense it is actually possible that Ned inadvertently or deliberately fueled/nurtured/created Robert's lasting hatred of Rhaegar. Say, if he reinforced/confirmed Robert's view of Lyanna as Rhaegar's helpless sex slave who got abducted by him against her will and was subsequently raped all day long and imprisoned in that tower in the middle of nowhere.

It might even be worse if Ned disclosed to Robert that Lyanna died in childbirth, giving birth to 'stillborn dragonspawn'. I think sticking as close to the truth as he possible could would have been the best idea there. Especially if Lyanna's pregnancy was a known fact in KL and/or the marriage as I believe it was. If that was the case then establishing the fact that the child was stillborn was much better than to dance around that idea, allowing people to develop the notion that there was more to the whole thing than met the eye - say, that it would make sense to assume that Lyanna died in childbirth, and if that was the case that she could then also have delivered a living child rather than a dead one.

But if Ned did that then he also would have hammered home the fact that Rhaegar did kill Lyanna. By impregnating her.

That I think is a scenario that would resonate more with Robert's later hatred and madness, especially in combination once he was stuck with Cersei and lived a miserable life.

I mean, you see how difficult it is for Robert to live with Cersei. And his shame after he has actually hit Cersei suggests that even at that time he wasn't comfortable with himself. Just as he earlier on complained about not wanting to use poison to kill Dany.

In that sense I think the idea that he would have truly commanded the murder of women and children back at the end of the war is actually out of question. I'm actually more inclined that it was his stupid generous nature that led to him pardoning Jaime and Tywn (and all of Aerys' people) rather than that he was glad about what they did. He was glad about Aerys' death, but most likely not about the death of the children or Elia's.

Sure, he also didn't care all that much about them, that's true. But I can't see Robert ordering something like that or standing aside and let others do it under his watch. What Tywin did was during the war. If the children and Elia had been captured they would have been prisoners of war. Any slimy goon offering Robert to solve this problem for him most likely would gotten a beating himself because public opinion would still have (quite correctly) blamed Robert for what happened (hello there, Henry IV, Edward IV, and Richard III).

That certainly doesn't mean Rhaegar's son by Lyanna would have been safe, of course.

 We have Ned's account of Robert's reaction to being presented with the bodies of Rhaegar's wife and children. Ned was shocked and really deeply angered by Robert's reaction and his words -'I see no babes only Dragonspawn'. Some of that may have been bluster on Robert's part, but it was only the subsequent shared grief over Lyanna that saved his friendship with Ned. Note, that Robert was presented with those bodies before anyone knew of Lyanna's fate (she was actually still alive at that point).

What Robert would have actually done if presented with live Dragonspawn is another issue, of course, but that's not what happened. Ned remains haunted by that scene (he refers to it several times in his thoughts) and I think it factored into his secrecy over Jon Snow. I imagine that Ned hoped Robert's feelings would dissipate with time and he seems dismayed to discover that time has only fuelled them.

I think Ned would have given Robert as little detail as possible about Lyanna's death with the rest being filled in by Robert's fevered imagination (Robert would have made a good poster on Westeros.Org). Giving away as little as possible really seems to be Ned's style and I highly doubt that he would have risked suggesting a death in childbirth for Lyanna.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RumHam said:

I seem to recall Tywin agreed, and felt that Robert needed Rhaegar's kids dead but fancied himself a hero and thus wouldn't have done it himself. Though aren't we told that Jon Arryn had to talk him out of sending people to kill Viserys and Dany? I'd assumed this was right after the war, and that he then let them be until he got word of her marriage and pregnancy. 

That is Tywin's rationale. And that man has a history of killing innocent women and children of rival houses (that is, the Tarbeck and Reyne women and children along with their entire household in the case of the Reynes).

By comparison, Aegon II didn't kill Aegon the Younger, Aerys I did not kill Daemon the Younger (and Bittersteel), and in all those cases where the succession was unclear but resolved without fighting the victor did not destroy his rival (e.g. neither Laenor Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys nor Rhaena's daughters or little Prince Maegor were treated the way Aenys Blackfyre and Rhaegar's children were).

We don't know how much time passed between the Sack and Stannis capture of Dragonstone but I very much doubt the plan had been to also murder Rhaella, Viserys, and the unborn child. That would have been too much.

Jon Arryn would only have convinced Robert not to take any further steps some time thereafter, perhaps only after Ser Willem Darry had died because the Targaryens seem to have been the guests of the Sealord and I very much doubt the Iron Throne was very keen to provoke the wrath of Braavos.

34 minutes ago, Wall Flower said:

 We have Ned's account of Robert's reaction to being presented with the bodies of Rhaegar's wife and children. Ned was shocked and really deeply angered by Robert's reaction and his words -'I see no babes only Dragonspawn'. Some of that may have been bluster on Robert's part, but it was only the subsequent shared grief over Lyanna that saved his friendship with Ned. Note, that Robert was presented with those bodies before anyone knew of Lyanna's fate (she was actually still alive at that point).

That is, of course, correct. But we don't know what triggered Ned's disgust at that point. Most likely the whole situation. That innocent children who had been members of the royal family had been murdered with impunity and that the man who had killed his king was also getting away with his crime. That was not his world.

In addition he might already have known/suspected that Lyanna was pregnant and may already have feared for her in light of all that. But then, we don't know have a detailed picture. We just don't know. Killing innocent women and children is pretty bad in itself without connecting the whole thing to Lyanna at this point.

34 minutes ago, Wall Flower said:

What Robert would have actually done if presented with live Dragonspawn is another issue, of course, but that's not what happened. Ned remains haunted by that scene (he refers to it several times in his thoughts) and I think it factored into his secrecy over Jon Snow. I imagine that Ned hoped Robert's feelings would dissipate with time and he seems dismayed to discover that time has only fuelled them.

Ned clearly is still haunted by the murder of those children (as is Jaime, although that gets only evident later on) but whether this was also so important for Ned before he became the father of 'Jon Snow' and effectively raised a child which could easily have suffered the same fate as Aegon and Rhaenys is not clear at all.

In the end it is Ned's personal investment and connection to the murder of the Targaryen children that leads him to defend Daenerys against all political reason and also causes him to want to save Cersei and her children. Unless Varys lied when he visited Ned in the dungeon (and I don't think he did) nobody suspected Ned to tell/warn Cersei that he had figured out what was going on. That actually could be a hint that even Varys does not suspect who Jon Snow actually is because if he did he could have correctly guessed that Ned had quite a few unresolved guilt issues.

34 minutes ago, Wall Flower said:

I think Ned would have given Robert as little detail as possible about Lyanna's death with the rest being filled in by Robert's fevered imagination (Robert would have made a good poster on Westeros.Org). Giving away as little as possible really seems to be Ned's style and I highly doubt that he would have risked suggesting a death in childbirth for Lyanna.

We know that Ned talked to Robert about his bastard at least once and also mentioned the Wylla woman as Jon's mother. That suggests to me he had a plan and a sort of cover story in place he could activate once should things get tense. Say, Robert commanding Ned to introduce him to the mother of his bastard because he suspected that the boy was truly Lyanna's son.

Not behaving as if there was something odd/strange about Lyanna's death would have been a crucial part of that strategy. If Robert was so obsessed over Lyanna as his later life suggests then it is very odd to assume he would not have wanted to know what had transpired at the tower. Ned would certainly have been able to silently confirm Robert's preconceptions but he must have told him something, especially about the manner of her death and their last conversation (although he would have had to lie about that).

That is even more so the case because it is also quite clear that it was public knowledge that the three Kingsguard were at the tower, too. Ned would have to explain their presence, too. He could have gone with them being Lyanna's gaolers, one assumes. The idea that Ned could keep his encounter with the Kingsguard separate from the place where he found Lyanna makes no sense at all.

And he would have to talk about the knights and their deaths, too. They were very famous people and Barristan Selmy would have wanted to know how they died so that he could write their story into the White Book. And we already know that Ned went to Starfall to return Arthur's sword so he presumably was willing to talk about the death of Arthur with his family (granted, they would have talked about other things as well, involving Jon Snow and all but still). And Gerold Hightower was the scion of a very prominent family. If Lord Leyton inquired about the death of his uncle then Eddard Stark could not easily refuse to talk about that. Not unless he wanted to make people suspicious and angry. And he would have definitely have been forced to tell Robert a story because he could not name new Kingsguard before he knew what happened to the old ones, not to mention that he would have wanted confirmation that they are all definitely dead - he could have had no interest suddenly seeing Arthur Dayne or Gerold Hightower at the side of King Viserys III.

Then there are the five companions that died, some of which would have fought at Robert's side during the war. He would also have wanted to know how they died.

And so on.

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LV, 

Here's the quote on Robert's "madness" although I know you know it.

Quote

"Daenerys Targaryen has wed some Dothraki horselord. What of it? Shall we send her a wedding gift?

The king frowned. "A knife, perhaps. A good sharp one, and a bold man to wield it."

Ned did not feign surprise; Robert's hatred of the Targaryens was a madness in him. He remembered the angry words they had exchanged when Tywin Lannister had presented Robert with the corpses of Rhaegar's wife and children as a token of fealty. Ned had named that murder; Robert called it war. When he had protested that the young prince and princess were no more than babes, his new made king had replied, "I see no babes. Only dragonspawn." Not even Jon Arryn had been able to calm that storm. Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south. It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing. (AGoT 93-94) bold emphasis added.

Please note that the use of the word "madness" is Ned's; not something I invented. Is it your idea that the first sentence has nothing to do with the rest of the paragraph? As I read it, clearly Ned dates Robert's madness at least to his reaction to Elia and her children's murders, if not previous to that.

I think when we learn that Robert dreams of killing Rhaegar every night it means that the obsession dates back to the battle of the Trident if not before. When we hear him claim Lyanna as his we have reason to think it has roots in at least the time of the "kidnapping." When we read accounts of Robert's suppressed anger at Harrenhal it points to possibly the tourney as the origins of his wounded pride. I just don't get the idea to dismiss these clues and make up a late origin for his "madness."

 

 

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5 hours ago, SFDanny said:

LV, 

Here's the quote on Robert's "madness" although I know you know it.

Please note that the use of the word "madness" is Ned's; not something I invented. Is it your idea that the first sentence has nothing to do with the rest of the paragraph? As I read it, clearly Ned dates Robert's madness at least to his reaction to Elia and her children's murders, if not previous to that.

There is certainly a connection there. My guess would be that this whole thing opened Ned's eyes that such a 'madness' as he calls it actually existed. Prior to that there is no hint that he had been aware of that.

But again - even then Robert did not command the murder of children in advance. He just chose not to punish the Lannisters for it. My point is that Ned cannot have known that Robert's hatred of the Targaryens would linger as long as it did fourteen years before the fact.

There are no sources indicating that Robert talked about killing the Targaryens all the time during the war prior to the Trident when hanging out with Ned.

They were walking a ugly line with not punishing Jaime and Tywin but actually Robert murdering the Queen Dowager, Viserys, and Dany in a similar fashion would have been impossible for Robert. 

And by the way: I think the madness quote has to be read differently now. It should actually read something like 'Robert's hatred of Rhaegar' or 'Robert's hatred of his Targaryen cousins' because as it turned out in AFfC (which wasn't the case in AGoT and ACoK) Robert himself is as much a Targaryen as Harrold Hardyng is an Arryn. And Eddard Stark would have known that, of course.

If Robert truly hatred all the Targaryens then he would have to hate and despise himself as 'dragonspawn'. He has nearly as much a dragonspawn as Aegon and Rhaenys.

5 hours ago, SFDanny said:

I think when we learn that Robert dreams of killing Rhaegar every night it means that the obsession dates back to the battle of the Trident if not before. When we hear him claim Lyanna as his we have reason to think it has roots in at least the time of the "kidnapping." When we read accounts of Robert's suppressed anger at Harrenhal it points to possibly the tourney as the origins of his wounded pride. I just don't get the idea to dismiss these clues and make up a late origin for his "madness."

Robert may have begun to resent Rhaegar at the time of Harrenhal. But the way Yandel phrases it nobody (including Ned) might have been aware of that at that point. One guesses that Robert might not have been willing to disclose his resentment for the Lyanna situation to Ned at this point because it could also have cast a bad light on Lyanna or could have insulted Ned. But even if Robert (and perhaps even Ned) had been openly angry at Rhaegar as early as Harrenhal then this is scarcely the right time for Ned to diagnose this madness in Robert.

In the end I think his hatred could only linger and fester because he did not get Lyanna back. And that was not yet clear when he killed Rhaegar in battle or decided not to punish the Lannisters for the murders. If all had gone well (as Robert wanted it to go) then there wouldn't have been a Targaryen hatred nor would Robert have dreams in which he killed Rhaegar every night. There would have been no reason for any of that. 

The point of contention is not when exactly Robert's hatred began but when people around him (including Ned) realized he would never get over that. That can, per definition, only have happened at a point when it became evident that the death of Rhaegar and the other Targaryens didn't change anything.

This kind of continuing resentment is very uncharacteristic for Robert so I don't think the people around him took his wrath very seriously in the beginning. I mean, that guy honestly joked with Balon Greyjoy after he had defeated him in battle.

And we have also to keep in mind that the continuation of the Targaryen dynasty in exile was an open wound in Robert's side after he had taken the throne. They were not only a constant reminder that he was a usurper but also a very real threat to his reign and the survival of his dynasty. I think his hatred was not only fed by his memory of the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing but also by a very real fear that he had to face the Targaryens at one point in the future - and that he had no intention of revisiting his old wounds in the process of such a new war.

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On July 7, 2016 at 4:30 AM, Lord Varys said:

There is certainly a connection there. My guess would be that this whole thing opened Ned's eyes that such a 'madness' as he calls it actually existed. Prior to that there is no hint that he had been aware of that.

But again - even then Robert did not command the murder of children in advance. He just chose not to punish the Lannisters for it. My point is that Ned cannot have known that Robert's hatred of the Targaryens would linger as long as it did fourteen years before the fact.

There are no sources indicating that Robert talked about killing the Targaryens all the time during the war prior to the Trident when hanging out with Ned.

They were walking a ugly line with not punishing Jaime and Tywin but actually Robert murdering the Queen Dowager, Viserys, and Dany in a similar fashion would have been impossible for Robert. 

And by the way: I think the madness quote has to be read differently now. It should actually read something like 'Robert's hatred of Rhaegar' or 'Robert's hatred of his Targaryen cousins' because as it turned out in AFfC (which wasn't the case in AGoT and ACoK) Robert himself is as much a Targaryen as Harrold Hardyng is an Arryn. And Eddard Stark would have known that, of course.

If Robert truly hatred all the Targaryens then he would have to hate and despise himself as 'dragonspawn'. He has nearly as much a dragonspawn as Aegon and Rhaenys.

Robert may have begun to resent Rhaegar at the time of Harrenhal. But the way Yandel phrases it nobody (including Ned) might have been aware of that at that point. One guesses that Robert might not have been willing to disclose his resentment for the Lyanna situation to Ned at this point because it could also have cast a bad light on Lyanna or could have insulted Ned. But even if Robert (and perhaps even Ned) had been openly angry at Rhaegar as early as Harrenhal then this is scarcely the right time for Ned to diagnose this madness in Robert.

In the end I think his hatred could only linger and fester because he did not get Lyanna back. And that was not yet clear when he killed Rhaegar in battle or decided not to punish the Lannisters for the murders. If all had gone well (as Robert wanted it to go) then there wouldn't have been a Targaryen hatred nor would Robert have dreams in which he killed Rhaegar every night. There would have been no reason for any of that. 

The point of contention is not when exactly Robert's hatred began but when people around him (including Ned) realized he would never get over that. That can, per definition, only have happened at a point when it became evident that the death of Rhaegar and the other Targaryens didn't change anything.

This kind of continuing resentment is very uncharacteristic for Robert so I don't think the people around him took his wrath very seriously in the beginning. I mean, that guy honestly joked with Balon Greyjoy after he had defeated him in battle.

And we have also to keep in mind that the continuation of the Targaryen dynasty in exile was an open wound in Robert's side after he had taken the throne. They were not only a constant reminder that he was a usurper but also a very real threat to his reign and the survival of his dynasty. I think his hatred was not only fed by his memory of the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing but also by a very real fear that he had to face the Targaryens at one point in the future - and that he had no intention of revisiting his old wounds in the process of such a new war.

LV, I think part of the problem here is you're trying to make Robert's hatred logical. It's not logical to hate all Targaryens and want to kill them when one is a Targaryen himself. It's not logical to want children dead for "crimes" their relative committed. No doubt Ned had argued with Robert about how this all just didn't make sense, and tried to get his friend to come to reason. That is, however, the nature of obsession and madness. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone other than the person who has gone mad.

It is important to note that Ned is not surprised by his friend's madness and thinks back to the example of it that almost ended their relationship forever. It tells us that Robert wanting to assassinate a thirteen year old girl fits into Ned's understanding of Robert's mad obsession with killing Targaryens. It fits with the madness Ned witnessed as Robert accepted Tywin's "tribute."

What does this tell us? It tells us this obsession, not surprisingly, dates back to at least Robert's coronation, but likely much before. It is not a new condition Ned is witnessing for the first time in Year 298. It tells us - and this is vitally important to our story - that Ned knew of Robert's madness before he leaves King's Landing and before he finds his dying sister, and before he gives her his promise that allows her to loose her fear of what Ned might do. Otherwise there is no understanding of why Lyanna fears her brother's choice. It is, obviously, a promise that she fears he might not make, and that means something that calls upon Ned choosing between his loyalty to his sister and his loyalty to something or someone else. Robert's history of madness, and Ned's mantra of "To begin with, I don't kill children ..." sheds light on what this likely is all about. The protection of Lyanna's child with Rhaegar from Robert.

It also explains Ned's view towards the Kingsguard. The reason Ned remembers these men so vividly is not just that he thinks they died doing their duty. It is because when he finds Lyanna he discovers they all feared that he would turn Rhaegar's child over to Robert. And, perhaps, his sister as well - although I think she and they all knew she was dying by that time. Ned finds they all, including his sister, feared Ned would allow the murder of children, just as Robert had done at King's Landing. It is that misunderstanding of his motives and the deaths it caused which explains the guilt he feels in his reoccurring dreams fifteen years after the fact.

Ned's understanding of Robert's madness also explains why Ned can never tell his friend about Jon. It is why he develops his cover story about Wylla, and it is likely at least one reason he goes to Starfall after the events at the tower - to cover his tracks from Robert and others. Ned knows when it comes to Jon he can never trust Robert's reaction to the truth.

More later.

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1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

LV, I think part of the problem here is you're trying to make Robert's hatred logical. It's not logical to hate all Targaryens and want to kill them when one is a Targaryen himself. It's not logical to want children dead for "crimes" their relative committed. No doubt Ned had argued with Robert about how this all just didn't make sense, and tried to get his friend to come to reason. That is, however, the nature of obsession and madness. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone other than the person who has gone mad.

Well, from a strictly political point of view Robert is right. Aerys and his descendants have to go. All of them. Else he and his children will never sit safely on the Iron Throne.

To qualify this as a madness isn't really accurate. Especially not if all of Robert's councilmen actually share this sentiment without being mad about it. Not to mention the fact that Robert did not, in fact, command the murder of the Targaryen women and children prior to the Sack. If he did then Ned should have been aghast and angry about this before the Sack and not only thereafter.

If you were right then Robert would have announced that he would kill every Targaryen he could get a hand on before he even killed Rhaegar - and there is no evidence for this whatsoever.

And again - Robert's hatred of Rhaegar and the Targaryens had dissolved at once had he actually saved Lyanna and gotten what he wanted in the end. Thus the idea that this was always there just doesn't make any sense.

Catelyn might right now like relish the thought of slaying Tommen with her own and smearing parts of his brain in Cersei's hair - but that doesn't mean she had thoughts like this prior to the Red Wedding and her resurrection.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

It is important to note that Ned is not surprised by his friend's madness and thinks back to the example of it that almost ended their relationship forever. It tells us that Robert wanting to assassinate a thirteen year old girl fits into Ned's understanding of Robert's mad obsession with killing Targaryens. It fits with the madness Ned witnessed as Robert accepted Tywin's "tribute."

Why should Ned be surprised? It is not that he saw Robert for the last time back in 283 AC. And he certainly would have known about Stannis' attempt to capture Viserys and Dany and so on.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

What does this tell us? It tells us this obsession, not surprisingly, dates back to at least Robert's coronation, but likely much before.

No, there is no such evidence to be had. Because we lack information both on Robert's deeds and utterances back in those days. Nor have we any clear picture of Ned's state of mind back then. He certainly had more reason to hate the Targaryens in general considering what Rhaegar might have done to his sister and what Aerys definitely did to his brother and father.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

It is not a new condition Ned is witnessing for the first time in Year 298. It tells us - and this is vitally important to our story - that Ned knew of Robert's madness before he leaves King's Landing and before he finds his dying sister, and before he gives her his promise that allows her to loose her fear of what Ned might do. Otherwise there is no understanding of why Lyanna fears her brother's choice. It is, obviously, a promise that she fears he might not make, and that means something that calls upon Ned choosing between his loyalty to his sister and his loyalty to something or someone else. Robert's history of madness, and Ned's mantra of "To begin with, I don't kill children ..." sheds light on what this likely is all about. The protection of Lyanna's child with Rhaegar from Robert.

I'm on board with that. My argument is just that this only extends to legitimate Targaryen children not bastards. And if there was a secret marriage and stuff then there was no legitimate Targaryen child born by Lyanna because secret marriage may remain secret and thus not exist.

Ned and Lyanna both may have feared that Robert would be a threat to Lyanna's legitimate son. And the Kingsguard may have thought Ned himself might be a threat. And perhaps he was, at a point. We have no idea how Ned felt about Rhaegar and Aerys at that time. Was the murder of Elia and the children a wake up call for him? Or did he only soften once he realized that Lyanna had been in love with Rhaegar and might bear his child? We don't know that yet. The fact that Ned was a nice guy in 298 AC doesn't mean he was as nice back in 282-83 AC.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

It also explains Ned's view towards the Kingsguard. The reason Ned remembers these men so vividly is not just that he thinks they died doing their duty. It is because when he finds Lyanna he discovers they all feared that he would turn Rhaegar's child over to Robert. And, perhaps, his sister as well - although I think she and they all knew she was dying by that time. Ned finds they all, including his sister, feared Ned would allow the murder of children, just as Robert had done at King's Landing. It is that misunderstanding of his motives and the deaths it caused which explains the guilt he feels in his reoccurring dreams fifteen years after the fact.

That could very well be. But we'll have to wait and see what Ned did know about the people in the tower at that point. The fact that he only took six companions with him might suggests that he already knew what he would find there and took precautions to prevent a spreading of the tale. And if he knew/suspected what was going on then he may have made his intentions clear. Or not, and that's what haunts him later. Could very well be.

 

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6 hours ago, SFDanny said:

LV, I think part of the problem here is you're trying to make Robert's hatred logical. It's not logical to hate all Targaryens and want to kill them when one is a Targaryen himself. It's not logical to want children dead for "crimes" their relative committed. No doubt Ned had argued with Robert about how this all just didn't make sense, and tried to get his friend to come to reason. That is, however, the nature of obsession and madness. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone other than the person who has gone mad.

It is important to note that Ned is not surprised by his friend's madness and thinks back to the example of it that almost ended their relationship forever. It tells us that Robert wanting to assassinate a thirteen year old girl fits into Ned's understanding of Robert's mad obsession with killing Targaryens. It fits with the madness Ned witnessed as Robert accepted Tywin's "tribute."

What does this tell us? It tells us this obsession, not surprisingly, dates back to at least Robert's coronation, but likely much before. It is not a new condition Ned is witnessing for the first time in Year 298. It tells us - and this is vitally important to our story - that Ned knew of Robert's madness before he leaves King's Landing and before he finds his dying sister, and before he gives her his promise that allows her to loose her fear of what Ned might do. Otherwise there is no understanding of why Lyanna fears her brother's choice. It is, obviously, a promise that she fears he might not make, and that means something that calls upon Ned choosing between his loyalty to his sister and his loyalty to something or someone else. Robert's history of madness, and Ned's mantra of "To begin with, I don't kill children ..." sheds light on what this likely is all about. The protection of Lyanna's child with Rhaegar from Robert.

It also explains Ned's view towards the Kingsguard. The reason Ned remembers these men so vividly is not just that he thinks they died doing their duty. It is because when he finds Lyanna he discovers they all feared that he would turn Rhaegar's child over to Robert. And, perhaps, his sister as well - although I think she and they all knew she was dying by that time. Ned finds they all, including his sister, feared Ned would allow the murder of children, just as Robert had done at King's Landing. It is that misunderstanding of his motives and the deaths it caused which explains the guilt he feels in his reoccurring dreams fifteen years after the fact.

Ned's understanding of Robert's madness also explains why Ned can never tell his friend about Jon. It is why he develops his cover story about Wylla, and it is likely at least one reason he goes to Starfall after the events at the tower - to cover his tracks from Robert and others. Ned knows when it comes to Jon he can never trust Robert's reaction to the truth.

More later.

Good post.

I agree, especially to the bold.  There is absolutely no reason for Lyanna to fear Ned, save not knowing of his reassurance with the promise.  And this is made clear to the readers in Ned's inner thoughts.

“My son Bran …”
To her credit, Cersei did not look away. “He saw us. You love your children, do you not?”
Robert had asked him the very same question, the morning of the melee. He gave her the same answer. “With all my heart.”
“No less do I love mine.”
Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon’s life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

**We know Cat released Jaime behind Robb's back when it comes to the children of her body.

--

Pycelle had sent a raven off across the water, with a polite letter from Ned requesting Lord Stannis to return to his seat on the small council. As yet, there had been no reply, but the silence only deepened his suspicions. Lord Stannis shared the secret Jon Arryn had died for, he was certain of it. The truth he sought might very well be waiting for him on the ancient island fortress of House Targaryen.
And when you have it, what then? Some secrets are safer kept hidden. Some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. Ned slid the dagger that Catelyn had brought him out of the sheath on his belt. The Imp’s knife. Why would the dwarf want Bran dead? To silence him, surely. Another secret, or only a different strand of the same web?
Could Robert be part of it? He would not have thought so, but once he would not have thought Robert could command the murder of women and children either.

**Before Ned had the confession talk with Cersei, we got this famous line of some secrets are too dangerous to share even with those you love. Yet even then, Ned arrived to the thought of doubt with his friend and king, Robert.  Because Ned knew full well of history.

He (LF) gave Ned a sideways glance. “I’ve also heard whispers that Robert got a pair of twins on a serving wench at Casterly Rock, three years ago when he went west for Lord Tywin’s tourney. Cersei had the babes killed, and sold the mother to a passing slaver. Too much an affront to Lannister pride, that close to home.”
Ned Stark grimaced. Ugly tales like that were told of every great lord in the realm. He could believe it of Cersei Lannister readily enough … but would the king stand by and let it happen? The Robert he had known would not have, but the Robert he had known had never been so practiced at shutting his eyes to things he did not wish to see.

Even if Robert couldn't find the heart to have Jon killed in the last 14 years, he wouldn't bat an eye if Jon somehow dies at the hands of the Lannisters or those loyal to the Baratheon/Lannister crown.

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On 7/6/2016 at 8:16 AM, Sly Wren said:

B. The line “You are no Tywin Lannister”—it is not a statement that Robert isn’t a threat. It’s a persuasive technique. An argument, trying to get Robert to drop the murder idea. Tyring to get Robert to take the higher ground and NOT kill a kid.

  • If Ned didn’t think Robert was a threat, there’s no point making the argument in the first place. He says it to stop Robert from doing something monstrous because he thinks Robert could do something monstrous.
  • When the "you are not Tywin" line doesn’t work, when Robert just gets angrier, Ned does NOT think Robert isn’t a threat. He thinks he can’t reason with Robert like this. Then drops his high-minded “you aren’t Tywin” attempt and goes with the practical: “you can’t get Dany."

I'm not arguing that Robert wasn't a threat in Ned's mind, period. I think Ned thought Robert was a potential threat, but that he could be kept in line, as Jon Arryn had obviously done. Case in point, the only reason they are having this argument is because Robert had not already ordered the murders of Dany and Viserys. So it's not just rhetoric, Ned is also being truthful. Dany and Viserys living is proof of that.

One of the main themes in Ned's story is his hope that Robert is the great man he grew up with, versus the person he suspects he's become. He hopes that Robert will ultimately redeem himself, right up until he officially orders the murder of Dany. That's when all of Ned's worst fears about Robert come true, and he gives up on him.

Quote

C. So, the line in Eddard VIII that Ned hadn’t believed Robert would order deaths—how does that fit with all that Martin showed us in Eddard II? Why on earth is Ned so fussed over Robert talking about killing Dany if he really thinks Robert won't do it? Why does he only calm down when Robert gets off of his anger at Rhaegar and moves to a discussion of the practicality of the Dothraki invading Westeros? 

Why does Ned get so uncomfortable with the idea that Robert wants to murder a seemingly innocent Targaryen child? Probably because he's harboring one. If Robert would really want to kill Viserys and Daenerys, imagine how he'd feel about (R+L=)Jon.

Oh, btw, this conversation takes place right after Robert inquires about Jon's mother. So it's, Who's Jon's mother? Btw, I want to kill all Targaryens! So, not only is there a literary connection for the readers, but Ned's just been reminded of Jon, and the question of his parentage, right before Robert suggests having Dany killed. And he specifically wants Dany killed because she's a Targaryen who is becoming a possible threat to him. In other words, the flow of the chapter fits a whole lot better with RLJ than with AD+L=J.

Quote

 

D. Condone vs. command—on an SAT exam, they are very different.

But if we go by Ned’s actions and thoughts, they seem REALLY similar in his head. In both the case of Robert's condoning of the murder of Rhaegar's kids and the case of Robert's ordering Dany's murder, Ned  he takes off in a cold rage, their friendship shredded. If anything, Ned gets over the “command” much more easily—it doesn’t take the death of a mutual loved one to reconcile them.

For Ned, there seems to be very little difference. And, given his thoughts and memories and words in Eddard II, Ned is clearly worried that Robert will follow through and send a good man with a knife after Dany. No reason to argue with him otherwise. 

One of the other themes running through Ned's chapters is that he abhors the murder of children. And he's disgusted at how Robert reacts to the murder of innocents, including Lady. (A scenario which has parallels with Lyanna pleading in the ToJ, but points to RLJ, not AD+L=J.) But none of this changes the wording of the quote from Ned's eighth chapter. And since we know Robert wasn't the one who gave the order to murder Rhaegar's family, it's still a big problem for this case that is built upon Ned's thoughts.

"[V]ery little difference" is one way of saying there is a difference. ;)

And all of this fails to acknowledge the three-headed dragon in the room. That it was nothing less than a pregnant and married Daenerys Targaryen that caused Robert to issue this order. He wasn't just issuing death warrants for women and children willy-nilly. He named Dany and her unborn child, supported by Drogo's horde, as a threat to him. Most of his counselors agreed. In this conversation, and the earlier one in Ned II, her hypothetical son was named as a danger to the realm. This fits well with RLJ, since Jon is a male Targaryen, whereas there's no connection to AD+L=J.

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In my previous post I mentioned a couple of times how certain passages would provide a potential parallel for RLJ, but not AD+L=J. Somewhat along those lines, I'd like to point out is in Tywin's explanation of the murder of Rhaegar's children to Tyrion, in ASoS. This goes beyond the scope of @Sly Wren's argument, since that focuses on Ned's thoughts, so I'm posting it separately. Anyway...

Lord Tywin stared at him as if he had lost his wits. “You deserve that motley, then. We had come late to Robert’s cause. It was necessary to demonstrate our loyalty. When I laid those bodies before the throne, no man could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever. And Robert’s relief was palpable. As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar’s children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children.” His father shrugged. “I grant you, it was done too brutally. Elia need not have been harmed at all, that was sheer folly. By herself she was nothing.”

In the middle of that paragraph there is a sentence with an interesting choice of wording. Maybe even especially so, since TWoIaF came out, stating that Viserys had been named heir following the Trident. "As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar’s children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure."

Even if you cast aside the information about Viserys being named heir after the Trident, this is still a curious line. Crown prince or second in line, Viserys was still a legitimate heir to Aerys II. And as his last living son, a prime candidate around which to rally a restoration. Especially since Viserys was several years older than Rhaenys and Aegon. So, why the emphasis on Rhaegar's children?

There could be non-RLJ reasons for sure. But, it wouldn't surprise me if this was another piece of RLJ subtext. Here's your explanation for the secrecy of Jon's birth. Jon would've had to die because, as Rhaegar's son, he is a threat to Robert and his dynasty.

Nothing earth shattering here. But as I was looking this section, Viserys's omission caught my attention, and I thought I'd pass it along.

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5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Why is Ned get so uncomfortable with the idea that Robert wants to murder a seemingly innocent Targaryen child? Probably because he's harboring one. If Robert would really want to kill Viserys and Daenerys, imagine how he'd feel about (R+L=)Jon.

Oh, btw, this conversation takes place right after Robert inquires about Jon's mother. So it's, Who's Jon's mother? Btw, I want to kill all Targaryens! So, not only is there a literary connection for the readers, but Ned's just been reminded of Jon, and the question of his parentage, right before Robert suggests having Dany killed. And he specifically wants Dany killed because she's a Targaryen who is becoming a possible threat to him. In other words, the flow of the chapter fits a whole lot better with RLJ than with AD+L=J.

I've actually once suggested that Robert might be much smarter than we think he is, secretly suspecting that Jon Snow might be Lyanna's son.

Robert continuously drags Ned into this Targaryen affair despite the fact that as king he doesn't have to. He can command their murder without consulting anybody. And it is Robert who directs the conversation first to Jon Snow and then to the Targaryen siblings after he deliberately chose to ride far away from the camp with his best friend.

That could all be coincidence but it could also be Robert being pretty smart. And the man isn't as stupid as one might think. He knows he has no true friends left, he knows that his council is full of flatterers and fools. He just doesn't care.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

And all of this fails to acknowledge the three-headed dragon in the room. That it was nothing less than a pregnant and married Daenerys Targaryen that caused Robert to issue this order. He wasn't just issuing death warrants for women and children willy-nilly. He named Dany and her unborn child, supported by Drogo's horde, as a threat to him. Most of his counselors agreed. In this conversation, and the earlier one in Ned II, he named her hypothetical son as a danger to the realm. This fits well with RLJ, since Jon is a male Targaryen, but there's no connection to AD+L=J.

I think Ned was on his way to become a Targaryen loyalist without realizing it himself. If Dany and Viserys had come he would have either not opposed them or joined them. Especially if Robert had been dead by then. But I think even with Robert alive Ned wouldn't have taken up arms against Jon's uncle and aunt or his half-brother.

As to the omission of Viserys in the quote above:

I think that's the case because Tywin was talking about the people he killed/commanded to kill not those he knew weren't there. Tywin justifies the murder as necessary to prove Lannister loyalty to the new regime as well as a necessity to secure Robert's throne.

Both might be lies/self-deception. Not all Blackfyres had to die to secure the reign of the Targaryen dynasty (Daemon II is the prime example for that). The Lannisters were a power in themselves and Robert would have needed them in any case regardless what proof of their loyalty they had given before. Jon Arryn would have pushed Robert to marry Cersei in any case to secure an alliance with Tywin.

Finally, there is the fact that royal children don't need to be killed to ensure the reign of a king who doesn't exactly have the best claim. As far as we know Aegon V didn't murder Prince Maegor or Princess Vaella after his ascension, and neither did Viserys I put down his Velaryon cousins to secure his throne. Thus I don't see a really pressing reason for murder there. The children could have been raised as hostages with the boy given to the Faith and the NW in due time. Princess Rhaenys could have been married to Robert's heir to strengthen his claim.

It is much more likely that this was just Tywin liking to murder Elia and her children to get even with Dorne and wash away the stain on Cersei's honor.

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3 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

In my previous post I mentioned a couple of times how certain passages would provide a potential parallel for RLJ, but not AD+L=J. Somewhat along those lines, I'd like to point out is in Tywin's explanation of the murder of Rhaegar's children to Tyrion, in ASoS. This goes beyond the scope of @Sly Wren's argument, since that focuses on Ned's thoughts, so I'm posting it separately. Anyway...

Lord Tywin stared at him as if he had lost his wits. “You deserve that motley, then. We had come late to Robert’s cause. It was necessary to demonstrate our loyalty. When I laid those bodies before the throne, no man could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever. And Robert’s relief was palpable. As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar’s children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children.” His father shrugged. “I grant you, it was done too brutally. Elia need not have been harmed at all, that was sheer folly. By herself she was nothing.”

In the middle of that paragraph there is a sentence with an interesting choice of wording. Maybe even especially so, since TWoIaF came out, stating that Viserys had been named heir following the Trident. "As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar’s children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure."

Even if you cast aside the information about Viserys being named heir after the Trident, this is still a curious line. Crown prince or second in line, Viserys was still a legitimate heir to Aerys II. And as his last living son, a prime candidate around which to rally a restoration. Especially since Viserys was several years older than Rhaenys and Aegon. So, why the emphasis on Rhaegar's children?

There could be non-RLJ reasons for sure. But, it wouldn't surprise me if this was another piece of RLJ subtext. Here's your explanation for the secrecy of Jon's birth. Jon would've had to die because, as Rhaegar's son, he is a threat to Robert and his dynasty.

Nothing earth shattering here. But as I was looking this section, Viserys's omission caught my attention, and I thought I'd pass it along.

sorry i really can not see anything about RLJ here. 

Aegon, first born son of crown prince and his lawful wife, has the strongest claim over everybody else. Aerys could name whoever he wanted as new heir before he died, but Aegon's birth-right is quite unarguable. 

If Aegon survived, He would be the biggest enemy of Robert. 

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in fact, if Rhaenys survived, she would have better claim than viserys or jon or dany too. 

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30 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

in fact, if Rhaenys survived, she would have better claim than viserys or jon or dany too. 

If Jon was trueborn than no she wouldn't . She also wouldn't have a better claim than Viserys only Dany and Jon if a bastard. 

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22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I've actually once suggested that Robert might be much smarter than we think he is, secretly suspecting that Jon Snow might be Lyanna's son.

Robert continuously drags Ned into this Targaryen affair despite the fact that as king he doesn't have to. He can command their murder without consulting anybody. And it is Robert who directs the conversation first to Jon Snow and then to the Targaryen siblings after he deliberately chose to ride far away from the camp with his best friend.

That could all be coincidence but it could also be Robert being pretty smart. And the man isn't as stupid as one might think. He knows he has no true friends left, he knows that his council is full of flatterers and fools. He just doesn't care.

I think Ned was on his way to become a Targaryen loyalist without realizing it himself. If Dany and Viserys had come he would have either not opposed them or joined them. Especially if Robert had been dead by then. But I think even with Robert alive Ned wouldn't have taken up arms against Jon's uncle and aunt or his half-brother.

I guess it's possible, but it seems at odds with the story we're given. If Robert was so smart I doubt things would have played out as they did.

22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

As to the omission of Viserys in the quote above:

I think that's the case because Tywin was talking about the people he killed/commanded to kill not those he knew weren't there. Tywin justifies the murder as necessary to prove Lannister loyalty to the new regime as well as a necessity to secure Robert's throne.

You might be right, of course. It just seems worth mentioning to me since what Tywin says about Aegon and Rhaenys should also apply to Jon, as one of Rhaegar's children. And at least to me, it doesn't make sense that Aegon should really be any more of a threat to Robert than Viserys. Regardless of which one you prefer, they're both viable options, being legitimate Targaryen males.

31 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

in fact, if Rhaenys survived, she would have better claim than viserys or jon or dany too. 

Viserys would come before Rhaenys in the Targaryen succession.

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14 minutes ago, The Wolves said:

If Jon was trueborn than no she wouldn't . She also wouldn't have a better claim than Viserys only Dany and Jon if a bastard. 

according to what GRRM said, this sucession thing is often unclear, confusing and case by case. 

rhaenys is the trueborn only daughter and she had Dorne as her supporter. Just like half kingdom supported Rhaenyra over Aegon, I bet Rhaenys would have a good chance over Viserys. 

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1 hour ago, purple-eyes said:

according to what GRRM said, this sucession thing is often unclear, confusing and case by case. 

rhaenys is the trueborn only daughter and she had Dorne as her supporter. Just like half kingdom supported Rhaenyra over Aegon, I bet Rhaenys would have a good chance over Viserys. 

I doubt it. 

The throne passes over females before males. Dorne is also not a very powerful kingdom. 

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