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1 minute ago, Ser Kinslayer said:

Do we know exactly how much time occurred between the battle on the Trident, the incidents in KL, and Ned reaching the ToJ?

Not exactly. The usual fortnight passed between the Trident and the Sack. How long it took Ned to reach the tower is completely unknown because we don't yet know how he found the way or whether he did other things on his way down there. Could easily have been a month between the Sack and the tower considering that Ned first went to Storm's End and we have no idea how long he stayed there or at which point he only continued with his six buddies. I very much doubt he just went only with those guys to face Mace Tyrell. That would have been utter stupidity.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, I'm with you all on that one. As long as Jon is actually Lyanna and Rhaegar's trueborn son. I doubt that Ned or even Lyanna would have thought that a bastard was truly in danger.

 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm pretty sure Jon only got that special treatment because he was Lyanna's trueborn son and not actually a bastard. I doubt that the average Stark bastard had such an exalted position in the Stark household.

I agree, you are right. Lady Catelyn never understood why he kept John so near to the Stark Family. It's because he is a true Stark.

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7 hours ago, maudisdottir said:

Lyanna was dying and knew she would not be around to protect her child.  Of course she would be afraid for him, no matter whether he is legitimate or a bastard.  She's not going to lie on her deathbed reassuring herself by going back through history ticking off the women who gave birth to bastards without them being murdered.  She knows Rhaegar's other family were brutally killed; of course she's going to fear for her baby's future.  She has no reason not to fear Robert's wrath, or at least not to take a chance on it.  Sure Robert might mellow over time, but Lyanna knows she will not be there if and when that happens and can't guarantee anything so there's no point even risking Robert finding out.

I think people are underestimating a dying mother, whose entire focus would always be on keeping her newborn child as safe as possible.  

I believe that you are underestimating the characters of Lyanna and Rhaegar, if you don't believe that they married.  Think about how Lyanna was more than capable of defending herself, and would have carried a sword if Lord Rickard had allowed it.  Think of what we know about Rhaegar loving Lyanna.  There is no reason to believe that neither would honor the other. 

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2 hours ago, Ser Kinslayer said:

Do we know exactly how much time occurred between the battle on the Trident, the incidents in KL, and Ned reaching the ToJ?

Aerys burned Lord Chelsted a fortnight (or less) before the sack, if Jaime is to be believed.  He and Jonothor Darry were outside that door that night, while Aerys raped Rhaenerya, and Jonothor still made it to the Trident to die.  The replacement Hand was in office for a fortnight before Jaime cuts him down, then goes for Aerys, during the sack.  For further evidence, Jaime recalls seeing the marks from the rape on Rhaenerya when she is being shuttled off to Dragonstone, after news of the Trident reached King's Landing.  By GRRM's account that Jon is 8-9 months older than Daenerys, that would make Jon born a fortnight before to a fortnight after the sack.  Then add that puerperal fever kills in 3-10 days, Ned must arrive at the tower within three weeks of the sack.  (Note: the dialog refers to the surrender of the siege at Storm's End, so we know the Ned goes there, first.)  That is a lot of travelling, but GRRM also admonishes us to put the rulers and stop watches away, and just enjoy the story. 

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On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

I think they had to go because Robert was clearly a usurper. He would never sit secure on his throne - and neither would his children - while Aerys' descendants were still alive. Even Aemon had to go to the Wall to prevent to become a figurehead for Egg's enemies - and Aemon had no intention to even claim the throne. And that was a Great Council decision, something, most likely, a lot less controversial than Robert's violent ascension of the Iron Throne over the dead body of the previous king and his eldest son.

It would have been the nicer way to keep the children alive but wherever the were they could easily have been used as figureheads against Robert just as the Blacks continued to oppose Aegon II in the name of Aegon III, the very boy Aegon II kept as his hostage. Even if the boy had been made a novice and eventually a septon there would have been quite a few people backing his claim - or hoping to back his claim anyway.

The Blackfyre pretenders were different, I think, because they were unsuccessful rebels, not the rightful royal dynasty that had been driven into exile. There is a huge difference there. The Targaryens will always have (quite visibly) the right on their side.

While I still don't think Robert had it in him to actually do or command such a deed there would have been ways around that (e.g. how the usurping English kings got rid of their predecessors and their kin - Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward V). Tywin and others (hello there, Stannis!) would have pushed Robert in the right direction so Aegon would have been treated like the Princes in the Tower or perhaps like Henry VII treated the poor son of George of Clarence.

Well, Tywin Lannister would agree with you. Obviously, Ned did not. We don't know what Jon Arryn or Hoster Tully said about having Robert presented with this tribute, but it was done and they obviously went along with it in order to bring Lannister support behind Robert's claim to the throne. Arryn took the need of Lannister support further and pushed for the marriage to Cersei, although it is unclear when this takes place. I tend to think Lord Jon would not have made such a suggestion until Ned brings back the news of Lyanna's death.

To me, however, it is more important in understanding both Ned's political view, but also at least Jon Arryn's, is that this was not something that was needed for Robert to hold his throne. Arryn, we know, pushed Robert to not try to kill Viserys and Dany. He saw exile of Rhaella's children as more than adequate to safeguard Robert's throne. Even though Viserys was Aerys's declared heir. I know of no reason to think he would have thought Elia's children would be such threat if they were in a captivity or in exile.

With Ned we know the killing of children to secure the throne was a Rubicon which cannot be crossed. It didn't matter that it was already done and nothing could be done to bring the innocents back to life. For, Ned, it meant Robert's acceptance of Tywin's murders and acceptance of a murderer into the King's grace was the opposite of what he saw the rebellion to be about. Ned uses Robert's acceptance of Tywin's tribute as a definition of the new King's madness where Targaryens were concerned.

As to the Blackfyre example, there is one example in Martin's history that I think is instructive. Aegon V Targaryen, or Egg, responded to Bloodraven's murder of Aenys Blackfyre with sending his Hand to the Wall to take the black. Egg could not just look away and pretend the dishonorable murder of someone protected by a banner of truce had not taken place. There had to be a consequence to such an act or the very foundation of Egg's claim was called into question. Not that there wouldn't be some who would do so no matter his action. But for Aegon the Fifth, his reign had to start with justice, even if it was justice for his sworn enemies.

I think this is what Ned would have had done with both Tywin and Jaime, but obviously Jon Arryn thought better of seizing the two with Lannister troops still in the capital, and the need to secure Lannister support over the need for justice for the murdered. Perhaps Lord Arryn's path was the politic path, but it wasn't the only one possible. Regardless, Robert's path is to not only accept the Tribute, but to declare the dead children less than human. By doing so Robert not only looks the other way at the murder of innocents, he embraces the act of murder of children as long as they are Targaryen. This is more than political expediency. It is the embrace of vengeance and thirst for blood over justice.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

But Ned makes that statement years later. How can you say that Ned makes a comment here not including his later knowledge? Neither you nor I can really talk about the series only with AGoT knowledge in mind. We cannot help but make use of all our knowledge of the series.

Back after the Sack Lyanna was still alive so a festering 'Targaryen madness' just isn't very likely. 

And we should also keep in mind that Robert's own dynastic deliberations were already taking effect. Unlike Ned he clearly was aware that 'somebody had to kill Aerys' (Ned must have been aware of that, too, presumably, but it is never mentioned) and might also have realized that somebody should better also kill Rhaegar's children. Whether he was admitting that to himself is another matter.

A few posts back I asked whether you somehow separated the first sentence in the Ned quote from the rest of the paragraph. I don't think it is possible to do so. In the first sentence we learn that not only does Ned call Robert's hatred of all Targaryens a "madness" but also we are told he does not "feign surprise" at Robert's plan to assassinate a thirteen year old girl because she is a Targaryen. Both points are critical for understanding Ned's view and when he came to that view. Why? Because Ned immediately then tells us of a point where Robert's madness leads to a fight between the two friends to the point they almost end that friendship. Unless you think that somehow this example is somehow unrelated to the first sentence, then we have clear evidence that Ned dates Robert's madness to at least this time in their history.

With the hypothetical example of a living Lyanna coming back to Robert, I think your assumption doesn't work. Robert's madness doesn't seem to have an end until he faces his own death. A Lyanna who went with Rhaegar willingly would not heal that madness. Nor would a Lyanna who was the victim of a kidnapping and rape. The only difference is whether that madness would or would not extend to Lyanna herself.

As to the need to kill Aerys, I don't think there is a bit of difference to Ned's and Robert's understanding of Aerys's crimes and the need to hold him accountable for his crimes. Ned might have wanted to swing the sword himself, and Robert might have delegated the act to another, but they both knew after his murders of Brandon and Rickard, and the calling for their own heads, that unless they wished to surrender themselves for execution the only way forward was to rebel and overthrow Aerys. As long as Aerys did not run into exile, that means Aerys's death.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

Well, Renly, Littlefinger, and Pycelle certainly were completely on board with the murder idea. Varys was lying to arrange the whole thing for his own ends, of course. Apparently the idea prevailed that Viserys and Dany were less of threat impoverished and in exile but once the plans for a Dothraki alliance became more concrete it was a huge mistake for any Baratheon loyalist to not take out the Targaryens at once.

The common thread between Renly, Littlefinger, Pycelle, and Varys is that they are all playing for political and personal survival and possible advancement in every decision they make. If Robert's position was that, no, he had decided to allow Dany to live unmolested by him, they would have all, no doubt, endorsed that as the epitome of political wisdom. Only Ned and, to a much less extent, Ser Barristan are willing to stand up and tell Robert something he doesn't want to hear. Even though Robert curses and threatens Ned for doing so, he later admits just this fact. Only Ned would tell him no.

Now, one can argue, I guess, that Robert and the sycophants on the council were right on the merits, but I don't think one can argue they are right because they had the majority votes on the council.

I do think you make a mistake saying that this comes about from the Dothraki alliance. That was the context in which Ned and he speak on the barrows. The council meeting is about Robert's reaction to learning from Ser Jorah's reports that Dany is pregnant. A minor correction, but I don't think it changes anything about whether or not Robert is right or just in the throes of his madness in his reaction to this news.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, but since way? Do you really think Robert dreamed about that since Harrenhal? Or since the abduction? I think that's a recurring dream that came back when he it became clear that he had lost Lyanna.

I mean, how do you see Robert sleeping with Cersei for the first time and calling her 'Lyanna'? I think that shows a true devotion to his late betrothed.

Let me be clear, what I think is that Robert is angered by Rhaegar, and likely hates him, after Harrenhal. To me it is fairly clear that Robert's "love" for Lyanna is in reality an obsession with her as his property, not "true devotion." I think the "kidnapping" is what drives him to madness. This is an entirely personal fight for him. A fight for his rights to Lyanna and Rhaegar's stealing what is his property by solemn promise from the Starks, and denial of his rights. So when does his dreams of killing Rhaegar start? Certainly, after he kills Rhaegar at the Trident, but I think it likely it starts sometime after the kidnapping. The fact these two men meet in the middle of battle is, to me, not just an accident of battle. I think Robert, at least, seeks this personal combat out as part of his obsession with killing Rhaegar. 

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

Sure he can, but we have no reason to believe that he did dream about that at this time. He doesn't give us a date since when he had such dreams - or whether he had them at all or was not just using hyperbole.

No, he doesn't give us an exact date. He does say he dreams of doing so "every night." That implies this is not just something that has happened lately, but is a long term thing. We have, as well, clues that point to his anger towards Rhaegar date back to Harrenhal. 

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

There are clues that Robert began to mistrust Rhaegar and perhaps even grew jealous, but more we don't know yet. Perhaps he was even suspecting something like a romance as early as Harrenhal? If so, then he might have known more than we think. On the other hand - why the hell did he then believe the rape crap? But then, hm, Richard Lonmouth supposedly drank with Robert a lot. He might have let something slip about Rhaegar's interest in Lyanna. Robert might have remembered something like that.

Robert lives in a world in which for someone else to sleep with his betrothed is tantamount to rape, regardless if Lyanna consents. These are his rights that are in question. It is not up to Lyanna to choose. Her father has already chosen for her. Robert may not want to admit to the possibility that Lyanna chose Rhaegar, but fundamentally it doesn't matter to his view of what is his and how Rhaegar has stolen his property.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'm not saying the madness didn't exist (or rather that Ned didn't believe it existed). All I'm saying is that we cannot date the point at which Ned thought the Targaryens are a madness in Robert's mind. Could be that it was his behavior at the Sack. Could be that it only began later.

Here is where we have a fundamental disagreement over what the text shows us. I think Ned's quote about Robert's madness and he lack of surprise, followed by the example of that madness in Robert's reaction to Tywin's murder of children shows us the minimum time from which Ned dates Robert's madness. It could be earlier; it can't be later.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

My point is that Ned didn't really need to believe in this madness thing to believe that Lyanna's trueborn son by Rhaegar might be in danger.

I agree, but my point is that it doesn't matter if Jon is trueborn for Ned to fear Robert's madness. The nature of madness is that one cannot just sit down and reason things out. It is not a question of reason; it is a question of violent uncontrollable emotion. Ned is not going to sit with Robert and tell him it doesn't matter who Jon's parents are, because they were not married and therefore, legally, Jon doesn't represent a valid claim to Robert's throne. None of that matters. It only matters that Jon may well be Rhaegar's child, and Rhaegar's child with Lyanna. Ned would never take a chance with Jon's life, regardless if he thinks Jon is trueborn or bastard.

I do think that Ned believes Jon is Rhaegar's bastard son. That is not the same as Jon really being a child born outside of wedlock. I just think the evidence is that it is likely Ned thinks so, and that, in reality, Jon is trueborn. Ned is just wrong. I think that explains why Ned dreams of his conversation with the kingsguard. He wouldn't be troubled with the answers to his questions if knows they were there to guard a trueborn child. Also Ned's thoughts going to Jon when he is thinking of bastard children after seeing Robert's daughter at the King's Landing brothel is best explained by Ned thinking of Jon as a bastard.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

I agree here. But the fact is we don't have clear picture yet what Ned's feelings had been in 283 AC, nor do we know how much they changed since then. And I very much think that he has now at least Rhaegar-positive thoughts to a degree and is quite clearly no ill feelings towards the Targaryens in exile.

I agree. I've given you my guess on what I think Ned's feelings were, but we can't be sure based on the evidence we have.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'd raise again the point of the mentioning of Lyanna's name during the sex with Cersei at this point. This was months later and suggests that Robert was still very much desiring to have sex with a dead woman who might have loved Rhaegar more than she loved him. I have great difficulties imagining that Robert would have wanted to see the son of such a woman dead. Rhaegar's trueborn son, a claimant to the Iron Throne most certainly, but not an innocent who was not possibly a threat to him.

I have no trouble at all seeing Robert wanting Jon dead, trueborn or not. The point for Robert is that he is Rhaegar's son, and according to him, born of rape.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

If Robert had seen Lyanna as damaged goods after the Rhaegar affair he would have gotten over her as quickly as he got about all his whores and other lovers.

Robert's obsession with Lyanna comes from, imo, from the fact she isn't one of his "whores" or "lovers." She is to him someone who is unattainable until marriage. As such she is idealized in his mind.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

Well, I think that extends only to Rhaegar actually being married to Lyanna. I doubt that Lyanna or Ned would have feared for her child if it had been a bastard.

I've given my thoughts on this already above.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

The best idea is either somebody at court or somebody in Rhaegar's host at the Trident (although court is more likely because Ned apparently didn't spend much time at the Trident after the victory and had thus less time to talk to many people).

But the idea that it was Ethan Glover is completely crackpot.

I would add at Storm's End, but otherwise I agree.

On July 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Lord Varys said:

I doubt that Rhaegar and Lyanna were already at the tower at this early time during the war. The idea that they spent most of their time is rather problematic. If Rhaegar and Lyanna were crossing the Reach early on why the hell did Rhaegar not take charge of the Tyrell army to put Robert down? He would have been reasonably close and in an ideal position to take command. That is, unless he had to hide from his own father.

I do think he was hiding from his own father. The evidence that Rhaegar could not be found after the Battle of the Bells tells us this is true. Can't say exactly where Rhaegar and Lyanna where at the time of Summerhall, which isn't all that close to the Tower of Joy. Just not enough information.

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19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not exactly. The usual fortnight passed between the Trident and the Sack. How long it took Ned to reach the tower is completely unknown because we don't yet know how he found the way or whether he did other things on his way down there. Could easily have been a month between the Sack and the tower considering that Ned first went to Storm's End and we have no idea how long he stayed there or at which point he only continued with his six buddies. I very much doubt he just went only with those guys to face Mace Tyrell. That would have been utter stupidity.

I would agree, but I would caution against holding Martin to the strict definition of the word "fortnight." George is famous for being vague about timing and the word "fortnight" is a great example of that vagueness. It likely means anywhere more than a week plus some good amount of days up to less than a month or a "turn," meaning in the range of three weeks. Two weeks is a good estimate for when George uses the phrase, but it's important to remember it's an estimate.

We used to have a lot of people estimating the time for armies to travel in trying to cover the distances on the maps shown in the books, and for what it's worth their estimates for when Ned arrives at the tower from King's Landing via Storm's End worked out to be around six weeks to two months.

I agree the idea Ned went to lift the siege at Storm's End with only six companions is beyond crackpot.

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4 hours ago, SFDanny said:

I would agree, but I would caution against holding Martin to the strict definition of the word "fortnight." George is famous for being vague about timing and the word "fortnight" is a great example of that vagueness. It likely means anywhere more than a week plus some good amount of days up to less than a month or a "turn," meaning in the range of three weeks. Two weeks is a good estimate for when George uses the phrase, but it's important to remember it's an estimate.

Sorry, No. A fortnight is a period of two weeks exactly. It is a commonly used; every day word here in the UK and it has a precise meaning.

A period of time lasting TWO weeks. Sorry to be so exact but well it is an exact term. There really is no fudging it at all. 

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1 minute ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Sorry, No. A fortnight is a period of two weeks exactly. It is a commonly used; every day word here in the UK and it has a precise meaning.

A period of time lasting TWO weeks. Sorry to be so exact but well it is an exact term. There really is no fudging it at all. 

I do know the meaning of the word "fortnight." My dispute isn't with the dictionary. It's with people who read the word in Martin's work and assume it means exactly two weeks every time by every character. Have you ever given a rough estimate of time? That's what is going on here, in many cases. Trying to hold Martin to the strict meaning of fortnight, week, or month just doesn't work, as anyone who has spent time trying to recreate his timeline will tell you. And as Martin himself will tell you. We are lucky, sometimes, to get the year right.

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But a fortnight is set period of time of two weeks and that is indisputable . I'm sorry but why on earth would anyone read a word in any book and not assume that that word had the meaning the dictionary gives it, I mean especially when that word in question is one describing a precise period of time?  

Actually I feel the need to add to this comment. 

Yes I have on many occasions given a rough estimate of time. when doing so I use words such as, around, about, roughly,  If I am meeting a person for coffee in an hour and I know I won't be there in precisely an hour I will say shall we meet for coffee in about an hour or so. 

If I was arranging a appointment for a fortnights time I would arrange it to happen in a fortnights time. If I want to have a few days either side to allow for an inability to be precise with my calendar I'd suggest a fortnight or there abouts. If I'm giving a person a time that say a party begins I'd say 8pm, and be there at that time to recieve my guests. I wouldn't tell them 8pm but not show up myself at the venue till 8:45. 

So yes if a writer says something took a fortnight, it took a fortnight. It makes far more sense to fudge with the speed a man can travel than it does to assume the writer didn't mean the words he wrote.  If a vague period of time is intended to be conveyed you would use words such as about a fortnight, and frankly even then to present the idea that that could mean anything up to almost a full month is ridiculous!  About a fortnight would mean between 12 and 16 days MAX. 

To suggest that interpreting the word is open to anything other than at most one or two days either side is astounding. When you are saying a year but mean 18 months you do not call it a year. when you mean a month you do NOT call it a fortnight. 

 Example. It took me a week to make that model at work. Is not a thing anyone would say had they completed said model in a day and a half.  Nor would you tell someone you spent a fortnight in the Bahamas if you had actually been there a full month. 

 

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2 minutes ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

But a fortnight is set period of time of two weeks and that is indisputable . I'm sorry but why on earth would anyone read a word in any book and not assume that that word had the meaning the dictionary gives it, I mean especially when that word in question is one describing a precise period of time?  

 

Because the author tells us to not hold him to timelines or distance travelled. For instance, we have Jaime telling us that Rossart was the Hand for a "fortnight." He is remembering back 16 years or so and telling us about how long Rossart had the position, not that he kept a strict account of days and it was exactly two weeks. I would invite you to find the instances where a character is so exact to when something is more or less than a fortnight. Look for 17 day intervals or 11 day intervals or anything like that and contrast those reference with the use of a fortnight. The specific numbered days are few and far between in the text, unless we are talking about one or two day intervals. Either every time Martin uses the word it is an exact 14 days or he uses it  to mean about 14 days. When you do, I think you will find the usage is the latter.

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In fact, and I am sorry to go on but I am just so surprised at the bizarre nature of your assertions. When I have been on holliday for ten days ( A common booking) I would never tell anyone we're going away for a fortnight. Never! I'd say we are going away for ten days. 

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2 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Because the author tells us to not hold him to timelines or distance travelled. For instance, we have Jaime telling us that Rossart was the Hand for a "fortnight." He is remembering back 16 years or so and telling us about how long Rossart had the position, not that he kept a strict account of days and it was exactly two weeks. I would invite you to find the instances where a character is so exact to when something is more or less than a fortnight. Look for 17 day intervals or 11 day intervals or anything like that and contrast those reference with the use of a fortnight. The specific numbered days are few and far between in the text, unless we are talking about one or two day intervals. Either every time Martin uses the word it is an exact 14 days or he uses it  to mean about 14 days. When you do, I think you will find the usage is the latter.

A fortnight is a fortnight is a fortnight. 

And when talking about timeline and distance travelled. It makes far more sense to say that the the distance has been fudged into the time than that the time has been fudged, when said distance is seemingly too far to attain in the time stated. You talk of 11-17 day intervals being described as a fortnight when taken in the context of memory. Yes this would be totally acceptable. If as in Jaime's instance he is recalling events 16 years later and it relies solely on recollection a period of 11 -17 days could feasibly be recalled as a fortnight but to stretch it beyond those boundaries and I hesitate at 17 days I think one would recall that as three weeks rather than a fortnight. But yes in those specific circumstances it could just about be understood that a reader would accept a period of time was being recalled which did not precisely fit the parameters of the definition. But the idea that it could even as recollection be construed to actually mean a month is absurd.

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we all know GRRM is not good at distance and timeline. That is why he likes to make timeline as vague as possible. We do not even know which part of the year the harrenhal tourney happened in. 

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OK...Jon is the son of  Rhaegar and Lyanna. But  this has happened some 20 years ago, with very scar witnesses that can confirm the story. According to the available sources, we have Howland Reed who was there and Bran who had a vision. Why should other people in Westeros believe to the words of Bran and Howland? Do you have any idea how other people will be persuade to believe this story? 

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19 minutes ago, Lunatik said:

OK...Jon is the son of  Rhaegar and Lyanna. But  this has happened some 20 years ago, with very scar witnesses that can confirm the story. According to the available sources, we have Howland Reed who was there and Bran who had a vision. Why should other people in Westeros believe to the words of Bran and Howland? Do you have any idea how other people will be persuade to believe this story? 

The readers don't know a lot of things. The readers don't know whether RLJ will be important because people find out the truth -- or just important because Jon finds out the truth and it affect him. The readers also don't know if Jon is going to ride a dragon. If Jon binds with a dragon and is instrumental in winning the War for the Dawn 2.0 while riding the dragon, convincing people that he is the son of Rhaegar likely will not be too difficult. As to R&L being married, the readers don't know who were the witnesses (assuming they were married) of those who are still alive (JonCon, for example -- assuming he does not die soon of greyscale). 

So the readers are left with many possibilities -- but if GRRM wants to have people find out that Jon is the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, GRRM will find a way to make it happen. The notion that GRRM has "boxed" himself in and made it impossible (or even implausible) for the relevant information to become widely known and accepted -- if he wants it to be -- gives too little credit to his imagination and creativity.

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2 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

A fortnight is a fortnight is a fortnight. 

And when talking about timeline and distance travelled. It makes far more sense to say that the the distance has been fudged into the time than that the time has been fudged, when said distance is seemingly too far to attain in the time stated. You talk of 11-17 day intervals being described as a fortnight when taken in the context of memory. Yes this would be totally acceptable. If as in Jaime's instance he is recalling events 16 years later and it relies solely on recollection a period of 11 -17 days could feasibly be recalled as a fortnight but to stretch it beyond those boundaries and I hesitate at 17 days I think one would recall that as three weeks rather than a fortnight. But yes in those specific circumstances it could just about be understood that a reader would accept a period of time was being recalled which did not precisely fit the parameters of the definition. But the idea that it could even as recollection be construed to actually mean a month is absurd.

Lol, once again, I don't need lectures on the dictionary definition. I know what a fortnight means. If you don't want to accept my advice, and the author's advice, not to hold him to strict timelines then by all means try to recreate his timeline yourself. I've tried and so have many others over the years. Perhaps you can show all of us how exact George is in his use of time. I think Martin might think it funny.

All of which doesn't mean that there aren't solid time markers within the story. When George writes of the day passing he means it's a new day. Good day.

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42 minutes ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

The readers don't know a lot of things. The readers don't know whether RLJ will be important because people find out the truth -- or just important because Jon finds out the truth and it affect him. The readers also don't know if Jon is going to ride a dragon. If Jon binds with a dragon and is instrumental in winning the War for the Dawn 2.0 while riding the dragon, convincing people that he is the son of Rhaegar likely will not be too difficult. As to R&L being married, the readers don't know who were the witnesses (assuming they were married) of those who are still alive (JonCon, for example -- assuming he does not die soon of greyscale). 

So the readers are left with many possibilities -- but if GRRM wants to have people find out that Jon is the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, GRRM will find a way to make it happen. The notion that GRRM has "boxed" himself in and made it impossible (or even implausible) for the relevant information to become widely known and accepted -- if he wants it to be -- gives too little credit to his imagination and creativity.

The readers don't know nothing :-)

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6 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

But the idea that it could even as recollection be construed to actually mean a month is absurd.

You are absolutely correct.  Some do not want to accept that it was a fortnight between Rhaella's rape and the sack of King's Landing, because Rhaegar left King's Landing after the rape, and died at the Trident.  This fortnight cannot be three weeks, because Jaime recalls seeing the marks on Rhaella the day she leaves for Dragonstone, which is after Rhaegar's death on the Trident and a crow flight; or so.  If the time between the rape and flight is more than a week, the marks would have been noticeably faded, and Jaime would not have had a reason to recall that detail. 

To sum this up, we are measuring a distance between King's Landing and the Trident, trying to march an army to and from.  GRRM says, through Jaime that it was a fortnight or less.  But we, with our stopwatches and rulers, say that is not possible.  GRRM says put your stopwatches and rulers away, and enjoy the story.  He did not say that his details of time were at fault, he is merely saying that occasionally travel time is much shorter (or longer) in Westeros than we think that it should be. 

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Crackpot time:

There is a Tower of Dread in Harrenhal. Rhaegar and company hide out there, to dupe Brandon and others. Then head elsewhere for some time. Then end up at the other end of the spectrum. The Tower of Joy.

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