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R+L=J v.161

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@Sly Wren

Lets just say I see the fact that Ned and Lyanna have have agreed on Robert being a potential threat to Jon's life as a sign that he was Rhaegar's 'legitimate son' (in the sense that Lyanna and Rhaegar could be considered legally married) and that it would have been not so easy to disguise him as Lyanna's bastard.

That is basically my core issue here.

Oh, and Robert actually recanted all his Targaryen hatred on his deathbed. He canceled the assassination of Daenerys, remember? He said that killing Rhaegar's children was a vile crime but he doesn't have to do it to know that this is the case.

Not punishing Tywin for his crimes isn't the same as condoning the act. We are talking about war. In war bad things happen and there are different standards. Robert pardoned a lot of Aerys' thugs and cronies, there is no reason why he shouldn't be as generous to the people who actually helped his cause (Tywin and Jaime). If Tywin has the right of it then Robert was actually relieved that somebody else had dealt with Rhaegar's children. That doesn't suggest he was looking forward to this thing at all. If Ned or Jon had taken Elia and the children then there most definitely wouldn't have been a murder, regardless what Robert felt (unless Jon Arryn was leaning more to kill them).

It is one thing don't give a rat's ass about Doran Martell's opinion. The man doesn't exactly command many troops or is known to be a hothead. Nor was Robert himself responsible for the act. He can hide behind 'bad things happen in war, it is not my fault'.

But actually contemplating to murder the nephew of your best friend is something else entirely. I mean, compare the situation to Arya's attempt on Joffrey. Regardless of the circumstances, Arya should have lost at least a hand for that. Joffrey was the Crown Prince and whoever lays a hand on a prince of the blood loses that hand. Such is the law in Westeros. Yet Robert doesn't even have the guts to consider punishing Arya is such a manner - because Eddard Stark is his Hand and a great lord of the Realm.

Mycah the butcher's boy gets killed because he is a nobody.

Now, Robert loves Ned. He is his best friend and childhood companion ever. Robert considering murdering Ned's nephew wouldn't just mean that Robert's hatred of Rhaegar was stronger than everything else in his life but it would also mean that he completely threw reason out of the window and made his best friend his worst enemy. I can perhaps see Aerys II act as irrationally as that in the midst of one his mad lapses, but not Robert Baratheon.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

@Sly Wren

Lets just say I see the fact that Ned and Lyanna have have agreed on Robert being a potential threat to Jon's life as a sign that he was Rhaegar's 'legitimate son' (in the sense that Lyanna and Rhaegar could be considered legally married) and that it would have been not so easy to disguise him as Lyanna's bastard.

That is basically my core issue here.

Oh, and Robert actually recanted all his Targaryen hatred on his deathbed. He canceled the assassination of Daenerys, remember? He said that killing Rhaegar's children was a vile crime but he doesn't have to do it to know that this is the case.

Not punishing Tywin for his crimes isn't the same as condoning the act. We are talking about war. In war bad things happen and there are different standards. Robert pardoned a lot of Aerys' thugs and cronies, there is no reason why he shouldn't be as generous to the people who actually helped his cause (Tywin and Jaime). If Tywin has the right of it then Robert was actually relieved that somebody else had dealt with Rhaegar's children. That doesn't suggest he was looking forward to this thing at all. If Ned or Jon had taken Elia and the children then there most definitely wouldn't have been a murder, regardless what Robert felt (unless Jon Arryn was leaning more to kill them).

It is one thing don't give a rat's ass about Doran Martell's opinion. The man doesn't exactly command many troops or is known to be a hothead. Nor was Robert himself responsible for the act. He can hide behind 'bad things happen in war, it is not my fault'.

But actually contemplating to murder the nephew of your best friend is something else entirely. I mean, compare the situation to Arya's attempt on Joffrey. Regardless of the circumstances, Arya should have lost at least a hand for that. Joffrey was the Crown Prince and whoever lays a hand on a prince of the blood loses that hand. Such is the law in Westeros. Yet Robert doesn't even have the guts to consider punishing Arya is such a manner - because Eddard Stark is his Hand and a great lord of the Realm.

Mycah the butcher's boy gets killed because he is a nobody.

Now, Robert loves Ned. He is his best friend and childhood companion ever. Robert considering murdering Ned's nephew wouldn't just mean that Robert's hatred of Rhaegar was stronger than everything else in his life but it would also mean that he completely threw reason out of the window and made his best friend his worst enemy. I can perhaps see Aerys II act as irrationally as that in the midst of one his mad lapses, but not Robert Baratheon.

I personally think that Jon is Rhaegar and Lyanna's legitimate child because Lyanna strikes me as someone who wouldn't sleep with Rhaegar without him marrying her.  However, I believe that Robert would have killed Jon regardless of his status.  He might feel bad about it afterward but it would definitely be a decision born of anger.  There is enough there about Robert's behavior in Game of Thrones to suggest that Jon's life would be forfeit if Ned mentioned that he was Rhaegar and Lyanna's kid.  

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I do not watch the show!  Keep your spoilers to yourself!

I have a lot of sympathy for this.  I like the show but I have not watched Seasons 5 or 6 because (1) I always prefer to read a book before seeing a screen-adaptation, and (2) I worry about the fact that Seasons 5 and 6 may have moved ahead of the books.  So I won't watch either at least until I have read Winds of Winter.

I do, however, take some comfort from 2 things.  The first is that there is a strict rule in this forum against show hints and spoilers.  I trust that the mods will be liberal about handing out bans for anyone who posts show hints/spoilers in the General forum, and that any offending posts will be deleted promptly.  The second is that GRRM has clearly said that any Season 5 or 6 events may or may not reflect what is going to happen in the books.  I take that to mean that any new information from Seasons 5 or 6 (or 7 for that matter) is irrelevant to the books.  In other words, if the show has Stannis, or Young Griff/Aegon, or Dany sit the Iron Throne, that does not mean it will happen in the books.  And if the show disproves R+L=J by revealing that Wylla and Ned are Jon's parents (or that R+L=Young Griff/Aegon), that does not mean that we won't read in the books that R+L=J, or that Ned and Ashara (or Ned and the fisherman's daughter) are Jon's parents.

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12 hours ago, Lady Flandrensis said:

I just want to pipe up here and say how brilliant it is to put R+L=J into canon after all these years!

:bowdown:

To quote Dan Wood: "It aint over until the fat lady sings"

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It would be funny if Rhaegar was gay and "his children" were not his at all but his father's. And Jon ends up being Dayne's kid. Lmao... Sorry for trolling

But in all honesty I think Jon is 99% the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar. I'm here just to laugh at people denying it. 

And seriously Robert would have killed Jon. The end. 

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On July 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

Lets just say I see the fact that Ned and Lyanna have have agreed on Robert being a potential threat to Jon's life as a sign that he was Rhaegar's 'legitimate son' (in the sense that Lyanna and Rhaegar could be considered legally married) and that it would have been not so easy to disguise him as Lyanna's bastard.

That is basically my core issue here.

I can see that. I can't see it as decisive, but I agree that if Jon was the "rightful" heir, that could definitely heighten the risk to his life. No question.

On July 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

Oh, and Robert actually recanted all his Targaryen hatred on his deathbed. He canceled the assassination of Daenerys, remember? He said that killing Rhaegar's children was a vile crime but he doesn't have to do it to know that this is the case.

Yes--I've often wondered if this is showing Ned that he had it wrong--he could have reasoned with Robert had he tried. Same with Cat--Ned could have avoided a lot of pain had he tried.

Seems like Ned was too afraid, or too bound by his promises to keep quiet, or both.

But that scene where Robert's better nature wins out. . . makes me like Robert. And makes me feel for Ned.

On July 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

Not punishing Tywin for his crimes isn't the same as condoning the act. We are talking about war. In war bad things happen and there are different standards. Robert pardoned a lot of Aerys' thugs and cronies, there is no reason why he shouldn't be as generous to the people who actually helped his cause (Tywin and Jaime). If Tywin has the right of it then Robert was actually relieved that somebody else had dealt with Rhaegar's children. That doesn't suggest he was looking forward to this thing at all. If Ned or Jon had taken Elia and the children then there most definitely wouldn't have been a murder, regardless what Robert felt (unless Jon Arryn was leaning more to kill them).

There is a difference. But Ned didn't seem to feel that way. Plus Robert's acceptance of the murders nearly cost him Ned--which was NOT wise.

For Ned, there were not different standards and Robert should have sent Jaime to the Wall and punished Tywin for murder. The fact that he didn't is a HUGE deal to Ned. And nearly breaks their friendship for good.

On July 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

It is one thing don't give a rat's ass about Doran Martell's opinion. The man doesn't exactly command many troops or is known to be a hothead. Nor was Robert himself responsible for the act. He can hide behind 'bad things happen in war, it is not my fault'.

True--but the history of the Iron Throne fighting Dorne--even Robert would know that. It was still a risk and a potential big mess.

On July 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

But actually contemplating to murder the nephew of your best friend is something else entirely. I mean, compare the situation to Arya's attempt on Joffrey. Regardless of the circumstances, Arya should have lost at least a hand for that. Joffrey was the Crown Prince and whoever lays a hand on a prince of the blood loses that hand. Such is the law in Westeros. Yet Robert doesn't even have the guts to consider punishing Arya is such a manner - because Eddard Stark is his Hand and a great lord of the Realm.

Jaime seems to have thought it was horrible, too. Or at least he thinks so later when talking to Payne about it. And Jaime describes it as the "old" penalty--as though it's out of date. So, might not be as hard and fast a rule and more Cersei trying to flex her muscles and drive a wedge between Ned and Robert.

Still, I agree that killing Ned's nephew--no matter what, Ned really might have been able to protect Jon by persuasion. Seems like Ned didn't want to risk it.

On July 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

Now, Robert loves Ned. He is his best friend and childhood companion ever. Robert considering murdering Ned's nephew wouldn't just mean that Robert's hatred of Rhaegar was stronger than everything else in his life but it would also mean that he completely threw reason out of the window and made his best friend his worst enemy. I can perhaps see Aerys II act as irrationally as that in the midst of one his mad lapses, but not Robert Baratheon.

True--but Ned sees Robert's hatred of Targs as madness. Seems like he has been worried since the murders of Rhaegar's kids. And Robert did come VERY close to making his best friend an enemy over Rhaegar's kids.

Given what we see of Robert, seems like there's a chance Ned was too careful. As you say--once we meet Robert, he seems more likely to not kill Ned's nephew. 

Just seems like Ned didn't see it that way.

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Yes--I've often wondered if this is showing Ned that he had it wrong--he could have reasoned with Robert had he tried. Same with Cat--Ned could have avoided a lot of pain had he tried.

The point with Aerys and the royal children just is that Robert pardoned the criminals. That isn't the same as ordering the act and not necessarily the same as approving of the act (although Robert might have approved of it or at least been relieved that somebody else solved that problem for him). Royal pardons are a thing. Aerys I even pardoned his uncle Brynden Rivers by allowing him to go to the Wall.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

There is a difference. But Ned didn't seem to feel that way. Plus Robert's acceptance of the murders nearly cost him Ned--which was NOT wise.

But did it truly? Were Ned and Robert further apart back after the Sack than they were later in AGoT when Robert actually threatened to behead Ned over his defiance in the Daenerys affair? I'm not so sure about that. In fact, I think Robert's fury back then was less than it was in AGoT because the man in AGoT had been king for over a decade and was used to get whatever the hell he wanted. The man in 283 AC would have just shown no empathy for the children of his sworn enemy. That is, by and far, not so surprising.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

For Ned, there were not different standards and Robert should have sent Jaime to the Wall and punished Tywin for murder. The fact that he didn't is a HUGE deal to Ned. And nearly breaks their friendship for good.

Ned certainly has different standards - but is Ned so pissed/afraid because he already sees Lyanna and her son in Elia and her children or is this just a sort general thing for him? We don't really know.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

True--but the history of the Iron Throne fighting Dorne--even Robert would know that. It was still a risk and a potential big mess.

I'm not so sure about that. Robert didn't kill Elia and the children, he just didn't punish their murderers. That isn't the same, and most likely not enough to declare on him.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Jaime seems to have thought it was horrible, too. Or at least he thinks so later when talking to Payne about it. And Jaime describes it as the "old" penalty--as though it's out of date. So, might not be as hard and fast a rule and more Cersei trying to flex her muscles and drive a wedge between Ned and Robert.

I could see that whole thing falling out of practice under Aegon V, but Aerys II most likely reintroduced it. Cersei indicates that it was practiced under the Targaryens. I guess it has become old because Robert no longer practiced it. Or at least not openly. We can assume that Mycah's murder was basically okay because Joff had been involved.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

True--but Ned sees Robert's hatred of Targs as madness. Seems like he has been worried since the murders of Rhaegar's kids. And Robert did come VERY close to making his best friend an enemy over Rhaegar's kids.

Yeah, but we see Robert's madness/rage later on. What he says and what he doesn't isn't the same. Else Ned clearly would have been afraid for his own life when he defied Robert over the Daenerys issue. A different king would have taken his head.

1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Given what we see of Robert, seems like there's a chance Ned was too careful. As you say--once we meet Robert, he seems more likely to not kill Ned's nephew. 

Just seems like Ned didn't see it that way.

Well, I think the focus was more on Robert's new allies, the Lannisters, and the general situation. If Jon's true identity was revealed then this could inevitably lead to a lot of problems that must not necessarily end with the boy's death but rather have him become the figurehead in another civil war.

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On 7/17/2016 at 1:02 PM, Quyen Thuy Tran said:

It would be funny if Rhaegar was gay and "his children" were not his at all but his father's. And Jon ends up being Dayne's kid. Lmao... Sorry for trolling

LMAO! I wanted this to be true for a long while now, :) but I know it won't happen, damn it. :( 

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I know it'll make little difference, but I'd suggest that all future threads start with a disclaimer before the reference guide stating that the show is the show, and that this is not the place to discuss it, even in spoiler tags. 

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On July 13, 2016 at 11:38 AM, The Twinslayer said:

Here is the SSM:

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1040

This was something GRRM was thinking of doing when he was writing Storm of Swords, but he scrapped the idea.  Look closely at the question -- the questioner wants GRRM to say it is unrealistic for Ashara Dayne to be Jon's mother because the timing doesn't work.  GRRM says that to the contrary, the timeline makes it very possible for Ashara to be the mother.  He hints that, in Storm of Swords, he plans to reveal that Ashara was a lady in waiting to Elia in KL, that Ned and Ashara met up around 9 months before Jon was born, and that the meeting didn't happen at Starfall.  The implication is that he plans to reveal that the Ned/Ashara meeting took place 8 or 9 months before the Sack of King's Landing, which would place Jon's birth around the time of the Sack.  But then he obviously changed his mind, because none of that was included in Storm of Swords and some of it was contradicted by the World Book (SSM says Elia lived in KL while the World Book says she lived on Dragonstone).  So I don't think this SSM tells us anything about the timing of Jon's birth.

I know we've talk of this before, Twinslayer, but once again I think you take what you infer Martin is saying too far. His remark about Ashara not being nailed to the floor in Starfall certainly is a way of telling readers not to assume Ned and Ashara were apart during the whole of this period. It does not mean he planned to reveal in ASoS that they had met, or that in this hypothetical meeting took place nine months before Jon was born. Martin might well revel such a meeting in future books, and if he does so, it doesn't mean Jon is necessarily Ashara's son, or that by not doing so in ASoS that Martin has changed his mind about anything concerning this topic. All it means is that Martin is telling the questioner not to assume where his characters are because he may show us they are in different places than our assumptions tell us.

As to your thinking there is a contradiction concerning Elia's residence from references in the SSM and TWoI&F, it is easily explainable in that we have her living in both places from other sources. There are three to four years between Rhaegar and Elia's wedding and their deaths. They went to Dragonstone after the wedding, but return to King's Landing to present their first child to Aerys and Rhaella. Obviously, when Aerys refuses to let Elia and her children to go with Rhaella and Viserys to Dragonstone after the Trident they are living in King's Landing. There is no contradiction only change of location over the years.

There is nothing here that tells us Martin changed his mind from what the SSM tells.

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On July 16, 2016 at 8:07 AM, Lord Varys said:

@Sly Wren

Lets just say I see the fact that Ned and Lyanna have have agreed on Robert being a potential threat to Jon's life as a sign that he was Rhaegar's 'legitimate son' (in the sense that Lyanna and Rhaegar could be considered legally married) and that it would have been not so easy to disguise him as Lyanna's bastard.

That is basically my core issue here.

I think I've shown that Ned's view of Robert's madness is all he needs to fear what Robert would do to Rhaegar's son. If Ned thinks Jon is born a bastard doesn't mean he need not fear Robert's hatred of Targaryens. At the point he finds Jon, Ned already has experienced Robert declaration of the children of Elia and Rhaegar being no more than "dragonspawn." He has every right to fear what Robert would do to another one of Rhaegar's "dragonspawn" if he finds him. So, no, I don't agree that this is much of a sign Jon is trueborn. I think other things point to that, but not this.

To the point of what Ned thought, let's once again take a look at the scene in AGoT in which Ned is riding back from a visit to Chataya's to see one of Robert's bastards.

Quote

Riding through the rainy night, Ned saw Jon Snow's face in front of him, so like a younger version of his own. If the gods frowned so on bastards, he thought dully, why did they fill men with such lusts? (AGoT 319)

It seems by this text that Ned associates Jon with bastards. Not surprising to the reader because we are told, up to this point, that Jon is Ned's bastard son. But then, after a discussion with Littlefinger about Robert's bastards and how many he has, we find this little nugget.

Quote

There was no answer Ned Stark could give to that but a frown. For the first time in years, he found himself remembering Rhaegar Targaryen. He wonders if Rhaegar had frequented brothels, somehow he thought not. (AGoT 320)

So we have both Jon Snow and Rhaegar Targaryen associated through the brothel visit to bastards. I think this does indeed point to Ned's thought about Jon being a bastard child, but with Rhaegar as his father, not Ned.

Why would Ned think this? Because his dying sister doesn't likely spend her last breath telling Ned of her wedding to Rhaegar. She is much more focused than that, I think, in getting Ned to promise to protect her child and raise it as his own. No one left alive at the tower after Lyanna dies is likely to tell Ned of weddings even if they know. So, to me, the evidence points to Ned thinking Jon is a bastard child.

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On 7/17/2016 at 0:02 PM, Quyen Thuy Tran said:

And seriously Robert would have killed Jon. The end. 

 

On 7/17/2016 at 2:33 PM, Sly Wren said:

I can see that. I can't see it as decisive, but I agree that if Jon was the "rightful" heir, that could definitely heighten the risk to his life. No question.

Yes--I've often wondered if this is showing Ned that he had it wrong--he could have reasoned with Robert had he tried. Same with Cat--Ned could have avoided a lot of pain had he tried.

Seems like Ned was too afraid, or too bound by his promises to keep quiet, or both.

But that scene where Robert's better nature wins out. . . makes me like Robert. And makes me feel for Ned.

There is a difference. But Ned didn't seem to feel that way. Plus Robert's acceptance of the murders nearly cost him Ned--which was NOT wise.

For Ned, there were not different standards and Robert should have sent Jaime to the Wall and punished Tywin for murder. The fact that he didn't is a HUGE deal to Ned. And nearly breaks their friendship for good.

True--but the history of the Iron Throne fighting Dorne--even Robert would know that. It was still a risk and a potential big mess.

Jaime seems to have thought it was horrible, too. Or at least he thinks so later when talking to Payne about it. And Jaime describes it as the "old" penalty--as though it's out of date. So, might not be as hard and fast a rule and more Cersei trying to flex her muscles and drive a wedge between Ned and Robert.

Still, I agree that killing Ned's nephew--no matter what, Ned really might have been able to protect Jon by persuasion. Seems like Ned didn't want to risk it.

True--but Ned sees Robert's hatred of Targs as madness. Seems like he has been worried since the murders of Rhaegar's kids. And Robert did come VERY close to making his best friend an enemy over Rhaegar's kids.

Given what we see of Robert, seems like there's a chance Ned was too careful. As you say--once we meet Robert, he seems more likely to not kill Ned's nephew. 

Just seems like Ned didn't see it that way.

But, of course, it wasn't only Robert that Ned would have to worry about concerning Jon (assuming R+L=J, which I do;)).  Hell, it may not even be Robert who Ned would have to mostly worry about killing Jon.  No, once the knowledge of R+L=J became public the truth is that the realms are teeming with those who would gladly do the deed for Robert.  And they would do it without even consulting with Robert until after the fact...just as Tywin did.  Tywin's treachery and atrocities in sacking Kings Landing and killing Elia and the children was a huge favor to Robert's cause (it eliminated the chief rivals for the throne while allowing Robert's hands to remain relatively clean) which garnered his favor in return.  If R+L=J became widely known, many would not hesitate to do the same "favor" for Robert for the exact same reason while expecting (and, no doubt, receiving) the King's favor, in return.

And this is to say nothing of the treason that Ned was committing in harboring Jon.  If R+L=J became widely known, even if Robert were somehow willing to forgive his best friend, what about everyone else?  I doubt everyone else would be so forgiving and they could exert some pressure on Robert.  No, it certainly would have put Robert in a tough spot and good ol' Ned was already in a tough spot no matter how you slice it.  

Some secrets are too dangerous to share, indeed!  The only chance was for the secret...to remain secret;) 

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Not that we really need more evidence that Lyanna is his mom at this point, but here's something in an SSM I never noticed before:

Quote

It's true that in recent times, the Starks have become quite scarce. There's not many of them in the present generatons. Some may say it's because Ned's siblings died. Brandon died before he had sons, and Lyanna is also dead, and Benjen joined the Night's Watch which means he doesn't have descendants either. 

 

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9 hours ago, SFDanny said:

So, to me, the evidence points to Ned thinking Jon is a bastard child.

 I believe that a different reading of the passage is possible - Ned made Jon live the life of a bastard, just like LF did with Sansa, so thinking about Jon in connection with bastards is not particularly strange at all. Plus, the whole situation makes Ned think of some old guilts - what guilts, if he considers his promises to Lyanna fulfilled and there are no failings or shortcomings on his part that he thinks of? Finally, the comparison between Robert and Rhaegar: Rhaegar didn't do what Robert did, didn't frequent brothels. If you take it just a step further, it follows that Rhaegar didn't father bastards.

Also, there's the whole ToJ dilemma - is Arthur Dayne a shining example of KGhood if he protects Rhaegar's bastard instead of his king Viserys? No, I do believe that Ned knows.

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1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

 I believe that a different reading of the passage is possible - Ned made Jon live the life of a bastard, just like LF did with Sansa, so thinking about Jon in connection with bastards is not particularly strange at all.

Yes, it is possible. I think it a bit strained, but it is certainly possible. In your version Ned's mind goes to Jon when thinking of bastards, but only because he has falsely told Jon his whole life he is one. In my version he thinks of him as a bastard because he believes he is one. I think my version is more straightforward in its reading of Ned's thoughts here, but you could be right. I would again point out how unlikely I think it is for Lyanna to have been focused on her marriage status as she pleads with her last fevered breath with Ned to save her son. If I'm right, then who tells Ned of a wedding, and why would they?

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Plus, the whole situation makes Ned think of some old guilts - what guilts, if he considers his promises to Lyanna fulfilled and there are no failings or shortcomings on his part that he thinks of?

Ned is riddled with guilts. He feels guilty towards Jon because he has lied to him his whole life about being his father, about who his real father is, about who was his mother. Towards Catelyn he feels guilty because he has let her believe, and let the world think, that he was unfaithful to her after their marriage, while she carried their son into the world. Towards Robert he feels guilty because he has lied to him while trying to be true to oaths of fealty and bonds of friendship. Towards Lyanna, he feels guilty, even as he tries to fulfill his promises to her, for the estrangement between her and his family over the betrothal to Robert and her feelings towards Rhaegar. All of these guilty thoughts pervade his everyday life as he struggles to find an honorable way to keep his promises and protect his family. So, we can add other sources of guilt if you want, and it is possible this is one of those, but it is not hard to find the other sources without this one.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Finally, the comparison between Robert and Rhaegar: Rhaegar didn't do what Robert did, didn't frequent brothels. If you take it just a step further, it follows that Rhaegar didn't father bastards.

The problem here, to me, is Ned is not preoccupied with thoughts of brothels, but of bastard children. One of which he finds in a brothel. Yes, he thinks of Rhaegar not visiting brothels as Robert did, but is in the context of Robert fathering a bastard with a woman there. That he also thinks of Rhaegar in this context, I believe, points to Rhaegar having fathered a bastard, but not by frequenting whores as Robert does. If this is only a contrast between Robert's brothel habits and Rhaegar's, then why Rhaegar? He could just as easily picked out some other man he knew who didn't frequent brothels. Stannis, perhaps? Given he is following Stannis and Jon Arryn's investigation, that would make more sense. Why bring Rhaegar into this at all? I think it's because Rhaegar fathered a child Ned thinks of as a bastard.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Also, there's the whole ToJ dilemma - is Arthur Dayne a shining example of KGhood if he protects Rhaegar's bastard instead of his king Viserys? No, I do believe that Ned knows.

I've written on this one before, Ygrain. Much of my thinking is in Part Four of my essays in my signature. Even though I argued your view for many years, from the second R+L=J thread forward, and did so against many who thought this idea wrong including Ran and others, I think new information points in other directions. Looking at the likelihood that Viserys was Aerys's heir after Rhaegar's death, and the likelihood the Kingsguard trio knew this, forced me to reevaluated my thoughts. In so doing I had to explain to myself Ned's view of these men if they are not following the first duty as laid out in their Kingsguard oath. To me, it looks like the view of Ned who honors above all else those who follow the letter of their vows is wrong. Ned tells us what is most important to his view of honor, and that is not it. For Ned, it all begins with "I do not kill children." The protection of innocents is what he fought for, not a blind obedience to a vow. It is the same with Ser Duncan when he puts his oath to protect women and children before his responsibility to a member of the royal family. Ser Barristan struggles with this dilemma all of his life. Over and over we see it with Jaime and others. Ned is the epitome of this struggle but we don't always see in all of the talk of his pig headed view of honor.

So, the dilemma at the Tower of Joy is a different one than you see, in my opinion. Ned finds men who are willing to die rather than let him get to his sister. In his dream he asks them why they aren't doing something else their oaths would seem to point towards. It is only when he finds his sister and her fear of what he will do that he understands why they seemingly throw their lives away and kill his friends in the process. They die to protect an innocent child and his mother from Ned himself. That is the true tragedy of the scene. They cannot take the chance Ned will turn Jon over to Robert.

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4 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Yes, it is possible. I think it a bit strained, but it is certainly possible. In your version Ned's mind goes to Jon when thinking of bastards, but only because he has falsely told Jon his whole life he is one. In my version he thinks of him as a bastard because he believes he is one. I think my version is more straightforward in its reading of Ned's thoughts here, but you could be right. I would again point out how unlikely I think it is for Lyanna to have been focused on her marriage status as she pleads with her last fevered breath with Ned to save her son. If I'm right, then who tells Ned of a wedding, and why would they?

The problem is that we don't know how much time passed between the fight and the promise. It could have been moments, it could have been hours... days? During which Lyanna would have poured out her heart as she lay dying. 

Then there is the mystery of Ned learning about ToJ, and the degree of knowledge which compelled him to travel there only with his closest confidants. Theoretically, he might have known Lyanna's status even beforehand. There is still this hypothetical scenario of Lyanna letting her family know that she was eloping because she didn't want to marry Robert, and that she was going to be Rhaegar's second queen, just like Rhaenys.

4 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

Ned is riddled with guilts. He feels guilty towards Jon because he has lied to him his whole life about being his father, about who his real father is, about who was his mother. Towards Catelyn he feels guilty because he has let her believe, and let the world think, that he was unfaithful to her after their marriage, while she carried their son into the world. Towards Robert he feels guilty because he has lied to him while trying to be true to oaths of fealty and bonds of friendship. Towards Lyanna, he feels guilty, even as he tries to fulfill his promises to her, for the estrangement between her and his family over the betrothal to Robert and her feelings towards Rhaegar. All of these guilty thoughts pervade his everyday life as he struggles to find an honorable way to keep his promises and protect his family. So, when can add other sources of guilt if you want, and it is possible this is one of those, but it is not hard to find the other sources without this one.

Well, yes, but I do not see how any of these fit with the visit to the brothel and the subsequent musings. Given the immediate context (Lyanna talking about Robert's whoring), he might feel guilty about pushing her towards the marriage with Robert, true. 

 

4 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

The problem here, to me, is Ned is not preoccupied with thoughts of brothels, but of bastard children. One of which he finds in a brothel. Yes, he thinks of Rhaegar not visiting brothels as Robert did, but is in the context of Robert fathering a bastard with a woman there. That he also thinks of Rhaegar in this context, I believe, points to Rhaegar having fathered a bastard, but not by frequenting whores as Robert does. If this is only a contrast between Robert's brothel habits and Rhaegar's, then why Rhaegar? He could just as easily picked out some other man he knew who didn't frequent brothels. Stannis, perhaps? Given he is following Stannis and Jon Arryn's investigation, that would make more sense. Why bring Rhaegar into this at all? I think it's because Rhaegar fathered a child Ned thinks of as a bastard.

Because Robert was the man who was forced on Lyanna, whereas Rhaegar was the man whom Lyanna chose. That brothel comparison only touches the surface - the whole thing is about Ned's disillusionment with Robert: whoring, fathering bastards, not keeping promises. It starts with Lyanna's misgivings about Robert, and ends up with a positive thought about Rhaegar, the first time in years. As if Ned's eyes were finally opened to the fact that Lyanna had been right from the very beginning. However, if the only difference between Rhaegar and Robert was not frequenting brothels, it doesn't make much sense to bring up the thought of Rhaegar as a climax of Ned's train of thought, unless the two were in a starker contrast: Rhaegar didn't father bastards, and took his vows seriously.

4 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

I've written on this one before, Ygrain. Much of my thinking is in Part Four of my essays in my signature. Even though I argued your view for many years, from the second R+L=J thread forward, and did so against many who thought this idea wrong including Ran and others, I think new information points in other directions. Looking at the likelihood that Viserys was Aerys's heir after Rhaegar's death, and the likelihood the Kingsguard trio knew this, forced me to reevaluated my thoughts. In so doing I had to explain to myself Ned's view of these men if they are not following the first duty as laid out in their Kingsguard oath. To me, it looks like the view of Ned who honors above all else those who follow the letter of their vows is wrong. Ned tells us what is most important to his view of honor, and that is not it. For Ned, it all begins with "I do not kill children." The protection of innocents is what he fought for, not a blind obedience to a vow. It is the same with Ser Duncan when he puts his oath to protect women and children before his responsibility to a member of the royal family. Ser Barristan struggles with this dilemma all of his life. Over and over we see it with Jaime and others. Ned is the epitome of this struggle but we don't always see in all of the talk of his pig headed view of honor.

I see your point but it doesn't make much sense to me in connection with naming Arthur as an epitome of Kingsguard. A good and honourable man, yes, certainly admirable, but not Kingsguard because that would be a duty he failed. Plus, protecting innocents is the duty of every knight, not just Kingsguard, so the emphasy that they put on their status in the convo is out of place here. And I'm afraid I don't believe for a single instant that Mr Guard-the-king-not-judge-him would place an innocent child's life above his duty to the king, no.

 

4 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

So, the dilemma at the Tower of Joy is a different one that you see, in my opinion. Ned finds men who are willing to die rather than let him get to his sister. In his dream he asks them why they aren't doing something else their oaths would seem to point towards. It is only when he finds his sister and her fear of what he will do that he understands why they seemingly throw their lives away and kill his friends in the process. They die to protect an innocent child and his mother from Ned himself. That is the true tragedy of the scene. They cannot take the chance Ned will turn Jon over to Robert.

But they reply that their vows demand their presence, and fight, then and there, their Kingsguard vow. Which has nothing to do with protecting innocents.

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12 hours ago, SFDanny said:

I think I've shown that Ned's view of Robert's madness is all he needs to fear what Robert would do to Rhaegar's son. If Ned thinks Jon is born a bastard doesn't mean he need not fear Robert's hatred of Targaryens. At the point he finds Jon, Ned already has experienced Robert declaration of the children of Elia and Rhaegar being no more than "dragonspawn." He has every right to fear what Robert would do to another one of Rhaegar's "dragonspawn" if he finds him. So, no, I don't agree that this is much of a sign Jon is trueborn. I think other things point to that, but not this.

Well, we can differ there. But I really don't see 'dragonspawn' being such a condemning insult. I mean, come on, he is talking about the children of his dead mortal enemy. It is to be expected that he doesn't see them as 'murdered innocent children'.

And again, Lyanna's son would also be Lyanna's son. He would have had her eyes and hair and nothing of Rhaegar as it happens. Assuming he would see a bastard child as 'dragonspawn' is very far-fetched indeed. After all, Jon does not only not look like a Targaryen he would also not have had the Targaryen name.

And unlike Aegon and Rhaenys Lyanna's son would have had a protector whose wrath easily could have brought Robert down. I'm pretty sure nobody at court would have shared Robert's view (not even Robert) that a bastard son of Rhaegar had to die, no matter what.

12 hours ago, SFDanny said:

To the point of what Ned thought, let's once again take a look at the scene in AGoT in which Ned is riding back from a visit to Chataya's to see one of Robert's bastards.

It seems by this text that Ned associates Jon with bastards. Not surprising to the reader because we are told, up to this point, that Jon is Ned's bastard son. But then, after a discussion with Littlefinger about Robert's bastards and how many he has, we find this little nugget.

So we have both Jon Snow and Rhaegar Targaryen associated through the brothel visit to bastards. I think this does indeed point to Ned's thought about Jon being a bastard child, but with Rhaegar as his father, not Ned.

Why would Ned think this? Because his dying sister doesn't likely spend her last breath telling Ned of her wedding to Rhaegar. She is much more focused than that, I think, in getting Ned to promise to protect her child and raise it as his own. No one left alive at the tower after Lyanna dies is likely to tell Ned of weddings even if they know. So, to me, the evidence points to Ned thinking Jon is a bastard child.

I'm more inclined to see that as a symptom of Ned actually seeing and thinking of Jon as a bastard. It is not that George has Ned not think or talk about an interesting topic (like Cersei did with the valonqar prophecy for quite some time) he seems to have literally buried the truth about Jon Snow very deep within himself, and is now completely living the lie.

It is not just with the bastard status of Jon but also the name. Ned might know the boy's true name, but for him he is now Jon Snow because he made him Jon Snow.

I think this is going to be one of the points the story where new information (about the Rhaegar-Lyanna affair) is going to make this tidbit appear in a completely different light.

And I think the more important person in all that there is actually Barra. Seeing another young woman with another innocent child triggers the whole Lyanna thing just as the death of Ned's men later in the story triggers the dream of the tower. But this has nothing to do with marriages or bastard or even Rhaegar. It has to do with Ned's fear that innocent children might be harmed. And Ned is already very aware that the king's bastards might be in danger.

1 hour ago, SFDanny said:

I've written on this one before, Ygrain. Much of my thinking is in Part Four of my essays in my signature. Even though I argued your view for many years, from the second R+L=J thread forward, and did so against many who thought this idea wrong including Ran and others, I think new information points in other directions. Looking at the likelihood that Viserys was Aerys's heir after Rhaegar's death, and the likelihood the Kingsguard trio knew this, forced me to reevaluated my thoughts. In so doing I had to explain to myself Ned's view of these men if they are not following the first duty as laid out in their Kingsguard oath. To me, it looks like the view of Ned who honors above all else those who follow the letter of their vows is wrong. Ned tells us what is most important to his view of honor, and that is not it. For Ned, it all begins with "I do not kill children." The protection of innocents is what he fought for, not a blind obedience to a vow. It is the same with Ser Duncan when he puts his oath to protect women and children before his responsibility to a member of the royal family. Ser Barristan struggles with this dilemma all of his life. Over and over we see it with Jaime and others. Ned is the epitome of this struggle but we don't always see in all of the talk of his pig headed view of honor.

So, the dilemma at the Tower of Joy is a different one than you see, in my opinion. Ned finds men who are willing to die rather than let him get to his sister. In his dream he asks them why they aren't doing something else their oaths would seem to point towards. It is only when he finds his sister and her fear of what he will do that he understands why they seemingly throw their lives away and kill his friends in the process. They die to protect an innocent child and his mother from Ned himself. That is the true tragedy of the scene. They cannot take the chance Ned will turn Jon over to Robert.

Your case was made very well in that essay. I can go along with that even although I'm not so willing to assume that the guys were very well informed about what had transpired. This line of thinking is so much more rewarding because it actually is about the characters and their motivations and not so much about taking tidbits of information and twist them into hints that mainly support one strict reading of the Jon Snow parentage narrative. Who the hell Jon Snow is less important than why Ned actually chose to protect him the way he did and why he thinks Arthur Dayne is such a great guy. And I really hope that there is more to that than we know right now.

And we do know that Ned values Ser Arthur Dayne as a great knight. Not as a great Kingsguard. Just as he values Aerys' Seven for some reason as great examples for knighthood, not as exemplary bodyguards.

But as Archmaester Gyldayn would say: 'Your words will fall on ears made of stone.'

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On 7/17/2016 at 8:25 AM, Black Crow said:

To quote Dan Wood: "It aint over until the fat lady sings"

Agreed.

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On 7/16/2016 at 4:59 PM, Lady Flandrensis said:

I just want to pipe up here and say how brilliant it is to put R+L=J into canon after all these years!

:bowdown:

 

Did I miss a book release?!

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