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R+L=J v.161

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On 6/17/2016 at 10:56 AM, MtnLion said:

No females come before all males are exhausted, even from extended lines.  It is a male preferential inheritance.  Female branches are less favored after the Dance.  http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Targaryen

So, if there is a male available, anywhere in the line, he comes before any females in the line.  A Great Council can do as it likes, they must interpret the laws, and they have dishonored the succession in the past. 

Sorry -- that link has misleading information.  Here are the relevant paragraphs from the Jaehaerys I chapter in WOIAF that make it clear that males from a female line do not take precedence over females from a male line:

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At this council, nine lesser claimants were heard and dismissed, leaving only two primary claimants to the throne: Laenor Velaryon, son of Princess Rhaenys—who was the eldest daughter of Jaehaerys's eldest son, Aemon—and Prince Viserys, eldest son of Baelon the Brave and Princess Alyssa. Each had their merits, for primogeniture favored Laenor, while proximity favored Viserys, who was also the last Targaryen prince to ride Balerion before the dragon's death in 94 AC. Laenor himself had recently acquired a dragon, a splendid creature that he named Seasmoke. But for many lords of the realm, what mattered most was that the male line take precedence over the female line—not to mention that Viserys was a prince of four-and-twenty while Laenor was just a boy of seven.

Note that in this paragraph, the reference is the the "male line" taking precedence and not males taking precedence.

Quote

In the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendents.

This quote seems to suggest that neither a woman not any descendant of a female line could ever take the throne. Presumably if all males from male lines were eliminated, that rule could be revisited, but these quotes, taken together, make it clear to me that Robert would not take precedence over Rhaella, Dany and Rhaenys. His claim is derivative of his grandmother, Rhaelle, and is no stronger than her claim.

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@UnmaskedLurker

ML usually is hostile to new information. What he was citing up there is outdated information from long before TWoIaF was even published. Real 'fake history' is more complex than George delivering some background information during some Q&A.

In general TWoIaF made any reasonable person to conclude that each succession set a new precedent for the inheritance to the Iron Throne thereby oftentimes confirming or reinforcing earlier precedents in the case of a son following his father.

You are quite correct in pointing out that the faction interpreting the Great Council as an 'iron precedent' wouldn't consider Robert Baratheon a viable claimant to the Iron Throne at all - because he was descended from a previous king through the female line. From their POV the throne should actually remain vacant if all the male branches have died out. However, if the Realm would find itself in such a situation then the situation would have to be dealt with one way or another. And this is actually the reason why I think we should interpret the Great Council of 101 AC not as some sort of general discussion of the succession stipulating rules and guidelines for any possible scenario but rather as a specific discussion only of the claims of the possible heirs of Jaehaerys I.

A real universal discussion of the succession of the Iron Throne would have discussed the case in which a king only had female heirs or male heirs through the female line.

However, ML might have a point here, too. In the real world middle ages claims to lordships and crowns could pass through women to their sons and grandsons. That is the rationale behind the English claims to the crown of France as well as the Yorkist claim during the Wars of the Roses (and the Tudor claim after that).

In that sense, there might have been people backing Robert Baratheon over Daenerys Targaryen had Aerys II died without male descendants in a peaceful setting. However, I'm not one of those who think that he would have necessarily had a good shot at the throne. It would depend on the scenario. If Dany was only born after Aerys' death (as she is the books) she would have had no chance to rise to the throne, and it would have been very unlikely if she had still been a young child. But if she had been a woman grown, anointed by her father as his heiress presumptive 'until such time as a son is born to me', married to a powerful lord (perhaps even the Hand), and already with sons of her own then I see no chance of Robert or some other second cousin from a female cadet branch of House Targaryen to successfully challenge her claim. Unless, of course, Aerys II had anointed Robert as his heir rather than his daughter. Then he would have been seen as the successor of the king prior to his death and everything could have gone this way.

In a scenario in which it is daughter of the king vs. nephew of the king through the female line things might be even more tight. But then, the Targaryen incest custom would usually take effect and prevent such scenarios marrying the king's daughter to her first cousin. Whether the daughter or the nephew would call the shots in such a scenario is difficult to say.

In general, though, claims don't really matter in the Jon Snow debate. Right now he has none because he isn't recognized as a prince of the blood. If he ever is that might change to a degree but legally we should assume Prince Aegon is going to steal as his thunder. People might buy the idea that one son of Rhaegar Targaryen's is still alive, but not two. And even if Aegon is publicly revealed as a fake later on then this whole story will also cast doubt on Jon Snow's similar sounding story.

Jon Snow has to be formally adopted into House Targaryen either by Daenerys, Aegon, or perhaps even Tyrion to get a shot at the Iron Throne.

As rival pretenders he and Aegon are both in a somewhat bad positions right now anyway thanks to Dany's dragons and the fact that Aerys II actually passed over Prince Aegon in favor of his own son, Viserys III. Historically the throne never passed back to the elder lines after they had been passed over. Laenor Velaryon wasn't Viserys I's heir, Aerea and Rhalla's children didn't have a good claim after Jaehaerys I's death, and Daemon Blackfyre and Elaena's children weren't considered viable heirs after the deaths of Viserys II, Aegon IV, and so on. Prince Maegor also wasn't offered the throne again after Aegon V died at Summerhall (although we don't know whether he died there, too, or had already died long before).

Not to mention that the claims of both Prince Aegon and Jon Snow could remain dubious throughout their entire lives. Not everybody has to buy their origin stories, after all.

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As always it comes back to Varys' story of the King, the Bishop and the Banker. What matters isn't the legal claim, but where the power is believed to lie.

Essentially this is what we see in the naming of Viserys as heir to the Iron Throne. Whether he or his nephew Aegon had the better claim in law is neither here nor there. As a boy past the more dangerous years of infancy, his was the more convincing and realistic claim - let alone that of an unborn infant.

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2 hours ago, UnmaskedLurker said:
Quote

In the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendents.

Sorry -- that link has misleading information.  Here are the relevant paragraphs from the Jaehaerys I chapter in WOIAF that make it clear that males from a female line do not take precedence over females from a male line:

Note that in this paragraph, the reference is the the "male line" taking precedence and not males taking precedence.

This quote seems to suggest that neither a woman not any descendant of a female line could ever take the throne. Presumably if all males from male lines were eliminated, that rule could be revisited, but these quotes, taken together, make it clear to me that Robert would not take precedence over Rhaella, Dany and Rhaenys. His claim is derivative of his grandmother, Rhaelle, and is no stronger than her claim.

In lieu of any other males, Robert would certainly be considered before Rhaella, Daenerys, and Rhaenys. 

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

As always it comes back to Varys' story of the King, the Bishop and the Banker. What matters isn't the legal claim, but where the power is believed to lie.

Essentially this is what we see in the naming of Viserys as heir to the Iron Throne. Whether he or his nephew Aegon had the better claim in law is neither here nor there. As a boy past the more dangerous years of infancy, his was the more convincing and realistic claim - let alone that of an unborn infant.

That was certainly part of it but not the only reason. Prince Viserys was the king's son, and Aegon (and Rhaenys) were just the children of his estranged (and dead) son, born by a woman Aerys kept as hostage against her family. There were very sound political reason to name Viserys heir instead.

And we certainly see a bias against infant/boy kings. Viserys I and Aegon V both rose to the throne because their (main) rivals were yet children or even infants.

Additionally we see that there were at least two legal principles at odds with each other even back at Great Council in 101 AC. Primogeniture favoring Laenor Velaryon, who was the king's great-grandson through his eldest son vs. proximity (the degree in which the heir was actually related to the king) which favored Prince Viserys (who was the king's eldest grandson).

This in itself is viable hint that while sons and daughters usually come before a the brother of a king, a king's son (or grandson) might often come before a grandson (or great-grandson). In that sense Aerys II's decision for Viserys III isn't strange at all.

If primogeniture was a universally accepted principle there wouldn't have been a disputed succession after the sudden death of Maekar I in 233 AC. Prince Maegor would have been the only possible but instead a Great Council was needed to prevent another war of succession.

Not to mention the fact that half the Realm declared for Renly Baratheon after the death of Robert. If primogeniture had been universally accepted then most of the Lords of the Reach and the Stormlands wouldn't have followed Renly in his rebellion simply because that would have been unthinkable. But it clearly wasn't.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Not to mention the fact that half the Realm declared for Renly Baratheon after the death of Robert. If primogeniture had been universally accepted then most of the Lords of the Reach and the Stormlands wouldn't have followed Renly in his rebellion simply because that would have been unthinkable. But it clearly wasn't.

And that once again comes back to the King, the Bishop and the Banker trumping dusty legal texts.

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9 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

And that once again comes back to the King, the Bishop and the Banker trumping dusty legal texts.

Yeah, well, not completely. The king's power sort of comes from such dusty legal text, doesn't it? The way Varys phrases it suggests that being king gives the king the legal right to demand stuff. And what makes a king is the topic of royal blood, royal descent, and the legality of claims.

This is point I often try to make is that royalty and aristocracy are very strong legal concepts in Westeros (else this wouldn't be some feudal monarchy, no?). People in Westeros usually believe that shadow at the wall looks like the king (and not, say, like the High Septon or a rich merchant) and thus the question what makes a king is pretty important when you are trying to become one.

Throughout the series we only deal with royal claimants who base their (in part) on royal descent. Renly talks about might making right and stuff but he is still Robert's younger brother and Aegon V's great-grandson. As of yet the dynastic principle is still strong enough to prevent the average lord from seizing the throne directly - something that would easily work if the rules of the society were more like those of the wildlings or the Dothraki.

The general consensus is still that you have to have royal blood to become the king. What is disputed or discussed is who comes first and who among the royal descendants has the best claim. But it is never in doubt that the power lies with the royals.

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It does, but then it comes down to which one, which is why this game of thrones is being played out in the first place :devil:

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12 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

It does, but then it comes down to which one, which is why this game of thrones is being played out in the first place :devil:

Not following there.

The game of thrones is just a game behind the scenes, in peace time it is referring to the guy who has the most power behind the throne, and it war time it is about who becomes the king (or conquers the kingdom).

Schemers like Varys or Littlefinger (or Cersei, Pycelle, Tywin, etc.) might make the real decisions, put thoughts in the heads of the people who rule but in the eyes of the public the king will still rule and hold the power.

Littlefinger can only amass power within the royal bureaucracy and he can only exert power by going through the king.

Wealth is only a political tool in the hands of certain people in this world. An armorer like Tobho Mott might be richer than many smaller lords but he is unable to play the game on the same level as a lord or a landed knight because he is not even seen as a powerful political entity. He can hire swords and bribe people but he cannot present himself as a political player.

Speaking in the terms of the riddle one would say that the majority of the people in Westeros would be obeying the command of the king rather than the priest or the rich guy because that is what they were taught to do. It is ingrained in the culture of the society.

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In my opinion, Jon is still a bastard because even if R+J got married officially, who would believe that? It was like over 20 years ago or so Lol

I think his heritage means the most to him and maybe the other Starks, because they turn to know that in reality Ned did not dishornor Cat and that Jon suffered the wrong treatment from Cat for so long. And Jon might feel less horrible. Yes he is still a bastard but at least he knows his true father and mother and they were possible in love. They did not desert him. And he would feel more grateful towards Ned because he had done so much to keep Jon safe from Robert. 

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7 hours ago, Rhaegar the Unworthy said:

That's putting it generously 

Well, I've got a wager running that he'll find a way to dismiss any future revelations on the Jon Snow if they not fit his sacrosanct interpretation of the fevre dream. My favorites right now are him declaring that Howland Reed is already demented (or misremembering details) if he gives a summary of what happened. A revelation via Bran's visions should be more difficult to discredit but I guess he'll find a way (perhaps by 'analyzing the language/grammar involved').

Ignoring potentially important information is also a good way to immunize yourself. Nothing is cited or referred to less often in this thread then Selmy revealing to us that Kingsguard can be charged to protect royal mistresses and bastards and have done so in the past.

15 minutes ago, Chib said:

In my opinion, Jon is still a bastard because even if R+J got married officially, who would believe that? It was like over 20 years ago or so Lol

Well, I actually think there is a good chance that Rhaegar and Lyanna were officially and publicly married and it is just for 'narrative purposes' (i.e. the mystery of Jon's parentage which George wants to maintain) that nobody ever remembers or refers to that marriage. An existing marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna could provide us with the best explanation as to why the hell Rhaegar and Lyanna had to go underground - any other explanation faces major problems and has to reinterpret both characters as being utterly irresponsible and love-sick (which is not a trait given to either Lyanna nor Rhaegar up to this point).

However, I do agree that nobody might care about Jon Snow being a son of Rhaegar Targaryen by Lyanna Stark. Ned Stark did everything he could to bury that truth and nobody has to believe Howland Reed just because he tells some story. One could easily cite Eddard Stark's reputation as an honest and honorable man to dismiss the entire thing.

15 minutes ago, Chib said:

I think his heritage means the most to him and maybe the other Starks, because they turn to know that in reality Ned did not dishornor Cat and that Jon suffered the wrong treatment from Cat for so long. And Jon might feel less horrible. Yes he is still a bastard but at least he knows his true father and mother and they were possible in love. They did not desert him. And he would feel more grateful towards Ned because he had done so much to keep Jon safe from Robert. 

I'm not so sure that Jon Snow will be all that happy with that. He wants to be Ned Stark's son. Being Rhaegar Targaryen's son just sucks because it would severely attack/affect his identity as a Stark. More importantly, Ned wouldn't have trusted Jon with the truth. I'm pretty sure he'll not be happy with that.

And the idea that a Targaryen bastard had to be disguised as a Stark bastard makes actually little sense. There is no hint whatsoever that Robert hunted down all the bastards the Mad King might have had with his many mistresses (we don't know that he had any bastards but he could have had some) and Rhaegar's infant bastard would have been no threat to Robert.

If there was just some sort of secret wedding then Jon Snow could easily have remained Lyanna's bastard, allowing Ned to come clean with his wife. It only makes sense for Ned to go to such great lengths to obscure the parentage of the child if he thought the boy was actually in danger. And that makes only sense if Robert would believe that Lyanna and Rhaegar were in fact married. Which sort of entails that this information was actually available to him.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not so sure that Jon Snow will be all that happy with that. He wants to be Ned Stark's son. Being Rhaegar Targaryen's son just sucks because it would severely attack/affect his identity as a Stark. More importantly, Ned wouldn't have trusted Jon with the truth. I'm pretty sure he'll not be happy with that.

And the idea that a Targaryen bastard had to be disguised as a Stark bastard makes actually little sense. There is no hint whatsoever that Robert hunted down all the bastards the Mad King might have had with his many mistresses (we don't know that he had any bastards but he could have had some) and Rhaegar's infant bastard would have been no threat to Robert.

If there was just some sort of secret wedding then Jon Snow could easily have remained Lyanna's bastard, allowing Ned to come clean with his wife. It only makes sense for Ned to go to such great lengths to obscure the parentage of the child if he thought the boy was actually in danger. And that makes only sense if Robert would believe that Lyanna and Rhaegar were in fact married. Which sort of entails that this information was actually available to him.

Of course I don't think Jon will like Rhaegar as his father, but at least he is happy that he is not a motherless child and his father is not the mad king lol (sorry Dany). 

Robert if he had known Jon is Lyanna and Rhaegar's son, even he is just a bastard, he will kill Jon for sure. Jon is the ultimate blow to his pride lol. 

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1 minute ago, Chib said:

Of course I don't think Jon will like Rhaegar as his father, but at least he is happy that he is not a motherless child and his father is not the mad king lol (sorry Dany).

Well, he would be his grandson. I'm not sure if that's so much better.

1 minute ago, Chib said:

Robert if he had known Jon is Lyanna and Rhaegar's son, even he is just a bastard, he will kill Jon for sure. Jon is the ultimate blow to his pride lol. 

I don't buy that. Robert loved Lyanna and as it happens her son looked exactly like her. I don't think Ned feared what Robert might do but what Robert might allow Tywin or Jaime to do.

There are hints in AGoT that Robert's refusal to punish Tywin/Gregor/Lorch for the murder of Elia and the children was the crucial reason why he took the boy under his wing and made him his bastard. This makes much more sense if we assume that Ned already knew that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and any children they might have might face a similar fate as Rhaenys and Aegon.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, he would be his grandson. I'm not sure if that's so much better.

I don't buy that. Robert loved Lyanna and as it happens her son looked exactly like her. I don't think Ned feared what Robert might do but what Robert might allow Tywin or Jaime to do.

There are hints in AGoT that Robert's refusal to punish Tywin/Gregor/Lorch for the murder of Elia and the children was the crucial reason why he took the boy under his wing and made him his bastard. This makes much more sense if we assume that Ned already knew that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and any children they might have might face a similar fate as Rhaenys and Aegon.

lol at leasy Rhaegar is not that bad lol. 

I still don't think that R+J were married. I think Ned just thought any Targ would be in danger, bastard or not. 

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, he would be his grandson. I'm not sure if that's so much better.

I don't buy that. Robert loved Lyanna and as it happens her son looked exactly like her. I don't think Ned feared what Robert might do but what Robert might allow Tywin or Jaime to do.

There are hints in AGoT that Robert's refusal to punish Tywin/Gregor/Lorch for the murder of Elia and the children was the crucial reason why he took the boy under his wing and made him his bastard. This makes much more sense if we assume that Ned already knew that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and any children they might have might face a similar fate as Rhaenys and Aegon.

Robert hated the Targs more than he loved Lyanna. 

Robert makes Ned uncomfortable when he's renting about the Targaryens. Robert is the one ordering the Targs deaths. Robert is the one whose is so angry about the Targs years later that it bothers Ned. Robert is the one taking the initiative to get rid of the Targs. The Lannisters dont care about the Targs it's Robert who is expressing hatred and trying to kill them. 

Of course Ned feared what Robert might do to a child or Lyanna and Rhaegar's and he had a right to be worried. 

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Just now, The Wolves said:

Robert hated the Targs more than he loved Lyanna.

How do you know that? Are you Robert Baratheon?

Just now, The Wolves said:

Robert makes Ned uncomfortable when he's renting about the Targaryens. Robert is the one ordering the Targs deaths. Robert is the one whose is so angry about the Targs years later that it bothers Ned. Robert is the one taking the initiative to get rid of the Targs. The Lannisters dont care about the Targs it's Robert who is expressing hatred and trying to kill them. 

Of course Ned feared what Robert might do to a child or Lyanna and Rhaegar's and he had a right to be worried. 

You are confusing the fat man we meet in AGoT with Ned Stark's friend back at the end of the war. Robert's so-called 'Targaryen hatred' only became apparent in deed when he decided not to punish Jaime and Tywn.

And Lyanna was not yet dead at this time. You cannot equate Robert_298_AC and Robert_283_AC. Robert became so resentful of Rhaegar and the Targaryens in general because his later life sucked and he had lost Lyanna to Rhaegar and was stuck with Cersei.

If Robert had dared to demand the head of Lyanna's son the North and the Riverlands could easily have turned against him, and we don't know which road Jon Arryn would have taken. Eddard Stark was a well-connected great lord of the Realm at this point. And a bastard wouldn't have been a threat to anyone.

This could have easily enough created an alliance between Ned and whoever wanted to stand with him and the remaining Targaryen loyalists. Ned and the Doran would certainly have been on the same page there.

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56 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

How do you know that? Are you Robert Baratheon?

You are confusing the fat man we meet in AGoT with Ned Stark's friend back at the end of the war. Robert's so-called 'Targaryen hatred' only became apparent in deed when he decided not to punish Jaime and Tywn.

And Lyanna was not yet dead at this time. You cannot equate Robert_298_AC and Robert_283_AC. Robert became so resentful of Rhaegar and the Targaryens in general because his later life sucked and he had lost Lyanna to Rhaegar and was stuck with Cersei.

If Robert had dared to demand the head of Lyanna's son the North and the Riverlands could easily have turned against him, and we don't know which road Jon Arryn would have taken. Eddard Stark was a well-connected great lord of the Realm at this point. And a bastard wouldn't have been a threat to anyone.

This could have easily enough created an alliance between Ned and whoever wanted to stand with him and the remaining Targaryen loyalists. Ned and the Doran would certainly have been on the same page there.

Of course Robert hated the Targs more than he loved Lyanna the dude was more passionate about them than he's ever been about Lyanna. 

And stop trying to downplay Robert's hatred of the Targs he's consistent in it. Ned did not fear the Lannisters knowing about Jon he feared Robert. The same Robert who did nothing as Jon's siblings were laid dead at his feet dehumanizing innocent babies. Or the same Robert who constantly kept talking about killing any Targaryen he could get his hands on. 

Why would the Riverlands fight for Rhaegar and Lyanna's son? Why would anybody but the North, and a bastard at that? 

And why would the Lannisters care about Rhaegar's bastard? Why would they think that a bastard mattered? Why would Ned fear the Lannisters concerning Jon? 

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

How do you know that? Are you Robert Baratheon?

You are confusing the fat man we meet in AGoT with Ned Stark's friend back at the end of the war. Robert's so-called 'Targaryen hatred' only became apparent in deed when he decided not to punish Jaime and Tywn.

And Lyanna was not yet dead at this time. You cannot equate Robert_298_AC and Robert_283_AC. Robert became so resentful of Rhaegar and the Targaryens in general because his later life sucked and he had lost Lyanna to Rhaegar and was stuck with Cersei.

If Robert had dared to demand the head of Lyanna's son the North and the Riverlands could easily have turned against him, and we don't know which road Jon Arryn would have taken. Eddard Stark was a well-connected great lord of the Realm at this point. And a bastard wouldn't have been a threat to anyone.

This could have easily enough created an alliance between Ned and whoever wanted to stand with him and the remaining Targaryen loyalists. Ned and the Doran would certainly have been on the same page there.

This analysis is a lot of speculation. Bottom line is that Ned could never be sure what Robert would do. Robert had already taken actions that Ned did not think Robert would ever take. Ned could not risk that Robert would order Jon's death -- as Ned could not be certain what Robert would do if he found out who Jon really was.

And of course, Ned also apparently promised Lyanna to raise Jon as his own son and not reveal Jon's identity -- so Ned was going to keep that promise in any event. But to the original point, the readers cannot possibly know for sure what Robert would have done under the circumstances -- and presumably neither could Ned. So Ned needed to play the conservative alternative to keep Jon safe from anyone -- Robert, Tywin or any other Targaryen opponent -- who might harm Jon.

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Just now, UnmaskedLurker said:

This analysis is a lot of speculation. Bottom line is that Ned could never be sure what Robert would do. Robert had already taken actions that Ned did not think Robert would ever take. Ned could not risk that Robert would order Jon's death -- as Ned could not be certain what Robert would do if he found out who Jon really was.

And of course, Ned also apparently promised Lyanna to raise Jon as his own son and not reveal Jon's identity -- so Ned was going to keep that promise in any event. But to the original point, the readers cannot possibly know for sure what Robert would have done under the circumstances -- and presumably neither could Ned. So Ned needed to play the conservative alternative to keep Jon safe from anyone -- Robert, Tywin or any other Targaryen opponent -- who might harm Jon.

Well, we don't know what exactly Ned promised Lyanna, or do we?

Lyanna has no way to learn any details about the treatment Rhaegar's children received at the hands of the Lannisters, and the chances that Ned took his time to trouble his dying sister with that kind of talk is pretty unlikely.

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