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Ygrain

R+L=J v.162

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16 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

how do you know Lyanna knows Howland was beaten "because of where he is from" when she  took action and beat those three young boys? GRRM did not say that. GRRM said Lyanna saved him because he is her father's bannerman. it looks like she did not know the reason of fighting at that moment. More like when a middle school student sees somebody is beating his buddy: oh, somebody is beating my friend, I need to help him! No time to figure out the detailed reason. That fits her age of 13-14 years old and wild, impulsive nature. What you said "teach a valuable lesson on how people should treat those who come from different culture", I do not think she think that much at that moment. 

 

Because they call him a "frogeater" while they beat him. Do you need the reference or can you find it in Meera's tale?

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The little crannogman was walking across the field enjoying the warm spring day and harming none, when he was set upon by three squires. They were none older than fifteen, yet even so they were bigger than him, all three. This was their world, as they saw it, and he had no right to be there. They snatched away his spear and knocked him to the ground, cursing him for a frogeater. (ASoS 281) bold emphasis added

 

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3 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Because they call him a "frogeater" while they beat him. Do you need the reference or can you find it in Meera's tale?

 

Ha, they cursed him for a frogeater. Not that they call him a frogeater while they beat him and we have no idea if Lyanna took action due to hearing about frogeater. 

Again, you can imagine whatever yoy want, but Lyanna clearly told us her motivation: "he is my father's bannerman", not " what is wrong with frogeater!" 

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36 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

Ha, they cursed him for a frogeater. Not that they call him a frogeater while they beat him and we have no idea if Lyanna took action due to hearing about frogeater. 

Again, you can imagine whatever yoy want, but Lyanna clearly told us her motivation: "he is my father's bannerman", not " what is wrong with frogeater!" 

What are you talking about? The squires call him a "frogeater" as a curse denoting where he comes from.  It is as clear as clear can be to the reader they are beating him as a crannogman who they believe doesn't belong at tourney among his "betters". Read the entire quote. 

The old equivalent in our real world would be what bigots used to call my Irish ancestors - "potato eaters." A curse to describe them as less than other ethnicities.

Lyanna happens on this scene, complete with physical violence and verbal insults based on the crannogman's ethnicity and proceeds to put her body and a tourney sword between the racist bullies and Howland. Yes, she claims Reed as her own father's man and just as deserving of respect as anyone else. 

PE, your myopia towards Lyanna is showing here, if you cannot see her as a young woman standing up to bullies and bigots.

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21 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

What are you talking about? The squires call him a "frogeater" as a curse denoting where he comes from.  It is as clear as clear can be to the reader they are beating him as a crannogman who they believe doesn't belong at tourney among his "betters". Read the entire quote. 

The old equivalent in our real world would be what bigots used to call my Irish ancestors - "potato eaters." A curse to describe them as less than other ethnicities.

Lyanna happens on this scene, complete with physical violence and verbal insults based on the crannogman's ethnicity and proceeds to put her body and a tourney sword between the racist bullies and Howland. Yes, she claims Reed as her own father's man and just as deserving of respect as anyone else. 

PE, your myopia towards Lyanna is showing here, if you cannot see her as a young woman standing up to bullies and bigots.

You can say whatever nice words towards Lyanna, but it does look like that she saved him mainly because "he is her father's bannerman" (which she said very clearly), not what you called as "teach an valuable lesson about respecting different culture". She is clearly guarding her father's men, not guarding a guy who has a different eating and living habbit. Sure, three boys beat Howland due to his culture, but that is not Lyanna's motivation. please Do not confuse these two things together. 

if it is a southern boy with different culture (say, Dornish) who is beaten by some kids, are you sure Lyanna will jump out and save him? you have no answer for that. maybe she will, maybe she will not. why? because there is no support that Lyanna is an advocate for respecting cultural differences. you just paint her as something like that because you think she is so incredibly great. 

Oh, wait, she probably would not take action if the person is Dornish, since she did not mind ignoring the culture of Dornishmen that one husband can only have one wife by marrying a husband of a dornish wife (in your opinion).

 

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On 21/11/2016 at 5:15 AM, SFDanny said:

My real point is, however, if Rhaegar assumes he is safe and in line for the throne in this period, he is a fool. And I don't think he is a fool.

Fairly argued, I cannot disagree with your assessment.

However, I can add to it that if he assumes he would be able to get away with a polygamous marriage (sans dragons), he is also a fool. 

What this really comes down to is which is he more likely to get away with. I would argue that getting away with a polygamous marriage and being able to legitimise a bastard BOTH rely on him remaining very close to the throne, if not actually on it. That being the case, legitimisation would be something he would have little to no problem getting away with, while a polygamous marriage is something he would at the least be less likely to get away with. 

However this is probably all a bit moot as we both seem to agree that if there was a marriage, be it polygamous or post-divorce to Elia, it would be for Lyanna's sake rather than for the sake of legitimising Jon.

On 21/11/2016 at 5:15 AM, SFDanny said:

What the SSM means to me is that for a king to impose his will in whatever area he wants he has to have political dominance in his hands. Dragons are certainly tools to that dominance, but they are not the only way to achieve it. A post rebellion in which Rhaegar is victorious and has replaced his father on the throne sounds like a fairly dominate position to me. I'm not saying it is impossible to lose that position, but I would like his odds.

If he was already in that position and secure, I agree. When he's still reliant on getting the support of the other houses, entering a polygamous marriage would be a politically very dangerous move. Don't rock the boat when you're desperately trying to stop it sinking.

On 21/11/2016 at 5:15 AM, SFDanny said:

It looks to me as if this interpretation of prophecy by Rhaegar comes once he believes Aegon is TPWWP. He does so after seeing a comet on the night Aegon is conceived, or so Maester Aemon tells us. That would explain why he names his first daughter Rhaenys instead of Visenya. Rhaegar is struggling with this prophecy to make it work, and as usual, when people try to do so they get it wrong. We are not looking, for the moment, at what the prophecy really means or if it even matters. It mattered to Rhaegar and figuring what was in his head at this time is the real point.

That certainly makes sense of the incorrect naming order if he hadn't come to this conclusion until seeing the comet, I agree. The interesting thing is that means that Rhaenys' naming was coincidental. When he named her, he wasn't trying to recreate the original trio. He may have felt, when he saw the comet, that destiny had already started guiding his hand. However destiny was not guiding him to an exact match -- that ship has sailed. On that basis I can't see he would be all that bothered by precise matches to the original, knowing that he wasn't going to get it anyway.

On 21/11/2016 at 5:15 AM, SFDanny said:

 Why Rhaegar has determined his children must recreate the three headed dragon as necessary for the prophecy to be fulfilled we don't know, but it looks to me that he has.

It's likely, but how accurately must it be recreated? Aemon came to the conclusion that a princess could be just as good as a prince. Who knows what conclusions Rhaegar had come to. 

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11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

Fairly argued, I cannot disagree with your assessment.

I think we can objectively say that Rhaegar was a fool. He did foolish things that ruined his own life, Lyanna's life, and the life of his young brother and unborn sister, not to mention the lives of his own children and wife.

If he was as intelligent as he is described by many characters he would have been able to foresee quite a lot of the fallout his actions would cause - both from his royal father as well as Houses Baratheon, Stark, and their allies.

Mitigating factors could be some sort of madness in him (his obsession with prophecy could come close to Aerys II's, Aerion's or Dany's 'mad beliefs') not to mention the effects his emotions (love for Lyanna) might have had on him.

11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

However, I can add to it that if he assumes he would be able to get away with a polygamous marriage (sans dragons), he is also a fool.

There is no chance that he could have believed he could do that without causing a civil war in the process. Not just a scandal, a civil war. The Starks, Baratheon, and Martells would never accept this, and neither would, most likely, his own father and the Faith. He might have been forced to give up his claim to the throne. Unlike Maegor, Rhaegar was not the rider of Balerion.

11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

What this really comes down to is which is he more likely to get away with. I would argue that getting away with a polygamous marriage and being able to legitimise a bastard BOTH rely on him remaining very close to the throne, if not actually on it. That being the case, legitimisation would be something he would have little to no problem getting away with, while a polygamous marriage is something he would at the least be less likely to get away with.

The problem with that is that we don't really know what he wanted to do. Legitimizing a child by Lyanna could only happen after Rhaegar became king. While it seems likely Rhaegar intended to take the governance of the Realm into his own after he had crushed the rebels there is no hint he had any plans to supplant his father around the time he took Lyanna. In fact, his words to Jame indicate he did not intend anything of this sort at this point, having given up such plans in the wake of Harrenhal.

Rhaegar only returned to prominence at court because his father granted him authority. Had Merryweather or Connington crushed the rebels Rhaegar might never again have been in a position to challenge his father.

11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

However this is probably all a bit moot as we both seem to agree that if there was a marriage, be it polygamous or post-divorce to Elia, it would be for Lyanna's sake rather than for the sake of legitimising Jon.

I don't think there is any evidence for an annulment of the Rhaegar-Elia match. We know from Prince Daemon that you have to go through the king to get something like that and there is no chance that Rhaegar could secretly annul his marriage to Elia of Dorne (who had given him to healthy children!) without the king being informed about that. And from Maegor - who effectively declared that his marriage to Ceryse Hightower was over because she was barren (without formally annulling the match due to the fact that the High Septon was her maternal uncle and unwilling to agree to such an outrageous thing) - we know that any marriage made while a former spouse yet lived was considered bigamy and polygamy, and was thus not valid. Maegor's marriage to Alys Harroway was not recognized as such by his brother the king, the court, the Faith, and the Lords of the Realm. If Maegor wanted to live with his 'whore' he had to go into exile.

11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

If he was already in that position and secure, I agree. When he's still reliant on getting the support of the other houses, entering a polygamous marriage would be a politically very dangerous move. Don't rock the boat when you're desperately trying to stop it sinking.

Indeed. I laid that out for @SFDanny a few pages back. There are a lot of problems if we go with Rhaegar marrying Lyanna in secret or them not marrying at all only to do it after the war is won. If people didn't know about that already while they were fighting with Rhaegar against the rebels such a revelation might definitely shatter their willingness to stick to this man. Even if all the rebels were defeated and Aerys II deposed there were alternatives to the bigamist. Prince Viserys, or even Rhaegar's own children by Elia Martell.

Rhaenyra Targaryen all but won the Dance of the Dragons but lost her advantage when she (and the people around her) began to see traitors everywhere. Defeating the enemy in the field doesn't mean you are securely on the throne. Rhaegar the Bigamist could have faced riots in his own capital the moment he disbanded his army - and he would have to do that, sooner or later.

You have also to consider how bad it would have looked if Rhaegar had set up the sister and daughter of men who had either taken the field against House Targaryen or been executed for treason as the new queen.

11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

That certainly makes sense of the incorrect naming order if he hadn't come to this conclusion until seeing the comet, I agree. The interesting thing is that means that Rhaenys' naming was coincidental. When he named her, he wasn't trying to recreate the original trio. He may have felt, when he saw the comet, that destiny had already started guiding his hand. However destiny was not guiding him to an exact match -- that ship has sailed. On that basis I can't see he would be all that bothered by precise matches to the original, knowing that he wasn't going to get it anyway.

There is actually no reason to believe that Rhaegar intended to recreate Aegon and his sisters in any form or shape. What we know is that he thought there had to be another dragon head. Presumably because the prophecy speaks of such dragon heads. Rhaegar would have been utterly mad if nothing in the prophecy had alluded to three heroes/dragons/dragon heads and he himself had randomly connected some ancient Valyrian scroll to Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives.

In fact, I find it more likely that Aegon and Viserys were considered the two dragon heads, and Rhaegar thought it fell to him to produce another son because his parents were not likely to do so. After all, Kevan indicates that Rhaegar wanted sons, not sons and daughters. And through Tywin he could actually have known Rhaegar's wishes in that department.

The name Rhaenys and its derivative forms (Rhaena, Rhaelle, Rhaella, Rhaegel, Rhaegar) are quite common among the Targaryens due to the fact that Rhaenys is the beloved founding mother of the dynasty, while nobody but the first Prince Viserys (born during the reign of the Conqueror, prior to Visenya and Maegor's crimes) seems to have been named after Visenya. Jaehaerys I even named one of his daughters Viserra (after his late brother, the first Viserys) rather than Visenya. The only known Targaryen girl to ever bear that name was a stillborn monstrosity - and Rhaenyra made it a political statement to name her after the Targaryen warrior-queen. One assumes she would have been given a rather different name had she lived and had the Greens not staged their coup around the time the child was born.

Thus we can reasonably dismiss the possibility that Rhaegar would have named a daughter of his Visenya. In fact, I think he could easily enough intended to name a girl after her mother. 

It is understandable that he believe his son, Aegon, might be important in the prophecy thing after he lost the belief that he himself was the promised prince. However, considering that he had no good reason (as per the Ghost's prophecy) to believe that either he or any of Aerys and Rhaella's other children actually would be the promised prince it is both irresponsible and quite mad to assume it fell to him and his line to create the promised prince rather than to Viserys.

11 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

It's likely, but how accurately must it be recreated? Aemon came to the conclusion that a princess could be just as good as a prince. Who knows what conclusions Rhaegar had come to. 

Well, Aemon knew the original Valyrian version of the prophecy. At least presumably, because he indicates that the prophecy originally spoke about dragons not princes (leaving it open that legitimate/marital birth might be irrelevant as well, depending on whether the dragonlords cared all that much about marriage). Whether Rhaegar knew the original is unknown (he could have just read a translation made by Aerys I or Aemon himself - I doubt that young Rhaegar could already read High Valyrian) thus we should be careful with any assumptions depending on Rhaegar having access to 'special knowledge'.

The fact that Aemon's realization that a woman could also be the savior is a main reason why I don't buy the idea that Rhaegar though his daughter fit into the prophecy at all. Nowhere is it indicated that she was the second head of the dragon nor is there any hint that her birth was special in any case. In fact, even if we assume Viserys wasn't the second head in Rhaegar's mind he could have still thought he himdelf was the second head considering that his birth at Summerhall was somewhat special at least.

But Aerys II actually had perfectly good reason to believe that Viserys was more special than Rhaegar considering the fact that child could easily be seen as a gift from the Seven - after all, Aerys had made a solemn vow to the Seven to give up adultery and henceforth only share the bed of his sister-wife. Who knows? Perhaps Aerys and Rhaella convinced Rhaegar that he wasn't the promised prince after all once Viserys was born? Rhaegar concluding that Elia's unborn child might be the promised prince in the wake of the comet only makes sense if Rhaegar had come to doubt that he was promised prince. Had he still been convinced of that he would never have taken the comet as a sign against his own prophetic importance.

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I've tried responding to this post twice before, but lost both versions. Apparently, there must be one more...

On 11/7/2016 at 6:55 AM, Lord Varys said:

Well, that's pretty easy to answer. Searching for (or rather: creating) the promised prince was Rhaegar's obsession. It was his mission, his agenda, his goal. Not Lyanna's.

If Lyanna succeeded where Rhaegar failed then Lyanna had no agency of her own but just succeeded (or finished) where Rhaegar failed. She didn't do anything because she wanted to but she continued what Rhaegar wanted to do or even what he told her to do. If you see Lyanna that way she just becomes some sort of Rhaegar-appendix insofar as her motivation is concerned, and I very much doubt that George created a character like Lyanna to act in this way.

So? It's not uncommon for one person to pick up another person's "mission." To succeed where they failed. And accomplishing Rhaegar's "mission" doesn't necessarily preclude Lyanna from having accomplished hers. Character arcs and story lines, like roads, do intersect from time to time. For example, it might have been her mission to stop her impending wedding with Robert.

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That kind of talk is what I mean. Lyanna just becomes Rhaegar's prophecy-apprentice, his devoted follower in creating the savior of the world. That's not completely impossible, of course, but we have no reason whatsoever to believe that anything of that happened.

I said nothing of the sort. And frankly, I find this kind of uncharitable hyperbole to be in poor taste. You've twisted my words to such an extent that you're basically arguing a straw man.

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This thing is also supposed to be a love story of some sort, and love usually has more levels than the 'we have to fulfill some ancient prophecy' angle. On Lyanna's part prophecy would have had nothing to do with the whole affair. And I guess I'd have left Rhaegar as soon as possible had he come around to reveal to me that some ancient prophecy had motivated him to abduct me. I mean, ancient prophecy has nothing to do with me or my feelings, right? And people who love me should be triggered by me as a person to fall in love with me not by some weirdo symbolism connected to the ice element of my noble line.

I'm sure Rhaegar will be disappointed to hear all of that. But seriously, you're not Lyanna. So I don't know why you think your feelings are relevant here.

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The idea that Lyanna could actually have read or studied the original prophecy only makes sense if we assume that Rhaegar took that prophecy with him when he went to the Riverlands. I don't find that very likely because that prophecy is likely to have been in the Red Keep not on Dragonstone considering that young Rhaegar read it as a boy in the Red Keep.

Who said anywhere, ever, that Lyanna would have had to read about the prophecy? This is such an unnecessary assumption. It's obviously enough that Rhaegar could have told her.

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And prophecy is, of course, completely unnecessary for a couple conceiving a child as you well know. We don't even have to assume Lyanna Stark wanted to have a child with Prince Rhaegar. The whole rape angle isn't completely out of the window yet. It seems there was definitely attraction and possibly even deep love between these two but this doesn't mean things didn't get complicated as things unfolded. Lyanna Stark isn't described as the kind of person who would allow Rhaegar to get away with anything she didn't like.

Maybe she liked the idea of birthing a/the prophesied savior. I'm not making that argument, but why are you making one that rules out that possibility?

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Again, she might have been forced to have his baby. Not because she was raped, necessarily, but also because she was carefully watched and had no means to conduct an abortion after she became pregnant. You are aware, I think, that babies don't go away just because a woman doesn't want to pregnant (anymore), right?

Well, I was under the impression that you could always shoot down the stork mid flight, if need be.

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What Rhaegar believed isn't what Lyanna believed (until we know that it was).

That's a fantastic argument to make when discussing a theory, since they all include speculation.

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I think we have more reason to believe that Lyanna had an agenda and goals of her own considering her personality rather than consider her to be converted to Rhaegar's beliefs in ancient prophecies.

I think I already covered this.

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Well, naming the boy after the father is something that could happen, too. If Lyanna loved Rhaegar (or had rediscovered her love for Rhaegar on her deathbed) then it would also make sense for her to name her son by him after his father. It doesn't to have been Rhaegar. Could also be some sort of variation of the name, say, Rhaegal, Rhaegel, or Rhaegys (if that's a Valyrian name). Lyanna would have had more reason to name her son after his father than Aegon or Aemon.

Based on what?

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She had no connection to any of these people and such an idea has to presuppose that (1) Rhaegar actually talked to Lyanna about the name(s) he wanted to choose for their child (not unlikely but as of yet unconfirmed), (2) Rhaegar ever talked to Lyanna about why he named his son by Elia Aegon (possible but I see no reason why this should be the case), (3) Lyanna actually cared and continued to think about Rhaegar's mad ramblings about prophecy (I see no good reason as to why she should have believed any of that or thought in a way similar to Rhaegar's own mind), (4) Lyanna actually agreed that Rhaegar had been right to name the promised prince Aegon, agreed that their child was (now) the promised prince, and was of the opinion that he should therefore be named Aegon, too.

That is way too far-fetched for me.

Stated more reasonably, none of that seems far fetched to me. We should also recall that Lyanna, as a highborn lady, would have studied history, and been fully aware of traditional Targaryen names like Aemon and Aegon. And btw, she did have a connection to the Targaryens if she was having a Targaryen baby. How hard is that to grasp?

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I can see Lyanna giving her son the name Rhaegar chose for him. But I don't think she would have reached a Rhaegar-like naming decision more or less completely on her own.

Why are you stripping her of her agency?

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I already agreed about that. I only brought that whole thing up because I find that idea more likely if we assume Lyanna chose a name on her own. Why should she go with a Targaryen name knowing that the Targaryens were finished? And knowing that the Targaryens nearly destroyed her entire family.

I could speculate, but that's a question for GRRM. What seems very likely to me for reasons already stated, is that she did give him a Targaryen name.

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But Rhaegar didn't choose the name Aegon because he was supposed to be the promised prince. He chose a king's name for a boy who was supposed to be king one day. That boy also happens to be the promised prince in Rhaegar's mind but the text does not support your idea that Rhaegar named his son Aegon because he thought the promised prince should bear that name. That is essentially your invention.

That's not my idea, nor my invention. You claimed that there was no connection between the name Aegon and the PtwP. I countered by pointing out that Rhaegar named the person he believed to be the PtwP Aegon. Which constitutes a connection. And @Rippounet reinforced the connection with a quote I had forgotten about:

"My brother said the babe was the prince that was promised and told her to name him Aegon." - Dany

Once again connecting the PtwP with the name Aegon.

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The mad ramblings are connected to the fact that Rhaegar the Presumptuous thinks destiny has chosen him not only to look for but also to create the promised prince. He thinks he has to do this kind of thing, and there is actually no reason for him to believe that. He has a younger brother, after all. Why can't Viserys be the father or grandfather of the promised prince? Or, you know, perhaps his parents are going to have another child who is the promised princess? He never thought about that, or did he?

Maybe because Rhaegar had already been studying the prophecies for years before Viserys was born. This is a really bizarre argument to me, since we can be pretty sure that Rhaegar did in fact father one of the heroes, or possibly the hero. This is like knowing a government agency is spying on a person, and calling them paranoid. It's not paranoia if they're really after you. And the prophetic ramblings aren't mad if they were right.

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I mean, even if we would assume Jon Snow was the only savior or main hero of the story - he didn't wake dragons from stone, and he is not likely to do that. Even if he becomes a dragonrider and the leader of the fight against the Others he is going to win such a victory only because Daenerys did what she did - and her birth and rise to prophetic prominence is directly dependent on the Realm sinking into chaos, the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty, the libido of her mad father, the suffering of Queen Rhaella at her brother-husband's hands, the deaths of Viserys III, Rhaego, Khal Drogo, and Mirri Maz Duur. That's the main road to salvation (if the dragons are important) not Rhaegar's beliefs and actions. They might turn out to contribute and expand on it but right now I see no reason that Jon's role could not be played by some other guy with a less prestigious ancestry. If he also ends up developing special powers of his own that can only be explained by his special heritage I'm going to change my mind on that one. But right now he looks still pretty ordinary to me.

I have some ideas about how Jon could wake dragons from stone and things like that, but it's not important. What I will say is that I don't think Dany fulfilled the prophecy of waking dragons from stone by hatching the dragons from stone, because it's too straightforward. Alternatively, it's possible that Dany's will be the in-universe explanation, along with a more symbolic one for the readers.

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In addition, we have no reason to believe Rhaegar actually knew anything about the Others or thought the promised prince had anything to do with them. Had that been the case Rhaegar should have done anything in his power to help the Night's Watch. In fact, all the Targaryen kings since Jaehaerys II should have done something of that sort. After all they all knew about the prophecy and believed in it.

Rhaegar believed a hero (or three) was needed. He was right.

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Well, that question isn't that difficult to answer:

1. Lyanna Stark was still very young when she met Prince Rhaegar. There is no hint she was particularly interested in prophecy or magic. And if she was she would have focused on the traditions of the First Men and the old gods, not some Valyrian stuff.

2. Rhaegar has no proof that his mad ramblings about prophecy and saviors are actually correct. The educated members of nobility we meet in Westeros (like Catelyn, say, or even Cersei) usually don't believe in magic or prophecy without good reason. They are skeptical about superstition and even religion. Even the Starks no longer believe in the existence of the Others.

1. So? Again, none of this is relevant. It's not any kind of problem for the theory, because the theory never makes any such assumptions.

2. Rhaegar might not have had absolute proof, but we do. So we know Rhaegar was right.

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It is the reader focusing so much on the prophecy and Rhaegar's obsession with it that makes it very tempting to assume that pretty much everybody Rhaegar had close relations with would have shared his view. But this is actually not very likely.

I don't know who is making this argument, but it's not me.

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5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I've tried responding to this post twice before, but lost both versions. Apparently, there must be one more...

Not if you don't want to.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

So? It's not uncommon for one person to pick up another person's "mission." To succeed where they failed. And accomplishing Rhaegar's "mission" doesn't necessarily preclude Lyanna from having accomplished hers. Character arcs and story lines, like roads, do intersect from time to time. For example, it might have been her mission to stop her impending wedding with Robert.

We are talking here about my objections to your arguments. I happen to have problems with your view of Lyanna taking up Rhaegar's weirdo prophetic agenda.

I find this a rather unlikely scenario based on the significance prophecy has in Westeros among the educated members of the nobility (pretty much none) as well as on Lyanna's character. The idea that a woman like Lyanna is going to believe everything her lover tries to convince her of is completely unwarranted at this point.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I said nothing of the sort. And frankly, I find this kind of uncharitable hyperbole to be in poor taste. You've twisted my words to such an extent that you're basically arguing a straw man.

I don't see that, actually. Only a person believing in Rhaegar's talk about prophecy would think on her deathbed about that prophecy and wonder whether her son was the prophesied savior, not the other son who might have died in the Sack of KL she may have had stories about.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I'm sure Rhaegar will be disappointed to hear all of that. But seriously, you're not Lyanna. So I don't know why you think your feelings are relevant here.

My feelings are based on my assessment of the characters we are talking about here. Deal with it.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Who said anywhere, ever, that Lyanna would have had to read about the prophecy? This is such an unnecessary assumption. It's obviously enough that Rhaegar could have told her.

It seems unlikely to me that a person like Lyanna would just have believed Rhaegar stuff because he told her so. Why would she not ask about his sources? Why would she not want to read the prophecy for herself?

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Maybe she liked the idea of birthing a/the prophesied savior. I'm not making that argument, but why are you making one that rules out that possibility?

That reduces her to a plot advice to create a baby. The hints we have from the actual book (ASoS) is that the beginning of the romance is connected with the Knight of the Laughing Tree story, suggesting that prophecy actually has nothing to do with their mutual attraction. Rhaegar might in the end (when Elia became barren) have decided to go through with or continue the Lyanna affair thing but we have no reason to believe that prophecy affected anything on Lyanna's part. Why the hell should it?

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

That's a fantastic argument to make when discussing a theory, since they all include speculation.

I'd say there is good speculation and bad speculation. Yours isn't all that good.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I think I already covered this.

Not really. You gave no argument why Lyanna should have taken up Rhaegar's prophecy torch. Stating that it is possible or wouldn't be a bad idea (from your POV) isn't an argument.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Based on what?

Because she would have loved Rhaegar, and quite a few sons are named after their fathers in this series. I'd pretty sure you are only pretending not to understand this.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Stated more reasonably, none of that seems far fetched to me. We should also recall that Lyanna, as a highborn lady, would have studied history, and been fully aware of traditional Targaryen names like Aemon and Aegon. And btw, she did have a connection to the Targaryens if she was having a Targaryen baby. How hard is that to grasp?

But she had no good reason to name the boy Aegon on her own. Nor had she any good connection to House Targaryen. House Targaryen killed her father and brother. She had an intimate relationship with Rhaegar Targaryen, and nobody else. She wasn't a member of the royal family or in any visible way connected to the head of House Targaryen, Aerys II Targaryen.

I long ago conceded that I could see Lyanna giving her son any Targaryen name you could come up with if she and Rhaegar discussed this before his disappearance. What I find unbelievable is that she would choose a Targaryen name (aside from, perhaps, Rhaegar) in a scenario in which Rhaegar and Lyanna never spoke about the name of their unborn child.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Why are you stripping her of her agency?

Come on, now, you can do better than that (although I guess not being able to post for two times can be frustrating).

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I could speculate, but that's a question for GRRM. What seems very likely to me for reasons already stated, is that she did give him a Targaryen name.

We are most likely in agreement there. However, if the name is Aemon it was most likely Rhaegar's choice because Lyanna Stark had no connection whatsoever to some ancient maester at the Wall.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

That's not my idea, nor my invention. You claimed that there was no connection between the name Aegon and the PtwP. I countered by pointing out that Rhaegar named the person he believed to be the PtwP Aegon. Which constitutes a connection. And @Rippounet reinforced the connection with a quote I had forgotten about:

"My brother said the babe was the prince that was promised and told her to name him Aegon." - Dany

Once again connecting the PtwP with the name Aegon.

I've already dealt with that. That is Dany remembering the vision, not what actually happened. Vision Rhaegar did not say 'We name him Aegon because he is the promised prince'. He said he is getting the royal name Aegon because one day he will be king and that he happens to be the promised prince. Dany confusing things doesn't make them true.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Maybe because Rhaegar had already been studying the prophecies for years before Viserys was born. This is a really bizarre argument to me, since we can be pretty sure that Rhaegar did in fact father one of the heroes, or possibly the hero. This is like knowing a government agency is spying on a person, and calling them paranoid. It's not paranoia if they're really after you. And the prophetic ramblings aren't mad if they were right.

Am I mad if I am killing you because I falsely believe there is gold hidden among your entrails? Presumably I am regardless whether you are also plotting to murder me for some other reason.

The idea that 'Rhaegar being right' justifies his mad or far-fetched beliefs is ridiculous. Madness has to do with your state of mind not with what happens to be true. Aerys would still qualify as 'mad' on the basis of his behavior in his last years even if he had transformed into a living dragon after his death. And yes, Dany was acting irrationally (I'd not say she was mad because she was only showing erratic behavior in relation to the egg and pyre thing) when she was jumping on Drogo's pyre. She had no reason to believe she would survive that or that the dragon eggs would hatch.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I have some ideas about how Jon could wake dragons from stone and things like that, but it's not important. What I will say is that I don't think Dany fulfilled the prophecy of waking dragons from stone by hatching the dragons from stone, because it's too straightforward. Alternatively, it's possible that Dany's will be the in-universe explanation, along with a more symbolic one for the readers.

Sorry, but that's just ridiculous. The idea that we will have literal dragons from stone and metaphoric dragons from stone in this series I might accept, but I don't buy it that anybody in this world (which the people therein treat as reality and not some sort of overcomplicated novel where stuff can't be straightforward) would ever believe Jon Snow was the promised prince on the basis of him hatching some metaphoric or symbolic dragon. The dragon-hatching-from-stone part of the prophecy was already fulfilled in AGoT and as soon as people in Westeros (and elsewhere) learn about the circumstances of the whole thing they will all think Dany is the one.

That's not going to change if Jon does something that isn't even remotely as impressive as waking literal dragons from stone.

And keep in mind that the prophecy apparently did not mention the Others by name (nor that the promised prince is supposed to save the world). If Jon Snow happened to defeat the Others even that might not make him the promised prince unless he also does something the prophecy actually foretold. And it did foretell stuff about him waking dragons (plural!) from stone.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Rhaegar believed a hero (or three) was needed. He was right.

That doesn't justify his actions or makes his beliefs rational as I laid out above. 

But was he actually right? Can only some special Targaryen children save the world? We will have to wait and see how things turn out. I don't think so. If the prophecy merely foretold that some people would eventually be born who would play crucial roles in some war then there was actually no need to consciously try to create them. After all, if a prophecy is true it will come true regardless what you do. Rhaegar did not seem to understand that - and from that lack of understanding came chaos and death.

Dany on the other hand was just born and ignored for the better part of her life. Nobody thought her birth was prophesied or anything of that sort.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

1. So? Again, none of this is relevant. It's not any kind of problem for the theory, because the theory never makes any such assumptions.

I beg your pardon? Your theory about Lyanna deals with Lyanna and thus whatever we know for a fact about Lyanna has to figure into it. 

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

2. Rhaegar might not have had absolute proof, but we do. So we know Rhaegar was right.

We don't have absolute proof. And we don't know Rhaegar was right. Perhaps the prophecy was right. Perhaps. While we don't know its actual content we can't even be sure about that.

5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I don't know who is making this argument, but it's not me.

Then we are in agreement. There is no reason to believe that Lyanna was interested in or had any reason to believe in Rhaegar's interpretations of some prophecy she had (most likely) never read herself nor even heard about.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We are talking here about my objections to your arguments. I happen to have problems with your view of Lyanna taking up Rhaegar's weirdo prophetic agenda.

I'm not even sure what your point is.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I find this a rather unlikely scenario based on the significance prophecy has in Westeros among the educated members of the nobility (pretty much none) as well as on Lyanna's character. The idea that a woman like Lyanna is going to believe everything her lover tries to convince her of is completely unwarranted at this point.

Again with the hyperbole. Nobody is saying Lyanna is going to believe "everything" Rhaegar tries to convince her of. It's not required of this theory.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't see that, actually. Only a person believing in Rhaegar's talk about prophecy would think on her deathbed about that prophecy and wonder whether her son was the prophesied savior, not the other son who might have died in the Sack of KL she may have had stories about.

Has it occurred to you that Lyanna might have had some reason to come to believe in the prophecies? Possibly even after Rhaegar left for KL. Is it really that far fetched in a fantasy series that such a thing could occur?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

My feelings are based on my assessment of the characters we are talking about here. Deal with it.

That seemed less like an assessment and more like you projecting your feelings onto a character, and claiming they would behave as you would.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

It seems unlikely to me that a person like Lyanna would just have believed Rhaegar stuff because he told her so. Why would she not ask about his sources? Why would she not want to read the prophecy for herself?

You're making it unnecessarily complicated. Maybe all you say is true, but then for some reason she had a change of heart. The theory is either true or it isn't. If it is, the details will work themselves out. So far, I have yet to see anything disqualifying, based on what we know.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That reduces her to a plot advice to create a baby. The hints we have from the actual book (ASoS) is that the beginning of the romance is connected with the Knight of the Laughing Tree story, suggesting that prophecy actually has nothing to do with their mutual attraction. Rhaegar might in the end (when Elia became barren) have decided to go through with or continue the Lyanna affair thing but we have no reason to believe that prophecy affected anything on Lyanna's part. Why the hell should it?

How does it reduce her to a plot device to create a baby any more than that is already the case? Again, as far as I know, no one is claiming that R&L hooked up because of prophecy. That's such a misunderstanding or mischaracterization of what has been put forth.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd say there is good speculation and bad speculation. Yours isn't all that good.

That's fine, you're entitled to that opinion. As I am entitled to my opinion about the quality of your arguments.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Not really. You gave no argument why Lyanna should have taken up Rhaegar's prophecy torch. Stating that it is possible or wouldn't be a bad idea (from your POV) isn't an argument.

I covered how Lyanna having her own agenda wouldn't necessarily conflict with her helping to fulfill the prophecy. Maybe you misunderstood.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Because she would have loved Rhaegar, and quite a few sons are named after their fathers in this series. I'd pretty sure you are only pretending not to understand this.

I understand you fine. You're just suggesting ideas with no basis.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But she had no good reason to name the boy Aegon on her own. Nor had she any good connection to House Targaryen. House Targaryen killed her father and brother. She had an intimate relationship with Rhaegar Targaryen, and nobody else. She wasn't a member of the royal family or in any visible way connected to the head of House Targaryen, Aerys II Targaryen.

The second bold answers the first. Having a baby with Rhaegar gives her a connection to House Targaryen, like it or not. Her child is a Targaryen by blood, and possibly title.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I long ago conceded that I could see Lyanna giving her son any Targaryen name you could come up with if she and Rhaegar discussed this before his disappearance. What I find unbelievable is that she would choose a Targaryen name (aside from, perhaps, Rhaegar) in a scenario in which Rhaegar and Lyanna never spoke about the name of their unborn child.

Why? Do you think a highborn lady would be unaware of traditional Targaryen names like Aegon and Aemon? Obviously not.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Come on, now, you can do better than that (although I guess not being able to post for two times can be frustrating).

I say I think Lyanna might have succeeded where Rhaegar failed, and you claimed that I was denying her agency. Yet you're claiming she wouldn't have been able to choose a well-known Targaryen name for her Targaryen son, without the help of Rhaegar.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We are most likely in agreement there. However, if the name is Aemon it was most likely Rhaegar's choice because Lyanna Stark had no connection whatsoever to some ancient maester at the Wall.

I would basically agree that Rhaegar was more likely to have chosen Aemon. However, we know that the Stark kids are familiar with the Dragonknight, so I'm betting the previous generation would have been as well.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I've already dealt with that. That is Dany remembering the vision, not what actually happened. Vision Rhaegar did not say 'We name him Aegon because he is the promised prince'. He said he is getting the royal name Aegon because one day he will be king and that he happens to be the promised prince. Dany confusing things doesn't make them true.

I don't know if you're intentionally missing the point or not, but it's already been explained to you on multiple occasions, so I'm going to leave it at that.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Am I mad if I am killing you because I falsely believe there is gold hidden among your entrails? Presumably I am regardless whether you are also plotting to murder me for some other reason.

Not exactly an apples to oranges comparison...

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that 'Rhaegar being right' justifies his mad or far-fetched beliefs is ridiculous. Madness has to do with your state of mind not with what happens to be true. Aerys would still qualify as 'mad' on the basis of his behavior in his last years even if he had transformed into a living dragon after his death. And yes, Dany was acting irrationally (I'd not say she was mad because she was only showing erratic behavior in relation to the egg and pyre thing) when she was jumping on Drogo's pyre. She had no reason to believe she would survive that or that the dragon eggs would hatch.

If you say so.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, but that's just ridiculous. The idea that we will have literal dragons from stone and metaphoric dragons from stone in this series I might accept, but I don't buy it that anybody in this world (which the people therein treat as reality and not some sort of overcomplicated novel where stuff can't be straightforward) would ever believe Jon Snow was the promised prince on the basis of him hatching some metaphoric or symbolic dragon. The dragon-hatching-from-stone part of the prophecy was already fulfilled in AGoT and as soon as people in Westeros (and elsewhere) learn about the circumstances of the whole thing they will all think Dany is the one.

Well, that was one of my suggestions, so I don't see how you find it ridiculous.

As far as Dany hatching the dragons, it's just my opinion. I think it's too straightforward and on the nose. So I think it's going to be something else. Or maybe I'm wrong.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That's not going to change if Jon does something that isn't even remotely as impressive as waking literal dragons from stone.

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the prophecy isn't meant to be applied to just one of them. Maybe they will both fulfill it in different ways.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And keep in mind that the prophecy apparently did not mention the Others by name (nor that the promised prince is supposed to save the world). If Jon Snow happened to defeat the Others even that might not make him the promised prince unless he also does something the prophecy actually foretold. And it did foretell stuff about him waking dragons (plural!) from stone.

Mel seems to know about the Others.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That doesn't justify his actions or makes his beliefs rational as I laid out above.

How could it not?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But was he actually right? Can only some special Targaryen children save the world? We will have to wait and see how things turn out. I don't think so. If the prophecy merely foretold that some people would eventually be born who would play crucial roles in some war then there was actually no need to consciously try to create them. After all, if a prophecy is true it will come true regardless what you do. Rhaegar did not seem to understand that - and from that lack of understanding came chaos and death.

In that case, tens of thousands died so millions, or maybe even billions, could live.

Quote

I beg your pardon? Your theory about Lyanna deals with Lyanna and thus whatever we know for a fact about Lyanna has to figure into it. 

Sure. But there's also a lot more that we don't know about her, especially after she hooked up with Rhaegar.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't have absolute proof. And we don't know Rhaegar was right. Perhaps the prophecy was right. Perhaps. While we don't know its actual content we can't even be sure about that.

Right, not absolute proof. We just know this is a fantasy series where at least one hero is going to be needed to save humanity from the Others. And we know that Rhaegar thought the PtwP had a song, which he called the song of ice and fire. The fact that Rhaegar felt like ice was going to be included in the destiny of the PtwP kinda seems like he might have been onto something. Even if he got the details wrong.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Then we are in agreement. There is no reason to believe that Lyanna was interested in or had any reason to believe in Rhaegar's interpretations of some prophecy she had (most likely) never read herself nor even heard about.

You're not even talking about the same thing here. At least as far as I can tell. I said I wasn't arguing that pretty much everybody who had close relations with Rhaegar shared his view about prophecy.

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34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Has it occurred to you that Lyanna might have had some reason to come to believe in the prophecies? Possibly even after Rhaegar left for KL. Is it really that far fetched in a fantasy series that such a thing could occur?

That has occurred to me, yes. But that doesn't hit home. Lyanna could, perhaps, been convinced that something special was going if she (and Rhaegar) received a new prophecy. But that is a game changer. Jaehaerys II didn't force Aerys to marry Rhaella because of the promised prince prophecy in scroll form, he forced him to do that because of specific new prophecy from the Ghost which refers to a character also mentioned in the promised prince prophecy.

Lyanna might be receptive to a prophecy directly mentioning or referring to herself and a child she would conceive/give birth to. But that's not what we were talking about up to this point, and it would have little (or even nothing) to do with the prophecy Rhaegar read in his youth.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

You're making it unnecessarily complicated. Maybe all you say is true, but then for some reason she had a change of heart. The theory is either true or it isn't. If it is, the details will work themselves out. So far, I have yet to see anything disqualifying, based on what we know.

I daresay it would be rather difficult for the details to work themselves out in your scenario.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

How does it reduce her to a plot device to create a baby any more than that is already the case? Again, as far as I know, no one is claiming that R&L hooked up because of prophecy. That's such a misunderstanding or mischaracterization of what has been put forth

The point here being is that George seems to put a lot of focus on this Lyanna-Rhaegar thing as a love story because it is supposed to be an interesting story in itself. Not because it is connected to Jon Snow. 

You are still insinuating that the 'love part' of the relationship was eventually overtaken by the prophecy part of it - which might not even have existed on Lyanna's side of the equation. I think this cheapens the entire story.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I covered how Lyanna having her own agenda wouldn't necessarily conflict with her helping to fulfill the prophecy. Maybe you misunderstood.

Still, pointing out some possibility isn't an argument. It is also possible Lyanna cut off her hair while she was with Rhaegar or that she only went barefoot for some reason. Mentioning such possibilities isn't an argument in favor of those possibilities.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I understand you fine. You're just suggesting ideas with no basis.

I beg your pardon? There are sons who have been named after their fathers in this series. Daemon II Blackfyre, for instance.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

The second bold answers the first. Having a baby with Rhaegar gives her a connection to House Targaryen, like it or not. Her child is a Targaryen by blood, and possibly title.

Do you not want to understand? Lyanna having a child with Rhaegar does not equal her wanting that child to have a Targaryen name or being raised or connected to House Targaryen aside from his own father. Aerys II killed her father and brother (and might even have killed her child by Rhaegar, depending on the political circumstances).

Hell, Lyanna could even have broken with Rhaegar when the man decided to abandon her in that tower to war against her other brother and her (former) betrothed.

What makes you think a woman in her position would want to be associated with House Targaryen?

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Why? Do you think a highborn lady would be unaware of traditional Targaryen names like Aegon and Aemon? Obviously not.

That isn't the issue. The issue is why the hell would she choose the names of people she is not associated with. Some Aegons or Aemons of the past don't matter to her. The only Targaryen she had a personal connection with was named Rhaegar.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I say I think Lyanna might have succeeded where Rhaegar failed, and you claimed that I was denying her agency. Yet you're claiming she wouldn't have been able to choose a well-known Targaryen name for her Targaryen son, without the help of Rhaegar.

She certainly would have been able to do that. I just don't think she would have. Because she would, as a character, lack the agency to do so.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I would basically agree that Rhaegar was more likely to have chosen Aemon. However, we know that the Stark kids are familiar with the Dragonknight, so I'm betting the previous generation would have been as well.

Why the hell would Lyanna have wanted to name her child after the Dragonknight? What has the Dragonknight to do with her son? What has the Dragonknight to do with anything in this debate? Surely you agree that Rhaegar would have chosen the name Aemon to honor his great-granduncle rather than the Dragonknight.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Not exactly an apples to oranges comparison...

I'll try it again. An action is only rationally justified if you do it for the right reasons - understandable and rationally justifiable - reasons. Basing your decisions on translated prophecies you barely understand or can correctly interpret is not rational. Not even in a world like Westeros where visions and prophecies are actually a thing. Just read what Archmaester Marwyn - a man who has studied magic and prophecy in Martinworld a great deal - thinks about prophecies and their worth as a guiding principle for your actions.

Rhaegar was only right if only Jon Snow could fulfill the prophecy. Only then. If it just happens that Jon Snow does fulfill the prophecy but the chance remains that some other dude could have done it as well - because the prophecy just refers to deeds and actions anyone (or anyone with a drop of Targaryen blood - there are many such people) - then he was not right because there was no need to create some special child with Lyanna Stark.

You do understand I hope.

But even if he happens to be right he was still not justified in doing so because he had no rational reason to do so. There was no guarantee that he was right. Hell, he could not even be reasonably certain that he might be right.

Even if he received another very special prophecy made directly to him - who is to say that the correct interpretation of that would have been to take it literally (you know, just as I tend to take the dragons-from-stone thing literally)? After all, that could have been to straightforward to be true if I follow your line of arguments.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

As far as Dany hatching the dragons, it's just my opinion. I think it's too straightforward and on the nose. So I think it's going to be something else. Or maybe I'm wrong.

Why are you even asking for the fulfillment of a prophecy to not be straightforward? Especially the prophecy about the dragons has been understood (and effectively fulfilled) quite literally by a Targaryen. That is a fact. People believed at least since the days of Aerys I that a prophecy foretold the literal return of the Targaryen dragons at one point. 

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the prophecy isn't meant to be applied to just one of them. Maybe they will both fulfill it in different ways.

That is rather likely. I think the the prophecy fucking with the believers (as Marwyn puts it) is not going to turn out to the signs and portents surrounding the savior but to the number of them. The problem will turn out to be that people fail (perhaps until it is nearly too late) that there is not just one golden savior, but three of them. And if those three are not going to realize this and work together everything is going to hell.

There are hints in that direction in ADwD already when Tyrion thinks that two Targaryen saviors might confuse the red priests. They most likely would. But branding everybody you don't like as a 'false savior' is not going to help anybody. Even Stannis might not turn out to be a false savior in the sense that he is evil. He might just turn out to be a guy who does his best to save the world only to fail in the end because he lacks the means to accomplish his goals (dragons, magics, soldiers, weapons, etc.).

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Mel seems to know about the Others.

Mel learns about the Others from the letter Davos reads to her and Stannis in ASoS. But Mel doesn't consider the Others the prime enemy. She is fighting a metaphysical war within the framework of her religious world view. A world view that is most likely wrong on a number of points to say the least.

The Others most definitely are not the pawns of some Great Other.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

In that case, tens of thousands died so millions, or maybe even billions, could live.

Again, only if only Jon Snow can save everyone would Rhaegar be justified. Only if there is no chance that the prophecy could also refer to somebody else.

There is no need to consciously try to make true prophecies come true. If a prophecy is true it will come true, no matter what. Trying to outwit or understand a prophecy is only going to backfire on you. Just look how Cersei's attempts to prevent Maggy's prophecy from coming true backfired on her. If it isn't Margaery it could be Arianne. If it isn't Arianne, it could be Dany. If it isn't Dany it could even be Sansa. And so on.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Sure. But there's also a lot more that we don't know about her, especially after she hooked up with Rhaegar.

But we know her character. Spending a few months with Rhaegar is not going to change her character, the core of her being.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

Right, not absolute proof. We just know this is a fantasy series where at least one hero is going to be needed to save humanity from the Others. And we know that Rhaegar thought the PtwP had a song, which he called the song of ice and fire. The fact that Rhaegar felt like ice was going to be included in the destiny of the PtwP kinda seems like he might have been onto something. Even if he got the details wrong.

Well, there is is. A Song of Ice and Fire. Fire against ice. Life against death. Warmth against cold. The Others are death hungering after the hot blood of living human children. They are enemies of life. And life is very much fire, heat, and warmth in this series. The symbolism in that direction is endless. Ice and cold are even introduced as the ultimate hideous enemy in the very Prologue of the first book.

34 minutes ago, J. Stargaryen said:

You're not even talking about the same thing here. At least as far as I can tell. I said I wasn't arguing that pretty much everybody who had close relations with Rhaegar shared his view about prophecy.

Point taken. But it is pretty clear that some of his friends must have shared his view or at least accepted those views. Else the three knights at the tower wouldn't have stayed there.

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Oh my, this is all getting needlessly complicated...

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We are talking here about my objections to your arguments. I happen to have problems with your view of Lyanna taking up Rhaegar's weirdo prophetic agenda.

My feelings are based on my assessment of the characters we are talking about here. Deal with it.

But we know her character. Spending a few months with Rhaegar is not going to change her character, the core of her being.

It seems unlikely to me that a person like Lyanna would just have believed Rhaegar stuff because he told her so. Why would she not ask about his sources? Why would she not want to read the prophecy for herself?

Lord Varys, you're basically saying you refuse to accept a possibility because it doesn't fit your assessment of a character.

So I'd like to make something clear: we know jack shit about Lyanna, and what little we know could even be seen as contradictory. This is a brave girl who is big on honor but who may have run away from her arranged marriage, a fighting tomboy that a mere song makes cry. There is absolutely nothing in the text to give us any hint whatsoever of what Lyanna would think of prophecies.

Also, asking for sources? Dude, Lyanna isn't a scholar, a librarian, or a ASOAIF fan. ;)

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Lyanna having a child with Rhaegar does not equal her wanting that child to have a Targaryen name or being raised or connected to House Targaryen aside from his own father. Aerys II killed her father and brother (and might even have killed her child by Rhaegar, depending on the political circumstances).

You're twisting things. Since Lyanna was with a Targaryen, why would she reject the whole family because of Aerys II? Surely she was smart enough to understand that the Mad King wasn't the whole Targaryen family/dynasty?

Your argument that Lyanna wouldn't want her son to have a Targaryen name because of Aerys II making her hate the whole family is... Well it contradicts much of what you write elsewhere. If she loved Rhaegar, she surely could love his house as well, in spite of Aerys.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I've already dealt with that. That is Dany remembering the vision, not what actually happened. Vision Rhaegar did not say 'We name him Aegon because he is the promised prince'. He said he is getting the royal name Aegon because one day he will be king and that he happens to be the promised prince.

But this is where you make what is a genuine mistake. He doesn't happen to be the promised prince. This is you twisting the text to make it fit your beliefs. But for Rhaegar his son Aegon was always both the promised prince and the future king. How do we know? Maester Aemon tells us he saw a comet on the night of Aegon's conception. Thus from the start, Rhaegar knew he was naming tPtwP Aegon. There is no "happens to be" here. You are projecting your own hierarchy of things on Rhaegar without any textual evidence to do so ; that is to say, we have no reason to believe that Rhaegar thought becoming king was more important than being tPtwP (many people on the forum think the opposite, really). What Dany says isn't her being confused ; it's a reminder to the reader that what she has seen can be interpreted in different ways.
I can understand your objections to Lyanna's actions, but saying that Rhaegar didn't want to name tPtwP Aegon is pretty much denying what's right there in black and white. It's a bit troubling tbh.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Lyanna might be receptive to a prophecy directly mentioning or referring to herself and a child she would conceive/give birth to. But that's not what we were talking about up to this point, and it would have little (or even nothing) to do with the prophecy Rhaegar read in his youth.

You convenientely forget what most people think about the whole abduction: that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna to have a third child.

And while I don't believe that at all, I think there is every reason to believe that Rhaegar could have told Lyanna that since he had a boy named Aegon (who "happened" to be the prophecised savior), he expected two sister-wives for him.

My point is, from the start, if Rhaegar told Lyanna about prophecies, it would have been about their child.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You are still insinuating that the 'love part' of the relationship was eventually overtaken by the prophecy part of it - which might not even have existed on Lyanna's side of the equation. I think this cheapens the entire story.

No he's not. Nor am I. I don't know why you read this idea in such an odd way.

If anything, Lyanna naming her son Aegon because of Rhaegar's beliefs seems to me to be well within the "love part" of the relationship. I don't know why you don't see that.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The point here being is that George seems to put a lot of focus on this Lyanna-Rhaegar thing as a love story because it is supposed to be an interesting story in itself. Not because it is connected to Jon Snow.

George? George hasn't really told us much about Rhaegar and Lyanna has he? What he did was create shitload of characters who see Lyanna's abduction as the ultimate love affair. Which doesn't tell us that much actually. I do believe love was involved but we can safely assume that the story is interesting because it was much more than that.

Also, like it or not, we are discussing this because Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon Snow's parents. Without Jon coming out of it, Rhaegar and Lyanna's love would hardly be as interesting...

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4 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Oh my, this is all getting needlessly complicated...

Lord Varys, you're basically saying you refuse to accept a possibility because it doesn't fit your assessment of a character.

So I'd like to make something clear: we know jack shit about Lyanna, and what little we know could even be seen as contradictory. This is a brave girl who is big on honor but who may have run away from her arranged marriage, a fighting tomboy that a mere song makes cry. There is absolutely nothing in the text to give us any hint whatsoever of what Lyanna would think of prophecies.

Also, asking for sources? Dude, Lyanna isn't a scholar, a librarian, or a ASOAIF fan. ;)

You're twisting things. Since Lyanna was with a Targaryen, why would she reject the whole family because of Aerys II? Surely she was smart enough to understand that the Mad King wasn't the whole Targaryen family/dynasty?

Your argument that Lyanna wouldn't want her son to have a Targaryen name because of Aerys II making her hate the whole family is... Well it contradicts much of what you write elsewhere. If she loved Rhaegar, she surely could love his house as well, in spite of Aerys.

But this is where you make what is a genuine mistake. He doesn't happen to be the promised prince. This is you twisting the text to make it fit your beliefs. But for Rhaegar his son Aegon was always both the promised prince and the future king. How do we know? Maester Aemon tells us he saw a comet on the night of Aegon's conception. Thus from the start, Rhaegar knew he was naming tPtwP Aegon. There is no "happens to be" here. You are projecting your own hierarchy of things on Rhaegar without any textual evidence to do so ; that is to say, we have no reason to believe that Rhaegar thought becoming king was more important than being tPtwP (many people on the forum think the opposite, really). What Dany says isn't her being confused ; it's a reminder to the reader that what she has seen can be interpreted in different ways.
I can understand your objections to Lyanna's actions, but saying that Rhaegar didn't want to name tPtwP Aegon is pretty much denying what's right there in black and white. It's a bit troubling tbh.

You convenientely forget what most people think about the whole abduction: that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna to have a third child.

And while I don't believe that at all, I think there is every reason to believe that Rhaegar could have told Lyanna that since he had a boy named Aegon (who "happened" to be the prophecised savior), he expected two sister-wives for him.

My point is, from the start, if Rhaegar told Lyanna about prophecies, it would have been about their child.

No he's not. Nor am I. I don't know why you read this idea in such an odd way.

If anything, Lyanna naming her son Aegon because of Rhaegar's beliefs seems to me to be well within the "love part" of the relationship. I don't know why you don't see that.

George? George hasn't really told us much about Rhaegar and Lyanna has he? What he did was create shitload of characters who see Lyanna's abduction as the ultimate love affair. Which doesn't tell us that much actually. I do believe love was involved but we can safely assume that the story is interesting because it was much more than that.

Also, like it or not, we are discussing this because Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon Snow's parents. Without Jon coming out of it, Rhaegar and Lyanna's love would hardly be as interesting...

Actually it is true that we discussed R and L because of Jon. 

Let us imagine this, if Lyanna died after birthing a still born baby, then Ned went to Starfall to pick up his son who was birthed by Ashara. 

Everything remains same. Are we still discussing so much about Lyanna and Rhaegar? probably not. 

But I have to say I personally loved this version. A real song of ice and fire, not a song of half ice half fire and fire....

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13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Lord Varys, you're basically saying you refuse to accept a possibility because it doesn't fit your assessment of a character.

Sure, that is the main reason why people reject theories. That, and the assessment of plausibility insofar as our own projections of the future plot of the series is concerned.

There is a reason why I never even discuss possibilities like 'Mance=Rhaegar' or 'Howland Reed = the new High Septon'.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

So I'd like to make something clear: we know jack shit about Lyanna, and what little we know could even be seen as contradictory. This is a brave girl who is big on honor but who may have run away from her arranged marriage, a fighting tomboy that a mere song makes cry. There is absolutely nothing in the text to give us any hint whatsoever of what Lyanna would think of prophecies.

I beg to differ there. And I see no contradiction there. Every human being can be moved to tears by a brilliantly performed sad song, not to mention that love and hormones in the middle of adolescence can overturn any previously held beliefs with an overwhelming force. We are talking about a girl that was about 14 at Harrenhal.

We have a pretty good picture what the average noble person in Westeros thinks of magic and prophecy. Pretty much nothing. Just think how dismissively a man like Alester Florent talks about the past attempts of the Targaryen kings to bring the dragons. Madness and folly, that's what he thinks that was. And he actually knows about Melisandre and her magics.

And we also have a pretty clear picture what the Starks think of the Others and the Children of the Forest. They think they are fairy-tales, basically.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Also, asking for sources? Dude, Lyanna isn't a scholar, a librarian, or a ASOAIF fan. ;)

So we should think she would just go along with stuff Rhaegar told her? Not very likely.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

You're twisting things. Since Lyanna was with a Targaryen, why would she reject the whole family because of Aerys II? Surely she was smart enough to understand that the Mad King wasn't the whole Targaryen family/dynasty?

I don't. The idea that Aerys II would have welcomed the daughter and sister of men he had executed for treason as his daughter-in-law at court is equally unlikely. Rhaegar wasn't House Targaryen, his father the king was.

We don't even know whether Lyanna was still in love with Rhaegar by the time he left to wage a war against Robert and Ned. Why would you assume she was? Do you think she wanted to remain in the middle of nowhere of her own free will? At a time when her pregnancy most likely was at best in its earliest stages?

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Your argument that Lyanna wouldn't want her son to have a Targaryen name because of Aerys II making her hate the whole family is... Well it contradicts much of what you write elsewhere. If she loved Rhaegar, she surely could love his house as well, in spite of Aerys.

That is a ridiculous idea. You love people, not noble houses.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

But this is where you make what is a genuine mistake. He doesn't happen to be the promised prince. This is you twisting the text to make it fit your beliefs. But for Rhaegar his son Aegon was always both the promised prince and the future king. How do we know? Maester Aemon tells us he saw a comet on the night of Aegon's conception. Thus from the start, Rhaegar knew he was naming tPtwP Aegon. There is no "happens to be" here.

You are wrong there. Rhaegar only concluded that his son was the promised prince after the child was born and turned out to be male. Had Elia given birth to another daughter he wouldn't have believed that the girl was the promised prince, comet or not. He had to wait nine months before he could be sure.

The idea that he chose the name Aegon because he thought the boy was the promised prince is not supported by the text. It is a royal name, and Rhaegar's firstborn son was likely to be king one day, never mind comets or prophecies. Do you think it likely that Rhaegar wouldn't have named the boy Aegon had he not believed that he was the promised prince?

Considering that there have been ten Aegons in the history of the Targaryen dynasty from Aenar to Aerys II I find that very unlikely. Aegon was the most common name among the Targaryens.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

You are projecting your own hierarchy of things on Rhaegar without any textual evidence to do so ; that is to say, we have no reason to believe that Rhaegar thought becoming king was more important than being tPtwP (many people on the forum think the opposite, really). What Dany says isn't her being confused ; it's a reminder to the reader that what she has seen can be interpreted in different ways.

That is your interpretation. I beg to differ there. People often enough confuse or simplify things when they remember them. Just look how much Dany remembers from the House of the Undying.

Unreliable memory is a narrative tool George often uses. Just think of Sansa confusing the name of Joff's sword or thinking Sandor actually kissed her. Not to mention Arya completely botching the content of the conversation between Varys and Illyrio she overheard.

Rhaegar might very well have thought it was more important for Aegon to be the promised prince than a future king. Yet that doesn't change the fact that we have no reason to believe that Rhaegar (or anyone, really) should believe the promised prince should be named Aegon.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

You convenientely forget what most people think about the whole abduction: that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna to have a third child.

I'm not forgetting that. I was talking about the conditions under which I think Lyanna might have believed that she played an important role in some prophecy. Those conditions would, in my opinion, include her having some sort of personal prophecy of her own.

I'm pretty sure we have the nearly complete picture as to why Rhaegar decided to abduct Lyanna. However, we have no reason to believe he took her because he wanted a third child. We have a reason to believe he did so because he wanted to create the third dragon head. We don't know who he thought the second head was, remember?

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

And while I don't believe that at all, I think there is every reason to believe that Rhaegar could have told Lyanna that since he had a boy named Aegon (who "happened" to be the prophecised savior), he expected two sister-wives for him.

What? You think that Rhaegar wanted Aegon to marry his full sister and his half-sister? There is no reason to believe anything of that sort. In fact, the idea Rhaegar wanted to recreate Aegon and his sister-wives is nowhere supported by the text.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

My point is, from the start, if Rhaegar told Lyanna about prophecies, it would have been about their child.

That could very well be. But if Rhaegar did not change his mind about Aegon in his lifetime what makes you believe Lyanna would have believed Aegon was dead? Surely the promised prince could not die, right? And even Ned or other telling Lyanna that Aegon seemed to be dead doesn't mean he actually is dead, right?

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

No he's not. Nor am I. I don't know why you read this idea in such an odd way.

If anything, Lyanna naming her son Aegon because of Rhaegar's beliefs seems to me to be well within the "love part" of the relationship. I don't know why you don't see that.

I think that overemphasizes the prophecy part of the whole thing and I see no reason what 'love' should have to do with the idea that Lyanna would give her son the name Aegon.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

George? George hasn't really told us much about Rhaegar and Lyanna has he? What he did was create shitload of characters who see Lyanna's abduction as the ultimate love affair. Which doesn't tell us that much actually. I do believe love was involved but we can safely assume that the story is interesting because it was much more than that.

George has set up the whole story about the tourney of Harrenhal and the Knight of the Laughing Tree. The story of Rhaegar and Lyanna is an crucial part of the back story independent of Jon Snow. It caused the Rebellion, after all.

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Also, like it or not, we are discussing this because Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon Snow's parents. Without Jon coming out of it, Rhaegar and Lyanna's love would hardly be as interesting...

That doesn't change the fact that Rhaegar and Lyanna are interesting characters of their own. Whether people discuss it or not is secondary. And a lot of people are discussing a lot of stuff that is much more irrelevant to the overall plot than this whole thing.

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I was about to answer some of your points before realizing that I would simply be repeating myself. In fact I'm sad to say you have systematically ignored some of my (or @J. Stargaryen 's) points. This isn't a discussion anymore, so I'll focus on what could still be one.

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

So we should think she would just go along with stuff Rhaegar told her? Not very likely.

We'll have to agree to disagree then, period.

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is a ridiculous idea. You love people, not noble houses.

On this one I could use tons of quotes to argue that people do, in fact, love noble houses through their partners. In ASOAIF being part of a specific house means sharing many characteristics, both mental and physical. Rhaegar was the epitomy of the ideal Targaryen. Lyanna could hardly love him while rejecting his house.

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Rhaegar only concluded that his son was the promised prince after the child was born and turned out to be male.

This is what I meant by "from the start."  ;)

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that he chose the name Aegon because he thought the boy was the promised prince is not supported by the text.

I think you are being deliberately obtuse. I'm not saying the name Aegon was chosen only because he was tPtwP. I'm saying the name Aegon was chosen for tPtwP. I'm sorry but there are no words I can think of to explain the subtle nuance here.

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not forgetting that. I was talking about the conditions under which I think Lyanna might have believed that she played an important role in some prophecy. Those conditions would, in my opinion, include her having some sort of personal prophecy of her own.

This is an extremely odd perspective on Lyanna. ;)

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm pretty sure we have the nearly complete picture as to why Rhaegar decided to abduct Lyanna.

George has set up the whole story about the tourney of Harrenhal and the Knight of the Laughing Tree.

- I'm pretty sure we have a lot to learn about Lyanna's abduction.
- He has. But I have never seen the direct causality link between Harrenhal and the abduction.

43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That could very well be. But if Rhaegar did not change his mind about Aegon in his lifetime what makes you believe Lyanna would have believed Aegon was dead? Surely the promised prince could not die, right? And even Ned or other telling Lyanna that Aegon seemed to be dead doesn't mean he actually is dead, right?

Well, Lyanna birthing a son while amost simultaneously learning that Rhaegar's firstborn had been killed might have been enough.

 

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46 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I was about to answer some of your points before realizing that I would simply be repeating myself. In fact I'm sad to say you have systematically ignored some of my (or @J. Stargaryen 's) points. This isn't a discussion anymore, so I'll focus on what could still be one.

Just to clarify: What points would that be? I did not try to ignore any points you made on purpose.

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We'll have to agree to disagree then, period.

If you want to convince somebody of something you have to give evidence. As long as you can't you can't expect somebody to share your assessment of what could be the case or might be the case.

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On this one I could use tons of quotes to argue that people do, in fact, love noble houses through their partners. In ASOAIF being part of a specific house means sharing many characteristics, both mental and physical. Rhaegar was the epitomy of the ideal Targaryen. Lyanna could hardly love him while rejecting his house.

That is a ridiculous assertion. Yes, the members of some families share some physical traits, sometimes to a ridiculous point from a real world viewpoint. But there is no hint that people 'love noble houses' in any sense. Catelyn did not love House Stark after she married into it. She loved her husband and her children, she did not idolize Starkishness as a concept or worship some long-dead Stark kings from the past.

There might have been women who married into House Targaryen who liked the prestige and power than came with being a member of the royal family or the queen consort but there is no hint whatsoever that any of those women 'loved House Targaryen'.

Or can you give me any textual evidence that such things happened. I'm rather intrigued to find out on what you would base such an assumption?

But even if I'd agree with you there, House Targaryen and the Targaryen monarchy effectively died with Rhaegar and Aerys II. Robert was already king when Lyanna died, and Queen Rhaella and Viserys III were on exile on Dragonstone, so there is little reason to assume that her 'love' for a deposed royal line would influence her actions. 

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I think you are being deliberately obtuse. I'm not saying the name Aegon was chosen only because he was tPtwP. I'm saying the name Aegon was chosen for tPtwP. I'm sorry but there are no words I can think of to explain the subtle nuance here.

What makes you believe Rhaegar did not always intend to name his firstborn son Aegon? Long before he decided to no longer believe he was the promised prince? After all, the name is not only the most common Targaryen name but also the name of Rhaegar's great-grandfather, King Aegon V, who died on his very birthday. The idea that Rhaegar always intended to give that name to a hypothetical son of his long before he ever had the inclination that such a son might be the promised prince is much more plausible than your whole take on this.

In fact, Elia and Rhaegar could already have decided that they would name their first child Aegon if it would turn out to be a boy.

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This is an extremely odd perspective on Lyanna. ;)

It isn't. Especially not if you keep in mind that Rhaegar's mind on the prophecy - if he ever changed his view on what Aegon was - would most likely also have been changed by a new prophecy. We have no evidence yet that the Ghost of High Heart ever reconnected with Jaehaerys II and Aerys II after Summerhall but if Rhaegar found her after he left Dragonstone in the wake of Aegon's birth he could have very well received a new prophecy from her, just as his grandfather once did. Such a prophecy could have influenced his decision to abduct Lyanna. And Lyanna and Rhaegar could later have paid the Ghost another visit.

The interpretation of prophetic scripture is remarkably different from actual prophetical visions/revelations or some sorceress forecasting your future in some ritual (like Maggy the Frog did, for instance). If Lyanna had such an experience it is much more believable she might have believed that prophecy was an important element shaping her life. But Rhaegar just talking to her about prophecy is not likely to convince her easily.

Hell, if you keep in mind the circumstances of their first meeting their love affair would actually go against prophetic and mundane duty. Lyanna was betrothed to another man, Rhaegar was married to another woman and expected that his child by that woman would be the promised prince. At Harrenhal, the Rhaegar-Lyanna thing was nothing but a distraction.

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- I'm pretty sure we have a lot to learn about Lyanna's abduction.

I think we have already enough information on why Rhaegar's motivation to do it. We know he was in love with her (for some reason) and we know he wanted sons, and we know his wife was barren after the birth of Aegon. That is enough information to paint the picture. The details how the whole thing came about are interesting but not really likely to change a lot on that field.

The question what the hell Rhaegar thought when he decided to abduct Lyanna is separate from this whole thing. That is interesting for a complete picture on the character of Rhaegar Targaryen but not necessarily to understand what led to Lyanna's abduction. We are likely to get a more complete picture on many dead characters but none of those pictures will be as complete or detailed as the pictures we have of living POVs.

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- He has. But I have never seen the direct causality link between Harrenhal and the abduction.

It is pretty obvious. The fact that Rhaegar and Lyanna met (and possibly fell in love or even had an actual relationship) at Harrenhal is the necessary cause for there to be an abduction in the first place. Harrenhal alone clearly is not a sufficient cause for the abduction later on. If the tourney hadn't happened these two people would most likely never have met.

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Well, Lyanna birthing a son while amost simultaneously learning that Rhaegar's firstborn had been killed might have been enough.

But couldn't she also have refused to believe that the promised prince was dead? And even if she did not - don't you think it would have been tasteless to the extreme to recycle the name of a dead prince to use it on your son? This is usually not done in Westeros. Aerys II didn't give all the sons who died in the cradle the same name. He treated them as individuals, naming them after his uncle, grandfather, father, until he eventually resurrected the name Viserys which had been last used in the 2nd century.

There are also no hints that Aerys II was alone in this. Jaehaerys I also chose a new name for each of his thirteen children.

As long as you fail to establish that Rhaegar named his son Aegon because he believed the boy was the promised prince you cannot use this assumption as 'evidence' to argue that Lyanna might have named her son Aegon because she believed that he was (now) the promised prince.

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I think lord Varys has a more reasonable approach on this matter, I'd like to add one more thing, that how would Lyanna even know that Aegon was dead, Ned arrived in her dying moments, and telling your dying sister of her lover's dead son makes no sense.

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2 hours ago, usama said:

I think lord Varys has a more reasonable approach on this matter, I'd like to add one more thing, that how would Lyanna even know that Aegon was dead, Ned arrived in her dying moments, and telling your dying sister of her lover's dead son makes no sense.

I actually raised that point earlier already. There is a number of reasons why it is unlikely that Ned would do this:

(1) Telling her about the gruesome deaths of Elia and the children wouldn't exactly help her nor make her death easier. Anybody talking to a close relative on his or her death bed knows that you don't talk about stuff that is likely to scare the dying person.

(2) It is not very likely that Ned or Lyanna would have wanted to talk about the other Boleyn girl wife and her children. That would have been a controversial topic.

(3) The textual evidence we have makes it not very likely that they had time to discuss various topics. The impression I get is that Lyanna was already pretty far gone when Ned talked to her, suggesting that they would have talked about the bare necessities around the child and the promise, not about the overall political situation of Westeros.

(4) Even if they had more time to talk about some things it is much more likely they would have talked about issues that concerned them both, personally. Say, how things went so wrong, their childhood back home at Winterfell, Benjen, Brandon and their father, their mother Lyarra (which might have been still alive at that point), Old Nan and Hodor, and whatever else caught their memory.

(5) Another point I just realized is the fact that this theory would hinge on the idea that Lyanna only could have decided to name her son Aegon after she learned that the other Aegon was (allegedly) dead. Now, if we assume that Ned told her about that then Ned would have been there when Lyanna named the boy and would thus most likely also have learned that Lyanna did that because she believed in some prophecy. But there is no indication whatsoever that Ned believes Jon Snow is connected to any prophecy whatsoever.

(6) Depending on the exact nature of Lyanna's mortal sickness it is also possible she lived for quite a few days after the boy's birth. For her to name her son Aegon after she learned about the death of Elia's son we would also have to assume she did not name the child until after she learned about Aegon's death - but that isn't something we can simply presuppose. Parents normally think about names for their children before they are born and they do name them when they are born (wildlings in Westeros excluded).

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If you want to convince somebody of something

This is where you're getting it wrong. I'm not actually trying to convince anyone of this. I think it may be an interesting possibility and I'm trying to figure out whether it holds water or whether there is any textual evidence against it. I've been long enough on the forum to know the "common" theories and interpretations and I like to play with them here or there to see what conclusions one might reach by going against the grain.
Ironically I don't see much interest in Jon's true name, as I don't see how it could change anything ; I mean I think he has a true Targaryen name, but the story will be the same whether it is Aemon, Aegon, Rhaegar, Viserys, or whatever. However, I like this particular idea for the very reason you hate it: because it gives Lyanna some agency and changes the point of the prophecy (and to some extent, of Dany's vision in the HotU). And because it may change the content of Ned's promise in an intriguing way. In other words, it's a minor difference in interpretation which gives me a different perspective on what we have already read. I like those. But I'm perfectly aware that it's not strictly logical.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Just to clarify: What points would that be? I did not try to ignore any points you made on purpose.

What points would that be? Mainly that Lyanna would have to believe Rhaegar's views on prophecy. Although I have clearly written that this is not even a condition for the idea to work. Now you're even saying that Lyanna, a 14-year old fictional character in a fantasy series, would ask her lover for a source on his beliefs. Do you realize how ridiculous this seems?
And now you're even questioning whether Lyanna would want Jon to have a Targaryen name? I believe I said from the start that this was an idea about Jon's possible Targaryen name, that is, assuming he has one in the first place.

So yes, of course, the idea has plenty of prerequisites. Rhaegar must tell Lyanna about the prophecy. Lyanna has to at least listen to him. Lyanna has to know that Aegon (Elia's son) has died somehow. And Lyanna needs some kind of reason (either belief in prophecy or love) to use the name for her son. If you attack each single point (and more) the idea will seem ludicrous. But this is true for nearly all theories. I've seen people do that with RLJ. I've attempted that with Lyanna as the KotLT. Some people do it with AJT. Etc... If you dig deep enough you can reject any theory as long as it is not written black on white on the page.

The point of all this rambling is that you're trying to hold a mere idea to a very high standard of proof. I mean, we can discuss the fine points here or there, but I think I said from the start that there is no textual support for this whatsoever. What intrigued me is that it seemed possible, and I liked the implications. I'm not arguing this is true, I'm arguing it's not impossible.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is a ridiculous assertion. Yes, the members of some families share some physical traits, sometimes to a ridiculous point from a real world viewpoint. But there is no hint that people 'love noble houses' in any sense. Catelyn did not love House Stark after she married into it. She loved her husband and her children, she did not idolize Starkishness as a concept or worship some long-dead Stark kings from the past.

Ridiculous is a bit strong.

Anyway this is precisely my point: Cat saw Ned as a member of house Stark, and believed in a sort of "Starkishness." She certainly didn't like it, but she was aware she had married into house Stark and had to accept it. We have reason to believe that several of her children have typically Northern names.
Of course, Lyanna could have rejected Rhaegar's "Targaryen-ness" because of Aerys II... But there's no reason to see this as a certainty.

From some of the very first chapters:

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The words gave her a chill, as they always did. The Stark words. Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes, touchstones, prayers of sorts, they boasted of honor and glory, promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage. All but the Starks. Winter is coming, said the Stark words. Not for the first time, she reflected on what a strange people these northerners were.

Catelyn I

 

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"They say it grows so cold up here in winter that a man's laughter freezes in his throat and chokes him to death," Ned said evenly. "Perhaps that is why the Starks have so little humor."

Ned I

 

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The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence.

Cat II

 

Of course, that's just Cat (and, amusingly, Ned too). To some extent, you have comparable examples with other houses, though less obviously. There's even a meta-comment about this from Illyrio, if you recall.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, Elia and Rhaegar could already have decided that they would name their first child Aegon if it would turn out to be a boy.

Now, if I wanted to act like an asshole, such a sentence would make it very easy for me to do so. 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think we have already enough information on why Rhaegar's motivation to do it. We know he was in love with her (for some reason) and we know he wanted sons, and we know his wife was barren after the birth of Aegon.

We certainly don't know these things. We have no evidence of love prior to the abduction, and the timeline even makes it unlikely. I don't believe I've read before that Rhaegar wanted sons... And lastly, we're not even 100% sure that Elia was barren, because we have a single source for it.

Dany and Cersei are the ones who romanticize Lyanna's abduction. I don't trust them on this one.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As long as you fail to establish that Rhaegar named his son Aegon because he believed the boy was the promised prince you cannot use this assumption as 'evidence' to argue that Lyanna might have named her son Aegon because she believed that he was (now) the promised prince.

I don't see why I would have to establish anything. Rhaegar believed that the PtwP happened to be the future king of Westeros and named him Aegon. There is a clear link between the two, and I have never claimed anything more.
There is even textual evidence to support this view with Dany's reading of the scene. You dismiss her interpretation as "confusion." But on what grounds? Why assume that the character who actually saw the scene, including possible non-verbal exchanges (facial expressions, body language, tone of voice... etc) would be wrong and you would be right?
Finally, I also reminded you that there was always a small chance that tPtwP would be heir to the throne and thus that there was no reason to see the two as separate. Let's bear in mind that tPtwP is a Targ' prophecy in the first place.
So I don't need to establish anything. If you don't trust Dany's perspective on this one, that's your call, but then there is no reason to believe in her romantic view of Lyanna's abduction either. In other words, the same standard of proof you are demanding for a silly little idea would throw your view of the whole story out of the window. Which I find deliciously ironic.

 

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4 hours ago, usama said:

I think lord Varys has a more reasonable approach on this matter, I'd like to add one more thing, that how would Lyanna even know that Aegon was dead, Ned arrived in her dying moments, and telling your dying sister of her lover's dead son makes no sense.

There is more than enough time for Lyanna to know of the events of the sack well before Ned arrives at the Tower. A messenger or raven, or a series of them, would easily beat the news to the tower long before Ned travels his long circuitous route with his army to Storm's End, and then on to the Tower. We don't even really have to imagine much of a spy network for this to happen. All one needs is for a Dornishman fleeing the sack to carry the news to the Prince's Pass, and they would still beat Ned's time to the tower.

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36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

This is where you're getting it wrong (...). 

Okay, if you just want to entertain the possibility then I'm fine with that. If find it not a very strong possibility, but I guess you already know that ;-).

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Ironically I don't see much interest in Jon's true name, as I don't see how it could change anything ; I mean I think he has a true Targaryen name, but the story will be the same whether it is Aemon, Aegon, Rhaegar, Viserys, or whatever.

I don't care about his real name, either, and I don't expect that to have much impact on the story. But you reacted rather strongly to my idea that Lyanna might have named her son Rhaegar.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

However, I like this particular idea for the very reason you hate it: because it gives Lyanna some agency and changes the point of the prophecy (and to some extent, of Dany's vision in the HotU). And because it may change the content of Ned's promise in an intriguing way. In other words, it's a minor difference in interpretation which gives me a different perspective on what we have already read. I like those. But I'm perfectly aware that it's not strictly logical.

I don't think it likely that there is going to be a twist in that direction in relation to the promise. The story was pretty much straightforward back in AGoT, with a lot let of the depth that was added as it grew larger and larger. The hints we get in AGoT are mostly rather direct and straightforward in comparison to the subtleties in AFfC and ADwD.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

What points would that be? Mainly that Lyanna would have to believe Rhaegar's views on prophecy. Although I have clearly written that this is not even a condition for the idea to work. Now you're even saying that Lyanna, a 14-year old fictional character in a fantasy series, would ask her lover for a source on his beliefs. Do you realize how ridiculous this seems?

I don't think that's so ridiculous. What do you think Arya would have done if somebody came on asking her to fuck to conceive the savior of the world? She would inquire why the hell she should believe such a ridiculous story.

That is hyperbole, of course, but there is actually no reason that the Targaryens were very open about their mad beliefs in prophecy (Yandel never mentions it when discussing the reign of Aerys II despite the fact that it must have played an important role in the lives of both Aerys and Rhaegar). And in addition there is simply the fact that Rhaegar's beliefs simply aren't Lyanna's.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

And now you're even questioning whether Lyanna would want Jon to have a Targaryen name? I believe I said from the start that this was an idea about Jon's possible Targaryen name, that is, assuming he has one in the first place.

Sure, but Lyanna might easily enough have submitted to Rhaegar in the naming choice. Say, he told her about his great-granduncle at the Wall, etc. and then they made the decision to name him after Aemon. Then she just went through with that. Now, if you assume there was no name chosen by Rhaegar (or Rhaegar and Lyanna together) then we have to go with the assumption Lyanna chose a Targaryen name for her son all by herself. That sounds a lot less convincing than the alternatives.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

So yes, of course, the idea has plenty of prerequisites. Rhaegar must tell Lyanna about the prophecy. Lyanna has to at least listen to him. Lyanna has to know that Aegon (Elia's son) has died somehow. And Lyanna needs some kind of reason (either belief in prophecy or love) to use the name for her son. If you attack each single point (and more) the idea will seem ludicrous. But this is true for nearly all theories. I've seen people do that with RLJ. I've attempted that with Lyanna as the KotLT. Some people do it with AJT. Etc... If you dig deep enough you can reject any theory as long as it is not written black on white on the page.

The fact that people do stuff like that doesn't mean they are using rational means to do so, nor are they often working with the text and a clear picture of the overall plot of the series in mind. I try to do all that.

I'd say AJT is right now about as likely as Sandor being alive as the gravedigger on Quiet Isle. There are many hints in that direction but it hasn't been revealed as of yet. A lot of people don't like that idea all that much. But I find it perfectly fits into this whole three heads of the dragon thing. We have to have a third head besides Jon and Dany and Aegon or Bloodraven are not likely going to play that role.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

The point of all this rambling is that you're trying to hold a mere idea to a very high standard of proof. I mean, we can discuss the fine points here or there, but I think I said from the start that there is no textual support for this whatsoever. What intrigued me is that it seemed possible, and I liked the implications. I'm not arguing this is true, I'm arguing it's not impossible.

Again, that's perfectly fine. And I'll support you that it is not impossible. That just isn't all that much ;-).

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Ridiculous is a bit strong.

The way you phrased in made it ridiculous to me.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Anyway this is precisely my point: Cat saw Ned as a member of house Stark, and believed in a sort of "Starkishness." She certainly didn't like it, but she was aware she had married into house Stark and had to accept it. We have reason to believe that several of her children have typically Northern names.

I deliberately chose Catelyn because one could argue in her case that she eventually became a member of the family she married into in mind and spirit. However, I'd never phrase something like that as 'Catelyn eventually began to love House Stark'. She simply found a new home in Winterfell and the North. Not to mention that she very much loved her husband and most of her children (Bran, Robb).

Had I mentioned Cersei, Lysa, Mellario of Norvos, or Larra Rogare things would look much different, don't you think?

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Of course, Lyanna could have rejected Rhaegar's "Targaryen-ness" because of Aerys II... But there's no reason to see this as a certainty.

Lyanna can't be compared to Catelyn or any of the other wives I mentioned because she never formally became a member of House Targaryen. I mean, Catelyn or Alyssa Velaryon took up the torches of their husbands after they had died, but Lyanna wasn't even at Rhaegar's side when the man tried to defeat Robert Baratheon in battle. We don't even know whether Lyanna shared Rhaegar's view on the Rebellion.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Of course, that's just Cat (and, amusingly, Ned too). To some extent, you have comparable examples with other houses, though less obviously. There's even a meta-comment about this from Illyrio, if you recall.

That meta-comment is about the heraldic animals, is it not? That has to do with people born in a noble identifying themselves with those animals. It has nothing to do with people being in love with noble houses. Cat points out that the Starks are different from the other noble houses of the South she knows. Or that's what she thinks. I very much doubt the average Lord of Winterfell or King in the North raised illegitimate children with his trueborn children if those bastards were fathered on peasants and whores. Jon Snow is an exception because he might not be Ned's bastard but the child of his beloved sister. Cat just thinks Ned's (or the Starks') approach on bastards is different. But that does not have to be the case.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

We certainly don't know these things. We have no evidence of love prior to the abduction, and the timeline even makes it unlikely.

We don't? Can't you interpret the crowning at Harrenhal as Rhaegar quite openly expressing his love and admiration for Lyanna Stark? Granted, it could also be him innocently honoring her role as a 'true knight' after he had found out that she was the mystery knight. But such there is also an romantic and even erotic layer to this whole 'Queen of Love and Beauty' thing. I mean, Selmy would have expressed his love for Ashara by crowning her had he won the tourney, and I'm pretty sure Bonifer Hasty did not express his friendship for Princess Rhaella by crowning her (assuming he got ever around to doing that).

What evidence for love have we after the abduction, by the way? The dead winter roses Lyanna clutches in the tower only signify love. We don't know when exactly she had been in love with Rhaegar.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I don't believe I've read before that Rhaegar wanted sons...

Reread Kevan's Epilogue. A lot of people tend to dismiss it as 'Kevan didn't know anything' but he actually could have had rather intimate information on Rhaegar's mindset from Tywin. The man was Hand until 281 AC, and would have kept more than an eye on Rhaegar considering that he still planned to eventually replace Elia with Cersei.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

And lastly, we're not even 100% sure that Elia was barren, because we have a single source for it.

I'm not looking forward to get a long-winded and detailed medical report on Elia's health after the birth of Aegon. We have been told that she could no longer bear children after her second pregnancy (either because Aegon's birth left her barren or because neither she nor a third child would survive a third pregnancy). That's all we need.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Dany and Cersei are the ones who romanticize Lyanna's abduction. I don't trust them on this one.

The circumstances of the abduction thing are still unclear. What's no longer really unclear is that Rhaegar needed another woman to father more children and that Harrenhal explains why he might have chosen Lyanna. Whether he had to abduct her and how that went down is still completely unclear. As is the immediate aftermath of the abduction leading to the beginning of the Rebellion.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I don't see why I would have to establish anything. Rhaegar believed that the PtwP happened to be the future king of Westeros and named him Aegon. There is a clear link between the two, and I have never claimed anything more.

Well, it is just a superficial link.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

There is even textual evidence to support this view with Dany's reading of the scene. You dismiss her interpretation as "confusion." But on what grounds? Why assume that the character who actually saw the scene, including possible non-verbal exchanges (facial expressions, body language, tone of voice... etc) would be wrong and you would be right?

George usually doesn't give the reader less details when describing the actual scene and more details in later recollections or summaries of the earlier event. The single exception I can think of is the murder of Shae. There ASoS gave us pretty much nothing with ADwD beginning to explore that hideous crime in detail. And I think that's going to continue.

But with the House of the Undying you have to go to the chapter in ACoK to get the details. Dany's later recollections of the visions and prophecies aren't as detailed as the original descriptions.

The same goes for that famous quote from Mel, that she only sees Snow when searching for Ahor Ahai in the flames. That's how she summarizes her nightly visions when Devan asks about them. But when the narrator describes all her visions in detail she does not only see Jon Snow after praying to R'hllor to show her Azor Ahai. She sees quite a lot of things, actually.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Finally, I also reminded you that there was always a small chance that tPtwP would be heir to the throne and thus that there was no reason to see the two as separate. Let's bear in mind that tPtwP is a Targ' prophecy in the first place.

That is confusing things. The prophecy of the Ghost only told Jaehaerys II that the promised prince would be born from the line of Aerys and Rhaella. That doesn't mean he was supposed to eldest son of Aerys II or the eldest son of Prince Rhaegar. He could easily enough be the youngest son of Aerys II or some great-grandson Rhaegar had from his fourth son.

36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

So I don't need to establish anything. If you don't trust Dany's perspective on this one, that's your call, but then there is no reason to believe in her romantic view of Lyanna's abduction either. In other words, the same standard of proof you are demanding for a silly little idea would throw your view of the whole story out of the window. Which I find deliciously ironic.

Dany's romantic view on the abduction are likely to be formed by Viserys' tales. He could have had firsthand knowledge of the whole thing from Rhaella or even Rhaegar himself (who could have talked to his younger brother about this whole thing after he had returned to court). Cersei is also not likely to be completely uninformed on the matter, but she is less likely to have good firsthand information.

9 minutes ago, SFDanny said:

There is more than enough time for Lyanna to know of the events of the sack well before Ned arrives at the Tower. A messenger or raven, or a series of them, would easily beat the news to the tower long before Ned travels his long circuitous route with his army to Storm's End, and then on to the Tower. We don't even really have to imagine much of a spy network for this to happen. All one needs is for a Dornishman fleeing the sack to carry the news to the Prince's Pass, and they would still beat Ned's time to the tower.

That wouldn't have been good information on the events of the Sack. Nor Dornishman fleeing KL would have gotten away from the Red Keep after seeing the corpses of Elia and the children. And only then could he have delivered (reasonably good) news to actually establish the death of the (alleged) promised prince.

The idea that anyone in the Red Keep got out of the city and in time to the Prince's Pass is also a stretch. The city was full of Lannisters and anybody in the castle long enough to learn about the murder of Elia and the children (Maegor's Holdfast would have fallen last) would most likely have been either captured or killed.

Weeks later people would write letters to Doran and other Dornish lords to inform them what had transpired. But not mere days after the Sack.

The debate here is whether Lyanna could ever had good enough information to inform her decision to name her son Aegon, too. If the news about Aegon's death were wrong Rhaegar would have had two sons with that name.

Considering how unusual it is to give a younger brother the name of a dead elder brother (no younger brother in the history of Westeros was named after an elder brother who died as an infant) I simply don't think Lyanna would have done that.

But that raises a rather interesting question:

Do we believe that Lyanna would have believed Aegon was truly dead, regardless what the reports and rumors said, if she we assume she believed in the prophecy and also - as Rhaegar did - that his son Aegon was the promised prince?

I find it hard to believe that she would have believed it. Not without good evidence. And even Ned - who saw the corpses of the children - could have given her good evidence thanks to the way the face and head of the boy looked like.

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