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Ygrain

R+L=J v.162

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On 8/8/2016 at 1:48 PM, IceFire125 said:

I'm of the opinion that the promises that Ned kept and failed to keep are two folds of the same coin, Jon.

Promise kept: to keep Jon safe and able to live a life worthy of a highborn, but not in the name.

Promise failed: to reveal to Jon his true origin when he's able to understand or when he wants to find out.

“...Your boy will be safe. I will find a wet nurse for him and he’ll be raised here at Castle Black Winterfell under my protection. He’ll learn to hunt and ride, to fight with sword and axe and bow. I’ll even see that he is taught to read and write.” Sam would like that. “And when he is old enough, he will learn the truth of who he is. He’ll be free to seek you out if that is what he wants.”

“They were as close as brothers, once.” Jon wondered if Joffrey would keep his father as the King’s Hand. It did not seem likely. That might mean Lord Eddard would return to Winterfell, and his sisters as well. He might even be allowed to visit them, with Lord Mormont’s permission. It would be good to see Arya’s grin again and to talk with his father. I will ask him about my mother, he resolved. I am a man now, it is past time he told me. Even if she was a whore, I don’t care, I want to know.

I'm of the opinion that Ned was conflicted with the second part of the promise from Lyanna... once Robert became king.  Ned break this promise to Lyanna because to give it true justice and honor is to open the door of treason against the current king, Robert or the true heir and king, Jon.  

That is why...

The thought of Jon filled Ned with a sense of shame, and a sorrow too deep for words. If only he could see the boy again, sit and talk with him …

**There is no need for Ned to feel "a sense of shame" and "sorrow too deep for words", he did an honorable thing to keep his sister's son alive and safe, unless... there was a second part of the promise to his sister, to which he failed to fulfill in his "living" life.

**Ned will fulfill it in spirit via Bran...

The mention of dreams reminded him. “I dreamed about the crow again last night. The one with three eyes. He flew into my bedchamber and told me to come with him, so I did. We went down to the crypts. Father was there, and we talked. He was sad.”
“And why was that?” Luwin peered through his tube.
It was something to do about Jon, I think.” The dream had been deeply disturbing, more so than any of the other crow dreams.

.

Great quotes, and I agree, I believe Bran will get answers through his Weirwood visions, one possibility which I believe has been foreshadowed is he will learn what Howland learned at the isle of the faces:

If the little crannogman could visit the Isle of Faces, maybe I could too. All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. 

This was his thought after hearing Meera's telling of tKatLT, at the time it seems impossible but clearly its not..

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28 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I think that is especially true when it comes to Hightower. I think the information we have to work with implies that Dayne and Whent were in on Rhaegar's plans, and had integral roles to play in carrying them out. Not only do they appear to have been in Rhaegar's small inner circle of half a dozen friends and confidants, but they seem to have been his most trusted men within that small group. I think they probably felt they were helping their prince do what was best for their king and his house, but I think Hightower would have seen it as pretty black and white. While I could see Dayne and Whent sticking around after Rhaegar, Aerys, and Aegon were dead to fulfill whatever they'd worked out with Rhaegar, I don't see Hightower sticking around once Rhaegar, Aerys, and Aegon are dead if he doesn't view Jon as the heir or king.

Amen :-)

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16 hours ago, Ygrain said:

No. I am just distinguishing between the time prior the Sack and aftewards. Prior, they could be simply following Rhaegar's orders and were perfectly justified in doing so, as there were four more KG who could guard Aerys (I don't think they were kept up-to-date with the distribution of their brethren but that hardly matters). Afterwards, there were no other KG left and it was up to the three of them to guard the king.

After the Sack, there was no KG with the king. 

“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.

“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.

“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.

 

 

Now, imagine that you say "I looked for you at the Trident" to someone who doesn't know that there was a battle which the Rebels won. Do you think that the person's response will resemble that of Ser Gerold and Oswell? The way the KG respond indicates prior knowledge throughout the dialogue.

There is absolutely nothing in their response that would indicated prior knowledge. It is a response which suits a bunch of hard, tough soldiers facing off a foe before a fight. It is a flat, emotionless statement of dry fact, "We were not there". It is even a slightly evasive answer, refusing to elaborate beyond stating the obvious -- which in itself is indicative that nothing can be deduced here about their emotional state or their knowledge at the time.

In fact, the only way they could have possibly known about the Sack and Jamie's treachery (who was a brother of the order, who was with the king) is if a messenger had ridden out to the Tower of Joy from King's Landing (from what we know, there were no maesters to attend ravens at the Tower). Which is an interesting thought, because Ned could have intercepted such a rider on his way back from the Tower.

16 hours ago, Ygrain said:

The law is the law. Unless the king interferes or some specific circumstances arise, the common law applies. And the same goes for the succession - the first son's son inherit before brother. 

That's a blatant anachronism. Politics in the world of ASOIAF are far, far more Machiavellian than this. Any law is upheld so long as it serves the players in power; and once a law no longer serves such players, they will endeavour to change it, by any and all means available to them, be it using soft power, hard power, or all out revolt. This is the Game of Thrones. It's right there in the books: e.g., the firstborn son is the first in line of succession? Not in Dorne. Why? Because the Iron Throne had pragmatic reasons not to enforce it.

16 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Uhm, no. The validity applies as long as the king has any followers. The KG call Robert "Usurper", hence they don't accept his authority and his claim and remain loyal to the Targaryens and their claims. Out of whom, Viserys is supposed to follow Aerys, but the KG's behaviour contradicts that.

There is the Grand council if succession is in doubt or there are valid reasons wh someone's claim should be jumped. Under normal circumstances, the above applies.

A few points to be made here:

1. Validity stems from political power (which often entails martial power). Rivals with contesting claims fight it out, and in the end only one survives to validate his claim. His claim, in turn, will only remain valid until he no longer has the political power to ensure it.

2. In a time of war, when there is a clear and present danger to the Targaryen hold on the Iron Throne, where the entire line of succession to the Targaryen throne is in mortal danger, and when Aerys' heirs are being split up (for whatever reasons), it is pure mathematical probabilty that the best chance for House Targaryen to survive this usurption is by protecting all heirs to the throne. So whether they were under the Aerys' orders, or whether they figured this out themselves, it makes absolutely no sense for the Kingsguard to decide that in such dangerous times they will only protect the heir first in line of succession.

3. The Grand Council is called to rule on sticky succession issues. The Grand Council surely tries its best to remain in consistence with the law, common law, divine law, or whatever. The Grand Council also consists of a bunch of human beings, either players or pieces in the Game of Thrones, who, under the right circumstances and with the right motivation (internal or external), might put the cart before the horses and work hard at devising a justification for a predetermined conclusion. (Such as, "Aerys must go" or "the king's peace is more important to the realm than notions of morality and common law", for instance.)

17 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Any textual support for legitimisation other than by a king's decree? 

Well, of the top of my head, the Blackfyre rebellions made a bloody good effort.

17 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Not really sure what you mean here about marriages. 

That with all the background prattling about divine law and human law, marriage is a pragmatic convention. As such, a couple is considered 'legally' married so long as there are those who are willing to accept it as binding. As noted in one of the previous threads, a marriage with no witnesses is not a legally binding marriage, even if a septon was present and vows were uttered. The same goes for practically any other matter of legal rights -- and claims to rights as well (under which bastardy falls, because who'd give a rat's ass about someone's parentage if there was nothing to be gained?).

17 hours ago, Ygrain said:

And in what way is it telling? Rhaegar meant to succeed his father during his life, which is normally not done, and instead of arranging his father an accident or staging a coup he wanted to go about it legally. 

It's telling because a ruling by Grand Council would lend credence to Rhaegar's Grand Scheme. And to clarify what I blundered in my previous post, Rhaegar could have used the Council to sort out any number of matters besides naming him king, one of which would be to legitimise his bastard.

 

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14 hours ago, MtnLion said:

What in Rhaegar's personality leads you to believe that he would not marry?

What in Lyanna's personality leads you to believe that:

  1. She would not marry?
  2. Would birth a bastard?

I, as well as everybody else besides GRRM, know next to nothing about Rhaegar and Lyanna's personality. What I do know, however, is that Rhaegar was already married to Elia, which would make his marriage to Lyanna a complex issue (even given the Targaryens had a history of polygamy, most if not all instances were Targaryen siblings inter-marrying; aside from such a case's own complexities, marrying two women of different Houses would have political consequences which would further complicated the matter). Moreover, Rhaegar and Lyanna were, until the very end, in hiding. So it would seem to me that having a secret wedding, although romantic, would not have spared them the effort to have their marriage acknowledged later on. I believe that Rhaegar had every intention of marrying Lyanna once the rebellion was put down, and the Coucil was called.

14 hours ago, MtnLion said:

It is not logical for Rhaegar to travel from the tower back to King's Landing, through enemy territory, alone.  This leads to the idea that Whent and Dayne accompanied Rhagar at least far enough to see that he arrived safely, perhaps into the care of a Kingsguard that was in the field, or to the city gates.  Rhaegar had reason to ensure that neither Kingsguard could be summoned by the king, and it is logical that he sends them back to the tower.  Hightower was stuck at the tower, by Lyanna, since she (if married) deserved Kingsguard protection.  (I believe that they were married, and nothing, absolutely nothing solid can be produced that refutes that.  Everything we know about those two, their personalities, suggest that they married.)  Rhaegar may have given Whent and Dayne direction to arrive back at the tower on a specific day, ensuring that Hightower remained through the birth, too.  Once we have a legitimate male child at the tower, the dream dialog makes utter sense.  An illegitimate child does not make the dialog sensible. 

The child was Rhaegar's, legitimate or illegitimate. That in itself would be enough to warrant protection by knights of the Kingsguard. So, most likely it was the child that was being protected by Hightower, Dayne and Whent, and not necessarily Lyanna.

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Both questions are as of yet without an answer.

However, we don't know whether Rhaegar left the tower completely alone. We know he began his journey as per TWoIaF with six companions. We don't know who they were but it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that Dayne and Whent were with him from the start. Among the four others might have been Jon Connington, Rhaegar's former squire Myles Mooton (both of whom must have returned to KL at a later point since Connington became Hand and Mooton fought and died with Connington at Stoney Sept), and Rhaegar's other buddy, Richard Lonmouth. Some people have suggested Prince Lewyn might also have been with Rhaegar but I doubt that considering how Rhaegar had humiliated Elia at Harrenhal.

Now, since we don't know who the last guy might have been and considering that Lonmouth's whereabouts are as of yet completely unclear it would not surprise me one bit if Lonmouth and the other guy were with Rhaegar and Lyanna when Gerold Hightower found them and subsequently returned with them to KL.

Lonmouth is also a pretty good candidate to be Ned informant on the whereabouts of Lyanna, either directly or indirectly.

Although plenty of people at court could also have known where the hell Rhaegar had been assuming that Rhaegar talked about that after his return.

Some time ago I suggested that Ned ending up leading the rebel army to KL might have been partially motivated by his belief Lyanna was there and that he wanted to get to his sister first. If that's the case then Ned would only have learned where Lyanna was at KL. The idea that he learned that from people in Mace's party at Storm's End is very unlikely.

I agree, and the more I re-read, the more I become convinced of the likelihood of this theory as opposed to rival theories. On a related note, it has probably been discussed in previous threads, but Lyanna must have been in on the 'Grand Scheme', but could she have told Ned about it before she died? I think she must have.

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1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

There is absolutely nothing in their response that would indicated prior knowledge. It is a response which suits a bunch of hard, tough soldiers facing off a foe before a fight. It is a flat, emotionless statement of dry fact, "We were not there". It is even a slightly evasive answer, refusing to elaborate beyond stating the obvious -- which in itself is indicative that nothing can be deduced here about their emotional state or their knowledge at the time.

BS, sorry. If someone tells you "I looked for you at XY" and you have no idea what happened there, you have no idea why the person should be looking for you just there, either, and your response would differ considerably. 

BTW, if they didn't know that there was a battle and Robert won, not to mention the Sack, they wouldn't call him "Usurper" in their second response because he hadn't been one until then.

So, yes, their knowledge can be figured out. Just try to parse through the responses if they make sense without prior knowledge

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

I, as well as everybody else besides GRRM, know next to nothing about Rhaegar and Lyanna's personality. What I do know, however, is that Rhaegar was already married to Elia, which would make his marriage to Lyanna a complex issue (even given the Targaryens had a history of polygamy, most if not all instances were Targaryen siblings inter-marrying; aside from such a case's own complexities, marrying two women of different Houses would have political consequences which would further complicated the matter). Moreover, Rhaegar and Lyanna were, until the very end, in hiding. So it would seem to me that having a secret wedding, although romantic, would not have spared them the effort to have their marriage acknowledged later on. I believe that Rhaegar had every intention of marrying Lyanna once the rebellion was put down, and the Coucil was called.

The same issue as above - we do have hints at Rhaegar and Lyanna's personalities. Both are described as the kind of people who do the right things. And by the Westerosi standards, doing the right thing means not sleeping with your lady outside marriage.

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

The child was Rhaegar's, legitimate or illegitimate. That in itself would be enough to warrant protection by knights of the Kingsguard. So, most likely it was the child that was being protected by Hightower, Dayne and Whent, and not necessarily Lyanna.

Yes, it would certainly warrant KG protection. It would not warrant protection by all the remaining KG while Viserys aka their new king had none.

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1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

In fact, the only way they could have possibly known about the Sack and Jamie's treachery (who was a brother of the order, who was with the king) is if a messenger had ridden out to the Tower of Joy from King's Landing (from what we know, there were no maesters to attend ravens at the Tower). Which is an interesting thought, because Ned could have intercepted such a rider on his way back from the Tower.

Oh, really? And they don't have maesters and messengers at Starfall? Is there not the slightest possibility that Arthur's family did have means to contact him?

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

That's a blatant anachronism. Politics in the world of ASOIAF are far, far more Machiavellian than this. Any law is upheld so long as it serves the players in power; and once a law no longer serves such players, they will endeavour to change it, by any and all means available to them, be it using soft power, hard power, or all out revolt. This is the Game of Thrones. It's right there in the books: e.g., the firstborn son is the first in line of succession? Not in Dorne. Why? Because the Iron Throne had pragmatic reasons not to enforce it.

And how does it affect what I said? I know that Dorne has different succession, and Dornish succession has nothing to do with the succession of Rhaegar's children, since at the time of ToJ, both Rhaenys and Aegon were dead. 

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

2. In a time of war, when there is a clear and present danger to the Targaryen hold on the Iron Throne, where the entire line of succession to the Targaryen throne is in mortal danger, and when Aerys' heirs are being split up (for whatever reasons), it is pure mathematical probabilty that the best chance for House Targaryen to survive this usurption is by protecting all heirs to the throne. So whether they were under the Aerys' orders, or whether they figured this out themselves, it makes absolutely no sense for the Kingsguard to decide that in such dangerous times they will only protect the heir first in line of succession.

So, instead, they are only protecting Rhaegar's bastard and the king's legitimate heir not at all? Damn, there are three of them. That means they can easily guard up to three people. Yet, all three stick with one, and on top of that, one that is not the priority of their vows. Doesn't make sense.

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

Well, of the top of my head, the Blackfyre rebellions made a bloody good effort.

Aegon IV legitimized all his great bastards on his deathbed, so I really don't know what other legitimization you are talking about.

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

That with all the background prattling about divine law and human law, marriage is a pragmatic convention. As such, a couple is considered 'legally' married so long as there are those who are willing to accept it as binding. As noted in one of the previous threads, a marriage with no witnesses is not a legally binding marriage, even if a septon was present and vows were uttered. The same goes for practically any other matter of legal rights -- and claims to rights as well (under which bastardy falls, because who'd give a rat's ass about someone's parentage if there was nothing to be gained?).

If you have read the previous threads, you may have noted that this opinion is rather solitary and has zero textual support. 

Not to mention that back then, Rhaegar would have had Whent and Dayne as witnesses.

1 hour ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

It's telling because a ruling by Grand Council would lend credence to Rhaegar's Grand Scheme. And to clarify what I blundered in my previous post, Rhaegar could have used the Council to sort out any number of matters besides naming him king, one of which would be to legitimise his bastard.

Tell me one thing. Why sire a bastard when all you need is to get a weirwood, or a septon, or both, and say the words. 

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17 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

BS, sorry. If someone tells you "I looked for you at XY" and you have no idea what happened there, you have no idea why the person should be looking for you just there, either, and your response would differ considerably. 

BTW, if they didn't know that there was a battle and Robert won, not to mention the Sack, they wouldn't call him "Usurper" in their second response because he hadn't been one until then.

So, yes, their knowledge can be figured out. Just try to parse through the responses if they make sense without prior knowledge

1. What do you mean "you had no idea what happened there"? I think it explicitly implies there was a battle there, so Hightower has more thank an inkling of what Ned is asking him without having prior knowledge of the events in question.

2. Are you seriously suggesting that if a person is asked about something he has no idea about, his only possible response would be "I have no idea"? Ned is implicitly asking "What in seven hells are you doing here [with my sister]?", and the White Knights, thankfully, had taken the hint, implying in their laconic answers that they would rather take their purpose with them to their death. Insisting on your interpretation is absurd.

3. A usurper is a usurper for his intent as well as his actual deed. To suggest that one cannot be called a 'usurper' if he has yet to seize the throne is as absurd as suggest you can't call someone a thief before he has gotten away with the stolen goods.

17 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

The same issue as above - we do have hints at Rhaegar and Lyanna's personalities. Both are described as the kind of people who do the right things. And by the Westerosi standards, doing the right thing means not sleeping with your lady outside marriage.

Rhaegar was so honourable, he publicly shamed his own wife at Harrenhal. GRRM's main characters are never so one-dimensional as you suggest, so allow me to doubt your suggestion.

25 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Yes, it would certainly warrant KG protection. It would not warrant protection by all the remaining KG while Viserys aka their new king had none.

He had the protection of a Knight which Hightower, Dayne and Whent themselves agree is a good and honourable knight. So he was not without protection, now that they supposedly discredit Jamie.

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15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Oh, really? And they don't have maesters and messengers at Starfall? Is there not the slightest possibility that Arthur's family did have means to contact him?

Sending word from Starfall would have also required a messenger, as I said.

15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

And how does it affect what I said? I know that Dorne has different succession, and Dornish succession has nothing to do with the succession of Rhaegar's children, since at the time of ToJ, both Rhaenys and Aegon were dead. 

It goes to demonstrate the overlying principle, that laws governing succession are nothing more than lips service and pretence. Succession in ASOIF is an arbitrary, changeable and subject to convention, that could be changed on a whim given enough political power is asserted.

15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

So, instead, they are only protecting Rhaegar's bastard and the king's legitimate heir not at all? Damn, there are three of them. That means they can easily guard up to three people. Yet, all three stick with one, and on top of that, one that is not the priority of their vows. Doesn't make sense.

No one has ever challenged the fact that having three Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy is significant. What I'm arguing is that this fact by itself  does not imply that Jon was trueborn

15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Aegon IV legitimized all his great bastards on his deathbed, so I really don't know what other legitimization you are talking about.

Sorry, that was a bit muddled. Aegon IV legitimised his bastards, and the bastards' claim was later contested, not the legitimisation itself, of course. What I meant to say is, bastardy and legitimisation would not be issues at all if not for their bearing on a claim (the bastard's and his siblings'). Looking for a better example as we speak.

15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

If you have read the previous threads, you may have noted that this opinion is rather solitary and has zero textual support. 

Well, I usually make a point of speaking for myself, but a minority opinion as it may be ("solitary" it surely isn't, you're quite welcome to check), there is not textual support for the contrary either (that is, no instance of a couple married with no witnesses, whose marriage was contested and upheld just because a septon conducted the ceremony and the vows were said). So, choosing not to argue over the burden of proof in this matter, I will be sure to qualify such an assertion next time.

15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Not to mention that back then, Rhaegar would have had Whent and Dayne as witnesses.

That's the thing, perhaps Whent and Dayne's word would have been enough, and perhaps not. But if you really wanted to be sure your marriage could not be contested, you'd get married with more influential witnesses.

15 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Tell me one thing. Why sire a bastard when all you need is to get a weirwood, or a septon, or both, and say the words. 

Exactly! If it were that easy to have a legally binding marriage, no one would ever wilfully sire a bastard.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

I agree, and the more I re-read, the more I become convinced of the likelihood of this theory as opposed to rival theories. On a related note, it has probably been discussed in previous threads, but Lyanna must have been in on the 'Grand Scheme', but could she have told Ned about it before she died? I think she must have.

That depends on what you know with 'grand scheme' at this point. Would Lyanna have told Ned about Rhaegar's plans after the war knowing that Rhaegar was already dead? I don't think so because that had become irrelevant. As to the grand scheme back at Harrenhal - Lyanna wouldn't have had any idea about that. but Lord Rickard and other great lords may have known about Rhaegar's original intention.

You also have to keep in mind that Rhaegar for some reason returned to KL but left Lyanna in that tower. Why did he do that? Did they part on good terms? Knowing Lya's personality it is rather odd to assume she would approve of Rhaegar helping his father (who had murdered her father and brother) to win the war or fight and kill her other brother and Robert in battle. The idea that Lyanna Stark was in the end Prince Rhaegar's prisoner as well as his (secret) wife is not so unlikely. Everything we know about Lyanna suggests that she would have done everything in her power to try to make a peace between Rhaegar and the remaining members of her family.

The core of the entire Rhaegar-Lyanna question is not what happened at the stupid tower or why the people who were there were there (ML's idea that Dayne and Whent went with Rhaegar to KL and then back to the tower is ridiculous in light of the fact that Rhaegar had six companions with him when he left Dragonstone) it is why the hell Rhaegar and Lyanna felt they had to hide in the first place. In the beginning there was no united rebellion, and thus no good reason for them to hide from the rebels. Especially not considering that Rhaegar later actual led the Targaryen armies against the rebels.

Now, we do know that Aerys II actually suspected Rhaegar was plotting against him. There were serious tensions at court prior to the Rebellion, tensions Pycelle actually compared to the political situation prior to the Dance of the Dragons. Aerys also suspected that Lyanna's crowning at Harrenhal was part of a Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy against him.

This makes it actually very likely that Rhaegar's abduction of Lyanna was seen by Aerys as confirmation of his suspicions, as the beginning of a Rhaegar-Stark-led rebellion against him. And subsequently that led to the executions of Rickard and Brandon as well as the command to Jon Arryn to deliver the heads of Robert and Ned to Aerys. It is very likely that Rhaegar and Lyanna were the target of Aerys' wrath, too, causing them to go underground. One could also speculate whether Rhaegar and Lyanna actually openly married prior to their disappearance considering that such a marriage would also be seen as a confirmation of the Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy by Aerys. I'm not sure whether the mere disappearance of Lyanna would have motivated Aerys to go as far as he did. Not to mention that the abduction of a beloved girl is usually followed by the marriage of said girl, at least that's what's happened with all the other Targaryen princes taking their girls (Duncan-Jenny and Jaehaerys-Shaera both married and revealed that fact shortly after said weddings took place).

The idea that Rhaegar would just abduct or run away with Lyanna and then hide for no good reason while the Realm descended into chaos around him makes no sense at all. And neither does the idea that he would not announce the fact that he had taken a second wife to the world and his parents.

Now, it is pretty clear that neither Aerys II nor the Faith or Westeros as a whole would have suffered another polygamous Targaryen prince at this point in time. Aerys was on rather bad terms with his son and heir, and polygamy was a non-issue since the reign of Maegor the Cruel. The Faith did not condone polygamy, and Aerys himself was presumably on rather good terms with the High Septon considering that he had rather recently humbled himself in front of the Seven and taken a walk of shame through the city.

Rhaegar marrying Lyanna would not only have given Aerys the proof that his son was conspiring against him it would also have given him the perfect pretext to call for Rhaegar's head and denounce and disinherit him, forcing him and Lyanna to run away and hide. Even Rhaegar's many friends among the nobility of the Realm would have been appalled by his decision to take another wife without the permission of his father or the Faith.

Later on Aerys would have changed his mind after realizing that his idea that Rhaegar and the Starks were conspiring/rebelling against him was wrong. This would have occurred after he had learned that Rhaegar and Lyanna weren't with Robert, Ned, or Jon and when it became evident that the rebels intended to put down Rhaegar as much as they wanted to depose Aerys. That then led first to the appointment of Jon Connington as Hand (who might have returned to court with Myles Mooton to try to convince Aerys that Rhaegar wasn't the enemy) and then eventually to Rhaegar's own return to court.

But even if Rhaegar and Lyanna were married this doesn't mean their child was a royal prince or perceived as legitimate. That depends whether polygamous marriages actually are seen as legitimate in the eyes of the majority of the Realm. Rhaegar keeping Lyanna at the tower (if not done to keep her as a prisoner there so she could not interfere with his plans to fight against Ned and Robert) could be seen as a sign that he did not yet dare bring his second wife to court because people there were unwilling to accept Lyanna. The fact that Aerys believed that the Dornishmen needed to be blackmailed into service and that Lewyn later betrayed Rhaegar at the Trident also supports the idea that he (and the Dornishmen) knew about the Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage and that Lewyn and Doran were less than pleased about this whole development. But Rhaegar just having a mistress should be no big deal for the paramour-loving Dornishmen. A second wife for Elia to compete with would be a completely different matter, though. Especially from a dynastic perspective.

In fact, there is a very good chance that Doran had actually completely severed himself at heart from the Targaryens and only reconnected with them after the Lannisters had murdered Elia and the children the way they did. Rhaegar's and Lyanna's death sort of took the whole Lyanna affair off the table.

The idea that Lyanna's son had a good legal claim to the Iron Throne at the time of his birth is, quite frankly, ridiculous:

1. The validity of Rhaegar's marriage was far from resolved. It is possible that a Targaryen prince with the support of his royal father could have forced the Realm to accept a second legal wife at his side (or been able to set Elia aside in favor of Lyanna as his new wife) but that doesn't mean the Kingsguard, the court, and the lords would actually have considered a child born from such a union the new king. Just ask yourself what the Faith would have declared about a child of Maegor's by Alys Harroway, Tyanna of the Tower, or one of the black brides. Most likely any child of Maegor's not born by Ceryse Hightower would have been declared a bastard and an abomination as soon as his cruel Balerion-riding father was no longer there to protect his claim.

But Rhaegar and Lyanna didn't even have dragons nor the support of the king. Just as Maegor didn't when he already rode Balerion and married Alys Harroway. He took a second wife without the permission of his royal brother and was then forced to go into exile.

2. The other thing is that even if Rhaegar and Lyanna's marriage was publicly known and seen as sort of valid, no king or royal prince had ever recognized Lyanna's son as a royal prince. There are hints that the king has to formally recognize and adopt his relatives and descendants into the family (this is given in TRP where the daughters of exiled Daemon and Laena only become members of the royal family when they present themselves to Viserys I after their parents return to Westeros - subsequently they are given their dragon eggs, the hallmark of a legitimate Targaryen child in those days; the other hint is in TWoIaF where Yandel tells us that Rhaegar presented his newborn daughter Rhaenys to his royal parents).

Considering that Jon Snow was never recognized as such a royal child by any member of the royal family it is pretty much out of the question that he would be considered a good claimant to the Iron Throne. Not even his hair or his eyes vouch for him, after all.

If Jon ever makes a claim to the Iron Throne in the books it is pretty obvious that he has, at first, be recognized as Rhaegar's son by a member of House Targaryen (either Dany or Aegon). Else nobody is going to believe his story regardless whether it is true or false. Prince Aegon right now has Jon Connington to vouch for his identity. But Jon Snow doesn't have an equivalent to Jon Connington.

3. Aerys II actually passed over Rhaegar's entire line when he named Viserys his new heir after the Trident. When Aerys II died Prince Viserys was the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, not little Aegon (or young Rhaenys). Thus it is presumptuous in the extreme to assume that Aerys II did not also pass over Lyanna's unborn child when he chose his new heir.

If the Targaryen succession had been settled peacefully after the death of Aerys and Rhaegar in favor of another Targaryen pretender Viserys III would also have become king. Not just because Aerys had chosen him but because Aegon, Rhaenys, and Lyanna's son all were way too young. Choosing them would have meant a much longer regency for the minor monarch than King Viserys III.

4. The fact that Prince Aegon, supposedly the son of Rhaegar and Elia, isn't called King Aegon VI by anybody at this point makes it perfectly clear that kings need a coronation or at least a proclamation in Westeros. Robert, Joffrey, Tommen, Stannis, Renly, Robb, Balon - all this people either declared themselves king in some ritual or proclamation. The idea that the Kingsguard at the tower had any notion to crown and swear fealty to their little baby without even consulting with the other members of House Targaryen is just ridiculous. If the rightful King of Westeros Prince Aegon isn't styled 'king' yet, then there is no reason whatsoever to assume that anybody thought Lyanna's son was king.

People may have thought he had a (good) claim to the throne. But a lot of people have claims. Even bastards and widows have claims, actually.

But the final problem there is the ridiculous assumption that the Kingsguard at the tower saw themselves as kingmakers or politicians who felt it was their duty or their right to choose a king. Not to mention that they would have been honor-bound to go with Viserys III if they knew about Aerys' decision for him - and even if they did not, crowning or choosing a new king would have effectively established a new (rather small) faction in the civil war. That would have been utter stupidity.

The idea that the boy in the tower was the rightful king in their eyes makes no sense at all. Just imagine what this would have meant had Viserys III, Queen Rhaella, and Ser Willem Darry come knocking instead of Eddard Stark and his gang. Would that have meant that the knights had tried to kill them, too? Or would they have forced Queen Rhaella to deposed Viserys III whom she herself had crowned in favor of his this ill-begotten child by her late son? It just doesn't make any sense.

The Kingsguard are with Lyanna and her son because they want to protect her because they are in their care as people connected to the royal family. They might very well have thought that Lyanna was indeed Rhaegar's legitimate wife and thus her son also Rhaegar's legitimate son. But that doesn't mean they would have felt the need to make or see that child as their king. We don't even know whether they thought the Targaryen cause had any chance to survive at this point. Even Tyrion has enough sense to realize that to crown Myrcella is to kill her. Are we willing to believe that the knights at the tower failed to see that by making the boy they were supposed to protect the king they would actually further endanger him?

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

There are hints that the king has to formally recognize and adopt his relatives and descendants into the family (this is given in TRP where the daughters of exiled Daemon and Laena only become members of the royal family when they present themselves to Viserys I after their parents return to Westeros - subsequently they are given their dragon eggs, the hallmark of a legitimate Targaryen child in those days; the other hint is in TWoIaF where Yandel tells us that Rhaegar presented his newborn daughter Rhaenys to his royal parents).

 

The business of presenting heirs isn't a Targaryen thing, but pretty standard practice. The lady in question had to be publicly known to be pregnant and the baby presented to an admiring audience at the earliest opportunity.

An obvious case in point is Edward, the first Prince of Wales. His father was trying to subdue the Welsh, who demanded none but a Welsh prince. Edward senior's lady wife was well advanced in her pregnancy so he made damn sure that she was delivered of a son and heir in Caernarvon Castle, which he very promptly displayed to the assembled chieftains as a genuine Welsh born prince.

More prosaically, Royal lying-ins were routinely attended by a number of witnesses, including churchmen and senior politicians, who could afterwards give their affydavey that the curly-haired sprog dancing on his daddy's knee was indeed delivered by the Queen and was therefore the legitimate son and heir to the Kingdom.

Heirs need to be publicly displayed and proclaimed immediately.

 

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@Black Crow

I know about stuff like that but I did not want to make the posting longer still.

The best historical example on this whole thing I remember is the birth of Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. He was born late in said marriages and there rumors that Queen Margaret had had other lovers. But the biggest problem at the birth of the boy was that King Henry was senseless/mad at the time of his son's birth, causing him to be unable to recognize and acknowledge his wife's son as his own.

That put both Margaret and Edward in a very precarious position and muddled the succession even further. Was now Prince Edward the heir apparent to the throne or remained Richard of York as heir presumptive to King Henry? Who would succeed to the throne should Henry VI die without regaining his senses?

From TWoIaF we also learn that it is a separate legal act to name somebody Prince of Dragonstone and Heir Apparent. It is not that a birth alone makes a prince with this and that title. Titles are granted by the monarch, and heirs are named.

People expect it is done in this or that way but there is no clear succession. And in the case of Aerys II's succession after the death of Rhaegar it is quite clear that nobody would have supported the claims of Aegon, Rhaenys, or Lyanna's son simply because of their age. Viserys III was the better candidate from every point of view - he was the son of the king, he was not half-Stark or half-Martell (houses who were either suspected of disloyalty or openly rebelling against the Crown), he was not the offspring of a possibly invalid marriage, and he was seven years old rather than an infant or a newborn child.

Not even in a peaceful time would many people have spoken for Aegon of Lyanna's son. After all, Laenor Velaryon was dismissed because of his age despite the fact that he was of the elder line, the son of the richest man in Westeros, and a dragonrider.

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7 hours ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

The child was Rhaegar's, legitimate or illegitimate. That in itself would be enough to warrant protection by knights of the Kingsguard. So, most likely it was the child that was being protected by Hightower, Dayne and Whent, and not necessarily Lyanna.

Barristan tells us that some kings had thought that their bastards deserved Kingsguard protection, but that is certainly not what Aerys thought.  The child is certainly being protected by three Kingsguard.  Considering the possibilities, we have the king (maybe) on Dragonstone, without a Kingsguard and we have Rhaegar's son, here at the tower.  Put all of the eggs in one basket?  Or, does the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard re-dispose his forces to best defend the primary and the alternate, in that priority?  Who, then, is the primary? 

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 0:19 AM, Ygrain said:

No. The gist of the KG vows is defend the king and give their life for his, if need be. The KG can guard bastards but it is not their purpose, as Barristan tells us. 

Yes, and dying for a bastard would not explain why Ned respected, honored, even revered these three Kingsguard, later in his life. 

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Aegon and Aerys died at essentially the same time, so it is absurd to expect Aegon to have ever been called a king by anybody. And who do you expect to have proclaimed him king, anyway, the rebels in control of the city?

The three KG were faced with the reality of an undisputed Targ king or heir in Viserys, but they stayed at the tower. I can buy that Dayne would have stayed at the tower regardless of Jon's status. Whent, maybe.

But I don't buy for a second that Hightower would have remained at the tower if the tower contained a bastard, and Viserys was the only remaining legitimate Targaryen male.

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41 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

The three KG were faced with the reality of an undisputed Targ king or heir in Viserys, but they stayed at the tower. I can buy that Dayne would have stayed at the tower regardless of Jon's status. Whent, maybe.

But I don't buy for a second that Hightower would have remained at the tower if the tower contained a bastard, and Viserys was the only remaining legitimate Targaryen male.

We don't know Ser Gerold's heart yet. A lot of characters are presented to us in ways that misconstrue their true character or motivations. Hightower may not have wanted to see his king killed by a White Sword. But he actually decided to stay with his brothers with Lyanna while she was just carrying a child.

That fact alone makes his priorities clear. 

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6 hours ago, Wayward Sand Star said:

Exactly! If it were that easy to have a legally binding marriage, no one would ever wilfully sire a bastard.

If that's the way your argumentation goes, I'm afraid you will have to find someone else for it.

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On 8/10/2016 at 3:00 AM, Wayward Sand Star said:

 

@MtnLion, as I argued previously, there is no contradiction here -- Hightower, Dayne and Whent would have been well within the purview of their vows protecting a bastard of the heir apparent to the Throne (since in the absence of living legitimate heirs, such a bastard would have a significant claim to the Throne if he were legitimised, thus making him a potential heir at the time of battle at the Tower of Joy). So far there has been no textual evidence which would compel me to believe otherwise.

And thank you for reminding me about your excellent post about the Tower of Joy; it summed up how the text contradicts @Ygrain in that (1) when the three Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy left King's Landing, the King and his family were left with one Kingsguard (Jamie) and a trusted Knight (Ser Willem Darry); and (2) it appears they seemed to have learnt about the fate of the King, his children and his grandchildren from Ned.

I agree with your overall conclusion.  The presence of the KGs does not indicate a marriage or legitimacy.  After all, during the Dance of the Dragons, two KGs (Fell and Thorne) left a wounded King Aegon II in the care of a non-KG bastard knight while they went to protect Aegon's son and his simple daughter, Jaehaera.  The daughter in particular had virtually no claim to the throne (since Aegon II's claim rested on the premise that females come behind all living male Targaryens), yet Fell went with Jaehaera and left King Aegon with no Kingsguard.

I don't agree that the KGs learned the fate of Aerys, his children and grandchildren from Ned.  The dialogue implies that they knew that Rhaegar died on the Trident, that Aerys died in King's Landing and that Robert was now king.  It also implies that they learned for the first time from Ned that Rhaella and Viserys had fled to Dragonstone and that Mace Tyrell had bent the knee.  Noticeably absent from the dialogue is any mention of the fate of Elia, Rhaenys or Aegon, suggesting that they did not know that Aegon was (supposedly) dead.  

So the question is:  they believed that Viserys was alive on Dragonstone and that Aegon was a prisoner in King's Landing yet they did not go to either of them.  In that sense, they were in the same position as the KGs who were with Tywin when Aerys was being held captive at Duskendale.  They did not try to fight their way through to their king.  They followed orders -- Tywin's orders.  

Leading to the conclusion that Hightower, Dayne and Whent were at the toj because they were following orders.   Not because there was any legitimate Targaryen heir in the tower.   

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On 8/10/2016 at 3:29 AM, IceFire125 said:

I totally disagree.

A bastard Jon needs to be legitimized by a legit Targaryen king, in the eyes of those 3KGs at the tower.  That legitimate Targaryen, to their knowledge, was at Dragonstone and it appears, they have that information already before Ned came to the tower.  Thus by them staying at the tower instead of sending at least one KG to go to the now heir of the Targaryen monarchy, since knowing that Aerys, Rhaegar and baby Aegon has died, spoke with heavy volume.

They stayed, and they pumped their chest filled with pride that they were there because of their vow and they are, at that moment, Kingsguard.  And in that tower was someone with a much higher claim to their Kingsguard vow to that of Viserys.  That is person is baby Jon, who is the "true heir" to the throne... in their eyes.

And it's through their eyes that we find focus to why Ned had to keep it a secret of Jon's true identity.

Because...

“...We had come late to Robert’s cause. It was necessary to demonstrate our loyalty. When I laid those bodies before the throne, no man could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever. And Robert’s relief was palpable. As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar’s children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children.”

**The moment Ned reveals Jon or somehow Jon's origin was found out anyone loyal to the Baratheon/Lannister crown, it would be the end of Jon.  Ned will be forced to "demonstrate his loyalty", if not Ned, Catelyn will be forced to make that choice to hand over Jon in secret (as she did with Jaime behind Robb's back) when it comes to Jon or the "children of her body."

**The moment Jon is released and somehow ended up in a house or camp loyal to House Targaryen, it will spark a royal cry of banners to be called to claim his "rightful" place on the Iron Throne.  Again, Ned will choose, to join Jon (a Stark blood through Lyanna) and fight a civil war against the Baratheon/Lannister crown or giving Jon to be killed or sent away not knowing what has happened to him.

 

 

I don't think we can say conclusively that only a king can legitimize a bastard.  We know that one king did:  Aegon IV.  We also know that other bastards have been legitimized.  We don't know whether a Lord Paramount could do that, either for himself or for a vassal.  And we don't know whether the High Septon could do it, although there is reason to think that he could.  Remember that a king can't dissolve a betrothal but the High Septon can -- that is why Joffrey needed the High Septon to dissolve his betrothal to Sansa.

I also don't think that Ned would have to prove his loyalty the way Tywin did.  Tywin had to prove his loyalty because he came late to Robert's cause.  Ned, on the other hand, was there from the beginning.  

Also, remember that the trigger for Robert's Rebellion was that Aerys demanded two innocent lives--Robert's own and Ned's -- from Jon Arryn and Lord Arryn refused.  That led half the realm to rise up against Aerys.  Robert could hardly turn around and do the same thing to to Ned that Aerys had done to Jon Arryn.  If Robert found out that Ned was harboring a son of Rhaegar and then told Ned to execute the child or send him to King's Landing for execution, Robert would not have lasted long on the throne.

Finally, there is no reason to think Jon Snow was a threat to Robert's reign.  Robert wasn't too worried about Viserys for the first 14 years.  And no great house rose for Viserys (even though Dorne could have done that). The smarter play would be to do what Bloodraven did to Daemon II Blackfyre -- simply take him as a ward.  With Ned guarantying Jon's loyalty, there would be no problem.  

Tywin, however, is a different matter.    

On 8/10/2016 at 5:48 AM, Ygrain said:

And we know that the said rite applied for the shortest time necessary, when the KG gathered to convene. Other than that, the only case of the KG not being with the king that we know of is when Aegon II was being smuggled out of KL under a heap of fish, in which case the KG presence would be a dead giveaway.

 

The Targaryen kings were often left without Kingsguard protection:  whenever they rode on their dragons, when Fell and Thorne left Aegon II with the bastard knight, when Aerys was prisoner at Duskendale (Barristan eventually went in and got him but he had to get Tywin's permission first), when Dany flew off on Drogon and Barristan stayed in Meereen, etc. 

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