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Ygrain

R+L=J v.162

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16 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

I also suspect that if the king died with no legitimate heirs and a Great Council decided to legitimize a bastard and make him king, then that person would be legitimate even though there was no king to legitimize him.  In other words, the king, the High Septon, and a Great Council are all ways a bastard could be legitimized.  

That would be a highly unusual exception, which is only done because there is no other option in that case. But the High Septon plays no role in legitimizing a bastard, if I'm not mistaken..

Or, the bastard is crowned king, at which point he would be legally allowed to change his last name, right?

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11 minutes ago, AdesteFideles said:

Just a small point, but I believe the consensus is that she was, you know, busy dying at the time.

:)

Not back then yet, "only" heavily pregnant. Not to mention that had Rhaegar been so stupid as to take Lyanna with him to KL, things might have turned out rather ugly for her. And for her brother, and Robert, and even Rhaegar himself. Only an idiot would provide Aerys with such a hostage.

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16 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

That certainly adds some weight to the theory that there is no other route to legitimization other than a royal decree

I must have missed this yesterday while I was skimming through, but I love how Martin stating something as fact only "adds some weight to the theory." 

Now I'm calling you a moron. 

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56 minutes ago, AdesteFideles said:

Just a small point, but I believe the consensus is that she was, you know, busy dying at the time.

:)

Nope, I was talking about the time when Rhaegar left and returned to KL months prior to the Trident. Are trying to tell me Lyanna tooks months dying?

3 hours ago, Jon Snow Nothing said:

What do you think about Gerold Hightower going to the TOJ (or wherever Lyanna and Rhaegar were) and staying with the other KG? You think he witnessed a marriage? Too late, maybe? Or perhaps he brought with him some sort of royal document that would give legitimacy to their union and any children born of that union? Remember we now know that after Rhaegar died, Aerys made Viserys his heir. Some people claim it was because Aegon was still a baby, but Viserys was still a boy also, and Rhaella would rule in his place.

A simple marriage, in my opinion, would not make Jon legimate if Aerys did not agree with it. I believe the presence of Hightower in ToJ is very important, in not only the way you wrote, protecting the possible King - remember they did not know then how to tell the sex of an unborn child, but to guard an important document.

I will go further. Call it crackpot but what if Aerys has already abdicated his throne to Rhaegar? Not really, I mean, he would have had other plans in mind, but what if he resigned just to lure Rhaegar back? If so, Hightower stayed not only to protect a legimate heir, but the King's legimate heir... That would explain also why Aerys could not make Viserys his heir, he had no power anymore. But only 3 KG in the middle of nowhere know this...

Ok, crackpot, but I wrote that Aerys had other plans in mind when Rhaegar came back from Trident...

A marriage does not make Lyanna's son a member or the royal family or Aerys' heir. A marriage also doesn't make Lyanna's son a legitimate child in the eyes of (the majority of) the lords of Westeros due to the whole polygamy thing.

Both problems could technically be taken care of but the chances for that are slim. Aegon V loved his son Duncan but even he wasn't able to keep his son as his heir or allow children of Jenny's to succeed to the Iron Throne. If Egg cannot do that then the chances that Aerys would have wanted to try a similar thing for Rhaegar are very small indeed. If Rhaegar, Lyanna, and Elia had lived things would have deteriorated. The court of King Rhaegar would have been a snake pit of ambition and plotting and uncertainty, and upon his death the descendants of Queen Lyanna and Queen Elia would have ripped the Realm to pieces.

58 minutes ago, RumHam said:

You're missing the common sense aspect of this. There was a good chance Aerys would be killed if Barristan's infiltration was detected. He was successful, but the odds were greatly against him. By just blindly bee-lining for the king Barristan could actually have caused his death. I was never suggesting that Kingsguard don't have to obey, I agree with you there. I just think this is a really dumb example that does not help your argument. Under circumstances where going to the king is not an option, the lack of a kingsguard presence tells us nothing. Just like Barristan doesn't spend the end of Dance wandering the countryside looking for his queen. They're not robots.

They are not robots, yes, but the problem with that point is that people who bring up this stupid 'one KG should have gone to Dragonstone' idea basically treat the KG as robots. Counter examples usually show that this is crap because the KG does not behave this way because they are real people.

You can also turn the Duskendale example around and point out that if the 'primary duty' of the KG was to protect the king at all times then Selmy and his brethren should have done everything in their power to prevent Tywin from storming Duskendale - or a rescue attempt that might fail.

Not sure that Darklyn would have dared to kill Aerys if Selmy had been detected. Aerys could have been killed by guardsmen trying to recapture him but considering that Aerys was the only hostage Lord Denys had there is little chance he would have dared to kill Aerys if Barristan had been captured before he reached the king. They would have just killed Barristan. Just as the Tullys did not kill Jaime when Tyrion tried to break him out of Riverrun with his ruse.

46 minutes ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

That would be a highly unusual exception, which is only done because there is no other option in that case. But the High Septon plays no role in legitimizing a bastard, if I'm not mistaken.

There is no hint that the High Septon was involved in the legitimization of Addam and Alyn of Hull, the bastards of Aegon IV (one should assume that the High Septon would have urged Aegon not to do such a stupid thing), or Ramsay Snow. Thus I doubt that such decrees needed the permission of the High Septon.

In fact, the fact that kings can declare bastards legitimate is an indication that the Crown rules the Faith in those matters. The septons might make marriages but the kings decide whether it matters whether a child is born in matrimony or not.

46 minutes ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

Or, the bastard is crowned king, at which point he would be legally allowed to change his last name, right?

As I've said above I very much doubt that a Great Council can legitimize anyone. If a Great Council should discuss the succession in absence of king (like they did after the death of Maekar) they certainly could offer the throne to some royal bastard if there is no better claimant to be found.

But just as Benedict Rivers and Ronard Storm were never legitimized a king call himself as he likes after his coronation. As far as we know King Ronard never called himself Durrandon.

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1 hour ago, RumHam said:

I must have missed this yesterday while I was skimming through, but I love how Martin stating something as fact only "adds some weight to the theory." 

You are missing the context of the SSM.  GRRM was asked whether Jon's refusal of a decree of legitimization by Stannis was moot because he had already been legitimized by Robb.  When GRRM says that only a king can legitimize a bastard, he is drawing attention to the fact that Robb's status as a king (versus just being a lord) is in question.  The powers of the High Septon have nothing to do with that SSM.

And to demonstrate that the context is important, here is GRRM saying that the rules are fuzzy and that a lord may be able name a bastard as his heir.  And since we don't know of any bastards who inherited without taking the family name, that opens the door to a mere lord having the power to legitimize a bastard.

"What if there are no childen, only grandchildren and great grandchildren. Is precedence or proximity the more important principle? Do bastards have any rights? What about bastards who have been legitimized, do they go in at the end after the trueborn kids, or according to birth order? What about widows? And what about the will of the deceased? Can a lord disinherit one son, and name a younger son as heir? Or even a bastard?

There are no clear cut answers, either in Westeros or in real medieval history. Things were often decided on a case by case basis. A case might set a precedent for later cases... but as often as not, the precedents conflicted as much as the claims."

Now I'm calling you a moron.

It would be nice if we could avoid this sort of comment.  

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

A marriage does not make Lyanna's son a member or the royal family or Aerys' heir. A marriage also doesn't make Lyanna's son a legitimate child in the eyes of (the majority of) the lords of Westeros due to the whole polygamy thing.

Both problems could technically be taken care of but the chances for that are slim. Aegon V loved his son Duncan but even he wasn't able to keep his son as his heir or allow children of Jenny's to succeed to the Iron Throne. If Egg cannot do that then the chances that Aerys would have wanted to try a similar thing for Rhaegar are very small indeed. If Rhaegar, Lyanna, and Elia had lived things would have deteriorated. The court of King Rhaegar would have been a snake pit of ambition and plotting and uncertainty, and upon his death the descendants of Queen Lyanna and Queen Elia would have ripped the Realm to pieces.

Please tell me, who can oppose to the King's wish? In Aerys' time?

This is indeed a crazy world, where a King can marry his son with his daughter, burn people alive, and torture people as long as he does not legimate a marriage.

Could he abdicate his throne to Rhaegar?

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@The Twinslayer

You still have no basis to draw the High Septon into all this. It is nowhere stated that the Faith has anything to do with upholding or challenging wills or legitimizing children.

The way things are in the series only kings have the power to legitimize bastards. That's what's universally accepted. Might there have been times when the High Septons or powerful lords or petty kings could have done the same? Sure. But those times are long gone.

I'd say that if a lord successfully names a bastard who has not been legitimized as his heir there are pretty good chances that said bastard would then eventually be legitimized or be allowed to carry his father's name. In the series the Crown would most likely agree to legitimize such a person but back in the distant past such a lord (say, the Casterlys of Casterly Rock who never ruled as kings) would certainly have had the power to give his name to a bastard child without the need for a special legitimization decree. This kind of thing would only have become necessarily when things became more civilized and regulated.

15 hours ago, Jon Snow Nothing said:

Please tell me, who can oppose to the King's wish? In Aerys' time?

The lords of the Realm via rebellion. Backed by the Faith.

15 hours ago, Jon Snow Nothing said:

This is indeed a crazy world, where a King can marry his son with his daughter, burn people alive, and torture people as long as he does not legimate a marriage.

The idea I discuss up there is that Aerys had no reason to back his son Rhaegar on his polygamous second marriage, unlike Aegon V who did support Duncan's marriage of Jenny. But even Aegon V wasn't able to keep his eldest son as his heir after that.

That makes it very unlikely indeed that Rhaegar would have gotten away or been able to force the Realm to accept Lyanna as his legitimate wife. And if his father had turned against him (which I believe he actually did) then the Faith would also have condemned this second marriage, leading to a very broad consensus against a Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The way things are in the series only kings have the power to legitimize bastards. That's what's universally accepted. Might there have been times when the High Septons or powerful lords or petty kings could have done the same? Sure. But those times are long gone.

Just as a matter of idle curiousity, do we actually have any evidence of a High Septon [and any kind of Great Sept] before Aegon turned up and imposed his Pax Targaryena?

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24 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Just as a matter of idle curiousity, do we actually have any evidence of a High Septon [and any kind of Great Sept] before Aegon turned up and imposed his Pax Targaryena?

Yes, the world book mentions the first High Septon being a regent of House Hightower in OldTown a couple of generations after they converted. It seems that there has always been only one High Septon, first located in OldTown then in King's Landing.

The main sept used to be the Starry Sept. No known link to the Church of Starry Wisdom.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea I discuss up there is that Aerys had no reason to back his son Rhaegar on his polygamous second marriage, unlike Aegon V who did support Duncan's marriage of Jenny. But even Aegon V wasn't able to keep his eldest son as his heir after that.

That makes it very unlikely indeed that Rhaegar would have gotten away or been able to force the Realm to accept Lyanna as his legitimate wife. And if his father had turned against him (which I believe he actually did) then the Faith would also have condemned this second marriage, leading to a very broad consensus against a Rhaegar-Lyanna marriage.

You did not answer my question :( 

Could he abdicate his throne to Rhaegar?

I don't think we should compare different eras, different High Septons, with Aerys' reign. Rhaegar did not marry a true blood sister because he had none, otherwise he would have married just like his father. Daenerys always thought she would marry Viserys.

As I said, crazy world, a man can marry his sister but not have two wives... Considering the problems with children born from incest, I think I would prefer poligamy.

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2 hours ago, Jon Snow Nothing said:

You did not answer my question :( 

Could he abdicate his throne to Rhaegar?

I guess he could. There is no precedent for that in the history of the Targaryen kings but abdication is a known concept so one assumes it is possible that a king could hand his throne to his heir in his lifetime. Robert even considers abdicating when talking to Ned in AGoT.

2 hours ago, Jon Snow Nothing said:

I don't think we should compare different eras, different High Septons, with Aerys' reign. Rhaegar did not marry a true blood sister because he had none, otherwise he would have married just like his father. Daenerys always thought she would marry Viserys.

As I said, crazy world, a man can marry his sister but not have two wives... Considering the problems with children born from incest, I think I would prefer poligamy.

The thing is that the Targaryen incest marriages became an accepted royal tradition in Westeros after the Conquest. Polygamy did not. It wasn't all that common back in Old Valyria (unlike the incestuous marriages). The only known polygamous Targaryens are Aenar the Exile, Aegon the Conqueror, and Maegor the Cruel. And Aenar tooks his wives back in Valyria before he left the Freehold.

In Westeros we only know that certain First Men kings (a Gardener king and a the bastard Durrandon king Ronard Storm) had multiple wives. Every Andal king or lord in Westeros we know of only had one wife at a time. The mythical Andal king Hugor of the Hill had a lot of wives but that was before the Faith of the Andals had been established.

Polygamy was a no-go in Westeros for thousands of years. Now, the Targaryens could have permanently changed that after the Conquest if they had polygamy as much a family tradition as incestuous marriages. But they never did so. Prior to TWoIaF I expected some of the dragonriding Targaryen princes and kings to have multiple wives at the same time, not just Aegon and Maegor. But George did not deliver there. Aemma Arryn and Alicent Hightower could easily enough have been married to Viserys I at the same time, and both Rhaenyra and Aegon II could have taken multiple spouses during the Dance of the Dragons to seal powerful alliances.

George did not want to go that way.

That now means that the last precedent for Targaryen polygamy was the very bad example of Maegor the Cruel which did not produce any children, meaning that it is completely unknown whether the children of such a polygamous union were considered to be legitimate. The Faith universally condemned Maegor's many marriages during the man's lifetimes.

And the Conqueror's polygamy can actually be reinterpreted as a sort of monogamy considering that Queen Rhaenys died before Queen Visenya's son was born. You can see Rhaenys as Aegon's first wife (giving birth to Aenys in 7 AC and dying in 10 AC) and Visenya as his second wife. For the majority of his reign (27 years) Aegon I did only have one wife, Queen Visenya.

All that means Rhaegar would have faced enormous difficulty convincing the Realm that his second marriage was valid and children of that union members of the royal family and not just bastards. And if Rhaegar for some reason did not marry Lyanna in some public venue then nobody has any inclination or reason to believe that such a marriage took place. Secret marriages are effectively not marriages at all because it is the nature of a marriage to publicly announce that you are together (you don't have to have a public ceremony but to make a marriage a marriage you have to announce it to the world). If you don't do that then the world has not reason to believe that you are married.

Considering that there is actual little reason to believe Rhaegar and Lyanna did not want to announce to the world that they are married one should assume that they did not, in fact, have a secret marriage but rather a public marriage we have yet to learn about.

But even they had such a wedding the majority of the population of Westeros might still consider it invalid, especially if Aerys II and the High Septon publicly condemned it.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I<snip>

Thank you! I understand now. I was thinking that there is the chance that we will never really find out the whole story behind Jon Snow, we need more books and I'm beginning to lose hope for the last one, at least. I still believe the sixth will go out someday. I feel like there are so many mysteries and puzzles not solved, made me a little sad.

A good author never gives all the facts we need to build the story, but some evidence about R + L=J are in the books. The reason Jon was conceived is a mystery, for me, and in my opinion this "third head" theory is a big red herring, but I understand why so many people think Jon was to be Visenya. I think Jon was not expected. In this book, prophecies are strange. One has saved the Targaryens from the doom of Valyria, but remember Cersei and the witch: part of it could have been avoided so the rest would not happen, this is what all the stories tells us. I don't think the AA or TPTWP prophecies or even the Dothraki prophecy that I forgot the name is something you have to act on. You simply wait for it to happen. Or try desperately to make it not happen, making it happen. Some might say that Rhaegar acted when he said he needed to be a warrior, but I think he was not so sure he was TPTWP, it was Maester Aemon who wrote him that and he obeyed, there is something there saying the prince is a warrior, so he learned how to be one.

Some readers love the fantastical (as in fantasy) part of the story and I am included in this group, but some things are too illogical for me to understand, or too simple to be good literature. The whole Elia is now barren, dragon needs three heads, and elopement to have third child has no logic. The names can be simply a coincidence. When Rhaegar took Lyanna he couldn't even know if Aegon would really survive, so many children died before one year old. And he could not know Lyanna would give him a third child. It also lacks balance. If the heads should be siblings, it breaks the balance if one of them are only half-sister or half-brother. When Rhaegar thought he was the promised prince, after Aemon has given him this idea, he had not a single living sibling.

Two groups that believe R + L = Jon think Rhaegar wanted a third child. The group that still insists that she was taken against her will and the group that thinks they eloped together, though there are people in both groups that think that Jon might not have been conceived after the "raping" and some people think that they eloped only because they were too much in love with each other. I believe in neither of these theories. But I think they fell in love after the even and conceived Jon. I still have some doubts, though. Things that do not make sense, like Rhaegar staying away from the Rebellion and only returning in the end, leaving a heavily pregnant Lyanna behind. Hightower not returning to KL - after all he now knows where Lyanna and the rest of the KG are. This all makes me think there was a deal between father and son, and of course Aerys was bluffing. Hightower joining the other KG in the ToJ battle. The other two were Rhaegar's best friends. Hightower was not. So I try to understand and I am re-reading the books and plan to read WoIaF soon. It's a hard task since I have already read them four times, and the first one more than four. I would like to discuss R + L = J by this point of view. From beginning to end. The reaction Jon will have and what will change, or will not change, in his life if he knows the truth is very important. Especially when we read the first book and learn that not knowing who his mother was and why his father can't even tell him about her permeated his thoughts for a long time, since he was a kid. And knowing not only who his parents really are but how he was conceived might have a greater influence in him.

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you know what I find interesting about this is he or isn't he a bastard debate is it has more to do with how the poster wants the R+L=J reveal to effect the story then if its possible or not.

I mean the simple answer is its more then possible that rhaegar and lyanna where married and Jon will be a legit heir. GRRM has filled the books with analogous stories of women being "stolen" and the child of said relationship being see as a legit heir and how stealing a woman = marriage for a reason. GRRM has even told us rhaegar "stole" Lyanna near the Isle of Faces and a roaming septon Meribald was in the area at the time. the only real argument against the marriage is "well its just not done" but GRRM could do away with that with a simple document okaying it from the high septon, secret council of harrenhal or whatever hidden in winterfell's crypt. ( plenty of real world history to draw from too)

honestly the debate comes down to how much impact do you want the R+L=J reveal to have on the plot as a whole.

those that advocate for Jon staying a bastard don't want the reveal to have little effect on the plot it seems. as Jon being a true born heir means many major plot lines would have a spanner thrown into there workings ((f)Aegon and Dany's just to name a few) and likely effect every plot in the book. I would say what's the whole point of a 5+ book secret if it doesn't change everything so I find the most likely answer is GRRM will make Jon legitimate it just makes the most sense story wise.

4 hours ago, Jon Snow Nothing said:

I would like to discuss R + L = J by this point of view. From beginning to end. The reaction Jon will have and what will change, or will not change, in his life if he knows the truth is very important. Especially when we read the first book and learn that not knowing who his mother was and why his father can't even tell him about her permeated his thoughts for a long time, since he was a kid. And knowing not only who his parents really are but how he was conceived might have a greater influence in him


I'm of the view that it won't effect Jon all that much but the point he learns it himself. it will broaden his view beyond the north but I don't see and drastic character changes or chapter long freakouts as he's been finding himself for awhile now

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6 hours ago, TheDemonicStark said:

On a different topic, if Jon does found a new house, what would it be called?

House Snowfall.

House Starkaryen

 

11 hours ago, Dex drako said:

you know what I find interesting about this is he or isn't he a bastard debate is it has more to do with how the poster wants the R+L=J reveal to effect the story then if its possible or not.

I mean the simple answer is its more then possible that rhaegar and lyanna where married and Jon will be a legit heir. GRRM has filled the books with analogous stories of women being "stolen" and the child of said relationship being see as a legit heir and how stealing a woman = marriage for a reason. GRRM has even told us rhaegar "stole" Lyanna near the Isle of Faces and a roaming septon Meribald was in the area at the time. the only real argument against the marriage is "well its just not done" but GRRM could do away with that with a simple document okaying it from the high septon, secret council of harrenhal or whatever hidden in winterfell's crypt. ( plenty of real world history to draw from too)

honestly the debate comes down to how much impact do you want the R+L=J reveal to have on the plot as a whole.

those that advocate for Jon staying a bastard don't want the reveal to have little effect on the plot it seems. as Jon being a true born heir means many major plot lines would have a spanner thrown into there workings ((f)Aegon and Dany's just to name a few) and likely effect every plot in the book. I would say what's the whole point of a 5+ book secret if it doesn't change everything so I find the most likely answer is GRRM will make Jon legitimate it just makes the most sense story wise.


I'm of the view that it won't effect Jon all that much but the point he learns it himself. it will broaden his view beyond the north but I don't see and drastic character changes or chapter long freakouts as he's been finding himself for awhile now

I'm on the fence about Jon being a bastard or not. I think the most important thing is the "how his parents conceived him", finding out his mother really loved him, and he is indeed a Stark. I have the feeling that Jon is legitimate, but at the same time I won't be surprised if he isn't.

I think Jon will be very affected by this knowledge. Has GRRM told us that Jon will find out, or that us, readers, will find out? I don't remember.

Jon forgets about his parentage when the story gets bigger, but his origins were a very very important thing to him and permeated all his infancy.

Knowing:

1) That Ned is not his father and he didn't really bring any shame to his family, but was indeed rescued from a possible fate Aegon and Rhaenys had, or at least would have to go to Essos to grow up knowing nothing about his family (Stark, at least).

2) That Ned sacrificed his honor and put his marriage in a very delicate condition when he brought his nephew to Winterfell and said that he was his son, making him a traitor too, not telling the King he is a Targaryen

3) That Lyanna made Ned promise her to protect Jon and that she loved him very much - and that his father Ned loved his mother very much.

4) Now this is where the reason Jon was conceived is relevant. If Lyanna was raped, and even so made Ned promise her to protect him, he is going to hate Rhaegar and be opposed to Daenerys.

5) If he found out Rhaegar and Lyanna ran away to have a "third child" the story will look a bit childish if he realizes he is the 'destined prince' and so on. But it will made he search alliance with Daenerys.

6) If he finds out Rhaegar rescued Lyanna from his grandpa, and he was not expected, and was fruit of true love this will have a huge impact on him. Especially if he is legitimate. If this does not make him totally confused, I don't know what else will, not counting the fact that he will be ressurected. The very fact that he is alive to know all this would have already messed up with his head.

Jon is not so strong emotionally. I think it will be then, knowing about his parents, that he will leave the resented boy behind and grow up to be a man - maybe even an "Aegon" - especially after he is brought from the past.

 

 

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@Dex drako

The problem is how George could tell a story in which Jon Snow's true heritage could matter politically on a grand scale. That is just a very unlikely scenario regardless what evidence there is for a marriage.

Stannis Baratheon writes letters about the true heritage of his brother's children and nobody gives a fig about that. People publicly believe or disbelieve stories like that because it suits them politically. Olenna Redwyne gives a strong hint that she actually believe Stannis' tale yet publicly House Tyrell views Cersei's children as Robert's trueborn heirs.

Jon Snow is not likely to ever be in a position in which a majority of the people of Westeros (or even a strong minority) should see any political advantage in believing that he is not actually Eddard Stark's bastard but Rhaegar Targaryen's son.

Especially the introduction of Aegon into the story makes such a scenario unlikely. It wouldn't make sense to expect any Targaryen loyalist to believe (or want to believe) that a boy looking like a Stark is actually a Targaryen while there is actually a boy proclaiming he is Rhaegar's son who looks like a Targaryen.

Anybody buying another story like that after Aegon has taken the throne would be utterly stupid. Even more so if Aegon's campaign actually failed.

That doesn't mean Jon's heritage is not going to be important on magical level (although him being considered a legitimate child is then completely unnecessary) or on a personal level (new identity, interaction with his new Targaryen relatives). He might even be recognized as Targaryen prince or heir by either Aegon or Dany. But for that to happen they must believe the story about his heritage. The idea that he can force Westeros to buy this story are as good as Stannis' idea people would just allow him to take the throne because he says he is the rightful heir.

And just as Stannis Jon Snow is no position to gather enough swords to be able to force Westeros to accept him as king. Not with winter and the Others coming and the civil war in the North still continuing. 

It is interesting to find out whether Rhaegar and Lyanna married and how exactly that happened. But finding that out isn't the same as people believing it took place the way it did or that the marriage was valid and Jon Snow a legitimate Targaryen heir.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

@Dex drako

The problem is how George could tell a story in which Jon Snow's true heritage could matter politically on a grand scale. That is just a very unlikely scenario regardless what evidence there is for a marriage.

Stannis Baratheon writes letters about the true heritage of his brother's children and nobody gives a fig about that. People publicly believe or disbelieve stories like that because it suits them politically. Olenna Redwyne gives a strong hint that she actually believe Stannis' tale yet publicly House Tyrell views Cersei's children as Robert's trueborn heirs.

Jon Snow is not likely to ever be in a position in which a majority of the people of Westeros (or even a strong minority) should see any political advantage in believing that he is not actually Eddard Stark's bastard but Rhaegar Targaryen's son.

Especially the introduction of Aegon into the story makes such a scenario unlikely. It wouldn't make sense to expect any Targaryen loyalist to believe (or want to believe) that a boy looking like a Stark is actually a Targaryen while there is actually a boy proclaiming he is Rhaegar's son who looks like a Targaryen.

Anybody buying another story like that after Aegon has taken the throne would be utterly stupid. Even more so if Aegon's campaign actually failed.

That doesn't mean Jon's heritage is not going to be important on magical level (although him being considered a legitimate child is then completely unnecessary) or on a personal level (new identity, interaction with his new Targaryen relatives). He might even be recognized as Targaryen prince or heir by either Aegon or Dany. But for that to happen they must believe the story about his heritage. The idea that he can force Westeros to buy this story are as good as Stannis' idea people would just allow him to take the throne because he says he is the rightful heir.

And just as Stannis Jon Snow is no position to gather enough swords to be able to force Westeros to accept him as king. Not with winter and the Others coming and the civil war in the North still continuing. 

It is interesting to find out whether Rhaegar and Lyanna married and how exactly that happened. But finding that out isn't the same as people believing it took place the way it did or that the marriage was valid and Jon Snow a legitimate Targaryen heir.

Thing is, Jon has the wildlings on his side. They could prove to be the army he needs to win. The North will rally behind him. Well, some of them will. Not the ones at Winterfell. 

I believe Jon find out about his claim after he retakes Winterfell from the Boltons, and BOOM! He has the North and the wildlings on his side. 

Any serious player in the game, like Doran or Olenna will believe Jon's story. No way a bastard of House Stark, especially one who was once a part of the Night's Watch, would try to come up with some cock and bull about his heritage. If anything, he actually should be able to become a saviour to the small folk.

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7 minutes ago, TheDemonicStark said:

Thing is, Jon has the wildlings on his side. They could prove to be the army he needs to win. The North will rally behind him. Well, some of them will. Not the ones at Winterfell.

Neither the wildlings nor the Northmen will be enough to seriously impress or challenge the kings and pretenders down south. Especially not Daenerys after her arrival. The size of the combined forces of Northmen and wildlings does not matter because neither force would be interested to march down south and put Jon on a throne down there. That would mean they would abandon the Wall. Not to mention that the wildlings are no army and thus easily defeated by any military force in the Seven Kingdoms. Not to mention the Dothraki.

7 minutes ago, TheDemonicStark said:

I believe Jon find out about his claim after he retakes Winterfell from the Boltons, and BOOM! He has the North and the wildlings on his side.

In the books that's not a very likely scenario. Even if it worked that way there is little reason that either the Northmen or the wildlings would give a damn about his 'legal claim' to the Iron Throne. Why should they? The wildlings have never even seen King's Landing and the Northmen most likely no inclination to wage another hopeless war against the South with a mere fraction of their surviving men.

7 minutes ago, TheDemonicStark said:

Any serious player in the game, like Doran or Olenna will believe Jon's story. No way a bastard of House Stark, especially one who was once a part of the Night's Watch, would try to come up with some cock and bull about his heritage. If anything, he actually should be able to become a saviour to the small folk.

As I've said, the question is not whether they believe him. They might privately believe his story or consider it at least plausible. But that doesn't mean they will publicly reveal they believe his story and then declare for him.

Those people are savvy politicians, not naive dreamers waiting for 'the Return of the King'. Jon Snow could only hope to be backed by a significant number of lords in a campaign for the Iron Throne if he had to offer them something in return. And it is not likely that he'll be ever be in such a position. The other way would be to convince them by force. But the Northmen and the wildlings will be at best cause the people in the South to laugh at him. They won't intimidate them one bit.

If Justin Massey does hire those 20,000 sellswords there might be a decently sized army up there. But then, those should be Stannis' men, not Jon's. And unless the Iron Bank gives Jon a loan as large as the one they gave to Stannis he would not be able to pay so many soldiers. They would live after Stannis' death.

But considering the threat the Others pose it is really out of the question that either Stannis or Jon begins a campaign for the Iron Throne in the middle of winter before the Others are defeated. If they recruit men and assemble armies they will use it to strengthen the defenses of the Wall, not plunge Westeros into another fruitless war. And if the Wall falls - which is likely to happen - then they will also not try to conquer the Iron Throne. They will do anything in their power to make an alliance with the people down south to fight the Others.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Neither the wildlings nor the Northmen will be enough to seriously impress or challenge the kings and pretenders down south. Especially not Daenerys after her arrival. The size of the combined forces of Northmen and wildlings does not matter because neither force would be interested to march down south and put Jon on a throne down there. That would mean they would abandon the Wall. Not to mention that the wildlings are no army and thus easily defeated by any military force in the Seven Kingdoms. Not to mention the Dothraki.

In the books that's not a very likely scenario. Even if it worked that way there is little reason that either the Northmen or the wildlings would give a damn about his 'legal claim' to the Iron Throne. Why should they? The wildlings have never even seen King's Landing and the Northmen most likely no inclination to wage another hopeless war against the South with a mere fraction of their surviving men.

As I've said, the question is not whether they believe him. They might privately believe his story or consider it at least plausible. But that doesn't mean they will publicly reveal they believe his story and then declare for him.

Those people are savvy politicians, not naive dreamers waiting for 'the Return of the King'. Jon Snow could only hope to be backed by a significant number of lords in a campaign for the Iron Throne if he had to offer them something in return. And it is not likely that he'll be ever be in such a position. The other way would be to convince them by force. But the Northmen and the wildlings will be at best cause the people in the South to laugh at him. They won't intimidate them one bit.

If Justin Massey does hire those 20,000 sellswords there might be a decently sized army up there. But then, those should be Stannis' men, not Jon's. And unless the Iron Bank gives Jon a loan as large as the one they gave to Stannis he would not be able to pay so many soldiers. They would live after Stannis' death.

But considering the threat the Others pose it is really out of the question that either Stannis or Jon begins a campaign for the Iron Throne in the middle of winter before the Others are defeated. If they recruit men and assemble armies they will use it to strengthen the defenses of the Wall, not plunge Westeros into another fruitless war. And if the Wall falls - which is likely to happen - then they will also not try to conquer the Iron Throne. They will do anything in their power to make an alliance with the people down south to fight the Others.

Provided Ceresi isn't one of those people.

I believe Sansa could help Jon take the throne.

No, correction. She is the reason he takes the throne.

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I've been involved in a few of the legitimacy debates that focused on the KG and the ToJ. Arguing back and forth about the details dozens of times caused me to take a step back and ask: what is the author trying to convey to the audience by having three kingsguard present at the ToJ? Forget the in-universe details and consider the literary function of having three protectors called kingsguard present.

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