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Bael the Bard is Jon Snow's father

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Not the Jon Snow that is a POV character, but I suspect this was the son of Bael the Bard.

Consider this conversation from a Clash of Kings:

Quote

“I’m Jon Snow.”
She flinched. “An evil name.”
“A bastard name,” he said. “My father was Lord Eddard
Stark of Winterfell.”

Then only 2 pages later:

Quote

“You said you were the Bastard o’ Winterfell.”
“I am.”
“Who was your mother?”
“Some woman. Most of them are.” Someone had said
that to him once. He did not remember who.
She smiled again, a flash of white teeth. “And she never
sung you the song o’ the winter rose?”
“I never knew my mother. Or any such song.”
“Bael the Bard made it,” said Ygritte. “He was Kingbeyond-
the—Wall a long time back. All the free folk know
his songs, but might be you don’t sing them in the south.”

I suspect Bael the Bard's son, who eventually became Lord of Winterfell, was given a Bastard's name, and later legitimized to 'Stark' and that his original name happened to be Jon Snow. This could be the same Jon Stark that built the Wolf's Den, or another (names of Lord's tend to be repeated).  Ned was familiar with the song of Bael the Bard, perhaps a different version, and knowing the role blue winter roses played in how Lyanna was kidnapped felt the name was appropriate.  It explains why 'Jon Snow' is an evil name, why Ned named Jon 'Jon' (He isn't named after an ancestor or uncle, unusual for a great house, even a bastard).  It explains why Ygritte is surprised Jon never heard the song, and why she smiles in this conversation.

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Robbet Glover says this when talking about Ramsay Snow:

Quote

"The evil is in his blood," said Robett Glover. "He is a bastard born of rape. A Snow, no matter what the boy king says."

So it seems that northeners and free folk associate certain type of bastards with evil.

Edited by Tucu

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On 7/25/2016 at 6:51 PM, Brad Stark said:

“I’m Jon Snow.”
She flinched. “An evil name.”
“A bastard name,” he said. “My father was Lord Eddard
Stark of Winterfell.”

It is plausible theory since Jon is an extremely popular First Men's name and there were dozens of Stark Kings and Bastards named Jon, so about 25% chance of Bael's son named Jon.

However, I don't think Ygrette reacted to "Jon" but to word "Snow" and she didn't react to it as a Bastard name but the word itself.

Probably because many wildlings probably don't know or CARE enough to know about Westerosi bastards surname tradition and whenever they hear someone name XXX Waters or YYY Sands or XYX Snow, they assume it as legit Westerosi style last name without realizing it means a bastard born.

So, when I read it, I made the assumption is that Yigrette reacted to word "Snow", in sense of Snow=Winter=Death. I would think that however harsh winter conditions are in the North, where old man leave to die in the wild or man fight each other and die in order to conserve the resources for their families, Beyond-the-Wall the Winter is just horrendous. For them, Winter probably means Death and Hunger and people freezing to death constantly, Snows so deep they can bury a smallish Wildling hut and people inside would suffocate or starve to death. Therefore, any mention of Winter or Snow would invoke such reaction from a Wildling.

Also, another point against it is, by the time Bael's son kills him, he is already Stark Lord/King, so he couldn't be named Snow, he would be already named Stark. Furthermore, there were so many Jon Starks out there, many of them were really good ones and lucky ones, so chances are Ygrette didn't react to Jon side of it.  Another, major point against Ygrette reacting to Jon instead of Snow, is that according to legend that Stark King, the kinslayer, died at Bolton hands and was skinned and not one of famous ones you mentioned.

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On 2016-07-25 at 6:51 PM, Brad Stark said:

It explains why 'Jon Snow' is an evil name, why Ned named Jon 'Jon' (He isn't named after an ancestor or uncle, unusual for a great house, even a bastard).  It explains why Ygritte is surprised Jon never heard the song, and why she smiles in this conversation.

Hmmmm, I think Jon was named to honor Jon Arryn, a man that Ned loved like a father, someone who went to war rather than break his pledge to protect Ned.  But I do think the evil name Snow applies to Ramsey in the current timeline.  

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2 hours ago, Masha said:

However, I don't think Ygrette reacted to "Jon" but to word "Snow" and she didn't react to it as a Bastard name but the word itself.

Probably because many wildlings probably don't know or CARE enough to know about Westerosi bastards surname tradition and whenever they hear someone name XXX Waters or YYY Sands or XYX Snow, they assume it as legit Westerosi style last name without realizing it means a bastard born.

So, when I read it, I made the assumption is that Yigrette reacted to word "Snow", in sense of Snow=Winter=Death. I would think that however harsh winter conditions are in the North, where old man leave to die in the wild or man fight each other and die in order to conserve the resources for their families, Beyond-the-Wall the Winter is just horrendous. For them, Winter probably means Death and Hunger and people freezing to death constantly, Snows so deep they can bury a smallish Wildling hut and people inside would suffocate or starve to death. Therefore, any mention of Winter or Snow would invoke such reaction from a Wildling.

This issue has been discussed before and this is the most common explanation I've seen.

Snow is probably a very common name north of the wall.  You have a bunch of men who can't marry in a society that doesn't use birth control.  You would have lots of bastards running around, probably most of them named Snow.  If Yigrette hasn't met one, she almost certainly heard the name in conversation.

Snow is neither rare nor deadly north of the wall.  The frost fangs probably have snow in the summer and people who die die of cold, not snow.

Consider Yigrette's reaction, she flinched.  If a girl were interested in dating me, and I gave my name as Adolf Hitler, I'd get a similar reaction.  If I gave a last name vaguely associated with death, I'd either get a joke or at worst a serious question or comment - I wouldn't make a girl flinch.

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3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Snow is probably a very common name north of the wall.  You have a bunch of men who can't marry in a society that doesn't use birth control.  You would have lots of bastards running around, probably most of them named Snow.  If Yigrette hasn't met one, she almost certainly heard the name in conversation.

Snow if the name of highborn bastards. It signals their noble blood, their bastard and usually that they are acknowledged by their father. Many peasants that are probably offspring of married peasants do not themselves have surnames, there is no reason that their bastard children would.

Men in the NW are mostly peasants who mostly sleep with the whores of Moles town, south of the Wall. When they did sleep with wildling women whilst ranging north they would have little reason to know they had fathered children and less reason to acknowledge them. The mothers of those children would not have reason to follow the southern custom of southern surnames and would probably be reluctant to let it be known that their children were offspring of the hated 'crows'. We even have examples possible NW offspring that lacked bastard names; one of the new recruits (Horse?) was from Moles town and perhaps the son of a whore, and Craster whose father is rumoured to be a crow which is one of the reasons he was hated.

Edited by Buried Treasure

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4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

This issue has been discussed before and this is the most common explanation I've seen.

Snow is probably a very common name north of the wall.  You have a bunch of men who can't marry in a society that doesn't use birth control.  You would have lots of bastards running around, probably most of them named Snow.  If Yigrette hasn't met one, she almost certainly heard the name in conversation.

Snow is neither rare nor deadly north of the wall.  The frost fangs probably have snow in the summer and people who die die of cold, not snow.

Consider Yigrette's reaction, she flinched.  If a girl were interested in dating me, and I gave my name as Adolf Hitler, I'd get a similar reaction.  If I gave a last name vaguely associated with death, I'd either get a joke or at worst a serious question or comment - I wouldn't make a girl flinch.

 

1 hour ago, Buried Treasure said:

Snow if the name of highborn bastards. It signals their noble blood, their bastard and usually that they are acknowledged by their father. Many peasants that are probably offspring of married peasants do not themselves have surnames, there is no reason that their bastard children would.

Men in the NW are mostly peasants who mostly sleep with the whores of Moles town, south of the Wall. When they did sleep with wildling women whilst ranging north they would have little reason to know they had fathered children and less reason to acknowledge them. The mothers of those children would not have reason to follow the southern custom of southern surnames and would probably be reluctant to let it be known that their children were offspring of the hated 'crows'. We even have examples possible NW offspring that lacked bastard names; one of the new recruits (Horse?) was from Moles town and perhaps the son of a whore, and Craster whose father is rumoured to be a crow which is one of the reasons he was hated.

This.

I doubt that Wildlings met that many NOBLE born bastards other than at Nights Watch, and I doubt that so many Night Watch members who are noble bastards sleep around the wildlings for Ygrette to meet and get used to as "very common". Its a rare name beyond the wall.

While Snow is common beyond the Wall, the Winter should be a thousands times worse in the North and it hasn't been there for over 7 years! And you can't deny that Winter should be just horrible beyond the Wall hence the association of Snow to Bad Omen. And If as old Nan claims that in Winter, South of the Wall, Snows reach 40 feet in the Winter, can you imagine what is happening beyond the Wall?

 

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How about the theory that Snows used to be sacrificed at Snowsgate to the Others, perhaps to be turned? Snow being a tag put on bastard to signal they were to be sacrificed in due time. Sounds cruel, but it's possible. In a similar fashion to how Craster now shoulders that role, and perhaps individuals before him. Just like how the Others are sometimes called "Craster's sons", the Others of old may have been called "Snows".

Maybe Ygritte knows of this old connection, while the north men have forgotten that they used to do this.

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On ‎7‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 4:51 PM, Brad Stark said:

I suspect Bael the Bard's son, who eventually became Lord of Winterfell, was given a Bastard's name, and later legitimized to 'Stark' and that his original name happened to be Jon Snow.

 

On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 10:30 AM, Tucu said:

So it seems that northeners and free folk associate certain type of bastards with evil.

I think these two things are related.

34 minutes ago, Dimmu Borgir said:

How about the theory that Snows used to be sacrificed at Snowsgate to the Others

And I think that this may be the case, only the Snow was doing the sacrificing.  

 

Noble bastardy in the north is a peculiar thing - in the current story, we know of two major ones:  Jon and Ramsay.   (There's a third mentioned in AGOT:  Larence Snow, son of Halys Hornwood, but we know nothing about him and he's played a minor part so far.)       There are probably more scattered around, but it seems that noble bastardy - or I suppose the recognition of noble bastards - is far more prolific in the south.    Looking at the Stark family tree, there is only one other named bastard:   Lonnel Snow, son of one Brandon Stark and Wylla Fenn (a name combo that is super interesting into itself, but that's not my point.)     

So we have a paucity of Snows in the North, at least in comparison to the Waters and Sands and Flowers etc of the south.  This brings to mind Ned's comment to King Bob of "Kings are a rare sight in the north", to which we get the famous and totally overanalyzed reply of ""More likely they were hiding under the snow. Snow, Ned!"     Now of course that comment has been totally usurped by the RLJ crowd to highlight, well, RLJ, but if we're talking about the Snow surname being a hint to royalty, there's also Ramsay to think about.

Ramsay is obviously not a hidden Targaryen - he's Roose's natural son, even Roose agrees to this.  What stands out to me here though is how Ramsay came into the world:

Quote

Roose seemed amused by that. "All you have I gave you. You would do well to remember that, bastard. As for this … Reek … if you have not ruined him beyond redemption, he may yet be of some use to us. Get the keys and remove those chains from him, before you make me rue the day I raped your mother."

Funny enough, we have a similar association with Jon Snow (presuming that Lyanna Stark is indeed his mother):

Quote

"Unspeakable?" the king roared. "What Aerys did to your brother Brandon was unspeakable. The way your lord father died, that was unspeakable. And Rhaegar … how many times do you think he raped your sister? How many hundreds of times?"

Quote

"Robert was betrothed to marry her, but Prince Rhaegar carried her off and raped her," Bran explained. "Robert fought a war to win her back. He killed Rhaegar on the Trident with his hammer, but Lyanna died and he never got her back at all."

Quote

"Honor," she spat. "How dare you play the noble lord with me! What do you take me for? You've a bastard of your own, I've seen him. Who was the mother, I wonder? Some Dornish peasant you raped while her holdfast burned?

 

Now we have two named northern bastards that are implied to be the products of rape.     What does this have to do with Bael, you ask?  Two things:

1)   If you take the story at face value - that is, Bael stealing the Stark maiden and getting her with child, a bastard child that later slew his own father (something we're probably going to see with Ramsay) - you could make the case that this legend describes a rape too.   A rape by a "king" in his own right, the King Beyond the Wall.

2)  If you dive deeper into the tale and consider the possibility that either a ) BAEL himself was not the one to do the deed with the Stark maiden and that it was someone else that stole her away, and there is considerable evidence for this when you read between the lines, or b )  Bael the Bard may be more "northern" than we thought - as in, REALLY northern, then a child born of either of these types of unions would have a dark background indeed...and association to a different sort of "king".    **For the record, I have a whole massive theory on this if anyone is interested.**

 Whichever you might subscribe to, this may be what the free folk remember that the kneelers have forgotten - the name "Snow" is (or should be) reserved for those born of evil circumstances, the sons paying for the sins of the father and all that.     Furthermore, given how far back the presence of the First Men goes in Westeros, I'm inclined to think the bastard surname practice began in the north and diffused throughout the rest of the continent as cultural practices are wont to do with increased immigration/conquest/societal contact/etc - but of course the meaning behind the Snow surname was lost to time and history for the most part...but some memory of it and/or respect for past legend remains, hence why there are so few Snows in the north.     People don't want to acknowledge the King hiding under the Snow.

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@PrettyPig you're forgetting Larence Snow! I don't feel we have more Waters or Flowers or Stone than Snow in the books. There are many bastards born to Rebert and Oberyn, but that's about it... aside from these characters, how many bastards make it on page? 

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Maester Luwin had a number of choice things to say about hedge wizards. Ser Rodrik commanded the man to set aside a fifth, and questioned the steward closely about Lord Hornwood's bastard, the boy LarenceSnow. In the north, all highborn bastards took the surname Snow. This lad was near twelve, and the steward praised his wits and courage.

 

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On 27/07/2016 at 2:00 PM, Masha said:

So, when I read it, I made the assumption is that Yigrette reacted to word "Snow", in sense of Snow=Winter=Death.

That's how I read it too 

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23 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

@PrettyPig you're forgetting Larence Snow! I don't feel we have more Waters or Flowers or Stone than Snow in the books. There are many bastards born to Rebert and Oberyn, but that's about it... aside from these characters, how many bastards make it on page? 

I accounted for him.

2 hours ago, PrettyPig said:

(There's a third mentioned in AGOT:  Larence Snow, son of Halys Hornwood, but we know nothing about him and he's played a minor part so far.)    

Now that he's presumably escaped from the Ironborn's clutches at Deepwood Motte his role may grow, but for now I view him as a tertiary or even quaternary character.

Even though we might not have a complete list of Snows, and even though there may be fairly equal numbers of named bastards between north and south, I definitely believe that there's some special meaning to the Snow name - and it related to the Bael story.  As we're told, Starks "are not like other men" - Boltons, as northern First Men going back to ancient days, may fall in that category too.  I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet.

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26 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

I accounted for him.

Even though we might not have a complete list of Snows, and even though there may be fairly equal numbers of named bastards between north and south, I definitely believe that there's some special meaning to the Snow name - and it related to the Bael story.  As we're told, Starks "are not like other men" - Boltons, as northern First Men going back to ancient days, may fall in that category too.  I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet.

That's a fine theory. Only "there are less bastards in the north" isn't a strong argument, because we actually have more Snows than Hills, Flowers, Stones or Waters... 

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25 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

Only "there are less bastards in the north" isn't a strong argument, because we actually have more Snows than Hills, Flowers, Stones or Waters... 

All right, fine.  Does that discount everything else, then?

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7 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

All right, fine.  Does that discount everything else, then?

Actually, PP, I wouldn't even give up that much.

Men having sex out of wedlock is a situation that's going to be the same everywhere you go.  The frequency of bastards in such cases will also remain constant.

But the population south of the Neck is greater by far than the population north of it.  So there are going to be far more bastards in the south... and thus, there are far more bastards who aren't named Snow than bastards who are.  It just doesn't matter much if they're listed in the story or not.

What's this all about?

3 hours ago, PrettyPig said:

**For the record, I have a whole massive theory on this if anyone is interested.

 

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14 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

All right, fine.  Does that discount everything else, then?

Not at all, and I never meant to imply it. 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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12 minutes ago, JNR said:

What's this all about?

A few months back at my other home I posted a long reinterpretation of the Bael tale- I don't want to take over Brad's thread with it, though.

 

13 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

Not at all, and I never meant to imply it. 

Ah, okay.  Sorry if I was being snippy.  It happens frequently on this forum and it makes me crazy!

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I'm definitely on board with Jon's father being Bael, or rather "a Bael" type character, which to me is someone that either does the actual kidnapping or facilitates the kidnapping. I do have to admit though that I'd love for Mance to be Jon's father.

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