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Lord Edric Baratheon

Is anyone else growing less and less convinced of r+l=j, as the re-read goes on...

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42 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Also, one tiiiny issue: why does Ned bother remembering Rhaegar at all? He is thinking about Robert's whoring and its consequences, he mentions how Lyanna didn't like this about Robert, but why the hell does he ponder whether Rhaegar was whoring unless Rhaegar was to Lyanna what Robert was supposed to be? Like, my BF does this thing I mightily disapprove of, my little sis disapproved, as well, so now I start wondering about a dead guy whose vices fourteen years ago are completely irrelevant to the current situation? 

Right, everything in context is extremely suggestive. It's a very powerful scene in light of everything we know and suspect. The whole scene begins with Ned remembering Lyanna telling him that Robert will never keep to one bed. That she heard he had gotten a child on some girl in the Vale. That love is sweet, but it cannot change a man's nature. Here is Ned, more than seventeen years later, about to deal with a brand new bastard daughter of Robert's, not unlike the one all those years ago that helped convince his dead sister Lyanna that her new betrothed would never keep to one bed.

"Chataya runs a choice establishment," Littlefinger said as they rode. "I've half a mind to buy it. Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else." Lord Petyr chuckled at his own wit.

Ned let him prattle on. After a time, he quieted and they rode in silence. The streets of King's Landing were dark and deserted. The rain had driven everyone under their roofs. It beat down on Ned's head, warm as blood and relentless as old guilts. Fat drops of water ran down his face.

"Robert will never keep to one bed," Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale." Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature."

The girl had been so young Ned had not dared to ask her age. No doubt she'd been a virgin; the better brothels could always find a virgin, if the purse was fat enough. She had light red hair and a powdering of freckles across the bridge of her nose, and when she slipped free a breast to give her nipple to the babe, he saw that her bosom was freckled as well. "I named her Barra," she said as the child nursed. "She looks so like him, does she not, milord? She has his nose, and his hair …"

"She does." Eddard Stark had touched the baby's fine, dark hair. It flowed through his fingers like black silk. Robert's firstborn had had the same fine hair, he seemed to recall.

"Tell him that when you see him, milord, as it … as it please you. Tell him how beautiful she is."

"I will," Ned had promised her. That was his curse. Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows. He thought of the promises he'd made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he'd paid to keep them.

"And tell him I've not been with no one else. I swear it, milord, by the old gods and new. Chataya said I could have half a year, for the baby, and for hoping he'd come back. So you'll tell him I'm waiting, won't you? I don't want no jewels or nothing, just him. He was always good to me, truly."

Good to you, Ned thought hollowly. "I will tell him, child, and I promise you, Barra shall not go wanting."

She had smiled then, a smile so tremulous and sweet that it cut the heart out of him. Riding through the rainy night, Ned saw Jon Snow's face in front of him, so like a younger version of his own. If the gods frowned so on bastards, he thought dully, why did they fill men with such lusts? "Lord Baelish, what do you know of Robert's bastards?"

"Well, he has more than you, for a start."

"How many?"

Littlefinger shrugged. Rivulets of moisture twisted down the back of his cloak. "Does it matter? If you bed enough women, some will give you presents, and His Grace has never been shy on that count. I know he's acknowledged that boy at Storm's End, the one he fathered the night Lord Stannis wed. He could hardly do otherwise. The mother was a Florent, niece to the Lady Selyse, one of her bedmaids. Renly says that Robert carried the girl upstairs during the feast, and broke in the wedding bed while Stannis and his bride were still dancing. Lord Stannis seemed to think that was a blot on the honor of his wife's House, so when the boy was born, he shipped him off to Renly." He gave Ned a sideways glance. "I've also heard whispers that Robert got a pair of twins on a serving wench at Casterly Rock, three years ago when he went west for Lord Tywin's tourney. Cersei had the babes killed, and sold the mother to a passing slaver. Too much an affront to Lannister pride, that close to home."

Ned Stark grimaced. Ugly tales like that were told of every great lord in the realm. He could believe it of Cersei Lannister readily enough … but would the king stand by and let it happen? The Robert he had known would not have, but the Robert he had known had never been so practiced at shutting his eyes to things he did not wish to see. "Why would Jon Arryn take a sudden interest in the king's baseborn children?"

The short man gave a sodden shrug. "He was the King's Hand. Doubtless Robert asked him to see that they were provided for."

Ned was soaked through to the bone, and his soul had grown cold. "It had to be more than that, or why kill him?"

Littlefinger shook the rain from his hair and laughed. "Now I see. Lord Arryn learned that His Grace had filled the bellies of some whores and fishwives, and for that he had to be silenced. Small wonder. Allow a man like that to live, and next he's like to blurt out that the sun rises in the east."

There was no answer Ned Stark could give to that but a frown. For the first time in years, he found himself remembering Rhaegar Targaryen. He wondered if Rhaegar had frequented brothels; somehow he thought not.


- AGOT: Eddard IV

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16 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Sigh. This is a myth that needs to be busted. Nowhere is it stated that Ned hadn't thought about Rhaegar in years, the quote goes " for the first time in years, he found himself remembering Rhaegar".

@Bael's Bastard @Alexis-something-Rose

ok, great. i mis-remembered the quote. but Ned thinks about the Trident, and Ned thinks about dead babies, and whatever else. he doesn't remember that time Rhaegar kidnapped, raped and impregnated his sister in any POVs. his only recollection of ToJ comes in a drug-endused fever dream. his primary memory of Lyanna is the promise. he doesn't really seem to think about Jon either, even when he's looking right at him. we get a couple other characters (like Jon Con and Barristan) actively thinking about Rhaegar years later. 

there has to be a reason that GRRM planted this line about Ned not 'remembering' Rhaegar, and like the OP said, I'm not 100% sure it's R+L=J. 

To add to my confusion: when Ned confronts Cersei in the KL godswood to tell her to run away for the sake of her children, she asks Ned what he would do for his own children. Ned considers all children but Jon, which even if he is just his nephew, he should probably still think about protecting him, since someone is insinuating a threat, and that someone had just mentioned 'his' bastard, so that bastard would also be included in a threat to 'his' children. 

The genestics thing continues to baffle me, too. There are Waynwoods walking around with Stark long faces in WoW sample chapters after generations of being removed from the North. There are plenty of half-Targs who manifest distinctive traits, and plenty who don't.

And Neds own kids favor Cat, save Jon and Arya. Clearly Arya is supposed to point to Lyanna, and therefore link Jon to Lyanna. And we're conveniently fed a story about Lyanna's supposedly only sexual encounter in her life. 

For all we know Benjen boinked his sister, and got sent to the Wall for it. 

Obviously I see everyone's point, and have read all the clues leading to the RLJ conclusion, but in the end I'm not sure. 

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7 hours ago, dmfn said:

@Bael's Bastard @Alexis-something-Rose

ok, great. i mis-remembered the quote. but Ned thinks about the Trident, and Ned thinks about dead babies, and whatever else. he doesn't remember that time Rhaegar kidnapped, raped and impregnated his sister in any POVs.

Well, he doesn't think about Rhaegar raping Lyanna because that never happened, as for kidnapping, that may have been consensual elopement, and as for impregnating... he thinks about Lyanna and blue roses a lot, only to finally reveal that it was actually the QoLaB crown, placed in Lyanna's lap with the tip of Rhaegar's lance. 

 

7 hours ago, dmfn said:

his only recollection of ToJ comes in a drug-endused fever dream.

Sorry but this is yet another myth. Yes, it was a dream, yes, GRRM said that our dreams are not always literal. Doesn't mean that the elements of the dream are incorrect. Ned labels the dream as "old", i.e. he had dreamt about Lyanna, KG and ToJ before, when he was neither feverish nor drugged. Some of its elements are described "as had been in life", i.e. that really happened. When Ned wakes up, he is perfectly lucid and even elaborates on the outcome of the fight,, so again, the dream ties to reality. The promise, blood and roses tie to his memory of Lyanna's death in his very first PoV. - In other words, the connection between ToJ, Lyanna's death and the three KG is a real one, we just cannot rely on the details of the dream to reflect what and how really happened. We know there was a fight and it is quite safe to assume that some words were exchanged, as well, but it most likely didn't go exactly as in the dream.

7 hours ago, dmfn said:

his primary memory of Lyanna is the promise. he doesn't really seem to think about Jon either, even when he's looking right at him. we get a couple other characters (like Jon Con and Barristan) actively thinking about Rhaegar years later. 

there has to be a reason that GRRM planted this line about Ned not 'remembering' Rhaegar, and like the OP said, I'm not 100% sure it's R+L=J. 

Want a parallel? I am reminded of my ex's existence on a daily basis, but I do my best to avoid actually thinking about him. 

 

7 hours ago, dmfn said:

To add to my confusion: when Ned confronts Cersei in the KL godswood to tell her to run away for the sake of her children, she asks Ned what he would do for his own children. Ned considers all children but Jon, which even if he is just his nephew, he should probably still think about protecting him, since someone is insinuating a threat, and that someone had just mentioned 'his' bastard, so that bastard would also be included in a threat to 'his' children. 

But he does consider Jon's safety right in the next sentence, he only doesn't include him in the list of his children.

7 hours ago, dmfn said:

The genestics thing continues to baffle me, too. There are Waynwoods walking around with Stark long faces in WoW sample chapters after generations of being removed from the North. There are plenty of half-Targs who manifest distinctive traits, and plenty who don't.

Yeah, the genetics is fantasy. Its rules do allow for Jon to be half Targ, though. Little Rhaenys took after Elia, as well.

7 hours ago, dmfn said:

And Neds own kids favor Cat, save Jon and Arya. Clearly Arya is supposed to point to Lyanna, and therefore link Jon to Lyanna. And we're conveniently fed a story about Lyanna's supposedly only sexual encounter in her life. 

If Rhaegar wasn't the one responsible, Ned wouldn't keep remembering the blue roses.

Also, if Lyanna was impregnated prior her supposed kidnapping, the baby would have been born way before the end of the Rebellion. Since she gave birth at around the Sack or later, the child must have been conceived only after the Rebellion kicked off, several months after the kidnapping.

7 hours ago, dmfn said:

For all we know Benjen boinked his sister, and got sent to the Wall for it. 

Obviously I see everyone's point, and have read all the clues leading to the RLJ conclusion, but in the end I'm not sure. 

Then try it the other way round: is there anything in Ned's thoughts that points to Benjen? And if it was Benjen, why doesn't he tell Cat to ease her mind? And what are those secrets to dangerous to share?

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8 hours ago, dmfn said:

And we're conveniently fed a story about Lyanna's supposedly only sexual encounter in her life. 

[snip]

Obviously I see everyone's point, and have read all the clues leading to the RLJ conclusion, but in the end I'm not sure. 

On the bolded--it really is fed to us, isn't it? The very first mention of Rhaegar is that he died fighting for the woman he loved.

The second (right after the first) is that he raped her.

Not subtlety. No mystery. Just a dilemma--must be one or the other: love or rape. We're told this flat out.

Problem is: Martin gives us at least two other dilemmas:

  • Arryn died of a fever or was poisoned by the Lannisters. We're told this flat out.
  • And Ned is Jon's father via Ashara or someone else. We're told this flat out.

And then Martin exposes these as false dilemmas--there are third options hidden by the "obviousness" of the dilemma.--the Lannisters were framed and Jon's tied to Lyanna and potentially her child.

Nothing's set in stone until the books are done, but really, really seems like we should be very wary of the dilemma presented us about Rhaegar and Lyanna given what Martin has done with the other two dilemmas he presented at the start of the series.

8 hours ago, dmfn said:

his only recollection of ToJ comes in a drug-endused fever dream.

He has a bit more than the dream

But, to your point, Martin really seems to give us -other evidence about what happened at the tower.

 

  • Sansa and Baelish at the Drearfort.
  • The Hound's confrontation with the brotherhood--and Arya's there.
  • And Dunk at Standfast.

If this is right, Martin isn't just making us guess about what happened. And. . . seems like the Stark maid was never the focus. If anything, points to Rhaegar having another lover entirely. With the hostage Stark maid as the witness.

Again--nothing's set until we see the rest of the books--but per the OP there is strong reason to doubt r+l as we "keep reading."

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1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Well, he doesn't think about Rhaegar raping Lyanna because that never happened, as for kidnapping, that may have been consensual elopement, and as for impregnating... he thinks about Lyanna and blue roses a lot, only to finally reveal that it was actually the QoLaB crown, placed in Lyanna's lap with the tip of Rhaegar's lance. 

Kidnap and rape is the official story, and Ned never thinks anything to the contrary. We're also told those blue winter roses grow in the greenhouse at Winterfell, and that they're Lyanna's favorite. If you want to impress a Winterfell girl, that's the flower of choice. If Lyanna had been a Tyrell, would they have been yellow? Or did the florist at the tourney prepare that wreath not knowing who would win the tourney or be the QoLaB?

 

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

 

 

Sorry but this is yet another myth. Yes, it was a dream, yes, GRRM said that our dreams are not always literal. Doesn't mean that the elements of the dream are incorrect. Ned labels the dream as "old", i.e. he had dreamt about Lyanna, KG and ToJ before, when he was neither feverish nor drugged. Some of its elements are described "as had been in life", i.e. that really happened. When Ned wakes up, he is perfectly lucid and even elaborates on the outcome of the fight,, so again, the dream ties to reality. The promise, blood and roses tie to his memory of Lyanna's death in his very first PoV. - In other words, the connection between ToJ, Lyanna's death and the three KG is a real one, we just cannot rely on the details of the dream to reflect what and how really happened. We know there was a fight and it is quite safe to assume that some words were exchanged, as well, but it most likely didn't go exactly as in the dream.Rebellion kicked off, several months after the kidnapping.

 

I don't about a 'myth' exactly. The dream is brought on by fever, and he is medicated. An 'old dream' could of course mean a recurring dream, or it could be interpreted as an old as in 'classic' dream, like a dream about fighting, loss, love, etc. Dreaming of flying is an 'old' dream. (Just an idea). Other elements of the dream are very 'dreamy' too...ghost wraith shadow companions and whatnot. I can't call it proof of anything much. And that's why there's a zillion tinfoil theories about KG members who are still alive.

 

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

 

Want a parallel? I am reminded of my ex's existence on a daily basis, but I do my best to avoid actually thinking about him. 

 

Lololol :)

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

 

Then try it the other way round: is there anything in Ned's thoughts that points to Benjen? And if it was Benjen, why doesn't he tell Cat to ease her mind? And what are those secrets to dangerous to share?

 I was kidding about Ben, but his motives for joining the Watch and current whereabouts is a topic for another thread. 

At the end of the day I'm highly suspicious of GRRM's subtle clues, no matter how subtle they may be. I just finished my 3rd re-read with Jon's mama high on my list of things to look for, and still I just don't know for sure.

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2 hours ago, dmfn said:

Kidnap and rape is the official story, and Ned never thinks anything to the contrary.

But of course he does. People usually don't say about a beloved dead sister who died as a result of kidnapping and rape that her own wolf blood led her to an early grave. Neither do they jump from being critical of her betrothed (and their BF) to making an assessment that the rapist didn't possess that particular vice, especially when the guy was so depraved as to call the place where the sister was imprisoned "tower of joy".

2 hours ago, dmfn said:

We're also told those blue winter roses grow in the greenhouse at Winterfell, and that they're Lyanna's favorite.

Yep. But we never hear that Lyanna went to smell them in the greenhouse every day, plucked them for her bedroom and the like. We only hear that she got them from Rhaegar.

2 hours ago, dmfn said:

If you want to impress a Winterfell girl, that's the flower of choice.

Lol, perhaps she might actually be impressed by something more exotic to her? :D

2 hours ago, dmfn said:

If Lyanna had been a Tyrell, would they have been yellow? Or did the florist at the tourney prepare that wreath not knowing who would win the tourney or be the QoLaB?

Could be either. If blue roses are considered something special in the South, as well, then they would be a good choice for a lavish tourney.

2 hours ago, dmfn said:

I don't about a 'myth' exactly. The dream is brought on by fever, and he is medicated. An 'old dream' could of course mean a recurring dream, or it could be interpreted as an old as in 'classic' dream, like a dream about fighting, loss, love, etc. Dreaming of flying is an 'old' dream. (Just an idea). Other elements of the dream are very 'dreamy' too...ghost wraith shadow companions and whatnot. I can't call it proof of anything much. And that's why there's a zillion tinfoil theories about KG members who are still alive.

The blue passages are from the dream, the green passages are mentioned elsewhere in Ned's PoVs. The one purple passage is from Ned's feverish recollection in the black cells. The bolded passages are not the content of the dream but Ned's inner monologue comments:

He dreamt an old dream,

He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years.

 

of three knights in white cloaks,

Three men in white cloaks, he thought, remembering, and a strange chill went through him.

 

and a tower long fallen,

Ned had pulled the tower down afterward,

 

and Lyanna in her bed of blood.

...

Lord Eddard,” Lyanna called again.

I promise,” he whispered. “Lya, I promise …”

Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. 

Promise me, Ned, his sister had whispered from her bed of blood.

 

In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life.

 

They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life.

Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns

They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed

...

It would have to be his grandfather, for Jory’s father was buried far to the south. Martyn Cassel had perished with the rest. Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns upon the ridge. It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory. They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed.

 

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6 hours ago, dmfn said:

@Sly Wren

You're right. When our choices are x or y, George gives us a z!

Yup! He is very fond of the false dilemma--like every politician on the planet.

In all seriousness--Lysa's Moon Door Confessional should make everyone very, very wary of R+L.

3 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Yep. But we never hear that Lyanna went to smell them in the greenhouse every day, plucked them for her bedroom and the like. We only hear that she got them from Rhaegar.

True--but we also only hear that Ned is Jon's father--and no one says anything else--they only speculate on variants of who the mother could be.

Whereas Ned says Lyanna was fond of flowers--and then Martin takes a chunk of time to show us Arya's love of flowers--not tourney-love-fest oriented.

Plus we're told flat out that we only have two options--Rhaegar loved her or Rhaegar raped her--a dilemma.  Then Martin shows us what he does with other dilemmas--they are false. There are other options. Most obviously at Lysa's Moon Door.

Plus, after telling us the R+L love story outlines via various people, Martin shows us not one, not two, but three hostage Stark maids and their reactions to Rhaegar/Bael figures. And their reactions are not loving. He even has a Stark Maid (Sansa) taken to a run down tower--which is a tower of joy for another woman entirely.

Bottom line: Lysa at the Moor Door should make us very wary of what Martin tells us flat out. We should also pay attention to what he shows us--and he shows us Arya's very unromantic yet very eager love of flowers.

Seems like we should pay attention--and be open to the option that those roses might mean more (or just other) than romance.

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5 hours ago, Ygrain said:

But of course he does. People usually don't say about a beloved dead sister who died as a result of kidnapping and rape that her own wolf blood led her to an early grave. Neither do they jump from being critical of her betrothed (and their BF) to making an assessment that the rapist didn't possess that particular vice, especially when the guy was so depraved as to call the place where the sister was imprisoned "tower of joy".

Aha! You're coming very close to the territory I have just been treading, and I think there is another dichotomy that may have a third option. Compare the following sections, where Lyanna, Brandon and Arya are held up side by side.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Arya II

"Needle wouldn't break," Arya said defiantly, but her voice betrayed her words.

"It has a name, does it?" Her father sighed. "Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. 'The wolf blood,' my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave." Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. "Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her."

"Lyanna was beautiful," Arya said, startled. Everybody said so. It was not a thing that was ever said of Arya.

 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Turncloak

It was true. "Someone has been down here stealing swords. Brandon's is gone as well."

"He would hate that." She pulled off her glove and touched his knee, pale flesh against dark stone. "Brandon loved his sword. He loved to hone it. 'I want it sharp enough to shave the hair from a woman's cunt,' he used to say. And how he loved to use it. 'A bloody sword is a beautiful thing,' he told me once."

"You knew him," Theon said.

The lantern light in her eyes made them seem as if they were afire. "Brandon was fostered at Barrowton with old Lord Dustin, the father of the one I'd later wed, but he spent most of his time riding the Rills. He loved to ride. His little sister took after him in that. A pair of centaurs, those two. And my lord father was always pleased to play host to the heir to Winterfell. My father had great ambitions for House Ryswell. He would have served up my maidenhead to any Stark who happened by, but there was no need. Brandon was never shy about taking what he wanted. I am old now, a dried-up thing, too long a widow, but I still remember the look of my maiden's blood on his cock the night he claimed me. I think Brandon liked the sight as well. A bloody sword is a beautiful thing, yes. It hurt, but it was a sweet pain.

Those with the wolf blood love their mounts, love their swords, and are not shy about taking what they want.

We accept that of course it was Rhaegar who swept Lyanna off her feet. But what if the one with the wolf blood that led to her death was the one who took what she wanted???

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6 hours ago, Ygrain said:

But of course he does. People usually don't say about a beloved dead sister who died as a result of kidnapping and rape that her own wolf blood led her to an early grave. Neither do they jump from being critical of her betrothed (and their BF) to making an assessment that the rapist didn't possess that particular vice, especially when the guy was so depraved as to call the place where the sister was imprisoned "tower of joy".

 

Now Rhaegar sounds like Ramsey! 

I agree with you that there are 'signs' pointing the way you want them to point. And inconsistencies.

Lyanna wasn't enthused about marrying Robert because he'd never keep to one bed, but didn't Rhaegar proove he wasn't keeping to one bed by being with her?

Like @Sly Wren is saying, the truth is probably somewhere between the kidnap and rape story, and the true love/ prophecy / whatever people are wanting to believe story.

All the information we have is either cryptic / dream / rumor / old memory, and on top of that we have numerous conflicting reports. 

I can't seem to pull your earlier quote about 'secrets too dangerous to share' but regarding that:

We are certainly given multiple King Robert rants about how much he loves killing Targs, so we can naturally assume Jon is a secret that can't be shared. 

A little thought from Ned in KL, after he sees more of Robert's true side (bankrupcy, mis-rule, laziness, drunken, whoring, etc.) about what the 'true king' would do, or something, would be nice. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when Ned alters Robert's will to read 'rightful heir' he leaves in the part about 'comes of age' right? We're kind of lead to believe Ned is all about Stannis at that point, but Stannis is an adult. Jon, fAegon, Dany (other tinfoil Targs) also aren't adults. 

I don't think I'm biased one way or another. I like Jon for Jon, not whoever his parents are, but I just am not convinced R+L=J.

He doesn't act like Lyanna (wolf blood).

He doesn't act like Rhaegar (singing, studying).

He looks and acts like Eddard Stark.

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5 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

Aha! You're coming very close to the territory I have just been treading, and I think there is another dichotomy that may have a third option. Compare the following sections, where Lyanna, Brandon and Arya are held up side by side.

 

Those with the wolf blood love their mounts, love their swords, and are not shy about taking what they want.

We accept that of course it was Rhaegar who swept Lyanna off her feet. But what if the one with the wolf blood that led to her death was the one who took what she wanted???

I think that the part about taking what they want doesn't necessarily apply to Lyanna, but I don't exclude it, either. And as for Lyanna and Rhaegar's roles being reversed, I proposed this scenario quite some time ago :P Maybe she even took Rhaegar at swordpoint? :P :P 

Besides, there is a possible parallel with Alys Karstark - running from an unwanted marriage to a higher authority, and due to being swept off his feet, Rhaegar didn't find it in himself to refuse. Though, I do think that the sweeping off was mutual, that sniffing over Rhaegar's song does seem to be indicative of something, and Rhaegar's inspired victory seems to be paralleled with Jorah's victory for Lynesse.

3 hours ago, dmfn said:

Now Rhaegar sounds like Ramsey! 

Very much, only no-one who isn't Robert describes him as such.

- Oh, one more point, though not from Ned's PoV: Jorah compares Dany to Rhaegar when she saves the women from rape. Not that he has any way of knowing, but clearly, in his mind, Rhaegar is not the raping type.

Quote

Lyanna wasn't enthused about marrying Robert because he'd never keep to one bed, but didn't Rhaegar proove he wasn't keeping to one bed by being with her?

Well, love is the death of duty, as they say, and there are definitely certain double standards at play, but having an affair iss not the same as sleeping around. Plus, Rhaegar would be keeping to one bed - Lyanna's. Since he never loved Elia and she cannot birth any more children (Aegon's birth either left her barren, or the next childbirth would kill her), he has no reason to have sex with her.

Quote

All the information we have is either cryptic / dream / rumor / old memory, and on top of that we have numerous conflicting reports. 

I don't see how memories, old or not, can be considered unreliable unless the person has memory issues, and conflicting reports can be compared to memories, thoughts or behaviour, to see if they hold any water. If rape is the official story but Ned's reactions contradict it and nearly everyone thinks that Rhaegar was a good man, then the rape story is most likely not true.

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I can't seem to pull your earlier quote about 'secrets too dangerous to share' but regarding that:

Some secrets are safer kept hidden. Some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust.

 

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A little thought from Ned in KL, after he sees more of Robert's true side (bankrupcy, mis-rule, laziness, drunken, whoring, etc.) about what the 'true king' would do, or something, would be nice. 

Ned's continuous disillusionment and realization how much Robert has changed doesn't qualify?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but when Ned alters Robert's will to read 'rightful heir' he leaves in the part about 'comes of age' right? We're kind of lead to believe Ned is all about Stannis at that point, but Stannis is an adult. Jon, fAegon, Dany (other tinfoil Targs) also aren't adults. 

where the king had said “my son Joffrey,” he scrawled “my heir” instead

Jon, fAegon or Dany aren't Robert's heirs. I don't think Ned had any legalese loop in mind, he just couldn't make himself write "my son Joffrey" when he knew that wasn't true. 

 

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I don't think I'm biased one way or another. I like Jon for Jon, not whoever his parents are, but I just am not convinced R+L=J.

I like Jon, too, regardless of his parentage. He is simply an interesting character, a bit entitled boy growing to be a fine young man under difficult circumstances.

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He doesn't act like Lyanna (wolf blood).

He defends a weaker person against attackers, just like she did. With a practice sword.

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He doesn't act like Rhaegar (singing, studying).

Rhaegar was talented in next to anything and was a charismatic leader. Jon excelling over Robb made Cat feel uncomfortable every time and he seems to be an inspiring leader to a lot of people, too. The lack of restraint in emotional moments (waking the dragon?) doesn't seem to come from the Stark side, either - though, thinking about Uncle Brandon, perhaps it does. He is brooding enough and has had some peculiar dreams.

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He looks and acts like Eddard Stark.

Nurture is a bitch :D

Edited by Ygrain

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5 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Maybe she even took Rhaegar at swordpoint? :P :P

Well, I wasn't going quite that far, more like she just made the running and forced the issue... but now you've put the image in my mind.... ;)

5 hours ago, Ygrain said:

where the king had said “my son Joffrey,” he scrawled “my heir” instead

Jon, fAegon or Dany aren't Robert's heirs. I don't think Ned had any legalese loop in mind, he just couldn't make himself write "my son Joffrey" when he knew that wasn't true. 

Yes - as he went on to say: but where the king had said "my son Joffrey," he scrawled "my heir" instead. The deceit made him feel soiled. The lies we tell for love, he thought. May the gods forgive me.

We know - although Ned doesn't, obviously - how this phrase echoes Jaime's 'The things I do for love', at a point where he was acting recklessly in defence of his sister and her bastards, ultimately from Robert's wrath. Of course, the parallel may be just a coincidence....

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2 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

Well, I wasn't going quite that far, more like she just made the running and forced the issue... but now you've put the image in my mind.... ;)

 

Well... some time ago, @teej6 introduced a story from Indian mythology in a very similar setting - IIRC, the girl was to be married to someone, was in love in someone else, the families would never allow it... so, a very consensual abduction happened. When her family came to seek bloody retribution, it was pointed out that she was holding the reins of the charriot, hence she kidnapped him, and her family couldn't do a thing :D 

2 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

We know - although Ned doesn't, obviously - how this phrase echoes Jaime's 'The things I do for love', at a point where he was acting recklessly in defence of his sister and her bastards, ultimately from Robert's wrath. Of course, the parallel may be just a coincidence....

Love is the death of duty. It is known.

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10 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Rhaegar was talented in next to anything and was a charismatic leader. Jon excelling over Robb made Cat feel uncomfortable every time and he seems to be an inspiring leader to a lot of people, too.

Without question, Jon shares characteristics with Lyanna.

But some your points on Rhaegar seems a stretch--and leaves out other factors we know about Rhaegar that seem fairly significant.

IE: the above: Maybe--but Jon also inspires people to kill him--not exactly grand at this. And not good at plotting. Mance is the charismatic leader with Rhaegar-like traits (symbolically--he ain't Rhaegar)--and stands in contrast to Jon's trying to muddle through.

10 hours ago, Ygrain said:

The lack of restraint in emotional moments (waking the dragon?) doesn't seem to come from the Stark side, either - though, thinking about Uncle Brandon, perhaps it does.

Exactly--the wolf blood seems like it fits here.

Not to mention the warg influence of the wolf--Rickon shows it the most. But both Arya and Bran seems to enjoy the dominance they experience in their wolves.

Septa Mordane complains that even Sansa's behavior gets more sassy after getting Lady. We see Sansa mouth off to Mordane over Lady.

Wolf blood and wargs really fits here.

10 hours ago, Ygrain said:

He is brooding enough and has had some peculiar dreams.

As do Arya and Bran. Likely Rickon, too. And I really wish we had Robb's POV, but that seems likely.

Plus there's the other stuff on Rhaegar we know:

He went along with a plot to kill his dad at Duskendale to take the throne. Whereas Jon has nightmares about killing his father--huge guilt over wanting Winterfell even though he believes his siblings are dead. Rhaegar went along with Tywin's plan to actively kill Aerys. Very different.

Rhaegar sat out the war--as did Tywin (again, this looks like a plot)--and when he did come back, he didn't bring a KG who was known to defend Aerys no matter what (Hightower). Instead, Rhaegar left Aerys with Jaime, the least experienced and most traumatized. And Tywin's son--that's who he left with his dad. He really didn't care if Aerys lived. But Jon risked a lot sending someone to save "Arya." And a lot with his plan to go to Winterfell.

Rhaegar is a conquerer and a plotter--a lot like Stannis. And a LOT like Dany.

Jon's a sworn brother--like Dunk, if anything--who struggles with plots, strategy, and plans. He's a wolf and a sword. He disdains the cult-like, prophecy driven thinking of Stannis and Mel--while Rhaegar seems to have sought a third child to follow a prophecy.

Maybe Jon will turn out to be Rhaegar's kid--but if so, he doesn't seem to have gotten Rhaegar's distinctive traits. 

Whereas Dany seems full of them--right down to being willing to kill family members for power. No wonder she sees herself in his armor. Jon? He sees the Sword of the Morning.

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31 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Maybe Jon will turn out to be Rhaegar's kid--but if so, he doesn't seem to have gotten Rhaegar's distinctive traits. 

Could that be to emphasize the Ice & Fire combo, as opposed to the pure fire of Rhaegar (and Dany?)

He doesn't seem to have Lyanna's distinctiveness, either. Just enough for the family relation to show, really, on both sides. But he's something new on his own terms, if I read the arc correctly - as he would have to be if he truly is the first ever Stark-Targ child.

The other BIG difference between Rhaegar and Jon is that one grew up as the Crown Prince, the other as a bastard. Rhaegar had a destiny from birth (then seemed to discover a new one in his books....) Jon never had that sense of direction.

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30 minutes ago, Rufus Snow said:

Could that be to emphasize the Ice & Fire combo, as opposed to the pure fire of Rhaegar (and Dany?)

He doesn't seem to have Lyanna's distinctiveness, either. Just enough for the family relation to show, really, on both sides. But he's something new on his own terms, if I read the arc correctly - as he would have to be if he truly is the first ever Stark-Targ child.

Maybe--but Martin spends a fair amount of time showing Jon in contrast to Rhaegar/Bael figures: Mance and Stannis. Shows him rejecting, not just being different from, their ideas, even as he admires Mance.

So, not just a blended/watered down version of Rhaegar--Jon rejects what Rhaegar seems to have been in a lot of ways. Instead, he's definitely a wolf--like Lyanna and like the rest of his sibling/cousins. He's definitely a sword. And he's definitely a sworn brother/defender of the realm--not a power monger. 

30 minutes ago, Rufus Snow said:

The other BIG difference between Rhaegar and Jon is that one grew up as the Crown Prince, the other as a bastard. Rhaegar had a destiny from birth (then seemed to discover a new one in his books....) Jon never had that sense of direction.

Very true--but Rhaegar also chose his destiny: chose to read the prophecy, to study the history, and actively decide it somehow applied to him. Chose to embrace it. Chose to plot with Tywin even before Aerys fell apart after Duskendale. Chose to engage in killing Aerys, in hiding out while the country burned.

The idea that these are actions innately tied to crown princes in Westeros--do we have any evidence of that? Asking sincerely--I can't think of any and would love to see it if you have it.

And Jon doesn't inanely act like other "bastards" either--definitely not Ramsay. Not even like Gendry--Jon's sense of duty and Starkness are intense. 

All that said--one of the big things that really pushes me against R+L right now is the re-read--can't re-read now without Lysa's Moon Door Confession in my head. "Arryn died of fever or Lannister poison" was a false dilemma--the real answer was another, more convoluted, less evidenced answer entirely.

"Rhaegar loved Lyanna or raped her" is another dilemma--we get if up front. But we also get a LOT of evidence that Stark maids don't love Rhaegar figures. And then we have Sansa at Baelish's tower--a tower of joy for another woman entirely while the Stark maid is the unhappy witness. 

All of that seems like Martin is showing us indirectly that the dilemma of R+L is a false dilemma--with another solution entirely. Really think Lyanna and Rhaegar never had sex. She was taken for other reasons (like Arya and Jon)--and Rhaegar had sex with a woman who fell from a white stone tower--Ashara--for his third baby. Lyanna had sex with someone else, too.

More convoluted? Yes--but it fits what we know Martin does to us: he distracts us with a false dilemma while indirectly presenting alternative evidence of a less evidenced, more complicated answer.

Seems like it's worth considering --at least for now.

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9 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Very true--but Rhaegar also chose his destiny: chose to read the prophecy, to study the history, and actively decide it somehow applied to him. Chose to embrace it. Chose to plot with Tywin even before Aerys fell apart after Duskendale. Chose to engage in killing Aerys, in hiding out while the country burned.

The idea that these are actions innately tied to crown princes in Westeros--do we have any evidence of that? Asking sincerely--I can't think of any and would love to see it if you have it.

And Jon doesn't inanely act like other "bastards" either--definitely not Ramsay. Not even like Gendry--Jon's sense of duty and Starkness are intense. 

Not inherently or specifically tied to being Crown Prince, per se, but to having been raised with a sense of his own significance, perhaps? People can grow up feeling entitled with a lot less than a throne waiting for them. But no, I don't have any grand ideas on this, just raking over the coals to see what I can find before my fingers get too burned :D

As for the bastards - I think we see enough variety of them to be quite sure there is no 'bastard type' - they are as varied and individual as the trueborn are: Ramsay, Bloodraven, Gendry, Mya Stone, Cotter Pyke, Aurane Waters, Edric Storm, the Sand Snakes and so on.

Anyway, that's by the by - you've got me intrigued, because if, as you suggest, R+L=J poses a false dilemma, and (I believe) you're pitching for ?+L=J. I'm not sure if I can find another ? who would necessitate Ned so shredding his own personal honour to conceal it. I'll have to mull it over a while... :thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, Rufus Snow said:

But no, I don't have any grand ideas on this, just raking over the coals to see what I can find before my fingers get too burned :D

Which is where all the best ideas come from--rake away! :cheers:

1 hour ago, Rufus Snow said:

Anyway, that's by the by - you've got me intrigued, because if, as you suggest, R+L=J poses a false dilemma, and (I believe) you're pitching for ?+L=J.

On the bolded--yes.

1 hour ago, Rufus Snow said:

I'm not sure if I can find another ? who would necessitate Ned so shredding his own personal honour to conceal it.

Well, Ned wouldn't have to be doing it for the ?. He'd be doing it for Jon, no?

Robert killed Rhaegar years ago, but still re-kills him in dreams every night. That anger isn't fear over his throne. It's lost love, misery, mourning, jealously--that's what makes Robert still hate Rhaegar.

Seems like Ned might think he'd have reason to hide any kid of Lyanna's that wasn't Robert's. Be the father Rhaegar or assistant stable hand #4.

As for who the ? might be--my current guess is Arthur Dayne--due to imagery and Ned's emotions and a few other things. But I have massive Dawn shaped blinders, so I may be dead wrong.

1 hour ago, Rufus Snow said:

I'll have to mull it over a while... :thumbsup:

Amen! Another place good ideas come from.

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17 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

Seems like Ned might think he'd have reason to hide any kid of Lyanna's that wasn't Robert's. Be the father Rhaegar or assistant stable hand #4.

As for who the ? might be--my current guess is Arthur Dayne--due to imagery and Ned's emotions and a few other things. But I have massive Dawn shaped blinders, so I may be dead wrong.

OK, I'm going to muse out loud, as I don't know where I'm headed again (and yes, I do harbour a gut feeling in AD's direction..):

Well, I suppose if Ned said Jon was Lyanna's son and tried to keep the father's identity secret, then everyone (in-world) would assume it was Rhaegar anyway. Bobby would be a clear and present danger for baby Jon because of his assumed claim. And also Jon would become a focus for loyalists to coalesce around as a figurehead for a rebellion.

If Ned named ANYONE other than Rhaegar, then that person had better run like hell or be dead already, cos Bobby's still got his warhammer - though if Arthur's dead, and Lyanna's dead, Jon ought to be safe from Robert, surely? He'd have no claim to the IT to undermine Robert's reign or attract rebels. It's possible Robert wouldn't believe Ned and thinks "that's a bit convenient, it's not Rhaegar's whelp and the baby-daddy is also dead. I don't think so. Who do I hit now?".

As Arthur was KG he couldn't marry, so Jon would have to remain a bastard (no claims of last minute wedding and all that....), but could have remained at Starfall as Jon Sand? I doubt it would have been a problem for Starfall. Lewyn Martell had a paramour, though, but that was covered up and I haven't heard of any offspring there. Yet bastards are no great shame in Dorne.

As far as Arthur is concerned, all we hear of him are glowing reports - everyone from Jaime to Barristan to Ned himself, though mostly confined to his fighting prowess and loyalty to Rhaegar. Does Arthur have a dark side? The sort of dark side perhaps that would be consistent with the friendship House Dayne clearly shows to the Starks despite Ned having (allegedly) killed Arthur?

Let's also throw into the mix that it appears the combat at the ToJ occurred before Ned & Howland went inside. Assuming AD is Jon's father, then Ned wouldn't find out about this for a few more minutes when he finally finds Lyanna. That could mess him up a bit, I guess... so, did the dying Lyanna extract more promises from Ned than the assumed 'protect my son'? Did she insist on the concealed identity, that he be raised as a northerner? Whatever it was, we understand from Ned's thoughts and dreams that he kept the promises he made Lyanna, and that it cost him dear. There was a cost to his honour for havng a bastard, it clearly eroded his friendship with Robert, though he tried not to let it. And of course it didn't help with Catelyn.

I guess Ned could have just taken the responsibility as his own because he was able to slap down anyone who questioned his story, as he did with the Ashara rumours.

 

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If Jon is Lyanna's kid w/ Arthur Dayne, why keep the truth from Cat, and at great cost? Doesn't make any sense IMO.

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