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Ygrain

R+L=J v.165

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18 hours ago, Jaehaerys Tyrell said:

This is false, R+L=J has far more merit due to the amount of evidence. I could theorise that Jon is the son of Pycelle and Rhaella. That doesn’t automatically give it merit. 

Evidence ? There actually is very little actual textual evidence that R+L=J, its more a supposition then anything else, so what you said there is plainly wrong.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Reading through the posts, it is still not clear what you mean by Jon's heritage.

If you mean that because of his Targaryen father Jon has or may have a claim to the IT, well, from Ned's viewpoint this sort of heritage is completely moot as Robert's rebellion took away that claim from all Targaryens and it is definitely not Ned's intention to raise a pretender against his friend Robert in his household. From Ned's point of view, revealing the truth to Jon would not give him back that sort of heritage, nor would Ned want Jon to pursue any claims to the IT. 

If you mean that Ned has denied Jon the knowledge of his family history and cultural heritage, that is (while true) not an argument against R+L=J because Jon has a right to know his heritage in any case. If he is Ashara's son, for example, doesn't he have the right to know he is related to a legendary family and a legendary knight, the Sword of the Morning? (At the moment when Jon joins the NW, a known Dayne-bastard may have more chance to become the next Sword of the Morning than a known Targaryen-bastard - or even a legitimate Targaryen - may have to win the IT.) If Jon is the son of a Dornish peasant girl, doesn't he have the right to know about his Dornish cultural heritage, to get a chance to travel to Dorne before he moves to the Wall forever? If he is the son of the fisherman's daughter, that also comes with a cultural heritage (perhaps his mother was of the Faith, for example). A fisherman's grandson may be just as much interested in his family history and cultural heritage and in the identity of his mother, as a Targaryen can be. Again, to deny Jon this heritage only makes sense if there is a goal more important than his right to know about his true parentage, whatever it involves. Frankly, even if Jon was born in a brothel, he has a right to know and to deal with the knowledge.

I said before it was his cultural heritage, and yes no matter what he deserved to know, i said that as well, and no i think its an argument against any of the jon parents theories except the one of his mother being no one of import.

Reason being hes only joining the NW because he is a bastard and feels has no place in the world,no other family etc, in the ashara theory im sure asharas family would welcome jon, in the lyanna theory he deserves to know before he makes a decision he cannot come back from.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

No, Ned didn't just want to tell Robert so that Robert knew the truth. He considered it right that King Robert should be succeeded on the throne by his own flesh and blood, not by some bastard planted in the family by a Lannister plot, who has no blood ties to Robert. Robert has plenty of male relations, including brothers and illegitimate sons. If Robert found out that his supposed true-born children weren't his, he would have the opportunity to either legitimise one of his bastards or to declare Stannis his heir or to remarry and father a legitimate son with another wife. The very fact that Ned chooses not to tell Robert the truth when Robert is already dying and couldn't do much about the problem anyway, but would suffer from the knowledge in the last hour of his life, indicates that Ned wasn't going to tell him just so Robert would know but in order to prevent Robert's throne being usurped by a Lannister bastard. 

While Robert is strong and alive and sits the Iron Throne, it is his right to defend his crown against usurpers. The idea that Tywin would rebel if Cersei and her children were removed from the royal family is not a good enough reason, in Ned's book, to betray his king and allow his throne to be usurped by the Lannisters, by the bastard of the woman who robbed Robert of the chance to have true-born children. 

That's completely different from Ned encouraging in any way a civil war between his best friend and his own nephew for the sole reason that Jon has a right to know about his heritage. 

By telling Robert the truth about Joffrey, Ned would be protecting Robert's throne (even at the cost of a war). By causing Jon to claim his "heritage", Ned would endanger Robert's throne. In the first case, the civil war would be between Ned's friend and Ned's enemies. In the second case, the civil war would be between Ned's best friend and Ned's own nephew. With Sansa being betrothed to Joffrey, such a civil war would be right in Ned's family. That's the sort of civil war that Ned would certainly want to avoid. (Did anyone claim that Ned would always want to avoid any civil war at whatever price? LOL, that wouldn't be the Ned we know.) 

Telling Jon his true parentage at the point where Jon decides to take the black would not increase Jon's safety in any way. Either Jon still joins the Watch, and then this knowledge wouldn't protect him against anything, or Jon decides not to join the Watch - and then what? How would Jon have more options at this point knowing his true parentage than not knowing it? Remember, he decided to join the Watch and Ned agreed to let him do it mainly because neither of them saw other possibilities - Jon in the long run, while Ned in the short run at least. With Ned gone, Cat wasn't going to tolerate Jon in Winterfell, and Ned didn't consider it a good idea to take him to King's Landing. On the one hand, if Jon wanted to keep the secret of his birth, then he would remain the same in the eyes of people, and he would have exactly the same options as without knowing the secret, so he would have exactly as much reason to join the NW as without knowing the truth about his birth. On the other hand, if Jon decided to reveal this secret or to openly claim his heritage (whatever it is), it would put him in direct mortal danger (on the Wall or anywhere else) and would jeopardize everything that Ned held dear. 

However, Jon's safety is not at all the only point that Ned must consider. By deciding to raise Rhaegar's son, Ned took a huge risk. It was his duty to protect his nephew, but it was also his duty to protect his wife and his own children. If it becomes known that the Starks are hiding a Targaryen, then the whole family will be in danger due to Ned's "treason". To what extent each of them would be in danger cannot be predicted for sure, but it's something Ned certainly doesn't wish to empirically find out. Ned owes it to his children and his wife to minimize the danger he has put them in by protecting a Targaryen child, and that goal takes priority over Jon's (undeniably existing) right to know about his origin. 

While it is true that telling Jon the secret doesn't exactly equal telling it to everyone, it is also true that the more people know, the more the secret as a means of protecting his family is out of Ned's hand, thus the risk increases. Besides, you seem to also argue that Jon should learn the secret because it would give him certain options. Now I'm quite certain that Ned wouldn't want Jon to do anything about his Targaryen heritage for reasons that involve more than Jon's personal safety alone. All in all, there is no way that this secret gives Jon any new options while it is known only by Jon and Ned and no one else; on the other hand, there is no way Jon is not in more danger when more people learn about his true origin. 

If we look at Ned's priorities, it is easy to notice that protecting innocent children against danger in general is very high on his list. It doesn't only apply to Jon, it applies to Ned's own children, it applies to a teenage Targaryen he has never seen, it applies even to the children of his worst enemy (he wants to protect even Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen from Robert's revenge). Secrecy is protection not only for Jon but also for Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon; and Ned is not going to jeopardize their safety just so Jon could perhaps have a chance to start an adventurous and probably disastrous attempt to win the throne. 

Sending Jon to the Wall doesn't contradict the notion of protecting children. Boys growing up in noble families are trained and raised to be warriors, which, of course, includes the possibility of dying young in a fight. However, in Westerosi society learning to fight and to protect yourself is probably considered safer than never lifting a sword and thus being unable to protect yourself. Jon, like so many other boys, was destined to become some sort of soldier unless he was more interested in becoming a maester (which he apparently wasn't), and he received appropriate education. Becoming a soldier and fighting against some kind of enemy is what most boys in the Seven Kingdoms (including Ned's own sons) can expect to do when they grow up (and wildlings are relatively harmless for an enemy). Being slaughtered as a child, without having the strength or skills to protect yourself, is the fate that Ned finds absolutely appalling and unacceptable.

Ned was able to give Jon the skills that he needed to protect himself in a fight against wildlings or outlaws or even knights and Ironborn raiders. He couldn't give him the means to protect himself against the power of a suspicious or revengeful Iron Throne. Secrecy was the only way.

But even if (if!) Ned was going to tell Jon, at some point, the truth, I guess the time when they were surrounded by half the royal court may have seemed somewhat inopportune. 

On the question why Ned didn't leave Jon with Howland Reed (or any other family): One of the reasons could be that he didn't consider it fair to put another family in this kind of danger. He chose to take the risk himself and to also be as much in control of the whole situation as he could.  

Finally, it is even possible that Ned would have more reason to tell Jon the truth about his birth if Jon didn't join the NW but became the lord of a small holdfast, married some girl and wanted to start a family. It is not impossible that a child takes after his / her grandfather, and should Jon's wife start giving birth to silver-haired and purple-eyed babies, Jon would have to know why it is and that he has to hide and protect his children before any news of them reaches the Iron Throne. In this respect, for Jon to join the NW could be seen by Ned as the best way to prevent such embarrassing future complications.  

Look as i said telling jon isnt telling everyone and i also gave the example of how the text proves jon could of handled it, and said how Ned should of known enough of jons character to know that,so unless someone wants to argue Ned didnt know his children atal you can not argue against that imo.

Ya it would of been impossible for ned to get time alone with jon or delay hes own exit from winterfell or go a little to the wall with jon and then catch up to the procession to KL, saying was a bad time because royal court was there, is just simply wrong.

Yes he gave jon skills to protect himself i agree there but jon is at best an average fighter, he is by no means arthur dayne reborn, and if somehow jons lineage was discovered it be better jon knew and wasnt blind to the threats against him.

The howland reed point is a fair one, but no one goes to the neck, so danger would be less then at winterfell,where jon could of grown up looking very targaryen, unless try and argue Ned saw in the future and knew jon would not look any bit targaryen, and new he would look so much stark that could pass him off as a bastard so easy.

The point with joining the NW is as i said this - there is no coming back from it - so at this point if there is anything jon doesnt know that if he new he might not go there - that is the time to tell him before made a decision he couldnt reverse.

Arguements not telling jon are weak, civil war assuming jon freaks out (already showed how he wouldnt), jons safety - hes in danger anyway and if someone found out his secret hes in more danger being ignorant of it himself then of knowing.

I've seen threads where people put fourth how it was morally wrong not to tell jon before he joined the NW and people debated whether it was morally wrong or right, but this type of thread assumes R+L=J, yet say maybe he didnt tell him because was nothing to tell and people freak out.

As i said earlier the R+L=J theory is all supposition and has no evidence or proof, yet question it (logical to question a theory with no proof) and all people do is defend the theory, rather then look at it a diff way.

Also add to it GRRM hates fantasy troupes ans cliches,wants to break the mold, a hidden prince not knowing his identity is the most cliche you can get,yet ppl ignore that fact.

I know people have alot invested in the R+L=J theory, but until its proven should question it not defend it.

About the TV show, dunno who has watched it or not.

Spoiler

The tv show made R+L=J true, you can not assume the book follows that, the tv show has stopped following the books and become a fan theory.

Add to that the tv show,gave character arcs from the book to different characters ie greyscale from jon con to jorah.

Then revealed jons name was aegon targaryen, so maybe they gave jon snow, (f)aegon as people call him, character arc as well.

Its not really relevant but its interesting 

Edited by IronBars

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2 hours ago, IronBars said:

As i said earlier the R+L=J theory is all supposition and has no evidence or proof, yet question it (logical to question a theory with no proof) and all people do is defend the theory, rather then look at it a diff way.

Do you honestly believe that in all those years, all kinds of alternative theories were not dissected and compared, or that you are the first raising the very question? Plus, you aren't even offering an alternative, just repeating one and the same point over and over, with no regard for the bulk of arguments that create the "supposition". People didn't divine RLJ out of thin air but followed textual hints. Unless you successfully argue those, there is no reason why anyone should reconsider the theory because despite what you claim, it is not based on whether Ned should, or shouldn't have, told Jon. We don't know the exact motivation of the majority of the participants yet, but that has no bearing on the result because it is the result, not motivation, that GRRM has been laying out since AGOT. (And BTW, when you are provided with quotes where he does show motivation, you're not exactly looking at your own point in a different way, either.)

As for the show:

Spoiler

1) the question of Jon's mother was a test for its creators.

2) they have been laying out the clues for RLJ since season 1, some of the same as in the books

It is really beyond me why they should bother establishing anything else when they couldn't have known that GRRM would fall behind so much and when his mystery provided the biggest shock value for the audience

 

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8 hours ago, IronBars said:

I said before it was his cultural heritage, and yes no matter what he deserved to know, i said that as well, and no i think its an argument against any of the jon parents theories except the one of his mother being no one of import.

To Jon, his mother was important regardless of who she was. Which orphan child wouldn't want to know who his mother was? Sorry, but I see a contradiction in your saying that you mean cultural heritage (versus inheritance) and yet, you think a mother "of no import" didn't need to be revealed. Everyone in the world has a cultural heritage, even the poorest peasant girl. Everyone has a personality, too. Jon would be interested in learning any information about his mother and his own origin. He also has a right to know about these things in all cases. Ned would be very selfish if he withheld this information from him for no special reason only that it was uncomfortable for him to speak about it even once. Yet, we know Ned is not selfish. He could also soothe Catelyn by letting her know that Jon's mother was "of no import", but he never does that either. 

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Reason being hes only joining the NW because he is a bastard and feels has no place in the world,no other family etc, in the ashara theory im sure asharas family would welcome jon, in the lyanna theory he deserves to know before he makes a decision he cannot come back from.

He'd deserve to know in any case. 

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Look as i said telling jon isnt telling everyone and i also gave the example of how the text proves jon could of handled it, and said how Ned should of known enough of jons character to know that,so unless someone wants to argue Ned didnt know his children atal you can not argue against that imo.

I know you said it. My point was that if Jon simply "handles" the information privately, then it doesn't make any difference in his status in the world. Even if he realizes that he was born a legitimate Targaryen heir, as long as he is known in the world as Ned Stark's bastard, he has exactly the same options as without knowing about his origin, so this knowledge could hardly change his decision to join the NW. 

(On an aside, the way Alliser Thorne kept calling Jon a bastard, knowing exactly how to make him lose control, it was probably safer that Jon didn't have any dangerous knowledge that he could have blurted out in a moment of anger.)

What Ned thought regarding what Jon would do with this information we don't know, nor do we know when and if Ned was going to reveal it to him. But since we know Ned did not reveal it to him and only to him privately, it is fair to assume that Ned must have had a reason for not revealing it. However, the reason that his "mother was of no import" is about the worst reason I can imagine, as Jon was clearly interested in knowing who she was, and it was extremely important to him. Why keep a secret "of no import" from someone who is tormented by not knowing it, especially when it is a person close to you and someone you love? Actually there were two people close to Ned who were tormented by not knowing this secret "of no import". How cruel would Ned have to be to let them both suffer when he could satisfy their thirst for this knowledge by revealing the identity of someone "of no import"? 

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Ya it would of been impossible for ned to get time alone with jon or delay hes own exit from winterfell or go a little to the wall with jon and then catch up to the procession to KL, saying was a bad time because royal court was there, is just simply wrong.

Perhaps he could have done that, though after keeping Jon as far from the visitors as he could, he may not have wanted to call attention to him by delaying his journey with the King(!) in order to talk to his bastard son (who hadn't even sat at their table before). I can live with that. In that case, what remains is that he simply didn't want to reveal the secret to Jon or at least thought that the time was still too early.

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Yes he gave jon skills to protect himself i agree there but jon is at best an average fighter, he is by no means arthur dayne reborn, and if somehow jons lineage was discovered it be better jon knew and wasnt blind to the threats against him.

I guess most Westerosi young men are average fighters (that is what makes the good ones and the bad ones stand out), and they still go to battle. The idea that Jon should be aware of the danger he might be in is a fair point. However, Ned apparently wanted to protect him by keeping his origin a secret from everyone. With only Ned and Howland Reed knowing about it, and Jon being hidden in the North, Jon was probably as safe as Ned could ever make him. Besides, as I said in my earlier post, Jon is not the only one Ned needs to protect. He is also protecting his family, and he understandably wants to have their safety in his own hands. The fewer people know of a secret, the safer it is. 

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The howland reed point is a fair one, but no one goes to the neck, so danger would be less then at winterfell,where jon could of grown up looking very targaryen, unless try and argue Ned saw in the future and knew jon would not look any bit targaryen, and new he would look so much stark that could pass him off as a bastard so easy.

Those could have been points for Ned to consider along with other points. There are pros and cons regarding the decision to take Jon home to Winterfell or to leave him with Howland Reed, provided that Ned's promise to Lyanna could have allowed for the latter in the first place (which we don't know). There are quite a few plausible reasons why Ned could make the decision that he did make - if it ever even occurred to him that he could give his sister's child to anyone else. In any case, the decision is absolutely in character with Ned: He is not the kind of person who likes to delegate serious responsibilites to others (if he can help it). 

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The point with joining the NW is as i said this - there is no coming back from it - so at this point if there is anything jon doesnt know that if he new he might not go there - that is the time to tell him before made a decision he couldnt reverse.

How exactly would knowing about his Targaryen cultural heritage change Jon's decision about joining the NW? (Supposing he understands Ned's position and handles the information extremely well.)

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Arguements not telling jon are weak, civil war assuming jon freaks out (already showed how he wouldnt), jons safety - hes in danger anyway and if someone found out his secret hes in more danger being ignorant of it himself then of knowing.

Well, showed is a strong word, IMO.

For Jon being in danger anyway, well, the fewer people know the secret, the safer he is. If the secret is discovered, he is in much greater danger and may not be able to protect himself even if he knows the secret, too. In addition, to protect himself at all, he should also know that someone (who?) has discovered the secret, and who is to say that he would know that? Also, Ned is protecting his own family, as well, not only Jon. (See my answer above.) Here again Ned had to make a decision between revealing the secret to one more person, giving up his control over it (thus putting said person and his whole family in greater danger), and warning the person in question so he could prepare in case the secret is - somehow - revealed. He chose what he considered the lesser of two evils. One may think it was the wrong decision, but he obviously considered it the right one.

In accordance with your logic, if Jon should know the secret in order to better protect himself (how exactly?) in case the secret somehow comes to light, then Cat and all of Ned's children - for the moment at least Robb, who is the same age as Jon and is Ned's heir, - should also know because the secret (if revealed and interpreted as treason, for example) would endanger their lives as well. They have the right to know a secret that may potentially put them in danger, no? If Ned revealed the secret of Jon's birth to everyone whose lives could be endangered by it, then the risk that the secret would actually be discovered by the wrong people would be significantly higher. Ned could have chosen this path, but he decided to take the responsibility and carry its burden alone - because some secrets are better left unknown. He obviously thought it was the safer way and made his decision accordingly. You may disagree, but he still had his reasons.  

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I've seen threads where people put fourth how it was morally wrong not to tell jon before he joined the NW and people debated whether it was morally wrong or right, but this type of thread assumes R+L=J, yet say maybe he didnt tell him because was nothing to tell and people freak out.

Nobody freaks out. We have only pointed out that Ned not telling Jon about his birth at any time is perfectly consistent with R+L=J. Yes, you can debate whether it's morally right or wrong, but since Ned, for multiple reasons, could not intend for Jon to claim his Targaryen "inheritance" or to reveal the secret of his origin to anyone, there was no reason for Ned to consider this knowledge as a potential factor in Jon's decisions concerning his future job. But even if it could have been such a factor, Ned still rightfully regarded the safety of his whole family as more important than Jon's right to consider his cultural heritage before making an ever so final decision.

Moreover, none of the alternative theories (to R+L=J) can provide half as good reason as to why on earth Ned wouldn't let Jon have at least some basic information about his mother. 

The argument that there "was nothing to tell" is totally wrong, because Jon must have had a mother. Ned couldn't produce him all on his own, could he? If Jon had a mother, then there was definitely "something to tell". If nothing more, then a name and a place, the colour of her eyes and hair, whether she was dead or alive and the reason why Jon could never see her. After all, if Jon is really Ned's bastard, then the relationship between Ned and Jon's mother must have lasted long enough or been important enough for Ned to be still (or again) in touch with her some nine months after Jon's conception, otherwise he couldn't have taken the baby home. 

Therefore, if you look for evidence against R+L=J, you may want to try something else.

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As i said earlier the R+L=J theory is all supposition and has no evidence or proof, yet question it (logical to question a theory with no proof) and all people do is defend the theory, rather then look at it a diff way.

Also add to it GRRM hates fantasy troupes ans cliches,wants to break the mold, a hidden prince not knowing his identity is the most cliche you can get,yet ppl ignore that fact.

I know people have alot invested in the R+L=J theory, but until its proven should question it not defend it.

I, for one, came to the R+L=J conclusion on my own, after reading the first book, entirely on the basis of the information in the book, long before I even knew of this forum or before I looked at any ASOIAF-related information on the internet, long before I talked to anyone about the books. Since then, I have seen various theories and opinions on many different questions in ASOIAF. Some of the theories and opinions made me change my original opinion about various things and made me discover details and connections I hadn't noticed before. I have also seen alternative theories regarding Jon's birth, including a couple that I liked for various reasons (I think incuding at least one that I, personally, might even prefer to R+L=J), yet, none that I found as convincing as the R+L=J theory, all things considered. I regard myself as very open-minded and I actually find pleasure in discovering new connections through reading various theories and observations here. Why would I be so "invested" in one particular theory that I couldn't see the value of an alternative, stronger theory if I actually saw one?

What GRRM is going to do with the "hidden prince" trope remains to be seen. 

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About the TV show, dunno who has watched it or not.

  Reveal hidden contents

The tv show made R+L=J true, you can not assume the book follows that, the tv show has stopped following the books and become a fan theory.

Add to that the tv show,gave character arcs from the book to different characters ie greyscale from jon con to jorah.

Then revealed jons name was aegon targaryen, so maybe they gave jon snow, (f)aegon as people call him, character arc as well.

Its not really relevant but its interesting 

I don't watch the show, but what I know of it makes me think its plot cannot be used as proof for or against anything in the plot of the books. 

Edited by Julia H.

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9 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Do you honestly believe that in all those years, all kinds of alternative theories were not dissected and compared, or that you are the first raising the very question? Plus, you aren't even offering an alternative, just repeating one and the same point over and over, with no regard for the bulk of arguments that create the "supposition". People didn't divine RLJ out of thin air but followed textual hints. Unless you successfully argue those, there is no reason why anyone should reconsider the theory because despite what you claim, it is not based on whether Ned should, or shouldn't have, told Jon. We don't know the exact motivation of the majority of the participants yet, but that has no bearing on the result because it is the result, not motivation, that GRRM has been laying out since AGOT. (And BTW, when you are provided with quotes where he does show motivation, you're not exactly looking at your own point in a different way, either

Ok, as i said previously, i worked out the R+L=J, hints from the book, and iv stated reasons why at the point jon joined the NW would of been the time to tell him.

All arguments to not tell him at that moment are civil war hes in danger etc which i more then countered to the point we have been arguing the same thing over and over. But doesnt change the fact at the point jon leaves Neds protection, him not knowing becomes more perilous for him because in the event someone finds out instead of being aware of who he is and aware the danger etc he is blind and ignorant to it, yes no one found out for 14 years i know but your whole argunent for not telling him is people finding out so cant use that as an argument.

See i don't need to question my point, iv said countless times i think R+L=J is 99% certain, but the fact remains because ned didnt tell him at that point (for the list of reasons iv said) im not afraid to question it, 

You think those reasons are invalid, i think your argument of civil war etc as a reason ned didnt tell jon at this point is invalid. 

Hence we go in circles, 

As for tv show: 

Spoiler

Tv show stop telling the same story long ago, the R+L=J theory makes for better tv then any other theory as well, it is fan fiction at this point after all. 

Also given the gap in book 4 and 5 of the series i think tv show runners could quiet easily assume winds wouldnt be released before show climax and also as i said before i actually think winds is delayed specifically for the show to reach its conclusion first

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

To Jon, his mother was important regardless of who she was. Which orphan child wouldn't want to know who his mother was? Sorry, but I see a contradiction in your saying that you mean cultural heritage (versus inheritance) and yet, you think a mother "of no import" didn't need to be revealed. Everyone in the world has a cultural heritage, even the poorest peasant girl. Everyone has a personality, too. Jon would be interested in learning any information about his mother and his own origin. He also has a right to know about these things in all cases. Ned would be very selfish if he withheld this information from him for no special reason only that it was uncomfortable for him to speak about it even once. Yet, we know Ned is not selfish. He could also soothe Catelyn by letting her know that Jon's mother was "of no import", but he never does that either. 

He'd deserve to know in any case. I

Ok your misreading what i say, 

Jon 100% deserves to know who hes mother was regardless of who she is, deserves to know who she is/was, if hes mother is alive, if she died, what she worked at etc etc, im not saying otherwise. 

I'm just pointing out in the R+L=J theory, the reasons for not telling jon ie hes safety are not valid now because A) hes in danger anywsy B ) his ignorance puts him in more danger if truth comes out somehow because hes blind to it, C) he might not join the watch (a place he can never leave) if he knows the truth, C applies to all theories, a and b dont.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 I know you said it. My point was that if Jon simply "handles" the information privately, then it doesn't make any difference in his status in the world. Even if he realizes that he was born a legitimate Targaryen heir, as long as he is known in the world as Ned Stark's bastard, he has exactly the same options as without knowing about his origin, so this knowledge could hardly change his decision to join the NW. 

(On an aside, the way Alliser Thorne kept calling Jon a bastard, knowing exactly how to make him lose control, it was probably safer that Jon didn't have any dangerous knowledge that he could have blurted out in a moment of anger.)

There is no way to say if he would or wouldnt of still joined the NW, for jon everything would change, thinking your x and finding out your y there is a multtude of things that could happen, but if hes mother was just a washerwoman nothing would probably change, but if R+L=J or even N+A=J he deserved to know before making a decision he couldnt return from.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

What Ned thought regarding what Jon would do with this information we don't know, nor do we know when and if Ned was going to reveal it to him. But since we know Ned did not reveal it to him and only to him privately, it is fair to assume that Ned must have had a reason for not revealing it. However, the reason that his "mother was of no import" is about the worst reason I can imagine, as Jon was clearly interested in knowing who she was, and it was extremely important to him. Why keep a secret "of no import" from someone who is tormented by not knowing it, especially when it is a person close to you and someone you love? Actually there were two people close to Ned who were tormented by not knowing this secret "of no import". How cruel would Ned have to be to let them both suffer when he could satisfy their thirst for this knowledge by revealing the identity of someone "of no import"? 

Here you make a fair point. But that goes for the N+A=J theory as well.

As for cat i actually think she was more worried about jon stealing her own childrens birth rights more so then of ned straying, i have no textual evidence to support this but to me seems very likely because she knew ned for 2 weeks ? Before he left for war again, called him plain or some such, seemed besotted by brandon etc so again that fits just as well with the N+A=J theory

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Perhaps he could have done that, though after keeping Jon as far from the visitors as he could, he may not have wanted to call attention to him by delaying his journey with the King(!) in order to talk to his bastard son (who hadn't even sat at their table before). I can live with that. In that case, what remains is that he simply didn't want to reveal the secret to Jon or at least thought that the time was still too early.

That was an example he could of took him to the crypts the godswood etc i was just pointing out saying he couldnt find time etc was just not true.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

.I guess most Westerosi young men are average fighters (that is what makes the good ones and the bad ones stand out), and they still go to battle. The idea that Jon should be aware of the danger he might be in is a fair point. However, Ned apparently wanted to protect him by keeping his origin a secret from everyone. With only Ned and Howland Reed knowing about it, and Jon being hidden in the North, Jon was probably as safe as Ned could ever make him. Besides, as I said in my earlier post, Jon is not the only one Ned needs to protect. He is also protecting his family, and he understandably wants to have their safety in his own hands. The fewer people know of a secret, the safer it is. 

As i said earlier ned isnt there to protect him so he needs to protect himself hence he needs to know the true danger he is potentially in.

Protecting his family is a fair point, but again when ned leaves as with jon they leave his protection and what he can control, so ya maybe cat and potentially robb should of been told then 2.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Those could have been points for Ned to consider along with other points. There are pros and cons regarding the decision to take Jon home to Winterfell or to leave him with Howland Reed, provided that Ned's promise to Lyanna could have allowed for the latter in the first place (which we don't know). There are quite a few plausible reasons why Ned could make the decision that he did make - if it ever even occurred to him that he could give his sister's child to anyone else. In any case, the decision is absolutely in character with Ned: He is not the kind of person who likes to delegate serious responsibilites to others (if he can help it). 

Its in Neds character to take jon and look after him no matter whose his mother was, i agree on that, but given jon could of looked targaryen when he grew up, and ned had no way of knowing what he would grow to look like, it makes more sense not to bring him to winterfell as a baby if R+L=J, in case he took after rhaegar.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

How exactly would knowing about his Targaryen cultural heritage change Jon's decision about joining the NW? (Supposing he understands Ned's position and handles the information extremely well.)

Answered this above.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Well, showed is a strong word, IMO.

For Jon being in danger anyway, well, the fewer people know the secret, the safer he is. If the secret is discovered, he is in much greater danger and may not be able to protect himself even if he knows the secret, too. In addition, to protect himself at all, he should also know that someone (who?) has discovered the secret, and who is to say that he would know that? Also, Ned is protecting his own family, as well, not only Jon. (See my answer above.) Here again Ned had to make a decision between revealing the secret to one more person, giving up his control over it (thus putting said person and his whole family in greater danger), and warning the person in question so he could prepare in case the secret is - somehow - revealed. He chose what he considered the lesser of two evils. One may think it was the wrong decision, but he obviously considered it the right one.

In accordance with your logic, if Jon should know the secret in order to better protect himself (how exactly?) in case the secret somehow comes to light, then Cat and all of Ned's children - for the moment at least Robb, who is the same age as Jon and is Ned's heir, - should also know because the secret (if revealed and interpreted as treason, for example) would endanger their lives as well. They have the right to know a secret that may potentially put them in danger, no? If Ned revealed the secret of Jon's birth to everyone whose lives could be endangered by it, then the risk that the secret would actually be discovered by the wrong people would be significantly higher. Ned could have chosen this path, but he decided to take the responsibility and carry its burden alone - because some secrets are better left unknown. He obviously thought it was the safer way and made his decision accordingly. You may disagree, but he still had his reasons.  

Again answered this aboe 

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Nobody freaks out. We have only pointed out that Ned not telling Jon about his birth at any time is perfectly consistent with R+L=J. Yes, you can debate whether it's morally right or wrong, but since Ned, for multiple reasons, could not intend for Jon to claim his Targaryen "inheritance" or to reveal the secret of his origin to anyone, there was no reason for Ned to consider this knowledge as a potential factor in Jon's decisions concerning his future job. But even if it could have been such a factor, Ned still rightfully regarded the safety of his whole family as more important than Jon's right to consider his cultural heritage before making an ever so final decision.

I kinda answered this already, i think.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Moreover, none of the alternative theories (to R+L=J) can provide half as good reason as to why on earth Ned wouldn't let Jon have at least some basic information about his mother. 

The argument that there "was nothing to tell" is totally wrong, because Jon must have had a mother. Ned couldn't produce him all on his own, could he? If Jon had a mother, then there was definitely "something to tell". If nothing more, then a name and a place, the colour of her eyes and hair, whether she was dead or alive and the reason why Jon could never see her. After all, if Jon is really Ned's bastard, then the relationship between Ned and Jon's mother must have lasted long enough or been important enough for Ned to be still (or again) in touch with her some nine months after Jon's conception, otherwise he couldn't have taken the baby home. 

Therefore, if you look for evidence against R+L=J, you may want to try something else.

I, for one, came to the R+L=J conclusion on my own, after reading the first book, entirely on the basis of the information in the book, long before I even knew of this forum or before I looked at any ASOIAF-related information on the internet, long before I talked to anyone about the books. Since then, I have seen various theories and opinions on many different questions in ASOIAF. Some of the theories and opinions made me change my original opinion about various things and made me discover details and connections I hadn't noticed before. I have also seen alternative theories regarding Jon's birth, including a couple that I liked for various reasons (I think incuding at least one that I, personally, might even prefer to R+L=J), yet, none that I found as convincing as the R+L=J theory, all things considered. I regard myself as very open-minded and I actually find pleasure in discovering new connections through reading various theories and observations here. Why would I be so "invested" in one particular theory that I couldn't see the value of an alternative, stronger theory if I actually saw one?

Kinda touched on most of this as well, regards the invested in the theory comment i didnt mean you specfically.

7 hours ago, Julia H. said:

What GRRM is going to do with the "hidden prince" trope remains to be seen. 

I don't watch the show, but what I know of it makes me think its plot cannot be used as proof for or against anything in the plot of the books. 

No matter what GRRM does with it it is still a fantasy troupe and cliche which makes the point he doesnt want to have that type of cliche in his works the most obvious point against the theory.

The bit about the tv show was only an interesting aside.

To me the reason for ned not telling jon or indeed some of his own family about jon at the point jon joins the NW, ned goes KL,for the list of reasons iv said throughout this debate and the fact GRRM hates fantasy troupes and cliches, as well as the reasons against telling jon and his family if want to include them is weaker then the ones to tell him/them at this point in my opionion.not ti mention jon looks nothing like a targaryen has none of there traits, is enough to question the R+L=J theory, if its not for ye then thats fine too, at this stage i think its just time to give up on it 

 

BTW is there any thresd where an arguement for rob being brandon and not neds son is ?

Edited by IronBars
Question at the end

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5 hours ago, IronBars said:

You think those reasons are invalid, i think your argument of civil war etc as a reason ned didnt tell jon at this point is invalid. 

Hence we go in circles.

Indeed. But it would be nice if you refrained from jumping to "people are so blinded by RLJ, they don't want to see anything else" because virtually everything has been dissected and turned inside out and upside down.

Besides, the civil war etc., at least for me, is not the argument as such, but Ned's thought about secrets too dangerous to share. He is appalled by Robert's reaction to the murder of Rhaegar's children, he attempts to save Cersei's children and to prevent a conflict that their deaths would sparkle, so we are relaying to you what can be reasonably assumed as his motivation. Are we getting it right? Is Ned right in those assessments? Neither can be told with certainty, but doesn't matter at the end of the day, because, right or wrong, Ned made a decision. It needn't make sense to you, but it must make sense to him, and the basis for such a position can be found. Have you ever played a role-playing game? Inserting motivations for something that you would never do but that the character you are playing would find compelling? It's the same thing with books - for example, it can be seen from the get-go that Robb's marriage to Jeyne will cause a lot of trouble, and a lot of people wouldn't do it, honour be damned; perhaps they would arrange a marriage to Edmure as a compensation. But for Robb, this was a no-go.

5 hours ago, IronBars said:

BTW is there any thresd where an arguement for rob being brandon and not neds son is ?

You may try a search if there has been a recent one fit for resurrection, but mark my words, it will be shot down in no time. Cat recalls always doing her duty and giving her maidenhead to Ned, so it would have had to be a virgin conception. Plus, she thinks "Nine moons had waxed and waned, and Robb had been born in Riverrun while his father still warred in the south.", but a child conceived by Brandon would have been born somewhat earlier (there is fighting in the Vale, Ned has to travel back North to gather the banners and back South again, so the wedding takes place only some time into the Rebellion).

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Once RLJ came through for me, I found this statement from Jon to be one of the most loaded moments in his arc and if we flip it around to Jon being a Targaryen, then Ned may have followed the same line of thought that Jon did when he was looking to leave the NW to join Robb.

Quote

Tyrion Lannister had claimed that most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it, but Jon was done with denials. He was who he was; Jon Snow, bastard and oathbreaker, motherless, friendless, and damned. For the rest of his life -- however long that might be -- he would be condemned to be an outsider, the silent man standing in the shadows who dares not speak his true name. Whenever he might go throughout the Seven Kingdoms, he would need to live a lie, lest every man's hand be raised against him. But it made no matter, so long as he lived long enough to take his place by his brother's side and help avenge his father. (Jon IX, AGOT 70)

 

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6 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

Once RLJ came through for me, I found this statement from Jon to be one of the most loaded moments in his arc and if we flip it around to Jon being a Targaryen, then Ned may have followed the same line of thought that Jon did when he was looking to leave the NW to join Robb.

 

Nice catch!

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A nice catch indeed, and funny how it follows the theme of one silent white pup, aside from the others and alone.

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22 hours ago, IronBars said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Tv show stop telling the same story long ago, the R+L=J theory makes for better tv then any other theory as well, it is fan fiction at this point after all. 

Also given the gap in book 4 and 5 of the series i think tv show runners could quiet easily assume winds wouldnt be released before show climax and also as i said before i actually think winds is delayed specifically for the show to reach its conclusion first

Ok your misreading what i say, 

Jon 100% deserves to know who hes mother was regardless of who she is, deserves to know who she is/was, if hes mother is alive, if she died, what she worked at etc etc, im not saying otherwise. 

I'm just pointing out in the R+L=J theory, the reasons for not telling jon ie hes safety are not valid now because A) hes in danger anywsy B ) his ignorance puts him in more danger if truth comes out somehow because hes blind to it, C) he might not join the watch (a place he can never leave) if he knows the truth, C applies to all theories, a and b dont.

I'm, however, pointing out that burying the secret as deep as possible in order to avoid the dangers that the secret would cause if it came to light is a valid strategy, and this is what Ned chose to do. 

C) Why wouldn't Jon join the Watch if he knew?

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

There is no way to say if he would or wouldnt of still joined the NW, for jon everything would change, thinking your x and finding out your y there is a multtude of things that could happen, but if hes mother was just a washerwoman nothing would probably change, but if R+L=J or even N+A=J he deserved to know before making a decision he couldnt return from.

What exactly could happen if Jon and only Jon learned the secret of his birth that would change Jon's options at that point?

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

Here you make a fair point. But that goes for the N+A=J theory as well.

As for cat i actually think she was more worried about jon stealing her own childrens birth rights more so then of ned straying, i have no textual evidence to support this but to me seems very likely because she knew ned for 2 weeks ? Before he left for war again, called him plain or some such, seemed besotted by brandon etc so again that fits just as well with the N+A=J theory

Well, Catelyn definitely dwells on the question of the identity of Jon's mother (she even asks Ned whether it was Ashara Dayne, "tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes") and on the idea that "Ned must have loved her fiercely". Ned could comfort her in this respect, saying she was "no one of import", but he never does. Why? 

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

As i said earlier ned isnt there to protect him so he needs to protect himself hence he needs to know the true danger he is potentially in.

Protecting his family is a fair point, but again when ned leaves as with jon they leave his protection and what he can control, so ya maybe cat and potentially robb should of been told then 2.

And I repeat again that Ned chose total secrecy as his preferred method of protection. Secrecy is a shield that doesn't depend on Ned being near Jon or even being alive, it doesn't depend on how well Jon can defend himself in a fight, it doesn't depend on whether Jon knows that someone else knows, because only Ned knows, and it provides equal protection to everyone in the Stark family. There is no infinite protection, of course, not even in our modern world - there is only so much Ned can do for Jon in any case, but his method of protection seems to work pretty well. No one seems to have discovered the secret of Jon's birth in universe so far. There are several ways to protect someone, Ned probably chose what he considered best, taking into account all circumstances. It is a totally possible decision, and absolutely compatible with R+L=J. 

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

Its in Neds character to take jon and look after him no matter whose his mother was, i agree on that, but given jon could of looked targaryen when he grew up, and ned had no way of knowing what he would grow to look like, it makes more sense not to bring him to winterfell as a baby if R+L=J, in case he took after rhaegar.

It may make more sense to you, it probably didn't make more sense to Ned. As I said, there may have been pros and cons, and Ned had to choose something. But it is also possible that his promise to Lyanna included bringing up Jon in Ned's family and under his direct protection as a family member. For all we know, there may even have been a circumstance we haven't heard of of that made it impossible for Howland Reed to take the baby home. The potential worry regarding Jon's possible Targaryen looks could only be one of many things to consider. Ned had to weigh all pros and cons and decide accordingly. 

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

Answered this above.

My question was:

Quote

How exactly would knowing about his Targaryen cultural heritage change Jon's decision about joining the NW? (Supposing he understands Ned's position and handles the information extremely well.)

Sorry, I couldn't find any specific suggestions in your post which would answer this question. The "all sorts of things would be different" type of statement is not an answer because I still don't see what could be different that would allow Jon to make a different decision or would give him a different opportunity if he and only he was informed about his royal origin and he didn't want to do anything with this knowledge that Ned wouldn't approve of.

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

No matter what GRRM does with it it is still a fantasy troupe and cliche which makes the point he doesnt want to have that type of cliche in his works the most obvious point against the theory.

I can't help feeling that if GRRM ever reads anything on this wide big internet that asserts that he (GRRM) "wants" or "doesn't want" this or that, with regard to something he still hasn't finished writing, he must have a knowing (or who knows, perhaps annoyed) smile on his face. Who are we to say what he wants or doesn't want?

As it happens, however, we know that it is not out of the question for him to use the hidden prince trope, since he is definitely using it in ASOIAF in a way that is independent of R+L=J. What else is the story of (F)Aegon if not a variant of the hidden prince trope? What GRRM is actually doing is playing around with the motif. Where he wants to go with it - that we don't know at this point. 

22 hours ago, IronBars said:

To me the reason for ned not telling jon or indeed some of his own family about jon at the point jon joins the NW, ned goes KL,for the list of reasons iv said throughout this debate and the fact GRRM hates fantasy troupes and cliches, as well as the reasons against telling jon and his family if want to include them is weaker then the ones to tell him/them at this point in my opionion.not ti mention jon looks nothing like a targaryen has none of there traits, is enough to question the R+L=J theory, if its not for ye then thats fine too, at this stage i think its just time to give up on it 

 

In your opinion - that's fine. :)

10 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

Once RLJ came through for me, I found this statement from Jon to be one of the most loaded moments in his arc and if we flip it around to Jon being a Targaryen, then Ned may have followed the same line of thought that Jon did when he was looking to leave the NW to join Robb.

 

Exactly. In fact, he is an outsider, always in the shadows (as a bastard), who needs to live a lie and doesn't even know his true name because Ned didn't dare to tell him -  "lest every man's hand be raised against him".

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One thing concerning the tropes: if you want to undermine one, you first have to build it. Because the hidden prince is not just a child of royal parentage unaware of his true origin, it's also that he rises to the occasion, embraces his heritage, ascends the throne and lives happily ever after. So, if Jon rejects his heritage (Ned Stark is my father, no matter how many swords they give me), or the throne is basically thrust on him just like the Commandership was, the trope is deconstructed.

Similarly, R+L itself is a deconstruction of the trope of forbidden love triumphant. First, Rhaegar is married already, which throws a huuuge wrench into the usual proceedings of the trope, and the outcome... he loses in combat, she dies in childbirth. Not exactly a trope ending (though possibly reflecting the legend of Tristan's birth).

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9 hours ago, Ygrain said:

One thing concerning the tropes: if you want to undermine one, you first have to build it. Because the hidden prince is not just a child of royal parentage unaware of his true origin, it's also that he rises to the occasion, embraces his heritage, ascends the throne and lives happily ever after. So, if Jon rejects his heritage (Ned Stark is my father, no matter how many swords they give me), or the throne is basically thrust on him just like the Commandership was, the trope is deconstructed.

I completely agree. To add a bit to this, and like others have said here, I don't believe Jon will ever let go of his identity as Jon Snow to embrace his identity as a Targaryen. Not when he has fought to be himself, to earn a place in society, depite society's prejudices against bastards, and the fall and near extinction of his House/family. Besides, Ned is his father, and will always be so, just as Robb and Arya will always be his siblings, regardless of Rhaegar being his bio dad. Otherwise it would be a complete about-face from the entire point of his arc.

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I posted this at another thread a while back, but since it's relevant to the discussion, I wanna share it here as well.  I've long believed, Jon is GRRM's answer to JRRT's Aragorn.

If we are to believe the theory that Jon will be King Aegon VII...

Then I like how this is truly GRRM's answer to JRRT's Aragorn...

Make sure that it is the real Strider. There are many strange men on the roads. His true name is Aragorn.


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

-[The Song of Aragorn in Gandalf's letter to Frodo.]-

There was a long silence. At last Frodo spoke with hesitation. ‘I believed that you were a friend before the letter came,’ he said, ‘or at least I wished to. You have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that servants of the Enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of his spies would – well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand.’
‘I see,’ laughed Strider. ‘I look foul and feel fair. Is that it? All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.
Did the verses apply to you then?’ asked Frodo. ‘I could not make out what they were about. But how did you know that they were in Gandalf ’s letter, if you have never seen it?
‘I did not know,’ he answered. ‘But I am Aragorn, and those verses go with that name.’

- The Fellowship of The Ring.

----

Aegon,” he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. “What better name for a king?”
“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked.
He has a song,” the man replied. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.”

When Gilly entered, she went at once to her knees. Jon came around the table and drew her to her feet. “You don’t need to take a knee for me. That’s just for kings.”

...

Gilly lowered her hand. An inch. Another. When the flame licked her flesh, she snatched her hand back and began to sob.
“Fire is a cruel way to die. Dalla died to give this child life, but you have nourished him, cherished him. You saved your own boy from the ice. Now save hers from the fire.”

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On 28/01/2018 at 0:42 PM, IronBars said:

As i said earlier the R+L=J theory is all supposition and has no evidence or proof, yet question it (logical to question a theory with no proof) and all people do is defend the theory, rather then look at it a diff way.

You're new here. That's cool. We need fresh blood. Many of us who've been at this for longer have got a bit bored of the argument and have drifted away until there's more text to analyse. However that means you've missed a lot of the debate that has got us to a place where RLJ gets so widely accepted.

RLJ has a lot of evidence. Proof, no. If there was proof, this thread wouldn't be needed any more than a "Ned + Cat = Sansa" thread would. Evidence there is plenty of, just take a read of the essays linked from the reference guide at the front of this thread. RLJ is the most popular theory because most people believe it to be the strongest. However it is certainly questioned -- indeed you say "all people do is defend the theory", which makes no sense. You can't defend the theory unless it's challenged, so there must be people challenging it too, right? Often it's even the same people who defend it at another moment. 

There has been a lot of effort to come up with alternatives to RLJ. A couple of years ago @wolfmaid7 ran a great "x+y=j" project to study the alternatives. You can find the wrap-up thread and links to the various essays here:

Lots of reading for you there. The options studied in depth are RLJ, Arthur Dayne+Lyanna, Robert+Lyanna, Howland Reed+Lyanna, Tywin Lannister + Lyanna, Mance + Lyanna, Ned + Wylla and Lyanna+one of her brothers.   Have fun!

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21 hours ago, Kingmonkey said:

Lots of reading for you there. The options studied in depth are RLJ, Arthur Dayne+Lyanna, Robert+Lyanna, Howland Reed+Lyanna, Tywin Lannister + Lyanna, Mance + Lyanna, Ned + Wylla and Lyanna+one of her brothers.   Have fun!

To me it's not a question of who has a better story and the best story wins.  It's a question of whether or not the assumptions for RLJ or true not whether I have a competing story.  RLJ has to stand on it's own merits.   I think the assumption that Jon is the son of ice and fire or Dany for that matter is way off base and sending people off in the wrong directions.  I think that Jon's is older than we've been told so the RLJ timeline doesn't work for me.

There is another set of XYZ theories at The Last Hearth that is less RLJ centered.

http://thelasthearth.com/board/6/daddy-mommy

 

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

It's a question of whether or not the assumptions for RLJ or true not whether I have a competing story.

A good point, often overlooked but easily shown true via analogy.

If you say you have a theory that Stonehenge is in your pocket, for instance, people are likely to say that's a doubtful theory.  After all, Stonehenge is comprised of many gigantic menhirs that would never fit in your pocket. 

So you have two theories there: Stonehenge In Pocket vs. Stonehenge Not In Pocket.  These can be debated on their own merits.  

The question of what is actually in your pocket is not relevant, and not the point, in such a discussion. 

Similarly, R+L=J is a theory, and R+L≠J is a theory.  They too can be debated... and if R+L≠J, the specific issue of which two people are Jon's parents is not really relevant to the debate, and is instead a whole separate topic.

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What is "smoke and salt"? Is it literally just smoke and salt? If so, how literal? If not, how figurative? I was rereading the Ned's ToJ dream a year or two back and noticed something. That certain colors are rather prominent. There's a mention of blue at the end, and a few mentions of red; the Red Mountains of Dorne, Lord Dustin's destrier, and the color of blood streaked in the sky. But also white and grey. Notice the descriptions of the three KG. Something white is mentioned; with Arthur it's Dawn, with Oswell his white and black helm, and the moniker Ser Gerold is well known by, the White Bull. These descriptions follow the opening paragraph noting "the three kingsguard in their white cloaks." 

Then there is the way Ned's companions are described in this dream; "grey wraiths." As we know the grey wraiths do battle with the white cloaks. Which means they're paired in the way that any combatants are. White and grey. And as any ASoIaF fan will immediately realize those are the Stark colors. But, and perhaps coincidentally, they're also the colors of smoke and salt, which are linked to the birth, or rebirth, of Azor Ahai.

We know that the PtwP is meant to be born from the line of Aerys and Rhaella. And that Azor Ahai, purportedly the same person as the PtwP, is meant to be born, or reborn, amidst smoke and salt. Well, it had occurred to me that if "smoke and salt" aren't completely literal, then maybe the prophecies are talking about the colors of smoke and salt, grey and white; the Stark colors.

So, we have a hero descended from Targaryens born amidst the Stark colors. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but maybe not. And I think it pairs nicely with the black and red colors—Targaryen colors—from Ned's memories of Lyanna's deathbed where the room smells of "blood and roses." With the blood being red, and the roses described as dead and black. 

Edited by J. Stargaryen
azor ahor... lol.

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1 hour ago, J. Stargaryen said:

What is "smoke and salt"? Is it literally just smoke and salt? If so, how literal? If not, how figurative?

This is taking things in a different direction, away from the ToJ and colour analysis you've done here, but I thought I'd throw it in anyway: I was recently reminded of the theory that the Azor Ahai prophecy (which Melisandre says is recorded "In ancient books of Asshai") originated from a vision an ancient Asshai'i had: This person saw some sort of scene involving smoke and snow, but never having seen or heard of snow before, they described it as something else they were familiar with instead: salt.

For example, Sam, who was raised at Horn Hill in the Reach, had never seen snow until he was in the North on his way to the Wall:

Quote

Sam nodded miserably. "I hate the cold," he said. "Last night I woke up in the dark and the fire had gone out and I was certain I was going to freeze to death by morning."

"It must have been warmer where you come from."

"I never saw snow until last month. We were crossing the barrowlands, me and the men my father sent to see me north, and this white stuff began to fall, like a soft rain. At first I thought it was so beautiful, like feathers drifting from the sky, but it kept on and on, until I was frozen to the bone. The men had crusts of snow in their beards and more on their shoulders, and still it kept coming. I was afraid it would never end." (Jon IV, AGOT)

Not only is Asshai much further south than that, and half a world away, but communication across such vast distances would have been even more limited thousands of years ago.

If "smoke and salt" is actually "smoke and snow," then symbolically this could represent both Targaryen and Stark, rather than just Stark:

Smoke = Fire = Targaryen

Snow = Ice = Stark

Or in other words, Smoke + Snow = Jon.

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1 minute ago, Shmedricko said:

This is taking things in a different direction, away from the ToJ and colour analysis you've done here, but I thought I'd throw it in anyway: I was recently reminded of the theory that the Azor Ahai prophecy (which Melisandre says is recorded "In ancient books of Asshai") originated from a vision an ancient Asshai'i had: This person saw some sort of scene involving smoke and snow, but never having seen or heard of snow before, they described it as something else they were familiar with instead: salt.

For example, Sam, who was raised at Horn Hill in the Reach, had never seen snow until he was in the North on his way to the Wall:

Not only is Asshai much further south than that, and half a world away, but communication across such vast distances would have been even more limited thousands of years ago.

If "smoke and salt" is actually "smoke and snow," then symbolically this could represent both Targaryen and Stark, rather than just Stark:

Smoke = Fire = Targaryen

Snow = Ice = Stark

Or in other words, Smoke + Snow = Jon.

I like that idea, too. I believe it was @tze who suggested that ghost grass might actually be snow. As in: 

“The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end.” - AGoT, Daenerys III

FWIW, the next line is: 

“That thought gave Dany the shivers.”

Which would seem to support that the interpretation that "ghost grass" = snow, since snow usually means cold, which certainly can cause one to shiver. That's a fun chapter, BTW, with lots of potential symbolism and foreshadowing present.

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5 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

White and grey. And as any ASoIaF will immediately realize those are the Stark colors. But, and perhaps coincidentally, they're also the colors of smoke and salt, which are linked to the birth, or rebirth, of Azor Ahor.

Wow, I don't think I have seen this interpretation!

Damned Starks, everything keeps coming back to them :D  Because even if "salt and smoke" are not colour reference, the interpretation of snow still practically screams "Stark". But, salted meat and smoked ham shouldn't be ruled out just yet :D

3 hours ago, Shmedricko said:

If "smoke and salt" is actually "smoke and snow," then symbolically this could represent both Targaryen and Stark, rather than just Stark:

Smoke = Fire = Targaryen

Snow = Ice = Stark

Or in other words, Smoke + Snow = Jon.

That would be a really clever way to hide Ice and Fire in plain sight.

 

3 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

I like that idea, too. I believe it was @tze who suggested that ghost grass might actually be snow. As in: 

“The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end.” - AGoT, Daenerys III

FWIW, the next line is: 

“That thought gave Dany the shivers.”

Which would seem to support that the interpretation that "ghost grass" = snow, since snow usually means cold, which certainly can cause one to shiver. That's a fun chapter, BTW, with lots of potential symbolism and foreshadowing present.

It was definitely @tze who suggested that salt and smoke = snow and mist or steam, I don't recall the ghost grass connection. But it makes a lot of sense - for a culture that doesn't know snow, the world covered in ghost grass may well be their idea of Long Night 2.0.

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4 hours ago, Shmedricko said:

If "smoke and salt" is actually "smoke and snow," then symbolically this could represent both Targaryen and Stark, rather than just Stark:

Smoke = Fire = Targaryen

Snow = Ice = Stark

Or in other words, Smoke + Snow = Jon.

This is interesting. If I may throw something else in this that has nothing to do with color;

Quote

The third level of the platform was woven of branches no thicker than a finger, and covered with dry leaves and twigs. They laid them north to south, from ice to fire, and piled them high with soft cushions and sleeping silks. (Dany X, AGOT 72)

Jon was born in the south, Dorne, a place of fire. And is in the north, at the Wall when he is stabbed, a place of ice. 

I think Jon being born in Dorne could be highly significant. 

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