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Ygrain

R+L=J v.165

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23 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@The Twinslayer

There is no case for the idea that Ned witnessed Lyanna's death prior to the Battle of the Trident.

Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south. It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing.

- AGOT: Eddard II

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

- AGOT: Bran VII

Your entire argument is built on Ned's use of the word "avenged," which, as has been pointed out by a number of people, has nothing inherently to do with death or murder.

Put another way, "You avenged Lyanna at the Trident" (AGOT: Eddard II) would still be correct and appropriate even if Lyanna had survived Robert's Rebellion and was alive in AGOT.

I think you are over-egging the pudding a little.  The quote you offered does not prove that there is "no case" for Lyanna dying before the Trident.  It provides a counterargument, and a pretty good one at that.  But it is not definitive.  "It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they shared over her passing" does not tell us when Lyanna died.  It tells us when Ned and Robert mourned her death together.  If you want to see an example of this elsewhere in the books, here is a quote from Catelyn:

"Catelyn would have liked to embrace him, if only for a moment; to sit for an hour or a night or the turn of a moon to speak of the dead and mourn. Yet she knew as well as he that this was not the time; he was Lord of Riverrun now, and his knights were falling in around him, murmuring condolences and promises of fealty, walling him off from something as small as a sister's grief."

Simply put, sometimes people have to put off mourning until a later date, and it is possible that this is what Ned and Robert did.  

So far as "you avenged Lyanna at the Trident" being correct even if Lyanna were still alive, I acknowledge that that is possible in the English language and it is possible that that is what GRRM meant here.  But that would be an exception to a well-established pattern in his writing.   

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1 hour ago, The Twinslayer said:

The quote you offered does not prove that there is "no case" for Lyanna dying before the Trident.  It provides a counterargument, and a pretty good one at that.  But it is not definitive.  "It had taken another death to reconcile them; Lyanna's death, and the grief they shared over her passing" does not tell us when Lyanna died.  It tells us when Ned and Robert mourned her death together.  If you want to see an example of this elsewhere in the books, here is a quote from Catelyn:

Bullshit. If two people argue over the death of X and it takes another death, of Y, to reconcile them, that's a chronological sequence of events. X died first, Y died after that. Fullstop. Zero case for Lyanna dying before Elia and her children.

All the alternate theories were duly examined in this thread, always. Only, some theories are flat-Earth equivalent, it's just that their authors are unable to see that, and take offence. Yet, for some reason, they keep coming back into this hostile environment and use it as a soapbox. 

Look, Twinslayer, should it ever turn out that R+L=/= J, I will personally acknowledge the error of my ways and apologise to all you heretic visionaries for dismissing your brilliant minds, but until such time, I don't believe you are arguing in good faith.

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1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Bullshit. If two people argue over the death of X and it takes another death, of Y, to reconcile them, that's a chronological sequence of events. X died first, Y died after that. Fullstop. Zero case for Lyanna dying before Elia and her children.

All the alternate theories were duly examined in this thread, always. Only, some theories are flat-Earth equivalent, it's just that their authors are unable to see that, and take offence. Yet, for some reason, they keep coming back into this hostile environment and use it as a soapbox. 

Look, Twinslayer, should it ever turn out that R+L=/= J, I will personally acknowledge the error of my ways and apologise to all you heretic visionaries for dismissing your brilliant minds, but until such time, I don't believe you are arguing in good faith.

No need to swear.

I would agree that your reading of that passage was correct if it just referred to “a subsequent death.”  But it does not.  It refers to “another” death.  And the grief they shared over it.  It is important to note that it is not just Lyanna’s death that led to the reconciliation.  It was the death plus their shared grief.

Now, I would agree that the grieving over Lyanna must have happened after the coronation because they argued at the coronation and reconciled when they grieved together.

I think everyone would agree that Lyanna’s death happened before Ned and Robert grieved together because Ned was present at Lyanna’s death while we have no reason to believe that Robert was anywhere nearby.  So some time passed between Lyanna’s death and the Ned/Robert grieving.

What you seem to be suggesting is that Ned and Robert grieved together the first time they saw each other after Lyanna died.  All I am saying is that might be true and it might not.  Because people in Ned’s and Robert’s position don’t always have the luxury of stopping what they are doing to grieve together.  We know this because Catelyn tells us after Hoster dies that she would like to spend a moment or a month grieving with Edmure but she can’t do that because he has to take over as Lord of Riverrun and fight a war.

So my conclusion is that the passage you quoted tells us that Ned and Robert grieved together over Lyanna’s death some time after Robert’s coronation.  But it tells us nothing about whether Lyanna died before or after the coronation.

Anyway, while we are waiting for GRRM to finally tell us who Jon Snow’s mother is, would you like to tell us whether you still believe that the KG oath requires that one member of the Kingsguard must always be with the king, and if so, how you reconcile that with the various examples where the King has no KG with him?  My view is that that theory has been conclusively debunked, and I would be curious to know whether you now agree with me on that.

 

 

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8 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

You make some good points here.  I'll just respond to the parts I have bolded.  

Unless I have forgotten something, we have no reason to think that Ned went south of King's Landing after the Sack to look for Lyanna.  Ned tells us that he left King's Landing the day of Robert's coronation in a cold rage and that his purpose was to fight the last battles of the war alone. We don't know how many battles he fought after the Sack or where they took place, other than the fact there was more than one battle and that one of them took place at the toj.  I get that from Ned's use of the word "battles" and from his dream, which makes clear that he fought the 3 KG, that it happened after the Sack, and that it took place in or around Dorne. I think the dream is probably reliable on that point. 

There are good reasons to think that certain information given to us in AGoT is no longer actually true. The tidbit about the guys down south no longer having any weirwoods in their godswoods is, for the overwhelming part, wrong (known exceptions being the Red Keep and the Eyrie), certain chronological details - 'Ned riding off to war' after his wedding implying that this wedding took place in the beginning of the war and not after Ned had helped storm Gulltown and later defeat Connington at Stoney Sept, etc.

In that sense I don't think the stuff about there being any 'battles' is going to turn out to be true. George could save it if he were to reveal that Ned took more than just six guys down to Storm's End and actually had to deal with some Targaryen loyalists in the Reach before he got to the tower, but until that happens I'd say this information isn't necessarily accurate. One could, perhaps, also reinterpret the clash with the three knights and his conversation with Lyanna as 'battles', since both things likely took a heavy toll on Ned. But then we would be talking metaphorical battles. Such a battle could also have him come to come to grips with the fact what the war had been about, and that both he and Robert had been wrong - assuming he didn't know that already.

Quote

So if we are looking for clues as to when and where Lyanna died, we have to look elsewhere.  To the best of my recollection, here is what we know to be fact:

A lot of what you list there isn't actually independently confirmed. We can believe Ned told the truth when he said that Lyanna wanted to be buried in Winterfell. But that doesn't mean that this is true. Could very well be that he wanted her there and take her away from the dragon who stole her. I personally found that particular information about Lyanna never very convincing, especially since her focus in her last minutes was apparently more about her child than where she would be buried.

As for Robert avenging her - that is also not something Ned necessarily believes. He just says it, but he says a lot of things that doesn't have to be true. What is likely true up to a point are his memories of things, but not necessarily his words.

If he didn't really believe it then we cannot really cite that as evidence that Ned thought that Robert avenged a dead Lyanna, no?

The phrase 'a tower long fallen' can actually mean a lot of things. It could refer to Ned actually taking possession of that tower when he and his friends killed its defenders - the Kingsguard stationed there (and then this would actually imply that Ned meant those guys protected the tower and only by extension the people therein) - but it could also refer to that specific tower's history.

The question why that tower is 'the tower of joy' for Rhaegar is completely unclear at that point. I don't buy it that they hung out there throughout the entire war, and if this were the case, then this tower must have some specific meaning for Rhaegar - perhaps it is place where they married, or where their child was conceived, or where they learned that Lyanna was pregnant.

[I must admit originally I thought that they hid in that tower throughout the entire war, and that this was some variation of the medieval theme of the knight losing all sense of responsibility in the arms of a beautiful woman - and I still think that this sort of the feeling George wanted to evoke with the way he presented this story - but I doubt that Rhaegar was mad enough to really hide from reality this long.]

The difficulty with the idea that Lyanna could have died in Ned's presence before the Trident is that we really have no evidence at this point that he was anywhere where he could have witnesses such a thing.

However, there are a lot of blank spaces before the Trident. Months where apparently nothing happened of importance. It is odd that George would set up things like that, which could - but doesn't really have to - mean that those blank spaces will be filled later on with certain crucial events (he could have just as well have decided to place the Battle of the Balls only 1-2 months before the Trident). Technically, it wouldn't be impossible for Ned to take ride down to Dorne after his wedding. Just as he could indeed have hung out with Ashara in those days, either at Starfall or elsewhere.

The time before the Trident is at this point as blank as the exact circumstances around the abduction, Brandon's ride to KL, his and Rickard's trials, and Aerys II's decision to demand the heads of Ned and Robert.

I've long maintained that Rhaegar's desire/decision to take a second wife in Lyanna is what triggered Aerys II wrath against the Starks, not Brandon's silly threats - Aerys II would have interpreted those as a smokescreen, just as he interpreted the Starks being pissed at Rhaegar at Harrenhal as a ruse to prevent him from uncovering the obvious Rhaegar-Stark conspiracy Rhaegar had set up with Lyanna's coronation.

Here, I think, FaB gave us a mirror image of Aerys II and his reasoning causing the war in Rhaenyra's decision to demand the heads of both Addam Velaryon and Nettles:

- Aerys II believed he was betrayed by the Starks - Rickard and Brandon - who were actually working with Rhaegar to depose him. The 'abduction' was no abduction but the starting signal for a rebellion against the king which would (or openly was) sealed by Rhaegar Targaryen making Lyanna Stark his second wife. That is the idea Aerys II himself came up with/was fed by his advisers. Ned and Robert had to die to ensure that this Rhaegar-led uprising would not blossom into a fully-fledged rebellion. This is also the reason why he entrusted Jon Arryn with the execution because he thought those guys actually were guilty and Jon would know/see this, too.

- Rhaenyra was betrayed by the Two Betrayers. She knew her enemies were out there and out to get her. Her decision to have Addam and Nettles dead is basically exactly the same precaution Aerys II tried to take in the case of Ned and Robert - and it backfired in a similar manner. And just as Rhaenyra was pushed/advisers by her loyal councilmen in this direction - her actual Small Council and Mysaria - we can be reasonably certain that Aerys II was getting similar shitty advise from his cronies, too.

But I digressed. There is certainly a chance that things of importance did take place in the months before the Trident.

4 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

Anyway, while we are waiting for GRRM to finally tell us who Jon Snow’s mother is, would you like to tell us whether you still believe that the KG oath requires that one member of the Kingsguard must always be with the king, and if so, how you reconcile that with the various examples where the King has no KG with him?  My view is that that theory has been conclusively debunked, and I would be curious to know whether you now agree with me on that.

Oh, she does. And she was always one of the ones who did argue for that particular argument most fervently. She wasn't as worse as some of the others who are silent now, but she seems to have still a lot of passion for this kind of thing.

From the other thread: https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/153273-killing-an-old-rljkingsguard-theory-off-for-good-fire-blood/&page=4&tab=comments#comment-8308567

6 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Ironborn do not swear to rape, pillage and plunder. If there were Ironborn sworn to such activity as their primary duty and considered an epitome of what it means to be Ironborn, proudly proclaiming to be Ironborn, then yes, I would indeed expect them to rape, pillage and plunder.

I would not consider the likes of Trant and Blount to always do what the KG are supposed to do. But the KG who are a shining example of knighthood, proudly proclaiming their KG status and loyalty? Ned Stark considers them true KG, and they themselves consider themselves true to their vows. Yet, they are not fulfilling their primary duty by staying at ToJ, there are no other KG left who would protect Viserys instead of them, and they know it. If Viserys is Aerys' only remaining heir, they are in dereliction of their primary duty, their purpose as Kingsguard. Any order by, or an additional oath to Rhaegar, creates a conflict which, if they want to consider themselves true Kingsguard, must yield to the primary duty. Even a higher call, such as considering Jon PTWP and saviour of mankind, still means a dereliction of KG duty and they shouldn't be emphasizing that they are KG.

Can you see where I am coming from? It's not just because they are Kingsguard but because in their own eyes they are true to what it means to be Kingsguard. Unless they are immense hypocrites or idiots or something of the kind (unsupported by the text), I see only one way this conflict can be solved, and that is if they are protecting someone with a better claim than Viserys. and that can only be Rhaegar's legitimate son.

- If you want a RL parallel: when students go on an excursion, they must always be chaperoned. The standard is to send two teachers, so that they could split should something happen to one of the students - one stays with the group, the other accompanies the student to hospital. Now, say they are two groups of students, each with two teachers. One group somehow loses its chaperons, the other group finds out and their chaperones are also the only two teachers within reach. You as a teacher have two options: bring your group and band with the other, or split and each stays with one group. If you do neither, you're going to have one hell of a trouble - you cannot argue that this was not your duty because you could, and should have, acted, and you cannot claim with a clear conscience that you acted as a teacher should.

This is exactly the kind of fallacious argument we have heard ages ago. And it was always fallacious because it was always begging the question. True Kingsguard have to protect the king - they would not be true Kingsguard if they were not protecting the king. Ergo: they must protect the king. It is right there with the ontological argument for the existence of god.

It is phrased somewhat differently here, not explictly emphasizing the silly idea that there must always be a Kingsguard with the king, but it stresses the notion - which has never been introduced by George - that the purpose of the KG to protect the king means or entails that they actually should/have to search for 'the new king' if the old king dies, or that they should - or allowed to, even - to abandon their current task.

You and I - and everybody who bothers to find out things by reading FaB (which @Ygrain hasn't bothered to do, if I understand her recent post about Lady Sam's ridiculous suggestions to Aegon III correctly - she admitted she didn't know about that suggestion, implying that she hasn't actually read FaB) - do know that the history of the Kingsguard does not imply that the members of this order follow such a ridiculous mindset.

We have King Aenys' KG as a counterexample - who supported Maegor the Usurper rather than Aegon the Uncrowned, the true and rightful king.

We have Willis Fell not returning to his king even after his restoration - and certainly not to Dragonstone while he was there alone and undefended and without KG protection as far as Fell knew. And unlike the tower gang, Fell was actually at Storm's End - a castle with its own harbor and not that far away from Dragonstone. Instead, the man only returns to KL after Aegon III has taken power and actually delivers the daughter of his late king to the boy Aegon II would have liked to see dead.

We also have not the slightest reason to believe that swearing another vow - to Rhaegar or Aerys or the Seven or whoever - to protect Lyanna and her (unborn) child would in any way be seen as contradictory to the KG vow. In fact, your quote about Ser Willis Fell swearing to bring Jaehaera to Storm's End can easily be seen as the template to the three tower guys swearing to protect Lyanna and her (unborn) child. Chances are very high that they did not do this just because they were commanded to do it but also because they swore a solemn vow to do it and saw that as completely in line with their duties as Kingsguard.

We have Criston Cole and the KG in KL help crown Aegon II against the implicit wishes of their late king, Viserys I. And so on.

We even have Arys Oakheart who doesn't return to KL to protect Tommen after Joffrey's death - he doesn't even bother asking the new king whether he is okay that he protects his sister rather than Tommen himself.

And then we have Barristan Selmy who imprisons the consort/successor of Queen Daenerys and seizes power in her city in her name instead of actually trying to find and protect his queen.

Even if we continue to take the fever dream talk at face value - which I do not - the most likely interpretation of that talk is not that the knights at the tower switched allegiance from the late King Aerys to *King Jon* but rather that they have not yet officially entered into the service of Viserys III. And they may have never intended to do that because they have realized that the Targaryen dynasty had been overthrown. They may not exactly have cared all that much about the future.

Their king and prince were dead, but they were not. They are still loyal to those burned corpses, and they continue to do as they have asked/commanded them. They are, more or less, like the Brotherhood without Banners who are still loyal to 'King Robert' - despite the fact that this guy never gave them any commands, but so be it.

And by now I think the main clue what happened at the tower, and what caused those three great warriors to lose against seven Northmen of which three couldn't count as great swordsmen - Ned, Howland, and Ethan Glover (due to his apparent/likely youth) - are the exchanges between Cregan Stark and Gyles Belgrave from FaB which I already gave above somewhere but think I should repeat again:

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Ser Gyles Belgrave was also put down for death; if he had not put the poison in the king’s wine himself, he had allowed it to happen through carelessness or willful blindness. “No knight of the Kingsguard should outlive his king when that king dies by violence,” Stark declared. Three of Belgrave’s Sworn Brothers had been present at King Aegon’s death and were similarly condemned, though their complicity in the plot could not be proved (the three Kingsguard who were not in the city were judged innocent).

[...]

Only two men died that day. One was Ser Gyles Belgrave, of the Kingsguard. Unlike his Sworn Brothers, Ser Gyles refused the chance to exchange his white cloak for black. “You were not wrong, Lord Stark,” he said when his turn came. “A knight of the Kingsguard should not outlive his king.” Lord Cregan took his head off with a single swift swing of Ice.

The KG at the tower so not stand accused of murdering their king. But the way Ser Gyles behaves does also not imply that he is guilty of regicide - rather, that he feels guilty and responsible for his king's death because he could not prevent it. The men at the tower also failed their prince and their king. They could not protect them. Now they could at least get a good death honoring the memory of those men. They did not die there to protect anyone. They died there so that blood washed away they stain on their honor. Because they had abandoned their king and their prince to death by sitting out the war in the middle of nowhere.

This interpretation also helps explain why the hell Ned and Howland actually survived that encounter. The men there did not really intend to win.

It also helps to explains phrases like 'The Kingsguard does not flee'. After all, surely they would have fled the tower eventually had they cared to protect the child from Robert, right? Why do they stuff like that? Why do they imply Willem Darry fled when he actually just followed his king's command to protect the queen and the heir on Dragonstone?

Because they have no intention to go away. They want to die fighting. If they had cared all that much about protecting the boy then one of them should have indeed fled while Ned and his gang were approaching while the other two dealt with the new arrivals.

She also intentionally conflates the concepts of knighthood and Kingsguard. Ned never says that the men at the tower were exemplary KG. He just says that the Kingsguard was once a shining example to the world, but never specifies what KG exactly. It is an unjustified leap to jump to the conclusion that he referred to the three men he helped to slay. It is even unjustified to assume he meant all of Aerys' Seven specifically and much more likely that he refers to the Targaryen KG in general, before the Kingslayer soiled the institution permanently - which it is, in Ned's mind. But then, FaB makes it clear that the KG never was a shining example to the world but just as average as people outside the KG. Some were good, some were bad, some were average, and some were rotten. The greatest knight Ned recalls is Ser Arthur Dayne, and he alone, not Whent or Hightower, and we have no reason that getting killed by Howland Reed is what made him such a great knight in Ned's eyes, either. There has to be something more to that than we know at this point, something we have no clue about at this point.

If Ned was as much a fan boy of the guys at the tower as Ygrain apparently is then he would have mentioned their names to Bran, too. But he did not.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There are good reasons to think that certain information given to us in AGoT is no longer actually true. 

A lot of what you list there isn't actually independently confirmed.

Oh, she does. And she was always one of the ones who did argue for that particular argument most fervently. She wasn't as worse as some of the others who are silent now, but she seems to have still a lot of passion for this kind of thing.

 

I enjoyed reading your post.  Here are my thoughts on the three main issues you raised.

1.  Whether GRRM retconned some of the events relating to Robert's Rebellion between publishing AGOT and publishing ASOS.  You might be right about that.  My point wasn't really to discuss the battles Ned may or may not have fought in the South after the Sack.  It was more about the fact that there is zero evidence in any of the books that Ned left KL after the Sack to look for Lyanna.  The only purpose we are given for Ned's departure from KL after the Sack is to fight battles.  Neither he nor anyone else ever says he is looking for Lyanna after the Sack.  It seems to me that if they thought she was still alive at that time, Ned would have gone to look for her and let someone else relieve the siege of Storm's End.  

2.  I think each of the facts in the list I gave is explicitly stated by a character in the books and is credible, or at least not contradicted, based on other things we know.  If you think any of those statements may be factually inaccurate, I would be interested in discussing why you think that.

3.  Thank you for sharing the link to the post by  @Ygrain in the other thread. I had not seen that.  It looks like you are right but I am not 100% sure.  So I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, at least for a time, so that she can answer definitively in this thread (or that one) whether she still believes the theory that one KG must always be with the king.  And if she does, I am sure she will explain how that fits in with the fact that we now have a plethora of examples of times when the king was away from all of the kingsguards and no-one seems to have noticed or cared.    

When I reported @SFDanny's earlier post where he tore into me for no apparent reason, I also reported that this thread is beyond 20 pages.  So if this version is locked, we can pick up the next thread by giving @Ygrain the chance to tell us one way or another whether she still espouses the "one KG must always be with the king" theory.

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If Lyanna died before the Trident then there was no good reason for Dayne, Hightower and Whent NOT to be at the Trident... or at KL at least.

And as Ned recalls:

Quote

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

"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.

qED.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You and I - and everybody who bothers to find out things by reading FaB (which @Ygrain hasn't bothered to do, if I understand her recent post about Lady Sam's ridiculous suggestions to Aegon III correctly - she admitted she didn't know about that suggestion, implying that she hasn't actually read FaB) - do know that the history of the Kingsguard does not imply that the members of this order follow such a ridiculous mindset.

That was my assertion, not hers. I also said that all Rhaegar needed was a High Septon on his side. One High Septon can be adamantly against something and I gave the example of Lady Sam and the Hightower, who did not allow them to get married using incest as the reason for it, but the HS who came after him allowed them to get married. 

And honestly, there's no need to call someone's assertion ridiculous. It's not cool. You've written plenty ridiculous things yourself. Yes, Lady Sam may have been very tongue in cheek, but she still made that suggestion. 

And if you disagree if something, say so and move on. There's no need to pile on about how ridiculous you find it. There's no need to beat it over the head because you want to be 100% right 100% of the time.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

everybody who bothers to find out things by reading FaB (which @Ygrain hasn't bothered to do

Be so kind and don't take my life into your mouth. You don't know a thing about me or what I am dealing with, so keep the condescension to yourself. 

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Posted (edited)
On 2/26/2019 at 11:38 PM, SFDanny said:

Just a couple of things here. You avenge people for the wrongs done to them, and that can certainly include their deaths, but it isn't limited to dying. In the case of avenging Lyanna the conversation you reference is between Robert and Ned among the barrows of the First Men. In that conversation Robert speaks of "hundreds of times" Rhaegar must have raped Lyanna. So, no, vengeance isn't limited to a wrongful death. It can be for many wrongs.

 We also know that Lyanna's death does not precede the Trident. We are told of the fight between Robert and Ned when at Robert's coronation Tywin presents the bodies of Elia and her children to the newly crowned king. That fight, we are told, isn't healed until after Lyanna's death.

I agree with your analysis, here, but if true, stop and ask yourself a question.  Why would Robert assume at the time of the Battle of the Trident, that Rhaegar had raped Lyanna hundred of times?  Why does Robert go there?  Why is there an agreement between Ned and Robert that Robert had his vengeance on Rhaegar at the Trident?

Then let’s proceed to the Sack.  Tywin is a calculating, smart man.  Why would he believe that Robert’s anger at Rhaegar is so palatable, that killing Rhaegar’s children who would ordinarily be high born hostages which could be used as coin in exchange for Lyanna, would put him back in Robert’s good graces?  And why does the deaths of Rhaegar’s children and the killing of Elia by Twyin’s Men, bring the Lannisters back into the good graces of Robert?  After all, Robert should be wroth that the Lannisters were responsible for the killing of any potential bargaining chips to win back Lyanna.

We just have to look at Jaime and the Lannister cousins as examples.  Cat is protective of Jaime because she knows she needs to use Jaime to get her daughters back.  And while it’s not the only reason that Robb is wroth at Rickard Karstark’s killing of the Lannister cousins, it’s certainly a factor.  

Why does Eddard leave King’s Landing in a cold rage to fight the remaining battles as opposed to seeking Lyanna?  Why is there no mention of Robert’s efforts to find Lyanna?  Why does Eddard approach the tower of joy with only his entrusted northmen as opposed to a larger contingent?  

Finally, ask yourself, how does Robert think Lyanna died?  

Now let’s go back to the time of the Battle of the Trident.  If Lyanna is still alive, is there a possibility that Robert could have still been certain that Lyanna was lost to him forever, due to the dishonorable actions of Rhaegar?  Something which, in Robert’s mind, could only have happened because Rhaegar raped Lyanna hundred of times?

Quote

The king touched her cheek, his fingers brushing across the rough stone as gently as if it were living flesh. “I vowed to kill Rhaegar for what he did to her.”

The only possibility that I can think of, is that Robert, Eddard and company either found Lyanna or were convinced of where she was and knew that she either was or had been pregnant.  

If it was known that Lyanna was or had been pregnant, then she never could have become Robert’s queen.  She never could have become Robert’s wife.  In Robert’s mind, Rhaegar would have taken Lyanna away from him forever.  

So now return to Eddard.  If Lyanna had been found and located by the time of the Battle of the Trident, what was Eddard searching for when he came to the tower of joy?  My guess is, Eddard wasn’t looking for Lyanna, but he may have been looking for her child.  

Now I hesitantly return to this conversation from Ned’s fevered dream:

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

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“When King’s Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”

Quote

“I came down on Storm’s End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, “and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”

With the obvious caveat that this conversation occurs during a dream, note the fact that Eddard keeps repeating “I”, not “we”.  

In other words, starting with the Battle of the Trident, Eddard may have been on a personal quest to look for these three Kingsguards.  A quest that did not involve Robert or the rest of the rebellion, an intensely personal quest.

My guess is Eddard wasn’t trying to rescue Lyanna, from the tower of joy, but instead he was trying to rescue his sister’s child.  This is why Eddard only came to the tower of joy with a hand picked group of northmen, people who he could trust to keep this secret.  This is why Eddard and company and the Kingsguards all seemed resigned to the fact that this was to always going to be a battle to the death.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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8 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Be so kind and don't take my life into your mouth. You don't know a thing about me or what I am dealing with, so keep the condescension to yourself. 

I know about you what I can draw from your postings - which I actually do read - and I thus know that you comment on topics without actually having read crucial new information yourself. There is nothing wrong with pointing that out. Also nothing wrong with actually pointing that yourself. One can formulate theories with the caveat that one doesn't have had time or opportunity enough to sift through all the new material. There are people who actually do this.

And to clarify - I was referring to that statement of yours in answer to @Bael's Bastard who has obviously read FaB:

'Thanks for the FB excerpts, I'll save them for future use.' https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/153147-why-was-lyanna-stark-willingly-married-to-rhaegar-when-he-had-not-divorced-elia-martell/&page=8&tab=comments#comment-8307502

That you didn't find out yourself about Lady Sam's suggestion can be derived from this post of yours:

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/153147-why-was-lyanna-stark-willingly-married-to-rhaegar-when-he-had-not-divorced-elia-martell/&page=8&tab=comments#comment-8306972

Considering that you seem to be interesting in this polygamy thing up to a degree it is not exactly far-fetched to assume that you would have recalled Lady Sam's suggestion if you had stumbled on it yourself.

 

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

That was my assertion, not hers. I also said that all Rhaegar needed was a High Septon on his side. One High Septon can be adamantly against something and I gave the example of Lady Sam and the Hightower, who did not allow them to get married using incest as the reason for it, but the HS who came after him allowed them to get married. 

See above. I knew it was you who pointed that out.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

And honestly, there's no need to call someone's assertion ridiculous. It's not cool. You've written plenty ridiculous things yourself. Yes, Lady Sam may have been very tongue in cheek, but she still made that suggestion.

And I didn't deny that she did. But I think it is rather obvious that George didn't exactly (want to) send the message that bigamy or polygamy are accepted traditions of the Targaryen kings and princes post-Maegor, or else he would either given us another bigamous/polygamous Targaryen after Maegor, or he would have at least made bigamy/polygamy a serious option - considered, perhaps, by Jaehaerys I's son Aemon (who had trouble conceiving sons with his wife), Viserys I while he had only Rhaenyra from his Aemma, Daemon while he was stuck with bronze bitch, Rhaenyra while she was stuck with her gay husband, Aegon II after his sister-wife had gone mad, etc.

In fact, it seems that the narrative reason why Prince Aemond didn't marry his Baratheon girl is that his later marriage to Alys Rivers, mother to the true heir to the Iron Throne, is his only marriage rather than a second marriage - as would be the case with Rhaegar and Lyanna.

Giving suggestions of polygamy to the psychopathic princess and a woman her contemporary pretty much described as unnatural and abominable does send a particular message how polygamy was seen in Westeros post-Maegor.

In fact, we can reasonably conclude that any Targaryen king actually deciding to follow in Maegor's footsteps would have caused the same kind of scandal people in the western world do create if they decide to have multiple wives on the basis of, say, the patriarchs of the Old Testament doing that, too.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

And if you disagree if something, say so and move on. There's no need to pile on about how ridiculous you find it. There's no need to beat it over the head because you want to be 100% right 100% of the time.

I was only referring to Lady Sam's suggestion as ridiculous. The specific interpretation of the KG at the tower, etc. I think is just wrong. And I think there is overall merit in actually pointing out that things are wrong, no?

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On 2/26/2019 at 12:37 PM, Lord Varys said:

Lyanna certainly could have been Rhaegar's prisoner. He may have wanted to prevent her from interfering with his plans for Robert and Ned and the other rebels.

Yes, this is plausible.  If Lyanna got into Aerys' hands that could really have complicated such plans, especially if they involved Rhaegar winning the war and leveraging that PR victory to "make changes" such as he mentions to Jaime before the Trident.

On 2/26/2019 at 12:37 PM, Lord Varys said:

But those three guys still sucked as Kingsguard and failed their king and prince because thanks to whatever task they chose to do allowed Robert to slay Rhaegar and Jaime to murder Aerys II. If they had cared they could have just returned to court months ago, either with Lyanna or after dumping her at some castle where other people took care of her.

Well, this is possible... but goes to the problem that we have virtually no canonical info about them during the war.

Were they with Lyanna, and could they have dumped her at some point?

What information did they have, and when did they get it, and where were they then? 

We have Fever Dream Hightower saying they were "far away," re the Sack, but was that the case in real life? -- and if so, what does "far away" mean?

I will say that Fever Dream Hightower's remark that "Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne" doesn't sound like bragging to me.  Three swords defending Aerys and House Targaryen, however skilled, would not have turned the tide of war. 

I think he meant delivering Lyanna into Aerys' hands would have turned the tide, and that is far more plausible IMO.  And if he did, then the implication is that Fever Dream Hightower (if not the actual Hightower) wanted to, and it also implies that they were with Lyanna -- at that time, late in the war.

Only the app certifies them as having been with Lyanna for months before the Sack, and establishes their location and power of choice to help Aerys.  Until the canon does too,  I can't judge them for their failures or choices,  because I don't really know they failed, or that their choices were informed ones.  I have only GRRM's remark/implication that that they were following Rhaegar's order (which is so far undefined).

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

Yes, this is plausible.  If Lyanna got into Aerys' hands that could really have complicated such plans, especially if they involved Rhaegar winning the war and leveraging that PR victory to "make changes" such as he mentions to Jaime before the Trident.

I was rather thinking about Lyanna not wanting Rhaegar to fight Robert/Ned. The dragon had devoured two direwolves already, I'm not sure she would have liked Rhaegar to be the one who eradicated House Stark in the male line by killing both her remaining brothers - something that could have easily enough happened in battle.

Even if we buy the love story couples do fight. And couples where the father of one partner has killed the father and brother of the other do have a lot of issues. Lyanna may have loved Rhaegar - but she may have also hated his father and what his family stood for, and she may have hated him, too, for deciding to side with the madman in the struggle - which Rhaegar apparently did. That wouldn't be contradictory to her still being heart-broken after it turned out that Robert killed Rhaegar. Often you only realize how much you loved someone when that person is gone for good.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

Well, this is possible... but goes to the problem that we have virtually no canonical info about them during the war.

Were they with Lyanna, and could they have dumped her at some point?

The fact that it seems as if Dayne and Whent were with Rhaegar when he set out to his quest that led him to the Riverlands implies that these two may have been with them from the start. It is not much but it is something.

Dumping Lyanna would have been an easy thing. They could have handed her over to the care of any Targaryen loyalist house in Dorne, the Reach, or wherever else they were before ending up in the tower. And they certainly could have dragged her from the tower to some nearby loyalist castle or keep.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

We have Fever Dream Hightower saying they were "far away," re the Sack, but was that the case in real life? -- and if so, what does "far away" mean?

Either at the tower or close to it would be my guess. Not that much time seems to have passed between Ned getting down there and the Sack.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

I will say that Fever Dream Hightower's remark that "Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne" doesn't sound like bragging to me.  Three swords defending Aerys and House Targaryen, however skilled, would not have turned the tide of war. 

Oh, here things have also been misinterpreted in my opinion - that remark refers to the fact that Aerys II wouldn't have been murdered by Jaime Lannister, not that they would have singlehandedly defeated the rebels - although, well, perhaps these guys were just full of themselves. Or rather: Ned believed they were, so they act like that in his dream.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

I think he meant delivering Lyanna into Aerys' hands would have turned the tide, and that is far more plausible IMO.  And if he did, then the implication is that Fever Dream Hightower (if not the actual Hightower) wanted to, and it also implies that they were with Lyanna -- at that time, late in the war.

If Hightower had wanted to hand Lyanna over to Aerys II he could have done so. He was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. The other two were his to command - assuming they were still loyal to their king. It is possible, though, that the guys decided they had been morons to obey Rhaegar and that it had been a mistake to care about the woman rather than doing their actual duty to protect the king.

1 hour ago, JNR said:

Only the app certifies them as having been with Lyanna for months before the Sack, and establishes their location and power of choice to help Aerys.  Until the canon does too,  I can't judge them for their failures or choices,  because I don't really know they failed, or that their choices were informed ones.  I have only GRRM's remark/implication that that they were following Rhaegar's order (which is so far undefined).

We shouldn't really treat the App as a primary source. George is certainly not going to double-check it when he continues to write his books. He didn't even double-check TWoIaF when he wrote the material on Jaehaerys I and Alysanne. Else we would have still have a Prince Aeryn Targaryen, an Alyssa Targaryen who is the eldest surviving child of Jaehaerys I, and a first Daenerys who is still the daughter of Aegon IV and Jaehaerys I.

But we don't.

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25 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We shouldn't really treat the App as a primary source. George is certainly not going to double-check it when he continues to write his books. He didn't even double-check TWoIaF when he wrote the material on Jaehaerys I and Alysanne. Else we would have still have a Prince Aeryn Targaryen, an Alyssa Targaryen who is the eldest surviving child of Jaehaerys I, and a first Daenerys who is still the daughter of Aegon IV and Jaehaerys I.

But we don't.

Regarding TWOIAF, that's not what happened

... George had some new ideas for some of the names and the stories of the children who died young, and corrected some issues that came out of his original birth order (we actually got the names of all the kids quite late in the production of TWoIaF—literally a month before we had to finalize the book—so there was not much time to interrogate it). However, the stories of those who live to adulthood, as published in TWoIaF, do remain the same (just, of course, much more detailed). (X)

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37 minutes ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

Regarding TWOIAF, that's not what happened

... George had some new ideas for some of the names and the stories of the children who died young, and corrected some issues that came out of his original birth order (we actually got the names of all the kids quite late in the production of TWoIaF—literally a month before we had to finalize the book—so there was not much time to interrogate it). However, the stories of those who live to adulthood, as published in TWoIaF, do remain the same (just, of course, much more detailed). (X)

I meant that George knew what was written in TWoIaF, what he had signed off to publish, and then he changed that in another book. He did not feel bound by that. Usually he less inclined to do such things, but neither the App nor TWoIaF - especially the sections that were changed in FaB - were written by him, so it is pretty safe to guess that he is less scrupulous about changing such things.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I meant that George knew what was written in TWoIaF, what he had signed off to publish, and then he changed that in another book. He did not feel bound by that. Usually he less inclined to do such things, but neither the App nor TWoIaF - especially the sections that were changed in FaB - were written by him, so it is pretty safe to guess that he is less scrupulous about changing such things.

Intentionally changing a detail from an earlier published book is something else than not double-checking an earlier published work :) Just pointing that out.

And while he might usually be less inclined to do such a thing, with F&B Martin changed something that he himself had delivered for TWOIAF (the names and birth orders of the children, as per Ran's quote). He changed his own writings. So be it.

Edited by Rhaenys_Targaryen

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4 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I agree with your analysis, here, but if true, stop and ask yourself a question.  

Many good questions, FFR, so let me try to answer some of them.

4 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Why would Robert assume at the time of the Battle of the Trident, that Rhaegar had raped Lyanna hundred of times?  Why does Robert go there?

Two reasons, and you know them both. First, at the Harrenhal tourney Rhaegar has openly proclaimed his interest in stopping the wedding between Robert and Lyanna. He not only proclaims his admiration of Lyanna's beauty, but also places his own personal interest in Lyanna before the Seven Kingdoms. Robert tries to pass this off as just giving "Lyanna her due," but it also is clear it is Rhaegar putting his own interests, and that of the royal house, in between the planned marriage.

Next, one has to recognize the action of Rhaegar running off with Lyanna as an action that has a direct impact on Lyanna's betrothal to Robert. Clearly, Lyanna being in the company of three men instead of going to her brother's wedding or preparing for her own wedding to Robert tells us that Lyanna's maidenly reputation has been soiled by Rhaegar. Regardless whether she goes willingly or is taken against her will, this isn't good for the idea Lyanna is going to come to Robert's marriage bed a virgin and "unsoiled."

By the time of the Trident, Robert's worst nightmare is his bride to be has been raped multiple times. This is likely over a year to a year and a half from the "abduction" to the death of Rhaegar at the Trident. That time and Rhaegar's widely known love for Lyanna makes Robert "go there."

Once again, I would point out that for Robert this is likely more about his property being taken from him and the shame of another man loving his fiancé and having sex with her than worries about Lyanna's welfare.

4 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Then let’s proceed to the Sack.  Tywin is a calculating, smart man.  Why would he believe that Robert’s anger at Rhaegar is so palatable, that killing Rhaegar’s children who would ordinarily be high born hostages which could be used as coin in exchange for Lyanna, would put him back in Robert’s good graces?  And why does the deaths of Rhaegar’s children and the killing of Elia by Twyin’s Men, bring the Lannisters back into the good graces of Robert?  After all, Robert should be wroth that the Lannisters were responsible for the killing of any potential bargaining chips to win back Lyanna.

It is very hard to believe that whatever Robert's restraint was on that last day of the tourney at Harrenhal, he would continue to be silent in the wake of the "kidnapping." One of the open questions  we have from this period is on what grounds does Aerys call for Jon Arryn to send him Robert and Ned's heads? No, I would hazard a guess that neither Robert or Ned were quiet and I would place money on Robert expressing his anger through threats and open outrage. Repeatedly. Over many months. For everyone to hear. Including people who would report to Tywin Lannister.

As to Tywin's calculations, I would expect that helping Lyanna into her grave figures prominently into them. He knows Robert will need a new queen and I'm quite sure he has his own candidate for the job. I think Tywin has his spies in the rebel camp, just as he has in King's Landing. Robert's "madness," as Ned calls it, would not be hidden from his spies. I think Tywin's calculation is just what he tells Tyrion it was. He knew Robert wanted all Targaryens dead, and he thought Robert wouldn't want to order the deaths of Rhaegar's children himself even though he wanted to with every fiber of his being. If their deaths made Lyanna's more likely, then so much the better. I do doubt that Tywin thought she was actually a hostage held against her will, but if it did place her at hazard that helps Tywin and his goals.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

We just have to look at Jaime and the Lannister cousins as examples.  Cat is protective of Jaime because she knows she needs to use Jaime to get her daughters back.  And while it’s not the only reason that Robb is wroth at Rickard Karstark’s killing of the Lannister cousins, it’s certainly a factor.

Cat actually cares about her daughters welfare, and Tywin has an interest in Lyanna not coming back alive. Two very different motives. Does Tywin take a risk by killing Elia and her children? Not much of one, given all the reasons I've given. I would suggest Tywin was right, and Robert's reaction proves that.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Why does Eddard leave King’s Landing in a cold rage to fight the remaining battles as opposed to seeking Lyanna?

There is no indication that Eddard knows where Lyanna is before he leaves King's Landing. He also has an immediate need to relieve the siege and disarm the largest loyalist forces left in the field who are, as far as we know, actually fighting against the rebels. He is likely to be under orders from his new king to save Storm's End. What is clear is that Ned takes his troops to Storm's End to win that battle and he only takes six very trusted companions with him after that to go to Dorne. It is likely he finds out from the surrendering forces where his sister is.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Why is there no mention of Robert’s efforts to find Lyanna?

Obviously, because none of them, if they took place, were successful.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Why does Eddard approach the tower of joy with only his entrusted northmen as opposed to a larger contingent?

Because he likely knows something about what he expects to find. I think he knows Lyanna went willingly, and I think he fears she won't want to return with him. I believe he knows from whomever tells him to go to the Tower of Joy that only the three kingsguard are there to oppose him - if they are all still there by the time he gets there. He takes a party of six others to help him against three. It almost wasn't enough, but one can understand  why Ned wanted secrecy over overwhelming force. He doesn't want to invade Dorne and cause the war to go on.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

 Finally, ask yourself, how does Robert think Lyanna died?

I think Robert believes whatever Ned has told him. Likely that Lyanna was held against her will and that she died of a fever and complications of her confinement. This fits what Robert wants to hear, and he is always much more happy if people tell him what he wants them to say.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Now let’s go back to the time of the Battle of the Trident.  If Lyanna is still alive, is there a possibility that Robert could have still been certain that Lyanna was lost to him forever, due to the dishonorable actions of Rhaegar?  Something which, in Robert’s mind, could only have happened because Rhaegar raped Lyanna hundred of times?

It is possible that Robert recognizes Lyanna was lost to him. He may even know deep down that Lyanna chose Rhaegar over him. I think Robert isn't able to face certain realities and those who know him are not likely to try to force him to see the truth in front of his face. Lyanna was his by right, and that is all that matters. I think that those who think Lyanna wouldn't be a suitable queen as an unmarried woman (at least to most people) and one who is most likely not any longer a virgin, would not likely raise such objections before Robert actually becomes king. The smart ones would wait until Lyanna's fate is determined.

5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

The only possibility that I can think of, is that Robert, Eddard and company either found Lyanna or were convinced of where she was and knew that she either was or had been pregnant.

If it was known that Lyanna was or had been pregnant, then she never could have become Robert’s queen.  She never could have become Robert’s wife.  In Robert’s mind, Rhaegar would have taken Lyanna away from him forever.  

We know Robert was not with Ned when he found her. We know this from almost the beginning.

Quote

"I was with her when she died." Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest bedside Brandon and Father." (AGoT 49) bold emphasis added

"I" not "we." Ned was there with Lyanna in her room that smelled of blood and roses. Robert was not. That this scene takes place after the lifting of the siege at Storm's End has been proven already in my recent posts. If you want to go over them we can.

But again start with Ned's thoughts.

Quote

Eddard Stark had ridden out that very day in a cold rage, to fight the last battles of the war alone in the south. It had taken another death to reconcile them, Lyanna's death, and the grief they had shared over her passing. (AGoT 124) bold emphasis added.

Ned is not delusional when the thinks this. He isn't dreaming. He isn't lying to himself or to anyone else. He knows when Lyanna died and when he leaves King's Landing, and Robert was still there, Lyanna is still alive. So, unless, Martin is bringing time travel into our story, the nonsense of Lyanna's death before the Trident is just that - nonsense.

As to Robert and Eddard being convinced Lyanna is pregnant, one shouldn't presume that Robert and Ned and company all know the same thing. But as I said earlier both Robert and Ned's action make it likely they know nothing of the details of where Lyanna is or her condition at least until the sack of King's Landing. But ask yourself, what would Robert's reaction have been if he knew Lyanna's location? Would he have set out immediately himself for the Tower of Joy with as many men as he wanted to bring retribution to any who would hide his betrothed from him? I think so. Robert isn't the patient sort. He doesn't like to delegate revenge. That Robert stays in King's Landing is the best evidence he knows nothing about where Lyanna is.

But as I said, because Robert doesn't know, doesn't mean Ned doesn't find out at King's Landing. It's possible, but I think not. It's possible that because of the fight between Ned and Robert that Ned keeps the secret of Lyanna's location from him. He rides off to complete his orders and then at the earliest possible time gives over the command of the Northern army to another and takes his six friends on his ride to the Prince's Pass. 

I think it more likely he learns her location in Storm's End, but this is another mystery we wait for more information. What we don't wait for is knowledge that Lyanna is still alive when Ned leaves King's Landing and that he is with her without Robert when Lyanna dies. If you want more discussion on this topic let me know, but this is about as clear as it gets in Martinworld. 

Lastly, whether Robert will accept Lyanna into his marriage bed or not is an unknown we can't answer, but what we can answer is the search for a new bride for Robert doesn't start until after King's Landing, and likely doesn't really start until Ned returns with the news of Lyanna's death.

9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

So now return to Eddard.  If Lyanna had been found and located by the time of the Battle of the Trident, what was Eddard searching for when he came to the tower of joy?  My guess is, Eddard wasn’t looking for Lyanna, but he may have been looking for her child.

I've already dealt with the "found" part of this, She wasn't found until Ned finds her on her deathbed. Any reader who doesn't like spinning up their own tales based on nothing, knows that Lyanna is found after Ned leaves Storm's End. Lyanna's location may have been discovered as early as the sack of King's Landing, but before the Trident, no, or some party would have been dispatched to go there before the battle. Likely with Ned or Robert at its head. We know it wasn't done because the above quote about what reconciles Robert and Ned.

9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Now I hesitantly return to this conversation from Ned’s fevered dream:

With the obvious caveat that this conversation occurs during a dream, note the fact that Eddard keeps repeating “I”, not “we”.  

In other words, starting with the Battle of the Trident, Eddard may have been on a personal quest to look for these three Kingsguards.  A quest that did not involve Robert or the rest of the rebellion, an intensely personal quest.

There is no doubt this is a highly personal quest for Ned. His father and his brother have died hideous deaths, and thousands of others have died along with them. His sister is still missing.That much we should be able to agree upon.

As to Ned's use of the pronoun "I" instead of "we," I think you miss the entire point of the dialog. As I've said before, at the very minimum, the dialog in the dream is the creation of the dreamer. Both sides. That Ned's part is all concerning events that can be verified in the text, including the sequence he lays out tells us that even as a dreamer Ned isn't delusional in the questions he asks. But think for a minute on Martin's motivations here. He isn't simply creating a dialog that lays out the sequence for the lazy reader. This dream is calling on the reader to think about something. It is, I think, to ask why this dialog takes place and is so highlighted. Martin wants the reader to ask the same questions themselves to understand the why of the battle.

If Ned is also responsible for the answers he gets from the Kingsguard then those answers tell us somethings about what Ned thinks of the three men, and their motives.

But what is missing from what you say about the dream is that it tells us what Ned wants to know. That the dream highlights this dialog instead of the actual fighting tells us it isn't so much that Ned came so close to dying or that so many of his friend did die that haunts his sleep, but that Ned is still searching for answers to the questions he puts to the Kingsguard. This is an old dream that Ned has dreamed before, and now, fourteen years later, he is still dreaming about a conversation that gives him no answers.

Ned wants to know why the Kingsguard are there blocking his way into the Tower instead of being where he knows they should have been. It makes no sense to Lord Eddard Stark to find these men at an old guard tower along the Prince's Pass when they should have been elsewhere doing their duty. Why do they insist on a battle to the death rather than let him go to his sister? Which is the whole point of this scene that Martin has painted us. It doesn't matter if the dream represents a verbatim dialog of the real encounter. What matters is that Ned still doesn't have his answers. Nor do we.

Let me return to your idea that Ned is on a personal quest to find these three Kingsguard. I don't disagree that to some degree this is possible, and even likely. Your timing is likely way off, and the reasons behind his quest is different than what I think you mean, but I do think at some point Ned decides to keep secrets from Robert.

We see that Ned has learned to "handle" Robert. He lets Robert rage and his temper blow itself out, and then, for the most part, goes around him. No doubt Lord Jon played a role in handling Robert's madness, just as Ned does. But when it comes to his sister, I've no doubt Ned hides things from Robert, and likely does so since early on. Do you think Ned told Robert about Lyanna's concerns about his "nature" with other women? Or would he have told Robert about Lyanna's attraction to Rhaegar at Harrenhal? No, I think when it comes to Lyanna, Ned lied to Robert.

Of particular interest, then is Ned's worries about when they found Lyanna. Would he suspect that Lyanna wasn't going to be willing to kiss and make up with Robert? Especially after Robert kills Rhaegar at the Trident? Or most especially after he sees Robert condone the murder of innocents in King's Landing? As long as they had some relationship to Rhaegar, murdering children was accepted. What then happens when proud, wolf-blooded Lyanna proclaims her love for Rhaegar to Robert's face and to the rest of Westeros? Ned has every reason to worry about such and encounter.

Ned's worries have deep roots in his knowledge of his sister, but the key here is Robert's response to the murders of Elia and her children. After which, it makes entirely logical sense for Ned to hide from Robert any information he finds out about her location. So, my answer is yes, but concerning Lyanna, not hiding any personal plot against Hightower, Dayne or Whent. There is absolutely nothing to suggest Ned harbored any such plans concerning them, and much that shows his admiration of the men, especially Dayne.

14 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

My guess is Eddard wasn’t trying to rescue Lyanna, from the tower of joy, but instead he was trying to rescue his sister’s child.  This is why Eddard only came to the tower of joy with a hand picked group of northmen, people who he could trust to keep this secret.  This is why Eddard and company and the Kingsguards all seemed resigned to the fact that this was to always going to be a battle to the death.

I don't buy it for a second. Ned may suspect his sister could be pregnant, but it is his sister that Ned is looking for, not a baby he knows nothing about. One has to ignore the sequence of events and all the clues about when Lyanna dies to build such fantasies. 

Let me end here on one note. We often get caught up on the use of the app. There is no more blatant incident of ignoring information than what you do here with Lyanna's death. We have unequivocal information authorized by the author himself that places Lyanna's death at the Tower of Joy, and you refuse to accept it. Any information from the books, the app, the author himself can be wrong, or be changed. But then it is on the reader to show that it is. Categorically ruling out a source because you don't approve of it just doesn't work. Show the information that makes you think this part of the app is wrong and why and we have a discussion. You saying we can't consider evidence that is spot on target because you don't like it is a problem with me, and always will be.

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