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Why do book readers hate R+L=J?

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9 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

So my question is per what has been stated as clues by R+L=J- why would this "mystery" ,why would GRRM play close to the chest something that could be solved by simple math? Thus,if RLJ is the answer it was no mystery.

The books were originally conceived as a trilogy, to be released within about five years, beginning to end. GRRM didn't expect to have yo hold cards close to the chest, since you'd have just enough time to speculate before the mysteries are all solved and the books are finished.

There's a good chance GRRM planned for the mystery of Jon's parentage and the solution were going to be presented and answered in the same book.

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9 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

@JNR

I do get why RLJ was seen as the answer by most of the fandom.It gave us all the trappings of Disney.Hell,I wasn't even half way through the first book before I blurted out Rhaegar is Jon's father.

This is just another variation of the "it's too obvious" / "GRRM would never do that" line of reasoning.  It's only Disney if Jon inherits / wins the Kingdom and rules happily ever after while being universally loved by the smallfolk which strikes me as something GRRM wouldn't do.  Throwing in a mystery about his parentage, giving us clues from which we can deduce the likely answer if we're careful and then still confounding our expectations by having him do things at odds with the role we expect him to act out (like joining the Watch or rejecting becoming Lord of Winterfell) and being just one of the key heroes in the end game not the chosen saviour and delivering a different outcome to what we might expect: now that sounds like the story we might be reading.

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22 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

This is just another variation of the "it's too obvious" / "GRRM would never do that" line of reasoning.  It's only Disney if Jon inherits / wins the Kingdom and rules happily ever after while being universally loved by the smallfolk which strikes me as something GRRM wouldn't do.  Throwing in a mystery about his parentage, giving us clues from which we can deduce the likely answer if we're careful and then still confounding our expectations by having him do things at odds with the role we expect him to act out (like joining the Watch or rejecting becoming Lord of Winterfell) and being just one of the key heroes in the end game not the chosen saviour and delivering a different outcome to what we might expect: now that sounds like the story we might be reading.

Actually no its not a variation of " its too obvious". Its either a mystery or its not. You don't write it like a mystery,act like its a mystery and it not be a mystery.

The issue isn't GRRM's clues.The issue is some of the "clues" RLJ "says" are clues and the way they set in stone their interpretation of symbolism and elements.A favorite ideology of mine comes from my buddy Ygrain.

Quote

 Out of those two, it is Rhaegar, not Robert, who gives Lyanna the blue roses that keep recurring in connection with Lyanna throughout the books, and Lyanna and Rhaegar as Jon's parents provide explanations of Ned's behaviour. actually agree with most of what you said.

The above is exactly,what i mean.All Rhaegar did was give Lyanna blue roses.Ygrain points out that they keep reoccuring.She doesn't expound on with whom and in what manner and context they occur.Or what the blue rose symbolizes.RLJ says its Jon.The way the text depicts it is another story.

I do agree with you on the majority of what you said with a few additions of my own.

I believe that GRRM threw in clues concerning Jon's parentage- Just not RLJ

I believe it takes "careful" reading and deduction- Just not RLJ

I  believe him joining the Watch was not a confounding moment what else was he going to do? 

I  believe that him turning down WF was not a confounding moment.

I believe he is going to be king- Not on the Iron throne or Winterfell.

I  believe he will be one of the heroes who will save Westeros.Hell, that he will be the one to save Westeros but he will never be openly achknowledged and he may go down in history as a villain.

I just don't believe what RLJ puts out as clues are clues ,or that they way they interpret certain symbols or elements can only be done their way. 

Like the wheat and tear growing together until the end,so has the true answer to Jon's parantage run parallel to the red dragon herring.

9 hours ago, Yukle said:

The books were originally conceived as a trilogy, to be released within about five years, beginning to end. GRRM didn't expect to have yo hold cards close to the chest, since you'd have just enough time to speculate before the mysteries are all solved and the books are finished.

There's a good chance GRRM planned for the mystery of Jon's parentage and the solution were going to be presented and answered in the same book.

This mystery has been presented as such from the get go.Every interview he did even in the earliest saw him deflect,redirect or flat out not answer when it came to this.

And just to reiterate a point, i believe the answer to Jon's parentage is found in the first 3 books despite the tale having grown in the telling.The answer has been the same from book 1-3 and book 4-5.

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I don't think this remotely true. I believe its been discussed in the fandom for so long that it's taken as fact now and isn't all that interesting anymore. Another thing is with the popularity of the TV series people constantly talk about it as if they're the first to figure it out. Which is annoying. When I first read the series I didn't catch it. Later, on a fan site I saw the theory and was like wait, what? It's not that people hate it, they've just known for twenty years and it's not a big deal anymore.

 

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23 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Actually no its not a variation of " its too obvious". Its either a mystery or its not. You don't write it like a mystery,act like its a mystery and it not be a mystery.

But it is.

You said

10 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

@JNR I do get why RLJ was seen as the answer by most of the fandom.It gave us all the trappings of Disney.Hell,I wasn't even half way through the first book before I blurted out Rhaegar is Jon's father.

You are explicitly saying "most of the fandom" seized on it because "it gave us all the trappings of Disney".  You also say you "blurted out that Rhaegar is Jon's father".

You are literally saying you came to the conclusion R+L=J (as did a lot of the fandom) but then you discarded it because it's supposed to be a mystery and for you this answer to the mystery is too obvious (and I would suggest therefore too disappointing).

This is absolutely a variation of the "it's too obvious" line of reasoning.  I understand that you have decided to question your original realization but you have explicitly explained your reasoning for this as the answer being too obvious and the mystery needing to be deeper or more obscure so I am not sure what there is to disagree on.

Personally I don't think you need to second guess your original realization but that is entirely your prerogative.

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11 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

I do get why RLJ was seen as the answer by most of the fandom.It gave us all the trappings of Disney.

Huh. One doesn't typically associate "Disney" with "tragic and poignant".

But if so, then what the hell is wrong with Disney, defined that way?

11 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Hell,I wasn't even half way through the first book before I blurted out Rhaegar is Jon's father.

Oh. "This theory makes sense, therefore it can't be valid".

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, House Beaudreau said:

The biggest one for me is Ned's point of view in GOT anytime he thinks of Rhaegar it is usually followed up with him thinking about Dany. He has the memory of Lyanna saying "promise me" and when he learns its too late to stop the assassination of Dany he thinks of a broken promise. The evidence is there for Jon but its also there for Dany.

Where the hell does this myth come from? There are FIVE Ned chapters between Robert's decision to have Dany assassinated and the thoughts of broken promises, and in those chapters, he never, ever, spares a single thought to Dany's safety. Instead, we get:

“The Targaryen girl—”
The king groaned. “Seven hells, don’t start with her again. That’s done, I’ll hear no more of it.”

So why does Ned freak out about broken promises after he ordered Varys to call off the assassins, when he doesn't bat a lash after this exchange with Robert? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

ETA: Add to it that after Ned resigns on the Handship, he thinks about being the one to keep his vows. Not a hint at a vow that he has broken by then.

 

Edited by Ygrain

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2 hours ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Huh. One doesn't typically associate "Disney" with "tragic and poignant".

Which is why I was so mindblown when Rogue One offed every single major character :D

Alas, the hope it gave me was one of a false spring.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Can I interject with a question? First, I 100% agree with you that it is a mystery as laid down by the text.In addition to the preceding,everything Martin has refused to say on the subject,including not answering it tells us it is a mystery.

Now it being a mystery doesn't mean a mystery that will reveal RLJ.

The main leg or maybe one of RLJ's main leg is timeline.It is the one thing brought up above all as refutation against most, or all other theory.

What is used is Dany's statement about being conveniently born 9 after Rhaella supposedly flee KL, and GRRM's statement that Jon is 8-9 montage older than Dany.

To which RLJ does a bit of simple math and boom we have a time frame.

So my question is per what has been stated as clues by R+L=J- why would this "mystery" ,why would GRRM play close to the chest something that could be solved by simple math? Thus,if RLJ is the answer it was no mystery.

I second  @JNR point that the evidence doesn't hold water in truth.

We have a series of hearsays,dreams,elements and symbolism that can have several interpretations.When one looks at it and the legs it stands on you see why it isn't the solution.

I do get why RLJ was seen as the answer by most of the fandom.It gave us all the trappings of Disney.Hell,I wasn't even half way through the first book before I blurted out Rhaegar is Jon's father.

 

True. :-)

Edited by manchester_babe

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17 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

The 'evidence'doesn't measure up, to use your words, because the story is not over yet. Jon's parentage is supposed to be a mystery. There's no reason for Martin to spell out everything - w/ irrefutable evidence - at this point.

The evidence doesn't measure up to the claim that R+L=J is all the things it's cracked up to be: unwritten canon, for instance, or 100% probable, or "not even a theory."   There are so many gaps, so many shortfalls of critically important information, it's nowhere close to any of those things.

There was a Vox article last year that presented a lot of "authorities" on this mystery discussing how it was now established and the mystery was entirely over.  I had to chuckle, reading it; it reminded me quite a bit of the universal belief among geologists, in the middle of the 20th century, that continents can't possibly move, they don't, they never have, it was a settled matter beyond any rational debate, etc.

As you say, correctly, the mystery of Jon's parentage is far from settled.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, JNR said:

As you say, correctly, the mystery of Jon's parentage is far from settled.

I don't really see a point in the question who his parents have been. There are different classes of bastards in Westeros which pretty much define the social standing of the bastard. 

There are aknowledged bastards like Edric Storm or Ramsay Snow. There are unknown bastards like Gendry. And there is Jon Snow, an aknowledged bastard of Ned. 

The entire idea of RLJ requires an impact to the story. To the point where the question is how will it advance the story with all the problems we have by simply aknowledging Jon as Lyanna's son or bastard. Will Ned be publicly known as a liar ? Will he, once again, loose his honor over Jon ? How is an item, be it Blackfyre or Rhaegar's harp proof for anything ? 

It is far more logical to put the bastard of anyone under the guardianship of the specific house, if he/she should be an aknowledged as member of that house. Why is Edric Storm under the guardianship of Renly ? We have an entire story around him and how Stannis has problems with Robert. Edric Storm is not seen as a Florent, he is seen as a Baratheon. It matters not who the real father and mother of Edric Storm were. As long as they are from house Florent/Baratheon. And even if the parents were Estermont/Hightower. He is an aknowledged son of Robert. I doubt it would be accepted if Edric Storm should suddenly be a Hightower bastard. How should that impact the story ? 

There is really not much reason why Jon's parents will ever be revealed to the reader. As long as mysteries like the tower of joy are explained in an sufficient way. 

Edited by SirArthur

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I don't hate it and I think it makes perfect sense, I think it's kind of obvious that is the way GRRM is going with it. I see a lot of people have these grasping theories, thinking way out of the box, who are probably still gonna believe their own crackpot theories even after GRRM completes the series. Granted that he freakin hurries up and completes the damn books before he dies, come on GRRM!

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20 hours ago, JNR said:

Who is he?

Who is he?

Any number of possibilities here.  

For instance, Ned could have cooked up a false story that Wylla was Jon's mother, and gotten Wylla to agree to it, so that he could then tell Robert that Jon was his bastard (the last of which we know did happen) and know that if Robert looked into it, Wylla would back him up.  Yet in this scenario, Wylla might still never have been Jon's mother or wet nurse at all.

You know who he is, and what I mean. Stop being obtuse.

In what context would she mention to Edric Dayne- a boy nearly four years younger than Jon, with no real reason to ask about him- that she nursed Jon Snow. It makes no sense.

It's unlikely that Ned would have asked about him specifically, and she would not likely offer up the story on a whim if it was just a cover story. That's not how cover stories work.

What makes A Song of Ice and Fire so compelling is the sense that characters make. It's a character driven series, as opposed to it's HBO counterpart, which is driven by the necessity for events to happen. With that being said, in what context would Wylla mention Jon Snow to Edric Dayne if she hadn't nursed him.

What sense does it make for Ned to claim Jon as his own child, go to Starfall without Wylla or Jon, then send Wylla there to claim that Jon is her child/she nursed him.

That's a greater stretch than R+L=D.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

But it is.

You said

You are explicitly saying "most of the fandom" seized on it because "it gave us all the trappings of Disney".  You also say you "blurted out that Rhaegar is Jon's father".

You are literally saying you came to the conclusion R+L=J (as did a lot of the fandom) but then you discarded it because it's supposed to be a mystery and for you this answer to the mystery is too obvious (and I would suggest therefore too disappointing).

This is absolutely a variation of the "it's too obvious" line of reasoning.  I understand that you have decided to question your original realization but you have explicitly explained your reasoning for this as the answer being too obvious and the mystery needing to be deeper or more obscure so I am not sure what there is to disagree on.

Personally I don't think you need to second guess your original realization but that is entirely your prerogative.

Again no, it really isn't and honestly that had more  to do with the story "I" thought i was reading based on who "I" thought the author was.You brought up a point earlier about readers expectations on what the author would do and you are right.I got caught in that trap and that's how I came out RLJ initially.

But drapping a common characterization over a man who himself said he wanted to present something his grandmother wouldn't really figure out kinda makes my point.Even his own wife said he doesn't do obvious.

Or consider other statements as wanting to suprise fans.Its not as simple as saying we are dismissing RLJ because its obvious. Based on other works and projects by the author i can say it is.Therefore,to say  GRRM doesn't do obvious is stating a fact.So,who am i to believe on this matter? I take the author's statements and his wife's word also for a bonus. 

Au contraire,I didn't second guess myself.I was content eventhough there was always things about the RLJ theory i couldn't reconcile .Those problems that just wouldn't go away you know? I dealt with that by doing what was easy for me at the time, and i've said this many many times on here.

1.Boy gives girl flower

2. Boy and girl ran off with each other

3. Both die tragically.

4. Girl's brother comes home with baby boy he claims is his.

Those points condensed like that, is literally all i did and said eureka RLJ.Good to go for years like that.

 Heresy is amazing in that you have people with different theories, and there was a point where there was kind of an arguement about this and i was one of those on the pro RLJ side who was like " what da heck are these guys talking about."

So i took it upon myself to just reread without any expectations except probably telling @JNR and @The Snowfyre Chorus after reading  i'm still coming up with RLJ..

I didn't relegate  GRRMs themes of perception and misdirection to the Others only AND I read other stuff he wrote.

This was a game changer.Reading his other works gave me huge insights into how he writes;hiding things in plain sight,playing on reader perceptions and preconcieved notions.Things like the Arryn murder,quotations by BR,Syrio and Littlefinger .Seeing "how "characters came to believe what they did (unreliable narrator) let me know i wasn't reading just another author.

I had to admit after rereading ,RLJ wasn't the most logical, or probable answer.In the end,I didn't dismiss RLJ  because it was to obvious.I dismissed it because i found an answer that made more sense overall.

8 hours ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Huh. One doesn't typically associate "Disney" with "tragic and poignant".

But if so, then what the hell is wrong with Disney, defined that way?

Oh. "This theory makes sense, therefore it can't be valid".

Really? Musafahhh,Bambi's mom :( I should have said Grimm fairy tale if i wanted be correct.

Nothing is wrong with Disney.There is something imo wrong with dismissing what GRRM himself said WAS/IS his goal.

Now,i can't say based on the text that RLJ makes sense looking at the individual elements.

Speaking strictly,from my point of view,I saw nothing else beside what i condensed.No rose symbolism,or Bael the Bard element was needed. I didn't have to search. I just went with what was on the cover. 

Rhaegar gave Lyanna flowers....I never questioned his motive or his character

Characters in the book said he either kidnapped her or ran off with her....I never questioned how they came to that conclusion.I didn't question or take into consideration Lyanna's ideas about fidelity and that kind of thing.Didn't consider intimate details given by Ned and Robert.

Rhaegar according to Robert raped her so sex concentual or not occured.....Didn't question how the heck he knew that considering the circumstances of her remains.

Ned comes home with baby boy he says is his bastard....Ding ding ding.

If this was my job, and i turned in findings based on the bolded,I am 100% sure i'd get fired.

 

5 hours ago, manchester_babe said:

True. :-)

Word! 

Edited by wolfmaid7

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Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2018 at 5:44 PM, JNR said:

It's a popular sentiment, but I'm afraid the "evidence," such as it is, doesn't measure up to an objective standard, and instead amounts (as I said before) to flowers, towers, and dreams.

In the setting that you're speaking of, they would have complex methods of ensuring that Rhaegar is the father, but it doesn't matter; I'll play your game.

On 3/6/2018 at 5:44 PM, JNR said:

"Were they ever seen having a conversation?" he asks.  "Any letters exchanged? Do we know they were lovers?  Anything like that?"

"Er… no," you say.  "Actually, we can't be sure they ever spent five minutes alone together."

Puzzled, the judge wonders why you think Rhaegar and Lyanna have any sort of connection at all.  

To which your more articulate, better dressed companion supplies. "We know that he offered her a crown of flowers, naming her his Queen of Love & Beauty; a title that seems to be held for lovers and close family among their culture." He says, skimming his notes. "She was also noted to have cried at his ability with the harp, and she openly spurned her arranged marriage."

The Judge nods. "But this doesn't equal evidence. Were there any actual witnesses to any interactions between them?"

"Any possible witnesses were killed by the lady's brother in his rescue attempt." Your companion answers, causing the judge to lean forward.

"I thought you said they left together willingly?" He questions, looking over the notes provided. "Why would she need rescuing?"

"Everyone assumed that she was taken against her will by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, but nothing really connected the two.." He whispers, flipping through a leather-bound tome. "What we do know is that she was found by her brother in the same time-frame as he slew three members of the Targaryen Kingsguard."

Sitting back in his seat, the judge frowns as he rubs his thick steel-grey beard. "It was my understanding that they were meant to protect the royal family."

"And follow their orders, Your Honor."

The judge considers this for a moment. "Why would anyone in the Royal Family order her to be held captive?"

"That is the million dragon question." He returns, pacing along the floor before the judge. "The only two people to survive the encounter were Lord Stark- who refuses to speak of it- and Howland Reed- a recluse."

"So there are no witnesses that will corroborate this theory?"

"No." You answer immediately, sullenly hanging your head.

Undeterred, your colleague's voice rings out from your side. "Why would they?" He questions hotly. "Just half a league from here (let's assume this court is in King's Landing), sitting upon the throne is a man that would see him dead as recompense for his lost love- who didn't actually love, or even like him- simply because of his dragonblood. He allowed a pair of murderers to go free, and sent assasins after a pregnant child (dany was 13 I think. Still a child, even by Wetserosi standards). Would you allow such information to slip free with such a man in a position of power?"

Stroking his beard in a practiced motion, the judge seems to consider his words. "I must admit that your argument is compelling, but it does not constitute evidence." Is his reply. "It is however enough to compel a warrant for a DNA test. As an aside, does the boy look like Rhaegar Targaryen?"

You stand dumbfounded, knowing that the boy has the features of his mother. "No, Your Honor." Your colleague says. "He does not, but if we look at the precedent set before him, it's clear that he doesn't have to."

Pulling another folder from his case, he proceeds to lay out a collection of photographs before the judge. "Duncan the Small, Baelor Breakspear, Rhaenys Targaryen, Valarr Targaryen, Daeron the Drunken," He shouted, allowing his had to hover above each one as her paseed, before throwing out another photograph. "Aegor Rivers.

"All of these children had the typical Targaryen fathers, but lacked the accompanying Targaryen features." He pronounced, throwing out another set of photographs. "Robb Stark, Sansa Stark, Brandon Stark, Rickon Stark. All have the coloring of their mother, but are acknowledged as Lord Stark's children." 

This would be enough to convince Jon to take a paternity test in real life.

Fortunately, we're not talking about real life. We're talking about the book. And we'e not looking for physical evidence, meaning we don't need conclusive events to be stated as having happened, we just need to read the book. This means:

  • Dany's dream is contextual evidence.
  • Ned's dreams and thoughts are contextual evidence
  • Three KINGSguard guarding a girl in the desert as opposed to their own KING is evidence
  • Lyanna being surrounded by blue rose is evidence (not to R+L=J, but to her being a willing participant)
  • Her extracting a promise from Ned is evidence.
  • Wylla being at Starfall and Nursing Jon is evidence
  • Ned not telling Catelyn of his mother is evidence (two can keep a secret if one of them is dead (I think HR is going to make a surprise appearance))
  • Ned's outrage and Robert's resignation to Tywin's deed it evidence (character evidence: shows that Robert can't be trusted to protect the rights of anyone with the name Targaryen)

This is the evidence that counts in the book. These action have long since passed, meaning we won't be getting POV's about it, which means that this information is crucial to the discovery of certain facts.

That being said, the most crucial evidence of R+L=J is Ned's dream and Dany's vision. You can call Ned's into question if you want, because he wasn't in the best state, but if you couple it with Dany's dream- given the fact that it would be impossible for her to know this, due to her exile and distance, and the secretive nature of this information- it paints a very clear picture: some secret related to Lyanna Stark and Dany is at the Wall or some other wall of ice.

Good effort though. Especially going by procedure for real court, despite the fact that we're talking about a book.

Thanks @Ygrain. You're right about that.

Edited by Jon_Stargaryen
correction

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12 minutes ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

The fact that he only agrees to tell Jon about his mother AFTER he joins the Watch is evidence

That's the show, not books, I'm afraid.

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4 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Where the hell does this myth come from? There are FIVE Ned chapters between Robert's decision to have Dany assassinated and the thoughts of broken promises, and in those chapters, he never, ever, spares a single thought to Dany's safety. Instead, we get:

“The Targaryen girl—”
The king groaned. “Seven hells, don’t start with her again. That’s done, I’ll hear no more of it.”

So why does Ned freak out about broken promises after he ordered Varys to call off the assassins, when he doesn't bat a lash after this exchange with Robert? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

ETA: Add to it that after Ned resigns on the Handship, he thinks about being the one to keep his vows. Not a hint at a vow that he has broken by then.

 

Its a interpretation of the vague language that GRRM uses very tactfully when Robert and Ned are talking about Rhaegar, Dany, the Targaryens and Jon. 

When Jon is brought up, Ned mind doesn't go to Rhagar, and Vice Versa. When Robert talks of killing All Targaryens, Ned doesn't think of Jon and having to protect him from this wrath. In Fact, in the conversation with Luwin, Cat and Ned about what to do with Jon once Ned goes to King's Landing. Ned seems more concerned about Cersei not suffering a bastard at court rather than Robert killing Jon, should his Targaryen blood ever be revealed. 

If Jon was truely Rhaegar and Lyanna's Ned would have one reason and one reason only on his mind to keep Jon out of King's Landing, and that would be Robert. This thought doesn't seem to be anywhere near his mind. 

I'm not a true believer either way be it R+L=J or some other combination because in my mind doesn't add to the story in the same way that a lot of other plot developments do. But GRRM defiantly leaves the door open for debate on Jon Snow's parentage. In my long experience with this debate over the years, i have found that believers of R+L=J  believe in this theory mostly because its convenient and they really want it to be true, because in there mind it ties everything up in a nice neat little bow. in there mind the story ends with Jon's Lineage being revealed and everyone going "oh, great! he's the rightful king, he's gonna marry Dany and they will live happy ever after."  and they are very quick to dismiss evidence like Edric Dayne basically telling us who Jon's Mother is, or the testimony given to Davos about Jon's mother in the SIsters, etc.  

But this doesn't address that if Jon is even alive, he's still a Bastard, He's still in the Nights watch, Jon most likely wouldn't care about the Iron Throne because he knows of the real enemy. He passed on Winterfell and being named a Stark which is all he ever wanted because of his vow. Him marrying Dany would be a perpetuation of Targaryan/feudal incest which GRRM has taken a pretty strong stance on.  

And lastly Jon's Bastardness matters, it matters, in terms of the story, and in the character's own mind. suddenly turning Jon into the rightful Targaryen heir seems to go against the way GRRM tells his stories. GRRM is more likely to step up his readers to think Jon is Rhaegar's son only to turn it around on us, and find out he is actually Ned's real Bastard fathered on Wylla a starfall serving wench or some fish wife from the Sisters. I know its a literary faux pas to analyze a work of fiction based on other works the author has written but its undeniable that GRRM presents his stories in a certain way and borrowed a lot of language/character models/ themes from his previous work.    

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8 minutes ago, House Beaudreau said:

Its a interpretation of the vague language that GRRM uses very tactfully when Robert and Ned are talking about Rhaegar, Dany, the Targaryens and Jon. 

When Jon is brought up, Ned mind doesn't go to Rhagar, and Vice Versa. When Robert talks of killing All Targaryens, Ned doesn't think of Jon and having to protect him from this wrath. In Fact, in the conversation with Luwin, Cat and Ned about what to do with Jon once Ned goes to King's Landing. Ned seems more concerned about Cersei not suffering a bastard at court rather than Robert killing Jon, should his Targaryen blood ever be revealed. 

If Jon was truely Rhaegar and Lyanna's Ned would have one reason and one reason only on his mind to keep Jon out of King's Landing, and that would be Robert. This thought doesn't seem to be anywhere near his mind. 

I'm not a true believer either way be it R+L=J or some other combination because in my mind doesn't add to the story in the same way that a lot of other plot developments do. But GRRM defiantly leaves the door open for debate on Jon Snow's parentage. In my long experience with this debate over the years, i have found that believers of R+L=J  believe in this theory mostly because its convenient and they really want it to be true, because in there mind it ties everything up in a nice neat little bow. in there mind the story ends with Jon's Lineage being revealed and everyone going "oh, great! he's the rightful king, he's gonna marry Dany and they will live happy ever after."  and they are very quick to dismiss evidence like Edric Dayne basically telling us who Jon's Mother is, or the testimony given to Davos about Jon's mother in the SIsters, etc.  

But this doesn't address that if Jon is even alive, he's still a Bastard, He's still in the Nights watch, Jon most likely wouldn't care about the Iron Throne because he knows of the real enemy. He passed on Winterfell and being named a Stark which is all he ever wanted because of his vow. Him marrying Dany would be a perpetuation of Targaryan/feudal incest which GRRM has taken a pretty strong stance on.  

And lastly Jon's Bastardness matters, it matters, in terms of the story, and in the character's own mind. suddenly turning Jon into the rightful Targaryen heir seems to go against the way GRRM tells his stories. GRRM is more likely to step up his readers to think Jon is Rhaegar's son only to turn it around on us, and find out he is actually Ned's real Bastard fathered on Wylla a starfall serving wench or some fish wife from the Sisters. I know its a literary faux pas to analyze a work of fiction based on other works the author has written but its undeniable that GRRM presents his stories in a certain way and borrowed a lot of language/character models/ themes from his previous work.    

Careful you don't end up eating your words and you seem to have many of them. How are you gonna feel when Jon does turn out to be Rhaegar and Lyanna's child?

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20 hours ago, Yukle said:

The books were originally conceived as a trilogy, to be released within about five years, beginning to end.

I often think this was a good idea.

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4 hours ago, JNR said:

The evidence doesn't measure up to the claim that R+L=J is all the things it's cracked up to be: unwritten canon, for instance, or 100% probable, or "not even a theory."   There are so many gaps, so many shortfalls of critically important information, it's nowhere close to any of those things.

There was a Vox article last year that presented a lot of "authorities" on this mystery discussing how it was now established and the mystery was entirely over.  I had to chuckle, reading it; it reminded me quite a bit of the universal belief among geologists, in the middle of the 20th century, that continents can't possibly move, they don't, they never have, it was a settled matter beyond any rational debate, etc.

As you say, correctly, the mystery of Jon's parentage is far from settled.

But I never said that.

What I said was that I don't think it's surprising that not all the dots regarding Jon's parentage have been connected at this point. Once the reveal is made, they will be. 

I also think some of the claims by readers who don't believe in R+L=J are erroneous. Above all else, the claim that "most of the fandom has come to the conclusion that R+L=J". Maybe most readers here, but by and large most people don't reach this conclusion. The majority of readers do not frequent online discussion forums, nor do they look things up online. For instance, most of my friends who have read the novels didn't pick up on it at all. Like, maybe 1 out of 10, but that's it. 

But going back to the evidence - or lack thereof - pointing to R+L=J... I think Martin gives us enough clues for us to make the connection between R and L and Jon's mysterious parentage, but not so many that we'd be dead certain by book 1 or 2 (or 5). All the gaps and all the missing information are required for it to remain, officially, a mystery. 

All the alternative theories for Jon's parentage that I have read have left me... wanting? unsatisfied? 

Long story short, I believe Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon's parents. To me, it's the explanation that makes the most sense, the one that fits better. And having read several alternatives over almost 2 decades, I haven't yet found anything that made me question my belief. 

That said, I do acknowledge the possibility of being wrong. There are a few posters here who I think are super smart and very articulate that I really enjoy reading - I'm looking at you, @LynnS! -  that do not believe in R+L=J, and to be perfectly fair, so what if the majority [here]  believe in something? We could all be wrong. (We're not, but we could be... :P )

There, that's, in a nutshell, my take on it. :)

 

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