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manchester_babe

Why do book readers hate R+L=J?

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It can't be conclusively proven that Lady Hornwood, Maggy the Frog or the Great Other aren't Jon's mother, either. However, the notable lack of clues pointing to any of these characters, especially in Ned's PoVs, safely rules them out, and the same goes for Ashara, Wylla or any other candidate. The only women Ned ever thinks of are Cat and Lyanna, and in connection with Lyanna, only Robert and Rhaegar are mentioned. 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 without any mental gymnastics and further convoluted theories requiring other characters not being who they are, babyswaps, time-travelling sperm etc.

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On ‎23‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 8:16 PM, bent branch said:

 

I think it is safe to assume that everything we have been told about when, where and how Ashara died is highly suspect if not outright wrong. The story changes depending upon who tells it. I'm willing to bet they are all wrong. But even if one of the versions is correct, then there is not yet enough evidence to show who is right. However, since Barristan only worshiped Ashara from afar, I bet he doesn't really know what happened.

No not year older but couple months I going suggest about four months older

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For those interested in Ned and Ashara as possible parents of Jon, it's worth noting that (unlike R+L=J) it actually comes up explicitly in the text -- twice in the first book alone, in fact.

First, we find that Cat explicitly asked Ned if Ashara was Jon's mother.  Meaning that apparently, Cat thinks it was possible Ned saw Ashara at the right time in the war.

Quote

The Lady Ashara Dayne, tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes. It had taken her a fortnight to marshal her courage, but finally, in bed one night, Catelyn had asked her husband the truth of it, asked him to his face. 

That was the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her. "Never ask me about Jon," he said, cold as ice. "He is my blood, and that is all you need to know. And now I will learn where you heard that name, my lady." She had pledged to obey; she told him; and from that day on, the whispering had stopped, and Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again.

Notice that Ned might easily have said "Relax, baby.  That would be impossible, because I never even saw Ashara once during the war."  

For some reason, he failed to say that obvious thing.  

But wait, there's more.  Exactly like Cat, Cersei explicitly asks Ned if Ned and Ashara are Jon's parents:

Quote

You've a bastard of your own, I've seen him. Who was the mother, I wonder? Some Dornish peasant you raped while her holdfast burned? A whore? Or was it the grieving sister, the Lady Ashara? She threw herself into the sea, I'm told. Why was that? For the brother you slew, or the child you stole?

So what we know for sure is that both Cat and Cersei seem to think it was definitely possible, from a logistical standpoint, for Ned to have knocked up Ashara and thus to have sired Jon.   That's the reason they ask him.

And notice -- once again, Ned has nothing to say along the lines of: "You sick bimbo, somehow you've forgotten that I never came within a hundred miles of Ashara during the war." 

Do Cat and Cersei know something about Ashara's itinerary during the war -- something that we don't?  Maybe; maybe not.  Though they probably know more than we do, because we know nothing at all.  We'll have to wait and see. 

However, what's clear is that no mental gymnastics are required for Ned and Ashara to be Jon's parents.  Because Cat and Cersei aren't mental gymnasts -- they're just asking perfectly obvious questions that the reader can ask too.

Now, in the area of mental gymnastics, we might ask ourselves how Lyanna would probably feel on discovering Rhaegar's father had burned her own father alive and had her brother strangled to death.  

Would she be upset, maybe?  Or would she say to herself: "Clearly I must have a child by this man Rhaegar... whose family has a famous reputation for inherited murderous insanity that, in fact, just got my father and brother murdered a few months ago."   I wonder if she would want her baby inheriting that sort of thing?

No way to know for sure.  But discussing such awkward subjects, in my experience, is where people start attempting mental triple flips and landing in a split, which usually doesn't work out very well for them.

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On 2/27/2018 at 2:30 PM, JNR said:

Do you mean Brandon would have had to keep it a secret?

If Brandon slept with someone while he was betrothed to Cat, I don't think it would surprise anyone or even be seen as newsworthy.  

Plenty of men in this patriarchal, sexist world sleep around... before or after marriage.   Even Cat thinks, about Ned, that it wouldn't have surprised her if he banged some woman during the war and sired a bastard -- what did surprise her was Ned bringing the bastard back to Winterfell and raising him personally.

For it to be Jon Snow and be passed off as Ned's son, it would have to be a closely guarded secret.

On 2/27/2018 at 2:30 PM, JNR said:

What has Ned got to do with this hypothetical woman?  

We're talking about whether Brandon could have sired a son who was born much closer in time to Robb than a year.  The answer is yes, he could have.  There's no way to rule it out.

EVERYTHING!!

No. We're talking about whether Brandon could be Jon's father. That's how this started. I said that R=L=J is the likeliest theory. Someone said B+A=J is just as, if not more, likely. I compiled a list, showing the reasons why these people can't/wouldn't (would be highly improbable) be Jon's parents.

Could Brandon have a child that is nearly four months older than Robb. Of course (given specific circumstances and deus ex machina). But Jon is not that much older, based on the timeline of the ASoIaF. He's closer to one-two months older than Robb.

That would be more in line with you conjugal visit theory.

On 2/27/2018 at 2:30 PM, JNR said:

Where is "that far south" in your mind?  

We know that Brandon was going to Riverrun to attend his own wedding at the exact time Lyanna (apparently) disappeared:

That far south is the area near the Tower of Joy, or near Starfall. We don't know that he was in the ToJ for a fact, but we do know that he was in Starfall, based on Ned Dayne's account. So "that far south" means the edge of the Torentine on a small island.

On 2/27/2018 at 2:30 PM, JNR said:

True.  Don't feel bad; no one else can either.  GRRM designed the puzzle of Jon's parentage to have many possible solutions.

I don't feel bad. I was never trying to prove that she wasn't his mother. I've been trying to prove that she is a weaker candidate than Lyanna, given what we know i.e. her supposed miscarriage, Edric Daynes certainty that Wylla is Jon's mother, the likelihood that she wouldn't have been anywhere near Ned(in an enemy camp) or Brandon around the time she would need to in order to conceive Jon, Barristan is certain she had a girl.

All of this is pretty damning to any case made for Ashara being Jon's mother.

On 2/27/2018 at 2:30 PM, JNR said:

Also almost certainly true.  Hopefully we'll get that answer in TWOW, and hopefully TWOW will eventually be published.

I can second this.

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15 hours ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

But Jon is not that much older, based on the timeline of the ASoIaF.

What is it you think ASOIAF says on the subject of Jon's birth?  

It certainly doesn't say he was born at the time of the Sack.  This is a deduction made by fans based on two bits, both of which are questionable.

The first is GRRM's remark that Jon was "probably" born "closer" to "eight or nine months" or "thereabouts"before Dany.  This is remarkably full of qualifiers.  Words like "probably" and "thereabouts," so far from pinning GRRM down, are meant to leave him plenty of wiggle room. 

The second is that Dany was born nine moons after Viserys and Rhaella fled King's Landing, which... is a story Dany has been told.  Is it a true story?  

It's hard to say.  Other stories Dany's been told have certainly turned out not to be true.  This series is full of people who were told extraordinary lies for extraordinary reasons, such as all the people who heard Ned's lie that he was a traitor.

15 hours ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

We don't know that he was in the ToJ for a fact, but we do know that he was in Starfall, based on Ned Dayne's account.

What we know is that Edric claims that Wylla claims to have been Jon's nursemaid.

But we don't know (1) if that's true, or (2) where it happened, if it is true.  

Edric certainly never saw Jon at Starfall, because he's years younger than Jon; he doesn't even establish Wylla was at Starfall before he was born, only saying that Wylla has served Starfall for years -- how many, we don't know.

15 hours ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

I've been trying to prove that she is a weaker candidate than Lyanna

I think they are both obviously inserted into the text by GRRM as possible mothers in book one, with the goal of making it clear to the audience that Jon's parentage is a mystery with multiple solutions.   

My own objection to Ned + Ashara = Jon is that it's even more obvious than R+L=J.  Whether that makes it a weaker or stronger theory is a matter of opinion.

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15 minutes ago, JNR said:

 

What is it you think ASOIAF says on the subject of Jon's birth?  

It certainly doesn't say he was born at the time of the Sack.  This is a deduction made by fans based on two bits, both of which are questionable.

The first is GRRM's remark that Jon was "probably" born "closer" to "eight or nine months" or "thereabouts"before Dany.  This is remarkably full of qualifiers.

The "no, Jon was not a year older than Dany" fragment is with no such caveats, whatsoever. That Jon is less than a year older than Dany is a hard fact, the only question is how much, exactly, less.

Any theory which has Jon born a year or more before Daenerys is therefore strictly out.

15 minutes ago, JNR said:

 Words like "probably" and "thereabouts," so far from pinning GRRM down, are meant to leave him plenty of wiggle room. 

The second is that Dany was born nine moons after Viserys and Rhaella fled King's Landing, which... is a story Dany has been told.  Is it a true story?

Daenerys' Stormborn birth was a historic event, taking place on the same night as the destruction of the Targaryen fleet. That's the story not only she's been told, but also the one the whole world has heard. If you claim that it's all BS, you need to provide some evidence for that, and no, the general "doubt anything" isn't good enough.

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I don’t have a problem with R+L=J, in fact I think its the most plausible theory about Jon’s parentage

However, I do think a lot of the story gets streamlined with R+L=J, sometimes other parts of Robert’s Rebellion that are mysterious get lumped in as red herrings or simply seen as not important at all to the current story. But, those mysteries were placed in the story for a purpose and there could have been a lot more happening than just Jon being born. I think that’s my gripe with R+L=J, its not that I hate it, just pushes all other factors that were happening at that time out of the way. 

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On 3/3/2018 at 11:24 AM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Any theory which has Jon born a year or more before Daenerys is therefore strictly out.

Yes; GRRM can be blunt and simple when he wants to be.  

I think the same applies to his flat statement that Rhaegar was cremated, which for me utterly rules out any theory in which Rhaegar is still alive but posing as some other character.

On 3/3/2018 at 11:24 AM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

That's the story not only she's been told, but also the one the whole world has heard. If you claim that it's all BS, you need to provide some evidence for that

Ned Stark having a bastard during the war is not only a story Catelyn Stark (his wife) and Robert Baratheon (his best friends) have been told, by Ned, to their faces... but also the story the whole world heard.  If you claim that it's all BS, you need to provide some evidence for that.

But, of course, you can't.  You can only point to dreams and guilt and flowers and towers.  

(Just as, when I asked, you could not demonstrate how it was possible Robert rammed his spiked warhammer into Rhaegar's heart while Rhaegar was mounted and yet Rhaegar then wound up on his feet on the ground, then fell to his knees, and then -- miraculously still alive and still conscious -- murmured a woman's name.)

No one in "the world" knows whether Ned knocked up some woman during the war.  And no one in "the world" knows when Rhaella gave birth on Dragonstone.

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3 minutes ago, JNR said:

Yes; GRRM can be blunt and simple when he wants to be.  

I think the same applies to his flat statement that Rhaegar was cremated, which for me utterly rules out any theory in which Rhaegar is still alive but posing as some other character.

Ned Stark having a bastard during the war is not only a story Catelyn Stark (his wife) and Robert Baratheon (his best friends) have been told, by Ned, to their faces... but also the story the whole world heard.  If you claim that it's all BS, you need to provide some evidence for that.

I invite you to visit the R+L=J thread, where the plentiful evidence is presented.

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4 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

I invite you to visit the R+L=J thread, where the plentiful evidence is presented.

Oh, I've been there a time or two.  :D

There really is nothing I would call evidence.  One can make a reasonable case, and the case can't be shot down, but that's the most I can say for it.

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On 23/02/2018 at 8:29 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

Yea, He still isn't coming back to earth. All that letter did was refine what i said. Valinor is essentially the heavens of the elves. The letter just makes clear that Frodo went there for a time before passing on eventually to where ever his peoples "heaven" is. So Tolkien essentially says he makes a pit stop in Valinor to heal the taint of Sauron before going to his death. Going to his actually death/heaven is his only other destination from there. He's still never coming back and as good as dead to those still in the world. Except Sam who also is allowed to go there for a time. 

So yes we are both right i guess. Splitting red hairs here

 

Well the elves don't die naturally so I'm not entirely sure why they need a heaven.  They can of course be killed and their souls pass into the Halls of Mandos from which they can return to be embodied but the elves of the Undying Lands are as alive as the elves of Middle Earth.  Non-elves who are subsequently granted passage to the Undying Lands - Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and Gimli - will eventually die as they are still mortal and the pasage of time will have it's normal effect but they are alive if unreachable from the perspective of the people they leave behind.

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On 2/27/2018 at 4:09 PM, Ygrain said:

It can't be conclusively proven that Lady Hornwood, Maggy the Frog or the Great Other aren't Jon's mother, either. However, the notable lack of clues pointing to any of these characters, especially in Ned's PoVs, safely rules them out, and the same goes for Ashara, Wylla or any other candidate. The only women Ned ever thinks of are Cat and Lyanna, and in connection with Lyanna, only Robert and Rhaegar are mentioned. 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 without any mental gymnastics and further convoluted theories requiring other characters not being who they are, babyswaps, time-travelling sperm etc.

Not true Ygrain, that's all Rhaegar ever did with respect to that blue rose( give it to Lyanna)....

Look at every other time blue rose is mentioned,and see who is in the scene and what is being discussed.

As an exercise anyone here can look at all the times blue rose and Lyanna are mentioned.

What is the significance of the rose and when does it show up and in what context afterward.

 

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On 3/3/2018 at 10:54 AM, JNR said:

What is it you think ASOIAF says on the subject of Jon's birth?

Quite a bit actually:

We know that his birthday was after her reached the Wall, after Benjen left, but before Tyrion left. This is based on A Game of Thrones, chapter 19: Jon's third chapter.

We don't know how long it took Tyrion to reach Winterfell on his way back through, but we know his entire party was mounted, meaning he would have made it to Winterfell faster than they'd made it to the Wall (not all of the men headed for the Wall were mounted).

There is also no mention of Robb turning 15 until the chapter where their riding through the woods with Bran.

With that in mind, it's safe to say that Jon is no less than a month older than Robb, but no older than three months.

On 3/3/2018 at 10:54 AM, JNR said:

What we know is that Edric claims that Wylla claims to have been Jon's nursemaid.

But we don't know (1) if that's true, or (2) where it happened, if it is true.  

Edric certainly never saw Jon at Starfall, because he's years younger than Jon; he doesn't even establish Wylla was at Starfall before he was born, only saying that Wylla has served Starfall for years -- how many, we don't know.

We know that she was his nursemaid, and Ned (both of them, really) claims her to be his mother. With that being said, we cannot say for certain where she would have given birth to him, but since she is currently in service to Starfall, and Ned was in Starfall towards the end of the war, when little Jon would have been born, and he brought Jon back with him, it's safe to say that he would be from Starfall, or somewhere near to that, given that that is the location where all of these people have been for certain.

Edit:

Also, in what context would she be mention Jon Snow if she had never actually nursed him, seeing as she likely wouldn't know about him, and if she did, she wouldn't have any reason to say she nursed him. Especially not to Edric, given that he was too young to have any prior knowledge of Jon Snow.

If it didn't happen in/around Starfall, it makes even less sense. Ned delivers Dawn after killing Arthur DAYNE, then sometime later send the mother of his bastard (or in your theory, an unrelated woman?) to House Dayne to take into their service.

Makes perfect sense!!

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On 3/4/2018 at 0:03 PM, JNR said:

Oh, I've been there a time or two.  :D

There really is nothing I would call evidence.  One can make a reasonable case, and the case can't be shot down, but that's the most I can say for it.

Of all the theories out there, R+L=J is the most compelling and sensible:

  • It explains why Ned would claim a bastard and bring it home with him, knowing it would strain his marriage. If it was Ashara's, he could have left it with her, giving her a reason to live and putting Jon in a more bastard-friendly environment. If it was Wylla's, the answer is similar; foster him in Dorne where his mother serves, and allow him to make a life for himself.
  • It explains why Ned doesn't want to talk about Jon's mother. He tells Robert that it's Wylla, but refuses to tell Jon or Catelyn her name. Of all the people in the world, Jon should be allowed to know her name.
  • He eventually agrees to tell Jon her name, after Jon decides to go to the Night's Watch, but only after they meet again, presumably when Jon is unable to take his birthright and Robert will have no reasonable cause to murder him (like that would stop him anyway).
  • R+L=J also makes sense of one of Dany's vision in the House of the Undying: the blue rose growing from a wall of ice. (I would call this medium-soft to somewhat-hard evidence, given that Dany couldn't possibly know of Jon's parentage, that someone associated with Lyanna Stark is at the Wall, or even the significance of the vision) 

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1 hour ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

We know that she was his nursemaid

Who is he?

1 hour ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

it's safe to say that he would be from Starfall

Who is he?

1 hour ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

Also, in what context would she be mention Jon Snow if she had never actually nursed him

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.

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1 hour ago, Jon_Stargaryen said:

Of all the theories out there, R+L=J is the most compelling and sensible

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.

Just imagine you are a lawyer whose job is to convince a judge that Jon's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna.

The judge asks you to begin by explaining Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship.

"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.  

"Well, he gave her a crown of flowers once."

"And what did she say to him about that?"

"She didn't say anything to him.  Either then or at any point in her life, as far as we know, but he did give her the crown.  And then months later, they went somewhere together."

"How do you know?" asks the judge.  "Did either Rhaegar or Lyanna tell someone that?"

"Not as far as I know."

"Were there any eyewitnesses you can name who saw them going somewhere?"

"No, not that I can name," you say, "but, er… it's a well-known tale."

"So is the tale of the tooth fairy.  Were they at least in the same town when the boy was conceived?" asks the judge.

"We can't say," you admit.  "No actual evidence of that."

"No evidence they were in the same town?"

"That they were even on the same continent," you admit.  "Uh… we actually have no idea at all where either of them was at that point, so… we don't know if they were together.   But maybe.  It's possible!"

"I see," says the judge.  "Well, Rhaegar was the most recognizable man in Westeros, bar none, out of millions and millions.  So I'm sure the boy looks like Rhaegar, at least, or you wouldn't be wasting the court's time?"

"Actually, no," you say.  "He has no Targ traits.  Also, his face looks like nothing like Rhaegar's face.  Rhaegar was as pretty as a supermodel.  Whereas the boy just looks like… a boy.  But he does look like a Stark boy.  So that means Lyanna has to be his mother.  Which also means Rhaegar must be his father."

"I'm afraid it doesn't mean any such thing," says the judge, thinking clearly and correctly.

"Well, but you see… the boy was also born at a tower with two of Rhaegar's favorite kingsguards," you say. "Plus their Lord Commander was there."

"And how do you know where he was born?" asks the judge.

"Because Ned Stark had a dream," you explain.  

"A dream," says the judge, "the most unimpeachable form of evidence.  And who, pray, is Ned Stark?"

"Ned Stark is a man who looks incredibly similar to the boy," you explain, "and who swears up and down that he is the boy's father.  So you see, the theory that Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon's parents is the most compelling and persuasive of all possible theories, and that's why everybody knows it must be true."

The judge at this point gives you a stony look.  

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to cite you for contempt of court," he says.

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On 27/02/2018 at 7:07 PM, Chris Mormont said:

The reason why I hate the theory is because what should have been an incredible plot twist has become the widely accepted, if not proven, fact, and I want to be surprised at something in these final 2 books, if we ever get them.

Everyone's reasons are their own for liking or not liking this widely accepted theory but the above is the best answer to the OP's question.  Sure I'm generalising but this seems it in most cases.

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13 minutes ago, 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.

This is an argument I don't understand... 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. :dunno:

 

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On 2/13/2018 at 6:31 AM, manchester_babe said:

Why do book readers h8 R+L+J?

There's just so many possiblities out there and with the vague timeline of events and births during the rebellion it hard to say anything for certain and GRRM certainly leaves the door open for a lot of possiblities.  

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. 

Jon was most likely conceived in around the same time as Rob was. Which makes a strong case that he was conceived in the Fingers on his way back to Winterfell to call his banners a month or so before his marriage to Cat. 

Dany and the Lemon tree memory really points to her spending some amount of time in Dorne without her knowing. Or was she born in Dorne and didn't leave until she was a child. She could have easily been born at the Tower of Joy, Ned takes the baby Dany to Starfall to be sheltered in Dorne and kept safe and picks up his own bastard Jon Snow from Ashara Dayne that he conceived at Harrenhal. Brandon Stark could have fathered Jon Snow at the Tourney as well. 

Queen Rhaella had many miscarriages and the whole Stormborn on Dragonstone story could have been a lie concocked by Willem Darry to protect Dany's true identity.

Rhaegar was Obsessed with prophecy, the name of the child he had with Lyanna would have had a very important name. A Targaryen type name like Daenerys or Aegon or something not Jon.    

 

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

This is an argument I don't understand... 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. :dunno:

 

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.

 

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